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March 6, 2014 - 3:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Oakfield, Alabama, east pembroke.

A garage fire was quickly knocked down within the last half hour at 2999 Batavia Oakfield Town Line Road. Oakfield fire responded, along with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and East Pembroke, and Alabama had a crew stand by in Oakfield's quarters. A portion of the roadway for eastbound traffic was also closed.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: All responders are back in service.

February 27, 2014 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, weather.

At about 10 a.m., the snow was coming down pretty heavy in the Village of Oakfield.

February 21, 2014 - 3:48am

The following local residents made the dean's list for Fall 2013 semester at Rochester Institute of Technology:

Michael Anauo, Elba, is a fourth-year student in the molecular bioscience and biotechnology program in RIT's College of Science.
Joshua Barnard, of Bergen, is a fourth-year student in the industrial design program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Hannah Belliveau, of Oakfield, is a third-year student in the biology program in RIT's College of Science.
Benjamin Bliss, of Pavilion, is a second-year student in the illustration program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Dustin Bordonaro, of Batavia, is a fifth-year student in the mechanical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Kari Branton, of Le Roy, is a fourth-year student in the hospitality and service management program in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.
Maura Chmielowiec, of Batavia, is a fifth-year student in the mechanical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Jennifer Crossen, of Basom, is a second-year student in the chemical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Erin Crossen, of Basom, is a fourth-year student in the computational mathematics program in RIT's College of Science.
Sophia Del Plato, of Batavia, is a fourth-year student in the graphic design program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Anna Dorman, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the industrial engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Benjamin Ezard, of Byron, is a second-year student in the chemical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Nicholas Flumerfeldt, of Corfu, is a fifth-year student in the mechanical engineering technology program in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.
Rachel Henrici, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the chemical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Erica Hickey, of Byron, is a first-year student in the journalism program in RIT's College of Liberal Arts.
Ryan Hochreiter, of Le Roy, is a third-year student in the mechanical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Joshua Horning, of Le Roy, is a fourth-year student in the computer science program in RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Rachel Kobel, of Bergen, is a first-year student in the environmental sustainability, health and safety program in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.
Peter Madau, of Le Roy, is a second-year student in the chemical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Samantha Mitchell, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the electrical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Evyn Morgan, of Pavilion, is a fourth-year student in the professional photographic illustration program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Robert Osborn, of Darien Center, is a fourth-year student in the mechanical engineering program in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Karl Pajak, of Corfu, is a fourth-year student in the film and animation program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Clayton Pitcher, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the information technology program in RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Alycia Sabatino, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the diagnostic medical sonography program in RIT's College of Health Sciences and Technology.
Brittani Scharlau, of Alexander, is a fourth-year student in the diagnostic medical sonography program in RIT's College of Health Sciences and Technology.
Michael Slack, of Bergen, is a fourth-year student in the film and animation program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Christopher Snyder, of Darien Center, is a third-year student in the bioinformatics program in RIT's College of Science.
Joanna Stacy, of Bergen, is a third-year student in the graphic design program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Kristen Stacy, of Le Roy, is a fourth-year student in the professional photographic illustration program in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Eric Stella, of Le Roy, is a fourth-year student in the packaging science program in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.
Travis Swede, of Pavilion, is a fourth-year student in the packaging science program in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.
Traci Turner, of Bergen, is a second-year student in the journalism program in RIT's College of Liberal Arts.
Ryan Warner, of Batavia, is a first-year student in the physics program in RIT's College of Science.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for dean's list if their quarterly GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete", "D" or "F"; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. In addition, the university offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 18,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.
 

February 18, 2014 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, recreation, snowmobiles, Sno-Packers.

Out on a trail in Oakfield, a first-time snowmobiler with a camera decided to stop, letting his guide continue ahead for a bit, and looked back at the path just taken and see if the area might be photogenic.

It wasn't.

When the rookie turned back to put his hands on the handlebars, his palm accidentally hit the engine's kill switch.

He had no idea how to restart this machine.

No worries really. The rider knew his guide, Jim Elmore, would turn around before long and see the rookie was no longer trailing. Elmore is past-president of Genesee County Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club and the current president of NYSSA (New York State Snowmobilers Association).

Perhaps the guide had a bit of fear that the rookie had done something horrid with Jane Chaddock's sled, like zoom it off the trail into a ditch, and he would return.

About this time, a young rider on a neon green and black snowmobile happened along the trail and offered assistance.

And that's sort of how it goes in the snowmobile community in Genesee County -- a cooperative spirit, riders helping riders.

It takes a dedicated group of volunteers to maintain the 175 miles of snowmobile trails in the county, and Sno-Packers (along with Sleds of Stafford) are the organizations that ensure the work gets done.

If not, as volunteer groomer Greg Rich said, "It would be pretty rough out here. There would probably be no snowmobilers."

The Sno-Packers own three machines for grooming the trails. Each costs more than $200,000, and the grooming drags cost another $12,000 each, plus the club spends from $25,000 to $30,000 a year on operations and maintenance.

Ten to 12 volunteers operate the groomers. A couple, such as Rich, spend more than 10 hours a day out on trails, keeping the snow smooth and packed so riding is not only possible, but safer.

The club also maintains trail signs that provide directions and GPS coordinates to riders so they don't get lost and have some idea of where they are in an emergency.

Snowmobile clubs also provide a safety and riding classes, not to mention social events.

It's a monumental effort and involves an interesting bit of cooperation between private non-profit groups and state agencies.

In fact, Elmore noted that while citizens often complain about state government, snowmobile groups, and certainly Sno-Packers often find government agencies to be cooperative allies.

As an example, Emore pointed to a trail that connects Alexander and Bethany. It's an old railroad bed owned by the Department of Environmental Conservation. After years of wondering why it wasn't a snowmobile trail, the Sno-Packers reached out to the DEC and inquired about turning it into a trail. The DEC's response? "We thought you'd never ask."

Much of the funding for trail maintenance comes from license fees for snowmobiles collected by the state (unlicensed snowmobiles, and there are some, then, are the bane of good trail maintenance). 

The state pays Genesee Sno-Packers to maintain 150 miles of trail. The club pays for the extra 25 miles out of its own dues.

A ride on one of these trails reveals a side of Genesee County that you're never going to see from a state highway or county road. The vistas and views are completely different and reveal even greater variety of our area's beauty.

In fact, if your concept of snowmobiles is that of a bunch of speed demons racing around the countryside, that's hardly the truth at all. Snowmobilers are photography buffs (Chaddock, for example, always packs a camera and is known among club members for her eye-catching photography), birders and nature lovers.

On the trail, you come across a variety of wildlife and that's part of the fun of the ride.

February 12, 2014 - 7:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Le Roy, methamphetamine.

Acting on a tip from law enforcement in Florida that a package of methamphetamine was being shipped to an address in Oakfield, members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested a Le Roy man allegedly found in possession of the package.

Mark J. Puma, 42, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of controlled substances by ultimate user's original container.

The tip came from the Winterhaven Police Department. The package was reportedly delivered to an address on Farnsworth Avenue.

After confirming the package delivery, members of the task force reportedly observed Puma leaving the residence.

A traffic stop for an alleged traffic violation was initiated on Maltby Road, Oakfield, by a uniformed deputy and a state trooper.

During an interview with Puma, it was determined that Puma was allegedly in possession of Adderall.

A K-9 search of Puma's 2000 Toyota 4-Runner led to a positive alert by the dog on suspected narcotics in the vehicle.

The suspect package, with a return address in Lakeland, Fla., was located in the vehicle and a quanity of meth was allegedly found in the package.

Puma was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Assisting in the investigation were the District Attorney's Office, uniformed deputies, state troopers, Medina PD and Medina PD's K-9, "Kye."

February 10, 2014 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, alexander, Le Roy, corfu.

Nina M.E. Kelso, 29, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with torturing or injuring an animal/failure to provide sustenance and owning/haboring an unlicensed dog. Batavia PD responded to Kelso's residence at 6:08 p.m., Feb. 4, to investigate a report of a maltreated/malnourished dog. Officers allegedly found a pit bull identified as Kelso's dog that was malnourished and weak. The dog was reportedly unable to stand or move on its own. The dog was also unlicensed. The dog was taken to Batavia State Street Animal Hospital and continues to receive treatment and care.

Johnnie Waston

Johnnie M. Waston, 30, unknown address, Rochester, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 2nd. Waston allegedly entered the apartment on State Street of somebody he did not know at 1:54 p.m., Sunday, and remained in the residence unlawfully. Waston allegedly provided a fake name to police and was later recognized and identified by jail personnel. Waston was found to have an active bench warrant for his arrest out of the city court in Rochester.

Scott R. Merrill, 45, of Darien Center, is charged with DWI. A state trooper reportedly observed a vehicle stop at the Colby Road railroad crossing, which at the time had flashing lights and the gate arms down, indicating an approaching train. The vehicle allegedly proceeded around the gates and narrowly avoided being hit by an Amtrak train. The vehicle was stopped and Merrill was taken into custody following further investigation.

Rodney Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with inhalation of toxic vapors. McKenzie was reported found at 11:51 a.m., Feb. 5, sitting in his vehicle allegedly huffing keyboard cleaner. He was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart.

Danny Jay Torok Jr., 26, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with assault, 2nd. Torok allegedly started a fight with another inmate while incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail.

Mark Andrew Kempie Jr., 45, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kempie allegedly stole merchandise valued at $13.67 from Kmart.

Gary Edwin Gerevics, 55, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Gerevics was allegedly found in possession of firearms in violation of a court order of protection. He was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Jason A. Klinkbeil, 25, of 50 South St., Le Roy, was arrested on a bench warrant. Klinkbeil turned himself in on a warrant for alleged failure to comply with drug court. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Nathan Paul Crawford,18, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with public lewdness. Crawford allegedly exposed his genitals to another person while on East Main Street, Batavia, at 5:46 p.m., Feb. 5.

Suzanne M. Corona, 44, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Corona is accused of stealing from a location Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, at 8:38 p.m., Saturday. She was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Jacob J. Lentz, 24, of Aurora, Iowa, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Lentz was stopped at 10:50 p.m., Saturday, on Albion Road in Oakfield by State Police.

Deborah L. Smith, 55, of Spencerport, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on highway. Smith was stopped by State Police at 11:25 p.m., Friday, on Route 63, Town of Batavia.

February 4, 2014 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Logan R. Evans, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana and moved from lane unsafely. Evans was arrested following an investigation by officers Stephen Cronmiller and Matthew Lutey into an accident at 1:06 a.m. Saturday in the area of 23 Jackson St., Batavia.

Jacob S. Martino, 29, of Drake Street, Oakfield, was arrested on a warrant for alleged parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Martino turned himself in on the warrant. He posted bail and was released.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 28, of Williams Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Bowles was arrested by Batavia PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Bowles was jailed on $100,000 bail.

January 29, 2014 - 7:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, Oakfield, Pavilion, weather, Alabama.

Oakfield-Alabama schools are closed this morning, due to weather.

Pavilion school is closed, due to plumbing issues.

Pavilion students scheduled to take a regents exam at Pavilion High School are to report to the elementary building at their scheduled test time.

The National Weather Service has a wind chill advisory in effect until 10 a.m. with wind chills expected to be 15 to 25 degrees below zero.

January 24, 2014 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, accidents.

A car accident with injuries is reported in the area of 6673 Albion Road in Oakfield. A patient is said to be feeling dizzy and light-headed. Mercy medics are responding.

January 24, 2014 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Oakfield.

A one-car rollover accident is reported at 3319 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road. There are injuries. The vehicle is down a small embankment and on its roof and the victims are outside now. Oakfield Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is halfway between Route 63 and South Pearl Road.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: The Oakfield assignment is back in service. The patients were sign-offs.

January 20, 2014 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, byron, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu, bergen.

James Mitchell, 35, of Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Mitchell was arrested following a months-long investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office into reports of stolen co-payments at a doctor's office where Mitchell worked in Avon. The investigation took time, according to LCSO, because of lengthy billing cycles and victims coming forward. Mitchell was allegedly stealing co-pays as patients checked out at their physician's office. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Dan Rittenhouse, Deputy Ross Gerace, Deputy Steph Schroeder and Deputy Mike Yencer.

Kelly M. Zwolinski, 34, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and resisting arrest. Zwolinski was identified as a suspect in possession of a stolen horse saddle that was taken from a farm in Niagara County and an arrest warrant was issued. When Deputy Kevin McCarthy and Investigator William Ferrando attempted to place Zwolinski under arrest, she allegedly resisted arrest.

Darlene Ann Kingdollar, 51, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Kingdollar is accused of entering the 7-Eleven store in Oakfield while intoxicated and after she was denied the purchase of alcohol, she allegedly left the store with a can of beer without paying for it.

Bruce J. Brade, 33, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with stalking, 4th, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Brade allegedly violated an order of protection.

Mark J. Price, 37, Township Road, Ashland, Ohio, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear for an alleged traffic violation in Batavia City Court. Price was aprehended during a traffic stop in the Village of Attica. Price was issued an appearance ticket.

Jeffrey A. Pionessa, 32, of Glenwood Drive, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding in zone. Pionessa was stopped at 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Law Street, Batavia, by Officer Arick Perkins. Pionessa allegedly had a BAC of .11.

A 17-year-old resident of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of damaging the mobile phone charger of another person by throwing it against a wall and grabbing the arm of the alleged victim and pushing the person's face.

John K. Rolls, 34, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of forcible touching. Rolls is accused of forcibly touching a 17-year-old girl on Jan. 7. Rolls is incarcerated in the Genesee county Jail on an unrelated matter and was issued an appearance ticket.

Brad Strzelecki, 19, of Hunter Street, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Strzelecki was reported at a location on Bank Street at 10:01 a.m. Jan. 13 when he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana by Officer Eric Foels.

Rodeny Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. McKenzie was located by Transit Police in Buffalo during a check-the-welfare interview and identified as a warrant suspect for allegedly stealing items from Kmart on Dec. 12.

Bryant William Hardtner, 28, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Hardtner is accused of taking a vehicle Sunday without the owner's consent.

Kimberly Diane Ribbeck, 27, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving a vehicle with obstructed vision and no or inadequate plate light. Ribbeck was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael Gerald Pernicano, 21, of Lake Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal and no plate light. Pernicano was stopped at 2:29 a.m. Saturday on North Byron Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Lena Marie Evans, 26, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Evans was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Carey Anthony Bedell III, 18, of Lehigh Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bedell was arrested on Clinton Street Road, Byron, at 9:43 p.m. Friday.

Matthew R. Smith, 21, of Basom, is charged with forcible touching. Smith was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at noon Thursday.

Mark A. Allison, 52, of Lockport, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Allison was arrested by State Police following the report at 9:29 p.m. Thursday of a two-car accident at 372 Bloomingdale Road, Basom. One person was injured. The driver of the other vehicle was Alexander Shirira, 56, of Buffalo. No other details released.

January 17, 2014 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.
Dalton Long

Investigators believe they have found the man responsible a series of thefts from vehicles in the Village of Oakfield over the past 12 months with the arrest of Dalton A. Long, 18, from Caledonia.

Long was allegedly found in possession of numerous items reported stolen to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The items recovered date back to the first reported theft in the series in January 2013.

Long is charged with grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, one count of identity theft, 2nd, one count of petit larceny and six counts of criminal possession of stolen property.

Following arraignment in Oakfield Town Court, Long was jailed on $15,000 bail.

The investigation was conducted by Deputy Brian Thompson with assistance from Deputy Bradley Mazure and Youth Officer Timothy Wescott.

The investigation is continuing  and additional charges are pending.

January 16, 2014 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

An accused thief left tracks in the snow in Oakfield today that helped local law enforcement connect him to a series of car break-ins on Coe Avenue, Main Street and Maple Avenue.

Deputy Chris Parker received the original complaint of items missing from a car in Oakfield and was able, with the assistance of Trooper Frank Valetta and Investigator Roger Stone, to follow the footprints to other vehicles that were discovered to also have items missing.

When investigators caught up with the suspect he allegedly had with him several GPS units, a radar detector and numerous power cords.

Some of the items belonged to victims who didn't even know yet that their belongings had been stolen.

Investigators believe all items that were stolen were recovered.

Charged with petit larceny was Jordan Ray Smart, 21, of Gibson Street, Oakfield.

Smart may face additional charges, including numerous charges of petit larceny.

Smart was issued an appearance ticket and released.

The ground this morning was covered with a thin, but fresh layer of snow, which aided Parker, Valetta and Stone in their investigation.

January 15, 2014 - 8:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, Oakfield, Ray Cianfrini.

The Ray Cinanfrini era of the Genesee County Legislature has officially begun and the lifelong Oakfield resident certainly has some plans to try and make an impact.

In the top drawer of the desk in his county office Cianfrini keeps a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece paper filled from top to bottom with ideas he would like to pursue.

Whether any of them are ever brought forward, pan out or receive the support of the other eight members of the county's legislative body, only time will tell.

"I think this job is going to be a challenge," Cianfrini said. "We have a group of legislators who are dedicated. We have some new members who are young and energetic. I'm excited, but I'm also a little scared. Whatever happens, I'm going to give it everything I've got to ensure the county is in as good of shape, if not better, than when I took over."

Cianfrini, who served seven years as the mayor in Oakfield before being elected to the Legislature in 2007, replaces Mary Pat Hancock, who held the chair for 13 years.

Hancock's former office has been cleared of its mementos, photos and paintings. The walls are now bare. Since taking over the job, Cianfrini said, he simply hasn't had time to deal with decorations.

"I used to say I was a full-time attorney and a part-time legislator," Cianfrini said. "I think the roles have been reversed right now."

The job will be daunting, no doubt, in a time when state government is more and more burdensome, infrastructure is aging and the county struggles to find ways to grow its economic base, there's nothing easy about leading a whole county.

Cianfrini is an unabashed booster of Genesee County, but he's also more than aware of the problems we face.

"I don't like the idea that we might lose industry," Cianfrini said. "I hope we're able to maintain the high level of active, large employers we have. Agriculture, of course is a big industry for us and we have the two new yogurt plants, so I'm hoping our dairies will be around for a long time. If anything scares me, I would hope crime does not seep into Genesee County. I know we have crime, but I hope we don't get the overflow of crime that seems more prevelent in the larger cities around us. And I worry about whether our children will have a place to find jobs locally."

That focus on jobs and industry is one reason Cianfrini appointed himself as the Legislature's representative on the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board.

While Cianfrini has gained a reputation as something of a GCEDC critic at a time when many local residents worried about seeming excesses in the agency, Cianfrini said his position about the IDA is often misunderstood.

"My criticism in the past has been focused on their operations, their internal operations, in particular their compensation for employees," Cianfrini said. "I've never criticized the GCEDC in their performance. I think they do a bang-up job. I think they're intelligent and hard-working people. I'm not in there with an agenda. I'm not there to impose on them any of my particular feelings. I'm there to learn more about the GCEDC. I'm there to help, if I can."

Top on Cianfrini's agenda is assisting the development of the STAMP (Science, Technology & Advanced Manufacturing Park) project in Alabama, which is part of his district.

"I'm a huge supporter of STAMP," Cianfrini said. "It's a transformational project that's going to be a tremendous economic boost for Genesee County."

It's in the county's best interest, Cianfrini believes, for GCEDC to succeed in attracting new business and growing local industries and he's supportive of those goals.

"I know this may sound crazy, but I'm going to be there rooting for them to achieve their goals and create new opportunities for economic development."

At the same time, he said, he's mindful of his responsibility to provide both oversight and communication about GCEDC activities for the rest of the Legislature.

"I am there as the only representative of the county Legislature, so I will scrutinize what goes on. If there's issues that I think need to be addressed, I'll bring those back to the Legislature," Cianfrini said. "I did not put myself on the board soley for the purpose of changing the way in which they do business. I'm there to learn. I'm there to offer any assistance I can, but if there's something I don't think is right, I'll be, as most people know, the first person to bring that to the attention of the Legislature."

The 68-year-old Cianfrini graduated from Oakfield-Alabama High School in 1963. His undergrad degree is from the University at Albany and he was drafted into the Army after his first year in law school. Following a two-year hitch, Cianfrini completed his law degree in 1972 and moved back to Oakfield.

He has practiced law in Oakfield for 42 years.

He's married. His wife, Karen, is a nurse at UMMC. They have three children.

Their oldest son, Michael, 39, is also an attorney. He and his wife, Melissa, worked for big law firms in Pittsburgh, but decided they wanted to move to Oakfield to practice law and joined Cianfrini's law firm more than 10 years ago. Late in 2013, Michael Cianfrini was appointed deputy county clerk. Melissa Cianfrini is in her third year as an assistant district attorney.

Daughter Christy Connor is an epidemiologist in San Diego. She and her husband have three children.

The Cianfrini's youngest son, Steve, 33, served eight years in the Army as a combat helicopter pilot, with an 18-month tour in Iraq, where his helicopter was once shot down, and a tour that included heavy combant in Iraq. In search of a more tranquil life, Steve left the Army not long ago and took a job in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a postal carrier.

Not too many months ago, when asked about the anticipated vacancy in the Legislature's chair, Cianfrini demurred, expressed little interest.

That changed, he said, when Annie Lawrence, the more senior Republican on the Legislature, made it clear to her colleagues that she didn't want the job. 

Cianfrini decided he was up for the challenge and that he could make the time to do the job right.

"The way I look at it, there was county government for 200 years before I came in and there will be county government, hopefully, for 200 years after I leave," Cianfrini said. "I just want to make sure while I'm here at the helm that government runs efficiently at the lowest cost."

The job is important, Cianfrini said, because Genesee County is important.

"I just love Genesee County," Cianfrini said. "I think anybody who has been born here has difficulty giving it up. We have two major metro areas around us. If we want to go to a football game, if we want to go to the opera, or to a show or shopping, we have it. The beauty is, we've got the serenity of Genesee County. It's a beautiful area. It's a great place to raise children. I think the school systems are excellent. Why give that up to go someplace where you don't know what you're getting into?"

To help make this an even better place to live, there are some ideas Cianfrini would like to pursue.

For example, he thinks the Legislature should take a look at public safety in county-run buildings.  He wants to, maybe, propose opening up the County Park in Bethany to bow hunters during bow season. That would generate revenue for the county and also help deal with the exploding deer population in the park. Perhaps, he said, the county government should go paperless, with Legislators carrying around iPads instead of binders and folders. He would like to look at a public-private partnership to build more hangars at the Genesee County Airport.

That's just a part of the list he keeps in the top drawer of his desk.

He also anticipates working out an agreement with the GCEDC that would lessen the burden on taxpayers to help support the agency.

Last year, the county supplemented GCEDC's revenue (which comes mostly from fees paid by businesses that use the agency's services) with a $215,000 expenditure. 

Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, has always argued that the county government needs "skin in the game" to prove to site locators that economic development is supported in Genesee County, and that the money helps GCEDC balance its books.

Cianfrini has another approach he would like to try and be thinks just might fly.

"I've talked with GCEDC and they're willing to talk now about the possibility of working out a formula that might minimize the county's contribution," Cianfrini said. "At times when their cash flow is good, we don't pay as much taxpayer money to support them, but on the other hand, when maybe money is tight, or revenue is drying up, maybe we increase our contribution rather than have a fixed amount. They seem willing to talk about adjusting that payment."

Now that Cianfrini has a more comprehensive responsibility in Genesee County than just representing one district, or just chairing one committee, he's working hard to get to know the rest of the county's business, learning as much as he can as quickly as he can about all of the county's departments.

He sees his role as a facilitator to develop and implement policy, and that means he needs to really understand the nuts and bolts of county government.

"I kind of look at it like this," Cianfrini said. "From a team perspecitve, we're like a football team. The people are the owners of the team. The taxpayers are the owners. The Legislature, we are kind of the board of directors to set the policy for the team. Jay Gsell, our county manager, is kind of the general manager of the team. Our department heads, they're the coaches. They're the ones working with the players. The players are the employees. I'm seeing my job as the chairman of the Legislature as one to help move policy along and to maybe offer some fresh ideas."

Asked if he thinks his new job makes him one of the more powerful people in Genesee County, Cianfrini said, no, not really.

"I think I can influence certain things, what things will come before the Legislature," Cianfrini said. "I think I can influence the direction we may be going in. If that means power, so be it, but I don't think of it as a powerful job. I don't want power. I don't seek power. I want efficiency and I want results. That's where I'm coming from."

January 9, 2014 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A house fire is reported at 2884 E. Shelby Road, between Burns and Crane roads. Fire is "in the wall with flames seen." Oakfield Fire Department is responding, along with mutual aid from Alabama, Town of Batavia and Elba.

UPDATE 2:17 p.m.: Upon arriving, the fire chief reports no fire seen.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: The chief is holding everything to equipment already in route. Cancelling Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: Alabama and Elba units returning, in service.

January 8, 2014 - 7:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, bergen.

Evan Ryan Kotarski, 22, of Oak Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, unlawful possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speed not reasonable and prudent and failure to keep right. Kotarski is allegedly the driver of a vehicle involved in a one-car accident at 11:45 p.m. Sunday on South Pearl Street Road, Oakfield. Kotarski's car reportedly spun out and struck a fire hydrant and a utility pole. Kotarski allegedly fled from the scene, but was located a short distance away.

Tyler Pasquale Schroder, 21, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay the fine on a petit larceny charge. Schroeder was arrested following his release from the Wyoming County Jail on an unrelated matter and taken to Elba Town Court for his alleged failure to pay the fine on a petit larceny charge. He was jailed on $600 bail.

Oscar Enrique Martinez, 31, of Federal Drive, Batavia, was arrested as an alleged fugitive from justice. Martinez was being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia and was awaiting deportation. Martinez reportedly has 15 aliases and was being held under the name of Andres Luna-Nogroto. He was identified as by Manatee County, Fla., officials as a subject wanted for alleged sexual battery. Martinez was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and ordered held without bail pending an extradition hearing.

Carlos Enrique Reyes, 39, of 1259 Lyell Ave., Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged criminal contempt. Reyes was arrested upon his release from the Monroe County Jail, where he was held on an unrelated matter, for alleged failure to appear in Bergen Town Court. Reyes was arraigned and released on condition that he submit to a DNA test and return to court on Jan. 15.

Robert L. Kaufman, 52, of Akron Road, Akron, is charged with trespass and stalking in the 4th degree. Kaufman was arrested following a complaint of harassment reported at 12:40 p.m. Jan. 5 at an undisclosed location in the City of Batavia. Kaufman was jailed on $2,500 bail. No further details released by Batavia PD.

Juan A. Roman, 36, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt, 1st. Roman was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at a location on Ellicott Street. Roman was arraigned and ordered held without bail. No other details released by Batavia PD.

January 1, 2014 - 10:25am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Oakfield, fire, Alabama, east pembroke.

A possible chimney fire is reported at 6842 Fisher Road, Oakfield. Flames were seen shooting from the chimney, but no flames or smoke are showing now, says a firefighter. The residence has been evacuated. Oakfield fire is on scene. Mutual aid response was cancelled but units are asked to stand by in their quarters from Alabama, Elba and East Pembroke.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: Oakfield fire back in service.

December 21, 2013 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A house fire with light smoke showing is reported at 32 S. Main St. in Oakfield. Mercy medics are on scene and Oakfield Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia and the city's Fast Team. Alabama is asked to fill in at the Oakfield hall.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Alabama is asked to reroute and go to the scene.

UPDATE 1:38 p.m.: National Grid is called to the scene. No ETA.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: A thermal imaging camera is requested.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Elba Fire Police are called to shut down traffic at Orchard and Main, and at Main and South Pearl. The fire is knocked down. They are checking for extensions.

December 19, 2013 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, accidents.

A car vs. pole accident is reported in the area of Judge and Hutton roads. Oakfield Fire Department is responding. Unknown injuries.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: There are no injuries, but help with traffic control will be needed.

UPDATE 3:39 p.m.: The Oakfield assignment is back in service. National Grid has an ETA of about 20 minutes to repair the pole.

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