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May 30, 2012 - 1:55pm

Volunteers For Animals is collecting returnable pop/beer/water cans and bottles to help raise money for the animals.

Bring in your empties and we will return them for you. Or you can take them directly to Rob’s Bottle and Can at 214 Ellicott St. in Batavia (Hours are M-F 9-5 and Saturday 9-2) OR Eastown Beverages on East Main Street in Batavia.

In Le Roy, Le Roy Redemption Center at 8 1/2 Lake St. (Route 19) will accept empties for VFA.

Just tell them that they are for Volunteers For Animals and they will do the rest! All of the money collected from the deposits will go directly toward helping the animals at the shelter.


May 30, 2012 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported on Route 77 between Ledge and Marble roads. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with medics.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The accident involves a car and a tractor-trailer.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: A second ambulance is requested, out of Oakfield. The tractor-trailer's fuel tank is intact.

UPDATE 1:46 p.m.: One patient is being transported to the hospital in Warsaw.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: A second patient is being taken to the Warsaw hospital.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: Alabama is back in the hall, in service.

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May 30, 2012 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Country music, aaron tippin, frostridge.

Singer Aaron Tippin comes to Frost Ridge Campround on Saturday, June 9.

This hitmaker is more than that. He's also a pilot, farmer, winemaker, outdoorsman, competitive body builder and devoted family man. "Hillbilly Hercules" hails from South Carolina and came into the country music spotlight in 1990 with such hits as "You've got to Stand for Something" and "There Ain't Nothin' Wrong with the Radio."

His latest album, his 13th, is called "In Overdrive" and it's full of fresh takes on truck drivin' classics like "Six Days on the Road," "Prisoner of the Highway," and "East Bound and Down."

Before "The Hardest Working Man in Country Music" takes the stage, some of the best local bands will perform. Mayberry After Midnight, Bush Hogs, Double Cross and Closing Time will get the crowd moving and ready for Aaron Tippin.

If you want to camp with the bands or meet Aaron in person reserve early or get your VIP Tickets with a private meet-and-greet before they're all gone. Tickets start at $15 and this fundraising event will support the Veterans Administration in Batavia as well as a drop box for Toys For Tots (one of Aaron Tippin's charities). The Toys For Tots drop box will be manned by our Marine(s) whether folks stay for the concert or not.

Purchasing tickets with the PROMO CODE "TBVA" will provide a donation to the Batavia VA, give the purchaser the pre-sale discount price for tickets and enter
them in a drawing for a free upgrade to VIP passes for two.

Try out Frost Ridge's new professional dance floor and see the stage expansion that has even the artists talking. Only tent, overflow and offsite dry camping available remain for this jam. These, too, will sell out, so reserve before they're gone.

The campground and concert venue is located at 8101 Conlon Road in Le Roy. Phone is 768-4883. Email is [email protected]

May 30, 2012 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, RSVP of Genesee County.

RSVP of Genesee County held its 27th Annual Recognition Event earlier this month. The following winners attended:

Gold Award Winners (500+ Hours)

Edward Corcoran -- 1,932

Donna Rhodes -- 1,239

Emerson Campbell -- 956

Diane Baker -- 826

Maureen Adams -- 803

Beverly Corcoran -- 796

Judith Ridley -- 792

Ray Luzier -- 779

William Parker -- 701

Vernon Rupert -- 605

Rita Hartrick -- 576

Silver Award Winners (250-499 Hours)

Carolyn Dain -- 449

Betty Luperino -- 430

Caroline Weber -- 414

Merrill Weber -- 404

William Haubrick -- 374

Sharon Ziomek -- 373

Anita Rynkowski -- 369

Timothy Richter -- 336

Joanne Muller -- 331

MaryAnn Silvernail -- 314

Pamela Ware -- 284

Vicki Becker -- 284

Joan Wood -- 281

Jennie Starowitz -- 280

Lucille Haubrick -- 275

Robert Eick -- 272

Anne Rupert -- 266

Bronze Award Winners (100-249 Hours)

Sylvia Traxler -- 246

Wayne Judkins -- 243

Loren Adams -- 239

Joan Fluker -- 238

Anne Barone -- 235

MaryFran Pietrzykowski -- 233

Florence Ziarko -- 233

Wallace Kornow -- 205

Kathleen Martin -- 201

Kathryn Wickson -- 190

Edna Wenhold -- 186

Jeanette DiSanto -- 185

Anita Dziekan -- 166

Allan Grehlinger -- 163

Regina Abdella -- 156

Genevieve Mahoney -- 148

Jeanne Graber -- 148

Helen Heale -- 138

Catherine Judkins -- 132

Marjorie Morse -- 129

Opal Phelps -- 128

Tina Kornow -- 128

Jane Grehlinger -- 122

Rita Sidari -- 117

Richard Neth -- 117

Agnes Redinger -- 115

Richard vonBergen -- 113

Janet Luzier -- 110

Terry Weber -- 103

May 30, 2012 - 12:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, alexander, Milestones.

Melanie H. Mosher, of Batavia, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society, the national academic honor society at a ceremony May 18 at Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Ind.
Mosher was graduated summa cum laude from Valparaiso University in December 2011 with a bachelor of arts degree in History and German. She also excelled in the academically challenging curriculum of Christ College, Valparaiso University’s honors college, graduating with its top honors distinction.

Mosher is a 2007 graduate of Alexander High School where she was salutatorian of her class. She studied for two years at Hamburg and Reutlingen, Germany. Mosher is the daughter of Roger and Sherry Mosher, of Batavia.

According to the society, "Only about 1 percent of the arts and sciences graduates in the United States are elected to Phi Beta Kappa membership.” The society added, “The ideal Phi Beta Kappa has demonstrated intellectual integrity, tolerance for other views, and a broad range of academic interests.”

Since inception, 17 U.S. Presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 1 NFL MVP, 1 Heisman Trophy winner, and 136 Nobel Laureates have been inducted members.

Its mission is to "celebrate and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences" and induct "the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America’s leading colleges and universities." Founded at The College of William and Mary on Dec. 5, 1776, as the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity, it is also the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences and among the oldest undergraduate societies in the United States.

May 30, 2012 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports.


Press release:

Officials at Western Regional Off-Track (WROTB), the owner of Batavia Downs Casino announced that wagering handle on the Preakness Stakes was the public benefit corporation's third best ever totaling $920,192. This represented a 3-percent increase over last year. WROTB saw a 16-percent increase on the Kentucky Derby.

It’s been 34 years since "Affirmed" won the Triple Crown in 1978, and not since "Big Brown" in 2008 has there been a horse that has had a chance to win thoroughbred racings elusive Triple Crown. KY Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another will attempt to become only the 12th Triple Crown Winner in history.

“I’ll Have Another” has been most impressive, said Todd Haight, OTB’s handicapper and the GM of Batavia Downs Racetrack.

“Not only was he the first horse to ever win from post position 19 in the Derby, but he followed that with gutsy effort in the Preakness when he ran down favored 'Bodemeister' in the final yards," Haight said. "He’s made a believer out of me.”

Western OTB expects big crowds for the 144th Belmont Stakes at its OTB branches, EZ- Bet locations and at America’s oldest lighted harness track, Batavia Downs Casino, on June 9. All OTB branches will open at 11 a.m. on Belmont Stakes Day. Advance wagering on the final jewel of the Triple Crown begins on June 8.

Details on giveaways and radio events at local OTBs and Batavia Downs Casino will be available on visit the week of the race.

May 30, 2012 - 12:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, united way of genesee county.

Press release:

Employees at Genesee Community College once again demonstrated their generous spirit with donations that went beyond expectations during the annual United Way fund drive. Pledges from GCC employees totaled more than $20,000!

Money raised during the two-week campaign provides valuable resources the United Way of Genesee County uses to make a demonstrable difference in solving and preventing the area's most critical social problems. Donors can designate funds to a particular group or agency, or allow it to be pooled with other donations to help member agencies such as All Babies Cherished, the Salvation Army and HomeCare and Hospice provide needed programs and assistance.

Students also had a hand in the generous donation with their annual Ducky Derby. In the month of March, the students' poolside fundraiser collected more than $2,000 by selling numbered rubber ducks that were placed in GCC's pool for a special "race" via a current created by members of the college's swim team, which helped bring the total raised by GCC to $20,102.

To learn more about the United Way of Genesee, visit:

May 30, 2012 - 10:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

Two teenagers from Oakfield were arrested today following an investigation into a report of a missing child and accused of smoking marijuana with a 12-year-old.

Charged with endangering the welfare of a child were Emily Joan Walker, 19, of Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, and Mark Anthony McNutt, 17, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield.

One incident was reported at 33 Sunset Parkway, allegedly involving Walker, and one incident, allegedly involving McNutt, was reported at 20 South Pearl St., Oakfield. The first alleged incident was reported at 2 a.m., the second at 3:30 a.m.

Both Walker and McNutt were issued appearance tickets.

Deputies Jason Saile and Kevin McCarthy handled the investigation.

May 30, 2012 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Kate Elizabeth Brozic, 29, of Lake Road South, Brockport, is charged with two counts of bail jumping, 3rd.  Brozic allegedly missed two court appearances after being bailed out of jail. She was jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

Amanda Jane Richardson, 27, of Hillside Terrance, Silver Springs, is charged with a violation of probation. Richardson turned herself in on a bench warrant out of Genesee County Court. Richardson was jailed pending arraignment.

Michael James McCarthy, 24, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. McCarthy is accused of violating an order of protection by contacting the protected party.

Gavin David Laben, 18, of Darien, is charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, 2nd. Laben allegedly resisted arrest while an Erie County deputy tried to take him into custody on an accusation of criminal mischief in Erie County.

Jodee Marie Henderson, 27, of no permenant address, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Henderson, along with two other individuals, is accused of stealing merchandise from Stan's Harley Davidson on West Saile Drive, Batavia. The suspects allegedly stole $214 in merchandise. Henderson was jailed on $500 bail. Also arrested on the same charges and released were Leaha Rae Anne Wimmer, 19, of Darien, and Nicholas Adam Antonucci, 25, of Alexander.

Nicholas Christian Doell, 21, of Darien, is charged with trespass, operating an unregistered ATV and unlawful operating an ATV on a highway. Doell was arrested after allegedly failing to comply with the instructions of a police officer while allegedly operating an ATV on Norfolk Southern Railroad property in Darien.

Seth Ryan Doster, 20, of Darien, is charged with trespass and disorderly conduct. Doster was allegedly involved in a verbal dispute with a neighbor while on private property. Also arrested on the same charges in connection with the same incident was a 17-year-old resident of Darien.

May 30, 2012 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

The issue of overnight parking downtown was put in reverse by the Batavia City Council on Monday, when by unanimous consent members sent it back to where the controversy started -- the BID Parking Committee.

The council was following the recommendation of City Manager Jason Molino, who suggested the parking committee -- which according to him, initially asked for parking restrictions to be enforced -- come up with a compromise plan.

"We want to try and do what’s best for everyone," Molino said. "Sometimes you can’t satisfy everyone, but we’re going to try to. I think the best thing is have the BID parking committee review the issue further and come back with recommendations."

Molino said the situation is a balancing act of various interests. Parking lot clean-up and plowing requires overnight parking be limited and ideally confined to a defined area, and downtown business owners are worried about employees and customers who need to use the parking lot between 2 and 6 a.m. getting tickets.

About a dozen local business owners attended Monday's meeting, along with BID Director Don Burkel.

Burkel informed the council that the BID board met earlier in the day and agreed that overnight parking fees should not be increased.

"In light of trying to promote downtown for residential use, as well as for shopping and restaurants and other various businesses, the board is in favor of avoiding any increases so as not to shortchange (downtown) in any way," Burkel said.

Louis Kingsbury, an employee of Ken Mistler and Jerry Condello, spoke as a representative of local businesses.

Kingsbury listed off a number of concerns: Where are employees supposed to park whose shift ends after 2 a.m. or starts before 6 a.m.? Who's liable when a plow hits a parked car?

"I'm just trying to figure out a solution to the whole scenario so it's feasible for everybody," Kingsbury said.

Condello delivered pages of signatures on petitions of people opposing overnight downtown parking restrictions.

Council members had a variety of initial reactions. John Canale wondered why people pay for parking when they've already paid for the parking lot through their taxes. Jim Russell said some sort of order and structure is necessary to the parking situation.

And if bar patrons decide not to drive home and still wind up getting a ticket, well that's a small price to pay compared to a DWI, Russell said.

Bar owners argue that customers won't necessarily look at it that way, but Molino said there is an application process in place for anybody who gets a ticket under extenuating circumstances.

The fee for the overnight parking permit is necessary, City Attorney George Van Nest said, because there are court cases that prevent government agencies from giving away taxpayer-owned property. A parking spot is a piece of real estate and if you're going to give a person special permission to use the property when others can't, there needs to be a fair-market price attached to that use.

Molino established the overnight parking fee -- which he can set under local law -- at the same rate as a garbage Dumpster fee, under the premise that the fee establishes market value for that much space being used by a private party.

So far, a total of nine overnight parking passes have been purchased by downtown residents. Tickets and fees account for only about $1,000 in city revenue, Molino said.

May 29, 2012 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Alabama.

William Henry Foote, 57, of Myers Road, Oswego, is charged with felony driving while ability impaired by combined drugs and alcohol, felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and felony driving while ability impaired by drugs. Foote was arrested after deputies responded at 3:35 p.m., Monday, to a report of a person who said he had burned himself by spilling coffee on his chest. Foote was evaluated by ambulance medics, but refused further treatment. Further investigation by Deputy Joseph Graff and Deputy Howard Carlson led to Foote's arrest.

Russell Hosahi Blumer, 39, of Gillate Road, Alexander, is charged with assault, 3rd, resisting arrest, aggravated DWI and DWI. Blumer was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Gillate Road, Alexander, at 4:23 p.m., Monday. Blumer was later located operating a Kubota tractor and was allegedly intoxicated. Blumer was allegedly verbally combative and physically resisting arrest, causing a hand/finger injury to a deputy. The deputy was treated at UMMC and released.

A 17-year-old resident of River Street, Batavia, and a 16-year-old resident of South Main Street, Batavia, are charged unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. The youths were allegedly found in possession of beer at 11:42 p.m., Saturday, at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia.

Deidre Roshelle Scott, 25, of an undisclosed address, Rochester, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and inadequate headlights. Scott is accused of giving a false identification following a traffic stop at 2:03 p.m., March 15. Scott's alleged deception was discovered after Scott reportedly failed to appear in court and the person whose identity she allegedly used was issued a summons for failure to appear.

James Thomas Kusmierczak, 27, of Chestnut Street, Medina, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and possession/consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Kusmierczak was stopped for allegedly consuming beer in a motor vehicle. During the stop, Kusmierczak was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Jeffery Scott, 29, of Keeney Road, Le Roy, and Adrian James, 32, of East Main Street Road, Le Roy, are charged with trespass and petit larceny. The two men were arrested following a report of people removing property from a local business. When approached, Scott was immediately taken into custody. James was captured after initially fleeing on foot.

Melissa G. Betances, 31, of 180 1/2 Pearl St., Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and moving from lane unsafely. Betances was stopped Monday on Pearl Street by Officer Darryle Streeter.

Josanne Alysse Schultz, 23, of Wolcottsville Road, Akron, is charged with petit larceny. Schultz is accused of shoplifting at Kmart.

Brett Douglas Perfitt, 17, of Bennett Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, speed not reasonable and moved from lane unsafely. Perfitt was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 2:10 a.m., Monday, on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.  Perfitt allegedly failed to reduce speed when approaching a curve and traveled off the roadway into the woods. Perfitt said he was not injured in the accident and declined medical treatment. The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

May 29, 2012 - 2:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion.

A 64-year-old Wyoming Steuben County resident whose pickup truck struck a tree in Pavilion is in satisfactory condition at Strong Memorial Hospital, where he was taken by Mercy Flight following the accident at 4:19 p.m., Sunday.

Kentin P. Dana, of Veterans Avenue, Bath, apparently suffered a medical condition, which led to the accident.

Dana was southbound on Route 63 when his 2000 Ford pickup went off the road and struck a tree.

Pavilion Fire Department and Mercy EMS responded and found Dana semiconscious in his vehicle.

The accident was invested by Deputy Cory Mower.

(Initial Report)

May 29, 2012 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the extreme southeastern portion of Genesee County by the National Weather Service in Buffalo. It's in effect until 1:15 p.m.

Doppler radar initially spotted the storm 18 miles south of Batavia at 12:16 p.m. and moving east at 35 mph.

The storm is capable of producing quarter-size hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. Continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. The National Weather Service warns: you should move indoors immediately -- if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning, one of nature's number-one killers.

Later this afternoon, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Breezy, with a west wind between 18 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 58. Southwest wind between 7 and 10 mph.

May 29, 2012 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

Press release:

Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center received the Economic Developer of the Year award by the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) at the organization’s annual meeting on May 24th in Cooperstown. Hyde also was named vice-chair of the NYSEDC’s board of directors.

“Steve has shown strong, creative leadership in leading the ongoing transformation of Genesee County into one of the state’s most promising regions for growth,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of NYSEDC.  “Steve’s colleagues in New York’s development community especially admire his balanced approach to development. He has built a broad portfolio of success that includes high-tech development, agri-business related growth and life sciences based opportunity, and development of housing and livability-related initiatives.”

In presenting the award to Hyde the NYSEDC cited that since 2003 more than 300 economic development projects have come to Genesee County generating more than $610 million worth of capital investment and the creation of approximately 3,149 jobs.

“While I am humbled by this award and recognition, it would not have been possible without the strong collaboration between the public and private sectors in Genesee County and the dedication and hard work of my staff,” Hyde said. “I want to especially recognize the leadership of our board and our board Chairman John Andrews and Genesee County Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock as well as all of the elected officials who represent Genesee County.”

The GCEDC also was the recipient of certificates of excellence for the organization’s electronic newsletter and Web site, and received an honorable mention for its marketing and promotional materials.

Photo: The Batavian file photo.

May 29, 2012 - 10:33am
posted by Daniel Crofts in Byron Bergen, pageant, National American Miss Pageant.

When Dee dee Hintz got a phone call from someone saying that her 7-year-old granddaughter, Angelique "Angel" Heick (pictured), had been recommended by an anonymous source for the National American Miss pageant, she was a little leery.

At first, she thought this was like the controversial TV reality series "Toddlers & Tiaras" or a similar type of dolled up pre-teen fashion shows. But it turned out to be exactly the opposite.

"The first thing that got me was the no-makeup rule," Hintz said. "(The contestants) aren't allowed to wear makeup or hairpieces. It's not about how they look or how they're dressed -- it's about who they are."

National American Miss is an annual contest designed to develop confidence, independence, poise and community involvement in young girls. It is open to girls ages 4 to 18 and is divided into five different pageants, each for a specific age group.

Heick -- a top-performing second-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, a three-year Girl Scout and a four-year soccer player with Gillam-Grant -- will take part in the New York Junior Pre-Teen pageant from Aug. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Rochester. She will be competing with girls from all over Western and Central New York for the title of Miss New York.

Among other things, the requirements for her age group include writing an essay, submitting report cards (Hintz said the grades don't officially count, but are taken into consideration) and writing a résumé.

As part of an optional talent portion, Heick is also going to perform in a commercial for the young girls clothing retailer "Justice."

Once on stage, the girls will introduce themselves to a large crowd of people and be interviewed by the pageant judges, answering questions such as what they want to be when they grow up, why they want to represent their state in this pageant, etc.

Contestants are judged in four categories:

  • Formal Wear (30%)
  • Personal Introduction (30%)
  • Interview (30%)
  • Community Involvement (10%)

For the "community involvement" component, Heick is donating 12 toys for each month of the year to Community Action of Orleans and Genesee. Each set of 12 toys will go to six boys and six girls.

She said she is buying these toys with the money she earns by "doing jobs" around the house.

If she wins the title, she will be given a paid trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., where she will compete in the nationals. In the meantime, she will also have the opportunity to meet Governor Andrew Cuomo, be an honored speaker at the state fair, and crown her successor at next year's pageant.

More importantly, she wants to use the influence she will have as Miss New York for the good of others.

"If I win the title, I want to educate parents and children about the dangers of bullying," Heick said.

That goal is consistent with Heick's compassionate character, which her grandmother had a lot to say about.

Hintz and her husband are raising Heick and her three siblings in Bergen. She said that compassion is Heick's top quality.

As an example, she mentioned the fact that Heick found a wounded frog in January and brought it home, where the family took care of it and fed it until it got better. In March, they let it go free.

"She's also a great big sister," Hintz said, pointing out that she reacts with patience whenever her younger sister steals her things (which is all the time).

She also feels very deeply for the victims of bullying and violence, even if she only knows about them from the media.

With her positive, upbeat attitude and personal strength, Heick has also been recognized as a leader among her peers.

"Every day she teaches me so much," Hintz said. "I want her to get where she wants to go. She has goals, works at them, and somehow accomplishes them."

Heick said her ultimate career goal is to become a cardiac neonatal surgeon.

"I want to help little babies and work on their hearts, "she said.

With three months to go, Heick still needs local sponsors.

So far, she has been sponsored by Genesee Patrons Cooperative Insurance Company, Computer and Phone Repair, Marchese Computer Products, Urban Preschool, and Intelligent Choice of WNY (Hintz's business). She needs to raise $220 more in sponsorship fees, so any help will be greatly appreciated.

Heick is also participating in an advertising contest. If she gets eight pages of advertising for the pageant program, she will win a $1,500 scholarship for college.

Anyone interested in sponsoring and/or advertising with Heick should email [email protected].

For more information, visit Heick's Web site: For more details on National American Miss, go to the FAQs page on the program's Web site.

May 29, 2012 - 10:15am
posted by JIM NIGRO in Camping, outdoors, nature, Genesee River, canoeing, Bald eagles.

There was no mistaking the telltale markings. Even at a distance the wing span, white heads and white tail patches indicated we were looking at a pair of bald eagles in flight. While the pair of eagles soared above the Genesee River, Le Royan Jerry Fitzsimmons and his grandson, Ryan Fitzsimmons, of Caledonia, were gliding past the right bank in a tandem kayak. Riding the current, Jerry maneuvered quietly, hoping to get close enough for photos. Finally, one of the eagles alit on the remains of a weathered log, enabling Jerry to get a few pics before it once again took flight.   

It was day three and the final leg of a canoe trip that included, in addition to Jerry and Ryan, Andrew and Kathleen Hulme, of Pavilion, Christine Hayes, a Pavilion currently residing in Brockport, Batavians Jeremy and Amy Fitzsimmons, and myself.

Our river run began late on a Friday in the Allegeny town of Caneadea. A short paddle on the Rushford Lake overflow took us onto the Genesee River. That first day on the river found us still paddling as the sun drew near the horizon and Jeremy opted for a suitable gravel bar to set up our tents. Our campsite wasn't really lined with gravel, but rocks of all sizes that had been washed and shaped by the river for ages.

Camping on a gravel bar has its perks -- with no woodland canopy to contend with, we had an unobstructed view of the night sky. And what a view it was. There, nestled between the hills of the Southern Tier and shielded from even the faintest light from nearby towns, the river bottom was dark. The temperature dropped into the 40s that night with the air crisp and cool. When I woke during the wee hours the sight overhead was nothing short of spectacular. I never bothered with the camera -- combined with the surrounding darkness and the still of the night, a photo would never have done justice to the nocturnal panorama overhead.

I was still half asleep when a turkey began to gobble somewhere in woods along the river. Judging from the frequency of his calls, the tom was intent on finding a hen. Once the sun climbed above the horizon grosbeaks began to sing while Jerry prepared a hearty breakfast of sausage, potatoes, eggs and hot coffee. After scalding my lips on the coffee, it was time to break camp and load the canoes for day two on the river.

Because each craft was laden with gear, each day prior to setting out Jerry loaded the canoes, maintaing a proper balance. Because the Genesee is, as Jeremy described it, a "pool and drop" river, Jerry's expertise proved invaluable, particularly encountering the fast water found wherever the river dropped in elevation and did so at a sharp bend.

Jerry first paddled a canoe at the age of 9. His favorite haunt in those early years was an area of Oatka Creek known as Bailey's Mills near the Le Roy-Pavilion border. He and son Jeremy have been running rivers for decades, both as licensed NYS guides and recreational paddlers. Experienced and accommodating on the river, they not only served as our guides but also our outfitters and camp cooks as well. All they asked of us was to enjoy the problem! 

At noon of our second day we stopped for lunch on a gravel bar where the river flows past Fillmore. Another two hours of paddling took us to Rossburg where the Wiscoy Creek spills into the Genesee. That's where we made camp for our second night and it's also where we spotted one of two beavers we saw along the route. This one was busy making repairs to its home.

We saw several mergansers on the river and early that evening, not far from camp, Jerry spotted a fox kit and shortly thereafter located a den. When Jerry returned with his camera the young fox was nowhere to be seen, but he did find some turkey remains, including an entire wing, quills still intact. Evidently the mother fox had been teaching her kits the finer points in stalking North America's wiliest game bird.  

I'm not sure what Jerry's pointing at here. Could have been a heron, hawk, deer or beaver.

Cliff swallows were active wherever the river bank afforded them a place to live. The bluff pictured above contained a sizeable colony, literally dozens of small caves where the species make their homes.

While the entire trip proved to be a relatively comfortable paddle, our last morning on the river provided a few more stretches of white water along with a few obstacles. At times we had to contend with submerged boulders that came into view at the last second or bony tree limbs sticking out of the water. When the potential trouble spots were located in a bend and the current suddenly picks up speed, it required some hard paddling and oftentimes a quick change of direction, kind of like negotiating a "river chicane." Such maneuvers were exhilarating and challenging and a great way to end the trip. Our trip came to an end at Portageville after covering an estimated 30 miles on the river.

A hearty thanks to my fellow paddlers for a fun experience and for sharing photos!

May 29, 2012 - 10:11am

To be eligible to win, you must Like Bontrager's page on Facebook (no other Like qualifies) and register for the contest. To enter the contest, click here.

May 29, 2012 - 9:02am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Kashmir Cafe, 85 Main St., Batavia, NY; This delightful cafe and coffee shop offers the finest flame-roasted artisan coffee and teas, a wide selection of sandwiches made with the freshest breads, and assorted baked goods. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

New York Subs and Deli, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Offering the freshest ingredients daily with a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, & daily specials. All tips collected go to an animal in need! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Rosie's Diner, 4974 Ellicott St. Road, Batavia, NY: Serving breakfast and lunches daily. Rosie's features delicious homemade food including Italian and Polish dishes and the freshest homemade soups. "Where good people meet!" We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


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