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October 10, 2016 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, bergen.

Blake Michael Toal, 18, of Old State Road, Covington, is charged with third degree criminal mischief. On Sept. 25, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a report of criminal mischief to a basketball backboard in the Village of Bergen Park. The deputy assigned to the Village of Bergen conducted a thorough investigation and numerous individuals were interviewed. The defendant was located and arrested and charged with the Class E felony. He was issued an appearance ticket and taken to jail for prints and photos. He is due in Town of Bergen Court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

October 9, 2016 - 6:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, byron, bergen.

Three people were assaulted in two separate incidents overnight in the Byron and Bergen areas, and both attacks may have been perpetrated by the same suspects, and those suspects may have been identified. 

The first attack was reported at 1:42 a.m. in the parking lot of Playmates in Byron. 

The victim was reportedly Elliot P. Arnold, 29. Investigators say he was jumped by two males and was left bleeding and semiconscious. He was transported to Strong with facial cuts and other injuries.

The second incident was reported at 1:52 a.m. at the 7-Eleven in Bergen. 

That incident is believed to have involved the same two suspects.

Attacked were Natalie M. Mazurzak, 18, and Zachary M. Bower, 20, who were punched several times by the suspects.

No information provided on a possible motive or if robbery was involved.

The investigation is ongoing and being handled by Deputy Howard Carlson, Deputy Ryan Young, Sgt. John Baiocco and the State Police.

October 6, 2016 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news, 4-H, Byron-Bergen Music Boosters, Announcements.

(Submitted photo and press release.)

On Sept.  20, Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School seventh-grader Madelynn Pimm presented a $1,000 donation to Byron-Bergen Music Boosters, in conjunction with the Byron-Bergen Music Department.

Madelynn had approached several influential business owners and members of the community with her idea to sponsor the growth of music in Byron-Bergen Schools. This summer, during the Genesee County Fair 4-H Auction, Madelynn sold two lambs for $1,000. 

Madelynn credits her commitment to music to her music teachers Robert Lancia and Karen Tischer who have always encouraged her to reach for the high notes. This past spring, Madelynn, along with five other students, had the honor of playing "Taps" at the Challenger Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Lancia was present at the presentation and shared a few words of thanks with Madelynn and her parents Norm and Colleen Pimm.

He said that when you hear about a donation of this magnitude from anyone, you are taken aback. However, to receive this gift from such a young member of our community is awe-inspiring.

Tara Van Skiver, president of Byron-Bergen Music Boosters, said, “An act like this exemplifies true character. Madelynn's donation will be put to right back into the hands of our students. We will use the donation to purchase a portable recording unit. The software and sound mixing equipment will allow students to record entire concerts or individual performances.

"Even more exciting, they will be able to mix, edit, and engineer post-production recordings. This practical application of sound editing software and mixing equipment will expose the students to the world of music production and sound engineering.”

The Byron-Bergen Music Boosters’ mission is to support music and arts education in and around our community.

“Our hope is that one student's generosity will serve to preserve and inspire future musicians in our community for years to come,” Van Skiver said.

October 4, 2016 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, bergen, batavia.

Nearly 700 first-time full-time freshmen began their studies at SUNY Canton for the fall 2016 semester.

"Our newest students are now actively engaged in their classes and everyone is commenting on what a wonderful addition they are to our campus," said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. "We are all very glad that they chose SUNY Canton."

The college offers 22 bachelor's degree programs, 21 associate degree programs, and five professional certificate programs. Additionally, nine of the college's bachelor's degrees are fully online.

Among those students who recently began their SUNY Canton education are:

  • Shea Norton, a SUNY Canton Criminal Investigation major from Batavia. Norton is a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame High School.
  • Savannah J. Wolfe, a SUNY Canton Funeral Services Administration major from Bergen. Wolfe is a 2016 graduate of Byron-Bergen Jr/Sr High School.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. The college's 15 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

October 3, 2016 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, education, elba, byron, bergen, Oakfield, Alabama, Announcements.

Press release:

For students, the junior and senior years of high school are filled with many critical decisions about the future. The College and Career Counseling Center at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School is working hard to make preparing for life-beyond-school easier for students and their families.

This is the second year for the school’s dedicated Center, led by counselor Rob Kaercher. The Center is busy in the fall with a full schedule of visits and special presentations from a wide range of regional and national two- and four-year colleges, trade schools, and military branches.

(A Financial Aid Night is scheduled at 6:30 on Oct. 20 to help families from Byron-Bergen, Elba, and Oakfield-Alabama with the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.It will be held in the Byron-Bergen High School auditorium.)

Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee said, "Our goal is to provide a wide variety of opportunities for our students in the areas of college and/or career. I feel we are ahead of the curve in this area as our students now have a daily chance to identify a pathway and gain a much better sense of what their post-secondary plans will be."

Students at the school not only have access to extensive in-person and online resources in the Center; they also get invaluable hands-on, one-to-one guidance from college-and-career expert Kaercher.

“This is a small school, and I can really get to know our kids as individuals,” Kaercher said. “I start as early as possible with them, so they have more options. I can help them find educational and career directions that match up with their interests and values.

"I enjoy working with them and their parents on financial aid, exploring scholarships, and completing their college applications. The commitment our district has to this initiative is extraordinary—kids at B-B can have a similar support experience to what they might find at a private school or with a paid independent college counselor.”

The College and Career Center has greatly expanded its services this year:

  • Instant Admissions Week is being offered Nov. 7-10. Participating colleges include Erie Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, Monroe Community College, Niagara Community College, The College at Brockport, and SUNY Alfred State. “It is an exciting opportunity for kids to present themselves, have a short interview, and potentially get an on-the-spot decision from that college,” Kaercher said.
  • Students will be ready for that interview thanks to another innovation the Center offers: virtual interviews with online avatars. The district’s teachers use an interactive professional development tool called Mursion, which employs practice with avatars to improve teaching technique. The Center has adjusted and expanded the program for students to use to develop better interviewing skills.
  • The Naviance Family Connection, which was introduced to seniors last year, is now available to juniors, too. The online program helps students inventory their interests, research careers, search for colleges, create resumes, and submit applications. "Our current focus has been working with upperclassmen,” Kaercher said. “But as the Center continues to become established, more opportunities, including Naviance, will be available to junior high school students."
  • The Center has also increased its college and industry visits this year. “We have found these to be very important,” Kaercher said. “Students have the chance to make connections directly with the actual decision makers, the admissions counselors and company human resources directors.”

“This can be a difficult and confusing time if you are trying to navigate it all by yourself,” Kaercher said. “We want to help make the process much easier. We are reaching out to parents and families—we hope they will contact the Jr./Sr. High School office to get more information.”

September 30, 2016 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Boy Scouts, Troop 31, bergen, news, outdoors.

This is the official Bergen Boy School Troop 31 neckerchief, which C.M. Barons shared with us in response to a post the other day about the eastern massasauga rattlesnake being listed a threatened species

Barons said his mother, Virginia, designed the neckerchief while C.M.'s father was troop leader in the late 1960s.

The design features the snake, the white ladyslipper orchid (also a rare species in the Byron-Bergen Swamp).

Boy Scouts often trade patches and neckerchiefs at jamborees and other events and Barons said the Troop 31 neckerchief is highly sought-after.

September 28, 2016 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

A Bergen resident has been arrested on suspicion of operating an unlawful marijuana growing operation out of his home, according to the Sheriff's Office.

David M. Campuzano, 24, of South Lake Road, was jailed on $15,000 bail or $30,000 bond following his arrest and arraignment.

He is charged with criminal possession in the second degree, a Class D felony, unlicensed growing of cannabis, a Class A misdemeanor, and violation of a restricted driver's license.

Campuzano was arrested by members of the Local Drug Task Force following the execution of a search warrant on his home and car.

He was allegedly found in possession of a pound of marijuana, equipment used to grow marijuana and paraphernalia. He is also suspected of driving outside of restrictions on his license. 

The District Attorney's Office and uniformed deputies assisted in the investigation and arrest.

September 23, 2016 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, fire services, news.


September 21, 2016 - 8:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accidents, bergen.


An accident with injuries and possible entrapment is reported on South Lake Road (Route 19) and Maple Avenue, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 8:44 a.m.: Mercy Flight in Batavia is on ground standby. Two vehicles and three people involved. One male in a truck is unresponsive, hunched over the wheel, and having difficulty breathing. He is the most seriously injured. Another male has facial cuts and abrasions. Another subject has no apparent injuries.

UPDATE 8:51 a.m.: Le Roy fire rescue is called to provide mutual aid to Bergen. Mercy Flight is summoned along with additional fire police. The landing zone will be the church parking lot across from just south of the accident site.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Route 19 is to be shut down "completely."

UPDATE 9:02 a.m.: Mercy Flight has an ETA of less than a minute.

UPDATE 9:23 a.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne and headed to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 9:40 a.m.: A pickup truck was eastbound on Maple Avenue when the driver apparently blew through a stop sign and was T-boned by a small plumbing company van traveling on Route 19. Both vehicles left the roadway as a result of the collision and the pickup truck struck a large tree in the front yard of a residence. A car occupied by a doctor, a nurse and possibly a combat medic happened to be driving by in the immediate aftermath. The car stopped and the occupants provided emergency medical aid until first responders arrived. The pickup truck driver was deemed in serious condition at the time he was airlifted to Strong. A first responder said if he makes it, he'll have the medical assistance provided by the passersby largely to thank for it. The driver and passenger in the plumbing van were taken to Strong by ground ambulance with minor injuries; in fact, the driver was walking around at the scene.

UPDATE 9:57 a.m.: One lane is open on Route 19 and fire police are alternating the traffic flow.



September 11, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.


Nearly a year ago, Bergen's Barry G. Miller, a volunteer medic with the Bergen Fire Department, was killed in the line of duty while responding to a medical call.

Yesterday, by act of Congress and the signature of President Barack Obama, the post office in Bergen, was renamed in his honor during a ceremony attended by members of Miller's family, local dignitaries including State Sen. Micheal Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, and members of the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department. It was organized by the office of Rep. Chris Collins, who got the legislation through Congress to make the dedication possible.

A plaque will be placed on the outside wall of the post office building.

“Barry Miller was a pillar of the Bergen community and someone who spent his entire life serving others,” Collins said. “The ‘Barry Miller Post Office’ will keep his memory forever ingrained in Bergen.”

Tracy Miller, Barry's father, delivered a moving speech at the dedication ceremony.

"In a few short days we will be reminded of the worst day in our family's life," Miller said. "We are so thankful for the outpouring of love and caring from this small community and beyond. I recall the ribbons on all of the telephone poles, the sign on the library, the ladder trucks with the huge flag and the large turnout for the calling hours. These were a testimony of how people in small communities care for one another."

He added, "Thank you to the Bergen Fire Department. You were my son's heart and every young person that gets involved keeps Barry's memory alive and cultivates a desire to serve rather than to be served."










September 7, 2016 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, news, Announcements, animal rescue, Le Roy.

Little do-gooders, from left: Lindsay Heimlich, Lily and Miley Stalica, and Sundae Duyssen.

The girls man the booth and help customers.

Grown-ups Laura and Paul, with Volunteers for Animals, with the team of fund-raising children and their goods for the shelter animals.

Some fresh, cold lemonade would probably taste delicious about right now, with all the humidity and a temperature hovering around 86 degrees. A couple of cookies would pair nicely with that.

This is exactly the kind of weather a foursome of little girls took advantage of recently to raise money for Volunteers for Animals and the Genesee County Animal Shelter. 

Sundae Duyssen (Le Roy School), Lindsay Heimlich (Le Roy School), and Lily and Miley Stalica (Byron-Bergen School) ponied up a whopping $1,000-plus in money and donated goods for the homeless animals by hosting a roadside bake sale and lemonade stand in Bergen recently.

"The shelter was kind enough to give the girls a tour, and tell them about the ways that their donation will be used to help save animals lives," says Lindsay's mom, Crystal Heimlich.

They really enjoyed the project, she said, and they plan to do the same thing next year for a different worthy cause.

(Photos submitted by Crystal Heimlich.)

September 7, 2016 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen, gas leak, news.

A truck struck a natural gas pipeline and it is leaking at 6511 N. Lake Road, Bergen. Bergen firefighters are called to respond.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: Churchville is called to provide mutual aid. RG&E has been notified.

September 6, 2016 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

A deputy has been dispatched to the Mount Rest Cemetery in Bergen, Route 262 and Route 19, to investigate a complaint of damage to headstones.

September 6, 2016 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business.

We came across this time-lapse video on YouTube of the construction of the new wing at Liberty Pumps.

September 2, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, byron, bergen, batavia, oak field.

Paul William Tuttle, 45, of Sautell Road, Bergen, is charged with second-degree criminal trespass. At 2:26 this morning (Sept. 2), Tuttle allegedly entered someone's apartment on Byron Holley Road in Byron while being highly intoxicated. Tuttle allegedly urinated in the residence and helped himself to an ice cream cone from the resident's freezer. The resident allegedly located Tuttle enjoying the frozen treat on the couch. Because the Sheriff's Office could not reach a Byron judge, Tuttle was arraigned in the Town of Bergen Court and then released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Michael Norbert Jagodzinski, 56, of Fisher Drive, Rochester, is charged with driving with a BAC of more than .08 percent, and DWI -- first offense. Jagodzinski was found at 11:31 p.m. on Aug. 31 parked along Clinton Street Road in the Town of Bergen. He was allegedly found to be intoxicated at the time. He was issued tickets for Oct. 5 in Town of Bergen Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Ann Marie Schlegel, 39, of Porter Road, Medina, is charged with failure to pay a fine for petit larceny. She was arrested by the Medina Police Department on an unrelated matter and then transferred to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on a bench warrant for failing to pay a fine levied because of a petit larceny incident on May 19 on West Main Street in Batavia. She was arraigned and then jailed on $435 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Sgt. John Baiocco.

A 17-year-old resident of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. The subject was arrested at 5 p.m. on Aug. 31 on East Shelby Road in Oakfield for allegedly stealing an iPad Touch (valued at $150) from a female's residence. The subject was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Oakfield Court on Sept. 16 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Minuto, assisted by Deputy Lonnie Nati.

September 1, 2016 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen, news.


A reader submitted this photo of a tractor-trailer that went off the around 4:20 p.m. on Bergen Road. No injuries reported.

August 25, 2016 - 2:10pm

Press release:

The Richter Family Foundation runs a program that gives books to children under age 5 through The Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It has been in operation since 2004 and the Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Pavilion, and Pembroke school districts participate in the program. Recently, Byron-Bergen was added to the program.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a set of books beginning with the children’s classic "The Little Engine That Could." Each month a new, carefully selected age-appropriate book will be mailed in your child’s name directly to your home. Best of all it is a FREE GIFT! There is no cost or obligation to your family.

To be eligible in the Byron-Bergen School District, the child must live in the Byron-Bergen School District and must be between the ages of birth and his/her 5th birthday.

A committee representing the Byron-Bergen School District, the Byron and Bergen Communities, and the Byron-Bergen Library is partnering with the Richter Family Foundation to bring the Imagination Library to the children.

If your zip code is 14020, 14021, 14058, 14143 or 14482, the only way to register is to fill out a registration form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. The forms can be found at the Byron Town Hall, the Bergen Town and Village Offices, the Byron-Bergen Library, and the Byron-Bergen Elementary Office.  

If your zip code is 14416, 14422, 14428, 14429 or 14470, you may fill out and send in a registration form or, you may register online at by clicking on the box “register my child” and following the directions.

The Byron-Bergen Imagination Library Committee consists of: Nancy Bailey, librarian, Bergen Public Library; Anna Marie Barclay, Village of Bergen mayor and retired teacher; Donna Gerrard, Byron resident and a mom and grandmother; and Brian Meister, Byron-Bergen Elementary School principal.

They know that you, the parents and your children, will love the Imagination Library and encourage you to sign up your children today. A family can register several children within the household as long as they are under age 5.

August 13, 2016 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, bergen, news.

A caller reports smelling smoke after a possible lightning strike on a residence at 7378 Maple Ave., Bergen.

Bergen fire responding.

August 12, 2016 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, crime, news.

Aaron W. Gillard, 28, of Bergen, was arrested at 2:26 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the Town of Covington after he allegedly crashed his car into a house on Wyoming Road. He subsequently allegedly failed field sobriety tests and deputies say they found more than an ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. He was transferred to Wyoming County Sheriff's Office where he refused a chemical test to determined his BAC. Gillard was found to be driving in violation of his conditional license and without a required ignition interlock device in his vehicle. Gillard had a previous conviction of DWI within the past five years. He is charged with: felony DWI; felony unlicensed operation in the first degree; operating without an interlock device; violating conditional license; moving from lane unsafely; and speed not reasonable and prudent. He was also charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. Gillard was arraigned in the Town of Covington Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due back in court at a later date. Gillard's license was also suspended pending prosecution of this case, which was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies Bradley McGinnis and Mike Majtyka.

August 12, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, Le Roy, pembroke, Darien, bergen.

Brenda Carol Shryock, 49, of Oak Drive, Beech Island, S.C., is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 7:03 p.m. on Aug. 11 following an investigation into a domestic violence complaint in the Town of Le Roy. She allegedly punched a person. She was put in Genesee Cpounty Jail and is due in Le Roy Town Court on Thursday, Aug. 18. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Dpeuty Ryan DeLong.

Bonnie Marie Breissinger, 52, of County Line Road, Darien, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 4:27 p.m. on Aug. 4 on County Line Road in Darien for allegedly subjecting another person to physical contact in violation of a no-offensive-conduct court order. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Patricia Jean Kendall-Cargill, 51, of Swamp Road in Bergen is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested at 6 p.m. on Aug. 7 on Swamp Road following an investigation into a violation of an order of protection. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Jason Saile.

A 17-year-old male who lives on Woodland Terrace in Cheektowaga is charged with trespass. The subject was arrested at 4:44 p.m. on Aug. 10 on Gilmore Road in Pembroke for allegedly trespassing on private property. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

A 16-year-old male who lives on Lamarck Drive in Amherst is charged with trespass. The subject was arrested at 4:44 p.m. on Aug. 10 on Gilmore Road in Pembroke for allegedly trespassing on private property. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.


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