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April 21, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, elba, news.


Press release:

Imagine a classroom where students can design and manufacture an iPhone case, whistles or even a part for an RC car for pennies on the dollar.

It's happening at Elba Central School with the help of a 3-D printer, which the school acquired as part of Genesee Valley BOCES Make and Take Workshop back in February.

A 3-D printer works much like a more familiar 2-D text and picture printer.

"3D printers take a digital file and turn it into a three-dimensional object layer by layer," said Elba's Technology coordinator, Mary Beth Stacy. "Engineering classes can print their designs and see if they will actually work instead of just assuming that it will. The printer we have can actually print many of it's own parts."

"The students design the objects using CAD software and then print it," Stacy said. "Sometimes the design works and sometimes it fails. Great life lessons about learning from their mistakes and not giving up are being reinforced, along with critical thinking and problem solving skills."

Instead of ink, users can choose their own material. Most educators use a low-cost plastic filament.

"The students are really excited to see it," Kevin Rombaut, technology teacher at Elba Central School said. "It allows them to see rapid prototyping and modeling. It gives them actual objects that they can see and hold other than just a computer rendering or imagination.

"It allows them to create parts and/or objects and to re-invent. I had one student break a part on their RC vehicle. They took it, drew a new one, changed the design to offer more support, and printed a new part out."

Elba Central School is doing what it can in keeping current with technology to help their students succeed in the future.

As Stacy pointed out, "Our students' futures will have technology embedded in their daily lives."

April 18, 2016 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia, elba, corfu, Oakfield.

Kerry L. Norton, 33, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving while intoxicated, DWI -- Leandra's Law, and endangering the welfare of a minor. At 2:31 a.m. on April 16, Norton was arrested after being stopped for multiple traffic violations. Norton performed field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. Officers discovered that two of his passengers were juveniles under age 16. Officers later discovered that Norton allegedly allowed the children to smoke marijuana in the vehicle while he was driving. He was jailed without bail and set to return to court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Deniz M. Pirincci, 59, Garden Drive, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog and owning a dog running at large. At 9:32 p.m. on March 27, Pirincci's dog was running at large and allegedly attacked another dog that was being walked by its owner on Garden Drive. Following at investigation, he was issued at appearance ticket for April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Joseph A. Monte, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree robbery, second-degree harassment, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 2:32 a.m. on April 17 after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred a short time earlier on Walnut Street. He was jailed and set to be in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Carlos Samol, 51, of Libersty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing. He was arrested after an incident at 8:07 p.m. on April 17 on Ellicott Street in which Samol allegedly menaced another person with what appeared to be a pistol. He was jailed on $5,000 bail and is to appear in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay. In addition, he was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly riding in a car with another person in violation of a complete stay-away order of protection. On the latter charge, the case was handled by Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Mitchell Cowen.

Frank J. Finley Jr., 33, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Finley was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident in the city at 11:40 p.m. on April 9. He was due in court on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Riley J. Cole, 20, of Garibaldi Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree harassment. The charge stems from an incident on Walnut Street at 3:50 p.m. on April 8 wherein Cole allegedly struck an ARC staff member in the face. Cole is to appear in City Court Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Zachary Vernon Seeley, 19, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested following an altercation at 3:11 p.m. on April 13 at 555 E. Main St. with another resident at that location. Seeley allegedly became upset with the other resident and punched a hole in a wall there, prior to allegedly shoving the other resident. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and was due in court on April 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Taheed M. Moffett, 31, of Turner Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief -- $250 in damages, resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. Moffett was arrested at 8:56 p.m. on April 19 on Pearl Street. The defendant was to appear in April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Scott D. Higgins, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 percent or more, DWI -- common law, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to use headlights, and operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. At 2:22 a.m. on April 16, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle without headlights on West Main Street at Burger King. Higgins was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated and he was subsequently arrested for DWI and issued tickets. He is scheduled to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk. Higgins was subsequently arrested at 1 p.m. on April 19 for failure to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Aug. 12, 2014, on West Main Street.  He was jailed, then released after posting $200 bail. He is to appear in City Court on this matter Tuesday. The case was handled by Officer Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Perkins.

Christopher Michael Barone, 33, of Lawrence Avenue, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was arrested at 7:59 p.m. on April 8 after a traffic stop on Main Street in Batavia. He was found to have a suspended driver's license (14 suspensions on four dates) and also had an active warrant out of the Town of Batavia for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. He was also allegedly found to possess cocaine. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in City Counrt on April 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter.

Terry L. Travis Jr., 33, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, refusal to take a breath test and illegal signal. He was arrested at 1:38 p.m. on March 25 and released with an appearance ticket for City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Robin D. Dixon, 28, of Barbie Court, Rochester, is charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated -- common law, and driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. Dixon was arrested at 2:08 a.m. on April 9 after she was observed allegedly driving the wrong way on a portion of School Street, downtown. After a traffic stop, she was arrested for allegedly driving in an intoxicated condition. She is to be in court on April 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Brian V. Bisig, 29, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with having insufficient tail lamps and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. At 9:47 p.m. on April 14, Bisig was stopped for having a defective tail lamp in the area of West Main and River streets. He was arrested and posted $200 bail and is to be in City Court on April 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Johnney Lee Shannon, 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unattended motor vehicle. Shannon was arrested at 1:06 p.m. April 11 on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after allegedly leaving his vehicle running unattended in the parking lot of a local business. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. Subsequently, Shannon was arrested on a warrant out of Wyoming County. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Nathan S. Love, 23, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on a City of Batavia warrant that was issued after he failed to appear on a charge stemming from an incident on Feb. 27 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $500 bail and was to be in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Gregory F. Frieday, 31, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. He was arrested at 11:20 p.m. on April 9 and was issued an appearance ticket for court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on April 3 following an investigation stemming from his allegedly threatening individuals. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to be in court on April 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Kyle Ratulowski, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on two counts of petit larceny after attempting to pawn items he allegedly stole from unsecured vehicles overnight while in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. Deputy Young from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation. The Sheriff's Office also had charges on Ratulowski for allegedly stealing items from unsecured vehicles in the Town of Batavia. He was jailed on those charges.

Kiha S. McNear, 18, of 1/2 Walnut St., Batavia, was arrested at 9:45 a.m. on April 11 after police responded to a report of a physical altercation in the parking lot of Tim Horton's. While police were interviewing multiple subjects, McNear became upset that poluce had stopped him and allegedly started using absive language and shouting obscenities and racial epithets toward police. He was subsequently arrested and issued an appearance ticket for city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Kasey J. Wagner, 34, of Fletcher Chapel Road, Shelby, is charged with failure to appear. Wagner was arrested on a warrant issued her failure to appear in court on a charge of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Wagner was jailed on $250 bail and was due in court April 11.

Christina A. Cotter, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Cotter was arrested on April 4 after violating a complete stay-away order of protection issued by City Court by allegedly sending several text messages to the protected party. Cotter was to be in court April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Ralph A. Golding, 51, of Broadway, Alden, was arrested April 11 on a bench warrant out of City Court. The warrant was issued after Golding allegedly failed to pay a fine in relation to a conviction for petit larceny. The defendant was due in court April 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Kathryn F. Long, 21, of Harris Road, Le Roy was arrested on April 14th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Long was arrested following a complaint of an alleged larceny in progress from Tops Market located in the Village. Long allegedly took $5.89 worth of merchandise from Tops. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Le Roy Town Court on May 19.

Kenneth A. McJury, 52, of 1/2 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. McJury was arrested following an investigated into a larceny at 5:57 p.m. April 6 at the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Tyler D. Price, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on April 12 on a bench warrant. Price was released on an appearance ticket and was to be in City Court on April 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.
April 15, 2016 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music, entertainment, elba, news.


The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Elba Central School's auditorium. 

Bryan Eckenrode conducts "American Made," which features nine pieces by American composers, including two local composers, Gary Call Hanley and Ross Chua. Hanley lives in Nashville and his piece, "Plight of the Common Man," has been performed there. Chua is a Batavia High School student and this is the world premier of his work, "Spectacle in Flight."

Also on the program are "Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera" by Don Gillis, the "Paul Bunyan Suite" by William Bergsma, "Blues in 6/8" by Milton Weinstein, three dance episodes from "Rodeo" by Aaron Copland, "Variations on a Theme" by Handel, a piece by Maurice Whitney, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by John Williams and "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein. 

The Harry Potter piece will be performed with students from the GSO String Workshop.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online (click here).









March 28, 2016 - 9:25am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, elba, bergen.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

At 1:06 p.m. on Sunday March 27 the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call concerning a motor vehicle collision that occurred at 4746 Barrville Road in the Town of Elba.

A northbound vehicle went off the east shoulder of Barrville Road and struck a parked vehicle at that address. The operator of the vehicle then fled the scene.

The suspect was tracked for several hours and later arrested at an address on North Bergen Road in the Town of Byron.

The suspect, Arnoldo Gregorio Lopez, 23, of North Bergen Road, faces Vehicle and Traffic charges of unlicensed operator, uninspected motor vehicle, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, improper plates, moving from lane unsafely, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

He was arraigned in the Town of Oakfield Court by Justice Baker and remanded to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office was assisted by members of the State Police, Medina Police Department's K-9 and a State Police K-9.

(For initial report, click here:

March 27, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba, news.

A male driver fled on foot following a two-car accident at 4746 Barrville Road, Elba. Sheriff's deputies are responding, along with Elba fire and Mercy medics. The fleeing suspect is described as "possibly Mexican," wearing a green and white polo shirt.

UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: There was only one vehicle involved. It is parked on the front lawn of the Barrville Road address. A relative of the caller is said to have seen the suspect enter into some nearby woods.

UPDATE 1:47 p.m.: A Chrysler mini-van with two Hispanic males inside was stopped in the area and a State Trooper was going to attempt to run the occupants' IDs when one of them fled the vehicle and ran off. Not known if the incident is related to the Barrville Road accident, but law enforcement had a perimeter around the accident scene and were looking for a suspect when this occurred.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: A passerby told officers a Hispanic male ran past his house in the 4700 block of North Byron Road, heading north toward Watson Road. Law enforcement is en route to search the area.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Officers are still searching for the suspect, heading in a north-northeasterly direction.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: A canine unit reports finding fresh tracks.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: The suspect has been apprehended and officers are preparing paperwork for his arraignment in court.

March 26, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, helping hands.

(Pictured above, from left, are Taylor Augello, Leah Bezon and Miah Werth.)

(Submitted photo and information from Drew Muelig.)

The Elba Helping Hands began in the Fall of 2014 to help those in need in the Elba Central School student body, faculty and staff.

There are over a dozen members who meet monthly to seek ways to raise funds in order to help those who suffer from a prolonged illness, are hospitalized or experiencing a hardship within our district or community.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30th, in the Elba School library there will be a Helping Hands meeting for community and parents within the district to establish a parent committee for the Helping Hands. All parents and community members are welcome to come and be part of this great committee that is changing lives!

Elba’s Helping Hands has used opportunities like the United Way Packpack Program to send home backpacks filled with food items for families in need within the district. They’ve also organized an annual craft sale, basket raffles and taken donations throughout the year to help give back to the Elba community.

On March 12th, the families of Taylor Augello, Leah Bezon and Miah Werth hosted a dance party for the seventh- and eighth-grade Elba classes to celebrate Taylor, Leah and Miah's 13th birthdays. 

In lieu of gifts, these young ladies asked guests to bring a donation to Elba Helping Hands. Along with all their friends and fellow students, the girls raised $700 in one night! 

The Helping Hands committee could not be any prouder of these young ladies and their student body for thinking of others and making a difference!

March 22, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, college readiness, news.

Press release:

"Buffalo Business First" magazine recently ranked Elba Central High School students first in Genesee County and 12th best of 97 schools in Western New York for college and career readiness.

The report is based on Aspirational Performance Measures (APM) for high school students from 2011-2015.

APM takes into account the percent of graduates who score at least a 75 on the English II Regents, an 80 on a math Regents and graduates with a local, Regents or advanced Regents diploma. The Upstate average is slightly over 42 percent, with Elba being one of only 12 school districts in WNY achieving 60 percent or higher.

"We’re proud of our results and 60 percent is a nice accomplishment," said Elba Superintendent Keith Palmer. "But when you recognize that these percentages represent the success of our students, we really can’t be satisfied until 100 percent of our graduates are ready for college and career. That’s what a high school diploma should represent."

For the full report visit

March 21, 2016 - 3:00pm

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March 21, 2016 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Onion Festival, news.

The nearly 80-year-old Onion Festival held in Elba every summer is already just a memory.

Proceeds from it helped pay for Elba's fire equipment and supplies. Now what?

"We are going to look at other money-making options," said Elba Fire Department President Ken Miller this morning. "But without rides, without a car raffle, can you call it the Onion Festival? We haven't decided 100 percent what we're going to do, what we can do. But the festival is done."

What, if anything, will take place there in mid-August has yet to be decided. Miller said the board of directors for the all-volunteer fire company will meet and discuss the situation in a couple of weeks.

More and more, ride operators are skipping the small-town events that last a couple days, like the one in Elba, and sticking with bigger venues where they can turn a profit after they pay for insurance, wages and others costs of doing business. The result for places like Elba is fewer attendees -- not enough to buy tickets, only sold locally, to raffle off a new car.

Other little fire companies are facing similar circumstances.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has introduced legislation to allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards and to allow them to advertise raffle tickets online, thereby boosting sales and reaching more people. Hawley is also going to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow nonprofit organizations more fundraising flexibility.

March 18, 2016 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Onion Festival, news.

Lean times may lie ahead for the Elba Fire Department. It's biggest fundraiser of the year -- the Elba Onion Festival -- will not feature rides this year, nor will there be a raffle for a shiny new Ford Mustang.

Whatever other money-making options might be employed for the all-volunteer fire company will be discussed at its next meeting in two weeks. But the Onion Festival will still take place in mid-August, just as it has for the past 79 years. 

The decision not to have rides is actually the result of not being able to secure a company to provide them, said Elba Fire Department President Ken Miller.

"It comes down to money," he said. "The ride companies don't want to go to small-town events. Ours is just Friday and Saturday. After they get insurance and pay wages, there's not enough money in it for them."

Miller said the trend is hurting fundraising efforts for small, volunteer fire companies -- two or three in Monroe County have cancelled fundraisers featuring rides this year.

For at least the last 50 years, Elba has raffled off a car at the Onion Festival. They only sell tickets in Genesee County.

Elba not having a Mustang raffle in 2016 is the result of a trickle-down effect: No rides, fewer people, not enough money to buy the car.

It has nothing to do with Stafford Volunteer Fire Company, which had this year's Corvette raffle suspended by the State Gaming Commission because it had online raffle tickets ads posted last year in violation of the rules. (Refunds are being issued to Stafford raffle ticket buyers.)

Proceeds from the Onion Festival help pay for Elba's fire equipment and supplies.

"It hurts," Miller said. "It's a huge community deal. People come from all over. It's like a big family picnic. But things change."

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Steve Hawley is co-sponsoring two bills which would allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards and to allow them to advertise raffle tickets online, thereby boosting sales and reaching more people. Hawley said he will also be introducing a constitutional amendment to allow nonprofit organizations more latitude in their fundraising efforts.

March 16, 2016 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba, news.

Crystal Marie Bouter, 27, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on March 15 on a bench warrant out of Town of Elba Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her supervised release while on Drake Street in Oakfield at 5 p.m. March 14. She was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

March 4, 2016 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident.

Smoke is coming from a vehicle with heavy front-end damage following an accident at Route 98 and Lockport Road, Elba.

There's a possible minor injury.

Elba Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Law enforcement is on scene.

UPDATE 8:56 a.m.: Lockport Road is completely blocked.

March 3, 2016 - 3:37am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, accidents, news.


A passerby reports a car crashed into a house at 7797 Oak Orchard Road, unknown injuries, but the male driver is said to be responsive. A natural gas line was struck and is leaking. A power line is also down across the roadway, which is not passable. Northbound traffic on Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Town Line Road (Daws Corners) will have to be shut down, according to first responders. Elba Fire Police are called for traffic control; Town of Batavia Fire Department personnel are on scene. Mercy medics are also responding. There's a strong smell of natural gas, but the gas line "has been secured." The residence has been evacuated. National Fuel and National Grid are contacted and are dispatching crews; no ETA. Responders are told to use caution upon approach because the road conditions are icy.

UPDATE 3:44 a.m.: The driver is allegedly intoxicated and will be transported to UMMC for evaluation. A code enforcement officer is called to the scene.

UPDATE 4:28 a.m.: Deputy on scene said the cause of the accident is under investigation. The vehicle was southbound and crossed the road, striking a pole on the residential property and then striking the porch of the house. There were reportedly icy conditions. The driver was in the vehicle when Town of Batavia fire arrived on scene, but self-extricated. State Police are assisting in the investigation.

UPDATE 4:53 a.m.: Route 98 is open in both directions. Town of Batavia fire and Elba Fire Police back in service.

UPDATE 9:16 a.m.: Joshua D. McGuire, 22, of Albion, is charged with DWI. Other charges are pending. The accident is being investigated by Deputy Joseph Loftus.

February 26, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba central school district, schools, education, elba, news.


Press release:

In a recent Buffalo Business First magazine, Elba Central Middle and High Schools' combined ranking placed in the top spot among all 17 schools in the Eastern Tier (Orleans, Genesee & Wyoming counties).

Factors used in determining each school's ranking are percentage of graduates who received Regents diplomas, Regents scores in 10 subjects and scores on statewide English and math tests -- all over the last four years.

Elba Central was also the only school of the 22 schools in the Genesee Valley to have a 100-percent passing rate on the Geometry Regents and the U.S. History Regents.

“Because we’re small, it’s difficult for any student to get lost in the shuffle," explained Elba Schools Superintendent Keith Palmer. “And even though we’re a public school, our staff treat our students as if we’re providing a private education, focusing on individual needs with individual interventions and taking the time to work with students who need it."

Submitted photo.

February 24, 2016 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, sports.


When you hold an opponent to 43 points, you would think you would walk away with a win, Elba's Head Coach Ciaci Zambito said after the Lancers' loss Tuesday night to Lima Christian in a Class C2 Section V semifinal at Le Roy High School.

Defense wins games, but only if you put hit shots on the other end, and there were simply too many missed shots Tuesday night.

"You cannot afford to go through lulls where you don't put the ball in the basket," Zambito said.

The Lancers managed only 18 points in the first half and were down by a point at the 10-minute break. Then Lima came out firing and Elba came out cold in the third quarter, with Lima Christian building a 14-point lead.

For most of the third, Elba fired and fired and fired from beyond the arc and failed to hit. Then in the fourth, the Lancers started to drive into the paint and put together a scrappy 11-0 run, with eight points coming on free throws following fouls, to pull within three.

"They're a group of fighters," Zambito said. "I never, ever once thought that the game was going to be over and we would lose until the final buzzer."

The game, in fact, wasn't decided until the closing seconds, with great plays by Elba's Henry Pflaumer and Lima's Conell Christiansen perhaps deciding the final outcome (top photo). With seconds left and Elba down by three, Pflaumer stole an inbound pass, took a dribble and a step to the three-point line. Christiansen leaped and with his long reach got a hand on the ball, blocking Pflaumer's shot. Who knows if Pflaumer would have knocked down the game-tying bucket, but Christiansen arguably made the play of the game, capping off his 19-point performance.

"Lima did good," Zambito said. "The story line in the paper tomorrow shouldn't be what we did wrong. It should be what Lima did well."

John Hocmuth lead Elba's scoring with 15 points. Shane O’Halloran scored nine. Jayson Faynor added 11 for Lima.





To purchase prints, click here.

February 21, 2016 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, sports.


Webster Christian held close to the Elba Lancers through three quarters, but in the fourth, the #1 seed in Class D2 demonstrated how dominating they can be, pulling away for a 60-36 win.

Next up, the #5 seed, Lima-Christian, in a semifinal game, 7 p.m., at Le Roy HS.






To purchase prints, click here.

January 30, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, elba, business.

Photo provided by Maxine (Palmer) Koberg taken early on the job in 1969 as a Civil Service clerical worker for Genesee Community College.

In October, 1969, Maxine Koberg (nee Palmer), was excited to start her new job as a clerical worker at the fledgling Genesee Community College.

The Batavia native had graduated from high school five years earlier and worked steadily since turning 18. When she found an opportunity to take a Civil Service test, she didn't hesitate and was subsequently delighted to learn she'd passed the clerical exam and was eligible for employment. After landing a job at the college, she said she liked it and was capable of performing the duties and she planned to stick with it.

And stick with it, she did, for more than 46 years.

"You don't think about it," Koberg said. "The years go by. You know you'll retire someday, but you don't really think about it. And now here I am."

It dawned on her recently that the familiar route commuting to and from the college and her home in Elba would no longer be part of her daily itinerary after Friday, which was her last day.

The original route was different in the beginning of her employment at GCC.

The campus at One College Road off Stephen R. Hawley Drive in the Town of Batavia did not yet exist.

The college was chartered in 1966 and its first digs were in 56,000 square feet of space in the "Valu Tech Center" on West Main Street in Batavia, which was home to the Valu department store. The first class of 378 full-time and 243 part-time students began their studies the following fall semester. 

"In the beginning, I was working with students," Koberg said. "You tried to be helpful and they were fun and polite and you got to stay with them a couple of years. There were plenty 'please' and 'thank-yous'."

Koberg recalled the library was in front and there were a couple of offices in the back. Her department consisted of two clerks, including herself, a secretary and a Librarian David Brewster. Things were not computerized then. Keeping track of orders, payments, inventory, book loans, etc., was done manually.

In 1972, The Big Move to the new campus came. Boxing up the books and hauling them to the new location and organizing them -- "It was quite a big job," Koberg said. Staff supervised college students in the work/study program who did the bulk of the heavy lifting.

"When we first went to the new building, I was at the circulation desk. That's where you signed out books, reserved materials for students, and supervised the work/study students. And you greet everybody."

There was a growing population of international students, who could sometimes be difficult to understand because of the language barrier, Koberg said, but throughout the years, the 'please' and 'thank-yous' were abundantly offered. Although, as always, she noted some students have better manners than others. A noticeable difference campus-wide, of course, is the proliferation of electronic gadgets that students appear glued to.

At some point, she was asked if she wanted to leave the front desk and the students, and work on library's clerical staff ordering books and doing related tasks. She decided to take the challenge, which eventually included learning daunting new computer skills and paying bills.

"There was never a time when I didn't like working with books. I knew my programs and how to get books ordered and get them on the shelf. As courses changed, books changed -- like for our Allied Health Program -- but it's all office work."

Which means paying attention to details.

"Be careful about what you're doing, get the right books ordered, received and processed. Get the bills paid, in the right amount. Live within your budget. We have a good system and we work together."

After more than four decades on the job, her coworkers were like a second family and the workplace, a sort of home away from home. She says her colleagues held down the fort while she took two maternity leaves, helped her through some rough patches on the road of life, and she has appreciated their supportiveness, assistance and the camaraderie along the way.

The staff meshed at the Alfred C. O'Connell Library, named after the college's first president.

"We did work well together."

As for her newly retired status, it'll take some getting used to. No big plans afoot. No vacation in the works.

"I'm just going to take it day by day and see how it goes," Koberg said.

January 16, 2016 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield, elba.

Speed and alcohol were factors in the motor-vehicle accident death of David Beehler Jr., 37, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

No other details of the accident were released following the completion earlier this week of a preliminary investigation.

Beehler was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Fisher Road, Oakfield, on Dec. 22.

He was reportedly driving his 2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck when it hit a tree and a utility pole. Beehler was ejected from the vehicle, according to information released after the accident.

Beehler was a local volunteer firefighter.

January 15, 2016 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, elba, oakfield-alabama.


In the second half of Elba's 56-40 victory over Oakfield-Alabama on Thursday night, #55 John Hochmuth demonstrated what a dominant big man can do to lift a team.

Displaying solid and practiced post-play skills, the 6' 4" senior scored 19 points and blocked five shots in the game, with the third and fourth quarters being his most productive.

I've never seen a high school kid who works harder than John," said Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "He makes my job easy. It's so much fun to coach him. He is our best practice player every single day, and finally, I think, all of his hard work that he has done throughout his career is really starting to pay off."

Zambito wouldn't go out on a limb and say Hochmuth is the most dominant player in the Genesee Region, but he still gives him very high grades.

"John is the most dominant post player I've seen at Elba, ever," Zambito said. "I played with a couple of good post players. But especially in terms of the defensive end of things, he doesn't just block shots, he changes shots, and obviously you know what he can do underneath the basket on offense."

The test of where Hochmuth stands in GR could come when Elba faces Attica, whenever that might be, since a recent game was canceled and needs to be rescheduled.  Attica has 6' 5" junior Owen Thompson, who scored 20 last night in the Blue Devils' 77-44 victory over Wheatland-Chili.

The Lancers are off to a 12-0 start on the year and Hochmuth said it's fun to be part of a team that has really grown into a bonded unit.

"We're all brothers on the team," Hochmuth said. "We all like each other outside of school, in school. We're family and that's why we play great together."

Basketball is a team game and one reason Hochmuth is able to thrive in the post is his teammates offer their own scoring threats, and when the defense opens a little space to guard them, they know how to feed Hochmuth the ball.

"Opposing teams focus on John," Zambito said. "They game plan for John, as I would. But when you've got down a guy who knocks down 11 threes in a game (as Henry Pflaumer did in a game earlier this season), and you've got a guy who comes in tonight and knocks down back-to-back threes, you've got to start honoring that a little bit more. You've got to pick your poison. Do you want to guard the perimeter and leave John one-on-one? Or do you want to double John? You can't double everybody."

Thursday, Pflaumer scored 13 for the Lancers, with Tucker Bezon adding 11 and Dakota Dillon six.

It was Bezon's best game of the season, Zambito said.

Oakfield-Alabama scored 18 points in the first quarter, but was held to 22 the rest of the way.

Zambito said he told the team after the first quarter that they weren't playing the Lancer brand of basketball.

"Oakfield likes to get up in you," Zambito said. "They like to press you, but we're more of a half-court team. I think we kind of fell into the trap the first eight minutes of the game where we were trying to play up to their tempo. But we can't do that. We get ourselves into some big trouble when we start doing things like that."

Jon Harris scored seven for the Hornets and Jake Mandez had six. Trey Nadolinski scored five to go with seven rebounds and four assists.

It's been a long time since Elba's boys team has experienced this level of success, and the current Lancers' roster hasn't forgotten the bad times, which is what keeps them from getting too comfortable with their 12-0 start, Zambito said.

"All I have to do is show them the records from the past two years," Zambito said. "Less than 12 months ago, these kids weren't experiencing any success. It's a different feel. We really have a good thing going, great chemistry. There's a nice bond going on. They trust each other. They're hungry and they'll stay hungry. I've told them from day one, I don't care how many games we win, we're looking to win a title."

The Lancers are currently #1 in the GR, #1 in Section V Class D2 and ranked #5 in the state.

"We've always had potential," Hochmuth said. "Now we're showing it."







January 11, 2016 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba.

David Lavalle Andrews , 28, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 after allegedly failing to appear in Town of Batavia Court nearly two years ago after being released on bail. Andrews allegedly failed to turn himself in within 30 of a court appearance scheduled on Feb. 27, 2014. He is charged with third-degree bail jumping and is now in Genesee County jail. He was to appear in Batavia Town Court today. The case was handled by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Edward Jordan White, 20, of Michigan Street, Lockport, is charged with second-degree bail jumping. He was arrested at 9 a.m. on Jan. 12 and put in Genesee County Jail for allegedly failing to appear in County Court on April 7, 2015, for a felony proceeding and then not turning himself in within 30 days of the court date. The case was handled by Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

Dennis Wayne Narvaez, 34, of Bank Street Road, Elba, is charged with speeding (77 in a 55-mph zone), refusal to take breath test, driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI), and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Narvaez was arrested at 1:09 a.m. on Jan. 9 on Clinton Street Road in Stafford following a traffic stop. The case was handled by Deputy Kevin Forsyth, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

A 16-year-old who lives on Porter Avenue in Batavia was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 and charged with petit larceny. The arrest was made following a complaint of shoplifting at Kohl's. A 14-year-old accomplice was also allegedly involved. The defendant was released with an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Deputy Matthew Fleming.


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