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March 16, 2012 - 12:15pm
posted by Brent Persia in batavia, music, pembroke, corfu, restaurant, falls, LIVE, indian, Brent, Persia, Acoustic, Log, Cabin.
Event Date and Time: 
March 17, 2012 -
6:00pm to 11:55pm

Traditional Irish Folk songs and other popular acoustic covers from 6pm till midnight. The Log Cabin will have corned beef and cabbage on the menu too!

Log Cabin is located off of Route 77 at

1227 Gilmore Road, Corfu, NY 14036

For more info:

March 8, 2012 - 5:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke, Darien, corfu, indian falls.

Heavy smoke is spewing from the chimney of a church in Pembroke that has been converted into a house, according to a Pembroke firefighter on scene. The location is 690 Main Road on the corner of Lake Road. It looks like it's confined to the chimney. Corfu and Darien are also responding.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: The address is determined to be 8576 North Lake Road. Indian Falls is responding, too. All incoming units are to stage at Pembroke Engine 85, which is in a driveway across the street.

UPDATE 5:32 p.m.: They are trying to contact the homeowner regarding entry to the house but "have not heard back."

UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: An unlocked door has been located on the north side of the structure. Interior firefighters are going to enter "to see what we can see." A firefighter warns that dogs can be heard barking inside. Akron is on scene. They are putting up ladder(s) on the roof.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: Two dogs are seen locked in the basement along with a cat. There's no smoke. The furnace is on. The cat is running around. They'll need to gain front entry to get to the basement. They have not been able to contact the occupants. Animal control is not available, according to dispatch. A code enforcement officer is called. There are multiple renovations under way. They are putting up a light tower and taking statements from people at the scene.

UPDATE 5:43 p.m.: They are going to contact the owner of the building, who lives in Indian Falls. The interior crew has reached the stove in the center of the building and they have knocked the fire down, now checking for extentions. Firefighters have to be careful inside as there are places where flooring is missing and there are open beams.

UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: They are shutting off the gas to the stove, which was "jerry-rigged," according to a firefighter. National Fuel has been contacted.

UPDATE 5:52 p.m.: One of the occupants has been located at the Union Hotel and firefighters are speaking with him. They are getting into the basement. They are all set with manpower and will begin releasing some of the responders.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: The Town of Pembroke's building inspector is going to be contacted. "It's definately needed," says the firefighter making the request. The female occupant is heading to the scene.

UPDATE 6:03 p.m.: "You can disregard contacting the building inspector. We're on the phone with zoning now." Once the occupant arrives, she can "take care of the dogs so we can get in there."

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: A zoning officer is on scene.

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: Corfu units are leaving the scene, in service. A National Fuel rep is on site.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Darien is back in quarters. The zoning officer has been provided the appropriate paperwork from the fire chief and there will be no further use of the chimney allowed at the residence until proper repairs are made and there is a re-inspection.

March 8, 2012 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, alexander, Darien, corfu.

A barn fire is reported at the Miller farm in the Town of Darien. It's located at 9697 Ridge Road. Darien Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Alexander and Corfu.

Caller is the owner who says flames are shooting out of one end of the barn and there's a possibility other structures nearby could be compromised.

UPDATE 1:37 p.m.: The fire has gone to a second alarm and mutual aid is called in from Pembroke, East Pembroke, the Town of Batavia and the city's Fast Team. The city's first platoon is called to stand by in quarters. There are three sites of fire inside the barn.

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: County emergency coordinators are called to the scene. Monroe County Water Authority is notified of the fire, and tanker personnel are communicatinn on the "water channel."

"I have the owner heading up toward you. All the barns are full of pigs."

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: Indian Falls is also responding along with Attica. "I need all available manpower to the back of the barn."

UPDATE 1:51: All available manpower from the Town of Batavia is called in.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: Wyoming County offers Bennington's "Super Tanker" and it is called in.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m.: Akron,  Alden, and Crittenden are assisting or called to assist.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: Oakfield is responding.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: "The fire is contained to the center of the building." This is a hog farm. The pigs are in their pens and the roof over them is on fire. They are frantically working to save the livestock. Stafford is called to stand by in Town of Batavia's Station 2.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Firefighters on scene are saying the first responders did a good job of knocking down the fire's progress northward where most of the hogs are penned.

UPDATE 2:11 p.m.: The power is on in the building. All incoming responders are told to take their time getting to the scene because they'll be waiting in line. The staging area is behind City of Batavia's Engine 12. Some firefighters are working to ventilate the buildings so the pigs can breathe more comfortably.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: A gas-fired ventilation fan is requested to the staging area, but the one on hand is electric.

UPDATE 2:42 p.m.: Firefighters are overhauling the burned barn then the plan is to shut water down there, dismantle and bring in a truck to transport the hogs.

UPDATE 3:04 p.m.: The farm is owned by Charlie Miller. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. It appears to have started in the nursery.

UPDATE 4:06 p.m.: All available manpower from Darien is called to the scene. Crews are breaking down their equipment and preparing to clear out.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: Darien and Corfu are to remain at the scene. All other tankers and equipment from mutual aid responders are released.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: Darien went back in service from this scene at 5:14 p.m., but is now providing mutual aid at a chimney fire in Pembroke.

March 5, 2012 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

A corfu man who is a member of the New York Army National Guard returned home this past Saturday, March 3, after successfully completing a one-year mobilization tour of duty, including combat service in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Krebs was deployed in support of Detachment One, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation, and served as a member of a CH-47 Chinook aircrew.

The New York National Guard was tasked with providing the aircrew in April 2011 to support an Army rotation to Afghanistan. With 30 days of training preparation available, New York selected five soldiers, including Krebs, based on their extensive flight experience, said Capt. Eric Fritz, the detachment commander and operations officer at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Rochester.

The troops were located between three Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan with the primary mission of ferrying troops and landing soldiers during air assaults. Most flight missions were conducted during the night with the use of night vision goggles, Fritz explained.

"All these soldiers had a successful tour," Fritz said, "representing the New York Army National Guard and their unit with pride."

March 5, 2012 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu.

Eric Charles Zglinicki, 49, of Alleghany Road, Darien Center, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Zglinicki was allegedly found in possession of three shotguns following an investigation and search of his residence by the Genesee County Probation Department and the Sheriff's Office. Zglinicki has a prior felony conviction.

Samantha Mary Williams, 31, of Warsaw Road, Le Roy, was arrested on a bench warrant out of the Hamburg Town Court to appear on charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration. Williams was turned over to the Hamburg Police Department.

Allen Skye Dockstader, 29, of Council House Road, Alabama, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Genesee County Court on a charge of violating probation following an investigation into a criminal mischief complaint.

Cody L. Osborn, 24, of 3265 State St., Caledonia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, inadequate head lights, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle and unlawful possession of marijuana. Osborn was stopped in the early hours Saturday by Le Roy Police. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Shawn Richard McGiveron, 23, East Main Street, Corfu, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. McGiveron is accused of violating an order of protection by calling and sending text messages to a protected person.

March 3, 2012 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

A chimney fire was reported about 15 minutes ago at 812 Genesee St., Corfu.

Corfu Fire Department with mutual aid from East Pembroke, Darien and Akron along with City of Batavia Fast Team dispatched.

The Fast Team along with Arkon have returned to station.

A fire was found, contained to the chimney. Corfu remains on scene.

View Larger Map

February 29, 2012 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, STOP-DWI.

A State Police investigation into the alleged misappropriation of STOP-DWI funds in Corfu has concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing in the case.

Allegations of malfeasance have been percolating in Corfu for months after Village Trustee Ralph Peterson first started looking into rumors that part-time police officers were being required to sign falsified time cards.

Investigator Ken Dubrinski concluded that there is no evidence any officers signed time cards that had notations on them claiming they were on DWI patrol when they were not.

STOP-DWI is a county program which uses funds from DWI fines to help pay for extra patrols by local law enforcement agencies -- either to operate DWI checkpoints or put DWI-specific patrols on the road.

Typically, the Village of Corfu Police Department has only one officer at a time on the road and that officer is engaged in general patrol duties. The only time two officers are on duty is during Darien Lake concerts, and one of those officers operates the intersection stop light at routes 33 and 77.

Even so, the village has been filing paperwork for STOP-DWI funding since at least 2009.

Dubrinski concluded that in the absence of falsified time cards, the filing of the STOP-DWI vouchers by the village clerk was the result of village officials misunderstanding how the program worked.

According to the investigator's report, obtained recently by The Batavian, the case started when Justice Robert Alexander (separately, a possible subject of an investigation into missing court funds) contacted Peterson and said that village police complained to him that they were being asked to sign time cards saying they were on DWI patrol when they were not.

Perterson told Dubrinski that he obtained copies of the program vouchers and interviewed police officers. He reportedly told Dubrinski that 39 out of 39 times, officers were reported to have worked DWI patrol but had only worked routine patrol.

Once officer told Dubrinski that he believed that the village was turning in STOP-DWI vouchers for any shift that resulted in a DWI arrest.

The officers interviewed by Dubrinski -- all seven or eight in the department are part-time -- said that as far back as a year ago, officers were asked to start signing time cards following a state audit. All said they had never been asked to sign a time card with additional notations on them.

February 21, 2012 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien, corfu.

A woman told a deputy she was fiddling with her GPS (global positioning system) prior to rear-ending a car which was stopped on Route 5 at Lovers Lane Road, Corfu.

The accident occurred at 10:50 a.m., Monday, and caused injuries to both drivers but neither was seriously hurt.

Jessica M. Reynolds, 24, of McVean Road, Corfu, was cited for allegedly following too closely. Also injured was Joan Marie Dugan, 75, of Erie Street, Darien Center.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

(Initial report)

February 20, 2012 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, pembroke, corfu, indian falls.

A beautiful clear morning -- hard to believe it was 21 degrees at 9 a.m. when I headed out for a bit of a drive to see what sort of pictures I might be able to take.

Above, a barn on Indian Falls Road just west of North Pembroke Road.

Barn at the intersection of Indian Falls Road and Little Indian Falls Road.

A tree in a field off Phelps Road.

A barn on Gorton Road, taken from Phelps Road.

I need somebody to ID this plant for me, please.

Telephone pole on Pratt Road.

February 20, 2012 - 10:55am
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, corfu, accidents, indian falls.

A two-car accident is reported in front of Kutter's Cheese Store, 857 Main Road, in Corfu. The westbound lane is blocked. There is a lot of debris and heavy damage, according to a Sheriff's deputy on scene. Injuries are believed to be minor. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 10:59 a.m.: Darien ambulance is also requested. There are two victims. One is out and walking around. The other is a 75-year-old female, who is still inside a vehicle.

UPDATE 11:44 a.m.: Darien ambulance transported one patient to UMMC.

February 17, 2012 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Basom, elba, Oakfield, byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford, corfu, Milestones, bergen.

The College at Brockport, State University of New York, recently honored students who excelled academically by naming them to the Deans' List for the Fall 2011 semester.

Students who earn a GPA of 3.70–3.99 are named to the Deans' List with Honors, while students who achieve a GPA of 3.40–3.69 are named to the Deans' List.

The honorees are:

Deans' List with Honors

Jeff Appis, of Byron
Brian Burgay, of Bergen
Shane Chatham, of Bergen
Kayla Chiocco, of Elba
Carly Crnkovich, of Elba
Samantha Denton, of Oakfield
Samantha Elliott, of Bergen
Zackary Kibler, of Oakfield
Jennifer Lazarony, of Corfu
Christina Mancuso, of Le Roy
Joanna Menzie, of Bergen
James Mignano, of Stafford
Erika Parmenter, of Pavilion
Theresa Raponi, of Pavilion
Rebecca Smith, of Bergen
Lori Stellrecht, of Basom
Patricia Van Buren, of Bergen
Danielle Wojtaszczyk, of Le Roy

Deans' List

Sarah Amico, of Le Roy
Dylan Ashley, of Le Roy
Zachary Bannister, of Elba
Gregory Barron, of Le Roy
Justin Becker, of Le Roy
Nicholas Bonin, of Bergen
AnDrea Carrigan, of Pavilion
Kristen Casper, of Oakfield
Chelsea Dillon, of Le Roy
Emily Drzewiecki, of Bergen
Donald Fonda, of Byron
Danielle Ford, of Le Roy
Molly Geissler, of Elba
Abigail Graham, of Le Roy
Natalie Haas, of Le Roy
Casey Herman, of Corfu
Brittany Kessler, of Byron
Gena Korn, of Le Roy
Emily Kovatch, of Le Roy
Chelsey Macomber, of Le Roy
Antonio Madau, of Le Roy
Jason McElroy, of Le Roy
Danielle Merica, of Le Roy
Melanie Monroe, of Bergen
Joseph Patton, of Le Roy
Ethan Reynolds, of Corfu
Lyman Rhodes, of Le Roy
Krystal Rivers, of Basom
Katherine Rogers, of Le Roy
Peter Subsara, of Darien Center
Christian Townes, of Le Roy
Kelsey Wright, of Pavilion

The College at Brockport is a comprehensive four-year public college. It offers 50 undergraduate majors, more than 40 graduate programs as well as 24 teacher certification programs. The college is rated among the "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, a "Best Regional University" by U.S. News & World Report, and a "Best Value" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

February 16, 2012 - 2:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, Le Roy, corfu, darien center, Milestones.

Four area residents were named to the Deans' List for the Fall semester at SUNY Oswego.

Showing academic achievement, with their major in parentheses, are:

Lindsey C. Glazier, of Caswell Road in Byron, a senior (elementary education).

Shannon E. Christiansen, of Phelps Road in Corfu, a junior (communication).

Nikki M. Parlato, of Seven Day Road in Darien Center, a senior (public justice).

Courtney M. Brooks, of Washington Avenue in Le Roy, a sophomore (public justice).

The President's and Deans' lists represent the academic top 24.4 percent of the Oswego student body. To be included on the Deans' List, students must have a semester grade average of 3.30 to 3.79.

Admission to SUNY Oswego is competitive. U.S. News & World Report named it among the "Top Public Regional Universities in the North" for 2012, the Princeton Review and USA Today named SUNY Oswego to their 2012 list of 150 "best value" colleges and universities in the nation.

A 151-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, Oswego enrolls more than 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education.

February 1, 2012 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, corfu.

Melissa C. Verton, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny and resisting arrest. Verton is accused of stealing $35 in cash and merchandise while employed at Walmart as a cashier. Verton is accused of verbally and physically resisting arrest.

Brandon Marshall Weig, 33, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Weig was arrested on a warrant for an alleged violation of an order of protection Nov. 13. Weig is accused of having contact with a protected person. Weig is accused of doing the same thing on Dec. 18.

Kahlil Nathaniel Johnson,19, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass. Johnson is accused of being at College Village after being banned from the property.

Dustin Stephen Williams, 24, of Simonds Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal and speeding. Williams was stopped at 2:12 a.m. on Route 238, Darien, by Deputy Jason Saile.

January 24, 2012 - 9:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

The county has suspended STOP-DWI funding for the Village of Corfu Police Department, and the issue made for a contentious village board meeting Monday night.

A village board member asked for disciplinary action against the police chief One police officer blamed the village board for dragging his name through the mud. And the mayor blamed Board Member Ralph Peterson (inset photo) for costing the village $3,000 in funding.

Peterson claims he only went to county officials to ask questions about how STOP-DWI vouchers should be processed. He said he didn't ask for a criminal investigation.

But after Peterson raised the issue, a State Police investigator opened a fraud investigation, which included visiting the home of at least one part-time village police officer.

The investigation concluded with no charges filed.

"There was no evidence of malfeasance," said village Attorney Mark Boylan.

Mayor Todd Skeet characterized the mishandled paperwork as a mistake, a misunderstanding between the village and the STOP-DWI committee that approves the vouchers.

"The STOP-DWI panel didn’t seem to understand the Corfu Police Department," Skeet said. "They didn't understand how it worked until this came along."

In a letter to the village, Frank Ciaccia, assistant county manager and the STOP-DWI coordinator, informed the village that recently submitted vouchers wouldn't be paid and 2012 funding for the village was suspended. The letter also states:

"Unlike the other police agencies with full-time officers, I believe that the Corfu Police Department is a unique operation that doesn't lend itself to easily comply in a verifiable manner with the requirements of the STOP-DWI program."

Funds for the STOP-DWI program come from DWI fines paid and are distributed to departments to help pay for equipment that can be used in apprehending suspected drunken drivers, such as radar units and license plate readers.

Agencies submit vouchers and time cards indicating times officers spent on road patrol with a specific intent of looking for drunken drivers.

The allegation is that the village submitted vouchers for times when officers were on general patrol, not specifically DWI patrol.

Skeet said the village completed the paperwork exactly as Ciaccia trained officials to do several years ago.

Officer Gene Nati spoke up at the meeting and complained that the whole village is gossiping about recent allegations of corruption in the village. And with State Troopers showing up at his door on a supposed criminal investigation, he feels like he's getting his reputation soiled when he didn't do anything wrong.

"My neighbors are talking about how the Corfu court is corrupt, the Corfu Fire Department is corrupt and the Corfu Police Department is corrupt," Nati said. "I'm not going to have my name dragged through mud for any wrongdoing for anything anybody else is doing.

"This is a part-time job," added Nati, who is also an Erie County Sheriff's deputy. "I don't need the money. I do it so I get a little extra money and buy a few cigars.

"I come here write a few tickets and generate some revenue for the village, but I and the other officers don't need our names dragged through the mud. It's the Village of Corfu, and you guys can't even get along at your own meetings."

Peterson opened the meeting by reading from a lengthy statement expressing his doubts that the problems with the STOP-DWI program paperwork were just an oversight. Peterson said that Chief James Meier, a 20-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, should already know how to complete the paperwork.

At the end of his statement, Peterson made a motion for "some sort of disciplinary action" against Meier.

Attorney Boylan told Peterson he couldn't make such a sweeping motion, and then explained that because of the finding of the State Police investigator and the lack of evidence of any intentional wrongdoing, there was no basis to discipline anybody.

"My personal feeling is that I believe that Ralph Peterson is the cause of the village losing $3,000 in funding," Mayor Skeet said. "He didn't ever come to the board once, never once saying there is a problem with the STOP-DWI program. Instead, he went straight to Batavia and got Frank Ciaccia all boiled up over it."

After the meeting, Peterson said he still isn't satisified that there was no wrongdoing in how the funds were handled. He said the reason he didn't come to the board first is that, in the past, issues he's raised with the board haven't been taken seriously.

Skeet said Peterson started pursuing the STOP-DWI issue only after the village board asked state auditors to look into potential problems with the village court.

Officials expected Village Justice Robert Alexander to go to Monday's meeting and address the recent NYS audit report on alleged missing funds in his court, but Peterson informed the board at the onset that Alexander was sick and unable to attend.

CLARIFICATION: Chief Meier said neither he nor his officers prepare the STOP-DWI vouchers. They are completed by the village clerk. There were no errors in the paperwork, but rather a "procedural problem" over how patrols were designated.

January 23, 2012 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu.

Gary A. Goodwin, 51, of Hamlin, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08. Goodwin was reportedly involved in a motor vehicle accident at 11:12 p.m., Jan. 21, on Cockram Road, Town of Byron. The accident was investigated by Deputy Brad Mazur.

Rene Peres Roblero, 46, of McGregor Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, operation by an unlicensed driver, operating without insurance. Roblero was arrested following the report of a one-vehicle accident at 11:24 p.m., Jan. 17, on Richley Road, Darien. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Debra G. Fields, 43, of 18 South St., Le Roy, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st. Field is accused of hosting an underage drinking party at her residence.

Uriah Ian-Charles Smoke, 27, of Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Smoke was arrested on a warrant and jailed on $2,000 bail or $4,000 bond.

January 22, 2012 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Corfu Fire Department.

The Corfu Fire Department held its annual installation and awards dinner Friday night.

Honored were Ben Trapani, Most Calls (left); Greg Lang, Service Person of the Year (center); and, Mitch Bates, Firefighter of the Year (right). Pictured with Trapani, Lang and Bates are Kathy Skeet, president of the fire department and Chief Dean Eck.

Three-year-old Ethan Dawson received a toy fire truck as a present from the department. Ethan was born Aug. 1, 2008, at the Corfu Fire Hall, delivered by Karen Lane, Kathy Skeet and Mary Beth McMartin. With Ethan were his mother, Amanda, and father, Ken (not pictured).

January 20, 2012 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

Financial records for the Village of Corfu Court are off by nearly $30,000 according to an audit released today by the NYS Comptroller's Office.

It doesn't explicitly accuse anybody of misappropriating funds, but does say the matter has been referred to local law enforcement.

The court is run by elected Justice Robert Alexander, who has been on the bench for 22 years. For most of the time covered by the audit -- Nov. 1, 2009 through Sept. 12, 2011 -- Alexander's clerk was his daughter, Brandi Alexander.

The clerk is responsible for collecting and recording fines, fees and bail, and reporting adjudicated cases to the DMV and the state's Justice Court Fund.

The justice of a court, according to the audit, is responsible for checking and reconciling the clerk's records.

While the audit uses language that is careful not to accuse Brandi Alexander of misappropriation of funds, it does outline scenarios where funds intended for fines, fees and bail are unaccounted for, understated or missing.

The audit found cash records were short by $10,628, stating the shortage is due to the lack of proper internal controls over the court's financial activities.

Of the shortage, $8,819 was for cash collected but never deposited in the court's bank account. The balance of the shortage is due to accounting errors, according to the report.

"These court (monies) are unaccounted for because neither the Justice nor the Clerk performed monthly reconciliations of Court activities, and the Justice did not review Court financial records," reads the report.

There is allegedly $16,883 in fines and bail during the audit period that were not recorded in the cash book, though funds were deposited in the court's bank account.

Also, $2,210 in payments were recorded at amounts less than actually paid; $790 in credit card payments were greater than recorded in the cashbook.

The audit also reportedly found that fines of $3,770 on 11 tickets were disposed of in reports to the DMV, but no evidence of payment was recorded. And there was an additional $2,350 in irregularities in the recording of DMV fines.

When a ticket is paid, a report is supposed to go to the DMV and to the Justice Court Fund. Auditors said they found irregularities in this duel-reporting process.

"It is unusual to report tickets as disposed to the DMV without also reporting them on the JCF monthly report," auditors said. "There is a risk that these fines could have been paid in cash and not recorded, or deposited and not recorded."

A total of 67 cash, check and money order payments were recorded for amounts less than the amount actually paid by the defendants, according to the report, and only 38 of the actual plea documents could be located by auditors. 

For 22 credit card payments, auditors located 14 plea sheets and on 10 sheets the amount of the fine noted was less than what the defendent actually paid.

Auditors were able to contact two individuals who were able to produce copies of sentencing letters used to notify defendants who plead guilty by mail of the sentence imposed. In both cases, the letter asked the defendants to pay a fine higher than what was recorded on the plea sheet.

"This test was necessarily limited because there were very few sentencing letters in Court records," auditors wrote. "However, given that this relatively simple scheme was used on at least two occasions, overstating fines in sentencing letters is one of the practices that could account for under-reported fine amounts in the cashbook."

When asked about the irregularities, Brandi Alexander reportedly told auditors, "that she performed her job too quickly and had made many errors."

Alexander began her full-time position March 10, 2008.

The audit says it's not unusual for a justice to hire a family member as clerk, but when a justice does hire a family member, he must seek the approval of the Unified Court System.

The audit states that Alexander did not receive permission to hire Brandi, and when permission was sought -- after the village board requested the audit -- the request was denied, at which time the board voted to remove Brandi from the clerk's position.

Typically, the board cannot hire or dismiss a court clerk without approval of the village justice, but once the UCS ruled that Brandi could not hold the position, the board had no choice but to terminate her employment.

While the court and its employees are an independent entity -- the village board has no control over its activities or its books -- the clerk's salary and benefits are picked up by the village.

Among the auditor's recommendations are that the village attempt to recover funds owed to the court by the justice.

Also, the auditors recommend that Justice Alexander seek to identify defendants who overpaid fines and issue them refunds on the overpaid amount.

The report also calls on the court to tighten up its financial controls and bookkeeping.

For the full report, click here.

January 19, 2012 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Bobbie Jo Norton, of Corfu, has been awarded a $1,000 per year "Educational Foundation Academic Distinction" scholarship to attend Alfred State College.

She is slated to graduate in 2012 from Pembroke Central School and intends to enroll in the accounting program.

The award, based on scholastic achievement, is from the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., according to Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for enrollment management at Alfred State.

Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Alfred State offers some 52 associate degree programs, 19 baccalaureate degree programs, and three certificate programs.

January 17, 2012 - 11:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Basom, elba, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu, darien center, Milestones, bergen, linwood.

Stephen J. Havlovic, vice president for academic affairs at Alfred State College, has announced the Deans' List of students for the fall 2011 semester.

Students from both the Alfred campus and the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville are selected for the Deans' List if they maintain a 3.50 grade-point average (GPA) out of a possible 4.0. The 4.0 GPA or straight "A" students are indicated with an asterisk (*).

The following Genesee County students were among those recognized:

Brandon Richardson, of Basom

*Nicole Binns, of Corfu

Ethan Willard, of Darien Center

*Kailynn Stacy,  of Elba

Nicholas Weibel, of Elba

*John Langdon, of Bergen

Quentin Humphrey, of Le Roy

Morgan Presher, of Le Roy

Edward Cigno, of Le Roy

*Christopher Locke, of Le Roy

*Christian Dermody, of Linwood

Thomas Parmenter, of Pavilion

Alfred State College offers associate degrees in 52 programs in the fields of agriculture, health, business, vocational, and engineering technology, as well as liberal arts and sciences. There are also 19 baccalaureate degree offerings.

January 17, 2012 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, corfu.

Members of the Rupracht family enjoy each other's company so much, they decided to go into business together.

Jim and Lori Rupracht owned and operated the J&L Feed Store in Corfu for 20 years. But as the number of hobby farmers in the area declined, they decided to change locations, build a larger store, add more products and focus on a larger customer base.

That's when son Ryan, who worked at the feed store from the time he was 8 years old, decided to become a partner in the business.

Ryan put up his own money and did the electrical and other work on the new building at 47 W. Main St., Corfu.

"We just really enjoy working working together," Lori said. "None of us can imagine going out and working for someone else. We’re all independent and we like being independent. It’s really important to just have us all together."

The 3,400-square-foot store sits on an eight-acre parcel and cost $250,000 to get up and running. It includes a greenhouse where the Rupracht will eventually grow greens in the winter and hold workshops on gardening.

Jim completed a master gardner course at the Cornell Extension in prepration for the new business.

The store still carries feed and other agricultural and home gardening supplies, but also a line of groceries -- from soft drinks to locally grown fruits and vegetables.

M&M Meats of Batavia are featured in the store and Jennifer Worthington moved her florist shop, Heaven’s Gate, to the new location.

Ryan said he decided to get involved in the retail business not just because he enjoys working with his family, he simply likes living in Corfu.

"We’re all people people," Ryan said. 'We’ve been here 20 years and we’ve gotten to know a lot of people here."




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