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March 3, 2015 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Katelynn M. Hackett, of Corfu, received a bachelor of science degree with great distinction in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University on Dec. 31, 2014.

Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues.

February 23, 2015 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, pembroke, Bethany, corfu.

Two of the people seriously injured in a weekend accident that took the life of a young Pembroke woman remain in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Details of the injuries to Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, and Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, are not available.

Strong lists all patients in the Intensive Care Unit as "guarded."

Both were passengers in a vehicle early Saturday morning that was northbound off of Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, when it was struck by an eastbound semi-truck on Route 20.

Alyson D. Krzanak, 18, of Pembroke, later succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC. She was listed in stable condition, but today a patient information operator at ECMC refused to release information on her condition, other than to confirm she hasn't been released.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

February 23, 2015 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Pavilion, corfu.

Brian Michael Glor, 43, of Church Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI and refusal to take breath test. Glor was arrested following an investigation into a hit-and-run accident at 7:34 p.m., Monday, in the City of Batavia, by Deputy Michael Lute.

Steven R. Colombo, 28, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Colombo allegedly violated a complete stay away order of protection. He was allegedly found hiding in the pantry of the protected party's residence.

Jimpce J. Etienne, 38, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise. Etienne is accused of playing extremely loud and disturbing music at 11:30 a.m., Saturday.

Kayla D. Joiner, 22, of Schreck Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Joiner turned herself in and was jailed on $100 bail.

Thomas J. Mitchell, 25, of Batavia, was arrested on two warrants for alleged failure to appear. Mitchell was located and arrested and jailed on $1,500 bail.

Robin A. Pickering, 31, of Croop Road, Clarence Center, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, moving from lane unsafely, operation by an unlicensed driver and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Pickering reportedly drove her car into a snowbank on Burke Drive, Batavia, at 4:36 a.m., Friday. The accident was investigated by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

James Rocco Soccio, 33, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 2nd. Soccio reportedly went to the residence of a person scheduled to speak against Soccio in a Family Court proceeding. Soccio allegedly threatened to harm the person. 

Jacob J. Camerera, 23, of South Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, reckless endangerment, 2nd, and two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Camerera allegedly drove a vehicle toward four other people in a reckless manner on Watson Street, Batavia, at 4:59 p..m., Feb. 15. One of the four people was covered by an order of protection.

A 17-year-old resident of Walnut Street, Batavia is charged with two counts of harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. The youth was arrested following an alleged incident at his residence at 11:30 a.m., Friday.

Kenneth L. Perkins, 51, of West Main Street, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Perkins allegedly damaged the property of another person.

Heyward Clark Jr., 50, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, following too closely, driving without a license, and child passenger in back seat not properly restrained. Heyward was stopped at 12:02 a.m. Saturday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jennifer P. Hepp, 32, of Varysburg, is charged with petit larceny. Hepp was arrested by State Police on Friday at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further information released.

Philip D. Stahli, 34, of Lockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Stahli was arrested by State Police in Pavilion on Saturday. No further details released.

Harry R. Silliman, 50, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, and harassment, 2nd. Silliman was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident at 9:45 p.m., Feb. 17. No further details released.

February 21, 2015 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Bethany, corfu.

An 18-year-old Pembroke resident and student at GCC, has died as a result of injuries she sustained in an overnight accident in Bethany, the Sheriff's Office announced.

Alyson D. Krzanak, who listed her employment on her Facebook page as GCCA Child Care Center and JCPenney, was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC following the early morning accident at Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, and was initially listed in critical condition.

The Sheriff's Office release does not list a time of death.

Krzanak was one of six people in a 1997 Geo Prism that was northbound on Molasses Hill Road when it crossed Route 20 and was struck by an eastbound tractor-trailer.

The vehicle was reportedly driven by Hannah Dibble, 21, of Pembroke, who was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and treated and released.

Also injured were Brandon Danser, 21, of Batavia, who was taken by Mercy Flight to U of R Medical Center and is listed in guarded condition.

Jamie Scherer, 21, of Pembroke, was transported by Attica Ambulance to WCCH and then transferred to U of R by Mercy Flight, and he is in guarded condition.

Gabrielle Uzarowski, 21, of Pembroke, was treated at the scene and released. Felicia Fazzio, 20, of Darien, was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC and is in stable condition.

The driver of the truck, Leonard Odums, of Cutburt, Ga., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation. The Crash Management Team responded to the scene.

Assisting the Sheriff's Officer were State Police, Bethany, Alexander, Attica, and Pavilion volunteer fire departments along with the Genesee County Emergency Management Office.

February 19, 2015 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, corfu, Milestones.

Kaitlin Logsdon, of Batavia, a communication, management and design major in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College was named to dean'slist for the Fall 2014 semseter.

Maureen Edwards, of Corfu, a musical theatre major in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College was named to dean's list for the Fall 2014 semseter.

From day one, Ithaca College prepares students for success through hands-on experience with internships, research and study abroad. Its integrative curriculum builds bridges across disciplines and uniquely blends liberal arts and professional study. Located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, the College is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 460 graduate students.

February 19, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Nearly 200 SUNY Potsdam students completed internship placements at companies, nonprofits or campus departments in Fall 2014.

The successful SUNY Potsdam interns included Sarah Hill from Corfu, who interned with the SUNY Potsdam First Year Success Seminar (FYSS) in Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam's internship program places students with employers whose interests align with their studies. Each student intern has a faculty sponsor, and earns between 1 and 12 credits toward degree requirements for successfully completing the internship.

The SUNY Potsdam Experiential Education Office is dedicated to helping students reach their full potential. For more information, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/support/ssc/eeo/internships

February 18, 2015 - 2:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, 4-H.

Press release:

A delegation representing thousands of 4-H members in New York State will expand their knowledge of state government when they travel to Albany March 1 for the 80th annual 4-H Capital Days event.

Nearly 130 teen delegates and their chaperons will attend, representing 4-H members from counties across the state, as well as the boroughs of New York City.

Proudly representing the Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program again this year will be Melissa Keller, of Corfu.

During the event, 4-H members, volunteer leaders, and staff will meet with leaders in state government, members of the court system and officials from a variety of state agencies. In addition, they plan to observe a working session of the State Legislature. Member of the Assembly Bob Oaks will discuss the legislative process with the 4-Hers.

Participants will learn about career opportunities in government as they tour state agencies, participate in discussion sessions, and visit with their legislators.  They will also have an opportunity to tour the Capital and visit the Corning Tower, New York State Museum and other significant features of the area.

The New York State Association of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators sponsor the 4-H Capital Days program. For more information regarding local opportunities in 4-H Youth Development, call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, or e-mail [email protected]

February 10, 2015 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu, scott doll.

An attorney representing Scott F. Doll has filed a motion to vacate the former Corfu resident's 2010 murder conviction on the grounds that Doll's rights were violated the night of his arrest and his trial counsel's failure to raise the issue of specific rights being violated constituted inadequate representation.

Timothy Murphy is also asking for DNA testing on fingernail scrapings from the victim, Joseph Benaquist, a former coworker of Doll's and occasional partner in a used car business.

Murphy argues in a 22-page motion that there was no probable cause to detain Doll for more than three hours the night of the murder and then later transport him to the Sheriff's Office for further questioning.

Doll previously lost an appeal over the police interrogation, despite the fact he was never read his Miranda warnings, under a legal theory known as the "emergency doctrine," which allows police questioning if they believe a person's life may be in danger.

The night of Feb. 19, 2009, emergency dispatchers received a call about a suspicious condition on North Lake Road, Pembroke. 

Deputy James Diehl responded to the scene and located Doll walking on North Lake Road in overalls and carrying a tire jack in one hand.  

When Diehl approached, he noticed that Doll's overalls were covered in blood.

At one point, Doll claimed it was blood from a deer he had recently butchered.

At the time, there was no missing person report on Benaquist and his body wouldn't be found for another four and a half hours.

In arguing for the emergency doctrine exception for questioning Doll on North Lake Road and later at the Sheriff's Office, the prosecution contended that deputies and investigators found the blood suspicious and Doll's inconsistent statements troubling.

They suspected a crime had been committed and that perhaps a victim was still alive and in need of assistance, thereby justifying trying to get information out of Doll that might lead them to a victim.

Murphy argues that in rejecting Doll's appeal on those grounds, the Appeals Court found that there was no probable cause for taking Doll into custody and then transporting Doll to the Sheriff's Office.

There is prior case law that prohibits both actions without probable cause, according to Murphy's motion.

Detaining Doll for three hours at the scene exceeds the police's authority to "stop and frisk" a person under suspicious circumstances, Murphy argues.

The failure of Doll's defense counsel, led by nationally renowned defense attorney Paul Cambria, and assisted by Daniel Killelea, to object during the trial stage to the custody and transport of Doll constitutes a procedural error that compromised Doll's right to a fair trial.

Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl has written a response, but it has not yet been filed with the court, so it's not yet a public document. 

A hearing on the motion was scheduled for this morning, but was postponed to March 10 to give Murphy more time to read and respond to Zickl's answer.

For previous coverage of Scott Doll, click here.

February 6, 2015 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, corfu, Milestones.

Ithaca College congratulates students named to dean's list.

Kaitlin Logsdon, of Batavia, a communication, management and design major in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College was named to dean's list for the Fall 2014 semseter.

Maureen Edwards, of Corfu, a musical theater major in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College was named to Dean's List for the Fall 2014 semseter.

February 3, 2015 - 5:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Pavilion, corfu.
Event Date and Time: 
February 6, 2015 - 10:00am to February 7, 2015 - 5:00pm

This year Kozy Kabin is reopening early and you are invited to join us for door prizes, hot drinks, and a 3rd cabin!

Celebrate with us Friday and Saturday Feb. 6th and 7th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 922 Genesee St., Route 33, Corfu. Phone 585-409-7424

February 2, 2015 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, corfu.

Cindy L. Bush, 52, of Oak Orchard Road, Batavia, is charged with forgery, 2nd, possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and conspiracy, 5th. Bush allegedly forged the signature of another person on a check issued by DSS. Bush allegedly conspired with another person in the forgery.

Doris L. Mayl, 62, of Manhatten Avenue, Batavia, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, conspiracy, 5th, and petit larceny. Mayl allegedly possessed and cashed a check issued to another person by DSS. Mayl allegedly conspired with another person in the scheme.

Jessica Leeann Bovier, 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding (59 in a 45 mph zone). A 17-year-old passenger resident of Genesee Street, Pembroke, was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bovier was stopped at 12:13 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Byron R. Lee, 48, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an attempted petit larceny charge. Lee turned himself in and posted $150 bail.

Sarah M. Wilson, 30, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. While a passenger in a moving vehicle, Wilson allegedly hit the driver in the face. A 3-month-old child was in the vehicle at the time of the alleged incident. Wilson was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Christina A.M. Deluna, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, was arrested for alleged failure to appear on a ticket for aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Deluna was taken into custody at the Monroe County Jail. Following arraignment, Deluna was released on her own recognizance. 

Jordan M. Briggs, 27, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and trespass. Briggs was allegedly in an establishment on West Main Street after being told to leave. He allegedly struck another person while being escorted from the property. 

Steven A. Hill, 44, of Star Street, Medina, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Hill turned himself in on a warrant. He allegedly left a voice mail on the phone of a person who was protected by court order. 

Heather Lynn Draper, 25, of East Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a trespass charge. Draper turned herself in and was released on her own recognizance.

Brian K. Laird, 20, of Wallace Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Laird allegedly entered a location on Oak Street through a window after being told he was no longer welcome at that location.

Jessica M. Pfenninger, 32, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Pfenninger is accused of stealing from Kmart.

Matthew M. Mahaney, 33, of Corfu, is charged with DWI. Mahaney was stopped by State Police at 10:19 p.m. Thursday on Knapp Road, Pembroke.

January 31, 2015 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, corfu.

Daniel J. Saeva Sr., is indicted on one count of second-degree strangulation and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Saeva is accused of intentionally impeding the normal breathing or blood circulation of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck, causing stupor or loss of consciousness. Saeva allegedly choked a 10-year-old child Dec. 12 in the City of Batavia.

Joseph R. Kress is indicted on counts of felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Kress was allegedly driving drunk Sep. 1 in the Village of Corfu. He's accused of having a prior DWI conviction in January, 2011.

Eric L. Jamalkowski is indicted on counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st degree, and bail jumping. Jamalkowski is accused of driving March 22 in the Town of Le Roy while knowing his driving privileges were suspended or revoked. He allegedly had 10 suspensions on his license at the time going back to 2007. Upon his arrest March 22, Jamalkowski was released from custody and allegedly failed to appear for a subsequent court date.

Rion J. Pawlak is indicted on four counts of falsifying business records, 1st, and two counts of petit larceny. Pawlak is accused of submitting false claims for reimbursement on business-related purchase to his employer in the Town of Le Roy on four separate occasions in the amounts of $78.30, $57.30, $102 and $98.76. He's also accused of stealing an umbrella.

January 26, 2015 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, byron, Pavilion, corfu.

Julian Munoz, 63, of Transit Road, Elba, and Carmelina Chavez, 47, of Drake Street, Oakfield, are charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd. Munoz and Chavez, brother and sister, allegedly choked and pushed a victim down a flight of stairs. 

Heather Jaye Interlicchia, 55, of Ramona Street, Rochester, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes. Interlicchia was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 12:08 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Windfield L. Marshall, 44, of Lake Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine on a parking violation. Marshall turned himself in and posted $25 bail.

Khadijah Azizza Davis, 23, of Arnett Boulevard, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, unlicensed driver and speeding in zone. Davis was stopped at 11:49 p.m. Wednesday on Clinton Street, Batavia, by Officer Jason Davis, for allegedly driving 47 in a 30 mph zone. Davis was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kasean L. Shannon, 22, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Shannon was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during police contact with Officer Marc Lawrence while on Washington Avenue at 1:37 p.m. Wednesday.

Chana J. Mitchell, 22, of Prospect Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. Mitchell turned himself in and jailed on $200 bail.

Joseph Michael Marceill, 47, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a driving while registration suspended or revoked charge. Marceill turned himself in, was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. 

Cynthia C. Richardson, 35, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with a curfew violation. Richardson was arrested after police responded to a report of a fight at 1:29 a.m. Saturday on Court Street. Richardson's 14-year-old son was allegedly located on Evans Street near Ellicott Street at 1:34 a.m.

Donna A. Cocoran, 41, of St. Mary's Street, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and suspended registration. Cocoran was stopped at 12:49 p.m. on Elm Street, Batavia, by Officer Eric Foels.

Samuel J. Barber, 20, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21. Barber was arrested following a complaint of a party at 12:32 a.m. Sunday on Bank Street, Batavia. Barber was allegedly hosting the party along with two other individuals. Also charged were Abdullah B. Diallo, 19, of Bank Street, Batavia, and Seanmichael G. Kidder, 19, of Bank Street, Batavia.

Robert Jean Jackson, 38, of Albert Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding in zone and failure to change address on license. Jackson was stopped at 1:17 a.m., Saturday, on Main Street, Oakfield, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Justin L. Sanders, 23, of Byron, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Sanders was arrested by State Police and jailed on an unspecified bail. No further information released.

Allison A. Sobczak, 23, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Sobczak was stopped at 11:02 a.m. Friday in the Town of Batavia by State Police.

UPDATE: Later today, State Police put out a press release on Sobczak's arrest.  Here's a portion of it:

Sobczak arrived to the Batavia barracks to file a complaint when Troopers smelled an odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her. After her verbal admission that she drove to the barracks, she was detained for a DWI investigation. After Sobczak failed the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, she was placed under arrest for DWI. 

Sobczak was arrested and escorted back to the patrol room where she registered a BAC of .24%. She was issued citations returnable to the Town of Batavia Court on January 29, 2015.

Katrina M. Jones, 46, of Buffalo, is charged with conspiracy, 5th, and grand larceny, 4th. Jones was arrested by State Police and held on an unspecified bail. No further information released.

Christopher F. Bragg, 29, of Corfu, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and scheme to defraud, 2nd. Bragg was arrested by State Police. No further information released.

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.

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