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Bethany

July 1, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, accident, pembroke, Hannah Dibble.

A possible criminal case is still pending in the fatal crash in Bethany in February, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Friedman said the Sheriff's Office is "diligent" in conducting its investigation, but there is one more aspect of the case that needs to be addressed before criminal proceedings can advance.

Once all the facts are in, Friedman said, a presentation will be made to a grand jury.

Alyson D. Krzanak, a Genesee Community College student, died in the Feb. 21 accident at the intersection of Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, Bethany. A friend, Hannah Dibble, was the driver of a 1997 Geo with five passengers when the car crossed onto Route 20 and was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Sources have previously confirmed that the Sheriff's Office has received the results of a toxicology report on Dibble and that investigators have met with attorneys in the D.A.'s Office to discuss possible charges.

The estate of Krzanak has filed a civil suit against Dibble, Leonard L. Odums, the truck driver, Celadon Trucking Services, Celadon Group and Frank's Garage of Akron.

June 27, 2015 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany.

A power pole, transformer and wires are down in the roadway blocking both lanes of travel at 10694 East Road, Bethany. There is a power outage in the vicinity as a result. The pole is covering one lane and the wires are across both lanes. The location is between Broadway and Raymond Road. Bethany Fire Department is responding. National Grid is notified. No ETA provided.

UPDATE 6:22 p.m.: The Bethany assignment is back in service. The wires have been de-activated. Debris is being removed from the roadway. National Grid is on scene. The road will reopen once it is cleared.

June 19, 2015 - 2:50pm
posted by Traci Turner in genesee county park & forest, Bethany.

The Genesee County Park & Forest will kick off its 100 years celebration event series with a program on the history of the forest.

The program, "A Place of Peace, Play and Learning: The Genesee County Park and Forest," will be from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. on June 20 at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center. It's free and open to the public.

County Historian Michael Ula will provide information on the history of the forest with his presentation "The Story of the County Forest."

The Genesee County Forest is the oldest county forest in New York and was officially established in 1915. The forest was purchased in 1882 and supplied wood to the County's Poor House. By 1935, more than 169,000 trees had been planted to provide natural resources to the community. The creation of a county park began in 1966.

 In addition to sharing the history, Ula will also talk about the role the forest plays in the community today.

"It's a place for recreation where people can go to relax with their families and reconnect with the natural world," Ula said. "There is also an Interpretive Nature Center where you can learn about the plants and various animals that live there."

In July, the County Park & Forest is offering two programs  titled "What Trees Know" on July 11 and "Would You Believe It Comes From Trees?" on July 25. The forest will also have its 100th anniversary Forest Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 29.

June 9, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Traci Turner in Bethany, old town hall.

The Town of Bethany wants residents to voice their opinion on what they think should be done with the old Town Hall property.

Carl Hyde Jr., Bethany town supervisor, will be having an informational meeting at 6 :30 p.m. on Friday, July 10, at the Bethany Community Center. At the meeting, Hyde will be sharing with the community the costs needed to repair and maintain the property.

"I want the community's input to help decide whether to sell it, auction it or take it down," Hyde said.

The town is struggling financially and doesn't have the funds to maintain the property anymore. To continue trying to sell the property, the town would have to spend $15,000 for engineer reports and renew the contract they have with the Landmark Society of WNY by July 31. 

Maintenance repairs are a major setback for potential buyers. Hyde had several people interested in turning the property into a rental hall but the cost of $100,00 worth of repairs deterred them. Due to the building being vacant for almost 10 years, it's starting to deteriorate. The septic system only has a holding tank and the quality of the well water is poor.

The building has been a centerpiece of the town since it was built in 1836. Historical features of the building include an auditorium, stage and meeting hall. 

"It's tough to let an old building go," Hyde said. "I would love to see it sold and turned into a professional office or reused in some way."

After the meeting is held and residents have spoken, the town board will make a final decision on how to move forward with the property.

Photo: File photo from 2011 when Bethany attempted to sell the building through an area real estate agent.

May 28, 2015 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, pembroke.

The father of Alyson D. Krzanak, the Genesee Community College student who died in an accident Feb. 21 at the intersection of Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, has filed a wrongful death suit against the driver of the car Krzanak was riding in as well as four other parties.

David Krzanak is the plaintiff as well as the estate of his daughter. He seeks damages "in an amount which exceeds the monetary jurisdictional limits of all lower New York State Courts but does not exceed the monetary jurisdictional limits of the New York State Supreme Court."

The wrongful death suit alleges that the driver of the vehicle, Hannah Dibble, as well as Leonard L. Odums, the Georgia resident driving the truck that hit Dibble's 1997 Geo, Celadon Trucking Services, Celadon Group and Frank's Garage of Akron, took actions that were negligent, reckless and careless, causing the death of Krazanak.

The 10-page document does not list any specific actions any of the defendants took that could be considered a cause of Krzanak's death.

There have been no criminal charges filed against Dibble, though Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster has confirmed that the Sheriff's Office has received the results of a toxicology report and both he and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman say the two offices have been in discussions about how to proceed.

The Dietrich Law Firm of Williamsville is representing the Krzanaks. Attorney Nicholas J. Shemik filed the lawsuit.

May 28, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Baskin Livestock, business, Bethany.
douglas.jpeg
File photo of Douglas Mess by Howard Owens.

There's nothing Bill Baskin wants more right now than justice served in the murder of his friend and key employee Douglas Mess.

The body of the 52-year-old Attica man was found buried under a manure pile on his farm at 1229 Exchange Street Road on April 20.

Baskin, owner of Baskin Livestock on Creek Road in Bethany, seems to know a lot about the case, but he's not sharing any of it for publication for fear divulging more than Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Geen is willing to disclose himself and jeopardize the prosecution of Charlene Mess, Douglas's wife, who has been held without bail since her arrest April 20.

A grand jury is hearing the evidence against her today and we should know within days whether she will face a trial as the alleged murderer. It may take a trial to publicly unravel the mystery of how Douglas Mess died and why. Some news reports say his death was a culmination of an argument that got out of hand. Some people who know Charlene Mess say she was domineering within her family. Friends of Douglas Mess, including Baskin, use words like "Teddy Bear," and say he was a man who just loved to farm and work on machinery and rarely had a cross word with anybody.

Farming and fixing things were pretty much how Mess spent all of his time, said friends and family. When he wasn't in a shop shoulder deep in steel and grease, he loved to be alone on a field driving a tractor, and about his only hobby was collecting models of the tractors he owned or repaired.

Mess was born in Rochester and spent the first 10 years of his life in the Town of Victor before his father bought a dairy farm in Castile. That's where Mess fell in love with farming, working with animals, driving tractors, but most importantly, learning how to fix farm machinery.

Like a lot of farmers, the Mess family liked to save a buck by repairing their own equipment and keeping it operational longer than perhaps normal wear and tear would dictate. 

By the time he was a teenager, by all accounts, Mess was a natural at the kind of tinkering that kept heavy equipment in tip-top shape.

After his father sold the farm, Mess took jobs at other farms before landing at a dealership in Alexander. He worked there 18 years, establishing himself as the go-to-guy on all kinds of repairs.

The job afforded him the chance to get manufacturer training, particularly on skid loaders, and further hone his own skills.

He may have had a photographic memory, according to Susan Blackburn, Baskin's wife and business partner. She said Mess could look at a part and tell you on what page it could be found on in a particular parts catalog.

"I've spent a lot of time at a lot of universities," Blackburn said. "He had a high school education and he was the most intelligent men I've ever known. The guy was very, very intelligent and just as humble as anybody you've ever known."

Baskin first met Mess while he worked at the Alexander dealership. At the time, Baskin Livestock was still a young company with just a couple of employees, but already, Baskin knew he needed somebody full-time to work on his farm equipment.

When Mess let Baskin know he was ready for a change of scenery, Baskin hired him on the spot.

At the time, the repair shop was Mess and one other guy who worked on the delivery trucks used in the feed side of the business.

"At one point in time he thought we did not have enough work to keep him busy," Baskin said.

By the time of his death, Mess supervised a shop of six people repairing farm equipment, trucks and all the machinery used in the feed operation. He was Baskin's go-to-guy on nearly all aspects of the business.

"About every decision I had to make, in some way shape or form, I had some input from him," Baskin said. "Not every decision, but a huge percentage of the decisions I had to make, I relied on him for some percentage of the input to make that decision. He had a good feel for the big picture and the details."

There was little Mess couldn't do with machinery, from design of equipment used throughout the operation, to the creation of parts and tools, to taking something that was out of service and getting it to run again.

"He was a MacGyver type," Baskin said. "If there was something he couldn't fix, we had a problem, a real problem."

Mess had four sons, all of whom in one form or another have followed in his footsteps. Three of them work for Bill Baskin. Douglas G., the oldest son at 29, said he admired his father's love for what he did and how well he did it.

"He loved taking something that was broken, not even running, taking it apart and putting it back together like it was new, even better than new," Douglas said. "He was proud of that. 'I fixed it. It's usable again.' "

The oldest son said he'll never forget his father's mischievous smile. He loved a good practical joke and he enjoyed watching trainees trying to figure out how to fix something Mess could easily piece together himself. 

"He'd let you work on it a little while and then come over and show you," Douglas said. "'Hey, this way's a little quicker and a little easier,' and he was always right."

A frequent target of Mess's joking around was Jackie Murphy.

Murphy and Mess worked together daily over the past four years, starting with Murphy's transfer from the front office to an office in the repair shop, at about the time Mess's supervisory duties had him sitting at a tan metal desk a little more and spending a little less time loosening or tightening bolts or welding this part to that.

Mess teased Murphy about her boyfriend's loyalty to International Harvester (Mess was a John Deere man) and one of his favorite jokes to play on her was to make up names for new truck drivers, letting her use the made-up name for weeks until she figured it out herself, such as the Marty she called Theodore until she finally met him in person.

That joke would be worth at least two days of laughter.

"He was a funny, amazing guy," Murphy said.

And helpful. Clearly, nobody knew more about what parts were in the shop than Mess. At inventory time, he helped Murphy with the task. He would teach her anything she needed to know to do her job better.

He was always big-hearted with everybody around, she said.

That's how Douglas remembers him, too, and how he was recalled at his funeral service, Douglas said, which was attended by more than 350 people.

"You know the saying, give somebody the shirt off your back, he was the guy who did that," Douglas said. "He met other people's needs before he met his own."

How do you replace somebody like that, Baskin wondered.

Right now, the duties of Mess have been divided among four different workers. 

"Will we have at some point in time somebody with that ability?" Baskin said. "Sure, maybe. Everybody's replaceable, including me, but he ain't walking in the door tomorrow. (Mess) brought a big skill set with him and he learned and grew a lot. He learned as the business grew. His knowledge grew and his ability grew. That's hard to just drop somebody in that spot."

Baskin said Mess was like a member of the family, and he was bigger than Baskin, but younger.

"He was the big little brother I never had," Baskin said.

The loss of Mess is being felt throughout the company by all of the employees, Baskin said. 

"We've got guys who are really, really good and really, really competent," Baskin said, "and the comment's been made by more than one of them, 'I'm comfortable with what I'm doing and I like what I'm doing, but there are a lot of times where I got to the point where I had to ask him, 'what do you think about this or what do you think about that?' and who are you asking now?' "

As fast as the business has grown, it hasn't always been gold-dappled mornings over green, rolling hills around Baskin Livestock. There have been some tough times, but nothing compares to the murder of Douglas Mess.

"We've had two fires, got a guy, 52 or 53, who worked for us, who died in his sleep, and another guy we were quite close to who committed suicide, and this was the worst," Baskin said. "There are 85 and 95 guys who die all the time, they had a good long life and it's not unexpected and unnatural, but this was a complete shock, nonsense."

Which is why Bill Baskin doesn't particularly want to discuss the details of the legal case against Charlene Mess. There's stuff he may know because he's close to the situation, but he will leave that to the professionals in law enforcement to handle.

Douglas Mess can't be replaced, at least not easily, but justice can be served.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: There will be a benefit for Doug Mess's boys starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, at the Alexander Firemen's Recreation Hall, located at 10708 Alexander Road in Alexander. Enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner for $10, eat in or carry out. Tickets are presale and also available at the door. There will be 50/50 raffles, basket raffles, and a baked goods table. Enter for a chance to win a trip to JAMAICA! (7 night, all-inclusive for two, including airfare) For more information or to buy tickets, call Jackie Murphy at (716) 481-6662.

May 11, 2015 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A controlled burn is confirmed at 10474 Bethany Center Road and Bethany Fire Department is on scene.

May 4, 2015 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, pembroke, Oakfield, Stafford, Bethany.

Brandon Marshall Weig, 27, of Glen Meadow Drive, Lakeland, Fla., is charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated sexual abuse, assault -- injury to a person less than 7 years old, and sex abuse -- involving a person less than 11 years old. Weig fled Genesee County and was subsequently located at a family member's residence in Florida. He was extradicted and arraigned this morning on the charges in front of Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan. Weig is jailed without bail. He also has a bench warrant out against him from Genesee County Integrated Domestic Violence Court for failure to appear for sentencing. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy John Baiocco, assisted by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

parkerfstmay2015.jpg

Brian Allen Erbach, 32, of Attica Gulf Road, Attica, is charged with three felonies: aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 percent or higher), aggravated DWI with a child age 17 or younger inside the vehicle (Leandra's Law), and DWI; plus endangering the welfare of a child (a misdemeanor), and two traffic infractions -- speed not reasonable or prudent for a curve in the roadway and moving from lane unsafely. After allegedly crashing the vehicle he was driving on Buckman Road, Bethany, on Saturday afternoon, Erbach reportedly fled the scene with his children -- ages 1 and 2 -- to an address on Dublin Road. He left his children with a family friend there and went into a wooded area behind the residence. He was subsequently found by the investigating officer in the woods near a chicken coop. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker, assisted by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Brad McGinnis, members of the NY State Police stationed in Wyoming and Genesee counties, and several other members of the GC Sheriff's Office. (Photo above from scene on Saturday.)

Julie L. Dutton, 20, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and criminal obstruction of breathing. She was arrested after allegedly violating a complete stay away order of protection issued by Batavia City Court by staying in the same residence as the protected party. Dutton allegedly choked the protected party during this time. She was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Jamie Givens.

Travis M. Blue, 31, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Blue allegedly choked a person during an argument on April 22. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Sarah M. Wilson, 31, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact, and failure to obey a court order. She was arrested following a call about a physical domestic incident and it is alleged that she slapped a victim in the face. She was jailed and bail set at $1,000. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Devon Pahuta, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Terrance M. Schramm, 24, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault following an incident which occurred at 8:40 p.m. on April 29 on Holland Avenue, Batavia. He was arrested after a fight that allegedly involved himself and four other people. One of the people Schramm allegedly assaulted received minor injuries. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Devon Pahuta.

Terrance D. Johnson, 20, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault following an investigation into a disturbance on Holland Avenue. He is to appear in Batavia City Court on May 27. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Samantha L. Gibbs, 25, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was arrested after an investigation on April 26 into an incident where Gibbs, the sole caregiver to her children, was found to be intoxicated beyond the point where she could reasonably care for her children. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Scott Charles Rauth, 28, of Prole Road, Stafford, is charged with felony DWI, felony DWI with a BAC of .08 or higher, aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, unlawful possession of marijuana, and motor vehicle equipment violation for no/inadequate plate lamp. The charges stem from a traffic stop in the City of Batavia on East Main Street on April 22. Rauth is to appear in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Nedim Catovic.

Michael F. O'Neill, 44, of Englewood Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with DWI with a prior conviction within the preceding 10 years, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more with a prior conviction within the preceding 10 years, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, unlawful possession of marijuana, and speeding -- 60 mph in a 30-mph zone. O'Neill was arrested April 19 as the result of a traffic stop on Oak Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned and jailed without bail and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Carrie L. Blaszak, 44, of West Barre Road, Albion, was arrested April 26 and charged with DWI, refusing chemical testing, open container of alcoholic beverage, obstructed view, and failure to keep right. Blaszak was arrested following a traffic stop at 12:06 a.m. prompted by patrols observing a driver with "multiple signs of intoxication." She was jailed in lieu of $500 bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Nedim Catovic, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

James Ryan Marino, 21, of Ogden Center Road, Spencerport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to obey a traffic device, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on a a public highway, and operation of an unregistered motor vehicle on a public highway. He was stopped by law enforcement on Clinton Street Road in Stafford on April 30. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Stafford Town Court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

Monte J. Zurlo, 40, of Bloomingdale Road, Akron, is charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more. The arrest followed a traffic stop on April 27. Zurlo is to appear in Batavia City Court on May 20. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Karen D. Bannister, 74, of 172 S. Main St., Apt. #207, Batavia, was arrested April 23 and charged with harassment. Her arrest was prompted by an ongoing issue between Bannister and her neighbors. It is alleged that Bannister has had repeated unwanted contact with her neighbors and had been advised by law enforcement to cease contact with them. She was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Sarah M. Wilson, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Wilson is accused of disobeying a court order to stay away from a protected party in an order of protection issued by Batavia City Court. She was arrested April 29 and released on an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Nedim Catovic.

Max Lyman Metcalf Jr., 34, Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, was arrested April 24 at 9:21 p.m. on South Pearl Street in Oakfield following a traffic stop. Metcalf is charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, failure to use turn signal, operating an ATV without headlights, unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway, and operating an unregistered ATV. He was involved in a short pursuit with law enforcement after being observed by deputies allegedly riding his ATV down Route 63 before turning onto South Pearl Street in the Village of Oakfield. Metcalf allegedly fled east down the abandoned railroad bed into Alabama before being apprehended. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to return to Town of Oakfield Court on May 25. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy James Diehl.

Jeremy P. Almeter, 31, of Center Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. On the morning of April 20, following a dispute with a friend, Almeter allegedly shoved a person and threw the person's coffee outside. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Willie J. Thomas, 39, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested after allegedly punching a person while inside a public location on West Main Street. He is to be in Batavia City Court May 5. The case was handled by Stephen Cronmiller.

Shane Zimblis, 44, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass and petit larceny. Zimblis was arrested April 28 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, following a complaint from Mill Street where Zimblis allegedly stole some scrap metal. Zimblis is set to appear in Batavia City Court on May 12. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Kyle J. Burdick, 26, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal trespass -- remaining in a dwelling. He was arrested after being found allegedly hiding in the back room of a divided basement which belonged to another tenant. The basement is separated by a wall and the door is secured door with a latch and padlock, which had been removed. He is to appear in Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Jamie Givens.

Desmond L. Majors, 22, of Dewey Avenue, Rochester, was arrested April 24 on a bench warrant for failure to appear on two counts of second-degree harassment and one count of disorderly conduct. Majors was located by Rochester PD on an unrelated traffic stop and turned over the BPD. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Ricard F. Sarro, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, and Shawna L. Adams (no age provided), Mia Velletta (no age provided), and Cherub E. Madafferi (no age provided) are charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. They were arrested after midnight April 26 following an investigation into an under-age drinking party at 108 Jackson St. where residents had previously been warned by law enforcement about providing alcohol to persons under age 21. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Taein Yoon, 22, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawfully dealing with a child. Yoon, a Republic of Korea native here on a student VISA playing for GCC's Men's Soccer Team, was arrested April 26 following the report of Yoon hosting an under-age drinking party at his apartment. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavic City Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Sean E. Allen, 21, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawfully dealing with a minor. Allen, a native of Ireland here on a student VISA playing for GCC's Men's Soccer Team was arrested April 26 following the report of Allen hosting an under-age drinking party at his apartment. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court at a later date and released. The case was investigated by Batavia PD Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Chiyannon James Deforest Bundy, 27, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, is charged with failure to pay fine. He was being held in Genesee County Jail on an unrelated matter and was arrested on a bench warrant from GC Court for failure to pay his fine. He was arraigned this morning and bail set at $1,000. He was then returned to jail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy John Baiocco.

Jorge Sosa, 47, of Masseth Street, Rochester, is charged with a violation of probation. Sosa was located in Rochester by the Henrietta PD and found to have an active warrant out of Genesee County Court. He was brought to Batavia and jailed in lieu of $3,000 cash bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Frank Klimjack.

Susan Foley, 47, of Woodsfield Drive, Lakeview, is charged with issuing a bad check. She turned herself in on the charge after an arrest warrant was issued by Batavia City Court. On Dec. 3, 2013, she allegedly wrote a check to a business in the City of Batavia that was returned for insufficient funds. Foley posted cash bail and is to return to City Court on May 12. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Jamie Givens.

Sabaheta Jukic, 50, of Bamm Hollow Road, Clay, is charged with possession of more than 4,000 untaxed cigarettes, speeding -- 52 in a 40-mph zone, and following too closely. Jukic was stopped April 30 on Route 77, Town of Pembroke, and subsequently allegedly found in possession of 4,000 untaxed cigarettes. Jukic was issued a traffic summons and an appearance ticket and is to be in Town of Pembroke Court on May 26. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Andrea L. Hendrickson, 34, of Chesterton Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, obstructed plate, and obstructed driver's view. Hendrickson was stopped on April 30 on Route 77, Town of Pembroke, for vehicle and traffic charges and subsequently allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. She was issued a traffic summons and an appearance ticket for Town of Pembroke Court for May 26. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Roxanne Lynn Battaglia, 49, of Belknap Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was a passenger in a vehicle stopped on Route 77, Town of Pembroke, on April 30. She was subsequently allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. She was arrested, issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Town of Pembroke Court on May 26. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Christian J. Finkney, 27, of North Pembroke Road, Batavia is charged with violating a condition of sentence. He was arrested on April 18 and released with an appearance ticket for City Court May 5. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Joseph M. Marsceill, 48, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested April 8 on an outstanding bench warrant from Batavia City Court. The arrest came after a traffic stop on Liberty Street. Marsceill pled guilty to a previous charge of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration and he allegedly failed to pay the resulting fine. He was released after posting bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Nedim Catovic.

Corina M. Distefano, 24, of Mount Read Boulevard, Rochester, was arrested for failure to appear in court after being issued a traffic ticket. She was taken into custody upon her release from Monroe County Jail on an unrelated matter. She was put in Genesee County jail in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Devon Pahuta.

Michael S. Gumberts, 23, of Stony Point Road, Rochester, was arrested by Town of Gates PD following a traffic stop on April 20 and turned over to Batavia PD. He had a bench warrant for failure to appear in Batavia City Court. He was jailed in lieu of $300 bail. The case was handled by Batavia PD Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

May 4, 2015 - 5:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

An accident with minor injuries is reported at 6125 Broadway Road, Bethany.

That's the intersection of Route 20 and Transit Road.

Bethany fire and ambulance responding.

UPDATE 6:12 a.m.: Patient sign-off. No transport.

May 2, 2015 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident with three injuries is reported at 5901 Dublin Road, Bethany. Bethany fire and Mercy medics are responding. Mercy Flight in Buffalo is on ground standby. The location is between Buckman and East roads.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: A rescue unit from Wyoming Fire Department is dispatched to the scene.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: One person reportedly fled the accident scene by running into nearby woods.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m. (by Howard): The accident was actually on Buckman Road. The driver was located on Dublin Road. He was given a field sobriety test. No word yet on whether he was arrested. If he fails the field sobriety test and is arrested, he faces a potential Leandra's Law charge. No serious injuries reported.

April 30, 2015 - 6:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A field fire is reported in the area of 10553 Bethany Center Road. Bethany Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: No fire located. Assignment back in service.

April 23, 2015 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, GCC, photography, Bethany, Genesee County Park.

Combining environmental awareness with a photography assignment, Genesee Community College instructor Joe Ziolkowski asked his students to create sustainable still life photographs. From plastic cups to light bulbs, images about carpooling and recycling shoes, students responded in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

The community is invited to view the works as the exhibit, Sustainable Still Life, moves to the Genesee County Park and Forest. An opening reception is planned May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center, 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Since he came to GCC, Ziolkowski has developed an excellent relationship with the staff at the Genesee County Park and Forest. This is the third exhibit of GCC student work that will be shown at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center. Previous displays have included "Around the Bend: The Shared Landscape" and "Environmental Portraits of Western New York."

"The exhibits have been very well received by the community and are an excellent opportunity for our students to show their work beyond the campus," Ziolkowski said. "This particular show is especially fitting for the Park setting as we think about preserving the Earth and reducing our carbon footprint."

The works have been on view in the Lobby Art Gallery of GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre and were a part of the College's annual ECO-Fest celebrating Earth Day. The pieces represent work by students in Ziolkowski's COM 118 (Introduction to Digital Photography) and COM 103 (Introduction to Black & White Photography) classes.

They will be on view in the Gallery at GCC through April 29. Ziolkowski will install them at the Interpretive Nature Center on Saturday, May 2. They will remain there through the summer. The exhibit will close on Friday, Sept. 11.

"We're excited to once again show student work at the Nature Center," Parks Supervisor Paul Osborn said. "We hope many people will join us for the Opening Reception on May 8th. It's a great way to celebrate a long-awaited Spring!"

Megan Ange / "Saving Water"
On a day-to-day basis, we use water for many things. We use water to wash our hands after using the bathroom, to wash dishes, brush our teeth and take a shower. We all forget to turn the water off from time to time when we are not using it, myself included. There could be a faucet leaking, and if that is the case then maybe you should check to see if you turned the knob of the faucet all the way so it is turned off instead of wasting the water. Everyone takes water for granted, but if you do the little things to save it, then you will be less likely to have a high water bill and not have to worry about problems that might happen if you leave it on. "Water is the driving force of all nature." - Leonardo da Vinci

Ellen Fridman / "Pin It"
REDUCE. Line-drying is back! Dryers are not going to go away any time soon but it seems like more people are returning to the use of the sun and wind to dry their clothing and linens. There are several benefits to clothesline drying. Hanging laundry out to dry instead of turning on the dryer lowers carbon emissions, reduces gas or electric bills, helps clothing and linens last longer, and establishes an excuse to get outside. Experts say that if all Americans line-dried for half a year, 3.3 percent of the country's total residential output of carbon dioxide would be saved. For those in colder climates, try using drying racks inside. Go Green!

Miguel Ortiz-Teed / "The Legend of Books"
As time progresses -- technology advances. This progression has lead from hand-held books where you can flip a page with your hands to tablets where you swipe to turn the page and have a massive library in the palm of your hands. This causes bookbinders to lose their jobs and technology takes their place. Eventually books will revert into a legend where only the wealthy will be able to afford them. This also produces a risk for all the knowledge that is stored within technology to be lost if an Electrical Magnetic Pulse were to hit either by a solar flare or warfare.

Paul Thater / "Light at the End of the Tunnel"
The photo was based off of the joke: "The government had to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel due to budget cuts." The light bulb has a black background to symbolize darkness in a tunnel with the light bulb off. This photo shows saving money by not using and saving electricity, which makes your bill smaller and gives you more money to spend on necessities.

March 19, 2015 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany.

Bus shelters to protect children from the elements are common sites on rural roads in this part of the country, but how many have you seen that are converted school buses?

The Stringham family on Transit road in East Bethany has such a shelter.

Previously: Photos: Dragon appears on Transit Road

March 1, 2015 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, Bethany.

There's no certainty for Brandon Danser and his family, except that doctors say he's past the point where he's likely to die from injuries he sustained Feb. 21 when the car he was riding in was hit by a semi-truck on Route 20 in Bethany.

Danser suffered traumatic injuries in the accident and remains in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.

He will need months, perhaps years, of neurological care. Perhaps, he will never fully recover.

Brandon's mother, Karin Meyer, has been living in Seattle with her husband, Dan Meyer, and their foster children.

Dan Meyer said this afternoon that his wife is holding up as well as can be expected, that she's pouring everything she has into caring for her son, and holds out hope for his recovery.

"It's an emotional roller coaster," Meyer said. "We have to deal with what might happen, and then this that happened and each new piece of news and each improvement is a step in the right direction. We're getting past the point where his life is in danger and that was the first relief after that initial shock. After that, each improvement is really a positive thing."

Brandon is showing improvement. He can answer short questions, though there are times he can't remember people. He spends more time out of bed and sitting in a recliner.

"He has shown good success picking up and tossing a Nerf ball, which is another major improvement," Meyer said. "He is not able to stand on his own but when supported on each side he has been able to take tentative steps and move across the room. He has good hand and arm motion and has been generous squeezing hands and giving out hugs."

The emotional roller coaster hasn't stopped since Karin received that early morning phone call Feb. 21 with the horrible news of the accident.

She got on the first flight East she could book and when she arrived at Strong and walked into Brandon's room, he was still completely unresponsive, Dan said.

"When she's away from Brandon, she gets a chance to release those emotions," Meyer said. "She gets time to recharge and even think about eating and sleeping for herself."

Meyer joined his wife in Rochester yesterday after making arrangements for their foster children in Seattle. He's here to provide the care for her she needs as she cares for her son, Meyer said.

It's a completely open question as to how long Karin will need to be in Rochester.

Doctors don't yet know when Brandon might be released from ICU. The most likely next step for Brandon is in-patient care at Unity Hospital's Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation Center in Rochester. When he's able to be flown to another location, he could be taken to the Mayo Clinic, or he could return with Karin and Dan to Seattle.

Any scenario will be difficult for the family.

Out of concern for her sister's well-being and the financial stress of her family, Marianne Bowen has set up a GoFundMe.com page, Help Brandon Heal, with an initial goal of raising $10,000, though Bowen thinks the family's financial needs will far exceed $10,000.

"My sister believes, she hopes he will be back but there is a lot of work ahead of him," Bowen said.

The accident is such a tragedy, Bowen said. It's still unclear what happened. The driver, Hannah Dibble, was the designated driver and wasn't drinking, according to information given to Bowen. Brandon was wearing a seat belt, but still ejected from the vehicle when it was struck.

The Sheriff's Office investigation is being supervised by Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster (Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble is the great uncle of Hannah Dibble, so he recused himself from the investigation), and Brewster said late this week there are still no conclusions to share. There have been no charges filed or citations issued.

In all, six people were in the little brown 1997 Geo Prism driven by Dibble when it crossed Route 20 on a dark, bitterly cold morning from northbound Molasses Hill Road.

Of the six, Brandon was seriously injured and 18-year-old Alyson D. Krzanak died of injuries sustained in the accident. Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was seriously injured, but is now listed in satisfactory condition at Strong. Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was also hospitalized, but her condition is not available. Dibble was treated and released at ECMC and Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released.

Last night, members of the Pembroke community held a vigil for Krzanak. Visit The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM, for a report.

February 23, 2015 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, pembroke, Bethany, corfu.

Two of the people seriously injured in a weekend accident that took the life of a young Pembroke woman remain in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Details of the injuries to Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, and Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, are not available.

Strong lists all patients in the Intensive Care Unit as "guarded."

Both were passengers in a vehicle early Saturday morning that was northbound off of Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, when it was struck by an eastbound semi-truck on Route 20.

Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Pembroke, later succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC. She was listed in stable condition, but today a patient information operator at ECMC refused to release information on her condition, other than to confirm she hasn't been released.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

February 22, 2015 - 8:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany.

Returning from a trip to Wyoming County today, I liked the scene of this flag blowing in the wind with snow blowing from a drift behind it.

For a bit of what I did in Wyoming County today:

February 21, 2015 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Bethany, corfu.

An 18-year-old Pembroke resident and student at GCC, has died as a result of injuries she sustained in an overnight accident in Bethany, the Sheriff's Office announced.

Alyson D. Krzanak, who listed her employment on her Facebook page as GCCA Child Care Center and JCPenney, was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC following the early morning accident at Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, and was initially listed in critical condition.

The Sheriff's Office release does not list a time of death.

Krzanak was one of six people in a 1997 Geo Prism that was northbound on Molasses Hill Road when it crossed Route 20 and was struck by an eastbound tractor-trailer.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Also injured were Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, who was taken by Mercy Flight to U of R Medical Center and is listed in guarded condition.

Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was transported by Attica Ambulance to WCCH and then transferred to U of R by Mercy Flight, and he is in guarded condition.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released. Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and is in stable condition.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation. The Crash Management Team responded to the scene.

Assisting the Sheriff's Officer were State Police, Bethany, Alexander, Attica, and Pavilion volunteer fire departments along with the Genesee County Emergency Management Office.

February 21, 2015 - 2:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A car and semi-truck have reportedly hit at West Bethany Road and Route 20 in Bethany. 

No word yet on injuries. 

Bethany fire and Alexander ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE(S) by Billie -- 2:10 a.m.: Two Mercy Flights helicopters are requested to the scene, along with Mercy medics. Fire Police are to shut down Route 20 eastbound and westbound.

UPDATE 2:13 a.m.: "I'm going to need triage as soon as you can get here," says a responder at the scene. The road needs to be shut down ASAP, he says.

UPDATE 2:24 a.m.: The second helicopter, coming from Buffalo, has an ETA of 12 minutes. The landing zone(s) will be east of the intersection.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: An ambulance has arrived. The big rig has Indiana plates.

UPDATE 2:34 a.m.: One landing zone is set up north of the scene.

UPDATE 2:35 a.m.: One patient is a semi-responsive female.

UPDATE 2:42 a.m.: Mercy Flight #4 is on the ground.

UPDATE 2:51 a.m.: Mercy Flight #5 is airborne and headed to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 2:55 a.m.: Mercy medics are transporting a patient to ECMC.

UPDATE 3:01 a.m.: Mercy Flight #4 is airborne and headed to ECMC.

UPDATE 3:07 a.m.: Personnel with Alexander ambulance, including a medic from Attica, stablized a patient to load the person into one of the helicopters but did not transport anyone from the scene.

UPDATE 3:27 a.m.: Westbound Route 20 traffic at Route 63 will be shut down due to the accident.

UPDATE 4:28 a.m. (by Howard): Route 20 is still closed. The passenger vehicle had six people in it. Two patients were transported by Mercy Flight, one to Strong, the other to ECMC. Three patients were taken to area hospitals by ground ambulance. One person was apparently not injured. The driver of the truck was not injured. The truck was eastbound. The sedan was northbound and attempted to cross Route 20 from Molasses Hill Road. The accident is still under investigation. Members of the Crash Management Team are on scene.

UPDATE: The driver of the sedan was Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke. Dibble, Felicia Fazzio, 21, of Darien, and Alyson Krzanak, 18, of Pembroke, were transported to ECMC for treatment. Krazanak was transported by Mercy Flight. Fazzio is in stable condition and Krzanak is in critical condition. Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong and is listed in guarded condition. Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was transported to Wyoming County Community Hospital and then transported by Mercy Flight to U of R Medical Center. He is listed in guarded condition. Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, was treated at the scene. The truck driver, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

February 16, 2015 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Genesee County Park, Sea Cadets.

A group of Sea Cadets are spending five days in Genesee County Park learning winter survival skills.

It's an annual event for the cadets, who hail from throughout Western New York.

The Sea Cadet program is sponsored by the U.S. Navy League and runs year-round.

Youths from 11 to 13 are called leaguers and actual cadets are age 13 through high school graduation. The program includes two weeks of basic training, monthly meetings at either Buffalo Navy Reserve Center or the Buffalo Navy Park, and annual training in a specialty. Cadets can choose any specialty the Navy offers, from firefighting to military law.

Choose to train as a Navy Seal and you will get to spend two weeks training with actual Navy Seals.

The winter survival course is designed to teach basic first aid, plus how to survive for at least a short time in winter conditions.

One of the tasks today was for cadets to build a quinzee, which is an igloo-like structure made from a mound of compacted snow that can be used as a temporary shelter if you became stranded outside during a winter storm.

February 14, 2015 - 10:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Bethany Fire.

Bill Shea was honored Saturday night at Bethany Town Hall for his 50 years of service to the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department.

The thank you and gift of a jacket was part of an evening that included other awards, recognitions and the swearing in of firematic officers and board members.

The 2015 officers are Jeff Fluker, chief, Jeff Pietrzykowski, 1st assistant chief, Bradley Fluker, 2nd assistant chief, Jamie Fluker, captain, Jeremy Hausfelder, lieutenant, Mel Davis, EMS captain, Jim Duval, EMS lieutenant, George Larish, fire police captain.

During a memorial service at the end of the evening, members who have passed were remembered, including Louis Gayton, a former chief as well as former highway superintendent and former supervisor. Above, Jeff Fluker lights the candles on the memorial. The flowers he's holding were presented to Gayton's widow.

Jamie Fluker was named Firefighter of the Year.

LaurelLi Jackett received the Chief's Award.

More pictures after the jump:

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