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May 4, 2018 - 5:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, news, accident.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported in the area of 10778 Alexander Road, Attica.

There is no entrapment.

The location is in front of Mooche's Auto Glass.

Alexander fire and ambulance responding along with Mercy EMS.

Traffic on Route 98 is being shut down in both directions.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Correction: No Mercy ambulances available. Bethany's ambulance was dispatched. A chief on scene says Bethany can stand by in its hall.

May 4, 2018 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central School District, alexander, schools, news, notify.

A reduction in state aid for the Alexander Central School District is contributing to the district's need to raise property taxes by 38 cents per thousand of assessed value for 2018-19 even though overall spending will be reduced from this academic year.

Voters in the district will be asked to approve the proposed budget May 15.

The district is asking to spend $17,704,810 next fiscal year, a reduction in operational spending of $293,367.

State financial aid, which makes up more than half the district's budget, is being reduced by $193,685. Building aid is being reduced as well by $565,851.

The proposed tax levy, the total amount collected through property taxes, is $6,159,675, compared to $6,050,850 this year, an increase of $108,825.

That levy would put the property tax rate at $21.51, or 38 cents more than this year, per thousand of accessed value.

Catherine Huber, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, said the budget is responsible and meets the needs of students.

"We always, of course, focus on developing fiscally responsible budgets," Huber said. "To talk a little bit about a fiscally responsible budget and the things we were able to do with our last budget. With that budget, we were able to maintain staff and programs.

"With that budget we were able to build capacity in our school district by bringing on a school social worker, by bringing on an ESL teacher to build the capacity for when students come to us with varied needs their needs can be met."

With the proposed budget, the district will also be able to build capacity.

"If anybody was at our last board meeting, you heard about the expansion of our agriculture program," Huber said. "It's an exciting expansion for Alexander. We also are proposing the addition of an instrumental music teacher. Did you know that we have 300 students in grades four through 12 -- out of 800 students in the school system -- (who) participate in music?

"We just had a sampling tonight of what the quality of our programming is, so to expand that program is something we can sustain over time and something we're really proud of."

A key proposal in the budget is the addition of a school resource officer. An SRO is a member of law enforcement -- in this case, a deputy from the Sheriff's Office -- who is posted at a school full time throughout the school year.

Sheriff William Sheron attended Wednesday's public hearing and encouraged voters to approve the proposal.

He said in this day and age, an SRO isn't a "nice to have." It is a "must have."

"The officer protects the individuals here, the students, the faculty, the visitors that come in here," Sheron said. "He will interact with all the children. He will also be a mentor with the children in the school."

The SRO program has worked out very well at BOCES and Byron-Bergen Central School, Sheron said.

"The SRO is a resource for children go to when they don’t feel comfortable going to a teacher or an aide," Sheron said. "You create those relationships and those children will come to you. They’ll have faith in you. They’ll have confidence in you and they’ll share things with that officer that they wouldn’t share with anybody else."

Some budget highlights:

  • Regular classroom spending increases from $4,829,106 to $4,977,365;
  • Special education and vocational education spending is up from $2,868,973 to 2,920,888;
  • Athletics increases from $436,585 to $532,316;
  • Transportation increases from $776,134 to $818,087;
  • Maintenance for building and grounds decreases from $321,575 to $278,058;
  • Central administration spending will increase from $167,612 to $190,048;
  • School administration will increase from $585,069 to $609,329.

Tim Batzel, the district's finance director, said at Wednesday's hearing that in June the district will make its final payment on a $17.9 million bond that was financed in 1998 primarily for addition of the Middle School. As a result, next year's budget reflects a 66-percent ($530,000) drop in bond payments and a 21-percent drop in interest payments ($23,303).

Lighting upgrades continue to reduce the cost of utilities, Batzel said, and for the second year in a row, the district is benefiting from a 9- to 10-percent reduction in workers' compensation insurance.

After the hearing, during what the board calls "the roundtable," Board Member John Slenker made a statement with an apparent reference to recent school board meetings where multiple parents used public comments to voice complaints and concerns about child safety issues and whether the Code of Conduct is fairly applied. The story was reported by The Batavian.

"I would just like to remind parents that the school board is a very important function," Slenker said. "It is also voluntary. We’re not paid. The people who sit up here take the safety and education of your children very seriously. We have 15 current, future and former children among us. The other part I would like to say, it’s been an absolute honor serving with Reed Pettys and working with Catie. They are some of the best people I have ever met."

Pettys, currently board president, is stepping down following the completion of his term in June.

  • Besides the budget, there are four other ballot measures for voters to consider May 15:
  • Proposition #2: Authorize the purchase of two school buses at a cost of $305,470.
  • Proposition #3: Purchase a new marquee sign for the front of the school at a cost of $29,595.
  • Proposition #4 and Proposition #5: Establish capital reserve funds.

There is also one open seat on the school board up for election and only one declared candidate. The candidate is Sara Fernaays. The Batavian attempted to interview Fernaays after Wednesday's meeting. We wanted to ask her thoughts on the budget, the SRO, and other issues and Fernaays declined. She said she feared granting an interview would cause trouble with the school district.

The school district has a policy that prohibits school board members from speaking individually with reporters.

May 4, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Alexander Central School, schools, education, news, arts.

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There are more than 1,000 pieces of student artwork, from middle and high school students, on display in the foyer of the Alexander Central School Auditorium and Wednesday's school board meeting, Trustee Rich Guarino drew attention to it and to the jazz ensemble that performed prior to the meeting.

He said he's heard over the years how students who perform music and participate in fine arts do better academically and he said that may just be anecdotal but he tends to believe it.

"I see the kids who are in the music program or the visual fine arts program and those are often the kids I see in other activities that the school has and it’s great to see," Guarino said.

Actually, there is some evidence that students who play music tend to do better academically. That seems to apply across artistic disciplines.

According to Guarino, more than half the students in the elementary grades are learning to play a musical instrument.  

"That's a huge percentage and it's great," Guarino said.

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April 30, 2018 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, alexander, bergen, Darien, Stafford, Oakfield, elba.

Lynn M. Homer, 45, of Platten Road, Lyndonville, is charged with; aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; driver's vision obstructed; and obstructed plate. Homer was stopped at 3:22 p.m. April 13 on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay. She was jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

Travis Lilbern Robert Bartz, 22, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bartz was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during an investigation into a complaint on Trumbull Parkway at 11:03 p.m. April 22 by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Jacob A. Kasmarek, 19, of Fargo Road, Stafford, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Kasmarek was stopped at 9:15 p.m. April 23 on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Samuel McDonald III, 54, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. McDonald is accused of stealing two cans of beer from Tops at 6:39 p.m. Wednesday.

Matthew Frank Carney, 25, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Carney was stopped at 12:55 a.m. Friday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Arick Perkins.

Jesse James Sasiadek, 24, of Cayuga Creek Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with: DWI; driving with a BAC of .08 or greater; driving while impaired by drugs; driving while ability impaired by drugs and alcohol combined; and unlawful possession of marijuana. Sasiadek was stopped at 4:26 p.m. Sunday on Route 19, Bergen, by Deputy Erik Andre.

Jay Kenneth Feitshans Jr., 23, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with petit larceny. Feistshans is accused of stealing property and selling it at a local business.

Stefanie S. Kitanik, 33, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, uninspected motor vehicle, and no plate lamps. Kitanik was stopped at 2:09 a.m. Saturday on Maple Avenue, Oakfield, by Deputy James Stack.

David Wayne King Jr., 36, of Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. King is accused of falling asleep due to a prescribed medication and as a result, his 2-year-old son left his residence and was alone for a period of time.

Nelson E. Figueroa, 29, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Figueroa was stopped at 10:40 p.m. Saturday on Route 33, Stafford, by State Police.

Icha R. Koirala, 28, a resident of the State of New York (exact town not provided), is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Koirala was stopped at 9:18 p.m. Friday on Route 33 in Bergen by State Police.

Laura D. Vazquez Coronado, 38, of Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to stay in lane. Coronado was stopped at 4:39 p.m. Thursday on North Byron Road, Elba, by State Police.

April 27, 2018 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central School District, alexander, news, notify.

This afternoon, the Alexander Central School District released a statement to the community addressing concerns raised by parents in the district about school safety issues and how the Code of Conduct is enforced and implemented.

The statement also notifies the community that the district had already set aside money in the proposed 2018-19 school budget to hire a School Resource Officer (SRO).

The budget vote is May 15 and the district will hold a public hearing on the budget proposal next Wednesday, May 2.

Sheriff William Sheron has made it a priority to convince all local school districts to hire SROs.

"I'm very happy they made this decision," Sheron said. "It has been my position SROs should be in every school. There is no price we can put on our children's lives. I'm thrilled about the budget proposal and now we will let the voters decide."

The statement comes two days after publication of a story by The Batavian covering concerns raised by parents at two school board meetings about issues of concern.

Dear Alexander Community,

Student safety and well-being are top priorities at Alexander Central School District. Our work each day focuses on creating the conditions for students to thrive. We are committed to ensuring all of our students walk through their school days in a safe, structured, and caring environment as they strive to grow as confident, contributing learners. That commitment is our mission and drives our goals as a District.

Alexander is a wonderful community filled with caring families and remarkable children. The District provides outstanding opportunities in the classroom, in athletics, in the arts, and in clubs/organizations for all of our students. Our District is a great place for children to learn every day. Our community cares. Central to who we are as a community is our unwavering commitment to all of our students. As a District, we welcome feedback from students, parents, and community members on all matters relating to how we are meeting the needs of our students and how the District is functioning in alignment with our mission and our goals. When a student, parent, or community member reaches out to our teachers, administrators, and Board members, the concerns shared are taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate.

Recently, District administrators and our Board of Education have heard from parents regarding their concerns about the District’s commitment to student safety and well-being as well as how the District is applying the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct provides a framework for our disciplinary processes when student conduct does not meet the expectations outlined in the Code. It is important to keep in mind that the details of any situation that may result in disciplinary consequences are complex, specific, and confidential. The District is not free to share the details related to specific student discipline or consequences - especially with parents and community members who are not the parent of the child involved. In fact, the District is legally bound to keep all of these matters confidential. We take that obligation seriously. Be assured, however, the fact that the District cannot provide the community with details relating to specific disciplinary consequences does not mean that the District is not taking action nor does it mean the District is not upholding the Code of Conduct. We work diligently to investigate all situations in which a student’s conduct is alleged to violate the Code and impose consequences consistent with our findings.

In responding to recent concerns expressed by parents and community members, the District’s unwavering commitment to confidentiality has put it at a bit of a disadvantage, particularly because others are not bound by the same legal requirements regarding confidentiality. In fact, some community members have questioned the District’s commitment to confidentiality and have even suggested the District was acting improperly by not sharing details of certain situations involving the District’s students. Our legal obligation and moral commitment to confidentiality should not be construed as the District being non-transparent or non-responsive. We are merely doing what we are legally and ethically obligated to do. While District administrators and our Board of Education are not at liberty to share the details of every situation that is brought to our attention, please know that does not mean that we are not committed to student safety and well-being. As a community, we must remember our commitment to each other and to our students, even when we disagree or question certain disciplinary consequences.

Our District administrators and our Board of Education have used the recent feedback from members of the community as an opportunity to reflect on our practices. In fact, conversations we started last spring with the Sheriff’s office regarding the possibility of adding a school resource officer (SRO) at Alexander CSD were reinforced by our current community conversation about student safety. The addition of an SRO is part of our 2018-19 budget proposal. We continue to welcome feedback. Through feedback, we continue to grow as a District.

As always, thank you for your support as we work to create the conditions for all students to thrive. Even when we disagree and even when all of the details of every situation cannot be shared, we always have our love for our District and our commitment to our students in common. Let's continue to work together to make sure our community remains strong and that we continue to move the work of our District forward.

With thanks~
Dr. Catherine Huber

April 27, 2018 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in construction, Stroh Road, bridge replacement, alexander, news.

From County Highway Superintendent Timothy J. Hens:

The County has hired LC Whitford from Wellsville to replace the Stroh Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Alexander.

The contractor plans on closing the bridge to traffic starting at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, May 7th. The bridge will be closed for approximately six months while it is replaced.

There will be no detour posted during construction. Maplewood Road will remain open during construction.

April 25, 2018 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central Schools, alexander, news, notify.

A number of parents in the Alexander Central School District are unhappy with how some disciplinary issues are being handled and are speaking out at school board meetings, expressing frustration that district administration is, in their views, failing to meaningfully meet the requirements of safety and Code of Conduct policies.

The school board, and Superintendent Catherine Huber, for their part, are trying to limit what parents can tell them about their concerns and how Huber and her staff have responded to specific complaints.

Attempts to interview a board member or any board members after a meeting Monday night were rebuffed and a reporter was told only Huber could speak for the district or the board.

"Student safety and student well being is our top priority," Huber said that night. "Every parent who approaches the board or any administrator in the district, their concern is heard."

She would not comment further, she said.

Asked if based on parental feedback there was any need to make policy changes, all she said was, "I can tell you our Code of Conduct is updated on an annual basis."

Board President Reed Pettys was not present at the meeting. Reached the next day by email, Pettys issued a statement (copied in full at the bottom of this story) and said he could not and would not comment on specifics.

At a March 28 meeting, a mother of an elementary school student, Liz Felski, spoke during the public comment period and told the board a child in her daughter's class was continuously disruptive.

After mentioning she is an Alexander alumna, she said, "So you cannot imagine how disappointed I was when my daughter came home and said she was terrified to go to her class. She has encountered many violent disruptions in class, including hitting and kicking..."

At that point, Pettys cut her off and said she couldn't talk about specifics in a classroom.

Felski, herself an educator with a docorate in education (Ed.D.), then cited the Code of Conduct's language on providing a safe and orderly school environment. 

She said she doesn't believe the Code of Conduct is being followed.

"My daughter has told me her class is disrupted five or six times to redirect and get them focused," Felski said.

Felski's remarks were captured on an iPhone recording of the meeting provided to The Batavian by another parent.

"After I conveyed my concerns to Dr. Huber, she said all she (Felski's daughter) was entitled to was an education and this would be in a classroom."

Pettys interrupted her remarks again and said Felski could not mention specific individuals.

After some cross talk, Pettys said, "This is public comment and I understand there are emotions behind your thoughts. Talking about our policies is appropriate. We can’t speak to specifics in the classroom."

Felski responded, "I'm talking about my daughter's comments to me. I’m not talking about a specific student. I’m talking about what my daughter is witnessing in a classroom on a day-to-day basis."

Pettys told her specific issues should be taken up with the administration. A parent in the audience said, "they were repeatedly ignored."

Pettys said, "We are a policy-making board."

The audience member said, "We know your policies and we don't believe you're following them."

Felski tried to continue her statement and was admonished by Pettys again not to discuss classroom specifics.

"That is something to be addressed with the superintendent or the administration," Pettys said.

A parent in the audience said, "If they don't respond?"

Pettys said, "This isn’t a discussion. We’re just here to listen. This back and forth is not what it is intended for."

At which point he called another parent to the podium, who also raised concerns about student safety and the Code of Conduct. Then another parent spoke.

"Many parents are worried on a daily basis about some things that are occurring," said the mother whose name wasn't clear on the recording. "Hopefully, we can all work together to improve on the policies so they make sense for everybody."

After her, another mother spoke who said her child was also in the elementary school and she was very worried about the safety of her child.

Before Felski spoke, another mother addressed the board and laid out at least a half dozen proposed policy changes.

None of these suggested changes were captured in the board minutes, so as to give the board a better chance to consider them and discuss them at a later date.

At Monday's meeting, among the speakers was Jerome Morrison, father of Liz Felski, who said he was speaking on his daughter's behalf after she left the previous meeting in tears because she was repeatedly interrupted at the March 28 meeting and wasn't allowed to finish her statement.

"She is as well qualified as anybody in this room and she was treated like she doesn’t belong," Morrison said.

He said he didn't think the district was being responsive to the concerns of parents.

"When you refuse to grant meetings to concerned parents, or do not respond to emails, and threaten teachers and staff members about speaking out ,and cut people off who are trying to voice serious concerns, you leave parents with no options but to be heard," Morrison said.

As for his granddaughter, he is much less concerned about her safety in school. 

"There’s good news on my granddaughter’s account," he said. "She now goes to school safely and without fear. Unfortunately, she had to change schools to do it."

Outside the board meeting, Morrison told The Batavian, the child who is reportedly disruptive once raised a desk over his head threatening his granddaughter. He said the child wasn't disciplined.

Another parent said the same child brought a knife to school a few days later and received a three-day suspension.

Three other parents spoke Monday, including two who said they were frustrated because their children had been given lengthy suspensions for minor violations while the elementary school student who is said to be so disruptive never receives serious punishment. 

One of the parents, Casey Scott, said her teenage son is part of the program for students with disabilities and he used to struggle in school. This year, he had been doing great academically until he was suspended for the rest of the school year and now he's failing two classes. She said one of her complaints is that he's been out of school for nearly two weeks and she has been unable to get his assigned homework so he can keep studying.  She got some assignments from his BOCES instructor, but not from Alexander HS.

"I was also told if I pursued the issue any further it would backfire on us," Scott said.

Another parent shared similar concerns about homework for her suspended child.

Outside the meeting, Scott said her son was suspended because, on a bus trip to the BOCES campus, her son and another boy grabbed and bear-hugged another student. She said she thought it was playful, the school took it as bullying. She said he had no other disciplinary issues.

Below is the email The Batavian received from Reed Pettys (Note, in our initial set of questions to him, we asked a general question about whether he prevented a parent from speaking at the "previous" meeting. It turned out, that was actually a meeting before the last meeting. We say that to explain his final sentence.)

Thank you for attending our Board meeting last evening.  

The District takes matters of student safety, discipline, and learning very seriously.  

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority.  

We cannot and will not comment about issues specific to any student or staff.  

Our Code of Conduct is updated on an annual basis.  I can assure you that in all cases, the Code of Conduct is and has been applied fairly and consistently.

The administrators and Board of Education listen and take action as appropriate to all concerns brought to us by students, parents, and community members.

Please know that no members of the public spoke at our last meeting on 4/11/18.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: At 11:24 p.m. The Batavian received an email from an attorney for the school district demanding that The Batavian retract this story. While alleging many faults with the story, the attorney did not assert that it was in any way libelous or defamatory. We are not going to retract this story. We stand by our reporting. We affirm the story is factually accurate and does not suffer from the deficiencies she claims; though, in fairness, we should acknowledge one point she made. The school board, as with all public bodies in New York, is under no obligation to provide for public comments on its agenda. Further, it is not legally obligated -- though it might be wise -- to keep minutes on public comment.

April 25, 2018 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, indictments, crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Darien, batavia, alexander.

Michelle A. Condidorio is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 2 in the Town of Alexander that Condidorio drove a 2013 Chevrolet on Telephone Road while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of being convicted of a misdemeanor DWI on Jan. 20, 2011, in the City of Batavia, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes currently alleged.

Jeremy J. Schraufstetter is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 28 in the Town of Darien that Schraufstetter drove a 1984 Chevrolet on Broadway Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of being convicted of a misdemeanor DWI on March 19, 2008, in Village of Depew Court, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes currently alleged.

Michael J. Smith is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 2 in the Town of Le Roy that Smith drove a 2003 Chrysler on East Main Street while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of the crime of driving while intoxicated per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of being convicted of a misdemeanor DWI on Dec. 1, 2008, in the Town of Le Roy, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes currently alleged.

April 24, 2018 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, schools, education, news, alexander.

A pair of technology teachers in Alexander Central Schools think it's time to reintroduce agriculture into the curriculum of the high school and shared their plans Monday night with the school board.

"We live in an ag community but the kids seem distant from it because all of their food comes from factories," said Bob Hollwedel, who has been working on creating an agriculture program at the school with Aaron Forgnone.

Initially, the program will concentrate on field trips to ag-related businesses in the region.

Board members expressed an interest in seeing the high school start an FFA (Future Farmers of America) program.

Hollwedel said in their research they looked into it but decided it's too much to pursue right off the bat.

"We realized really quickly how there is a lot to that and you can get really deep, really quick," Hollwedel said. "We found we should start from something and then look at that as a separate element."

Board VP Richard Guarino was particularly excited about the prospect of reintroducing an ag curriculum into the high school and encouraged the teachers to work toward forming an FFA chapter. He said FFA teaches students a lot of important life skills, including public speaking, parliamentary procedures, and business.

"I am thrilled that we are bringing agriculture back to Alexander," Guarino said. "I don’t know when it left, I guess some time in the ‘80s. I think it’s great that it’s coming back. I like to think it’s not just cows and plows, which is what we used to say in FFA. It’s not just cows and plows. It is so many different businesses.

"I can still say it was in ag classes where I learned to fill out a 1040 ( U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form). No other other class in high school taught me the stuff I learned in agribusiness, so I’m thrilled."

April 22, 2018 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, news.

An elderly couple is lost in the woods in an area off Gilhooly Road, Alexander, perhaps on their own property.

The female caller plots in an area south of the driveway at 4277 Gilhooly Road.

The man is 90 and the woman is 85. The man is tired from prolonged walking but apparently has no other medical condition.

Alexander fire is responding.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Somebody has apparently reached the couple and he can carry the male out and the female will walk out.

April 21, 2018 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, history, alexander, news, Noah North.

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This is a painting by Noah North of Oliver Vaughn, a resident of Darien who died at age 14 in 1833.

I stopped by to see it today at the Holland Land Office Museum because until a few days ago, I hadn't heard of North, who, it turns out, is a painter from Alexander of some minor national renown. His name has never come up before, at least in my presence, in any discussion of local artists.

The painting of Vaughn is one of North's earliest when he was still being trained by M.W. Hopkins, of Albion.

He is recognized among collectors and art historians as a folk portrait artist (also called "naive" or "primitive"). 

He relocated to Ohio where he continued to pursue his portrait career and then returned to WNY, married a woman from Darien, and settled in Mt. Morris, where he eventually adapted to the new medium of photography (working in daguerreotype).

Within the region, North's work can also be seen at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford. His work is also in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Folk Art, and the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont.

For the next four hours, one of his paintings is available on eBay for $9,000.

April 17, 2018 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, bridges, news, batavia, elba, alexander.

Resolutions to help advance three bridge projects scheduled for this summer were approved by the Public Service Committee of the County Legislature on Monday.

The project fund for replacement of the Searls Road Bridge over Spring Creek was increased by $16,500, with all but $825 of that coming from federal grant funds.

The money is necessary to acquire additional right-of-way on the roads leading up to the bridge.

The bridge will be widened from 22 feet to 30 feet -- the new federal standard -- but most of the additional right-of-way is needed during construction, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said.

Elba Farms has donated the land for the right of way on the west side of the road but the land on the east side is tied up in an estate and there is a Federal income tax lien on the property, so much of that additional $16,000 is going to a consult to help navigate the legal tangles.

The total cost of the Searls Road Bridge is $870,000, funded through federal grants.

The Pratt Road Bridge project over the Tonawanda Creek is also getting a budget bump of $13,300, all but $650 from federal grants, for right-of-way acquisition. Again, a consultant is needed to assist with the process. The total cost of the project is $2.082 million.

Three resolutions were passed in support of the project replacing the Stroh Road Bridge. Two of them accept a state grant of $100,000 in support of "multimodal" transportation (which means car, pedestrian, bike). The third resolution awards a $1.423 million construction contract to L.C. Whitford Co. Inc., of Wellsville.

The project is a complete replacement, including the stacked-stone abutments, put there in 1910.

April 17, 2018 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, news, accident.

Alexander fire is on scene of a minor injury accident in the area of 10891 Alexander Road, Alexander.

One person is complaining of leg and hip pain.

UPDATE 11:21 a.m.: The first patient was transported to UMMC. A second ambulance from Attica requested for a sign-off patient.

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Alexander assignment back in service.

April 13, 2018 - 3:21pm

Press release from Frank Panepento:

There will be a free music concert to show thanks and appreciation for Crossroads House and its 20 years of community service. It will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at the Attica High School Auditorium.

Over the span of two decades, the nonprofit Crossroads House, providing comfort care for the dying, has helped more than 470 residents and their families.

This will be "a celebration concert" featuring original and longtime supporters -- the Attica High School Marching Band, and Amanda Hofheins and Don Rogers, plus the Hamburg Kingmen Drum Corps, Batavia Jazz Ensemble, St. Joe’s Brass Ensemble, Alexander Fireman's Band, and the St. Joe’s Alumni Drum Corps.

The Attica Marching Band has been one of the very first and longest supporters for the house. The house took a few years of planning and fundraising to put all the necessary pieces in place before the house was able to open. The Attica Free Music Concerts were building blocks that helped fund the house and educate the communities that Crossroads served. These concerts were an avenue to help explain what Crossroads House was able to do for its residents.

Rogers, while spearheading the earlier shows moved into retirement while Hofheins took his place literally and figuratively. She took over filling in for Rogers’s duties and supporting Crossroads House and the Free Musical Concert.

Come on out to enjoy the music! This is going to be a great afternoon while supporting Crossroads House and Gateway House (Attica’s own soon-to-open comfort care home). Attica High School is located at 3338 E. Main St. in Attica.

April 11, 2018 - 1:37pm

The Alexander Fire Department is hosting its annual Spring Gun Raffle from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at their Recreation Hall, 10708 Route 98, Attica.

Tickets are $25 each, which will include chances on 25 guns and four cash prizes.

Eight (8) guns will also be included in floor/door raffles. Food, beer, pop, 50/50, and bell jar tickets available.

Only 975 tickets sold -- ticket admits one person. Tickets can be bought at the Alexander Country Deli or by calling 507-9930.

April 5, 2018 - 11:09am

From National Grid:

Work crews (local and outside) are busy throughout Genesee County with restoration efforts ongoing following the yesterday's high winds that brought down a lot of trees and power lines. The current number of customers out of power is 1,150.

The areas with the largest number of customer outages are Darien, Bergen and Byron.

Currently, crews are active in the following areas:

  • Darien
  • Byron
  • Bergen
  • Alexander
  • Oakfield
  • Stafford
  • Le Roy
  • Pavilion
April 4, 2018 - 5:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Darien, corfu, news, fire.

A chimney fire is reported at 2286 Walker Road, Alexander. The location is between Smithley and Hickox roads.

Alexander, Darien and Corfu fire departments are responding, along with Mercy medic #3.

April 4, 2018 - 10:35am

NOTE: Readers, if you have weather-related photos, photos related to anything in this post, email them to [email protected]

A tree is down, partially blocking the roadway at 10840 Bowen Road in Alexander. Alexander firefighters are responding with a chainsaw to cut the tree and remove it.

In the area of the Log Cabin Restaurant, a transformer and three or four power lines are down in the roadway. The location is 1227 Gilmore Road. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. National Grid is notified; no ETA -- "They're obviously are dealing with multiple issues."

Wires and/or tree branches are reported down on Whitney Mill Road in Elba.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: A tree and wires are down and entangled at 3583 Batavia Oakfield Townline Road.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m.: Tree down across the roadway at 9555 Beaver Road, Alexander.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m.: Tree and/or wires down on Francis Road, between Brown Road and Route 20, Bethany.

UPDATE 10:46 a.m.: Tree and wires down at 2781 Shelby Road. Oakfield Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: DPW requested by City Fire to Cherry and Pringle for a large limb down blocking the roadway.

UPDATE 10:54 a.m.: National Grid is reporting 10 areas in Genesee County with power outages. The largest, 41 customers, is in Pavilion, in the area of Texaco Town. In Elba, Townline Road is being shut down at Pekin Road for a tree down.

UPDATE 10:59 a.m.: A tree has fallen into a residence at 3189 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 11 a.m.: A semi-truck rollover accident is reported on Route 77 in front of Darien Lake Theme Park. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo. Darien Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 11:04 a.m.: A large pine tree is reportedly down across the road in the area of 3525 Rose Road, Batavia. On Darien truck accident, truck is empty, no injuries, no fuel spill. Darien Fire can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: There is a power outage in East Pembroke with 40 customers without service. In Pembroke, a poll with a transformer is leaning with low hanging wires in front of Yancys Fancys.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m.: A box truck rollover accident is reported on Route 77 at McGregor Road, Darien. Injuries are reported. There are reportedly two occupants in the truck. Darien Fire dispatched. A chief is requesting that Route 77 be shut down to truck traffic.

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Route 5 is being shut down for westbound traffic at Route 77.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: Wires in trees with flames is reported on Dodgeson Road and Seward Road, Alexander. Alexander Fire responding.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: A tree and wires down, no fire, in the area of 2257 Countyline Road, Darien.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m. There is reportedly a car on tree branches and wires with a fuel leak in the area of 2023 Indian Falls Road, Pembroke. There are occupants in the vehicle. East Pembroke fire responding. No sparks are flames. Wires down at 118 E. Main St., Le Roy. A tree is down and blocking at Circular Hill Road and Wilcox Road, Byron.

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: A tree is down on a house on Union Street. No structural damage. No wires down but it looks like the rest of the tree might come down soon.

UPDATE 12:13 p.m. A tree has come down on a gray Toyota Avalon at the McDonald's in Le Roy. It's unoccupied. Unknown owner at this time.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: In Alabama, 90 National Grid customers are without power.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: If we've got the right call here, occupants extricated at incident on Indian Falls Road.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: A dispatcher informs a Sheriff's patrol supervisor that there is a long list of pending hazardous conditions calls.

UPDATE 12:28 p.m.: A tractor-trailer rollover is reported in Pavilion on Route 63 at Court Road. Pavilion fire dispatched. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo.

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: Route 63 is being shut down. The driver can't be located. A pole with transformer is broken. The location is in Wyoming County. A Wyoming County deputy is in route. There is a fuel leak.

UPDATE 12:37 p.m.: The driver is in a pickup truck parked roadside.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: Oakfield fire is dispatched to 7001 Lewiston Road, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, bus garage, for a fire alarm in the gas island.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: On Pavilion truck accident, Mercy ambulance can continue non-emergency. Probably a sign-off. The trailer is empty. Small fuel spill to clean up.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: Westbound Route 5 in Le Roy is being shut down by Le Roy fire at York Road. We didn't catch the reason.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: Limb down on Pringle Avenue, Batavia. No electrical lines involved.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: A two-car accident is reported at Buffalo Street and Attica Road, Alexander. Alexander fire dispatched. Unknown injuries. A large tree is down on South Main Street. South Main is being closed at River and at Dewey.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Wires arcing, 8503 Lover's Lane Road. East Pembroke fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Tree down blocking on Gilbert Street, Batavia. Also, State Street is being blocked.

UPDATE 1:22 p.m.: Photo submitted by Cherie Chatt of a tree down on a house in Oakfield.

treedownoakdfieldapri42018.jpg

There is also a tree down on wires at 2781 E. Shelby Road. Oakfield Fire Police on scene.

UPDATE 1:25 p.m.: Tractor-trailer rollover accident reported at 6744 Quaker Hill Road, Elba. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo. Elba fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: Reader-submitted photo of tree down on South Main Steet, Batavia.

img_1437treedown.jpg

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Power outage in Elba, 316 customers without power. 

UPDATE 1:37 p.m.: Tree down on Fisher Road, Oakfield.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: Law enforcement dispatched to Lewiston Road in the area of the Thruway overpass for a report of a person in black pants and a black jacket with red hat looking in mailboxes.

UPDATE 2:23 p.m.: Traffic lights are out in the city at Main and Oak streets.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: Photo of Lewiston and Main, Batavia, about 30 minutes ago. There were strong winds and heavy snow for a short period. Every traffic light on West Main is out of service.

weatherapril42018lewiston.jpg

UPDATE 3:52 p.m.: It was a very busy day for emergency dispatchers. Sheriff William Sheron shared the photos below from one of the busy times. The call rate has slowed considerably over the past hour or so.

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UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Photo submitted by a reader, 40 Church St., Le Roy.

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UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: Mari Egloff submitted these photos of trees down in her yard in Alexander.

tressdownalexander01apriol2018.jpeg

tressdownalexander01apriol20182.jpeg

UPDATE: Dayne Burroughs and Pamela Reinhardt shared the pictures below of damage at St. Joe's Cemetery.

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March 31, 2018 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander, news.

A chimney fire with flames showing is reported at 4005 Hunn Road, Alexander.

Alexander fire and ladder truck from Town of Batavia dispatched.

UPDATE 8:01 p.m.: Chief on scene reports fire possibly out.

March 27, 2018 - 4:08pm

Inductees in the 2018 Batavia Career and Technical Center's National Technical Honor Society.

Submitted photo and press release:

This month, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapters inducted 49 career and technical students from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

Evening candlelight ceremonies took place at Elba High School.

These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State. 

The 2018 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees:

Agri-Business Academy

Almadelia Salinas Guzman          Pavilion

Jade Vogel                                   Pavilion

Animal Science

Sarah Murray                               Caledonia-Mumford

Auto Technology

Hannah Tiede                              Batavia

Building Trades

Nicholas Bonamici                      Attica

Christian Bradt                            Oakfield-Alabama

Zachary Heaton                          Attica

Dylan Lang                                 Pembroke

Anthony Leitten                          Le Roy

Eric Lewis                                   Pavilion

Jordon Ludwig                            Pembroke

Breanna Montford                       Attica

Julius Ohlson                              Oakfield-Alabama

Karl Steffenilla                            Pavilion

Lucas Stucchio                           Byron-Bergen

Cosmetology

Hayle Conte                                Le Roy

Kayla Heinlein                            Pembroke

Emma Hopfinger                        Attica

Elizabeth Kowalski                     Elba

Shelby Ulm                                 Attica

Criminal Justice

Shawn Busch                              Attica

Cyle Felski                                  Pembroke

Amanda Knauss                         Pembroke

Electronics

Cole Ackert                                 Attica

Benjamin Bowman                     Byron-Bergen

Dwight Czworka                         Attica

Dominic Donley                          Batavia

Seth George                               Alexander

Thomas Pattridge                       Alexander

Chase Roth                                Alexander

Joshua Schulik                           Caledonia-Mumford

Mary Snyder                               Pavilion

Graphic Arts

Caleb Cottone                            Pembroke

Hannah Stockschlaeder             Attica

Health Careers Academy

Kaitlin Ange                               Batavia

Brionna DeMichel                      Byron-Bergen

Kaitlyn Freeman                        Pembroke

Melissa Jarnot                           Attica

Health Dimensions

Summer Anderson                    Caledonia-Mumford

Taylore Dorman                        Pembroke

Samantha Feldmann                Alexander

Nicole Welka                             Byron-Bergen

Justice Academy

Tyler Wood                               Pembroke

Metal Trades

Matthew Kurowski                    Attica

Anthony McMaster                   Batavia

Andrey Musiyevich                   Caledonia-Mumford

Anthony True                            Pavilion

Programming and Interactive Media

Donovan Kelley                        Caledonia-Mumford

Taylor Tyczka                           Attica​

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