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February 19, 2019 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, pembroke, bergen.

Luis A. Torres-Otero, 20, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested after Batavia police investigated a domestic incident which occured at 9:29 a.m. on Feb. 6 on Hutchins Place. It is alleged that the defendant struck a female in the face while she was holding a child. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on Feb. 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Joseph J. Mazzarella, 66, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and second-degree criminal contempt. On Feb. 11 at 2:45 p.m., he allegedly threatened an individual on Bank Street in violation of an order of protection. He was jailed in lieu of $2,000 bail or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Joseph J. Mazzarella, 66, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Mazzarella was arrested after he allegedly violated an order of protection by contacting a protected person by phone at 4:55 p.m. on Feb. 13. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Patrick M. Viscuso, 54, of Vernon Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested after allegedly violating an order of protection at 8:58 p.m. on Feb. 18 by being inside a protected person's residence on Evans Street in Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $5,000 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Zachery V.D. Seeley, 22, of Lyman Road, Bergen, is charged with three counts of second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 9 p.m. on Feb. 12 after allegedly violating an order of protection by having direct contact with a protected person on Miller Avenue in Batavia. Seeley was arraigned and put in jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or $2,500 bond. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Damian C. Cogovan, 19, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal contempt. At 7:29 p.m. on Feb. 7, the defendant was allegedly observed by Batavia police in the direct presence of two protected parties while at his residence. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond. He is due in city court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Lawrence W. Worsley, 39, of Ridge Road, Albion, is charged with second-degree contempt. He was arrested on Feb. 10 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly violating an order of protection issued to a person on Vine Street in Batavia on Jan. 16. He was arraigned and put in jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or bond. He is due back in Batavia City Court at a later date.The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Nicholas M. Korczak, 33, of Pike Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree aggravated harassment. He was arrested on Feb. 7 following an investigation into alleged threats of violence via text messages on Feb. 6. He was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due in Batavia Town Court again on March 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Daniel Joseph Geller, 35, of Moulton Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with aggravated DWI, DWI, and failure to use designated lane. Geller was arrested on the charges following the investigation of a property damage accident at 12:19 a.m. on Feb. 10 on Main Road in Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Pembroke Town Court on March 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Melynda M. Gayhart, 31, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested after a shoplifting investigation allegedly found that she stole beer from her employer -- the 7-Eleven on East Main Street in Batavia. Gayhart was released on an appearance ticket and she is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Christopher John Raymond Diers, 36, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On Feb. 8 Diers was arrested at 4 p.m. for allegedly stealing property from Walmart. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on Feb. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Christopher John Raymond Diers, 36, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. At 6:39 p.m. on Feb. 8, Diers was arraigned in Batavia City Court after he was arrested on a Batavia City Court bench warrant. It was issued after he failed to appear in court on a petit larceny charge stemming from the alleged theft of two lottery tickets on Nov. 4 from the Circle 3 convenience store and gas station at Ellicott and Cedar streets in Batavia. Diers was jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Erica Michelle Raphael, 34, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree bail jumping and petit larceny. Raphael was arrested on two warrants on the two charges after being located in Orleans County on Feb. 18. She was turned over the the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and arraigned in Batavia Town Court. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in Batavia Town Court on Feb. 25. The original charges were issued on Oct. 29 following an incident at an unspecified location on West Main Street Road in Batavia. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Justin T. Gladney Sr., 29, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested following a shoplifting complaint at 10:10 a.m. on Feb. 16 at the Family Dollar store on East Main Street in Batavia. Gladney was released on an appearance ticket and he is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

February 13, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, pembroke.

A two-vehicle collision with injuries is reported on Read Road in Pembroke, north of Genesee Street. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

February 7, 2019 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, news, weather, indian falls, pembroke.

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Kris Kramer shared this picture from last night at Oakfield-Alabama High School of ice on the trees in the traffic circle after girls basketball last night.

Below, a picture from Chelsea DIbble of ice on a road sign in Indian Falls this morning.

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February 1, 2019 - 12:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, pembroke, Darien.
Video Sponsor

Here's a short video tour of the weather Thursday afternoon in Pembroke and Darien.

App users: Click here to view the video on thebatavian.com

January 31, 2019 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, log cabin restaurant, pembroke, news.
Video Sponsor

Indian Falls at the Log Cabin Restaurant was a beautiful scene late this afternoon. Here is a short video and a photo.

App users: Click here to view the video on thebatavian.com.

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January 31, 2019 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, batavia, Alabama, Oakfield, pembroke, Darien, news.

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Here are some photos from this afternoon taken along the Route 77 corridor of the western part of Genesee County, and on Route 5 and in Alabama and Oakfield.

Above, Darien Lakes State Park.

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A home on Sumner Road, Darien. 

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East Pembroke

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On Route 77, south of Gabby Road.

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On Route 77, south of Gabby Road.

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Judge Road, Alabama.

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Bliss Road, Oakfield.

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Lewiston Road, Oakfield.

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Tonawanda Creek, behind the County Courthouse in Batavia.

January 28, 2019 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, news, notify.
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     Jacqueline Saeli

A 52-year-old Pembroke woman who started a fire that destroyed her ex-boyfriend's Harley-Davidson entered a guilty plea to attempted arson in the third degree, a Class D felony, this morning just before jury selection in her criminal trial.

Judge Charles Zambito said Jacqueline M. Saeli can avoid a prison term if she makes full restitution before she is sentenced at 1:30 p.m., March 29.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said after her appearance that it's expected Saeli will make a $10,000 payment this week.

Saeli, of North Lake Road, was arrested following a Jan. 6 fire at 8455 N. Lake Road, Pembroke, that destroyed a garage and the bike and was determined to be arson by Deputy Ryan Young, Investigator Chris Parker, and personnel from Pembroke Fire Department and the Emergency Management Office.

January 20, 2019 - 10:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Basom, pembroke, Alabama.

A bedroom fire is reported at 402 Bloomingdale Road, Basom.

Pembroke Fire, Indian Falls Fire, and Alabama fire dispatched.

The occupant was instructed to evacuate.

UPDATE 10:37 p.m.: A responding chief requests an engine from Akron.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: An Alabama chief reports the fire is out. Power is out to the house. Pembroke and Indian Falls can go back in service.

January 19, 2019 - 1:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, pembroke, indian falls.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 402.7 and it is blocking traffic. Unknown injuries. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: Mercy medics are on location at the accident are looking for assistance in blocking traffic. East Pembroke Fire Department is called to mile marker 395.5 on the westbound Thruway to provide this assistance.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: A fire chief requests all East Pembroke equipment to stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: All available manpower of the East Pembroke Fire Department is requested to the fire hall.

January 18, 2019 - 5:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, news, crime notify, batavia, Alabama, pembroke.

Antonio D. Dames is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 9 in the Town of Alabama that Dames drove a 2000 Chevrolet on Lewiston Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving while his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count four, Dames is accused of circumvention of an interlock device, a violation, for driving a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Dames is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on April 3, 2014 in Town of Lockport Court in Niagara County. That conviction forms the basis for the license suspension/revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment.

John D. Meiler is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 21 in the Town of Alabama that Meiler drove a 2011 Chevrolet on Bloomingdale Road while his ability to do so was impaired by drugs. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that the defendant drove when he knew his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count three, he is accused of circumvention of an interlock device, a violation, for driving a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Meiler is accused of: having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Sept. 5, 2006, in Town of Alden Court in Erie County; having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Dec. 8, 2006 in County Court in Erie County; and having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Jan. 26, 2018 in County Court in Erie County. These three prior convictions form the basis for the license suspension/revocation referred to in count two of the current indictment. Furthermore, it is alleged that Meiler knew of the prior conviction and that his driver's license was still suspended or revoked.

William R. Reynolds is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 28 in the Town of Pembroke that Reynolds drove a 2008 Chevrolet on Interstate 90 while his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and that he did so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count two, he is accused driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. In count three, the defendant is accused of aggravated DWI, as a Class E felony, for having a child age 15 or less as a passenger. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Reynolds is accused of having been convicted of aggravated DWI, a Class E felony, on Jan. 15, 2010 in County Court in Tioga County and that conviction forms the basis for count one in the current indictment.

Rahim J. Collazo is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 29 in the Town of Batavia that Collazo drove a 2008 Chevrolet on Batavia Elba Townline Road while his driver's license was suspended or revoked and he had in effect 10 or more suspensions imposed on 10 different dates for failure to appear or pay a fine: March 24 in the Town of Irondequoit -- Monroe County; Nov. 9, 2017 in the Town of Henrietta -- Monroe County; March 14, 2017 in the Rochester Administrative Adjudication Bureau -- Monroe County; Feb. 5, 2016 in the Town of Brighton -- Monroe County; Oct. 10, 2015 and Sept. 24, 2014 and June 24, 2014 in the Rochester Administrative Adjudication Bureau -- Monroe County; June 22, 2013 in the Town of Tully -- Onondaga County; Feb. 6, 2013 in the Town of Windsor, Broome County; Nov. 1, 2012 in the Town of Sandy Creek, Oswego County; and Dec. 6, 2011 in the City of Rochester. In count two, Collazo is accused of the offense of speeding. It is alleged in count two that the defendant drove in excess of 55 mph, the posted speed limit.

Kayel J. McClary is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 1 in the Town of Pembroke that McClary drove a 2016 Ford on Interstate 90 while his driver's license was suspended or revoked and he had in effect 10 or more suspensions imposed on at least 10 separate dates for failure to appear or pay a fine in the City of Rochester: Aug. 11, 2011; April 8, 2014; May 6, 2014; June 10, 2014; July 8, 2014; Dec. 23, 2014; March 4, 2015; April 7, 2015; June 16, 2015; Jan. 18, 2017; May 9, 2017; Feb. 6, 2018; and April 24, 2018.

January 15, 2019 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in East Pembroke Fire, news, pembroke, batavia, east pembroke.

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The East Pembroke Fire Department held its annual installation and awards banquet at Batavia Downs on Saturday night and Kenny Marble was named Firefighter of the Year.

Top photo: Don Newton Sr., president; Chuck Chatley, assistant chief; Steve Smelski, assistant chief; Kenny Marble, vice president; Paul Fenton, owner of Fenton's Produce, commissioner, and Service Person of the Year after serving on the board for 27 years; Don Newton, Jr., chief; Bill Lawrence, commissioner; Tom Dix, commissioner; and Rick Groff, incoming commissioner, replacing Fenton.

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Paul Fenton, Service Person of the Year.

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Kenny Marble, Firefighter of the Year.

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Officers taking the oath of office.

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The fire department members and district commissioners.

January 14, 2019 - 12:03pm

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The Pembroke Girls' Basketball Team presented a check for $30,020.19 to Dr. Candace Johnson at Rosewell Park on Friday, proceeds from the "Shooting for A Cure" game the night before. The event Thursday brought the total raised over eight years from "Shooting for A Cure" to more than $119,000.

January 14, 2019 - 10:43am

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Supporting an organization which provides food to Third World countries has been an amazing process and ministry of the Indian Falls United Methodist Church, said Pastor Karen Grinnell.

The pastor said she first learned about Rise Against Hunger at a United Methodist conference in Syracuse.

The church has various fundraisers each year and accepts donations for the meals. This is the third year the church has raised money to purchase food and solicited volunteers to pack more than 10,000 meals.

Each meal costs 31 cents, said Andrew Moser, who came from the Greater Pittsburgh Region, where Rise Against Hunger is headquartered.

Rise Against Hunger International, a nonprofit hunger relief organization, was founded by a Methodist minister from Virginia in 1998, and since that time, more than 450 million meals have been packaged and shipped, Moser said. Food is sent to orphanages, clinics and schools in 74 countries, he said.

“We try to create opportunities in places where opportunities don’t exist,” he said.

More than 50 volunteers on Saturday came from local churches, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the Oakfield-Alabama Girls’ Basketball Team.

All meals are identical and include rice, a vegetable mix, soy protein and a vitamin packet.

Kraft-Heinz is Rise Against Hunger’s biggest partner, Moser said. The company makes all the vitamin packages and donates them.

(Photos by Virginia Kropf.)

Top photo: Students from Oakfield-Alabama’s Girls’ Basketball Team were among more than 50 volunteers who packed 10,152 meals at the Indian Falls United Methodist Church on Saturday for Rise Against Hunger. Here, one cup of rice is measured and poured into a pouch to be packed with soy protein and a vitamin packet.

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Andrew Moser, who runs Rise Against Hunger in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, explains the process for packing meals to dozens of volunteers Saturday at Indian Falls United Methodist Church. The church packed 10,152 meals, which will be sent to impoverished countries.

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Pastor Karen Grinnell from Indian Falls United Methodist Church and Celinda McQuistion, who chairs the church’s participation in Meals Against Hunger, watch as volunteers get ready to pack more than 10,000 meals on Saturday morning.

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January 11, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shooting for a Cure, basketball, news, notify, pembroke.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Last night was another new record for 'Shooting for a Cure." The event raised $30,000.

In its eighth year, Pembroke's "Shooting for a Cure" girls basketball reached a significant milestone Thursday night, topping $100,000 raised for cancer research.

The total amount raised this year hasn't been released yet but Mike Wilson said last night that organizers knew more than $19,000 had raised, putting the cumulative total over that $100K mark.

"These girls this year, they attacked it. I can’t say enough about this team," said Wilson, who was head coach the first year of the fundraiser in 2011. "They lead the charge. They really do. They’re the ones out pounding the pavement. They’re the ones out in Batavia, and on Transit Road, and Rochester, and Buffalo, and they’re on social media using it the right way for all those good things.

"They have really spread our mission. I’m so proud of this group. They’re a young group but they’re so mature in the compassion and love they have for the people in our community. It’s awesome."

Thursday night was also the night the community could celebrate a new job for Brianna Johnson.

It was Johnson who, in 2011, while on a team bus returning from a softball game, said the school should do something to support Coach Ron Funke's wife, Toni Funke. She and teammates talked with Wilson and the idea for Shooting for a Cure was born.

Today, Johnson starts a new job on the cancer research team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo.

"For Brianna to have that idea and then to move on to something in the medical field, doing cancer research, it’s come full circle," Wilson said. "They just hired her. Her intake meeting is tomorrow, so when we’re down presenting our check to Candace Johnson and the Roswell staff, Brianna is going to be there signing up to become a member of that team.

"They’re going to find a cure for cancer with Brianna on that team. She’s so passionate about this. I’m very proud of her."

As for the game, Notre Dame beat Pembroke 50-31.

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January 9, 2019 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, NASA, news, notify.

Pembroke students Tuesday had a lot of questions for Astronaut David Saint-Jacques about being a space pioneer and life aboard the International Space Station.

Sixteen students were selected to ask questions and participating the planning of the event and today it all came together after months of preparation -- going back to April of last year -- during an assembly in the school's auditorium.

Saint-Jacques answered questions about what it was like to be in space, how his life inside the space station, what surprised him about going into space, and whether it was fun, along with addressing other topics.

Melissa Smith, a 7th and 8th-grade science teacher, took the lead on setting up the event and said it was a great opportunity to expose the students to things they may not otherwise get to do as part of their school experience. They learned about shortwave radio, the space station, about astronauts and they worked with members of the community to help bring it all together.

"We want to make a relatable experience for them so this was really cool because this isn't something we would necessarily teach in our curriculum, in our class, so it was a way we could go above and beyond what students normally learn," Smith said.

In all, 16 students were selected to ask questions during the eight or nine minutes the station was in position to connect via shortwave with a transmitter.

The ARISS event was managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State, and members of the Genesee County Radio Amateurs (GRAM) Club.  Pamela Ware, from Corfu, and member of GRAM, holds an FCC amateur extra license and was the liaison for the team of radio operators who provided hands-on training and experience for Pembroke students. 

January 5, 2019 - 12:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, notify.

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A Pembroke farmer was killed Friday evening after his tractor, hauling round bales of hay, was struck from behind by a northbound SUV on a darkened South Lake Road.

The Sheriff's Office investigating the accident and has identified the farmer as Roger A. Sweet.

According to area residents, Sweet raised goats at his small farm on South Lake Road and had a hay field on Maple Road. He regularly drove his tractor, loaded with hay on spikes, from his field on Maple Road to his place on South Lake.

The crash was reported at 5:54 p.m., approximately 70 minutes after sunset.

Preliminary indications are, according to sources at the scene, that he had minimal lighting and reflectors on his Massey-Ferguson tractor.

His wife reportedly heard the crash and rushed outside.

The driver of the 2017 Equinox that struck the tractor, Janet I. Miller, of Rochester, was not injured. The spike holding the back bale of hay on the tractor did not hit the vehicle squarely and did not penetrate the driver's compartment.

Sweet was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

The accident is being investigated by Chief Deputy Joseph Graff, Sgt. Andrew Hale, Investigator Chad Minuto, Investigator James Diehl, of the Crash Management Team, Deputy Kyle Krzemien, and Trooper Kelli Fitch.

Assisting at the scene were members of the Pembroke, Alabama, Indian Falls, East Pembroke and Corfu fire departments, along with Mercy EMS, Dickinson's Auto Services, and Ron and Newt's Towing.

(Initial report)

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January 4, 2019 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

An SUV and hay wagon have reportedly collided in the area of 9341 South Lake Road, Pembroke.

Unknown injuries.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:57 p.m.: Subject trapped under the hay wagon. Dispatchers checking the availability of Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Road being closed at Maple and at Cohocton. Corfu Fire Police requested to assist.

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: Mercy Flight is canceled.

UPDATE 7:04 p.m.: This is a fatal accident. It appears the male driver of a Massey Ferguson tractor hauling a hay bale(s) was northbound on South Lake Road when he attempted to turn into his driveway and was rear-ended by a northbound SUV. The collision caused the tractor to snap in two and roll on top of the man. The SUV driver was not injured. The Crash Management Team is on site and preliminary indications are that the tractor had insufficient lighting and reflectors. The investigation continues.

January 2, 2019 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, news.

Press release:

In a rare and unique opportunity, several Pembroke students will make contact with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) via amateur radio.

Pembroke was one of only seven schools worldwide selected for this round of contacts, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 10:28 a.m. in the auditorium of Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School in Corfu.

This activity is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Program (ARISS), which promotes learning opportunities as part of the Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) initiative. This unique experience will provide an educational opportunity for Pembroke students to learn about wireless technology and radio science through amateur radio.

The ARISS event will be managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State, and members of the Genesee County Radio Amateurs (GRAM) Club.

“This is a challenging and exciting opportunity for students to learn about space travel and exploration, how the astronauts live and work in space, and how students can – even at a young age – become radio amateurs for the emerging field of interplanetary communications,” said Melissa Payne Smith, a Science teacher at Pembroke’s Jr./Sr. High School.

Pamela Ware, Corfu resident and member of GRAM, holds an FCC amateur extra license and is the liaison for the team of radio operators who will provide hands-on training and experience for Pembroke students. She and Payne Smith – with the support of additional faculty, staff, and students at Pembroke – have spent several months coordinating their efforts in order to be chosen to speak with an astronaut at the International Space Station.

“From the minute Pam and I spoke, we believed that this would be an incredible opportunity for the students here at Pembroke," Smith said. "We spent hours planning, developing, and organizing our resources in the hopes of our school being selected. Multiple proposals were submitted, revised, and resubmitted during this process. It’s an honor for our school district to have been chosen for this."

Pembroke will continue to work with its partners to coordinate the exact date and time in January when students will be speaking with the International Space Station via amateur radio. In the weeks ahead, 20 Pembroke students will be chosen to participate in the transmission, and final technical preparations will take place.

This learning experience, multifaceted in academic and in real-world applications, has a much deeper meaning; students are learning that the sky, in fact, is not the limit.

January 2, 2019 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Shooting for a Cure, basketball, news.

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Press release:

In 2011 the Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team approached then Head Coach Mike Wilson with an idea; they wanted to show their support for Toni Funke in her battle against breast cancer by hosting a game in her honor, which would bring the community together to raise funds and awareness for cancer research at Roswell Park.

This simple act of love eight seasons ago has now grown into one of Roswell Park’s largest community‑based fundraising events. To date, Shooting For A Cure! has raised more than $88,000 for cancer research, and this season, the team hopes to eclipse the $100,000 mark in total funds raised.

This year’s fundraiser (7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10th vs. Notre Dame) will mark the eighth consecutive season the Pembroke team will be focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against cancer. It’s a cause that remains personal to the team and their school district because of the number of students, faculty, staff and community members who have been affected by cancer.

“The Shooting For A Cure! game isn’t just a basketball game, it’s about trying to change peoples’ lives for the better. It’s about making a positive change in our community and using our platform as players to try and make a difference,” said senior Unique Bryant.

Since the inaugural game, each team—including all of the new members—looks for ways to widen the impact of the game.

“Our team has been looking forward to the Shooting For A Cure! game since last season; it’s our favorite game of the year. We rally together with the community and use this game as a means to fight alongside those currently battling cancer,” Unique said. “On a personal level, this game is extremely special to me, as my mother is a cancer survivor. When I was about 5-years-old, she was diagnosed and battled like a warrior. I have so much love and respect for her. She’s my hero."

Junior Casey Wurtz will be playing in her third Shooting For A Cure! game this year at the varsity level.

“Each game becomes more meaningful to me," Casey said. "Three of my aunts have battled cancer. Two of them are survivors, but sadly, one of them lost her battle. This disease has been tough on my family to say the least. My grandmother was just recently diagnosed as well, and I want to do all I can to support her. This game gives my teammates and me the opportunity to come together for a cause much bigger than us.

"This game brings us all together one night a year as a Pembroke community, united, in the fight against this disease. It’s overwhelming, in the best way, to share in such a night. When I look back on my years in high school, I will always remember playing in the Shooting For A Cure! games with my team and doing our best to support those in need while trying to find a cure for this awful disease."

The 2018-2019 Shooting For A Cure! donors list has grown to more than 100 merchants and individuals including: 26Shirts, ADPRO Sports, Batavia’s Original Pizzeria, Clarence Deli, Coca-Cola of Rochester, Courage of Carly Foundation, Crickler Vending, Dave & Adam’s Card World, Dixon Ticonderoga, Eli Fish, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Fenton’s Produce, Five Guys, Haun Welding, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Insty-Prints, Kohorst Trucking, Linda’s Family Diner, moondanceCat, Northtown Automotive, Original Pizza Logs, Pillar Real Estate Investors, Silver Lake Country Club, Southwest Airlines, Tim Hortons, Yancey’s Fancy and the YMCA.

Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from apparel sales and food sales with the generous support of local companies.

“This year we will have some one-of-a-kind donation items on hand for our supporters to win," said event coordinator Mike Wilson. "A Corfu resident spent countless hours building a beautiful, rustic-style kitchen table with a matching bench and two chairs. Currently, two of our students are creating custom Adirondack chairs with a matching table in support of our mission.

"We were just recently donated four tickets to sit behind the Syracuse bench at an upcoming basketball game in March as well as four suite level tickets for a Sabres game in February. Dry Creek Group has again donated a fully catered dinner party for eight guests out in Hamburg and Fenton’s Produce just donated a helicopter ride for two over Niagara Falls.

"Southwest Airlines even donated a pair of roundtrip flights anywhere they fly in the U.S. in support of our Shooting For A Cure! mission. The generosity shown throughout our community, at every level, is overwhelming, to say the least. Our Pembroke community is unlike any other.

"It is remarkable how many people come out to support the team’s mission each season. What started off as a small act of love, in support of Toni Funke eight years ago, has now become a community-wide movement that we strongly believe in. We’ll continue Shooting For A Cure! at Pembroke until a cure is found."

In addition to these generous donations, the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) will again be donating an astounding $2,500 to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in support of Shooting For A Cure! this season.

“Roswell Park has done incredible things for our membership. It has helped so many of our members and their families battling cancer. We wanted to give back to Roswell as well as support the incredible efforts of the Pembroke Girls Basketball team,” said Western Region NYSCOPBA Vice President Joe Miano.

As a former Pembroke graduate and current resident, Miano is a firm believer in this cause.

“This group of young women, with the support of the Pembroke School District, continues to do great things for the community beyond the basketball court," Miano said. "It’s truly inspiring and we wanted to take this opportunity to reinforce their efforts.”

Miano, accompanied by a few additional members, will take part in a check presentation with the team to be held prior to the varsity game.

Additionally, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation has revamped their online platform and developed a Team Roswell site. Direct online donations are now being accepted in support of Shooting For A Cure! at: http://give.roswellpark.org/goto/ShootingForACure

The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous year’s fundraising total.

“Last year we were able to raise over $27,000 as a community for cancer research, which is just overwhelming when you think about it! We live in such a great community with caring people who really want to help in any way they can,” sophomore Emily Peters said.

“Playing basketball at Pembroke isn’t just about scoring points and winning games; it’s about doing what we can to pay it forward. It’s about coming together as a team, as a community, to support those fighting cancer and to try and do our part to help find a cure. This game brings our team together and it gives us a much greater purpose when we step on the court."

Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure, community events fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference.

“We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each and every season," said Alex Hoaglund, Team Roswell Special Events coordinator. "What an incredible legacy that 2011 team left, built on compassion and altruism. What each team has been able to accomplish since the first game is truly inspirational. Shooting For A Cure! is one of the top, if not the top, ongoing high school community events fundraisers for Roswell Park.

“This small community continues to do big things. At this moment Shooting For A Cure! has raised over $88,000 for cancer research at Roswell Park. I have a feeling this season they’ll eclipse the $100,000 mark in total funds raised earning them a ‘Leadership Circle’ distinction on our donor wall in the hospital lobby.

"Pembroke’s Shooting For A Cure! game is making a difference in the fight against cancer. The money they’re raising each season is funding cutting-edge research and saving lives. Team Roswell is so thankful to partner with this team and their community every year.”

December 31, 2018 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, notify, Stafford, Oakfield, pembroke, Darien.

Robert A. Maharrey is indicted for the crime of disorderly conduct. It is alleged that on Aug. 10, at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center located in the Town of Darien Center, Maharrey engaged in fighting or with violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior by punching or striking a female patron in the face. In count two, he is accused of second-degree harassment for allegedly subjecting a female patron to physical contact, or attempting or threatening to do so. In count three, Maharrey is accused of disorderly conduct for allegedly engaging in fighting or with violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior with Live Nation Security staff members. In count four, he is accused of second-degree harassment for allegedly subjecting a Genesee County Sheriff's deputy to physical contact by spitting in his face. In count five, the defendant is accused of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, by allegedly intentionally preventing a Sheriff's deputy from performing a lawful duty and causing injury to the deputy. In count six, Maharrey is accused of assault on a police officer, a Class C violent felony, for allegedly intentionally preventing a second deputy from performing a lawful duty and causing serious physical injury to that deputy.

Jacob M. Balla Sr. is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 19 in the Town of Pembroke, in violation of an order of protection, that he struck, shoved, kicked or otherwise subjected the protected party to physical contact or attempted or threatened to do so. In count two, Balla is accused of second-degree harassment, a violation, for allegedly intentionally harassing, annoying or alarming the protected party by striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the person to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so.

Lashawn Brown-Dixie is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 17 Brown-Dixie drove a 2016 Chevrolet on Interstate 90 in the Town of Stafford while having a BAC of .18 percent or more. In count two, she is accused of DWI, as a Class E felony, for the same incident. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney's Office, Brown-Dixie is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Dec. 14, 2010 in Town of Marathon Court, County of Cortland, and the conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

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