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April 9, 2015 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, radio, wbta, business, elba.

WBTA has expanded its programming from one local entertaining talk show to two.

Hiram Kasten is now co-hosting "Batavia After Breakfast" with is wife Diana at 9 a.m., Wednesday mornings and his former partner, Lucine Kauffman, now has her own show, "Genesee Life," at 8:30 a.m., Saturdays.

Hiram and Diana, pictured above, will feature their witty repartee as they share their experiences in Batavia, what's happening in Batavia, and Hiram -- with decades experience as a comedian, actor and performer in New York, Hollywood and Las Vegas, as well as around the globe -- hosts guests from his entertainment world.

Lucine, bottom photo, will celebrate and explore Genesee County rich cultural life, featuring local residents who might be artists, musicians, authors, historians, hobbyists, farmers, athletes, local business owners and local characters. The show will also promote local shows and showings.

WBTA is at 1490 AM, 100.1 FM and streaming at as well as through apps available for your mobile devices.

April 8, 2015 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, pembroke, Pavilion.

Cindy Lou Bush, 53, of Route 98, of Elba, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Bush was allegedly at a residence with five people under an order of protection forbidding her not to contact the individuals. She was jailed on $2,500 bail, $5,000 bond. Bush was also wanted for alleged failure to appear on five prior counts of criminal contempt stemming from a single incident.

Barbara Jean Salmon, 44, of Coal Hill Road, Taberg, is charged with possession of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, tinted windows and plate obstruction. Salmon was stopped at 11:38 a.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Amanda Christine Paige, 24, of Park Street, Pavilion, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Paige is accused of stealing from a business.

April 4, 2015 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Easter.

March 27, 2015 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba.

Brandon James Spurling, 23, of Strouts Road, Elba, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, criminal solicitation, 5th, and conspiracy, 6th. Co-defendant, Anthony Abraham, 27, of Main Road, Akron, is charged with conspiracy, 5th, and criminal possession of marijuana, 5th. Spurling allegedly asked Abraham to take possession of marijuana and hide it from police, and Abraham allegedly cooperated with Spurling. 

Richard David Flint, 48, of Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd, and misapplication of property. Flint allegedly reported a burglary to his residence that did not occur. The property he reported stolen belong to two different rent-to-own stores. He allegedly sold the property without the stores' permission.

Katherine Lynn Urf, 54, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Also charged, Joseph Michael Franchi-Platten, 31, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia. Urf and Franchi-Platten are accused of working together to steal merchandise from Walmart.

March 24, 2015 - 11:11am
posted by Billie Owens in elba.

Mercy Flight #5 is called to Drake Street Road is Elba to transport an 80-year-old man with a broken leg. He fell off the ladder from the height of a one-story roof. Elba fire and Mercy medics are on scene. Firefighters will be establishing a landing zone. The location is between the Elba Village line and Weatherwax Road.

March 20, 2015 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, elba, Elba Central School.

March 7, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports.

Photos by Jim Burns. Game information from Emily Tomczak.

A third-quarter rally wasn't enough for the Elba Lady Lancers to overcome Jasper-Troupsburg in the Section V Class D1 final in Letchworth on Friday night.

Jasper came out on top 55-47.

Haley Brown had 16 points, Alex Reigle had 14 points, and Alyssa Bogue had 13 points.

Alex Reigle and Haley Brown were named to the All-Tournament team, and Jenna Pedro received the sportsmanship award.

To view more photos and to purchase prints from Jim Burns, click here.

March 5, 2015 - 5:30pm

Genesee County will have four teams playing for Section V championships in their respective classes this weekend.

Elba's Lady Lancers plays Jasper-Troupsburg for the Class D1 crown at Letchworth at 8 p.m., Friday. Elba beat Arkport last night 68-36.

Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees take on Mynderse at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Rush Henrietta after winning last night 42-38 over Gananda.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on Genesee Valley in the boys Class D1 championship at 7:15 p.m., Saturday, at Blue Cross Arena. Notre Dame beat Mt. Morris 62-45 to advance. Head Coach Mike Rapone asked that fans be advised that officials are going to clear out the stands at Blue Cross Arena following the completion of the 4:15 p.m. game Saturday. Doors will open for the 7:15 game at 6:45 p.m.

The Batavia Blue Devils go for the Class A2 title at 5 p.m., Sunday, against School of the Arts at Blue Cross Arena. (Click here for coverage of their semi-final game). 

March 4, 2015 - 5:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

One person is reportedly trapped following a motor-vehicle accident on Route 98 and Edgerton Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Bergen ambulance dispatched.

Also, there's an accident with minor injuries in Stafford, Roanoke Road near Westcott Road. Stafford fire responded to that call.

UPDATE 5:40 a.m.: The person is out of the vehicle. Minor injuries reported.

March 3, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Route 98 and Lockport Road. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: All available manpower from the Elba Fire Department is requested to the scene, including Fire Police.

February 25, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, elba, NY Farm Bureau.

Heading into the 2015 legislative session, the top priority for the New York Farm Bureau is immigration reform, said Dean Norton, bureau president, during a media conference call this morning.

The Elba resident is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with members of New York's congressional delegation to represent farmers' interests.

"We need a stable, legal, reliable workforce," Norton said. "What we have now is broken. A stable workforce on our farms means a stable rural economy."

The Farm Bureau is calling on Washington to create a visa program or temporary worker program that will make it easier for farmers to hire and retain farm workers and not worry about all of their workers being taken away by immigration officials without notice.

"Everybody (in Washington) understands there's a problem, but neither side trusts and has faith in the other side to deal fairly," Norton said. "Both sides want to hold immigration as a political football."

The Farm Bureau is also looking for clarification from the FDA on food safety rules and there's been some progress on that front, Norton said.

Until recently, a small dairy farm with gross revenue of $500,000 that also grows a few strawberries for a fruit stand would face reams of regulations for the strawberry operation, but the FDA will start to apply those rules to $500,000 per crop, so the strawberry operation would not be covered in that circumstance.

Still a top priority for the Farm Bureau is the EPA's proposed rule change on what constitutes navigable waters. Farmers remain concerned that rule changes would bring into regulation small --- even very small -- bodies of water on farms.

"We continue to push the EPA for a clarification on the rules," Norton said. "Of the comments sent in by individuals, 58 percent of the comments ask the EPA to start over and become better partners with agriculture and come up with rules that are better for everybody."

Also on today's conferance call was Elisabeth Walters, director of national affairs, who said the Farm Bureau is paying close attention to the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, and is pushing for trade reform and reforms in tax structure to encourage more farmers to donate crops to local food pantries.

Norton said farmers want greater access to foreign markets, which means trade agreements, and the president should have greater authority to reach trade deals. 

Rep. Chris Collins has publicly opposed the idea, and Norton said he would be meeting with Collins today to discuss the issue with him.

"The reason we're in favor of it is that our trading partners want to deal with one person, not negotiate with 365," Norton said.

February 25, 2015 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Law enforcement is being dispatched to Batavia Elba Townline Road near Pekin after a highway worker reported he had a confrontation with a resident who is blowing snow in the road.

The worker said this isn't the first time the issue has come up.

"He gave it to me and I gave it right back to him," the worker told dispatchers.

The worker said the resident videotaped the encounter.

"He's putting the hazard right back in the road," the worker said.

February 24, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, pembroke, Le Roy.

Zaid Amhad Alhariri, 47, of Dodge Street, Buffalo, is charged with possession of more than 4,600 untaxed cigarettes. Alhariri was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 12:23 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. He was allegedly found in possession of 4,600 untaxed cigarettes with a value of $1,055.

Cindy Lou Bush, 63, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Bush was allegedly involved in an incident at 7:30 p.m. Monday at a residence on Oak Orchard Road, Elba, with five other people, all who are the subject of a complete stay away order issued to Bush.

Annette Monique McMillian, 30, of Elmdorf Street, Rochester, is charged with scheme to defraud, 1st, petit larceny and issuing a bad check. McMillian was arrested on a warrant after turning herself in to Monroe County Probation. She was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and jailed on $1,000 bail.

February 21, 2015 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba.

Press release:

Last June we held the first Elba Alumni Reunion with more than 160 people attending. It was a wonderful success and we are not planning a second reunion. This is open to ALL Elba alumni or to anyone who ECS for several years and would like to see former classmates and friends again.

This year’s reunion will again be held at the Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall on Saturday, June 6th. It is located at 7143 Oak Orchard Road.

There will be a social hour at 5 p.m. with a buffet dinner at 6 preceded by appetizer and brunch. A cash bar will also be available. (A tour of the school at 3:30 p.m. will take place for those who are interested.)

As we are not able to contact all Elba alumni we would ask you to pass this information on.

Additional information and forms for the reunion can be obtained on Facebook under the group “Elba Central School Alumni” or you can contact Susan Berg Michalak at 585.343.7086 and a form will be sent to you.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to catch up with former classmates. Last year’s reunion was a fun evening of sharing so many wonderful ECS memories!

February 20, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, theater, elba, elba central schools.

The Elba Central School's Drama Club held a dress rehearsal Thrusday night for their performance of the hit Broadway musical "CATS."

A performance originally scheduled for tonight has been moved to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The cast will perform a second show at 7 p.m., tomorrow.

February 20, 2015 - 5:10am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A car accident is reported on Route 98 north of Batavia Elba Townline Road. The vehicle is on its side in the roadway, blocking traffic. Mercy medics are responding along with Elba fire.

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.: The location is in the area of 7499 Oak Orchard Road. Town of Batavia also responded. Minor injuries reported. One person has been extricated.

UPDATE 5:31 a.m.: Town of Batavia is back in service.

February 5, 2015 - 3:21pm

Rebecca Vlack, daughter of Ed and Amy Vlack of Elba, has been named to the President's List for the Fall 2014 semester at SUNY Cobleskill.  Matriculated students achieving a semester average of 4.0 are named to the President's List.

Rebecca is a Freshman at Cobleskill studying Plant Science and Horticulture. 

The State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill has a rich academic tradition that spans nearly 100 years. Today, over 2,500 students are enrolled in the 52 associate and baccalaureate degree programs offered through The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and The School of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences.

January 30, 2015 - 5:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported in the area of 4746 Barrville Road. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding.

January 30, 2015 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Volunteer Fire Department.

The Elba Volunteer Fire Department got two dings in a recent comptroller's audit: The board of directors needs to be sure the treasurer's work is audited, and expenditures need to be properly approved and recorded.

There is no evidence of missing or misappropriated funds, though there are a few expenditures that aren't properly documented.

Although there's no evidence of missing money, the department's lax oversight, auditors said, could cause problems.

"The Board’s inadequate oversight and weak controls increase the risk that Department disbursements may not be for appropriate purposes and that all money due the Department may not be received and deposited," the audit report states.

There is a lack of supporting documents for expenditures, auditors said, for $40,566 in spending. There are no documents to show that the board approved these expenditures.

Receipts from the department's largest fundraiser, the Onion Festival, were not properly recorded in 2013, the report states, affecting the department's ability to properly track revenue.

The festival generated $87,210 in revenue, with $78,886 in expenses, for a profit of $8,324.

While raffle tickets printed and sold are properly tracked, the same can't be said, according to the report, of food and beverage tickets.

The treasurer wrote a check to cash for $7,500 before the last festival, so there would be cash on hand for miscellaneous expenses. While she had receipts for $3,250 of the money spent from that fund, the rest of the expenditures had no supporting documentation.

Some of the cash is recorded in the fund-raising report, but there is no documentation for the balance of $1,365.

"The Board’s failure to properly oversee fund-raising activities substantially increases the risk that fund-raising money could be lost or stolen without detection," the report states.

Robert Ziphel, acting president of the Elba Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors, responded to the audit and stated, "In response to our audit, we agree with your findings. We have implemented changes in 2014 and will continue to do so in the future as needed."

January 30, 2015 - 9:53am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at Route 98 and Edgerton Road, Elba. One vehicle is blocking the roadway. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: Two patients refused treatment. The Elba assignment is back in service.




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