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July 27, 2021 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, pembroke, Alabama, alexander.

Michael J. Perkins, no age provided, no residence provided, is charged with assault 2nd, criminal mischief 4th, criminal obstruction of breathing/blood circulation, and grand larceny 4th. It's alleged at at 12:05 a.m., Sunday, Perkins assaulted another person resulting in serious physical injury. He's accused of taking the person's phone while they attempted to dial 9-1-1 at a location on Ellicott Street and then applied pressure to the person's neck causing difficulty in breathing.  Perkins reportedly fled the residence prior to officers arriving.  Officer Stephen Quider and K-9 "Batu" responded and tracked the suspect.  Perkins was located as he was attempting to flee through backyards near a city park.  He was taken into custody without further incident. Perkins was also taken into custody on a Federal probation warrant.  He was arraigned in City Court and held without bail.

Jarrot C. Coniglio, no age provided, no residence provided, is charged with assault 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon 3rd, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration.  Justice C. Coniglio, no age provided, no residence provided, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The two men were arrested Saturday after deputies were called to Bloomingdale Roud to investigate an assault. A person had sustained a head laceration after being struck with a beer bottle. After deputies arrived on scene, Jarrot and Justice allegedly became hostile and combative.  Deputy Andrew Mullen and K-9 "Frankie" assisted in the apprehension of the suspects. Both men were arraigned in Town of Alabama Court. Jarrot was ordered held on $5,000 bail. Justice was released on his own recognizance and turned over to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office on a warrant.

Richard Daniel Sanderson, 36, of Lyons Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd.  Sanderson was arrested at a location on Main Road in Stafford, arraigned in Stafford Town Court, and released on his own recognizance.

Antonio James Goodson, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of petit larceny. He is accused of shoplifting at Walmart on July 22, 24, and 25. He was issued three separate appearance tickets and transported to the County Jail for processing. He was then released from custody.

Amanda Bowles, 35, of Pembroke, is charged with petit larceny. Bowles was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police at 1:22 p.m., Saturday.

Aaron M. Hatt, 25, of Alexander, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd, crimional posession of a controlled substance 7th, and aggravated family offense. He was arrested by State Police in Batavia at 2:20 a.m., Sunday and released on his own recognizance.

Tiffany A. Delgado, 44, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAT of .08 or greater. Delgado was arrested by State Police in Batavia at 3:27 a.m., Saturday, in the Town of Batavia, and released on an appearance ticket.

July 16, 2021 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, pembroke.

David James Leroy, 28, of Gabbey Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and trespass. He was arrested July 15 for allegedly violating a stay away order of protection and arraigned in Pembroke Town Court. It is alleged that at 7:42 a.m. on July 10 on Gabbey Road that Leroy violated the order of protection by speaking to his neighbor and trespassing on his property. He was released after arraignment under supervision of Genesee Justice and is due back in Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Tracy Marie Pocobello, 48, of Akron Road, Pembroke, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. At 11:45 p.m. on July 15, she was arrested. It is alleged that at 8:05 p.m. on June 29, she intentionally damaged property belonging to another person. Pocobello was released with an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 35, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. On July 14 at 4:56 a.m. Bowles was arrested in connection with an incident that occurred at 1 p.m. on July 11 on West Main Street Road in Batavia. She was issued appearance tickets and is due in Batavia Town Court on July 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Deputy Jonathan Dimmig.

July 15, 2021 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, animal abuse, pembroke, news, notify.


A Pembroke woman arrested earlier this year after more than 15 animals were found at her home on Akron Road in Pembroke in poor health entered a guilty plea in Pembroke Town Court to one count of animal abuse/failure to sustain under New York's Agriculture and Markets Law.

Lori Ann Adolf, 47, also entered a guilty plea to endangering the welfare of a child.

Both charges are Class A misdemeanors and could carry a maximum jail term of one year each, but under terms of the plea agreement, Adolf will likely be sentenced Oct. 13 to three years probation.

During those three years, Adolf cannot own, purchase, breed, or work with any animal of any kind.

The state does not have the authority to order her to own or keep animals for any period of time she's not on probation.

As part of the plea, Adolf also agreed to sign over six more dogs and two cats to the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Those animals are now available for adoption and as of yesterday had not been spoken for by any potential new owners.

Previously, Adolf had surrendered seven of the dogs to the shelter. 

Adolf will also be under the terms of a no-offensive-conduct order of protection in regard to the minor involved in the case.

She must also continue mental health and substance abuse care.


Photo: File photo of one of the dogs that had been in Adolf's care after being housed at the Animal Shelter for a few months.

July 11, 2021 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, sunset, news.


Sunset on McAlpine Road from yesterday, submitted by JoAnne Meiser.

July 11, 2021 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, news, notify.


Deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains on the West Coast are the California Caverns, a cave system that twists in a 30-foot descent until it reaches an abrupt 180-foot drop.

Spelunkers can now safely -- relatively speaking -- reach the bottom of this otherwise-seemingly bottomless pit. What Park Rangers have found in this dark, dank chamber are skeletal remains dating back centuries. The bones discovered there are always those of adolescents who took one step too many while seeking adventure.

Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinologist and professor at Stanford University, used this example of adolescent risk-taking in his book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.

Adolescents, research has shown, engage their prefrontal cortex less than adults when assessing risk.

By way of example, Sapolsky writes, "Researcher: 'How likely are you to have a car accident if you’re driving while drunk?' Adolescent: 'One chance in a gazillion.' Researcher: 'Actually, the risk is about 50 percent; what do you think your own chances are now?' Adolescent: 'Hey, we’re talking about me; one chance in a gazillion.' "

It's not just that adolescents do an inadequate job of assessing risk, but adolescent brain chemistry also drives them to seek more novelty and desire a close affiliation with peers.

That is one reason, perhaps, it is going to be difficult for local authorities to prevent another death -- and there have been at least 14 since 1870 -- at Indian Falls. 

The other issue is there is no clear answer as to who is responsible and accountable for what happens at Indian Falls. County officials and state officials have looked into it. There is no record of anybody -- not a private owner, not the government -- having title to that section of the Tonawanda Creek, even though it was once a site of grain mill wheels.

Former County Manager Jay Gsell said Indian Falls were a vexing issue for local officials throughout his 27 years running Genesee County. The last time during his career he and county staff looked into the issue was after Bradley Augustin drowned at the falls while celebrating his 22nd birthday. At that time, Assistant County Clerk Steve Grice researched the title for the land.  He found nothing. No former owner, no previous deed, no old tax map that assigned the property to anybody.

"We tried to find out, does anybody have the ability to assert legal authority over the property, to block all access? And the answer was no," Gsell said.

While private property abuts the falls on both sides and people often trespass on adjoining private land to get to the falls, the falls are also accessible from public land, notably Route 77 and its shoulders.

The property owners on the south bank of the Tonawanda Creek at the falls have been aggressive about trying to block access to the Tonawanda but those efforts at times have seemed futile. As for the state, neither Department of Transportation nor the Department of Environmental Conservation claimed state ownership of the land.

From the DEC:

The ownership of that section of Tonawanda Creek is unknown and would require a deed and title search at Genesee County to ascertain ownership. It is not DEC land. DEC enforcement jurisdiction in this area is the same as similar creeks throughout the state under the Environmental Conservation Law. For more information about trespassing laws for private land, please contact local law enforcement.

From the DOT:

NYSDOT would review any proposal from local officials to enhance safety along State Route 77 near the bridge over Tonawanda Creek. Guide rail is already in place and the surrounding area is posted for no trespassing.

The Log Cabin Restaurant overlooks the falls and the business is impacted anytime there is a rescue or recovery event at the falls. The owners have tried fencing and "no trespassing" signs.

A representative from the business said, "We have made our best efforts to keep people out of the dangerous swimming area."

In April, two months before Jacob C. Minnick, an 18-year-old championship diver from Lockport, jumped off the falls on June 17 and drowned, Barry Guthrie, a homeowner on the southside of the falls, wrote to the Pembroke Town Board. Over the course of a six-page letter, he outlined his efforts to try to keep kids from endangering themselves at the falls. He also offered to buy the falls so he could enforce private property rights at the falls themselves.

In 2020, he obtained a permit and built a 40-foot long fence with a locked gate at the main path from the restaurant parking lot across his property and to the falls. He said he still observed people in swimsuits, with towels and their own food and drinks, heading to the falls.

"These people were very persistent in getting down into the falls and were going around the fence's side perimeters," Guthrie wrote. "I secured a second building permit with the Log Cabin Restaurant owner to install two fence extensions on both side perimeters of the main fence."

That didn't stop people trying to get to the falls.

"People threw their bodies full force into the main gain and rotated the gate latch to open up the gate," he wrote. 

Would-be swimmers also used bolt cutters to defeat attempts to keep them from taking a fatal dive.

Throughout the season he tried numerous tactics to reinforce the fence but people continued to attack it. He installed trail cameras after four teenagers were rescued at the falls in July 2020. Even his cameras have been vandalized (he identified one local resident by name as a suspected culprit). With the cameras, he counted 33 trespass occurrences of four to five people each for a total of 140 possible trespassers.  

"During this time, people had no respect for my property even though I had multiple trespassing signs posted," he wrote. "People stole my trespassing signs. They also stole my chain with my trespassing sign still attached."

The only people he charged with trespassing were the four youths who had to be rescued. 

In one incident he took pity on the trespassers.

"I was at an anger level that I was going to charge everyone with trespassing," he wrote. "The police officer told me they wanted to talk with me and apologize and just get a warning. I was so upset that I didn't want to speak with them. Then the officer told me that one of the persons was in an internship with the Niagara Falls police department and another was in an FBI training program. Unbelievable! I didn't want to ruin their job potentials so I just let them all go with a warning."

Even with his efforts being circumvented at times, Guthrie estimates that he has stopped as many as 600 people from reaching the falls. 

The Town of Pembroke has also tried to do what it can to discourage people from going to the falls -- which is promoted on social media as a place for adventure -- by posting no parking signs on roads close to the falls.

Brian Frieday, chief deputy of road patrol for the Sheriff's Office, said officers are aware of the no parking signs and do what they can to maintain public safety.

"We do try to be proactive and check the area when not on other complaints," Frieday said. "Obviously, when patrols see cars parked illegally, that is a sign there are potentially people there. The illegally parked cars are ticketed and the patrols check for people at the falls."

Guthrie has researched the cost of putting up more fencing on public land around the creek, including DOT land, and he estimates it would cost $11,000.

At its June 25 meeting, the Pembroke Town Board discussed Guthrie's letter and was at least somewhat receptive to the idea of approaching the DOT about putting up additional barriers but at the same time, additional barriers aren't going to stop any youth determined enough to get to the falls.

"You can put up more fencing along the bridge but that isn't going to stop anybody from going down along state property, going around the fence," Supervisor Thomas Schneider said. "You can't put a fence in the waterway."

Guthrie's other idea: Work out a way either by contacting State Senator Ed Rath or a judge and getting clearance to buy Indian Falls for $1 and then he can enforce no trespassing on the falls.

That proposal was met with a bit more skepticism from Pembroke's elected leaders. First, they doubt such a purchase is even possible. Second, what would stop somebody else from offering more money for the property, or if at some time later, somebody comes along and offers an outrageous amount of money to Guthrie for his property?

The board seemed inclined to take no position on Guthrie's offer.

They did discuss the idea of putting up more warning signs.

Board Member Tom Dix said, "We could put up a sign at each end of the bridge that said so many people died here in the last 20 years, just a warning." 

Schneider said he has had similar thoughts.

"I thought about how to word it," Schneider said. "If you insist on going down here be sure to call your mother and say goodbye or something. I don’t know how to be tactful about it but get the point across."

The board didn't take any action after the discussion. Nobody said it, but there isn't a clear answer on what to do about adolescents taking a big risk with their lives at Indian Falls.

Further reading: A list of tragedies at Indian Falls going back to 1870 complied by the Town of Pembroke historian (pdf).

Photo: A reader-submitted photo from 2016 of a marker at Indian Falls placed in memory of Bradley Augustin.

July 7, 2021 - 2:38pm

Press release -- Updated at 3:48 p.m. with statements from Town of Pembroke Supervisor Thomas Schneider Jr. and Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27):

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today (July 7) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico (PDF, 224 KB).

“Expanding access to drinking water in our rural communities and cleaning up existing systems are essential to moving our region forward,” Sen. Chris Jacobs said. “With this funding, Pembroke will not only be able to provide more residents with safe drinking water, but also attract new small businesses and residents. This is a much-needed investment in Western New York, and I will continue to advocate for more water resources for our region.”

In Genesee County, the sole recipient for this round of loans and grants for residents without safe, potable public water service is the Town of Pembroke. It will receive a total of more than $9 million -- comprised of a $5,306,000 loan and a grant for $3,744,000 in Rural Development investments -- to create Water District #4.

“It is important to bring municipal water to every resident in the Town of Pembroke and to do it at a reasonable cost," Pembroke Town Supervisor Thomas Schneider Jr. said. "This funding helps the town in accomplishing that."

The investments being announced today follow President Biden’s announcement last week of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that will make the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. The Framework will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines, helping address barriers faced by communities of color, Tribal communities, and people who live in rural America.

“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color. This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities that need it most – to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”

USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The investments will help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities. They will improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.

USDA is announcing investments today in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (total of five projects statewide), Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

July 4, 2021 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, news.
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A fire inside a box truck carrying fireworks was "roaring pretty good" on South Lake Road in Pembroke when firefighters arrived on scene, said Indian Falls Assistant Chief Ed Mileham.

The call initially came in as a firework striking a vehicle and starting a fire but as it turned out the fire started inside a truck that was returning to Genesee County from a fireworks show last night in Akron.

The driver is unsure how the fire started, Mileham said.

The truck was loaded with launch canisters stacked in the front of the truck and unused fireworks in the back of the truck.

Exploding fireworks lit up the neighborhood and blew out the passenger side panel of the truck, the back roll-up door, and the roof. The cab was undamaged, probably because of the stacked canisters in the box stacked between the fireworks and the cab, Mileham said.

The driver was rolling on Route 5 through Pembroke when he spotted some sparks in his rearview mirror. He stopped to inspect, heard some bangs, and thought "I need to get out of here," Mileham said. He started yelling for residents to call 9-1-1.

Pembroke fire was first on scene with a truck that had a deck gun, which allowed firefighters to spray water on the fire from a distance.  

"The flames just roaring out of the back of the truck, almost hitting the power lines in the area," Mileham said.

National Grid was called to the scene and the power lines and a transformer about 20 feet away appeared to be undamaged.

"It was not a normal truck fire or car fire where you go up, put some water on it, put it out, and that's hit," Mileham said.

There was smoking debris up and down the roadway for dozens of feet, Mileham said, as well as in residential yards. No secondary fire was started by the fireworks, however.

Pembroke and Indian Falls were assisted at the scene by Corfu, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, and Dadswell, which towed the truck and cleaned up the debris.

Video taken with a home security camera submitted by a reader.

UPDATE: Here's another video from James Garrett.

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July 3, 2021 - 11:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, pembroke.

A vehicle fire is reported in the area of 8783 S. Lake Road, Pembroke.

A firework reportedly hit the vehicle.

Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:56 p.m.: Corfu Fire Police requested to shut off traffic at Cohocton on South Lake. A responding unit is standing back because "it's still exploding." National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 11:57 p.m.: A neighbor told a chief that the vehicle was full of fireworks. "Until about 60 seconds ago it was still exploding," the chief informs dispatchers. (If any Pembroke residents took photos or video, please email to [email protected])

UPDATE 12:38 a.m.: A box truck is apparently involved. It will require "massive cleanup."

UPDATE 1:30 a.m.: Pembroke, Indian Falls, Corfu, back in service.

July 2, 2021 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke, news.

A two-vehicle head-on collision is reported just north of the Thruway at 8331 Alleghany Road in Pembroke. There is air bag deployment and one of the vehicles is blocking southbound traffic. The second vehicle is off the roadway.

Indian Falls and Pembroke fire departments are responding. Corfu Fire Police are called to reroute traffic at the Thruway entrance.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Command asks for Speedy Dry to soak up liquids leaking from the vehicle in the roadway.

UPDATE 2:11 p.m.: Injuries are mostly minor. One man with a cardiac history is being assisted by medics on scene.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Two patients are being transported by medics to ECMC. Two wreckers are called to tow the disabled vehicles.

June 29, 2021 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, pembroke, news.


Sunset on McAlpine Road, Indian Falls, by JoAnne Meiser.

June 28, 2021 - 4:04pm

Submitted photos and press release:

Four top 10 seniors from Alexander, Elba, Pembroke and Notre Dame high schools are the recipients of the 2021 Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarships administered by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.

The $1,000 scholarship award winners, Annie Kochmanski, Taylor Augello, Lauren Filter and Isabelle Cooper are planning to pursue careers related to healthcare or working with those with a disability.  

Annie Kochmanski (top inset photo right) -- Alexander Central, will begin her studies in the teacher education transfer program at Genesee Community College, transferring to Keuka College to study Special Education and American Sign Language.

The Darien resident plans to become a teacher for individuals who are deaf/hearing impaired. In 2020, before school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Annie was involved in Alexander’s Big Buddy program, paired with a student in the elementary school, and was also an intern/teacher assistant for the second and third grades.

This experience solidified Annie’s decision to become and educator.

“I know that helping special needs students is where my heart lies,” Annie said in her scholarship application.

Taylor Augello (inset photo at left) -- Elba Central, will attend Genesee Community College for nursing and plans to one day become a Nurse Practitioner.

A scholar/athlete at Elba, Taylor said she has chosen nursing as her career path, because she has seen how individuals, especially those with disabilities can struggle.

“Knowing that I can help people with disabilities will fulfill my childhood dreams of helping others,” Taylor said.  

Lauren Filter (inset photo below right)-- Pembroke Central, has been accepted to Daemen College and plans to study Nursing, setting her sights on one day becoming a Certified Registered Nurse anesthetist (CRNA). “In a hospital, I will be working with people of all abilities,” Lauren said, adding, “There needs to be compassion, empathy and understanding that individuals (with disabilities) have complex communication needs.” As a certified lifeguard, Lauren has taught swimming lessons to children with a variety of swimming skills, special needs and learning disorders.  

Isabelle Cooper (below left inset photo) -- Notre Dame High School, is from the Town of Pavilion.

In the fall, she will be attending Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., in the Physician Assistant program.

In her scholarship application, Isabelle said, “I hope to one day work in a neurology practice with children with developmental delays.”

Isabelle has more than five years’ experience in the YMCA’s Challenger Sports program, volunteering with children with special needs.

In 2019, she took on the leadership role of running the Challenger Tennis program.

About the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship

Now in its 16th year, the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship is presented to area high school seniors planning to further their studies in human services, special education or related fields.

It is in honor of Mary Anne Graney, a special education teacher, who died in 2004.

The scholarship is funded by the Friends & Family 5K, scheduled this year for Sept. 18 in Elba.

June 24, 2021 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in moon, news, pembroke.


Photo submitted by JoAnne Meiser.

June 23, 2021 - 2:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in drone, pembroke, crime, news.

A traffic controller has contacted Genesee County Emergency Dispatch to report the sighting of a drone flying at 3,000 feet over Pembroke, apparently in the flight path for the Buffalo Airport.

It's illegal to fly a drone above 400 feet unless flying over a tall structure. 

A deputy has been dispatched to the area of Gorton Road and Phelps Road.

The drone is described as about two feet by two feet and silver.

June 18, 2021 - 12:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, Le Roy, pembroke, bergen.

Christopher C. Good, 19, of Cohocton Road, Pembroke, was arrested June 8 and charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, stemming from an incident that occurred earlier that day. He was arraigned virtually by Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. A subsequent investigation led to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office executing a search warrant on his residence June 15. Good was allegedly found in possession of a firearm, in violation of a previously served order of protection, and in possession of a high capacity ammunition feeding device. Good was arrested and charged with second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. Good was arraigned virtually in Genesee County Court and remained in custody of the Sheriff's Office, jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. The county DA's office assisted in the investigation.

Stephen J. Rucinski, 38, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with three misdemeanors and a violation, respectively: criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; obstructing governmental administration in the second degree; aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree; and no or inadequate license plate lamps. At 12:59 a.m. on June 9, Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle in the area of Selden Road and Route 19 in the Town of Le Roy. The operator, Rucinski, allegedly fled from the vehicle into a wooded area north of Selden Road. Deputy Nicholas Chamoun, Deputy Andrew Mullen and K-9 Frankie arrived on scene to assist locating the defendant. Following a successful track by K-9 Frankie, Rucinski was taken into custody without incident. It is alleged that he was in possession of a controlled substance at the time of his arrest and that he was driving with a suspended NYS driver's license. He was released with appearance tickets returnable to Le Roy Town Court July 6. Also assisting in this case were Sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Hale and members of the Le Roy Police Department.

June 18, 2021 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, news, pembroke.


Jacob Minnick, the 18-year-old from Lockport who died yesterday in a drowning incident at Indian Falls, was a back-to-back to Section VI diving champion, according to the Lockport Journal.

In his senior year at Lockport High School, Minnick was undefeated.

He had just completed his freshman year on Clarion University where he was a member of the swim team. The athletic department issued the following press release (and photo above):

CLARION, Pa. – Jacob Minnick, a member of the Clarion men's swimming & diving team, tragically passed away on Thursday, June 17. He was 18 years old. A native of Lockport, N.Y., Minnick had just completed his first year of study at Clarion and was an active member of the Golden Eagle team.

Information regarding memorial services are not available at this time.

"Jacob was a very sincere, polite, happy, caring kid," said Diving Coach Dave Hrovat. "In the time I got to know him, it was easy to see that he loved training with his teammates and loved being part of the program. He had a bright future ahead of him, athletically and academically. I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all his family and loved ones, and let them know that we are there for them in this tremendously difficult time."

"Jacob had a smiling, bright-eyed face every day walking on the pool deck," said Head Swimming & Diving Coach Bree Kelley. "He enjoyed his teammates and Clarion and we were excited to see him progress through our program. We are surely going to miss that smiling face. We will be offering counseling services for our team if they should need it but in the meantime our team will stand together to support one another through this tough loss."

"We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Jacob," said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Wendy Snodgrass, Ed.D. "He was an important and valued member of our men's swimming and diving program, and quickly developed strong bonds with his teammates and coaches. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone who knew and loved him."

"I extend our deepest sympathy to Jacob's family, friends, teammates and the faculty and staff in the Clarion community who knew him," said Clarion President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, Ed.D. "Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had accomplished so much and had so much more to give."

Minnick recently completed his first year as a member of the Golden Eagle men's swimming & diving program, and was a Biology / Ecology major. A freshman from Lockport High School, he did not compete during the 2020-21 season but was an integral part of the team during their training schedule. One of the top divers in the history of Lockport, he was a three-time state meet qualifier in high school, with a number of section championships to his credit. He placed 14th at the state meet as a junior and 16th as a senior.

June 18, 2021 - 12:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, video, pembroke.

A volunteer dive team attached with the Alden Volunteer Fire Department located the body of 18-year-old Jacob C. Minnick, of Lockport, in the churning waters below Indian Falls at 5:51 p.m. on Thursday.

Minnick had apparently gone to the falls with a group of friends to jump off the rocks into the water and after one jump shortly before 4 p.m. he resurfaced briefly and wasn't seen again.

His friends tried searching for him themselves before first responders from Pembroke, Indian Falls, and the Sheriff's Office arrived.

The City of Batavia's Fast Water Team was dispatched to assist in the search and team members were in the water for about an hour before the dive team was able to deploy. It took a diver about 11 minutes to locate Minnick's body. Coroner Karen Lang declared him dead at the scene.

Also assisting at the scene were Emergency Management and Corfu fire.

Previously: Juvenile who jumped in Indian Falls has not been seen coming to the surface, rescue units responding

June 17, 2021 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in McAlpine Road, indian falls, pembroke, news.


Photo by JoAnne Meiser of yesterday's sunset at McAlpine Road in Indian Falls.

June 15, 2021 - 3:58pm

Image: A first-place Graphic Arts creation, grades 10 to 12, by Michelle Jefferson from Dansville Central Schools called "Neon Lights."

Submitted image and press release:

The DIGIES is an annual digital media conference and festival run by the School Library Service, a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The mission of The DIGIES is to strengthen the digital media continuum between Pre-K-12 schools, higher education and professional institutions. The DIGIES recognizes student potential in an annual festival format and draws student entries from throughout the region and the Upstate New York area.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this in-person awards’ ceremony was canceled. Emilee Williamson and Andrea Fetterly, library technologies’ specialists, coordinate this conference. Fetterly said despite the pandemic, this year’s festival drew a number of entries.

“We are excited to celebrate the amazing creativity and skill demonstrated by the participants in this year's DIGIES festival," Fetterly said. "Despite a much different school year with remote learning and other extraordinary circumstances, students continue to achieve great success."

Congratulations to these imaginative students!


Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Gadge Savastano -- "Irregular Time" -- Mount Morris Central School
  • Second Place: Harper Antonucci -- "Right Side Up" -- Geneseo Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Matt Sullivan -- "The Digies Beat" -- Wildwood Education Center GST BOCES
  • Second Place: Desinee Woodworth -- "Fade Out" -- Dansville Central School
  • Third Place: Benjamin Scoins, Devon Vaughn, Ainsley Czechowicz -- "Shooting for a Cure" -- Pembroke Central School

Graphic Arts

Pre-K-third Grades

  • FIRST PLACE: Aiden Palmer -- "Aiden Catches the Rainbow" -- Pavilion Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Mrs. Sylor’s 5th Grade Class -- "Class Portrait" -- Livonia Central School
  • Second Place: Madelyn Burnett -- "Burning Bush" -- Southwestern Central School
  • Second Place: Avery Boor -- "Stitch Digital Drawing" -- Avon Central School
  • Third Place: Evie Walters -- "Comfortable Cat" -- Livonia Central School
  • Third Place: Zuli Mayer -- "Shy Smile" -- Lancaster William Street Central School

Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Aniya Ellsworth -- "Digital Mosaic" -- Eden Middle/High School
  • Second Place: Gregory Martin -- "Virtual Gallery" -- Rush-Henrietta Central School
  • Third Place: Parker Baldwin -- "Virtual Gallery" -- Rush-Henrietta Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Michelle Jefferson -- "Neon Lights" -- Dansville Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Wojtas – "Bridge" -- Brockport Central School
  • Third Place: DezaRay Burley -- "New World" -- Wildwood Education Center GST BOCES


Pre-K-third Grades

  • First Place: Mrs. Leanord’s first-grade class (Ace Friday, Brianna Gilmore, Kylie Greenway, Tyler Hanvey, Evelyn Holmes, Isabella Jackson, Aubrie Jordan, Michaela MacPherson, Kate Rehberg, Gavin Rubert, Atticus Salogar, Luna Santangelo and Frankie Tirabassi) – "Animal Adaptations" – Avon Central School
  • Second Place: Caydence Chappius, Maggie Driscoll, Adelyn Duryea, Callaghan George, Reed Jaros, Charlie Chesnes, Ruby Kyle, Nora Lane, Kenna MacPherson, Conlan McLaughlin, Emma Moran, Donivan Welch, Isabella Tumminelli, Jeremiah Jordan) – "Animal Habitats" – Avon Central School
  • Third Place: Morgan Arber, Briella Bailey, Brooke Clinton, Logan Gaczynski, Evan Hill, Madelyn Hindle, Malcolm Lincourt, Annalisa Murphy, Connor O'Dea, Emily Oyler, Patrick Powers, Layla Price, Kaiden Kellman – "Habitats" – Avon Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Julianna Lawson, Annabelle Bajus, Adeline Timothy – "All About Dogs" – Keshequa Central School
  • Second Place: Emerson Currin, Reese Koukides, Cora Weaver – "Snoop Pups" – Le Roy Central School
  • Third Place: Mrs. Dorey’s Fourth Grade Class – "Museum of Invention" – Livonia Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Dylan Lewis – "Minecraft World" – Cassadaga Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Burkhartzmeyer, Madeline Cherwonik, Samuel Coyle, Patrick Farrell, Abigail Foley, Dia Gauthier, Eliza Gonzalez, Claire Gratto, Nicholas Nealon, Samantha Place, Laine Ramsay, Colby Reixinger, Natalie Smith, Leia Thibaut – "The Pandemic Publication" – Brockport Central School
  • Third Place – Sean Pies – "High Flyin Vinyl" – Batavia City School


Pre-K-third Grades

  • First Place: Cooper Clark – "Jellyfish" – Livonia Central School
  • Second Place: James McMahon – "Commercial for an Electric Scooter" – Geneseo Central School
  • Third Place: Ethan McMahon – "Commercial for Roller Blades" – Geneseo Central School

Fourth-sixth Grades

  • First Place: Emilia McMahan – “Rainbow Bird” Claymation – Avon Central School
  • Second Place: Sunny Quinn, Lilianna Pragle – "How NOT to Wear a Mask" – Livonia Central School
  • Third Place: Halie Hassell – "Changing the World" – Le Roy Central School

Seventh-ninth Grades

  • First Place: Adam Dolph – "Insane Trick Shots" – Alexander Central School
  • Second Place: Anna Holt, Zoey Wallace, Chloe Hennings – "Roasty Toasty Toaster" – Alexander Central School
  • Third Place: Andrew Lindboom – "Travel Video Paris" – Southwestern Central School

10th-12th Grades

  • First Place: Jacob French – Cookie Jar – Geneseo Central School
  • Second Place: Ashlyn Kreiss – Two’s a Pair – Pittsford Sutherland Central School
  • Third Place: Charlotte Raith – Study Break – Pittsford Sutherland Central School

About the School Library Service

It is a program of the Genesee Valley BOCES. GV BOCES operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 11, 2021 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Avenue of Flags, wny national cemetery, pembroke, news, veterans.


Press release:

The Avenue of Flags is something National cemeteries display during Memorial Day. National cemeteries can either put small flags up at each marker or display an Avenue of Flags for Memorial Day. 

The Western New York National Cemetery has been recently approved to display the Avenue of Flags annually from Armed Forces Day (Third Saturday in May) to the Saturday after Veterans Day (Nov. 11).

Each flag that is flown along the Avenue has either draped a veteran's casket or accompanied a veteran's urn to their final resting place. These are known as interment flags.

Each flag has been presented to the next of kin of the veteran on behalf of the President of the United States and the branch of service the veteran served. Families donate their veterans interment flags to fly along the Avenue to represent their service and sacrifice to the country.     

The WNYNC Memorial Council is responsible for the maintenance of the flags as well as collecting the donated flags. The WNYNC Memorial Council is a newly developed council, begun within the last year to support the WNYNC.  

Photos by Howard Owens.




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