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October 7, 2008 - 3:42pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in history, video, agriculture, elba, Elba Mucklands, Elba History Barn.

A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to the new History Barn in Elba, built to store all the ancient farm equipment and other relics that were locked up in who knew how many barns all over the town and its environs. Ann Gavenda was kind enough to come down and tell me a bit about the town's new treasure and the treasures inside it. Here's what she told me:

Were you able to make out the price of a gallon of gas on the old Esso pump?

Ann didn't only tell me about the history barn. She told me a lot more about growing up in Elba and working in the muck fields. Please be sure to check out that video which should go up later this afternoon.

October 6, 2008 - 7:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron.

Shaun A. DiSalvo, 30, of Linwood Avenue in Batavia was apprehended Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m. for allegedly operating an ATV while intoxicated and unlawful possession of Marijuana.  Batavia officers report they spotted DiSalvo operating the ATV north on Route 98. When they attempted to stop ATV, he initially tried to flee, according to the report. After a brief pursuit, he stopped on South Jackson.  He also received citations for operating an ATV on a public highway.

Edwin L. Stancliff, 29, of Ocala, Fla., was arrested in Pembroke Thursday at 5:43 p.m. for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Corfu police officers report they made the arrest after a traffic accident. According to the report, Stancliff was driving without a license and fled from the scene of the crash.

Melvin G. Draper, Jr., 27, of Walnut Street in Batavia, was arrested Saturday at 10:19 p.m. after reportedly operating a vehicle involved in a single-car accident that left a female passenger hospitalized with internal injuries. A 15-year-old passenger was uninjured. Draper was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a child, driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and speed not reasonable.  The accident occurred with Draper was reportedly operating the vehicle eastbound on Batavia-Elba Townline Road at a high speed on a wet road. Police say Draper lost control of the vehicle and it slid into a ditch and became airborne after hitting a driveway.  The report says Draper then left the scene and went to a nearby friend's house. He later returned to the scene.

David W. King, Jr., 27, of Lockport Road, Elba, was arrested Friday at 11:28 p.m. for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. He was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, speeding and an unsafe lane change. Police report that they found King with a glass crack pipe and crack cocaine.

Gordon C. Gonyo, 54, of Byron Road in Byron, was arrested Saturday at 6:37 p.m. for allegedly driving while intoxicated. Gonyo was apprehended after a complaint about a vehicle being operated erratically on Byron Road.

October 4, 2008 - 10:40pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, elba, alexander, byron-bergen.

 After losing games to Oakfield-Alabama, Pembroke and Attica, the Alexander football team has found the right equation to win in the Genesee Region League.

The Trojans play a physical style of football that involves pounding away with the ball on offense, are attempting to force turnovers on defense and - most importantly - making all the right moves on special teams.

Alexander won for the second consecutive week and are now 2-3 after beating Elba/Byron-Bergen 28-13 Saturday night in the first game ever played under the lights in Elba.

The Trojans spoiled Elba/Byron-Bergen's homecoming, but it didn't take away from the cool atmosphere of seeing a game in Elba played under lights, which did an excellent job of lighting the middle part of the field.

It almost wasn't spoiled as the two teams played a pretty close first half.

The two squads exchanged punts on their first possessions and a special teams mistake by Elba/Byron-Bergen on the team's second possession proved costly.

The snap sailed over the punters head and the Lancers picked it up and ran to their own 30-yard line.

Alexander had a couple of decent running plays before Jay Schaefer ran one in from six yards out. The extra point was missed.

Elba/Byron-Bergen's Zach Green then returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Again, the kick failed and the score was tied at 6 after the first quarter.

Alexander coach Dave Radley wanted to make sure I mentioned kicker/punter Lucas Czechowski in my preview this week and for good reason - he came up big. 

His first big kick was a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter that put the Trojans up 9-6.

Elba/Byron-Bergen missed a field goal later in the half and that was the score at intermission 

Alexander had a long drive to open the second half - aided by some costly Elba/B-B penalties - that led to another Schaefer touchdown, this time from two yards out. The kick made the score 16-6.

The Lancers scored on another big play as Green rumbled 61 yards for a TD. The extra point brought Elba/Byron-Bergen to within three points.

Alexander marched down the field, going 68 yards down to the Elba/B-B 1 with a long kickoff return and a key pass from Zach Burke to Czechowski. But the Trojans fumbled the ball away and the Lancers took over deep in their own territory near the end of the third quarter.

Green broke off a 15-yarder, but the drive stalled and the Lancers had to punt again.

For the second time in the game, the snap sailed over the punter's head. This time it went through the end zone for a safety.

Alexander got the ball back and was moved into field goal territory because of an Elba/B-B facemask call.

Czechowski hit the 22-yard kick to make the score 21-13.

Ryan Piechocki had a key sack and forced Elba/B-B into a passing situation where Jordan Leitten took advantage, intercepting a pass at the 20-yard line.

Mike Woodrow had a 4-yard run a few plays later to make it a two touchdown game.

Leitten capped off the victory with another interception in the closing seconds, allowing the Trojans to take a knee and run out the clock.

Elba/Byron-Bergen falls to 1-4 and the biggest crowd to attend a game in the town of Elba in years was treated to a cool homecoming experience. But the team will have to work on limiting penalties and making huge mistakes on special teams if it is going to beat Notre Dame or Bishop Walsh in the final two weeks of the season.

Alexander is now 2-3 and will wrap up its regular season with a home game against Barker next Saturday. The Trojans were the No. 4 seed in the Section 5 Class D playoffs before the win and should move up to No. 3 with Avon's loss to Le Roy last night combined with the victory.


October 1, 2008 - 4:32pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, elba, byron-bergen.

 Alexander (1-3) at Elba/Byron-Bergen (1-3)

7 p.m. Saturday


Alexander is young and Elba/Byron-Bergen is learning the game.

These two teams have had some early season struggles and are looking to make a late season charge to build on for next year.

The Trojans have a squad filled with juniors and started the season with games against the "big three". The team picked up its first win of the season last week with a 9-8 victory over Holley.

The star of that game wound up being kicker Lucas Czechowski, who booted a 30-yard field goal to win the game.

Czechowski is having a big year as the team's punter as well.

The Trojans have have actually made some difficult starting points for opposing offenses because Czechowski is averaging 47 yards per punt.

Alexander's defense has been led by Ryan Piechowski, who has 36 solo tackles with six assists.

Ryan Wilson has 21 tackles and two sacks with Jordan Leitten leading the secondary with two interceptions. Mike Woodrow has picked off one pass.

Jay Schaefer gained 127 yards rushing last week and now has 327 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries this season. Piechowski has 79 rushing yards and two scores.

Elba/Byron-Bergen has been playing its starters throughout the game to help the B-B players get experience, and they have been very competitive against the second teams of Oakfield-Alabama and Pembroke.

The Lancers got two touchdowns from Zach Green in the fourth quarter last week and both he and Brandon Spurling are solid runners.


September 29, 2008 - 3:09pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, sports, elba.

Former Elba student Casey Hoover is in his freshman year at Keuka College, where he is playing on the baseball team.

The Storm are currently playing fall scrimmages and there are a couple of videos on YouTube of him getting his first hit and scoring his first run playing college ball.



September 27, 2008 - 5:55pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, elba, pembroke, byron-bergen.

Pembroke scored 29 points in the second quarter and had a 49-7 lead after three in taking care of Elba/Byron-Bergen 56-21 Saturday.

The Dragons continued putting up absurd offensive numbers.

Andrew Wright picked up 138 yards and a TD with a fumble recovery for a touchdown and Josh Phillips had just eight carries, but gained 118 yards and scored twice.

Mike Dibble gained 98 yards and scored three times and David Kleckler went 5-for-5 for 98 yards with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ken Babcock.

Zach Green scored two fourth quarter touchdowns for the Lancers (1-3) and finished with 137 rushing yards. Eric Kowalik also tossed a touchdown pass to David Garnish.

Pembroke is now 4-0.

September 25, 2008 - 1:10pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports, elba, byron-bergen.

History will be made in Elba on October 4.

The Elba/Byron-Bergen football team will be playing its homecoming game under the lights for the first time in the history of the program.

Elba has never had lights on its field and the Elba Sports Boosters will be bringing in temporary lights for the game against Alexander, allowing the Lancers to host a night game for the first time ever.

The Section 5 schedule still says the game has a 1:30 p.m. kickoff time, but it will actually be at 7 p.m.

September 18, 2008 - 8:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Oakfield.

I took a drive out to Elba and Oakfield today.  In Elba, I couldn't resist stopping to take a picture of this building, which is now the wallpaper on my computer.

Anybody know the history of this place?

When Hilly found out I was driving out to Oakfield, he told me I had the stop at Santino's Pizza. "The pizza is amazing," he said.  I did, and it is.

In Oakfield, I stopped by the library and read the flyers in the window of the pharmacy.

Two events I learned about:

  • October 18 and 25: Ghost walk at Batavia cemetery on Harvester, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
  • The Genesee Chorale presents a recital series, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Batavia City Centre.

Reminder, if you're with a community organization and need to publicize an event or other group news, you can post the information you need to get out to Genesee County on The Batavian.  It's free. Just create an account, login and post.

August 4, 2008 - 12:03pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Attica, Daily News, elba, Onion Festival, rodeo, Murray.

There was no lack of entertainment in Genesee County this past weekend. And it seems that Daily News reporter Roger Muehlig got a little taste of it all. Muehlig was in Attica Sunday for the 51st annual Attica Rodeo that drew more than 7,000 spectators over the weekend. Says Waterport resident Carl Miller of the rodeo: "We like it."

Muehlig was also at the Elba Onion Festival Saturday for the crowning of the Onion Queen. Seventeen-year-old Nicole Heffle received the honor. "It's always (been) like my dream to be Onion Queen," she said.

As if those two grand events weren't enough for one tireless reporter, Muehlig got over to the Toys for Kids chicken barbecue fundraiser Saturday outside T-Shirts Inc.'s new location at 438 East Main St. All proceeds from the barbecue will benefit Don Carroll's Toys for Kids campaign for Christmas.

I hope Muehlig is home taking a day off today.

The one place Muehlig wasn't to be found this weekend was at the town of Murray's bicentennial celebration. No matter, Tom Rivers was on hand to cover the festivities that culminated in a bocce tournament Sunday.

For more on these and other stories, pick up a copy of the Daily News. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

August 3, 2008 - 1:13pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in photo, elba, Onion Festival.

Thanks again to Steve Ognibene for getting us some great photos of a local event. This time, Steve was at the opening night parade for the Elba Onion Festival. Seen in the first picture (below) is Steven Bezon with his two children, Leah and Ashton.

May 21, 2008 - 9:02am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, city council, elba.

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• Dan Fischer writes:

"Personnel problems continue to plague Batavia City Hall. The city council held a hasty secret meeting this morning to deal with, "a personnel matter," City Manager Jason Molino said today. He declined further comment.

The executive session was called for last night and took place at 7 this morning. Just barely within the required time frame. The meeting lasted a little less than an hour.

In the last six months, three key city hall department heads have either quit or retired."

• School budgets in every Genesee County district were approved yesterday. Elba had the closest vote (144 to 109).

• Investigation into the Byron blaze that claimed the lives of four family members continues. The apartment building where the fire broke out has been demolished, and a "makeshift memorial" has been erected by the roadside.

May 13, 2008 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in writer, books, elba, bill kauffman.

Area author Bill Kauffman gets a favorable review of his new book, Look Homeward, America, in Reason Magazine.

Writer John McClaughry compares him to East Aurora's writer, thinker and quote machine, Elbert Hubbard.

In many respects—not including the creation of a 300-employee publishing house—Bill Kauffman of tiny Elba, New York, has become today’s Elbert Hubbard. But unlike Hubbard, whose essays glorified the lives and works of famous people, Kauffman’s literary journey seeks out “the America of holy fools and backyard radicals, the America whose eccentric voice is seldom heard anymore…the [voice of] third parties, of Greenbackers and Libertarians and village atheists and the ‘conservative Christian anarchist’ party whose founder and only member was Henry Adams.”

Kauffman’s earlier books mined interesting veins of localism and hostility to modernity. America First! celebrated America’s forgotten isolationist activists, from Hamlin Garland to Alice Roosevelt, plus other assorted individualists, including Edward Abbey, Gore Vidal, Sinclair Lewis, and this writer, included because he considered me, not altogether inaccurately, the last lonely true-believing Jeffersonian. His Dispatches From the Muckdog Gazette celebrated the lives of the common people of Kauffman’s Genesee County, home of the minor league Batavia Muckdogs baseball team.


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