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July 18, 2018 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, news, korean war, korean conflict.

(Above, Laura Platt with a photo of her great uncle, Sgt. Otis (Bus) Loomis. Photo credit: Lucine Kauffman, who took this picture when Laura was a guest on her Genesee Life radio program on WBTA.)

Submitted photos and press release from Pat Iamon:

As a family member of a POW of the Korean War, Laura Platt, of Byron, received information about the Korea Revisit Program and she and her husband, Doug, went this spring.

Platt’s great uncle, Sgt. Otis (Bus) Loomis, was her mother’s favorite uncle and she had always known of his sacrifice and her mom’s heartbreak that he never returned home from the war.

Over the past 15 years or more, there has been an outreach program sponsored by the federal government that continues to keep families of MIA/POW informed of efforts to recover and repatriate the remains of their family members and also to reinforce the fact that these brave service people who gave their all will never be forgotten.

Several members of Platt’s family have attended these gatherings over the years on behalf of Sgt. Loomis, but here was an opportunity to have Loomis’s family return to Korea and see firsthand how the United States changed the fate of South Korea.

The Platts filled out the required documents and prepared for a 16-hour flight to Seoul, South Korea. The third Heroes Remembered Program was held this spring, developed by South Korea's Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (MPVA). As part of the program, the agency paid half of Platt’s flight, and her husband’s flight cost was discounted by 30 percent.

The Platts were greeted at the Seoul airport as were the other 49 American family members representing 24 fallen U.S. military in attendance. The group posed for a photo before leaving the airport.

When they reached the hotel, they found two large ice sculptures of eagles in the main foyer. Each family member was given a rose and escorted through a welcoming path with applause and more photos.

Each family was assigned a Korean representative that helped them throughout their stay. The Koreans were starting a photo and video diary that would be given to each family at the end of their stay. Laura Platt said that the Korean people were so gracious and welcoming.

“We were treated like royalty,” she said.

The group was taken by bus to their hotel. They were given some time to refresh and were then gathered for dinner. At dinner each person received a name badge and a booklet that included their itinerary.

(Photo of Doug and Laura Platt in front of a picture of the demilitarized zone that splits North and South Korea.)

Over the next days the Koreans escorted the group as they traveled by deluxe motor coach to tour many of the historic and notable venues. They learned all about the Korean War, its devastating impact on South Korea.

Many Koreans shared their traumatic personal experiences during the war.

The Platts got to know the other Americans and their stories of how that war impacted their family. There was a brother in his late 80s there for his lost brother, a 92-year-old wife there for her lost husband, many children of fathers who were killed in Korea. Most of the family members were nieces and nephews as most of the fallen were very young men and not married.

The Koreans brought the group to several cemeteries and monuments commemorating the war. Plaques that contained the names of all foreign soldiers lost in the war covered the walls of a large room. The names of the Americans were organized alphabetically by state. In addition to the United States, many other countries sent aid and troops during the war.

However, Laura Platt remarked that the list of the Americans from New York  and Pennsylvania was longer than the listing of the fallen from all other countries put together. According to her, there were more than 36,000 Americans killed in action during the Korean Conflict and to date, along with her uncle, there are still 7800 “missing in action”; their bodies have not been identified or recovered. The efforts to do so are progressing slowly, and with family DNA they are continuing to ID the remains.

(Photo of Doug and Laura Platt dressed in traditional Korean costumes (the exception being Doug's sneakers, of course.))

Laua Platt said that they were busy every single day. Korean TV and news reporters were on hand to highlight the event in their local the news. The group was also entertained by the Koreans through song, dance and Kung Fu demonstrations. They were even invited to dress in their native costumes which all were happy to do; a colorful group photo was then taken. There were ceremonies where each family’s fallen service person was recognized and honored.

Previously, her knowledge of the Korean War was only a paragraph or two in her high school history book. Now she learned how the country was leveled during the war. The buildings were leveled and there was not a tree left on the mountains. Nearly every wild animal was wiped out, too. There were only two bridges over the Huang River during the war! Today there are 32 and more in the planning.

A friend of the Platts told them that when he was in Korea in 1960 there were only dirt roads! Today Korea is thriving in the world economy.

Of all the ceremonies the most meaningful one performed was where the South Korean soldiers presented an 8 x 10 canvas photo of each familiy's loved one. It was held in front of the American monument for the United States Armed Forces in the Korean War, Gapyeong County. The monument was a giant American flag made of concrete. It was created by South Korea's MVPA Minister Pi Woo-jin.

The most surprising fact about the trip according to Platt was just how thankful the people of South Korea are toward Americans, from students to the elderly.

“We saved their freedom,” Platt said. “A young student walked up to my husband and said, 'We love Americans.' ”

When asked what was the most significant happening during the time in South Korea, Platt said, “We were there during the historic Summit between North and South Korea. There were TV reporters everywhere and some areas were closed down for security. History was being made and we were within miles of where it happened.”

(Ambassador of Peace medalists -- Doug Platt, third from left, with an unidentified U.S. citizen; and two South Korean ambassadors.)

One member of each family was awarded the Ambassador of Peace on behalf of the service that their countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving the freedom and democracy of South Korea.

“It was presented to Douglas Platt on April 27, 2018, the very day of the Summit,” Laura Platt said.

The Platts decided to make a stop in Bangkok, Thailand, before heading back home to visit their former exchange student, Ramitar ("Rita") Burasai. Over the years the Platts have hosted many exchange students. Rita and a girl from Germany spent a school year with them and joined their daughter, Tiffanie, at Byron-Bergen High School about seven years ago.

Rita’s mom, dad and sister enjoyed reciprocating the hospitality of her American host family. They took time out of their schedules to tour the Platts all around Bangkok and the surrounding area teaching them about the history and customs of their country and showing them many historical sites. The Platts enjoyed reconnecting with Rita and getting to know her family.

(In Bangkok, Thailand, the Platts visited with their former exchange student, Ramitar ("Rita") Burasai.)

They found the people of Thailand very friendly and helpful and really loved the food. The Platts said their trip to Asia was an unexpected but wonderful experience.

July 16, 2018 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, corfu, byron, bergen, batavia, alexander, Alabama, BEFO.

Submitted photos and press release:

A 2018 Tri-County BEFO program, sponsored by Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties concluded on Friday, July 13. Eighteen students completed the 79-hour program from 13 departments across the region.

The Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program is an entry-level program for the volunteer fire service designed to prepare students to respond to emergencies as exterior firefighters.

Students are instructed in fire extinguishers, building construction, forcible entry, ladder deployment, incident command, drafting operations and hazardous materials operations level. In addition, students are trained in ropes and knots, and first aid/CPR.

A Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program, sponsored by Genesee County, is scheduled to begin in August. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact your community volunteer fire department or the Genesee County Fire Training Center (585-344-0078).

Participants last Friday included: 


  • Rebekah J. Allen


  • Daniel Harris


  • Kaylee Sumeriski

Town of Batavia

  • Bryan Moscicki  
  • Ian Sanfratello
  • Tyler Stewart


  • Jordon McKinsey
  • Grace Schmidt


  • Tina M. Carson          
  • Harrison T. Dodson


  • Paige E. Johnston


  • Matthew Edick


  • Zachary Dake


  • Justin Rodland

East Avon

  • Jefferson Moon

North Java

  • Taylor Guizzotti
  • Tyler Shaver


  • Matthew Solly
July 12, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news, elba, Oakfield, Alabama, Bethany, byron.

Jason F. Cole, 44, of Quaker Hill Road, Elba, is charged with rape (intercourse by forcible compulsion), second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree strangulation. Cole is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse and oral intercourse with a person less than 15 years old on numerous occasions. He was jailed on $50,000 bail. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Joseph Loftus and Deputy Howard Carlson.

Joseph Michael Tornabene, 26, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th. Tornabene is accused of violation of a no-offensive conduct order of protection. He was allegedly involved in an incident where he damaged property in the presence of the protected person. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.


The arrest of White and Wozniak by Batavia PD officers Klimjack and Catherine Mucha on Friday. (Photo by Howard Owens.)

Keith R. White, 46, of Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, and Jeffery P. Wozniak, 49, of 79th Street, Niagara Falls, are charged with petit larceny, conspiracy, 6th, and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. White and Wozniak are accused of stealing $985.27 in merchandise from Tops Friendly Market at 11:54 a.m. Friday, including steaks, lobster, shrimp, a roast, and several household items. They are also accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart in Batavia. Both suspects were issued appearance tickets. The case was investigated by Officer Catherine Mucha and Officer Frank Klimjack. White is also charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny. White was arrested by Deputy Travis DeMuth in connection with the alleged Walmart theft. On that charged, he was arraigned and ordered held without bail. (see previous)

Juaquin Enriquo Davis, 23, of Milton Street, Rochester, is charged with violating an order of protection, obstruction of governmental administration, and resisting arrest. Davis was arrested following an investigation into a dispute reported at 12:25 a.m. Thursday on Thomas Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Peter Flanagan. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

Treyvaun T. Filbert, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and following too closely. Filbert was stopped at 1:05 p.m. June 29 on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Nicole L. Matia, 43, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Matia allegedly entered a neighbor's home and refused to leave when asked.

Bleyke Z. Culver, 21, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Culver allegedly violated a stay away order of protection during a disturbance on Maple Street at 9:34 p.m. on July 5.

Ronnie Joe Flinchum, 59, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Flinchum was allegedly involved in an incident at his residence on East Main Street at 3:45 a.m. on July 1. He was ordered held on $1,000 bail.

Pavel V. Yefremenko, 30, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Yefremenko allegedly damaged property belonging to a woman he knew at 7:47 a.m. on July 4.

Erica M. Raphael, 33, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged trespass. Raphael allegedly entered a local business on East Main Street, Batavia, after being previously banned.

Sath Paul Dhanda, 38, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal trespass and endangering the welfare of a child. Dhanda allegedly entered the residence of a person he did not know on Swan Street at 6:08 p.m. on July 2. He was jailed on $5,000 bail. Dhanda is also charged with second-degree harassment for allegedly spitting on another person at 7:24 p.m., July 2.

Iszon C. Richardson, 18, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Richardson was arrested on a warrant by members of the Local Drug Task Force and jailed without bail. 

Michael Alan Shetler, 28, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Shetler allegedly violated a stay away order of protection at 10:41 p.m. Sunday in Oakfield. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Kelly Patrick DiMatteo, 34, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with felony DWI, refusal to take a breath test, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. DiMatteo was reportedly involved in a single-vehicle accident on Lyman Road, Byron, at 8:14 p.m. on July 4. He was jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond. The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Ronald G. Metz, 69, of Lewis Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal, and failure to keep right. Metz was arrested following a complaint of an erratic driver at 4:51 p.m., June 29, by Investigator Christopher Parker.

Becky L. Frens, 56, of Batavia, is charged with torture to an animal (not feeding). Frens was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 3 p.m., Tuesday, in the Town of Batavia. Frens was issued an appearance ticket. No further details released.

Frank R. Cratsenberg, 57, of Akron, is charged with trespass and petit larceny. Cratsenberg was arrested in connection with an incident reported at 3:26 p.m., June 11, in the Town of Alabama. He was arraigned and ordered held in jail. He was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Ryan Bartholomew, 24, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bartholomew was stopped by State Police at 10:25 p.m. Sunday by State Police at the Batavia Thruway interchange.

July 4, 2018 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported in the area of 6499 Lyman Road, Bryon.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m.: There is one truck off the road into the trees. 

UPDATE 8:23 p.m.: One patient, outside the vehicle.

July 2, 2018 - 1:24pm

BATAVIA, NY (06/20/2018)-- A total of 280 students from Genesee Community College are named to the President's List for the Spring 2018 semester. Students honored on the President's List have maintained full-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

Miranda Schiller of Alexander, NY

Alexis Hackmer of Alexander, NY

Haley Wasikowski of Alexander, NY

Nathan Henry of Alexander, NY

Mary Guarino of Alexander, NY

Trey Nadolinski of Basom, NY

Cassidy Miller of Batavia, NY

Quinten Weis of Batavia, NY

Marissa Jacques of Batavia, NY

Gregory Mruczek of Batavia, NY

Joshua Barton of Batavia, NY

Tessa Lynn of Batavia, NY

Alexander Rigerman of Batavia, NY

Abby Stendts of Batavia, NY

Cory Feary of Batavia, NY

Samuel Lang of Batavia, NY

Daisy Cervantes of Batavia, NY

Sabrina Walton of Batavia, NY

Neve Georgia of Batavia, NY

Jessica Caryl of Batavia, NY

Angelina Miconi of Batavia, NY

Alexis DeLong of Batavia, NY

Danielle Shaffer of Batavia, NY

Nicholas Callisher-Pucillo of Batavia, NY

Lisa Heath of Batavia, NY

Matthew Fouquet of Batavia, NY

William Rippel of Batavia, NY

Lydia Aquina of Batavia, NY

Ashlee Ohlson of Batavia, NY

Jessica Accardi of Batavia, NY

Shelby Hill of Batavia, NY

Audra Davis of Batavia, NY

Emily Lontkowski of Batavia, NY

Leighann Howland of Batavia, NY

Samantha Hyback of Batavia, NY

Megan West of Batavia, NY

Katelyn Brown of Corfu, NY

Shaunna Conti of Corfu, NY

Alex Bookmiller of Corfu, NY

Kaylee Schaber of Corfu, NY

Lynne Blake of Corfu, NY

Morgan Miller of Corfu, NY

Spencer Graff of Corfu, NY

Rachel Miller of Corfu, NY

Katharine Smallwood of Corfu, NY

Kiara Santiago of Corfu, NY

Melinda Neal of Corfu, NY

Alexander Breissinger of Darien Center, NY

Zachary Paris of East Bethany, NY

Brian Wlazlak of East Bethany, NY

Jenna Huntington of Elba, NY

Susan Boula of Elba, NY

Henry Stratton of Elba, NY

Laura Lundmark of Oakfield, NY

Jessica Waite of Oakfield, NY

Stephanie Halat of Oakfield, NY

Kasey Edgerton of Oakfield, NY

Lauren Graney of Stafford, NY

James Berggren of Bergen, NY

Thomas Berggren of Bergen, NY

Kristen Hale of Bergen, NY

David Mackey of Bergen, NY

Paul Elliott of Bergen, NY

Taylor McPherson of Bergen, NY

Alexandria Loewke of Bergen, NY

Amber Salway of Bergen, NY

Taylor Dimmig of Bergen, NY

Margaret-Mary Gabalski of Byron, NY

Colin Noeth of Byron, NY

Grace Campbell of Byron, NY

Kitana Maher of Byron, NY

Marissa Conte of Le Roy, NY

Haley Steen of Le Roy, NY

Dominic Filio of Le Roy, NY

Riley DeBellis of Le Roy, NY

Mary Ross of Le Roy, NY

Lauren Hull of Le Roy, NY

Valaurie Zweigle of Le Roy, NY

Megan Furr of Le Roy, NY

Ceciely Palmer of Le Roy, NY

Jamie Englerth of Le Roy, NY

Nicholas Chamoun of Le Roy, NY

Rebekah Spicer of Pavilion, NY

Maelee Sanford of Pavilion, NY

Benjamin Werner of Pavilion, NY

Genesee Community College serves more than 6,000 students per semester through more than 70 academic programs and certificates, including the new Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, and the new Nanotechnology degree with ECC. On a microscopic scale, nanotech focuses on careers in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, medicine and photovoltaics. 

GCC's new Student Success Center makes admissions, financial aid and enrollment a simple and efficient process. The college has earned three national sports titles; most recently, the Men's Soccer team brought home the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III title. The athletics program, housed in the brand new, state-of-the-art Richard C. Call Arena hosts more than a dozen intercollegiate men's and women's teams.

Highly convenient, GCC operates seven campus locations throughout Western New York, as well as a significant online learning program. College housing is available at College Village, just a three minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and state-of-the-art technology both inside and out of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being "high tech" and "high touch."

July 2, 2018 - 5:59am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron, news.

A dump fire in Byron has rekindled at 5955 Transit Road. It was first reported Friday evening about 7:30. All manpower from Byron Fire Department and South Byron is called to the scene along with mutual aid and tankers from Elba, Clarendon and Barre.

"It was dead for two days. I have pictures," says a responder. "It's going good now," is the reply.

This is a "fill site at CY Farms," according to a dispatcher, who is asked to contact the Department of Environmental Conservation about the rekindle.

The farm has "an excavator on the way" to the blaze.

June 29, 2018 - 7:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, byron, news.

A fire is reported at a dump at 5955 Transit Road, Byron.

Byron fire, along with Byron's ambulance, South Byron, Elba, Bergen all dispatched.

The Ladies Auxilary is also dispatched.

June 27, 2018 - 4:32pm

Photo: Hannah Pierson (right), Culinary Arts student from Le Roy CS, accepts the Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship and Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award from Chef Tracy Burgio, Culinary Arts instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. 

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia, New York, June 25 – The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center recently celebrated the achievements of 309 seniors at an awards program earlier this month at Le Roy High School. During this ceremony, 25 scholarship awards were presented.

The scholarship winners, their programs and home schools are noted below.

Student of the Year (a.m.): Casey Shaw, Pembroke CSD, Health Dimensions

Student of the Year (p.m.): Zachary Boneberg, Le Roy CSD, Criminal Justice

Blakeslee Award: Christian Bradt, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades

Donald Abramo Jr. Memorial Award: Vanessa Horseman, Batavia CSD, Metal Trades; Garrett Sando, Byron-Bergen CSD, Metal Trades

Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

Master Manufacturing Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

James P. Donnelly Memorial Award: Bradly Arnold, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades; Cameron Brumsted, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Paul Levin’s Memorial Award: Ethan Conrad, Notre Dame -- Batavia, Building Trades

Batavia Rod & Gun Club Memorial Scholarship: Brandon Lewis, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Scholarship Award: Kyler Chambry, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Ignatius J. Radesi Memorial Award: Benjamin Lathan, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Pullinzi Family Scholarship: Christopher Decker, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Building Trades Alumni Award: Joseph Aguglia, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Homeowner Award: Chandler Bow, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Jason H. Rowcliffe Memorial Scholarship: Timothy Herter, Attica CSD, Culinary Arts

Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Josh Mouery Memorial Award: Danny Pernesky, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

B.J. Mancuso Memorial Award: Taylor Almeter, Attica CSD, Cosmetology

Batavia Rotary Club Memorial Fund Scholarship: Rachel Tebor, Pembroke CSD, Cosmetology

Dr. Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship: Kim Davis, Pavilion CSD, Health Careers Academy; Paige Perry, Attica CSD, Health Careers Academy; Ethan Hutchins, Notre Dame Batavia, Health Careers Academy.


The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State. 

June 27, 2018 - 3:37pm

ROCHESTER (06/26/2018)-- Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Rochester Institute of Technology's dean's list if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete", "D" or "F"; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Mikayla Johnson of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biology program.

Marissa Scharlau of Alexander (14005), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Matthew Pencille of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Rebekah Allen of Basom (14013), who is in the biomedical sciences program.

Rebecca Schwan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the business administration-marketing program.

Jennifer Crossen of Basom (14013), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Rachel Henrici of Batavia (14020), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Benjamin Ezard of Byron (14422), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Peter Madau of Le Roy (14482), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Kiera Gross of East Bethany (14054), who is in the computational mathematics program.

Steven Cacner of Stafford (14143), who is in the computer engineering program.

Robert Kubiniec of Batavia (14020), who is in the computer science program.

Ryan Missel of Oakfield (14125), who is in the computer science program.

Kyle Carretto of Corfu (14036), who is in the computing security program.

Jessica DeAngelo of Batavia (14020), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Maggie Callan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Montana Vescovi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the dietetics and nutrition program.

Kit Yates of Bergen (14416), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Eliza Harvey of Le Roy (14482), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Michelle Miller of East Bethany (14054), who is in the industrial design program.

Melissa Mountain of Batavia (14020), who is in the interior design program.

Eric Bow of Stafford (14143), who is in the mechanical engineering technology program.

Elisha Muir of Corfu (14036), who is in the museum studies program.

Erica Parker of Le Roy (14482), who is in the networking and systems administration program.

Kathleen Hagelberger of Darien Center (14040), who is in the new media marketing program.

Emma Riggi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the new media marketing program.

Devin Sherman of Le Roy (14482), who is in the packaging science program.

Danielle Del Plato of Batavia (14020), who is in the photographic and imaging arts program.

Celia Mercovich of Bergen (14416), who is in the physics program.

Samantha Porter of Le Roy (14482), who is in the psychology program.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

For news, photos and videos, go to www.rit.edu/news.

June 26, 2018 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, sports, schools, education.


Press release:

Alumni of Byron-Bergen schools might remember seeing high school runners carrying the Jr. Olympic torch through the streets of the two communities back in the 1970s. The custom began in 1976 to signal the start of the Elementary School’s Jr. Olympics Day celebration, but fell out of practice over the years. The tradition was back again on the evening of June 12, as a relay team of varsity runners from Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School, escorted by town fire engines, traveled a route around the towns of Byron and Bergen.

This was the third year for the new town run, which was organized by Varsity Track Coach Ken Rogoyski and elementary school teacher Alyson Tardy. This year’s runners, Jerome Spinks, Dayanra Caballero, Siomara Caballero, Anna Hersom, Hope Hersom Miriam Tardy, Josh Tardy, Paul McDermott and Travis Lambert, were cheered on by neighbors as each took a turn carrying the torch.

The next day, the traveling torch made another appearance at the opening of Jr. Olympics Day at the elementary school. Students there had been busy studying the cultures of many different countries. Each class represented their chosen country in a parade, and then in a day full of track and field competitions.

“The Jr. Olympics Torch Run is a fun way to connect with our community and a good way to get the younger kids excited about participating in the next day’s ceremonies,” Tardy said. “We’d really like to thank the folks at the fire departments for their support. We hope that even more people will take a moment to come out, have fun, and enjoy the show again next year.”

Top photo: Runner Anna Hersom carries the Jr. Olympic torch in Bergen as neighbors look on.


Team Ireland celebrates at the Byron-Bergen Elementary School Jr. Olympics on June 13.


Proud Bees after the 2018 Jr. Olympic Torch Run, (l-r) Jerome Spinks, Dayanra Caballero, Siomara Caballero, Anna Hersom, Hope Hersom Miriam Tardy, Josh Tardy, Paul McDermott and Travis Lambert with driver from the Bergen Fire Department.

June 23, 2018 - 10:09pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, schools, education, news.


Seniors in Byron-Bergen’s 2018 graduating class were urged to “set out and make a difference” by Junior-Senior High School Principal Patrick McGee, as he addressed the class at graduation ceremonies Saturday.

The class of 80 received their diplomas at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Cultural Life Center in North Chili.

McGee commended school staff in helping the kids, who he called “an amazing group of young people.”

In urging them to make a difference, he cited a young boy named Pete whose only ambition was to be a bagger in the local grocery store. Pete wrote a personal note and put it in each customer’s bag. Business at the store soared and all the customers lined up at Pete’s station, causing long waits, but they all said it was because Pete’s notes made their day.

“He became part of the life of every person in his community, because of one simple act,” McGee said. “And it had to do with putting others first.”

McGee said today Pete is a very successful motivational speaker.

Superintendent Mickey Edwards challenged the class to set goals for themselves.

“Life is not always fair, and sometimes failure is inevitable,” but keep moving forward, whatever you do,” Edwards said. “I know each one of you has the potential to change the world.”

Finally, he urged the class to laugh often and be responsible citizens.

Salutatorian Margaret Graney said she thought the class was all pretty great.

“We’ve had an opportunity to grow up together as friends,” she said. “Always remember something good about Byron-Bergen – the fun you’ve had and the mistakes you’ve made.”

She said Byron-Bergen had taught them a lot – maybe not all in the classroom.

“It taught us how to think – not what to think,” she said. “It taught us how to take on the bigger world. Like a fish only grows as large as its tank will allow it to, Byron-Bergen has been our fish tank. Now it’s time to move on to bigger things.”

Valedictorian Lauren Burke praised all the great teachers, from kindergarten through her senior year.

She recalled her first school musical in second grade and the recent senior class musical. She shared the sports championships the classes had won during her school years and this year’s talent show.

There was the senior class trip this year to Cleveland and New York's Cedar Point State Park, located in the Thousand Islands' region.

“We’ve come a long way,” Lauren said. “We’ve gone from nervous kindergartners to star athletes and accomplished musicians. This class has taught us lessons we will use throughout the rest of our lives. None of our achievements would have been possible without the support of the community, our parents and teachers. Our success is your success.”

She concluded with a quote from "Mahatma Ghandi," born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever.”

Special scholarship awards were presented by McGee, school counselor Matt Walther and Assistant Principal Scott Bradley to the following:

Alfred K. Sheldon Memorial Leadership Award, Joshua Phelps; American Field Service Foreign Language Award, Lauren Burke; American Red Cross Scholarship, Morgan Fuller; Arthur Rohe U.S. History Scholarship, Lauren Burke; Bergen Grange Award, Ethan Green and Peyton Mackey; Bergen Rod and Gun Club Award, Justin Hannan and Morgan Fuller; Bergen Volunteer Fire Co. Student Volunteer Scholarship, Melanie Kulikowski; Brad A. Hobin Memorial Award, Paul McDermott Jr. and Michael Khomitch; Byron Kiwanis Club Award, Nicole Welka, Cameron Brumsted and James Boughton; Byron-Bergen Administration Scholarship, Quinn Chapell; Byron-Bergen Faculty Association Award, Justin Hannan; Byron-Bergen Learning Community Award, Jean Denson and Leah Thompson; and Byron-Bergen Student Council Scholarship, Benjamin Chaback.

Also, Claus Memorial Award, Lauren Burke and Margaret Graney; Clint Cooper Memorial Scholarship, Brian Ireland; Derek K. Sheldon Memorial Scholarship, Daniel Stutzman; Dora M. Jones Scholarship, Hayley Hoehn; Earl Almquist Family Art Award, Austin Sharpe; Francis J. and Ethel A. Miller Memorial Scholarship, Tyler Henry and Larissa Ashton; Gillam Educational Fund Scholarship, Dana Van Valkenburg; H.E. Turner and Co. Funeral Homes Community Service Award, Lauren Burke; Helene Forsyth-Hough Memorial Scholarship, Nathan Knickerbocker; Hesperus Lodge No. 837 F.&A.M., Julia Menzie; Ida Casewell MacEwen Award, Austin Sharpe; Jerome G. Spitzner Memorial Science Award, Benjamin Chaback; Leo J. O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, Benjamin Chaback.

And, Lori A. Nelson Award, Brendon Kendall; Mary Wride Memorial Attendance Award, Tyler Henry; Paul West Scholarship,Peyton Mackey; Ralph and Minna Gillette Scholarship, Jean Denson and Daniel Jensen; Reis Memorial Scholarship, Makenzie Muoio; Sackett-Merrill-White Post 575 American Legion Scholarship, Shaun LoVerdi; Sarah Batemen Memorial Scholarship, Nicole Welka; Sunshine Award, Hayley Hoehn; Tom Covington Memorial Agricultural Scholarship, Garrett Sando; TVFCU Junior Banking Scholarship, Leah Thompson and Melanie Kulikowski; and the William F. Engle Scholarship, Riley Sadler.

The graduating seniors with the 10 highest academic averages are Lauren Burke, Margaret Graney, Benjamin Chaback, Larissa Ashton, Lily Mercovich, Dana VanValkenburg, Tyler Henry, Jean Denson, Brian Ireland and Leah Thompson.

Class officers are Hayley Hoehn, president; Makenzie Muoio, vice president; Justin Hannan, secretary; and Lauren Burke, treasurer.

The High School Band, under the director of Kevin Bleiler, accompanied the graduates for the processional and recessional and in singing the National Anthem. Laurence Tallman is director of the school’s Singing Silhouettes.

Top photo: Byron-Bergen’s Class of 2018 stands with Principal Patrick McGee, left, and members of the Singing Silhouettes as they sing the National Anthem prior to graduation ceremonies Saturday at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Cultural Life Center in North Chili. Photos by Virginia Kropf.


Byron-Bergen High School’s valedictorian Lauren Burke addresses her class during graduation ceremonies Saturday at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Cultural Life Center.


Lauren Burke, from a slideshow that presented students as seniors and with a childhood picture.


Salutatorian Margaret Graney gives her address during Byron-Bergen’s graduation Saturday at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Cultural Life Center.


Seniors Lauren Burke and Margaret Graney were presented with the Claus Memorial Award in memory Christopher Claus (Class of 2015) and Victoria Claus (Class of 2018) at Byron-Bergen’s graduation ceremonies Saturday.

June 22, 2018 - 11:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A car-into-pole accident is reported in the area of 6418 Warboys Road.

A first responder on scene says the driver is not in the vehicle but there's blood on the steering wheel.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched.

There is debris in the roadway and wires are down.

Fire police requested to close the roadway.

UPDATE 11:47 p.m.: Responders are checking a nearby field for the driver. There is also a resident who thinks she may have heard somebody enter her house but isn't sure. She is waiting outside for police.

June 22, 2018 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, news, byron, bergen.


Press release:

On June 19, the Byron-Bergen learning community and the community-at-large were treated to a special stage adaptation of “Sneaky Weasel,” a children’s book by author Hannah Shaw, performed by fourth-graders.

The show featured the talents of the entire class working together as actors, assistant directors, narrators, dancers, stage crew and scenery designers, sound effects artists, and costume designers. The story centered on an unhappy bully, Sneaky Weasel, who finally discovers how to be a friend.

“Our students have been working on the project for several weeks,” said fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy, who along with teachers Jenna Carney and Kelly Morriss, wrote the stage play and directed the performance. “They have each contributed their best efforts.

"It’s been really great seeing students find talents they didn’t know they had, kids stepping up to help each other, and quiet children coming out of their shells to get onstage in front of an audience. The arts are so important for development and this has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to really stretch themselves and shine.”

Top photo: “Sneaky Weasel” featured players (l-r) Grace DiQuattro, Joel Lamb, Simone Scharvogel (as Sneaky), Megan Jarkeiwicz, and Katherine Rogoyski.


Mama Weasel (Gianna Graff) with all her weasel-y offspring (Madisyn Rodak, Logan Czachorowski, Madison Hutchings, Sidney Maher, and Connor Copani.)


The cast included narrators plus singing and dancing hedgehogs, rabbits, sheep, rats, mice, shrews, dogs, and even a chicken.

June 15, 2018 - 8:00am

Press release:

The Oakfield-Alabama and Byron-Bergen Central School districts announce their participation in the federal (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) offering delicious, convenient, economical and healthy meals July 9 through Aug. 10. Meals will be provided to all children without charge.

No paperwork necessary; although O-A participants are asked to register online for the Oakfield town park program.


There will be a free lunch-only program just for children at the Elroy Perkins Memorial Town Park on Drake Street in Oakfield (also known as the Oakfield Town Park). Food will be served from 12 to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Register online for the Oakfield park program, then just show up for a great lunch. 

For questions, call the school district cafeteria at 948-5211, ext. 4234; or the Town of Oakfield at 948-5835.


Both breakfast and lunch will be served weekdays in the cafeterias at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School (6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen). Breakfast is served from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.; lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at both locations. Adults can eat, too, and will pay $2.50 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.

Also, at the Byron Community Park, lunch only will be available just for children from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The park is located behind the Byron Fire Hall. Kids eat free.

For questions, call 494-1220, ext. 1015.

About the USDA

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C., 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]

June 14, 2018 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, Le Roy, byron, bergen.

There are power outages affecting some 2,200 National Grid customers in the eastern part of Genesee County, primarily in Le Roy and South Byron and parts of Bergen.

The outages appear to be part of a larger set of outages in Livingston and Monroe counties.

We don't know yet the cause of the outage.

Emergency dispatchers are aware of the outages but have no information about the outage so calling emergency dispatchers about the outages would not be helpful.

Callers are reporting a tendency of motorists to not obey four-way stop protocols at intersections without power to their traffic signals.

National Grid does report that power should be restored around 6 p.m.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: A spokesman for National Grid says there was an equipment failure in a transmission line that runs through the Genesee region. More than 11,000 customers lost power. The cause of the equipment failure is under investigation.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The transmission line is repaired. National Grid engineers are now in the process of a controlled restoration of power for those customers who lost power. The ETA is still approximately 6 p.m. for that work to be done.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: It looks like power has been restored to most of the customers in Genesee County, though there appears to be a separate, possibly unrelated power outage in Stafford. There are 111 customers without power. A work crew has not yet been assigned to the outage through its estimated power will be restored by 6:45 p.m.

June 10, 2018 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.

A tractor-trailer rollover accident with no injuries is reported at Bergen Road and South Holley Road, Byron.

Fluids are leaking.

Byron and South Byron dispatched.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: Mercy EMS requested to the scene for evaluation of back pain.

UPDATE 5:08 (By Billie): The driver was initially believed to be uninjured, but subsequently complained of back pain and Mercy medics are called to evaluate him. Command at the scene says the rig dumped half a load of liquid manure because of the accident. No other vehicles were involved. Sawdust is being trucked in from a nearby farm; sand from the highway department may be required, but that has not been deemed necessary at this point.

June 9, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, byron, news.

Law enforcement is responding to a residence on Byron Holley Road after an allegedly highly intoxicated female called dispatch to report there's "a Komodo dragon in her hallway."

These carnivorous lizards are not something to mess with, according to wikipedia. They've been known to grow 10 feet in length and weigh up to 150 pounds. They will attack humans.

Click here to learn more about the Komodo dragon.

June 4, 2018 - 9:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, pembroke, notify, byron, Basom.

Matthew J. Hyland, 38, of Canandaigua, is charged with petit larceny. Hyland was arrested following an investigation by a trooper into the theft of $103 from a wallet that had been accidentally left on a counter by a customer at the TA Travel Center in Pembroke. The customer reported returning for the wallet and finding $103 had been removed from the wallet. The trooper used video surveillance to help identify Hyland as a suspect. According to State Police, Hyland admitted to the larceny and stated he wanted to return the money to the owner. Hyland turned himself in to State Police at the Batavia Barracks.

      Adam Arsenault

Adam J. Arsenault, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing a police officer, resisting arrest, and criminal possession of a weapon. Arsenault allegedly brandished a knife at police officers who were attempting to arrest him on a warrant. He was jailed without bail.

Scott David Beswick, 44, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Beswick is accused of consuming alcohol at his residence in violation of a court order of protection.

Nathan Robert Arnold, 26, of Terry Street, Byron, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Arnold allegedly obstructed the breathing of another man while engaged in a fight at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday at a location on Terry Street, Bryon.

Bleyke Z. Culver, 21, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to comply with court-ordered programs as part of his sentencing on a conviction. He jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

Latiqua S. Jackson, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and conspiracy, 6th. Jackson was arrested on a warrant. Jackson is accused of pawning, trading or selling stolen property and that she was aided by at least one other person. She was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Luis Alberto Ramos-Mercado, 33, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Ramos-Mercado is accused of entering another person's dwelling through a window without that person's knowledge or permission.

Edward R. Loper, 30, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Loper was arrested on a warrant while incarcerated in the Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges.

Nathen Edward-Donald Brege, 25, of Alleghany Road, Basom, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear for sentencing on a resisting arrest charge. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Matthew J. Florian, 29, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and following too closely. Florian was stopped at 11:18 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Arick Perkins.

May 30, 2018 - 2:11pm

Student members of the Byron-Bergen Builders Club with Byron Kiwanis Club sponsors and RRH’s David Catalino (right), who gave the group a tour of the recreation center.

Submitted photo and press release:

On May 23, Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Builders Club members presented a check for $500 to representatives from Rochester Regional Health’s Behavioral Health Treatment and Chemical Dependency Center at Unity Hospital.

Led by Builders Club president, 10th-grader Jacey Donahue, the student delegation was welcomed to the Center by community relations managers Tiffany Carnevale, Valerie Donnelly and Brad Pearson from the RRH Gifts Foundation, along with Center Manager Jennifer Esten, supervisor Kristen Weber and Recreation Director David Catalino.

The group was accompanied by Byron-Bergen teacher and faculty advisor Andrea Feeney and Byron Kiwanis Club sponsors Robert Wood and President Karen Jaczynski.

Members of the Builders Club, who range in age from 7 to 15, have been working hard in their community this year, helping others and raising money through coin collection and raffles.

After researching a number of local organizations, the group decided to donate their funds to the Chemical Dependency Center.

After the ceremony, the group learned more about the operations at the organization and then toured the recreation center, where their money will be put to use purchasing new equipment.

Supervisor Weber explained the importance of exercise at the Center.

“Many people in recovery have not experienced fun, sober activities for a very long time," Weber said. "The exercise and recreation equipment we can purchase with the help of Builders Club funds will aid patients in setting and achieving goals for themselves.

"Thanks to these young people, our patients will build confidence that they can persevere and better their lives.”

Builders Club Member Hannah Catalino (the daughter of the Center’s recreation director), strongly advocated for supporting the organization’s work. She and the other members recognized that the Byron-Bergen community, like many others, is experiencing the problem of substance abuse, affecting fellow students and their families.

Earlier this year, they created handmade cards for the Center to help inspire and motivate recovering patients.

“I think what the Center does is important,” Hannah said. “I see how deeply the people here care for patients. They all feel it in their hearts and we in the Club do, too. We all wanted to help.”

Builders Club has been active at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School for three years and has about a dozen members. The group began at the Middle School, but has expanded the opportunity to all students in the district who are willing to make the commitment to service.

This year, they’ve volunteered for the Salvation Army and at the Miracle Mile for the Golisano Children's Hospital. They’ve participated in hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico and at the Elementary School’s Fall Festival. They can also be seen helping out at community pancake breakfasts.

“Byron-Bergen is a NYS School District of Character and our students support many activities that promote character,” said Club Advisor Feeney. “Builders Club supports the development of character and leadership.

"Everything members do during the year is their idea and their choice. They choose to give back, to better their community and to aid those in need.”

The Byron-Bergen Builders Club members are: Sarah Fraser, Liam Feeney, Andrea Feeney, Jacey Donahue, Hannah Catalino, Claire Williams, Logan Lewis, Robert Wood, Courtney Pakusch, Evan Harter and Karen Jaczynski.

May 21, 2018 - 1:22pm

Press release:

The Town of Byron has been working on an update of the Town’s 1993 Comprehensive Plan. A DRAFT Plan Update is now available.

The Comprehensive Plan is a document that guides and controls future growth and development in the community. It looks at the Town’s existing conditions and past trends, and sets forth a vision for the future, along with strategies for how to improve conditions in the Town.  

One of the most important steps in updating the Comprehensive Plan is getting public involvement. We want to be sure the plan reflects the community’s vision for Byron’s future.

The Town will be hosting a public information meeting on Thursday, May 24th at the South Byron Fire Hall to get your input. It is located at 7389  Route 237, South Byron.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the project team will present the DRAFT Plan Update for informal questions and discussions.

A brief presentation will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the opportunity to voice your opinion and ask questions.

You may view the DRAFT Plan Update (PDF) on the Town’s website here.

A printed copy is available for viewing at the Byron Town Clerk’s Office.

Town of Byron Comprehensive Plan Chairman George Squires can be reached via email at: [email protected]

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