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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.

August 2, 2016 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, lime rock, bergen, Le Roy, byron, elba, Pavilion.

(Submitted photos and information.)

The families of the late Baptist and Christina (Costa) Stefani, and Dominic and Johanna (Rigoni) Costa gathered for their 36th consecutive annual family reunion at  Mumford’s Freeman Park on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Both founding families made their homes in Lime Rock.

Christopher and Ann (Tracy) Publow, of Rochester, were this year’s event chairs.

After a cookout topped off with a buffet of cookies and ice cream novelties, there was a short business meeting. A review of family news since last year included:

  • Andrea Stefani, the daughter of Richard and Melanie Stefani, of Batavia, married Jacob Klos of Watertown on July 18, 2015;
  • Samantha Blake gave birth to our newest family member, Ryder Christopher Barclay, of Byron, on May 16, 2016;
  • Twenty-month-old Kate Aradine was the youngest in attendance. She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Bethany (Pocock) Aradine, of Bergen;
  • Bethany’s parents, Merlin and Marilyn (Costa) Pocock, of Bergen, were the longest married couple in attendance, at 41 years of wedded bliss;
  • Dorothy (Stefani) Bater, of Le Roy, was the oldest person in attendance, followed closely by Dolores (Stefani) Lathan, of Caledonia, who is one day younger.

Following the meeting, the family took photos, made spin-art paintings, pelted each other in a water-balloon toss, and tossed Cheetos onto the shaving-cream-covered heads of partners in a messy game of laughter and endurance (followed by cleaning each other off!).

Next year’s event chairs are Linda (Orlando) Totten, of Elba, Carol (Orlando) Panepento, of Pavilion, Gloria (Orlando) Oliver, of Le Roy, and Amy Panepento, of Le Roy.

August 2, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen, news.

Press release:

U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Chris Collins today announced President Obama has signed into law legislation to rename the Bergen Post Office located at 15 Rochester St. in Genesee County as the “Barry G. Miller Post Office.” Earlier this year, both the Senate and House unanimously passed the legislation introduced by Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Collins.

“Barry Miller was deeply involved in the Bergen community and his passion showed in his dedication to service and answering the call of those in danger for the past 30 years,” Senator Gillibrand said. “We collectively remember and honor this extraordinary and generous New Yorker. This designation is a fitting tribute for a hometown hero in the community he held near and dear. I am pleased this legislation passed Congress unanimously and was signed into law by President Obama.” 

“While nobody can fill the void left by Barry Miller, all those who enter the newly renamed ‘Barry G. Miller Post Office’ will be reminded of the incredible sacrifice and courage displayed by a man who was so much a part of this community and who embodied the true spirit of selflessness through his 30 years of service,” Senator Schumer said. “Naming the Bergen Post Office on Rochester Street after him is a truly fitting tribute to his bravery, and allow the legacy of this hometown hero to live on in an enduring way.” 

“Barry Miller is a hero in the Bergen community,” Congressman Collins said. “The Barry G. Miller Post Office is a fitting way to honor Mr. Miller’s legacy of community service and selfless sacrifice for others. I was proud to introduce this legislation and glad to see it signed into law.”

“This recognition is an important tribute to Barry's service to our community. He dedicated his life to serving others and this will be a permanent reminder of his service to Bergen. We appreciate New York's lawmakers for working together to make this a reality,” Tracy Miller said. 

July 26, 2016 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, bergen.

Medaille College has named the following students to the Dean's List for the Spring 2016 semester:

Justice Fagan, of Batavia

Mark Lancaster, of Bergen

Students that meet the requirements of a minimum of 12 credit hours and earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher for all credit hours carried during that semester are placed on the dean's list.

With campuses in Buffalo, Rochester, and Online, Medaille College ( is a dynamic, private college committed to serving the higher education needs of western New York. Medaille is known for its flexible delivery systems, offering master's, bachelor's and associate degrees through day, evening, weekend and online programs.

July 26, 2016 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in RIT, Milestones, corfu, batavia, Le Roy, bergen, elba, bosom, darien center, Pavilion.

Rochester Institute of Technology celebrated its 131st Academic Convocation in May. Diplomas were distributed to graduates following the event at separate ceremonies held by each of RIT's nine colleges and two academic centers. Local residents who graduated include:

David Belcher of Le Roy (14482), who received an MBA in business administration from RIT's Saunders College of Business.

Geoffrey Berl of Le Roy (14482), who received a BS in software engineering from RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Benjamin Bliss of Pavilion (14525), who received a BFA in illustration from RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Maura Chmielowiec of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in mechanical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Edward Cigno of Le Roy (14482), who received an MS in mechanical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

James Erb of Darien Center (14040), who received a BS in mechanical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Shane Hale of Corfu (14036), who received a BS in computer science from RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Taylor Harkness of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in biotechnology and molecular bioscience from RIT's College of Science.

Eric Hunt of Bergen (14416), who received a BS in new media interactive development from RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Dean Kubik of Basom (14013), who received a BS in chemical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Shannon Lajuett of Le Roy (14482), who received a BS in biomedical sciences from RIT's College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Michelle Lane of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in applied arts and sciences from RIT's School of Individualized Study.

Michael Norway of Elba (14058), who received a BS in chemistry from RIT's College of Science.

Joseph Oddo of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in electrical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Karl Pajak of Corfu (14036), who received a BFA in film and animation from RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Trevor Powers of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in mechanical engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Jared Raphael of Batavia (14020), who received a BS in industrial engineering from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Michael Slack of Bergen (14416), who received a BFA in film and animation from RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Michael Wilmoth of Le Roy (14482), who received a BS in computing security from RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls 18,600 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the United States.

July 25, 2016 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bergen Swamps, byron, bergen, news, Destro.

A man from Irving got lost in a wooded area of the Bergen Swamps yesterday, and if not for the swamps' caretaker becoming concerned for his safety and the trained nose of K-9 "Destro" his off-the-trail hike could have turned out very badly.

The caretaker, Mike Merritt, said he noticed a person park at a trailhead and get out of his car and walk into the swamps about 3 p.m., yesterday. Since he had never seen the man before, and he was alone, he was a little concerned right off the bat about his activity.

When the man hadn't returned after two or three hours, his concern grew, he said.

"It was too hot, too muggy and too buggy to be out there that long," Merritt said.

So Merritt walked the entire trail himself and didn't find him.

At 10 o'clock, Merritt thought, 'well, if he's still out there, now he's trespassing' and 'I can call law enforcement without them coming out here unnecessarily.' "  

Deputy Rachel Diehl and Trooper James Moran arrived on scene and ran the plates of the unattended vehicle. They were able to contact family members, who expressed concern that they hadn't heard from Neil Gates for several hours.

Deputy Chris Erion and "Destro" were called to the scene, along with Byron's ambulance and some volunteer firefighters also responded.

With Merritt, who knows the area well, providing guidance, Erion and Destro commenced a search of the woods.  

It took more than two hours, but Gates was located curled up in some cattails where he had apparently gone to try and get water. 

He was dehydrated and had a minor knee injury, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Merritt said the Gates told officials he was a diabetic. 

He was treated by Byron EMTs at the scene and released.

The incident wrapped up at about 1:30 a.m., Merritt said.

Merritt noted that there are signs warning visitors to the swamps not to leave the trails.

"You can get 20 feet off a trail, get turned around and you think you know which direction to go to find a trail, but you won't find one," Merritt said.

Merritt said the concern and professionalism of those who responded last night was impressive. There was no hesitation by law enforcement to take on the search.

"I couldn't have gone out there without them," Merritt said. "With my cell phone dead, out there alone, I couldn't have helped him. He wouldn't have made it much longer."


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