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June 15, 2014 - 10:00am
posted by Julia Ferrini in police, pembroke.

Ceremonies were held Friday to honor those police officers who have died in the line of duty. Representatives from the state and county were on hand to give tribute to their fallen comrades at Pembroke Town Park.

June 13, 2014 - 7:35pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, American Legion Post 626.

Monetary value cannot be placed on the cost of freedom. It has been, and continues to be, paid with the blood, sweat and tears of a nation’s people. 

Opening ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall were held Thursday at Pembroke Town Park. Kicking off the day’s events was Bobbie Metcalf’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Then retired Army Brigadier General Frank Cipolla spoke briefly of the number of men and women who have lost their lives during times of war. He further spoke of the strength of Americans.

While the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall had made an appearance in Western New York in 2010, the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall is making its first debut in the area. This monument commemorates every veteran that has fought and died in battle from the Revolutionary War up to and including the war in Afghanistan. 

“This wall commemorates every veteran (who) has fought and died for our freedom,” said Timothy Burch, a member of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post #626. “Including firefighters, policemen and first responders of 9/11.”

The memorial spans the length of almost two football fields, resembling the Wall in Washington, D.C.. A permanent monument, donated by Galley Monuments, Batavia, has been set at the site as tribute to fallen soldiers. In addition, the American Legion opened a contest to local schools and asked the question, "What does the cost of freedom mean to you?". Of those who participated, Abby Shaw, of Pembroke, won the contest and her poem titled "The Cost of Freedom" is inscribed on one side of the stone. 

“I’m very excited to be a part of this event,” Burch said. “I joined the Legion almost a year ago and I fell into this face-first. I wanted to be involved. I have an emotional attachment to those who have volunteered to serve during wartime. Both my grandfathers served, as well as my father.”

“So many people from the community are involved in this,” said Joe Joyce, vice commander of Post 626. “It’s amazing.”

According to Joyce, bringing the memorial to the area was almost two years in the making. Donations and fundraisers were held to generate enough capital to make it happen.

“Not one person turned me down when we (the Legion) asked for a donation,” Joyce said. “The response from the community was outstanding.”

“This display will educate people to really show what the cost of freedom is,” Burch said, “and shows how many people sacrificed their lives so that we remain a free country.

“My uncle’s name is on this wall. He died in Korea,” Burch continued. “My service was insignificant by way of comparison to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They should be honored every day.”

According to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute -- the organization whose mission is to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute and The Traveling Wall to as many communities as possible -- this event is the first to hold separate days to honor each service area.

“We are setting a precedence for the wall. We are making history with this event,” Burch said.

Alan Myers, a World War II veteran, said, “It’s awesome, isn’t that what the young people say, really emotional, to be involved in this event. It makes people aware of just what the military goes through.”

Myers, who served three years with the 13th Defense Atlantic Fleet, led the motorcade Wednesday with his quarter-ton World War II jeep. According to Myers, the jeep he was driving came off the line the day Pearl Harbor was attacked and was also used during the war. 

In addition to the memorial, displays throughout the grounds include a tribute to the attack on the Twin Towers, as well as, information on each branch of the military and police and firefighters. The four-day event itself is free, however, donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of bringing the wall to the area.

“When you listen to our National Anthem, I mean really listen,” Burch said. “It was written during the Revolutionary War during after a long battle. Francis Scott Key was simply writing about what he was seeing at that time (the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of Sept. 13–14, 1814). That’s war. That’s the cost of freedom.”

http://www.zenfolio.com/zf/tools/slideshow.aspx?id=18989488

June 13, 2014 - 7:59am
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, Post 626.
June 13, 2014 - 7:59am
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, Post 626.

Monetary value can not be placed on the cost of freedom. It has been, and continues to be, paid with the blood, sweat and tears of a nation’s people. 

Opening ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall were held Thursday at Pembroke Town Park. Kicking off the day’s events was Bobbie Metcalf’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Following, Brigadier General Frank Cipolla spoke briefly of the number of men and women who have lost their lives during times of war. He further spoke of the strength of the American people.

While the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall had made an appearance in Western New York in 2010, the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall is making its first debut in the area. This monument commemorates every veteran that has fought and died in battle from the Revolutionary War up to and including the war in Afghanistan. 

“This wall commemorates every veteran that has fought and died for our freedom,” Timothy Burch said. “Including firefighters, policemen and first responders of 9/11.”

The memorial spans the length of almost two football fields, resembling the Wall in Washington D.C..  A permanent monument, donated by Galley Monuments, Batavia, has been set at the site as tribute to fallen soldiers. Furthermore, the American Legion opened a contest to local schools and asked the question, ‘What does the cost of freedom mean to you?’. Of those who participated, Abby Shaw, of Pembroke, won the contest and her poem titled ‘The Cost of Freedom’, is inscribed on one side of the stone. 

“I’m very excited to be a part of this event,” said Burch, a member of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post 626 . “I joined the Legion almost a year ago and I fell into this face-first. I wanted to be involved. I have an emotional attachment to those who have volunteered to serve during wartime. Both my grandfathers served, as well as my father.”

“So many people from the community are involved in this,” said Joe Joyce, Vice Commander of Post 626. “It’s amazing”

According to Joyce, bringing the memorial to the area was almost two years in the making. Donations and fundraisers were held to generate enough capital to secure a date for the memorial.

“Not one person turned me down when we (the Legion) asked for a donation,” Joyce said. “The response from the community was outstanding.”

“This display will educate people to really show what the cost of freedom is,” Burch said, “and shows how many people sacrificed their lives so that we remain a free country.

“My Uncle’s name is on this wall. He died in Korea,” Burch continued. “My service was insignificant by way of comparison to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They should be honored every day.”

According to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, the organization whose mission is to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute and The Traveling Wall to as many communities as possible, this event is the first to hold separate days to honor each service area.

 “We are setting a precedence for the wall. We are making history with this event,” Burch said.

Alan Myers, a WWII veteran, said, “It’s awesome, isn’t that what the young people say, really emotional, to be involved in this event. It makes people aware of just what the military goes through.”

Myers, who served three years with the 13th Defense Atlantic Fleet, led the motorcade Wednesday with his quarter-ton WWII jeep. According to Myers, the jeep he was driving came off the line the day Pearl Harbor was attacked and was also used during the war. 

In addition to the memorial, displays throughout the grounds include a tribute to the attack on the Twin Towers, as well as, information on each branch of the military and police and firefighters. The four-day event itself is free, however, donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of bringing the wall to the area. Closing ceremonies will be held Sunday starting at 1 p.m..

“When you listen to our National Anthem, I mean really listen,” Burch said. “It was written during the Revolutionary war during a long battle. Francis Scott Key was simply writing about what he was seeing at that time. That’s war. That’s the cost of freedom.”

 

June 12, 2014 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pembroke, bears.

David Thuerck submitted these photos of a black bear he spotted on Lake Road, Pembroke.

 

June 12, 2014 - 9:39am

A motorcade of several motorcycle organizations, as well as, state, county and local police, firefighters and first responders, escorted the Vietnam Moving Wall from Batavia to Pembroke Wednesday morning.

The 17-mile trek was spotted with patriots waving flags and holding signs.

Upon reaching the town park in Pembroke, veterans and supporters who participated in the escort held a brief, solemn ceremony to commerate the wall's arrival.

The effort to bring the moving wall back to Genesee County for another visit was spearheaded by members of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post 626, with support of area community members.

A dedication ceremony at the park begins today at 11 a.m. For more information, click here.

June 12, 2014 - 12:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Oakfield, pembroke.

The Vietnam Moving Wall returned to Genesee County today and was transported in with an honor escort from Batavia to Pembroke this morning.

The wall will be on display as part of the Cost of Freedom Tribute sponsored by Oakfield-Alabama Legion Post #626 at Pembroke Town Park through Sunday.

For a schedule of events, click here.

These four photos were taken in Oakfield this morning.

We have more photos and coverage coming.

Mel Osborn placed flags in front of his residence in Oakfield in anticipation of the escort passing through the village.

June 11, 2014 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama, corfu.

The Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post #626 is hosting a series of events this week as part of its Cost of Freedom Tribute at the Pembroke Town Park, located next to Pembroke High School, 1145 Main Road (Route 77) in Corfu. On Thursday, June 12, opening ceremonies will take place.

First, at 11 a.m., is the Assembly of Color Guards in the athletic field.

Starting at noon:

  • The American flag at the park will be lowered to half staff, led by the 98th Division drill sargeant;
  • The Special Forces Association Parachute Team from Fort Bragg, N.C., will conduct the "Jumping in of the American Flag." Air support will be provided by WYN Sky Diving from Akron;
  • The National Athem will be sung by Harmony Bordinaro;
  • The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Bobbie Metcalf of Blue Star Mothers;
  • Invocation -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Introduction of guest speaker by LTC William Fava (Army retired);
  • Guest speaker -- Brigadier General Frank Cipolla (Army retired);
  • Placement of Memorial Wreath -- American Legion Post #626 & VFW Post #1484;
  • Placement of additional wreaths by the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #193, Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Post #626 Auxiliary, Genesee County American Legion, and Genesee County American Legion Auxiliary;
  • Benediction -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Rifle Salute -- North / South Skirmish Association of WNY;
  • Taps -- Tom Cecere;
  • Fly-over at 1300 hours, if Pentagon approved.

Following opening ceremonies, at 1:30 p.m., patriotic music will be played by Danny B.

The daily closing ceremony is at 8 p.m. with a benediction by Rev. Patrick Wilson of the Alabama Baptist Church; Rifle Salute by the North / South Skirmish Association of WNY; Taps by Tom Cecere and Frank Panepento.

June 9, 2014 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, Medina.

Flags have been placed on both sides of West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia, adjacent the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, to honor Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, a paratrooper who died during training last week.

Schmigel is a decorated Iraq War veteran.

Born in Batavia, Schmigel went to high school in Medina.

The Patriot Guard escorted her casket into Genesee County and then to Medina. The procession is expected in Batavia around 7:15 p.m.

Rita Towner helped organize an effort to use flags from Redfield Parkway to line West Main Street. She's asking that any residents along the route today and Wednesday (when the funeral procession will travel from Batavia to Corfu) to put out any flags they have in the parkway or along the roadway.

Below is a video from Route 77 in Pembroke that was submitted by a reader.

UPDATE: Also participating in the flag placement: Kathy Owens, Dennis Altman, Spencer Towner, Laura Mullen, Quinton and Michelle Taylor, the Browns, Lynn Conroy and her cousins.

June 5, 2014 - 10:55am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke.

A fire on the roof, near an air-conditioning unit, is reported at the Flying J Travel Plaza. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with Corfu and the city's Fast Team. The fourth platoon is called to stand by in city quarters. The building is evacuated. A first responder on scene reports nothing showing. Command says units already on the road can continue emergency mode.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m.: Fire appears to be out.

UPDATE 11:11: A code enforcement officer is on scene.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Corfu is back in service.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: Pembroke command says they are picking up and will be leaving the scene shortly.

June 2, 2014 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke.

A manure pile is on fire at 8122 Marble Road, according to a farm hand there. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. The location is between Akron and Gabbey roads.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: The site is next to the alpaca farm. A responder on scene says "it's smokin' pretty good."

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Pembroke is back in service.

May 29, 2014 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, pembroke, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

"For too long, Western New York's veterans have been denied the honor of being laid to rest among their fellow heroes right here in our community," Congressman Chris Collins said. "Today's announcement of a veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke finally rights that wrong. This location will allow veterans from all around our region to be properly and locally honored for their service to this country."

Background: The VA has selected a 132-acre parcel on Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke (Genesee County) as home for the long-anticipated Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery. Currently, the closest veterans’ cemetery is located in Bath, approximately 100 miles away.  

Press release from Sen. Charles Schumer's office after the jump:

May 29, 2014 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke.

Jarrod K. Fotiathis, 19, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with false personation. Fotiathis was suspected of being involved in a fight Wednesday night on Swan Street. When questioned, Fotiathis allegedly gave a false last name to a police officer. Officers reportedly asked him several times for his real last name and Fotiathis allegedly refused to do so. 

William Scott Smith, 46, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 11:45 p.m. May 16 on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Michael Joseph Elmore, 23, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and trespass. Elmore allegedly trespassed on private property and was found in possession of marijuana at 3:10 p.m. May 24 by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Kristine Szumigala, 40, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Szumigala was allegedly involved in a fight at 8:57 a.m. Sunday at 16 Bank St., Batavia.

May 29, 2014 - 6:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has filed an indictment against a Batavia resident who is accused of firing a handgun at another person while on State Street on Sept. 27.

Deshawn Allen Butler, 34, was wanted for a time in connection with the shots fired incident and was arrested in December. He was released from jail a few days later when the prosecution, which wasn't ready to proceed with a pre-trial hearing, called a felony hearing.

Butler was indicted on counts of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and attempted assault, 1st, also a Class C violent felony.

Other indictments filed by the Grand Jury:

Kelly M. Zwolinski is indicted on a count of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, a Class E felony. Zwolinski is accused of knowingly possessing stolen property valued at more than $1,000. In this case, a Western barrel-racing saddle, a Western trail saddle, two sets of stirrups and a breast collar.

Jose A. Esquilin is indicted on a count of DWI as a misdemeanor and aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony. Esquilin was stopped Dec. 6 on the Thruway in Pembroke.

May 27, 2014 - 6:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

A motorcycle crash with unknown injuries is reported at 7129 Hopkins Road. Mercy Flight is on ground standby in Batavia; not available to fly except to Strong Memorial Hospital due to wind. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. A first responder says the rider is off the bike, standing up and holding his helmet.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m.: Mercy medics are responding non-emergency mode.

May 22, 2014 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, wildlife.

Reader Ivy Otto e-mailed us about her sighting of a black bear early Wednesday morning. Unfortunately we are not able to use the two photos she sent us. Otto says she saw the bear on Akron Road in the "Pembroke/Akron area...almost near the 5 Corners."

"Just wanted to give the neighborhood a heads up!"

The pictures show a full-grown bear coming out of a wooded area alongside a white house, with a white tool shed in back and a white pole in front (the top is not visable, may be a flagpole) with fieldstones around its base.

May 8, 2014 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, pembroke.

Pictured from left, top row: Samantha Balbi, Tia Stone, Lauren Halle, Ava Reinhart, Kaetlyn Andrews. Middle row: Jessica Sosnowski, Panorea Tsoukalos, Evelyn Chadbourn, Taylor Lundfelt. Bottom row: Melania Frias, Londyn Hume, Ariana Frias.

Press release:

Images in Dance students achieved excellent ratings at the Star System National Talent Competition last month in Rochester. They competed against dancers from throughout Western New York and Canada.

Among the 17 top performances included a routine by Batavia High School Senior Taylor Sanders, who achieved Platinum and was named First Overall dancer of her division. Taylor, the daughter of Gerry and Lynn Sanders, of Batavia, will be attending Niagara University in the fall and intends to continue with her dance opportunities while studying Pre-Medicine. Another top performer, Amanda Boss, the daughter of Dan and Sue Boss, of Pembroke, will be attending Genesee Community College in the fall. She intends to continue her dance career while studying Health Studies at GCC.

Highlights of the Rochester event included:

Amanda Boss -- Elite High Gold and 4th Overall

Ariana Frias -- Elite High Gold and 10th Overall

Melania Frias -- Platinum and 3rd Overall

Tia Stone -- Elite High Gold and 8th Overall

Samantha Balbi -- High Gold

Panorea Tsoukalos -- Elite High Gold and 1st Place

Lauren Halle and Ava Reinhart -- Duet Elite High Gold

Taylor Sanders and Amanda Boss -- Duet Platinum and Platinum and 1st Overall

Road Trip & We've Got The Beat (Twinkle Team) -- 2 Elite High Golds

Up, Vacation & Jai Ho (Juniors) -- 3 Elite High Golds

Wrecking Ball (Teens/Akron) -- High Gold and 3rd Overall

Breath of Life (Teens/Perry) -- High Gold

Images in Dance owner Robin Cotler will coordinate two additional competition opportunities for her students this spring. All dance routines will be performed at the Images in Dance recitals. Recital dates are posted in our newsletter at imagesindance.com

May 8, 2014 - 1:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Attica, pembroke, real encounter.
Event Date and Time: 
May 20, 2014 -
6:30pm to 7:30pm

A Christian outreach ministry aimed at youth -- "Real Encounter" -- will present BMX motorcycle stunts demonstrated by expert riders and personal faith testimonials at three local venues May 20-22. It is free and fun for all. Each demo starts at 6:30 p.m.

May 20 -- Batavia -- on Center Street in the parking lot (unspecified)

May 21 -- Pembroke -- Pembroke High School parking lot

May 22 -- Attica -- Attica High School parking lot

May 5, 2014 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, pembroke.

A Sheriff's deputy is responding to an address on Angling Road, Pembroke, after a resident reported that a neighbor's dogs killed the resident's chickens.

May 4, 2014 - 8:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu.

About 100 Pembroke High School students held a prayer walk this evening from the school to the cemetery in Corfu in memory of Dean Cullinan. The 19-year-old Corfu resident died the night of April 23 while walking his bike on Genesee Street in Darien.

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