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March 9, 2019 - 11:43am
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, news.

A 35-year-old male with a possible broken leg is in a wooded area off Transit Road in Bethany that is not accessible to regular vehicles. The address is 10650 Transit Road just north of Spark Road. It was called in by a neighbor.

Bethany Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics. Alexander's UTV is called in along with Le Roy's UTV "in case we need to carry some people in there." The location "pretty far behind the residence."

UPDATE 11:58 a.m.: A first responder at the scene asks that incoming help follow his footsteps into the woods and puts Mercy Flight #5 out of Batavia on a ground standby.

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: The patient is being collared and boarded and will be brought out of the woods shortly. Mercy Flight remains on ground standby for now.

March 7, 2019 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in horses, animals, Bethany, news.


Horses in a snow-covered field off East Road in Bethany earlier this afternoon.

March 7, 2019 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barniak Farms, agriculture, Bethany, news.


Barniak Farms has been selected by the Genesee County Soil and Water District as the 2018 Conservation Farm of the Year.

Brad Mudrzynski, with Soil and Water, said the farm was selected because of what it does to protect soil health and the watershed, such as planting cover crops, which helps prevent erosion, builds soil health, and prevents phosphorous from leaching into streams and creeks.

The farm on East Road in Bethany is 1,700 acres and milks about 700 cows.

Soil and Water, founded in Genesee County in 1944, handed out its first farm conservation award in 1959.

Photo: Ted Konieczka, Laura Bestehorn, Joseph Barniak, Barry Flansburg, Brad Mudrzynski, Molly Cassatt, Tim Welch and Kenneth Barniak.


February 28, 2019 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Town of Bethany Republican Committee is seeking individuals who are interested in being considered to serve on the Town of Bethany Republican Committee.

Those interested please send letter of intent to: Thomas J. Douglas, 10515 East Road, Pavilion, NY 1452

Or contact at [email protected]

Cell: (585) 356-0824

February 17, 2019 - 12:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Bethany.

A motor-vehicle accident with entrapment but a minor injury, a hand injury, is reported at 5116 Broadway Road, Bethany.

The vehicle rolled over.

A park police officer was first on scene and managed to extricate the victim from the vehicle. The patient is now in a residence in that location.

A pole is down. Wires were sparking but the sparking has reportedly stopped.

Bethany fire and ambulance responding. 

UPDATE 12:37 a.m.: National Grid requested to the scene.

February 2, 2019 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany, news.

An accident is completely blocking the westbound lane of Broadway Road (Route 20) in Bethany after a collision between two vehicles near Francis Road. Minor injuiries reported. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Alexander Fire Department is called to the scene to assist Bethany. Traffic assistance is needed.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Alexander reported it had returned to its fire hall about 10 minutes ago. A female is being transported to UMMC with complaints of neck pain.

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Bethany is back in service and the road is open.

February 1, 2019 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news.


Bobbi from Bethany took this photo and shared it with us.

January 25, 2019 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Bethany.

Bethany fire is responding to a fully involved truck fire, a pickup truck at 5426 Ellicott Street Road.

There was concern about the truck being close to a home, but the residents have the house closed up and no smoke is getting it. The structure does not seem to be threatened.

There was concern about power lines overhead but they don't seem to be involved.

UPDATE 10:26 a.m.: Route 63 is being closed in both directions.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: Route 63 is being shut down at Route 20. A first responder says, "until we get DOT out here to clear Route 63 we'll be out here all day." Another responder reports "visibility is getting bad."

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: Plowing done, road reopened.

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.

December 24, 2018 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Bethany.

A truck is on its side in a ditch in the area of 9806 Creek Road, Bethany.

Minor injuries reported.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:17 a.m.: Confirmed minor injuries. Responding units can proceed with caution, non-emergency.

December 17, 2018 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, Oakfield, batavia, Bethany, pembroke.

Debra Lynn Mattoon, 39, of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny and third-degree identity theft. On Dec. 15, following the investigation into a larceny that occured in the City of Batavia at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 3, Mattoon was arrested on the charges. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due back in city court on Dec. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin Forsyth.

Jacob Joseph Camerera, 27, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, after he was allegedly found in possession of a firearm at 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 19 which had previously been reported stolen. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Minuto.

Joseph A. Ciociola Jr., 20, of Pembroke, was arrested at 9:56 a.m. on Dec. 5 by troopers out of SP Batavia and charged with: criminal possession of a weapon, 4th; unlawful possession of marijuana; and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; he was also cited with vehicle and traffic violations. Troopers stopped Ciociola on Akron Road in the Town of Pembroke for speeding. While interviewing Ciociola the odor of marijuana was allegedly present. During a probable-cause search of his vehicle, Ciociola was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana, brass/metal knuckles, and two loaded and chambered firearms. Ciociola was issued appearance tickets and he is scheduled to appear before the Town of Pembroke Court later this month. 

Sath Paul Dhanda, 38, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt in the first degree. He was arrested on Ellicott Street in Batavia at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 for allegedly violating an order of protection on two different occasions. He was arraigned and jailed without bail and was due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 13. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Sgt. Eric Bolles.

John Albert Snook, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, Albion, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 15, Batavia police responded to a Jackson Street apartment for a 9-1-1 hangup call. While on scene, patrols discovered that Snook was on location in violation of a stay-away order of protection; he was also allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. Snook was arraigned and jailed without bail and is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 17). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

December 17, 2018 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Alabama, news, infrastructure, water.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $4,639,000 in federal funding for six water infrastructure improvement projects across the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program.

Specifically, Schumer and Gillibrand explained, the Town of Alabama in Genesee County will receive: $1,653,000 to create Water District #2 and the Town of Bethany in Genesee County will receive $722,000 to create Water District #4.

The Town of Clarendon in Orleans County will receive $790,000 to create Water District #13 and an additional $790,000 to improve the water improvement benefit area #12, and the Town of Torrey in Yates County will receive $684,000 to create Water District 1, the first municipal water system to serve this area.

“These federal investments in job-creating and economy-boosting water infrastructure projects are great news for the Rochester-Finger Lakes region,” Schumer said. “This federal funding will allow five towns across the region to construct and make critical improvements to municipal water systems needed to provide clean, safe drinking water to their communities.

"I am proud to announce these federal investments and will continue fighting to ensure rural communities across Upstate New York have the resources they need to build, protect and maintain their water infrastructure.”

“All New Yorkers should have access to a reliable source of clean water, and with these grants, communities throughout the Rochester-Finger Lakes region will be able to expand and improve their water systems,” Gillibrand said.

“These investments will help provide safe and clean water for residents in the towns of Alabama, Bethany, Clarendon and Torrey, and I will always fight in the Senate for the resources to protect the health and quality of life for residents.”

December 2, 2018 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, news, Bethany.


Kaylee Brown, 5, with her father Chris Brown, shows off the reindeer she made at yesterday's Create-A-Critter session at the Genesee County Park Interpretive Center.

A couple of dozen children showed up over two sessions yesterday where the kids could create small little animals out of corncobs, pine cones, thistle pods, and other natural materials.

Below, Rhowen Torrey, 4, with Gregg Torrey.


November 25, 2018 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Bethany.

A rollover accident with a minor injury is reported on Silver Road, just south of Route 20, in Bethany.

A Bethany chief on scene reports the driver is out of the vehicle. Traffic is not blocked.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

November 8, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Bethany, byron, batavia.

Julia A. Hawley, 41, of Coward Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday Nov. 8, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call about a single-vehicle accident with injuries on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office determined Hawley was the sole occupent of the Chevrolet Silverado that left the roadway, striking a tree stump. Hawley was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. She was allegedly impaired by drugs at the time of the accident and arrested. She was also issued citations. The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando. Elba Fire Department also Mercy EMS assisted at the scene. (For previous coverage, click here.)

Shante C. Johnson, 21, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. A complaint of a wallet and credit card stolen in September was reported to the Le Roy Police Department and investigated. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 6 and issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 3. It is alleged that Johnson stole the wallet from a fellow employee while working in the Village of Le Roy and then attempted to use a credit card from the wallet in the City of Batavia.

Miguel Hernandez-Gonzalez, 35, of East Road, Bethany, is charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and unsafe backing. Hernandez-Gonzalez was arrested following a motor-vehicle accident on East Road in Bethany at 4:42 a.m. on Nov. 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bethany Town Court on Dec. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

November 5, 2018 - 9:52pm

The only contested race on Election Day in the Town of Bethany is for the position of highway superintendent.

The post was formerly held by Joel Merle but he left after giving his two-week notice earlier this year and three candidates were interviewed to replace him: Mike Adams, Barb Czworka and Jeffery Fluker.

Adams, who says he was asked to apply, was appointed as highway superintendent in March.

Now he is seeking to retain the $52,000-a-year post, the term for which expires next November, and Czworka is running to unseat him. Fluker remains a trustee on the town board.

Whomever is elected tomorrow as highway superintendent will have to run again in 2019.

The highway superintendent’s main duties are keeping the roads in good shape – 30.84 miles of town roads and 30.08 miles of county roads must be mowed, salted and plowed. Plus the town must maintain its own roads and do culvert and sluice replacements as required. Responsibilities also include removal of downed trees from roadways, etc.

Bethany's approved highway department expenditures for 2018 amounted to $226,000. There’s about $240,000 in savings and the estimated department annual budget is about $800,000.

Adams said he’s by no means a politician but feels he has the credentials to do right by taxpayers.

The 61-year-old sole proprietor farmer raises beef and dairy replacement calves up to 4 months old, in addition to growing crops on more than 450 acres. He’s been a farmer since the age of 20, a testament, he says, to his strong work ethic.

He says the highway superintendent’s job is evaluated this way -- whether the work that needs to get done, is done, rather than by the clock. With that in mind, he’s proud of his brief tenure.

“I’ve been told that we got more work done this summer than has been done in a long time, and it’s more than surpassed people’s expectations,” Adams said.

Czworka worked in Bethany’s Highway Department as a laborer for 17 “full years” before being laid off.

“I’ve been a grunt, I’ve done the dirty work, I have been down on the asphalt with the guys,” Czworka said. “I can mow roadsides. I don’t just whack weeds and mow lawns."

Asked why she’s running, she says simply “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. ... I want to do a good job when I get in there. I feel I'm a hard worker."

The contest has gotten testy.

Adams and some of his supporters point out that he’s had a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for more than 30 years.

“There ain’t much I can’t drive,” he says matter of factly, adding that he has the capability of a “backyard mechanic” to keep that equipment in working order.

Bethany operates a highway shop that employs Teamsters Union workers and Czworka has been a Teamsters steward.

After so many years, she knows every aspect of Bethany’s highway department and feels she has a lot to offer voters although she does not have a CDL.

“You can pull your weight without a CDL,” Czworka said. “Being in a snowplow is NOT a good use of a highway superintendent’s time.”

Adams says flatly “She has no ability to get the license.”

His opponent counters that shoveling snow off sidewalks, opening bigger intersections up that have snowed over are two additional ways to be helpful while others are plowing routes.

Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. said in an email: “There are no exemptions in the NYS DMV laws for municipalities: you must have a CDL to drive plow truck or town dump truck.

“Here's the problem -- a driver does not show up for plowing or calls in sick, then the Super has to get in a truck and plow in Bethany. NO license, NO plowing.”

"The CDL issue is petty," Czworka replied in a phone interview this evening. "I've never needed one. We have two backup part-time drivers and they do a good job. The CDL is being made into a big issue by people who've never done the job.

"I've been a wing person. I've trained new drivers on routes. I don't sit in an office somewhere and tell people how I think they should do their job."

Czworka prides herself on having run a positive campaign. She said she was upfront with Adams in May and told him she would be running for his job. She says he told her didn’t know if he would to be on the ballot.

Adams says he doesn’t want to be negative, but he’s seen some things over these past few months that make him shake his head as a taxpayer.

Like the front-end loader that was driven down to a heavy equipment company some time back to have an oil change for $1,080, which is something Adams would have just handled himself.

The reason for taking the loader out for maintenance some years was to have the maintenance for the machine recorded in the company's record. The point being that after a certain time, that piece of equipment could be cashed in, “but the town would not cash it in,” Czworka said.

Hyde said the agreement with the company regarding the front-end loader was before his time in office; he started in 2015.

One of the times the Teamsters took the town to arbitration since 2015 was because it outsourced labor from a non-union man, according to Czworka.

Hyde said that man was brought on as Adams' deputy highway superintendent and paid the same as a machine equipment operator (MEO) on an as-needed basis.

A highway superintendent can legally select his appointment as deputy and the appointee can be either union or non-union. The selection does not violate union rules so long as that deputy is not a full-time worker.

"The town actually double paid to have material hauled to the shop," Czworka countered.

​Since at least 2015, Hyde said there has been ongoing debate about staffing of the Highway Department; he claims Bethany could not afford four full-time employees.

"We always could in the past," Czworka said, noting that the town hired two MEOs at a higher rate of pay, added the deputy Super yet could not afford the laborer post (her post) that was less than $14 per hour.

"Hyde's math doesn't add up," Czworka said.

Hyde says it's not just his math that is used in the town's decision-making process.

"Let's just say I hope the most qualifed person gets the job," Hyde said. "I can't let taxpayers down. That's my job."

November 3, 2018 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news.


The parking lot at East Bethany's Presbyterian Church was overflowing today as holiday shoppers swarmed over the crafts and goods being offered by vendors throughout two floors of the church.






November 3, 2018 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Little Canada Road, Bethany, news, photos.


A scene on Little Canada Road, East Bethany, early this afternoon.

November 1, 2018 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, alexander, Bethany.

David J. Somerton, 36, of Kelsey Road, Batavia, (in photo above) is charged with five felony counts of disseminating indecent material to a minor. Somerton was arrested and arraigned on Oct. 31 following an investigation into an offense that occurred on Kelsey Road in the Town of Batavia on Oct. 13. Additional charges are pending. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Howard Carlson, assisted by Investigator/Youth Officer Timothy Westcott. The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division was assisted by the FBI Buffalo field office.

Victoria Lynn Jacques, 49, of Seward Road, Alexander, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 or higher, and DWI -- first offense. Jacques was arrrested at 8:42 p.m. Oct. 27 on Broadway Road in Bethany. She was operating a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle cited in a traffic offense complaint called into the Emergency Dispatch Center. Genesee County Sheriff's deputies pulled her vehicle over and allegedly determined she was intoxicated. She was transported to Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets for Town of Bethany Court Nov. 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.


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