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November 22, 2020 - 10:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at 9036 South Lake Road, Pembroke.

A car reportedly hit a house and the driver fled the scene.

One car involved.

Injuries are reported.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responding.

November 5, 2020 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron, Le Roy, Darien, pembroke, bergen, Stafford.

Jennifer M. Moore, 35, of River Street, Batavia, is charged with: two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony; and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that Moore sold crack cocaine to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force on two separate occasions. Moore, who had an active arrest warrant, was located sitting in a vehicle that was parked in a parking lot on Park Road in the Town of Batavia, where she was taken into custody. She was also allegedly in possession of crack cocaine at the time of her arrest. Moore was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, the Batavia Police Department, and the Village of Le Roy Police Department. The task force was assisted by deputies and the District Attorney's Office.

James O. Weathers, 47, of Teralta Street, Rochester, and Ayeola N. Williams, 46, of East Path Rise, West Henrietta, were arrested on Oct. 31 on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford. At 12:38 a.m., Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore was on patrol in a marked Sheriff's vehicle and stopped their vehicle after observing a traffic violation. Williams was the driver and was put through field sobriety tests, which she allegedly failed. Further investigation and a vehicle search allegedly found marijuana and a loaded firearm. She is charged with: criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree -- a loaded firearm, which is a Class C felony; driving while ability impaired by alcohol, a violation; speeding -- over 55 mph, a violation; and operating a motor vehicle while having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle. Her passenger, Weathers, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, too. The District Attorney was consulted for bail recommendations and the defendants were arraigned by Town of Alabama Judge Pamela Thurber via Skype due to COVID-19 protocols. Both were then put in jail with Williams bail set at $1,000 cash or bond; Weathers' bail was set at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun.

Charlene Rae Cook, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, resisting arrest and second-degree criminal contempt. Cook was arrested after a domestic incident at 1:10 p.m. Oct. 25 on Liberty Street for allegedly violating an order of protection. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $5,000 cash bail, $10,000 bond, or $20,000 partially secured bond. She was due to return to city court on Oct. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Kevin Maurice McCoy, 54, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and failure to appear in court as ordered. At 7:54 p.m. on Oct. 31, McCoy was arrested after allegedly violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party on East Main Street. There was also an arrest warrant for him out of Batavia City Court. McCoy was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail, with bail set at $1,500 cash, $3,000 bond or $6,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Brandon C. Dodd, 33, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny -- theft of a motor vehicle; and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. At about 1 a.m. on Nov. 1, Dodd was arrested after the theft of a motor vehicle at a residence on Highland Park. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype and is due there on Nov. 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Mathew Ray Albaugh, 35, of Townline Road, Bergen, is charged with driving while intoxicated and speeding -- exceeding 55 mph. At 1:42 a.m. on Nov. 1, Albaugh was arrested on Townline Road in Bergen after a traffic stop for speeding. It is alleged he was driving over 55 mph while having a BAC of .08 or more. He was released on an appearance ticket to be in Bergen Town Court on Nov. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Kristen Elizabeth Sekuterski, 34, of Orleans Avenue, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Following a "check-the-welfare complaint" at 10:04 a.m. Oct. 30 on Alleghany Road in the Town of Pembroke, Sekuterski was arrested. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Pembroke Town Court on Nov. 19. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Justin D. McQuillen, 32, of Freeman Road, Byron, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- common law; and speeding. McQuillen was arrested Oct. 31 on Oak Street after allegedly being observed speeding at 8:52 p.m. He was released on appearance tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Benjamin G. Evans IV, 32, of Federal Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested Oct. 30 after allegedly not following court mandate on Oct. 19. Evans was issued an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on Nov. 10. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy  Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Kenneth Quackenbush.

Tricia Marie Ruth Martinez, 27, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested after allegedly agreeing to purchase a Halloween costume from the victim and then taking the costume without paying for it at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 on Colby Road in Darien. Martinez was issued a ticket to appear in Darien Town Court on Dec. 1. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Gauthier.

Walter Tomlin Snell, 32, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested Oct. 26 when located by Genesee County Probation after allegedly failing to appear in court as scheduled. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court Nov. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot.

November 5, 2020 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, pembroke, scanner.

A woman who lives on Marble Road in Pembroke called dispatch to complain that neighbors south of her at a horse farm let their dogs run loose on her property "again" and now one of her dogs has returned to her house with an injury.

The property is between Gabbey and Akron roads.

A deputy will respond, starting with a phone call to the complainant.

October 25, 2020 - 10:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, pembroke, indian falls.

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A victim in a car accident with injuries and the need for extrication was first reported at 10:13 p.m. in Pembroke. The location is 626 Main Road. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are on scene.The victim was unconscious in a creek; that person has been extricated. A second victim is possible. Mercy Flight was called and has landed.

UPDATE 10:49 p.m.: The vehicle smashed into a utility pole, a fire hydrant and a house and then plunged into a creek. National Grid has been notified about the pole and Monroe County Water Authority is being notified now regarding the broken fire hydrant.

UPDATE 10:53 p.m.: There is an ongoing effort to rescue another occupant of the vehicle. They asked for firefighters on the other side of the creek "to hold the rope."

UPDATE 11:46 p.m.: The vehicle has been removed from the water. The rescue team is conducting a secondary search of the water for any possible additional victim.

UPDATE 11:55 p.m.: GC Sheriff's deputies are on scene and a second unit is requested.

UPDATE 12:07 a.m. (information via Alecia Kaus/Video News Service): According to Sgt. Andrew Hale, Sheriff's Office, a red Mustang went off the roadway, struck a pole, a garage, and then went into the creek. The back half of the vehicle was sheared off. The driver was not coherent after being extricated and was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight with an apparent serious injury. It is unknown if there were other occupants in the vehicle. Volunteer firefighters are searching the creek and the surrounding area.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m., Monday, Oct. 26 (By Howard): The 1998 Mustang was operated by Brent J. Graham, 32, of San Hill Road, Akron. According to the accident report prepared by Sgt. Jason Saile, Graham was westbound on Route 5 when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and traveled off the north shoulder of the road. The vehicle struck a utility pole, continued westbound and struck a fire hydrant, and then traveled across Back Street, striking a guardrail, continued westbound, striking a stop sign and another National Grid pole. The Mustang overturned and came to rest in two pieces in Murder Creek.

Reader-submitted photos.

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October 22, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, pembroke, drug take back day.

Press release:

This Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Bring your pills to either of these collection sites below for disposal: 

  • Pembroke Town Hall, Route 5 at Route 77 in Pembroke -- received by Genesee County Sheriff Deputies;
  • Alva Place Parking Lot, Batavia (across the street from Batavia Showtime movie theater located in the Genesee Country Mall) -- received by Batavia Police Officers. Sharps will also be accepted at this location only.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked. Collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, which includes masks for citizens dropping off medication.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.

October 9, 2020 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, pembroke.

Quinn D. Audsley was one of the nearly 465 students who were awarded bachelor degrees from St. Lawrence University conferred in May 2020.

Audsley is a member of the Class of 2020 and majored in Sociology. Audsley attended Pembroke Junior-Senior High School. 

About St. Lawrence University

Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence University is a private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,500 students located in Canton, New York. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity and the planet.

Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global. Visit www.stlawu.edu.

October 9, 2020 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, east bethany, batavia, pembroke, Oakfield, bergen.

David M. Schmieder, 26, of Silver Road, East Bethany, was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy in the Village of Gainesville last month. At 1:04 p.m. on Sept. 23 Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies responded to a complaint about a man walking down the middle of Route 19, obstructing traffic and acting irrationally. Upon arrival, Schmieder allegedly refused to follow orders and ignored deputies. When one deputy approached Schmieder, the police report says he "forcefully punched the deputy in the head." A short struggle ensued and two deputies were able to take Schmieder into custody. The defendant is accused of being found with an amount of suspected drugs in his mouth, "which he refused to spit out." The injured deputy was transported to Wyoming County Community Health System for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Schmieder was taken to Wyoming County Community Health System for "treatment of a medical condition." On Oct. 1 he was released from Erie County Medical Center and arrested. Schmieder was taken to Wyoming County Jail for virtual arraignment in front of Wyoming County Court Judge Michael Mohun. He is charged with: second-degree assault; tampering with physical evidence; obstructing governmental administration in the second degree; resisting arrest; disorderly conduct -- obstructing traffic; and violation of probation. Schmieder was put in Wyoming County Jail without bail on the count of violation of probation. On the other charges, bail was set at $100,000 cash, $200,000 either bond or partially secured bond (same amount).

Hope Marie Grasso, 50, of Haven Lane, Le Roy, is charged with: criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree; attempted grand larceny in the third degree; and attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree. She was arrested at 10:04 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. Grasso had allegedly possessed two fraudulent checks that amounted to a combined total of $52,800 and she is accused of trying to cash them at a local bank. She was put in jail and was scheduled to be arraigned this morning (Oct. 9) in Batavia City Court. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Francisco Martinez Jr., 47, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with: open container of alcohol on public property; petit larceny; two counts of endangering the welfare of a child; and second-degree harassment. He was arrested after an investigation into a disturbance at 3:38 p.m. Oct. 3 in Austin Park on Jefferson Avenue in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Nateeka M. Gibson, 31, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with burglary in the second degree -- illegal entry into a dwelling, and disobeying a mandate of a judge. Gibson was arrested at 3:24 p.m. on Oct. 4 on Washington Avenue in Batavia after allegedly unlawfully entering the home of a person with a complete stay away order of protection. Gibson was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype and released under supervision of Genesee Justice with a 24/7 house arrest order. Gibson was due to return to court on Oct. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Mark Theodore Helm, 39, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Helm was arrested on Oct. 5 after an investigation into an incident that occurred on State Street at 3:10 on Sept. 28. Helm is accused of pushing and punching another male during an altercation. Helm is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman.

David James Leroy, 28, of Gabbey Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 1:24 this morning, Oct. 9, after an alleged altercation with another person. Leroy was released with an appearance ticket to be Pembroke Town Court on Oct. 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Zachary V.D. Seeley, 23, of Lyman Road, Bergen, is charged with aggravated criminal contempt. He was arrested on Oct. 5 following an alleged violation of an order of protection that occurred at 9:09 p.m. Sept. 26 on Ellsworth Avenue in Batavia. Seeley was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype then put in jail "until his return date" to court on Nov. 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Jeffery Robert Roth, 54, of South Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Roth on an active arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court and the defendant was arraigned on Oct. 4 via Skype. Roth was put in jail on $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 bond and is due back in court on Nov. 5. Post was assisted by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Grace C. Murray, 21, of Hawks Road, East Bethany, was arrested Oct. 2 after she turned herself in at Batavia Police Headquarters on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. It was issued after she allegedly failed to appear for sentencing on an undisclosed matter on Sept. 15. Murray is to return to court on Oct. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

October 3, 2020 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on Route 77 in front of the Flying-J.

Unknown injuries.

There is reportedly a post-accident verbal altercation in progress.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

October 2, 2020 - 12:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, corfu, airplane accident, notify, pembroke.

A small airplane is reported down in the area of 9115 Boyce Road in Corfu. The call to dispatch was initially placed by the Buffalo Airport and subsequently a female caller told a dispatcher the crash was in the woods behind her house.

Buffalo authorities said the plane can hold up to six passengers, but it is unknown how many people are on board.

Corfu and East Pembroke fire departments are responding with a UTV and a hazmat team is called as a precautionary measure.

First responders near the scene say the smell of fuel is in the air.

Law enforcement says the plane is due west (about a half mile) of the Boyce Road address; behind "Mr. Fry's residence." A laneway is nearby but the site of the impact, with heavy damage apparent, is accessible only by foot.

UPDATE 12:08 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls fire police are asked to shut down Boyce Road at Route 33 and Route 5. "The impact hole is apparent but no bodies." "We're looking for victims."

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: "I don't see anybody -- we're going to have to do a search of the woods," says a firefighter.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: A crew from Crittenden Fire Department in Erie County is asked to fill in at Corfu's hall.

UPDATE 12:23 p.m.: Amherst Fire Department in Erie County is asked to stand by in their quarters.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: Mercy Flight (top photo) was briefly assisting in the search. It is back in service and the State Police Helicopter is doing an air search. Newstead fire is standing by in quarters.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: The Buffalo-based plane was returning to Buffalo from Manchester, NH, at the time it crashed. According to its aircraft registration summary, it is a 2009 SOCATA, with seven seats and a single Turbo-prop engine with 850 horsepower, referred to in the aviation industry at a TBM-850.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Below is an image of the model of aircraft that crashed from the manufacturer's website, courtesy of our news partner WBTA.

UPDATE 3:27 p.m.: The plane is registered to an address that is shared by that of the high-profile law firm of Cellino & Barnes.

UPDATE 3:52 p.m.: According to Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron Jr., there were two people on board, a male and a female, but he declined to provide identification pending notification of family. There are no survivors. The Buffalo News has confirmed that attorney Stephen Barnes, a licensed pilot, was on board. The impact was severe and it created a large crater in the ground and a huge debris field. The plane nearly disintegrated; the largest part of the plane that could be found was a piece of a wing only 3 to 4 feet long. He said it will be quite some time before remains can be recovered and that will be difficult. Federal Aviation Administration personnel are on scene.

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UPDATE Oct. 3, 2:09 p.m.: Below is the actual aircraft piloted by Stephen Barnes, registered as N965DM LLC. Technically it is a 2009 SOCATA 700N version, but aviators refer to it as an TBM-850, according to reader Jim Riner. He's a Byron native who now lives in Englewood, Colo., and works for Wetzel Aviation. Riner sent us this photo from the FlightAware website.

October 1, 2020 - 3:22pm

Rochester Regional Health will resume lab services at its Pembroke Laboratory Service Center location effective today, Oct. 1.

With health and safety at the top of mind, we have new safety measures and processes in place to protect patients.

  • A maximum of two patients will be allowed inside the facility at a time.
  • Patients will need to call upon arrival to check in and be directed to enter the building when a room is ready.
  • Masks will be provided to any patient who arrives without one.

While care may look different, please rest assured that we are delivering the same high-quality care we always have.

Lab services are resuming with new hours at this location:

Rochester Regional Health Laboratory Service Center – Pembroke

860 Main Road

Corfu, NY 14036

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

  • 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday

  • 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Closed weekend and holidays.

Rochester Regional Health Labs at 16 Bank St., Batavia, and 3 Tountas Ave., Le Roy, are also open for your convenience. Visit rochesterregional.org for office hours and more information.

October 1, 2020 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, accidents, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries that is partially blocking traffic is reported at 1677 Main Road in Pembroke. There are two patients complaining of back, neck and knee pain. Mercy medics and East Pembroke fire are responding. A second ambulance is requested to the scene, which is located between Boyce and Cleveland roads.

September 29, 2020 - 10:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Donald Trump, corfu, pembroke, news.

Overnight, President Donald Trump shared with his more than 86 million Twitter followers a video of the five "Trump Trailers" that were painted "Trump 2020" by local residents and paraded more than a week ago on routes 33, 77 and 5 on the west side of Genesee County.

The tweet has been retweeted 19,000 times and liked more than 84,000 times. The video now has more than one million views.

Previously: Photos: Five trailers supporting Trump's reelection put on display in western part of Genesee County

September 21, 2020 - 3:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, pembroke, bergen.

Andrew Theodore Pape, 31, of Chili Riga Road, Churchville, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; operation of a motor vehicle with suspended registration; refusal to take a breath test; unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree; and moving from lane unsafely. Pape was arrested at 9:49 pm. Sept. 18 on Jerico Road in Bergen following the investigation of a property damage accident that occurred at 9:10 p.m. He was issued appearance tickets for Nov. 4 in Bergen Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Dimmig, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Jacob William Cobti, 18, of Burdick Road, Akron, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by alcohol; refusal to take a breath test; and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. On. Sept. 20 at 7:54 a.m., Cobti was arrested after an investigation of a disabled vehicle on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. He was issued traffic tickets and released. He is due in Pembroke Town Court on Oct. 21. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Dimmig, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

David Gerard Sankel, 68, of Spencerport Road, Spencerport, is charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a breath test. He was arrested at 12:55 a.m. on Sept. 19 on South Lake Road in Le Roy after an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Sankel was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Le Roy Court on Oct. 6. The case was handled by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

September 20, 2020 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Donald Trump, news, corfu, pembroke.

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A group of local supporters of President Donald Trump say the Pledge of Allegiance before riding off in a "Trump Train" of five semi-trucks volunteers in Pembroke painted to read "Trump 2020." The five traliers were parked in strategic locations on Route 5 and Route 33 after the caravan.

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September 20, 2020 - 3:30pm

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Pembroke Town Park was filled with classic cars today -- perhaps more than ever -- for the 13th Annual Pembroke Corfu Darien Kiwanis Club Annual Car Cruise & Fall Festival.

Rep. Chris Jacobs and Assemblyman Steve Hawley were on hand for the opening ceremonies, to meet constituents, and admire the beautiful cars.

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September 15, 2020 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, pembroke.

Letter from Ed Levinstein:

I am writing in response to your recent editorial article; “School boards get a failing grade on transparency with voters.”  Contrary to your claim of “group conformity,” I am writing this without asking for approval from my fellow Pembroke Central School District board members or our superintendent.  I want you and your readers to know, I have never felt the need or pressure to seek approval.  Speaking only for myself, but with a suspicion that my fellow board members at Pembroke and elsewhere may agree, I take exception to your article. 

I wish to begin by noting where you and I agree; that school board members are elected individually and that the public has a right to know where we stand.  I wholeheartedly agree and there is no debating this in my mind.  However, our board’s decision to ask our President to answer your questions about reopening school on our behalf, in no way equates to avoiding public accountability. Please keep in mind that the board and administration grappled with this plan for weeks.  As a team, we developed a plan that everyone had input on and is fully supportive of and unanimously approved.  The lack of any disagreement does not indicate that any of us are hiding our true opinions or having them suppressed. 

I would like to add that I did respond to Mr. Pettinella’s email after your exchange with our President, John Cima, where you asked again for individual responses.  Granted, my response was still in agreement with John, but this should not imply that I was in some way unwilling or not allowed to give my opinion.  I believe my fellow board members also replied after your second request but this was not included in your follow up Facebook post.

With all due respect to you and other journalists who play an extremely important role in our society, board members are not obligated to respond to your questions. Your inference from our individual silence that we are being stifled or manipulated is speculative at best, deceptive at worst.  The tone of your article and the responses you gave John imply that you think we are answerable to you and that if our responses don’t conform to your formatting and expectation, then we are being obstructive or just too stupid to understand our “assignment.”  This unfair treatment by some media may be why some board members and districts prefer to have a gatekeeper of sorts to prevent being misunderstood.

As a Pembroke Central School Board member, I very much recognize my responsibility to the students and constituents.  I applaud that you and other publications are covering important matters including the reopening plans of districts. However, I feel you are doing a disservice to the community by creating a perception about our transparency that in my opinion, is not fair or accurate. If you had cared about the original topic, I imagine we would have seen an article that discussed the reopening plans of districts in the region. 

Your perception is based simply on our group responses to a couple open-ended questions that I imagine most board members agree on anyway by this point.  Regarding our transparency, please know that the discussions and vote on the plan were held in open meetings that you and the public are always welcome to attend.  Also, the minutes to those meetings are available on our website and upon a request. I’m also personally available to any constituent who wants to know where I stand on a school issue.

Finally, I want you and your readers to understand that aside from the satisfaction of working to provide opportunities for and improve the lives of children, being on a school board is a tough job that we take on cheerfully but very seriously.  It includes a lot of hard work, long hours, long meetings and is completely volunteer.  Most of us do not have high aspirations for public office.  We just want to help the kids in our district be successful and lead happy, productive lives.  

I feel that it is a great privilege to work with a board that is able to work so well together and I hope that the voters in my district will entrust me for another term when the time comes.  It seems almost out of place in this day and age that a group of elected officials can work so well together, which is maybe why you felt the need to create the perception of controversy where there is none.

Sincerely,
Ed Levinstein
Vice President
Pembroke Central School Board

Previously: EDITORIAL: School boards get failing grade on transparency with voters

Previously: Genesee County central school districts unveil plans for reopening this fall

September 13, 2020 - 6:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in pembroke, schools, education, news.

Here is the response received from John Cima, school board president for Pembroke for the questions we sent each individual board member of the school district.  Cima said he was responding as school board president and the response reflected the views of the school board.

The school board members who failed to provide their own responses:

  • John A. Cima
  • Heather Wood
  • Ed Levinstein
  • Dan Lang
  • Art Ianni

Do you support the District’s policy and reopening plan? Why or Why not?
As Board President of the Pembroke Central School District, I have been asked to give you our Board’s response. At Pembroke, and across the State, school boards operate as one unit not as individuals. We set policy and work in conjunction with the Superintendent and administrative team to effectively and efficiently operate our district. Individual opinions and ideas from all are listened to and discussed as we formulate policies and plans affecting the District as a whole. It is through these rich and respectful discussions that our policies and plans are developed. By adhering to this process, we examine situations and, in the end, develop policies and plans that we feel best meet the needs of our District. So, with that being said, our Board and the individuals who serve on our Board strongly believe in and support the District’s policy and reopening plan.

The reopening plan offers options to our school community to address various comfort levels while providing our students the challenging education and safe environment they richly deserve whether they choose virtual or in-person learning. We have also provided a structure to allow parents to change the initial option chosen for their children on a quarterly basis and our district the flexibility to adjust on the fly to a hybrid or 100% virtual model should the health numbers change.

No plan developed will completely satisfy everyone’s concerns but, we listened to all stakeholders and feel that our reopening plan comes very close to addressing those concerns in a manner providing educational opportunities and a safe environment for all of our students and staff.

What feedback have you received from parents in your district?
We have surveyed parents numerous times throughout the process of developing the reopening plan and used that feedback to effectively formulate the plan. The feedback received has been extremely positive. Also, the Superintendent and administrative team held a series of question and answer sessions via Zoom to answer questions and receive feedback. The valuable feedback has allowed for some tweaking of the plan to address concerns. Our Board feels strongly that the Superintendent and Administrative team has done a highly effective job communicating the elements and expectations of our district’s reopening plan and has welcomed the community feedback we have received,

September 11, 2020 - 8:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, Thurway.

A semi-truck has rear-ended a sedan in the Easy Pass lane of Exit 48 of the Thruway in Pembroke.

Unknown injuries.

Pembroke and Indian Falls along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:49 p.m.: The occupant of the sedan is likely a sign off.

August 31, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, pembroke.

Robert D. Woods, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree burglary. Wood was arrested at 7:17 p.m. Aug. 18 on Wood Street after he allegedly pushed another person and did so in the presence of two children. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on Oct. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

David James Leroy, of Gabbey Road, Pembroke, is charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment. On Aug. 26, following a complaint of harassment, Leroy was arrested at 8:40 p.m. on Gabbey Road. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Pembroke Court on Oct. 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy is Kyle Krzemien, assisted by Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Brian Keith Dyer, 53, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degress harassment. At 7:11 p.m on Aug. 25, Dyer was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 7:35 p.m. Aug. 13 on North Street. He allegedly shoved another person. Dyer was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Brian Keith Dyer, 53, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degress harassment -- with physical contact. At 7:12 p.m on Aug. 25, Dyer was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 7:20 p.m. Aug. 13 on North Street. He allegedly subjected another person to unwanted physical contact. Dyer was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer John Gombos.

Maurice G. Leach, 44, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and failure to use sidewalk. At 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 25, Leach was arrested after an incident that occurred outside a residence on State Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan, assisted by Officer Joshua Girvin.

Jacqueline Raj Garrett, 41, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with illegal use of toxic vapors. Garrett was arrested at 1:07 p.m. on Aug. 21 after she was allegedly found outside a business on West Main Street in Batavia huffing a can of compressed air used to dust electronics. Garrett is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Latiqua S. Jackson, 27, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jackson was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Aug. 20 on an arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court. She was located at a residence on Highland Park while patrols were there on an unrelated matter. Jackson was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype then released on her own recognizance. She is due to return to court on Oct. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Joshua Girvin, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

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