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July 12, 2011 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, elba.

Press release:

The Maplelawn Cemetery Veterans’ Memorial Garden was created to honor the dedicated men and women who have served in the United States armed forces. 

The Town of Elba will hold a dedication ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday July 14. Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and the color guard from the American Legion will participate in the ceremony. 

This project would not have been possible without the generosity of the following donors: 

• Sackett Merrill White American Legion Post 575
• Eugene and Susan Bezon
• Daniel and Penny Bridge
• CY Farms
• Dave and Sylvia Hebell
• Derrick Monument
• Genesee Veterans Club
• H.E. Turner and Co., Inc.
• Darryl Horzempa
• The Insurance Center
• Norton Farms
• Steve Davis
• VVA Chapter 193
• Gene Warren
• Home Depot
• Delre's Greenhouse and Garden Centre
• The American Legion, Batavia post

More than a year ago, Steve Davis, the Town of Elba cemetery caretaker, asked the town board for its support of the project. After securing the board’s approval, he obtained the plants and landscaped the garden. 

“Steve came up with the idea and worked to make it happen," said Town Supervisor Lucinne Kauffman. "He’s really gone above and beyond with this project."

Steve also ordered and installed a granite bench with a bronze plaque dedicated to the veterans.

“Now the project is complete and we would like to publicly thank the men and women to whom the garden is dedicated,” Kauffman said.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony. Maplelawn Cemetery is located on Maple Avenue Extension between the Town Hall and the Historical Society Museum.

July 8, 2011 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron.

William R. Green, 52, of Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Elba, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Green was reportedly involved with a dispute at 10:15 p.m., Thursday and during the dispute, Green allegedly grabbed his neighbor by the neck and punched him. Green was jailed on $200 bail.

James R. Tydelski, 55, of 7800 Hewes Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to stop at a stop sign. Tydelski was stopped at 1:06 a.m. at the intersection of Mill and Lake streets in the Village of Le Roy by a Le Roy Police officer.

Joshua Todd Fullmer, 18, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Fullmer is accused of shoplifting $34.98 worth of merchandise from Kmart.

Warren Walter McClure, 40, of Hamilton Road, Buffalo, is charged with burglary, 3rd. McClure is accused of entering a business in the Town of Batavia while it was closed on Feb. 6 and stealing money, checks and surveillance cameras.

Todd F. James, 48, of School Road, Byron, is charged with disorderly conduct. James allegedly refused to turn down his radio creating "unnecessary noise" in his neighborhood for more than three hours.

Kelsey Marie Davis, 19, of unreleased street address, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Davis was arrested following an investigation into a fight during the Tim McGraw concert at Darien Lake Theme Park on June 25.

Samuel Robert Thompson, 55, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Thompson is accused of stealing a bicycle from a parking lot.

July 5, 2011 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Darien, Stafford.

Derek Todd Hanchett, 21, of Arnold Road, Elba, is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks. Hanchett was charged following an investigation by Deputy Jason Saile about a complaint of loud fireworks at 1:33 a.m., Monday, in the area of 4238 West Ave., Elba. Hanchett was allegedly found setting off fireworks and in possession of fireworks.

Edward Woods, 18, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Woods is accused of stealing money from Darien Lake Theme Park while employed at the park.

Nicole Lynn Poler, 26, of Zig Zag Road, Albion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or more and driving left of pavement markings. Poler was reportedly involved in a one-car accident in the area of 23 Allegany Road, Corfu, at 2:25 a.m. Saturday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson (initial report).

Benjamin Jeffery Kitanik, 26, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driver's view obstructed. Kitanik was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on Route 77 in Darien, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Cody Lee Pahuta, 19, of Williams Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Pahuta is accused of shoplifting $22.88 in merchandise from Walmart.

Braydon Mitchell Edwards, 20, of Waterloo Street, Clyde, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol under 21 years of age. Edwards was charged following an investigation into a disturbance at 5:53 p.m. Sunday at Darien Lake Theme Park.

Patrick Gregory Potwora, 26, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with a felony count of DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Potwora was stopped at  1:52 a.m. Monday, in the area of 20 W. Main St., Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Chad Michael Henning, 18, of Main Street, Akron, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. Henning was charged following a traffic stop at 12:38 a.m. Saturday by Deputy Jason Saile on Route 77, Darien. Henning was a passenger in the car and allegedly had a container of alcohol in his hands.

June 30, 2011 - 7:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Mercy Flight is being dispatched to 4199 Maltby Road, Elba, for a medical call.

The initial call was to a residence on Mechanic Street.

Elba Fire Department is requesting additional manpower to set up the landing zone at Torrey Farms.


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June 28, 2011 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba.

Sometime within the past three or four days, somebody painted two swastikas on the asphalt in the area of Pekin Road and Batavia Elba Townline Road.

One of them, pictured above, on Pekin Road, was creatively obliterated by the Town of Elba Highway Department, which turned the swastika into meaningless geometrical shapes.

The other swastika is on a county road and highway Superintendent Tim Hens, who wasn't aware of the vandalism when we spoke late this afternoon, said his crews might need to get equally creative.

The Sheriff's Office has taken a report on the incident and Deputy Chris Parker is conducting interviews with residents in the area, but Chief Gordon Dibble said, "at this point, their purpose is known."

Dibble said unless there's a witness, this sort of crime can be difficult to solve.

Anybody with information can contact the Sheriff's Office at 585-343-5000.

June 24, 2011 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A live electrical wire has apparently fallen onto a bus -- unknown what type of bus -- in the area of 4820 Hundredmark Road, Elba.

One occupant is still on the bus.

Elba Fire Department has been dispatched.

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Elba fire on scene. National Grid in route. ETA less than five minutes.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: The line is off the bus (and I think I heard, too, the occupant is off the bus).

View Larger Map

June 21, 2011 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, elba.

Some evenings, we have spectacular clouds and stunning sunsets and I just can't get out to take pictures. Sunday was one such evening. Yesterday, Monday evening, wasn't as lustrous or colorful, but it was still better than average, so I did take a drive.

Above, the transmission lines from a vantage point on Transit Road, Elba.

A view from Watson Road, Elba.

An abandoned Mack truck and dilapidated house on Ridge Road, Elba.

A tractor in a field by a church on Bank Street Road, Batavia.

June 21, 2011 - 4:48pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in elba, elba historical society.

This morning, Miss Daviau's and Mrs. McAllister's fourth-grade classes presented a donation to the Elba Historical Society: several copies of a guidebook they created for a walking tour of Elba, as well as mp3 players loaded with an audio version of the guidebook. 

They handed over the gifts to the historical society's grateful president, Ronald Komar, as students Mark Anauo, Elizabeth Kowalski, Madeline Augello and Collin Knapp read exerpts from the book. The project was inspired by a recent walking tour around Elba, which has been a fourth-grade tradition for more than 35 years.

The guidebook includes many of Elba's historic buildings and houses, and can be found at the Elba Historical Society Museum.

June 20, 2011 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, elba.

Caitlin Zipfel alerted us to this video of her young cousin and her friends, all from Elba, whom she said are excited to be going to the Taylor Swift concert in Buffalo tomorrow. Caitlin said they call themselves the "Taylor Tots."

June 17, 2011 - 4:22pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in elba, Elba Central School, elba jazz ensemble, gorham.

Due to a tabulation error made by the Gorham Pageant of Bands officials, the first-place status of the Elba Jazz Ensemble has been changed to third-place.  The results of the Class C jazz ensemble competition were announced incorrectly at the June 4th awards ceremony, and the error was not realized until a week ago.  In a recent conversation with Elba band director Phil Briatico, the Gorham Pageant of Bands officials apologized profusely and noted the improvement in the ensemble since last year. 

Despite the final results, Briatico is still proud of the jazz ensemble, and says that he "did believe we were first place because the band's performance was first-place worthy."

June 14, 2011 - 7:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, elba, Oakfield, fire, byron, Orleans County.

Genesee County volunteer firefighters were called to the scene early this morning of a tanker truck fire that claimed the life of the truck's driver in Barre, Orleans County.

The tanker was carrying ethanol and the fire reportedly spread quickly into the wooded area around the accident.

To fight an ethanol fire, fire fighters must use foam, so Genesee County units that have foam cabability were called to the scene.

Units responded from Town of Batavia, Elba, Byron and Oakfield, along with Genesee County Emergency Services Unit and the county's hazmat team.

The fire is now out and clean up work along is in progress.  

One Elba tanker along with the hazmat team and ESU remains on scene at this time. Emergency Coordinator Tim Yaeger said the remaining Genesee County personnel wlll be on scene yet for quite some time.

June 13, 2011 - 8:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident was reported at 44 Maple St. in Elba about 45 minutes ago. The victim suffered a head injury.

Elba Fire Department and Mercy EMS responded.

Mercy Flight was sent in and is now airborne.

June 13, 2011 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Darien, Le Roy, Stafford, corfu.

Daniel William Tuerk, 25, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Tuerk was arrested after reportedly trying to proceed through an accident scene on East Main Street, Corfu, at 12:58 a.m., Saturday.

Earl Bryan Benson, 22, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI and refusal to submit to breath test. Benson was reportedly found asleep in a vehicle at 2 a.m., Sunday, parked at 64 S. Main St., Elba. Sgt. Brian Frieday made the arrest after an investigation revealed that Benson allegedly drove drunk to that location. Benson was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ryan N. Pyatt, 18, of 36 Dellinger Ave., Batavia and Jordon E. Terkel, 21, of 76 E. Main St., Corfu, are charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st, and endangering the welfare of a child. Pyatt and Terkel are accused of supplying alcohol to two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old on May 28.

Jason Warren Spencer, 25 of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd. Spencer is accused of being involved in an unspecified incident alleged to have occurred early Saturday morning.

Eugeno Nunez-Gomez, 22, of Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, drving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right, unregistered motor vehicle, improper/switched plates. Nunez-Gomez was stopped at 1:12 a.m., Sunday, in the area of 5800 Transit Road, Elba, by Deputy Frank Bordonaro.

James Daniel Kavanagh, 21, of North Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with assault, 3rd. Kavanagh is accused of being involved in a fight at an address on Main Road, Stafford, in which he injured another person.  

Jason Paul Schaefer, 19, of Martin Road, Clarence Center, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Schaefer is accused at being at the Phish concert June 8 while another person he is barred from being near was also at the concert. Schaefer then allegedly got into a verbal altercation, allegedly violating the order of protection.

Matthew F. Vanbuskirk, 22, of 108 Myrtle St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and having non-transparent side windows. Vanbuskirk was stopped Saturday by a Le Roy Police patrol.

Lena Marie Evans, 23, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Evans was allegedly found in possession of narcotics during a check the welfare complaint at 8:32 p.m., Friday.

Ryan Christopher Riggi, 16, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Riggi allegedly violated an order of protection after reportedly pushing a caseworker on a home visit. Riggi was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kevin James Huston, 27, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Huston is accused of claiming rewards and discounts from Kmart he was not entitled to obtain.

Evan Charles Burstein, 24, of Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Va., is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Burstein was reportedly found by Darien Lake security wandering around the theme park in an intoxicated condition. Upon investigation by Deputy Chad Minuto, he was allegedly found in possession of Clonazepam tablets outside their original container and a quantity of marijuana. Burstein was jailed on $250 bail.

John Mitchell Irish, 29, of Dartmouth Street, Rochester, is charged with felony DWI. Irish was allegedly involved in a car vs. pedestrian accident on Sumner Road, Darien, at 12:26 a.m., June 9. Irish was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Jessica R. Johns, 28, of 120 Jackson St., Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd. Johns is accused of taking the car of an acquaintance without permission on June 9. Johns was located on June 10 and the car was returned reportedly undamaged.

Jason Schafer, 23, of Geneseo, is accused of evading cigarette taxes. Schafer was allegedly found in possession of 2,000 untaxed cigarettes.

June 7, 2011 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, elba, Milestones.


News release from Jason Smith:

The Elba Central School Class of 2011 was honored to welcome Lt. Col. Paul Birch and 1992 Elba graduate as their guest speaker for the Sixth Annual Top Ten Dinner on June 6.

The event is held annually for the top 10 graduating students from Elba and their families to recognize their academic achievements.

Lt. Col. Birch was the guest speaker and shared with the students the importance of staying true to their values and never forgetting their hometown roots in Elba.

In his speech, he encouraged the students to apply all they learned and use their small-town values as an advantage in life.

The Elba Student Council graciously sponsored the event.

Principal Jason Smith awarded each student an honor pin in recognition of their top 10 status.

Lt. Col. Birch is an evaluator pilot with more than 1,200 combined hours in the F-15SE and was promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. on March 1, 2010.

His military decorations include the Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

On June 1, Lt. Col Birch took command of the 4th Operation Support Squadron.

Past  speakers at the annual banquet have included Maureen Torrey-Marshall, Dorothy Coughlin, Samuel Giansante, Colleen Contant and Charles Zambito.

The top 10 students this year (second row, from left): Jarad Kogut, Phil Casper, Lt. Col. Paul Birch; (first row, from left) Elizabeth White, Jenna Bird, Kelsey Scott, Crosby Lamont, Molly Geissler, Jessica Pcionek, Ashley Crnkovich. Megan Schwartzmeyer was absent.

Below, with Paul Birch and Jason Smith, is Class of 2011 President Phil Casper.


June 5, 2011 - 10:50pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in music, elba, Milestones, elba jazz ensemble, gorham.

This weekend the Elba Jazz Ensemble brought home the gold from the 50th annual Gorham Pageant of Bands when they placed first in the Class C Jazz Band competition.

This was the jazz ensemble's third year participating in the pageant, having placed third and second in the past two festivals.

Elba, normally a Class DD school, was the smallest to partipate in the pageant and was therefore bumped up to the Class C level to compete against Naples, Dundee, Gananda and South Seneca.

The Elba Concert Band placed fifth in its category.

The jazz ensemble is directed by Phil Briatico. Its members are: Marissa Tomczak, Mark Hare, Dillon Hirsch, Dan Starowitz, Ann Marie Georgia, and Connor Rohan on saxophone; Emily Tomczak on clarinet; Dakota Hirsch, Alexandra Lacey and Dixie Hirsch on trumpet; Andrew Lacey, Steven Perez-Gangi, Becky Vlack and Christopher Vlack on trombone; Jenna Bird on French horn; Laura Accardi and Matt Anauo on guitar; Gretel Kauffman on keyboard; Alex Jasinski on bass guitar; and Liz White on drums.

June 3, 2011 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Announcements, elba, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama.

This information is from the marketing department at Batavia Downs.

Elba and Pembroke high schools were chosen via a random drawing to participate in this year’s $7,500 college scholarship race to be held at Batavia Downs on Sept. 10.

They will be joining Batavia, Notre Dame and Oakfield-Alabama high schools in the competition.

Each school will be represented by one student who is a senior in the 2012-13 academic year. The schools are allowed to use any criteria they wish to pick their student.

During the summer, the students will attend at least five training sessions at the track with their driver to learn the safety and skills needed to drive a horse.

Then between the fourth and fifth live harness races on Sept. 10, they will line up behind the starting gate to compete in a one-mile dash for cash. Earning scholarships of $3,000, $2,000, $1,200, $800 and $500, depending on where they finish.

Last year, Kaley Falkowski of Batavia High School, with professional Jim Mulcahy sitting alongside, was victorious.

The 65th season of live harness racing at the Genesee County oval begins on July 25.

May 27, 2011 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, GO ART!, Milestones.

GO ART! announces winners of poetry contests

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) has announced the winners of the Genesee County Poetry Contest, presented in conjunction with Present Tense Books in Batavia. All winning poems may be found online at

Grades K-3

1st Place: Chloe Shuskey, Grade 3, Bergen, “Bright and Beautiful”
Honorable Mention: Lindsay Augello, Grade 1, Elba, “Untitled”
Honorable Mention: Joe Gagne, Grade 3, Batavia, “Green”
Grades 4-6

Honorable Mention: Briana Janes, Grade 5, Batavia, “Outside”
Grades 10-12

First Place: Faith Finnin, Grade 11, Batavia, “Wrong”

Thanks to all who participated and to Present Tense Books for partnering with GO ART! on this program.

GO ART! is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that initiates a broad range of opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and facilitates cooperative efforts among the cultural, business, service and educational communities for the people who live in and visit Genesee and Orleans counties.

May 24, 2011 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, alexander.

Thomas Joseph Mitchell, 21, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone), unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Mitchell was arrested following a traffic stop at 5:45 p.m., Thursday, on State Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Brian Thompson.

Patrick Joseph Crawford, 17, of Bridge Road, Elba, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Patrick was allegedly found in possession of two firearms in his vehicle while on school grounds.

Ryan Christopher Riggi, 16, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, menacing, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Ryan is also accused of violating an order of protection. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. No further details were released.

Robert James Caplick III, 36, of E. Main St. Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unreasonable speed and failure to keep right. Caplick was taken into custody by Deputy Jason Saile following a report at 2:45 a.m., Thursday, of a vehicle stuck on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks on Spring Road, Alexander.

May 19, 2011 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Le Roy, Milestones.

Elmira College has released its Dean's List for Academic Achievement for the Winter 2011 term, which was from January through April.

The Dean's List recognizes students that have a grade point average of 3.6 or highter.

Alicia Hough, of Elba. Alicia is majoring in Business Administration and is the daughter of Valeria Moore and Albert Hough.

Alicca Vigneri, of Elba. Alicca is majoring in Business Administration and is the daughter of Phil and Janette Vigneri.

Matthew Gale, of Le Roy. Matthew is majoring in Childhood Education and Sociology and Anthropology and is the son of Mr. Christie and Mrs. Cynthia Gale.

Megan Lowe, of Le Roy. Megan is majoring in Adolescence Education: Mathematics and is the daughter of John and Lynda Lowe.

Elmira College, located in the Finger Lakes Region of beautiful, historic Upstate New York, is one of the great small colleges of the nation. To learn more about what Elmira College has to offer, navigate to or call 800-935-6472.

May 19, 2011 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield.

Mark Shareiko Jr., 23, of 413 W. Bank St., Albion, is charged with six counts of making graffiti. Shareiko was taken into custody Wednesday and accused of tagging several downtown businesses on Feb. 15. Det. Todd Crossett requests any other downtown business owners who wish to press charges call him at 345-6353.

Francis Carr, 50, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration. Carr was also arrested on a parole warrant. NYS Parole officers located Carr on Washington Avenue near Willow Street and allegedly observed Carr flee into a residence on Washington Avenue. Batavia PD and Deputy Chris Parker responded. As Parker arrived on scene, he observed the suspect attempting to exit from a second story window. Parker established a perimeter with the assistance of Officer Jay Andrews. After an extensive search of the residence by parole officers and Lt. Eugene Jankowski, Det. Todd Crossett and Det. Kevin Czora, Carr was located by Officer Dan Coffey hiding underneath the porch. Carr was jailed without bail.

Gregory Joseph Warfle, 41, of Chapel Street, lower, Elba, is charged with assault, 3rd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Warfle is accused of striking his 15-year-old son several times in the face with his open hand during a domestic dispute. The alleged incident took place in the presence of his 8-year-old daughter. Warfle was jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth allegedly threw a pair of glasses at another male striking that person on the side of the neck during an argument. 

John Terry Boyce Jr., 22, of Maple Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Boyce is accused of sending text messages to his estranged girlfriend in violation of an order of protection.

Justin Robert Dunn, 20, of Indian Falls Road, Akron, and Jennifer Marie Dauer, 36, of North Lake Street, Bergen, are charged with nine counts of grand larceny, 4th, and petit larceny. Dunn and Dauer are accused of purse snatching at 4133 Veterans Memorial Drive at 2:30 p.m., May 12. For Dunn, bail was set at $10,000 and bail for Dauer was set at $5,000.


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