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September 15, 2011 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron, alexander.

Jeffrey J. Cervone, 43, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. Cervone is accused of stealing a bottle of Bacardi from Mr. Wine and Liquor at 5 p.m., Wednesday. Cervone reportedly left the scene in a pickup truck, which was later stopped on Lewiston Road by a Sheriff's deputy. Cervone was a passenger in the truck and was placed in Batavia Police custody. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Scott G. Tooley, 26, of 199 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Tooley is accused of pushing a woman to the ground while she was holding a child. Neither the woman nor the child were injured. The incident was reported at 10 a.m., Tuesday.

Rebecca Nicole Bethune, 22, of Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Bethune is accused of hitting another person in the head with her fist. The incident was reported at 2:10 a.m., Tuesday.

Jeffrey David Whitmore, 21, of Sandpit Road, Alexander, is charged with menacing. Whitmore is accused of pointing a shotgun at a person during a car repossession. The incident was reported at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Michael Abdullah Jamil, 27, of School Road, Byron, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child, petit larceny and harassment, 2nd. Jamil was arrested following an alleged domestic incident at 5 a.m., Wednesday. Among the accusations are that he disabled a phone in an attempt to prevent a call to police.

September 11, 2011 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, byron, alexander, bergen.

It took six quarters of football, but the Elba Byron-Bergen Lancers finally got fired up Saturday to turn a 12-0 half-time deficit into a 13-12 victory of the Alexander Trojans.

After a blistering 32-7 loss to Barker last week, Coach Mike Cintorino said the Lancers needed a spark to turn things around, and Zack DuBois, helped by some key blocks at the line, did that in the third quarter with a 95-yard run for a score.

"Our guys came out in the second half excited to play and we had some success to get us moving in the right direction," Cintorino said. "We've been waiting, knowing that Zach is due, and he popped a big one for us today. This is exactly what our team needed today just to show us that we are as good as we were last year and now we can build on that."

Alexander, playing under new head Coach Jack Rennolds, and coming off an injury-plagued 2010 season when the team went 1-6, played a pretty dominant first half.

The Trojans converted a turnover into a touchdown when Austin Heberline punched it in from two yards out.

Patrick Crawford helped lead the next drive, including darting in on a 12-yard TD run to put Alexander up 12-0 at the half.

Alexander had 213 yards on the ground, most of it gained in the first-half of the game.

But the momentum seemed to shift in the second half, sparked, of course, by the DeBois run, but defensively the Lancers seems to come to life, making it much harder for Alexander to move the ball.

Zac Gillard helped put his team ahead with a 35-yard TD pass to Matt Ramsey with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

From there, it was just a matter of a fired-up Lancers' defense keeping the Trojans in check.

Rennolds said he saw a lot of positives in his team, especially during the first half of play.

"We played really well in the first half and I was really happy with our play, but we seemed to drop our coverage a bit in the second half," Rennolds said. "We came out a little flat and Elba came out definitely ready to play."

The Lancers move to 1-1 and Alexander is now 0-2 on the young season.


Offensive Stats - Elba Byron Bergen
RB - Zack DuBois (So.): 24 Carries for 175 yards and 1 TD (94-yard run)
QB - Zac Gillard (Jr.): 6-10 for 79 yards and 1 TD (35 yards)
WR - Matt Ramsey (Sr.): 1 reception for 35 yards and 1 TD (35 yards)

Offensive Stats - Alexander
RB - Pat Crawford (Sr.): 3 Carries for 51 yards and 1 TD (12-yard run)
RB - Austin Heberline (Sr.): 5 Carries for 6 yards and 1 TD (2-yard run)
RB - Mark Farnsworth: 48 yards rushing
RB - Luke Phillips: 42 yards rushing
RB - David Schmeide: 22 yards
QB - Mark Farnsworth (Jr.): 3-11 for 22 yards
QB - Nelson Burke: 3 completions for 31 yards
Lineman Nick Mrucza was used on an offensive play and carried the ball for 38 yards.

Defensive Stats - Elba Byron-Bergen
Cody Naylor (Sr.): 10 tackles, 3 for a loss
Nate Jonathan (Jr.): 10 tackles, 2 for a loss

Defensive Stats - Alexander
Lucas Phillips (Sr.): Forced fumble
Austin Heberlein: 8 tackles and 4 assists
Nick Mrucza: 6 tackles
David Patrick: 5 tackles and 2 assists

Photos from this game can be purchased by clicking here.

If you can't view the slide show below, click here.

September 4, 2011 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, byron.

A driver said he blacked out before his car struck a tree at the intersection of Cockram Road and Transit Road, Town of Elba, at 6:04 p.m., Saturday.

The driver, Eric J. Harter, 36, of South Byron, was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello wrote in his report that alcohol may be a factor in the accident and charges are pending.

Harter was westbound on Cockram when his truck proceeded through the intersection at Transit Road. His truck struck a stand of trees.

Byron and South Byron responded to the scene and extricated Harter from his truck. Elba fire police handled traffic control.

September 1, 2011 - 11:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

An all-terrain vehicle accident with a female with spinal injuries is reported in Elba. The subject was able to be brought up to the railroad bed "so you should have access to the patient." Mercy Flight is on in-air standby. The accident is reportedly near the old railroad bed just west of Transit Road, north of Route 262.

Mercy Flight was on in-air standby and then cancelled.

August 28, 2011 - 11:07am
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, elba, Oakfield, pembroke, youth football, PYA.

Photos from the JV Youth Football game 8/27/11. Pembroke was the home team.

Minis: Pembroke 8, Oakfield-Elba 0

JV: Pembroke 36, Oakfield-Elba 6

All pictures from the event are available here for readers of The Batavian.

August 27, 2011 - 1:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A Rochester man heading westbound on Lockport Road reportedly said he was looking at his GPS and didn't see a stop sign at the intersection with Route 98 before his pickup truck slammed into the minivan of a Albion resident.

Neither driver was seriously injured.

David Youngman, 55, of Yankee Court, Rochester, was cited for alleged failure to stop for a stop sign.

His truck struck a minivan driven my Marcia Zambito, 59, of Allen Road, Albion.

Zambito was taken to UMMC by ground ambulance with a complaint of pain in her leg and arm.

Youngman was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, because he's a Rochester resident, with a complaint of chest pain.

(initial report)

August 26, 2011 - 10:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A serious motor-vehicle accident with at least four injured people is reported in Elba at Route 98 and Lockport Road.

Two Mercy Flight helicopters are en route, one from Batavia, one from Buffalo.

Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are also en route.

UPDATE 10:27 p.m.: The Buffalo helicopter is canceled per the first responder, but the Batavia helicopter is definately needed. Fire police are told to shut down traffic at Route 98 at Old Route 98 and also at Route 98 at Ridge Road.

UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: Mercy Flight out of Batavia is also canceled.

UPDATE 11:38 p.m: There are no serious injuries.

August 26, 2011 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Le Roy.

Sara K.L. McCabe, 26, of Lincoln Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI (children under age 15 in the car), driving without an interlock device and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. McCabe was stopped by Le Roy Police on Thursday after a witness complained of seeing a person in a car consuming alcohol. McCabe was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Geoffrey Charles Saxton, 28, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, failure to reduce speed and moving from lane unsafely. Saxton was charged following a one-car accident at Mullen and Morganville roads, Stafford, at 11:59 p.m., Monday.

Shuvon J. Williams, 36, of 5 Lewis Place, Batavia, and Rochelle V. Tomlin, 35, of 2 Lewis Place, Batavia, are charged with petit larceny. Both are accused of shoplifting from Tops Market on Wednesday.

Barbara Jean Alessi, 52, of Rand Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a petit larceny charge. Alessi is accused of stealing from a business on Lewiston Road. She was taken into custody by the Rochester Police Department and turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

August 25, 2011 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba.

Officials announced a moment ago that Watson Road in Elba, between Arnold and Strouts roads, is being closed (to through traffic) for the next three months for infrastructure work.

August 24, 2011 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, education, elba.

Whoever first said "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" never met Morgan Harrington.

For Morgan, life is about butterflies.

The Elba 9-year-old has taken the lead in a family project to find and catalogue as many types of caterpillars at the Harrington Greenhouses as possible.

There are 72 different species of butterflies and moths in Genesee County, and the Harringtons would like to find all 72.

"Now that we started this, we find that when we go through the nursery, we find them everywhere," said Morgan's dad, Aaron. "We're going to learn what we can about each of them."

Morgan -- who is assisted by her  8-year-old sister Madison -- uses field books to identify each kind of caterpillar, butterfly and moth she comes across. She keeps a log of each discovery, from the date of the find up through each stage of life for the insect -- from larva to caterpillar to winged creature.

"I really like it because I started doing it after one of my pets died," Morgan said.

Her simple explanation belies her obvious enthusiasm for the project. She can teach you more about butterflies in 30 minutes than you could learn in a high school biology class. Morgan can talk intelligently about each stage in the life cycle and identify on sight a dozen or more species, including what they eat and where they live.

"We decided to do this because we didn't want our kids growing up not understanding how things work in life," said Aaron, who runs the greenhouse business with his wife, Danielle.

The business in its current incarnation is 25 years old and was started by his father, though there was a greenhouse business on the same North Byron Road location years before that.

The Harrington's raise a variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, bushes and trees, as much as possible without pesticides (though with non-native species of insects, pesticides are about the only option), and the butterfly project has made Madison and Morgan more aware of the insect species around them.

"It's good for them to learn the different types of beneficial and non-beneficial types of animals," Aaron said.

Even some caterpillars -- such as the rose saw fly -- are far too destructive to host plants, Aaron noted, but of course, monarch butterflies are beautiful and help spread pollen.

The girls have found a couple dozen monarch caterpillars, a few of which are already curled up in cocoons. When the butterflies emerge, Morgan said, she will take them to a nearby milkweed patch and release them (monarchs eat milkweed because the plant's sap produces a toxin in the caterpillars that birds avoid).

All of the caterpillars live in a shared aquarium where they can munch on preferred clippings of milkweed, walnut or willow leaves.

The shared housing has led to another lesson -- one variety of caterpillar will eat its siblings if given a chance.

"I always say I don't want my kids growing up to think fish comes square and already breaded," Aaron said. "I want them to see an animal's life cycle from beginning to end learn about it."

August 24, 2011 - 7:19am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Milestones.

Andrew White, of Elba, earned the University at Albany's Spring 2011 Deans' Commendation for outstanding academic achievement.

The University at Albany-SUNY is an internationally recognized research university with 56 undergraduate majors and 115 graduate degree programs. It is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice.

August 23, 2011 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, fire.

A possible structure fire is reported at 7554 Pekin Road in Elba. Elba Fire Department is on scene and the chief says nothing is showing. The fan over the stove reportedly caught fire and was unplugged but is still smoking.

August 20, 2011 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, elba, 5K.

This morning was the 2nd annual Elba 5K sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Elba.

The men's winner was Michael Richenberg, 21, with a time of 17:34. That's a new course record. Richenberg has run 21 5Ks this season and won seven of them.

The women's winner was Stephanie Schmidt, 18, with a time of 20:14.

Tom Rivers, Daily News staff writer and author of the book "Farm Hands"

Stephanie Schmidt

Michael Richenberg

August 17, 2011 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, elba, Oakfield.

A silver SUV on Maltby Road reportedly struck two dogs and kept on going.

A deputy is dispatched to the area.

August 17, 2011 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, bergen.

Douglas James Clark, 40, of 4224 Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with assault, 3rd. Clark is accused of throwing a rock at a person at 4 p.m., June 24, in Batavia. The victim was injured.

Charles Joseph Finnin, 41, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Finnin is accused of pushing another person during an argument.

Ronald Jason Scroger, 31, Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Scroger is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Katelyn Christen Kubala, 22, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kubala is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Jason Lance Washington, 21, of Eller Street, Buffalo. Washington was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office by the Erie County Holding Center upon his release from custody on a bench warrant out of Bergen Town Court. The original charge is grand larceny, 4th. Washington was jailed in lieu of $1,500 cash or $2,000 bond.

August 16, 2011 - 8:00pm

St. Mary's Church, of Batavia, got a visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary Monday night. The church at 20 Ellicott St. was one of her last stops in Genesee County as she tours the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

The International Pilgrimage Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has been crisscrossing the Western Hemisphere for the past 64 years (there is another statue made for pilgrimages in the Eastern Hemisphere). It was sculpted in 1947 by Portuguese sculptor Jose Thedim, who based it on descriptions provided by one of the children who received visions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, in the summer of 1917.

According to Carl Malburg, one of the statue's custodians, the Bishop of Fatima commissioned the Pilgrimage Statue 30 years after the three children -- Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco -- received the visions.

"The idea came from the message," Malburg said. "It was meant for all the world, not just the people of Fatima."

"Fatima is not over," said Malburg's fellow custodian Patrick Sabat (pictured below), referencing Pope Benedict XVI. "There is a continued need for prayer and penance."

Addressing the people who attended Monday's service, he added: "Pope John Paul II said the message of Fatima is more urgent and more relevant now than it was in 1917."

Much of the content of the Fatima visions -- which began on May 13 and occurred on the 13th of every month until October -- deals with the harm that human sins do to the world, leading to war and destruction. The Virgin Mary reportedly told the children that if enough people carried out her instructions, there would be peace on Earth.

"Pope Benedict XV (who was Pope at the time of the Fatima visions) called Mary the Queen of Peace," Sabat said, adding that her intercession would work "when all human efforts at peace had failed."

Malburg, of Indiana, and Sabat, of the Philippines, escort the Pilgrimage Statue in its travels on behalf of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation, which is based in Munster, Ind. With permission from Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, they are making a 21-day trip through the Buffalo diocese.

Interestingly, the Buffalo diocese was the first place the statue visited in the U.S. on her very first pilgrimage in 1947. One of her stops was Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elba.

"And we thought, 'Why not bring her back?'" said Sally Ross, Ph.D, a member of St. Padre Pio Parish (which includes Our Lady of Fatima in Elba and St. Cecilia's Church in Oakfield).

Ross was the one who came up with the idea of bringing the statue back to Western New York for a pilgrimage. It all started when she, as a member of Our Lady of Fatima, did some research into how her church got its name. She learned three interesting facts about the Elba church:

1. The Pilgrimage Statue's visit in 1947.

2. It is the oldest church in the U.S. to bear that name.

3. The knoll in front of the church on which the Fatima Shrine is now located was once used by the Ku Klux Klan as a place to burn crosses.

Fact number three is especially interesting if you think about the Fatima message.

"Our Lady wants all her children to live together in peace and harmony," Malburg said. "She said that if we follow her instructions, there will be peace."

To that end, Sabat called everyone to be "Prayer Warriors."

"This is a different kind of war," he said. "It's a war of reparation for the sins of the world."

According to a pamphlet from the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation, fighting this war includes making each of one's daily sufferings a sacrifice in atonement for sin, praying the Rosary every day, and wearing the brown scapular as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Miracles and favors have been reported in areas the statue has visited over the years. One of the most famous of these miracles is the "Miracle of Tears," which refers to reports of the statue crying human tears in more than 30 instances.

While there may not have been any tears in Western New York so far, people have been affected by the statue. The pilgrimage isn't over yet, and Ross has already gotten some follow-up calls.

"I wish I could have recorded them, (as they talked about the message)," she said. "Even just the timbre of their's just incredible."

As much of an impact as the statue has had, Sabat and Malburg were both very clear that Catholics do not worship Mary or statues.

"A statue's just a piece of wood," Malburg said. "And the person it represents (Mary) is not divine. But we do talk to her and ask her to pray for us."

He also said that he sometimes meets fundamentalists who object to giving this type of honor to Mary. To this he replies, "You have a guardian angel, don't you?" His point is that Catholics talk to Mary the same way most Christians might talk to their guardian angels.

"Mary is still the greatest catechist (teacher of the faith)," Sabat said. "She's a role model for all Christians, and we continue to imitate her virtues. Our goal is to be as close to Christ as possible, and she was the closest person to Christ there ever was."

St. Joseph's Church welcomed the Pilgrimage Statue at Mass this morning. It is heading to Orleans County today, but will return for a visit to the New York State Veterans' Home on Aug. 19. All total, it will make seven more stops throughout the region before the pilgrimage concludes on Aug. 22.

For more information, go to

Supplemental Video: Malburg and Sabat on local news show in Cincinnati


August 16, 2011 - 2:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke, Darien, Alabama, corfu.

Christopher Michael Lambert, 31, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Lambert is accused of entering a residence on Log City Road, Elba, after being told to stay away. Lambert allegedly stole money and a new Garmin GPS unit. Bail was set at $25,000.

Jenea Marie Macleod, 27, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating an ATV on a public highway and no headlights on an ATV. Macleod was stopped at 10:08 p.m., Saturday, on Genesee Street in Pembroke by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Tracy Lynn Polak, 40, of Aldercreek South Road, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating with registration suspended or revoked and driver's view obstructed. Polak was stopped at 10:36 p.m., Wednesday, on Route 77, Corfu, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Jonathan David Eldred, 27, of Main Road, Akron, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. Eldred was arrested at 10:46 p.m., Friday, at a residence on Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, when he was allegedly found in possession of heroin and a needle during an investigation into an overdose.

Austin M. Heineman, 17, of Marble Road, Akron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating out of class and failure to keep right. Heineman was arrested following an investigation into an accident that was reported at 12:43 a.m., Saturday, on Sandhill Road, Alabama, by Deputy James Diehl. In the accident, Heineman was reportedly driving south on Sandhill Road when he lost control of the car and it overturned. His passenger, Timothy Ryan, 17, was transported to UMMC with non-life threatening injuries.

Mitchell Gregory Hoinski, 25, of Boll Street, Sloan, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hoinski was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 11:42 p.m., Friday, in the parking lot of Darien Lake Theme Park. Hoinski reportedly attended the Rascal Flatts concert earlier in the evening. 

August 6, 2011 - 11:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival, Onion Queen.

Marissa Tomczak, of Elba, the daughter of Tim and Lynn Tomczak, is the 2011 Elba Onion Queen.

Tomczak won the crown over a field of eight finalists.

First runner-up was Marissa Pangrazio, of Elba, the daughter of Barbie Pangrazio. Second runner-up was Jamie Pcionek, of Oakfield, the daughter of James and Joyce Pcionek.

The other finalists were: Sydney Gallip, of Elba, the daughter of Stacey and Todd Gallip; Gretel Kauffman (bottom photo), of Elba, the daughter of Bill and Lucine Kauffman; Meg Stucko, of Elba, the daughter of Marty and Amy Stucko; Elizabeth Shuknecht, of Elba, the daughter of Robin and Dale Shuknecht; and Jenna E. Brown, of Byron, the daughter of Kathleen Miller and Gary Brown.

Gretel Kauffman is a correspondent for The Batavian and is currently auditioning four-year universities. She plans to major in journalism.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: The winner of the Mustang raffle is Edith Bezon, of Byron. No word yet on whether she'll take the car or the cash.

August 6, 2011 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival.

The Elba Onion Festival is unde rway, with all the fun, games, live music and great food that highlights the event every year.

A big crowd was on hand Friday night for the festivities.

The festival continues today, including the crowning of the Elba Onion Queen at 7 p.m.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer has a heck of a fastball.

Slide show of more pictures from Friday night below (click on the button lower right to view in full-screen mode). To purchase photographic prints from this event, click here.

August 5, 2011 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A motorcycle accident with injuries is reported in Elba at Norton and Bridge roads. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: The driver complained of right hip pain and was transported to a hospital via private vehicle. Elba fire and Mercy units back in service.


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