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August 7, 2011 - 12:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien.

Volunteer firefighters from five companies gathered in Darien today for some specialized training in dealing with big, heavy vehicles involved in accidents.

"We want these guys to know they can do this," said Jason Graber, who was leading the training session. "We want them to come into a situation like this and know it's not hopeless. They have the right tools and the right training."

Three different accident scenarios were set up -- a tractor-trailer with a sedan wedged under it, a cement mixer stuck on a cement barrier and a passenger car that has slid under the back of a school bus.

The firefighters -- from Indian Falls, Darien, Corfu, East Pembroke and Alabama -- were shown what their options were in each situation, what tools they might use to deal with the situation and then given a chance to use the tools the way they might in a real accident.

In most cases, the first thing responders need to do is get the bigger vehicle stabilized so emergency workers can rescue any victims that are trapped.

"It's a system of making sure that everything we do first makes everything safe for the rest of the process," said Graber, who is a former Darien volunteer and now lives in Virginia where he works for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and volunteers for the Leesburg Fire Department.

August 6, 2011 - 11:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival, Onion Queen.

Marissa Tomczak, of Elba, the daughter of Tim and Lynn Tomczak, is the 2011 Elba Onion Queen.

Tomczak won the crown over a field of eight finalists.

First runner-up was Marissa Pangrazio, of Elba, the daughter of Barbie Pangrazio. Second runner-up was Jamie Pcionek, of Oakfield, the daughter of James and Joyce Pcionek.

The other finalists were: Sydney Gallip, of Elba, the daughter of Stacey and Todd Gallip; Gretel Kauffman (bottom photo), of Elba, the daughter of Bill and Lucine Kauffman; Meg Stucko, of Elba, the daughter of Marty and Amy Stucko; Elizabeth Shuknecht, of Elba, the daughter of Robin and Dale Shuknecht; and Jenna E. Brown, of Byron, the daughter of Kathleen Miller and Gary Brown.

Gretel Kauffman is a correspondent for The Batavian and is currently auditioning four-year universities. She plans to major in journalism.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: The winner of the Mustang raffle is Edith Bezon, of Byron. No word yet on whether she'll take the car or the cash.

August 6, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, Rolling Hills Asylum.

Six people -- three men and three women -- reportedly kicked in a door at Rolling Hills in Bethany, found there were actually people inside and took off.

Police are being dispatched to the area to look for them.

They fled in a silver sedan on Bethany Center Road. The suspects were carrying alcoholic beverages in their hands.

August 6, 2011 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien.

The quick action of residents on Broadway Road in Darien today may have helped keep a serious accident from turning tragic.

After a 23-year-old mother from Cheektowaga lost control of her car on Route 20, having it turn over multiple times before coming to rest on the front lawn of Debbie Pugilese, residents rushed to the aid of the victims.

One witness, who was driving east on Route 20, called 9-1-1 and then called his wife, Emily Toal, a registered nurse.  

Toal reached the scene before EMS personnel arrived.

"I'm an RN so I figured if I could help at all, I should," Toal said. "When I got here, I found a 6-year-old, faint pulses, faint breath sounds, and there was a 12-week-old on the ground and the mother was sitting with the 12-week-old. The mother was in shock. We got towels and tried to keep everybody warm before the shock set in. We tried to keep the 6-year-old's head stable until the EMTs got here."

Deputy Patrick Reeves was impressed by the response of the residents. He described several coming to the scene.

"The residents in the area and the witnesses helped us out tremendously until EMS arrived," Reeves said.

Steve Kidder, who lives next door to Pugilese, and like Pugilese saw the accident, said everybody pitched in to do what they could to help.

"I’m glad to have all these folks as my neighbors," Kidder said.

Both Kidder and Pugilese said they saw the silver Chevy Malibu heading west on Route 20 when the car, for an unknown reason, crossed into the eastbound lane, struck a guardrail and became airborne. The car then hit a ditch and became airborne again and rolled over. It flew over Pugilese's driveway, hit the ground and rolled again, coming to rest on the driver's side.

The 6-year-old girl was ejected.

"When I came down the woman was crawling from the car with an infant," Pugilese said.

State Police said the driver was Jelissa Jones. The names have the children have not been released.

The driver and the infant reportedly suffered cuts and abrasions.  

The condition of the 6-year-old is not currently available. The child was transported to Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo by Mercy Flight.

Responding to the scene along with the Sheriff's Office and State Police were Darien fire volunteers and Mercy EMS.

(Initial Report)

August 6, 2011 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.

A car has reportedly hit a structure, knowns as building #3, at 18 Genesee St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and Ambulance Service dispatched.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: There is apparent structural damage to the building. The code enforcement officer requested to the scene. Responding units can come in non-emergency.


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August 6, 2011 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A fire coordinator in Orleans County reportedly spotted an old fire truck heading south this morning running lights and sirens.

There was no fire.

With the truck heading toward Genesee County, the Sheriff's Office was notified.

An initial check of the area where it was thought to be turned up no results.

Then, about 9:45 a.m., a deputy spotted the truck on Seven Springs Road.

The truck is registered to a private individual in Hilton. It's labeled on the side "Morrisville."

The truck has appeared in a few parades in the area over the years.

Orleans officials are declining to issue citations. 

August 6, 2011 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival.

The Elba Onion Festival is unde rway, with all the fun, games, live music and great food that highlights the event every year.

A big crowd was on hand Friday night for the festivities.

The festival continues today, including the crowning of the Elba Onion Queen at 7 p.m.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer has a heck of a fastball.

Slide show of more pictures from Friday night below (click on the button lower right to view in full-screen mode). To purchase photographic prints from this event, click here.

August 6, 2011 - 12:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, entertainment, dwyer stadium, In Plain View.

Local band In Plain View opened for the Batavia Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium tonight. 

The band played a set of songs starting a little more than 30 minutes before game time in the concourse of the stadium.  

For a video of the event produced by Geoff Redick for WBTA, click here.

August 5, 2011 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire Department is being dispatched to the area of 1168 Taylor Road, Town of Covington, for a one-car MVA with injuries.

State Police are on scene. Mercy EMS also dispatched.

UPDATE 11:29 p.m.: Minor injuries.


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August 5, 2011 - 11:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford.

People are reportedly crossing the roadway in the area of Fotch Road and Byron Road in golf carts with no headlights.

The caller states she "almost hit one."

A deputy is dispatched.

August 5, 2011 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

A dispatcher signed off tonight wishing Officer Kyle Slocum, Le Roy PD,  'Good luck on your retirement." He added, "We will miss you."

Slocum finishes his final shift at 3 a.m.

Best wishes, Officer Slocum. Thank you for your service.

August 5, 2011 - 10:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Batavia PD officers are responding to a reported disturbance on State Street.

Individuals are reportedly fighting in the front yard of a home.

Another caller on Lewis Place reports that his daughter was attacked in the area.

August 5, 2011 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia bulldawgs, football, sports.

The Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football Team is selling raffle tickets for a 2011 Johnny Pag Spyder motorcycle.

The tickets are $40 each and only 150 will be sold.

The drawing is scheduled for Aug. 28 during the seniors' game at John Kennedy School (approximately 2:45 p.m.)

Tickets may be purchased at IR Systems, 309-311 West Main St., or potential winners can call John Riegle at (716) 228-5787 or Ken Proefrock at 794-6034 for tickets.

Pictured above are Riegle, left, and Proefrock with the bike.

August 5, 2011 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC.

O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., is receiving $204,000 in tax abatements through the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GDEDC) for an expansion at its facility at 700 Ellicott St., Batavia.

O-AT-KA intends to build a two-story dairy processing facility for producing dairy-based beverages and "ultra-filtered" milk ingredients. The project summary reads, "The additional dairy batch blend capacity allows more dairy-based products to be manufactured at O-AT-KA for shipment both nationally as well as exports."

Both projects would use milk produced exclusively in New York. O-AT-KA is receiving sales-tax exemption on construction material of $204,000. The estimated 10-year return on investment into the local economy is $21.2 million.

Graham Corp., of 20 Florence Ave., Batavia, is receiving a tax abatement of $125,906, through the GCEDC for the addition of a 10,000-square-foot sandblasting and painting building. Graham is receiving an $89,088 property-tax exemption (PILOT) and a sales-tax exemption on building materials of $36,818. The estimated 10-year economic impact is $89.8 million

Marktec Products, Inc., has been approved by the GCEDC for $57,109 in tax abatements for relocation to the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. Marktec, owned by Bill Cox, will build a 5,002-square-foot building on two acres of land in the park. The company will receive a property-tax exemption (a 60 percent PILOT) of $32,739, a sales-tax exemption on building material of $18,800 and a mortgage-tax exemption of $5,570. The project is expected to retain four jobs and create two new jobs. The estimated return on investment over 10 years for the local economy is $2.45 million.

August 5, 2011 - 11:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, corfu.

Thomas Michael Pillo, 40, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and harassment, 2nd. Pillo is accused of choking and shoving a victim multiple times during a domestic dispute. The incident, at an address on Alexander Road, Batavia, was reported at 9 p.m., Wednesday.

Joseph Michael D'Amato, 19, of Sumner Road, Corfu, is charged with unlawful dealing with fireworks. D'Amato was arrested following a complaint at 12:05 a.m., Thursday, about fireworks in the Town of Pembroke. D'Amato allegedly set off fireworks "causing annoyance and alarm to several homeowners in the area."

Kateyln Christen Kubala, 22, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kubala is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

August 5, 2011 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Street.

City crews were busy on Jackson Street this morning doing some road repair work.

August 5, 2011 - 12:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, pembroke, indian falls.

Like the headline reads, a tree in a cornfield on Phelps Road, Indian Falls.

August 5, 2011 - 12:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, Alabama.

Every once in a while I'll drive down a road I've been down many times and spot something I've never seen before. Today, it as the First Universalist Cemetery on Maple Street Road in Alabama. The cemetery features a large, jagged stone with a wood sign in front of it listing all of the people believed to be buried in the cemetery. All of them appear to have died before the middle part of the 19th Century. Most of the grave markers are moved or broken.

August 5, 2011 - 12:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photo.

Thursday afternoon I stopped at a produce stand on Francis Road to buy some sweet corn (I never get enough sweet corn in the summer) and found these baskets piled up in the corner of the shed.

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