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January 16, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in news, bergen, Sage Pavilion.

Above photo is the former water distribution building adjacent to Hartland Park in Bergen, after it was repurposed into the Sage Pavilion.

BERGEN -- Preserving Bergen’s history, promoting the village and conserving energy to save taxpayers money have long been a focus of the Village of Bergen.

That dedication recently won the Village of Bergen an award from the American Public Works Association as their WNY Public Works Project of the Year for repurposing of its former water distribution/Department of Public Works building into the Sage Pavilion.

The cement block building adjacent to Hartland Park had been empty for decades and the village had considered demolishing it.

Examples of the village’s sustainability practices in previous years include purchase and repurposing of the Tulley Building for village offices, boardroom, document storage facility in the basement, rental space for business; and four apartments.

Other examples are the composting facility at the Water Treatment Plant, community garden, Tree City recognition, Bergen Electric Efficiency Program, Clean Community designation and recycling efforts.

Transforming a DPW building into Sage Pavilion

The Sage Pavilion is the result of their latest efforts, said mayor Anna Marie Barclay.

The village first learned about the American Public Works Association’s award from engineers Clark Patterson & Lee, who told the village of the opportunity to apply.

“We applied and talked about how our staff came together and how the communities around us supported us,” Barclay said. 

Village Administrator Cortney Gale said after the water treatment plant closed, the DPW kept their trucks there, followed by 10 years of use as a cold storage.

“But it got pretty gross,” Gale said.

The cost for the village to build a much needed public pavilion was prohibitive, the mayor wrote in the application.

“The village is small and budgets are tight,” the mayor wrote. In order to provide the village residents and outside community with the all-season pavilion needed, the village staff had to be creative.”

The need for a village pavilion became evident after the Bergen Fire Company converted its community hall into space for town offices and town courtroom.

“The village lost a facility that had been used for community and family celebrations and meetings,” Barclay wrote in the award application.

Since an all-season pavilion had been strongly requested at public hearings during development of the 2016 comprehensive plan, staff worked to develop a plan to make the pavilion a reality.”

A new building similar to the now completed Sage Pavilion would cost $750,000 based on normal construction costs and using public bidding and state wage rates.

Demolition of 'eyesore' was considered

The village board was considering demolition of the eyesore, but after cleaning out the materials from the building, the space led to discussions of possible refurbishing. The building was found to be structurally sound, on the main road and centrally located across from Hickory Park and adjacent to Hartland Park and the disc golf course.

The village engineer and staff met to set a plan in place, and chose to convert the former water building.

A SAM grant was applied for and awarded through sponsorship of Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, providing seed money for the project.

Interior walls were made of Bergen Brick manufactured in the village of Bergen. A transom window originally over the entry door to the former office area of the water plant was repurposed as a decorative addition to the Sage Pavilion entry hall.

The biggest challenge to the project was removing giant pumps three levels into the ground and then filling in the space. The village did not have equipment to remove the pumps and having a contractor fill in the basement was cost prohibitive.

Planning to meet the challenges

A plan was devised to use the electric department pole, setting trucks to hoist cast iron pumps and pipes out of the basement through an open window and the former basement stairway. The cast iron pumps and piping were hauled to a nearby scrap yard and the funds reinvested into the building. 

Discussions with DPW staff, the engineer and village code enforcement officer led to a strategy for filling in the basements. It was determined road millings could be used as fill, topped with flowable fill. Not only would this save the village a tremendous amount of money, but it would help surrounding communities which were doing road work to dispose of their road millings.

The village contacted local communities during road work and arranged for the town of Bergen to pick up the millings and bring them to the construction site.

Village linemen chipped in to do landscaping and every single village employee helped with siding, windows, roofing and piping in the floor for radiant heating, Gale said. The process took a year and a half. 

The village employees spent a lot of time huddled over their computers, watching YouTube for information on how to perform certain aspects of the project.

During demolition, it was discovered a fire many years ago had damaged the building. That area was sealed per current codes and left exposed to show the history of the building.

As work progressed, people using the nearby walking trail and employees who used to work in the old water plant often stopped to view the work.

Wowed by the work

“They would look around and ask how it was possible this was the same building,” Barclay said. 

When it came to choosing a name for the new pavilion, the village settled on that of W. Monroe Sage, elected the first mayor of the village of Bergen in 1877, and then reelected in 1902. Born in 1834 in the town of Wheatland, Sage was well-known in music circles.

He was the prime mover in bringing about the incorporation of the Village of Bergen and instrumental in having sidewalks placed. He also inaugurated the first streetlighting by placing lamps on the corners of North Lake Avenue, Rochester and Buffalo streets.

The entire Village of Bergen staff are planning to attend the award presentation Jan. 31 at RIT’s Banquet Center in Rochester.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Photo below is what the former Bergen water/DPW building looked like in 2016, before work began to transform it into a public pavilion.

The next two photos below show what Bergen’s former water treatment plant looked like inside as work began to transform it into a public pavilion.

The bottom two pictures show the meeting room and entranceway to the Sage Pavilion after renovations were completed.

January 14, 2019 - 1:04pm

Byron-Bergen fifth-grader Allison Rimmerman, above, is elementary school's first female Geography Bee Champion. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Spittler.

Photo below and information from Byron Bergen Central Schools:

On Jan. 8, Byron-Bergen fifth-grade student Allison Rimmerman became the Elementary School's first female National Geographic Geography Bee School Champion. Sixth-grader Jackson Lundfelt finished in the Second Place Runner-Up position. Both students performed exceptionally well during the competition.

In December, almost 250 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students took the Geography Bee Qualifying Test. Twenty students qualified. Eighteen students competed on Jan. 8 (photo above); two were absent that day, with five competitors continuing to the Final Round.

“Every year the Byron-Bergen Elementary School Champion and Runner-Up have been boys,” said Bee coordinator and fifth-grade teacher Ken Rogoyski. “The last time a girl won the National Championship was 26 year ago, in 1993.

"New York State has never had a female State Championship since the Bee started in 1989. Perhaps that will change this year. I’m very excited for Allison.” 

Both Allison and Junior High Bee Champion Elizabeth Piper will be taking the New York State Bee Qualifying Test. The 100 top School Champions will head to Albany for the competition in March.

The Elementary School Bee is moderated and judged by enthusiastic volunteers. Retired Elementary School come back every year to volunteer their time.

This year’s esteemed judges panel included the retirees Judy Boyle (reading teacher), Melissa Chamberlain (kindergarten teacher), and Paula Wade (first-grade teacher). The Bee host and moderator was retired sixth-grade teacher Liz Findlay.

Congratulations to all the participating students for their hard work.

Below are the names of the 20 students who qualified to compete in the Geography Bee:

Fourth Grade:
Brandon Schuck
Gavin Kinkelaar
Ellie Tanner
Xander Rodriguez
Theodore Schelemanow

Fifth Grade:
Allison Rimmerman (in photo above, third from left, standing in back row)
Liam Boyle
Colin Rea
Tobias Zastrocky
GJ Donofrio
Evan Williams
Cole DiQuattro

Sixth Grade:
Ryan Benstead
Craig DiQuattro
Alexander Raccuia
Martin MacConnell
Owen Cuba
Eli Kupfer
Jackson Lundfelt
Landon Kent

January 14, 2019 - 10:19am
posted by Virginia Kropf in bergen, news.

bergen_001jan142019.jpg

It has been more than a decade since officials in the Village of Bergen first applied for a Main Street Grant, and finally, their efforts have paid off.

Mayor Anna Marie Barclay said she doesn’t know how many applications her administration and others before her have submitted in hopes of receiving a Main Street Grant from the New York State Housing Trust Fund. She believes what led to their success this time was the fact all Main Street property owners participated.

The grant of $474,750 will allow property owners to apply for amounts of $25,000 for an apartment and $50,000 for commercial space, up to a total of $100,000 per building to renovate or upgrade their buildings. Eligible buildings include the Masonic Lodge at 12 S. Lake St. to the railroad tracks on the west side of the street and Brett-Ashley Schmidt’s photographic studio across from the Village offices. Property owners must contribute a minimum of 25 percent.

Village Administrator Cortney Gale was first notified of the grant by Genesee County Economic Development Center in late December and called Barclay at home to tell her.

“He could hardly get the words out,” the mayor said. “We had been on the short list last year and held our breath, but then we didn’t get it.”

“We even contemplated if we wanted to go through the process to apply again,” Gale said.

Barclay said they had talked about joining with Le Roy to apply next year, figuring they would be turned down again.

“Everybody was kind of stunned,” she said.

There is still a lot of work to do before any money is received. Property owners must decide what their projects will be and a committee will have to be formed to oversee and approve those projects.

Gale said the committee could be formed by a group of community members or an outside firm might possibly be hired.

The village will contribute to downtown improvements with $17,000 in a Streetscape fund. This will be used to put signage on each building, keeping with a Victorian design; gooseneck lighting on each building front; and the upgrade of plantings on sidewalks and parking areas.

A telephone booth on the photography studio on the east side of Lake Street will be converted into a little library, where books will be available to the public.

“It is very encouraging to have so many property owners participate and buy into our vision,” Gale said.

“It is exciting and it is our job to support them to make sure the process is as easy as possible for them,” Barclay said. “We realize it must have been difficult for them to keep the faith. This is a commitment on their part, as well as ours.

339jan142019.jpg

337jan142019.jpg

Bergen Mayor Anna Marie Barclay and village Administrator Cortney Gale discuss their success in receiving a Main Street Grant after at least 10 years of trying.

(Photos by Virginia Kropf.)

January 11, 2019 - 3:59pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Byron-Bergen Senior High School proudly announces that every fall varsity Byron-Bergen sport team achieved the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Scholar-Athlete Team award.

The fall sports teams are cheerleading, boys cross-country, girls cross-country, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball.

“Here at Byron-Bergen we are always proud of our student athletes and their accomplishments,” said Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “This fall we are especially proud that all of our fall teams made the NYS Scholar-Athlete Team award.

"As Athletic Director, I am extremely blessed to work with such great student athletes and coaches. This particular recognition is a great testament to the student athletes and what it takes to perform at a high level. In and out of the classroom, our kids are getting it done!”

The Scholar-Athlete program recognizes athletes for their academic success. NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team awards go to teams whose average GPA of 75 percent of the athletic team equals 90 or above.

Scholar-Athlete Team award recipients, with Byron-Bergen HS students named below photos:

Cheerleading (a multi-school team)

  • Sarah Sue Streeter

Cross-country -- Boys

  • Joshua Fleming
  • Zachary Hannan
  • Travis Lambert
  • Colby Leggo
  • John Mercovich
  • Caleb Sharpe
  • Corden Zimmerman

Cross-country -- Girls

  • Rachel Best
  • Camryn Brookhart
  • Dayanara Caballero
  • Siomara Caballero
  • Emma Goodman
  • Sara Goodman
  • Annaliese Hersom
  • Cambria Kinkelaar
  • Alaura Rehwaldt
  • Grace Shepard
  • Emma Smith

Football (a multi-school team)

  • Alexander Dean
  • Anthony DiQuattro
  • Andrew Parnapy

Gymnastics (a multi-school team)

  • Victoria Rogoyski
  • Emily Salmonds

Soccer – Boys

  • Nicholas Baubie
  • Ryan Cooper
  • Adam Drake
  • Kyle Foeller
  • Rick Hubbard
  • William Johnson
  • Hunter Leach
  • Sabastian Pawlukewicz
  • Wade Thompson
  • Nathan Zwerka

Soccer -- Girls

  • Julianna Amesbury
  • Lydia Campbell
  • Zoey Chambry
  • Elizabeth Donnelly
  • Veronica Duell
  • Kelsey Fuller
  • Eden Goff
  • Hope Hersom
  • Melissa MacCowan
  • Jillian Menzie
  • Chloe Shuskey

Volleyball -- Girls

  • Justine Bloom
  • Hannah Catalino
  • Madison Farnsworth
  • Sara Fraser
  • Amaya Gunther
  • Janae Meister
  • Alexandra Vurraro
  • Annabella Vurraro
January 10, 2019 - 12:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, batavia, news, notify.
torres-acebedo0mug2018.jpg
    Torres-Acevedo

New charges have been filed against a 22-year-old Batavia resident who is accused of taking an underage girl away from her home in Bergen on Nov. 29 and driving her to Pennsylvania.

Guillermo Jose Torres-Acevedo has been charged with custodial interference in the first degree, criminal contempt, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Nov. 29 incident prompted an amber alert for the girl. She was later located, allegedly with Torres-Acevedo at a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., through a geolocation ping of her mobile phone.

Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody by authorities in Pennsylvania without incident and the girl was returned to her parents.

The girl and Torres-Acevedo knew each other and Torres-Acevedo had already been arrested in connection with his relationship with the girl and issued a stay-away order, which he allegedly violated, leading to a criminal contempt charge.

He's also been charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for allegedly stealing the Dodge Journey he is accused of using to transport the girl.

Torres-Acevedo remains in jail without bail.

January 7, 2019 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Bethany, Stafford, bergen, Le Roy, elba.

Mark Daniel Tooley, 35, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, (inset photo, above) is charged with: first-degree sexual abuse; acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17; and first-degree criminal sex act. On Jan. 4, Tooley was arrested on a sealed Grand Jury indictment for allegedly having sexual contact with a victim under the age of 13 on Main Road in Stafford at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24. He was arraigned by Judge Charles Zambito and put in jail with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. He is to reappear in Genesee County Court at a later date. The investigation was handled by Youth Officer Tim Wescott and Youth Officer Howard Carlson.

Nicholas G. Williams, 42, of 3810 W. Main Street Road, Lot 7, Batavia is charged with: felony burglary, 2nd, misdemeanor attempted petit larceny; and felony criminal contempt, 1st. A reported disturbance on Nov. 26 on Lake Street in the Village of Le Roy led to an investigation of Williams. It is alleged that Williams knowingly entered and/or unlawfully remained inside a residence on Lake Street in Le Roy with the intent of committing the crime of petit larceny. Williams is accused of attempting to steal a laptop computer from inside the residence when he was interrupted and fled the scene. Williams was charged with felony criminal contempt in the first degree because it is alleged that a protected person, whom the court ordered him to have no contact with, lived at the residence. Williams was convicted of a prior criminal contempt within the preceding five years. Williams was located in the Genesee County Jail where he was confined due to an alleged parole violation. Williams was arrested on Dec. 12 for the Le Roy charges and arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and jailed without bail due to multiple prior felony convictions.

Kevin Pietrzykowski, 63, of Stafford (inset photo, left), was arrested by troopers on Jan. 4 for directing a laser at an aircraft, 2nd, which is a misdemeanor. On Jan. 3, troopers responded to the Town of Bergen for a call received from Rochester Airport Air Traffic Control Office on behalf of the National Guard Air Wing for a military helicopter being directed by a laser during night training. According to a spokesman for Troop A in Batavia, the second time the laser was directed at the aircraft, the helicopter pilot put a spotlight on the area it originated from, which helped troopers patrolling the area to find the suspect. Multiple interviews resulted in the arrest of Pietrzykowski on Clinton Street Road, Stafford. Pietrykowski was issued an appearance ticket for the Town of Stafford Court in February.

Kevin James Compton, 57, of Clipnock Road, Bethany, is charged with: criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment; two counts of unlawful imprisonment; and two counts of second-degree menacing. Compton was arrested following a domestic incident which occurred at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 on Clipnock Road. It is alleged that Compton threatened two people with a pistol. He was arraigned in Bethany Town Court on Jan. 6 and jailed in lieu of $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. He is due back in court on Jan. 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Howard Wilson, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Ernest Dee Lane, 60, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault. Lane was arrested on Jan. 3 for an incident which occurred at 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Ellicott Street. He allegedly injured another person during a physical altercation. He is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Cody J. Wenner, 28, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment. Wenner was arrested Jan. 3 for an incident which occurred at 12:57 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Walnut Street. Wenner allegedly pushed a juvenile to the ground during an altercation. He was released on his own recognizance following arraignment in Batavia City Court. He was due back in City Court on Jan. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

January 7, 2019 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, bergen, notify, Michele Case.

Michele A. Case who, in her last court appearance, invited Judge Charles Zambito to put her in jail will get her wish.

Zambito issued a warrant for her this morning after she failed to appear in court on further proceedings regarding restitution she owes for stealing more than $14,000 from her former employer, HomeCare & Hospice.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman requested the warrant after being informed that she also did not provide her attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, a financial statement nor did she make a restitution payment on Jan. 2, which Zambito previously ordered.

"(Considering the other factors and) her rant when she was in court last time where she invited the court to send her to jail because she's not going to make any more restitution payments, I request a warrant," Friedman said.

Ader didn't oppose the warrant but indicated he planned to file an appeal challenging the Genesee County Court's jurisdiction in the restitution case.

The PD has maintained that because Case's probation was served in other counties -- first Erie County than Niagara County, where she presently lives -- Ader maintains that now that she's off probation the local court doesn't have the authority to compel restitution and that the matter should be referred to Niagara County. 

Zambito has ruled previously that he does have jurisdiction and he said the Genesee County Probation Department has indicated it will accept restitution payments from Case under these circumstances.

Case was employed by HomeCare & Hospice when she falsified documents about her patient visits that enabled her to collect more than $14,000 in unearned income. She was convicted at trial twice by a jury (her first conviction was overturned on appeal because of how some evidence was presented at that trial).

January 4, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, elba, bergen, Basom.

Robert W. Redinger, 29, of Dublin Road, Bergen, is charged with: DWI -- combined drugs or alcohol; unlawful fleeing a police officer in the third degree; reckless driving; failure to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle; refusal to take a breath test; running a red light; moving from lane unsafely (four counts); speed in zone (four counts); unsafe start (two counts); failure to stop at stop sign (three counts); and unlawful possession of marijuana. Redinger was arrested at 2 a.m. on Dec. 29 on Harvester Avenue in Batavia after he allegedly refused to pull over for a traffic stop. He allegedly proceeded to lead police on a high-speed pursuit; his vehicle stopped as a result of him running out of gas. He was allegedly found to be intoxicated and then he was processed and arraigned in city court and put in jail. (Bail status is not mentioned.) The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Trace G. Brewer, 18, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, petit larceny and third-degree criminal trespass. Brewer was arrested at 8 a.m. on Dec. 30 on Montclair Avenue after he allegedly entered a shed and stole property. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Shah L Zajic, 42, of Batavia, was arrested in the early morning of Dec. 27 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: felony driving while intoxicated; felony aggravated driving while intoxicated with a BAC .18 percent or more; unlawful possession of marijuana; speed in zone; and failure to signal. At about 2:25 a.m. Dec. 27th, an officer assigned to DWI Crackdown Patrol observed a vehicle allegedly moving at a high rate of speed on Wolcott Street in the Village of Le Roy. A lawful traffic stop was initiated after the vehicle also failed to use a signal while making a turn. The operator was identified as Zajic. After a subsequent investigation it was allegedly found that Zajic was intoxicated. Zajic was taken into custody and processed without incident; arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court put in jail with bail set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Zajic is due back in court on Jan. 22 to answer the charges.

Derrick L. Washington, 46, Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- first offense; speeding; unlicensed operator; aggravated unlicensed operation. On Dec. 31 at 11:20 p.m. on Liberty Street in Batavia, Washington was arrested on these charges following a traffic stop. After his arraignment in city court, he was jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Ranelle E. Reuben, 36, of Judge Road, Basom, is charged with: driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; following too closely; and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Reuben was arrested at 5:38 p.m. on Dec. 18 on West Main Street in Batavia. The defendant allegedly left the scene of a property damage accident after striking another vehicle and the defendant was allegedly intoxicated and operating the vehicle without a driver's license. Reuben was arraigned in city court and jailed without bail. Reuben was due in city court on Dec. 19. The case was handled Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Billie L. Harper, 41, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; unlawful possession of marijuana; driving while ability impaired by drugs; having a cracked front windshield. Harper was arrested at 9:07 a.m. on Dec. 23 on State Street in Batavia after a citizen's complaint of a subject slouched over the steering wheel of a vehicle. Batavia police responded and located Harper asleep in her vehicle at the intersection of Washington Avenue and State Street. After further investigation police allegedly found Harper to be impaired. The defendant is due in city court on Jan. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Matthew T. Ryan, 42, of Henskee Road, Alden, is charged with DWI -- common law and aggravated DWI -- with a BAC of .18 percent or more. Ryan was arrested at 6:44 p.m. on Dec. 21 on Walnut Street in Batavia following the investigation into a vehicle complaint. He was due in city court on Jan. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

George Michael Hodges, 28, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and harassment in the second degree. Hodges was arrested at 1:50 p.m. on Dec. 30 on Oak Street. It is alleged that he physically interfered with police while they were investigating a disturbance call on Oak Street. He was arraigned in city court and put in jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. He was due in court on Dec. 31 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Ernest D. Lane, 60, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Lane was arrested at 6:40 a.m. on Jan. 1 for allegedly intentionally breaking property that belonged to a female acquaintance. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Adam James Gill, 30, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 11 a.m. on Jan. 3 on Church Street in Elba following a visit from probation in the Town of Elba. He was arrested for allegedly being inside the residence and in the presence of a protected party. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and put in jail with bail set at $500 cash or $1,000 bond. He is due in court again on Jan. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning.

Tiesha Deon Doward, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Doward was arrested at 12:38 p.m. on Dec. 31 following a shoplifting complaint at Tops Friendly Market in Batavia. Doward is accused of leaving the store with $99.69 worth of merchandise without paying for it. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Joshua J. Dibble, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Dibble was arrested on Jan. 1 on an active arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court charging him with petit larceny. It is alleged that Oct. 4 on West Main Street in Batavia that Dibble took a 12-pack of beer from a store without paying for it. Following his arrest on the warrant, he was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. He was due in court again on Jan. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

January 2, 2019 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Oakfield, Alabama, bergen.

Tevin Alexander Dowdell, 40, of Clifford Ave., Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated as a felony; speeding in a 55-mph zone; refusal to take a breath test; uninspected motor vehicle; and aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree -- operating a motor vehicle without a required ignition interlock device. On Dec. 31 at 8:33 p.m. on Clinton Street Road in Bergen, Dowdell was arrested on the charges, arraigned and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 bond. Dowdell is due in Bergen Town Court this afternoon (Jan. 2). The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Andrew John Rock, 32, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 12:08 a.m. on Dec. 29 on Alleghany Road in Alabama, Rock was a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop. The defendant allegedly possessed a quantity of marijuana in the glove compartment of the vehicle and a smoking pipe in the passenger door. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Damian Michael-Edward Schoonmaker, 20, of Smith Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 5:01 a.m. on Dec. 31 on Lewiston Road in Oakfield, Schoonmaker was arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana inside his 2000 Buick LaSabre. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

December 27, 2018 - 2:47pm

ROCHESTER -- Nazareth College students named to the Fall 2018 dean's list are as follows:

  • Kimberly Davis, of Pavilion
  • Danielle Foeller, of Bergen 
  • Bailey Groth, of East Pembroke 
  • Chelsea Jensen, of Batavia
  • Jessica Meyers, of East Bethany 
  • Lauren Reding, of Oakfield 

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts.

The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.

December 26, 2018 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, batavia, news, notify.
torres-acebedo0mug2018.jpg
     Torres-Acevedo

A 22-year-old Batavia man who was the subject of a manhunt at the end of November after he allegedly drove off with a teenage Bergen girl in a blue SUV, which prompted an Amber Alert, is back in Genesee County and may face federal charges.

Sheriff William Sheron said today that because Jose Guillermo Torres-Acevedo is suspected of taking the girl across state lines, the Sheriff's Office is working with the FBI to determine if Torres-Acevedo should be charged by federal authorities.

Locally, he's been charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for allegedly stealing the Dodge Journey he is accused of using to transport the girl from her Bergen home.

He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

In November, Torres-Acevedo was arrested following an investigation by State Police and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. A judge issued a complete stay away order requiring Torres Acevedo to have no contact with the girl.

The morning of Nov. 29, Torres-Acevedo allegedly drove to the girl's home and picked her up. The Sheriff's Office was soon notified that the girl was missing and an Amber Alert was issued that afternoon.

The girl, authorities said, went with Torres-Acevedo willingly.

The girl and Torres-Acevedo were reportedly located that night at a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., when authorities were able to ping the girl's mobile phone.

Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody and the girl was returned to her family in Bergen. Torres-Acevedo waived extradition and a deputy picked him up in Pennsylvania on Friday.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in Bergen Town Court next month to face charges stemming from his initial arrest by State Police.

December 19, 2018 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michele Case, crime, bergen, news, notify.

At the close of yet another hearing on making restitution to her former employer, former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case made it clear how unhappy she is with HomeCare & Hospice, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and The Batavian, accusing all of lying about her and defaming her good name.

Case called Friedman unethical. She said he had been duped by HomeCare & Hospice. Friedman, she also said, is just posturing for The Batavian, which she accused of libel.

"Then I want to go to jail and not pay any more restitution," Case told Judge Charles Zambito after Zambito warned her about her conduct. As she spoke, two deputies in the courtroom positioned themselves directly behind the chair she was sitting in.

She continued, "I don't want to see that man anymore," pointing at Friedman.

At the end of Case's rant, and before she could start again, Zambito adjourned the hearing.

Shortly after leaving the courtroom, Case emailed the following statement to The Batavian:

Please be advised that you have repeatedly printed lies about me on The Batavian and I hereby demand that you print an immediate retraction for your past 2 libelous posts. I also demand that you immediately cease & desist spreading falsehoods to the community I proudly served! Eventually, new evidence will exonerate me and implicate my former employer for falsely reporting a theft and insurance fraud and the DA will be brought up on ethics violations & prosecutor misconduct! 

Case has been in legal trouble in Genesee County since 2010 when she was accused of stealing more than $35,000 from an elderly patient. Those charges were eventually dismissed for reasons never officially disclosed by the court.

In 2011, she was accused of painting a mailbox that didn't belong to her, and later that year she was arrested and accused of bilking HomeCare & Hospice out of thousands of dollars by falsifying business records.

That case went to trial in 2012 and she was convicted by a jury but the conviction was overturned. An appeals court ruled that documents entered into evidence at trial were prejudicial and thereby denied Case her right to a fair trial.

Case was retried in 2014 and convicted again.

After the first conviction, a hearing was called to determine the amount of restitution Case owed HomeCare & Hospice and Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled that she would be required to pay $14,000.

Her attorney at the time tried to argue that restitution should be limited to the amount of money specified under the legal definition of third-degree grand larceny, which was $3,000.

Today, Case suggested that she has made restitution payments and that she owed no more than $2,500. It's not clear, but it appears Case believes The Batavian's prior reporting on the amount of restitution is libelous. Friedman said it was his impression that Case is claiming she's made sufficient payments to reduce the amount of restitution to $2,500. He said the court has been unable to confirm payments with officials in Niagara County, where Case now lives.

The issues currently in dispute about restitution, in this case, are whether Zambito has the authority to compel restitution and to set a payment schedule.

Since her second conviction, Case moved to Erie County and then Niagara County. Each time, her probation followed her into those counties. Public Defender Larry Ader, now representing Case -- though at the start of her rant in court this afternoon she told Zambito she was firing Ader -- said he believes that because Case was last on probation in Niagara County, and is no longer on probation. Ader maintains that only a Niagara County judge can issue a restitution order and that only the probation department in Niagara County can collect that restitution.

Zambito said he believes he has jurisdiction over restitution in this case and that he can order Genesee County Probation Department to collect the restitution.

Ader said it would be up to an appeals court to resolve the different views.

Prior to today, Case was supposed to supply a financial statement to help the court determine the amount of monthly payments, along with supporting documents. Friedman said the financial statement was delivered to his office late and that it only received any supporting documents 45 minutes prior to today's hearing. But with just a quick review of the documents, he said they appeared to be inadequate to support the financial statement.

According to Ader, Case hasn't been working while out on disability but should be cleared to work soon. In the meantime, her only source of income has been Social Security survivor benefits paid out on behalf of her 16-year-old child, who lives with her in Lockport. 

Friedman suggested a hearing might be needed so Case could be placed under oath to testify about her ability to make restitution payments. But after a conference with the Zambito and Ader at the bench, Zambito said he was going to order, for now, payments of $50 a month. That is the amount in the prior restitution order; they are to start at the beginning of the month.

Another hearing is scheduled 9:30 a.m., Jan. 7.

Previously:

December 19, 2018 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, BOCES, Batavia CTE, schools, education.

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Press release:

Providing students with authentic learning experiences is the goal of every career and technical education program. Students in the Conservation Program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center got just that opportunity when they constructed a kiosk for the Town of Bergen.

Despite the rainy, cold weather and muddy grounds, the Conservation students built a kiosk that has a roof, two benches and an information board. This project can be found in the Town of Bergen’s Drew’s Nature Center, located on West Sweden Road.

Ernest Haywood is the supervisor for the Town of Bergen. He contacted Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia Campus, which includes the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, to inquire about the possibility of constructing the kiosk.

“I thought the opportunity to build a kiosk for the nature center would foster the students understanding and appreciation of our natural resources as well as provide students a real-life experience to build something that would benefit the community for years to come,” Haywood said.

“It is my hope that the kiosk will provide information for community members to enhance their knowledge of what the Drew's Nature Center has to offer and directions and guidance to visitors on how to independently explore, at one’s own pace, the natural wonders of the center.”

Sanfratello echoed Haywood's thoughts.

“This project gave the students the opportunity to understand the importance of time management, and customer satisfaction all while using the skills learned in the classroom and shop," Sanfratello said. "They worked under some difficult weather conditions but they got the job done."

Jacob Vandenbosch is the Conservation Program instructor.

“The Conservation students were able to learn carpentry skills by creating a location for the community to enjoy the outdoors. As an added bonus, they learned the importance of giving back to the community,” Vandenbosch said. “We will also be exploring future class projects at the nature center and working alongside the town to improve the community’s experience."

Submitted photo: The Conservation a.m. session class with their completed project. Not in order of photo. Ali Mann, Peyton Armison, Andrew Clark, Chad Green, Evan Hands, Mitchell Humel, Dominic Ianni, Kristofer Kuszlyk, Breanna Mest, Adam Offen, Noah Pangrazio, Tristan Rasmussen, Kaitlyn Shultz, Alec Slepinski, Nathan Tabor, Hunter Wade, Tyler Will.

December 11, 2018 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, schools, education, news, notify, byron, bergen.

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Keep moving forward, that is what Adam Thorman said he has done since graduating from Byron-Bergen High School more than 10 years ago and joining the Navy.

He's moved forward in his Navy career, from E-2 out of basic training to E-6 after 10 years of service. He's been recognized by his superiors for his hard work and dedication as a military security specialist. He's gotten married and become a father to a 17-month old daughter. And he has overcome tragedy in his family, the deaths in separate accidents of his twin sister and his younger sister.

He said he's moved forward with the help of friends and family but meeting his wife a couple of years after the deaths of his sisters in 2011 "kind of opened up my eyes that I could still move on while unfortunately still missing two of my family members," he said during a presentation Monday at the Western New York Tech Acadamy.

Thorman was one of four speakers for "Motivational Monday" at the academy. The other speakers were Gina Lathan from Lathan Construction, Jakob Terranova from Six Flags Darien Lake, and Kelley Yates from Sedgwick Business Interiors.

Thorman fielded a variety of questions from the three dozen students who attended the talks, including questions about his deployments overseas, his career plans, life in the military, and how he overcame obstacles (such as bringing his reading skills up to the necessary level to complete college) to advance his career.

"I really enjoy reading books now," he said.

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December 8, 2018 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, bergen, gillam grant, LEGO, robotics, stem, education.

The Bionic Bees -- a team of third- through sixth-graders from the Gillam Grant Community Center -- won the Project Award at the Finger Lakes FIRST Lego League regional qualifier robotics competition.

On Saturday, Nov. 17 the Bionic Bees competed at The Integrated arts and Technology high school in Rochester against other area teams. This year’s theme for the competition was "Into Orbit." Teams had to think of a solution to a physical or emotional problem that astronauts face when in space for long periods of time.

The team’s solution was to use virtual reality to give astronauts pieces of home through sights, sounds and smells.

They designed Bionic Binoculars, which can give you the pleasant smells of their home. The motion-detecting gloves or controllers would set off a smell when placed near the accompanying visual. Astronauts could wear a vest with the binoculars that could adjust temperature depending on the setting like a fireplace for example. Through the viewer they could see and hear the familiar sights and sounds of home.

The team modeled their idea from the Oculus brand of virtual reality products.

FIRST LEGO League gives students the chance to develop, design, build and code LEGO MINDSTORMS robots to perform autonomous “missions” on a themed playing field and design innovative solutions to a real world problem inspired by the theme.

Along their journey, students develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges.

They also practice the Program’s Core Values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology.

Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

The Learning Center at Gillam Grant, a not-for-profit center located in Bergen. We provide tutoring, homework help and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) enrichment classes and clubs for K-12thgrade students.

December 6, 2018 - 3:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Grand Jury, notify, bergen, pembroke, batavia, Darien, Stafford, Oakfield.

Morgan R. Coles is indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 26 in the Town of Bergen that Coles knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in The Firing Pin with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 3 in the City of Batavia that Coles possessed 10 or more firearms. In counts three through 15, Coles is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, Class D felonies, for allegedly possessing firearms which had been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of the fireaarm. Respectively, these are: a KelTec model PF-9 9mm pistol; a Glock model 19 9 mm pistol; a Glock model 45 9 mm pistol; a Glock model 27 .40 S&W pistol; a Glock model 19c 9mm pistol; a Glock G17 9mm pistol; a Glock model G43 9mm pistol; a second Glock model 27 .40 S&W pistol; a Glock model G21 .45 ACP pistol; a Glock 30S .45 ACP pistol; a Glock model 17 9mm pistol; a Glock model 22 gen 2 .40 S&W pistol; and a Glock model 24 9 mm pistol. In count 16, Coles is indicted for third-degree criminal possession of stolent property, a Class D felony, for allegedly knowingly possessing 13 stolen firearms and the value of the property exceeded $3,000.

Thomas E. Brenkus is indicted for the crime of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the City of Batavia that he subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. In count two, Brenkus is accused of forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on the same day in the city that he intentionally or for no legitimate purpose forcibly touched the sexual or intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing the person for the purpose of gratifying the defendant's sexual desire.

Edwin L. Stancliff is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on June 12 in the Town of Pembroke that Stancliff possessed a dangerous instrument -- a crowbar -- with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. In count two, Stancliff is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two, that Stancliff possessed a dangerous instrument -- a crowbar -- with intent to use it unlawfully against a second person. In count three, Stancliff is accused on second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in counts three and four, respectively, that on June 12 in the Town of Pembroke he intentionally placed or attempted to place two victims in reasonable fear of physical injury or death by displaying the crowbar. In counts five and six, respectively, Stancliff is accused of second-degree harassment for allegedly acting on that day with intent to harass, annoy or alarm the two victims with threat of physical contact. In count seven, the defendant is accused of tampering with a witness in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count seven that, knowing a person is about to be called as a witness in a legal action or proceeding, the worngfully induces or attempts to induce, the person to avoid appearing or testifying. It is alleged that on Nov. 6, Stancliff sent a text message to a witness stating that the witness should not show up for the Grand Jury indictment and that if the person did, the person is "riding for the State" and that if the person was family they would not show up. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Stancliff is accused of having been convicted of third-degree menacing, a Class B misdemeanor, on Feb. 14, 2017 in Town of Pembroke Court and that conviction forms the basis for counts one and two of the current indictment.

Travis E. Kent, Jason N. Mann and David C. Edwards are indicted for the crime of attempted grand larceny in the third degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 3 on Broadway Road in the Town of Darien that these defendants attempted to steal property with a combined value in excess of $3,000 -- a Yamaha Wolverine four-wheeler and a Mongoose four-wheeler. In count two, they are accused of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D  felony. It is alleged in count two that the defendants knowingly possessed stolen property valued in excess of $3,000 -- a 2011 Chevrolet Impala. In count three, Kent, Mann and Edwardsare indicted for second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count three that the defendants intentionally damaged property belonging to another person and the damage exceeded $1,500 -- the 2011 Impala was damaged. In count four, they are accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly driving the Impala without the owner's consent.

Lisa D. Ayres is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on July 21 in the Town of Darien that she drove a 2007 Chevrolet on Route 77 and on McGregor Road while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of DWI, per se, a Class D felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Ayres is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving without a valid license -- which had been suspended or revoked -- and for being under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time. In count four, the defendant is accused of the crime of circumvention of an ignition interlock device. It is alleged in count four that Ayres drove the 2007 Chevrolet which was not equipped with an ignition interlock device, which was required to have. In count five, Ayres is accused of the offense of refusal to submit to a breath test, a violation. It is alleged in count four that Ayres refused the request made by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer to submit to a breath test on July 21. In count six, Ayres is accused of the offense of failure to yield the right of way on a left turn. It is alleged in count six, that her failure to yield constituted an immediate hazard. In count seven, Ayres is accused of making an unsafe turn, a violation. In count eight, Ayres is accused of the offense of unsafe passing on the left. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Ayres is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a Class E felony on April 24, 2012, in County of Wayne Court. Also, she is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor on Nov. 18, 2009, in Town of Sodus Court. These convictions form the basis of the crimes alleged in the current indictment and the allegation that she knew her driver's license had been suspended or revoke by authorities due to the convictions.

Danielle R. Dixon is indicted for the crime of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 27 on Main Street in the City of Batavia that Dixon rode a Yamaha motorcycle while having a BAC of .18 percent or more. In count two, she is accused of DWI as a Class E felony, in the same incident. In count three, Dixon is accused of operating a vehicle out of class, a violation. It is alleged in count three that the defendant rode the Yamaha without being the holder of a class of license which was valid for the operation of the motorcycle. In count four, she is accused of the offense of speeding at the time.

Joseph F. Chiodo is indicted for the crime of aggravated DWI, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 20 in the Town of Pembroke that Chiodo drove a 2004 Chevrolet on Route 33 while intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, he is accused of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that when he drove on June 20 on Route 33 his ability to drive was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting at that time in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

Stacy L. Parks is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the Town of Darien that Parks drove a 2011 Ford on Route 20 while intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, Parks is accused of DWI, as a misdemeanor, for the same incident. In count three, the defendant is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count four, Parks is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner that day which was likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

Deborah S. Rodriguez is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 1 in the Town of Oakfield that Rodriguez drove a 2005 Nissan on Farnsworth Avenue while her driver's license was suspended and that she did so while impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count two, she is accused of driving while ability impaired by a drug, as a misdemeanor, for driving on Aug. 1 while her ability to do so was impaired by the use of a drug. In count three, the defendant is accused of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. It is alleged in count three that Rodriguez drove on Farnsworth Avenue that day while her ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and drug or drugs. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Rodriguez is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, on July 5 in City of Batavia Court and her license was suspended. That suspension was still in effect on Aug. 1 pending prosecution of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jay M. Blatchley is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or alcohol and any drug or drugs, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 28 in the Town of Stafford that Blatchley drove a 2016 Toyota on Route 5 while his ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Blatchley is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by drugs on Nov. 10, 2009, in the Town of Pembroke and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Michael J. Reeves is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Aug. 4 in the Town of Pembroke that he drove a 2009 Lincoln on Route 77 while intoxicated. in count two, he is indicted for DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Reeves is accused of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony, for having no valid driver's license, because it was suspended or revoked, at the time and while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by the consumption of alcohol, an infraction, on Jan. 15, 2008, of Town of Sullivan Court. That conviction forms the basis of the driver's license revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment.

Andrew M. Cerrillo is indicted for the crime of drivng while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 14 in the Town of Stafford that Cerrillo drove a 2003 Toyota on Route 5 while intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cerrillo is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on April 17, 2014, in the Town of Grand Island Court, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

November 30, 2018 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, alexander, batavia, bergen, Pavilion.

A 16-year-old male who lives in Bergen was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment at 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 14. He allegedly grabbed and shook a teacher's head during class at Byron-Bergen High School. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and an order of protection was issued for the teacher. The teenager is due in Bergen Town Court at 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Butler.

Rodney Scott Schwartz, 53, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with: DWI -- second offense within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; and open container of alcohol in a vehicle. Following an investigation into a domestic incident at 6:55 p.m. on Nov. 25, Schwartz was arrested on these charges and jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond. He was due in Alexander Town Court on Nov. 29. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Sara Rae Tombari, 21, of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. She was arrested after failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance. She was arraigned at 1 p.m. on Nov. 27 in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Sgt. Ronald Meides.

Joseph Michael Smith, 42, of Colonial Lane, Bath, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. He was arrested after failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance. He was arraigned at 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 28 in Batavia Town Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre.

November 26, 2018 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, bergen.

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A working structure fire is reported at Kaiser Wilcox Corp. at 7062 S. Lake Street Road, Bergen.

The fire has gone to a second alarm.

Bergen fire, Le Roy fire, City of Batavia's Fast Team dispatched. South Byron requested to fill in at Bergen.

City fire's third platoon requested to the station.

The company sells and repairs heavy construction, power and farm equipment, and lawn mowers, plus it sells supplies for them.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 11:06 p.m.: Mercy medics are called to the scene in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: Mutual aid is requested from Churchville, Mumford, and Brockport.

UPDATE 11:17 p.m.: "We could use more help," says fire command. The assignment has gone to a third alarm. A firefighter reports there is now fire in the second story of the building. Rehab for firefighters is being established.

UPDATE 11:21 p.m.: Elba is called to fill in at Bergen's fire hall. Command calls for electricity to be cut. One engine from Caledonia is asked to fill in at Le Roy Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m.: Due to a number of hazards present, Chili's rescue unit is called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:37 p.m.: Fire command has ordered all interior firefighters out of the building out of concern for their safety. "Be aware we have a steady flow of diesel fuel going into the water mixture here," reports a firefighter.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: National Grid has arrived to shut off the power.

UPDATE 12:32 a.m. (By Howard): An emergency management coordinator has asked dispatch to have a DEC representative call him.

UPDATE 12:37 a.m. (By Howard): Photos added, the only two I could get from the road. We weren't allowed in to get more photos. The chief, we were told, wouldn't be available to interview for an extended period of time. We'll try to get more information about the fire in the morning. There was no smoke showing at the time I left, and a minute ago there was discussion on the scanner of the fire investigation starting.

UPDATE 1:08 a.m.: Elba is responding to the scene. Earlier, Wyoming County Correctional Facility was unable to secure a crew to respond and assist with equipment pickup.

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November 16, 2018 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, bergen, news, byron.

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Press release:

One hundred and twenty-seven students were joined by family, faculty, and staff in Byron-Bergen School's the Fourth Annual Turkey Trot.

The Turkey Trot is an initiative, started by the Health and Wellness Committee, to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. The non-competitive run/walk kicked off in a flurry of excitement on Nov. 8 at 3:30 p.m. behind the Elementary School. The brisk evening was ideal for outdoor activity and, though the sky was overcast, no rain fell.

“The students love this event,” said Elementary School Physical Education teacher and event organizer Danielle Carson. “I hope that this experience will inspire them to get outside more often to hike, bike, or just run around.”

From the starting line behind the four-square court, participants followed the one-mile course through the wooded cross-country trail, along the soccer stadium, over to the high ropes course, and back to the four-square court finish line.

The buildings and grounds crew had prepared the forest section of the course by marking roots, stones, and other tripping hazards with orange paint.

The orange markers were not the only splash of color. Orange, yellow, and brown leaves provided a vivid backdrop as the participants followed the well-worn path through the woods.

“Planning the Turkey Trot at the height of the fall foliage creates a unique experience for our students and their families,” said Elementary Principal Brian Meister. “It’s a chance to get outside and exercise, but it is also a chance to appreciate the beautiful natural resources we have on campus.”

After the trot, students and families gathered in the cafetorium with lots of smiles and rosy cheeks for a healthy snack.

The Turkey Trot is also the non-official kick-off to the District’s Holiday Community Service project. Annually, the District partners with community organizations to collect toys, clothing, wrapping supplies, and – in 2017 – more than 1,200 nonperishable food items. This year’s Turkey Trot participants started it off on the right foot by donating more than 100 nonperishable food items.

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