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May 28, 2016 - 4:13pm

David Zuppelli, of Batavia, submitted this photo of his father, Chester Zuppelli, playing Taps on Memorial Day 1944 in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

Here's a schedule for Memorial Day Ceremonies and the Batavia parade:

7 a.m. -- Genesee County Park (11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany) -- Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVA #193)

8 a.m. -- Williams Park, City of Batavia-- WW I Memorial (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

8:30 a.m. -- Batavia VA Medical Center

8:45 a.m. -- NYS Veterans Home

9:30 a.m. -- Upton Monument (routes 5 and 63) (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

9:45 a.m. -- Batavia Cemetery, Harvester Avenue, City of Batavia (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)

10 a.m. -- Elmwood Cemetery, off Harvester Avenue and Webster Street in the city (AL #332)

10 a.m. -- CITY PARADE -- Begins at the Eastown Plaza traveling west along Main Street and ending at Jerome Center on Bank Street at 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. -- UMMC -- Jerome Center:

  • Memorial Day ceremonies: Invocation; National Anthem with Batavia Concert Band; G.A.R. Order of the Day; Veterans Service Organizations Commemorations; wreath laying with Gold Star Mothers; Honor Roll with drum roll; rifle salute; Taps; Benediction; "God Bless America."

Noon -- Hansen Brothers Grave -- Grandview Cemetery on Clinton Street Road, Batavia (MCL #951)

Participating organizations:

Hansen Borthers Marine Corps League Detachment #951

Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332

Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #166

Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter #193

Sons of Union Veterans Abraham Lincoln Camp #6

 

Here are more local Memorial Day ceremonies/parades:

  • ALEXANDER: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexander High School and travels to the cemetery on Railroad Avenue with a ceremony to take place at the cemetery following the parade.

  • BERGEN: Parade at 9 a.m. beginning at the Fire Hall (Route 19 & Hunter Street), traveling south on Route 19 to Hickory Park with ceremony to take place at the park immediately following the parade.
  •  
  • BYRON: Parade at 11 a.m. from Terry Street to Swamp Road with a ceremony immediately following at Byron Cemetery.
  • CORFU: Parade at noon from Corfu Fire hall on Route 33 to the Intermediate School on Route 77. Ceremony immediately following the parade.

  • ELBA: Ceremony at Maple Lawn Cemetery at 10 a.m. No parade. The Elba Historical Society Museum will be open for tours after the ceremony.
  •  
  • LEROY: Parade at 10:30 a.m. from the American Legion to Trigon Park with a ceremony at Trigon Park at 11 a.m. following the parade.
  • OAKFIELD: Parade at 11 a.m. from the Oakfield Fire Dept. to Triangle Park with ceremony to be held at Triangle Park.

  • PAVILION: Ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Town Park at intersection of routes 63 and 19. No parade.

No parades/ceremonies for the following:

  • Alabama

  • Bethany

  • Darien

  • Pembroke

  • Stafford

May 27, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, byron, bergen, batavia, corfu, east bethany, Pavilion.

ROCHESTER, NY (05/26/2016)-- Nazareth College announces its Dean's List for the Spring of 2016 semester.

Kelsey Hill, of Batavia, is majoring in Health Sciences.

Lauryn Krebs, of Corfu, is majoring in International Studies.

Jessica Meyers, of East Bethany, is majoring in Occupational Science.

Kelsey Milligan, of Pavilion, is majoring in Health Sciences.

Kathleen O'Donnell, of Batavia, is majoring in Biology.

Andrea Raphael, of Batavia, is majoring in Occupational Science.

Courtney Taylor, of Bergen, is majoring in Biology.

Alexandra Walker, of Byron, is majoring in Communication Science & Disorders.

May 27, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, pembroke.

Christopher Tyler Sprague (pictured left), 22, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and petit larceny. On May 25, Sprague was transferred from Genesee County Jail to Batavia City Court where he was arraigned on these charges following an investigation into a burglary which occurred at a business at 3 Treadeasy Ave. in the city between May 7 and May 9. Sprague allegedly broke into the building and stole money while inside. He also allegedly damaged several picnic tables and pavilions behind the building. Following his arraignment before City Court Judge Durin Rogers, he was released, but due to a pending parole violation for which he was being held, he was transported back to jail. He is to be in City Court to answer the charges at 1 p.m. on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Det. Richard Schauf, assisted by Det. Eric Hill.

Chase Michael Putnam, 20, of Circle Drive, Williamson, is charged with driminal possession of a weapon, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 11:57 a.m. on May 26, Putnam was stopped on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke The defendant was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of suspected cocaine and marijuana, as well as a doubled-edge knife. Putnam was arrested and issued an appearance ticket for June 21 in Town of Pembroke Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

David Alan Ornt, 24, of Hall Road, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, speed in excess of 55 mph, and open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was arrested on the charges following a traffic stop at 6:52 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in the Town of Byron. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Chet William Kenyon, 32, of Sandybrook Drive, Hamlin, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree and open container of alcohol in a a motor vehicle. He was arrested at 6:23 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in Byron following a traffic stop. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

May 26, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, Darien, batavia, byron, Stafford.

Angelo A. Cassidy, 39, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree grand larceny. He was arraigned on the charges at 11:10 a.m. on May 18 and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. It is alleged that at noon on Oct. 20, Cassidy removed a home-heating system, appliances and building supplies from a residence on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia without permission. He is to appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Kiha Samuel McNear, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. McNear was arrested at 1:50 a.m. on May 22 on Walnut Street in Batavia after allegedly striking an individual multiple times in the face with a closed fist. The alleged victim was under the age of 17. McNear was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to return to City Court on Monday (May 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Twan Conway, 45, of Walden Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Conway was arrested following a 9-1-1 call hang-up investigation. The call was made at 12:30 p.m. on May 17. Conway was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 and jailed on $500 bail. Conway was scheduled for City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice. Then on May 23, at 7:40 p.m., Conway was arrested again following an incident wherein he allegedly pushed another person while an active order of protection was in place. He was jailed without bail and is be in City Court tomorrow, May 27. This case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Michael Patrick Sullivan, 53, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. At 7:54 p.m. on May 24, Sullivan was arrested after allegedly violating a court order by subjecting two people to physical contact by throwing a glass item at them. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and is to be in Town of Stafford Court on June 9. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl, assisted by Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Sara Jo Likus, 30, of Townline Road, Darien, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs or both alcohol and drugs; driving on the sidewalk; and moving from lane unsafely. At 9:28 p.m. on May 18, it is alleged that Likus drove a vehicle while her ability to do so was impaired, and that while driving she changed lanes unsafely and drove over the curb onto the sidewalk, striking a utility pole. She was issued several tickets and released to a third party. She is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Charles-Gus Williams, 37, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. At 1:49 p.m. on May 20, it is alleged that Williams violated a complete stay away order of protection at a residence on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due in City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeffrey D. Matla, 56, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- common law; speeding; failure to signal a lane change; and DWI with a BAC greater than .08 percent. Matla was arrested at 5:18 p.m. on May 22 on West Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was stopped for traffic violations and allegedly found to be operating his motorcycle in an intoxicated condition. He was released and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Cowen Mitchell.

Joshua Yeomas, 31, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree unlicensed operation and failure to use headlights while operating with windshield wipers. Yeomas was located during an unrelated NYS Parole investigation, assisted by Batavia PD, and taken into custody on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident on April 13 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was released and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Bert Clifford Earl, 55, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with harassment. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on May 20 following a disturbance at Batavia Downs wherein he allegedly subjected another person to unwanted physical contact. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Lori A. Brightenfield, 56, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested for writing a check to a business on May 18 to buy alcohol when she allegedly knew she did not have the funds to pay for it. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court and is to be there on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Carol M. Pahuta, 47, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Pahuta was arrested following a larceny investigation on West Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is to be in City Court to answer the charge on May 31. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Daniel Colin Healy, 25, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. He was taken into custody at 1:48 p.m. on May 23 by Gates PD on an active bench warrant out of City Court for failing to appear on the charge, stemming from an incident June 27 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $250 bail and was to be in City Court Wednesday (May 25). Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze handled the case.

Mark J. Zinni, 21, of Evergreen Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving without lights and unlawful possession of marijuana. Zinni was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:39 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Zinni was driving without lights and that he was in possession of several small bags containing marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Katelyn C. Kubala, 27, of Genesee Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested on a warrant for NYS Parole. At the time she was taken into custody, at 10:59 a.m. on May 20, she allegedly had a quantity of marijuana in her purse. She was turned over the NYS PArole Officer April Fuller at BPD and is to appear in City Court on May 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Michael W. Funke, 21, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Funke was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:52 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. He was a passenger in the vehicle and allegedly in possession of marijuana. He was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Julie L. Dutton, 21, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on May 23 on a bench warrant out of City Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her release under supervision. She was jailed on $5,000 bail and is due in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Christopher Lindsay.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Martin Road, Akron, is charged with failure to appear. At 4:05 p.m. on May 20, Batavia police took custody of Webster from NYS police on a City Court arrest warrant for failure to appear. Webster paid an undisclosed amount of bail and was released. He was to be in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Brian J. Dorman, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

May 10, 2016 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, Byron Fire Department, Announcements.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Sunday, April 24, the Byron Fire Department held an Open House and welcomed community members to come and check them out. Volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and ladies’ auxiliary members were on hand to greet the public and show off their equipment and hall. The event was blessed with a warm and sunny day. 

Adults and families with young children were welcomed, and each child was given a junior firefighter’s hat and a toy fire truck. Those lucky children were encouraged to explore the equipment, they climbed into the fire trucks and ambulance. Firefighters boosted the children into the driver’s seat and some of the kids were delighted to blow the sirens.

The Byron Rescue Squad is very involved in the health and well being of their community and have responded to an amazing 170 calls in 2015. These EMTs proudly showed off their well-equipped ambulance and even let the kids get comfy lying on the gurney.

Inside the hall the EMTs did blood-pressure checks and gave out some health info and tips. Firefighters were available to hand out some in-home fire prevention information and smoke detectors. Members of the ladies’ auxiliary, which has hosted Genesee County’s Dances for Adults with Developmental Disabilities for the past 12 years, were on hand to provide refreshments and serve up a free lunch of spaghetti and meatballs.

Byron Fire Department is always accepting applications for membership. Open meetings are on the second Monday evening of the month at 7 o'clock.

April 26, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, alexander, Stafford, byron, news.

Heidi A. Pahl, 42, of French Road, Attica, is charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. She was allegedly involved in an accident at a restaurant in the City of Batavia at 9:18 p.m. on April 25. The vehicle was located at a relative's house in the Town of Alexander a short time later. An investigation revealed that she was allegedly intoxicated at the time. She was arrested and released with appearance tickets for Alexander Town Court on May 31. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Sgt. Ron Meides.

Alexandria M. Provens was arrested on April 24 on an outstanding bench warrant issued by the Town of Byron Court for failure to pay fines. She was arraigned before Town of Stafford Court and jailed in lieu of $2,000 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Ellen Marie Martinez-Brayley, 28, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with violation of Family Court Act. She was arrested on an outstanding Family Court warrant and arraigned April 25 and released. She is due back in court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Keiyana S. Clark, 35, of Bronx, was arrested April 23 by state police for petit larceny after she allegedly took more than $270 worth of clothing from Target. Clark was allegedly observed selecting multiple clothing items and hiding them in a large reusable bag; Clark then paid for the items in her cart but failed to remove the items concealed in the bag. Clark was arraigned on $200 bail. She is scheduled for Town of Batavia Court on May 10.

Amanda M. Rumble, 28, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 5:50 p.m. on April 25 as the result of a shoplifting complaint at Walmart. She allegedly stole $86.63 in merchandise. She was issued an appearance ticket for a later date in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

April 20, 2016 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news, Milestones.

Press release:

Tonight, Byron-Bergen Central School honors the two newest inductees into its Hall of Fame. Judy (Hulburt) Holly (Class of 1976) and Amy (Seward) Stacy (Class of 1980) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.  This honor is in its 13th year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

The 2016 inductees will be honored on tonight at the school at 7 o'clock. Each will briefly speak to students and receive their B-B Alumni Hall of Fame plaques at the Sr. National Honor Society induction ceremony. They spent the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives.

During her years at Byron-Bergen, Judy (Hulburt) Holly (shown left) participated in National Honor Society, Student Council, Spanish Club, and Ski Club. She attended Russell-Sage College (1976-77) for Physical Therapy during 1976-77 and then transferred to SUNY Brockport and earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1980.

After college graduation, Holly was employed as a nurse at Highland Hospital (Rochester), working on a medical floor then transferring to labor and delivery. She worked there until she started her family.

Holly has stated that her greatest achievement is her family. She is married to a wonderful man; together they are parents of six children, and have two grandchildren.

She and her husband are foster parents (through Monroe County) and have fostered 50 foster babies (so far), many of whom are medically fragile infants.

Holly has dedicated herself to helping children, most of whom are unable to care for themselves and in need special attention, demonstrating the utmost compassion.

Holly is an excellent role model and source of inspiration to the youth of Byron-Bergen.

While attending Byron-Bergen, Amy (Seward) Stacy (pictured above) participated in Volleyball (MVP her senior year), Basketball, Chorale, Band, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Drama Club, AFS, was a Peer Counselor, First Presbyterian Church youth group, and a teacher for Vacation Bible School.

She earned several scholarships and awards upon graduation.

After high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1984 from Cornell University in Nutrition, and a master’s degree from SUNY Brockport in Health Education in 1989. Stacy is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, certified dietitian/nutritionist, and certified pump trainer.

She has worked for the WIC Program, Lakeside Memorial Hospital, Strong’s Cardiac Rehab Program, and Lakeside Memorial’s Wellness Center.

Currently, Stacy works for Rochester Regional Health System (Unity Diabetes Program in Brockport) and is the sole proprietor for Innovative Nutrition by Amy.

Awards include Who’s Who in Diabetes Education and the Healthy Heart Contributor Award. She also received a New York State grant for nutrition education. Memberships include the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Rochester Association of Diabetes Educators, American Dietetic Association/Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Genesee Dietetic Association, and Bergen Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

She is an active community member who is involved in her church (Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School, worship team), and numerous activities within the Bergen area. Stacy stated her greatest achievement has been to raise four wonderful children with her husband, Rick, and being grandparents.

Involved in her community and through her faith, Stacy inspires the youth of the Byron-Bergen community.

April 20, 2016 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Oakfield, byron.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office investigated a motor-vehicle accident at the 7-Eleven convenience store on South Main Street in Oakfield on April 19 at about 2 p.m.

A motor vehicle crashed into the south wall of the store and immediately fled the scene. The vehicle was later found on Townline Road in Byron occupied by a male operator. The male was identified at Hicham Fathallah, 34, of Rochester. He was charged with leaving the scene of a motor-vehicle accident and inadequate brakes.

He is to appear in the Town of Oakfield Court at a later date and time.

For initial post, click here.

April 17, 2016 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron, news.

An out-of-control brush fire is reporred at 6925 Transit Road, north of Route 262. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

April 15, 2016 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, Le Roy, pembroke.

James R. Kosiorek (pictured left), 23, who has no permanent address and is currently residing in the Genesee County Jail, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with a second residential burglary where guns were allegedly involved. Kosiorek was initially charged for burglarizing a residence March 17 on Lake Street in LeRoy and attempting to steal guns from inside. During that alleged burglary, the homeowner interrupted the burglary finding Kosiorek inside at which time Kosiorek allegedly fled the scene, leaving the guns. While conducting that investigation, information was received alleging Kosiorek committed a different but similar burglary on Genesee Street in Le Roy. A subsequent investigation into the Genesee Street burglary alleged that on March 13 Kosiorek forced entry to an acquaintances apartment at which time Kosiorek removed two shotguns from the apartment. It is alleged that Kosiorek was again interrupted by the tenant and fled the scene. The shotguns were recovered by the tenant in the back yard. Kosiorek was charged Thursday with one count of second-degree burglary, a Class C felony, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, and one count of third-degree criminal mischief, also a Class E felony. Kosiorek was arraigned before the Hon. Michael Welsh of the Le Roy Town Court and released on his own recognizance as he was already being held on bail for the Lake Street burglary.

Amelia Rose Witkowski, 30, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree burglary, making a punishable false written statement and petit larceny. She was arrested for allegedly entering a resident on Main Road in Pembroke at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 and stealing property from within. She also allegedly provided a written deposition to a Sheriff's deputy which contained false information. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Christopher Erion.

Kimberly M. Zeiner, 48, of Caroline Street, Albion, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and driving without headlights following a traffic stop at 3 p.m. April 6 on West Main Street, Batavia. Zeiner was subsequently arrested on April 14 on an outstanding bench warrant on those charges issued out of City of Batavia Court. The defendant was jailed in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Nicholas Adam Dubois, 18, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Dubois was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. He was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

A 17-year-old is charged with two counts of petit larceny. The youth was arrested following an investigation of theft of stone from two locations in the Town of Byron. The subject was released with appearance tickets. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Fleming, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

April 14, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Byron Fire Department, byron, fire services, news.

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Chief Charles Durkee sent in these pictures from the Byron Fire Department's recent installation dinner.

Eddy Sharp received the award for most training hours and Robert Mruczek received Firefighter of the Year.

Durkee received a gift from the ladie's auxiliary -- a PIG axe. He said it is the first one in the county at a volunteer department.

Pictures courtesy Marie Bohn Studio.

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April 12, 2016 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, byron, Oakfield, batavia, news.

Kevin C. Greene, 61, of Bloomingdale Road, Akron, is a convicted sex offender who is charged with failure to notify an address change within 10 days. He was arrested March 11 at noon for allegedly moving out of his residence in February 2015 and not filing an address change within 10 days. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia City Court on April 26. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill.

Carmelina Munoz Chavez, 48, of Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with driving while intoxicated. She was arrested at 12:40 a.m. on April 10 following a complaint of a motor-vehicle accident in the Town of Byron. The defendant's vehicle was located and upon investigation, the defendant was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Oakfield Town Court on May 9. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

April 5, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news.

Submitted photo. Front row: Teacher Peter Spence, Maya Benda, teacher Tiffany Lucksh, Melanie MacCowan, Mackenzie Fox, Kitana Maher, Clare Fraser, Kerri Bates. Middle row: Morgan Fuller, Will Kennett, Dominick Andres, Zach Swapceinski, Olivia Audsley, Dana VanValkenburg, Isabell Bliss. Back row: Russell Flaherty, parent Michelle Geiger.

Press release:

After a year of planning, 14 students from Byron-Bergen Sr. High School traveled to Costa Rica to explore the country’s incredibly diverse habitats of rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls and pristine ocean coastline.

Accompanied by Byron-Bergen teachers Peter Spence, who teaches Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry, and Tiffany Luksch, who teaches Math, the young explorers arrived at the capital of San José on March 18 for an exciting seven-day expedition.

The group spent two days in Sarapiquí, a small village in the Caribbean lowlands located in the heart of the rainforest, surrounded by surreal sounds of howler monkeys, tree frogs, birds, and insects. They visited the largest active crater in the world at the Poás volcano, and experienced the cloud forest environment. A cloud forest receives little rain during the year; plants receive their moisture from the clouds that constantly shroud the volcano.

The stay in Sarapiquí also included white-water rafting (where students found tiny poison dart frogs with bright orange bodies and deep blue hind legs), and zip lining in the rainforest.

The trip continued to La Fortuna, where they visited the Mount Arenal Volcano, studied the ecological succession of plants and orchids on the once-barren lava slope, and kayaked on the man-made Lake Arenal. Students hiked to the La Fortuna waterfall and explored the Baldi hot springs.

Moving on to Guanacaste, the group saw the second-largest dry forest in the world and visited Rincòn de la Vieja Volcano. They learned how Costa Rica uses the steam generated by the thermal vents to create electricity. A riverboat ride at Palo Verde National Park offered views of crocodiles, iguanas, red macaws, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. Snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean ended the extraordinary trip.

For many of the students, this amazing educational experience was the first time they had flown or been outside the United States. It was a great opportunity to not only learn about geology, ecosystems, and biology, but also gain practical fluency in Spanish.

“All of our kids have taken Spanish and a couple of them used Spanish a lot,” Spence said. “I did rely on them to communicate when I could not.”

Upon their return, student Clare Fraser summed up the feelings of her traveling companions.

“This has been an amazing experience that I will always remember. The trip was better than I had ever expected, and it has encouraged me to travel more in the future.”

March 31, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, byron, bergen.

Press release:

Earlier this month, 23 students from the Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School were inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). They proudly joined the 30 standing members of the school’s NJHS.

The NJHS program highlights the well-rounded students at Byron-Bergen. Inductees are selected based on their high standards of scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership, and character. All members are required to demonstrate their achievements in each of these areas. The 2016 new members are:

7th Grade

8th Grade

Nicholas Baubie

Bianca Brumsted

  (not pictured)

Emily Chaback

Jonah Clare

Richard Denson

Joshua Fleming

Eden Goff

Sara Goodman

Hope Hersom

 

Kelly Ireland

Colby Leggo

Gavin Lewis

John Mercovich

Bryanne Puma

Alaura Rehwaldt

Joshua Swapceinski

Xavier Thomas

Matthew Zwerka

Elizabeth Donnelly

  (not pictured)

Kyle Foeller

Chad Green

Caleb Sharpe

 

9th Grade

Sabastian Pawlukewicz

 

NJHS President Abby Vurraro addressed the audience and told of a recent meeting with her idol Jennie Finch, the University of Arizona NCAA softball champion and Olympic gold medalist. Vurraro shared Finch’s motto of “Dream and Believe.” She challenged her fellow members to “be determined to push the limits even if no one believes you can.”

The induction ceremony featured two additional guest speakers: Byron-Bergen Math teacher Tiffany Luksch; and Social Studies teacher Bryan Kavanaugh.

Luksch shared examples of how individuals with drive and determination are “able to overcome adversity and challenging circumstances with strength and resilience.” She told the stories of several young activists, including education advocate Malala Yousafzai; 14-year-old feminist Julia Bluhm, who challenged "Seventeen" magazine to portray real women; ambitious 13-year-old Neveah Mosher, who challenged herself to read over 300 books a year; and Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore who invented a new method to detect pancreatic cancer. She then shared a personal story of a current student at Byron-Bergen who has also overcome great challenges.

Kavanaugh’s speech continued the empowering message. He shared a quote he had placed on his classroom whiteboard from one of the most powerful businesswomen in the country, NBCUniversal Cable Chairman Bonnie Hammer: “The biggest mistake to me is complacency.” Kavanaugh applauded the students for their accomplishments so far in life, but also challenged them to not become complacent and always strive to improve.

As part of the induction ceremony, each new inductee received a certificate and pin, and the distinct honor to be a part of the National Junior Honor Society. Over a million students participate in NJHS: https://www.njhs.us/. Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

March 31, 2016 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, byron, bergen, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprised of officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department, concluded an investigation into the sale of marijuana in the towns of Bergen and Byron.

Cody D. Mayer, 23, of Lake Avenue, Bergen, was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sale of marijuana, 3rd, a Class E felony, and one count of criminal sale of marijuana, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor.

On March 30, Mayer was arrested by a uniformed deputy of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at the County Jail, while he was incarcerated for a separate charge, on a Genesee County Grand Jury indictment warrant. It is alleged that Mayer sold a quantity of marijuana to an agent of the Drug Task Force while in the towns of Bergen and Byron.

Mayer was jailed without bail.

The District Attorney's Office and uniform members of the Sheriff's Office assisted the Task Force members with the investigation.

March 30, 2016 - 11:45am
posted by Billie Owens in byron, news, adults with developmental disabilities.

Due to changing circumstances and the diminished availability of volunteers, the Genesee County Dances for Adults with Developmental Disabilities has decided to only hold one dance per year, according to dance coordinator Pat Iamon.

With the help of many, many dedicated volunteers, the dances have been sponsored by Byron Ladies Auxiliary and held at the Byron Fire Hall.

The dances, always well-attended with fun, timely themes, started back in 2002 as part of an internship project by Iamon, then a student at SUNY Brockport. This “one-time” event grew into monthly dances from September through May. Last year, the dances were cut back from nine to three.

They provided much-needed community-based fun for all of Genesee County’s adults with developmental disabilities living at home, in group homes or  in facilities.

“Circumstances have changed for us and sadly it’s time that we cut back on the dances to one per year," Iamon said. "Our volunteers are mostly retired and some of us head South for most of the winter; so rather than stop the dances all together, we decided to cut back to one great dance per year."

She plans to make the announcement at the next dance -- the PJ Dance from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12th at the Byron Fire Hall.

As always the dances are open to all individuals with developmental disabilities ages 13 and up living in Genesee County. Anyone wanting more information on the dances can call Pat Iamon 245-2918 or Laura Platt 548-2245.

These are photos submitted from previous dances and published on The Batavian.

March 23, 2016 - 12:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, byron, news.

(Photo of Gregory J. Vogt.)

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

On Tuesday, March 22, the Genesee County Probation Department conducted a search at 5919 Cook Road, Byron, the residence of Gregory J. Vogt, presently under supervision of the Probation Department.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also assisted at the scene.

Various items were seized during the search and as a result of the investigation, Vogt is charged with:

  • Six counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, Class D felonies, for alleged possession of two switchblade knives, a metal knuckle knife, a gravity knife and a blackjack while having previously been convicted of a crime;
  • Five counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Class A misdemeanors, for alleged possession of five rifles and one shotgun, which he is not allowed to possess due to having been convicted of a felony;
  • Unlawful possession of marijuana regarding Vogt's alleged possession of a quantity of marijuana;
  • The DEC filed charges for allegedly illegally taking a deer, trapping without a license, and taking wildlife in "contravention of the Environemntal Conservation Law."

Vogt was jailed on $25,000 bail and is to reappear in Byron Town Court at 5 p.m. on March 28.

The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, the county Probation Department and the DEC.

March 8, 2016 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron.

David Michael O'Connor, 55, of Byron, has been charged with attempted aggravated murder of a police officer, the Sheriff's Office has announced.

O'Connor is accused of firing a single round from a .22-caiber rifle from the window of his apartment at the Byron Hotel at Deputy Andrew Hale yesterday, blowing out the windows of Hale's patrol vehicle while Hale was performing a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Byron Arrow Mart.

Nobody was struck by the projectile and there were no injuries.

Hale was supported at the scene by Deputy Joseph Corona, who spotted a person in a second-floor window of hotel building.

O'Connor was taken into custody without incident.

He was initially charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief and held on $25,000 bail.

With the new charge, O'Connor is now being held in the Genesee County Jail on no bail.

Previously: Single gunshot in Byron highlights the dangers of modern law enforcement

March 7, 2016 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron.

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With his life on the line this afternoon, Deputy Andrew Hale had to hope for the best after a single gunshot rang out in Byron and shattered two windows in his patrol vehicle.

He needed to assess the situation, and to do that, he had to get out of his car. He had to get out without knowing where the shot came from, and no immediate idea of where or how he should take cover.

It was a perilous moment.

"Where do I hide?" Hale said during a press conference at the Sheriff's Office less than four hours after the incident at the Arrow Mart in Byron. "Where do I go? That's not stuff they can teach you at the academy. That's something you've just got to roll the dice and hopefully, you get lucky."

Fortunately, Hale said, he had immediate backup.

Deputy Joseph Corona was at the side of his patrol vehicle just a few hundred feet away when he saw Hale exit his SUV.

"I did observe Deputy Hale exit his vehicle with kind of a stunned look on his face on what possibly may have happened," Corona said. "I saw him look around to the side of his vehicle at which time when he looked at the side of his vehicle, I watched the exterior glass fall out of his vehicle onto the parking lot of the Arrow Mart, at which point I saw him going to radio for assistance. At that point, I'd already placed my vehicle in drive. I went to go offer support and offer a cover for Deputy Hale, so I put my patrol vehicle in front of him and his vehicle. I didn't know what situation was going on but he said 'possible gunshot'; so in my mind, I utilized our vehicles, I utilized our training, I made sure Deputy Hale was OK."

Hale said, "It was good when somebody showed up at the scene and you know you've got a friend."

Corona noticed an open window on the second floor of the Byron Hotel and a man moving in and out of the window. Corona thought it was likely that's where the shot came from and tried to yell commands to the man by the window.

"He did not obey my instructions," Corona said. "Whether he didn't hear me or wasn't paying attention to me, I didn't know at that point. "`

The Arrow Mart was busy and there were civilians all around the intersection of Route 262 and Route 237. Corona and Hale shouted instructions for people to take cover and leave the area.

Backup arrived from the Sheriff's Office and State Police.

Hale, Corona, Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble and Undersheriff William Sheron entered the hotel and went to the second floor.

David Michael O'Connor, 55, of Room 3, Byron Hotel, Byron, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a Class D felony, and third-degree criminal mischief, a Class E felony. Additional charges may be filed. He was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Hale and Corona were at the intersection running a traffic detail, watching for drivers without seatbelts. Corona would mark the spot and Hale would initiate the traffic stop.

At noon today, Hale stopped a vehicle in the parking lot of the Arrow Mart and wound through the routine -- speaking with the driver, who admitted to driving without a seatbelt, gathering his license, registration and insurance information and then returning to his patrol vehicle to check the data on his computer.

Once in the SUV, Hale heard "a pop" and the glass of his patrol vehicle's rear, passenger seat, windows shattered.

"At that point, you really don't know what's going on and you're trying to figure out, first, 'Was that a shot?' and second, 'Where did it come from?' " Hale said. "We were both sitting out in the open. It's a residential neighborhood and there are people 360 degrees around you and you don't know what window or what person. You don't know anything except that you potentially had gunfire."

The no-seatbelt driver got out his car.

Hale admitted, yeah, of course, it crossed his mind that the driver was the attacker. A person getting out of a vehicle is a big red flag for a cop, Hale said, but the driver immediately put his hands up and asked Hale if he was OK.

"Somebody who just shot at you doesn't throw up his hands in the air and ask if you're OK," Hale said. "Once I was kind of assured he wasn't a threat, my eyes went elsewhere."

The driver did not receive a citation.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman wouldn't speculate on what additional  charges O'Connor might face, but yes, there is an attempted murder of a police officer to consider.

O'Connor was allegedly found in possession of a .22 bolt-action, single-shot rifle. Maha said that when he entered Room #3, after the scene had been secured, he observed a box of shells on the bed. A casing was still in the rifle, but the slug has not yet been recovered.

Maha said only a single shot was fired.

Nobody was hurt.

There is no known motive at this time. O'Connor does have a local DWI arrest on his record from 2003 but had never had prior contact with Hale.

O'Connor "made certain admissions," Maha said, but wouldn't say what O'Connor said or characterize their nature.

Maha said there were indications O'Connor was under some recent stress and that he may have been a little intoxicated, though not noticeably intoxicated.

The job of law enforcement seems to have gotten more dangerous in recent years, Maha said.

"People seem to be more aggressive," Maha said. "I think it's a sign of the times, whether drug abuse, or alcohol abuse or stress, a lot of people out there with mental health issues."

Hale noted that so much of the work of law enforcement can be routine and it's easy to get complacent, but that's the last thing you want to do these days. So much has changed. 

"You try and remind yourself, and incidents like this do remind us that we do have to be vigilant out there," Hale said. "We have to pay attention. A simple stop for a seatbelt and look what it turned into. It's not that easy sometimes. You've got to see and keep yourself sharp and do your job.

"As the Sheriff stated," Hale added, "policing has changed now and the traffic stop has become, as a stated earlier, a 360. It's no longer just in front of you. You have to be more aware of the hostility toward police officers. You know, people walking down the street, you never know. I guess that's just part of the job now."

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March 7, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron.

A deputy making a traffic stop was reportedly fired upon early this afternoon at the Arrow Mart in Byron.

Deputy Andrew Hale and Deputy Joseph Corona were conducting a traffic detail when Hale initiated a traffic stop, according to Sheriff Gary Maha.

After speaking with the driver, Hale was returning to his vehicle when he heard a pop and the rear window of his patrol vehicle shattered.

He radioed for backup and Corona noticed that an upper floor window of the Byron Hotel was open.  

Once backup arrived, Hale, Corona and Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble entered the building and located a man inside.

The suspect "made some admissions" and is currently in custody, Maha said.

No one was injured in the incident.

The Sheriff's Office is planning a press conference for 4 p.m.

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