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State police looking for Buffalo-area sex offender who could be anywhere

By Howard B. Owens

UPDATE, March 18, 10:30 a.m.:  We received this note from the State Police:

Reference the attached press release sent on 03/17/09, NYSP Clarence BCI received an anon. tip that WEBSTER WIGGINS was staying at a location in the City of Buffalo.  WIGGINS was located and arrested without incident.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- State Police are looking for a sex offender from Buffalo who could be anywhere in the state, according to Investigator Daniel Strozyk.

Webster E. Wiggins, Jr. 33, has refused to register as a sex offender since March 2004, according the Strozyk.

"He knows he's wanted," Strozyk said. "He could be anywhere. We know he was in Buffalo last week, but we received information that he moved and we don't know where."

Wiggins last resided at 2763 Main St., Buffalo. He's been known to travel elsewhere in the state.

Wiggins is 5-8, 155 lbs and has tattoos on both arms.

State Police are requesting anyone with information on Webster E. Wiggins Jr.  contact State Police at 716-759-6831.

News Round Up: Corfu election delayed a day in observance of St. Patrick's Day

By Howard B. Owens

People curious how many votes Scott Doll might get in the Corfu mayoral election will wait until tomorrow to find out.

Doll is charged with second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his business partner, Joseph A. Benaquist.

The unusual election made the CBS national news on WBTA this afternoon.

Village elections are usually held on Tuesdays, but Corfu, which has the only village election this year in Genesee County, delayed its election until Wednesday this year because of St. Patrick's Day.

In other news:

  • Construction on a $5 million roundabout, the first in Batavia, on Walnut Street, begins tomorrow. WBTA posted an interview with Asst. City Manger Sally Kuzon.
  • There will be no curb-side pick up of yard waste in Batavia this year and residents are asked to bring their waste, beginning April 1, to the Law Street collection station.
  • The municipal pools in LeRoy will not open this year due to lack of funds for needed repairs.

For more details on these and other stories, visit the WBTA news page.

Letter from Democratic congressional delegation indicated Sen. Gillibrand may face primary challenge

By Howard B. Owens

A group of New York's Democratic congressional members are in a snit over the state Democratic Party sending out promotional materially supporting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the one-term congresswoman picked by Gov. Paterson to replace Hilary Clinton.

Ten members of Congress, including Eric Massa of Corning, sent party chair June O'Neill a letter urging the party not to openly support Gillibrand because the newly minted senator may face a primary challenge.

"Some of the co-signers of this letter may support Senator Gillibrand. Some are considering running for the seat," the letter, first reported about Monday by the New York Post, states.

"Others remain undecided. However, each of us wants a Democrat to win in a process that is fair, open and inclusive."

(via The Fighting 29th blog)

Police Beat: Teen arrested following ATV accident that left passenger injured

By Howard B. Owens

A Bethany teen-ager is facing charges after losing control of an ATV he was allegedly driving and getting into an accident that left a 16-year-old passenger injured.

The teen-ager, also 16, left the scene of the accident in Spring Road in Alexander, according to a Sheriff's office report.

No word on the seriousness of the injuries the passenger sustain. The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to the report.

The driver has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree and may face other charges.

A 16-year-old from Oakfield is charged with trespass after entering the driveway and yard of another person in Oakfield.

Sarah J. Moutrup, 29, of Oakfield, is charged with felony DWI following her arrest in Alabama. Moutrup is charged with aggravated DWI and driving with a BAT of .18 or greater.

Brian M. Glor, 36, of Oakfield, was arrested Monday for possession marijuana and obstruction of governmental administration in the second degree. Glor allegedly interfered with a DWI investigation in Alabama. Glor was arrested and during a search, the marijuana was found.

Ranzenhofer knocks proposal to give some state workers more time off

By Howard B. Owens

We received the following press release from Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer's office. 

The proposal to give extra days off to state workers with children strikes me a rather tone-deaf move by Sen. Antoine Thompson. At a time when the budget squeeze has never been tighter, when unemployement is at its highest in more than a decade, and everybody is feeling the pinch, Mr. Thompson wants to throw more benefits to state employees (who already have pretty cush jobs by private sector standards). 

Here's a Buffalo News article on the same topic.

But the most generous, proposed by Sen. Antoine Thompson, D-Buffalo, offers state workers two days off for every child to, in the words of his three-paragraph bill, “participate in child’s education.” While that would mean a state worker with four kids could take eight extra days off a year, the bill states that it would have no fiscal impact on the governments.

Anybody who as ever run a business understands that paid time off does in fact have a fiscal impact on the business, either in terms of lost productivity or the need to hire more workers or hire contract workers.

No matter how well-intentioned the measure, how does the state ensure the time off is used as intended? Furthermore, isn't it discriminating against childless workers, asking them to pick up the slack for co-workers who are getting a benefit unavailable to them?

I'm just a little flabbergasted at the proposal. I would have found it hard to believe on Ranzenhofer's say-so alone if I hadn't read the same thing in the News.

Press Release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today expressed his disbelief at a bill being offered by Sen. Antoine Thompson that would offer two additional paid days off per child to all 332,000 state workers to “participate in child’s education”.  This bill would be in addition to an excused leave program that already allows state and local government workers to take paid time off in addition to their sick and personal leave and vacation time for specific reasons. All of these leave programs amount to a massive unfunded mandate on localities and a waste of taxpayer money at both the local and state level.

“Government workers already receive more paid time off then anyone working in the private sector. The idea that we should spend more taxpayer money to allow them more time off should be called what it is-an abuse of the taxpayer and a giveaway,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “We are in the midst of a very real fiscal crisis and what Senator Thompson and the democrats are proposing demonstrates that they really do not understand what the average New York resident or business is facing each and every day.”  

Senator Ranzenhofer remains committed to finding ways to reduce both unfunded mandates and the burden of high taxes “The people of the 61st Senate District sent me to Albany to enact policies that are in their best interests, not to cater to any special interest group, “ Ranzenhofer continued “taxpayers can count on me as an advocate and a friend, I will never leave them holding the bag.”  

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer was elected to the New York State Senate in 2008. He represents the 61st Senate District which includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.

Police Beat: Two DWIs and a shoplift charge over the weekend

By Howard B. Owens

Jason R. Anderson, 27, of Elba, was arrested Saturday on a charge of petty larceny. He is accused of stealing items from the Dollar Store.

Brandt L. Arnold, Jr., 28, of Corfu, was arrested on DWI related charges Sunday morning in Darien. Arnold was stopped at 3:30 a.m. on Fargo Road. He is charged with felony DWI and driving with at BAT of .18 or higher.

Steven M. Coakley, 25, of Bergen, was arrested on DWI charges Sunday morning in Byron. Coakley is charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI and with driving with a BAT of .08 or more.

DWI and it's aftermath...

By Vicki Newton

Recently in the Daily News was a column by the excellent Scott DeSmit.  He talked about the aftermath of a particular accident caused by DWI, and the very high price paid by the passenger on the motorcycle.  It was quite illuminating.  It allowed you a glimpse beyond the initial report of the accident to the consequences of it.  It gives a clear picture of how callously and selfishly the driver acted after the accident.  It begs the question that if he hadn't been so concerned about himself and gotten help for his passenger right away, maybe she wouldn't be as bad off as she is.

As I read, I felt very deeply for this woman and her family.  What they now have to face is a lifetime sentence, which is a whole lot more than the man who was drunk and chose to drive got at sentencing.  As I thought more and more about it though, I was struck by something which was never brought up in the column, and that was the choices of the woman hurt.  This was a 47 year old woman- a mother of a then 20 year old daughter.  Had she never had the discussion with her child about not getting into (or on) a vehicle with someone who had been drinking?  I am certain she must have.  Did this lesson not apply to her own behavior, then?  Wasn't she thinking about her own safety and life that night?  Why did she get on that motorcycle with her boyfriend knowing he had at least 4 DWI's in his lifetime?  Was she not aware that he was drunk?  Had she driven with him drunk before and thought nothing of it?  These are the questions which had my mind churning.

Please do not misunderstand me, I have a deep sympathy for the woman and her family- no one deserves to have their life destroyed in this way.  It was a horrible accident- but isn't it an accident that was completely preventable?  Isn't it an accident that we warn our children about regularly?  The type of accident caused by poor choices, not just dumb luck?

I write this entry not to blame the victim, but to illustrate to all of us how every choice, every decision can have lasting and horrific consequences.  The bottom line is this- DO NOT drink and drive (even a little bit!) and don't EVER get in (or on) a vehicle with someone who has been drinking (even a little bit!) no matter how sober they may seem.  The choice is yours, and the consequences can be fatal. 

Comments from Batavia after winning Far West Regionals

By Brian Hillabush

After a dominant performance last night, the Batavia basketball team was on cloud nine. The Blue Devils really weren't tested and destroyed Section 6 Class A champion McKinley 54-40 at Brockport, earning a trip to the state final four.

I had a chance to talk with Joe Schlossel (game-high 17 points), Marcus Hoy (15 assists) and coach Buddy Brasky after the game.

Joe Schlossel

On how it feels to go to states

"It feels unbelievable. I mean, people didn't even think we could compete because of our size and we are going to the state semifinals. It is an amazing feeling."

Talking about breaking the McKinley press

"In practice we played against seven guys so in the game it wouldn't seem that bad. We were able to break that easy. After playing teams like Freddie Thomas and Marshall, it was great preparation for us in this game."

Explains his huge second half (13 points)

"I wanted to make up for some missed shots I had in the first half. I knew I had to do it to help us get to the next game. We all did our part and played a great game."


Marcus Hoy

Talks about breaking the press

"I knew that was the main goal. We worked on it all week, going 5-on-8 in practice. I knew that's what I had to do. Early on I struggled but I got it together in the second half and was able to handle it."

On if the team gained confidence as the game went on

"We know we are a good shooting team. When shots aren't falling early, we know they are going to fall late. And our defense kept us in the game early. We knew that if we kept it up we were going to win."

On how exciting it is to go to states

"It's amazing. I didn't expect to be here so it's awesome. This is one of the wildest dreams. This is awesome."


Coach Buddy Brasky

Talking about the win

"I am so proud of the players. They fought that lack of size adversity all year long. Everybody kept telling them they weren't that good. They refused to believe them and kept working hard all year long. They worked tremendously hard in the offseason and that pays off. Good things happen to good people and I have a team that's a bunch of good people."

On Marcus' day

"He has to be (in control). He was uncharacteristically tentative in the first half and had five turnovers. It isn't like him. We told him at halftime that he's the leader and he's done it for us all year. He was too tentative to start the second half and we told him to just beat them with his right hand. It's his strong hand. He just had to beat them and start making plays."

Talks about returning to states and comparing this year's team to 2005

"We still have one great scorer in Andrew (Hoy) and a bunch of role players. We had Michael (Chmielowiec) and a bunch of role players and now we have Andrew and a bunch of role players. We are just going to ride the wave as long as we can."

Batavia moves on to state final four with win over McKinley

By Brian Hillabush

 715 p.m. - The Batavia basketball team is off to a nice start in the first quarter of the Far West Regionals at Brockport.

The Blue Devils have a solid 9-2 lead and have done so in a fast-paced period against a far more athletic team. McKinley has given Batavia opportunities with missed shots, many of which were bad attempts. 

It looked like the Macks were going to just be too much physically at the start, but the poor shooting opened the door for Batavia.

The first basket came 1:45 into the first when Joe Schlossel scored two of his four points. Andrew Hoy missed all three of his 3-point attempts but did score a basket.

Batavia's lead wound up being eight points because Adam Pettinella hit a 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the period.

The only McKinley basket came from Mansa Habeeb.

 7:33 p.m. - Batavia leads 22-15 after an ugly first half of play.

It is difficult to comprehend after watching McKinley shoot in the first half that they are the best team Section 6 has to offer for Class A. Again, the Macks would force shot after shot and that doesn't work if they don't go in.

Batavia expanded the lead to 12-2 when Marcus Hoy hit a pair of free throws to start the period, but McKinley looked like a competitive time for the only time in the first half over the next two minutes.

Terri Lowe scored and Kevin Chillis followed with a steal and basket. Chillis then drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 11-9.

Batavia answered right back with Andrew Hoy hitting his first 3-pointer of the game - and only one of the half - and Robert Hoy adding a trey and a layup, giving the Blue Devils an 18-9 lead.

Curtis Gardner hit three foul shots and Chillis had a 3-pointer to end the half for McKinley.

7:56  p.m. - This thing is pretty close to over. It is obvious that Batavia is the better team in all aspects. 

The 7-point halftime lead quickly became a 10-point Batavia advantage when Dakota Irvin scored and Andrew Hoy had a 3-pointer with a McKinley basket in between.

Joe Schlossel blew up in the third quarter for the Blue Devils, scoring six points and again taking on players bigger than he is. Andrew Hoy finished with six in the frame and Batavia has a whopping 38-24 lead.

 8:19 p.m. - Batavia wins 54-40.

The game was really decided after the third quarter and fourth was a formality that allowed Batavia coach Buddy Brasky to clear his bench by the end of the frame and the large BHS cheer section an opportunity to storm the floor and celebrate with their team.

Schlossel had the biggest fourth quarter for Batavia with seven points.

He finished the game with a game-high 17 points with seven rebounds. Andrew Hoy scored 13 points and Marcus Hoy dished out a 15 assists.

Batavia's defense held McKinley star Mansa Habeeb to just two points in the game.

The Blue Devils will be playing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four next weekend in Glens Falls.

Care-A-Van Night Out

By Robin Walters

The Used Bowl and a Few Scraps



It was an interesting night out recentlyon the Care-A-Van Bus. God took us to one of the local trailer parks. Paul Ohlson, the Director and Founder of the bus was busy serving chili. As God and I got done with ministering with some of the families, Paul offered me a bowl of his and Bridget’s homemade chili. He joked that he would serve me out of a used bowl, as seen in the photo above.


The used bowl joke made me think about how some of feel in our walks of life. Have you ever thought that you were all “used up” and that there was no hope for you in life? Do you find yourself questioning where is my life going? What can God do with me? I am a nobody, I am just like a used Styrofoam bowl all flimsy and no stability. Your mind is telling you a lie. You and I are all worthy. Just like all the folks that God led to the bus tonight. There are people within this city with hurting souls. They do not understand why they lost their job, why their hours were cut. They are hurting. They are sitting with worry and frustration because of the situations that they find themselves in.


God does tell us in the book of Colossians 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.


During these tough times when we sometimes feel like a used bowl, God wants us to understand and to be encouraged and love each other. We are finding that during these tough times there are many people that do not know and understand the true mysteries of God and how he will provide for them. He truly does have a purpose for all of us.


A beautiful young 8 year old girl came out to the bus. She was so excited to have found a used bible out on one of the tables. She was standing at the front of the bus with an armload of clothes. She shared with us that she really needed some play clothes. She had left and took her treasures home with her. Next thing we knew, she showed back up on the bus with her step sister who was in first grade. They wanted to know if we had another bible that her sister could have. We looked through the books that were on the tables and found one for her as well. On the bus, we also have the Hope books, which are the New Testament. These books were donated by the Assembly of God.  Each girl was sent home with God’s word in hand.




We had some gentlemen from the Church of Rock in Attica come out and volunteer with us. God even uses the scraps of animal horns for his glory. Kerwin can make beautiful sound on his Shofar – a musical instrument made from one of these animal horns.


Pastor Eric and Joe were a blessing to the bus this evening. They really helped with setting up the tables, knocking on doors and even delivering groceries to one of the homes.


So you see, no matter where you may be in life, there is hope. God went to the streets tonight to love upon those that feel useless, that feel like they are just a minute scrap in life and feel like they are all used up. With knowing Jesus, we all know we are made new and a great life awaits us.


Thank you to all who continue to make it possible for Care-A-Van Ministries to go out and show that burning bright light of hope and love and the true mysteries of God.


Robin Walters

Public Relations Director

Care-A-Van Ministries


PS I had other pics, but I sure am not a technical guru, I could not get them to upload..


Area Democratic leaders meet with governor in Rochester

By Howard B. Owens

Lorie Longhany of LeRoy submitted this photo along with the following information:

Left to right: Genesee County chair Lorie Longhany; Wyoming County chair Hank Bush; Livingston County chair Phil Jones; Governor David Paterson; Orleans County chair Jeanne Crane.

Wednesday night after his town hall meeting in Rochester, Governor Paterson had dinner with the four GLOW Democratic chairs, as well as the chairperson from Yates County. The Governor spent two hours discussing local issues over dinner, along with posing for some pictures.

Congressman Chris Lee co-sponsors legislation dealing with sexual misconduct in schools

By Howard B. Owens

Press Release:

AMHERST – Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) was joined by community leaders at the Amherst Main Library today to unveil major legislation to protect students from sexual abuse in schools.

Lee and others were spurred to act after a national investigation conducted by the Associated Press uncovered thousands of cases in which incidents of sexual misconduct by school employees were not reported to the public.

As a result of this lack of reporting, offenders have the freedom to move from school to school – sometimes across the state, other times across the country – without the new school district being aware of the fact that their newest employee was fired from a previous job for sexual misconduct. As recently as 2007, only 17 states mandated collecting data of this nature.

“This unacceptable lack of transparency puts our students in harm’s way. It’s time to put student safety first,” Congressman Lee said. “We need to take serious steps to prevent these menacing acts and give our school officials the tools they need to keep sex offenders from ever setting foot in a classroom again.”

That’s why Congressman Lee recently partnered with Congressman Adam Putnam (R-FL) to introduce the Student Protection Act (H.R. 781), which establishes:

·         A uniform reporting requirement for educators accused of sexual misconduct;

·         A commission in each state to investigate allegations of abuse;

·         A nationwide database where the names of school employees sanctioned for sexual misconduct would be kept on record and made available to the public;

·         A toll-free number for reporting incidents of sexual abuse by educators.

Congressman Lee was joined at today’s event by Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Amherst Central Schools superintendent Laura Chabe, and Edward Suk, executive director of the New York branch of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, commended Congressman Lee for introducing this much-needed legislation: "This Act brings attention to the often-overlooked problem of child sexual exploitation in our schools. The vast majority of teachers are dedicated, decent professionals. However, when abuse occurs there must be meaningful sanctions and oversight in order to prevent teachers from moving to a new school and victimizing additional students."

Congressman Lee also noted that the Student Protection Act is an example of how the federal government can encourage states to work together without growing Washington: “Failing to adopt these common-sense policies at the national level leaves all states vulnerable when hiring educators from states with mediocre reporting procedures and lackluster ethical standards. Our students and our teachers deserve better than a piecemeal approach.”

Wednesday's election matches up murder suspect against incumbent

By Brian Hillabush

When Scott Doll was arrested for the alleged murder of 66-year old Joseph Benaquist in Pembroke a few weeks back, it was at a time while he was preparing to run for mayor of Corfu.

Doll, who entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday, remains on the ballot because it was too late for the Republican party to take him of the ticket. Doll's family owned a supermarket in the village for years and he had only recently moved back to Corfu. He has no prior experience in government.

The only Genesee County village to hold an election on Wednesday is Corfu, so Doll is in jail and will make news for two reasons on that day. He is scheduled for a bail hearing, but will also be a choice for voters as he will be facing incumbent Todd Skeet in the election.

The Buffalo News today previews the Corfu elections, while also noting that Bergen, Elba, Le Roy and Oakfield do not hold elections this year while Alexander will be holding a meeting-type election in April.

A look at the Oakfield fire of 1895

By Brian Hillabush

I knew the village of Oakfield has been around for a long time, but I never really thought about what might have happened before everybody living there was born.

While looking at some history sites I came across one called GenDisasters, which posted a story from an Ohio Newspaper called The Mansfield News from 5-12-1895.

Buffalo, May 11. -- The little village of Oakfield was entirely destroyed by fire this morning. Not a house is left standing. The fields about the burning village are occupied by the refugees who have saved nothing from the flames. Shortly after 3 o'clock this morning a telegram was received here asking for assistance but none could be sent. The telegraph, telephone and railway dispatch offices are all burned out and no wire communication can be had with the village. The fire started in the rear of HARRIS & CHAPIN'S hardware store about 1:30 a.m. and burned till 3:30 o'clock. Among the buildings destroyed are:
CHAMBERLAIN'S block, dry goods and grocery store.
HARRIS & CHAPIN'S hardware store.
WEAVER'S furniture and undertaking establishment.
B. C. MARTIN'S dry goods and grocery store.
The ARNOLD Hotel.
The BARNES House.
Odd Fellows Hall.
DR. TUGTUIS' drug store, and a number of dwellings. The loss will be about $75,000.

Oakfield - which was originally known as Cary or Caryville - had a population of over 1,000 when the first recorded store opened in 1833 by Colonel Alfred Cary.

The village's name was changed to Plain Brook in 1837 and was soon after changed to Oakfield. The first village meeting was held in August of 1887.

There is a fascinating piece written on the history of Oakfield here.

Prison worker from Darien charged with inappropriate sexual contact

By Brian Hillabush

A 60-year old Darien Center man has been charged with one count of committing a criminal sexual act in the third degree as well as one count of official misconduct after an investigation into an incident at Albion Correctional Facility.

Samuel E. Williams is receiving the charge after the State Police and Department of Corrections investigated an allegation made by a female inmate in the fall of last year, stating the civilian employee made inappropriate sexual contact.

Williams is scheduled to appear in Albion court on March 24.

Batavia Nurse talks about teenage pregnancy

By Tasia Boland

Although there has been a decrease in teenage pregnancy rates from 1991-2004 new data shows teenage pregnancy is now rising.

Each year almost 750,000 teenage women aged 15-19 become pregnant. Fifty percent or more of teenage pregnancies end in abortion in New York State, according to the National and Statewide statistics.

Stephanie Loranty, nurse at Batavia High School, said last year there were ten students who were pregnant. Four dropped out, one graduated, and five are still continuing on. Currently, two students are pregnant at the high school and one at the middle school.

27 percent of ninth graders in New York are sexually experienced and 17.4 percent are sexually active.  As seniors 62.6 percent are sexually experienced and 49.1 percent are sexually active.

“It’s scary,” said Loranty on the statistics of sexually active teens, “It’s hard because you are around the kids every day and you know their emotional and insecure at times and you know the choices they make can have consequences on their whole life.”

7.1 percent of ninth graders had four or more partners in New York and 20.1 percent of seniors had four or more partners.

Loranty said she feels students do not understand the seriousness of STDs and there are not many educational opportunities for students besides what they learn in their health class.

When asked about how safe sex is promoted or talked about she said it really isn’t, mostly abstinence is.

 Loranty said she wants to see more programs informing students of the risks of unprotected sex, and the importance of abstinence and safe sex, but it is a sensitive topic. She said this is where it gets hard because the line can easily be crossed with parents.

Loranty thinks a way to help teenagers make the right choice would be to start the health class at the freshman level.

She hopes one day the school budget will be able to afford electronic computer babies (mimics all the behaviors of a real life baby), instead of using flour babies.

Loranty nodded her head and sighed as she said, “It is not effective for them at all, and it just teaches them to be responsible for carrying an extra item around.”
Although these electronic babies would be much more effective, they are too costly.

“They are somewhere around $10, 000,” said Loranty.

Teenage pregnancy is also costly, from a press release teen childbearing in
New York cost taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $421 million in 2004.

Loranty’s advice for students who are pressured to be sexually active is, “Talk to someone and really think about your decisions.”

Her advice for parents, “Be involved, there are so many kids out there who don’t have any support.” She said even the little things matter. Just talking to them can create change. She hopes to see more programs implemented into the curriculum that are self-sufficient and involve parents. 

Topwater Largemouths: Y Camp Memories



In the early sixties, Silver Lake provided some of the best fishing in New York.  In hindsight it would seem that Y Camp - $30 a week at the time - was an inexpensive fish camp, if fishing was your thing,

In the summer of 1964, in a week spanning late June and the beginning of July, five campers lived a young fishermen’s dream. Each day at dawn, occasionally mid-day and again prior to the sun going down, they experienced a bass angler’s delight - or beginners luck. It also signaled a time when those five young men graduated from worms to artificial lures.   

The first day of camp Mike Hintorn, Dave “Bongo” Barton and the Doody brothers, Dan and Joe and I were on the dock two hours before reveille.  With everyone else in camp still sound asleep we had the waterfront to ourselves. 

Soon we would discover the excitement of surface fishing for largemouth bass. But before any of us reached for a topwater lure we began with an old standby – juicy nightcrawlers.

For the better part of an hour we flipped worms, but the only takers were bluegills, sunfish, stunted perch and one or two small bass. The problem seemed to be the aquatic growth. Dense beds of milfoil and foxtail prevented our baits from sinking down to the cool, dark recesses where the big fish lay in wait. Growing weary of the pan fish, we began to pay attention to periodic surface activity in the form of splashes and swirls. 

Hastily we bit through monofilament fishing line, removing hooks and worms. Mike Hinton, Dave Barton and Joe Doody reached into their tackle box searching for surface plugs. Dan Doody pulled out a Jitter Bug. I opted for a Hula Popper, a lure that, up to that moment, had gone unused. It was still in the box with instructions. I didn’t take time to read them. As things turned out, the fish didn't seem to mind.  For the next hour we experienced a barrage of surface strikes.

Later, after reveille had sounded, a camp counselor spotted us on the dock and came down to investigate. I remember his exclamation when he lifted our heavy stringer of bass. As he held them up for inspection, the soft light of early morning enhances their colors - deep red gill rakers standing out in contrast against dark green backs. The fish are all big, much larger than any of us had ever seen, much less caught. The counselor eased the stringer back into the water and for several moments we stared at the fish, watching their pectoral fins move ever so slightly, their gills open and close slowly. With campers beginning to cluster around the flag pole for morning calisthenics every fish was released.   

That morning signaled the end of worm dunking. And that was only the beginning of what turned out to be a memorable stay at Y camp. Each morning at dawn the five of us were on the on the dock anticipating surface strikes. And our efforts weren't limited to the early morning hours. After the evening meal until just prior to sunset, we were back on the waterfront. And the results were quite similar.

Later in the week we began probing the waters in front of the arts & crafts building. From there we moved further along the shoreline. Adjacent the camp infirmary was another dock, this one quite smaller, a bit dilapidated and largely unused – until Mike Hinton decided to give it a whirl. On that morning Mike was casting a Zara Spook. A floater-diver, the “spook” floats on top when still, then dives just below the surface on retrieve. That morning, Mike used the “spook” to fill a stringer with largemouth that would be the envy of today’s tournament anglers.

  In close proximity to the small dock was a black willow. Growing at the waters edge, it was an older tree with two trunks, one of which extended out over the lake. One afternoon I saw Dan Doody perched in the tree with his fishing pole in hand. Situated on the large branch reaching out over the water, he was using a jitterbug like you would use a jig, bouncing it up and down onto the lake surface. Below him were two sizeable bass. They were lying motionless on the bottom in waist deep water, probably on their spawning beds. Dan never did entice those fish to strike, but the fact that he shinnied up that tree with fishing pole in hand then clambered out over the water indicates just what a spell those bass had on us.     

Evening was time for singing around the campfire. Later, after returning to our cabin for the night, we would sit on our bunks talking and looking up at all the names on the rafters and the ceiling. They were telltale signs of the campers from bygone days. All had left their mark the same way - printed in toothpaste. We had done likewise, breaking out tubes of Gleem or Colgate. Soon afterward it would be time for lights out followed by vespers. When all the giggling stopped and the whispers had died down, there was only the sound of the lake at night. Bullfrogs called from the swamp a few hundred yards distant, their throaty chorus easily carried across the water. There was the occasional sound of an outboard, maybe a walleye fisherman heading to his trolling grounds. Without a doubt each of us probably fell asleep with fish on our minds, eager for daybreak and big bass hiding among the weeds. 

Nobody thought to take a picture that week. But that's okay. I doubt there ever was a need for a photo. I’m sure each of them has a mental picture permanently filed away somewhere where it can never be lost.

Genesee Community College Weighs New Academic Programs, Vice President Reports

By Howard B. Owens

Press Release:

BATAVIA, N.Y. -- Genesee Community College could see new programs in health care, multimedia, agribusiness, public safety, and green technologies over the next several years, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Eunice Bellinger reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening. The Board met at the Batavia Campus for its regular meeting on March 9, 2009.

Dr. Bellinger said that she, and faculty and staff members, have been studying employment trends in Western New York over the last year. As a result of the study, she has identified 20 possible academic programs that may prepare students for fast-growing careers.

Possible programs include Agriculture Distribution, Agriculture Systems, Agriculture Inspector, Veterinary Technician, Dental Hygienist, Home Health Aide, Medical Coding, Medical Technologist, Sleep Disorders Technologist, Medical Transcription, New Media, Electronic Gaming, Homeland Security, Police Science, Forensics, Corrections, Environmental Technician, Golf Course Management, Landscape Design, and Renewable Energy Technology.

Some of these programs could be based on highly successful Genesee degree programs already in existence, Dr. Bellinger said. For example, Genesee's Criminal Justice program already prepares students for a variety of law enforcement positions in Western New York.

New programs in Homeland Security, Police Science, Forensics, and Corrections could be offshoots of the current Criminal Justice program.New programs will be geared toward career interests of students just out of high school, as well as older students wishing to prepare for second or third careers. "We all know that traditional manufacturing jobs are declining," Dr. Bellinger said. "What many students and community residents do not realize is that a number of exciting new career paths are emerging, and business leaders are already looking for trained employees in these growing fields."

Faculty and staff members will continue their review of new programs in the months ahead - and at least several new high-priority programs will be proposed within the next year, Dr. Bellinger said. The reviews consist of an analysis curriculum, job opportunities, and costs. "We have to be especially conscious of costs in these challenging times," she noted. "So, for example, programs requiring a high investment like dental hygiene, may take a back seat to programs that we can implement with existing resources."

Dr. Bellinger also told trustees that she hopes to introduce new courses for adults over the age of 50, such as genealogy and antiquing. "Courses such as these can bring new personal skills and income-producing opportunities to older adults, while not requiring full degrees."

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

    * Approved a recommendation from the Board's Personnel Committee that Associate Professor of Computer Systems and Network Technology Marina Cappellino be granted a sabbatical leave during the 2009-2010 academic year. During that time, Professor Cappellino plans to fully revise Genesee's Computer Systems and Networking program, as well as update four technology courses to better equip students to prepare for Cisco Networking Associates certification. Professor Cappellino will also participate in a variety of educational programs, including Cisco and Nortel router and switch programming and security, information security training necessary to meet U.S. Department of Defense requirements, data loss prevention, local area network standards, and voice-over-internet protocol telephony systems.
    * Heard President Stuart Steiner report that the official Fall 2008 enrollment numbers for Genesee are in: 6,672 students attended Genesee in the fall, up 3.1% from the 6,472 who were enrolled a year ago. "Today, more than ever, students appreciate the affordability and excellence that Genesee and other community colleges offer," Dr. Steiner told trustees. "Just as important, most students now understand that they can easily transfer from a community college to baccalaureate colleges across the United States." Dr. Steiner noted that leading educators, as well as civic and business leaders across the U.S., are now promoting the value of community colleges. "President Obama has mentioned community colleges as an excellent higher education alternative several times during his first six weeks in office," he said.
    * Heard President Steiner report that the College currently enrolls 5,645 students during the Spring 2009 semester - the highest spring enrollment in the College's history. Enrollment was up 7.9% from the 5,231 students enrolled a year ago and up 5.7% from the previous high record of 5,342 students in Spring 2006. Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia Taylor reported that 787 students applied for Spring 2009 admission as full-time students, up 47% from the 535 students who had applied for the Spring 2008 semester. Nine hundred ninety students applied for admission on a part-time basis up 18% from the 842 students who applied last year.
    * Heard Board Chair Laurie Miller and Student Trustee Steven Schutt congratulate second-year student Moses Nhial of Sudan for attaining U.S. citizenship. Mr. Nhial was a sworn in as a U.S. citizen in early February, and was honored late last month at a College reception. Mr. Schutt and Mr. Nhial are roommates at College Village. Mr. Schutt briefly described Mr. Nhial's life, and his mother's 1,000-mile trek in the Sudan, carrying him to safety. "You cannot know what he (Moses) has been through in his life," Mr. Schutt said. "Yet he is such a gracious and humble person." Genesee County Legislator and Board of Trustees liaison Charles Zambito said that the Legislature will also honor Mr. Nhial with a proclamation March 24.
    * Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Kathleen L. Guyett and Frances E. Hoeft, professors of nursing, will retire at the end of the current academic year. "We are deeply grateful for their years of dedicated service," Dr. Steiner said. "Kathy and Fran are highly respected nursing educators, and their efforts over the years have helped ensure that our local residents receive exceptional care in our area hospitals and health care facilities." Professors Guyett and Hoeft began teaching at Genesee in 1978.
    * Heard Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin Hamilton report that the Lima Planning Board granted "concept" approval for the new Lima Campus Center March 4. The Planning Board will again review plans in mid-month. Mr. Hamilton said he hopes that final approval will be granted April 1. The new center will be located on Route 15A north of the village, and the College hopes the new building will be ready by the start of the fall semester.
    * Congratulated members of the Women's Basketball Team, which won the Region III championship. The Lady Cougars, with a season record of 18-7, now moves on to the national championships next week in East Peoria, Illinois.
    * Heard Professor of Criminal Justice Barry Garigen describe the Criminal Justice Club's new Student Safety Patrol. Ten students are currently active in the patrol, Professor Garigen told trustees. Wearing black and gold uniforms, they patrol the Batavia Campus and assist at student events, helping to serve as the "eyes and ears" of the College's public safety officers. They also provide assistance to faculty, staff, and students, such as escort services to vehicles during evening hours. Students Phyllis Washburn of LeRoy and Jake Hammersly an international student from Great Britain, both patrol members, said that they have been "well received" by the College community. "We have received many compliments about the new safety patrol," Mr. Hammersly said. "And for us, it's a great real-world learning experience." Students who need field studies experience can receive academic credit for participating in the safety patrol, and other students participate on a volunteer basis as members of the Criminal Justice Club, Professor Garigen said.
    * Heard Edward Levinstein, Associate Dean of Accelerated College Enrollment Programs, report that this fall the ACE office will facilitate the first-ever Theatre Arts Academy for area high school students. Participating students will complete two courses at the Batavia Campus - Fundamentals of Acting and Stagecraft - Monday through Thursday, afternoons. Theatre Arts Academy classes will culminate in a live performance. Students will earn six college credits.

Police Beat: LeRoy woman suspected of dealing drugs

By Howard B. Owens

Joann M. Rusby, 50, of LeRoy, is in custody, accused of dealing drugs.

The LeRoy Police Department identified Rusby as a suspect after a 53-year-old woman in LeRoy was found dead in her apartment. During the investigation of her death, LeRoy police learned that Rusby may have been dealing Fentanyl, a narcotic pain reliever.

Police conducted an undercover operation, which resulted in Rusby's arrest.

Rusby is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. 

After arraignment, Rusby is being held on $7,500 bail.

Harvey J. Lockhart, a.k.a. "Man,"  26, of Batavia, is in custody, accused of dealing crack cocaine.

Lockhart was arrested following an investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Police say Lockhart sold a quantity of crack to an undercover officer in late 2008. The Grand Jury issued a sealed indictment for his arrest. Lockhart was spotted in Batavia yesterday and taken into custody.

He is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Lockhart is being held pending arraignment.

Brian Tracy, 21, of Attica, was arrested in Corfu yesterday for allegedly taking another person's car for a joy ride.  Tracy is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Darien teen in trouble for Internet activity

By Brian Hillabush

It might be obvious to most, but you should probably stick to logging in to your own Internet accounts. In fact,  you can get in trouble for logging in to another person's Web site accounts and making changes. 

A Darien teenager is learning that lesson right now as 17-year old Brittany N. Barto was issued a ticket to appear in Darien Town Court on March 24 after logging into somebody else's account, where she made unspecified changes.

According to The Buffalo News, it caused the victim "a substantial inconvenience." 

Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at
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