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May 18, 2016 - 7:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield, Alabama, schools, education, news.

Here are Tuesday's available election results:

Batavia City Schools:
The Budget - $44,366,439 (increase of $1,258,066 or 2.92%: $0.00 increase in tax levy)

  • Yes - 407  (85.86%)
  • No - 67  (14.14%)

Student Ex-Officio Board Member (non-voting) 

  • Yes -  436  (92.57%
  • No - 35  (7.43%)

Board of Education positions: three positions, with top two votes terms are full term from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019 ,and the lowest vote is a partial term from May 17, 2016 to June 30, 2018 

  • Patrick Burk 385  (May 17, 2016 - June 30, 2018)
  • Peter Cecere - 427  (July 1, 2016  -June 30, 2019)
  • Karen Tomidy - 424   (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019)

Elba Central Schools:

Proposition #1 - 2016/2017 Budget - $9,260,316  --   Passed  (129 Yes/38 No)

Proposition #2 - Purchase of one (1) 65 Passenger Bus   --  Passed  (130 Yes/39 No)

One Board of Education Seat, One Candidate: Michael Hare (142 Votes)

Oakfield-Alabama Central School District:

Proposition #1: Budget:  Yes:   293 / No:  44

Proposition #2: Buses:   Yes:  280 /  No:  52

Board Members:  

  • Jeff Hyde (Incumbent) 248
  • Matt Lamb, 170
May 13, 2016 - 8:00am
posted by Traci Turner in heroin addiction, batavia, elba, GCASA, opioids.

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(Two doses of Narcan, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose, with a nosepiece applicator are kept in every road bag at the Batavia Police Department.)

Jenna Brown was an honor student and captain of the cheerleading squad at Elba High School. Like any typical teenage girl, Brown wanted to fit in so she drank and experimented with drugs to get her peers to like her. She found partying to be empowering and never thought addiction would happen to her. Although she had a lot of friends, she felt alone.

In 2012, she graduated from high school and went off to Alfred State College to get an associate degree in Nursing. Everything seemed to be fine until she went through a bad breakup during her first year. She was shattered inside and didn’t know how to cope.

Brown’s mom, Kathy Miller, noticed some changes in her daughter’s behavior but just thought she was trying to find her way.

“She would call at all different times, sometimes crying, sometimes homesick, sometimes sounding lost and sometimes happy,” Miller said. “That first semester was chaotic.”

In an attempt to make new friends, Brown started partying again and met a guy. After hanging out with him several times and watching him make frequent trips to the bathroom, she discovered he was using heroin. By then her drinking was out of control and she was curious about using. The guy helped her inject her first hit of heroin.

“I loved it and hated it at the same time,” Brown said. “I hated it for the way it physically made me feel but mentally it was the solution for me. It helped take away the loneliness. When I did heroin, I didn’t care about being alone.”

Heroin use has more than doubled among young adults ages 18 to 25 in the past decade according to the Centers for Disease Control. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated 2.4 million people abused or were dependent on opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers. Opiates are drugs derived from the opium poppy. Opioids are synthetic or semi-synthetic drugs that are manufactured to work in a similar way to opiates. The term opioid is used to describe the entire class of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic.

Over the last few years, Genesee County has seen the opioid epidemic on the rise. Genesee Orleans County on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has about 100 patients on Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. Approximately one-third of individuals in Genesee County Drug Treatment Court are opiate dependent.

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(Nicole Desmond, drug court treatment coordinator, Judge Robert Balbick and Jeffrey Smith, project director for the 8thJudicial District.)

“We have been doing treatment court for 15 years,” said Judge Robert Balbick, who runs Genesee County Drug Treatment Court. “Opiate addiction has changed the way we look at treatment because we’re dealing with a deadly situation.”

Due to the high risk of overdose, quick access to treatment is crucial. Throughout the program, Nicole Desmond, drug court treatment coordinator, strictly monitors participants’ progress by getting weekly updates from them and issuing random drug testing. The program lasts an average of 18 months. If participants relapse, the team takes immediate measures to get them into inpatient treatment to prevent overdose.

In 2015, 15 deaths were caused by drug-induced overdoses in the county according to the Genesee County Health Department. Prescription opiates were used in combination with other prescription drugs and/or illicit drugs that contributed to at least six deaths. An illicit opiate was used in combination with prescription drugs that contributed to at least two additional deaths.

“Heroin is increasing steadily to the point where now we are dealing with overdoses,” said Det. Sgt. Todd Crossett at the Batavia Police Department. “It’s all over and it’s become a lot more dangerous than cocaine was because it’s being laced with synthetic fentanyl which you don’t know what you’re having until you inject it and it’s too late.”

Drug dealers cut the heroin with fentanyl, the strongest opioid used for medical purposes, to increase the potency. This deadly trend has led to a recent surge of overdose deaths. Batavia police officers carry Narcan, a drug used to reverse opioid overdose, in their cars. When they respond to a potential overdose call, the needle is often times nearby in the presence of fentanyl.

“If they have gotten fentanyl in the drug the needle may still be in them because fentanyl is so fast acting they might not have been able to put the stuff away,” Crossett said.

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(Todd Crossett of the Batavia Police Department with the supplies bag that every road officer carries in their car.)

Andrew London, a 24-year-old recovering alcoholic and opioid addict, recently lost a close friend to a heroin overdose. She passed away a month before he could give her a tree of life necklace he bought her for Christmas.

“As soon as you see someone close to you use and die, it hits you,” London said. “It was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced.”

London has been convicted of two DWIs and has been receiving treatment on and off for alcohol addiction since he was 18 years old. He became addicted to opioids after being prescribed hydrocodone for back pain in August 2011. As a result, he started misusing the painkiller and violated his probation.

“Drugs don’t discriminate,” London said. “Overdoses can happen to anyone.”

In particular, however, women, the privately insured and people with higher incomes are those with the highest increase in heroin use according to the CDC.

“This is truly a white middle-class problem,” said John Bennett, executive director at GCASA. “We are not talking about street junkies anymore. Many addicts function like normal people.”

For a while, Brown, the 21-year-old recovering heroin addict, was able to maintain her addiction and continued getting good grades. She was playing two different people and no one had any idea that she was a heroin addict. However, on the inside she hated herself.

"Advances in Psychiatric Treatment," a medical journal, report 48 percent of opioid users have experienced depression at some point in their lives.

“One of the biggest things with addiction that people don’t understand is that 99 percent of the people that walk through our doors are in some kind of emotional or physical pain,” said Shannon Murphy, director of treatment at GCASA. “To ask them to stop taking it, is like having a raw open nerve.”

Brown’s next high was always in the back of her mind. Her addiction spun out of control after she graduated college in December 2014. She moved back home in Elba and her parents found out she was using. She overdosed several times. Her mom took her to Erie County Medical Center but the doctors sent her back home because she wasn’t using enough bags in a day for inpatient treatment. She attempted to stop using on her own but the withdrawal symptoms were too severe.

“She would try to go through withdrawal but it was awful for her and for me,” Miller said. “She was so thin, so frail and so sickly. Her beautiful blue eyes sunken in and gone, replaced by lifeless empty sockets. She had such pale, bluish-gray skin.”

Brown was ashamed for putting her parents and siblings through everything. However, she was afraid to get sober because she never thought she would feel good.

“People always tried to scare me into getting sober,” Brown said. “I wasn’t afraid to die. I was afraid of suffering. It got to a point where I either continued to kill myself or get help.”

She was tired of feeling sick and determined to try for something better. She started going to outpatient treatment at GCASA and was put on a waiting list for detox treatment at the Horizon Village Terrace House in Buffalo.

“I woke up at three in the afternoon and I was going to get high at four when my mom told me there was a bed available,” Brown said. “It was heaven to my ears but nails on a chalkboard. There is something taunting about knowing you could get high in an hour or be saved in an hour.”

In October, she completed the detox and started a 28-day inpatient rehab program at the Terrace House. During inpatient, she started taking Vivitrol, an injectable medication to prevent relapse for opioid dependence after detox.

Vivitrol is a trade name for naltrexone, one of the medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat opioid addiction. The medication attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and blocks pleasurable feelings associated with opioids and reduces cravings. The blocking effect decreases over time so addicts must receive the shot each month by a healthcare professional. While receiving the medication, the addicted individuals cannot be using opioids or severe sickness and death may occur.

A more common medication is buprenorphine, an opioid partial agonist. The medication can produce opioid effects but the effects are less than a full opioid agonist such as heroin. Buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain and blocks the effects of other opioids that may be present in the bloodstream. Low doses allow addicts to stop misusing opioids without having withdrawal symptoms. If dosing is not heavily monitored, it can be easily abused.

Suboxone is one of the prescription formulas with buprenorphine and naloxone, medication used in Narcan. The daily medication is a digestible film that is dissolved under the tongue.

“We have patients who have been on it for years that say they don’t expect to ever get off this,” said Cheryle McCann, RN at GCASA. “As long as they have a prescriber who can take over for us, we don’t have a problem with that. It’s like someone who is on blood pressure medicine.”

However, finding a doctor who is willing to take a patient with a history of opioid dependence is difficult. There are currently three prescribers in the county.

“The biggest problem I see in our county right now is there are not many doctors in our community that will prescribe buprenorphine,” McCann said. “The DEA regulate buprenorphine more stringently than they regulate the prescribing of opioids. An opioid can be prescribed by a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and dentist. But buprenorphine can only be prescribed by a physician.”

According to Bennett, about 35 percent of their patients struggle with Suboxone so they offer Vivitrol as another option. In the future, he would like to get the treatment facility licensed to be a methadone clinic.

“Medicated assisted treatments are misunderstood by communities,” Bennett said. “Law enforcement and judges don’t always believe patients are clean while on the treatments. We need to look at opiate patients like heart or diabetic patients and support their treatment. Patients with addiction have better compliance with medication than patients with other diseases.”

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(Cheryle McCann and John Bennett of GCASA sit on the bench where patients receive their monthly Vivitrol shots.)

In addition to the medicated assisted treatment, countless meetings, counseling, advice from other recovering addicts and faith in God taught Brown how to live day to day and helped her set a good foundation.

“At the end of the day I’m still a recovering addict and one drug away from being high,” Brown said. “Any day clean is a miracle.”

Once Brown completed the 28-day rehab program, she went to Horizon Village, a long-term residential rehab center, for three months. From there she moved into Casa De Vita, a halfway house, and made friends who she could call on all hours of the day and night. This was the first time she realized her friends genuinely cared about her wellbeing. Her mom also started attending Nar-Anon, a support group for families struggling with addiction in Batavia, to learn how she could support her daughter’s recovery.

Miller and Donna Rose, a mother whose son is addicted to heroin, will be hosting a heroin town hall meeting for parents of addicts at 6:30 p.m. May 17 at  Genesee Community College. The meeting will focus on treatment costs and denial of insurance for recovering addicts.

“I learned nothing I do will cure her disease but I can choose for myself to stay healthy, supportive and loving,” Miller said. “Everyday I’m thankful that Jenna is alive and I try to learn something that will prevent someone else from using. We need more heroin awareness. People need to start understanding the disease instead of judging it.”

Support from family and friends has also been important for London’s recovery.

After completing a 28-day inpatient treatment program at Hope Haven and several months at Atwater, GCASA’s halfway house, London has been clean for seven months. He currently goes to meetings at Horizon Health Services once a week. His pregnant wife and circle of friends he met while in recovery have been significant motivators for him to not relapse.

“I want to be there for my daughter and not have to see her on a visiting floor in jail,” London said. “I don’t want her to see me under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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​(Andrew London, a recovering alcoholic and opioid addict, has been clean for seven months.)

Brown is looking to the future, too. She recently moved in with her sponsor and is applying for full-time jobs – and looking for an apartment.

“I’m able to look people in the eyes today and be at peace with things that happened in my life,” Brown said. “The greatest thing today is I don’t want to get high and that gives me a feeling of gratitude because I thought that was how to make friends. Now I can love myself and take my flaws as they come.”

May 9, 2016 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, elba.

Rochester Institute of Technologys College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with the presentation of the 2016 Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony.

Award winners included Matthew Anauo, of Elba, a first-year Electrical Engineering major representing the Department of Public Policy, with "Rethinking Third-Party Doctrine for the Digital Era."

"This is our big event of the year where we honor students in each of our programs who have done some outstanding writing in classes in the College of Liberal Arts," said Dean James Winebrake. "It really allows us to recognize and celebrate the good work of our students."

Winebrake also said the awards are also a good reflection of the faculty.

"There's not a prouder moment in a faculty member's career than to see one of their students win an award like this," he said.

It was the 36th year the awards have been presented. Faculty committees in each department within the College of Liberal Arts select student awardees from a variety of disciplines whose work embodies the ideals and standards of excellence, creative endeavor and scholarship.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls 18,600 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the United States.

April 26, 2016 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, the saxsquatches, saxophones, music, news.

Dr. Amenio Suzano, Derek Chase, Hunter Gregory and Dillon Hirsch make up the Greatbatch School of Music sax quartet known as "The
Saxsquatches."
 
Submitted photo and information:
 
A saxophone quartet known as "The Saxsquatches" will be performing at 9 a.m. in lieu of the regular church service on Sunday, May 1, at the Elba United Methodist Church. It is located at 8 Chapel St. in Elba.
 
This extraordinarily talented group from the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College will amaze you with their tight harmonies and lively repertoire. Although they will perform a couple of hymns, the music will include upbeat secular tunes and decidedly jazzy numbers. Never have you heard the theme from your favorite video game sound so great!
 
Please join us for this free concert. All are welcome. For more information call 585-757-2436 or 585-757-2224.
April 25, 2016 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, Elba Central School.

Members of the Class of 1966 will be celebrating their 50th class reunion on June 4.

Submitted photo and press release:

The third annual Elba Central School Alumni Reunion will be held starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Elba Fire Department Recreation Hall. Anyone who went to ECS is invited, you need not have graduated to attend.

Tickets should be purchased in advance and are $30 per person. Dinner will be buffet style, preceded by appetizers and punch. A cash bar will be available.

Reservation forms are available at several locations in Elba or may be requested by calling 343-7086.

April 24, 2016 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, elba, news, hunting.

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Anthony Zambito, 12, of Elba, got his first turkey on his first hunt this morning in Elba with his uncle Kelly Creegan.

April 21, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, elba, news.

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Press release:

Imagine a classroom where students can design and manufacture an iPhone case, whistles or even a part for an RC car for pennies on the dollar.

It's happening at Elba Central School with the help of a 3-D printer, which the school acquired as part of Genesee Valley BOCES Make and Take Workshop back in February.

A 3-D printer works much like a more familiar 2-D text and picture printer.

"3D printers take a digital file and turn it into a three-dimensional object layer by layer," said Elba's Technology coordinator, Mary Beth Stacy. "Engineering classes can print their designs and see if they will actually work instead of just assuming that it will. The printer we have can actually print many of it's own parts."

"The students design the objects using CAD software and then print it," Stacy said. "Sometimes the design works and sometimes it fails. Great life lessons about learning from their mistakes and not giving up are being reinforced, along with critical thinking and problem solving skills."

Instead of ink, users can choose their own material. Most educators use a low-cost plastic filament.

"The students are really excited to see it," Kevin Rombaut, technology teacher at Elba Central School said. "It allows them to see rapid prototyping and modeling. It gives them actual objects that they can see and hold other than just a computer rendering or imagination.

"It allows them to create parts and/or objects and to re-invent. I had one student break a part on their RC vehicle. They took it, drew a new one, changed the design to offer more support, and printed a new part out."

Elba Central School is doing what it can in keeping current with technology to help their students succeed in the future.

As Stacy pointed out, "Our students' futures will have technology embedded in their daily lives."

April 18, 2016 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, elba, corfu, Oakfield.

Kerry L. Norton, 33, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while intoxicated, DWI -- Leandra's Law, and endangering the welfare of a minor. At 2:31 a.m. on April 16, Norton was arrested after being stopped for multiple traffic violations. Norton performed field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. Officers discovered that two of his passengers were juveniles under age 16. Officers later discovered that Norton allegedly allowed the children to smoke marijuana in the vehicle while he was driving. He was jailed without bail and set to return to court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Deniz M. Pirincci, 59, Garden Drive, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog and owning a dog running at large. At 9:32 p.m. on March 27, Pirincci's dog was running at large and allegedly attacked another dog that was being walked by its owner on Garden Drive. Following at investigation, he was issued at appearance ticket for April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Joseph A. Monte, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree robbery, second-degree harassment, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 2:32 a.m. on April 17 after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred a short time earlier on Walnut Street. He was jailed and set to be in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Carlos Samol, 51, of Libersty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing. He was arrested after an incident at 8:07 p.m. on April 17 on Ellicott Street in which Samol allegedly menaced another person with what appeared to be a pistol. He was jailed on $5,000 bail and is to appear in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay. In addition, he was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly riding in a car with another person in violation of a complete stay-away order of protection. On the latter charge, the case was handled by Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Mitchell Cowen.

Frank J. Finley Jr., 33, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Finley was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident in the city at 11:40 p.m. on April 9. He was due in court on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Riley J. Cole, 20, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. The charge stems from an incident on Walnut Street at 3:50 p.m. on April 8 wherein Cole allegedly struck an ARC staff member in the face. Cole is to appear in City Court Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Zachary Vernon Seeley, 19, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested following an altercation at 3:11 p.m. on April 13 at 555 E. Main St. with another resident at that location. Seeley allegedly became upset with the other resident and punched a hole in a wall there, prior to allegedly shoving the other resident. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and was due in court on April 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Taheed M. Moffett, 31, of Turner Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief -- $250 in damages, resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. Moffett was arrested at 8:56 p.m. on April 19 on Pearl Street. The defendant was to appear in April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Scott D. Higgins, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 percent or more, DWI -- common law, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to use headlights, and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. At 2:22 a.m. on April 16, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle without headlights on West Main Street at Burger King. Higgins was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated and he was subsequently arrested for DWI and issued tickets. He is scheduled to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk. Higgins was subsequently arrested at 1 p.m. on April 19 for failure to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Aug. 12, 2014, on West Main Street.  He was jailed, then released after posting $200 bail. He is to appear in City Court on this matter Tuesday. The case was handled by Officer Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Perkins.

Christopher Michael Barone, 33, of Lawrence Avenue, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was arrested at 7:59 p.m. on April 8 after a traffic stop on Main Street in Batavia. He was found to have a suspended driver's license (14 suspensions on four dates) and also had an active warrant out of the Town of Batavia for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was also allegedly found to possess cocaine. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in City Counrt on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter.

Terry L. Travis Jr., 33, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, refusal to take a breath test and illegal signal. He was arrested at 1:38 p.m. on March 25 and released with an appearance ticket for City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Robin D. Dixon, 28, of Barbie Court, Rochester, is charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated -- common law, and driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. Dixon was arrested at 2:08 a.m. on April 9 after she was observed allegedly driving the wrong way on a portion of School Street, downtown. After a traffic stop, she was arrested for allegedly driving in an intoxicated condition. She is to be in court on April 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Brian V. Bisig, 29, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with having insufficient tail lamps and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. At 9:47 p.m. on April 14, Bisig was stopped for having a defective tail lamp in the area of West Main and River streets. He was arrested and posted $200 bail and is to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Johnney Lee Shannon, 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unattended motor vehicle. Shannon was arrested at 1:06 p.m. April 11 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after allegedly leaving his vehicle running unattended in the parking lot of a local business. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. Subsequently, Shannon was arrested on a warrant out of Wyoming County. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Nathan S. Love, 23, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on a City of Batavia warrant that was issued after he failed to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Feb. 27 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $500 bail and was to be in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Gregory F. Frieday, 31, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. He was arrested at 11:20 p.m. on April 9 and was issued an appearance ticket for court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on April 3 following an investigation stemming from his allegedly threatening individuals. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in court on April 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Kyle Ratulowski, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on two counts of petit larceny after attempting to pawn items he allegedly stole from unsecured vehicles overnight while in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. Deputy Young from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation. The Sheriff's Office also had charges on Ratulowski for allegedly stealing items from unsecured vehicles in the Town of Batavia. He was jailed on those charges.

Kiha S. McNear, 18, of 1/2 Walnut St., Batavia, was arrested at 9:45 a.m. on April 11 after police responded to a report of a physical altercation in the parking lot of Tim Horton's. While police were interviewing multiple subjects, McNear became upset that poluce had stopped him and allegedly started using absive language and shouting obscenities and racial epithets toward police. He was subsequently arrested and issued an appearance ticket for city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Kasey J. Wagner, 34, of Fletcher Chapel Road, Shelby, is charged with failure to appear. Wagner was arrested on a warrant issued her failure to appear in court on a charge of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Wagner was jailed on $250 bail and was due in court April 11.

Christina A. Cotter, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Cotter was arrested on April 4 after violating a complete stay-away order of protection issued by City Court by allegedly sending several text messages to the protected party. Cotter was to be in court April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Ralph A. Golding, 51, of Broadway, Alden, was arrested April 11 on a bench warrant out of City Court. The warrant was issued after Golding allegedly failed to pay a fine in relation to a conviction for petit larceny. The defendant was due in court April 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Kathryn F. Long, 21, of Harris Road, Le Roy was arrested on April 14th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Long was arrested following a complaint of an alleged larceny in progress from Tops Market located in the Village. Long allegedly took $5.89 worth of merchandise from Tops. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Le Roy Town Court on May 19.

Kenneth A. McJury, 52, of 1/2 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. McJury was arrested following an investigated into a larceny at 5:57 p.m. April 6 at the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on April 12 on a bench warrant. Price was released on an appearance ticket and was to be in City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.
April 15, 2016 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music, entertainment, elba, news.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Elba Central School's auditorium. 

Bryan Eckenrode conducts "American Made," which features nine pieces by American composers, including two local composers, Gary Call Hanley and Ross Chua. Hanley lives in Nashville and his piece, "Plight of the Common Man," has been performed there. Chua is a Batavia High School student and this is the world premier of his work, "Spectacle in Flight."

Also on the program are "Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera" by Don Gillis, the "Paul Bunyan Suite" by William Bergsma, "Blues in 6/8" by Milton Weinstein, three dance episodes from "Rodeo" by Aaron Copland, "Variations on a Theme" by Handel, a piece by Maurice Whitney, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by John Williams and "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein. 

The Harry Potter piece will be performed with students from the GSO String Workshop.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online (click here).

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March 28, 2016 - 9:25am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, elba, bergen.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

At 1:06 p.m. on Sunday March 27 the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call concerning a motor vehicle collision that occurred at 4746 Barrville Road in the Town of Elba.

A northbound vehicle went off the east shoulder of Barrville Road and struck a parked vehicle at that address. The operator of the vehicle then fled the scene.

The suspect was tracked for several hours and later arrested at an address on North Bergen Road in the Town of Byron.

The suspect, Arnoldo Gregorio Lopez, 23, of North Bergen Road, faces Vehicle and Traffic charges of unlicensed operator, uninspected motor vehicle, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, improper plates, moving from lane unsafely, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

He was arraigned in the Town of Oakfield Court by Justice Baker and remanded to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office was assisted by members of the State Police, Medina Police Department's K-9 and a State Police K-9.

(For initial report, click here: http://www.thebatavian.com/node/129152/edit)

March 27, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba, news.

A male driver fled on foot following a two-car accident at 4746 Barrville Road, Elba. Sheriff's deputies are responding, along with Elba fire and Mercy medics. The fleeing suspect is described as "possibly Mexican," wearing a green and white polo shirt.

UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: There was only one vehicle involved. It is parked on the front lawn of the Barrville Road address. A relative of the caller is said to have seen the suspect enter into some nearby woods.

UPDATE 1:47 p.m.: A Chrysler mini-van with two Hispanic males inside was stopped in the area and a State Trooper was going to attempt to run the occupants' IDs when one of them fled the vehicle and ran off. Not known if the incident is related to the Barrville Road accident, but law enforcement had a perimeter around the accident scene and were looking for a suspect when this occurred.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: A passerby told officers a Hispanic male ran past his house in the 4700 block of North Byron Road, heading north toward Watson Road. Law enforcement is en route to search the area.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Officers are still searching for the suspect, heading in a north-northeasterly direction.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: A canine unit reports finding fresh tracks.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: The suspect has been apprehended and officers are preparing paperwork for his arraignment in court.

March 26, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, helping hands.

(Pictured above, from left, are Taylor Augello, Leah Bezon and Miah Werth.)

(Submitted photo and information from Drew Muelig.)

The Elba Helping Hands began in the Fall of 2014 to help those in need in the Elba Central School student body, faculty and staff.

There are over a dozen members who meet monthly to seek ways to raise funds in order to help those who suffer from a prolonged illness, are hospitalized or experiencing a hardship within our district or community.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30th, in the Elba School library there will be a Helping Hands meeting for community and parents within the district to establish a parent committee for the Helping Hands. All parents and community members are welcome to come and be part of this great committee that is changing lives!

Elba’s Helping Hands has used opportunities like the United Way Packpack Program to send home backpacks filled with food items for families in need within the district. They’ve also organized an annual craft sale, basket raffles and taken donations throughout the year to help give back to the Elba community.

On March 12th, the families of Taylor Augello, Leah Bezon and Miah Werth hosted a dance party for the seventh- and eighth-grade Elba classes to celebrate Taylor, Leah and Miah's 13th birthdays. 

In lieu of gifts, these young ladies asked guests to bring a donation to Elba Helping Hands. Along with all their friends and fellow students, the girls raised $700 in one night! 

The Helping Hands committee could not be any prouder of these young ladies and their student body for thinking of others and making a difference!

March 22, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, college readiness, news.

Press release:

"Buffalo Business First" magazine recently ranked Elba Central High School students first in Genesee County and 12th best of 97 schools in Western New York for college and career readiness.

The report is based on Aspirational Performance Measures (APM) for high school students from 2011-2015.

APM takes into account the percent of graduates who score at least a 75 on the English II Regents, an 80 on a math Regents and graduates with a local, Regents or advanced Regents diploma. The Upstate average is slightly over 42 percent, with Elba being one of only 12 school districts in WNY achieving 60 percent or higher.

"We’re proud of our results and 60 percent is a nice accomplishment," said Elba Superintendent Keith Palmer. "But when you recognize that these percentages represent the success of our students, we really can’t be satisfied until 100 percent of our graduates are ready for college and career. That’s what a high school diploma should represent."

For the full report visit http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/new/2016/01/21/apmchart.html

March 21, 2016 - 3:00pm


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March 21, 2016 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Onion Festival, news.

The nearly 80-year-old Onion Festival held in Elba every summer is already just a memory.

Proceeds from it helped pay for Elba's fire equipment and supplies. Now what?

"We are going to look at other money-making options," said Elba Fire Department President Ken Miller this morning. "But without rides, without a car raffle, can you call it the Onion Festival? We haven't decided 100 percent what we're going to do, what we can do. But the festival is done."

What, if anything, will take place there in mid-August has yet to be decided. Miller said the board of directors for the all-volunteer fire company will meet and discuss the situation in a couple of weeks.

More and more, ride operators are skipping the small-town events that last a couple days, like the one in Elba, and sticking with bigger venues where they can turn a profit after they pay for insurance, wages and others costs of doing business. The result for places like Elba is fewer attendees -- not enough to buy tickets, only sold locally, to raffle off a new car.

Other little fire companies are facing similar circumstances.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has introduced legislation to allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards and to allow them to advertise raffle tickets online, thereby boosting sales and reaching more people. Hawley is also going to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow nonprofit organizations more fundraising flexibility.

March 18, 2016 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Onion Festival, news.

Lean times may lie ahead for the Elba Fire Department. It's biggest fundraiser of the year -- the Elba Onion Festival -- will not feature rides this year, nor will there be a raffle for a shiny new Ford Mustang.

Whatever other money-making options might be employed for the all-volunteer fire company will be discussed at its next meeting in two weeks. But the Onion Festival will still take place in mid-August, just as it has for the past 79 years. 

The decision not to have rides is actually the result of not being able to secure a company to provide them, said Elba Fire Department President Ken Miller.

"It comes down to money," he said. "The ride companies don't want to go to small-town events. Ours is just Friday and Saturday. After they get insurance and pay wages, there's not enough money in it for them."

Miller said the trend is hurting fundraising efforts for small, volunteer fire companies -- two or three in Monroe County have cancelled fundraisers featuring rides this year.

For at least the last 50 years, Elba has raffled off a car at the Onion Festival. They only sell tickets in Genesee County.

Elba not having a Mustang raffle in 2016 is the result of a trickle-down effect: No rides, fewer people, not enough money to buy the car.

It has nothing to do with Stafford Volunteer Fire Company, which had this year's Corvette raffle suspended by the State Gaming Commission because it had online raffle tickets ads posted last year in violation of the rules. (Refunds are being issued to Stafford raffle ticket buyers.)

Proceeds from the Onion Festival help pay for Elba's fire equipment and supplies.

"It hurts," Miller said. "It's a huge community deal. People come from all over. It's like a big family picnic. But things change."

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Steve Hawley is co-sponsoring two bills which would allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards and to allow them to advertise raffle tickets online, thereby boosting sales and reaching more people. Hawley said he will also be introducing a constitutional amendment to allow nonprofit organizations more latitude in their fundraising efforts.

March 16, 2016 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba, news.

Crystal Marie Bouter, 27, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on March 15 on a bench warrant out of Town of Elba Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her supervised release while on Drake Street in Oakfield at 5 p.m. March 14. She was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

March 4, 2016 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident.

Smoke is coming from a vehicle with heavy front-end damage following an accident at Route 98 and Lockport Road, Elba.

There's a possible minor injury.

Elba Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Law enforcement is on scene.

UPDATE 8:56 a.m.: Lockport Road is completely blocked.

March 3, 2016 - 3:37am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, accidents, news.

carhousemarch32016.jpg

A passerby reports a car crashed into a house at 7797 Oak Orchard Road, unknown injuries, but the male driver is said to be responsive. A natural gas line was struck and is leaking. A power line is also down across the roadway, which is not passable. Northbound traffic on Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Town Line Road (Daws Corners) will have to be shut down, according to first responders. Elba Fire Police are called for traffic control; Town of Batavia Fire Department personnel are on scene. Mercy medics are also responding. There's a strong smell of natural gas, but the gas line "has been secured." The residence has been evacuated. National Fuel and National Grid are contacted and are dispatching crews; no ETA. Responders are told to use caution upon approach because the road conditions are icy.

UPDATE 3:44 a.m.: The driver is allegedly intoxicated and will be transported to UMMC for evaluation. A code enforcement officer is called to the scene.

UPDATE 4:28 a.m.: Deputy on scene said the cause of the accident is under investigation. The vehicle was southbound and crossed the road, striking a pole on the residential property and then striking the porch of the house. There were reportedly icy conditions. The driver was in the vehicle when Town of Batavia fire arrived on scene, but self-extricated. State Police are assisting in the investigation.

UPDATE 4:53 a.m.: Route 98 is open in both directions. Town of Batavia fire and Elba Fire Police back in service.

UPDATE 9:16 a.m.: Joshua D. McGuire, 22, of Albion, is charged with DWI. Other charges are pending. The accident is being investigated by Deputy Joseph Loftus.

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