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February 10, 2015 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, pembroke, National Grid, Yancey's Fancy.

Press release: 

National Grid has awarded grants of up to $350,000 to support improvements in Yancey’s Fancy current manufacturing operations, and the construction of a new, 112,000-square-foot cheese manufacturing, packaging, warehousing and distribution facility. The new site will be built on 12 acres in the Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke.

The new facility has a capital investment of $20.6 million, will create approximately 50 new jobs, and retain 100 existing jobs. It is expected to officially open next month. National Grid will provide up to $250,000 toward electric infrastructure costs.

A second grant of up to $100,000 is available to assist with the design of advanced technology to manage the whey by-product that is generated through the cheese-making process. That will be part of a 3,500-square-foot expansion of its current operations at 857 Main Road in Corfu. The new system will allow for more efficient processing of the whey, which is used as a common food additive and for animal feed production. The project requires an upgrade of the current electric service to meet new demand. The $2.64 million project will create 17 new jobs and retain 30 jobs.

“Yancey’s Fancy is a thriving local company that is creating jobs and a strong brand here in Western New York and across the country,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in Western New York. “Genesee County continues to be a model for economic development through its collaborative approach to creating a positive climate for businesses to grow and expand, like Yancey’s Fancy.”

“National Grid has been a great partner through the years in our economic development efforts,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “In this instance, National Grid is providing critically important grants to sustain and grow the operations of one the largest employers in our region. It’s another example of the public and private sector collaboration that is resulting in the creation of new jobs and investment.”

The grants to Yancey’s Fancy are from National Grid’s Electric Capital Investment Incentive Program, which assists growing customers with costs of upgrading utility infrastructure to accommodate a business expansion or new construction that creates and retains jobs.

Information about National Grid’s suite of economic programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

February 9, 2015 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Shooting for a Cure.

After a successful "Shooting for a Cure" fundraiser at Pembroke High School on Thursday, members of the Lady Dragons presented a $9,019 check to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Friday.

Photo submitted by Christina Abt.

February 7, 2015 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

Members of the Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department were out in their district this morning clearing snow away from fire hydrants.

Photo submitted by Tera Bonner.

UPDATE: Tera sent in more pictures and the following statement:

Nine firefighters from the Pembroke Fire District spent 36 man hours clearing snow and ice from 115 hydrants today.

What may seem like a tedious, endless shoveling job, it's definitely an important one that needs to be done.

The Pembroke Fire District would like to remind you that a clearly visible, accessible fire hydrant could save your home, a neighbor's home, or even someone's life. If a fire hydrant is buried in snow, firefighters can lose valuable time trying to locate it when they first arrive at a fire. You can perform a valuable public service and protect yourself, your family and your neighbors by taking the responsibility for shoveling out and clearing any fire hydrants near your home during and after a heavy snowfall. With more snow sure to be on the way, we would like to offer these suggestions:

Make sure hydrants near your home are cleared after each snowfall.

Clear away any snow and ice in the area surrounding these fire hydrants so the firefighters have room to connect a hose.

Look out for your elderly or handicapped neighbors by taking a few extra minutes to shovel out their hydrants.

Shoveling a few extra minutes today may make all the difference later.


 

February 6, 2015 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke.

A blue pickup truck has rolled over in the area of mile marker 403.6.

Injuries are reported and extrication is needed.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire department are dispatched, along with Mercy EMS.

There may be a second accident at mile marker 406.

At 403.6, an elderly patient reportedly has neck and back injuries.

UPDATE 10 a.m.: A responder has yet to locate an accident at 406.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: A second ambulance requested to 403.6.

UPDATE 10:04 a.m.: There are multiple patients to be evaluated. Darien's ambulance is standing by. Traffic is reportedly heavy.

UPDATE 10:05 a.m.: At least three patients will be sign-offs.

February 6, 2015 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Roswell Cancer Institute, Shooting for a Cure.

Sean Burton, Dave Porter and Aaron Burch congratulate each other after getting their heads shaved before the Pembroke girls basketball game Thursday night, part of the school's annual "Shooting for a Cure" fundraiser.

The fourth annual event has become one of the largest annual fundraisers for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Last night, the school raised $8.729.32, making the four-year total more than $30,000.

When the recording of the National Anthem didn't work, Makenzie Ferranti and Samantha Quaranto step forward and sang the Star Spangled Banner as a duet, giving a stellar performance that was completely unplanned.

The Pembroke girls were dressed in their pink Shooting for a Cure uniforms.

The Lady Dragons played their brand of aggressive basketball and swamped Holley, 50-6.

At half-time, local cancer survivors were honored with flowers from players, including Sue Underwood. Presenting the flower is Olivia Kohorst.

To purchase prints, click here.

February 4, 2015 - 10:41am
posted by laurie napoleone in sports, high school sports, pembroke.

A tin can, a pink basketball, and a lady dragon… it sounds like some sort of fairy tale. But it is far from that as these Lady Dragons use the cans to collect donations and that ball to shoot for a cure for breast cancer. To date, these young women have raised more than $22,000 for this cause.

When Rylee Moser was a freshman and playing on the Pembroke Junior Varsity Basketball Team, she recalls being asked to participate in the “Shooting For a Cure” event to help raise funds for breast cancer research. She said “our gym teacher’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and we wanted to do something to help.” Now a varsity player and a senior at Pembroke High School, Rylee remains highly involved and she and her teammates are passing the torch that will continue this tradition of the Shooting For a Cure event.

The Pembroke Dragons Girls Basketball Team started this fund-raising effort in 2012, carrying around coffee cans and asking for donations; they raised approximately $4,100. The following year, they continued finding sponsors and raised more than $7,100. And last year they set their goal at $10,000 and raised over $11,000. This year, these players hope to make it bigger and better than ever. With corporate sponsors and 70-plus merchants involved, they hope to exceed their goal again this year.

Mike Wilson, Pembroke math teacher who has been involved with this event since the start, says “all the girls cannot wait for this game… they are a civic-minded group and they use basketball to make a difference in their community.” The underclassmen will continue to carry the torch as he sees this as “the game the girls look forward to the most, where they have a chance to serve the community and others.” 

Shooting for a Cure will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, when the Lady Dragons host the Holley Hawks at the Pembroke High School Gymnasium. Besides proceeds from ticket sales, the Lady Dragons will have food, auctions and raffles. Perry’s Ice Cream is sponsoring an ice cream sundae bar at the game as well.

Donations are still being accepted and anyone wishing to donate can contact Mike Wilson at 585-599-4525, ext. 1210, or go to www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure. All money raised from this event go directly to Roswell Park Cancer Institute to support breast cancer research.

When Rylee and the other seniors exit the court tommorrow night, they will carry with them the pride that they have made a difference in their school, their community and all those battling breast cancer.

February 2, 2015 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, corfu.

Cindy L. Bush, 52, of Oak Orchard Road, Batavia, is charged with forgery, 2nd, possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and conspiracy, 5th. Bush allegedly forged the signature of another person on a check issued by DSS. Bush allegedly conspired with another person in the forgery.

Doris L. Mayl, 62, of Manhatten Avenue, Batavia, is charged with possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, conspiracy, 5th, and petit larceny. Mayl allegedly possessed and cashed a check issued to another person by DSS. Mayl allegedly conspired with another person in the scheme.

Jessica Leeann Bovier, 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding (59 in a 45 mph zone). A 17-year-old passenger resident of Genesee Street, Pembroke, was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bovier was stopped at 12:13 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Byron R. Lee, 48, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an attempted petit larceny charge. Lee turned himself in and posted $150 bail.

Sarah M. Wilson, 30, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. While a passenger in a moving vehicle, Wilson allegedly hit the driver in the face. A 3-month-old child was in the vehicle at the time of the alleged incident. Wilson was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Christina A.M. Deluna, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, was arrested for alleged failure to appear on a ticket for aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Deluna was taken into custody at the Monroe County Jail. Following arraignment, Deluna was released on her own recognizance. 

Jordan M. Briggs, 27, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and trespass. Briggs was allegedly in an establishment on West Main Street after being told to leave. He allegedly struck another person while being escorted from the property. 

Steven A. Hill, 44, of Star Street, Medina, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Hill turned himself in on a warrant. He allegedly left a voice mail on the phone of a person who was protected by court order. 

Heather Lynn Draper, 25, of East Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a trespass charge. Draper turned herself in and was released on her own recognizance.

Brian K. Laird, 20, of Wallace Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Laird allegedly entered a location on Oak Street through a window after being told he was no longer welcome at that location.

Jessica M. Pfenninger, 32, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Pfenninger is accused of stealing from Kmart.

Matthew M. Mahaney, 33, of Corfu, is charged with DWI. Mahaney was stopped by State Police at 10:19 p.m. Thursday on Knapp Road, Pembroke.

January 25, 2015 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu, Corfu-Pembroke Community Winterfest.

A look at yesterday's Corfu-Pembroke Community Winterfest.

January 22, 2015 - 4:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke.

A tractor-trailer has become entangled in poles and wires along Route 77 just south of Route 5 in Pembroke, though no injuries are reported.

A deputy on scene says that the only thing keeping the truck from rolling over are "these poles and wires."

National Grid is requested to the scene.

UPDATE: Reader submitted photo.

January 20, 2015 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu.

Zachary Jordan Franclemont, 20, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a hallucinogenic substance, one gram or more, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Deputy Kevin McCarthy responded to a suspicious activity report at 12:30 a.m., Monday, at the East Pembroke Arrowmart of a person in a car using drugs. Upon investigation, Franclemont was found in a vehicle allegedly found in possession of cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. Franclemont was arrested, arraigned and jailed on $20,000 bail. Assisting were Deputy Jason Saile, Sgt. Eric Seppala and Sgt. Greg Walker.

January 11, 2015 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, east pembroke, East Pembroke Fire Department.

Chief Don Newton, East Pembroke Fire Department, received the Service Award for 2014, and Fire Training Officer James Gayton was named Firefighter of the Year Saturday night during the department's annual installation dinner.

Counting fire calls, accidents and EMS calls, East Pembroke went on 350 calls in 2014, up from the recent average year of about 300 calls.

The 2015 firematic officers as elected by members are: Newton, chief; Stephen Smelski, 1st assistant chief; Williams Torres Jr., 2nd assistant chief; Donald Newton Sr., firematic captain; Jose Santini, firematic lieutenant; Lori Ann Santini, EMS captain; Robert Yungfleisch, EMS lieutenant; Ray Schramm, fire police captain; Chris Bennett, fire police lieutenant; Gayton, training officer; Smelski, safety officer.

Candles were lit after the dinner in a memorial service to honor fallen first responders and members of the military.

Genesee County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger administered the oath of office for department and district officers.

January 11, 2015 - 3:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, corfu.
Matthew Jurek

Matthew A. Jurek, 26, of Pembroke, has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal pedestrian accident, according to the Buffalo News.

Jurek was allegedly involved in an accident Saturday that claimed the life of Francis A. Meldrum Jr., 38, of Corfu, who was walking on Indian Falls Road in Newstead when he was struck by a vehicle.

A passerby found Meldrum's body in the roadway.

From the Buffalo News:

An unidentified passenger in the suspect’s pickup at the time of the hit-and-run is cooperating with investigators, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“After Jurek struck Mr. Meldrum with the vehicle he was operating, he fled from the scene and left Mr. Meldrum lying on the side of the road,” Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman said in an afternoon news conference.

Jurek was reportedly with a group of people that night.

January 8, 2015 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, pembroke, Darien.

A Town of Darien justice has been tapped to become the newest member of the Genesee County Legislature.

Michael Davis, a town justice for about five years and employee of the Upstate Niagara Milk Cooperative, will replace Annie Lawrence, who resigned to become Town of Pembroke supervisor.

County Republicans selected Davis to fill the vacant seat -- which must be filled under county law by a person from the same party as the person who left the seat -- and Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously to recommend the appointment to the full legislature.

The legislative vote is expected at the start of its meeting next week and Davis would be sworn into office immediately. 

Before then, Davis is expected to resign as town justice.

The committee also reappointed Lori Longhany as the Democratic Party's commissioner on the Board of Elections.

Also on Wednesday, the committee approved the hiring of Ruth Spink as director of the Office for the Aging, who will replace Pamela Whitmore. Whitmore is retiring at the end of the month.

January 1, 2015 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

The manager of the Econo Lodge on Route 77, Pembroke, would like to get the snow removed from his parking lot, but a truck is parked in the lot and the driver is refusing to move.

A deputy is being dispatched.

The manager is requesting that if the driver refuses to move, that law enforcement have the truck removed.

December 30, 2014 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported in the eastbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 404.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire dispatched. Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: A responding chief says, "It looks like he may be out of the woods now. It looks like he's going to be driving out of here." There is a truck off the road. 

UPDATE 11:28 a.m.: It looks like a tow will be required for the truck.

December 23, 2014 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Stafford, corfu.

Andrea M. Gray, 36, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, criminal tampering, 3rd, coercion, 1st, and obstruction of governmental administration. During an incident first reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday at a residence on Maple Street, Gray allegedly tore the shirt of a roommate during a fight. She then allegedly attempted to interfere with the arrest of a person accused of violating a court order by having contact with her. She allegedly attempted to coerce police officers to release the suspect by threatening to harm herself if he was not released. Gray was jailed without bail. Gray was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly taking the mobile phone of a roommate Friday and not returning it.

Russell R. Miles Jr., 46, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles was arrested following an investigation into a disturbance reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday on Maple Street, Batavia. Miles has a previous criminal contempt conviction within the past five years. He was ordered held without bail.

Jeremiah J. Cieszynski, 27, of Warsaw, and Sally M. Sims, 24, of Warsaw, are charged with petit larceny. Cieszynski and Sims are accused of stealing clothing and sneakers valued at $125 from Kmart.

Bashard L. Joiner, 21, of Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal trespass, 3rd. Joiner received a suspension letter from GCC on Oct. 9 and told he was not permitted on campus property. During November, Joiner was allegedly spotted several times at College Village by safety officers and video surveillance. On Dec. 10, Joiner was located in the cafeteria on campus and placed under arrest by State Police. He was jailed on $300 bail or $600 bond.

Jeannette Kathleen Moore, 44, of West Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny. Moore is accused of stealing from Kmart while employed at the store.

Katie R. Wishman, 29, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Wishman allegedly hit another family member in the face with a mug causing an injury. This act was allegedly committed in the presence of a 3-year-old child. During the investigation, police allegedly found heroin and needles. Wishman was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kelly A. Hasenauer, 50, of Webster Street, Batavia, is charged with falsifying business records. Hasenauer allegedly signed a fake name to a business record at UMMC's ER in an attempt to defraud.

Linda L. Snyder, 32, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder allegedly threatened to fight another person at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Debra Elizabeth Webster, 46, of Route 20A, Warsaw, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or higher, unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding and failure to signal. Webster was stopped at 12:23 a.m.  Friday on Noonan Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

William James Johnson, 41, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speeding and failure to keep right. Johnson was allegedly involved in an accident at 9:22 p.m. Saturday on Route 5, Pembroke, which was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Matthew Alan Hoye, 23, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Hoye was arrested following a check of a roadside vehicle at 12:26 a.m., Saturday.

Peter James Curts, 25, of Main Street, Caledonia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to stop at a stop sign. Curts was stopped at 11 p.m. Thursday on Parmalee Road, Le Roy, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Brett W. Short, 28, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Short was charged by State Police following a traffic stop Friday morning in Batavia.

Arthur Robinson, 60, of Raleigh, NC, is charged with DWI in a commercial vehicle and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Robinson was stopped at 10 a.m. Sunday by State Police on Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

December 16, 2014 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke.
William Kelly Robert Kelly Michael Correia

One of three men who are accused of a multi-county burglary spree in late August is facing up to four years in prison after entering a guilty plea in County Court this afternoon.

Michael Correia is being released on his own recognizance, as part of the plea deal, and being allowed to return to his home in Syracuse after pleading guilty to burglary, 3rd.

Correia admitted to driving a vehicle to a construction site on East Main Street Road, where his accomplices went into a building and then exited with stolen items.

The alleged accomplices are Correia's nephews, William Kelly and Robert Kelly.

The trio were picked up following a traffic stop in Wayne County, where a deputy became suspicious of all the material in their vehicle.

After being questioned, the men admitted to heists in Genesee County.

Local investigators went to Wayne County and questioned the men further. They reportedly admitted to burglaries in Pembroke and Batavia.

The charges against the Kelly brothers are still pending.

Since Correia did not actually enter the buildings, an element of the crime he needed to confess to today was that at the time he arrived at the East Main Street Road location, he knew his nephews intended to enter the building and steal items.

That was a point Correia found difficult to understand.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, shackled, with long gray hair, full gray beard and black-rimmed glasses, Correia initially told Noonan he didn't know the Kelly brothers intended to steal anything, though he did say that he knew the items they placed in his vehicle before leaving were stolen.

This perplexed Noonan, who conferred with the attorneys and then tried another line of questioning.

Under questioning, Correia admitted that he drove his vehicle to a location in Lancaster, where he said he knew his nephews entered a building and stole items.

He agreed then, he knew they were going to steal items in Batavia.

"You intentionally assisted them in the commission of that crime," Noonan asked.

"I don't understand, 'assisted,' " he said.

His attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, whispered something to him and Correia then said that yes, he assisted.

At which point, Noonan could accept his plea of guilty.

Without the plea deal, Correia faced a maximum sentence on the third-degree burglary charge of two-and-a-third to seven years in prison. The plea deal caps his potential term at one-and-a-third to four years. He could still face the maximum if he violates the terms of his release while awaiting sentencing.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., March 13.

Correia and the Kelly brothers still face charges in other jurisdictions, including possession of stolen property in Wayne County.

December 7, 2014 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, corfu.

The tears were gone. She had no more, said Renee Franclemont in the midst of a conversation yesterday about the fire that destroyed her business in a barn on Alleghany Road, Corfu, an hour before sunrise Thursday morning.

The fire consumed more than $20,000 in inventory, killed 17 chickens, devoured a season's worth of hay and straw, and turned a grand and well-aged barn into ash and rubble.

Franclemont grew up in Corfu. She is the daughter of a former Corfu fire chief and a mother who was a volunteer EMT.

She knew all the firefighters Thursday morning, and they knew her.

"It was sad," she said. "They felt helpless."

The old farmhouse 100 paces to the north of the barn, was built in 1890 and added onto over the years, has, of course, been the home to families, as it is now to Franclemont, her two boys, two girls and partner Clinton Konfederath. It has housed the Rarick law firm and accommodated countless guests as a bed and breakfast.

Four years ago Franclemont bought her house and the 14 acres of land that go with it because she loved the barn.

"I moved to this house because I wanted my barn," Franclemont said. "I wanted that barn. My kids all know. We moved in and I didn't even unpack boxes. I went into that barn and I set to cleaning the barn. I wasn't even thinking about a business. I wanted the barn."

The structure was even older than the house and functioned as a co-op antique store formerly owned by Gemma Rarick in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, in red letters made of wood slats affixed below its peaked roof was the official business name: "The Barn." The words, bold and artful, were eight feet tall and could be seen hundreds of yards away by travelers heading north on Route 77.

To avoid any sign ordinance issues, Franclemont called her business "The Farm" and kept the same lettering nailed to the gray, asphalt shingles that at some point were installed as siding on the oldest end of the building.

Nobody insures businesses housed in 150-year-old barns. Franclement tried to have it insured, and for a time it was, for just $29,000, which Franclement felt was well below its real value.

"That's all they would insure it for because it was that old," Franclemont said. "They didn't look at it like you and I look at a barn. They looked at it as rough and horrible. We look at it and think, 'that's perfect.' "

When the insurance company realized there was a licensed business in the barn, the policy was yanked and all of her pleas for coverage went unheeded.

The Farm is truly a family business. Franclemont and Konfederath run it, of course, but all four children help out.

Austin, 19, and 15-year-old Dakota, both work there. Austin was last year's leading scorer and an all-league player on Pembroke's soccer team, and is now a student at GCC. His brother was a slender-framed punter on the football team, who walked into the kitchen Saturday dressed in camoflauge with a rifle slung over his shoulder (he bagged two rabbits that afternoon).

They can be left alone at times, Franclemont said, to run things if she needs to tend to errands.

Never left alone, but adept at sales and operating the cash register are Montana, 11, and Sawyer Mae, 6.

Montana is the real chicken farmer in the family. A chicken whisperer, her mother called her. Blonde, popular at school, into gymnastics and cheerleading, Montana keeps herself and her mom busy.

Only a week ago, Montana seemingly saved a chicken that appeared ill and unlikely to survive. The girl took the bird in her arms, wrapped it in warm cloth and held it while sitting in the store.

"We didn't think the chicken was going to make it and the next day it was running around, so she must have saved it," Franclemont said.

Sawyer Mae has no less energy than her older sister, but it's not always directed at school. She's a bit of a tomboy who favors plaid shirts, purple pants and cowboy boots.

"She could probably run the business by herself," Franclemont said. "She's the one who wants to miss school so she can pick pumpkins or just work around the farm or in the store."

As we spoke, visitors dropped by and popped in here and there. Some brought hugs, others clutched cards stuffed in bulging white envelopes. They entered the family room and adjoining kitchen and dining area through the back door off the gravelled driveway.

The visitors were tenderly welcomed into her home, which is decorated much like you might expect from a woman whose business is also her life. 

The flat-screen TV sits atop a black wood and cast iron 19th Century sewing machine table, so big it must have come from a Gilded Age factory. On the opposite wall is a wooden, weathered round-rung ladder that was carried from the old barn to adorn the family room wall. At one point, Franclemont took a plank from the barn and painted in white the words  "Bed and Breakfast" on it, to honor one of the prior businesses in her old house. That hangs above the couch.

The white-curtained dining room window faces south. The driveway and a small, bridge-covered creek separate the house from the cement foundation of the barn. Tom Konfederath and Rick Claire spent most of the previous 48 hours using backhoes and loaders to knock down and haul away the burnt, charred and twisted ruins of the barn. Clinton was out there breaking up cement so it, too, could be taken to a dump or recycling center.

Everybody thought it a good idea to get rid of the debris as quickly as possible so the Corfu Fire Department wouldn't be burdened with an endless string of rekindle calls.

All that remained of the store's inventory after the fire -- save produce kept in a cooler that just by coincidence and for no reason at all had a fireproof door -- was black ash or melted and mangled beyond recognition.

The inventory came from seven consignees, all but one a Genesee County resident. Almost everything they sold was repurposed from something old: Milk canisters with handpainted farm scenes; spiffed up 19th Century hand tools to hang on walls; lanterns that once lit the way but are best used these days as a "needful thing"; antique bed headboards converted into benches; and wood from other long lost barns cut sign-size and handpainted with clever and wise aphorisms.

In the home-decorating industry, the stock is called "primitive." It's the kind of baubles and curiosities that appeal to Western New Yorkers whose magazine subscriptions include "Yankee" and "Traditional Home" more so than "Dwell" and "Atomic Ranch."

The fire started in the chicken coop. We know that because that was the only thing with flames showing after Franclemont and Konfederath were awoken around 5 a.m. Thursday by a man pounding on their back door.

The chicken coop was newly constructed and purposefully placed next to the barn.

The kind of customers drawn to The Farm love farm animals. After acquiring some more chickens from another farmer who wanted to get rid of them, it seemed like a good idea to build the chicken coop closer to the customers.

"We made this big beautiful coop," Franclemont said. "I wanted it closer to the barn because my customers love to see the chickens walk around. That's part of it. They love my pig and they love the chickens and I wanted the chicken coop close to the barn so the customers see all that. A lot of kids would go over and open the thing and check for eggs."

Somehow, while 17 adult chickens perished in the fire, 11 young ones (bigger than chicks), survived.

When they were hauled from the fire, the 11 babies were unconscious and laying on their sides. Franclemont thought they were dead, but when she shook them, the soot-covered fowl sprang to life.

When you're under stress and you see your life going up in flames, time passes slowly. Seconds seem like minutes, minutes like hours.

It seemed, Franclemont said, like it took forever for the first fire trucks to arrive at her barn on the Route 33 side of Cohocton Road.

Corfu Chief Dean Eck arrived on scene, as chiefs do, before the fire trucks.

"He felt helpless," Franclemont said. "We're both standing there just waiting for the trucks to come."

Konfederath does all the farming for the family business. He grows produce sold in the store, the corn with stalks that make for handsome decorations in the fall, the thousands of pumpkins sold in October, the hay and straw that was stored in the barn's loft, awaiting shipment to horse farm customers.

"Some firemen were showing up and I was saying, 'it can't get to that hay,' " Franclemont said. "If it goes up the wall and gets to where we store hay and straw, we're done. It hit the hay and it was like lightning -- woosh -- and it lit up the whole barn. It was gone."

As flames licked the side of the barn, Franclemont was frantic to save what she could from the business. She grabbed the cash box and then went back for some of her books. When she wanted to go in again, this time for the records of her consignees sales, a deputy stopped her. After some arguing with the deputy and the chief, they agreed to let Konfederath go in and see if he could grab the records quickly.

When he opened the door, the heat rushed out. There were already flames in the store and a black velvet curtain of smoke billowed in his face. It was too late to save anything more.

The tragedy of fire trails a painful, draining and difficult summer for Franclemont.

In June, she was in an ATV accident and tore up her knee pretty bad. Following surgery, she was driving something a little less adventurous than a four-wheeler. She needed a Hoveround to move through the house and in the shop. Even so, her work time was limited.

Then she developed spinal meningitis. That meant more hospitalization.  

In September, she needed knee surgery again, so more time on crutches and less time working in her shop.

"I finally got back to work and I was enjoying stuff and painting again and opening the store up because that's me," Franclemont said. "That's what I want to do. I didn't want somebody else to do it."

During her convalescence, Franclemont received plenty of help. Most of her consignees pitched in and kept the store open, including Franclemont's friend, consignee and employee Lauryn Brick, who put in a lot of hours helping Franclemont with her business and her life, including raising funds from the community to help with Franclemont's uninsured medical expenses.

Of course she helped, Brick said. Her friend does so much for the community without ever asking anything in return.  

She helped organize fundraisers for Austin Heinemen, the Pembroke teen and cancer patient who inspired Austin's Army, even going "Bald for Bucks." When another friend was in her own ATV accident a year ago, Franclemont helped raise funds to assist. 

"This girl will help anyone," Brick said. "You can ask anyone in our community."

Getting back to work was so very important to Franclemont. She immediately started building furniture again, and her father, Richard Franclemont, who also builds primitive-style furniture, added more inventory to her store.

Last week, Franclemont drove down to Pennsylvania and brought back a trailer full of unfinished Amish furniture.

Three days before the fire, she and Konfederath completed adding two more rooms to the shop for all the new inventory.

It's only a matter of happenstance that saved the recently purchased Amish furniture. A relative needed to use her large trailer, so all of the furniture was unpacked and hauled down to the house basement for storage.

The saved furniture gives Franclemont a step forward toward opening a new store in the same location in the spring.

She and her partner have already started planning the new building. It will be a pole barn with hemlock siding and a metal roof.

"I'm never going to get that look again of the inside of my barn," Franclemont said. "I've been to a lot of stores. I'm going to try and make it look as antique and old inside as possible, though I don't know how we're going to do it. I don't like this new building look in a new store. I don't want that. I think once we put our furniture in there and our consigner stuff, it will create that feel."

The new barn will sit further back from the road because Franclemont, for the sake of children's safety, was always uncomfortable with how close the rows and rows of pumpkins would sit to Route 77. There will also be a lean-to for better display of produce. The big amenity the old barn lacked was a bathroom for customers. The new barn will have a bathroom.

If that sounds promising, like an upgrade, Franclemont isn't fooling herself into thinking it will be better than her old barn, with its notched, hand-hewn beams and aged wooden walls and sense of time and place that can only be created over the space of decades.

"This is an opportunity to do something new, but I was happy with just the way it was," Franclemont said. "I would rather have that barn than a new building any day. I'm sure we'll be better and everything will be fine, and we'll have some things we didn't have before, but I can't replace the barn."

News of the fire spread fast in the era of digital media. There were so many people offering help, or just a kind word.

The morning of the fire, Linda Richley, from Linda's Family Diner, already had 40 breakfast sandwiches made for firefighters when Al Graham showed up to see what he could get for the crews. She also delivered boxes of coffee.

In the fire's aftermath, the Reynolds family from Reyncrest Farms pitched in to clean.

The folks at Alleghany Farm Services provided transportation for the heavy equipment used in the cleanup.

The Farm's Facebook page was flooded with messages from well-wishers. Her phone was buzzing with phone calls and text messages. At one point, her friend Tricia Heinemen took the phone away from her and told her to go sleep.

There's so many people Franclement wants to thank. All of the letters for her marquee sign she kept along the edge of the roadway were destroyed by the fire, so with black spray paint she wrote, "Thank you / Everyone / XO."

"How do you thank everybody?" Franclemont said. "I tried to keep up and I can't. I know I've missed somebody. I don't even know what to say."

Lauryn Brick said she's overwhelmed by the thought of all that her friend lost, and how she poured her heart and soul into her business, only to see it destroyed in a matter of minutes by a chicken coup fire.

"She needs to rebuild everything that was so tragically taken from her," Brick said. "She has four children that she also provides for and to think, this happened during the holidays."

Brick, along with Renee Everett, have set up a GoFundMe account seeking community donations to help Franclemont rebuild and take care of her family.

Franclemont is unaccustomed to being the person on the receiving end of other people's charity. 

With her eyes still puffy from days of crying, and despite her thought that she had no more tears to shed, when she sat at her kitchen counter and recalled the outpouring of support from her friends and neighbors, the skin around Franclemont's eyes reddened and glistened again with tears.

She didn't want her picture taken once she started crying again.

"I'm not good at taking stuff from people," Franclemont said in her normally clear, alto tone, but then her voice went up an octave. "I'm the person," she said, voice breaking. "I like to give. I don't want people giving me stuff. I want to give to people.

"In my family, we do stuff for people," she added with the tears continuing to stream down her face. "I don't want people doing stuff for me. There's much worse off people than me. My friends have cancer. My friend was just in an accident. They're bad. I'm not bad. I have a house to live in. I'm not sick. I'm not fighting for my life. Those people need my help, not me. I know my community knows that, that I don't want any help. I know they're going to do it anyways because that's the way they are. Anybody that knows me knows that it's hard for me to take anything from anyone."

The way Brick sees it, her friend may not be asking for help, but she needs it.

File photo of Renee Franclemont in her store from 2012.

File photo of "The Barn" from September, 2010.

December 1, 2014 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Stafford, corfu.

Jonathan Cornelius Hoges, 32, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged wit criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th,, and endangering the welfare of a child. Hoges allegedly used what appeared to be a handgun and threatened to kill himself in front of his two young children in an incident reported at 2:47 p.m. Thursday at his residence on Ross Street. He was later taken into custody on Miller Avenue. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine and packaging. He was jailed on $20,000 bail, or $40,000 bond. (Previous report)

Joseph A. Cafarelli, 48, of Hunters Gate Drive, Rochester, is charged with falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement. Cafarelli allegedly reported that his debit card had been stolen while at Batavia Downs Casino. An investigation revealed the incident allegedly did not occur. Cafarelli was jailed on $500 bail.

Melanie Rose Cantabrana, 22, of Maple Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Cantabrana is accused of stealing $680.51 in merchandise from Walmart.

Nancy June Brandon, 36, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. She was also charged with facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Brandon was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 10:40 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona. The driver allegedly was unlicensed. Brandon was jailed on $400 bail, or $800 bond.

Latoya Yalanda Stanley, 26, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed driver. Stanley was stopped for alleged traffic violations at 10:40 p.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Stanley also reportedly was wanted in the Town of Gates on a warrant on an unrelated matter.

Michael Andrew Balla, 39, of Hazlemere Avenue, Machias, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Balla allegedly damaged a garage door, valued at more than $250, at a location on Main Road, Stafford. Balla was jailed without bail.

Christopher Ryan Waite, 25, of Skye Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving. Following numerous calls of an erratic driver, Waite was stopped at 11:46 p.m. Friday on Route 262, Byron, by Deputy Matthew Butler. Additional charges are pending.

Julie L. Dutton, 19, of Manhattan Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Dutton was arrested after police were asked to check on the welfare of a person on Thomas Avenue. Dutton was allegedly found hiding in a shower by police officers inside the residence of a person allegedly protected from contact by Dutton through a court order. Dutton was jailed on $500 bail.

Samantha J. Armstrong, 21, of Hart Street, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking citation for improper street parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Armstrong was released on $100 cash bail.

Deborah R. Blatt, 53, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Blatt is accused of verbally harassing and annoying a neighbor. 

Terrence D. Johnson, 19, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation. Johnson posted bail and was released.

Nicholas J. Mungillo, 20, of Union Square, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession alcohol under age 21. Mungillo was allegedly found intoxicated following the report of a fight in the area of Jackson Street and Watson Street at 3:46 a.m. on Sunday. Also charged was Michael A. Canzoneri, 19, of Edgewood Drive, Batavia.

Anya R. Rambuski, 44, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a DWAI charge.

Ronald M. Markek, 34, of Corfu, is charged with felony DWI. Markek was stopped at 10:13 p.m. Friday on Route 63 Batavia, by State Police. Markek was jailed on bail.

Lori J. Marchese, 55, of Corfu, is charged felony DWAI. Marchese was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by State Police.

November 18, 2014 - 6:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, byron, alexander, pembroke, Darien, Bethany.

Christian J. Finkney, 26, of South Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with 18 counts of criminal contempt, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation and unlicensed operation. Ashly N. Boatwright, 27, of South Academy Street, Wyoming, is charged with 18 counts of facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and one count of circumventing an interlock device. Finkney allegedly drove a vehicle 18 times in Genesee County while his license was revoked for an alcohol-related offense. Darien Town Court reportedly directed Finkney not to drive until his privileges were reinstated by the DMV. Finkney was arraigned in Batavia, Darien, Alexander, Pembroke and Bethany and jailed on $10,000 bail. Boatwright is accused of allowing Finkney to drive a vehicle registered to her on 18 occasions. She is also accused of blowing into an interlock device to circumvent the device.

Nathan Robert Arnold, 22, of Terry Street, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Arnold was allegedly involved in a fight with a person protected from him by court order. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Jamie Michelle Lauck, 27, of Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 and parking in the highway. The Sheriff's Office received a report at 12:51 a.m. Sunday on Colby Road, Darien. Lauck was allegedly located in a vehicle stopped in the roadway by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

Louis James Stoller Jr., 22, of Erie Street, Le Roy, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny. Stoller is accused of entering a residence on South Street Road, Le Roy, with the intent of taking the dog from the residence. He was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

Damian Christopher Woodruff, 32, of Walmore Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Woodruff was stopped by Deputy Patrick Reeves on federal game lands on Sour Springs Road, Alabama. He was allegedly hunting without a permit. He allegedly was found in possession of a shotgun, in violation of the law barring convicted felons of possessing firearms. 

Nathaniel Michael Dickes, 21, of Broadway Street, Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dickes was allegedly involved in a fight at 9:57 pm., Saturday, at a location on Webber Avenue, Oakfield, in which Dickes allegedly pushed and grabbed another person and threw an object at that person.

Donald Ivan Manes, 58, of Lewiston Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, misuse of dealer plate, speeding (74 in a 55 mph zone) and failure to keep right. Manes was stopped at 2:06 a.m. Sunday on Kelsey Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Kristen Irene Merriam, 33, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Merriam was charged following a traffic stop at 12:30 a.m. Saturday on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Bryan D. Bates, 35, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement and offering a false instrument, 1st. Bates allegedly reported an incident that did not occur and providing a false written statement. Bates is being held on a parole violation.

Tyler J. Warfle, 19, of Chapel Street, Elba, is charged with five counts of identify theft, 3rd. Warfle is accused of using the debit card of another person without permission.

Mark T. Zdrojewski, 61, of Meyer Road, Pendleton, is charged with issuing a bad check. Zdrojewski was arrested on a warrant. 

A 17-year-old resident of Liberty Street in Batavia was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was taken into custody during an investigation of an unrelated complaint.

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