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June 10, 2015 - 2:30pm

Don't miss the 26th annual Bergen Park Festival on Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13, 2015.


"Small Town USA" -- Friday June 12th -- 5 to 6:30 p.m. Fish Fry sponsored by the Masonic Temple with Chef Jim MacConnell and the Bergen Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. $10 Presale tickets available at the Village and Town offices. All proceeds to benefit our parks.


Saturday June 13th

  • 11a.m. -- 3rd Annual Doug Susat Memorial Car Cruise In. Enjoy the cars until 3 p.m.
  • Craft Vendors
  • Book Sale -- Byron Bergen Public Library
  • Food Vendors -- All day & evening
  • Bounce House
  • Pony Rides
  • Blinko
  • Sticky Wall -- NEW This Year!
  • Kids Games -- School of the Arts Craft Booth
  • Photo Booth by Julia McCormick Photography
  • Petting Zoo
  • Bossy Bingo is back! Sponsored by the Bergen Grange.

Noon -- Parade down Lake Avenue (Please contact Michele Smith, parade chair, to participate. Call 494-1211, ext. 21). Parade Marshal -- former Town Clerk Myrna List.


Following parade -- Kelly Heroes! This program is made possible with Reach Grant funds, a Decentrailization Regnant program of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.


Schedule of Events:

  • 12:30 - 3 p.m. -- Mr. Scribbles (In the Library Booth)
  • 12:30 p.m. -- Renaissance & Medieval Demonstration
  • 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. - Pony rides & petting zoo
  • 1 - 3 p.m.  -- Disc Golf -- NEW this year, come and try it out!
  • 2 p.m. -- Bergen Idol Contest -- sponsored by Triple-O Mechanical
  • DJ -- Chris Scibani
  • 4 p.m. -- Chicken BBQ! $10 -- serving 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Sands Family & Friends. (All proceeds to benefit our parks)
  • 6 - 10 p.m. -- BAND -- Blue Jimmy. Fun entertainment for the whole family. Sponsored by Bonduelle USA, Inc. 
  • 10 p.m. -- Fireworks
  • Hartford Barn -- Open to the public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., behind the library.

This day is sponsored by the Bergen Business & Civic Association. The Bergen Park Festival continues as an event to bring our community together with any profits going back to the Village & Town Parks. 


Please do your animals and other guests a favor, and leave your pets home. Thank you. Schedule subject to change.

Sponsors include: Greg'ry's Bakery. Bergen Sales, Inc., 35 S. Lake St.,, 494-2250. Radiant Hair Designs, LLC, 12 Lake St., Bergen, Open Tues-Sat., Walk-ins welcome. Johanna Lopez Nail & Waxing Services 494-2000 or 200-1386. Ralph & Rosie's.

June 7, 2015 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, bergen.

A one-car accident with injuries is reported at 7218 South Lake Road. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding. The location is between Woodside Drive and Clinton Street Road.

June 2, 2015 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, Announcements.

The Byron-Bergen Central School District will be serving your and your family delicious breakfasts and lunches this summer, July 6 through Aug. 7. The goal is to provide the community with convenient, economical and healthy meals. ALL KIDS EAT FREE. No paperwork necessary. Adults pay $2.50 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.

Meals are available from Monday through Friday. Breakfast is served from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Just show up at the cafeteria!

Questions? Call the elementary school at 585-494-1220, ext. 1015.

June 1, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, bergen, pembroke.

Kelsey Anne Sanders, 28, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested May 30 for allegedly allowing her dog to habitually run at large in the neighborhood. She was issued an electronically generated appearance ticket and released from custody. She is to appear in City Court on June 9. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

Amanda M. Rumble, 27, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested May 27 after her dog was allegedly observed by law enforcement to be running at large on State Street. There have been previous complaints filed with regard to Rumble's dog running at large throughout the neighborhood, according to Officer Kevin DeFelice's police report. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in City Court on June 9.

Tyrone L. Richardson, 39, of McKinley Ave., Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, fourth-degree criminal mischief for allegedly disabling equipment to prevent an emergency call, and criminal obstruction of breathing / blood circulation. Richardson was arrested May 29 following an investigation into a domestic incident on Evans Street in the City of Batavia. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Sean Douglas Lacy, 28, of West Bergen Road, Bergen, was arrested May 29 and charged with driving with a BAC above. .08, driving while intoxicated, and speeding (66 mph in a 55-mph zone). He was charged with DWI after being stopped for allegedly speeding in the Town of Stafford. He is scheduled to appear in Stafford Town Court on June 25. The matter was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Erion, assisted by Deputy Gregory Walker.

Jayson W. Dersham, 32, of Wortendyke Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree burglary. He was arrested May 29 for the crime which he allegedly committed on Feb. 22 on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Glenn H. Quintern, 56, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. He was arrested May 30 as the result of an incident on Central Avenue wherein he allegedly violated an order of protection. He was put in Genesee County Jail on $10,000 bail. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Tyler Austin Stoddard, 20, of Meiser Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested May 9 follwoing an incident wherein he allegedly contacted a person via phone, in violation of an order of protection issued by Genesee County Family Court. The matter was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale.

Benjamin D. Seekins, 26, of Woodrow Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon. He was arrested May 28 after he was allegedly found to be in possession of metal knuckles while officers were investigating a suspicious condition. He is scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court on June 18. The matter was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Erion, assisted by Deputy Chad Minuto.

Celestino Barrera-Antunez, 34, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. An arrest warrant was executed and Barrera-Antunez was arrested May 30 after he allegedly failed to appear in court May 22 on a traffic ticket. He posted $210 bail and is to appear in City Court on June 9. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

John M. Morton, 36, of North Canal Road, Lockport, is charged with failure to obey a stop / park sign. He had an active arrest warrant out of the City of Batavia for not answering a parking ticket. He turned himself in at Batavia Police Headquarters on May 31 and posted $25 bail. He is to appear in City Court on June 2. The matter was investigated by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze.

Jason E. Waddington, 38, of Mount Read Boulevard, Greece, is charged with improper parking between 2 and 6 a.m. Waddington had an active arrest warrant out of the City of Batavia for allegedly failing to answer a parking ticket dated April 11, 2011. He was located by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and turned over to Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze. He posted $100 bail, was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on June 9.

May 27, 2015 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, elba, bergen, Attica.

Cody Matthews Bedard, 21, of Lake Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, DWI drugs, DWI with a child less than 16, endangering the welfare of a child and back seat passage age 4-6 without appropriate safety restraint. Police responded to the area of 240 Richmond Ave. at 7:27 p.m. Friday after a report of a driver "not acting right." Bedard was arrested by officers Darryle Streeter and Jamie Givens.

Michael B. Neth, 37, of Summitt Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Neth allegedly made contact with a person he was barred from contacting by court order while at a store in City Centre at 6:25 p.m., Saturday.

Lois Omar Perez Lopez, 34, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign and failure to signal. Perez Lopez was stopped at 2:22 a.m. Sunday on Trumbull Parkway by Deputy Chad Richards.

Joey Robert Tatro II, of Main Street, Attica, is charged with trespass and criminal mischief, 4th. Tatro was arrested on warrants related to the charges. He was jailed on $250 bail or $500 bond.

Ryan Michael Byrnes, 28, of Maple Street, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and driving while using a mobile phone. Byrnes was stopped at 9:35 p.m. Monday on Main Street, Byron, by Sgt. Gregory Walker.

May 26, 2015 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, bergen.

Smoke coming from a residence is reported at 6970 W. Bergen Road. Bergen fire is responding along with mutual aid from Le Roy, and Mercy medics are called in, too. The location is said to be across from the Byron-Bergen track field.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: The call came in from a person across the street who said smoke could be seen coming "from the top of the residence." It is not yet known if the house is occupied.

UPDATE 7 p.m.: A fire truck from Churchville is also en route. Fire Police are requested to shut down traffic at Byron-Bergen Central School and Dublin Road.

UPDATE 7:27 p.m.: Bergen command has released Le Roy and Churchville, which are both now returning to service.

May 26, 2015 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, pembroke, Alabama, bergen, Darien.

Shane P. Buyck, 26, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with burglary, 2nd. At 6:21 p.m. Monday, deputies and troopers were dispatched to a residence on North Bergen Road after the homeowner returned home to find an intruder in his house. The intruder fled on foot, leaving a car in the driveway. The registration reportedly came back to Shane P. Buyck, a resident of North Bergen Road. Buyck was located in a wooded area near the house by Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 "Destro" while lying in thick brush. Buyck was identified as the alleged intruder. He was jailed without bail.

Tonya M. Doell, 45, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with open container in public. Doell was allegedly in possession of an open container at 577 East Main St., Batavia, (Family Dollar). Doell reportedly refused to identify herself to police because of her probation status.

Matthew P. Parker, 25, of Eagle Street, Medina, is charged with trespass. Parker was arrested following an investigation into reports of vehicles being broken into in the City of Batavia on Sunday Morning. He was located in the parking lot of UMMC at 4:30 a.m. and jailed without bail.

Matthew C. Payne, 33, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with illegal disposal of items. Payne is accused of illegally dumping trash into a trash container owned by the Batavia Housing Authority at 193 S. Main St., Batavia.

Susan R. Fabretti, 52, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Fabretti is accused of shoplifting at Tops Market. 

A 17-year-old, name and residence withheld by Batavia PD, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of striking a female several times after a verbal argument escalated.

Angela Irene, 45, of South Gravel Road, Medina, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to stop at at stop sign. Irene was stopped at 1:41 a.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Alan James White, 18, of South Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, driving while ability impaired by alcohol and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Deputy Chad Cummings along with Mercy EMS were dispatched at 7:51 a.m. Sunday to Dublin Road, Bergen, for a report of an unresponsive male behind the wheel of a stopped car on the road. White was treated and released at the scene by medics. He was allegedly found in possession of a switchblade knife.

Sandra Lynn Fry, 43, of Sunset Park, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Fry allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection.

Jason Scott Stanley, 22, of Judge Road, Alabama, is charged with DWI on an ATV, unlawful operation of an ATV on private property, unregistered ATV and driving an ATV without insurance. Stanley was arrested following an investigation into an ATV accident on Hutton Road, Oakfield, at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Mark David Heidenreich, 25, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Heidenreich allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection by placing phone calls to the protected person.

Samantha Rose Docteur, 24, of Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 2nd. Docteur was arrested following a traffic stop on South Main Street, Oakfield, at 11:55 a.m. Saturday by Deputy Michael Lute. She was allegedly in possession of marijuana, a grinder and smoking paraphernalia.

Andrew Michael Boyce, 20, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and no seatbelt. Boyce was stopped at 4:18 p.m. Friday on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Chris Parker, for allegedly driving without wearing a seatbelt.

A 17-year-old resident of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree harassment and criminal mischief, 4th. The youth allegedly threatened another person and damaged property of that person. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Matthew Brian Starowitz, 26, of Whitney Mill Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Starowitz was charged at 2:22 a.m. May 19 on Bank Street Road, by Deputy Chris Erion.

Nicholas Anthony Lord, 19, of North Division Street, Buffalo, is charged with criminal mischief. Lord allegedly damaged another person's property during a dispute.

Matthew J. Pasternak, 25, of Amherst, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Pasternak was stopped by a trooper on Route 77, Corfu, for allegedly speeding. He was allegedly found in possession of five grams of marijuana after the trooper said he detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The search also allegedly led to the discovery of a multicolored smoking pipe with marijuana residue.

May 25, 2015 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A resident on North Bergen Road reports that he came home to find an intruder in his residence, and the intruder fled, leaving behind a vehicle parked in the driveway.

The husband followed the intruder and spoke with him. The alleged intruder said his car broke down and he went into the residence for some reason.

The plates on the vehicle come back to a Bergen resident who is on parole for burglary, 2nd.

A deputy is responding. The intruder is on foot on North Bergen Road, eastbound. He's a white male, 5'11", 200 pounds in shorts and a T-shirt.

May 15, 2015 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, bergen.

Via our news partner, WBTA:

Joseph Kuzma, a 35-year-old Byron resident, has been sentenced to four months of weekend jail time for stealing hundreds of veterans markers from local cemeteries and selling the metal for scrap.

Kuzma was sentenced Thursday in County Court by Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Previously, he had pled guilty to grand larceny, 3rd.

He will be required to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.

Last fall, Kuzma hit cemeteries in Byron and Bergen and then sold the metal to a scrap yard in Rochester. 

May 14, 2015 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, bergen.

Three 17-year-olds and Samuel M. Smith, 18, of Rochester, are charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. One 17-year-old is also charged with possession of burglary tools. Smith is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The four teens were allegedly caught trying to break into the Jell-O Factory on North Street. They were discovered after village police investigated a complaint of people with flashlights in the area.

Kamalpreet Sembhi, 24, of Bergen, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and crossing a road hazard marking. Sembhi was stopped by State Police on Oatka Trail, Le Roy. A trooper allegedly detected a strong odor of marijuana from the vehicle. Upon investigation, the trooper allegedly found a plastic baggie containing 2.4 grams of marijuana and a glassine bag containing 0.1 grams of cocaine and one blue metal pipe containing cocaine residue. 

Annette M. Mazur, 54, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to use designated lane and refusal of breath screening test. Mazur was stopped at 1:56 a.m. on West Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Deavin L. Herman, 20, of Ridge Road, Gaines, was arrested on a warrant. The underlying charge of the warrant was not released. Herman was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Dylan J. Perry, 23, of Olyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and possession of a forged instrument. Perry allegedly stole a check, forged it and cashed it. He also allegedly stole several pieces of jewelry and pawned them. Perry was jailed on no bail.

Matthew D. Derrick, 30, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Derrick allegedly threatened another individual. He allegedly has a prior criminal of contempt conviction.

Robert S. Flad, 47, of Center Road, Kendal, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to use designated lane. Flad was stopped at 12:28 p.m. May 8 on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Darryle Streeter.

Andrew M. Budlong, 19, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and failure to use turn signal. Budlong was stopped at 2:16 a.m. Sunday on Ross Street, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Molly Ann Chatley, 18, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, criminal obstruction of breathing and petit larceny. Chatley allegedly applied pressure to another woman's neck. She allegedly violated an order of protection. She allegedly stole $150 from the victim. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

May 13, 2015 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, Bergen Fire, dwi drill.

Byron-Bergen High School held its pre-prom DWI fatal accident simulation this morning to help remind students not to drink and drive. Bergen Fire Department with assistance from Mercy EMS and State Police conducted the drill. 

Participating students were Andrew Sczepanski, Sean Donovan, Celeste Brownwell, Joelle Meister and Nathan McCarthy. EMS Explorer students assisting were Aurora Zinter, Maddie Wittman, Katie Simmons and Jeremy Boeff.






To purchase prints of photos, click here.

May 11, 2015 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, alexander, bergen, Alabama.

Chad A. Allen, 36, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 3rd. Batavia PD observed Allen allegedly inside a vacant residence on Oak Street, Batavia. He allegedly damaged copper pipe inside the residence. He was ordered held without bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, and criminal contempt, 1st. The youth is accused of causing more than $250 in damage to the property of another person. That person was also the subject of a protective order. The youth was jailed without bail. Name withheld by Batavia PD.

Robert M. Freeman, 23, of Pearl Street, Batavia, was arrested on warrants related to several charges and for alleged failure to abide by terms of a drug treatment program. Freeman's charges include forgery, 2nd, and two counts each of criminal contempt, 2nd, and petit larceny. Freeman was located during a traffic stop on West Main Street, Batavia. He was order held without bail.

Matthew S. Williams, 27, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and uninspected motor vehicle. Williams was stopped at 11:29 a.m. Thursday on Ellicott Street by Officer Frank Klimjack for allegedly operating an uninspected motor vehicle. A license check revealed an alleged five previous license suspensions. Williams was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Samual R. Smith, 28, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an overnight parking ticket. The ticket was issued in March 2014. Smith posted $100 cash bail.

Ralph A. Golding III, 50, of Buell Street, Akron, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. Golding was arrested by Akron PD and turned over to Batavia PD. He was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Nicholas J. Elmore, 26, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Elmore allegedly sent several threatening text messages to another person.

Dixie Lee Smith, 49, of Kriger Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely and failure to keep right. Smith was involved in a property damage accident at 3:48 p.m. Sunday on Day Road, Alexander. The accident was investigated by Deputy Michael Lute.

Larry William Toal, 60, South Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, reckless driving, speeding and driving left of pavement markings. Toal was allegedly operating a motorcycle on Route 5, Batavia, at 6:35 p.m. Sunday while intoxicated when stopped by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Aaron Paul Soloman, 38, of Liverpool Heights, Chili, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana. Soloman was stopped at 12:30 a.m., Sunday, on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Thomas Edward Murtagh, 57, of Parkview Drive, Bergen, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, refusal to take breath test and drinking in a motor vehicle. Murtagh was located in his vehicle parked on Townline Road, Alabama, at 10:30 p.m. Saturday by Deputy Michael Lute.

Tyler Austin Stoddard, 20, of Meiser Road, Alabama, is charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd. Stoddard is accused of continuing to contact and leave messages for another person that were harassing in nature to that person.

May 8, 2015 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A two-car accident with injury is reported at routes 19 and 33. (That's South Lake Road and Clinton Street Road.) Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2:38 p.m.: The injury is minor.

UPDATE 2:42 p.m.: A responder on scene reports the vehicles are blocking traffic.

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: A second minor injury is reported.

UPDATE 2:46 p.m.: Medics have arrived.

April 30, 2015 - 8:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A truck driver passing through a railroad crossing in Bergen tells dispatchers that his tractor-trailer was still in the crossing when the gates came down.

He had not choice but to continue through the crossing to avoid being hit by a train.

The gates were damaged. He's waiting roadside. A deputy is responding. The railroad company has been notified.

April 29, 2015 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Le Roy, bergen.

Le Royans will often tell you, they live in a special place. Now they have some proof and a chance to demonstrate just how special it is, with the chance at a $3 million prize at the end of the rainbow.

Frontier Communications, drawing from 138 applications in 27 states, has picked Le Roy as one of the Top 50 communities in America.

The honor comes with a $50,000 prize to help fund writing a comprehensive plan aimed at spurring business growth with assistance from business leaders at IBM.

"For those of us who choose to live here, and those people who have chosen to move away and come back, there is a draw to la-roy, or lee-roy (pause for laughter), and we need to capitalize on that, and I think maybe that's why we were so strong with our application," said Lynn Belluscio, curator of the Le Roy Historical Society, who helped with the application process. "It is going to take all of us going in the same direction, which we know is sometimes difficult in this community, but I think we can do it."

The impetus to apply came from County Legislator Shelly Stein, who worked with the staff at GCEDC to get the ball rolling, but the application process and letters of support brought together not just Stein and the GCEDC, but Belluscio, Supervisor Steve Barbeau, the Rotary Club of Le Roy, the Chamber of Commerce, Superintendent of Schools Kim Cox, the Le Roy Business Council, County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari and the Village of Le Roy.

The Village and Town of Bergen also pitched in because Le Roy by itself didn't have a big enough population to qualify.

The business project that will be targeted for infrastructure improvement -- a bigger natural gas pipe and broadband -- is the park at Route 19 and West Bergen road.

Robert Smith, the Rochester area general manager for Frontier, said he though Le Roy and Bergen were a great choice.

"But the work doesn't end here," Smith said. "You have a lot more to do because there is a lot more that can come from this."

The comprehensive plan will be reviewed in November and after that the Le Roy group will find out if it moves onto the next stage.

The eventual payoff for the winner is a $3 million prize, but second plays will earn $2 million and third, $1 million.

Growing the local business base is critical, Barbeau said.

He noted that for every tax dollar generated by a commercial property, businesses consume about 60 to 70 cents and services. For agriculture, it's about 30 cents in services. But residential, he said, eats up about $1.30 in services.

"We feel like this is a perfect opportunity to expand our infrastructure and bring in more business," he said.

Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, said this is an exciting opportunity for Le Roy and Bergen and fits right in with everything GCEDC is trying to do to attract more industry to Genesee County.

"When you try to grow an economy, you need to be able to talk about the quality of life and the factors that make it a place where people want to live, work and play," Hyde said. "This community has that."

Photo: Smith presenting a finalists' certificate with Rotary president Randy Vink and Stein in the background.

April 24, 2015 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported at 6874 Jerico Road, Bergen. Bergen fire and Mercy medics responding. A responder on scene says a driver was backing a vehicle out of the driveway and accidentally struck a man, who is still down in the roadway. The vehicle is blocking traffic. The vehicle reportedly drove over both his legs, but the victim has no neck or back pain. The location is north of Town Line Road and south of Swamp Road.

UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: A Bergen Ambulance is en route to Strong Memorial Hospital with a Mercy medic onboard with the patient. The Bergen fire assignment is back in service.

April 21, 2015 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC, bergen, dan ireland.
Dan Ireland riding the shuttle from St. Jerome's to UMMC on a recent morning.
Jeremy Cosimeno and Dan Ireland share a cup of coffee and a laugh in the UMMC cafeteria before starting a recent workday.

From early in his career, there were people who saw something in Dan Ireland and encouraged him along his path from orderly to president of his hometown hospital.

While perhaps not a tale ripped from the pages of Horatio Alger, Ireland does stand out in an era when young people are indoctrinated to believe they must escape their smalltown roots to make something of themselves.

Ireland was born in Batavia, attended Batavia High School and started his collegiate career at Genesee Community College. While still in college, he landed a job at St. Jerome's Hospital, and outside of a brief stint with a hospital in Rochester, he has spent his entire career with St. Jerome's, Genesee Memorial or UMMC, rising from entry-level to top executive over the course of 26 years.

The climb to the pinnacle is something Dave Shaffer saw coming. He told Ireland where he was going, but Ireland didn't buy it.

Ireland said the two good friends laugh about it to this day.

"He said to me one day, 'You're going to run this hospital someday,' " Ireland said. "I said, 'No, I don't think that's ever going to happen.' He reminded me about it when I was appointed, but I never had that vision."

Ireland started out in college with the intention of going into information technology, but as a volunteer with Town of Batavia Fire Department, he was exposed to patient care. 

"Those were the days when paramedics were just coming into departments," Ireland said. "You got them in the ambulance and raced to the hospital as quickly as possible and we actually did very little out in the field for patients. As I saw more of that developing, it piqued my interest -- how do I care for patients?"

Ireland decided to become a nurse, switched majors at GCC and took a job at St. Jerome's, transferring a year later to Genesee Memorial.

Back when Batavia had a skating rink, Skate 98, Dan Ireland was a champion rollerskate performer.

"I think he's a lot like me," Shaffer said. "He's easy going. He treats people like he wants to be treated. I don't have a problem with people like that.

"I never had a doubt my prediction wouldn't come true," Shaffer added.

In those early days, Gloria Stevens also saw something in Ireland that set him apart.

She met him while working at St. Jerome's and he was working on an ambulance.

"He was always smiling, always friendly," Stevens recalled. "He always seemed to be in a good mood every time I'd see him and he just seemed like a really nice young man."

Her daughter, Amy, had also taken note of Ireland and mentioned him to her mother.

"I think she thought he was cute," Stevens said.

One evening Stevens asked Ireland if he was dating anybody.

He wasn't.

So Gloria took it upon herself to ask him on a date on behalf of her daughter, to a family wedding.

Amy and Dan have been married 22 years and have three children, Rebekah, 18, Brian, 15, and Kelly, 12.

Ireland's made a great son-in-law and father to her grandchildren, Stevens said.

"It's probably one of the best decisions I ever made," Stevens said.

Dan and Amy quickly became a team, pushing each other through their studies and making sure they got better at their jobs.

The hospital bosses noticed.

It wasn't long after Ireland became a nurse that he became a supervisor in the emergency room.

Ireland began to develop mentors who helped guide his career. Dr. Diane London was one who always made time for him, he said. She would answer any question and provide guidance on patient care.

"She was a fantastic person," Ireland said. "You could walk into ER any time and sit next to her and ask her question. That was learning clinically, that was building my knowledge -- 'What happened? What happened with this patient?' She would make time for you no matter what."

By 1997, computers were starting to work their way into patient care and suddenly Ireland's duel experience in IT and nursing opened a new opportunity for him.

The idea of using computers to help improve patient care captured Ireland's imagination and the hospital needed somebody with both a medical background and IT training.

"All of the sudden, this new idea of helping people with computers and, wow, we're going into this new era of documentation and clinical results and getting things to bedside quicker, and I sat back and realized, 'I can do the best of both worlds,' " Ireland said. " 'I can make this happen. I can teach nurses how to do it and still be a nurse and still use that clinical experience.' "

Not that bringing the nursing staff into the Digital Era was always a smooth transition.

Ireland recalled one nurse who was very upset with him.

"She was livid," he said. "She said, 'You've taken my time with patients from here to here and I'm spending all this time on the computer. It's a horrible thing.' "

About three months later, Ireland said, she was upset for a different reason. The system went off-line for maintenance.

"I got a phone call from her and she said, 'Why did you take my computer system away from me? It's been perfect,' " Ireland recalled.

He added, "It was a validation that the transition of technology really made a difference."

In 2001, Ireland took a position with the University of Rochester that he thought would advance his IT background, but within six months, Charlie Kenney, then CEO of the Batavia hospital, wanted him back.

The hospital needed somebody to do some high-level analytics, tracking population trends, and after a couple of meetings, Ireland realized this was a good job for him.

In 2003, he was promoted to director of Quality Management and created a case management program.

At this point, Karen Peters became one of his mentors.

When she passed in 2005, then CEO Mark Schoell appointed him to her former job, VP of Clinical Services.

Ireland lost two mentors, London and Peters, and gained a new one in Schoell.

"I was quite happy working for her (Peters) as director of Quality Management and suddenly she was gone," Ireland said. "She was a key part of my development. When you lose mentors, you miss them, but then you've got to find your own way."

Under Schoell, Ireland began to move up the executive ladder, taking on bigger titles and the greater responsibilities that went with them. He was VP of Support Services and then COO.  

He oversaw multiple departments and services, and supervised remodeling the Jerome Center and addition of the new surgical wing, including securing financing.

Schoell was a great mentor, Ireland said, giving him a job, even a big job, and letting him do it with minimal interference, but always there for guidence and to answer questions.

While Schoell may have been grooming an eventual successor, that wasn't necessarily Ireland's ambition.

"The ambition was doing a project and doing it successfully," Ireland said. "It was getting a project and saying 'How do I get it done? What do I need to know about that?' So that's where the ambition kicked in. I have this desire to do the right things and to get them done. Sometimes that's a lot of extra work you put in to make that happen. I think that's where the ambition was, but not for the position."

As Ireland moved into higher-profile roles, he became more interested in learning about leadership. He has his favorite books on leadership, his favorite speakers, he's attended seminars and workshops, and he's also found serving on community boards a great way to observe and learn about leaders.

The Bergen resident is on the Gillam-Grant Community Center Board and the Byron-Bergen Central School District Board of Education. He's also been through Leadership Genesee.

"Sitting on boards has helped educate myself," Ireland said. "Sitting on the school board, especially, you learn a lot about the different ways people lead. (Byron-Bergen schools Superintendent) Casey Kosiorek is a phenomenal leader. I've learned a lot just by watching him, how he interacts with his staff. I've transferred some that in how I do things."

From all appearances, Dan Ireland, the guy who rose through the ranks and was mentored by so many people in his home community, has been embraced as a leader by the UMMC staff. 

Ireland makes it a point to be accessible to as many of the hospitals more than 700 employees as possible. He often rides the shuttle from the St. Jerome's parking lot -- where employees are encouraged to park -- and frequently takes his meals in the cafeteria. He also regularly visits all of the departments of the hospital. It's impossible for him to know everybody's name, but Colleen Flynn, director of public relations for UMMC, offered during an interview in his office that to those who have worked with Ireland, his presidency seems like a natural fit. 

"I think we all saw leadership potential in him," Flynn said. "I don't think there is a single employee, manager, director in the organization who was surprised when Dan was named president. It was a natural progression."

Now that he's the leader, the mentor himself, and the guy from his own community leading one of the most important institutions in that community, Ireland takes seriously the responsibility to ensure UMMC delivers quality care.

He's also well aware that isn't the reputation UMMC necessarily enjoys locally.

Sitting in his president's office, when asked about the issue, he talked about it at length.

"We can't expect the people of Genesee County to just look at the hospital and say 'That's the hospital,' " Ireland said. "We have to work to earn the trust of every member of the community because that's what they expect. They expect us to continuously improve, so we have to continue to improve.

"There have been people who have had less than a desirable experience with the hospital. They've come here and sometimes it's been bad for people. You have to understand the human form. People don't forget easily and some people forgive and forget easier, and others don't. We will always run into people who say, 'I'll never go back to that hospital because this happened to me.' What I ask people is 'Are we different today than we were yesterday?' We have the ability to change. If we've done something wrong, and they tell us, we'll work to create change to make it better. We're in a human world, so we will not always do exactly what we want to do."

Yes, staff members have bad days, but personal bad days shouldn't translate into bad experiences for patients and their families, said Ireland, who reads every patient experience report and when he comes across a negative review, he doesn't see it as just a rant. 

"We don't see it as an angry or dissatisfied patient," Ireland said. "We see it as an opportunity for us to make a change and hopefully keep that from happening again and to make it better."

It's not just an issue of UMMC looking good or making more money. Quality customer care and a solid reputation with the local community are about providing advantageous health care.

"I don't just want to see the numbers get better," Ireland said. "When sombody sayd they don't want to go to United Memorial, that usually means they have to travel further for health care in a lot of cases and that's not good for them. That's not healthy, especially if they're ill. That's not a good experience. Either way, it's about their health. It's not necessarily about us having good scores up on the wall. It's about the fact that when patients have a good experience here, they're getting good health care and hopefully improving health."

The Ireland Family (photo submitted by Dan Ireland). Dan Ireland might be one of the only hospital presidents in the nation who rises early in the morning to feed the family's goats (22 of them, along with three sheep and a half dozen chickens and rabbits). The family farm started four or five years ago when his son said he wanted a horse. "I said, 'Horses are a lot of responsibility' and I said, 'Tell you what, I'll get you a goat. If you raise that goat all by yourself for a year, I'll get you a horse.' " The Irelands still don't have a horse, but their livestock has become a hobby for the whole family and led to involvement in 4-H.

April 17, 2015 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 7000 Appletree Avenue, Bergen. Bergen fire and fire police requested to the scene along with an ambulance. Law enforcement on scene.

UPDATE 5:28 p.m.: Bergen Ambulance is transporting one patient to Strong Memorial Hospital.

April 17, 2015 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen.

A 2-year-old is missing from 7278 Maple Ave. in Bergen. Law enforcement has called for Bergen volunteer firefighters to help locate the tot. They are asked to started their search at Maple Avenue on Route 33.

UPDATE 1:12 p.m.: Child has been found. The fire department is asked to stand down.

April 16, 2015 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander, Le Roy, bergen.

An 18-year-old Le Roy resident and a 17-year-old Le Roy resident are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Le Roy PD responded to a report of the smell of marijuana in an apartment. After a brief investigation, officers concluded the youths possessed and smoked marijuana in the apartment while two youths under age 17 were present. The 18-year-old was jailed on $500 bail. Le Roy PD did not release the names of either individual.

Christopher E. Merrell, 53, of Bergen, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, no seat belt, inadequate exhaust, illegal window tint and unlicensed operation. Merrell was stopped by State Police on Route 98, Alexander.




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