Local Matters

Community Sponsors

elba

July 28, 2018 - 3:57pm
The Brayden Salvetarra Memorial Fund was established to honor young Brayden and give back to the community after his sudden passing in January 2017.
 
On Saturday, Aug. 11, the second annual Bray's Day of Play fundraiser will be held from 12 - 5 p.m. at the Elba Village Park in Elba.
 
This is a free family event and the proceeds benefit a number of local charities and organizations.
 
The day will include bounce houses, face painting, magic shows, games, food, candy and treats, a photo booth, local vendors, a silent auction full of goodies from local businesses, and a corn-hole tournament for the adults.
 
2017 Brayden Salvaterra Memorial Fund beneficiaries:
  • $2,000 donation to Elba Fire Department (first-responders for Brayden);
  • $1,000 each scholarships in Brayden's Honor to Elba Central School seniors --  Yessica V. and John Z.; 
  • $1,000 donation to Elba Helping Hands;
  • $350 Elba Elementary Student Council assembly;
  • $300 donation to local Boy Scouts & Boy Scouts Easter Egg Hunt;
  • $300 donation to Elba Central School for Christmas gifts;
  • $250 donation to Sunshine Nursery School;
  • $500 donation to Elba Village Park;
  • $500 donation to Elba Betterment Committee;
  • Field trip to Strong Museum of Play for Elba Elementary kindergarten class;
  • Pizza party on Brayden’s birthday for the Class of 2029.
July 27, 2018 - 11:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, elba, news, music, arts, entertainment, notify.

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Jim Goff never knew. For decades the Stumblin' Inn in Elba was a haven for local musicians. He knew he was having fun. He didn't know what it meant to the musicians he nurtured and the community that followed them.

Now he knows.

A fire destroyed the storied watering hole the second Sunday of the July, despite a valiant effort by the Elba Volunteer Fire Department and their mutual aid companies to save the 143-year-old building. Jim and his brother Steve, or Stork to everybody who knew him, were asleep upstairs when the alarm went out. They were alerted in time to make a safe escape.

They found themselves on the sidewalks of their small village surrounded by friends and neighbors sharing their tears.

"I never knew until this happened how much it meant to the community," Goff said shortly after arriving Thursday at an open mic night in a park across the street, next to the Elba Fire Hall.

More than 150 local musicians and music fans had gathered for what is likely the last open mic night for the Stumblin' Inn, a Thursday night tradition for years.

"Musicians have always been my people," Goff said. "That’s who I relate to, that’s who I feel comfortable around. We started an open mic in the 1980s and did it off and on. Musicians just liked to hang out there. It felt like home to everyone. We had a lot of bands who called that place home."

Standing next to Goff was local musician Doug Barnard. He said Barnard and his band Southbound were responsible for helping Goff recognize the value of local bands to his bar business.

"They said 'Give us a chance,' " Goff said. " 'We guarantee we'll pack this place.' They told me that about three times so I gave them a chance. They packed the place for five years. I realized maybe this local band thing is a pretty cool thing to embrace."

It all worked, Goff said, because he and his brother kept their priorities straight.

"It’s all about having fun," Goff said. "If you’re having fun, you’re going to make money. Money and fun, it all goes together."

As for the future, that's still a blank slate.

"All the experts say you don’t make big decisions right away," Goff said. "You let things sink in. There’s certainly some pressure to rebuild. Age is definitely a factor. We honestly don’t know. I would say we’re leaning toward probably not, but who knows? I’m not going to say no because I don’t know. I honestly don’t know."

Top photo: Goff as he arrived at Thursday's open mic night, hugging local musician Dylan Desmit, who helped organize the fundraiser for the Goffs with co-host Paul Draper.

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July 27, 2018 - 3:27pm

From a press release and other sources:

Tetelestai, an alternative metal band with members from Genesee County and Buffalo, will be performing at next week's Kingdom Bound festival at Darien Lake Amusement Park.

Founded in 2015 as a worship project, the band consists of: Ronnie Shrock, from Buffalo -- vocals; Andrew Perkins, from Stafford -- rhythm guitar; Paul Mitro, from Buffalo -- lead guitar; Marci Jonathan, from Batavia -- bass; and Nate Jonathan, from Elba -- drums.

Tetelestai will be playing on the Awaken stage inside the park at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 30th.

The band's name derives from the Greek for “It is finished,” which is found only twice in the New Testament: In the Gospel of John (19:28 and 19:30) and nowhere else in the New Testament. According to John's Gospel, those were the last words spoken by Jesus of Nazareth, uttered before his death by crucifixion at Golgotha.

The band spreads a message of hope and love through their music and works to tear down the stigmas associated with mental illnesses.

Their music features heavy guitar riffs, breakdowns, double bass, and the occasional scream, although at heart there's the stillness of the worshipper. Their message of forgiveness, self-worth, love and hope is relayed with high energy and remarkable brashness that would be hard to forget.

Their sophomore album “Anxiety,” which is set to release this fall, delves into issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, and of course, anxiety. The first single release from that album, "Good for the Soul," is out now.

Their music, including the new single "Good for the Soul," can be found on any music streaming platform or through their website at www.tetelestaiband.com

The Christian music festival at Darien Lake, which runs from July 29 to Aug. 1, will also feature top national Christian artists Toby Mac, Casting Crowns, Mandisa, Danny Gokey and for King & Country -- a total of more than 40 artists and speakers. Organizers expect the largest crowd in over half a decade to attend, bringing people in from across the United States and Canada, not only for the music but also lots of family-friendly activities.

About Kingdom Bound: 

Kingdom Bound Ministries Inc. exists to present the Gospel through a variety of art forms including concerts, outreaches and an annual performing arts festival; to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to encourage believers in their walk with God.

To purchase tickets or find out more information about the festival go to www.kingdombound.org/festival

July 26, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, elba, music, entertainment, news, notify.

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The great thing about the Stumblin' Inn is that owners Steve and Jim Goff give every musician who walked through the door and had the courage to ask for a spot on the stage a chance to perform.

They did it for Dylan Desmit when he was first starting his music career.

"The first time we were here, my keyboard player put my amp through the window," Desmit said. "I was mortified. I thought for sure we would never play here again but Jim just kind of laughed it off. We’ve been playing here ever since and it just felt like a second home."

Desmit lost count of how many times he played the Stumblin', whether with one of his bands for an acoustic open mic night.

So many musicians have benefited from the largess of the Goffs that many of them are coming together for one more Thursday open mic nite in Elba where they will play music and pass the hat to raise money to assist Steve and Jim, who lost not just their business but their homes in a fire July 8.

Desmit and Paul Draper (who had last-minute work commitments that kept him from participating in the photo above) organized the event for tonight, starting at 8 p.m. in front of Chap's Elba Diner, and Desmit said the outpouring of musicians wanting to help Steve and Jim has been substantial.

The Stumblin' Inn was the place in the area for local musicians to congregate and get a chance to be heard and those musicians want to repay the favor.

"I saw someone compared it to the Penny Arcade in Rochester and that’s pretty much, yeah, every local band, ever, played here," Desmit said. "There’s so many musicians, and judging by the reaction on Facebook for the benefit, there are so many people devastated by losing it."

July 24, 2018 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, news, stumblin' inn, notify.

Statement by Norman Itjen, mayor, Village of Elba:

The Elba community lost an iconic landmark when the Stumblin’ Inn was destroyed by fire on July 8, 2018. This building sat at the corner of South Main and Mechanic Streets since 1875, known by several names, lastly as the Stumblin Inn’ owned and operated by brothers Steve (Stork) and Jim Goff for the last 39 years.

While we, the community and the Village, mourn the loss of this establishment, we can only guess the sorrow Jim and Steve are feeling as they have put much of their heart and soul into our community. A benefit for the Stumblin’ Inn is going to be held on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Elba Fire Department’s Recreation Hall.*

Events like this often seem to bring out the best in everyone. I can’t say enough about the hard work and long day the Elba Fire Department, and other fire departments from Genesee and surrounding counties put in on this day. Their hours of training were well-evidenced through their organized and coordinated response to the fire of this magnitude in our downtown area. 

I also want to express my appreciation to the Elba community for the outpouring of support they provided the firemen by providing water and refreshments and to Chap’s, in particular, for the food and meals they so graciously donated that day.

* Also, local musicians Paul Draper and Dylan Desmit are organizing an open-air jam night at the former location of the Stumblin' Inn, 1 Main St., Elba, at 8 p.m., this Thursday (July 26). All musicians and music fans welcome. We expect to have more information tomorrow afternoon.

July 24, 2018 - 4:42pm

Press release: 

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

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

TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE

  • Town of Alexander/Village of Alexander: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m., Village of Alexander Hall, 3350 Church St., Alexander
  • Town of Oakfield/Village of Oakfield: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m., Oakfield Town Hall, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Town of Byron: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Byron Town Hall, 7028 Byron Holley Road, Byron
  • Town of Elba/Village of Elba: 12:45 - 1:30 p.m., Elba Town Hall, 7 Maple Ave., Elba
July 19, 2018 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, notify, elba central school district.

Press release:

Elba Central School Superintendent Keith Palmer has announced he will retire this fall. The Elba Board of Education voted to accept Palmer’s letter of retirement during their annual reorganizational meeting earlier this month.

Palmer has served as Elba’s Superintendent since his appointment in July of 2015 following 12 years as Pembroke’s High School Principal. Having spent the last 28 years as a public school administrator, Palmer is quick to point out that he has been attending school every year for the past 50 years.

"I have been very fortunate to be able to work with so many good people and talented educators over my entire career," Palmer said. "I sincerely believe there is no higher calling than that of a teacher and I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in working with and on behalf of our young people."

During Palmer’s time at Elba, the District has seen growth in student academic achievement as well as increased stability with school finances.

"Although Mr. Palmer has been at Elba a short time his influence will be felt for years to come," said Board President Mike Augello. "With his guidance our district has overcome some challenges and we have most importantly improved our students educational experience and academic success. Very quickly Mr. Palmer became part of the Elba community and he has put us on a path to achieve our goals including being a top district in our area.

"It has been a pleasure getting to know and work with Keith. The Board of Education along with the entire community wishes him and his wife the best in their retirement. I don’t think we can replace Mr. Palmer but we are looking forward to hiring our next superintendent and are excited for the next chapter here at Elba."

Before Palmer’s time at Elba and Pembroke, he worked 12 years as assistant principal at Kendall High School and four years as a Math teacher at North Warren Central School in the Adirondacks. 

"I’ve always been drawn to small schools," Palmer said. "We all are required to wear many hats which create possibilities for learning and for developing relationships outside the classroom or office. Relationships and support are strong at Elba and this community is a constant reminder as to the importance of family."

Palmer and his wife intend to sell their home in Albion and move closer to family in Washington, D.C., before "having to bring out the snow blower one more time."

Augello said the District is working with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Superintendent Kevin McDonald in the search for Palmer’s replacement.

July 16, 2018 - 3:54pm

Press release:

Fifteen students successfully completed the Apparatus Operator – Pump program on June 23. It was held at the Genesee County Fire Training Center.

Building on the knowledge and skills obtained through the Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program, the 24 hour Apparatus Operator – Pump course offers fire service personnel the knowledge and skills essential to pump operations.

These include: hydraulics and friction loss, pump control and accessories, fire streams, pumper practices, pumping from draft and pump evolutions and using the fire pump at the fire hydrant.

Participants included: 

Alabama

  • Ryan M. Thompson

Alexander

  • Anthony R. Johnston
  • Jennifer R. Merle

Elba

  • Nicholas Guarino
  • Timothy J. Hoffarth
  • Michael J. Pfendler
  • Oliver R. Shuknecht

Oakfield

  • Joshua M. Finn
  • Jeffery W. McIntire

Pavilion

  • Nicholas P. Saravullo
  • Sean Vogt Jr.

South Byron

  • Nicole M. Boldt
  • Mathew T. Dougherty
  • Vito J. Muoio

Indian Falls

  • Colby Sanner
July 16, 2018 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy, elba, batavia, bergen, pembroke, news, notify.

Michael J. Piasta Jr. is indicted for the crime of second-degree robbery, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on March 25 at the Arby's restaurant in Batavia, located at 212 W. Main St., that the defendant forcibly stole property and in the course of the commission of a crime or in the immediate flight from it, he allegedly displayed what appeared to be a pistol, revolver or other firearm. In count two, he is indicted for third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, for allegedly stealing property on that date that had a value exceeding $3,000. In count three, Piasta is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a second Class D felony, for allegedly possession an imitation pistoal with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Piasta is accused of having been convicted of: third-degree burglary, a Class D felony, on Dec. 20, 2010, in Genesee County Court; petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, on Sept. 7, 2010, in City of Batavia Court; attempted petit larceny, a Class B misdemeanor, on Jan. 18, 2011, in Town of Batavia Court; attempted failure to pay for service, based on stealth, a Class B misdemeanor, on May 1, 2002, City of Batavia Court; petit larceny again, on July 19, 2001, in City of Batavia Court; and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor, on April 5, 2001, in City of Batavia Court. These convictions form the basis for Count Three in the current indictment.

Lamont L. Crimes is indicted for the crime second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on May 28 in the Town of Elba that, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, Crimes caused injury to another person using a dangerous instrument -- a knife. In count two, the defendant is accused of the same crime involving a second victim.

Jaomi Delgado is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 20 in the City of Batavia that Delgado knowingly and unlawfully possessed one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic -- cocaine -- and these were of an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more.

Katelyn M. Bennett is indicted from the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 11 in the Town of Bergen that Bennett drove a 2011 Chevrolet on state routes 33 and/or 19 while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class E felony for allegedly having a BAC of .18 or more at the time. In counts three and four, the defendant is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, Class A misdemeanors, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing, respectively, concentrated cannibas and alprazolam (Xanax). In count five, Bennett is accused of unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree, another Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count five that she knew she had been directed to stop by a police officer or marked police vehicle and she attempted to flee at speeds which equaled or exceeded 25 mph above the speed limit, or she engaged in reckless driving (VTL 1212). In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Bennett is accused of having been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor, on Dec. 20, 2011, in the Town of Gates and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Brent J. Chapman is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 11 in the Town of Le Roy that Chapman drove a 2006 Lincoln on I-90 while intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of having been convicted for misdemeanor DWI on March 8, 2016, in the Town of Greece, and that convicted is within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Paul D. Fields Jr. is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Feb. 7 in the Town of Pembroke that Fields drove a 2002 Saturn eastbound on Indian Falls Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more at the time. In count three, Fields is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for knowing or having reason to know that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Fields is accused of having been convicted of DWI on April 10, 2006, in City of Batavia Court. That conviction forms the basis for Count Three of the current indictment.

July 15, 2018 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Onion Queen, news.

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Maddie Augello (center, above) is the 2018 Onion Queen. She was crowed yesterday by 2017 Queen Emily Reynolds. The first runner-up was Maddison Howard left), and second runner-up was Nataly Galvez.

The Elba Betterment Committee also brought back Elba's annual parade, which hasn't been run for a couple of years.

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To purchase prints, click here.

July 13, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, Onion Queen.

The crowning of the Onion Queen returns in Elba tomorrow!

Saturday, July 14, is Pig Roast and Parade Day in Elba.

All are welcome for the Elba Betterment Committee's annual Pig Roast and the return of the Elba Firemen's Onion Queen Parade.

The fun starts at noon with a Kiddie Parade into the Village Park.

Food, bounce houses, live music, vendors, crafts, Mr. Scribbles and more!

The big parade, featuring the contestants vying for Onion Queen, starts at 4 o'clock, followed by the crowning of the Onion Queen. Fun continues at the park until 7 p.m.

July 13, 2018 - 3:00pm


28 Trumbull Parkway, Batavia (OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.). Solid well maintained 3 bedroom City cape on great lot! Definitely more here than what meets the eye -- floor plan much more spacious than square footage indicates!

Downstairs features 1 bedroom or office good size formal dining room and full living room-great space for entertaining. Upstairs has 2 good size bedrooms and full bath.

Basement is dry fully useable space it even has cool man cave/office and a small area for workspace for extra hobbies. There have been lots of upgrades but the large private fully fenced back yard with awesome huge deck is definitely a bonus for the City!

Large extra wide driveway and fully re-enforced garage for all your "toys" plus nice storage area below is a nice extra. Neutrally painted and new carpet thru out makes it a move in and live! Easy to see! Click here for more inforamtion regarding this lisitng.

4243 West Avenue, Elba (OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY 1 - 3 p.m.). Super opportunity to own this beautifully remodeled from top to bottom Country home! Literally from the studs up this home has been done -- electrical, drywall, furnace, central air, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen, windows and siding!

The layout is spacious and open with cathedral ceilings and the bedrooms are large with huge closets -- the master bedroom suite is every girl's dream! Master bedroom bath and laundry hookups all on main floor for no stairs convenience!

The location is on quiet country road within five minute drive of thruway and shopping. Home has public water as well -- all the pluses of country living with amenities!

Definitely one to check out -- why build when you can buy this beautiful home at almost half the cost! Click here for more inforamtion on this listing.

July 12, 2018 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Genesee County Jail, Sheriff's Office, news.

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Twenty-five years ago, at age 38, Norm Itjen decided to become a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail figuring it would be the kind of job that would offer security and help him reach retirement.

Tuesday, he proved his hunch right. He retired and was given a warm send off by his coworkers, and colleagues within the Sheriff's Office and Batavia Police Department.

A native of Elba and graduate of Elba High School, and currently the mayor of Elba, Itjen's first career was as a maintenance worker at St. Jerome's Hospital. He also had a security officer job before taking the civil service exam and getting hired at the jail.

The best part of the job, Itjen said, was the people he met.

"Through the years, I've become president of our local union, president the New York State Deputy Sheriff's Association," Itjen said. "I met people all over the state and made lots of lifetime friends."

Over the years, many people have started their employment with the Sheriff's Office at the jail and later moved onto road patrol. That wasn't part of Itjen's plan.

"At the time, I wore glasses," Itjen said. "At that time you couldn't work on the road if you wore glasses. And then my age also played a factor."

Now at retirement age, Itjen says he has plenty to keep him busy. Besides being mayor, he likes camping, golf, and he's a volunteer at his church in Morganville.

"I also have a beautiful granddaughter," he said.

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Corrections officers, Sheriff's Office command staff, several deputies and Batavia PD officers, saluted Itjen as he walked out of the Genesee County Jail for the last time.

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On his last day of duty, Itjen shakes hands with Officer Kyle Krtanik, working his first day of duty with Batavia PD. 

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.

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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 11, 2018 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, elba, news, notify.

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Steve and Jim Goff, owner and manager, respectively, of the Stumblin' Inn in Elba since 1979, have pretty much lost everything, according to a GoFundMe page set up by Jess Goff.

The goal of the page is to raise $10,000 but the page notes that excavation of the remains of the 143-year-old building will cost as much as $25,000. 

The appraised value of the property was only $67,700 and Jess Goff, on the GoFundMe page, said there was no fire insurance on the structure.

In addition to all of the personal belongings of Steve and Jim, including tools, was all the memorabilia that went with 40 years of ownership of a community landmark and a place that hosted countless local musicians for a countless number of shows.

"My dad says that these are all just things, but the saddest part of all of this is the death of so many memories for so many people," Jess Goss wrote.

Both Steven and Jim lived in the building and lost all of their personal belongings.

The Stumblin' Inn hosted many community fundraisers over the years.

There may be other fundraisers in the work but so far nothing definitive has been announced.

Fire investigators have determined the fire was accidental/non-intentional but the exact cause of the fire is unknown. Evidence indicates it started on the inside of the building and it's unknown how long it was burning before it was discovered.

Previously:

July 10, 2018 - 6:30pm


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July 9, 2018 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba, news.

A silage fire is reported at 5020 Edgerton Road, Elba.

Elba fire along with Town of Batavia, Byron, and Bergen dispatched.

The fire is not near a residential structure.

UPDATE 5:36 p.m.: Fire units are about to clear.

July 8, 2018 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, elba, fire, news, notify.

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An excavator is tearing down what remains of the Stumblin' Inn in Elba this afternoon while fire crews keep the smoldering wood wet and attack hot spots that flare up as they get air.

"The building was constructed in the late 19th century, balloon construction, and there was fire throughout the building," said Jim Bouton, deputy emergency management coordinator. "The only way to successful to get to the hot spots now is with heavy equipment to haul the building apart so they can get to these hot spots in the building, otherwise we’re going to leave here and there is a potential for this lighting back up and we don’t want that to occur."

Bouton explained that as the fire caused the roof to collapse, it created trapped hot spots that can't be reached without pulling the wood apart, and as that happens, air hits those pockets and feeds the fire.

Crews will keep working on the fire until there's no evidence of remaining hot spots.

Meanwhile, the Village of Elba remains closed to through traffic.

The cause of the fire is officially undetermined. Investigators suspect an electrical issue.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: In about a half hour, all equipment will be removed from the roadway, so it can be cleaned up, the chief says.

Previously:

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July 8, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, notify, stumbling' inn, elba hotel, fire.

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Over the decades, many local residents enjoyed their first beer at the Stumblin' Inn in the Village of Elba, and some also drank their last there, noted Chuck Hoover, who drank his first beer there when he turned 18 (the legal drinking age then).

Today, the bar, former hotel (built in 1875), live music venue, and community hub was destroyed by fire.

"At about 9 a.m. we were dispatched for fire on the outside of the building, a couple minutes later when we arrived there were flames coming from the north-northeast side, coming out of two bottom windows, and one window on top," said Elba Fire Chief Mike Heale, adding that they are investigating whether the blaze began inside or outside.

The fire quickly went to a second, third and possibly fourth alarm, Heale said.

Multiple power lines stretched in front of the building were a problem and the logistics of setting up the hydrants and tankers, and truck placements were difficult in the village setting, Heale said, but thanks, in part, to recently installed village fire hydrants, firefighters were able to put a lot of water on the fire quickly.

The balloon construction of the building allowed flames to quickly climb into the attic and then across the length of the structure, which is a total loss.

"We got a good jump on it," the chief said. "We were on point with our pre-plan. We caught a break with the (lack of) heat. ... We attempted to go in through the backside but we immediately pulled people out."

Building owner Steve Goff and his brother, Jim Goff, manager of the bar, both got out of the building safely before the first firefighters were on scene. Steve Goff acquired the building in 1979, when the bar became the Stumblin' Inn.

Rehab for firefighters was set up at the Elba Fire Station and there were enough responders from two counties so that firefighters were rotated through to keep them hydrated.

The fire was reported to be under control shortly before 1 p.m.

According to the 1985 History of Genesee County, published by the Holland Purchase Historical Society with assistance from the Genesee County Department of History, Elba's first hotel, the Pine Hill Hotel, opened in 1815 and was owned by Steve Harmon.

The hotel was destroyed by fire in September of 1874. A new hotel was built and was in operation by July 23, 1875. The Elba or Swartz Hotel (a reference to the Swartz family who took it over from W. B. Moreau in 1882 and operated it for more than 50 years) was passed down through the years and had several different owners before Goff bought it.

Other owners have included Charles and Frank Zambito, Tony and Alice Tartaglia, Tom and Marty Greer, Betty and Tom Hemmerick, and Peter C. Marowski.

"Hotels and taverns have also played an important role in the lives of Elbans since the early days when Wyllis Tavern provided, food, drink and lodging for travelers and a place for local people to meet for refreshments and to get the news," the history book notes.

"It's been here for a lifetime," said Doug Chappius, who along with his wife, Sandra, have owned and operated Chap's Elba Diner at 5 S. Main St., Elba, for the past seven years. "I can remember when I was a kid coming here. As soon as I turned drinking age, that's where I went. I'm from Albion. I remember riding snowmobiles, four-wheelers here.

"Everybody used to come here. It's a loss for party people."

Chappius said when the fire broke out, "a lady came into the restaurant and she said 'There's a fire over there. Can I get a bucket of water to put it out?' She didn't seem very excited but I told my dishwasher to bring a bucket of water over there.

"I guess there was a little fire on the floor -- inside right by the front door -- and by the time he got there, it blew the window out and he backed off and came back."

Chuck Hoover, a lifelong resident of Elba, says "It's a sad day in Elba" because the Stumblin' Inn holds a lot of memories; it was an Elba landmark.

"It was a place where people gathered to meet, they sponsored go-cart rides, held parties," Hoover said. "It was just a good place for people to gather and meet. Listen to some live music from time to time. We use to go there after the field day, after reunions. It was old-school."

He said the Stumblin' Inn has been a community gathering place for years and the Goffs hosted many community charity events.

Bob Given, who has lived in Elba for 55 years, said he remembers when the hotel was three stories and there was a dance floor on the third floor. There was a restaurant that served spaghetti and fish fries on Friday night.

"The older you get, the less you frequent those places," Given said. "I'm glad it went on a day like today -- not with the wind blowing or in 10-below weather."

The Stumblin' Inn was popular with local musicians and area residents who enjoy live music.

"The Stumblin Inn has been a staple in the local music community for so long, it's hard to imagine a world without it," said Paul Draper, a local musician and music promoter. "It's a place where a lot of us musicians cut our teeth and were able to grow and learn to be better entertainers.

"There are not too many places around that would give a new band with no name or following an opportunity to play. The Stumblin' provided that. This is truly a sad day for the local music community and we are already prepared to help Jim and 'Stork' in any way that we can."

Howard Owens contributed to the story. Photos by Howard Owens.

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Jim Bouton, deputy emergency management coordinator, comforts Steve Goff, owner of the Stumblin' Inn. Goff is also pictured below talking with Deputy Austin Heberlein.

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