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September 27, 2013 - 10:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander.

Mercy Flight has been dispatched to the Alexander High School football field for a player who has suffered a possible concussion.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m.: "Mercy Flight has landed."

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: A person who was at the game said the game was over and field clear by the time an ambulance was called. Two different players were knocked out during the course of the game, he said. 

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne in route to Erie County Medical Center.

September 27, 2013 - 8:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Present Tense Books.

Present Tense books and gifts, on the corner of Washington and State, Batavia, will be closed as of Nov. 1, owner Erica Caldwell announced today in an e-mail to customers.

The store will start selling items at marked down prices on Oct. 8. Store fixtures will also be fore sale.

Here's a portion of the e-mail:

Present Tense could not have flourished for eight years without the help and support of many people:

  • YOU, our customers. It has been a privilege to provide books for you for these past eight years. We have enjoyed reading, talking, and sharing with you and treasure the many friendships we have made.
  • TERRI MARCHESE and MARCY RUBIN, my dependable, enthusiastic, book-loving sidekicks. Also, thank you to CHASITY MOORE, KELLY DUDLEY, and MARCIA GANN, who were willing to help out when needed.
  • MY FAMILY, especially my parents and sister, who spent quite a lot of time arranging, rearranging, hanging, shelving, fixing, proofreading, baking, and generally improvising to help me create the space and materials I envisioned for Present Tense. Thanks to my father-in-law for his willingness to put on a red suit and white beard every year for our Holiday Open House.
  • DARRICK COLEMAN, my husband, who was not only willing to let me try running an independent bookstore but has also been the one I call for all the worst jobs, like fixing the printers, hanging Christmas lights in high places in the freezing cold, correcting my endless bookkeeping errors, and once even donning the black robe and wig of Severus Snape. Malcolm Gladwell says that creative success is often highly contingent on the efforts of others, and that creative individuals’ stories are invariably love stories. That has certainly been the story of Present Tense.
September 27, 2013 - 8:12pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in football, sports, alexander, High School, Tri-Town Trojans.

For the first time in a reported 20 years, powder puff football has returned to Alexander High School.

The Freshmen (red) took on the Juniors (pink) in the first game. Freshmen came out ahead 22 to 6.

The second game featured the Seniors (white) and the Sophmores (purple). The Sophmores took the game 14 to 0.

In the championship game the Sophmores eked out a win against the Freshmen 6 to 0.

Homecoming parade starts at 6 p.m. Friday, with Alexander Varsity football team hosting Attica at 7 p.m.

Pictured above: Kaylee MacIntyre, Alexa Merle, Marissa Scharlau.

Pictured above: Hanna Barnaby kicking off.

More after the jump (click on the headline):

September 27, 2013 - 8:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A motorcycle accident is reported in the area of 4491 Old Ford Road, Elba.

Injuries are reported.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m.: Injuries are minor. Elba Fire back in service, except for fire police still on scene.


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September 27, 2013 - 8:08pm

Today was opening day for "Umtoo," a new outreach of Batavia's First United Methodist Church (see Wednesday's article, "'Umtoo' to serve city residents in need," for more info).

According to volunteer Sandy Kramer, they had a total of 34 visitors between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. -- 21 were church members and the people they invited, and 13 were non-members.

Here are some pictures from the event, including some "sneak peaks" at free stuff and what Umtoo will have to offer:

Will and Julio (musical entertainment)

Volunteers Doug Niebch, Dorothy Taylor and Kramer

Some free snacks

A jar full of Bible passages for people to pick out at random.

Night lights

Fiction and nonfiction books on a variety of topics

September 27, 2013 - 7:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy.

It didn't take long for a young entrepreneur to fill the space that had been Casino's for decades.

The venerable Le Roy restaurant closed just months ago and Le Roy-native Sam Hillburger said when the space became available, he thought, "perfect."

He grew up with Casino's and liked the location.

His new eatery, Sammy HIlls, opened a week ago and serves hamburgers, hot dogs and plates.

The location is perfect for his ambitions he said, because he just wants a small restaurant where he puts out good food.

"I'm not in it to be big and expand," Hillburger said. "It's a small kitchen where you can put out some good food and call it a day."

Patties are fresh, hand-pressed every morning and the meat sauce and chicken are fresh dipped every morning.

After graduating from Le Roy High Sschool, Hillburger went to a culinary school in New Hampshire. He worked for three years at Alex's Place and for a time at the Avon Inn. Now he's ready to see what he can do on his own.

"I was ready to work for myself," Hillburger said. "I've always done it somebody else's way and I'm ready to do it the way I want to do it."

September 27, 2013 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Dispatch Center.

A lot's changed since Gary Diegelman became an emergency dispatcher 33 years ago.

When Diegelman started there was one computer in the dispatch center. There was a manual typewriter for incident reports and a handwritten blotter book.

Today, a dispatcher sits in front a multi-line phone with six computer screens to track calls, incidents and the location and availability of first responders.

On his first day on the job, Diegelman was told, "here's a chair. Here's your training manuals. Sit down and shut up."

On his second day on the job, there was only one other dispatcher scheduled to work, Tom Graham (now town justice in Oakfield). Graham turned to Diegelman and said, "I hope you know what you're doing because you've got fire dispatch."

Today, a dispatcher is put through a minimum of four months of training before they're allowed to take calls and make dispatches on their own.

All of the changes that have taken place to make the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center what it is today is enough change for Diegelman, he said.

"Everybody says you know when it's time, and it's time," Diegelman said during his retirement party at the Sheriff's Office on Park Road. "I've been through so many changes I don't want to go through any more changes. With this new radio system coming and everything else, it's time."

Sheriff Gary Maha praised not only Diegelman's persistence in a very stressful job but the experience and dedication he brought to the department.

"I think he enjoyed the job," Maha said. "He learned a lot and we will miss his experience and his expertise. Like any job, you've got to be able to enjoy the job to be able to stick with it as long as he did."

During his 33 year career, Diegelman received four commendation awards, a certificate of appreciation, a meritorious award for continuous excellence, and a distinguished service award.

The job of a dispatcher alternates between times quiet and calm and then moments if not hours of overwhelming call volume.

Computers, Maha said, haven't necessarily made the job easier. There's more information to track.

It takes a person uniquely suited to the job to make it as a dispatcher, Diegelman said. You've got to be able to handle the lulls as well as the times of frantic work. You've also got to be able to deal with a public that can sometimes be surly and uncooperative.

"You need to be able to hear the public, what they want and be able to help them," Diegelman said. "You get people won don't really know what they want and you need to stir them and help them get to the right spot and then you get people who are belligerent and don't treat you well on the phone and you've got to control your emotions."

And then, he said, "there are a number of people who don't often call an emergency dispatcher and when they do, they want something and they need something and you're the first one they talk to."

The job is all about serving the public, Diegelman said.

One call Diegelman remembers the most is the night a woman called and thought there was an intruder breaking into her house. It's not an unusual kind of call and often such calls prove to be unfounded, but this time, somebody had broken into this woman's house and while Diegelman was still on the phone with her. Somehow during the attack, the intruder realized the woman was on the phone with a 9-1-1 operator and fled.

The intruder was never caught, but the woman suffered no serious injuries and thanked Diegelman later for being there for her.

"You've got to be that person who can take the call and not let it get to you because the next day you've got to go on," Diegelman said.

After 33 years of service, Gary Diegelman will no longer be taking those calls.

LISTEN: Gary DIegelman's final transmission as a dispatcher.

September 27, 2013 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A car carrier semi-truck is disabled and blocking traffic at Oak and Richmond.

Batavia PD responding.

September 27, 2013 - 2:35pm

The Yngodess Shop shows off the building facelift and new sign!  We're gearing up for the Wine Walk next weekend. Stop in a see us! Stay update on what's happening at The Yngodess, located at 73 Main St., in the City of Batavia. Visit us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/TheYngodessShop

September 27, 2013 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The victim of an assault on State Street yesterday afternoon was released from the hospital this morning and his alleged assailant was jailed last night without bail.

Woodrow Clarence Horseman, 37, address unknown, was charged with assault, 2nd.

The name and age of his alleged victim have not been released.

Det. Kevin Czora said Horseman and the alleged victim are acquaintances, and while there may have been a verbal exchange prior to the victim being hit, witnesses said they saw nothing they believed would have provoked an assault.

The alleged assault occurred on State Street at about 3:15.

The alleged victim was reportedly unconscious when transported by Mercy EMS to the Mercy Flight hangar for air transport to Strong.

September 27, 2013 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany.

Well, the morning started out nice. Then the sun disappeared. Here's a picture from Cook Road, Bethany, from my short drive this morning.

September 27, 2013 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, high school sports, swimming, Batavia HS.

The Batavia girls swimming team put together a 94-63 win over Wilson at the GCC pool Thursday and the girls were clearly excited about the victory after the meet.

As the second smallest Class B team in the Monroe League, team wins are hard to come by for Batavia, but the program continues to develop promising young swimmers said Co-head Coach Sarah Geitner.

"We have a lot of very young swimmers, but everybody has fantastic attitude and wants to learn," Geitner said.

Because the school doesn't have its own pool, it can't field a modified team so it's a little tougher to build a varsity program, Geitner said.

"At the start of the season, we weren't sure if there would even be enough girls for a team and now that we're up to 14 girls, we're really excited," Geitner said.

Two girls joined the team this week.

At the top of the young roster are freshman Natalie Amico, junior Emily DiBacco, seventh-grader Elle Fulton and sophomore Brooke Leddon, the team's lone diver.

For the 14 girls on the team, team spirit was in strong supply at Thursday's match. Not only did the swimmers cheer their teammates, they cheered the Wilson swimmers as well.

Geitner said she would like to get more of the girls involved in the YMCA swimming programs to take an interest in joining the Batavia High School team.

"In order to grow a better program, we want to encourage more Y swimmers to come in and take the test," Geitner said.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

September 27, 2013 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Patricia Ann Herzog, 46, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny.  Herzog is accused of stealing $465.11 in merchandise from Walmart.

Nicholas Joseph Mungillo, 19, of Union Square, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mungillo is accused of stealing $137.93 in merchandise from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

David M. Kohmescher, 32, of McCall Road, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant related to an aggravated unlicensed operation charge. Kohmescher was stopped by Rochester PD for an alleged traffic violation and found to be a warrant suspect from the Town of Le Roy.  He was turned over ot the Sheriff's Office, arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court, and released.

September 26, 2013 - 10:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, byron.

After covering Batavia High School girls swimming at Genesee Community College (post on that tomorrow), I decided to go for a drive through our beautiful county and make a few pictures.  Here are three shots from the drive.

First stop, above, Warboys Road, Byron.

Along North Byron Road.

Darkness on the edge of town ... Judge Road, Oakfield.

September 26, 2013 - 9:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire.

Volunteer firefighters from Pavilion, Bethany, Le Roy and Stafford are responding to a barn fire on Cowen Road in York.

Bergen has been asked to fill in at Le Roy's hall. South Byron to stand by in its own hall for Stafford.

September 26, 2013 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A seriously injured man is outside in the area of State Street and Hutchins Place in the city. He is unconscious and was possibly involved in an altercation. Police are on scene and Mercy medics are proceeding there.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.: A suspect is in custody. At this point, police do not believe a weapon was used. A witness said the unconscious man was punched by another man.

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: An ambulance is transporting the patient to the airport hangar so he can be flown by Mercy Flight to a hospital.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Mercy Flight is transporting to Strong Memorial Hospital.

September 26, 2013 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture.

Out on Route 5 this morning, kind of in the Bushville area, crews were harvesting potatoes.

September 26, 2013 - 9:23am
posted by Billie Owens in byron, Le Roy, Stafford, bergen.

The smell of natural gas at Byron-Bergen Central School prompted the principal to pull the fire alarm in order to evacuate students. The natural gas alert came to dispatch through RG&E. Bergen Fire Department is on scene. Mutual aid from Le Roy fire is also requested. The school is located at 6917 W. Bergen Road.

UPDATE 9:29 a.m.: "We do have an odor at the high school in the kitchen area and they are checking out the elementary school as well," says Bergen Command's firefighter Michael Crosier.

Le Roy Fire Chief Tom Wood is in charge of operations at the elementary school

RG&E workers just arrived. The superintendent had the elementary school evacuated as a precaution but no odor is of natural gas is reported and the odor of natural gas was found in the mechanical room.

UPDATE 9:33 a.m.: One engine from Churchville is requested to stand by in its hall to provide coverage for Le Roy. Bergen. Bergen command says the smell of natural gas at the high school is coming from a couple of different areas.

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: Responders are doing a second walk-thru of the high school. There was the odor of natural gas coming from the pool area. When the walk-thru is completed, Le Roy can go back in service.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Stafford also was put on standby for Le Roy and is back in service, along with Le Roy and Churchville.

UPDATE 10:39 a.m.: Bergen command says RG&E has identified a few leaks and crews are working to repair them. The school will be closed for rest of the day and the children are being dismissed.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: Bergen command asks dispatch to have a deputy respond to the Byron-Bergen Central School because there are a lot of parents showing up to get their children and "some aren't too happy about things." A deputy is responding.

UPDATE 10:57 a.m.: A Le Roy fire official sent us the following corrections to this post (which have also been noted above):

1) Churchville was put on standby for Bergen, not Le Roy;

2) Stafford was on standby for Le Roy;

3) No odor of natural gas was reported at the pool;

4) In addition to leaks at the high school, the odor of natural gas was found in the mechanical room of the Elementary School.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: This message has been sent to parents at Byron-Bergen.

Dear Byron-Bergen Parents and Guardians,

This is Byron-Bergen Superintendent, Casey Kosiorek. I want to inform that students of the district will not be returning to school today as a result of a gas leak in both buildings. Elementary students may be signed out at the Bergen Fire Hall.  Jr./Sr. High School students may be signed out at the track. Students that can't be picked up will remain at these locations until they can be bussed at their regular time. Lunch will be provided. This evening's Elementary Open House has been cancelled. We will keep you updated as we continue to work through the situation.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: The students are evacuated and the schools are closed, according to the superintendent.

UPDATE 11:56 a.m.: The Bergen assignment is back in service. RG&E remains on scene.

September 26, 2013 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, fall.

After Jerry Greenfield's talk at Genesee Community College yesterday, I stopped to take a picture of the GCC clock framed by autumn color. Greenfield is co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.

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