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December 29, 2011 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, alexander, Darien, Bethany.

Firefighters from Alexander, Bethany and Darien are requested to stand by in their halls in case they are needed to provide mutual aid to the Attica Fire Department.

UPDATE 12:13 p.m.: Per Attica, all three fire departments are put back in service.

December 22, 2011 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, weather, Bethany.

Photos submitted by Doug Yeomans. He said they were taken about 4:30 p.m. in East Bethany.

December 14, 2011 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Bethany.

Two brothers (Trystan and Max Sandvoss) bought a former horse farm in Bethany a year ago and are now raising goats and making cheese, according to a lengthy article in the Buffalo News.

No one was selling cheese they made from goats who grazed in the green fields of Western New York. "Here, between Buffalo and Rochester there's a bigger market than Seattle," Trystan said.

Spreadable chevre, in double cream, garlic, dill or other flavors? Fresh cheddar curds that squeak between your teeth? For those, First Light Creamery would have first dibs on local cheese fans' wallets.

So the Sandvosses moved to Genesee County in April 2010. They worked on their cheese labels, each bearing the name reflecting their double mission: First Light Farm and Creamery. They retrofitted the stables to house goats, built sanitary rooms for making, storing and packaging cheese. They reached out to nearby farmers to trade byproducts, like their whey (cheese runoff), for a couple of the pigs it would feed.

The Sandvosses aren't quite farmsteaders yet. Their young herd includes 45 goats, with 23 producing milk -- not enough yet to meet demand for their cheese, found at more than 10 farmers' markets this summer and outlets like Premier Gourmet, Farmers and Artisans and the Lexington Co-Op. So for now they blend their herd's milk with high-quality, organic Jersey cow milk from neighbor Brent Tillotson's farm.

So far they've sold pretty much everything they've made, Trystan said. Staffing their farmers' market booth puts them directly in touch with customers, and they appreciate the chance to explain the fine points of their labors.

December 13, 2011 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Bethany, bergen.

Patrick Shawn O'Neill, 46, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 2nd. O'Neill was arrested following an investigation into a complaint that allegedly occurred Sunday morning in Bethany.

Brandy L. Hare, 30, of 38 Rochester St., Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and passed stop sign. Hare was stopped at 2:24 a.m. Tuesday on Clinton Street by Officer Darryl Streeter.

November 9, 2011 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien, Pavilion, Bethany, Stafford.

William Lee Lantz, 25, of South Main Street, Castile, is charged with petit larceny. Lantz is accused of stealing a CO detector from a residence in Stafford where he had been working.

Albert Ackerman, 47, of 930 George St., Mumford, is charged with DWI, driving on a suspended registration, driving on a suspended driver's license and operating with an open container. Ackerman was stopped by a Le Roy police officer at 11:50 a.m., Sunday, for an alleged traffic violation at Main and Mill streets. Ackerman was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Angel Gregory Andujar, 26, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana. Andujar was allegedly found in possession of metal knuckles and a small baggie of marijuana while walking on Perry Road. Andujar was reportedly walking away from a domestic incident involving family members.

Thomas Ralph, Gianvecchio, 60, of Mountain Ash Drive, Greece, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Gianvecchio is accused of writing letters to his estranged wife in violation of a protection order out of Monroe County Family Court.

Jason W. Killion, 30, of 5155 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and failure to keep right. Killion was stopped at an unspecified time Tuesday on Ellicott Street at Swan Street by Lt. James Henning.

Nathan Michael Haag, 20, of Steel Circle, Niagara Falls, is charged with petit larceny. Haag is accused of stealing two bottles of 5 Hour Energy Drink from Kmart on Monday.

Justin R. Martin, 28, of 232 Henrietta St., Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and passing a red light. Martin was stopped at 2:27 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street at Oak Street, Batavia, by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Mathew J. Pentycote, 23, of 22 Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal of breath test and moving from lane unsafely. Pentycote was stopped at 1:16 a.m., Sunday, on West Main Street, by Officer Matthew Fleming.

A 17-year-old resident of 5270 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. The youth's car, while parked on school property, was allegedly found to contain alcoholic beverages.

Jason L. Cramer, 27, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, improper right turn and failure to keep right. Cramer was stopped at 1:02 a.m., Sunday, on Elm Street, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

Gloria Susan Moretti, 34, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, a felony, and harassment, 2nd. Moretti was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 2:10 a.m., Oct. 29, at an address on Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, in which Moretti allegedly bit the victim twice and caused heavy damage to the victim's parked vehicle.

Devontre Levar Harvey, 27, of Garfield Street, Rochester, is charged with illegal possession of untaxed cigarettes. Harvey's car was stopped on Route 77 at 2:46 p.m., Nov. 5, after Genesee County dispatchers received a tip from a caller that a car occupied by two males were in possession of a large amount of untaxed cigarettes. Also charged was Holsey Wedlow, 59, of South Avenue, Rochester.

Scott Howard Baker, 49, of Fargo Road, Bethany, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Baker was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 3:08 a.m., Nov. 5, at an address on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

Gregory James Baker, 31, no permanent address, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Baker was allegedly found in possession of more than a dozen hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia while at his mother's residence.

James Anthony Dean, 54, of Brown Road, East Bethany, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater with one or more prior convictions), leaving the scene of a property damage accident, changing lanes when hazardous markings are in place and failure to keep right. Dean was arrested following an accident at 8:41 a.m., Nov. 2, on Herkimer Road, Darien.

November 8, 2011 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Bethany, Stafford.

A service company from Bethany will receive $45,956 in tax abatements to assist in its expansion and relocation to Stafford, announced the Genesee County Economic Development Center today.

Adams Welding and Fabrication is constructing a new 5,616-square-foot building at 5782 Main Road, Stafford (next to the Batavia Party House).

The project will create half a job and retain one.

Adams is investing $175,000 in the project.

The estimated PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) on the project is $39,131. Adams will also receive a sales tax exemption on construction materials of $5,200 and a mortgage tax exemption of $1,625.

The company is also seeking $25,000 from GCEDC's revolving loan fund.

The direct economic benefit to the community is estimated at $855,000 ($18.61 for every $1 of abatement).

November 5, 2011 - 10:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Bethany, Genesee County Park.

One of the things I've wanted to find time to do all fall is take Pachuco for a walk in Genesee County Park. Today, we took a short walk and, of course, I brought my camera. Above was taken by a pond on the north side of the park.

November 2, 2011 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Bethany.

Steven A. Mullen, 24, of 123 Liberty St., Batavia is charged with failure to report change of address within 10 days. Mullen is a Level 2 sex offender and required to report a change of residence. Mullen is accused of reporting in June 2011 that he was living on Law Street. An investigation revealed that Mullen was allegedly living on Liberty Street. The charge is a Class E felony.

Katelyn Christen Kubala, 22, of Meadow Lane, Attica, is charged with petit larceny. Kubala was arrested on a bench warrant out of City of Batavia Court. Kubala was jailed on $1,000 bail. Kubala was also arrested on a warrant related to a petit larceny charge out of Town of Batavia Court.

Brittany Megan Kuhn, 22, of Clipnock Road, Bethany, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st. Kuhn is accused of hosting an underage drinking party at 11:20 p.m., Monday.

Rosemary Renee Waters, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Waters is accused of shoplifting from the Wilson Farms store in Oakfield.

Joseph Stanley Shaffer, 47, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWAI - Drugs, unlicensed operator and moving from lane unsafely. Shaffer was charged following a property damage accident at 3:04 p.m., Tuesday, on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia. Shaffer's car reportedly sideswiped another vehicle.

Bradley Robert Jordan, 18, of Silver Road, Bethany, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Jordan is accused of pushing another person to the ground during a dispute.

Rafael Louis Munoz Ramos, 36, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Munoz Ramos is accused of striking a coworker in the face.

Kelsey Lee Eksten, 20, Alexander Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Eksten was charged following a traffic stop on Monday by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Matthew John Mistretta, 22, of Alexander Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Mistretta was allegedly found in possession of a cane sword during a traffic stop by Deputy Brian Thompson on Monday.

October 21, 2011 - 6:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, Bethany.

David Michael Johns, 46, of East Street, Gainsville, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, falsifying business records, 1st, and petit larceny. While employed at Kistner Concrete Products, 10056 East Road, Bethany, Johns allegedly loaded merchandise valued at more than $1,100 into a customer's vehicle and failed to turn in funds to the business from the transaction. Johns is accused of falsifying a packing slip and turning it over to his supervisor in an attempt to account for reportedly missing merchandise. In a separate incident, Johns is accused of loading merchandise into a customer's vehicle with a value of $150 and failing to turn funds over to the business.

Joseph James Lloyd, 40, of 100th Street, Niagara Falls, NY, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Lloyd, operating as M. Franklin Home Improvement, Inc., is accused of accepting a payment of $15,000 from a Town of Pembroke resident in October 2010 to build a garage on her property, but Lloyd allegedly failed to use any of the money towards the project.

Matthew C. Higgins, 29, of 2823 Graney Road, Caledonia, is charged with felony DWI. Higgins was taken into custody by Le Roy Police after a concerned citizen initially reported an occupied vehicle parked in the driving lane of Perry Road just south of Route 20. When the citizen approached the vehicle, the driver took off north on Perry and continued into the village. A car reportedly driven by Higgins was stopped on East Main Street in the village after allegedly failing to keep right. Higgins was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Seokjoon Suh, 25, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Suh is accused of possessing a collapsible baton while at College Village.

Cody James Sundown, 21, of Skye Road, Tonawanda, was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on a bench warrant out of the Town of Pembroke for criminal mischief, 3rd. Bail was set at $750 or $5,000 bond.

Robert Lee Williams, 21, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Williams is accused of violating an order of protection by going to the place of employment of the protected party. The order specifically barred Williams from going to that business location.

October 19, 2011 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roundabout, Bethany, transportation, Route 20, Suicide Corners.

Suicide Corners has a reputation, and as the name implies, it's not a good one.

While accidents may not be frequent where East Road crosses Route 20, when they have occurred -- at least until a few years ago -- they've been deadly.

There were fatal accidents at the intersection in June 1998, April 1999 and June 2004. One was a triple fatal and another a double fatal.

After the 2004 accidents, Bethany residents gathered 2,633 signatures asking the NYS Department of Transportation to do something about the intersection.

Their thought -- regrade Route 20.

The state's response: No physical changes to the roadway were necessary. The DOT put up bigger and brighter signs.

There hasn't been a fatal accident at the intersection since, only fender-benders, according to Tom Douglas. He said accidents have been reduced by 36 percent.

Douglas, who with his wife, Debbie, raised six kids in a 200-year-old house (formerly an inn with a second-story dance floor) on property abutting Suicide Corners.  He and his son personally witnessed the 2004 accident, which claimed the life of an infant and two other people (inset photo from the memorial on a pole across East Road from the Douglas residence).

Now, seven years after the last fatal accident, DOT officials have apparently decided it's time to take more drastic measures to make the intersection safer.

The proposal: A $1.8 million traffic circle, a roundabout like the one on Oak Street in the City of Batavia.

If the project is approved, Tom and Debbie Douglas will lose their home. The state will seize their property through eminent domain (providing fair market value and relocation expenses).

About a quarter of the traffic circle will be on their current property, with the roadway through the area moving moved southward several dozens of feet.

Tom Douglas said not only will his family lose their home, a home with some local history, he doesn't believe the project serves any useful purpose.

"Statistically," he said, "It's not needed."

Lori Maher, public information officer for the DOT in the Genesee Region, said what the DOT is looking at is the entire history of the intersection, not just the past few years.

"That (no fatalities since 2004) doesn't mean that the problem is corrected and we should walk away from it, so we are pursuing a safety improvement program," Maher said.

But she said that doesn't mean the state will necessarily build a roundabout and that the Douglases will lose their home.

The proper corrective action is still under review and state engineers may yet determine that a roundabout is not the best solution (weighing, in fact, the serious decision of proceeding with eminent domain on the Douglas property).

The project, however, has been funded for construction to begin in the summer of 2013.

There will be public meetings and ample time for the public to provide feedback on the project, Maher said, but because fact-finding is not yet completed, no dates for those hearings have been set.

Douglas, town building inspector (Debbie is town clerk) and Bethany Town Supervisor Louis Gayton also question the wisdom of spending money on a roundabout when the Bethany Town Center Road bridge over Route 20 is in such drastic need of replacement or repair. Chunks of it regularly fall off onto Route 20.

"One of these days, somebody is going to get injured," Douglas said.

The main issue, Douglas said, isn't the traffic on Route 20. It's drivers on East Road, mostly northbound drivers, blowing through the intersection.

Douglas and others have suggested rumble strips on East Road, but both the state and the county highway department have rejected the idea as impractical.

"They think people will just drive around them," Douglas said. "But if they're driving around them, they're slowing down. It would still alert them to the intersection."

Gayton wonders if the roundabout will even improve safety.

"Trucks come through there at 60 to 65 mph," Gayton said. "Now they've got to slow down to 15 mph. I don't need to tell you what will happen."

Tim Hens, the county's highway superintendent, in an email sent Monday to county legislators obtained by Douglas, also questioned the DOT's decision.

This is not set in stone yet as it has to muster a public review process and final board adoption, but if adopted, we stand to lose funding for three bridge projects in the immediate TIP period covering 2011-14. This may only be the tip of the iceberg if new transportation reauthorization is not clear by the end of the year.

I did find it odd that they decided to keep the NEW Rt 20/East Rd (Suicide Corners) roundabout in the plan versus EXISTING bridges that are deteriorating. I know there has been loss of life at this corner, but not sure the roundabout is a popular solution with many local people.

Maher said, however, that the funding sources for bridges are different than the funding sources for intersection improvements. If an improvement -- roundabout or not -- for Suicide Corners isn't approved, then the $1.8 million slated for the project will just go to another intersection in the Genesee Region in need of improvement.

Sheriff Gary Maha, who attended a May 24 meeting with the DOT where the plan was first presented said he will leave the decision about how to improve safety to the experts, but he does know the state is increasingly using roundabouts throughout the state to improve safety on major roadways. He just visited two in Saratoga Springs.

"There's been a lot of serious accidents there over the years," Maha said. "I support anything that could improve safety in the area, certainly."

September 13, 2011 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Bethany, Alabama.

Benjamin W. Muntz, 22, of 6966 Knowlesville Road, Basom, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Muntz is accused of entering a barn on a residential property on Judge Road, Alabama, and stealing a small-sized, child's dirt bike.

Janet Rae Langer, 33, South Street, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Langer is accused of striking another woman in the head and pulling her hair. The alleged incident was reported at 7:20 p.m., Saturday.

Spencer J. Hilderbrant, 17, of South Street Road, Pavilion, and Jamie L. Gutowski, 18, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, are charged with trespass. Hilderbrandt and Gutowski are accused of being on the property of Rolling Hills Asylum, Bethany Center Road, Bethany, without permission of the owner.

Roy K. Way, 31, of 32 Brooklyn Ave., Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, speeding and no seat belt. Way was stopped at 12:06 p.m., Monday, on Brooklyn Avenue after allegedly being observed speeding on Pearl Street by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Jared L. Diehl, 23, of 4563 Chapel St., Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and operating without headlights. Diehl was stopped at 12:02 a.m., Tuesday, on Gateway Drive, by Officer Darryl Streeter.

September 9, 2011 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, Bethany.

September 9, 2011 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany.

If it's ever been your dream to own an old town hall, here's your chance -- the Bethany Town Hall, which has most recently served as a museum and a theater, is up for sale.

September 9, 2011 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, 9/11, Route 20, bethany center.

Somebody has posted a sign on Route 20, Bethany Center, encouraging people to plant flags along the road as a 9/11 memorial. So far, at least 30 flags have been left.

August 18, 2011 - 4:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, accidents.

A car versus motorcycle accident with minor injuries is reported on Bethany Center Road, just north of Cacner Road. It is partially blocking the roadway at the hilltop. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. Sheriff's deputies are on scene.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: The motorcyclist, who is a 49-year-old woman, is transported to UMMC with injuries that include an open left arm fracture and foot abrasions. Bethany units are back in service.

UPDATE 5:24 p.m.: The patient is being taken instead to the trauma center at Rochester General Hospital.

August 16, 2011 - 7:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Rolling Hills Asylum.

Law enforcement is heading to the Rolling Hills Asylum in Bethany for a report of a suspicious condition.

A car or cars stopped and several people got out and are now "running around" on the property.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: The car has apparently left the area, but it's been identified.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: The alleged trespassers, a male and female, reportedly went onto the roof, but did not enter the building.

UPDATE 7:58 p.m.: Vehicle located in the county park.

August 10, 2011 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany.

A home on Creek Road in Bethany was burglarized during the day Monday and thieves got away with jewelry, a flat-screen TV and liquor, according to Deputy Chief Jerome Brewster.

It's the first daylight burglary reported to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office in some time, Brewster said, but there have been some recent daylight burglaries in Wyoming County.

"This one is possibly related," Brewster said. "We've been in regular contact with Wyoming County (Sheriff's Office).

A check in the neighborhood did not turn up any witnesses.

Deputy Chad Mower took the initial call and Investigator Roger Stone is now heading up the investigation.

Anybody with information that may help in the case can call 345-5000.

August 6, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, Rolling Hills Asylum.

Six people -- three men and three women -- reportedly kicked in a door at Rolling Hills in Bethany, found there were actually people inside and took off.

Police are being dispatched to the area to look for them.

They fled in a silver sedan on Bethany Center Road. The suspects were carrying alcoholic beverages in their hands.

July 21, 2011 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Attica, fire, alexander, Bethany.

A pole fire is reported at the Skyline Resort at 10933 Darien-Alexander Townline Road in Alexander. The pole on fire is F59.

Attica firefighters are called since Alexander is responding to the barn fire in the Town of Batavia. Bethany is called to fill in at Alexander's hall.

UPDATE 4:38: The fire is out.

July 14, 2011 - 1:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Pavilion, Bethany.

An orange tractor sits in a field recently cut and baled along Ellicott Street Road in Bethany.

A barn off Mayne Road near Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

Rolled bales of hay off Bethany Center Road, Bethany.

Two tractors on a farm on Cook Road, Pavilion. The top three photos were taken on Wednesday. This photo was actually taken on Monday.




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