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October 19, 2015 - 6:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, bergen.

A car accident is reported on the westbound Route 490 at mile marker 4.7. The vehicle is in a ditch and the female driver is complaining of chest pain. Bergen fire and ambulance are responding.

October 11, 2015 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bergen Family Shenanigans, bergen.


The folks in Bergen hosted a great family event yesterday in Hickory Park, an autumn festival they called "Shenanigans." The event featured dozens of games and contests, which allowed children to win tickets for prizes. There were also several local vendors selling things such as mittens, candles, wine and honey.








October 8, 2015 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, bergen.

This Saturday (10/10) there will be a Disc Golf Tournament to celebrate the grand opening of a Disc Golf Course in Bergen's Hartland Park (62 S. Lake Ave.).

It starts at 9:30 a.m. and will go to about 1 p.m.

Also across the street in Hickory Park will be the debut of Family Shenanigans, which is a fun event for the whole family starting at 1 p.m. --

October 8, 2015 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, bergen, batavia.

Patricia Jean Kendall-Cargill, 50, of Swamp Road, Bergen, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Kendall-Cargill allegedly violated an order of protection out of Family Court on two occasions.

Heidi Marie Keller, 37, of Gillette Road, Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. Keller allegedly stole $35.70 worth of makeup from Walmart.

Kyle Kenneth Eldridge, 39, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and failure to dim headlines. Eldridge was stopped at 3:34 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Christopher Parker.

October 1, 2015 - 12:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen.

Shortly before noon, Bergen fire and an ambulance were called to The Firing Pin for an accidental gunshot to the head. The incident is a fatality. Sheriff's investigators are on scene.

The Bergen facility is a public indoor shooting range, retail gun shop and firearms training center located at 8240 Buffalo Road, between Parkview Drive and Route 33.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office has confirmed this is a suicide and there will be no additional information released.

September 30, 2015 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.


Christopher Cameron‎ shared this on Facebook and gave us permission to republish it on The Batavian.

Here's what he wrote:

My son was home sick today. He was on our porch with his mother when the funeral procession for Barry Miller passed. Like any 4-year-old he was amazed by it and asked a hundred questions. Later when his mom took him to Dunkin' Donuts he saw "a sad firefighter drinking coffee." When I got home from work he was playing with his Legos on the floor. He told me he made a memorial for the ambulance guy and all of the rescue guys were sad. So I promised him I would take this picture so that the Lego men could say goodbye. His memorial is in the center.

September 30, 2015 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.

For those who missed the final call for Barry Miller, broadcast by Genesee County Emergency Dispatch, at 1:30 p.m., yesterday.


September 29, 2015 - 8:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Barry Miller.

Here is a complete set of pictures from today's funeral services for Barry Miller, the Bergen resident, small business owner, county coroner and volunteer EMT, who died last Wednesday when the ambulance he was riding in while responding to an emergency call ran into a piece of highway equipment.

Among the speakers was his friend, Town of Bergen Supervisor Don Cunningham, who noted the support and recognition the community showed by decorating the village with purple and black ribbons in Miller's honor. Cunningham said:

Barry wouldn't recognize those ribbons as for him. Barry would want those ribbons and that outpouring of kindness and the formal plans of today to be recognition for every man and woman in his department, for every uniformed individual here today, and for everyone who responds to help another. We can quickly forget that it could be any one of these first responders lynig before us here today. Barry wouldn't want us to forget that.

September 29, 2015 - 12:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.

Robert Hilchey and his 2-year-old grandson Parker.

About 250 first responders from throughout New York State are at the funeral service in progress for Bergen's Barry Miller. The private, closed service is under way at Pearce Memorial Church on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College in Chili. Because of the number of attendees, a closed-circuit television is set up inside the Cultural Life Center for viewing the service.

After opening remarks from Pastor Matthew French, the song of hope "I Will Rise" was sung by Craig Deats, followed by a prayer by Pastor Wally Fleming. Then they sang "Amazing Grace" and read Psalm 23, followed by a Gospel lesson offered by Pastor Michael Merry. The sermon is being given by Pastor Matthew French. Witnesses to the life of Barry Miller will speak, including Don Cunningham, Julie Donofrio, Scott Schmidt and Kevin Finacune.

Another song of hope "My Tribute, to God Be the Glory" is to be performed by Sonya Catalano. Pastor Dan Finch will say a commendation prayer and a prayer of Thanksgiving. The Lord's Prayer will be said, followed by "The Firefighter Song" with PJ Cummings. "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" will close the service, followed by a dismissal blessing offered by Pastor Matthew French.

September 29, 2015 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen.
The Bergen Fire patch with Barry Miller's Line of Duty Death black band that has been common on Facebook the past few days.

Miller's funeral service is at 11 a.m. at Pearce Memorial Church, 4322 North Buffalo Road, North Chili.

Click here for his full obituary.

The death of Barry Miller has affected many people in Genesee County, not just his fellow volunteers in the fire services or in the close-knit community of Bergen.

In stores, during public events, at coffee shops and restaurants, on social media, it's what people have been talking about.

Shock, grief and an understanding that our community has lost somebody who made a daily, positive contribution are the thoughts and emotions people are dealing with.

Barry Miller touched a lot of people throughout the county.

"Over the past 10 years, knowing Barry has been one of my more cherished relationships I've been able to develop," said Batavia City Manager Jason Molino.  

Molino first got to know Miller through Leadership Genesee and their paths cross professionally many times over the years, including during meetings and discussions about the city's ambulance service in 2009.

Molino remembers Miller was just a very caring and dedicated person with real sense of esprit de corps.

"He was very gung-ho and very supportive of the community as a whole," Molino said. "Some people have a gift for giving and I think Barry was one of those people. It was something he really valued and something he took a lot of pride in and I think it showed in the outpouring for him and for the Bergen Fire Department."

If gusto for life is measured by how much you do with it, Miller's cup was never half empty. He owned a successful cabinet-making business and a vacation lodge in the Adirondacks, served on town council, was deeply involved in the Bergen ambulance service, was a county coroner and organized or participated in numerous county events. Through all this, hundreds of people in Genesee County came to know Miller as a kind, fun and caring man.

"He lived life the way you should try to live it," said Rusty Breton, a local contractor and another fellow graduate of Leadership Genesee. "He was like a little headlight on a good way to get through life."

Miller was a mentor to many -- all of the people he helped get through EMT training in Bergen and to more than one new county coroner, including Karen Lang.

"If you came into this and didn't already love the coroner thing, he would make you love it the way he loved it," Lang said.

Lang said Miller was fascinated by the details of the job. Lang and others we've spoken to about Miller's coroner's work said he was fastidious about the details, never wanting to overlook anything that might be relevant to a case, and he was fascinated by the nuances and variances of each case he handled.

"We talked to each other all the time about our cases," Lang said. "I'd text him or he would text me, 'I've never seen anything like this before.' We knew each other would appreciate it."

Lang and Miller went to coroner conferences together, eager to learn and share knowledge.

"He always told me if I got stuck on something, I could call or text him anytime," Lang said. "It could be 10 a.m. or it could be 3 a.m. and he would always answer right away."

Social media has been packed with tributes to Miller, with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people changing their avatar to a copy of Bergen fire's arm patch with a black band and white letters reading "L.O.D.D. 9/23/2015" (Line of Duty Death). 

Retired deputy Dan VanValkenburg posted such a tribute in part because he's one of the people Miller inspired to become a volunteer EMT. For VanValkenburg, Miller is the second closest associate he's lost in a LODD. He wrote on Facebook: 

On one of the worst days of my professional career, I was sent to the home of Deputy (Frank) Bordonaro to meet his wife after his tragic death on July 8, 2014. Although that didn't transpire, I only received comfort from the county coroner who arrived on scene for the pronouncement of his death. Barry walked me through it after I sobbed at the loss of my friend. I now mourn him after his tragic death. He helped me obtain my EMT certification earlier this year and I hope to make him proud. I will miss you and god speed to your heavenly journey.

Deputy Chris Parker worked with Miller both on cases involving real loss for friends and family and the imaginary loss of DWI drills at area high schools. Miller, Parker said, was always a ready volunteer to play the part of coroner at a fatal DWI crash at any high school in the county, and whether on a drill or in the event of an actual death, Miller was professional, compassionate and cared about the details.

"He was meticulous," Parker said. "He was good at being able to sit down with the family and get to know that person to make sure he did his job correctly and that he honored the person and was true to that person. It seemed that way for every call he went on."

Miller was a man of many talents. Anybody who has seen the podiums and desks and media centers that came out of Miller Millworks knows how he had finely honed his craft. Those who served with him politically and in community service say he was adept at dealing with any situation he might confront. He also ran a heck of an inn, according to those who have stayed at the Beaver River Lodge.

"I don't think there wasn't anything he couldn't do," Lang said. "All of these people who think he was so amazing don't even realize a quarter of the stuff he could actually do."

Breton stayed at the lodge several times, usually in winter during snowmobiling trips. The lodge is an old resort well off the beaten path, the way Breton described it. In the winter, it was a seven-mile snowmobile trip to get to it, but on weekends that Miller was going to have guests staying there, he would leave work on Thursday, haul propane and beer and food those seven miles and de-winterize the place and get it ready for guests.

The lodge could accommodate 30 guests, though there were seldom that many for winter stays, Breton said, but it was usually booked full on summer weekends.

Annually, Miller donated a stay at the lodge to the auction of Bidding on a Brighter Future Gala sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batavia, which helped raise money for the Child Advocacy Center. It was always a popular auction item.

"It was an awesome place and it was awesome because of Barry," Breton said.  "He made it awesome. I don't know that anybody could do it the way Barry did it. Most people aren't wired like that. He made you feel like you were staying in your own place."

Though as contractor and cabinetmaker, Breton and Miller frequently did business together, Breton said he's most going to miss Miller as a friend.

"As I've gotten older, I understand better how important it is to surround yourself with quality people," Breton said. "You could bounce ideas off of Barry. Whatever your struggle was, business, family, life, whatever your struggle, you could bounce it off him and he would just have some wisdom for you."

Lang felt much the same way. There was hardly a day since she became a coroner that she and Miller didn't at least text each other, always about what cases they were working on or new things they were learning.

And Barry always answered immediately.

Until last Wednesday morning.

At 7:40 that morning, Lang learned a Bergen ambulance had been involved in an accident. She knew Miller might be on that accident, so she sent him a message.

No response.

"Please text me and tell me and tell me you're OK."

No response.

"I knew it was him," she said. "I knew he was gone."

September 26, 2015 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, bergen.

A one-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported on eastbound Route 490 near mile marker 4.4. Bergen fire and Mercy medic #3 are called to respond.

September 24, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.


The remains of Barry Miller, who died in the line of duty while responding as a medic in a Bergen Fire Department Ambulance yesterday, was transported from the Medical Examiner in Rochester this afternoon to H.E. Turner Funeral Home in Batavia.

Funeral arrangements have been announced:

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. both Sunday (Sept. 27, 2015) and Monday (Sept. 28, 2015) at the Bergen United Methodist Church, 27 South Lake Avenue in Bergen NY. Services with full Fire Department Honors will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pearce Memorial Church, 4322 Buffalo Road, North Chili, New York 14514.




September 24, 2015 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

We're told the body of Barry Miller will be escorted back to Batavia within the hour, returning from the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

We don't have a specific time or route at this point, but we would expect the procession will take the 490 to Route 19, to Route 33 to East Main Street, ending at H.E. Turner Funeral Home.

If we get more solid information, we'll update this post accordingly.

Miller, a volunteer EMT with the Bergen Fire Department and a county coroner, was killed in an accident yesterday morning in the Town of Riga responding to a medical emergency. 

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The information above is correct. The procession, led by Bergen FD apparatus, is in route at about 30 mph and expected to reach the Bergen exit at approximately 2:30 p.m.

September 23, 2015 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.


In a service led by Pastor Michael Merry, hundreds of Bergen community members and members of the county's emergency responder community gathered at the Bergen Fire Hall tonight to honor the memory of Barry Miller.

Miller, a volunteer in Bergen's ambulance service and a county coroner, died this morning when an ambulance he was in, heading to an emergency response in Riga, was involved in an accident.





UPDATE: Video story from 13WHAM.

September 23, 2015 - 7:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

(FIle Photo: Barry Miller as a county coroner during a DWI drill at Pavilion High School.)

One thing -- among many -- that people will remember about Barry Miller is that he was passionate about the ambulance service in the Bergen Fire Department.

He was a constant recruiter of potential medics, which is not an easy task because the training for a volunteer position is daunting -- more than 200 hours before you can test for certification.

He started one of the few successful Explorer programs for EMTs. A few years ago, when the Bergen Ambulance Service was in danger of fading away, Miller took the lead in bolstering its ranks and helping at least a half dozen people get through the classes and into service.

"If there's one positive take away from this, it's that Barry died doing what he loved," said Town Supervisor Don Cunningham, who knew Miller his entire life and became close friends with him after they both started serving on the town board. "Barry loved helping people and that is what he was doing today."

Miller grew up in Bergen, on Buffalo Street, and his father helped institute the ambulance service in the 1970s.

At age 18, Miller became a volunteer firefighter and has been a member of the department ever since -- 31 years; the past 10, as assistant EMS chief.

"Barry had a passion just for the medical field," Cunningham said. "I always wondered why he didn't end up a doctor. He always gravitated toward the medical field."

His line-of-duty death has been shocking for the entire fire service community and it's been a tough day for the department, said Chuck Dodson, a former chief.

"It's really tough to put in words," Dodson said. "A bunch of members from our organization participated in the West Webster events and we had a firsthand chance to see what that organiazation went through and the grief that they had from the outside, but it still doesn't prepare you for what we're feeling today.

"It's kind of like that unreal feeling that this can't actually happen here. This is something we read about on the Internet. We read the news. You never anticipate it's going to occur here, even though it is a part of our job."

Arrangements for funeral services are not yet completed, but it will be a very large event with firefighters and other emergency personnel traveling to Bergen from all over the nation, and perhaps the world, to honor one of their own who gave his life serving his community.

Miller's death is a huge loss for the department, Chief Kevin Finucane said.

"You can't replace a Barry Miller," he said. "He was dedicated. He was very committed. You just don't replace those type of people. He was a lifer. You don't get people off the street nowadays who last that long in the volunteer fire service."

Miller was deeply involved in the community. Cunningham said anybody who lived in Bergen for any length of time knew Miller because there wasn't a community event he didn't help start, organize, volunteer for, or at least show up at.

An entreprenuer, Miller started making custom-designed business presentation furniture in his basement and eventually moved it into a larger facility on Lake Avenue in the village.

"I don't know how he had time in the day for all he did," Finucane said.

Miller will be missed by the entire community, Cunningham said, but not just as the guy who did a bit of everything and was so dedicated to his hometown, but on a deeper personal level.

"We're going to miss Barry," Cunningham said. "Beyond the fire department, beyond the community, we're all going to miss Barry."

He said he will be missed because of his "zeal for life."

"He was an idea guy," Cunningham said. "When we went out on a motorcycle ride he was always looking for a new destination, or (on town board) coming up with an idea for a new sign at our library. He thought big. He always thought big and had a great zeal for it and he was always going to give you 110 percent."





September 23, 2015 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, batavia, genesee county.

A convoy of fire trucks and police cars has converged at United Memorial Medical Center in the aftermath of the death of a Bergen ambulance volunteer crew member who died this morning in a head-on collision with a backhoe in Riga. The man, whose identity has not been released, was part of a three-member team responding to a mutual aid request for emergency medical aid.

Batavia police and fire and Sheriff's deputies will lead the convoy of Bergen fire trucks to the county line as it escorts the body of their fallen comrade to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Photos of the escort. An H.E. Turner van transported the deceased to Monroe County.


UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM has confirmed through sources in Monroe County that the deceased is Barry Miller, who was not only a multi-decade volunteer with the Bergen department and chief of EMS, but a county coroner. Below are photos from 13WHAM of the procession passing through the Rochester area.





UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: 

A video report from 13WHAM:

UPDATE 3 p.m.:  News release from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office:

Around 7:30 this morning deputies responded to a crash between an ambulance and a backhoe on Bovee Road, just west of Brew Road, in the Town of Riga.

On arrival deputies found a Bergen Fire Department ambulance with severe front-end damage and a Town of Riga Caterpillar backhoe in front of the ambulance. The driver of the ambulance, Zackery W. Czudak, DOB 1985, of Bergen, said they had been dispatched to a Johnson Road, Riga, residence for a medical call. While traveling east on Bovee Road he struck a backhoe which was also travelling east. Czudak said he had reduced his speed because of sun glare and patches of fog in the area.

The front passenger, EMT Barry G. Miller, DOB 1965, of Bergen, was transported to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia where he was pronounced dead. EMT Gina B. Bliss, DOB 1963, of Bergen, who was in the rear cabin of the ambulance, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Zackery W. Czudak was not injured but transported to the hospital as a precaution. The driver of the backhoe was not injured.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: There will be a candlelight vigil in memory and honor of EMT Barry Miller tonight at 8 at the Bergen Fire Department, 10 Hunter St., in Bergen.

September 23, 2015 - 7:34am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Le Roy, bergen.

An accident involving a bulldozer and an ambulance that was responding to an emergency medical call is reported at Bovee and Brew roads in Riga. Bergen fire and Le Roy ambulance are responding. Extrication equipment will be needed. A Mercy medic rig will go to handle the original EMS call on nearby Johnson Road, which is also off Bovee.

UPDATE 9:38 a.m.: From our news partner 13WHAM -- Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies said a member of a Bergen ambulance crew was killed after the ambulance rear-ended a backhoe. The male died at the scene, deputies said. The other two members of the ambulance crew were transported to Monroe County Medical Center UMMC as a precaution. The backhoe driver was not injured. Authorities believe sun glare may have contributed to the accident. A portion of Bovee Road is shut down.

UPDATE 9:39 a.m.: A fire crew from Bethany is standing by in their hall in case needed in Le Roy. The Bergen crew involved in the accident was responding to a call in the 1300 block of Johnson Road, as mutual aid to Riga, at the time of the collision.

September 20, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by James Burns in Geneses, Notre Dame, elba, byron, bergen, Lancers, sports.


Genesee Region Division Notre Dame traveled to Elba Saturday afternoon to battle division rivals the Elba/Byron Bergen Lancers. The rain held off for a warm and windy conference game in which both teams ran 43 plays. The difference in the final score of 29 to 8 was in the rushing. Notre Dame rushed for all of their TDs for a total of 273 yards vs. a game total of 33 rushing yards for the Lancers. After a closely contended, scoreless first quarter Notre Dame was in position to score at the very beginning of the second quarter.


Above, #32 Jack Sutherland’s final effort of a six-yard run is ruled a touchdown by the officials.

The Lancers battled back with an impressive drive ending in a #12 Hochmuth pass to #5 Flores for a 36-yard gain and TD. Followed up by a two-point conversion run by #42 Stevens.



The Lancers led the game for only a few minutes because Notre Dames answered with another TD run by Sutherland and two-point conversion pass from #10 Connor to Sutherland. And so the game progressed with Notre Dame in control through a scoreless third quarter. Notre Dame added 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Sutherland would see the end zone one more time as would #42 Peter Daversa with an 11-yard run.


A couple of late turnovers kept the game interesting and the Lancers always seemed poised to come back but failed to capitalize on a few key plays.








More picture of the players and game are here:

September 15, 2015 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, bergen, byron.

Rachael A. Glavin, 36, of Rochester Street, Bergen, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony. She was arrested at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 14 and arraigned in Bergen Town Court, then released under supervision of the Probation Department. She is to be in court again on Oct. 14. She is accused of stealing $3,500 in cash from a business in Bergen where she was employed. She allegedly stole money on numerous occasions during her employment over a six-month period from January through June. The case was handled by Sheriff's Investigator Kristopher A. Kautz and Deputy Jason Saile.

Cody Daniel Edward Mayer, 23, of South Lake Street, Bergen, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, unlawful possession of marijuana, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. On Sept. 14, he was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 237, Byron. It is alleged that Mayer possessed a hypodermic needle unlawfully along with marijuana and that he was operating a motor vehicle on a public highway while his driver's license with suspended a total of 10 times on six separate dates. He was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Byron Town Court Oct. 26. The case of investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

September 11, 2015 - 7:49am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, bergen.

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported at 7354 North Bergen Road. Bergen fire and ambulance are responding.


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