Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

elba

January 11, 2017 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, agriculture, Torrey Farms, news.

img_3934augellov.jpg

Members of the Elba Lancers Girls Basketball teams, varsity and JV, wore T-shirts at their games Tuesday night in Attica to honor Jordyn M. Augello.

Augello, 30, died of cancer Monday just months after giving birth while going through cancer treatment. She coached many of the girls as a youth coach as they came up through the Elba program in fifth and sixth grade.

She is the daughter of Mark Torrey and was a partner in Torrey Farms. She leaves behind a husband, Charles Augello, and children Carmine Frank and Frances Mary. She was a 2009 graduate of Cornell University.

For her full obituary, click here.

Team photos courtesy Tom Redband.

img_3929augellojv.jpg

January 10, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, elba, pembroke, alexander, Oakfield, byron, news.

Investigators continue to work leads in the case of a series of battery thefts from trucks and farm equipment in Genesee County, and as a result previously arrested suspects face new charges.

Bart Towne, 48, of Alleghany Road, Alabama, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. He was first arrested Sept. 27 and has been charged in the jurisdictions of Byron, Oakfield, Alabama, Elba, Pembroke and Alexander. 

He allegedly stole batteries in each of those towns.

He is being held without bail.

Amber L. Heveron, 28, of Rice Road, Albion, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. She was first arrested Dec. 6. She was previously charged in Alabama, Pembroke, Oakfield and Elba. 

She is out of jail under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

January 8, 2017 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, news.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported on Route 98 near Ford Road in Elba.

People are reportedly still in the vehicle.

Unknown injuries.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS responding.

December 28, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Court, Charles Zambito, elba, news.

zambitooath2016.jpg

In his legal career, Charles Zambito has been a clerk for a county court judge, a defense attorney, a prosecuting attorney, an attorney in private practice and a county attorney, and last night he took the oath office for what he said may be the most significant role an attorney can play in a democratic society: a County Court judge.

Elected without opposition in November, the lifelong Genesee County resident who resides in Elba took the oath administered by Wyoming County Court Judge Michael Mohun while surrounded by his family.

After being sworn in, Zambito delivered a few remarks.

Judges, he said, play a vital role in protecting the freedoms we all enjoy. Yes, the court is indispensable in protecting law-abiding citizens from those who break the law and providing for victim's rights, but judges must also safeguard the Constitutional rights of those accused of crimes, as well, in order to ensure the rights of us all are protected. 

"It’s just as important if not more important for a judge to be aware of that," Zambito said. "Without an independent judiciary, you wouldn’t have that. It’s really the foundation of a democratic society."

When discussions about his swearing-in ceremony came up, Zambito said his first impulse was not to make much of it, but his friends, including Mohun, who will serve as his mentor, impressed upon him the idea that the job isn't just about him.

"It’s about the position that a county court judge has in the community and the importance and significance that has, not only in this community but in all communities across the state and the country," Zambito said.

zambitooath2016-2.jpg

zambitooath2016-3.jpg

Attorney Ben Bonarigo, outgoing president of the Genesee County Bar Association, delivered a few opening remarks in praise of Zambito's service to the community.

zambitooath2016-4.jpg

December 24, 2016 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas, elba, Bethany, batavia, news.

Here are the services for tonight we were notified about:

  • The barn service originally scheduled for tonight at the Partridge Farm has been moved to the United Methodist Church at 8221 Lewiston Road. 
  • There is a candlelight service with carols and the Christmas Story at 7 p.m. at the East Bethany Presbyterian Chruch, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany.
  • The Yunker family continues a 36-year tradition hosting a barn service for the Presbyterian Church in Elba. The service begins at 7 p.m. on the Yunker Farm on Transit Road, Elba. Lighted candles will lead cars along the road to the barn. Rev. Barbara Tipton will renew the Christmas message. Traditional Christmas hymns will be sung, accompanied by Fran Woodworth on flute. Barn STAIRS will lead to the service benches. Members and visitors are welcome.
  • City Church holds two services this evening, at 6 p.m. at the City Church on East Main Street, Batavia, and at 8 p.m. at St. Anthony's on Liberty Street.
December 22, 2016 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, news.

A Mexican citizen barred from ever entering the United States again after serving a prison term on a rape conviction has pled guilty to re-entry after deportation in federal court.

Jose Maria Agustin, 43, arrested in Elba a year ago following a raid of a property by the Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security, faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In 2009, Agustin was convicted in California of forcible rape and assault with a deadly weapon. After serving a five-year prison term he was deported. 

Agustin was located in Elba following an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Sheriff's Office. He was arrested locally on a charge of sex offender failing to report a new address. He had not registered in New York and was working in the United States without authorization.

December 16, 2016 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in CY Farms, agriculture, elba, business, news.

emmacyfarmsdec2016.jpg

Emmaline Long didn't grow up on a farm, but she grew up loving everything about farming. She always wanted to work in agriculture and after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Agricultural Sciences, Long landed what she describes as her dream job, crop production manager for CY Farms in Elba.

The 2008 graduate of Byron-Bergen High School has a passion for farming that goes beyond just her job. She is chair of the New York 4-H Foundation, co-chair of the Genesee County Young Farmers and Ranchers and serves on the precision agriculture advisory committee at Genesee Community College.

All this passion, all this dedication to farming is why she received the Excellence of Agriculture Award from the New York Farm Bureau at its statewide convention last week.

The award is given annually to a person between the ages of 18-36 who derives most of his or her income from agriculture but doesn't own a farm.

She describes the award as humbling.

"Because I’m passionate about a lot of things, it’s nice to be recognized for the things I have been doing, and that putting myself out there and being a leader doesn’t go unnoticed," Long said.

Although Long didn't grow up on a farm, farming was always part of her life. Her dad had owned a dairy farm before she was born and she and her parents always worked their garden and her dad would ride her around in his lap on their tractor. In high school, she started raising a rare, heritage breed of sheep, Lincoln longwools. She was a member of 4-H and competed annually at the Genesee County Fair.

"(Agriculture) is in my blood," she said. "I've always loved it. It's always been something I've been interested in."

She still has her flock and hopes someday she can make enough from selling wool to pay for her hobby.

Her job at CY Farms, which she started two and a half years ago, affords her the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of ag-related jobs, from managing and planning what crops get planted where, and managing the nutrients they will need, to handling disease and pest control in an environmentally friendly way, plus handling all the ag precision data. She also puts out the farm's newsletter. 

“I found it difficult to find one aspect of the industry I liked more than the others," she said. "I like forage crops and I like vegetable crops and I like grain crops and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to focus on, so I was specifically looking for a farm to work on that I could get involved in all the different aspects of the industry."

She's currently working on her master's thesis for a degree in Animal Science.

When she first graduated, she kind of thought her career path might have her working on a farm for a couple of years and them moving to a job with another, bigger agriculture company, but she's found she loves being involved in the local ag community, where everybody knows everybody and supports everybody, and she loves working at CY Farms, so it's now hard to imagine moving on.

"I love the operation and the opportunity they've been able to give me, so it’s hard to look forward because I’m content to work where I am now,"

Next month, Long will find out if her experience and passion for agriculture helps her win the same title at the national level of the Farm Bureau. She will be among 40 candidates for the award when the national organization holds its convention in Phoenix.

Previously: CY Farms grew from the good land

December 14, 2016 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba.

Press release:

HUGE SHOUT OUT FROM ELBA SCOUTS…

On behalf of the Elba Scouts I would like to thank so many for making our fifth annual Holiday Craft Show a great success.

ELBA CENTRAL SCHOOL

A Gigantic Thank You to Elba Central School for letting us use the facilities. Karen Cusmano for use of the Gyms, Lisa Crnkovich  for use of the cafeteria, Mr. Palmer and the board for approving  it. The custodial staff, you are always willing to help us with table, chairs and whatever else we need (especially Melanie). Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Hocmuth for organizing the Junior National Honor Society and High School National Honor Society to help with the Kids' Craft Corner, face painting and helping the vendors load and unload their cars. A special Thank you to Donna Harris, she is the go-to person. Any question, problems , or needs she takes  care of it for me.  I can’t Thank You enough Donna.

GENESEE COUNTY BUSINESSES

I can’t Thank you enough for the generous donations our Grand Prize was worth more than $800.

B.J’s, Applebee’s, Walmart, Tops, Target, Sport of Kings, Marks Pizzeria, Five Guys, Denny’s,  Rancho Viejo, That Taco Place, Valle Jewelers, T.F. Browns, Alex’s, Pollyanna  & Dot, Deep Blue Pool and Spa, Tim Horton’s, Main Street Pizza, Falleti Motors, The Mane Attraction, Yellow Goose (Arrow Mart), Moon Java, Bourbon & Burger Co. and Chap’s Elba Diner.

CRAFTERS AND VENDORS

Without you the show could not have been possible. Thank you to all my vendors both new and old and hope to see you again next year Saturday, Dec. 9.

HARVESTER 56 THEATER

Thank you for the nice chairs for Mr. and Mrs. Claus to sit in.

MRS. CLAUS

 Thank you for sitting in for Mr. Claus because he was so busy trying to get ready for Christmas.

ELBA SCOUT FAMILIES

I would like to thank everyone who helped make this a success.

 All the parents who came and helped whether it was loading or unloading cars, setup, clean up it is greatly appreciated.

All the scouts you guys did an awesome job whether you were loading or unloading cars, taking orders and delivering food, pushing the coffee and donut cart, selling tickets or wearing the advertising board it is much appreciated. The vendors appreciated everything and said what a great job you did. 

Frank W., Herm S. and Brian B. for running the kitchen another great job.

My husband Shawn and son Aidan for putting up with me.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU GOES OUT TO QUEEN KIM YOU ARE A GREAT FRIEND AND COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU.

Another shout out to Brian B. for helping clean the gym Friday night after the girl’s basketball game so we could get in sooner and start marking off vendor spots.

If I have forgotten anyone it was not intentional.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sincerely, Lori McClurg

Chairperson, Elba Craft Show

December 14, 2016 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Stafford, elba.

Melissa R. Piazza, 27, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Piazza was allegedly found going through vehicles on Pearl Street at 1:23 a.m., Dec. 2.

Victor D. Albert, 55, of Clinton Street, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Albert was charged after police were called to Batavia Downs at 1:34 p.m., Sunday, to investigate an incident and Albert was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Joshua Micheal Bratcher, 26, of Fargo Road, Bethany, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and unlawful possession of marijuana. Bratcher was arrested after Batavia PD was dispatched to the area of 17 Central Ave. for a report of several people fighting.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 40, of South Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on two warrants. The warrants stem from charges of petit larceny and criminal trespass in two separate incidents. Horseman was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Darrell Smith, 49, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to pay fine. Smith turned himself in on a warrant.

Jacklyn M. Ganzhorn, 29, of Central Avenue, was arrested on a warrant. Ganzhorn was arrested when located on Alva Place for alleged failure to appear in court. Ganzhorn was held on a bail.

Nikki L. Stonebraker, 28, of Liberty Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. 

Joshua A. Porter, 19, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise. Porter is accused of hosting a loud party in his residence, which was reported at 12:06 a.m., Dec. 8.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 51, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Lyons is accused of violating terms of probation. She was arraigned and jailed.

Joey A. Evans, 26, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Evans allegedly possessed property stolen from another individual.

Jaylyn S. Strong, 21, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving a vehicle without stop lamps, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and unlicensed operator. Strong was stopped at 10:40 p.m., Dec. 1, on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards.

Robert S. Sodja, 52, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Sodja was arrested on a warrant.

Harry T. Gibson, 52, of West Main Street, was arrested on a warrant. Gibson is charged with petit larceny. Gibson was sentenced in City Court to six months in jail, to run concurrent with a sentence out of Town of Batavia Court.

Bradley R. Jordan, 23, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd. Jordan allegedly entered and started a vehicle that didn't belong to him at 6:55 p.m., Nov. 16, at 4 Treadeasy Ave., Batavia.

Martin F. Jones, 45, of State Street, is charged with petit larceny. Jones allegedly stole a phone from a residence on State Street at 9:30 p.m., Nov. 27.

Andrei Peter Sliker, 25, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Sliker was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and buprenorphine during at traffic stop initiated by Deputy Eric Meyer at 7:45 a.m. Dec. 23, 2015 on Route 5 in Stafford.

Amandarae L. Moore, 29, of Route 31, Albion, was arrested on a warrant. Moore is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the Town of Elba.

December 10, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news.

img_0721.jpg.jpeg

A vehicle reportedly struck a tree, flipped over and is now on its wheels in the roadway in the area of 4619 Ford Road, Elba.

Unknown injuries.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATED: Reader-submitted photo added. Only minor injuries reported.

December 10, 2016 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Central School, elba, schools, education, news.

img_1170elbaprincipal.jpg

Article and photo submitted by Drew Muehlig.

President-elect Donald Trump isn’t the only one putting a transition team together. Elba Central School has worked diligently over the last year and a half to get its administrative team together. Friday night, the school hosted a “Meet the Principal’s Night,” giving the community an opportunity to meet the new “team” face-to-face.

First there was new Superintendent Keith Palmer who came over from his post as high school principal at Pembroke Central School. Palmer was hired prior to the 2015-16 school year.

“As a fairly new superintendent, it is fortunate to be in a position to hire your administrative team,” Palmer said.

That team is made up of Elementary Principal Carol Bush and Junior-Senior High School Principal Mike Langridge.

“Both bring unique strengths to the District that will have a direct and immediate impact on learning,” Palmer continued. “Carol’s knowledge and experience with literacy along with her ability to speak Spanish has already benefited our most needy students at the elementary level. As an Elba alumnus, Mike brings established relationships and credibility with the faculty and community. His focus on rigorous and challenging coursework for all students will continue to prepare our high-schoolers for both college and career.”

Bush, former coordinator of the Center for School Improvement and Professional Development at Orleans/Niagara BOCES, boasts 14 years in the field of education with time as a Spanish teacher, literacy specialist and coordinator of student services and curriculum. Providing ECS students with the best possible learning experience is her top priority.

“Creating an environment that is conducive to learning and meets the needs of all students is critical,” Bush explained. Each day, teachers and students enter our school building with an array of personalities, interests, expectations, skills and talents. As the instructional leader, it is my job to recognize these unique attributes and nurture them so they may grow to their full potential.”

Langridge, former principal at the O’Connor Academy at Monroe #1 BOCES, plans to continue that same effort at the high school level.

“We will provide the opportunities and support for all students to be ready to take on their post-secondary life with the skills, abilities and character necessary to find success,” Langridge said.

Those opportunities that Langridge speaks of are far more numerous than they were when he graduated from Elba Central School in 1998.

“Students have greater access to Advanced Placement courses, ACE (Genesee Community) courses, BOCES, small class sizes, a family atmosphere in which we take care of one another, and, thanks to mergers with local districts, extracurricular options my friends and I only dreamt of as students,” Langridge added.

Many of those former students now make up the core community in Elba, fueling the growth and success of the school.

“There is a great sense of pride that exists in Elba, not only as a strong school community but also as a family,” Bush said. “Everyone is truly invested in the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students and provide a remarkable support system for one another. I continue to be amazed by their dedication and commitment.”

It seems that with their respective backgrounds and skills, Palmer, Bush and Langridge are poised to lead Elba Central School into the future.

“Carol and Mike are strong leaders and I look forward to the progress we will make in providing our students with the best education in Western New York,” Palmer said.

Photo: Mike Langridge,Carol Bush and Keith Palmer (photo credit, Michael Augello).

December 8, 2016 - 7:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, elba, news.

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017.jpg

In their first meeting of the season, Notre Dame prevailed Wednesday night at home over archrival Elba, 43-34.

Margaret Sutherland led all scorers with 21 points and Calli McCulley added 16 for Notre Dame.

For the Lancers, Emily Reynolds scored 12 and Madison Howard scored 6.

It was the first win for new Head Coach Tom McCulley.

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-2.jpg

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-3.jpg

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-4.jpg

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-5.jpg

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-6.jpg

elbaatndgirlshoopsdec72017-8.jpg

December 7, 2016 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm bureau, New York Farm Bureau, agriculture, elba, news.

Elba's Dean Norton has been replaced as president of the New York State Farm Bureau in an election held this evening at the bureau's annual meeting.

Norton, a dairy farmer, has been president and face of the farm bureau for eight years, representing the bureau not just in New York but in Washington, D.C., and around the nation.

The membership instead elected David Fisher, who owns a large dairy farm in St. Lawrence County, as president.

The nominees were Norton, Fisher and Mark Dunau.

(Information via the NY Farm Bureau's Twitter postings.)

UPDATE: Press release:

During the New York Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting in Albany, voting delegates elected David Fisher, a dairy farmer from St. Lawrence County, as the new president of the organization.

Fisher and his family have operated Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, N.Y. for four generations. He has served on the New York Farm Bureau Board of Directors for the past five years and previously was president of St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau. A graduate of Cornell University, Fisher earned a degree in Animal Science.

Fisher replaces Dean Norton who served as president for the past eight years.

“I am humbled that the farmer members of New York Farm Bureau have placed their confidence in me to lead this great organization. My family has a long history with Farm Bureau, and I am excited to work on behalf of our diverse membership to increase the value and visibility of New York agriculture. I would also like to thank Dean Norton for his service and commitment to New York Farm Bureau,” said David Fisher, president of New York Farm Bureau.

Vice President Eric Ooms, a dairy farmer from Columbia County, was re-elected to his position.

In addition, representatives to the State Board of Directors were elected, too. This concluded the annual two-day long meeting where resolutions were discussed and voted on to set NYFB’s 2017 public policy agenda.

Those elected include Pat McCormick of Wyoming County, re-elected as District 2 Director; Lin Davidson of Tompkins County was elected as District 4 Director; Jacob Schieferstine of Oneida County was re-elected as District 6 Director; Dean Casey of Rensselaer County, re-elected as District 8 Director; Chris Kelder of Ulster County, re-elected as District 10 Director; Kristen Brown of Orange County as the new Young Farmer and Rancher Chair on the State Board and Phyllis Couture of Cattaraugus County was re-elected as the Promotion and Education Chairperson on the State Board.

In addition, New York Farm Bureau handed out the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Awards to two worthy individuals who have made an impact on New York Farm Bureau and agriculture in this state. The awardees were Chris Fesko of Skaneateles, N.Y. and member of Onondaga County Farm Bureau, and Michael DellaRocco of Melrose, N.Y., a member of Rensselaer County Farm Bureau.

Finally, New York Farm Bureau announced two recipients of the James Quinn Award that recognizes extraordinary efforts by individual Farm Bureau members during the course of a given year “to serve and strengthen agriculture”.  The honorees were Joe and June Swyers of Livingston County Farm Bureau and Brad and Carolyn Almeter of Wyoming County Farm Bureau.

December 7, 2016 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.

ndatelbahoopsdec72016.jpg

Three Lancers scored in double digits Monday night in the home opener for Elba against archrival Notre Dame, a game won by Elba, 72-34.

Tucker Bezon put up 19 points and Henry Pflaumer had 17 and Shane O'Halloran added 12. Pflaumer knocked down four three-point baskets.

For Notre Dame, Ryan Mukkat scored 11 points, anchored by a trio of three-point baskets.

Tonight, the Notre Dame girls host the Elba girls in their newly renovated gym. Game time is 7 p.m.

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-2.jpg

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-3.jpg

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-4.jpg

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-5.jpg

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-6.jpg

ndatelbahoopsdec72016-7.jpg

December 6, 2016 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, elba, Pavilion, pembroke, news, Le Roy.

Stacey Dawn Mancuso, 46, of Jamison Road, Elma, is charged with two counts of felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and no right and no left turn signal. Mancuso was stopped at 2:22 p.m. Sunday on Pratt Road, Batavia, by Deputy Richard Schildwaster. A passenger in the vehicle was reportedly 5 years old, leading to a charge under Leandra's Law. She also allegedly had a prior DWI conviction within the past 10 years. She was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Daniel John Moore, 36, of Asbury Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Moore was arrested after deputies responded to a report of a domestic incident in Pavilion at 8:10 a.m., Nov. 30. Moore allegedly had physical contact during the argument with a person who had called 9-1-1 and Moore allegedly terminated the 9-1-1 call. He reportedly left the scene before deputies arrived and was later located that night and arrested.

Dylan Michael Cobernus, 20, of Maxon Street, Brockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Cobernus was stopped at 10:37 p.m. Wednesday on Route 98, Elba, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Devan Dashaun Hazel, 22, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with trespassing. Hazel is accused of trespassing on College Village property at 5:43 a.m. Sunday.

A 17-year-old resident of Harris Road, Le Roy, is charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal impersonation, 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Micheal Lute into an incident reported at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 5 on Route 77 in Pembroke. The youth was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Taheed Mical Moffett, 31, of Arnet Boulevard, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana. Moffett was arrested after deputies were dispatched at 12:11 a.m. to the Econo Lodge on Route 77, Pembroke, to check the welfare of an individual.

November 29, 2016 - 6:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Volunteer Fire Department, elba, news.

An open letter from the Elba Volunteer Fire Department:

On behalf of the Elba Fire Department and Elba Joint Fire District, we would like to thank all the fire departments in Genesee County and all the fire companies that came from other counties to help us with the fire on Thanksgiving Day. We also would like to thank all the businesses, organizations, and community people who brought food and beverages. There were a lot of firefighters, EMS, personnel and fire police as well as the Power Company and fuel company. Because of the great cooperation we got from all of these people, the fire went smoothly. With it being a holiday, we also say thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time with family members and for the understanding family members who supported them. The cooperation and community spirit and support of the people of Elba and surrounding areas was phenomenal. Thank you again. 

November 28, 2016 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, elba, alexander.

Kayleigh Jean Allen, 24, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Allen was charged following an investigation into an accident reported at 2:36 a.m. Saturday on Route 98 in Alexander. The accident was investigated by Sgt. Jason Saile.

Maria Luisa Martinez, 21, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Martinez is accused of stealing $70.18 in merchandise from Kohl's.

November 25, 2016 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Torrey Farms, elba, fire, news, agriculture.

img_0187.jpg

In farming, there's little time to dwell on losses and already the Torreys are moving on after a fire caused more than $3 million in losses to their Big O Farms onion packing and storage facility in Elba yesterday.

They're still shipping onions from two other facilities they own and making plans to replace the equipment lost in yesterday's fire.

"That’s what we’ve got to do," said Mark Torrey, who stopped by the scene of the fire at 5520 N. Byron Road this afternoon to meet an insurance adjuster. "That’s what keeps you going today. We got up this morning and had to figure it out. We had loads we had to get out today. We had to figure out how to get them out. We actually started working on that yesterday afternoon."

There were three lines of onion-packing equipment in the building, Torrey said. Some of the equipment was installed within the past year. The property is assessed at more than $400,000 and each line costs more than a half-million-dollars each.

"It's not something you can just buy off the shelf," Torrey said.

Most of the equipment is manufactured in Europe, so even if suppliers have already assembled the parts, it will take some time to get everything to Elba and get it installed.

Meanwhile, the Torreys still have onions from this season's crop to get to market and some 70 employees to keep working.

A few employees posted on Facebook about how sad they were about the fire and praised the Torreys as good people to work for.

"A lot of these people have worked for us for a long time," Torrey said. "They’re working in the other places (today), but yeah, we’ve got a lot of good employees and you try to treat them right."

The fire may have started with a tractor that was stored on the southeast corner of the building and had its engine block plugged into an electric socket to keep it from freezing. Nearly every fire department in the county, along with companies from Monroe and Orleans counties, responded to the Thanksgiving Day fire. There is reportedly a community effort underway to organize an event to recognize the volunteers.

Local contractor Vito J. Gautieri also was at the facility today. He built the plant in 1958 for the Ognibene family. He came with a model of a truss used in the main arched barn. The county's online property database doesn't list the size of the facility. Gautieri said it was greatly expanded from what he originally built, but he estimated the entire space to be about 25,000 square feet.

"It's the first building I ever built that burned down," Gautieri said.

Torrey acknowledged it's a difficult loss, but that the business will continue as usual.

"This is a big set back, but we’ve still got people, we’ve got product we’ve got to pack," Torrey said. "You’ve just got to get doing it and that sort of keeps your mind off of this today."

Previously:

November 24, 2016 - 8:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire, Torrey Farms, agriculture, news.

fireaftermathnov242016.jpg

It's been more than 12 hours since the first alarm sounded for a barn fire at  5520 N. Byron Road in Elba and volunteer firefighters are still on scene.

On Thanksgiving Day.

It was a massive fire. It consumed the entire onion packing and storage facility owned by the Torrey family. It's a facility that 15 years ago was owned by the Ognibene family, hence the name of the business location, "Big O Farms."

The facility is just a mile or so north on Transit Road from the Elba Mucklands, where the Torreys are one of the largest onion growers in the county.

Family members told firefighters that most of the recent season's crop was stored at other locations, so while about 1,000 crates of onions were lost, most of this season's harvest was not in the building.

What was in the building was all of the company's sorting and packing machines, all of which were destroyed in the fire.

"Obviously, these agriculture-design buildings have no built-in protection systems, so that’s a game changer for us," said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator. "Then not having the adequate water supply for us initially, we were playing catch-up the entire time."

Clearly, the fire started in the southeast corner of the building. The cause, however, is unknown. Yaeger said investigators will look at electrical and equipment as the potential spark that lit the inferno. 

Elba crews were first on scene and started an exterior attack. Yaeger said that it's possible even by that time, given the wide-open spaces inside the building, the fire could have spread extensively.

It didn't take long for flames to reach the west end of the building, and a short time later, five- and six-foot high flames could be seen flitting through the roof.

Heavy equipment was brought in to knock down walls and open holes in the roof to help firefighters get water onto the fire.

But all morning, the water supply was a major obstacle to fighting the fire.

There was only one low-volume fire hydrant in the area, so as many as 20 tankers were called in from four counties to help shuttle water from fill sites (ponds, generally) and to porta-ponds set up on North Byron Road.

"Some of the primary fill sites weren’t adequate because of the drought we had this past summer so they had to establish and look for other fill sites, which unfortunately were further away," Yaeger said. "Some points were four, five, six miles away."

While nobody wants to be dragged away from friends, family, parades and football to fight a fire on Thanksgiving Day, the timing of the fire had one benefit: plenty of manpower. Many volunteers were home today instead of at work on a typical Thursday.

"I was fearful on the way here when the alarm came in, you know, people go away, go to visit family, a lot people go out of town, so I was concerned about what our manpower situation was going to be," Yaeger said. "Surprisingly, it may have worked in our favor. We had more than adequate manpower."

Every fire company in Genesee County was mobilized in some way for the fire. If the department wasn't on scene, and most of them were, they were acting as standby or fill-in for the departments who did respond.

Responding from the county included Elba, Byron, South Byron, Bergen, Oakfield, Stafford, Alabama, Alexander, Le Roy, East Pembroke, Bethany, Pembroke and Indian Falls, with Darien and Pavilion placed on standby or fill-in.

Departments from Orleans County, including Albion and Barre, responded, as well as Brockport from Monroe County and inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility.

All volunteers, all giving up all or a portion of their Thanksgiving to fight a fire.

But Yaeger suggested we not concentrate on the sacrifice of the volunteers.

"It’s difficult, but our hearts and thoughts go out to the business owner," Yaeger said. "That’s the primary concern. We don’t ever want to see this kind of destruction. It’s a total loss. That’s our real thought. For the firefighters, to be away from their families is difficult, but that’s what we do. In times of need, the fire services have got to be there and we were. It’s unfortunate it was today."

Previously: 

fireaftermathnov242016-2.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-3.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-4.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-5.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-6.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-7.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-8.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-9.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-10.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-11.jpg

fireaftermathnov242016-12.jpg

November 24, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba, news, agriculture, Torrey Farms.

elbatgfirenov2016.jpg

Photos from the fire that broke out about 7:30 a.m., today, at Big O Farms, a property of Torrey Farms, where onions are processed.

We'll have more coverage later. Initial coverage, here.

Give thanks for our volunteer firefighters.

elbatgfirenov2016-2.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-3.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-4.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-5.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-6.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-7.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-8.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-10.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-11.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-12.jpg

elbatgfirenov2016-13.jpg

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button