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July 19, 2022 - 9:11pm
posted by Press Release in religion, bicentennial, news, elba.

Press Release:

First Presbyterian Church of Elba Invites All to Celebrate its 200th Anniversary!

  The First Presbyterian Church of Elba, which marks its bicentennial this year, is inviting the whole community to a birthday party.

The 200th anniversary celebration will be held in the Elba Village Park on Saturday, August 13, from 2-4 p.m. It will feature lawn games, a petting zoo, a bounce house, a food truck, balloon artist Janice Spagnola, and live music by Elba’s Tom Hare and his friends.

The family-oriented event is free and open to the public.

“This is a real milestone for a community this size,” says Reverend Barbara K. Tipton, who is in her 16th year as pastor of the congregation. “We hope our neighbors and friends will join us in an afternoon of fun and fellowship. Come one, come all!”

The First Presbyterian Church of Elba, which is located at 23 North Main Street in the village of Elba, is also planning a special bicentennial worship service on October 23rd at 11 a.m., its regular Sunday worship time.

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Submitted Photo: Addy, Carter, and Ethan Gubb pause during a picnic to admire the historical sign at the front of the First Presbyterian Church of Elba. Their family ties to the congregation go back to 1914, when their great-great-grandmother, Bessie Talbot Gubb, became a member.  The church is celebrating its 200th Anniversary this year and hosting a bicentennial birthday celebration at the Elba Village Park on Saturday, August 13, from 2-4 p.m. 
 
July 10, 2022 - 10:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lottery, elba, news.

Somebody who bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket at Crosby's in Elba could be $1 million richer.

All that person needs to do is claim his or her prize.

According to the NYS Lottery, one second-prize ticket from the July 8 Mega Millions drawing was purchased at Crosby’s in Elba.

The winning numbers were 20-36-61-62-69.

July 7, 2022 - 10:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, news.

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A farm field in Elba.  Photo by Bryan Gubb.

June 30, 2022 - 2:17pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in accident, news, elba, notify.

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The Genesee County Sheriff's Department is investigating a one-vehicle accident that occurred about 9:20 a.m. in the area of 3919 Lockport road in Elba. 

According to Deputy Robert Henning, the truck, from Buffalo Auto Auction, was heading west on Lockport road with a camping trailer in tow, when the driver says he swerved to avoid an animal in the roadway. The truck then went off the south shoulder of the road and struck a tree. The accident caused the camper to break apart and debris covered a wide area behind the truck. 

The male driver of the vehicle had to be extricated from the vehicle as there was entrapment and heavy damage to the front end of the truck after the collision with a tree. The driver was conscious and alert and suffered a serious injury to his lower body and legs. He was transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC with non-life-threatening injuries.

The roadway will remain closed for some time as the wreckage from the camper is cleared away and the truck is towed from the scene. 

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

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June 30, 2022 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.

A motor vehicle accident with entrapment is reported in the area of 3919 Lockport Road, Elba.

One vehicle is off the roadway.

Elba Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. Oakfield Fire and Town of Batavia Fire requested to assist.

Mercy Flight dispatched.

Lockport Road is closed between Fisher Road and Route 98.

June 27, 2022 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, byron, news, notify, batavia.

Brianna L. Way, 31, of Batavia, is charged with assault 3rd and endangering the welfare of a child. Way is accused of punching and kicking a nine-year-old child causing an injury, shoving the child's head as punishment, and forcing the child to watch a TV-MA documentary about child murder titled “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” while telling the child that it could be him. Way was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. An order of protection was issued.

Jordan Taylor Reese, 30, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief.  Reese is accused of injuring a child during an incident at 6:48 p.m., June 22, at a residence on Ford Road, Elba. Reese was arrested by Deputy Ayrton Blankenberg, was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court, and released.

David John Chormanski, 42, of Mechanic Street, Byron, is charged with criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child. Chormanski allegedly damaged property of another person during an argument in the presence of a child at 5:03 a.m., June 21, at a location on Mechanic Street, Byron. Chormanski was arrested by Deputy David Moore, arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court, and released on his own recognizance.

Brian Joseph Crawford, 48, of Independence Drive, Methuen, Mass., is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Crawford was stopped at 12:59 a.m., June 20, on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Morgan Ewert. He was released on appearance tickets.

Marvin K. Barber, Jr., 37, of Lackawanna, is charged with harassment 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon 4th, criminal possession of a weapon 3rd, menacing 2nd, and grand larceny 4th. Batavia police officers were dispatched to a report of a disturbance at 8:30 a.m., June 22, on Lewis Place, Batavia. Following an investigation, and making contact with Barber, who had left the scene, Barber turned himself in to police custody. He was arrested and arraigned in City Court and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail.  

Andrew J. Draper, 43, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief 4th. Draper is accused of damaging property at a residence on Miller Avenue during an argument at 9 a.m., June 17. He was arraigned in City Court and released.

Andrew J. Draper, 43, of Batavia, is charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd. Following an investigation, Draper was arrested on June 17 for an incident reported at 10:53 a.m., May 14, on Ellicott Street, Batavia. Draper is accused of driving while impaired by crack cocaine. Draper was issued traffic tickets and released.

Andrew J. Draper, 43, of Batavia, criminal contempt 1st and harassment 2nd. Draper is accused of violating an order of protection by striking another person during a disturbance reported at 1:17 p.m., June 17, at a location on West Main Street, Batavia. Draper was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision.

Dorsie McGill, Jr., 37, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC .08 or greater, resisting arrest, and using a mobile phone while driving. McGill was stopped at 8:39 a.m., June 18, on East Main Street, by a Batavia patrol officer. McGill was processed at BPD and released on an appearance ticket.

Ledaga K. Wright, 31, of Batavia, is charged with burglary 2nd, criminal mischief 4th, and criminal tampering 3rd, Wright is accused of causing damage inside apartment on June 15 on Holland Avenue. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

Latoya D. Jackson, 36, of Batavia, Jackon is accused of threatening to fight multiple people during a disturbance on State Street at 8:18 p.m., June 20. Jackson was issued an appearance ticket.

Nick A. Hawkins, 38, of Batavia, Hawkins is accused of threatening another person during a disturbance on State Street reported at 8:18 p.m., June 20.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

Daniel R. Yates, 52, of Batavia, is charged with criminal tampering 3rd and criminal mischief. Yates is accused of damaging property inside Tops Market at 7:52 p.m., June 17. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Maurice D. Bishop, 36, of Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Bishop was arrested on a warrant related to an incident reported at 1:10 a.m., Oct. 12. Bishop was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision. A stay-away order of protection was issued.

June 4, 2022 - 9:00am

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The chance to wed two great flavors was also an opportunity to bring two local companies together to develop a new product that helps both mark their business anniversaries, said Jeremy Liles, owner of Oliver's Candies in Batavia and Elba.

Hence, Oliver's Candies and Eli Fish Brewing Company have collaborated to bring Genesee County its own local version of beer brittle -- peanut brittle with a beer base instead of water to give the candy an added flavor dimension.

"I like the collaboration amongst businesses, and with this being our 90-year anniversary, I thought it was a fun project," Liles said. "I love Eili Fish and eat there often and those guys are great over there, so that's what I liked about it, just the whole collaboration idea and experimenting with something new, and introducing something new to our customers."

Master candy maker Doug Pastecki said he and Liles have been fascinated with the idea of beer brittle since reading several years ago about a collaboration in California between a candy company and Anchor Steam Brewing.  At the time, there was no local brewery, and using a mass-produced beer wasn't appealing so the idea got shelved.  As Oliver's 90th anniversary approached, Pasteck and Liles were casting about for a new product idea when the trade magazine re-ran the beer brittle story.  With Eli Fish coming up on its fourth anniversary, it seemed like a perfect time for the two companies to work together.

"We got together, we picked up the beer and we got it right in the first shot," Pastecki said.

The beer is a sweeter beer with a complex malt flavor, "Bad Bad Le Roy Brown," an Eli staple.

Malt, sugar, and peanuts go great together, Pastecki noted, and of course, peanuts are often served in bars so that aspect was also a natural fit.

That doesn't mean there wasn't some R&D involved in the process, said Adam Burnett, master brewer for Eli.

"When you just eat a lot of candies, drink a lot of beer, and figure out what goes well together, that's the fun part," Burnett.

Burnett said he was also energized by the opportunity to collaborate with a local legendary company, and from an industry he hasn't previously worked with.

"I definitely have a bit of an MO for doing collaborations by any means necessary," Burnett said. "I think it raises both brands. Every other collaboration I've done has been with breweries, which is a lot of fun for me, but this is outside my wheelhouse. I got to learn about what's going on here. Getting to learn about the history of Oliver's and getting to take part in something for a big anniversary for them is special for me. At Eli Fish, we're the new kids. It's nice to be taken into the old guard a bit."

The beer brittle is being sold at both Oliver's Locations -- Batavia and Elba -- as well as at Eli Fish.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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June 1, 2022 - 4:44pm
posted by Press Release in elba, Elba Central School, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The students in the junior and senior high school at Elba Central have engaged in a rigorous program designed to qualify them for a 4+1 graduation pathway or a special stand-alone designation on their diploma upon graduation. 

The Elba Central School District was selected to be a pilot school for the Seal of Civic Readiness program, which is a new initiative designed by the New York State Department of Education. 

NYSED had already established the Seal of Biliteracy, which is awarded to students who demonstrate fluency in a second language, as determined by a series of benchmarks.  Similarly, the Seal of Civic Readiness was designed to provide recognition to students who go above and beyond the standard graduation requirements in social studies, history, and service-learning. 

Acceptance into the pilot program was granted to schools that demonstrated academic and civic learning opportunities robust enough to meet the program criteria. 

Elba Central was selected as a pilot school in the fall after completing the application and selection process.  Throughout the pilot period, the committee of educators met frequently to revise capstone projects, review the curriculum, design project-based learning, and refine teaching practices to align with the program.  Additionally, the Elba committee met with other pilot schools in the Monroe 2 BOCES region to collaborate on promising practices in alignment with the goals of the Seal of Civic Readiness. 

Members of the Elba Central School committee are Sean Bryant (ELA teacher); Mike Cintorino (social studies teacher); Laura Williams (social studies teacher and service-learning coordinator); Alison Riner (HS counselor), and Gretchen Rosales (Superintendent). 

Rosales led the application process and credits the teachers for their willingness to critically evaluate their own teaching and to provide robust opportunities for students to engage in project-based learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. 

“Our teachers have put in countless hours analyzing, revising, and reconceptualizing what they do in the classroom to reimagine education for today’s world," she said. "Students at Elba can critically apply social studies, history, and research skills to the issues that need to be addressed in their own communities.  This is what education should look like.”

Working with Mrs. Williams, students in the middle school have engaged in the planning and implementation of projects designed to improve their school and community. 

Students administered surveys to determine needs and then researched, planned, and implemented project-based learning activities to meet those needs. 

Projects have included campus-wide clean-up activities; determining a need for community seating areas at the school (which included designing and building picnic tables), researching pet abandonment and securing donations to a local shelter; and implementing a composting program at the school in conjunction with Porter Farms, a local and organically managed farm in Elba. 

The middle school students have even connected with the youngest children in the building; noting a need for some positivity, the 8th graders record kindergarteners reading happy messages. 

Throughout the week, anyone can call in to hear the happy pre-recorded communications. 

According to Laura Williams, service learning coordinator, “it became obvious that the skills needed to become civically engaged at all levels of adulthood have to be fostered and practiced at an earlier age. More important than executing a perfect service-learning project is their own reflection of what worked well, what didn’t work well, what obstacles were overcome, and what could be improved upon the next time. Watching these young adults practice reaching out to community members and following through with their plans is something they rarely get to practice in a traditional classroom setting.”

Christine Radez, an associate at the New York State Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the New York State Department of Education in Albany, congratulated Elba Central and stated, “On behalf of our Civic Readiness Task Force members, I extend gratitude for your efforts to support this important initiative. Our vision is that the Seal of Civic Readiness is available for all students across New York State in the future. The steps you have taken towards the development of a civic readiness program and student credential are advancing that goal.”

Submitted photos.

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May 30, 2022 - 12:17am
posted by Press Release in girl scouts, elba, news.

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) is proud to announce 2 Girl Scouts in Genesee and Livingston Counties as the 2022 recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls and acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change-makers.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” The project should fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project.

Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade. In total, 36 girl scouts across the Western New York region will be presented with the 2022 Gold Award on Saturday, June 4, 2022.  For more information on the Girl Scout Gold Award, https://www.gswny.org/en/our-program/highest-awards/gold-award.html.

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Laci Sewar of Elba, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Laci is a member of Troop 42222.

What Laci said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts has brought me some good lessons and fun memories. I have been a Girl Scout for 13 years and that came with a lot of work from me. I learned basic life skills from going to camp in my younger years which was fun and I kind of want to go back. I got some nice memories that I still haven’t forgotten from that place. I live my life by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. I do those things on a daily basis which makes me the type of person I am today. As I got into my older years of Girl Scouting, doing the budgeting badges and things have helped me balance my money with college coming up and work. I may not seem like it, but I do appreciate my mom for pushing me to stay in all these years, so thank you!

Project: Stations of the Cross Program

For my Gold Award project, I renovated the wooden Stations of the Cross located outside of the Elba church next to the school. I obtained new wooden plaques and stained/sanded/sealed them. I also polished up the old brass plaques that would then be put on the wooden plaques.

I created a program for children in grades 3-6 about the Stations of the Cross. The program included a matching game, word searches, a prayer for each station, and a laminated paper with a description of each station. I obtained materials needed to make my project successful from Home Depot and my home from my dad’s shop. The purpose of my project was to strengthen children’s understanding of the Stations of the Cross. My project will allow the teachers of the Faith Formation classes to continue to use my resources to teach their classes. 

Submitted photos of Laci Sewar

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May 26, 2022 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, oakfield-alabama, golf, sports.

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Article submitted by Mike Cintorino.

It has been quite the run for the Elba/Oakfield-Alabama Lancers Golf Team. 

On Thursday, at a blustery Livingston Country Club in Geneseo, the Lancers earned their 4th Section V Class C Boys Golf Championship in the last 6 seasons. 

The day started with a semi-final match against the top-seeded Gananda Blue Panthers.  The Lancers were led in that match by their stalwarts, CJ Gottler and Brayden Smith who shot 39 and 45 respectively on the par-36 front nine. 

Gananda's Carter Lathrop fired a 47, but behind solid efforts from the Lancers' Jake Walczak and Aiden Warner, they were able to defeat the Blue Panthers 194 to 234 in the first of two Class C semi-final matches. 

In the second semi-final, the Byron Bergen Bees had a nail-biter against the Geneseo Blue Devils that came down to the final pairing of the match. 

Ryan Muscarella, Brendan Pimm, and David Brumstead all fired 50's on the front nine, all lower than the top four golfers for the Blue Devils. 

The medalist of the match would come from the third pairing with a Geneseo golfer (name not submitted) who shot the low round of the match with a 48. 

However, the steady and consistent rounds of the Bees allowed them to edge out the Blue Devils 202-207.  

For the second consecutive season, the Byron Bergen Bees matched up with the Elba/Oakfield-Alabama Lancers in the Section V Class C Boys Golf Finals. 

Last year the Lancers defeated the Bees 172-199 at Caledonia Country Club.  This year, the conditions, specifically the wind blowing over 20b mph at times, proved for much tougher conditions on a difficult Livingston Country Club back nine. 

Although the conditions were different, the results were similar as the Lancers defeated the Bees by a score of 189-206. 

CJ Gottler once again medaled in the finals with a round of 41 while teammate Brayden Smith and Byron Bergen's Ryan Muscarella fired a round of 47.  The Lancer's Jake Walczak (46) and Kaden Cusmano (55) rounded out the scoring for the Lancers as they successfully defended their Class C title.  

The win was the Lancers' 4th Section V Golf Title in the last 6 seasons (2016, 2017, 2021, 2022 - there was no season in 2020). 

In 2018 the Lancers finished 2nd. 

With the win, the Lancers end the season 13-3 overall while the Bees fall to 12-3. 

This was a fantastic season for the Lancers as for the second consecutive year they swept both the team title and individual title (CJ Gottler in 2021 and Brayden Smith in 2022) in Section V Class C Boys Golf. 

This group of young men (and women) have grinded all season to live up to the legacy set for them by previous teams. 

For Elba/OA Senior, CJ Gottler, he finished his 6th year as a varsity golfer as a 3-time team and 2-time individual Section V Champion, along with back-to-back Genesee Region League Player of the Year honors.  Gottler's leadership on and off the course will be sorely missed, and his personality and ability to make not just teammates, but competitors laugh during a round of golf.  

Reader-submitted photos.

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May 22, 2022 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, golf, elba.

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Brayden Smith (top photo) of Elba grinded his way to his first sectional title in Class C in golf on Saturday with a round of  82 at Clifton Springs Country Club.

After finding himself four over par after the first two holes, Smith settled in and used his short game to secure par-after-par, finishing out the front nine with four straight followed by five pars on the final six holes to move ahead of teammate and two-time defending champion CJ Gottler who lost ground with penalty strokes down the stretch. Gottler shot an 86.  

Byron Bergen's Ryan Muscarella finished third with a round of 90.

Photos by Kristen Smith.  For more, click here

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CJ Gottler

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May 18, 2022 - 8:50pm
posted by Press Release in FFA, elba, news, agriculture.

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Press release:

After hosting the New York FFA State Convention virtually for two years, more than 2,000 students, teachers, and guests gathered in person to celebrate and recognize members for all their accomplishments on May 12-14 in Syracuse, New York.

New York FFA currently supports over 9,000 middle and high school students in programs of varying size from the heart of New York City to the shores of Lake Erie. Agricultural education programs across the state offer relevance of core academic concepts as they are applied to the food and fiber systems and prepare students for career success, in and out of agriculture. One of the hallmark events for NYS FFA each year is the annual New York State FFA Convention where students, teachers, and guests gather to celebrate their accomplishments from the year. The State Convention has been a culminating activity for many members over the years, allowing them to compete in career and leadership development events, network with agricultural colleges and industry reps, and be inspired by keynote speakers and the State Officers’ retiring addresses.

This year we were excited to offer in-person opportunities for students, teachers, and supporters. People from all over New York State gathered for this annual event to hear inspiring speeches from peers and agricultural professionals, expand their knowledge during workshops and tours by exploring different fields of the agricultural industry, and networked with agricultural business professionals and colleges during the Career Engagement Expo.

The Elba FFA Chapter Advisor, Tracey Dahlhaus, stated: “This was an amazing opportunity for our students to not only participate in contests, and workshops but to also meet other FFA members from across the state.”

Ian Keberle, a member of the Elba FFA chapter stated, “I can’t wait to participate again next year and am already planning which contests I want to participate in.”

In addition to participating in tours, workshops, service projects, and sessions, students were recognized for their accomplishments during one of six general sessions. The following members of the Elba FFA chapter were recognized:

Amelia Brewer and Ian Keberle were recognized for receiving their Empire Degrees.  The Empire Degree is awarded based on a member's leadership qualities, community service and time spent on an SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience).

New York FFA is grateful for all of our supporters, students, and teachers who have helped make this year’s State Convention a success and who have continued to display excellence and leadership skills they have developed throughout their time in FFA. The 2023 New York State FFA Convention will take place in Buffalo, New York from May 18-20.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education. For more information regarding FFA, please visit either www.nysffa.org or www.ffa.org.

May 11, 2022 - 2:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, elba.

A controlled burn is reportedly out of control at 4491 Old Ford Road, Elba.

A volunteer firefighter called in the fire.

Elba Fire dispatched.

The burn ban is in effect until Saturday.

May 9, 2022 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, batavia, notify, Le Roy, elba, Oakfield.

Bria Chaquan Carson, 30, no street address provided, Rochester, Chas Westley Burgess, 36, street address redacted, Rochester, and Robert Earl Wyche, 49, street address redacted, Rochester, are each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd. Each was allegedly found in possession of fentanyl and cocaine at a location on Oak Street in Batavia at 3 a.m. on May 7. The case was investigated by Deputy Jeremiah Gechell and Deputy Morgan Ewert. All three were arraigned in City Court. Carson was released on his own recognizance. Burgess and Wyche were ordered held on no bail.

Mikhail Eric Lundberg, 32, of State Street, Blasdell, is charged with DWAI/combined drugs and alcohol. Lundberg was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident at 9 a.m., Dec. 29, on Main Street in Corfu. He was arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Kevin Brown Goodenough, 65, of Stone Road, Rochester, is charged with sexual abuse 1st. Goodenough was arrested in connection with an incident reported at noon on Oct. 8, 2017, on Lincoln Avenue in Le Roy. He was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court and ordered held on $10,000 bail, $15,000 bond, or $40,000 partially secured bond.

Kayla Jean Nicolucci, 30, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Nicolucci is accused of shoplifting from Walmart at 4:59 p.m. on May 7.  She was released on an appearance ticket.

Jerome Wayne Amesbury, 56, of Gilbert Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment 1st and stalking 4th. Amesbury is accused of stalking and harassing a victim on Gilbert Road in Bergen at 9:52 p.m. on May 7. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Jimmy L Moore, 45, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. He was stopped by state police at 4:34 p.m. on May 7 in the city of Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket.

May 8, 2022 - 3:37am
posted by Press Release in baseball, sports, elba.

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Press release:

Northstar Christian Academy downed Elba 10-3 in varsity baseball action Saturday at the Field of Dreams in Alexander.

Tim Leary collected the victory on the mound for Northstar, striking out eight while allowing six hits.

The Knights were led by Dominic Kurmis with three hits, including an RBI double and AJ Mitchell added a team-high four RBI on two hits.

The Lancers stayed in it for six innings behind strong pitching by Caden Muehlig. Muehlig went the distance for Elba, allowing four runs over the last six innings, striking out eight.

Jayden Allport led Elba with two hits and an RBI, while Lucas Walls smacked an RBI double. Hunter Gaylord, Connor Scott and Jake Engle also added hits for Elba.

In the second game of the day for Elba, the Lancers fell to Byron-Bergen 6-2.

Carter Prinzi and Brody Baubie led Byron-Bergen at the plate with two hits apiece. Braeden Chambry also singled for the Bees.

Baubie and David Brumsted combined to strikeout nine with Brumsted earning the win.

Elba got six strong innings on the mound from Scott, as the junior hurler struck out 11. Tyler Kauffman, Gaylord and Walls had hits for the Lancers.

May 3, 2022 - 5:53pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, elba, art, Craft Show, notify.

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Jim Stucko recalls when he was going to bed at night and his father would head for the kitchen. The elder Stucko was going to prepare a few batches of his winning rye bread recipe so he could bake it and take to some friends in the morning. 

Not only was Stucko, a former Elba resident, a talented sculptor and artist, but he was also “an amazing cook,” his son said.

“I miss the guy a lot. Every time I cook something I think of the conversations we had in the kitchen,” Jim said during an interview Tuesday with The Batavian. “My parents rocked this world.”

Art pieces from John and wife Sophie Stucko’s collections will be on display with late artists Patricia Burr and Eunice Hare Murphy for a first-ever Mother’s Day Craft Sale and Basket Raffle 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall, Route 98, Elba. The event is being organized and hosted by Elba Betterment Committee. 

“The whole thing is part of the grant we received from GO Art! for our project: Elba Betterment Committee presents Art Around Town. The idea for including our local artists actually came from one of our members, Kelly Dudley, who has always wanted to do this sort of thing at The Mill in Elba,” EBC President Pauli Miano said. “After contacting families, three were willing and excited to share their loved ones’ talent with us.”

The artist pieces will be on display in the Rec Hall. Burr and Murphy were art teachers at Elba Central School, and all three artists shared their work in the community by donating pieces to the school, churches and other organizations, Miano said. 

The Stucko couple collaborated on a lot of projects, Jim said. John would make wood cabinets and Sophie’s handmade stained glass would adorn the doors. She was from Batavia and John from Albion, and after they married they purchased a home in Elba, Jim said. His parents were avid outdoors lovers, and his dad memorialized various species of birds and fish in a painstaking fashion. 

“The birds were carved, the feathers were burnt into the wood for texture, and then he painted them. I bet he’s got 100 hours into the painting,” Jim said. “It wasn’t a job; it was a labor of love. He would stay in his shop painting, and if he didn’t like it, he would paint it again.”

He remembers his dad scouring books for just the right species of bird, and fine-tuning the colors and textures of each piece. His work grew so popular that people would offer to commission him for particular projects, though John rebuffed them. He preferred to create exactly what he wanted, and not necessarily what others had in mind, Jim said. Quite possibly the artist was a perfectionist, and it showed in his work. 

One of his last pieces was a pileated woodpecker for someone he connected with over a love of the outdoors and birds. 

“It was absolutely mind-blowing,” Jim said. “He was highly skilled in many venues, and he was a people person. Until we started to go through photos, I never realized how much my dad smiled.”

Jim chuckled as the thought about his folks’ resolve to remain strong — or strong-willed in some cases — throughout their busy lives. John Stucko was active with his craft, which included gourd carvings, until he died in 2019 at 89. Sophie died a few years prior in 2017 and was 83.

There will be 25 vendor tables featuring hand-crafted items and food. The committee wanted to ensure there wouldn’t be a lot of duplicated items, so each vendor is to be selling a particular craft. They range from wood signs and handmade purses to floral arrangements, ornaments and, for the sweet tooth, a bakery section with cookies, cakes and cannolis, Miano said. 

The committee will also be serving food to purchase, and the first 50 Moms will receive a free carnation. Genesee County Sheriff’s Office staff will also be on hand with photo and fingerprint equipment for families that request it for their children.

Eunice Hare Murphy was a 1948 Elba Central School graduate. She then completed her degree in Art Education at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.  She completed her MS in Elementary Education from SUNY Brockport. Her first teaching job was for the West Bloomfield School District.  Her family shared that she drove her small Chevy with a standard transmission back and forth from Genesee County every day.  

Over the years, “Eunie”, as she was known to her friends and family, taught art at Byron Bergen Central School, and finished her distinguished career as an educator at Elba Central.  She taught classes in Art, Crafts and Photography.  Eunice was a member of the Writer’s Guild in the 1970s and even tried her hand at poetry.

Eunice loved gardening, and with the help of a variety of rocks and different plants, enjoyed making clever and, at times, eccentric gardens. While teaching at Elba she was the yearbook advisor, and helped to develop the Variety Show which ran for years afterward as a fundraiser for the yearbook. Eunice lost her four-year battle with cancer in 1988 at the age of 57.

Patricia Burr’s enthusiasm for painting is evident in a collection of 14 sketchbooks, each with memories of the places and people she visited during vacations, workshops, and even in study hall at Elba Central School. Along with pencil and ink sketches is a drawing rendered in brown eyebrow pencil while in the dark at Kleinhans Music Hall without a pen.

Her minivan didn’t leave her home without “the art stuff,” just in case she would find an interesting scene. This could be while waiting for the doctor or dentist, or even during time-outs during jury duty; that was the time for her sketchbook.

Burr’s philosophy was to “make a drawing because you gain much more information by observing the subject than you do when you simply snap a photo.” Scribble a few color notes, date and time of day, weather alongside the sketch to help when planning to paint later in the studio, she said.
Burr was inspired by fellow painters Margaret M. Martin, Franklin Jones and Don Getz. Her education included Albright Art School, Buffalo State College, University of Buffalo and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Active all of her life, Burr died at age 96 in 2014. 

For more information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/elbabetterment/

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Top photo: A duck sculpture by the late artist John Stucko, and several artworks by Stucko and artists Patricia Burr and Eunice Hare Murphy to be on display at the Mother's Day Craft Show and Basket Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall on Route 98, Elba. Photos by Howard Owens.

April 30, 2022 - 5:00pm
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, elba, fitness, business, notify, news.

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A new business on Harvester Avenue is taking an old concept of “brick-and-mortar” and feeding it with some bright thinking, owner Macy Paradise says.

Paradise, a 2003 Batavia HIgh School grad and owner of Paradise Fit in Elba, has branched out to include an all-inclusive facility for kids, adults, seniors and developmentally disabled folks. His logo is a brain inside of a lightbulb to represent a bright idea.

“The goal of this space is to have a more skill-building style,” Paradise said during the grand opening of The Brick Community Enrichment Center on Friday at The Harvester Center, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. “The Brick concept comes from an original idea that Joe Mancuso had in 1959, offering kind of a brick and mortar flex-use space for entrepreneurs. We wanted to rebrand that here, this being a flexible space, using it for all sorts of reasons. So we are trying to rebuild the community brick by brick.”

Paradise spoke while taking a short break from his DJ gig at the event. A versatile host of all things music for special events, celebrity debuts and even dance parties for, in this case on Friday, kids aged three to 12. The site’s overall concept was to host group fitness classes for all ages, and that grew into allowing space for skill-building classes, private events and to offer a more affordable rental option for bridal and wedding showers, birthday parties and the like. 

Paradise, 37, is a Batavia native who returned after a stints in each of Los Angeles, Calif. and Colorado. While living out west, he frequently returned to host events at the former City Slickers and Billy Goats, plus TF Browns. He also ventured into Erie County to host various entertainment gigs, such as international Electronic Dance Music producer and DJs Barely Alive and Virtual Riot, in Buffalo.  

The Brick Community Enrichment Center offers fitness classes from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in May, and Paradise is planning other sessions for young and older alike, and also for people with developmental disabilities. It complements his main business, Paradise Fit, which offers personalized training, coaching, nutrition programs and meals, and an app for support. A personal trainer who also owns and operates the Elba-based fitness facility, Paradise initially started with personal training in Elba, doing one-on-one training sessions with clients. He proudly calls Elba home, having purchased one there in 2019, two years after moving back to Western New York. 

Meanwhile, he began to look for a space to do group fitness classes and was also hired as the Harvester Center's marketing director. 

“I found this space … and decided to open it up,” he said. “It’s another thing to do in Batavia.”

For more information or to get in touch with Paradise, call (585) 356-7737, email [email protected] or visit www.brickcommunitycenter.com or check out @TheBrick on Facebook.

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Top photo: Owner Macy Paradise cuts the symbolic ribbon to his new place, The Brick Community Enrichment Center, during a grand opening dance party Friday at The Harvester Center, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. Macy Paradise and partner Nici Johnson show off the logo for The Brick Community Enrichment Center. Photos submitted by Steven Falitico/Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

April 30, 2022 - 12:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, agriculture, news.

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Friday was "Drive Your Tractor to School Day" at Elba Central School and several students did just that,

Photos by Debra Reilly.

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April 29, 2022 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Mercy Flight, news, notify, accident.

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There have been nine accidents involving the Bell 429, the model helicopter being flown by James E. Sauer, 60 of Churchville, and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas, when it went down in a field near Norton Road in Elba at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the cause of four of those accidents.  Three of them were the result of human error and one was an apparent mechanical failure.

The preliminary evidence in Wednesday's crash of the Mercy Flight aircraft, said Aaron McCarter, air safety investigator with the NTSB, is that the rear tail section of the aircraft became detached during the flight.

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Aaron McCarter

"Onboard (the helicopter) were two pilots and seasoned professionals about 1300 or 1 p.m. local time, several credible witnesses of the helicopter transitioning the area behind me over Elba, New York, at about 2,000 feet observed and heard a loud boom. We don't know which occurred first (the tail separating or the boom). The tail separated from the helicopter and was found 300 feet from the main wreckage."

The main wreckage was in a gully just a few yards from the edge of Norton Road, about a mile north of Edgerton Road.

McCarter said he will be at the accident scene gathering evidence for three to five days.

"The on-scene portion of the investigation is only a small part of a much larger list, or process," he said. "Most of the work being done by the investigative team happens behind the scenes when the on-scene portion is over. In 10 days, I will be completing the preliminary report. In approximately 12 months, the factual report, followed very shortly by the probable cause, signed off by the Transportation Safety Board members (will be released)."

The cause won't be determined until the investigation is complete, and that investigation, regardless of what the evidence shows now, looks at all factors of the case, McCaster said.  That includes mechanical, environmental, and human elements, and how all three elements interacted.

While both Sauer and Dietrick are experienced pilots, they were on a training mission.

"Even though they are seasoned pilots, you know how much time they had in this particular helicopter?" McCarter said. "I'm not trying to equate aircraft with cars, but have you ever gotten to a car rental that was completely different than yours? It takes you a while to kind of figure out where all the buttons are and how how to maneuver. So that's what we're looking at, we're looking at their familiarity with the machine, how much experience did they have in this particular machine, in addition to all the other aircraft that they have flown."

Wreckage to be examined in Delaware
The wreckage, which was spread over a 2,000-foot area from beginning to end, will be transported to Clayton, Delaware.

"It will be transported back to this facility to a two-dimensional assembly of it on a hangar floor and we'll be able to see how the helicopter -- it can assist us in determining how the helicopter came apart and what happened first."

He added, "We will be doing a thorough engine check. We're gonna be checking on the rotor blades. We're gonna be checking the tail rotor. And we're gonna be downloading data."

While the Bell 429 doesn't have a "black box" as most people are familiar with -- its data isn't in a hardened protective case -- McCarter is confident the flight recorder data can be recovered.

Investigators will also look at flight and maintenance logs and any reports on the helicopter's performance on previous flights.

The aircraft was manufactured in Canada so by international treaty, Canadian aviation experts will be participating in the investigation.

McCarter indicated he doesn't believe there was anything of the ordinary for a training mission prior to the crash.  The mission started at the Genesee County Airport at 11:15 a.m. and the crew did a typical training flight pattern around the airport for about an hour before heading toward Elba.

Once the tail separated, McCarter said, the pilot would have found it impossible to maintain directional control over the aircraft.

"That tail rotor is what keeps the nose of the helicopter pointed in the correct direction," he said. "Because the torque when the rotor blades are spinning around the helicopter, the fuselage wants to spin in the opposite direction, if you remember your high school physics, so the tail rotor actually keeps the nose of the helicopter pointed in a specific direction."

Of the nine prior crashes involving the Bell 429, four claimed six lives.

Prior aviation crashes locally
Of the nine Bell 429 crashes, one was in Batavia on Oct. 6, 2021. That 429 was also owned and operated by Mercy Flight but was not the same aircraft involved in Wednesday's accident. There were no injuries when that helicopter had a hard landing at the Genesee County Airport.  The cause has not yet been determined.

There has been one other helicopter crash in Genesee County over the past 30 years. On Dec. 27, 2003, in Byron, when a pilot practicing autorotations over an airport open field made a hard landing. The pilot was seriously injured. 

The NTSB reported, "The pilot reported that he felt a shudder during the autorotation and tried to regain airspeed by using forward cyclic, but he was unable to regain airspeed. Examination of the helicopter found evidence of low main rotor rpm. No discrepancies were found with the flight controls and engine."

Previous airplane accidents, as reported by the NTSB, in Genesee County:

  • March 31, 1983, Batavia, Cessna 182, mechanical failure, four aboard, no injuries;
  • Sept. 24, 1983, Batavia, Cessna 152, an unexpected gust of wind on landing, two aboard, no injuries;
  • Oct. 7, 1984, Cessna 150H, pilot error at dusk, no injuries; 
  • May 17, 1985, Batavia. Piper PA-22-150, commercial-rated flight instructor encountered unexpected wind at takeoff, no injuries;
  • May 29, 1985, Batavia, Piper PA-28-235, loss of power during takeoff, two aboard, no injuries;
  • Oct. 15, 1986, Le Roy, Piper PA-38, instructor error, two aboard, no injuries;
  • June 20, 1987, Batavia, Cessna 177RG, mechanical failure resulting in an emergency landing, no injuries;
  • March 17, 1991, Le Roy, Cessna 172M, inexperienced pilot error in poor lighting conditions, four aboard, no injuries;
  • Feb. 15, 2004, Batavia, Cessna 172E, the inability of the pilot to maintain control in winds on an icy runway, no injuries;
  • June 15, 2007, Cessna 172s, student pilot error, no injuries;
  • Feb. 7, 2009, Le Roy, Cessna 172A,  pilot error in heavy winds, no injuries;
  • July 15, 2011, Batavia, Murphy Aircraft Elite, pilot error, one serious injury;
  • Aug. 2, 2012, Alexander, Piper PA-25-260, pilot error, no injuries;
  • Sept. 20, 2014, Bethany Center, Cessna 182A, pilot error, no injuries;
  • June 11, 2915, Le Roy, Brandt Leroy E Challenger II, pilot error, no injuries;
  • Oct. 27, 2019, Batavia, Beech A36, pilot error in heavy winds, four aboard, no injuries;
  • June 1, 2020, Le Roy, Beech 36, pilot error, no injuries.

The only other fatal aviation crash in Genesee County since the early 1980s was on Oct. 2, 2020, in Corfu, which claimed the lives of attorneys Steve Barnes and Elizabeth Barnes. The cause of that crash remains undetermined.

CORRECTION: There was another fatal airplane crash in Genesee County on Aug. 11, 2001.  Two people were killed when a Dominiak Kitfox crashed in Byron. Alcohol and drugs were found in the inexperienced pilot's blood.

April 27, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Elba Central School, 2022-23 budget, notify, elba.

As Genesee County school districts provide details about their 2022-23 budgets, there seems no escaping inflation, and Elba Central Superintendent Gretchen Rosales isn’t afraid to admit she’s looking to cut corners.

Rosales, with the assistance of her district treasurer, Lisa Penna, has joined the list of district administrators who have pointed to the problem of rising prices for everything from electric and gasoline to wood.

“Some of the issues that we face include the sharp increase in utilities and other expenses. We have found that materials we need to operate have doubled in price. For example, the lumber for the high school construction class has nearly doubled,” Rosales said to The Batavian this week. “In order for our students to have the same experiences they have always had, we need to figure out where to cut corners in other areas. Everything from the cost of food to the topsoil we purchase has increased dramatically.”

Rosales and Penna have been working closely to create a budget that is “both fiscally responsible and also maximizes our expenditures to best serve the needs” of Elba Central School students, the superintendent said. 

The district has proposed a budget of $11,215,950, which is a 2.5 percent increase from the current budget. Rosales doesn’t expect any related tax rate increase, as the rate has decreased over the last year due to the estimated average assessed property values, she said. 

The financial plan includes a $100,000 Capital Outlay Project for enhancements to district security (re-keying the building, installing reinforced doors) and improving the heating/ventilation and air conditioning system and the boilers. 

A 65-passenger bus is also in the budget,  and that should be reimbursed by the state for up to 90 percent of the cost, she said. 

While the 2.5 percent increase is partially due to contractual obligations, instructional programs and BOCES services (occupational and special education), there are other reasons for this year’s proposed extra spending, she said.

Those rising prices, coupled with a steep increase in health insurance for employees, have prompted a focus on making cuts of any unnecessary expenses while “still providing top-notch instruction,” she said. 

“Being good stewards of the public's investment in education is not something that we take lightly; schools are not the only organizations feeling the pain of supply chain issues and rising costs,” Rosales said. “The families in the Elba community are feeling it just like everyone else.   Being cognizant of that reality is our primary focus right now.” 

She is thankful for a “great leadership team” that’s willing to be creative with new ideas for the student population. The district wants to hire a part-time social worker to better meet the needs of students in a post-pandemic time period, she said. That’s another common thread amongst county districts: counteract what was lost to students during two years of remote and hybrid learning away from class. The hiring process has just begun for this position, she said.

“We are also looking at enrichment and extension programs to help students bridge the learning gap that happened during COVID.  Schools will certainly need to contend with the COVID pandemic for years to come,” she said. “Elba is lucky in the sense that our small, tight-knit community is nurturing and supportive; we will continue to work through any challenges with this in mind.”

Another part of the upcoming budget vote are board members, both new and long-serving, she said. Current President Mike Augello will be stepping down from his role later this year, while newcomer Mercy Caparco and Travis Torrey run for two open seats.

Collaboration has been key to working on a budget, Rosales said, and she is “very thankful” for the help of Penna as district treasurer, her district clerk Donna Harris, a leadership team composed of department heads and the board.

“Of course, the Board of Education has always had the community's best interests at the forefront of this process; we want to be fiscally responsible while still providing the best education around,” she said. “I think we have a great balance in the 22-23 budget.”

The district’s vote will be from noon to 8 p.m. on May 17. There are four propositions to be on the ballot: The total budget, purchase of a new 65-passenger bus, authorizing a $100,000 Capital Outlay Project, and a vote for two Board of Education seats. 

For more information, go the district’s website at: elbacsd.org

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