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September 26, 2015 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Genesee ARC, 5K.







September 26, 2015 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy.


Le Roy and Bath entered Friday night's game at Hartwood Park with identical 3-0 records and tied for the lead in Livingston County Division I, but the game soon proved the simularities stopped there.

Amassing 361 total yards on offense, the bigger, faster, stronger Bath team took control of the game early and never let go, winning with a final of 32-6.

The Oatkan Knights are a good football team. Bath looks unstoppable.

Nick Egeling carried the ball for 119 yards on 18 rushes. Josh Laurie was four for 11 passing for 20 yards.  Dom Filio scored Le Roy's only TD and carried the ball 26 yards on five attempts. Reed Kacur had two receptions for 12 yards. On defense, Egeling had six tackles, Luke Hogle, six and Filio, four.

In other Friday Night Football:

  • Batavia defeated Edison Tech, 42-0
  • University Prep over Attica, 40-26
  • Elba/Byron-Bergen over Oakfield-Alabama, 42-18
  • Cal-Mum over York/Pavilion, 12-0

In today's action, Alexander travels to Holley. Game time is 1:30 p.m. It is homecoming for Notre Dame, so the school has rented lights for a rare night game on its home field. The Fighting Irish host the Pembroke Dragons. With Attica's loss, Notre Dame, at 3-0, sits alone atop the GR league.












September 25, 2015 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC.


UMMC's personnel practiced dealing with a mass casualty scenario today with area high school students filling in as patients. The scenario involved a collapse of bleachers at a sporting event. The primary purpose was for staff to practice triage and workflow in dealing with a large influx of patients into the emergency room (a hallway next to the actual emergency room was used to simulate the emergency room).



The command center.


Personnel in a staging area awaiting assignments if more patients come in.

September 25, 2015 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county health department.


More than 100 volunteers and staff practiced a mass emergency medical drill today in the Genesee Community College Forum.

Called "Anthrax in Autumn," the drill was designed by the state Health Department and is designed to test the county Health Department's ability to deal with an urgent health and welfare situation affecting a large population of people.

In this case, the hypothetical scenario involved terrorists getting access to the marketing mail distribution of a large financial institution and mass mailing anthrax to population centers in credit card solicitations. 

"There's a high likelihood that because anthrax has been used for a weapon before, it can be used again," said Kristine Voos, public information officer for the county Health Department.

While local officials knew a drill was coming, they were only provided with details of the scenario a week ago.

In a typical real-life situation, the county would expect to have 48 hours to set up the distribution center.

The federal government has numerous locations around the country where the antibiotics needed to treat anthrax are stored. Once a distribution of anthrax is detected, local officials begin to mobilize their resources and the feds deliver the antibiotics. 

Today, the drill was about anthrax, but many of the skills and routines necessary to set up the distribution center would be used in a variety of health emergency situations.

While many of the volunteer patients today were students, members of the community were invited to participate. Upon arrival, they were registered, screened and then taken to a nurse who dispensed the medication with instructions on how it's administered.

For drill purposes, patients could pick either M&Ms or Skittles as a substitute for the antibiotics.

They were then treated to a lunch of pizza.







September 25, 2015 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Blue Devils Hall of Fame, Batavia HS, batavia, sports.

The Batavia Coaches Association hosts the 14th annual Batavia Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner tomorrow Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility.

Cost is $30 per person. Social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6.

Tickets are available at the Athletic Director's Office at Batavia High School. For more information, call 343-2480, ext. 2003.

Below, reproductions of the plaques to be presented and hung at the school.








September 25, 2015 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, batavia.

Paul Joseph Zicari, 59, of Candy Lane, Rochester, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd; operating a motor vehicle without a license; disposing of refuse on a highway; and driving a vehicle with broken glass. Zicari was stopped at 4:51 p.m. Thursday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Jaylyn Shayquawn Strong, 20, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana; display of forged certificate without inspection; operation of uninspected motor vehicle; operation by unlicensed driver; unsafe turn. Strong was stopped at 8:40 p.m. Monday on East Main Street by Deputy Joseph Corona. Also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana was Labue Dean Jonathan Wimbush, 24, of Cherry Street, Batavia.

September 25, 2015 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

September 24, 2015 - 10:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford.


Reader submitted photo.

A car has reportedly struck a tree along Sweetland Road, between Transit and Roanoke roads. 

Unknown injuries. 

The vehicle may be smoking. 

Stafford fire and Mercy EMS responding. 

September 24, 2015 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in greens of le roy, Le Roy, business.


Kim Pasquale, director of the Greens of Le Roy, speaks to the residents Thursday evening during a celebration of the facility's 15th anniversary.

Residents were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs from Tom Wahl's, plus cupcakes.




September 24, 2015 - 7:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia.

City fire is on scene of a smoke-in-the-residence call at 634 E. Main St., Batavia.

A Mercy ambulance is requested to the scene to evaluate a person with possible smoke inhalation.

UPDATE 7:26 p.m.: A second ambulance is on scene. Engine 15 is going back in service.

September 24, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.


The remains of Barry Miller, who died in the line of duty while responding as a medic in a Bergen Fire Department Ambulance yesterday, was transported from the Medical Examiner in Rochester this afternoon to H.E. Turner Funeral Home in Batavia.

Funeral arrangements have been announced:

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. both Sunday (Sept. 27, 2015) and Monday (Sept. 28, 2015) at the Bergen United Methodist Church, 27 South Lake Avenue in Bergen NY. Services with full Fire Department Honors will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pearce Memorial Church, 4322 Buffalo Road, North Chili, New York 14514.




September 24, 2015 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

We're told the body of Barry Miller will be escorted back to Batavia within the hour, returning from the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

We don't have a specific time or route at this point, but we would expect the procession will take the 490 to Route 19, to Route 33 to East Main Street, ending at H.E. Turner Funeral Home.

If we get more solid information, we'll update this post accordingly.

Miller, a volunteer EMT with the Bergen Fire Department and a county coroner, was killed in an accident yesterday morning in the Town of Riga responding to a medical emergency. 

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The information above is correct. The procession, led by Bergen FD apparatus, is in route at about 30 mph and expected to reach the Bergen exit at approximately 2:30 p.m.

September 24, 2015 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD.

A retired Batavia police officer is in critical but stable condition in a hospital in Homer after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Dennis Rider, 62, was reportedly trying to pass a dump truck that was making a left-hand turn on Route 90 when it wrecked.

The accident occurred Monday afternoon.


September 24, 2015 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Alabama, pembroke, Le Roy.
    Jenea Macleod

Jenea M. Macleod, 31, of Akron, is charged with petit larceny, harassment, 2nd, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia and controlled substance not in original container. Macleod was arrested by State Police after a shoplifting complaint at the Shoe Dept. Store in Batavia. Macleod is accused of stealing a $90 pair of boots. When Macleod attempted to leave the store, she allegedly struck an employee. Once stopped, a trooper allegedly observed in plain view on the floorboard some unused needles. Upon further investigation, she was allegedly found in possession of four 10 mg. oxycodone pills, a plastic baggie containing .4 grams of heroin, bath salts, a green scale and 20 small pink plastic baggies. She was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Alexander D. Koloko, 19, of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, is charged with petit larceny. Koloko allegedly stole a pack of $0.97 cigars from a local store.

Kasey Jame Wagner, 33, of Fletcher Chapel Road, Shelby, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal impersonation, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and speeding. Wagner was stopped at 1:11 a.m. Wednesday on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Ronald Joseph Riley, 37, of South Avenue, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Riley was stopped at 4:61 p.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Joel Lawrence Curts, 31, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with abandonment of animal and aggravated unlicensed operation. Curts is accused of abandoning a cat by the side of the road in the Linwood Road area of Le Roy. A witness called in a complaint, leading to the arrest of Curts. The case was investigated by deputies Chad Cummings and Michael Lute.

A 17-year-old resident of South Street, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of striking another person following a verbal argument.

Eric Lee Jamalkowski, 31, of Maple Center Road, Hilton, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and bail jumping, 2nd. Jamalkowski was being held in the Monroe County Jail on unrelated charges and was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on a warrant. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Morgan Lee Cox, 47, of Scribner Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd. Cox allegedly grabbed a woman around her neck and obstructed her breathing. He also allegedly punched and kicked her.

September 23, 2015 - 11:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.


Reader Brian Wilson submitted this photo and noted today is the first day of Fall.

September 23, 2015 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.


In a service led by Pastor Michael Merry, hundreds of Bergen community members and members of the county's emergency responder community gathered at the Bergen Fire Hall tonight to honor the memory of Barry Miller.

Miller, a volunteer in Bergen's ambulance service and a county coroner, died this morning when an ambulance he was in, heading to an emergency response in Riga, was involved in an accident.





UPDATE: Video story from 13WHAM.

September 23, 2015 - 7:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

(FIle Photo: Barry Miller as a county coroner during a DWI drill at Pavilion High School.)

One thing -- among many -- that people will remember about Barry Miller is that he was passionate about the ambulance service in the Bergen Fire Department.

He was a constant recruiter of potential medics, which is not an easy task because the training for a volunteer position is daunting -- more than 200 hours before you can test for certification.

He started one of the few successful Explorer programs for EMTs. A few years ago, when the Bergen Ambulance Service was in danger of fading away, Miller took the lead in bolstering its ranks and helping at least a half dozen people get through the classes and into service.

"If there's one positive take away from this, it's that Barry died doing what he loved," said Town Supervisor Don Cunningham, who knew Miller his entire life and became close friends with him after they both started serving on the town board. "Barry loved helping people and that is what he was doing today."

Miller grew up in Bergen, on Buffalo Street, and his father helped institute the ambulance service in the 1970s.

At age 18, Miller became a volunteer firefighter and has been a member of the department ever since -- 31 years; the past 10, as assistant EMS chief.

"Barry had a passion just for the medical field," Cunningham said. "I always wondered why he didn't end up a doctor. He always gravitated toward the medical field."

His line-of-duty death has been shocking for the entire fire service community and it's been a tough day for the department, said Chuck Dodson, a former chief.

"It's really tough to put in words," Dodson said. "A bunch of members from our organization participated in the West Webster events and we had a firsthand chance to see what that organiazation went through and the grief that they had from the outside, but it still doesn't prepare you for what we're feeling today.

"It's kind of like that unreal feeling that this can't actually happen here. This is something we read about on the Internet. We read the news. You never anticipate it's going to occur here, even though it is a part of our job."

Arrangements for funeral services are not yet completed, but it will be a very large event with firefighters and other emergency personnel traveling to Bergen from all over the nation, and perhaps the world, to honor one of their own who gave his life serving his community.

Miller's death is a huge loss for the department, Chief Kevin Finucane said.

"You can't replace a Barry Miller," he said. "He was dedicated. He was very committed. You just don't replace those type of people. He was a lifer. You don't get people off the street nowadays who last that long in the volunteer fire service."

Miller was deeply involved in the community. Cunningham said anybody who lived in Bergen for any length of time knew Miller because there wasn't a community event he didn't help start, organize, volunteer for, or at least show up at.

An entreprenuer, Miller started making custom-designed business presentation furniture in his basement and eventually moved it into a larger facility on Lake Avenue in the village.

"I don't know how he had time in the day for all he did," Finucane said.

Miller will be missed by the entire community, Cunningham said, but not just as the guy who did a bit of everything and was so dedicated to his hometown, but on a deeper personal level.

"We're going to miss Barry," Cunningham said. "Beyond the fire department, beyond the community, we're all going to miss Barry."

He said he will be missed because of his "zeal for life."

"He was an idea guy," Cunningham said. "When we went out on a motorcycle ride he was always looking for a new destination, or (on town board) coming up with an idea for a new sign at our library. He thought big. He always thought big and had a great zeal for it and he was always going to give you 110 percent."





September 23, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.


Deputies Michael Lute and Chad Cummings.

The two deputies who put themselves in harm's way to crawl down 300 feet of dark, damp, mud-filled corrugated metal to pull Wayne Rinker to safety on Friday hope the shoplifting suspect sees the video of his rescue, sees himself dropping like a gelatinous blob to the asphalt of the Batavia Towne Center parking lot, shivering in a fetal position, covered from head-to-toe in slime, and that in seeing himself so close to death, that it makes a difference in his life.

"I hope he decides to make a change," said Deputy Michael Lute.

Lute and Deputy Chad Cummings volunteered to rescue Rinker after it seemed pretty certain he was still in the storm drain, nearly five hours after he ran from a loss prevention officer at Kmart where he allegedly helped an accomplice steal Legos. The two men have been charged with petit larceny and conspiracy and additional charges are still pending.

Rinker's companion, 21-year-old Michael Delvalle, had already told Lute during a post-arrest interview that Rinker probably shot up heroin earlier, so when it came time to go into the hole, Lute knew he was volunteering for duty to find a guy who might have needles on him, might be uncooperative in a confined space, or could be in mortal danger.

He also knew he would be going down in the hole with the backing of a group of professionals in his department, State Police and Town of Batavia fire, as well as a man in Chad Cummings whom he considers one of the finest officers in the department.

"I knew I had the best backup in the world right behind me," Lute said.

For Cummings, crawling toward the unknown in darkened tunnels, that's just one of the things he does.

Tracking down a suspected criminal in a storm drain is comparable to looking for enemy combatants or their weapons hidden in the undergound passageways of Iraq, which is what he did during the war.

"I used some of that experience I had, and knowing we had the resources from here and from the other departments, from the camera and the robot, that I felt safe going down," Cummings said.

Confined spaces can easily fill with dangerous and noxious gases as well as provide an unexpected drop in oxygen supply, but the fire department strapped monitors to Cummings to keep tabs on the breathable air.

The two men moved slowly through the ooze, Cummings said. It would have been a lot harder on their hands and knees getting through the rippled pipe if not the bit of cushion two or three inches of mud provided.

At first, they weren't even sure the lump in the middle of the tunnel was Rinker. It even crossed the mind of Cummings that it could be some homeless guy who crawled into the drain at another time, and Lute thought of a racoon's nest.

Or Rinker could be playing possum.

"Once Deputy Lute started to see an object in the tunnel, we kind of stopped, assessed and we were giving information back to the outside, letting them know that we did see the suspect," Cumming said. "Then Deputy Lute and I approached cautiously, and once we were there, Deputy Lute was trying to communicate with him. The suspect wasn't communicating back. At that point, we knew we had to pull him out."

There was a moment where Lute and Cummings didn't think Rinker was even breathing, but then Lute caught the slight movement of Rinker's chest heaving under the light of his helmet and they knew he was still alive, though obviously in bad shape.

"Once we realized he was hypothermic and on the verge of dying, we knew we had to get a harness around this guy and drag him out, so we just went to work and got it done," Lute said.

Both Lute and Cummings are fairly new to the Sheriff's Office. Cummings, originally from Massachusetts and married to a Batavia girl, joined a year ago after 13 years in the Army and six as a corrections officer at the Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. Lute pinned on his star-shaped shield for the first time in January. He's originally from Niagara County and spent more than two years working part time for both the Akron and Corfu police departments.

Though they're new guys, they volunteered to crawl into the storm drain. This wasn't a case of dirty, undesirable duty just rolling down hill.

For the first several hours of the operation, authorities couldn't even be sure Rinker was in the storm-drain system. It was only after surveillance video from Kohl's was finally made available and a camera-equipped robot had been in the tunnels that Sheriff's personnel felt certain Rinker was still in that dank space.

"We knew he was down there and we were going to have to go in and find him because if he was unconscious, hurt, we weren't sure what the drugs, what kind of effect it had on him after a big adrenaline rush to now laying down in the cold, wet mud, so we couldn't just leave the scene without clearing and verifying that he is no longer down there," Cummings said.

At some point, the operation ceased to be purely a law enforcement mission for the deputies. There was a human being down there who probably needed their help.

"Once we rescued him out of the tunnel," Cummings said, "then we can pursue and follow up with the charges, but at that point it just became more of a rescue operation vs. we were just looking for a suspect. We knew there was a person down there who needed help. Obviously, he wasn't responding to us to help himself to come out. He was determined to stay down there, and at some point, I believe he didn't have the option of moving to get himself out."

That tunnel was a miserable place to be, Lute said.

"Dark and dingy and cold and wet," Lute said. "Not a nice place to be for anyone, I don't care who you are."

When Lute later walked into Rinker's room at UMMC, the trooper guarding him told Rinker, "this is the guy."

"He looked at me," Lute said, "and he said, 'Thanks, man. Thanks for saving my life.' "


September 22, 2015 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, Jackson Street, batavia.


I took Rocky out for a nightime walk and came across Alex Asselin and Brian Wowk having a catch on Jackson Street.

"Can you even see the ball?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah," Brian said.

Alex asked if I had ever seen them out before. Only during the day, I replied.

"We're out here nearly every night," he said.

The two young men are freshmen at GCC and part of the baseball program. Asselin is a third baseman and catcher from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, and Wowk is a shortstop and second baseman from Toronto.

The night catches have "definitely helped my eye-hand coordination," Asselin said.


Alex Asselin


Brian Wowk


September 22, 2015 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, batavia.


Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Batavia's Farmer's Market at Batavia Downs today and purchased some fresh produce following a short chat with Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau.

Earlier, Hochul visited the Holland Land Office Museum to help draw attention to this weekend's celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Holland Land Office. There is a rededication ceremony planned for 11 a.m., Saturday.





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