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May 18, 2014 - 11:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, elba.

It was a gorgeous day in Genesee County today. As I was out and about for a bit this afternoon, I took a few pictures. 

Above, a tree in the parking lot of GCC.

On Bridge Road, Elba.

On Barrville Road, Elba.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley mowing his lawn on Bank Street Road, Batavia.

April 27, 2014 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, alexander, corfu, hunting, outdoors, Turkey Season.

Kilian Lewis, 14, of Corfu, bagged his first turkey yesterday morning in Alexander as part of a Youth Turkey Hunt, the first day of the Spring youth hunt season (the adult season begins May 1). The turkey had a 10-inch beard. Killian's older brother, Collin, 18, helped call it in. (Photo and info submitted by M. Lewis).

John Zambito, 14, of Elba, got his first turkey this morning while hunting with his uncle Kelly Creegan. (Submitted by Chantal Zambito)

April 26, 2014 - 12:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Betterment Committee.

Robert Given, of Elba, is the first winner of the first raffle put together by the brand new Elba Betterment Committee.

A group of Elba residents have come together to help improve and promote Elba and they kicked off things with a raffle for a basket filled with more than $1,000 worth of gifts.

Given's name was picked during a drawing Friday at Chap's Elba Diner.

All items in the basket were donated by Elba merchants small businesses and farmers, according to Pauli Miano (who submitted the photos). Prizes included an iPad mini, bags of potatoes, Lottery tickets, a weed eater, over $300 worth of gift cards, craft items, pet supplies, books autographed by local authors, shirts and sweatshirts.

In a second raffle, anyone who came to Chap’s today was able to buy a chance on a hundred dollar bill. Sandi Chappius of Elba was the winner.

April 24, 2014 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba.

Ladder trucks from Town of Batavia Fire and City Fire were used this morning to hoist a large American flag over East Main Street for the funeral procession of Melvin Loder.

Loder was a volunteer firefighter with the Elba Volunteer Fire Department. He died at home Saturday (full obituary).

Photos by Sloan Martin, WBTA.

April 22, 2014 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, elba, weather.

As it is every year, local farmers are playing the weather lottery. What numbers will come up, nobody knows.

In the meantime, they're planning their crops, waiting for a little dry spell and a bit warmer weather to start planting.

"We always hope every single year that Mother Nature will give us a good growing year," said Barbie Starowitz, of Star Growers Farm in Elba. "We think that every year. We hope every year for a good year just to pay the bills."

For many crops, now is the ideal time for getting seeds in the ground, but when the soil is still too soft from rain or the temperature still a bit cold (as it's expected to be for the next few nights), then farmers may run out of time to sow all their fields, if any.

CY Farms has started planting onions -- as have other farmers -- because, as CEO Craig Yunker says, "the muck is more forgiving," but his crews still haven't started on peas or corn.

Yunker said they like to start planting around April 1 and corn seed should start going in the ground by April 20. So far, CY has yet to plant a single acre of corn or peas.

"We'd like to get going," Yunker said.

This year, CY Farms will return to growing cabbage. The Yunkers made headlines last year when they decided to forgo cabbage.

Craig Yunker cited three reason for cutting the crop: The uncertainty raised by the employer mandate in Obamacare; the loss of labor to an immigration audit; and the high price of corn.

This year, the employer mandate is delayed for at least a year (allowing CY Farms to employ more than 50 people); Yunker has been able to find some qualified help to replace the workers he lost; and corn has dropped nearly $2 in price per bushel and is now trading at just under $5.

Those three factors led Yunker and his managers to decide to cut corn acreage this year and grow cabbage again.

For Star Growers, the crop mix will be pretty much the same as always -- corn, peas, soybeans, wheat, cabbage and onions.

Most of what Star grows goes to canning factories, either Seneca or Bonduelle.

"We've been waiting for a good growing season, but Mother Nature seems pissed at us," Starowitz said. "It's either too wet or too dry."

Like Star Growers, MY-T Acres grows mainly for canners and food processors. Pete Call said this year's crop will be pretty much like the last few years: green beans, peas, cabbage, potatoes for potato chips, spinach, sweet corn, red beets, grain corn, wheat, rye, oats and alfalfa.

We couldn't reach Torrey Farms, another large crop farm in the county, for comment.

Top Photo: Craig Yunker, CY Farms, with buckets of onion seeds. Each bucket holds 500,000 seeds and costs the farm $1,410. "It's the most expensive seed we buy," Yunker said. Below, preparing the muck to be seeded.

April 21, 2014 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, elba, waterfowl.

Driving down Norton Road, I passed the wetland where the late Ron Graziaplena used to set up waterfowl habitat and release his birds. These geese were right up by the roadway being watched by another motorist. As I took pictures, they came closer to the roadway. They're obviously pretty domesticated and were probably looking to be fed. Hopefully, they'll stay out of the road.

April 19, 2014 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Boy Scout Troop 6017 hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for the children of Elba today. The hunt included eggs with winning tickets for dozens of prizes.

April 18, 2014 - 11:26am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

Elba Fire Police are called to shut down northbound traffic on Route 98 at Lockport Road due to a motor-vehicle accident.

March 31, 2014 - 9:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, State Street.

Melissa R. Piazza, 24, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd. Piazza allegedly threw a stick at a vehicle during an argument on State Street at 6:53 p.m., Wednesday.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 48, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Lyons allegedly brandished a stick and a knife while threatening another person during an argument on State Street reported at 6:53 p.m., Wednesday. A child was allegedly present to witness the threats.

Dillion Lee James Farley, 22, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to keep right, moving from lane unsafely. Farley was reportedly involved in a property damage accident at 11:14 p.m. Sunday on Lockport Road, Elba. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jason Charles Lusk, 33, of Collegeview Drive, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Lusk allegedly hit an acquaintance while in front of two deputies at 2:13 a.m., Saturday.

Harry Thomas Gibson, 49, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with attempted petit larceny. Gibson was seen by Dollar General staff allegedly placing merchandise in a bag in an attempt to steal it. When confronted, Gibson reportedly dropped the bag and left the scene.

Sara J. Smith, 28, of Fairmont Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant related to a criminal mischief charge. She allegedly failed to appear. Smith posted bail (amount not disclosed) and was released.

Aaron Walter Smith, 26, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was arrested following an investigation by officers Chad Richards and Stephen Cronmiller into a report of a suspicious vehicle left unattended and running in the area of Kwik Fill.

Rebecca E.A. Mulholland, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Mulholland's vehicle was stopped at 3:54 a.m. Saturday on Ellicott Street by Officer Peter Flanagan following a "check the welfare" request for a vehicle matching the description of the one driven by Mulholland.

March 30, 2014 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, weather.

A reader sent in this picture of a car off the road on North Byron Road, Elba. It looks like we got about six inches of snow overnight.

UPDATE: Jeff Allen sent in the picture of Maddie and Goliath a little taken aback by all the heavy, wet stuff in their yard. Below that, a picture from Greg Rada of his father's driveway this morning.

March 29, 2014 - 6:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, elba.

A two-car, head-on collision with injuries is reported at 6054 Quaker Hill Road. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is between Ridge and West Muck roads.

UPDATE 6:57 p.m.: Responders are told Mercy Flight is unable to fly due to weather.

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: "All units be advised it's very slippery out here."

March 26, 2014 - 7:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, dairy princess.

Kayla Wormuth, 17, of Elba, center of the picture, is the new Genesee County Dairy Princess. She was crowned last night in a ceremony at Genesee Community College.

Wormuth, who was a dairy ambassador for three years, said she's eager and nervous about her new position.

"I thought it would be a great experience and get me out there talking more because I'm a very shy person," Wormuth said.

To the left of Wormuth is Casey Porter, the New York State Dairy Princess. The rest of the court is Carolyn Sybertz, Georgia Luft, Emily Mikel, Mary Sweeney and Becca Slattery.

March 17, 2014 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Pavilion.

John S. Dueppengiesser, 53, of Page Road, Perry, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Dueppengiesser is accused of stealing more than $3,000 worth of steel from a business on Route 63 in Pavilion during a night in February. Dueppengiesser was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by deputies Bradley Mazur, John Duyssen and Joseph Loftus. Deputies from Livingston County and Wyoming County assisted in the investigation.

Ashley Anne Dunham, 24, of Edward Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to keep right and speeding (69 in a 55 mph zone). Dunham was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on Hartshorn Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Alicia Susan Hough, 22, of Bridge Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speed not reasonable and prudent and moved from lane unsafely. Hough was reportedly involved in a property damage accident at 7:35 a.m. Friday on Norton Road, Elba. The accident was investigated by Deputy John Weis.

Iesha Marie Vetter, 21, of Royce Road, Varysburg, was arrested on a warrant for alleged petit larceny. Vetter turned herself in on the warrant. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Brent E. Keheley, 34, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to answer summons. Keheley was arrested on a warrant and taken to BPD headquarters where he was released upon posting $260 police bail.

Ricky A. Leach, 33, of Central Avenue, Batavia, harassment, 2nd. Leach is accused of hitting a woman in the stomach during an altercation on State Street at 10 p.m. Thursday. Leach was released to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office on a warrant.

March 6, 2014 - 8:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, fire.

An upstairs room is reportedly on fire at 6456 Oak Orchard Road, just north of Lockport Road. Elba Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: An engine from Barre is requested to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 9:02 p.m.: The Town of Batavia is requested to provide equipment at the scene and a crew to stand by in Elba's hall. Also called for mutual aid are South Byron, Byron, Oakfield and Bergen.

UPDATE 9:13 p.m.: Elba command requests all equipment to continue in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: National Grid is called in; no ETA given.

UPDATE 10:06 p.m. (by Howard): Fire reported under control.

UPDATE 10:12 p.m. (by Howard): Information provided by Alecia Kaus, who is on scene: Chimney fire that got into the walls. Code enforcment on scene, trying to determine if the family can stay. No injuries. Seven fire companies responded, including two from Orleans County. Fire is out, doing overhaul and checking for extensions with thermal camera.

Phtoo by Alecia Kaus.

March 6, 2014 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, elba.

Nikkia M. Phillips, 27, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a bench warrant issued by Batavia City Court for alleged failure to appear at a previous court date on a charge of second-degree aggrevated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. She was jailed on $500 bail or $1,000 bond and is to appear in city court on March 12.

Christopher Lee Taylor, 25, of Frost Avenue, Rochester, was arrested today on a warrant out of Town of Elba Court for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, 3rd, and no/inadequate headlights. The violations allegedly occurred on Maple Avenue in Elba on Feb. 11. He was jailed with bail set at $250.

Justine Denae McWethy, 27, of Richmond Avenue, Batavia, was arrested Tuesday night for petit larceny for allegedly stealing $73.85 in merchandise from Walmart. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia Town Court on March 27.

Ronald Louis MacGregor Jr., 45, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, was arrested Monday afternoon for petit larceny for allegedly stealing $29.88 in merchandise from Walmart. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Town of Batavia Court on March 27.

March 4, 2014 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba.

A driver involved in a two-car accident on Norton Road yesterday said he was had something in his left eye and was rubbing it while making a left-hand turn. As a result, he said, he never saw the car that hit his.

The other driver was taken to ECMC by Mercy Flight, were she was treated in the emergency room and released.

James J. Heschke, 60, of East Pembroke, was driving a 1998 Ford SUV south on Norton Road at 1:29 p.m. when he made a left-hand turn onto property owned by Torrey Farms at 7170 Norton Road.

At that point, he said, he had something in his left eye.

Amanda C. Demare, 19, of Barrville Road, Elba, was driving a 2000 Subaru SUV north on Norton Road.

Heschke said he never saw Demare's vehicle until they hit.

Demare's SUV was pushed into a utility pole off the east shoulder of the road. A telephone wire came down, but the pole appeared undamaged, according to the accident report.

Heschke received a citation for alleged failure to yield right of way.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS responded to the scene.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson.

(Initial Report)

Illustration: Diagram from accident report.

March 3, 2014 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 7170 Norton Road. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with mutual aid from Town of Batavia fire. The location is between Edgerton and Ford roads. One subject "is now conscious but not alert."

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: A crew is asked to be ready to set up a landing zone for Mercy Flight, if it is needed.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: Fire police are asked to shut down Norton at Ford Road and at Edgerton Road.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: Mercy Flight was called to the scene and is about to land.

UPDATE: Patient transported to ECMC. Elba cleared the scene shortly after 2 p.m.

March 3, 2014 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron, Bethany, corfu.

Joshua Lee Baltz, 37, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Baltz allegedly was found to be carrying marijuana while entering the City Court facility.

John Robert Gerhardt, 64, of Centerline Road, Varysburg, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Gerhardt was stopped at 6:32 p.m. Friday on River Street, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

Lisa M. Durham, 42, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with misapplication of property and falsifying business records, 1st. Durham allegedly rented merchandise from Rent-A-Center and pawned it at Pawn King.

Steven Michael Meyers, 34, of East Bethany - Le Roy Road, Bethany, is charged with menacing, 2nd. Meyers allegedly displayed a firearm during a dispute with another person.

Jenae M. Macleod, 29, of Genesee Street, Corfu, was arrested on a bench warrant out of City Court. Macleod was located by deputies from the Erie County Sheriff's Office during an investigation of an incident and discovered to have an active warrant. She was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, arraigned, and jailed on $500 bail.

Tracy A. Hilton Sr., 33, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hilton was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 12:07 a.m. Saturday.

Tyler D. Macey, 18, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with strangulation, 2nd, acting in a manor likely to be injurious to a child and assault, 3rd. Macey is accused of being involved in a domestic incident.

Joshua A. Laraby, 23, of Byron, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a traffic violation. Laraby was stopped at 5:56 p.m. Friday by State Police.

Daniel J. Laudico, 20, of Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and speeding. Laudico was stopped at 1:02 a.m. Sunday on North Byron Road, Elba, by State Police.

February 21, 2014 - 6:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, byron, corfu.

A leaking propane tank at 7556 Bank Street Road has prompted the response of Elba fire, which is in command, along with mutual aid from Corfu and Byron. The location is just north of Batavia Elba Town Line Road.

The homeowners have contacted the fuel company and a rep is responding to the scene.

UPDATE 6:32 p.m.: Elba has requested a tanker from Barre to stand by in Elba's fire hall.

UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: The fuel company rep is on scene. Barre is now in Elba's fire hall.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: Byron is leaving the scene, returning to service.

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: The roadway, which had been closed by Fire Police, is being reopened. The assignment is back in service or will be shortly. Barre is released from standby.

February 4, 2014 - 11:58pm
posted by Nick Sabato in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame girls are just one win away from clinching their 11th Genesee Region League title in school history after pounding Elba, 69-37.

The resounding victory also marks the first time that the Lady Irish have swept Elba in league play since the 2010-2011 season.

The Lady Lancers kept things close in the first quarter, but Notre Dame blew the game open in the second, led by Mel Taylor.

Taylor scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter as the Irish increased their  seven-point lead after the first quarter to 23 at half time.

“It’s getting down near crunch time,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “We’re trying to stress that you have to be more aggressive on whatever you do [well]. Mel is a scorer and we want her to try and score as much as possible.”

In the third quarter, junior Emma Francis picked up where Taylor left off, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the frame to put the contest out of reach.

“Emma’s got potential,” Pero said. “She’s starting to believe in herself and it’s a great time to believe. If we have Emma Francis at full-go come sectional time, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Taylor was not as terrific scoring the ball, but she had a splendid game overall, adding 11 rebounds, six steals and four assists.

Shea Norton also played strong underneath, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Laurie Call chipped in with seven steals, six assists and five rebounds for Notre Dame (15-1).

Kelsey Bezon had another solid game in defeat, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds. Haley Brown chipped in with 10 points for Elba (12-4).

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints, click here.

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