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May 22, 2017 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander, Oakfield, Pavilion.

Within a two-hour period, three serious injury accidents in Genesee County, in Alexander, Oakfield and Pavilion.  

At this point, there is no additional information about these accidents beyond what is in our initial posts (links below).

Alexander:

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Three people were injured, including one who needed to be airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight, when a car veered off Dodgeson Road and landed on its roof in a creek in a deep ravine. A state trooper at the scene said the cause of the accident had not been determined at that time. This accident was reported at about 5:40 p.m. (Initial post)

Oakfield:

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One person was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC following a single-car accident on Maltby Road, Oakfield. The Sheriff's Crash Management Team responded to this accident to conduct the investigation. The car appears to have veered off the road, struck and tree and spun back into the roadway. This accident was reported just before 6 p.m. (Initial post)

Pavilion:

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In Pavilion, a car that was northbound on Perry Road apparently failed to see a stop sign crossing Route 20 and drove into the rear wheel of a tractor-trailer. The car spun around and came to rest pointing south on the north side of Route 20. Two people were transported by ground ambulance to Strong. The truck driver continued south for more than a quarter mile, dragging a wheel broken off its axel, while he tried to maintain control and bring the vehicle to a safe stop on the shoulder of the road. This accident was reported just before 7 p.m. (Initial post)

May 22, 2017 - 5:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, alexander, news.

A rollover accident is reported at 3213 Dodgeson Road in Alexander. A car went into a creek. Unknown injuries. Alexander Fire Department and medics are responding. Mercy Flight is on ground standby in Batavia.

UPDATE 5:46 p.m.: The patient "self-extricated" from the vehicle.

UPDATE 5:53 p.m.: Darien Fire Police are called to shut down all eastbound traffic at Dodgeson and Seward roads.

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: Mercy Flight is called to the scene and a landing zone will be established in the roadway, west of the accident.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: There are three patients, all of whom "self-extricated." Two are going to Strong Memorial Hospital via ground ambulances; one is going to Strong aboard Mercy Flight #5, which is airborne. The vehicle landed upside down, deep in a ravine with a creek at the bottom of it.

May 18, 2017 - 3:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, alexander.

A two-car accident with two possible injuries, one of them minor, is reported at 1116 Route 98, Alexander. It is blocking traffic. Alexander fire and medics are responding.

May 14, 2017 - 5:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Pavilion, alexander, crime, news, Grand Jury.

David L. Handley Jr. is indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. On Feb. 12, it is alleged that the defendant entered a convenience store on Telephone Road in the Town of Pavilion with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, it is alleged that on the same day, Handley commited the same crime at a construction company on Route 237 in the Town of Stafford. In count three, Handley is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing "a white trash can and tools" from the construction company in Stafford.

Tracy A. Hilton is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. On Feb. 18 in the Town of Alexander, the defendant allegedly violated a duly served order of protection to stay away from a certain person. In Special Information filed with the indictment, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman accuses Hilton of having been convicted of the same crime within the previous five years, on June 2, 2014.

May 8, 2017 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, pembroke, Oakfield, alexander, Le Roy, byron.
brodskymug2017.jpg
Jeffery Brodsky

Jeffery M. Brodsky, 45, of Morrow Road, Hilltop Acres, Covington, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Brodsky is accused of providing cocaine in both Genesee and Wyoming counties. He is accused of selling cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in Genesee County on two occasions. He was jailed pending a bail review.

Travis L. Bartz, 21, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant while being held in the Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges.

Devon D. Rogers, 30, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Rogers was allegedly involved in an incident reported at 1:50 a.m., May 2, on Pearl Street, Batavia.

Amanda L. Dixon, 31, of Oak Orchard Road, Albion, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Dixon allegedly failed to appear in City Court on a traffic violation. She was arrested by Medina PD and turned over to Batavia PD. Dixon posted $500 bail and was released.

Kimberly M. Douglas, 35, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Douglas allegedly failed to appear for a previous court date.

Michael Adam Jude Salter, 36, of North Service Road, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, is charged with petit larceny and harassment, 2nd. Salter was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 2:19 a.m. on May 1.

Garrett A. Jurewicz, 19, of Crittenden Road, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs, criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, and driving left of pavement marketings. Jurewicz was stopped at 2:30 a.m. on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Howard Wilson.

Jacob Anthony Hazzard, 22, of Hudson Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, unauthorized stickers on rear window, insufficient tail lamps, and unlicensed operator. Hazzard was stopped at 9:59 p.m. Saturday on Drake Street, Oakfield, by Deputy Micheal Lute.

Brett Nelson Magoffin, 41, of Genesee Street, Pembroke, is charged with assault, 3rd. Magoffin is accused of assaulting another person during a dispute at 5:01 p.m., Thursday.

Michael Evan Wilson, 23, of Macedon Center Road, Palmyra, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding, and unregistered motor vehicle. Wilson was stopped at 3:06 a.m. Friday on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, by Deputy Ryan Young.

A 17-year-old resident of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was charged following an investigation into a reported suspicious condition in the parking lot of Alexander Deli in the Village of Alexander by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Linda Eileen Grimes, 52, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment, 2nd. Grimes is accused of physically preventing a 13-year-old from leaving a room in a residence in Byron and of allegedly touching the youth inappropriately.

Darrel T. Wilder, 29, of Bates Road, Medina, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to notify DMV of address change, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. Wilder was stopped at 11:45 p.m. April 29 on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

May 3, 2017 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, news, lost pets, animal rescue.

"These two Great Danes are lost and hanging out in Alexander on Gillate (Road) next to the steam show grounds," according to reader Michele Czekala, who contacted us late this morning.

UPDATE 7:48 p.m.: About 15 minutes ago, an animal control officer was dispatched to 10273 Gillate Road in Alexander to pick up two loose, but friendly Great Danes from the yard. They will be taken to the Genesee County Animal Shelter so their owner(s), hopefully, can retrieve them.

April 30, 2017 - 4:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, bergen, Alabama, alexander.

Stephen Edward Edmonds, 53, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI -- driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and failure to keep right. Edmonds was arrested at 1:34 a.m. on April 15 on Wilkinson Road, Batavia, for allegedly going over the center line of the roadway. He was allegedly intoxicated at the time. The defendant was released with appearance tickets for Batavia Town Court on May 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker.

Kayla A. Ladue, 21, of Barry Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding in a 55-mph zone. Ladue  was arrested at 7:54 p.m. on April 27 on Clinton Street Road, Bergen. Following a traffic stop for allegedly speeding, it is alleged that Ladue had marijuana in her possession. She was issued an appearance ticket for Bergen Town Court on May 3. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Adam Stephen Terhaar, 23, of Torrey Pine Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Terhaar was arrested at 9:09 p.m. on April 28 on Judge Road in Alabama following a traffic stop. The stop was made after a complaint of traffic offenses that had occurred. He was allegedly found to be in possession of a quantity of marijuana, a glass smoking pipe and a grinder. He was released on an appearance ticket for Alabama Town Court on May 30. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Howard Wilson, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

April 27, 2017 - 4:26pm

Press release:

Last month, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 58 career and technical education students from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at Elba High School.

These students met a rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

The inductees are noted below.

Agri-Business Academy

Elizabeth Jurs -- Elba CS

Emily Mikel -- Pavilion CS

Melissa Keller -- Pembroke CS

Animal Science

Breanne Duzen -- Pembroke CS

Jazmin Mateos Rendon -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Peyton Mackey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Shelby Brandes -- Le Roy CS    

Auto Technology

Jacob Borkholder -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Tyler Weaver -- Pavilion CS    

Building Trades    

Brandon Lewis -- Byron-Bergen CS

Brandon Perry -- Attica CS

Cameron Brumsted -- Byron-Bergen CS

Chandler Bow -- Byron-Bergen CS

Dillon Montgomery -- Byron-Bergen CS

Ethan Conrad -- Notre Dame CS

Gaven Cassidy -- Le Roy CS

Jacob Morgante -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joseph Aguglia -- Attica CS

Kylar Chambry -- Byron-Bergen CS

Computer Information Systems

Daniel Jensen -- Byron-Bergen CS

Cosmetology

Alaila Velez -- Pembroke

Anna Field -- Attica

Rachel Tebor -- Pembroke CS

Tapanga Wheaton -- Batavia CS

Zara Lohman -- Attica CS

Criminal Justice

Brandon Cutter -- Attica CS    

Electronics

Jacob Keiper -- Attica CS

Kyle Evans -- Le Roy CS

Nicholas Zenzen -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Steven Lyness Jr. -- Le Roy CS       

Graphic Arts

Haley Wasikowski -- Alexander CS

Isaiah Ciociola -- Batavia CS

Jenica Hickey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Jenna Scott -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Jeremiah Keaton -- Pavilion CS

Jorgette Mezydlo -- Attica CS

Makayla Carpenter -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Sarah Howden -- Pavilion CS

Sean Vasko -- Oakfield-Alabama CS    

Health Careers Academy

Alyssa Weaver -- Pembroke CS

Amy Chasse -- Pavilion CS

Garrett Downs -- Elba CS

Hailey Stevens -- Elba CS

Mackenzie Good -- Pavilion CS

MiKayla Tillotson -- Pavilion CS

Molly Neidrauer -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Paige Hameister -- Batavia CS

Rebecca Reamer -- Pavilion CS

Health Dimensions

Casey Shaw -- Pembroke CS

Victoria Welka -- Byron-Bergen CS

IT Academy

Sophia Matla -- Le Roy CS

Metal Trades

Aiden Schadt -- Attica CS

Brent Schum -- Alexander CS

David Paddock -- Pavilion CS

Dillon Stein -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Garrett Sando -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joel Jackowski -- Attica CS

Zach DiLiberto -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, and Steuben counties in New York state.

April 27, 2017 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, alexander, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

Last month, the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association held its Beginner Timbits Cross-Ice Jamboree at the Falleti Ice Rink.

For the event, Coach Jim Kujawski divided the 60 plus Beginners into six teams featuring the Blue Line Bandits, Orange Blaze, Purple Rhino’s, Yoda Force, Rowdy Red Rascals and The Avengers.

The teams played three “cross-ice” (Benches to Bleachers) against one another. The games were 16-minutes long with 4-minute shifts. A great time was had by all.

At the beginning of the Jamboree each player’s name was announced as they came onto the ice and they lined up for the National Anthem sung live by Shawn Calmes, of Alexander. They were so in the moment and so excited to begin play.

The players range from age 3 to 14 and their hearts are 100 percent into the learning to skate if needed; and then into developing hockey skills. Coach Kujawski and his team of on-ice helper coaches and dads as well as several GAHA student on-ice helpers follow USA Hockey’s American Development Modules (ADM) and you can experience each player’s development week after week.

The bleachers were packed with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as cousins and friends. At last count there were 375 spectators for this Jamboree. The space along the boards was also filled to capacity. Everyone was into the games.

The GAHA Beginner Program is sponsored by Tim Hortons’ who provided the jerseys and also provided refreshments for the players and family after the event.

GAHA offers this program in two Sessions – Session I begins the first week of October and has 15 on ice sessions; and Session II begins the first week of January and also has 15 on ice sessions. Players are encouraged to attend both sessions.

If interested, you can contact Sharon Valyear-Gray, the Beginner Player coordinator, at [email protected]

April 26, 2017 - 5:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, track and field, byron-bergen, alexander.

In track and field yesterday, Alexander beat Byron-Bergen 83 2/3 to 57 1/3 in boys and 72-69 in girls.

Boy's results:

Long Jump

BB

Brandon Burke

21’7.5”

Triple Jump

BB

Brandon Burke

44’5.5”

Shot Put

BB

Paul McDermott

35’10

Discus

Alex

Zach Jasen

112’9”

Pole Vault

BB

Justin Hannan

9’7”

High Jump

BB

Brandon Burke

6’8”

4x800

Alex

Anderson Bradshaw,

Ben Slenker,

Bryce Davis,

Trevor Zauner

9:44.4

110H

BB

Phelps

18.8

100

Alex

Terrez Smith

11.4

1600

Alex

Trevor Zauner

5:34.4

4x100

Alex

Chris McClinic,

Terrez Smith,

Job Smith,

Tyler Cook

47.1

400

Alex

Job Smith

55.1

400H

BB

Phelps

1:06.1

800

BB

Kropf

2:21.0

200

Alex

Tyler Cook

23.9

3200

Alex

Trevor Zauner

12:03.8

4x400

BB

Phelps, Gardner, Swaps, Burke

3:47.2

Girls results:

Long Jump

BB

Olivia George

16’0”

Triple Jump

BB

Kelsey Mauer

28’10”

Shot Put

BB

Olivia George

33’4”

Discus

Alex

Nicole Hume

75’5”

Pole Vault

BB

Reanne Dressler

9’7”

High Jump

Alex

Lauren Hume

4’9”

4x800

BB

Dressler, Fuller, Gonyea, Caballero

12:45.2

110H

Alex

Hailee Lowe

17.6

100

Alex

Olivia George

12.8

1500

Alex

Lauren Hume

5:41.9

4x100

Alex

Hailee Lowe, Hannah Cline, Macie Riggs, Lauren Schmieder

54.7

400

Alex

Olivia George

1:03.6

400H

BB

Morgan Fuller

1:20.1

800

BB

Siomara Caballero

2:46.6

200

BB

Miriam Tardy

28.2

3200

Alex

Katie Rebmann

13:37.2

4x400

BB

Caballero, Dressler, Rehwaldt, Gonyea

4:40.7

April 24, 2017 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, batavia, alexander, Alabama.

Elizabeth Ann Hicks, 34, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Hicks was allegedly found in possession of a needle and syringe with Suboxone while being booked on an unrelated charge. She was jailed on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond.

David Henry Luther, 56, of Cider Mill Court, Lancaster, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. Luther was charged following a "check the welfare" call on Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, at 7:43 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Michael Lute.

Alicia Brandi Clark, 41, of Halstead Road, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful possession of marijuana, mobile phone use on highway and misuse of dealer plates. Clark was stopped at 4:35 p.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Michael Lute.

Timothy McCarthy, 47, of Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. McCarthy was stopped by State Police.

Shawn Matthew Szczcygiel, 39, of Tinkham Road, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, unsafe tires, and inadequate exhaust. Szczcygiel was stopped at 4:54 a.m. Saturday on Tinkham Road by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Hector Maximilliano Vidal, 22, of Eggert Road, Tonawanda, is charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. Vidal is accused of shoplifting at Kohl's.

Dustin W. Bogue, 35, no permanent address, is charged with trespass. Bogue allegedly entered property owned by another person after being advised to stay off the property. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ashley N. Ziccardi, 24, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Tiffany M. Brown, 25, of Maple Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Brown was arrested by Sheriff's deputies and turned over to Batavia PD on a City Court warrant.

Russell R. Miles, 48, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles allegedly violated an order of protection. He was allegedly found at the residence of the protected party in violation of the order. He is accused of violating the same order at least twice in five years. He was jailed without bail.

Brian J. Hawkins, 37, of Pries Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was taken into custody at the Erie County Holding Center on the warrant. He was jailed on $300 bail.

April 22, 2017 - 11:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, town hall, alexander, news.

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The event last night was billed as a "town hall," a chance for all constituents in New York's 27th Congressional District to come to the Alexander Fire Hall and voice their issues, raise their concerns and ask questions of Rep. Chris Collins.

If Collins bothered to show up.

Of course, he didn't.

In his place on the dais was an empty chair.

If he had filled that chair, he would have found himself on a panel of people billed as experts in various topic areas who, rather than represent the range of political ideology in the 27th District, seemed to largely hold liberal and progressive viewpoints.

The more than 400 people who attended were all given 8 1/2 x 11 colored pieces of paper -- raise green when you agreed with a speaker's point and red when you disagreed. Rather than showcase a diversity of opinions, green cards tended to go up in unison for points favored by the audience and red cards raised altogether when audience members wished to jeer a negative point made about Collins or the current presidential administration.

This, though Michelle Schoeneman in her opening remarks, suggested the audience might represent a range of political views and party affiliations.

"Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, whether you are conservative or liberal, whether you voted for Collins or not, you are all here because you care enough about democracy to take time out of your busy lives to make your voices heard," Schoeneman said.

The town hall took on the feel of a partisan political rally when Schoeneman concluded her remarks and said Collins might have a rough go of it in the next election.

"Mr. Collins, if you’re watching this right now, I’m here to tell you that this is your last term," Schoeneman said. "Come 2018, we will have a new representative. It may be a Republican. It may be a Democrat, but it will not be you. We will vote into office a person who does not consider it unreasonable to want to talk with you. We will listen and weigh every decision that is made."

That was the loudest applause line of her opening remarks and the room was filled with green cards held high.

The expert panel included a 22-year-old organic farmer from East Aurora who runs a 24-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture group) and an educator who runs I Am Syria and is the founder of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide, even though a couple of the nation's top experts on agriculture and immigration live right in Genesee County.

Dean Norton, former president of the New York Farm Bureau who helped draft comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 (it didn't pass, though Collins supported the bill), said he got an invitation through Instant Messanger that he didn't see until after the event was over, though he didn't specify if the invite was to speak or just attend.

Maureen Torrey, who runs with her family one of the largest produce farms in the region, and has been to Washington, D.C., and traveled the nation in support of immigration reform, said she was invited to attend but was not invited to be on the panel.

Even though economics and trade, as well as foreign policy and criminal justice, were all big topics in the recent presidential campaign, there were no experts on the panel in those subject areas, even though in the county and in the region there are available experts.

Comprising the expert panel were:

  • Healthcare: Gary A. Giovino, professor, and chair, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at UB;
  • Great Lakes and Rivers: Barry Boyer, who taught environmental law and administrative law at UB;
  • Small business: Ginine Capozzi, owner of KnowledgeForce Consulting LLC in East Amherst;
  • Local environment, fish, and wildlife: Dick Thomas, retired from a 33-year career with NY Department of Environmental Conservation;
  • Education: Chris Cerrone, cofounder of WNY for Public Education;
  • Diversity and social justice: Jeremy Besch, head of Upper School at the Park School in Buffalo;
  • Immigration: Andrew Beiter, director of I Am Syria and is founder of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide;
  • Climate change: Sandra Chelnov, who is "deeply concerned" about climate change and has attended several conferences;
  • Laura Colligan, owner of Dirt Rich Farm in East Aurora.

The town hall was sponsored by several progressive organizations: GLOW Progressives, WNY Peace Center, Buffalo Resists, Sister District of WNY, Invisible NY 27th, Turning Emotion into Action, ACTion Buffalo, and Citizens Against Collins.

As part of each expert's introduction, the speakers were invited to say a word about why they were there. Some speakers gave just a brief introduction, others used the time to share stronger opinions.

Giovino said the current healthcare system is not designed to help you get well, rather it's designed to ensure you keep coming back.

"My concern about healthcare is that it’s for profit," Giovino said. "In every other country, every other rich country, it’s not for profit. I think capitalism is a great thing, but when it comes to health, we need a catalytic converter on that engine."

Thomas said the environment is his passion.

"I think it’s everybody’s passion whether we know it or not," Thomas said. "Elections are guided by politics and not so much guided by science. Environmental protection suffers from the ebb and flow of global leadership changes and at the same time, that environment is generally not working in many cases. Under our current federal government leadership, the divide between economic interests and the environment is wider than it ever has been."

Besch got a laugh with his introduction.

"I’m a white guy who does diversity work," Besch said.

He added later, "For a long time this country has had a political environment that has sort of secretly and quietly marginalized already-marginalized groups to drive a culture of fear to push its agenda. What I’ve seen in recent years is that action is no longer quiet and secret. Preservation of wealth and privilege is coming at the expense of those who don’t have either of them.

"If we don’t find ways stand up and stop that then a situation that is already pretty precarious and getting worse is going to get a heck of a lot worse and a heck of a lot more quickly than I think any of us care for."

Capozzi said she's tried to talk with Collins many times about a range of issues that affect small business owners, from healthcare to immigration to tax policy to education to workforce readiness and manufacturing.

"There isn’t a part of our communities that is not impacted by the small business community and he doesn’t have anything to say," Capozzi said. "Literally, nothing to say, since May of 2014. I’m really concerned about our opportunities, or lack thereof, to talk to the congressman across all spectrums and all areas of business and all the impacts that affect us."

Cerrone slammed support for school choice.

"Chris Collins supports the Trump-Betsy DeVos privatization schemes that will devastate our local, public schools," Cerrone said. "If this raised achievement, I would be all behind it, but studies show that school choice sounds good, but choice does not work. It does not raise achievement, which is our number one concern, but also it’s a boon to those who want to privatize and profit off our tax dollars with no accountability." (Fact Check: the studies are not as one-sided as Cerrone states, but decidedly more mixed.)

Beiter said he came to the event to talk about the refugee ban and the "war on immigrants." He was critical of the Trump Administration's position on immigration.

"His policies are wrong and xenophobic," Beiter said. "They also hurt the economy, our agricultural development and who we are as a people."

Walter Eckert, of Mendon, asked the first question and it was on immigration, so it went to Beiter.

"It's the businesses that employ illegal immigrants who are breaking the law," Eckert said. "Why do we not charge the employers of illegal immigrants?"

Beiter said that was a good question and he blamed greed.

He said agriculture in New York is a $3.5 billion industry and farmers fear with a clamp down in illegal immigration they will not be able to fill vital positions. He said in Niagara County, there are 1,200 migrant workers between May and November. He said these workers are exploited by farm owners.

"On one level this is a human tragedy," Beiter said. "It's slave labor that lowers the prices of our groceries, so the answer to this is comprehensive immigration reform. I think what you’re going to see as to why these businesses and corporations are not prosecuted is because they’re profiting from it." (Fact Check: The average migrant farm worker makes $12 an hour in the United States, with some earning as much as $15 an hour, and migrants are also provided housing at no cost on many New York farms.)

He said during the George W. Bush administration and the first part of Barack Obama's two terms, there were attempts at immigration reform, but that greed prevented these reforms.

"These issues tried to get on the table, but they were put down because corporate America makes too much money from our brown-skinned brothers and sisters who are here in our communities," he said.

Actually, there was comprehensive immigration reform bill considered in 2013. Dean Norton helped draft it and Collins supported it. It didn't pass.

Collins has said many times that never in his political career does he participate in town hall meetings because he doesn't find them productive. He would rather meet with small groups of people around specific topics. He has said he will talk with any constituents who ask for a meeting.

Maureen Torrey, for example, has said she and other farmers have had a productive relationship with Collins. 

"Since the election, Congressman Collins and his staff have been working with the agriculture community in his district with all the family farms and agribusinesses in his district weekly," Torrey said. "He has held bipartisan meetings on trade, immigration, and the economy of agriculture. He has been working hard to arrange meetings and educate people on what our needs are.

"He knows our issues and hasn't been afraid to speak them. He talked about our needs on national TV. He has opened doors for us. For the first time in many years, I feel we are making progress on issues."

There were also people at the event who let reporters know that they've requested meetings with Collins, but they haven't gotten a response.

The Batavian has been trying to arrange an in-person, hour-long, multi-topic interview with the congressman since late January. We've made at least a dozen requests and despite assurances that such an interview will take place -- and statements by Collins himself that he will sit down for an interview and that he enjoys being interviewed by The Batavian and would be happy to talk -- we have yet been able to secure a date for such an interview.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION & DISCLOSURE: One of the organizers, Jane Cameron, has said I was invited to be a speaker at the town hall. I honestly didn't remember the invitation. I found the email from March 30 where she said she wanted to talk with me about "your possible participation in a Town Hall ..." I wasn't sure what she meant by this, but I said I would cover the event but that I don't participate in partisan politics. She also said there were two conservatives on the panel without specifying who those individuals are.

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Michelle Schoeneman

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Jeremy Besch

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Laura Colligan

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Andrew Beiter

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Walter Eckert, of Mendon

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April 21, 2017 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander, news.

A vehicle has gone off the road and into the creek somewhere off of Stroh Road and Sandpit Road in Alexander.

The driver called a fire chief who notified dispatchers.

The car is in the water. The driver may have passed out. He isn't sure of his exact location.

Alexander fire is dispatched.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m.: The driver tells the chief he's blowing his horn. He isn't visible from the roadway. The chief has not spotted where he might have gone in. Dispatchers are going to try and ping his phone to determine his location.

UPDATE 1:19 p.m.: The vehicle has been located at Genesee Street and Maplewood.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The driver is out of the vehicle. Tow truck requested to the scene. The vehicle is in the water.

UPDATE 1:23 p.m.: A deputy says the tow truck needs to expedite. It's fast-moving water and the car is being pulled deeper in. It's about six feet into the water now.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 1:49 p.m.: The male driver had a medical emergency and an Alexander ambulance took him to UMMC for evaluation. The tow truck is working to remove the vehicle from the water-filled culvert.

UPDATE 3:12 p.m.: Marshall Merle, chief of the Alexander Fire Department, said the victim in this incident is his boss who called his job site to reach him -- since he knew he was a volunteer fireman -- when he came to after blacking out and found he had crashed into a culvert with swiftly flowing water. The man was unsure of his location. Merle contacted the Emergency Dispatch Center, and tones went out for Alexander to respond. "We were running around trying to find him -- it took awhile," the chief said, adding the he did not know how long the victim had been unconscious before he came to and found himself in a predicament. There were no brake marks, Merle said, "he just went right off the road into the water." Firefighter Jeff Fluker finally located the man, who by that time had gotten out of his vehicle, which was quickly filling with water, and scrambled onto its roof. Getting him to safe ground was not too difficult. They used a ladder that he climbed across. Safety was the biggest concern. "We didn't want to get anybody in the water," Merle said. "A car's not worth somebody's life. We can go back for the car. Safety of our guys is the primary concern." Merle added that "normally this crick isn't running like it is now." They had to act quickly in the rescue before the vehicle drifted into the larger "crick."

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April 19, 2017 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Le Roy, news, crime.

An 18-year-old male who lives on North Walnut Street, Attica, and another 18-year-old male who lives on Broadway Road in Alexander, are both charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief stemming from an incident which occurred in the early morning hours of July 10 on Broadway Road, Alexander. The youths, who were juveniles at the time, allegedly entered an uninhabited residence and caused damage to it using paint and varnish. They are arrested and charged following an investigation and were arraigned in Town of Alexander Court on April 18 and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. Both are due to return to court on May 9. The case was investigated by Joseph Graff of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Shauna Elizabeth Driscoll, 28, of Wadsworth Avenue, Avon, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested at 8:33 p.m. on April 14 on East Main Street in Le Roy. According to the Sheriff's Office report the defendant "was issued an appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana following her arrest for DWI." She allegedly possessed a quantity of marijuana in her vehicle. She is to appear in Town of Le Roy Court on May 15. The case was handled by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

April 5, 2017 - 9:02pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in business, alexander, news.

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Like most emerging artists, when Andy Carter was first learning his craft, he experimented with materials he had available to him at the time – crayons, markers, paint, a pen, a Walkman, and a toothbrush. All the tools necessary for an artist?

But Carter doesn’t just put ink to paper or canvas, well, he does use a “canvas,” just of a different nature – skin. The Pike resident is the owner and tattoo artist of Revelation Ink. The new tattoo shop, located at 10594 Main St. (Route 98), Alexander, is the goal he has been working toward for more than 20 years.

Although Carter had been drawing since he was 7 years old, when he was around 15 or 16, a “buddy” of his “got out of jail” and showed him how to make a tattoo gun. And being the creative sort, he made one out of a Walkman motor, a pen, a toothbrush, and sewing needles. 

“I just started tattooing my friends with this thing. Some of them still have the tats and refuse to get them covered up – though I have covered-up some of them. Back then you had to order this stuff (tattooing equipment) but I didn’t know where to get it and I didn’t have the money. So, I did what I always do, figured out how to make one.” 

It would be called a “rotary machine,” and he would wrap string around the needle to hold the ink for the tattoo that way. 

“I can’t even believe I did it. I did some pretty good ones for not knowing anything about it. Now I have professional equipment and am much better at it. 

“When I was in first grade, my mom’s friends babysat me and I would draw on their kids' arms with markers or Sharpies or whatever I could get my hands on. I just thought it was cool. I never thought about tattooing. One day my buddy’s dad came home and asked if I had ever thought about tattooing. I didn’t even know what it was. He brought me a tattoo (magazine) or Easy Rider magazine, I can’t remember what it was, but it had tattoos in it and I thought it was the coolest.”

When he was in school, he “loved evil things,” like “bones and skulls and blood.” He said he teachers would ask “Why do you draw stuff like that? Why not draw a pretty flower or something?” But, he didn’t want to draw flowers, until he met his high school Art teacher, Parry Ryan.

“She’s still the Art teacher there, at the Attica school, she would take my pictures and look at them and be like ‘Andy, that’s a beautiful skull, you should add a few more and put some more blood in there.’ She was just awesome. She didn’t judge you. She was just a great person.

“A few years ago, a friend of mine’s daughter texted me a picture she got from Art class, she took a picture…Miss Ryan still has my artwork up and she puts it on an easel when she is doing certain projects. That’s pretty cool, since the work was done 20 years ago. That’s pretty cool knowing that not everyone is judgmental about your artwork.”

When he was a child, his mom would buy him coloring books. He would spend hours coloring the pictures and tracing them out. 

“We didn’t have video games then, well…we had Atari, but who wanted to play Atari? That’s the only thing I had was my art. That was the only thing I was interested in.”

While tattoo artists consider the skin their “canvas,” Carter says the biggest difference is “You hurt people this way.” Getting a tattoo is not a painless process.

“It’s really no different for me, there are just different techniques that you have to use. It’s just like any other artwork when you go from watercolors, to acrylics, to oils, to colored pencils – to skin – it’s all different art. Tattoo ink is more like a water-based ink and it’s FDA approved, because it has to be sterile.”

While Carter had the desire to take the plunge and become his own business owner, he “had to wait” until his wife got out of college.

“I wanted to do something that I truly wanted to do and my wife has been incredibly supportive of me. She just wants me to be happy. I paint still and still draw, but I can make more money this way. You can’t make money as an artist unless you’re dead or have the right connections. Out here…I don’t have the right connections living out here, so tattooing is the only way that I can actually make a living doing my art.”

So he just decided to be an artist. 

While he says the jump was “scary” – going from a solid career to an uncertain one – the excitement of not really knowing what the next day will bring keeps the “creativity fresh.”

“I was put on this earth to make art and that’s what I’m going to do. I just wanted to be…I’ve always loved painting and drawing and once I discovered tattooing, I wanted to do that, too. I’ve been a woodworker for most of my life – the last 12 years. Now…I come here and hang out and draw on people all day. And I talk to people, that’s what I’m good at…talking.”

While Carter likes the process of coming up with a design, he does need to actually talk to a person about their ideas for him to come up with something unique. Chuckling, he had said it was “kinda hard” to draw something when he just gets a text with a picture that adds “I want this, but can you make it a little different?"

“I need a bit more than that. When someone comes into the shop with an idea…they give me a bit of background on the idea and why and I can take that and work up something that is meaningful to them. They give me ideas of what they like and such…it’s a fun process. It can be frustrating at times – getting it right – but when they walk out of here happy…I’m happy.”

His new venture allows him to meet a lot of different types of people and, depending on the tattoo, he can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours with one client. 

“I can spend five hours with one person, so I get to know the people and hear their stories and the things they have gone through or are going through. I get to meet some really awesome people and hear some really awesome stories.”

One customer had wanted a tattoo with butterflies and skulls, but the skulls she wanted “hidden” because she works at the school and didn’t want to “scare” anyone. And as an added challenge, it was a cover up. 

“Skulls are my specialty, but now that I’m 40 I really started getting into flowers and calligraphy and letters. I just love it. Flowers are awesome to do because they are so colorful, I hated them as a kid but now I like them.”

Although Carter views the skin as his canvas, the color of the “canvas” does make a difference with respect to the brightness of a color.

“Pasty white people are the best to tattoo because the colors just show up more vibrant.”

Then he began to tic off a multitude of other differences.

“Women have the best skin to tattoo because their skin is soft and the needle can penetrate the skin more easily. Men are tougher to tattoo because their skin is a bit rougher, but you can tell a difference in tattooing someone who does manual labor or works in an office. The darker you are…you’re not going to get the reds and yellows and whites in your skin, because it’s not really going to show up. So I’d generally use black.”

He also warns that just as tanned skin fades when it is exposed to less sunshine, a tattoo will fade if exposed to too much.

“Every time you are in the sun and don’t use something to protect your skin…it will fade over time. But, you also have to take care of them even for years after to maintain the color and quality of the tattoo.”

Additionally, because some colors, like yellows and whites, fade quicker than others, Carter tends to only use those colors for shading. Not only can he tell how colors will look on different skin tones, he can also tell how a session will go by looking at a person's skin. 

“Different parts of the body are more sensitive, like the ribs or elbows. I’ve had grown men in the fetal position getting their ribs done. Another guy fell asleep because it didn’t even hurt him. It also depends on your artist, too. You can have a ‘light hand’ or ‘heavy hand,’ most people say I have a ‘light hand.’ "

When clients told him he had a “heavy hand,” he would go home and tattoo himself to get back into the feel of a “light hand.” He also says it makes a difference as far as pain goes as well. 

“The one thing I don’t allow is drinking alcohol when I’m tattooing, other than the person may make a bad decision on the piece – it’s his body...it will make my job harder because you will bleed more.”

He also recommends having a full stomach before getting the tattoo, saying “on a full stomach, it’s probably not going to hurt as bad. And it may not bleed as bad.” In addition to his verbal recommendation, he also provides a handout with the “Do’s and Don’ts” before and after getting new ink.

“When they leave here I want them to be happy with what they have and I want their tattoo to last. And for those who have never gotten a tat, do not get a big one for your first one. And not on your ribs. While any place is a personal decision, I do offer suggestions. Be aware of what you are getting into before getting a tat.

“Women and men are so different, too. A woman will send me a picture of what she wants and come back and change it up like 20 times before she decides on what she wants. But once that’s done…them women are tough as nails. They are hardcore to the bone. 

“Now men, they know what they want, where they want it – everything. But when they come in…they are the biggest babies when they come in, it’s funny. Women just sit there and take it. I love it, they have great skin and they can take it. It must be something with their genes or something, they just can’t make up their minds with what they want.” 

Healing time is dependent on the size of the design and the amount of color in the piece or the total amount of ink that’s used. He stresses that the most important thing to remember is to keep it clean. 

“Outlines heal up quicker than those shaded in. Remember, it’s similar to an open wound. Cleanliness is the most important factor. You can fix a bad tattoo, but you can’t fix a disease.”

While Carter says when he first opened he was concerned about not getting a steady paycheck like the other job, he’s gotten so booked up, he had to quit the woodworking job to be at the shop full time.

And of course he’s not complaining.

Revelation Ink is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In compliance with New York State Law, clients must be 18 years old. ID required. 

In addition to tattooing, long-time friend Jassica Connolly works alongside Carter, but as a piercer. Piercing includes intimate and dermal piercing. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

Check out Revelation Ink’s portfolio on Facebook or call (585) 689-2255 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Editor's note: The photos of Carter working on a client are by Autumn Raine Connolly.

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April 4, 2017 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, alexander.

A serious injury accident is reported at the intersection of Route 98 and Stroh Road. Alexander Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The accident is blocking traffic. Mercy Flight is unable to fly south of the City of Batavia due to weather conditions. A door of a vehicle may need to be forced open to extricate a victim.

UPDATE 2:52 p.m.: This was not a serious injury accident. It was a rear-ender, and one of the vehicles has been removed. There is one person complaining of head pain who is being evaluated by medics at the scene. A determination about whether to transport the person is pending.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: The roadway remains closed but is expected to reopen momentarily.

April 4, 2017 - 1:30pm
posted by Destin Danser in pembroke, alexander, high school sports, softball, sports.

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The Pembroke Lady Dragons Varsity Softball Team dropped its home opener to the visiting Alexander Trojans 6-2 on Monday night.

Leading scorers for Alexander were Hannah Paolucci and Lindsay Czechowski, with two runs each. 

Photos provided by Destin Danser Photography. To view complete album and purchase prints, click here. 

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March 21, 2017 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, alexander, batavia.

On Feb. 27, an officer from the Attica Police Department responded to the Attican Motel, located at 11180 Route 98, Attica, for a report of a suspicious male outside room #101 yelling “Someone’s going to get murdered tonight” and “Everyone is going to die.”

Upon arrival at about 9:30 p.m., the officer met with the individual, Channing Ballinger. During the initial interview, Ballinger police say was irate and refused to comply with police directions. The officer attempted to conduct a mental health arrest of the subject when he began to physically attack the officer, pinning the officer to the ground, according to the police report.

During the struggle the officer was able get free from Ballinger and deploy a Taser. Ballinger was taken into custody with the assistance of deputies from the Wyoming County Sheriff Office, the Genesee County Sheriff Office and the New York State Police. Ballinger and the officers did not sustain any injuries. Ballinger was transported to the Wyoming County Community Hospital Emergency Department for mental health evaluation.

The 32-year-old is charged with: second-degree attempted assault on a police officer; resisting arrest; second-degree obstruction of governmental administration; fourth-degree criminal mischief; and disorderly conduct.

Ballinger has an extensive history of mental health disease and has open criminal charges in the Town of Batavia and Village of Warsaw. Upon Ballinger's release from the mental health unit on March 13, he was placed under arrest and arraigned in Attica Village Court on the charges cited above. Ballinger was then put in Genesee County Jail on $25,000, or $50,000 bond.

Ballinger was to reappear in the Town of Alexander Court on March 14. Channing Ballinger has a history of violence against law enforcement and hospital staff.

March 14, 2017 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander, news.

A tractor-trailer has jackknifed in the area of 2757 Broadway Road, Alexander.

It is blocking.

Unknown Injuries.

Alexander fire dispatched.

UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: Darien fire requested to shut down eastbound traffic on Route 20 at Townline Road.

March 8, 2017 - 11:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, news.

A caller on Attica Road, Alexander, reports that a person tried to break into their house.

The subject is described as a tall black male wearing a white and black stripe jacket with a hood. He was last seen running west.

Law enforcement is responding.

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