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January 24, 2023 - 4:47pm
posted by Press Release in byron, news.

Press release:

The Town of Byron Republican committee is seeking registered party members that are interested in becoming selected as endorsed Republican candidates for the following offices in Nov. 7 General Election:

  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Highway Superintendent
  • Town Councilman – 2 positions
  • Member of Republican Committee

Those interested, send s letter of interest by Feb. 9 to Jim Northup. Email: [email protected] or call Jim Northup, committee chairman (585) 409-4327 or Steve Hohn, vice chairman, (585) 703-5528


January 17, 2023 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, byron, news.


Judy Schildwaster shared this photo of a Junco in her backyard on Lyman Road in Byron.  She said the bird migrated here for the winter and will only be here a couple of months before returning north.

January 16, 2023 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy, corfu, pembroke, byron, Business.

Benjamin John Russo, 41, of Rosemary Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with obstructing governmental administration 2nd, speeding, and failure to obey a police officer. Russo is accused of failing to yield for a patrol vehicle's emergency lights on Jan. 10 at 8:53 p.m. on Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and then, when he did stop, running from the vehicle. Once apprehended, he was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and then released on an appearance ticket.

Antonio Elmer Sosa-Martinez, 33, of West Academy Street, Albion, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, drinking alcohol or using cannabis in a motor vehicle on a highway, and unlicensed driver. Sosa-Martinez reportedly crashed his work van on Warsaw Road in Le Roy at 8:14 p.m. on Jan. 7. After an investigation by Deputy Mason Schultz and Deputy Jacob Kipler, Sosa-Martinez was placed in custody. He was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and released.

John James Gronowski, 45, of Cayuga Circle Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with criminal trespass 3rd. Gronowski was allegedly at Batavia Downs after previously being told he was not allowed on the property. He was issued an appearance ticket and released.

David Charles Pfenninger, Jr., 44, of Fargo Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Pfenninger was reportedly found in his vehicle stuck in a ditch on Route 77, Pembroke, at 1:10 a.m. Jan. 13 by Deputy James Stack. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Jordan Roger Difilippo, 29, of Pratt Road, Pembroke, is charged with sex offender failing to report change of address/status. Difilippo was arrested on Jan. 12 for allegedly failing to disclose an email address to the Department of Probation. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Paul Crawford, 54, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th and driving on a suspended registration.  Crawford was arrested on Jan. 12 after being located on Old Meadow Lane at 9:02 p.m. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Timothy Ting Hsia, 33, of Sinclair Street, Mckeesport, Pa., is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, unlicensed driver, and failure to use four-way flashers. Hsia was stopped at 6:05 a.m. on Jan. 14 on Genesee Street, Pembroke, by Deputy Ayrton Blankenship.

Matthew J. Zon, 41, of South Byron, is charged with criminal contempt 1st. Zon was arrested on Jan. 12 by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 3:09 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the Town of Byron. According to the statute cited, Zon reportedly has a prior criminal contempt conviction. He was released on his own recognizance. 

Kim M. Sobczak, 60, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Sobczak was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported on Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Town of Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket. No other information released.

November 24, 2022 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, byron, news.

Byron and South Byron are on scene of a house fire at 6451 Cockram Road, Byron.

The fire was at the back of the residence and reported knocked down at this time.

The call began with a report of heavy smoke in the basement.

Bergen Fire on standby in its hall.

UPDATE 8:53 a.m.: The fire is out. National Grid requested the scene. A code enforcement officer requested to the scene. The house may be uninhabitable.

November 11, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dollar General, byron, news.


There are six Dollar General stores in Genesee County, a seventh under development in Darien, and now an eighth planned for the Town of Byron.

The proposed location is at the northwest corner of McElver Street and Townline Road, just east of Byron-Holley Road in the hamlet of Byron.

Dollar General's purchase of the three parcels -- owned by the Byron Fire Department, Suzanne Fuller, and Suzies Byron Enterprises Inc. -- is contingent on town planners approving two variances necessary for the construction of the store.

The combined property would be less than an acre.

Griffiths Engineering of Binghamton is the project applicant on behalf of Dollar General.

The Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of the application with the following modification: The developer receives a driveway permit from the Genesee County Highway Department.

The parcel would also be subject to address verification by the county's 9-1-1 system.

October 22, 2022 - 1:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy, Darien, corfu, Stafford, byron.

A 17-year-old resident of Wolcott was charged with grand larceny 3rd and unauthorized use of a vehicle. At 12:38 a.m. Oct. 15, Le Roy police officers received a report of a stolen vehicle on Selden Road, Le Roy. Officers were able to track the location of the vehicle using its OnStar system. A short time later, the 2020 Chevy Silverado was located in the Town of Cheektowaga and was reportedly occupied by the 17-year-old.  He was arrested by Cheektowaga PD and turned over to Le Roy PD. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Joseph T. Martino, 30, no permanent address, is charged with four counts of petit larceny. At 1:37 p.m. Oct. 8, Martino allegedly stole merchandise from a local business on East Main Street, Batavia. He is also accused of shoplifting three separate times from two businesses on Jackson Street, Batavia on Oct. 2. He was issued an appearance ticket on all arrests.

Aaron T. Hendershot, 26, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Hendershot is accused of violating an order of protection by being at the home of the protected party at 1:39 p.m. Oct. 10 on Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

Marcella F. Greene, 38, of Bliss, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. Greene was arrested on a warrant issued in connection with an incident reported at 3 p.m. April 23 on East Main Street, Batavia. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on bail and ordered to appear again on Oct. 27 appearance.

Tammy L. Cicatello, 52, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and following too close. Cicatello was allegedly involved in a property damage accident at 9:55 a.m. Sept. 1, on Oak Street. She was arrested on Oct. 6 by Batavia PD. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Christine M. Caplis, 42, of Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. She was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $5,000 bail, $7,500 bond, or $10,000 partially secured bond.  No information released on the nature of the warrant. 

Daniel Maxwell Barron, 32, of Benedict Road, Monroe, Conn. Barron is charged with DWI, obstruction of governmental administration, failure to dim lights, drinking alcohol or using cannabis in a motor vehicle on a highway, and unregistered vehicle. Barron was stopped at 10 p.m. Oct. 6, on Route 20 in Darien by Deputy Alexandar Hadsall. He was ordered to return to Darien Town Court at 1 p.m. Oct. 20.

Seth Alan Wilt, 18, of Richley Road, Corfu, is charged with grand larceny 4th and petit larceny. Wilt is accused of stealing more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from his employer at 8363 Lewiston Road, Batavia (the former Kmart location) and of stealing $724.45 in merchandise from the same location. The thefts were reported at noon on Sept. 1. He was arrested on Oct. 12 by deputies Mason Schultz and Nicholas Charmoun. He was released on an appearance ticket. 

James Preedom, 38, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 1st, harassment 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. On Oct. 14, State Police responded to a report of a disturbance at a residence in the Town of Batavia and arrested Preedom as a result. He was released under supervision.

Justin Cowell, 40, of Batavia, is charged with four counts of criminal contempt 2nd, acting in a manner injurious to a child, unlawful dealing with a child, and selling tobacco to a minor. Cowell was arrested by State Police on Oct. 20 in connection with an incident reported at 2:08 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Town of Batavia. He was ordered held in jail. No further information was released.

Charles L. Dockstader, 76, of Basom, is charged with two counts of course of sexual conduct with a child less than 11 years old. Dockstader was arrested by State Police on Oct. 19 in connection with an incident reported at 12:02 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Town of Alabama.  He was ordered held on bail. No further information released.

Earl B. Benson, 34, of Byron, is charged with DWI. Benson was stopped at 10:17 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Town of Byron by State Police. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Keona R. Thomas, 33, of Stafford, is charged with DWI.  Thomas was stopped at 2:22 a.m. Oct. 16 in the Town of Stafford by State Police. Thomas was released on an appearance ticket.

October 16, 2022 - 9:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gymnastics, Sports, byron.


Genesee Gymnastics finished third on Friday at MCA Gymnastics competition in Byron.

Results and photo submitted by Stephani Hamilton.

Team Results: 1. Gates-Chili/Brighton: 122.5, 2. Genesee: 113.55, 3. Corning: 106.9

All Around: 1. Anna Pecor (Gates-Chili/Brighton): 34.4, 3. Roan Finn (Genesee): 30.05,  6. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 29.45, 9. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 26.95, 10. Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 26.9, 12. Hannah Spencer (Genesee): 25.4

Vault: 1. Anna Zahradka (Corning): 8.2, 3. Roan Finn (Genesee): 8.0,  4. Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 7.8, 5. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 7.75, 11. Nee'Kay Smith (Genesee): 7.25, 14. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 7.05, 16. Hannah Spencer (Genesee): 6.65

Uneven Bars: 1. Anna Pecor (Gates-Chili/Brighton): 8.65, 5. Roan Finn (Genesee): 6.2, 7. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 6.0, 8. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 5.9, 11. Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 5.35, 12. Hannah Spencer (Genesee): 5.25, 16. Samantha Copani (Genesee): 3.75

Balance Beam: 1. Anna Zahradka (Corning): 9.0, 4. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 8.1, 6. Roan Finn (Genesee): 7.9, 10. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 6.8, 11. Nee'Kay Smith & Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 6.7, 14. Hannah Spencer (Genesee): 6.45

Floor Exercise: 1. Anna Zahradka (Corning): 9.0, 5. Roan Finn (Genesee): 7.95, 7. Emily Salmonds (Genesee): 7.6, 10. Gianna Trigilio (Genesee): 7.2, 11. Hannah Spencer & Mikayla Yohon (Genesee): 7.05, 16. Samantha Copani (Genesee): 5.4

"The Genesee Varsity team may not have won the meet but they did have their best team score," Hamilton said.  "Each one of the gymnasts had at least one personal best.  I am super proud of their efforts." 

Their next meet is Saturday, Oct. 22 at MCA Gymnastics at 3 p.m. 

October 10, 2022 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Indian Reservation, Alabama, news, batavia, notify, byron.

Brandi L. Reuben, 26, and Garrett S. Porter (no residences provided), are charged with arson 3rd, criminal mischief, and conspiracy 5th. Reuben and Porter are accused of starting a fire at a newly opened location of a smoke shop at 368 Martin Road, Alabama on Sept. 29 at 10:38 p.m. The pair was arrested following an investigation by Deputy David Moore.  Reuben and Porter were arraigned in Town of Alabama Court and are scheduled to appear again on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. (Previously: Judge gives Tonawanda resident a chance to put his past behind him)

Gerald Kenneth Freeman, 70, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny of a motor vehicle. Freeman is accused of stealing a Ford water truck from the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Oct. 4 at 7:43 p.m. Freeman was released on an appearance ticket.

Rufus Garrett Johnson, 29, of Park Way, Chili, is charged with burglary 3rd and petit larceny.  Johnson is accused of going to Walmart in Batavia after previously being banned from the property with the intention to shoplift and of stealing merchandise on Oct. 8 at 10:07 a.m. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and ordered to return on Oct. 26.

Matthew Jacob Zon, 41 of East Main Street, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt 1st.  Zon is accused of violating a full stay-away order of protection on Oct. 9 at 6:18 p.m. at a location on East Main Street, Byron.

Christina M. Sanchez-Anderson, 34, of Bergen, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration 2nd. Sanchez-Anderson is accused of leading police officers on a brief foot pursuit after being stopped on warrants on Oct. 4 at 3:36 p.m. on Main Street, Batavia. Sanchez-Anderson was released on an appearance ticket and held at the Genesee County Jail on her warrants.

Tammy L. Cicatello, 52, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and uninspected motor vehicle. Cicatello was arrested on Oct. 1. She was stopped by a Batavia city patrol officer on July 30 at 5:34 p.m. on Mix Place, Batavia. She allegedly failed a field sobriety test. She was released on appearance tickets.

Marcia R. Goodenbery, 70, of Batavia, is accused of DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Goodenbery was stopped on Sept. 28 at 7:57 p.m. on Court Street, Batavia, by a Batavia city patrol officer. She was allegedly observed appearing intoxicated at a local business and returning to her vehicle. She was issued an appearance ticket.

October 6, 2022 - 1:38pm
posted by Press Release in news, Business, Oxbo, byron.


Press Release

Oxbo is celebrating MFG Day! As a global manufacturer of specialty harvesting and controlled application equipment, Oxbo has three manufacturing facilities in the United States: Byron, NY; Clear Lake, WI; and Lynden, WA. Oxbo also manufactures equipment Roosendaal, Netherlands, Fakenham, United Kingdom and Bournezeau, France. Oxbo products are used in more than 40 countries globally.

Oxbo provides diverse manufacturing career opportunities and employs welders, fabricators, machinists, material handlers, and assemblers. Oxbo provides on-the-job training and the unique opportunity to serve several essential agricultural businesses.

“We are proud to manufacture agricultural equipment in our US factories and to provide career opportunities in our local communities,” said Joe Perzia, Oxbo’s Chief Operating Officer. “We support the goals of MFG Day and are excited to showcase what modern manufacturing looks like at our facilities.”

As part of MFG Day, Oxbo is hosting facility tours in Byron, New York and Lynden, Washington on October 7, 2022, between 9am and noon. Students, career applicants, and community members are invited to see the full process in two of Oxbo’s US factories to better understand the role manufacturing plays in agriculture and the local community. Schedule a tour by visiting the MFG Day website or get a feel for Oxbo’s business by watching our segment on the show "Manufacturing Marvels."

September 28, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, byron, notify.

Alone one night in a car in the Target parking lot with a teenage girl, Shawn D. Myers made a decision that he and the girl will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini told Myers before sentencing him to five years in prison this afternoon.

In July, a jury convicted Myers of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony.  

By all accounts in Court this afternoon, except for that one decision, the Byron resident had led a pretty exemplary life up to that point -- a volunteer in his community, including a volunteer firefighter.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Myers forced the girl to have sex with him, the jury said.

His attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, argued that the evidence in the case, despite the jury's verdict, didn't really support the assertion of forcible compulsion, though Myers, now 21, admitted that he had sex with a person less than 17 years of age.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson said the victim suffered physical injury as a result of what Myers did and is still dealing with the emotional fallout of the sexual abuse. 

More than two dozen community and family members attended the hearing in support of Myers.  

The victim and her mother were also at the hearing.

In his statement, Myers said he knew he made a mistake but expressed concern about being sent to prison because he is being treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and during his time in the criminal justice system, he and his attorney said, he's already suffered one disruption to his medication regime. 

Cianfrini, who could have sentenced Myers to up to 25 years in prison, said that she would note in documents that will go with Myers to the Department of Corrections, that Myers has prescription medication he must take.

She encouraged Myers to use his time in prison to learn that he can't force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.

Myers said during his statement that he loved being a volunteer firefighter and regretted that he had ruined his firefighting career by his decision.  He promised Cianfrini that never again will he make a mistake that lands him back in jail.

September 23, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Bethany, byron, pembroke.

Bradley R. Jordan, 29, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing 3rd.  Jordan is accused of threatening a person on Silver Road in the Town of Bethany on Sept. at 6:58 p.m.  Jordan was located by deputies Andrew Mullen and James Stack along with K-9 Frankie and arrested.  He was arraigned in Town of Bethany Court and on that charged released on his own recognizance but held in the Genesee County Jail pending extradition to Clark County, Nevada. No information was released on the charge Jordan faces in Nevada.

Julian Willard Mills, 24, of Hartford Road, Lansing, Mich., is charged with criminal possession of a firearm. During an investigation of a reported suspicious condition on Alleghany Road, Pembroke on Sept. 19 at 11:35 a.m., Mills was allegedly found in possession of a loaded handgun. Mills was released on an appearance ticket.

Nia M. Coppini, 23, of Prestige Xing, Batavia, Jordan P. Kuczyuski, 24, of Bacon Street, Le Roy, Nathan D. Clark, 25, of Central Avenue, Batavia, and Dakota White, 24, of South Lake Avenue, Bergen, are charged with trespass. Coppini, Kuczyuski, Clark, and White are accused of being in the Byron Swamps after dark in violation of posted signs. They were released on appearance tickets.

September 5, 2022 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, byron, news, notify.

A fully involved mobile home fire is reported at 6972 Swamp Road, Byron.

The caller doesn't believe anybody is at home.  No cars in the driveway.

Byron, South Byron dispatched.  

The chief has requested a second alarm.  

Bergen, Elba, Oakfield, Stafford, and City of Batavia's Fast Team dispatched for the second alarm.

UPDATE 11:39 p.m.: Barre and Brockport were being dispatched to provide tankers but the chief on scene said the tankers can be canceled and requests a fill-in at the Byron Fire Hall.

UPDATE 12:05 a.m.: Stafford is filling in at Byron's hall.  Le Roy is going to fill in at South Byron's hall. The fire has been knocked down.  National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 12:07 a.m.: A fire investigator requested to the scene.


August 23, 2022 - 3:47pm

August 22, 2022 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu, pembroke, Stafford, Darien, byron.
Dean Gardner

Dean Gardner, Jr., 45, no street address provided, Pavilion, is charged with menacing 2nd, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, attempted arson 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon 3rd, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th. Gardner is accused of attacking a victim in a car on Warsaw Road at 3:16 p.m. on Aug. 20. According to Le Roy PD, Gardner is accused of choking the victim until she was no longer able to breathe.  He then allegedly grabbed a gas can from the back of his truck and poured gas on the driver's seat of the vehicle and attempted to light it on fire with the woman still in the passenger seat.  She attempted to call 9-1-1 but was too afraid that Gardner may have heard her talking with dispatchers. She hung up the phone and sent a text message to dispatchers requesting help. Officers John Ceneviva and Jordan Wolcott responded to the call.  Gardner was placed under arrest. He was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court and released on his own recognizance, set to return to court on Sept. 15.

Kevin Weber

Kevin J. Weber, 51, of Batavia, is charged with assault 2nd. Weber is accused of beating a housemate during an argument over a beer at 7:31 p.m. Aug. 13. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held in jail on an unspecified amount of bail.

Nakita N. Shook, 36, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Shook is accused of hitting another person in the face during a disturbance at a rooming house on East Main Street, Batavia, at 6:51 a.m. Aug. 13. Shook was arraigned in City Court and ordered to return Sept. 1.

Kenneth S. Griffin Jr., 24, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and aggravated unlicensed operation. Griffin was stopped at 3:30 a.m. Aug. 13, on Jefferson Avenue by a Batavia patrol officer. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Kimberly J. Grover, 56, of Perry, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, DWAI-Drugs, inadequate exhaust system, and broken windshield. Grover was stopped by a Batavia patrol officer at 12:30 a.m., Aug. 9, on East Avenue. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Kimberly A. Fox, 44, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Fox was arrested on a warrant. She is accused of physically harassing another tenant in her multi-unit dwelling. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. 

Adam B. Thomas, 33, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief 4th. At 4:35 p.m. on Aug. 14, police responded to a location on West Main Street to investigate a trespass complaint. While on scene, officers were informed that Thomas was suspected of ripping off the toilet seat in the women's bathroom and refused to exit the building. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Alicia M. Lyons, 42, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Lyons is accused of kicking another person in the leg causing a minor injury at 11:38 a.m. Aug. 14. 

Eric P. Doleman, 52, of Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Doleman is accused of stealing a Reese's snack cake from a gas station on West Main Street, Batavia, at 3:40 a.m. Aug. 13. Doleman was issued an appearance ticket.

Andrew A. Searight, 35, of Niagara Falls, is charged with failure to appear. Searight is accused of failing to appear in City Court as ordered on June 21. Searight was arraigned in City Court and ordered to appear on Sept. 7.

Justin Mark Davis, 31, of Chili Avenue, Rochester, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, insufficient tail lamps, and driving without a court-mandated interlock device. Davis was stopped at 11:45 p.m. Aug. 11 on Clinton Street Road, Bergen, by Deputy Trevor Sherwood. He was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on an appearance ticket.

Jay Michael Blatchley, 49, of Bank Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Blatchley is accused of stealing $82.06 in merchandise from a retail store on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, at 7:01 p.m. on Aug. 16. He was processed at the Genesee County Jail and ordered to appear in court on Aug. 23.  NOTE: The Sheriff's Office withheld the name and address of the retail store.

Jamie Aaron Dutton, 30, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and petit larceny.  Dutton is accused of entering Walmart in Batavia at 7:55 p.m. on Aug. 18 with the intent to commit a crime. He was located at a different location by Deputy Andrew Mullen and K-9 Frankie.  He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and ordered to appear in Town of Batavia Court on Sept. 13. Deputy Zachary Hoy investigated the case.

Jonah Lee Epps, 20, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs. Epps was arrested on Aug. 20 and charged in connection with a property damage accident reported at 9:21 p.m. on June 16 following the return of laboratory results.  The case was investigated by Deputy David Moore and Deputy Nicholas Chamoun. Epps was issued an appearance ticket. 

Danielle Katherine Kellogg, 24, of Pembroke, is charged with harassment 2nd.  Kellogg is accused of hitting another person causing a minor injury at 2:49 a.m. on Aug. 18, at a location in Pembroke. She was arraigned in Pembroke Town Court.  

Rachael Anne Gillespie, 31, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater.  Gillespie was stopped at 8:14 p.m. on Aug. 19 on Sharrick Road, Darien, by Deputy Alexander Hadsall. She was issued traffic tickets and released.

Sandra Lynn Shifley, 39, of Bird Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to keep right. Shifley was arrested following a report of a property damage accident, a vehicle had struck a road sign, at 7:17 p.m. on Aug. 20 on North Bergen Road, Byron. Shifley was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and issued appearance tickets. The accident was investigated by Deputy Jacob Kipler.

Fidel Vargas-Sondoval, 46, of Glenbrook, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief 3rd. Vargas-Sondoval is accused of slashing tires on Washington Street in Le Roy on Aug. 15.  Vargas-Sondoval was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court, an order of protection was issued, and he was released pending a future court appearance. 

Austin J. Kettle, 28, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Kettle was stopped at 11:58 p.m. on Aug. 19 in the Town of Pembroke by State Police. He was issued an appearance ticket.  No further information released.

Blake R. Johnson, 37, of Canandaigua, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Johnson was stopped at 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 20 in the Town of Batavia by State Police. Johnson was released on an appearance ticket. No further information released.

August 21, 2022 - 10:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barns, byron, news.


A tractor and barn on MY-T Acres farmland in Byron, off Route 262 near Bank Street Road.

Photo by Howard Owens

August 21, 2022 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news.


The Byron Bicentennial Committee delivered Saturday on its promise of a full day of activities to celebrate the town's 200th birthday.

It's two years late but we all know what has kept people from public gatherings for two years.

The day included a 5K, parade, food, games, vendors, music,  a car show, and fireworks.

After the morning parade, Assemblyman Steve Hawley presented Town Supervisor Peter Yasses and Matt Meier, president of the Byron Historical Society, with a State Assembly Proclamation to commemorate the anniversary (top photo).

For more photos or to purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens












Betty Stedge, Byron's oldest living female.


John Sackett, Byron's oldest living male.


August 17, 2022 - 4:42pm
posted by Press Release in byron, news.


Press release:

The Byron Rec Program ended its 15th year on August 12th.

The program averages 20 to 30 children Monday through Friday for three hours per day for seven weeks. The program is free and includes lunch.

The program was the vision of Laura Platt and Debra Buck-Leaton.

Buck-Leaton is the Byron Town Clerk and an EMT in the Byron Rescue Squad, she is very active within the community. Platt, a homemaker, and child-care provider for over 30-plus years is president of Byron Ladies Auxiliary. She is an EMT and treasurer of the Byron Rescue Squad. Platt won this year’s award as the most active EMT attending more emergency calls than any other EMT in the squad. Last year, Platt received an award from Strong Memorial Hospital at the department’s annual awards banquet for saving a life at the scene of a chainsaw accident. Platt is also instrumental in heading up the fund-raising efforts for a new ambulance to replace the squad’s 14-year-old ambulance. Incidentally, the Byron Rescue Squad responds to more calls than any other volunteer squad in all of Genesee County. The Byron Rescue Squad has 13 active EMTs, some with advanced certification and 1 first responder.

The Byron Rec Program is a grassroots community project that answered a basic need of keeping local children busy while providing a free, safe, fun place to come to during the summer. Miss Emily (Marble) was selected as the first leader back in 2007 at the program’s start. Some 15 years later, she is still the welcoming, familiar face at the playground. During her 15 years, she completed college, became a teacher, and got married. However, if you ask her, she’ll tell you she loves her summer job that she bicycles to from her home in Bergen.

Seven years ago as the number of children increased there became a need for an assistant. Through the county’s Job Development program Mr. Knickerbocker (Nathan) came to us while still in high school. He enjoyed working with the children and with Miss Emily so much that he was eventually hired as the permanent assistant. He is now in his seventh year, has finished college and is currently seeking a teaching position.

Together the two have become a constant in the lives of many, many Byron children. Together they have created many memorable experiences for their kids over the years. The program includes several field trips yearly. While many are to local parks within walking or biking distance, they have also travelled by bus to Fantasy Island, the Genesee County Park, Seneca Park Zoo. This past week, Miss Emily initiated a geocaching adventure, which the kids really enjoyed.

However, a program started by community-minded volunteers and leaders also includes hopes to instill volunteerism to their younger community members. Over the last few years, the children, with their leaders, have paraded to the nearby Byron Cemetery with buckets, brushes and rags in hand they work to clean tombstones and tidy up the local graves.

“The children love coming to the cemetery, and Miss Emily makes it fun, they also know that they are helping! said Platt.

She added, “As a special treat, they get some ice cream, too!”

A few years ago their volunteering effort was to assist a local disabled veteran by helping clean up the outside of his home. The children not only helped spruce up his home, but they also warmed his heart with some big hugs! “I’m especially proud to share with the children how wonderful it feels to help others,” said Platt.

This year to bridge the gap a week before the school lunch program started, food from the North Bergen Food Pantry was donated and some local volunteers made up and delivered lunches to the program. Parents of the children participating in the program have also stepped up and have picked up the lunches at Byron Bergen School and volunteered as chaperones on field trips. “This program is community at its very best,” said Platt. “It is my hope that it will outlive me!”

Submitted photos



August 16, 2022 - 11:27am
posted by Legal Notices in byron, legal notices, news.

Public Notice:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that I, as Supervisor, do hereby call a Special Meeting of the Town Board to be held on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the Byron Town Hall, 7028 Rte. 237, Byron, New York.  The purpose of the Special Town Board meeting will be to consider calling a Public Hearing regarding the proposed WIIA sewer project and the issuance of $9.8 million in Serial Bonds.   

Peter Yasses

Publisher's Note: Legal Notices/Public Notices are published by The Batavian for free as a public service pending revision of state law that will allow digital news publications to publish legal notices that meet the legal requirements of such notices. Clerks: Email your notices

August 1, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, byron, bicentennial, notify.


While many college graduates are fleeing the rural life of Genesee County for more hustle and bustle, the Town of Byron has retained generations over the years, Town Clerk Debra Buck-Leaton says.

The secret? Open fields, space between homes, a slower pace and a country lifestyle, she said. Oh, and the feeling that everyone belongs, she said.

Her husband was born and raised there, their 22-year-old daughter lives there and works nearby, and many people have watched their family generations plant roots in Byron.

“There’s a sense of community. People want a piece of property with an acre or two to enjoy time with family; they want to be in their little sanctuary; they want that small town community feel,” she said. “We’re hoping that’s what brings people to Byron, the desire to celebrate with your community members. A lot of people were born and raised their kids here, and their grandchildren live here.”

The celebration of the town’s bicentennial was originally scheduled for 2020. A planning committee began to plan it in January of that year, and the members were caught by surprise.

“None of us expected COVID to be this bad. I had it twice,” Buck-Leaton said, adding how members felt. “Just disappointed. Two hundred years is huge.”

Like it or not, COVID is still making its way into news articles, as groups resume the daylong undertaking they had intended to have two years ago. Buck-Leaton and her core group of about a dozen fellow citizens excitedly began to map out the town’s bicentennial just as COVID hit big time. They thought perhaps they could get it off the ground last year as well, but pandemic restrictions stopped them cold.

This is the year, and they promise a day full of activities, food, fun, informal history lessons, and fireworks. It’s set for August 20 at Firemen’s Park behind Byron Fire Department, Route 262.

Runners and walkers can lace up for a 5K at 8 a.m. while others are casting out lines for a kids fishing derby at Trestle Park. Hungry visitors can enjoy some syrupy pancakes at a Kiwanis breakfast that runs from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Byron Fire Hall as vendors sell their wares beginning at 7:30 a.m. Walk over to Caswell Road for a parade at 11 a.m., and remember that voting for a garden contest ends at 2 p.m.

A car/truck/tractor show runs all day to 4 p.m. when awards will be announced. Raffle winners will be drawn and announced every hour from 1 p.m. on, and kids’ crafts and games go from 1 to 5:30 p.m. and a magician will perform from noon to 2:30 p.m. A Genesee Country Village presentation runs from 2 to 4 p.m., overlapping with a duck race at 2 p.m.

Looking for some music? Resonance Group is from noon to 1 p.m., Kelly’s Old Timers from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m., Rebels Posse from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. and Rise Again Rocks caps the entertainment from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Bicentennial festivities are to be capped off with fireworks at dusk.

Or how about seeing photos of the town back in the good ol’ days? Did you see the unsightly mastodon tooth? That’s a big part of Byron’s history, Buck-Leaton said. The town is known for its early ancestors, a group of mastodons that roamed the uncivilized fields.

Mastos is for beast and odous for tooth, and the creatures embodied both, according to museum photos and relics found in Byron’s own backyard. Mastodon digs (called Byron Dig at the Hiscock Archeological Site) occurred many times in the small Genesee County town, Buck-Leaton said. The first tusk was found in Spring Creek decades ago, she said. (PreviouslyHistory's latest chapter about to close on the 'Byron Dig')


“We are known for our mastodons,” she said. “Buffalo Museum and Science Center used to do a dig every summer. I have a picture of the tooth they found.”

According to town history records, early settlers cleared the land by hand, felling trees and removing sections of forest for basic infrastructure needed by a town with a current population of 2,500 people.

Byron was divided from the town of Bergen on April 4, 1820, and was named for Lord Byron. The town of Byron in the early days was called Byron Center.

Asa Merrill was one of the earliest documented settlers, who wrote in November 1871 that “it is our pride and satisfaction that it is our once strong arms, that have felled the sturdy trees and converted these once dark forest lands into cultivated fields and smiling gardens. That it is us who have beautified and adorned nature here in old Genesee, and that we ourselves, who will leave behind us this Eden of the West, as a rich heritage to our children and after generations.”

That first pioneer of the eastern side of the county brought with him provisions to last a year. Those items included 500 pounds of beef and pork, 100 pounds of flax for clothing, 70 pounds of tallow for candles, household goods, and the Merrill family of Asa, his wife, and their three boys. Mr. Merrill paid $125 for 100 acres of land, and he and his wife remained in North Byron their entire lives. They are buried in North Byron Cemetery.

West Shore Railroad, which ran nearly east and west through the central part of the town, was removed a few years ago. The New York Central Railroad passes through South Byron, with two of its four tracks still operational.

Other Byron bits include:

  • The first school was opened by Chester T. Holbrook in 1810.
  • Ira Newburg operated the first inn in 1815.
  • The first sawmill was owned by William Shepard in 1813.
  • The first religious service was conducted by Rev. Royal Phelps, a Presbyterian missionary, in 1809.
  • The first church was Baptist and was located at Byron Center in 1810. It was disbanded many years ago.

One day two other items will also be on that list: the creation of a large water district and a solar facility in town.

Buck-Leaton has learned a lot over the years as town clerk, she said, including an appreciation for the area's charm as a rural farming town. Her father was one of the original founders of the ambulance service, and the town is working hard to raise money for a new ambulance with a cash raffle.

"We're trying to raise $200,000. Any community support we can get for that would be great. And we're always looking for volunteers; if not for this event, then for something else," she said. "I hope we have a great turnout, I hope they're excited about the whole day, and I hope people learn a little history about their town."

Click here for the full Bicentennial Schedule.


Top photo: Byron's float during Genesee County's bicentennial parade in 2002; a mastodon tooth discovered at the Hiscock Archeological Site;  Dr. Richard Laub (standing), Curator of Geology at the Buffalo Museum of Science on a dig at the Byron site. Photos from Town Clerk Debra Buck-Leaton and the town website.

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