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June 22, 2018 - 12:20pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship, bergen, news.


Natalie Keller, of Darien, looked long and hard about the benefits of horsemanship before enrolling her daughter Sara in the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program.

Sara, 9, was born with Down syndrome. When her parents, who live in Colombia, South America, gave her up because they couldn’t care for her, Keller adopted Sara and brought her to the United States at the age of 4 1/2.

Keller was searching for anything which would help Sara when she discovered the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, which is run at Mat and Sharon Gartz’s Double G Ranch near Bergen.

Therapeutic riding has been in existence for centuries, according to information provided by Beth Allen, who does publicity for the Purple Pony program. When a woman who was disabled by polio won a silver medal for dressage at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, therapeutic horsemanship was established as being of pertinent value to handicapped individuals.

Horsemanship helps with balance and coordination, Keller said. She has been bringing Sara for little more than a year.

“She’d never been on a horse,” Keller said. “The first week, she jumped off. We told her next week she had to stay on longer than this week, and with death grips on her volunteer, she stayed on.”

Purple Pony is a member of what was the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, founded in 1968 in Virginia. In 2011, the organization changed its name to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, with headquarters in Denver.

The local Purple Pony group was organized in the spring of 2005 by Lee Morgan and Lorrie Renker of Spencerport. Lessons grew to about 30 riders, but shortly after receiving approval as a 501(c) 3 corporation, Morgan and Renker ended their partnership. The board of directors postponed programming for the summer of 2007 until they could reorganize and offer lessons again.

In 2010, the program moved to a farm in Churchville, where it was run for three years. Their most recent move to Double G Ranch was made in November 2013, where they continue to teach barn and equine safety, the anatomy of the horse, proper care of the horse and the method for mounting and riding the horse.

Through the use of games and mounted exercises, Purple Pony’s goal is to contribute to the improvement of an individual’s confidence, social interaction, self-esteem, muscle tone and cognitive development.

Karen Reeverts, of Le Roy, and Lynette Short are instructors for Purple Pony, which is one of 700 similar groups in the United States.

Information from Purple Pony indicates horsemanship has proven to provide physical benefits to those suffering from a wide range of disabilities, such as mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, brain injuries, and more, because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the body and internal organs in a manner similar to that of the human walking gait. Horseback riding helps to normalize muscle tone, improve posture and build up the cardiovascular system.

“The experience provides a bond and unconditional love,” Reeverts said.

“Sara loves it now,” her mother said.

Each rider is accompanied by a volunteer who leads the horse, another who holds the reins, and a third who hangs on to the saddle, making the rider feel safe.

“They started Sara by holding on to each side of the saddle, then maybe next time it was her foot,” Keller said. “Then when she was comfortable, they let go and just walk beside her.”

Riders learn the simple commands of squeezing their legs against the horse’s sides to make it start up. They go through exercises to turn the horse and they have games on horseback, led by the instructor in the center of the stable.

Keller’s brother also has special needs and after seeing how the program helped Sara, their mother Becky enrolled him in Purple Pony.

John and Mary Volpe, of Attica, have had custody of their grandson, 13-year-old Andrew Bennett, since he was born. He has sensory problems, Mary said, and horsemanship has helped keep him in perspective and keep his attention.

“It calms him and we’ve seen a big improvement in his posture,” Mary said.

ARC helps the family with reimbursement for costs of the therapeutic horsemanship, she said.

Bob and Hillary Laughton, of Hamlin, have been bringing their daughter Taylor, 14, who has epilepsy, to Purple Pony for five years.

“This is her favorite thing to do,” Bob Laughton said. “It helps with her coordination and self-esteem. Before this, we couldn’t find anything she excelled at.”

Twenty-four riders were enrolled in the spring class, which ends this week. They have been meeting for an hour every Tuesday and Friday for the past six weeks.

Reeverts said classes will take a break for the summer and resume the first week in September.

On Aug. 11, the Purple Pony staff will sponsor a huge indoor garage sale at 8321 Lake Street Road, Le Roy, to help with expenses of running the program. The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a huge indoor arena, with plenty of off-street parking.

A chicken barbecue will take place and there will be face painting, balloon art, and cotton candy.

Anyone with clean, gently used items who would like to donate them to the sale should call (585) 880-1096 for information. Scheduled drop off dates are all day July 21 and 27 and evenings on Aug. 3 and 4. They request no large appliances, televisions, computers, upholstered furniture or clothing.

In addition to the instructors, the staff of Purple Pony includes Dan Kilker, chairman of the board; Gail Ehmann, volunteer coordinator; Terry Greenwood, treasurer; Lynnette Short and Patricia Famiglietti, equine care; and Dot Gulardo, associate.

Top photo: Instructor Karen Reeverts with the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program checks the stirrups for Rob Keller of Darien, as volunteers wait to lead him around the ring at Double G Ranch.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.


Julia Menzie, a senior at Byron-Bergen High School, has been volunteering with the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program for four years. She loves horses and helping people.


Volunteers guide Taylor Laughton, 14, in backing her horse between two poles during an exercise at Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program.


Sara Keller, 9, of Darien is led around the ring by volunteers at a recent session of the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program.


Riders line up waiting for instructor Karen Reeverts, walking at left, to lead them through a game during a recent class of therapeutic horsemanship.


Seated, from left, are Karen Reeverts of Le Roy, an instructor with the Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship program, Beth Allen and Bruce Rychwalski. Matt and Sharon Gartz are owners of Double G Ranch in Bergen, where the horse program takes place. Standing, from left, are staff members Mary Lou LaPointe, Amy Condoluci, Dale White, Sandy Player, Dan Kilker (board president), Rex Milner and volunteer coordinator Gail Ehman.

June 22, 2018 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, news, byron, bergen.


Press release:

On June 19, the Byron-Bergen learning community and the community-at-large were treated to a special stage adaptation of “Sneaky Weasel,” a children’s book by author Hannah Shaw, performed by fourth-graders.

The show featured the talents of the entire class working together as actors, assistant directors, narrators, dancers, stage crew and scenery designers, sound effects artists, and costume designers. The story centered on an unhappy bully, Sneaky Weasel, who finally discovers how to be a friend.

“Our students have been working on the project for several weeks,” said fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy, who along with teachers Jenna Carney and Kelly Morriss, wrote the stage play and directed the performance. “They have each contributed their best efforts.

"It’s been really great seeing students find talents they didn’t know they had, kids stepping up to help each other, and quiet children coming out of their shells to get onstage in front of an audience. The arts are so important for development and this has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to really stretch themselves and shine.”

Top photo: “Sneaky Weasel” featured players (l-r) Grace DiQuattro, Joel Lamb, Simone Scharvogel (as Sneaky), Megan Jarkeiwicz, and Katherine Rogoyski.


Mama Weasel (Gianna Graff) with all her weasel-y offspring (Madisyn Rodak, Logan Czachorowski, Madison Hutchings, Sidney Maher, and Connor Copani.)


The cast included narrators plus singing and dancing hedgehogs, rabbits, sheep, rats, mice, shrews, dogs, and even a chicken.

June 15, 2018 - 8:00am

Press release:

The Oakfield-Alabama and Byron-Bergen Central School districts announce their participation in the federal (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) offering delicious, convenient, economical and healthy meals July 9 through Aug. 10. Meals will be provided to all children without charge.

No paperwork necessary; although O-A participants are asked to register online for the Oakfield town park program.


There will be a free lunch-only program just for children at the Elroy Perkins Memorial Town Park on Drake Street in Oakfield (also known as the Oakfield Town Park). Food will be served from 12 to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Register online for the Oakfield park program, then just show up for a great lunch. 

For questions, call the school district cafeteria at 948-5211, ext. 4234; or the Town of Oakfield at 948-5835.


Both breakfast and lunch will be served weekdays in the cafeterias at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School (6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen). Breakfast is served from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.; lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at both locations. Adults can eat, too, and will pay $2.50 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.

Also, at the Byron Community Park, lunch only will be available just for children from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The park is located behind the Byron Fire Hall. Kids eat free.

For questions, call 494-1220, ext. 1015.

About the USDA

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C., 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]

June 14, 2018 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, Le Roy, byron, bergen.

There are power outages affecting some 2,200 National Grid customers in the eastern part of Genesee County, primarily in Le Roy and South Byron and parts of Bergen.

The outages appear to be part of a larger set of outages in Livingston and Monroe counties.

We don't know yet the cause of the outage.

Emergency dispatchers are aware of the outages but have no information about the outage so calling emergency dispatchers about the outages would not be helpful.

Callers are reporting a tendency of motorists to not obey four-way stop protocols at intersections without power to their traffic signals.

National Grid does report that power should be restored around 6 p.m.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: A spokesman for National Grid says there was an equipment failure in a transmission line that runs through the Genesee region. More than 11,000 customers lost power. The cause of the equipment failure is under investigation.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The transmission line is repaired. National Grid engineers are now in the process of a controlled restoration of power for those customers who lost power. The ETA is still approximately 6 p.m. for that work to be done.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: It looks like power has been restored to most of the customers in Genesee County, though there appears to be a separate, possibly unrelated power outage in Stafford. There are 111 customers without power. A work crew has not yet been assigned to the outage through its estimated power will be restored by 6:45 p.m.

June 12, 2018 - 2:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, bergen.


There were two fires reported on Monday at 46 South Lake Ave., Bergen.

The first one was caused by a microwave oven being placed on top of an electric range in an apartment and the range getting accidently turned on.

The cause of the second fire is under investigation but it's possible it was caused by the first fire.

In the case of the first fire, property owner Michael Marvin said he had a new tenant moving into the apartment in his duplex and somebody dropped items off for her earlier today. The new tenant wasn't home when the fire started but the smoke detectors went off and Marvin called 9-1-1 and Bergen Fire arrived on scene quickly and put the fire out.

The first fire was reported at 5:25 p.m. and Deputy Chief Chuck Dodson said when the fire department left the scene there was no indication that anything at all was still burning.

"We did extensive overhaul, the ceiling, the walls, the adjoining rooms, we used a thermal imaging camera, we used Class A foam, which is something that allows the water to penetrate into the wood, so when we left here, we were pretty confident the fire was out," Dodson said.

The second fire was called in by Marvin at 10:55 p.m.

Marvin said he had gone to bed a short time before and had fallen asleep. Something woke him up. It wasn't the smoke detectors. They weren't working after the first fire. He thinks it was the smell of the smoke.

"I was in my room," Marvin said. "I could barely see. I was glad I woke up or I would be dead. I couldn’t even see to get out the door."

Marvin said he got out of the house but then went back in to get his dog.

After rescuing his dog, he rescued the bright red 1966 Chevy Camero SS he's restoring, pushing it out of the garage.

At midnight, firefighters were trying to knock down the last of the hotspots in the structure.  The house was still standing but the damage to the entire probably means it is a total loss. Dodson said the goal at that point was to salvage as much of Marvin's personal belongings as possible.

Assisting Bergen at the scene were Le Roy fire, city fire, and Churchville, along with Mercy EMS, the Sheriff's Office, and Emergency Management Services.

The Red Cross was dispatched to assist Marvin.

Top photo submitted by John Zinter of Picture This Photography. The first four photos below by Howard Owens. The bottom two photos by Jim Oehler.







June 11, 2018 - 10:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, bergen.

A house fire is reported at 46 S. Lake Ave., Bergen.

It's the same location as a structure fire reported at about 5:25 p.m. today.

Bergen fire, Le Roy fire, and Churchville dispatched.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: City fire's Fast Team dispatched. Pavilion requested to fill in at Le Roy Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:16 p.m.: All units told to evacuate the building.

June 11, 2018 - 5:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Le Roy, bergen.

A working structure fire is reported at 46 S. Lake Ave., Bergen.

Route 19 will be shut down. The fire is a one-story ranch with an apartment in the back. A caller to dispatch reported seeing black smoke coming from the rear of the building.

Le Roy fire is responding mutual aid.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: The city's Fast Team is called to the scene.

UPDATE 5:32 p.m.: The city's first platoon is recalled to headquarters.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: One engine out of Byron is called to fill in at Bergen Fire Station.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: The fire is "possibly knocked down," so all remaining units traveling to the scene -- like Chili and Churchville -- are told to back it down.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: They are working to shut power off; ventilating structure.

June 9, 2018 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, veterans, news.


A new granite monument honoring the men and women from Bergen who served their country in the U.S. military was dedicated in a ceremony today following the Bergen Park Fest parade.

Bob Bausch, chairman of the County Legislature and its Bergen representative, was among the speakers and he recalled walking through the park recently and looking at the names on the memorial.

"I looked at the list of the wars," Bausch said, "and I knew somebody from every one of those conflicts, even from World War I — I knew some of the old guys when I was a kid, so it means a lot to me, these efforts being made."

American Legion Commander Thomas Williamson reminded the crowd gathered for the ceremony to remember the veterans who served as they enjoyed the fireworks planned for later in the night; and American Legion Adjutant Gary Hilbert said the memorial honors those who served in times of war and times of peace and those who never returned.

"Today we make our Founding Fathers and those who came before us proud," Hilbert said. "Our liberties and values stand safe because of brave men and women who have been ready to face the fire. We thank God for each and every one of them."







June 9, 2018 - 9:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news.












To purchase prints, click here.

June 8, 2018 - 7:19pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in bergen, news.


Two employees of Bergen’s Department of Public Works with a combined 64 years of service, were honored at a retirement party Wednesday at the Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Party House.

Bruce Partridge has retired as wastewater treatment plant chief operator after 36 years, while Joe Chimino, Bergen Electric foreman, has 28 years with the village.

Mayor Anna Marie Barclay presented proclamations while praising the men for their dedication.

“Your years of service cannot be appreciated enough,” Barclay said. “We are a small community and everything which is done makes a huge impact. We are going to miss them, but they will both leave a part of themselves behind.”

Partridge came to work for the village when his father was a trustee. He was working on a farm and the village was looking for someone to do electric work.

“I started doing that and moved to the wastewater treatment plant after that,” Partridge said.

He plans on enjoying a lot more golf now that he is retired.

Chimino attended BOCES to become an electrician.

“The day I graduated, I saw the mayor, who was James McConnell, and he asked me how I’d like a job with the village,” Chimino said. “I’ve thanked him many times since for hiring me.”

Co-workers called Chimino an asset to the community. He has co-chaired the village’s 5K run and likes to run himself.

Bergen is one of 54 villages in the state who are members of the Municipal Electric Utilities Association, and Chimino was a member of their board. In March, he was honored in Syracuse as their “Person of the Year.” He hopes retirement will give him more time to enjoy landscaping and caring for his big yard, and he may take up fishing. He is also active with Bergen’s Masonic Lodge.

Ken Steinmetz, DPW supervisor from 2011 to 2015, said he was happy for both Partridge and Chimino.

“Joe welcomed me and showed me the ropes, and Bruce taught me a lot about the plant and its workings,” Steinmetz said.

Gary Zawodzinski, the current DPW supervisor, also had the highest regards for both men, who have left very big shoes to fill.

“Joe and Bruce have been an asset to our village in many ways,” Barclay said. “They have served with character and loyalty.”

Top Photo: Bruce Partridge, left, and Joe Chimino, employees of the Bergen Department of Public Works, were honored at a retirement party Wednesday at the Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Party House, Bergen.


From left, Trustee Vickie Almquist, deputy mayor Kevin Donovan, trustee Bob Fedele and Mayor Anna Marie Barclay with Joe Chimino.


Cortney Gale, left, administrator for the Village of Bergen, looks at a framed photo presented to Joe Chimino at his retirement party Wednesday at the Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Party House.

June 1, 2018 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Milestones.

Grace Pulcini, of Jerico Road in Bergen, is named to the dean's list with honors at The College at Brockport, SUNY, for the Spring of 2018 semester.

She had a GPA of 3.70 to 3.99.

Pulcini is the daughter of Vincent and Carol Pulcini and a 2017 graduate of Byron-Bergen High School.

She is majoring in History.

May 31, 2018 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

A car and a farm tractor have collided in the area of 7671 Maple Ave., Bergen.

An ambulance is requested to the scene for evaluation of a woman.

No other injuries reported.

Bergen fire dispatched.

May 31, 2018 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, bergen, news.

Yesterday, there was a report of a dog locked in a car on South Lake Avenue in Bergen but according to a woman who said she witnessed the whole thing, it didn't go down anything like the way it was reported to law enforcement.

Julianna Kalke said the dog was in the car no more than five or 10 minutes -- not the 45 minutes originally reported -- and not only did the owner roll down all the windows but she stayed by the car the whole time and talked with the dog.

The woman, Kalke said, stopped for a cigarette break.

"I am an absolute animal lover and attended Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine and I did not see any harm to the animal," Kalke said. "If anything, the owner was doing the right thing by exiting the car so the dog did not inhale secondhand smoke."

Kalke described the woman who reported the dog in the car to dispatchers as "rude" to the dog's owner.

"(She was) harassing the poor woman who was just trying to do the right thing," Kalke said.

May 30, 2018 - 2:11pm

Student members of the Byron-Bergen Builders Club with Byron Kiwanis Club sponsors and RRH’s David Catalino (right), who gave the group a tour of the recreation center.

Submitted photo and press release:

On May 23, Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Builders Club members presented a check for $500 to representatives from Rochester Regional Health’s Behavioral Health Treatment and Chemical Dependency Center at Unity Hospital.

Led by Builders Club president, 10th-grader Jacey Donahue, the student delegation was welcomed to the Center by community relations managers Tiffany Carnevale, Valerie Donnelly and Brad Pearson from the RRH Gifts Foundation, along with Center Manager Jennifer Esten, supervisor Kristen Weber and Recreation Director David Catalino.

The group was accompanied by Byron-Bergen teacher and faculty advisor Andrea Feeney and Byron Kiwanis Club sponsors Robert Wood and President Karen Jaczynski.

Members of the Builders Club, who range in age from 7 to 15, have been working hard in their community this year, helping others and raising money through coin collection and raffles.

After researching a number of local organizations, the group decided to donate their funds to the Chemical Dependency Center.

After the ceremony, the group learned more about the operations at the organization and then toured the recreation center, where their money will be put to use purchasing new equipment.

Supervisor Weber explained the importance of exercise at the Center.

“Many people in recovery have not experienced fun, sober activities for a very long time," Weber said. "The exercise and recreation equipment we can purchase with the help of Builders Club funds will aid patients in setting and achieving goals for themselves.

"Thanks to these young people, our patients will build confidence that they can persevere and better their lives.”

Builders Club Member Hannah Catalino (the daughter of the Center’s recreation director), strongly advocated for supporting the organization’s work. She and the other members recognized that the Byron-Bergen community, like many others, is experiencing the problem of substance abuse, affecting fellow students and their families.

Earlier this year, they created handmade cards for the Center to help inspire and motivate recovering patients.

“I think what the Center does is important,” Hannah said. “I see how deeply the people here care for patients. They all feel it in their hearts and we in the Club do, too. We all wanted to help.”

Builders Club has been active at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School for three years and has about a dozen members. The group began at the Middle School, but has expanded the opportunity to all students in the district who are willing to make the commitment to service.

This year, they’ve volunteered for the Salvation Army and at the Miracle Mile for the Golisano Children's Hospital. They’ve participated in hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico and at the Elementary School’s Fall Festival. They can also be seen helping out at community pancake breakfasts.

“Byron-Bergen is a NYS School District of Character and our students support many activities that promote character,” said Club Advisor Feeney. “Builders Club supports the development of character and leadership.

"Everything members do during the year is their idea and their choice. They choose to give back, to better their community and to aid those in need.”

The Byron-Bergen Builders Club members are: Sarah Fraser, Liam Feeney, Andrea Feeney, Jacey Donahue, Hannah Catalino, Claire Williams, Logan Lewis, Robert Wood, Courtney Pakusch, Evan Harter and Karen Jaczynski.

May 30, 2018 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, news, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animal rescue, pets.

A dog has been locked inside a vehicle at 12 S. Lake Ave. in Bergen for at least the last 45 minutes, says a caller to dispatch.

An officer is responding.

It's 90 degrees outside.

May 29, 2018 - 3:45pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in bergen, news.


The Village of Bergen has always shown itself to be forward thinking in implementing programs which will enhance the village and create savings for its residents.

These include: becoming an award-winning municipal electric department in existence for more than 100 years; establishing parks and green spaces throughout the village; sharing services with nearby municipalities; creating a community garden for residents to share; and, most recently, purchasing honeybees in light of the increasing concern over the decline in honeybees, thereby harvesting honey, which the village will sell.

“We had talked about getting bees some time ago,” said Bergen Mayor Anna Marie Barclay. “We had been working with NYSERDA to become a Clean Energy Community, but because we have municipal power, we can’t add solar panels. So we had to come up with a series of other projects to be recognized as a Clean Energy Community.”

The village received a grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority -- NYSERDA, which they used to purchase an electric cart and charging station. They are also converting all village-owned buildings to LED and have already converted all street lights to LED.

When they started talking about getting bees, Chris Fay, water treatment plant operator, volunteered to take a course on raising bees from a honeybee farm.

Bergen officially entered the honeybee business when their 60,000 bees arrived May 10.

“Soon you’ll be able to buy Bergen Honey,” Barclay said.  

Another village project includes the popular community garden, which they established near the water treatment plant three years ago. Eighteen plots were available and they are all spoken for, Barclay said.

A final project is the installation of new signage for the community garden, Hickory Park and the Sage Pavilion.


Photos: Chris Fay, water treatment plant operator for Bergen, took a course in beekeeping so he could tend to the new hives of the Village of Bergen.

(Photos by Virginia Kropf.)

May 29, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in bergen, news.

Seventy seventh-grade students from Byron-Bergen High School, accompanied by their principal, assisted with planting trees in Hickory Park last Wednesday. Two hickory trees were planted there this year.

Students also read a proclamation on Arbor Day.

Bergen had taken a position years ago on creating green space and planting trees throughout the village. That and creating a Tree Board have earned them the designation as a Tree City, USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The annual Park Festival June 9 will provide an opportunity for the village to showcase Hickory Park when it dedicates a new veterans’ memorial after the noon parade.

The memorial will replace an existing monument installed more than 100 years ago and will honor veterans of all wars.

The new monument was suggested by Bergen resident Tom Williamson, a member of the Bergen American Legion. The Legion donated a stone marker of black stone from India, the same material as the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Support from the community includes $1,000 donations from the Bergen Business and Civic Association and Friends of Bergen.

The entrance to Hickory Park had to be changed dramatically and will only allow access into the parking lot. The new main entrance will be to the south of the basketball courts.

The village will create a brick walk of honor around the monument and will sell bricks in honor or in memory of loved ones or veterans.

The village Department of Public Works completed landscaping for the project.

May 29, 2018 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, Oakfield, Le Roy, bergen, notify, news.
Woodrow Horseman

Woodrow C. Horseman, 42, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with attempted assault, 2nd, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, resisting arrest, and harassment, 2nd. Horseman was arrested after police responded to a report of a disturbance on Central Avenue at 11:38 p.m. May 23. Horseman was accused of punching another person in the back of the head with a closed fist while that person was assisting in the arrest of another person. Horseman was ordered held without bail.

Shaqueita L. Irvin, 26, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Irvin was charged after police responded to a complaint of a disturbance on Central Avenue at 11:38 p.m. May 23. She was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Ahdeosun R. Aiken, 20, of Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Aiken was arrested after police responded to a report of a disturbance at 11:40 p.m., May 24, on Central Avenue. Aiken was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Lamont C. Crimes, 42, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 1st. Crimes is accused of stabbing another person with a knife during a fight at 4:30 p.m. Monday at a location on Church Street, Elba. 

Holly Marie Squires, 32, of West Bank Street, Albion, is charged with robbery, 2nd, and assault, 3rd. Squires allegedly stole money while being aided by another person and caused injury to the victim. Squires was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Jessica L. DeRidder, 30, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. DeRidder is accused of stealing the money of another tenant of a residence on State Street, by keeping rent money for herself instead of paying the landlord.

Jordan S. Thomas, 19, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Thomas was allegedly found in possession of a bicycle that had been reported stolen from outside Genesee County Probation on May 9. (Previously: Batavia man needs his bike back)

Walter B. Hale Jr., 40, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, endangering the welfare of a child, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Hale was stopped at 8:33 p.m. May 15 on Summit Street, by officers Christopher Lindsay and Chad Richards. Hale is accused of having a passenger on his motorcycle less than 16 years old.

Trametrias L. Scott, 40, of Rochester, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to stop at stop sign, driving without stop lamps, uninspected motor vehicle, and circumventing interlock device. Scott was stopped at 8:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 33, Begen, by State Police. A trooper reported detecting the odor of alcohol after a traffic stop at Route 33 and Apple Tree Road, Bergen. Scott is accused of failing a field sobriety test. Her breath sample was allegedly .24 BAC. She was jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

Alexis R. Chavez, 19, of Pearl Street, Medina, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, unlawful possession of marijuana, driving while using a mobile device, and blocking a highway. Chavez is accused of stopping his vehicle without moving at West Main and Oak streets, Batavia, through four cycles of the traffic light. He was allegedly on his mobile phone. Officers Jason Ivison and Kevin DeFelice responded to the complaint.

Alexander H. Koch, 23, of Buffalo, is charged with DWI, failure to yield at an intersection, and failure to notify DMV of an address change. Koch was stopped by State Police after he allegedly turned from Snipery Road onto Route 33 in the Town of Pembroke and failed to yield to a trooper's patrol car, which had the right of way at 12:38 a.m. Sunday. Troopers say Koch failed a field sobriety test.

Joshua R. Nanni, 24, of Oakfield, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unsafe turn, and driving left of pavement markings. State Police responded to the Town of Pembroke at 10:40 p.m. May 22 for a report of a vehicle unable to maintain its lane. A trooper stopped Nanni after observing his vehicle allegedly engage in several traffic violations. The trooper reportedly detected the odor of alcohol and observed the driver's eyes were glassy.  Nanni allegedly failed a field sobriety test. A drug recognition expert also assisted in the investigation and Nanni provided a blood sample.

Nasir C. Nathan, 22, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Nathan was allegedly involved in an argument on Watson Street, Batavia, at 6:54 p.m. Saturday. Nathan is accused of throwing a styrofoam cup at another person.

Amber L. LaRock, 18, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. LaRock was arrested in connection with an incident on Lewis Place reported at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Travis L. Ettinger, 30, of West Avenue, Albion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and speeding. Ettinger was stopped on Pearl Street, Batavia, at 11:19 a.m. Saturday by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Heather D. Wendt, 32, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Wendt was charged after a child was found unattended at 12:54 p.m. May 17 on Holland Avenue, Batavia.

Donna M. Fidanza, 48, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and conspiracy, 6th. Fidanza was charged following an investigation into the left of property from a residence on East Main Street at 11:45 a.m. March 26.

Jonathan D. Wilson Jr., 36, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Wilson was reportedly involved in a minor motor-vehicle accident at 4:46 a.m. May 20 on East Main Street, Batavia. The accident was investigated by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Korbin R. Ground, 20, of Crittenden Road, Akron, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Ground was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia at 9:46 p.m. May 22 on North Street, Batavia, by officers Jason Davis and Christopher Lindsay.

Joseph A. Kliszak, 19, of Meadow Drive, Alden, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Kliszak was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 11:27 p.m. May 22 at a location on North Street, Batavia, by Officer Jason Davis.

Eric J. Bratcher, 29, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Bratcher allegedly failed to obey an officer's commands during an investigation of a domestic incident on Pringle Avenue at 12:52 a.m. Wednesday.

James Michael Young, 54, of Thomas Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd. Young allegedly choked the victim after she confronted him about not returning a vehicle.

William Ransom Dieter Jr., 44, of Bennett Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and speeding. Dieter was stopped at 2:55 a.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Christopher M. Dilaura, 38, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, moving from lane unsafely, and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Dilaura was stopped by State Police at 5:25 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia.

An 18-year-old from Batavia and Tricia M. Martinez, 25, of Batavia, are charged with petit larceny. The two people are accused of stealing in the Town of Pembroke at 12:16 p.m. Friday. They were arrested by State Police. No further details released.

May 24, 2018 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen, pembroke, Oakfield, Le Roy.

Richard T. Fleig, 38, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th. As the result of an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force on Feb. 17, Fleig was allegedly found in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana. Sgt. Matthew Lutey and Officer Chad Richards assisted in the investigation.

Michael J. Smith, 70, of Le Roy, is charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failure to surrender suspended driver's license, and failure to keep right. Smith was stopped by Sgt. Colin Reagan, Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, in the Town of Warsaw, for alleged failure to maintain lane. He allegedly failed a field sobriety test. He reportedly has a pending felony DWI charge in Genesee County. He was jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

Edward Dexter McDonald III, 28, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with two counts of harassment, 2nd, and trespass. McDonald was allegedly involved in a fight with two people on private property on Rose Road at 9:39 p.m. Sunday.

Joshua R. Nanni, 24, of Oakfield, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, 1st, driving left of pavement markings, and unsafe turn. Nanni was stopped by State Police in Pembroke at 10:40 p.m., Tuesday.

Cathi A. Adams, 48, of Bergen, is charged with DWI. Adams was stopped by State Police on Swamp Road at 9:17 p.m. Monday.

May 23, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at West Bergen Road and Lyman Road, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.


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