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April 27, 2017 - 4:26pm

Press release:

Last month, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 58 career and technical education students from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at Elba High School.

These students met a rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

The inductees are noted below.

Agri-Business Academy

Elizabeth Jurs -- Elba CS

Emily Mikel -- Pavilion CS

Melissa Keller -- Pembroke CS

Animal Science

Breanne Duzen -- Pembroke CS

Jazmin Mateos Rendon -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Peyton Mackey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Shelby Brandes -- Le Roy CS    

Auto Technology

Jacob Borkholder -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Tyler Weaver -- Pavilion CS    

Building Trades    

Brandon Lewis -- Byron-Bergen CS

Brandon Perry -- Attica CS

Cameron Brumsted -- Byron-Bergen CS

Chandler Bow -- Byron-Bergen CS

Dillon Montgomery -- Byron-Bergen CS

Ethan Conrad -- Notre Dame CS

Gaven Cassidy -- Le Roy CS

Jacob Morgante -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joseph Aguglia -- Attica CS

Kylar Chambry -- Byron-Bergen CS

Computer Information Systems

Daniel Jensen -- Byron-Bergen CS

Cosmetology

Alaila Velez -- Pembroke

Anna Field -- Attica

Rachel Tebor -- Pembroke CS

Tapanga Wheaton -- Batavia CS

Zara Lohman -- Attica CS

Criminal Justice

Brandon Cutter -- Attica CS    

Electronics

Jacob Keiper -- Attica CS

Kyle Evans -- Le Roy CS

Nicholas Zenzen -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Steven Lyness Jr. -- Le Roy CS       

Graphic Arts

Haley Wasikowski -- Alexander CS

Isaiah Ciociola -- Batavia CS

Jenica Hickey -- Byron-Bergen CS

Jenna Scott -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Jeremiah Keaton -- Pavilion CS

Jorgette Mezydlo -- Attica CS

Makayla Carpenter -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Sarah Howden -- Pavilion CS

Sean Vasko -- Oakfield-Alabama CS    

Health Careers Academy

Alyssa Weaver -- Pembroke CS

Amy Chasse -- Pavilion CS

Garrett Downs -- Elba CS

Hailey Stevens -- Elba CS

Mackenzie Good -- Pavilion CS

MiKayla Tillotson -- Pavilion CS

Molly Neidrauer -- Oakfield-Alabama CS

Paige Hameister -- Batavia CS

Rebecca Reamer -- Pavilion CS

Health Dimensions

Casey Shaw -- Pembroke CS

Victoria Welka -- Byron-Bergen CS

IT Academy

Sophia Matla -- Le Roy CS

Metal Trades

Aiden Schadt -- Attica CS

Brent Schum -- Alexander CS

David Paddock -- Pavilion CS

Dillon Stein -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

Garrett Sando -- Byron-Bergen CS

Joel Jackowski -- Attica CS

Zach DiLiberto -- Caledonia-Mumford CS

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, and Steuben counties in New York state.

April 27, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, elba, pembroke, byron-bergen.

Submitted photo: Batavia CTE Center FFA members, from left: Alex Morales (Batavia), Rebecca Meyers (Batavia), MacKenzie Fox (Byron-Bergen), Melissa Keller (Pembroke), Tracy Rudgers (Attica), Stella Glosser (Warsaw), Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), Rebecca Semmel (Warsaw), Elizabeth Jurs (Elba), Allison Pajda (Attica), Rachel Smith (Churchville-Chili), and Tyler Curbelo (Batavia).

Press release:

Two Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center students will be representing the Western Region at the New York State FFA Convention in Leadership Development Events on May 11-13 at the State University of New York at Morrisville.

While competing at the FFA sub-states competition on March 18 at Pioneer High School, Allison Pajda, an Attica High School junior in the Animal Science program, placed first in the People in Agriculture Leadership Development Competition, and Melissa Keller, a Pembroke High School senior in the Agri-Business Academy, placed second in the Employment Interview Skills competition.

In the Employment Interview Skills competition, students had to complete a phone interview, an in-person interview with three evaluators, and write a follow up letter. In addition, students’ resumes, cover letters, and applications were also evaluated. The judges’ scores in all of the above areas were averaged to determine the overall placing. For the People in Agriculture competition, Allison had to research and present on five different careers in agriculture and choose one career to write an essay about. Allison interviewed a local livestock producer and wrote her essay on his career.

New York State has three different sub-state regions and the top two students in each region move on to compete at the State Convention for the Leadership Development Competitions. Prior to the sub-states competition, 12 Batavia CTE Center students competed at the district competition, which was held at Springville High School on Feb. 28. Those 12 students scored high enough to advance to the sub-states competition.

The Batavia CTE Center FFA program focuses on premier leadership, personal growth and career success. The advisors are Holly Partridge, Animal Science instructor, and Kerri Richardson, Agri-Business Academy instructor.

Sub-states Competition Results:
Employment Interview Skills -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), second
People in Agriculture -- Allison Pajda (Attica), first
People in Agriculture -- Tyler Curbelo (Batavia), third
Parliamentary Procedure Team -- third

District Competition Results:

Prepared Public Speaking -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), first
Prepared Public Speaking -- Rebecca Meyers (Batavia), sixth
Extemporaneous Public Speaking -- Tracy Rudgers (Attica), fifth
Extemporaneous Public Speaking -- Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), ninth
FFA Creed -- Liz Jurs (Elba), third
FFA Creed -- Alex Morales (Batavia), fourth
Employment Interview -- Tracy Rudgers (Attica), second
Employment Interview -- Melissa Keller (Pembroke), third
Employment Interview -- Stella Glosser (Warsaw), fifth

People in Agriculture -- Allison Pajda (Attica), first
People in Agriculture -- Tyler Curbelo (Batavia), second
Agricultural Issues – MacKenzie Fox (Byron-Bergen), Rachel Smith (Churchville-Chili, and Rebecca Myers (Batavia), second
Parliamentary Procedure -- Rebecca Semmel (Warsaw), Melissa Keller (Pembroke), Tracy Rudgers (Attica), Cherie Glosser (Warsaw), Elizabeth Jurs (Elba), and Stella Glosser (Warsaw), second

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Centeris a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York.

April 26, 2017 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Milestones.

Aracely Hernandez, of Elba, has received the SUNY Oneonta 2016-2017 Susan Sutton Smith Award for academic excellence. To be eligible for the award, a student must be a freshman, sophomore or junior with a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher.

Hernandez, who is majoring in Spanish, received a certificate, a gift card to the campus bookstore, and an invitation to attend the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture and reception. Florian Reyda, Ph.D., professor of biology, delivered this year's Susan Smith Lecture titled, "Parasites, Evolution and Us," on April 11, in the Otsego Grille of the Morris Conference Center on campus.

Created to recognize faculty achievement outside the classroom, the Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is named in memory of the late SUNY Oneonta professor of English. Reyda is the 23rd recipient of this prize. This event and the student awards are made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta Alumni to the 2016-2017 Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, and in honor of her commitment to academic excellence. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A liberal arts institution with a strong focus on undergraduate research and service learning, SUNY Oneonta consistently gains recognition for delivering excellence and value. The college has been named to Kiplinger's list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 10 years running and sits at No. 12 on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report list of the best public institutions in the region. SUNY Oneonta enrolls 6,000 students in its 70 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs.

April 25, 2017 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Torrey Farms, agriculture, elba, business, news.

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Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms in Elba, was at the White House today along with other representatives of the country's farmers, for the signing by President Donald J. Trump of an executive order aimed at boosting agriculture and rural communities (Full text of the order).

Torrey said the farmers also met with the president and his staff and there was a productive, positive discussion about labor, infrastructure, research, trade, NAFTA, Canada and Western NY dairy.

Torrey is pictured on the far left, back row.

UPDATE: Here's a related press release from the NYS Farm Bureau:

New York dairy and vegetable farmer, Maureen Torrey from Genesee County, joined 13 other farmers from across the country for a roundtable discussion yesterday with President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall was a part of the discussion as well on issues the White House believes are most pressing for American agriculture.

Following the roundtable, President Trump signed an executive order that acknowledges a reliable, safe, and affordable food, fiber and forestry supply is critical to America’s national security, stability and prosperity. The order also establishes an interagency task force, to be chaired by Secretary Perdue, charged with identifying legislative, regulatory and policy changes that would enhance American agriculture, rural economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security and quality of life in rural America. The report from the task force is due within 180 days.

“It is an honor to have a representative of New York agriculture invited to play an integral role in the roundtable discussion at the White House,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.  “Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the administration and Congress on issues like trade, farm labor and regulatory reform, with the goal of boosting American agriculture and increasing access to New York-grown food.”

The event is an historic occasion, as it is believed the last time a group of farmers met with a U.S. president this early in an administration was prior to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  

It followed the swearing-in of newly confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. New York Farm Bureau is supportive of Secretary Perdue and is pleased to see him finally in place as the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Secretary Perdue is one of us. He grew up on a dairy farm, raised row crops, and was an agri-business owner. It is important to have someone in this position who understands trade, immigration and a whole host of other issues that are vital to a farmer’s success. Secretary Perdue spoke about having the opportunity to visit New York during his confirmation hearing, and New York Farm Bureau would like to personally invite him to our great state to showcase the opportunities and challenges that exist for our diverse membership,” said Fisher.

April 9, 2017 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, pets, animals, news.

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A reader says this dog seems to be wandering the area of Batavia Elba Townline Road, near Plum Creek Driving Range, the past few days, apparently lost.

The dog is skittish and the reader hasn't been able to get close enough to check for tags.

April 9, 2017 - 12:43am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accident, news.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported at 7499 Oak Orchard Road, Elba. There are minor injuries, but the occupants are out of the vehicle. A utility pole is damaged and power lines are down on the vehicle. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. Fire police are called the shut down a portion of the roadway because of the tangle of power lines. National Grid is notified.

April 5, 2017 - 9:46am
posted by The Batavian in elba, schools, education, news.

Article submitted by Drew Muehlig:

Over the past year, Elba Central School District’s Board of Education has been moving forward with an initiative to bring international high school students from all over the world to their school. The approval, which comes from the United States Department of Homeland Security, was granted after a lengthy process, earlier this month.

These international students, known as F-1 students, will be paying tuition to attend Elba Central School for no more than 12 months. This also grants these students eligibility to participate in all activities as a traditional non-immigrant student.

“These international students typically want to perfect their English and experience the life of an American teenager,” said Laura Williams, Elba Central’s F-1 coordinator. “Attending a high school with cutting-edge academic programs, practicing with high school sport teams, and exploring after-school activities that make American schools what they are today: drama, model UN, cheerleading, band, choir, sports, etc., they are able to achieve this goal. The F-1 student is different than other international students who are strictly in the school district for the cultural interaction.”

“This has potential to be a tremendous opportunity for our families and District,” said Elba Superintendent Keith Palmer, who learned of the program in 2016 at a New York State Counsel of School Superintendents' workshop in Albany.

“Newcomb Central School, a smaller school in the Adirondacks, has been accepting international students for over ten years now,” Palmer explained. “They were initially looking to boost enrollment as a potential source of revenue, but their focus has shifted from a revenue opportunity to a cultural benefit. The impact International students have on the rest of the student body is significant and exposing students to different cultures has been a tremendous learning experience.”

Williams, who also teaches Global Social Studies at the high school, echoes the idea that this experience will be a valuable and exciting opportunity for Elba’s own students to learn the growing importance of globalism in the world beyond their high school education.

“The benefits are endless, but the important benefit is the cultural and international experience that our students will be exposed to as members of classes as well as host families," she said. “As our world is becoming smaller and the work force is becoming more and more globally connected, it is imperative that we introduce our students to the cultures, work ethics, and international experiences that they are bound to experience in college and the workforce.”

Elba Central School is the first school in Genesee County to be approved for this program, according to Williams. Elba’s small size, compared to other areas of the state and country, could actually aid in drawing the interests of international students.

“A surprising number of international students are looking for a safe educational environment, away from large urban areas, in which to perfect their English language and gain the educational benefits offered by a New York State education,” Williams said.

“The importance of creating a school profile that accurately describes our school district as one that provides an individualized education plan in a small rural setting will be important in order to match the specific needs of the international students into our school district.”

There was minimal cost to the school for processing the application which means this program will generate some revenue for the district, according to Palmer.

“International students must pay the subsidized cost per pupil which will be around $20,000," Palmer said. "Because class sizes are relatively low, there will be no need to hire extra staff. Host families will also receive a stipend for offsetting room and board costs.”

With everything set up and ready to go, Elba is looking to start this program as early as next year.

“We are working with a placement organization to finalize the requirements for admission so that we can start the 2017-2018 school year off with a very successful international program. We plan to start small and build as the years progress,” Williams said.

April 4, 2017 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, news.

A Mexican national who entered the country illegally after deportation and should have registered as a sex offender was sentenced in Federal Court today to 24 months in prison.

Jose Maria Agustin, 43, had previously entered a guilty plea to reentry after deportation subsequent to an aggravated felony conviction.

He was arrested in December after he was located working in Elba.

In 2009, the Agustin was convicted in California of rape and assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to five years in prison. After serving his prison sentence, Agustin was returned to Mexico and permanently barred from entering the United States.

Besides being in the United States illegally, he was also legally obligated, as a registered sex offender in California, to register in New York once he established a residence in Elba.

March 31, 2017 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Le Roy, crime, batavia, pembroke, news.

Tracy Lynn Miller, 32, of South Lake Road, Pembroke, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Miller was taken into custody on a warrant after being released from the Erie County Holding Center. Miller allegedly failed to appear in County Court after being indicted by a grand jury. The indictment stems from an alleged theft/or use of a stolen credit card. She was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Jeffery Lee Tennity, 52, of Keeney Road, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Tennity was charged following an investigation into an unspecified complaint at 4 p.m. Thursday on North Byron Road, Elba. The complaint was investigated by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Kendra Quinette Thomas, 29, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving on a suspended registration. She was arrested on a warrant for the charge following a traffic stop by Deputy Cory Mower.

March 30, 2017 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news, elba.

Nikayla Cheyenne Lee Jackson, 19, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Jackson was located outside of Walmart at 12:42 p.m. Monday by Trooper Brian Pritchett and Sgt. Ron Meides. She was wanted on a City Court warrant so the officers attempted to take her into custody. Jackson allegedly became abusive and disorderly and physically struggled with officers and did not comply with commands. Once restrained and placed in the back seat of a patrol vehicle, she allegedly kicked the rear passenger door and plexiglass cage. She then reportedly used her forehead to strike the cage several times. The cage was not damaged. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Charles S. Ganoung IV, 33, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. During an investigation of an unrelated incident by Deputy Howard O. Wilson, Ganoung was allegedly found in possession of an unregistered assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine. Following arraignment, he was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Samuel Gene Coughlin Jr., 21, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, speed exceeding 55 mph, and driving on a suspended registration. Coughlin was stopped at 10:06 p.m. on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin Forsyth. He was allegedly found in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana.

Carl M. Vander, 22, formerly of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 3rd, and criminal mischief, 4th. William J. Hixenbaugh, 27, of Lake Street,  Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd, petit larceny, and criminal mischief, 4th. Vander, who is currently an inmate in the Wyoming County Jail on unrelated charges, and Hixenbaugh were arrested by Le Roy PD following a six-month investigation into a forced-entry burglary to a tenant room on Lake Street. A television and mobile phone were stolen and later recovered. Hixenbaugh was jailed on $5,000 bail.

March 27, 2017 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.

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Students from Elba's kindergarten class took a field trip today to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. The trip was paid for by the Salvaterra family in remembrance of their son, Brayden Salvaterra, as an expression of gratitude and thanks to the Elba School District, the Elba community and surrounding community, for the support and contributions made to the family in Brayden's honor.

Brayden passed away unexpectedly Jan. 23. Many donations were made to Brayden's memorial and this is the first event paid for by the memorial.

Photos and info submitted by Kristi Bennetti.

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March 21, 2017 - 4:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, elba central school district, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Elba Central School Board of Education has moved its April 2017 meeting to Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Library Media Center.

Also, District residents interested in running for membership on the Board of Education can pick up candidate petitions in the District Office on any business day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Each petition must be signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the District. There are two seats available, each for five-year terms. Petitions nominating candidates for the office of Board of Education member must be filed with Donna Harris, Clerk of the Board, in the District Office of Elba Central School, 57 S. Main St., Elba, NY 14058 no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 17.

March 15, 2017 - 7:09pm

The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will hold its Spring Concert in the auditorium of Elba Central School at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.

Philip J. Briatico is the conductor.

It will feature these works:

  • "A Copeland Tribute" -- Clair Grundman
  • "Barnum & Bailey's Favorite" -- Karl King
  • "Ghost Train" -- Eric Whitacre
  • "New York: 1927" -- Warren Barker
  • Highlight's from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel"
  • "When Jesus Wept" -- William Schuman
  • Sounds of the Carpenters
  • "Hymn to a Blue Hour" -- John Mackey
  • "Bond...James Bond" -- arrangements by Stephen Bulla

Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors age 55 and up, and veterans; $5 for students with I.D.; children ages 5 and under are free. Get a Family Deal for $25 for mom and dad and up to four children.

Also, there will be a Meal Deal printed on the back of the tickets, offering a deal at Chap's Elba Diner, which can only be used immediately following the concert for 10 percent off the dining bill.

This program is made possible, in part, by the Reach Grant program administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

The purpose of the Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble is to serve and to provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar live music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to create the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

To contact the ensemble, email  [email protected]

March 11, 2017 - 11:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.

A truck vs. tree accident with possible injuries is reported in the area of 7382 Starowitz Road, near Bank Street Road, Elba.

Elba Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

March 10, 2017 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba.

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Elba had plenty of chances to beat C.J. Finney in the Section V Class D consolidation game. They had second and third and fourth chances -- the kind of chances you get by snagging offensive rebounds and putting them back for baskets.

But in the third and fourth quarters, those balls weren't rolling in.

"We stressed crashing the offensive rebounds," said Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "We felt we would have an advantage on the glass tonight. The first half, we capitalized on some those and in the second half, we didn't. That's just how the game is. The ball didn't roll our way and that's the unfortunate part of the story of the night."

Putting in more of those shots would have helped the Lancers overcome the sharpshooting of Finney's guards, who netted 13 three-point shots helping Finney advance to the Far West Regional Championship with a 52-48 win.

Max Harris hit six three-pointers for Finney and Dylan Occur hit four, all in the first quarter.

All those swishes put Elba in a mood to try a little outside shooting to start the second half and that got them in a little trouble.

"We haven't been a great shooting team all year," Zambito said. "Our thing is we need to attack the basket. Sometimes when other teams do things well you try to match them. They shot the ball well tonight and we tried to match them doing that and we came up short."

Finney's guards can also handle the ball well, so the Lancer's attempt to trap and press wasn't as effective as Zambito would have liked, so Elba dropped back into a half-court offense.

"They're just such good shooters," Zambito said. "There isn't much you could do about that."

Zambito praised his seniors, who came up in a program that a few years ago only got five or six wins, but starting last year, when Zambito became coach, they bought into the new scheme of things and worked hard to come together as a team and help Elba get its first Section V title in boys basketball since 2005.

"To end their career with a sectional championship just goes to show you how hard they've worked," Zambito said. "It's incredible."

For Elba, Tucker Bezon scored 20 points. He hit three threes. Shane O'Hallaran scored 10. Jon Boyce scored nine.

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March 10, 2017 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, steve hawley, elba.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today (March 10) proudly announced that the Village of Elba in Genesee County has received $3.5 million for a water improvement project, $2.1 million of which is a New York State Water Grant.

The project involves connecting to the Genesee County Water Supply by installing a new pressure-reducing valve, decommissioning the Chapel Street Well, and rehabilitating the Village’s finished water storage tank. More than 21,000 feet of aged water main will also be replaced.

“Water quality is a major issue across the state,” Hawley said. “This affects not only the water our residents use to drink and cook with, but also the water in our schools and businesses.

"Old lead and cast iron pipes were reliable technology 50 years ago, but they now need to be replaced, and I applaud state leaders for taking a proactive approach to mitigate costs. The more we invest upfront to swap out old pipes and water infrastructure, the more we will save in the long run and families will have peace of mind knowing the water they drink is safe and clean.”

March 8, 2017 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame, news.

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Whether through fatigue, Notre Dame's defense or just that's the way the ball bounces, a dearth of scoring in the fourth quarter last night cost the Elba Lady Lancers a chance to advance to the regional championship round of post-season basketball.

The Lady Irish prevailed in the Class D consolidation game between the two Section V champions. The final, 44-31.

Elba had a first half lead after scoring 15 points in the second quarter, going into the locker rooms up 19-18, were down by only two points, but a four-point fourth quarter for Elba enabled Notre Dame to pull away and secure the win.

Head Coach Tom Redband said his girls struggled with free throws and layups in the second half and fell out of rhythm.

"I don’t think it was adjustments they made," Redband said. "We just missed free throws and some layups that normally we make and that’s basketball. Sometimes they fall, some times they don’t. It just kind of caught up to us."

Tom McCulley, head coach of Notre Dame, said he thought Elba trying to guard a couple of his bigger players, such as Callie McCulley and Margaret Sutherland, took a toll on Elba.

"Eventually our size and strength just wore them down to where we could get the ball to where we wanted to and make our shots down the stretch," McCulley said.

He said he was exceptionally proud of his team.

"All season long I’ve been telling the girls, 'we just have to do what we do,' " McCulley said. "We are going to have nights where we can’t find the basket and nights where we’re a little sluggish but if we stay to who we are, we just don’t press and try to relax, these girls are good enough to where eventually it’s going to happen for them.

"That’s what you’ve seen in the second half of the season. We’ve figured out what works and doesn’t work and these girls are playing phenomenally well together and it’s nice to watch."

For Notre Dame, Sutherland scored 16 points, McCulley, 13, Morgan Rhodes, 9.

For Elba, Maddie Muehlig scored seven, as did Nicole Boldt. Tatum Draper scored six and Madison Howard scored five.

Notre Dame plays for the Far West Regional Championship in Class D at 3 p.m., Saturday, at Buffalo State.

Top three photos by Destin Danser. For more photos of the game and a chance to purchase game photos, click here. Bottom photo by Howard Owens.

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March 6, 2017 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Fire Dept., elba, news.

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The Elba Volunteer Fire Department held its 2017 installation banquet on Saturday night and Don "Rat" Reinhard was honored for this 23 years of service as assistant chief. He was presented a handmade trophy by all the officers (trophy made by John Mudrzynski).

Michael Pfendler and Nathan Tabor were recognized for achieving the most training hours and Mike Schad Jr. responded to the most calls.

Photos and info submitted by Carrie Mudrzynski.

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Elba's fire police officers for 2017: Mark Wiatrowski, Mike Banks, Leonard Peterson Sr. , Kenny Miller and Kevin Dart.

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The firematic officers for 2017 who were able to attend the dinner: Caitlin Zipfel, Nick Esten, Mandy Esten, Jennifer Cardinali, George Underhill, Mike Schad Jr., Ryan Hart, and John Mudrzynski. Unable to attend: Mike Heale and Chris Lane.

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Corporate officers: Mark Wiatrowski, Kenny Miller, Don Gavenda, Linda Loder, Bob Zipfel, Sue Dart, Donna Hynes, Leonard Peterson Sr., and Glenn Bloom.

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The officers of the Ladies Auxiliary: Linda Loder, Lynette Gregori, Joyce Zipfel, Bobette Hyatt, Irene Griffith-Pierce and Marylou Andrews.

March 5, 2017 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, elba, news.

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The Elba Lancers didn't dominate Prattsburg in the Section V Class D1 match at Alfred State yesterday, but there was never a time when it didn't seem like the squad was anything but in control of the game.

That comes from experience, said Ciaci Zambito, in his second year as head coach of Elba.

The Lancers started four seniors.

"They’ve played in a lot of big games," Zambito said. "They don’t get rattled by this kind of environment. Obviously, this is the biggest game they’ve ever played in up to this point, but it’s hard work. If you work hard and prepare yourself for moments like this, when you get to it it’s going to be a little bit easier."

Four seniors and a freshman, Collin O'Halloran, a point guard who scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists and four steals to make him the most valuable player of the tournament.

The low score on both sides -- Elba won 50-38 -- really shows the game was really a defensive battle, Zambito said.

"When you hold a team that good to 38 that just speaks volumes to the effort and the defensive attitude that we have as a program," Zambito said.

The other top scorer for Elba was Tucker Bezon, who had 12 points to go with 13 rebounds. Shane O'Halloran had seven points and six rebounds, and Jon Boyce had seven points and seven rebounds. 

This is the fourth sectional title for Elba and the first since 2005, when Zambito was a junior on the team. That year both the boys and the the girls won Section V titles, a feat repeated this year.

Zambito said he wanted to acknowledge last year's seniors because they really helped make this year's championship possible, he said, by embracing a young coach and setting the example of hard work and leadership for the younger players.

"They kind of created the blueprint to our program and these guys just took it and put up the building, if that’s the way you want to look at it," Zambito said.

Next up for Elba, a Class D consolidation game to be played Wednesday. The time and location is not yet available.

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March 4, 2017 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, news.

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There's nothing like getting your star player back from injury right before the championship game to give your team a boost of confidence and that's exactly what happened for the Elba Lady Lancers, who captured the Class D2 Section V championship Friday night with a 49-39 win over Romulus.

Emily Reynolds, who missed the previous six games with a knee injury, was named the tournament MVP after the win.

"Having the best player in the class back helped a lot," said Head Coach Tom Redband. "Just the morale boost alone, but she's also definitely a dominate force inside."

Reynolds scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds.

"She worked really hard to strengthen her knee and she loves the game," Redband said. "I was just so happy for her that she was able to come back and play full strength."

Romulus opened the game with a full-court press and while Elba was successful at breaking the press, it did slow the Lancers down and helped keep Romulus within a basket or two of the lead through the first half. When Romulus dropped the press, Elba fell into an offensive rhythm and was able to pull away.

"It helped us a little bit get into our half-court offense and relax a little bit," Redband said. 

Tatiana Draper scored eight points for Elba and handled 12 rebounds. Maddie Muehlig scored seven points and had three assists.

Redband replaced the legendary Tom Nowak, who coached teams to 10 sectional titles, for the 2014 season. Redband is now one for one in Section V title games.

The Lady Lancers will next face archrival Notre Dame in a Class D consolidation game at Cal-Mum on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m. The last time the two teams met in post-season was 2013 when Notre Dame upset Elba in a semifinals game on its way to an eventual state championship. Elba hadn't won a Section V title since 2012 when they went on to become state champs.

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