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January 16, 2019 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, byron.

More than 550 SUNY Canton students earned dean's list honors during the fall 2018 semester.

"On behalf of the college's deans, I'd like to recognize these students for outstanding achievement," said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. "Your drive for success has been recognized, and we encourage you to continue your efforts."

Dean's list recognizes full-time students who have earned a GPA between 3.25 and 3.74. It is a mark of distinction and recognition of academic efforts and scholarship. A complete list also runs on www.canton.edu.

Students named to the dean's list include:

  • Shea Norton, a SUNY Canton Criminal Investigation major from Batavia;
  • Kyley Pascarella, a SUNY Canton Management major from Byron.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. The college's faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials.

As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 15 online degree programs. The college's 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. For more information, visit www.canton.edu.

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 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
December 22, 2018 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A personal injury accident is reported in the area of 6994 Tripp Road, Byron.

One patient was reportedly in route to Strong for a medical issue at the time of the accident.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS; however, once fire chiefs were on scene, an ambulance was told to respond non-emergency.

The roadway is blocked and traffic is being shut down.

UPDATE 9:39 a.m.: A patient is being transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

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


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.



November 29, 2018 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, byron, notify.

A 14-year-old Byron girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert earlier today has been located safe, according to Sheriff Bill Sheron.

He said more information will be released soon.

The 22-year-old man, Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, suspected of taking her away from a location on West Bergen Road, Byron, has also been located.

UPDATE: The girl and Torres-Acevedo were located in Mansfield, Pa., by Pennsylvania State Police. Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody on a warrant and is being held pending extradition. The girl is returning to Genesee County. 

Assisting in the investigation, the New York State Police and U.S. Secret Service. Additional charges are pending.

November 29, 2018 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news, notify.
        Guillermo Torres-Acevedo

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Amber Alert canceled. The girl has been located and is safe. The suspect has also been located.

The suspect in the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl from Byron shaved his head before this morning, according to Sheriff Bill Sheron.

This evening, the Sheriff's Office released an updated photo of Guillermo Torres-Acevedo with short hair and a trimmed Van Dyke-style goatee. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, Kamerie Elliot willingly got into Torres-Acevedo car at about 8 a.m. today and left with him and hasn't seen since.

She is considered in "imminent danger or serious harm and/or death" and an Amber Alert has been issued.

The suspect vehicle is a blue Dodge Journey are New York HHP5458.

Kamerie currently has hair that is dyed cotton-candy blue.  

If you have information or spot the vehicle or either individual, call 9-1-1 or (585) 343-5000.

For more information, our previous story: Girl from Byron missing after leaving with man ordered to stay away from her


This is not a picture of the vehicle but it looks like the vehicle in this photo.

November 29, 2018 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, byron, notify.


UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Amber Alert canceled. The girl has been located and is safe. The suspect has also been located.

The Sheriff's Office believes a 14-year-old Byron girl was allegedly abducted this morning from a location on West Bergen Road, Byron by a 22-year-old man driving a blue Dodge Journey.

She is considered in "imminent danger or serious harm and/or death" and an Amber Alert has been issued.

Kamerie Elliot is described as 4 feet, 11 inches tall and 140 pounds. She normally has brown hair but recently dyed it a cotton-candy blue.

The suspect is Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, who has black hair and brown eyes. He is approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds.

The license plates of the Dodge Journey are New York HHP5458.

According to Sheriff William Sheron, Kamerie and Torres-Acevedo knew each other and Torres-Acevedo had been arrested by State Police on Monday in connection with that an incident involving the girl.

According to State Police public information officer for Troop A, James O'Callahan, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and BCI opened an investigation into Torres-Acevedo's activities. Torres-Acevedo was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

He was jailed on $5,000 bail and issued a complete stay away order as a result of the charge.

This morning, Kamerie apparently got into his car willingly at about 8 a.m.

The car was last seen traveling northbound on West Bergen Road. 

Town of Batavia Justice Tom Williams this morning signed an arrest warrant for Torres-Acevedo for the alleged violation of the stay away order.

If you have information or spot the vehicle or either individual, call 9-1-1 or (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: The suspect may have shaved his head this morning, according to Sheron.


This is not a picture of the vehicle but this photo looks like the suspect vehicle.

November 21, 2018 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, 4-H, byron, batavia.
Submitted photo: New Clever Clovers 4-H Club – Byron.


Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program is looking to grow more local clubs. Want to start your own local 4-H club but don’t know where to start? You can start a 4-H Club in five easy steps!

  1. Complete the 4-H Volunteer Application Packet
  2. Attend an orientation meeting with 4-H Staff
  3. Enroll five youth members in your club (ages 5 to 18)
  4. Have members choose a club name
  5. Plan a club meeting schedule with parents and youth

The meeting times, locations, and topics are up to the club leader(s). If you are interested in becoming a leader and forming a new club, please contact Brandie or Jessica at the 4-H Office for more information. Call 585-343-3040 or email [email protected]

November 19, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron, news.

A chimney fire is reported at 3898 Shelt Road. The location is between Transit and Merriman roads, but closest to Transit. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

November 19, 2018 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, GCASA, charity, addiction, recovery, skivvies and spirits, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

Earlier this month, the fourth Annual Skivvies and Spirits event was held at the Byron Fire Hall. This unique event was started three years ago by Wendy and Tony Frongetta, in memory of their good friend, Mikel Anderson, who passed away in 2015 of an accidental drug overdose.

Although Anderson struggled with addiction, he was in recovery and dedicated his life to helping others and those who helped him. Wendy, who knew and loved Anderson, wanted to do something in his name to continue his helping spirit by helping those battling addiction, many who are homeless.

She learned that the first thing that happens when someone enters a shelter is that they are asked to shower and are given new clothes. In every instance their undergarments are tossed out. She learned that most shelters had donated clothes, but were always in need of new undergarments.

This year’s event collected baskets full of skivvies in all sizes, styles and colors. There was live entertainment by several musical groups, delicious food donated by the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford and a live auction that included many items and gift certificates donated by local individuals, businesses and organizations.

New this year, the public was invited to learn more about Genesee County’s outreach programs that assist those struggling with addiction. GCASA’s mobile recovery van was parked outside the Byron Fire Hall and two of GCASA’s peer advocates, Gina and Sheila, were on hand to give additional information about services in our area.

The recovery van is available 24/7. It will actually come to those battling addiction who are ready to seek help. The van has the equipment necessary to immediately help an individual begin their path to recovery. The mobile recovery van will actually bring an individual to a treatment facility that is in line with their needs.

In speaking with Gina, a peer advocate and Frongetta’s daughter, she explained her duties are as a peer advocate. Gina describes her job as a community resource expert, a motivator, an ally, a supporter and a role model. Her enthusiasm about her job certainly would give anyone she interacts with a big spark of hope to start their journey to sobriety.

Also, for the first time during this year’s event, GCASA employees were on-hand to give 10 individuals training in dispensing Narcan; now in nasal form. After a 10-minute class learning about how and when to use the medication those individuals can save someone from being another overdose victim. They potentially can become first responders as many, many overdoses are in home settings.

The clothing items collected this year will again be distributed to Genesee County’s many outreach programs and Agencies including WNY Veterans Outreach, Genesee & Orleans Community Action, Hope Haven and others.

For more information or if you would like to donate to this cause, contact Wendy at 585-455-4940.

Below, peer advocate Gina Frongetta in GCASA's new mobile recovery van.

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


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.





November 12, 2018 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A two-vehicle accident is reported in the area of 5312 Cole Road, Byron.

One person reportedly has minor injuries.

Both vehicles are off the road.

Byron and South Byron dispatched.

November 11, 2018 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, Pavilion, Le Roy.

From our News Partner 13WHAM

November 10, 2018 - 2:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news, notify.


A man in his young 20s apparently accidentally fatally shot himself with his own gun this evening during a party in a barn at 6490 Byron Holley Road, Byron.

The name of the victim has not been released pending family notifications.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said right now investigators are leaning toward accidental as the cause of the firearm discharge.

It is possible the victim was playing with the weapon when it discharged.

He described the gun as a semi-automatic pistol that the victim owned and possessed legally.

There were five or six people in the room, a party room in the barn, as Brewster described it, when the gun went off.

The initial call at 11:45 p.m., Friday, was for a man accidentally shot in the face. Byron Ambulance was dispatched but the ambulance went back in service shortly after arriving on the scene.

The coroner arrived on scene at about 2:15 a.m.

Two people who were in the room at the time of the shooting were taken to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road for further questioning.

Brewster said a press release about the shooting will go out after family notifications and after investigators determine better exactly what happened.  

UPDATE 10 a.m.: The victim has been identified as John L. Carney, 23, of Le Roy.

November 9, 2018 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, byron, accidents.

A car has crashed into a barn and serious injuries are reported at 6857 Swamp Road in Byron. Byron Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics. The location is west of Hessenthaler Road.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: The female driver is conscious and alert and has a broken leg.

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.

October 26, 2018 - 1:46pm
From the Genesee County Highway Department:
The Genesee County Highway Department will be closing Searls Road in Byron, from North Byron Road to Tower Hill Road, effective Wednesday, Oct. 31, through May 1 for a bridge replacement. No thru traffic will be allowed. Detour signs will be posted.
October 19, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in spirit and skivvies, byron, addiction, recovery, news.

Photo: Dawn Anderson, left, with Wendy and Tony Frongetta.

Submitted photo and press release:

On Sunday, Nov. 4th, starting at noon at the Byron Fire Hall the fourth annual Spirit and Skivvies event will be held.

Byron Fire Hall is located at Byron Fire Hall, 6357 E. Main St., Byron.

This unique event was started three years ago by Wendy and Tony Frongetta, in memory of their good friend, Mikel Anderson. Mikel passed away in 2015 of an accidental drug overdose. Although Mikel struggled with addiction, he was in recovery and dedicated his life to helping others and those who helped him.

Wendy, who knew and loved Mikel wanted to do something in his name to continue his helping spirit by helping those battling addiction, many who are homeless. Wendy approached the shelter that Mikel loved in Lockport and asked them how she might help others struggling with the same issues that plagued her friend.

In doing so she learned that the first thing that happens when someone enters a shelter is that they are asked to shower and are given new clothes. In every instance their undergarments are tossed out. She learned that most shelters had donated clothes, but were always in need of new undergarments.

The Frongettas contacted their many friends, who contacted their friends who gathered at their Byron home for a party of giving. The result was overflowing baskets of socks, undershirts, bras and skivvies in every color and size that Wendy happily donated to area shelters.

The Frongettas’ good deed has gathered momentum over the past three years and other folks, organizations and businesses have jumped in to help. Mikel Anderson’s mother, Dawn, joined the Frongettas helping establish the annual “Skivvies” event.

The Byron Fire Hall donated the space, the Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford has made the event even more of a party by generously donating many of the needed party items including the great food, and wine.

Local individuals, businesses and organizations have jumped onboard with donations of money, music, artistic abilities all for this wonderful cause.

Genesee County’s many outreach programs and shelters are now the main recipients of the “Skivvies” donations. Agencies including WNY Veterans Outreach, Genesee & Orleans Community Action, Hope Haven, Eagle Star Veteran’s Home, and GCASA will directly benefit by this year’s donations.

In appreciation GCASA’s mobile recovery van will be stopping by the event so folks can see firsthand one of the many ways the agency assists those seeking recovery from addiction.

October 19, 2018 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, byron, south byron.

Buffalo State is pleased to welcome the Class of 2022 to campus. The new Bengals started class on Aug. 27.

  • Brooke Ziminski, of Batavia
  • Brendon Kendall, of South Byron
  • Riley Sadler, of Byron
  • Grace Krizen, of Batavia

Buffalo State is a State University of New York (SUNY) college located in Buffalo.

The college offers more than 160 undergraduate programs,including business administration, education, forensic chemistry, psychology, and television and film arts. Every year, thousands of students benefit from Buffalo State's community engagement, hands-on learning opportunities, and affordable SUNY tuition. Buffalo State also offers more than 60 graduate programs.

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