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November 13, 2018 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia, bergen, elba, Alabama.

Angela Marie Torcello, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: falsifying business records in the first degree; grand larceny, 4th -- using a credit card; and petit larceny. Following an investigation of an incident that occurred on May 8, Torcello was arrested on these charges. It is alleged that she used a credit card that she stole to purchase products from a traveling vendor. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Nov. 26. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Rick Austin Drury, 21, of Judge Road, Alabama, is charged with DWI, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and moving from lane unsafely. He was arrested following the investigation of a vehicle off the roadway on Ford Road in Elba at 3:55 a.m. on Nov. 10. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court on Dec. 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Craig Hobart Sleeman, 38, of Victor, is charged with: DWI; aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 percent or more and no priors; unsafe turn/failure to signal; failure to keep right; and moving from lane unsafely. He was arrested at 1:48 a.m. on Nov. 11 following a traffic stop on Main Street Road in Batavia. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 28. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Susan Michelle Rea, 45, of Sheridan Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, refusal to take a breath test, and stopping/parking on a highway. Rea was arrested at 3:52 p.m. on Nov. 10 on Wortendyke Road near Route 33 in Batavia after she was allegedly found asleep behind the steering wheel of her vehicle. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance. She is due in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 17. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

November 11, 2018 - 9:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, oakfield-alabama, elba.


Article by Mike Cintorino, OAE head coach.

The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Football Team completed a perfect season on Saturday, finishing 8-0 and defeating the Weedsport Warriors 48-6 in the first-ever New York Upstate Championship in Eight-man Football. 

Once again it was the defense, as it has been the last three games for OAE, that truly set the tone for the day. 

After an opening offensive drive stalled for OAE, the defense got the ball right back after a 3 and out. 

Colton Dillon, Section V Offensive Player of the Year, scored the first three touchdowns for OAE. Dillon finished with 128 rushing yards on 13 carries with scores of 2, 6 and 61 yards. 

Gage Dieterle (Section V Defensive Player of the Year) added to his resume, earning MVP honors for the game. Dieterle only carried the ball six times but ran for 119 yards and for two big scores with runs of 50 and 35. 

Ty Mott continued his strong season with 21 carries for 158 yards and a 44-yard touchdown. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Peyton Yasses led the team with 13 tackles while Dieterle had five tackles with two sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Mott and Ty Kornow both came away with interceptions. 

For the third-straight game, the OAE defense held the opposing offense out of the end zone. Weedsports lone score came on a 60-yard kickoff return by Hunter Morgan for a touchdown to open the second half. Jake Maloof led the Warriors with 87 yards on 13 carries.  

This has been an unbelievably successful season for the OAE team. The team overcame adversity with the switch to eight-man, learning to apply everything they have done in 11-man and apply it to this new opportunity. The team is 8-0 on the season, League Champions, Section V Champions, and NY Upstate Champions. 

Photos by Cindy Cassada .


Colton Dillion, #2


Gage Dieterle


Ty Mott


MVP Gage Dieterle

November 9, 2018 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported in the area of 6638 Quaker Hill Road, Elba.

Minor injuries reported.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched

November 7, 2018 - 4:23pm
Event Date and Time: 
December 8, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Elba Holiday Craft and Vendor Show 
PResented by: Boy Scout Troop 6017 of Elba, New York 
Saturday December 8th from 10:00am-4:00pm
Elba Central School 

80+ Vendors
Mr. and Mrs. Claus visit from  1:00pm-3:00pm  - On Site Photos with Santa, $5
Sheriff’s Department Photograph and Fingerprint For Kids 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Snack Bar Run by The Boy Scouts Featuring Their Almost Famous French Onion Soup ($) All Day
Fresh Made Wreaths from Harringtons
Fired Up Ready to Paint Ceramics - Paint Your Own Ornament ($)

October 29, 2018 - 10:37am
Event Date and Time: 
November 18, 2018 - 12:00pm

St. Padre Pio Annual Penny Social

Sunday November 18, 2018

Elba Firemen’s Recreation Hall

Rt. 98, Elba

Doors Open at Noon

Drawings begin at 2pm


Money Tree Raffle, 50/50, Food, Baskets, Door Prize

October 28, 2018 - 9:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, eight-man football, football, Oakfield, elba, Alabama.


Photos and write up provided by Mike Cintorino, OA-Elba head coach:

The OAE Football team defeated the CG Finney/Northstar Falcons 55-2 on Saturday night at St. John Fisher College to win the first ever Section V 8-Man Football Championship.

OAE wasted no time, scoring on the first play from scrimmage with a 60-yard run by sophomore Ty Mott, his first of two scores on the night on his way to 160 rushing on only seven carries. Colton Dillon continued his dominance, with 4 rushing touchdowns, all in the first half, on his way to 132 yards rushing on just seven carries. Sophomore Jayden Hughes also had a big night with 104 yards rushing on just four carries, including an 82-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Ty Kropelin added the other score for the OAE Football team who remains undefeated for the season and are ranked #4 in New York State.  

The defense once again held strong holding the Falcons out of the endzone, with their only points coming on a safety late in the game. Sophomores Ty Mott and Peyton Yasses each had 15 tackles while Nick Munger, Jayden Hughes, and Nick Wissinger all had interceptions. Gage Dieterle had four tackles for a loss including two sacks on the night. The OAE team had six total sacks total and forced four turnovers on the cold rainy night.  

Maalik Thomas led the way for the Falcons with 186 yards on 29 carries.  

The Weedsport Warriors will face off against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown in the Section III Championship game next Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. OAE will now face off against the winner of that game for the first ever Upstate New York Championship game on Saturday, Nov. 12th, at 12 p.m. at Pittsford Sutherland High School.



October 27, 2018 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba, batavia, richmond library, art.

These are some of the works by native of Elba artist Andy Hare and they are being exhibited at Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia through Oct. 31.

He retired after serving 25 years in the City of Batavia Fire Department and currently lives in his hometown of Elba. He and his wife, glass artist Dawn Hare, and daughter Hayley moved back after spending six years in coastal Georgia.

"I've been painting for years and am self taught," Hare wrote us in an email. "I work in mostly oil, with a side order of watercolor. It's mostly nature, lots of skies and water. I like doing seascapes, golf scapes, and lots of lighthouses (they sell pretty easy!).

October 21, 2018 - 10:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marc Molinaro, Larry Sharpe, news, notify, elba, steve hawley.


When Larry Sharpe was last in Genesee County, speaking to the members of SCOPE, he rejected the idea that he's the spoiler candidate in New York's gubernatorial race.

He said he's got momentum, strong social media support (the mainstream media doesn't see him coming, just like Donald Trump, he said), and is drawing in not just Republican voters, but Democrats and Independents.

A Gravis Marketing poll from two weeks ago showed Sharpe drawing about 13 percent of the vote, or about 13 times more than any previous Libertarian candidate for governor.

Marc Molinaro, the Republican running for governor, Sharpe said, is the spoiler, not, this time, the Libertarian.

Asked about Sharpe's barb while in Elba on Friday, Molinaro sidestepped the question.

"Listen I don't know him," said Molinaro, who had just arrived at Oliver's Candies. "I've met him twice in my life. I'd venture to guess that most New Yorkers have just heard of him over the last year. I don't know. I'm sure there are plenty of people who want to support a Libertarian candidate and they have every right to do that. I'm not going to second-guess that. We're eating candy."

Combined, at 25 percent and 13 percent, Molinaro and Sharpe don't add up anywhere close to the 48 percent of New Yorkers who say they plan to vote for Cuomo. (Stephanie Minor, the mayor of Syracuse, is pulling 8 percent, and Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, is at 6 percent.)

The controversy of the morning was a commitment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to "debate" Molinaro on WCBS. Apparently, Cuomo had appeared on the show Friday and said he would clear his schedule Saturday morning to appear on air with Molinaro. Cuomo said he would phone it in.

"Listen, what was offered up this morning isn't a debate," Molinaro said. "It's a theater production."

He later added, "New Yorkers are being treated like they don't deserve or don't have any right to having two candidates come before them and answer questions. No, I'm sorry that's not a debate. It is a fraud."

The "two candidates" phrase wasn't Molinaro's statement during the short interview outside of Oliver's Candies in Elba that verbally excluded the other candidates in the race.

Pressed about his seeming exclusion of Sharpe from a debate, Molinaro said, "We've already agreed to debates that include all candidates. They need to include the Governor, too."

Molinaro was in town with Assemblyman Steve Hawley to tour small businesses, meet with small business owners, and then attend Hawley's 11th annual campaign fundraiser at Batavia Downs. The first stop was Oliver's Candies, which was celebrating Friday and Saturday the grand opening of its new production facility in Elba.

The local business tour included a stop at Post Farms, with Jeff Post, in Elba (bottom two photos), and Chapin Manufacturing in Batavia.

Molinaro said he understood how tough it is for small businesses to survive in New York.

"The seismic increases in the minimum wage over a short period time has cost money," Molinaro said. "The fact that property taxes continue to rise is a burden on small business owners so they get it regardless of what they're producing. But listen if you're going to visit a business it should be sweet."

Top photo: Adaiden Hyman and his mother were visiting Oliver's on Friday as a treat for his birthday; Hawley and Molinaro stopped to wish him a happy birthday.







October 20, 2018 - 9:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oliver's Candies, elba, business, news.


Jeremy Liles, owner of Oliver's Candies, with the help of his family and employees, made the company's new production facility in Elba today official with a ribbon cutting.

Oliver's hosted two days of open houses in the candy factory and the satallite candy and ice cream shop on Main Street, Elba. Liles moved production from the Main and Oak location in Batavia, so the business could expand, while keeping the store in Batavia. That store will also expand now that candy production has been moved to Elba.

Previously: Oliver's Candies to triple its manufacturing capacity by moving kitchen to Elba

October 17, 2018 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, ebla central school district, news, schools, education.

Press release:

The Elba Central School District’s Board of Education has selected Ned Dale as the district’s next Superintendent with a starting date of Nov. 26.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the next Superintendent of the Elba Central School District, Dale said. "I look forward to working with the students, community and staff to ensure that we are providing the best opportunities possible.

"Collaboration and communication will be my primary goals as I learn more about this incredible community. I am grateful to the leadership and commitment that Mr. Keith Palmer has provided the district during his tenure and I hope to continue the progress that the district has made to date.”

Michael Augello, Elba Central School District’s Board president, said: “The Board of Education would like to thank the two other finalists for their interest shown in this position. This was an extremely difficult decision as all three are highly qualified individuals.

"We truly value the input received from the various stakeholder groups, including faculty, staff, and community members who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision. The board is confident that Mr. Dale will lead our district through the issues we face in our region. With his leadership, we will work together to deliver the best education possible for our students.”

Dale currently serves as the Principal of Cosgrove Middle School, Spencerport Central Schools, a position he has held since 2007. Dale began his career in education in 2000 as a school counselor/teacher leader at Spencerport High School. He continued his career at Spencerport Central Schools serving as the Assistant Principal of Cosgrove Middle School.

 During his career at Spencerport Central Schools, Dale has supported the development of a rich curriculum and aligned assessments, and also developed three tiers of Response to Intervention in English Language Arts and Math in collaboration with other administrators and stakeholders.

Through his leadership, Cosgrove Middle School was designated as a School to Watch based upon the collaboration of the New York State Education Department, New York State Middle School Association and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Reform.

As President of the Spencerport Administrators and Supervisors Association, Dale has successfully negotiated three 3-year contracts for the entire association.

He also established an approved APPR plan for principals that was accepted by the New York State Education Department.

Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. John Fisher College, and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

He completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego and holds permanent certifications in School Counseling, and as a School District Administrator.

Dale replaces Keith Palmer who recently announced his plans to retire.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education, district staff and the community.

October 12, 2018 - 5:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Elba Central School, elba, news, walk to school day.

Submitted photos and press release:

Elba – The Wellness Committee at Elba Central School sponsored their fourth Annual Walk to School Day this week.

On Oct. 10th, Elba joined schools from around the United States to celebrate Walk to School Day.

Approximately 75 students from Elba Central School walked to school Wednesday along with parents, teachers and community members. They gathered at 7 a.m. at the Town of Elba Highway Department, located at 7 Maple Ave., Elba, and walking started at 7:15.

Upon arrival to the school cafeteria there were special activities associated with the walk. NYS ENCON officer Fay Fuerch and her K9 Handley were the event's special guests. A healthy light snack was served that was donated by Harrington’s Produce, Yancey Fancy New York artisan cheesemaker, and Aldi.

Every student participant was entered into a drawing to win either an Art box, Walkie Talkies or a Bean Bag Toss. Thank you to the above sponsors and the Elba Fire Department!

In the United States, Walk to School Day is expected to include more than 5,000 events across all 50 states. Walk to School Day raises awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling. It emphasizes the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.

This event builds connections between families, schools, and the community.

The Wellness Committee at Elba Central School organizes occasions such as this to promote health and wellness among our staff, students and community through healthy events.

For additional information, please visit these websites:

Walk to School Day in the USA                                    www.walkbiketoschool.org                        

National Center for Safe Routes to School                        www.saferoutesinfo.org

October 8, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, elba, notify, Le Roy.

Joseph Michael Dispenza Sr., 45, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing with a dangerous instrument. At 7:09 p.m. on Oct. 5 on Oak Orchard Road in Elba, Dispenza was arrested following a report and police investigation of a person threatening people in the woods with a knife. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

David Michael Pierleoni, 32, of Whittier Road, Rochester, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. At 5:34 p.m. on Sept. 24, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to Kohl's department store for a larceny complaint. Pierleoni was arrested for allegedly stealing $1,097 in merchandise from the store. He was issued an appearance ticket for 1 p.m. on Oct. 15 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

Jon T. Magliocco, 41, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is a registered Level 3 sex offender charged with failure to report a change, in this case, to register an Internet account; first offense. He is required by law to register any change in Internet accounts with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Service. He was jailed without bail and is due in City Court on Nov. 1. He is currently an inmate of the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision -- Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora -- and will remain in their custody. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Investigator Eric Hill.

Gary L. Williams, 26, and Matthew Reed, no age provided, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, are charged with disorderly conduct / using obscene language in public. They were arrested at 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 2 on Hutchins Place after allegedly repeatedly screaming obscenities, racial slurs and threats to harm / murder another person -- all while outside in a public place in the presence of neighbors and a gathering of young children. The men continued screaming obscenities despite being warned by police to stop, according to the police report. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Kyle-Jacob T. Fitzpatrick, 29, of Smyrna, was arrested on Oct. 5 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor; one count of driving a commercial vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, a Class A misdemeanor; one count of failure to maintain lane, a violation; and one count of failure to keep right, a violation. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, patrols received a complaint of erratic operation of a tractor-trailer in the Village of Le Roy. Patrols were able to locate the vehicle and while observing it, the vehicle allegedly failed to maintain its designated lane; this caused oncoming traffic to leave their lane to avoid a collision. After a brief investigation, it is believed that Fitzpatrick was operating the vehicle in an intoxicated state. Fitzpatrick was taken into custody without incident evaluated by a drug recognizant expert. He was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $500 bail. Fitzpatrick's driver’s license is suspended pending outcome of the charges. Fitzpatrick is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Nov. 5.

Alecia K. Urban, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with falsely reporting an incident. She allegedly reported a motor-vehicle accident to a police officer, alleging it occurred at a particular location, time and under different circumstances than what actually occurred. She was arrested at 12:20 p.m. on Oct. 1 and was issued an appearance ticket. Urban is due in city court on Oct. 9. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Dylan M. Conte, 25, of Bacon Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Oct. 5 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of burglary in the third degree, a Class D felony; one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor; and one count of petit larceny, also a Class A misdemeanor. In the early morning of Oct. 5, the Le Roy Police Department responded to a complaint of a subject breaking windows on a building located in the Village of Le Roy. Upon arrival, patrols located Conte in the area. After a brief investigation, it is believed Conte allegedly entered the building and took an item that was located inside. Conte also damaged a window located on the building. He was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Conte is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Nov. 5.

Ryan David Shumway, 39, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested at 2:10 a.m. on Oct. 2 on Jackson Street and issued an appearance ticket for city court on Oct. 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik.

Kevin W. Howard, 18, of Chili Avenue, Chili, is charged with failure to appear. On the afternoon of Oct. 2, Howard turned himself in on an active bench warrant for failing to appear in court. He was arraigned in city court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

October 5, 2018 - 6:02pm

Elba Girl Scout Troop #42222 members are pictured above from left: Alexandra Belluscio, Lindsay Augello, Laci Sewar and Dakota Brinkman.

Submitted photos and press release:

Elba Girl Scout Troop #42222 is proud to announce the completion on Sept. 30 of the requirements for their Cadette Silver Award.

Their project focused on making multiple improvements to the horse barn at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. The horse barn is used by various horse programs throughout the community during the year.

Just a few of the areas the Troop focused on were various structural improvements made to the west entrance way and gate of the barn.

This consisted of: the replacement of the damaged primary entrance way walls; hand digging 4-foot deep holes to replace support beams for the entrance walls; adding a weed barrier prior to placing fresh mulch; installing a wheel on the gate; and organizing the tool supply storage area after making the necessary wall repairs to improve its usability.

The girls spent numerous hours painting donated wood, walls and doors as well as obtaining several supply donations (rakes, shovels, water buckets, etc.) for shared use by those using the horse barn.

The Troop would like to thank the many donors and volunteers who helped to make this project a successful one. The girls will now bridge from a Cadette to a Senior level Girl Scout and can begin thinking about their Gold Award Project!

October 4, 2018 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BEA, business, batavia, elba, graham corp.


More than 200 local high school students, including students from Elba High School at Graham Manufacturing, toured local businesses yesterday for National Manufacturing Day, sponsored locally by the Genesee County Business/Education Alliance.

At Graham, Elba students learned about what the company does and how it does it during a presentation in the company's cafeteria. The students then toured some of the production buildings.

Other companies participating were U.S. Gypsum, Amanda Tool, Oxbo, Orcon, Liberty Pumps, and Chassix.



October 2, 2018 - 1:47pm

(File photo of the Sweet Life Country Store.)

The Grand Opening of the Sweet Life Country Store & Oliver's Candy Factory in Elba will take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, with tours, vendors, live music, giveaways and more.

The completely refurbished building is located at 100 S. Main St. (Route 98) in Elba.

On Friday, Oct. 19, there will be candy factory tours and plenty of giveaways, starting at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Then on Saturday, Oct. 20, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a trio of vendors will be on site selling their products: Jackie's Jams; Peg's Produce; and Vicki Price Jewelry.

Circle B Winery will offer wine and chocolate tasting. There will be giveaways galore and candy factory tours will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will take place that Saturday at noon.

Josh Hawkins will perform live music Oct. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend.

In an exclusive interview with The Batavian on June 14, Oliver's Candies co-owner and Vice President Jeremy Liles shared the 80-year-old company's plans to triple its confectionary manufacturing capacity by moving its kitchen operation entirely to the newly acquired Elba facility. (Here's that story.)

Those plans also included the 1,000-square-foot retail store at the front of the property that offers candy, ice cream, Oliver's custom-roasted coffee, country-style Americana crafts, and more.

(Below is a file photo of the new candy kitchen in Elba where all of Oliver's Candies are now made.)

October 1, 2018 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, news, elba, notify.


"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," Joni Mitchell told us in "Big Yellow Taxi."

The Stumblin' Inn is gone and Sunday, for seven hours, bands, fans, friends, and family gathered in Elba to celebrate a bar that was more than a watering hole, it became a community icon and second home for nearly every local musician.

"We didn't have a clue until the day of the fire," said Jim Goff, manager of the Stumblin'. "The day of the fire it's like we started to realize, with all the stories and people crying that we meant a lot to these people. We never thought about it or knew and then the day of the fire and then ever since then it's just been love."

The event at the Elba Fire Hall, with a tent and stage behind the fire hall and another stage in side, was a fundraiser for Jim and his brother Stork Goff, owner of the Stumblin' Inn. The funds will help them defray clean-up costs of the building site and any extra will help with any of their personal expenses.

The most recent count available from event organizers was $21,000 raised but that was an hour before the event ended.

"The support is unbelievable," Jim Goff said. "The love. It's a love fest. You know, it's awesome, the talking all day, hugging, kissing. It's been a really enjoyable day and hopefully we gave the folks some good music."

Savage Cabbage was there, a band that played the Stumblin' dozens and dozens of times over the past 20 years.

"There are people here I haven't seen in 20 years, some of the ones from the earlier days of the band," said Savage Cabbage member Frank Starowitz. "To see this kind of turnout today, you know, the sadness of losing the Stumblin', it's heartfelt. It almost brings a tear to your eye just seeing the melted the sign and the paint from the bathroom wall with the guys and all the stuff, the memories, and the times, it's like, you know, it's so sad it hurts. But, you know, we all come together for beers to support Jim and Stork."

The first hotel built at what became 1 S. Main St., Elba, was erected in 1815. It burned down in 1874. The next hotel opened its doors in 1875. It was known over the years as the Elba Hotel or Swartz Hotel. Steve Goff purchased the building in 1979 from the Zambito family and opened the Stumblin' Inn.

Jim ran the bar and as a music fan, he soon established what amounted to an open-door policy for bands and musicians to play in the bar, making the Stumblin' a haven for local muscians.

The Stumblin' Inn was destroyed by fire July 8.

The bar was also a community gathering place. Many people had their first beer there, including Starowitz.

"That was when I first turned 18 I started drinking at the Stumblin'," Starowitz said. "I'll be 55 tomorrow. So many years of good times drinking and having fun at the Stumblin' Inn."

Frank Zambito pretty much grew up in the Stumblin' Inn. His father was one of the owners. He and his wife gave framed prints of a picture by local artist Pat Burr of the 19th century version of the Swartz Hotel.

"I used to walk home from school with my cousin Chuckie Ajello," Zambito said. "We always stopped and walked in and my father would give us a grape pop and send us on our way. There's a lot of good memories. There's the time the Rochester Royals were there -- the basketball team in Rochester -- I remember going to see them. My father was friends with the owner."

Music was a big part of life at the Elba Hotel when the Zambitos owned it, Frank said, just as it was with the Goffs, but it was also always a place to meet up with friends.

"It was always a landmark," Zambito said. "You would always go by and look to see if you recognized any cars and if you recognized a car you might stop and have a drink with them. On Sunday mornings, we used to have  a fantasy football league. We'd always stop and then submit our teams. It was always a social place people could go and have a good time."

Zambito wasn't surprised by the turnout at the fundraiser. So many people had so many memories of the great old place, and such fondness for the Goffs, that of course they would show up.

"You know, they just want to be a part of it again," Zambito said. "I'm just sad that the place is gone but I'm glad that no one got hurt. And, Jim and Stork, they'll be all right. Everybody will be alright. It'll be worked out that way."

Top photo: Jim Goff with his daughter Jess Kertman and his granddaughter, Cali, age 5.


Peggy Zambito, Jim Goff, Frank Zambito.











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