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October 17, 2017 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, bergen, Oakfield.

Timothy John Beaudoin, 29, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, and driving left of pavement markings. Beaudoin was stopped at 1:30 a.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello. 

Randy J. Heslor, 24, of Cherry Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and no seatbelt. Heslor was stopped at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Jackson Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Frank Mastrodonato, 33, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Mastrodonato was stopped at 12:02 p.m. Monday on Route 33, Bergen, by State Police.

October 11, 2017 - 9:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Oakfield, news.

A fire is reported inside the Dollar General store in Oakfield. Flames are showing, coming from an electrical box. There is smoke in the building also. The store, at 111 N. Main St., has been evacuated. Oakfield Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Alabama Fire Department.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: Oakfield command on scene says responding units can come in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: Command asks Alabama to go back in service.

October 10, 2017 - 5:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, news.
Submitted photos and press release:
 
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Oakfield Historical Society is offering a repeat of last year's sold-out tour of a Native American fort. This is a narrated wagon ride plus a walk through the woods to see remnants of the fort.
 
Cost of the tour is $5 each pre-sale only, and are first come, first served. Tickets still available for 12, 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. time slots by calling Laurie at 585-259-4145 and also available at Warner's Flowers.
 
Plan to arrive at the museum 15 minutes early to get wristbands. It is located at 7 Maple Ave. in Oakfield. Tours take about an hour. Please wear footwear and clothes appropriate for a woodsy hike. Must be able to walk over uneven terrain. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
 
Rain date is Oct. 21st.
 
The society is also pleased to offer its newest publication, "In Search of The Bone Fort," by Society Member Bill Chase, for $8 per book (photo below).
 

September 29, 2017 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Oakfield, GO ART!, news.

Press release:

GO ART! is pleased to cosponsor this free presentation with the Oakfield Historical Society at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Oakfield Community & Government Center. Michael Eula, Ph.D., Genesee County Historian, will speak on the history of Italians in Genesee County, a subject particularly interesting to the Oakfield community's history with the gypsum mine.

This talk is presented as part of GO ART!'s GO-C Series.

Eula gives the following introduction to his program: 

"On November 2nd, 1905, an Italian immigrant, Gaitano Valente, while working as a miner in Oakfield for the United States Gypsum Company, was killed in an avalanche of rocks that were being excavated. Less than a year later, on September 13th, 1906, it was reported that “200 Italians from New York City” were being brought into Oakfield to work as strikebreakers for that same company. It was assumed that a riot would ensue – and as a result, there was a collection of guns to be used in the expected confrontation.

"These two incidents took place within a national context of mass Italian immigration punctuated by a perception of Italians as the 'other' – a characterization capable of producing the largest mass lynching to ever take place in American history – the infamous murder of eleven Italian immigrants in New Orleans in 1891. This event served as a catalyst for attacks on Italians throughout the nation. The obvious question, then, is how the Italian immigrants of the late nineteenth century – the 'other' as depicted routinely in the newspapers of the day – could become, only a few generations later, a respected and influential member of American society.

Focusing on this question in terms of Genesee County, we will follow the journey of the typical Italian immigrant in the late 1800s as he or she, in subsequent generations, evolved from the outsider on the margins of society into a member of the mainstream of Genesee County – and American – life.

Becoming American: The Journey of Italians in Genesee County, NY
By Michael Eula, Genesee County Historian
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.

Oakfield Community and Government Center
3219 Drake Street, Oakfield
Free admission. Co-sponsored by GO ART!'s GO-C Genesee-Orleans Culture Connects Series

September 26, 2017 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, Oakfield, news, notify.

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When the Oakfield Fire Department signed up eight new members a couple of years ago and then came to the village with a request for $18,500 to buy gear for the volunteers, Mayor Jason Armbrewster started to rethink how fire services are funded in Oakfield.

"Eight new members, that should be great news," Armbrewster said. "But to us as a board, we’re like, 'How are we going to come up with $18,500?' That’s when I was like, 'Why should we be controlling that destiny? Why should new members be a hindrance to our fire department?' ”

The village held a public hearing last night -- more of a fact-finding and public feedback process -- to explore the idea of getting the village out of the fire department business and forming either a fire district or a fire protection district.

One village resident wanted to know if this idea would save residents money.

"It’s not about saving money," Armbrewster said. "It’s about providing a better service."

Trustee David Boyle pointed out the idea could help provide both better fire protection and better services through the village for residents. He said the village has already had to cut other services just to keep the fire department going.

Currently, the fire department is part of the village and the Town of Oakfield contracts with the department for fire protection outside the village, paying for it with its own fire district. The fire district is a separate tax for town residents. The town accounts for more than 50 percent of the fire department's budget.

If the village decided to go ahead with the idea, it would need to decide whether to set up a fire district, which would need to happen jointly with the town, because it would cover both the town and the village, or a fire protection district, which would cover only the village. Then both the town and the village would contract with the Oakfield Fire Department (or conceivably, some other department) for emergency services.

The struggles for the department now include replacing aging fire apparatus, maintaining the fire hall at a cost of $18,000 a year, and recruiting volunteers.

Ambrewster said in his talks with other departments where recruiting isn't as difficult, good equipment and recruiting seem to go hand-in-hand.

Dan Luker, a longtime member of the Oakfield department, said he had one simple question: Why?

He said his mind wasn't made up on the proposal, but he was skeptical of the need.

"I don’t see where changing the structure of raising taxes is going to change people wanting to volunteer," Luker said.

Trustee John Igoe said he is also on the fire department board and he isn't sure the fire department will survive under the current arrangement.

Igoe, who said he will abstain on any vote on the proposal, said insolvency in a couple of years is a real possibility. 

"It comes to the point that maybe we have to look at shutting the doors because we don’t have any more money to keep the light and heat on because what we receive as a department isn't enough," Igoe said.

No decisions were reached at the meeting, but after two years of kicking the idea around, Armbrewster said a decision needs to be made soon.

"I either want to move ahead or say we’re not going to do this," Armbrewster said.

Photo: John Igoe and Jason Armbrewster.

UPDATE Sept. 26 5:15 p.m.: John Igoe's name was corrected in the story; it is not John Igor. The Batavian regrets the error.

September 25, 2017 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news, accident.

An accident with unknown injuries is reported at Alleghany Road and Lockport Road.

A pole may be down. 

Oakfield fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

September 22, 2017 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news, fire services.

Press release:

The Village of Oakfield will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25th, at Village Hall, 39 Main St. in Oakfield.

The purpose of the public hearing is to hear public comments the possible creation of a Fire Protection District or a Fire District that would encompass the Town and Village of Oakfield with the Oakfield Fire Department that would provide a better service to them and allow the Fire Department to become its own taxable entity or contract its services to local municipalities.

The Oakfield Fire Department is currently owned and operated through the Village of Oakfield and its budget with fiscal support from the Town of Oakfield. The Village would like to seek the input of the public, including, but not limited to, the Village and Town of Oakfield residents, to better decide if this process is in the residents' best interest. 

This is the first step toward beginning this lengthy process.

If it is decided to be in the residents' best interest, more public hearings must occur. Joint meetings between the Village of Oakfield, Town of Oakfield and the Oakfield Fire Department must occur in the case of a Fire District as all entities need to be in a formally binding agreement, which will, in turn, be subject to public permissive referendum.

In the case of a Fire Protection District, the Village and Town may have a fire protection contract with the Oakfield Fire Department separately as it will become its own entity.

All parties that are interested in attending will be given the opportunity to speak in front of the Village Board of Trustees if they so chose.

NOTE: This is a corrected version with some language changes sent over by the village. It was copyedited for AP Style and clarity.

September 22, 2017 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfiled-alabama, Oakfield, news, schools, education.

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The students in Tracy Schlagenhauf leadership class at Oakfield-Alabama High School saw the news of destruction in Texas and Florida in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and considered the friends and family they have in those states and decided they wanted to do something to help.

They wanted to do something more than just raise money. They wanted to provide assistance in a way that was more tangible, so they came up with the idea of creating school, cleaning and hygiene kits.

Now they're trying to rally not just their fellow students at the elementary school and high school, they're trying to get the whole community involved.

"We don't usually dive right in the projects but the kids felt very passionate about what has been happening in our country," Schlagenhauf said. "There are a lot of them who have family and friends that have been affected by Harvey and Irma. We wanted to do something to help so the kids formulated a plan and decided to do it."

The goal is to create 150 to 200 kits to send south. They're hoping to have school and community members donate the items directly (items can be dropped off at the school's attendance office) but monetary donations will be accepted to help pay for shipping.

Here are copies of fliers listing items needed: here, here, and here.

Junior Rebecca Cramer said she and her friends were upset by the news they saw coming out of Texas and Florida and really wanted to do something to help. She said people need help getting a new start and money alone isn't enough.

"I think that we're going to have a good turnout and since it's the elementary school and the high school," Cramer said. "I think we're going to have a lot of supplies and we will be able to make a lot of kits between the school kit, the cleaning kit and the hygiene kit, and we will be able to donate a lot."

Senior Juliana Makarevic said she was devastated when she saw the news coming out of Texas and Florida.

"I was very upset," she said. "I have family down there, too, so this helps out in their community. We're all working together to help a bigger cause."

Top photo: Bryson Tobolski, Seth Seppala, Trevor Maier, Lindsey Walton, Rebecca Cramer, Melissa Voltura, Serina Velleta, Juliana Makarevic, Evan Dusky, Nicholas Boumler, Erik Maier and Lexie Tambe.

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September 13, 2017 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Oakfield.

The Town of Oakfield is holding a Scarecrow Contest.

You can make a scarecrow at home at work or at school or at the Oakfield Community & Government Center, located at 3219 Drake Street Road, Oakfield. 

If you opt to make one at the Community & Government Center, the opportunity to do so is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. You can bring your own supplies or purchase them from the "Scarecrow Boo-tique." (We did not make this up.)

Sept. 30 is also the date of the Oakfield Fall Vendor Blender (also 11 to 4) at the Community & Government Center. Invite your family and friends. If weather permits, vendors will be allowed outside, but there's plenty of room for them inside. For more information on both the Scarecrow Contest and the Oakfield Fall Vendor Blender, visit online at www.townofoakfieldny.com

These are the Scarecrow Contest rules:

  • Register your scarecrow by mail prior to Sept. 27, or in person at the Community & Government Center scarecrow-making opportunity on Sept. 30; once registered, you will receive a lamppost assignment where you will display your scarecrow;
  • As early as Sept. 30, hang your scarecrow on your assigned lamppost using zip ties, bungee cords or rope -- NO tape or wires, please (and absolutely "No more wire hangers!");
  • Scarecrows must face oncoming traffic and be easily visible;
  • Scarecrows must be made in good taste and constructed to withstand wind and rain. The committee (presumably, the "Scarecrow Contest Committee") has the complete and unequivocal right to remove any scarecrow that is inappropriate or in disrepair (tacky people take note);
  • The scarecrow must be maintained while on display between Sept. 30 and Nov. 1 (which happens to be All Saints Day);
  • To be eligible for contest awards, scarecrows must be secured to ASSIGNED posts no later than 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 (punctuality actually does matter here);
  • Scarecrows must be taken down by 7 p.m. on All Saints Day (see above). After that time, they will be "removed and recycled" for next year. (We like the notion of recycled scarecrows, so long as they are tastefully recycled, nothing dodgy.)

Prize categories are:

-- Most Original

-- Scariest

-- Funniest

-- Best Traditional Scarecrow

-- Grand Prize for Best Overall

-- Special kids categories

Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Town of Oakfield Halloween Party at the Community & Government Center. (We think it would be especially pleasing and of entertainment value if adults dressed up for this party in a goofy costume or wore some audacious socks or a dumb hat or something.)

Any Genesee County resident who would like to participate can most certainly participate, says Town Clerk Melissa Haacke. (There, the gauntlet is thrown down.) And if a scarecrow contestant wants to register via mail, that person can send a check for $10, payable to Town of Oakfield, along with the following information:

  • Name/Organization
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Mail to:

Town of Oakfield

Atten: Melissa Haacke, Town Clerk

3219 Drake Street Road

Oakfield, NY 14125

You will subsequently be given a lamppost pole number, which is the location where you will put up your scarecrow.

May the best scarecrow win!

September 9, 2017 - 7:52am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Oakfield, sports, xc, Cross Country, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.

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The eighth annual Dash in the Dark at Oakfield-Alabama High School, where high school cross-country runners run their races at night under the lights, took place last night (Sept. 8).

Thirty-five schools, more than 1,000 competitors from Section V and VI, and one from Pennsylvania, attended this year's event.

Cross-country participants call this the “Super Bowl” of races which runners start and finish under the football stadium lights along with construction towers to help guide them on the course.

Teams consist of three runners and will be split up into two divisions depending on school size. Each school can enter three teams in the Gold Race (fastest race) and unlimited teams in the Blue Race.

The course is a fast, flat, grassy, 1,600-meter loop around the school grounds. Each leg will run two loops, starting and ending inside the football stadium.

Medals are awarded to the top 10 fastest individual times, both girls and boys, for both divisions.

Team trophies are given to the top three teams in both divisions in the Gold Race.

Team awards go to the top three teams in the Blue Race, for both divisions and genders.

For final results go to: http://yellowjacketracing.com/results

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September 7, 2017 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, Oakfield, girl scouts.

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York Troop 42141 from Oakfield made a trip to Cabarete located in the Dominican Republic this past July. 

Girl Scouts Ava Flores, Abby Gardner, Emma Osborn, Regan Burgett, Taylor Wells, along with troop co-leaders Kelly Flores, Stephanie Burgett, and Robin Woodams spent the week-long trip making new friends with some local girls who are now starting their own Girl Scout troop!

They did a beach cleanup and also did volunteer work with a boys group called Inspiredr. The girls also had the opportunity to have fun snorkeling and learning authentic cultural dances. 

The girls also held an exciting bridging ceremony where they moved up from Cadettes to Senior Girl Scouts as they zip lined across the jungle canopy! A bridging ceremony acknowledges accomplishments achieved at a certain age level of Girl Scouts and advances them to the next program level.

The girls added that the trip fulfilled their personal mission statement, commenting, “The purpose of our trip is to expand our limits, have cultural experiences, make new friends, and have fun!”

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit gswny.org.

September 6, 2017 - 8:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Oakfield, news.

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Nicole Shultz bought one of her daughters a chocolate lab puppy for her birthday and more than a day ago it got out and ran into a cornfield on Maltby Road in Oakfield.

The family hasn't seen the puppy since and is asking for help in locating it and getting it back home.

Shultz said people have told her they've seen the puppy in the area, but they haven't been able to subsequently locate it.

They've put up signs at different locations in the area and left trails of food to get her back home.

"We miss her dearly," Shultz said.

Shultz can be reached at (585) 813-8864.

UPDATED 8:34 p.m.: The puppy is back home. A farmer cutting hay in a field spotted her and the owners tracked her down and caught her and took her home.

September 4, 2017 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, parade, news.

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Photos from today's parade in Oakfield.

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To purchase prints of parade photos click here.

September 4, 2017 - 10:06am
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, news, Labor Day.

A participant in the Oakfield Betterment Committee's annual Labor Day Parade fell off a horse and sustained a head injury. Oakfield fire responded along with Mercy medics. Mercy Flight was called and it just landed.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, en route to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE: A witness emailed: "The participant on the horse in the Labor Day parade did not sustain a head injury. She was stepping on her horse, slipped and fell on the ground and landed on her back and was taken by Mercy Flight as a precaution."

August 31, 2017 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news.

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Passing through Oakfield yesterday evening, the classic cars were just starting to arrive at the Oak Grill & Cafe for their Wednesday night rally.

All summer, classic car owners have been bringing their cherry machines to the Oak Grill on Wednesdays, and will continue to rally there until the first snow of the season.

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August 30, 2017 - 8:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, news.

A Sheriff's deputy is responding to a complaint of a vehicle "doing donuts" on East Shelby Road, Oakfield. The location is on federal land at the Oak Orchard/Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area.

August 23, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, news.

A 17-year-old resident of Basom has been indicted on two counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree. The youth is accused of using a recording device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record, under the clothing being worn by another person, showing the sexual or other intimate parts of the person.

He's also accused in the second count of surreptitiously using a camera to record or view a person in a location where the person expected privacy without the person's consent. The first count stems from an incident reported Jan. 31 and the second count from an incident reported June 7, both in the Town of Oakfield.

August 23, 2017 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Oakfield, news.

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A truck fire at Z&M Ag and Turf in Oakfield this morning caused quite a bit of smoke. Lori Forsyth, who provided the picture, said it inundated her house on Batavia Elba Townline Road. The fire was reported at about 9:15 a.m. and Oakfield fire responded. The fire was out quickly.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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