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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.

October 7, 2018 - 8:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron Fire Department, news.


The Byron Fire Department held its annual Sportsman Raffle on Saturday, with several items offered as prizes to those fortunate enough to buy the winning raffle tickets.

The event also included a bake sale and prize raffle offered by the Auxiliary.

An added fundraiser was a fill-the-boot campaign to raise money to assist the Payne family, who lost their home in a fire on Thursday night. Above, Chief Robert Mruczek with the donation boot.







October 5, 2018 - 6:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, byron, wedding.
A reader just sent us this recent wedding photo of Courtney Oderkirk and Andrew Kelkenberg taken on Warboys Road in Byron.
October 4, 2018 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron, notify.


A residential fire is reported at 6612 Warboys, Byron.

Byron fire and South Byron fire dispatched.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 8 p.m: This is a working house fire. It has gone to a second alarm. The city's Fast Team is called, along with Mercy medics. Flames are showing.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: Bethany's tanker is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:09 p.m.: A crew from Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in Town of Batavia's Fire Hall.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m.: A crew from Alexander is asked to stand by in Alexander Fire Hall in case needed as a backup for Bethany, which has its tanker deployed at the Warboys fire.

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.: The property is a total loss. The roof is gone; the house is gutted and the garage is completely destroyed.

UPDATE 8:37 p.m.: Elba Fire Police are requested to the intersection of North Byron Road and Route 237.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: No one was home when the fire broke out. It was called in by a passerby. No word yet if any pets lived there, and if so, their fate.





September 29, 2018 - 7:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, byron, south byron, news.

A motorcycle accident with serious injuries is reported in Byron at 6153 Searls Road. The location is between Cook Road and North Byron Road. Mercy Flight is on ground standby. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding along with Mercy medics.

September 29, 2018 - 11:18am
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news, RPO, Holiday Pops Chorus, music, Singing Silhouettes.

Pictured (left to right, back to front): Erin Parnapy, Caleb Calhoun, Jacey Donahue, Sydney Brown, Jason Hoehn, Hope Hersom, Hannah Van Skiver, Kelly Ireland, Stephanie Buell, and Justine Bloom.

Submitted photo and press release:

Congratulations to the 10 Byron-Bergen students chosen to participate in the prestigious Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Chorus.

These students will join other top vocal performers from school districts across eight local counties to perform with the world famous Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Grammy-winning conductor Jeff Tzich.

"It's my last year," said senior Stephanie Buell. "I'm ready to go out with a bang with a great group of singers."

The students were selected via diverse criteria, including NYSSMA solo scores, experience singing in choirs, teacher recommendation, and overall musicality. Three of the selected singers also participated last year.

The students chosen to perform are sopranos Jacey Donahue, Hope Hersom, Kelly Ireland, Erin Parnapy, and Hannah Van Skiver, altos Justine Bloom, Sydney Brown, and Stephanie Buell, and basses Caleb Calhoun and Jason Hoehn.

"It's a tremendous honor," said Byron-Bergen music teacher and choirmaster Laurence Tallman.

All of the participating students study voice with Tallman and are members of the school's select chorus, the Singing Silhouettes. Despite the concert being almost three months away, the students are excited to get started. As sophomore Kelly Ireland put it, "We're pumped!"

The performances are: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20; 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21; 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22; and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is located at 108 East Ave. in Downtown Rochester. Tickets are on sale at the RPO website here, or by calling the box office at 454-7311.

September 16, 2018 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, turkeys, byron, news.


Ed Glow shared this photo of a rafter of turkeys about 30 yards from his home on Merrill Road in Byron.

He said he first saw a tom and three hens and a few young birds about three weeks ago. They reappeared a couple of days ago and he figures the young ones have doubled in size since then.

He counted 21 birds total. 

"Almost makes me want to start hunting again," Glow said.

September 4, 2018 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, news, byron.


We're fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the state and we've enjoyed some sunshine recently (though, a bit too humid). Yesterday, I took a little drive after the Oakfield parade and came back with these shots.

Above, a barn off of Route 262, Byron.


From Bank Street Road, Byron.


From Cockram Road, Byron.

September 4, 2018 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news.


Corky Shaw usually has a message for passing motorists on a sign out front of his place on Route 262 in Byron. This week, it's in honor of his wife, Pat, who died Aug. 22 at age 81.

You might recognize the property because the Shaws collected antique tractors and trucks and several old trucks can be seen from the roadway.

Here's Pat's full obituary.


September 4, 2018 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, south byron, news.

Lines are down across the roadway at 7578 Byron Holley Road and Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

September 3, 2018 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, byron, Oakfield, notify.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Northern Genesee County.

At 3:12 p.m. the National Weather Service office in Buffalo issued the warning, saying the severe thunderstorm was located near Middleport, or seven miles west of Medina, moving east at 35 mph.

It is in effect until 4:15 p.m.

Expect up to 60 mph winds and up to three-quarters of an inch of hail; damage to roofs, siding, and trees. Locations impacted include Byron and Oakfield.

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building. Damaging winds and continuous cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Move indoors immediately. Lightning is one of nature`s leading killers. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

August 29, 2018 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, elba, bergen, batavia, Le Roy, news, notify.

Nicholas Ronald Schramm, 18, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Schramm is accused of damaging property of another person while at a residence, not his own, on Byron Holley Road, Byron, on Monday. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Connor D. Gardner, 18, of Kemp Drive, Macedon, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Justin Daniel Pursel, 28, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Pursel was allegedly involved in an accident on Batavia Elba Townline Road at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Mathew Clor and Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Kyle J. Stack, 32, of Medina, is charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana, and obstruction of governmental administration. Stack is accused of driving drunk in the Town of Bergen at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday though he was arrested by State Police in the Village of Medina. He was ordered held on cash bail. No further details released.

Quinton V. Holmes, 27, of Churchville, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and speeding. Holmes was stopped by State Police on Buffalo Road, Bergen, at 3:43 p.m. Saturday.

Jennifer L. Blake, 44, of Elba, and Christopher W. Blake, 44, of Byron, are charged with trespass. The two people were arrested by State Police for allegedly trespassing on property in Byron at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. No further details released.

Jay R. Howcraft, 58, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Howcraft was stopped by State Police at 8:21 p.m. Friday on Pratt Road, Town of Batavia.

August 23, 2018 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron.

A pile of railroad ties reportedly are on fire at the Ivison Road railroad crossing in Byron.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched.

UPDATE 6:37 p.m.: A chief on scene sees no fire or smoke. CSX called in the fire. The chief says all units respond non-emergency. He's investigating.

UPDATE 6:42 p.m.: Apparently, the fire has been located, near marker 394 east. It's not a big fire, just a couple ties. A chief at the fire suggests bringing the grass truck to the location.

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: Fire is out, all units released. "It looks like CSX was doing some welding and that's what sparked it," a chief reports.

July 30, 2018 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, batavia, notify, Stafford, Bethany, byron.

Jeffery David Torrey, 46, of McKenzie Street, Bergen, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Torrey is accused of attempting to use a hole punch to pierce the ear of a child at a residence on Ross Street, Batavia, at 7:30 p.m. July 5.

Kelvin B. Murphy, 45, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. Murphy was stopped at 2:18 a.m. Sunday on Route 98 in Batavia by State Police. He allegedly failed a field sobriety test and recorded a .10 BAC.

Temple Aubrielle Jacobs, 38, of Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving without an inspection certificate, failure to keep right, and unsafe tires. Jacobs was stopped at 5:40 a.m. Sunday on Route 20, Bethany, by Deputy Eric Andre.

Shawn Joseph Scheg, 50, of Warboys Road, Byron, is charged with driving while ability impaired, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to signal, misuse of dealer plate, no interlock device. Scheg was stopped at 1:55 a.m. Wednesday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy James Stack.

Kevin Watson, 58, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for petit larceny. Watson was turned over to Batavia PD after being released by the Monroe County Jail on an unrelated charged. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Dina Mercado, 37, of Old Falls Boulevard, North Tonawanda, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on traffic tickets from January 2017. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Jason R. Duffina, 41, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Duffina is accused of shoplifting at Tops Friendly Market.

Kevin Wayne Howard, 18, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with DWAI, unsafe tires, unlicensed operator, and failure to obey traffic control device. Howard was stopped at 8:20 a.m. Thursday on Main Street, Batavia, by Sgt. Daniel Coffey.

John Joseph Caez-Gonzalez, 31, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, aggravated family offense, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Caez-Gonzalez is accused of violating a stay away order. At the time of his arrest, he was allegedly found in possession of heroin. He was jailed without bail.

Anthony K. Wolcott, 32, of Willow Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic charge.

James Haynes, 31, of Taylor Terrace, Chester, Pa., was arrested on two warrants after being extradited from Pennsylvania. The underlying charges of the warrants were not released. He was ordered held without bail.

Cynthia D. Gause, 47, of Eaton Street, Buffalo, is charged with DWI. Grause was arrested at a location on Bank Street after police received a complaint about an employee arriving at work intoxicated.

Joseph D. Berry, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd.  Berry is accused of assaulting an employee of a business on West Main Street, Batavia, at 4:04 p.m. Sunday.

July 24, 2018 - 4:42pm

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is pleased to announce several town hall meetings on Saturday, Aug. 4. All are welcome to attend to discuss local issues and express any questions or concerns they might have.

“I always try to stay as aware as possible about the concerns and issues important to my neighbors, and to achieve this, I’m going to be hosting several town hall meetings in the near future,” Hawley said. “I encourage everyone to attend at least one of the meetings in Alexander, Oakfield, Byron or Elba. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.” 


  • Town of Alexander/Village of Alexander: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m., Village of Alexander Hall, 3350 Church St., Alexander
  • Town of Oakfield/Village of Oakfield: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m., Oakfield Town Hall, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Town of Byron: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Byron Town Hall, 7028 Byron Holley Road, Byron
  • Town of Elba/Village of Elba: 12:45 - 1:30 p.m., Elba Town Hall, 7 Maple Ave., Elba
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