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November 3, 2014 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.
Donald Legg

A 49-year-old Le Roy man is missing and Le Roy PD is asking for the public's assistance in locating him.

Donald R. Legg Jr., is missing due to unknown circumstances, according to police. He was last seen Friday afternoon on Clay Street.

He is 6'1" and about 170 pounds. He likes to wear glasses and a baseball-style hat. He may also be wearing a plaid jacket.

His vehicle is also missing. It's a 2011 Chevrolet Cruz, which is a 4-door vehicle and is light blue, with a license plate of APV-5276.

Police are asking if you've seen Legg since Friday or know his whereabouts, call Le Roy PD at (585) 345-6350.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m., Tuesday. Donal Legg has been located safe and in good health.

November 3, 2014 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba.

The Elba Betterment Committee announces that Christmas trees go on sale from now until Nov. 25th and cost $30. Order forms available at Chap's Elba Diner.

Also, the second annual Christmas in the Park, a lighted tree celebration representing area families, businesses, churches, etc. will take place starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Village Park.

There will be a ceremony and Christmas sing along with Santa, refreshments and fun!

Contact Joanne Soules 409-3183 for more information.

November 3, 2014 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, richmond library.

Press release:

At its core being a maker, means you like to create. To create you need to be creative. We are all creative beings from birth. As we age, creativity is sometimes lost to pressures, schooling or jobs that need us to be purposeful, to complete tasks, and not be creative.

Rediscover your creativity by learning how to switch from your purposeful mode to your creative mode, and back again. This one hour seminar will have activities and real world examples of innovation and creativity for art, science, and business.

Join us at the Richmond Memorial Library Saturday, Nov. 8th at 1 p.m. for a Creativity Session led by James Burns of Display Development. This session is perfect for teens and adults. Registration is recommended; call 343-9550 or online through the library Web site at www.batavialibrary.org

November 2, 2014 - 5:45pm
posted by Rick D. Franclemont in football, youth, sports, alexander.

The Tri-Town Varsity Trojans football team defeated the Oakfield/Elba Titans yesterday 39-37 to claim the Niagara Orleans Football Association championship. This was the Trojans first championship team in 36 years.

November 2, 2014 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, Oakfield, youth sports.

The Oakfield/Elba Titans in the Mini Division won their league's championship today, beating Albion 27-19.

Photo and info provided by Kevin Zito.

November 2, 2014 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

By all rights, at the end of the first half Saturday night, Batavia should have been down to Penn Yan by a score more along the lines of 28-7.

The game should have been over in every manner except the time clock.

Three turnovers, a trio of 15-yard penalties, enemy receivers allowed to roam free and the repeated gifts of good field position didn't doom the Batavia effort.

It would be fair to say the Mustangs didn't cash in on all of these gold-plated errors, but that would be only half the story.

The Blue Devils hung tough. The line stepped up and stopped the run. Rushers put enough pressure on the passing game that completions were hard to come by.

With two minutes left in the first half, instead being down 20 or 28 to 7, Batavia trailed by only five points, 12-7.

Then the magic happened.

Greg Mruczek engineered a 70-yard drive in less than two minutes that ended with a five-yard pass in the end zone to a wide open -- open as in "alone on a Kansas prairie" open -- Malachi Chenault.

A two-point conversion later and Batavia headed into the locker room with a 15-12 lead and a level of confidence that makes Floyd Mayweather look shy.

"That was huge," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs. "I would like to say that was the game right there because that just gave us the momentum to get back into it. I think if we'd gone into half time down, I think our kids really would have been in a little bit of a hole. But they've been grinding and fighting all year and that's what they did."

Briggs said he went into the locker room at half and told the team it was their game to lose.

He told them, he said, " 'we've done everything we could do wrong and we're still leading this game by three points. That says something.' "

"I said," he added, " 'we've got 24 minutes left. All the time, all the effort you've put in come down to these final 24 minutes. Do you guys want to pack it in or do you guys want to go out and dominate like we can?' "

Batavia scored 20 unanswered points in the second half and never really allowed the Mustangs to get a drive going. The win, in the end, was a blowout, 35-12.

The unsung heroes of this semi-final game -- as they often are in football -- are the offensive and defensive lines. 

Against a team that featured two heavyweights tipping the scales at more than 320 pounds each, and with a degree of athleticism, the Batavia line on both sides of the ball simply outplayed the other team's big men.

The Blue Devils feature two young men up front who are pretty hefty themselves. Seniors Gunner Rapone and Devon Koepp, who are 6' 4", 260 pounds, and 6' 3", 265 pounds.

Rapone said the men up front for Batavia are not intimidated by anybody.

"We've faced big kids before," Rapone said. "An example is Bath. Bath has a lot of big guys. We knew what we were in for. We've been practicing all week about moving our feet and driving guys down the field and opening holes up for our backs and that's what we did the second half."

One of the beneficiaries of this offensive line largess was Anthony Gallo, a quick, slashing back with a knack for making defensive players miss.

"The linemen were making huge holes and I have good vision," said Gallo, who gained 110 yards on 14 carries. "I just see where I've gotta go and I just run."

It was another big game for junior QB Greg Mruczek, who was six for 13 for 161 yards, tossing three TDs and scoring one himself on the ground.

"Going into halftime, we thought we had the better team, you know," Mruczek said. "We came out and just played tough, despite the weather conditions. We've both got to play in it so you've got to keep playing tough. We thought we did a good job coming out in the second half and just playing hard."

If game balls were given out, surely one went to Jerrett Laskett, who had a 40-yard TD reception, but more importantly, snagged two key interceptions, including the pick just before the two-minute mark of the first half that set up Batavia's game-winning scoring drive.

It was Laskett's first game ever at corner back. 

"He did an unbelievable job," Briggs said. "You know, he's come a long ways this year and I can't say just how proud I am of the kid. We just put him at defensive back this week and he gets two picks."

Chenault had two receptions for 38 yards and the TD. Dominick Mogavero had 21 rushes for 84 yards and a TD. Ryan Hogan had two catches for 50 yards. Trevor Rittersback and Koepp had five tackles each.

The win gives Batavia a shot at a sectional title for the first time since 1998. The Blue Devils haven't won a title since 1991, the program's only title since sectional play began.

This is a program that was going nowhere before Briggs took it over four years ago and Briggs and the players have talked all year about how nobody gives the team the respect of a potential champion, that winning wasn't part of the pre-season projections of pundits.

There's a sense now that those critics, whomever they are, are proven wrong.

"It's crazy," Mruczek said. "It's an amazing feeling. It just turns some heads, you know. I don't think anyone would have thought we'd be in the sectional finals this year, honestly. It's just an incredible feeling and we're all happy to be here right now." 

Mruczek gives a lot of the credit to Briggs.

"He worked very hard with us all off season, with lifting and passing with me and the receivers," Mruczek said. "He's put in a lot of time and effort. He deserves to be in this position."

For players like Rapone, who has been dreaming of being part of a winning Blue Devils program since at least middle school, said it's an unbelievable feeling to get to this point in the season.

"It's unreal to me, to be honest with you," Rapone said. "It's a strange feeling because everyone is so used to looking down on this program and it being this year, my final year, and a lot of our guys final year, and we have the opportunity that we have this year, is unreal and unbelievable."

There's another Rapone, Max, coming up the sports ranks in Batavia and Gunner thinks he and his teammates have set an example of hard work and dedication for the next generation.

"I hope Max and all of his teammates look up to what we are and want to strive to be what we have done and know they can do it," Rapone said. "I've got a good feeling they can do it."

Now the focus shifts to Livonia, as if that isn't where the focus has been all along.

The Blue Devils are 8-1. That one loss was handed to Batavia in the final seconds of a thunder-interrupted game opening week when Livonia managed a last-ditch touchdown.

Players and coaches all seem to think it was a game Batavia should have won, could have won, but didn't. Hardly a week has gone buy since where the loss to Livonia didn't figure in the conversation at some point.

It's the game that has fueled Batavia's resilience and swagger, two words Briggs has attached to his players all season.

"After losing to a good team like that, we knew we had a good team and we could compete this year for a sectional title," Mruczek said. "We came out with some confidence after that game. We almost beat Livonia, supposedly the top of Class B."

Now, as one player said, it's time for revenge. 

"We're happy we're getting a shot at the sectional title, but there's really nobody else our guys would want to have it against," Briggs said. "If you wrote up a storybook ending, you know, you really couldn't write it up any better than that."

Well, it's not quite a storybook ending. Not yet. A win against Livonia would be a storybook ending.

Go get 'em, boys.

Top Photo: Malachi Chenault.celebrates his first-half touchdown that proved the turning point of the game.

Jerrett Laskett with a key first half interception.

Jerrett Laskett with a TD reception. 

Anthony Gallo finding another big hole.

Trevor Sherwood with a long reception just ahead of the goal line, setting up another Batavia score in the second half.

Dominick Mogavero got most of his 84 rushing in the 4th quarter as the Blue Devils chewed up the clock and kept the Mustangs' offense off the field.

Mogavero gets a handle on Mustangs' QB Austin Fingar. Fingar pulled free and gained another four or five yards.

At times during the game, the icy rain and sleet came down heavy.

Fans weathered the chill and the damp.

Gunner Rapone after the win.

Post-game celebration.

To purchase prints, click here.

November 2, 2014 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

It was a game that was essentially over before it barely began.

Inside of the first four minutes, the Le Roy Oatkan Knights had a three-touchdown lead over Dansville in the Class C Section V semi-final game played at Webster Thomas.

Going into the second quarter, Le Roy was up 29-0 on its way to a 54-0 win and a chance to play for a Section V title Friday at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.

"I just thought everybody played well today," Head Coach Brian Moran said. "They prepared well. There's no secret, you win games in practice and I thought our kids practiced extremely well top to bottom."

Mike McMullen and Tom Kelso helped lead the offensive attack. McMullen was eight for 12 passing for 124 yards and two TDs. Kelso rushed 15 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Ryan McQuillen sparked the offensive onslaught with a 75-yard punt return after Dansville was stymied on its first drive to open the game. Less than two minutes later on the game clock, McQuillen struck again, hauling in a McMullen pass for a 32-yard touchdown.

"He just makes great plays," Moran said of McQuillen. "With his speed, it's obviously something you can't duplicate in practice. I don't think people realize how fast he really is, and he can scoot."

The game, of course, wasn't all about offense. The Knights held the #4 seed, a 5-3 team coming into the came, scoreless through four quarters. Dansville's star running back, a husky Evan Dieter, was held to 91 yards on 24 carries. Even the second team, entering the game in the third quarter, held Dansville down.

"That shows how good our coaching staff is," Moran said. "I think our assistant coaches did a great job in preperation and that's important. Sometimes you forget about them and I'm very proud of them, too."

Le Roy's opponent Friday (game time is 5 p.m.) will be Bath, who beat East Rochester 51-19.

"It wil be very tough," Moran said before Bath and ER faced off. "Any sectional final game is going to be a tough football game. Bath and East Rochester are great football teams with great traditions and we'll just have to prepare themselves for who comes on top."

It will be the 18th time a Moran-coached team played for a section title game in the past 26 seasons. Le Roy has won 14 of those games. (See correction below)

"We're feeling good about things right now," Kelso said. "We've just got to keep doing what we're doing."

It will be Kelso's third chance at a sectional title, and as he noted, he hasn't been there himself. The same could be said for several members of the Knights.

Moran said those previous disappointments have taught his team what it takes win a sectional title.

"I think the kids understand that you really have to get yourself focused," Moran said. "You can't just assume that you're going to walk in and everything will fall your way. You've got to prepare yourself through hard work and dedication so you can put yourself in a position with a chance to win a sectional title."

CORRECTION: This will be the 18th time a Moran-coached team has played for a sectional title. Moran's teams have won 13 times. The first sectional title was won 1984 when Jim Laemlein was head coach. The 14 titles won by Le Roy, according to Ed Henry, is a Section V record held along with Cal-Mum and Clyde-Savannah.  Clyde plays a title game today against Avon, giving the program a shot at its 15th title.

UPDATE: Clyde-Savannah lost to Avon, giving Le Roy a shot at becoming the sole record holder at 15 for sectional titles.

Top Photo: Mike Shepard and another Le Roy defender get their hands up to block a pass from Dansville's Matt Martuciello.

Kelso scoring Le Roy's second touchdown of the first quarter.

Kody Lamkin walloped Dansville's Gage Koch on a kickoff return in the first quarter.

Tom Kelso evades a tackle attempt.

Jake Henry with a reception. Henry caught three passes for 33 yards and a TD.

To purchase prints, click here.

November 2, 2014 - 7:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported on the Thruway at mile marker 397.0 in the eastbound lane.

Dispatchers warn responders of extremely icy conditions in the area.

East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

The location is about a half mile west of the Slusser Road overpass.

UPDATE 7:43 a.m.: No injuries.

UPDATE 7:53 a.m.: A second ambulance requested after a vehicle may have struck the fire truck -- or close to it, hitting a guard rail instead. Darien fire's ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 7:57 a.m.: "They hit the guard rail pretty good," reports a chief, but everybody is out of the car and injuries, if any, appear minor. The chief also reports "this is not good," cars are slowing down, but still sliding around.  

UPDATE 8:02 a.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls requested to assemble in quarters.

UPDATE 8:06 a.m.: The East Pembroke chief informs the Pembroke chief that their crews are needed for traffic control in the eastbound lane. Another chief informs Darien's ambulance that it can go back in service. Mercy EMS can handle the signoffs on the second accident.

UPDATE 8:12 a.m.: A Pembroke chief reports icy conditions, at least two cars into guard rails. Dispatch says the Thruway Authority has a salt truck in route.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.: There's a non-injury accident on the Route 98 overpass. A dispatcher notes, "Apparently the bridges in this county are iced over. It's Nov. 2 and the bridges are iced over."

UPDATE 8:18 a.m.: An East Pembroke chief is requesting crews completely shutdown the eastband lanes.

UPDATE 8:29 a.m.: A second accident in East Pembroke's district, on Route 5 near Wortendyke Road. The East Pembroke chief requests a dispatch for Town of Batavia while he tries to free up a unit to head that way. The dispatcher warns Town of Batavia that the road is icy. There are very minor injuries in the accident.

November 1, 2014 - 11:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, caledonia.

Four Genesee County fire companies are requested to the scene of a structure fire in Caledonia.

Le Roy responded first, and now tankers from Stafford, Pavilion and Bergen are requested to the scene.

The fire is at a commercial structure next to a residence at 2773 Caledonia-Le Roy Road.

UPDATE 11:54 p.m.: Mutual aid out of Wyoming County requested to the scene. Tankers from Perry, Perry Center, Wyoming are requested. Shortly after the tone out in Wyoming County, a chief at the Caledonia scene suggests that Perry come right to the scene, and another chief responded, "because their tanker is loading up with massive amounts of water right now."

UPDATE 12:01 a.m.: A chief instructs a crew, "no water should go on the back of the building where you're at now. It's full of fertilizer." 

UPDATE 12:09 a.m.: Photo submitted by Jeremiah Russell.

UPDATE 12:28 a.m.: Below a photo taken by Sean Valdes from the Genesee Country Village and Museum grounds. Valdes said he can feel the heat from the fire that far away and he believes he heard explosions earlier.

UPDATE 12:38 a.m.: From 13 WHAM:

Calls into 9-1-1 started coming in around 11:30 p.m. for the fire at Commodity Resource Corporation on Caledonia Leroy Road. CRC provides products and tools to agribusinesses across the country.

UPDATE 12:49 a.m.: Rochester's 13 WHAM has reporters on scene.They were kind enough to send over the two photos below. Be sure to tune into 13 WHAM for complete coverage of the fire.

UPDATE 12:52 a.m.: Here's another photo from 13 WHAM:

UPDATE 7:32 a.m.: Crews are still dealing with this fire. Le Roy Fire is still on scene, as is Stafford, Pavilion and Bergen. Alexander fire responded overnight, and Le Roy's ladder truck crew was given a break, relieved by Town of Batavia's ladder truck.

UPDATE 8:10 a.m.: Le Roy Fire is going back in service. The Genesee County emergency coordinator who has been on scene all night is returning, relieved by another coordinator. 

UPDATE 8:38 a.m.: South Byron fire requested to the scene, non-emergency.

November 1, 2014 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils will get a chance to play for the school's first sectional title since 1991 in football next week after beating Penn Yan this evening, 35-12.

Above, Malachi Chenault in the end zone near the close of the first half. The score, making it 15-12, gave Batavia a lead it never relinquished.

The Blue Devils will face Livonia in the Class B final next week. Batavia's only defeat of the season came against Livonia on a last-second touchdown in the first game of the season.

We'll have complete coverage posted tomorrow.

November 1, 2014 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

Le Roy will play for a sectional title next week after beating Dansville in a semi-final today in Webster, 54-0.

Above, Tom Kelso crosses the goal line for an extra two points after the Oatkan Knights' second touchdown in the first quarter.

We'll have full game coverage posted sometime tomorrow. Now, it's time for Batavia's sectional semi-final game in Irondequoit.

November 1, 2014 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

There were trick or treaters out all over the City of Batavia last night.

To purchase prints, click here.

November 1, 2014 - 9:00am

It was an October day when I walked out the front door of my grandmother's home and saw two family friends. They were sitting on the tailgate of a station wagon parked beneath an old maple. They were holding a day's limit of ringneck pheasants and the setting was enhanced by the maple's red-orange foliage.

That took place on Batavia's southside nearly sixty years ago and that was likely the moment I knew I wanted to hunt when I was older.

I'm guessing it was also around the time I began to take note of the various breeds of hunting hounds in our neck of the woods. There were sporting dogs all over the place in those years. I saw Nin Trinchera's beagles every day on my way to St. Anthony's School. And all the regulars at Kibbe Park knew "Colonel," an English setter belonging to the Ficarella family. It was a time when upland game was plentiful and hunting was as American as baseball and apple pie, and setters, spaniels and pointers seemed to be as common as the once-abundant chestnut trees.

Let me fast forward to another day in October. It's a Saturday morning in 1989. A small group of duck hunters and a pair of black labs are hunkered down among the cattails in Oxbow marsh. Decoys have been set out and the hunters make small talk waiting for the break of dawn. Someone mentioned the ongoing murmurings and rumblings being made in reference to gun owners. "Someday they're gonna take our guns," he said, referring to the powers that be. I don't know if he really believed it then. I don't know if any of us did. After all, could it have been anything more than just another bombastic threat?

Today the threat is real and very close at hand.

For decades I was a waterfowler and an avid bowhunter and in the '60s and early '70s I did a bit of ringneck hunting. In recent years I 've spent far more time in the outdoors with a camera. Still, I have pleasant memories of days spent in the marsh and in tree stands or scouring grain fields and swale hoping for pheasants to explode from cover. And I am thankful to those who took me under their wing in my earliest days afield.

And those are just a couple of reasons why I'm voting early Tuesday morning in hopes of preserving a small slice of Americana.

November 1, 2014 - 8:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, thruway.

A car and semi-truck have collided on the Thruway in the westbound lane near mile marker 386.6

That's about two-tenths of a mile east of the Bank Street Road overpass.

There are only minor injuries.

Town of Batavia fire is responding along with Mercy EMS.

A chief on scene reports, "we've got one against the inside guard rail and one against the outside guard rail."

The left lane is blocked.

UPDATE 8:33 a.m.: A chief reports a correction on vehicles. One passenger vehicle and one flatbed truck, unloaded.

October 31, 2014 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

State funds for a system of bicycle trails around the city of Batavia, which the governor's office announced Monday, are actually eamarked for sidewalk replacements and repairs, not biking trails, according to City Manager Jason Molino.

The Healthy Schools Corridor project is slated to get $720,657 for sidewalk improvements on Summit Street, Liberty Street, South Liberty Street and Washington Avenue.

Today's press release:

With a $720,657 grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by NYS Dept. of Transportation, the City of Batavia Public Works Department will be able to expand sidewalk replacements along Summit and Liberty streets and Washington Avenue.

The project will include the removal of old sidewalks, installation of new sidewalks, handicap access ramps, high visibility crosswalks and selective tree removal and will be matched with $240,219 of City funds. In total the $960,000 project will include over 12,300 linear feet of improved sidewalks providing safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists connecting United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia Middle School, St. Joe’s School, the Downtown Corridor and Jackson Elementary School.

“Improving sidewalks has been a priority for City Council and this grant will allow us to do even more over the next few years” said City Council President Brooks Hawley. “With this grant we will be able to make our sidewalks safe for our residents and children.”

The City has approximately 73 miles of sidewalk, and in 2011 it was estimated that more than 20 percent of the sidewalk system needed repair. The City has made a concerted effort since to 2011 and has replaced over 26,500 linear feet, or almost 7 percent of the sidewalk system. This includes more than 130 curb ramps.

“This grant will allow the City to more than quadruple our annual effort,” said Sally Kuzon, director of Public Works.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Rosemary Christian and longtime advocate for sidewalk improvements added, “I’m ecstatic about getting this grant. Every year I ask for more and more sidewalk improvements and now we are going to do almost $1 million in one year. Our residents deserve it.”

TAP provides funding for non‐motorized transportation alternatives such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe routes to schools projects, trails, and other infrastructure improvements to the transportation system. The City applied for the grant in June 2014 and was one of seven communities in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region to receive an award.

October 31, 2014 - 11:59am
posted by Paul Draper III in music, entertainment, lineup, weekend.

October 31, 2014 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

The winds of dissolution are blowing strong in the Village of Corfu.

There's been a committee formed, consultants are advising, documents are being prepared and trustees are talking the talk.

If the wind doesn't change direction, inside of two years, there will be no Village of Corfu, just a Town of Pembroke with a quaint little hamlet centered around the intersection of routes 33 and 77.

We'll still call it Corfu, but life will be different, but how different are among the details to be worked out.

Right now, it looks like the property taxes paid by village residents to maintain their current small government will vanish. Whether special districts need to be formed for sidewalks and lighting is an open question. Some village employees would be out of work, others positions would be shifted to the Town of Pembroke.

What Corfu would do for part-time police service is still under study, but committee members and the few residents who attended the committee's meeting last night seem to favor a contract with the Sheriff's Office for extra patrols.

The four trustees in Corfu (there is currently no mayor) are unanimously behind the dissolution effort, said Trustee and Deputy Mayor Dave Bielec.

"The population of the village is reducing tremendously," Bielec said. "We lost 100 people roughly since the last census. We've lost some businesses. We don't have much in the village anymore at all. Plus, the state is kind of pushing this a little bit, so there's some benefits for us there."

The committee was formed in April and has been meeting monthly. The Department of State has been providing a staff member as a free-to-the-village consultant.  

The list of considerations is long. It's no simple matter dissolving a village. There are laws that need to be changed or taken off the books, planning and zoning boards to wind down, decisions to be made about dealing with village records and documents, issues to be resolved around any existing village debt, plans to be made for maintenance issues and property to transfer.

The committee is in the midst of drafting a dissolution plan to present to village residents.

The residents would need to vote at some point on whether to eliminate their local government.

The plan probably will not be ready for a vote prior to the regular village election in March, so the vote would come at a later date.

The earliest the village could be dissolved would be Dec. 31, 2016.

Pembroke Town Councilman Ed Arnold, who is a member of the dissolution committee, said so far his fellow board members have been supportive of dissolution, but it's not like the town has a lot of choice in the matter.

The decision to dissolve or not is entirely a village decision, and if voters choose that route, the jurisdiction becomes part of the town regardless.

The town's participation at this point is about ensuring an orderly transition.

"If the village says this is what it wants to do, really from our end, that's what we need to follow through with," Arnold said. "What we're trying to do is be involved with it, seeing what are the concerns of the residents of the village and then seeing how we an incorporate that into the town side of it. But really, if the village says yes, we want to dissolve, we have to pick it up one way or the other."

October 31, 2014 - 9:55am

It was approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23rd, when Mike Corbelli experienced the encounter of a lifetime. 

A Batavia resident, Mike was archery hunting for black bear with a group of local men from Genesee and Wyoming counties. The group was hunkered down in Sterling Forest State Park in the Ramapo Mountains of Downstate New York. Their outing ran from Oct. 19th to the 25th. On Tuesday a nor'easter passing along the New England coast began permeating the area and for two days the hunters dealt with the storm's wind and rain. 

By that Thursday there was no let up and with the wind gusts toppling trees, rather than use a climbing tree stand, Mike opted to conceal himself in a fallen tree situated at the edge of a shallow ravine. As things turned out, the weathered blowdown worked good- - almost too good.

Eventually Mike saw movement off in the distance, something black appeared, moving slowly through the forest. It was a bear and moving in his direction. Then he spotted another.

Mike knocked an arrow, waiting to see if either was big enough to take. Suddenly he spotted a third bear, a large sow. It then became evident the first two were cubs. Slightly further back of this trio were two more cubs. Because it's illegal to take a bear with cubs, Mike let off on the bow string and switched modes.

"Seeing the cubs made me drop my guard," he said. "I changed perspectives, going from hunter to enthusiast."

Keeping in mind these are wild animals, he never put his bow down, instead simply switching hands, holding his bow in his right hand and using his left to take photos with his phone.

While Mike had switched modes, that wasn't the case with momma bear. She was looking for food and she and three of her offspring continued in Mike's direction with one of the cubs deciding to climb a nearby tree. The closest cub was gamboling about, playfully working its way toward Mike when momma, possibly on alert, gave the cub a hard shove with her head, possibly sending her offspring a message which said, "pay attention -- something's not right."  

By now the sow is in the lead and within five feet of Mike and he realizes he needs to do something. But what? With the ravine at his back he has nowhere to go. So, he stood up and shouted "NO" with all the authority he could muster. 

Alarmed, the sow retreated slightly -- and only slightly -- a matter of a few feet. Now definitely aware of a threat, her protective instincts kicked in as she snarled and held her ground before lowering her head and making a false charge.  

With 300 pounds of protective mother bear threatening him, it's totally understandable if Mike's pic is a tad blurry. 

After bluffing her charge, the sow ran around the tree one her cubs had climbed and tried to come at Mike from a different angle. Now it was all about survival.

Mike recalled a video by veteran bow hunter Wayne Carlton, explaining that, "a bear coming toward you is coming for one reason -- to eat. You need to make yourself bigger than the bear." ... Recalling those words Mike Corbelli raised his arms over his head in an effort to make himself appear as big as possible and then he audibly growled. That seemed to do the trick as the big sow finally turned and ran into the ravine.

In this pic you can see two of the cubs treed and another about start climbing. That black blur on the floor of the ravine and just to the right of a big tree is the sow.

Mike's hunting companions, L to R: front, Tracy Mallon, Charlie Heintz; middle, Shawn Kibler, Dick Cecere; back, Tony Davoli, Mike Hallagan, Bob Botel, Mike Corbelli. Upon seeing the video Mike took of his encounter, each of his fellow hunters expressed amazement at the turn of events, how close he was to the bears and the outcome.  

Photos and video courtesy of Mike Corbelli. Check out the video at the link below.

Video on YouTube

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