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January 25, 2015 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu, Corfu-Pembroke Community Winterfest.

A look at yesterday's Corfu-Pembroke Community Winterfest.

January 22, 2015 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, books, corfu, Kutter's Cheese, Tony Kutter.

Imagine a country with only one kind of cheese. If you can, you're thinking of Russia in the aftermath of the fall of communism.

That was the situation Tony Kutter found on his first trip in 1995 to the former Soviet Union as part of a trade exchange program to help aspiring Russian entrepreneurs learn how to start cheesemaking businesses.

Who better to teach how to make and market more than one kind of cheese than the 81-year-old Corfu resident who is a former owner of Kutter's Cheese, a cheesemaker with a reputation for developing dozens of varieties of cheese.

That's what leaders of the exchange program thought after Kutter volunteered for the assignment and his resume landed on their desks.

It was one of Kutter's suppliers who suggested he apply for the volunteer position.

"He said, 'just send in your resume,' so I did," Kutter said. "I did and as soon as I did they responded right away. 'Oh, this is the one we're looking for.' "

Working through Agricultural Cooperative Development International, Overseas Cooperation Assistance and Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, all three nonprofit, private organizations based in Washington, D.C., Kutter made 31 trips to Russia over a 12-year span.

Batavia's own Barber Conabel, then president of the World Bank, was among the first to suggest Kutter write a book about his experiences during those many trips.

"He said, 'you've got to write a book,' " Kutter said. "He said, 'I don't know anyone who has been there 31 times and all over Russia.' "

The book is published now and it's called "Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika."

Kutter tells the tales, recalls the tribulations and revisits the sometimes sad family histories of the people he met while helping to build cheese plants, instructing cheesemakers on marketing, and sharing with them the recipes for any variety of cheese from munster to gouda to cheese curds.

"I got over there and said, 'geez, you make one kind of cheese and it ain't very damn good,' " Kutter said. "So I took about 20 varieties over from our cheese factory and told them, 'tell me what you want to make and I'll show you how to do it.' "

The organizations sponsoring these missions -- and there were many -- wanted to help Russia transition from a command economy to a market economy and help open up the country to U.S. goods and services. American companies helped sponsor the programs in the hopes of developing a new market.

Goals that haven't exactly been met.

His first mission was to help start a cheese factory in St. Petersburg. This mission was also Kutter's first introduction to Russian bureaucracy and the national penchant to operate on bribery.

Organizations sponsoring Kutter's trips purchased supplies for the new factory and Kutter arrived at the border with the equipment. 

A customs official wanted to know, "What the heck is this stuff?"

It's for making cheese, Kutter told him.

The official went through the boxes and proclaimed, "This isn't humanitarian aid. You falsified the papers."  

The fine was $75,000.

Kutter returned to the U.S. without the new factory in place, but when he returned a few months later, the factory was ready to start making cheese. All of the new equipment was installed and ready to go.

He wanted to know how it happened.

"Let's not get into that," he was told. "That's not for you to know."

Kutter added, "everything in Russia is predicated on a bribe. It's still that way."

Sadly, the St. Petersburg factory went bankrupt after two years, but others Kutter helped start are still operational.

In his travels, Kutter was often invited into the homes of his Russian hosts and he often quizzed the older Russians about life under the former Soviet regime.

When Stalin died, Kutter was serving in the Army in Korea and he remembers reading in "Stars and Stripes" about people weeping in the streets, so he asked one old Russian gentleman, "did you cry when Stalin died?"

The man said, no. He wasn't really all that saddened by the brutal dictator's death.

The man told Kutter, "I put spit in my eyes so it looked like I was crying."

Kutter had dinner with a woman whose husband was taken to Siberia during Khrushchev's rule.

The couple had eight children. The man's crime? He took a bag of grain so he could feed his family.

The mother wrote her husband every day, but never got a reply.  They assumed the letters were getting to him, but that he wasn't allowed to respond.

In 1975, after Brezhnev became chairman, she received a letter informing her that her husband "had been killed unnecessarily." The package contained all the letters she had ever sent him.

"I can tell dozens of stories like that," Kutter said.

In the town of Perm, Kutter helped establish a cheese factory and taught the owners how to make a great variety of cheeses, all of which most Russians had never even tried.

He told his hosts that with these great cheeses ready to sell, they needed a way to market them. Thinking of the booming tourist business Kutter's has always done in Pembroke, Kutter suggested they set up a sample table at City Hall. 

As a condition of the permit, Kutter had to speak Russian. Fortunately, he had hired for the plant in Pembroke a woman who was a Russian translator, and she had been tutoring him on his Russian.

"I can speak enough Russian," he told them, "to say, 'I'm from America and I'm working at this cheese plant right here in your city and we developed these new variety of cheese and so perhaps you can try some and tell me what you think.' "

The people came out of the woodwork, Kutter said.

"One woman said to me, 'why are you giving all this stuff away?' " Kutter said.

He told her, "We want to introduce it to you."

She replied, "In Russia, if somebody is giving something away, it usually means it isn't any good."

The Russians liked the free cheese, but that didn't mean they were buying cheese at first.

"I asked one woman, 'would you buy this cheese?' and she asked me what we were selling it for, and I told her, and she said, 'you know, I'd really like to but, no, I wouldn't buy it.' She said, 'I don't have a lot of money, so I would save my money and buy a dress because when I go out in public they can see what I wear, but they can't see what I ate.' "

Asked if he felt he had any lasting impact on Russia, or left a legacy, Kutter demurs.

"I'm just a little old cheese maker," he said.

A little later he came back to the question and recalled the time a sales rep came into the Kutter's factory and asked him if he had heard about the cheese curds recall in Russia.  

"I thought," Kutter said, "there never was any cheese curds in Russia until I went there, so I must have had some effect."

"Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika," by Tony Kutter, is normally on sale at the Holland Land Office Museum, but they just sold out. More copies are expected soon. 

January 20, 2015 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu.

Zachary Jordan Franclemont, 20, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a hallucinogenic substance, one gram or more, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Deputy Kevin McCarthy responded to a suspicious activity report at 12:30 a.m., Monday, at the East Pembroke Arrowmart of a person in a car using drugs. Upon investigation, Franclemont was found in a vehicle allegedly found in possession of cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. Franclemont was arrested, arraigned and jailed on $20,000 bail. Assisting were Deputy Jason Saile, Sgt. Eric Seppala and Sgt. Greg Walker.

January 18, 2015 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Corfu Fire Department.

Steve Rodland, with the trophy, was named Firefighter of the Year for the Corfu Fire Department at the department's annual installation dinner on Saturday night. Pictured with Rodland, Greg Lang, Brian Schollard and Dean Eck.

This year's firematic officers are: Eck, chief; Schollard, 1st assistant; Lang, 2nd assistant; Brian McMartin, senior captain; Ben Trapani, Brad Lang and Mitch Bates, captains; Bernie Fix, fire police captain; Rachel Bozzer, Glenn Eck, Rob McNally, Rodland and Dan Smith, lieutenants. McMartin is the safety officer.

The oath of office.

Ed Fauth, who was honored for his 60th year with the department, received the fire service Person of the Year award.

Kristen Gaik was named Rookie of the Year.

January 11, 2015 - 3:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu.
Matthew Jurek

Matthew A. Jurek, 26, of Pembroke, has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal pedestrian accident, according to the Buffalo News.

Jurek was allegedly involved in an accident Saturday that claimed the life of Francis A. Meldrum Jr., 38, of Corfu, who was walking on Indian Falls Road in Newstead when he was struck by a vehicle.

A passerby found Meldrum's body in the roadway.

From the Buffalo News:

An unidentified passenger in the suspect’s pickup at the time of the hit-and-run is cooperating with investigators, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“After Jurek struck Mr. Meldrum with the vehicle he was operating, he fled from the scene and left Mr. Meldrum lying on the side of the road,” Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman said in an afternoon news conference.

Jurek was reportedly with a group of people that night.

January 5, 2015 - 7:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

The man killed in a hit-and-run accident in Newstead has been identified, and he's from Corfu.

The victim was 38-year-old Francis A. Meldrum Jr., according the the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

A passerby reportedly found Meldrum's body in the roadway along Indian Falls Road shortly after midnight.

Authorities believe either an SUV or truck hit Meldrum, but are not ruling out a passenger car. There were apparently no witnesses and no physical evidence to help identify the vehicle was found at the scene.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver whose vehicle hit Meldrum.

January 5, 2015 - 7:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Le Roy, corfu.

Ricky N. Porter Jr., 24, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, and a 16-year-old male from Brighton (name not released by Le Roy PD), were charged with assault, 3rd. Porter and the teen allegedly punched another person numerous times, causing facial fractures, swelling and lacerations. The victim required hospital treatment. The teen was also charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. It's alleged that after turning himself in at Le Roy PD headquarters, he punched a window, damaging the window and hurting himself. After being treated for the injury, he was arraigned on both charges and jailed on an unspecified amount of bail.

Renee L. Coughlin, no age provided, of Bergen, is charged with DWI and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Coughlin was stopped by State Police in Olean. During the investigation, troopers allegedly found she was carrying a stun gun.

Joseph B. Hogan, 75, of Corning, is charged with federal criminal tax fraud, 4th, and possession of unstamped cigarettes. Hogan was stopped on Route 77 in the Village of Corfu by Officer Michael Petritz for allegedly driving 47 in a 35 mph zone.

William James Bick, 25, of Dorman Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement markings. Bick was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Dec. 27 on Oak Orchard Road by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Laticia S. Anderson, 29, of Wilson Street, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and menacing, 2nd. Anderson was allegedly involved in a fight at 16 Bank St., Batavia, at 10 p.m. Sunday. She was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Katie Rose Wishman, 29, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Wishman is accused of shoplifting from Dollar General. She was allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle and a small amount of crack cocaine upon her arrest.

Cody David Cutitta, 28, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, petit larceny, identity theft, 3rd, and forgery, 3rd. Cutitta allegedly used a credit card without authorization to obtain goods and services at two locations in the City of Batavia and one in the Town of Batavia.

Crystal L. Marsceill, 34, of Oak Street, Batavia, was arrested on warrants for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge and on a grand larceny charge. She was jailed on $5,000 bail.

UPDATE: Marsceill was also arrested in Wyoming County. Marsceill was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 2:58 a.m. Saturday on Route 19, Warsaw. A deputy asked for her name and birthdate to perform a warrant check and was told she would be arrested if she lied about the information. Marsceill allegedly gave an incorrect first name. The deputy found a felony warrant for her arrest out of the City of Batavia. She was charged with false personation and turned over to Batavia PD.

Erica M. Raphael, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael allegedly stole merchandise from Dollar General.

Casey J. Halsey, 34, of Silver Lake, is charged with aggravated harassment. Halsey was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:30 a.m. New Year's Day. Halsey was held on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Andrea L. Osborne, 30, of Albion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Osborne was stopped at 10:20 p.m. on New Year's Day in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

December 23, 2014 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Stafford, corfu.

Andrea M. Gray, 36, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, criminal tampering, 3rd, coercion, 1st, and obstruction of governmental administration. During an incident first reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday at a residence on Maple Street, Gray allegedly tore the shirt of a roommate during a fight. She then allegedly attempted to interfere with the arrest of a person accused of violating a court order by having contact with her. She allegedly attempted to coerce police officers to release the suspect by threatening to harm herself if he was not released. Gray was jailed without bail. Gray was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly taking the mobile phone of a roommate Friday and not returning it.

Russell R. Miles Jr., 46, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles was arrested following an investigation into a disturbance reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday on Maple Street, Batavia. Miles has a previous criminal contempt conviction within the past five years. He was ordered held without bail.

Jeremiah J. Cieszynski, 27, of Warsaw, and Sally M. Sims, 24, of Warsaw, are charged with petit larceny. Cieszynski and Sims are accused of stealing clothing and sneakers valued at $125 from Kmart.

Bashard L. Joiner, 21, of Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal trespass, 3rd. Joiner received a suspension letter from GCC on Oct. 9 and told he was not permitted on campus property. During November, Joiner was allegedly spotted several times at College Village by safety officers and video surveillance. On Dec. 10, Joiner was located in the cafeteria on campus and placed under arrest by State Police. He was jailed on $300 bail or $600 bond.

Jeannette Kathleen Moore, 44, of West Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny. Moore is accused of stealing from Kmart while employed at the store.

Katie R. Wishman, 29, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Wishman allegedly hit another family member in the face with a mug causing an injury. This act was allegedly committed in the presence of a 3-year-old child. During the investigation, police allegedly found heroin and needles. Wishman was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kelly A. Hasenauer, 50, of Webster Street, Batavia, is charged with falsifying business records. Hasenauer allegedly signed a fake name to a business record at UMMC's ER in an attempt to defraud.

Linda L. Snyder, 32, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder allegedly threatened to fight another person at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Debra Elizabeth Webster, 46, of Route 20A, Warsaw, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or higher, unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding and failure to signal. Webster was stopped at 12:23 a.m.  Friday on Noonan Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

William James Johnson, 41, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speeding and failure to keep right. Johnson was allegedly involved in an accident at 9:22 p.m. Saturday on Route 5, Pembroke, which was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Matthew Alan Hoye, 23, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Hoye was arrested following a check of a roadside vehicle at 12:26 a.m., Saturday.

Peter James Curts, 25, of Main Street, Caledonia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to stop at a stop sign. Curts was stopped at 11 p.m. Thursday on Parmalee Road, Le Roy, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Brett W. Short, 28, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Short was charged by State Police following a traffic stop Friday morning in Batavia.

Arthur Robinson, 60, of Raleigh, NC, is charged with DWI in a commercial vehicle and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Robinson was stopped at 10 a.m. Sunday by State Police on Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

December 15, 2014 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime, Oakfield, Bethany, corfu.

David R. Cook, 20, of Lindsey Road, Attica, is charged with forgery, 2nd. Cook allegedly altered a prescription in an attempt to deceive a pharmacy into giving him more medication than original prescribed. Cook was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Daniel W. Hennebohl, 59, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Hennebohl is accused of scratching a car with a key while in the Walmart parking lot at 11:48 a.m., Sunday.

Nancy Ann Bennet, 44, of Center Street, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Bennet is accused of shoplifting at Kmart.

Christina M. Sanchez-Anderson, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Sanchez-Anderson is accused of failing to appear in court on a grand larceny charge in October.

Daniel J. Saeva, 35, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, criminal mischief, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, harassment, 2nd and assault, 3rd. Saeva is accused of putting his hands around the next of another person and shoving another while in the presence of three children during an alleged incident reported at 9:01 p.m., Friday.

Donya M. Vaughn, 48, of Richley Road, Corfu, is charged with issuing a bad check. Vaughn was arrested on a warrant issued by City Court.

Carter L. Hall, 37, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hall was stopped at 9:10 p.m. Friday at Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive by State Police.

December 7, 2014 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, corfu.

The tears were gone. She had no more, said Renee Franclemont in the midst of a conversation yesterday about the fire that destroyed her business in a barn on Alleghany Road, Corfu, an hour before sunrise Thursday morning.

The fire consumed more than $20,000 in inventory, killed 17 chickens, devoured a season's worth of hay and straw, and turned a grand and well-aged barn into ash and rubble.

Franclemont grew up in Corfu. She is the daughter of a former Corfu fire chief and a mother who was a volunteer EMT.

She knew all the firefighters Thursday morning, and they knew her.

"It was sad," she said. "They felt helpless."

The old farmhouse 100 paces to the north of the barn, was built in 1890 and added onto over the years, has, of course, been the home to families, as it is now to Franclemont, her two boys, two girls and partner Clinton Konfederath. It has housed the Rarick law firm and accommodated countless guests as a bed and breakfast.

Four years ago Franclemont bought her house and the 14 acres of land that go with it because she loved the barn.

"I moved to this house because I wanted my barn," Franclemont said. "I wanted that barn. My kids all know. We moved in and I didn't even unpack boxes. I went into that barn and I set to cleaning the barn. I wasn't even thinking about a business. I wanted the barn."

The structure was even older than the house and functioned as a co-op antique store formerly owned by Gemma Rarick in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, in red letters made of wood slats affixed below its peaked roof was the official business name: "The Barn." The words, bold and artful, were eight feet tall and could be seen hundreds of yards away by travelers heading north on Route 77.

To avoid any sign ordinance issues, Franclemont called her business "The Farm" and kept the same lettering nailed to the gray, asphalt shingles that at some point were installed as siding on the oldest end of the building.

Nobody insures businesses housed in 150-year-old barns. Franclement tried to have it insured, and for a time it was, for just $29,000, which Franclement felt was well below its real value.

"That's all they would insure it for because it was that old," Franclemont said. "They didn't look at it like you and I look at a barn. They looked at it as rough and horrible. We look at it and think, 'that's perfect.' "

When the insurance company realized there was a licensed business in the barn, the policy was yanked and all of her pleas for coverage went unheeded.

The Farm is truly a family business. Franclemont and Konfederath run it, of course, but all four children help out.

Austin, 19, and 15-year-old Dakota, both work there. Austin was last year's leading scorer and an all-league player on Pembroke's soccer team, and is now a student at GCC. His brother was a slender-framed punter on the football team, who walked into the kitchen Saturday dressed in camoflauge with a rifle slung over his shoulder (he bagged two rabbits that afternoon).

They can be left alone at times, Franclemont said, to run things if she needs to tend to errands.

Never left alone, but adept at sales and operating the cash register are Montana, 11, and Sawyer Mae, 6.

Montana is the real chicken farmer in the family. A chicken whisperer, her mother called her. Blonde, popular at school, into gymnastics and cheerleading, Montana keeps herself and her mom busy.

Only a week ago, Montana seemingly saved a chicken that appeared ill and unlikely to survive. The girl took the bird in her arms, wrapped it in warm cloth and held it while sitting in the store.

"We didn't think the chicken was going to make it and the next day it was running around, so she must have saved it," Franclemont said.

Sawyer Mae has no less energy than her older sister, but it's not always directed at school. She's a bit of a tomboy who favors plaid shirts, purple pants and cowboy boots.

"She could probably run the business by herself," Franclemont said. "She's the one who wants to miss school so she can pick pumpkins or just work around the farm or in the store."

As we spoke, visitors dropped by and popped in here and there. Some brought hugs, others clutched cards stuffed in bulging white envelopes. They entered the family room and adjoining kitchen and dining area through the back door off the gravelled driveway.

The visitors were tenderly welcomed into her home, which is decorated much like you might expect from a woman whose business is also her life. 

The flat-screen TV sits atop a black wood and cast iron 19th Century sewing machine table, so big it must have come from a Gilded Age factory. On the opposite wall is a wooden, weathered round-rung ladder that was carried from the old barn to adorn the family room wall. At one point, Franclemont took a plank from the barn and painted in white the words  "Bed and Breakfast" on it, to honor one of the prior businesses in her old house. That hangs above the couch.

The white-curtained dining room window faces south. The driveway and a small, bridge-covered creek separate the house from the cement foundation of the barn. Tom Konfederath and Rick Claire spent most of the previous 48 hours using backhoes and loaders to knock down and haul away the burnt, charred and twisted ruins of the barn. Clinton was out there breaking up cement so it, too, could be taken to a dump or recycling center.

Everybody thought it a good idea to get rid of the debris as quickly as possible so the Corfu Fire Department wouldn't be burdened with an endless string of rekindle calls.

All that remained of the store's inventory after the fire -- save produce kept in a cooler that just by coincidence and for no reason at all had a fireproof door -- was black ash or melted and mangled beyond recognition.

The inventory came from seven consignees, all but one a Genesee County resident. Almost everything they sold was repurposed from something old: Milk canisters with handpainted farm scenes; spiffed up 19th Century hand tools to hang on walls; lanterns that once lit the way but are best used these days as a "needful thing"; antique bed headboards converted into benches; and wood from other long lost barns cut sign-size and handpainted with clever and wise aphorisms.

In the home-decorating industry, the stock is called "primitive." It's the kind of baubles and curiosities that appeal to Western New Yorkers whose magazine subscriptions include "Yankee" and "Traditional Home" more so than "Dwell" and "Atomic Ranch."

The fire started in the chicken coop. We know that because that was the only thing with flames showing after Franclemont and Konfederath were awoken around 5 a.m. Thursday by a man pounding on their back door.

The chicken coop was newly constructed and purposefully placed next to the barn.

The kind of customers drawn to The Farm love farm animals. After acquiring some more chickens from another farmer who wanted to get rid of them, it seemed like a good idea to build the chicken coop closer to the customers.

"We made this big beautiful coop," Franclemont said. "I wanted it closer to the barn because my customers love to see the chickens walk around. That's part of it. They love my pig and they love the chickens and I wanted the chicken coop close to the barn so the customers see all that. A lot of kids would go over and open the thing and check for eggs."

Somehow, while 17 adult chickens perished in the fire, 11 young ones (bigger than chicks), survived.

When they were hauled from the fire, the 11 babies were unconscious and laying on their sides. Franclemont thought they were dead, but when she shook them, the soot-covered fowl sprang to life.

When you're under stress and you see your life going up in flames, time passes slowly. Seconds seem like minutes, minutes like hours.

It seemed, Franclemont said, like it took forever for the first fire trucks to arrive at her barn on the Route 33 side of Cohocton Road.

Corfu Chief Dean Eck arrived on scene, as chiefs do, before the fire trucks.

"He felt helpless," Franclemont said. "We're both standing there just waiting for the trucks to come."

Konfederath does all the farming for the family business. He grows produce sold in the store, the corn with stalks that make for handsome decorations in the fall, the thousands of pumpkins sold in October, the hay and straw that was stored in the barn's loft, awaiting shipment to horse farm customers.

"Some firemen were showing up and I was saying, 'it can't get to that hay,' " Franclemont said. "If it goes up the wall and gets to where we store hay and straw, we're done. It hit the hay and it was like lightning -- woosh -- and it lit up the whole barn. It was gone."

As flames licked the side of the barn, Franclemont was frantic to save what she could from the business. She grabbed the cash box and then went back for some of her books. When she wanted to go in again, this time for the records of her consignees sales, a deputy stopped her. After some arguing with the deputy and the chief, they agreed to let Konfederath go in and see if he could grab the records quickly.

When he opened the door, the heat rushed out. There were already flames in the store and a black velvet curtain of smoke billowed in his face. It was too late to save anything more.

The tragedy of fire trails a painful, draining and difficult summer for Franclemont.

In June, she was in an ATV accident and tore up her knee pretty bad. Following surgery, she was driving something a little less adventurous than a four-wheeler. She needed a Hoveround to move through the house and in the shop. Even so, her work time was limited.

Then she developed spinal meningitis. That meant more hospitalization.  

In September, she needed knee surgery again, so more time on crutches and less time working in her shop.

"I finally got back to work and I was enjoying stuff and painting again and opening the store up because that's me," Franclemont said. "That's what I want to do. I didn't want somebody else to do it."

During her convalescence, Franclemont received plenty of help. Most of her consignees pitched in and kept the store open, including Franclemont's friend, consignee and employee Lauryn Brick, who put in a lot of hours helping Franclemont with her business and her life, including raising funds from the community to help with Franclemont's uninsured medical expenses.

Of course she helped, Brick said. Her friend does so much for the community without ever asking anything in return.  

She helped organize fundraisers for Austin Heinemen, the Pembroke teen and cancer patient who inspired Austin's Army, even going "Bald for Bucks." When another friend was in her own ATV accident a year ago, Franclemont helped raise funds to assist. 

"This girl will help anyone," Brick said. "You can ask anyone in our community."

Getting back to work was so very important to Franclemont. She immediately started building furniture again, and her father, Richard Franclemont, who also builds primitive-style furniture, added more inventory to her store.

Last week, Franclemont drove down to Pennsylvania and brought back a trailer full of unfinished Amish furniture.

Three days before the fire, she and Konfederath completed adding two more rooms to the shop for all the new inventory.

It's only a matter of happenstance that saved the recently purchased Amish furniture. A relative needed to use her large trailer, so all of the furniture was unpacked and hauled down to the house basement for storage.

The saved furniture gives Franclemont a step forward toward opening a new store in the same location in the spring.

She and her partner have already started planning the new building. It will be a pole barn with hemlock siding and a metal roof.

"I'm never going to get that look again of the inside of my barn," Franclemont said. "I've been to a lot of stores. I'm going to try and make it look as antique and old inside as possible, though I don't know how we're going to do it. I don't like this new building look in a new store. I don't want that. I think once we put our furniture in there and our consigner stuff, it will create that feel."

The new barn will sit further back from the road because Franclemont, for the sake of children's safety, was always uncomfortable with how close the rows and rows of pumpkins would sit to Route 77. There will also be a lean-to for better display of produce. The big amenity the old barn lacked was a bathroom for customers. The new barn will have a bathroom.

If that sounds promising, like an upgrade, Franclemont isn't fooling herself into thinking it will be better than her old barn, with its notched, hand-hewn beams and aged wooden walls and sense of time and place that can only be created over the space of decades.

"This is an opportunity to do something new, but I was happy with just the way it was," Franclemont said. "I would rather have that barn than a new building any day. I'm sure we'll be better and everything will be fine, and we'll have some things we didn't have before, but I can't replace the barn."

News of the fire spread fast in the era of digital media. There were so many people offering help, or just a kind word.

The morning of the fire, Linda Richley, from Linda's Family Diner, already had 40 breakfast sandwiches made for firefighters when Al Graham showed up to see what he could get for the crews. She also delivered boxes of coffee.

In the fire's aftermath, the Reynolds family from Reyncrest Farms pitched in to clean.

The folks at Alleghany Farm Services provided transportation for the heavy equipment used in the cleanup.

The Farm's Facebook page was flooded with messages from well-wishers. Her phone was buzzing with phone calls and text messages. At one point, her friend Tricia Heinemen took the phone away from her and told her to go sleep.

There's so many people Franclement wants to thank. All of the letters for her marquee sign she kept along the edge of the roadway were destroyed by the fire, so with black spray paint she wrote, "Thank you / Everyone / XO."

"How do you thank everybody?" Franclemont said. "I tried to keep up and I can't. I know I've missed somebody. I don't even know what to say."

Lauryn Brick said she's overwhelmed by the thought of all that her friend lost, and how she poured her heart and soul into her business, only to see it destroyed in a matter of minutes by a chicken coup fire.

"She needs to rebuild everything that was so tragically taken from her," Brick said. "She has four children that she also provides for and to think, this happened during the holidays."

Brick, along with Renee Everett, have set up a GoFundMe account seeking community donations to help Franclemont rebuild and take care of her family.

Franclemont is unaccustomed to being the person on the receiving end of other people's charity. 

With her eyes still puffy from days of crying, and despite her thought that she had no more tears to shed, when she sat at her kitchen counter and recalled the outpouring of support from her friends and neighbors, the skin around Franclemont's eyes reddened and glistened again with tears.

She didn't want her picture taken once she started crying again.

"I'm not good at taking stuff from people," Franclemont said in her normally clear, alto tone, but then her voice went up an octave. "I'm the person," she said, voice breaking. "I like to give. I don't want people giving me stuff. I want to give to people.

"In my family, we do stuff for people," she added with the tears continuing to stream down her face. "I don't want people doing stuff for me. There's much worse off people than me. My friends have cancer. My friend was just in an accident. They're bad. I'm not bad. I have a house to live in. I'm not sick. I'm not fighting for my life. Those people need my help, not me. I know my community knows that, that I don't want any help. I know they're going to do it anyways because that's the way they are. Anybody that knows me knows that it's hard for me to take anything from anyone."

The way Brick sees it, her friend may not be asking for help, but she needs it.

File photo of Renee Franclemont in her store from 2012.

File photo of "The Barn" from September, 2010.

December 4, 2014 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

A business simply called The Farm, that featured antiques and locally handcrafted items, was destroyed this morning when a fire broke out inside.

The cause hasn't been determined but an early guess, officials said, is that the fire started in a chicken coop area were heat lamps were used.

Owner Renee Franclemont lives in the house next door and a deputy had to stop her from going inside once the fire was already well involved because she wanted to save the business's financial records.

The alarm for Corfu fire was sounded about 5:45 a.m. 

Chief Dean Eck said when he arrived on scene there was still only light flame from one end and one window, but the black smoke was heavy. The fire spread fast inside the old 19th Century-era barn.

Mutual aid departments included East Pembroke, Pembroke, Indian Falls, City of Batavia, Alabama, Darien and Alden. 

Previously: Locally grown and locally made items featured at new store in Corfu

December 1, 2014 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Stafford, corfu.

Jonathan Cornelius Hoges, 32, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged wit criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th,, and endangering the welfare of a child. Hoges allegedly used what appeared to be a handgun and threatened to kill himself in front of his two young children in an incident reported at 2:47 p.m. Thursday at his residence on Ross Street. He was later taken into custody on Miller Avenue. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine and packaging. He was jailed on $20,000 bail, or $40,000 bond. (Previous report)

Joseph A. Cafarelli, 48, of Hunters Gate Drive, Rochester, is charged with falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement. Cafarelli allegedly reported that his debit card had been stolen while at Batavia Downs Casino. An investigation revealed the incident allegedly did not occur. Cafarelli was jailed on $500 bail.

Melanie Rose Cantabrana, 22, of Maple Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Cantabrana is accused of stealing $680.51 in merchandise from Walmart.

Nancy June Brandon, 36, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. She was also charged with facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Brandon was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 10:40 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona. The driver allegedly was unlicensed. Brandon was jailed on $400 bail, or $800 bond.

Latoya Yalanda Stanley, 26, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed driver. Stanley was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 10:40 p.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Stanley also reportedly was wanted in the Town of Gates on a warrant on an unrelated matter.

Michael Andrew Balla, 39, of Hazlemere Avenue, Machias, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Balla allegedly damaged a garage door, valued at more than $250, at a location on Main Road, Stafford. Balla was jailed without bail.

Christopher Ryan Waite, 25, of Skye Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving. Following numerous calls of an erratic driver, Waite was stopped at 11:46 p.m. Friday on Route 262, Byron, by Deputy Matthew Butler. Additional charges are pending.

Julie L. Dutton, 19, of Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Dutton was arrested after police were asked to check on the welfare of a person on Thomas Avenue. Dutton was allegedly found hiding in a shower by police officers inside the residence of a person allegedly protected from contact by Dutton through a court order. Dutton was jailed on $500 bail.

Samantha J. Armstrong, 21, of Hart Street, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking citation for improper street parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Armstrong was released on $100 cash bail.

Deborah R. Blatt, 53, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Blatt is accused of verbally harassing and annoying a neighbor. 

Terrence D. Johnson, 19, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation. Johnson posted bail and was released.

Nicholas J. Mungillo, 20, of Union Square, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession alcohol under age 21. Mungillo was allegedly found intoxicated following the report of a fight in the area of Jackson Street and Watson Street at 3:46 a.m. on Sunday. Also charged was Michael A. Canzoneri, 19, of Edgewood Drive, Batavia.

Anya R. Rambuski, 44, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a DWAI charge.

Ronald M. Markek, 34, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI. Markek was stopped at 10:13 p.m. Friday on Route 63 Batavia, by State Police. Markek was jailed on bail.

Lori J. Marchese, 55, of Corfu, is charged felony DWAI. Marchese was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by State Police.

November 24, 2014 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, alexander, corfu.
Uriel Ramirez-Perez

Uriel Ramirez-Perez, 26, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with first-degree rape, a Class B felony. The defendant was arrested after allegedly raping a female victim at an Elba residence. The charge is related to the previously reported charges of rape against three other Elba men. This defendant was allegedly present during the Nov. 16 incident. He is in county jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 property bond. The incident was investigated by investigator Kristopher A. Kautz, deputy Dana Richardson and Angel Santos, investigator with the State Police.

Shannon Ann Caton, 39, of Fisher Road, Oakfield, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction within the last 10 years; resisting arrest; attempted escape, 3rd; speed not reasonable and prudent; and following too close. She was arrested Nov. 19 on the charges after she allegedly rear-ended another vehcile twice on East Main Street near Harvester Avenue in the City of Batavia. While at police headquarters, she slipped out of handcuffs and attempted to escape. She allegedly physically resisted her re-apprehension and was then jailed without bail. She is also charged with refusing to take a breath test. The incident was investigated by police officers Jason Ivison and James DeFreze.

Thomas K. Lee, 51, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration. He was arrested Nov. 18 after allegedly interfering with a Batavia police officer's investigation into a domestic incident involving Lee. He allegedly resisted arrest and "attempted to kick patrols." He is in jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. The incident was investigated by police officers Jason Ivison and Chad Richards.

Shane Zimblis, 43, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with: operating a snowmobile with a BAC of .08 or higher, first offense; operating a snowmobile without liability insurance; no/inadequate headlight; operating an unregistered snowmobile; and following too close. The charges stem from an accident Nov. 18 on Pearl Street in the city wherein Zimblis was allegedly operating his snowmobile and struck an SUV. He is to appear in city court on Dec. 3. The incident was investigated by police officers Chad Richards and James DeFreze.

April L. Walradt, 37, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested Nov. 11 and charged with second-degree harassment. She allegedly made comments to another person and a youth that caused them alarm. She was issued an appearance ticket for city court. The incident was investigated by police offier Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Matthew Michael Biggins, 25, of Rail Road Avenue, Alexander, is charged with third-degree forgery and petit larceny. He was arrested Nov. 14 after allegedly stealing three checks, making the checks out in his own name and then cashing them. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Alexander Town Court on Dec. 2. The incident was investigated by Sheriff's deputy Cory Mower.

Terrance Trae Allen Harley, 18, of Frandee Lane, Rochester, was arrested Nov. 22 on Clinton Street Road in Stafford and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, speed violation (67 in a 55 mph zone), and having no or inadequate taillights. The charges were issued following a traffic stop for alleged vehicle and traffic law violations. Harley is to appear in Stafford Town Court on Dec. 11. The incident was investigated by sheriff's deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by deputy Andrew Hale.

Jennifer Lynn Stack, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. She was arrested Nov. 23 after she entered the Batavia Walmart and remained in the store. These alleged actions violated an active order of protection issued by Batavia Town Court, prohibiting her from being on the premises. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in court on Dec. 18. The incident was investigated by Sheriff's deputy Chad Minuto.

Adam Paul Hoopengardner, 34, of Bank Street Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or more and speeding (52 in a 40 mph zone). He was stopped on Lewiston Road Nov. 23 for allegedly speeding and an investigation revealed he was allegedly intoxicated while driving the vehicle. The incident was investigated by Sheriff's deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

James Russell Kosiorek, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested Nov. 20 on a state parole warrant. He responded to the Sheriff's Office to turn himself in and was placed in county jail.

Gloria Susan Moretti, 37, of Main Road, Corfu, was arrested Nov. 7 and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. She was a co-renter of a vehicle from Sikes Enterprises, which allegedly has not been returned and has not been paid for. She was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and is due in city court Dec. 2. The incident was investigated by Batavia police officer James DeFreze.

November 20, 2014 - 7:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, corfu.

A resident on Herkimer Road is reporting a crack in the ceiling of the house and is concerned about the roof collapsing.

Darien fire dispatched. One engine from Corfu is requested to the scene.

The Darien code enforcement officer is also in route, via tractor.

UPDATE 7:55 a.m.: There is no collapse. Darien fire going back in service. Code enforcement to continue to the scene.

UPDATE 8 a.m.: A resident Reynolds Road, Darien, is reporting a possible collapse of the roof over the porch.

UPDATE 8:09 a.m.: There is a report of a possible partial barn collapse in the area of Walkers Road and Simonds Road. There may be cattle inside. This is coming to dispatchers third hand and hasn't been confirmed.

UPDATE 8:12 a.m.: All available manpower to Corfu fire hall. One engine to fill in at Darien Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:57 p.m.: The resident of a home at 10218 Colby Road in Darien Center reports the roof is possibly collapsing or in danger of doing so because of heavy snow piled on it. Darien fire is responding.

November 10, 2014 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, corfu, bergen.

Shane Irwin Crosby, 38, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with manufacturing an illicit alcoholic beverage, a Class E felony. Crosby was found to have an illegal moonshine still during a visit by probation officers at 8:40 a.m., Oct. 26. Deputy John Weis was dispatched to investigate. Crosby is accused of operating a still without being a properly licensed distiller. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Dale S. Berglund, 39, of West Allis, Wisc., is charged with felony DWI. Berglund was stopped at 8:45 p.m. Sunday in the Village of Corfu for allegedly driving 51 in a 35 mph zone.

Willie Marshall, 61, of Batavia, is charged with forcible touching. Marshall was arrested following an investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation into a complaint that he inappropriately touched a 13-year-old girl while staying with her mother at a local motel.

Brett Nelson Magoffin, 39, Genesee Street, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and failure to keep right. Magoffin was stopped at 5:27 p.m. Sunday on Read Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Macayla T. Brown, 18, Ja'Nelle A. Smith, 18, and a 17-year-old, all of 8170 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, are charged with petit larceny. The trio are accused of stealing $366 in merchandise from Walmart.

Kaylee Louise Middaugh, 19, of Little John Road, Belfast, is charged with petit larceny. Middaugh is accused of pushing a cart full of merchandise out of Walmart without paying for the items.

Eric Vernon Biscaro, 57, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with assault ,3rd. Biscaro is accused of hurting another person during a domestic incident.

November 7, 2014 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, Pavilion, Alabama, corfu.

Juanita Jackson, 58, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with juvenile curfew violation. Jackson is the legal guardian of a youth who was allegedly found in a public place within the city past juvenile curfew time. The youth was allegedly involved in criminal mischief, larceny from a vehicle and possession of stolen property at 10:50 p.m., Oct. 29. The youth fled from police and was later located hiding in St. Joseph Cemetery by K-9 Destro.

Reginald C. Sampson, 48, of Holland Avenue, is charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. Sampson is accused of refusing to comply with officers requests during an investigation being conducted at his residence. Sampson reportedly became irate and allegedly began yelling obscenities, disrupting the peace of the neighborhood and interfering with the investigation. When told he was under arrest, Sampson allegedly became combative with officers. Williams was jailed following arraignment. (Previous report).

Deavin L.A. Herman, 20, of Caroline Street, Albion, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. Herman was jailed on $500 bail.

Olivia M. Lyons, 21, of Judge Road, Basom, is charged with petit larceny. Lyons was arrested by Batavia PD following an investigation into complaints of numerous thefts from UMMC staff. Lyons is accused of stealing mobile phones Wednesday evening.

Kenneth M. Gray, 22, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, is charged with acting in a manner likely to be injurious to a child less than 17 and harassment, 2nd. Gray was arrested on a warrant out of City Court related to an alleged incident Oct. 20.

Nathan J. Pascuzzo, 23, of Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI. Pascuzzo was stopped at 5:10 a.m., Nov. 2, after officer Peter Flanagan observed a vehicle on Ellicott Street driving on two flat tires.

Heather L. Draper, 25, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged trespass. Draper is accused of entering a store she had been banned from entering.

Kelsey Anne Sanders, 27, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay a fine on a disorderly conduct charge. Sanders was released on $125 bail.

Joseph W. Freeman, 30, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Freeman allegedly punched another person in the face during a domestic argument at 4:45 a.m., Monday.

Crystal L. Lawrence, 30, of Main Street, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Didier Asne Antoine, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. Antoine was allegedly on College Village property after being banned.

Robert Ray Davis, 53, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child. Davis allegedly hosted an underage drinking party at his residence.

Elizabeth Michelle Grattan, 24, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and petit larceny. Grattan is accused of entering Walmart after being banned for life from the store. She allegedly stole $110 worth of merchandise.

November 7, 2014 - 7:40am
posted by WBTA News in corfu.
A Honeoye man, stopped for a traffic violation in Corfu, is behind bars this morning in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Robert Mann, 48, was stopped yesterday afternoon near the intersection of routes 77 and 33.
Authorities said as the officer was checking Mann’s license, Mann took off on foot and ran into a vacant building on East Main Street.
Other officers joined in the pursuit along with Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 Destro.
Erion said Destro found the suspect on the second floor of the building holding a stick with nails in it.
Eroin ordered Mann to drop the weapon and he was taken into custody without further incident.
Nearby Pembroke Elementary School was placed in lock-down as a precaution.
Mann has been charged with DWI and driving without a license. Police said additional charges are pending.
UPDATE / CORRECTION: We received an e-mail from Pembroke School District Superintendent Matthew Calderon stating that the school principal reported that "...we did not go into any lockdown and children went home at the normal time, 3 p.m. According to the principal, no one contacted the school to make us aware of any incident in Corfu." He added that if a lockdown were ever to occur, he would contact the media.
CLARIFICATION: We just received another e-mail from the superintendent further clarifying the matter. It states:
"I was able to confirm the following: The Sheriffs called and spoke to our Transportation Director at 3:21 p.m. to hold the students. Our students had already dismissed at 3:00, but the Transportation director had the bus driver that transports Village students cease from dropping students off until she received the 'all clear' around 3:50 p.m."
November 6, 2014 - 6:19pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in corfu.

A man who allegedly fled during a traffic stop in the Village of Corfu this afternoon is in police custody.

Corfu Police Officer Michael Petritz pulled over a Chevy Suburban with Washington plates about 3 this afternoon at the gas station parking lot at routes 77 and 33.

While Petritz wrote a ticket, the operator of the vehicle allegedly fled the scene and ran east, leading police on a short foot chase behind a row of buildings next to the gas station.

The State Police and the Genesee County Sheriff's Department also responded.

Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 Destro were disptached to the scene and the suspect was discovered about 3:40 p.m. hiding in a stairwell of a vacant commercial building just to the east of the intersection.

Erion says he was found holding a a wooden stick with nails. The suspect was told to drop his weapon and he complied. He was taken into custody without further incident.

According to Deputy Erion,  the Pembroke Intermediate School was told to shelter in place at 3 o'clock. The children were allowed to leave the school at 3:50 p.m. when the suspect was taken into custody.

The driver is facing charges for allegedly entering the vacant building, and vehicle and traffic violations.


November 3, 2014 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, corfu.

Jerry J. Jordan Jr., 19, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration, harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21. Patrols responded to 156 Jackson St., Batavia, at 1 a.m., Saturday, on a complaint of an underage drinking party in progress. When police arrived, occupants of the house locked the door. Officers determined that the occupants were gathering behind the front door with a plan to rush the officers. Jordan was allegedly the first person through the door when it opened. He was carrying a large speaker that he allegedly used to pushed into the first officer he encountered. Several other individuals were arrested. Deputies and troopers assisted at the scene. Supplemental Information Not in the Press Release: The property is owned by James Pontillo. The property has been condemned. Pontillo said as many as 80 people were gathered in the living room at one time, causing a floor joist to break.

Also arrested:

  • Philbert Prince Williams, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with providing alcohol to a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana.  
  • Demetri C. Stewart, 21, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with giving/selling alcohol to a person under age 21 and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
  • Didier A. Antoine, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with giving/selling alcohol to a person under age 21 and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
  • Terrence Brown, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with giving/selling alcohol to a person under age 21, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21.
  • Jason A. Perry-Murray, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with providing alcohol to a minor and endangering the welfare of a child.
  • Tavid C. McIntosh, 19, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with giving/selling alcohol to a person under age 21, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21.
  • Naquil T. Jones, 22, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with giving/selling alcohol to a person under age 21 and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

Maleak H. Green, 21, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with rape, 3rd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Green was arrested following an investigation into an alleged incident at 2:15 p.m., Aug. 7. No further details released. Green is being held in the Genesee County Jail on an unrelated charge.

Kimberly M. Douglas, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Douglas is accused of violating an order of protection at 2:52 p.m., Friday, on Ross Street.

Jeffrey E. Williams, 30, of Westhigh Terrace, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Williams was jailed, no bail specified.

Marlon M. Chess Jr., 33, of Bergen Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Chess was arrested following an investigation by Batavia PD at 1:08 p.m., Thursday, into a suspicious vehicle parked near the Verizon Store on Lewiston Road, Batavia.

Mark T. Zdrojewski, 61, of Meyer Road, Pendleton, is charged with three counts of issuing a bad check. Zdrojewski was arrested on a warrant for allegedly issuing bad checks in August in Batavia.

Terrance H. Riley, 26, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. Riley was arrested after allegedly trying to fight another person while officers were present. He then allegedly resisted arrest. The incident was reported at 2:20 p.m., Wednesday, on South Main Street, Batavia.

Jeremy Allen Weatherbee, 45, of Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI (alcohol or drugs), aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving on sidewalk, refusing to take breath test and failure to stop at stop sign. Weatherbee is accused of failing to stop for a stop sign at Pearl Street and Roosevelt Avenue at 1:14 a.m., Saturday. His car reportedly struck the south curb of Pearl Street, resulting in heavy damage to the front tires and rims of his vehicle. He then allegedly drove the vehicle with the damaged rims back to his residence on Roosevelt Avenue. Weatherbee was ordered held without bail.

Dustin J. Wilmet, 25, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, driving with an open container and aggravated unlicensed operation. Wilmet was arrested following an investigation at 2:12 a.m., Friday, by Sgt. Eric Bolles into a reported fight at a location on West Main Street, Batavia.

Nicholas Joseph Breau, 22, of Glenwood Drive, Clarence, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Breau was stopped at 10:31 p.m., Friday, on Galloway Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona for alleged traffic violations. Breau was also arrested on a warrant out of Amherst.

Chantalle Josephine Bessil, 19, of High Manor Drive, Henrietta, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a location on Main Road, Corfu, at 12:59 p.m., Thursday, and during the investigation found that Bessil, a passenger in a vehicle at the scene, was in possession of a small amount of marijuana in a grinder and a baggie. She also allegedly had a stun gun in her purse.

Thomas E. Hensel, 31, and Tonya D. Smith, 29, both of Overlook Drive, Batavia, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Officer Micheal Lute, Corfu PD, responded to a complaint of a disturbance at 2 p.m., Wednesday, and upon arrival found a vehicle with a suspended registration. Upon further investigation, he found Hensel and Smith allegedly in possession of heroin and a needle. Hensel also charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, for allegedly breaking into a building in Corfu at 11 a.m., Oct. 5.

Barbara E. Ferrando, 43, of West Main Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana. Ferrando was stopped for driving with an alleged suspended license at 9 p.m., Oct. 23, by Officer Michael Lute, Corfu PD. During an inventory of the vehicle's contents, a large bag of marijuana was allegedly found in the trunk.

William Gordon Schultz Sr., 40, of Evans Street, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay a fine. Schultz was arrested at his place of employment and arraigned in front of Judge Eric Adams. Schultz was released on his promise to pay the majority of the fine today and the balance on Nov. 12.

Lauren K. Pellegrino, 32, of Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Pellegrino was arrested by State Police for allegedly stealing a credit card. The blotter entry is labeled "purse snatching." She was jailed on a bail amount that is not listed. The alleged incident is reported at 1:36 a.m., Sunday, in Oakfield. No further details released.

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."




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