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November 27, 2010 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

A tree limb has fallen across electrical wires in the area of 6173 Quaker Hill Road.

The wires are arcing and sparking.

Elba Fire is responding.
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November 24, 2010 - 5:57pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, elba, legos, lego league.

Here's a news release submitted by Elba resident Chantal Zambito, co-coach of Elba's FIRST Lego team; please see the Aug. 5 article:

On Saturday, Nov. 20 the NXT Lancers Team from Elba competed in the Finger Lakes Regional Foundation for the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Qualifier Tournament.

It took place at Churchville-Chili High School.

Five students made up the Lancers' team: Christian Gerould, Garrett Sinemus, Evan Hare, Colin Hunt and Johnny Zambito.

They used LEGO kits to build robots programmed to perform specific tasks.

Over the course of eight weeks, they designed, researched, built, programmed, tested and refined a fully autonomous robot capable of completing various missions.

This year’s theme, "Body Forward Challenge," explored the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering.

Participants learned about innovative ways this science is used to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential -- with the goal of helping people lead healthier, happier lives.

The NXT Lancers designed a hockey helmet with a visual warning, airbag, and damping system to help a player avoid a concussion if they were body checked during a game.

The boys performed a newscast skit using themselves as "emergency medical technicians" and expert "doctors" to present their invention to a panel of judges. They were limited to five minutes.

The team was then asked questions about their project for another five minutes. The judges commented, “Great presentation and teamwork. We really like how you researched concussions and included an explanation of them in your skit.”

Next, the robot design judges interviewed the team. They talked about the construction of the robot and its programming. The judges were interested in what the team came up with to solve problems and what they considered to be the best parts of the robot.

The NXT Lancers demonstrated several of the robot's programs during their interview. The technical presentation judge commented: “Sturdy robot, nice consistency with the robot arm and good documentation.”

Then it was on to the robot performance rounds. Each team performed in three rounds, each lasting two-and-a-half minutes.

The team scored a total of 205 points, winning one of the three rounds -- an exceptional accomplishment for their first qualifier event.

In all, there were 21 teams, seven of which will go on to the RIT competition.

Saturday was a nonstop day of preparing and presenting. The team members worked hard and their determination was amazing, according to co-coach Evelyn Hunt.

Next, they will be preparing for an exhibition competition at Genesee Community College on March 17 during the GLOW region Tech Wars.

The Elba team is looking for more members, especially girls. Robotics are not just for boys! (In fact, there were two all-girl teams at the Nov. 20 competition and one of them earned the highest award. Both are going on to the next round.)

November 22, 2010 - 2:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Central School.


Deputy Tim Wescott and Youth Officer John Dehm were at Elba School this morning to talk with students about cyberbulling and Facebook and mobile phone safety. They explained how to avoid cyberbullying and the legal implications.

Photo and information submitted by Jason Smith.

November 21, 2010 - 12:51am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A structure fire, believed to have begun in a bedroom, is reported at 7154 Pine St. in Oakfield. It's off of Maple Avenue, the last street coming out of the village.

Oakfield, Alabama and Elba fire units are called to respond.

UPDATE 12:56 a.m.: Firefighters are working on extricating people from the building.

UPDATE 12:58 a.m.: An investigator requested to the scene. At least one person is out of the building and requires medical attention.

UPDATE 1:06 a.m.: National Grid notified. No ETA.

UPDATE 1:24 a.m.: Fire's been knocked out.

UPDATE: Further updates on this fire will be available in the morning.


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November 15, 2010 - 6:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, fire.

The smell of a possible electrical fire is reported at a house located at 30 Chapel St. in Elba.

Elba Fire Department is called to respond.

UPDATE (7 p.m.): Firemen on scene say nothing was found. Elba fire is back in service.

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November 15, 2010 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

A stove fire is being reported at 4325 Drake St. Road, Elba.

Elba and Town of Batavia fire departments are  being dispatched.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: Smoke in the residence. Fire was in a self-cleaning oven and it appears to be out. Town of Batavia Engine 24 returning to the station.

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November 8, 2010 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.


It's a mystery that may never been solved: How did the headstones of Thomas and Elizabeth Reay wind up on a former Batavia resident's property in Bethany?

The Reays lived and died in the 19th Century and were buried in Elba's Maple Avenue Cemetery.

The woman who owns the property where the stones have been kept for years, if not decades, told Deputy Chief Jerome Brewster of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office that her uncle stole the headstones a long time ago.

Brewster said the displaced headstones have bothered her for years and she wanted to find a way to return them but wasn't sure what to do.

Nobody in Elba, however, knew they were missing.

Steve Davis, the current cemetery caretaker said that as best as he can figure, the Reays' headstones were replaced in the 1950s.

It's impossible to know if they were replaced because the old stones were stolen or the family wanted to have uniform headstones for its plot.

The family is Graham, but not the Grahams who currently reside in Elba and Oakfield, as near as our research can determine.

Barbara Graham, and other residents confirm, that up until the 1970s, two sisters named Graham lived alone in Elba. Barbara Graham believes they were distant cousins of her late husband's.

There is an Agnes and Carolyn Graham buried in the same plot as the two current headstones for the Reays. The group of headstones all uniformly match.

Thomas Reay dies Aug. 1, 1887 at the age of 89. His wife Elizabeth died in 1893.

We can find no Reays currently living in Genesee County.

If the headstones were stolen, the statute of limitations has surely run out, according to Brewster. Besides, the supposedly "slightly wild uncle" who took credit for the theft is long ago deceased.

The location of the headstones came to light when a reader contacted The Batavian anonymously a couple of weeks before Halloween and said he knew about some headstones stolen from a graveyard in Elba.

We contacted Brewster to see if there were any reports of stolen headstones. There was nothing on record, but ever the investigator, Brewster began the process of tracking down the property owner -- who now lives in New Mexico -- and seeing what she had to say about the headstones.

According to Brewster, she eagerly gave him permission to go onto her land and retrieve the stones so they could be returned to Elba.

The Elba Historical Society took possession of the stones today and will display them on their property.

Even though recovering the headstones brought no criminals to justice, so to speak, Brewster said he felt like getting them back to where they belonged was a good deed.

"It feels good when you can do something to give back a little bit," Brewster said.

Pictured above are incoming society president Ron Komer, society member Earl Roth, Chief Brewster board member June Rowcliffe.



October 31, 2010 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, byron.


The Lancers' offense never quite got untracked and the defense was a bit too porous at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester on Saturday as Elba/Byron-Bergen dropped a Section V semi-final playoff game to first seed Holley, 0-29.

Holley out gained Elba/BB 259 to 141 yards, including 169 on the ground compared to 80 rushing yards for the Lancers.

Elba/BB coach Michael Cintorino said Holley simply got the job done.

"There were probably a couple of missed opportunities, but Holley has a great team," said Cintorino. "They’re very disciplined and strong and they’re very well coached. Today they did their job. I’m not saying we didn’t do ours, but they just did a better job."

Even so, Cintorino said, he told his players they could be proud of their season.

They had a great season," he said. "There were a lot of people who doubted they could get this far. They had a great year. Obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but they have nothing to be ashamed of."

Zack DuBois (pictured above) led the Elba/BB offense with 52 yards on 14 attempts, while Dylan Bordanaro was held to 22 yards on 11 carries.

QB Eric Kowalik was 7 for 18 with two interceptions, tossing the ball for a total of 68 yards.

The Lancers never advanced the ball into the red zone.

To purchase pictures from this game, click here.

More pictures after the jump:

October 31, 2010 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, fire.

A fire inside a "utility trailer" is reported at 5989 Oak Orchard Road in Elba. It is off the roadway.

Elba Fire Department is responding.

October 30, 2010 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, fire.

A piece of farm equipment being driven on Quaker Hill Road is reported to be sparking, causing several small brushfires along the roadside as it heads down the roadway. The driver, apparently, is oblivious.

Several calls came in reporting the incident in the vicinity of 6054 Quaker Hill Road. The equipment is still traveling along. Orleans County is being notified.

Elba Fire Department is called to respond.

UPDATE (2:25 p.m.): In the 5000 block of Quaker Hill Road there is reportedly a large brushfire now, heading into the woods.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): All Elba manpower and equipment is ordered to Route 19 and the Genesee-Orleans county line to fight the brushfires.

UPDATE (2:52 p.m.): The brushfires were pronounced out a few minutes ago. Fire police are holding traffic until the fire trucks and their equipment can be packed up and leave the scene.

UPDATE (3:06 p.m.): The road is open, the units are back in service, and the volunteers firefighters are en route to the Pizza Pantry in Corfu.

October 27, 2010 - 7:46pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in elba, hunting, outdoors, Deer, bow hunting.

alexis deer.jpg

Early Saturday morning, Alexis Aratari surprised herself by killing her first buck -- and then surprised herself further when she discovered that it was a 10-point deer.

"It was really shocking," she says. "My heart was going about a mile a minute."

The feat, which is impressive for anyone of any age, was even more incredible in Alexis's case due to the fact that she has only been hunting for two years.

"It's really rare to have girl hunters, especially teenagers, get that big of a buck," the 16-year-old explains. "So it was really lucky that my first buck was a 10-pointer. It was beginner's luck."

Alexis, who goes out hunting every day during the season, says that she spotted the buck at around 8:30 Saturday morning. When she shot at it with her bow, it dropped right away. Her father, Mike Aratari, who was in a tree on the other side of the field, had seen the buck earlier and hoped that she would get it.

"We both thought it was just a six- or eight-pointer," Alexis said. "When he heard the shot, he yelled for me to stay up in the tree and he looked at it and told me it was a 10-pointer. I couldn't believe it."

"Now he says he has to try to top it," she laughs. "He's been hunting for 20 years, and he's only gotten two 10-pointers."

Hunting is clearly in Alexis's blood. Along with her father, her uncle and aunt also enjoy the pastime.

"All my family is really proud," she says. "We sent them all pictures, and my uncle in Florida has been telling everyone about it."

So what exactly will become of the massive buck?

"We're sending it to get mounted, and we're going to put it up on the wall next to my dad's 10-pointer," she says with a grin.

October 22, 2010 - 6:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba.

Shane M. Bartlett, 21, of Drake Road, Brockport, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and operating without a front bumper/plate. Bartlett's vehicle was stopped at 5:03 p.m., Thursday, on North Byron Road, Elba, by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Cory J. Zeiner, 21, of Lake Road South, Brockport, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th.

October 16, 2010 - 12:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Quilts.


Mary Ellen Ames, of Elba, won the "Best Traditional Quilt" award at the 24th annual Northeast Quilts Unlimited competition held at the Arts Center in Old Forge, NY.

Her quilt is entitled "Harvest Song," and along with the others in the competition, it will be on display there until Nov. 11. The quilt display is a favorite yearly event that transforms the gallery into "a pleasant plethora of pattern and patchwork."

Handmade artisan quilts from across the nation are hung gallery style for everyone to see in their full glory. The competition features both traditional and eclectic quilts as well as wall hangings

For more information, click here.

October 12, 2010 - 9:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, Route 98, Daws Corner, Batavia-Elba Townline Road.


Three people were injured in a four-car accident at Daws Corners -- Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Townline Road -- this afternoon.

A westbound car reportedly pulled out from Batavia-Elba Townline Road and was struck by a car traveling southbound on Route 98. Each of those cars then hit two others at the intersection.

Joseph N. Mattison, 20, of Merriman Road, Byron, was cited for alleged failure to yield. Mattison, who was driving a 1994 Chevy sedan, was among the three people injured and transported to UMMC by ambulance.

Also injured were Bob K. Rathman, 39, of Heritage Estates, Albion, and Chrystal Bush, 17, who was a passenger in a car driven by Suanne Quackenbush, 49, of Gillett Road, Byron.

Quackenbush was not injured.

The fourth vehicle was driven by Benny S. Giambrone, 84, of Farnsworth Road, Oakfield.

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

(Initial Report)


October 12, 2010 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, accidents.

A four-vehicle accident, with one of them possibly on fire, is reported on Batavia-Elba Townline Road at the intersection of Route 98 (Daws Corners).

Two people are reportedly injured, one of them a woman who is seven-months pregnant.

Elba fire is responding along with Mercy EMS.

The accident is blocking the roadway.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): Two women with minor injuries were taken to UMMC, including the pregnant female.

CLARIFICATION (6:10 p.m.): From reader Shannon Laurer: "Actually they took the pregnant female and two males to the hospital! She was a passenger in one vehicle, her mother the driver accompanied her and each of the two males was a driver in the other vehicles involved, the third male driver involved did not need medical assistance."

Thanks, Shannon. Most helpful!

October 11, 2010 - 6:19pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, elba, Elba Central School.

Come enjoy a delicious pulled pork dinner on Thursday, October 14 at Elba Central School. The school is located at 57 S. Main St. in Elba.

The dinner will be held in the school cafeteria from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The meal, which consists of a pulled pork sandwich, salt potatoes, cole slaw, and a cookie, can either be taken out or eaten in the cafeteria.

Tickets are $9 and can be purchased pre-sale through Kelly Carlie at 585-757-9967, ext. 1602, or at the door. The dinner is to benefit the junior class of 2012.

October 11, 2010 - 11:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Le Roy.

Austin W. Smith, 24, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI. Smith was reportedly involved in an accident at 8:24 p.m., Saturday, on Route 262, Town of Elba. The accident was investigated by State Police. (initial report)

Steven M. Keaton, 38, of 50 Gilbert St., Le Roy, is charged with three counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Keaton is accused of violating an order of protection by being with the protected person on three different occasions.

Cassandra Kay Dembik, 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. Dembik is accused of hosting an underage drinking party.

Lawrence Joseph Owczarczak, 55, of West Point Drive, East Amherst, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Owczarczak is accused of grabbing a young man by the arm on Friday evening.

David N. Taplin, 33, of 16 Skyline Circle, Brockport, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Taplin reportedly turned himself in at Batavia Police headquarters in regard to a bench warrant.

Jerry T. Saddler Jr., of 112 State St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Saddler is accused of violating an order of protection by allegedly contacting a woman he was barred from contacting.

Gregory Seppe, 52, with no permanent address, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Seppe is accused of entering a dwelling on Columbia Avenue without permission. Seppe was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Nicholas A. Antonucci, 23, of 4192 Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of marijuana. Antonucci is accused of repeatedly shouting obscenities at 10:45 p.m., Friday, while in a parking lot at 214 E. Main St., Batavia.

Jodi L. Reed, 38, of 7428 Pearl St. Road, Oakfield, is charged with possession of a forged instrucment, 2nd, and petit larceny. Reed is accused of passing a forged check at a local bank on Aug. 3.

October 3, 2010 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, elba, byron.


Elba/Byron-Bergen's strong defensive line was able to bottle up the middle of the field against Fighting Irish on Saturday, containing Notre Dame's powerful running game and limiting the home team to 190 total yards.

Notre Dame's only score came at the end of the first half, when the Lancers botched a field goal attempt and senior Mike Pratt scooped up the loose ball and raced 75 yards for the touchdown.

The Lancers moved to 3-2 with the 19-7 win. The Irish are now also 3-2.

Dylan Bordonaro continued to set the pace for the Lancers, rushing for 162 yards on 25 carries and being a force on defense.

Bordonaro scored for the Lancers on runs of 16 and 27 yards. Elba/BB's other touchdown came on a six-yard pass from Eric Kowalik to Cameron Fonda.

Nate Jonathan had seven tackles for the lancers, plus two sacks and a forced fumble. Brandon Shuknecht notched 12 tackles and made a fumble recovery.

In other Genesee County football action Friday and Saturday:

  • Batavia traveled to Bath where the Blue Devils (1-4) lost 29-12. Ryan Pyatt carried the ball 13 times for 120 yards and Aaron Gugel completed 11 of 25 for 117 yards. Justin Washington scored on a 12-yard pass and Gugel scored on a one-yard run.
  • Pembroke (4-1) beat Oakfield-Alabama (0-5), 33-6 (coverage).
  • Attica (4-1) shut out Alexander (0-5), 38-0.
  • Le Roy (3-2) dropped Warsaw 48-0. Tommy McQuillen rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

With Holley's win over Baker, three teams in the Genesee Region, including Pembroke and Attica, now have identical 4-1 records.

This coming Friday and Saturday's games:  Batavia will be at home at 7 p.m., Friday, for seniors night against Bishop Kearney; Cal-Mum brings a 4-1 record into Le Roy at 7 p.m., Friday, for what is traditionally an exciting game against two big rivals; also on Friday at 7 is Notre Dame at Pembroke and Holley at Alexander. On Saturday, Oakfield-Alabama is at Elba/Byron-Bergen.

More pictures from Elba/BB vs. ND after the jump:

September 29, 2010 - 5:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba, elba historical society.

The Historical Society of Elba will host a fun night of music and square dancing beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.

There will be a barn dance, literally, fiddle competition and square dancing.

The fundraiser will be held at the Torrey's new barn on Route 98, halfway between Daws Corners and the Village of Elba, on the east side of the road. Watch for them road signs. (The barn is Amish-built, red roof, white sides. There's a windmill, too.)

The Elba High School Jazz Band will play at 6, followed by the fiddlers, then the dancing, accompanied by Kelly's Oldtimers Band.

Refreshments will be available. Don't miss this wingding! Call Ron Komar at 757-2590 to sign up for FIDDLE contest or to get more information.

"...Rosin up yer bow and play yer fiddle hard!" -- Charlie Daniels Band ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia")

September 29, 2010 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, elba, Historical Society of Elba.
Event Date and Time: 
October 16, 2010 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm

The Historical Society of Elba will host a fun night of music and square dancing beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.

There will be a barn dance, fiddle competition and square dancing. The fundraiser will be held at the Torrey's new barn on Route 98, halfway between Daws Corners and the Village of Elba, on the east side of the road. Watch for signs. (The barn is Amish-built, red roof, white sides. There's a windmill, too.)

The Elba High School Jazz Band will play at 6, followed by the fiddlers, then the dancing, accompanied by Kelly's Oldtimers Band.




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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