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March 25, 2014 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, byron-bergen, mock trials, bergen.

Attica and Byron-Bergen won semifinal rounds of the mock trial competition held in Wyoming County Court, in Warsaw, on Monday night.

All four teams were 1-1.  Here's the point totals:

Attica - 120 points
Byron-Bergen – 119 points
Batavia – 113 points
Pembroke - 112 points

The finals are tomorrow, 5 p.m., in the Genesee County Courthouse.

To purchase prints, click here.

May 15, 2013 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, byron-bergen, bergen.

The junior and senior classes at Byron-Bergen saw today a bit of what it's like at a fatal DWI accident. Their prom is this weekend and officials, like at many local high schools, want to emphasize the message: don't drink and drive.

The Bergen and Byron fire departments participated in the drill along with Coroner Karen Lang, H.E. Turner Funeral Home and Deputy Chris Parker.

The DOA accident victim was played by Sara Donovan. Andrew Magin was the seriously injured victim and the alleged drunken driver was Lucas DeValder.

HS Principal Aaron Johnson

Deputy Chief Doug Van Slyke

April 30, 2013 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, byron-bergen, educaiton.

Photos and information submitted by Michaele White.

Kennedy White, a 17-year-old student at Byron-Bergen, took third place at the NYS Skills USA competition for welding held in Syracuse last week. She received a bronze medal and a $2,000 scholarship to Lincoln to further her welding skills. She is a second-year student in welding at BOCES under instructor Don Shuknecht.

February 23, 2013 - 1:00am
Event Date and Time: 
April 13, 2013 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Los Angeles singer-songwriter Adrianne Gonzalez returns to Genesee County for a solo concert in the Byron-Bergen High School auditorium.  Her music has been featured on TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and In Plain Sight, and she has played with Bonnie Raitt, Tegan and Sara, and Jeff Buckley.  Adrianne also is one of the four musicians who make up the indie-rock group The Rescues.

December 10, 2012 - 9:17am

It all started with a little girl with a big heart.

Angelique Heick, the 8-year-old from Bergen who competed as a finalist in the "American Miss" pageant in August, spent a large part of the last year taking money from her monthly allowances and using it to purchase toys for underprivileged children in Genesee County.

She donated 12 toys for each month of the year to Community Action Angels of Genesee County, which is the volunteer arm of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. It's made up of volunteers dedicated to gathering donations for toys, food, clothing, extra money and other necessities for Genesee County residents in need.

But this wasn't enough. When Angelique learned about all that the "Angels" do to support needy kids and families, she was bothered that there was no such volunteer program for kids her age.

"I wanted to know why there was no Community Action Junior Angels," she said, "so I decided to start my own."

Now, with the help of 100 Girl Scouts -- officially dubbed "Jr. Angels" -- their families, Community Action and others, Angelique has achieved this dream.

Angelique -- a third-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, a Girl Scout since age 4 and a member of Troop 42174 -- inspired her Girl Scout Troop with her idea and efforts to collect funding promises from local businesses along with three friends -- Pat, Lisa and Annet.

Troop 42174 Leader Rene Vurraro gathered Girl Scout Troops from Byron-Bergen, Pavilion and Le Roy to help with a community service event in response to Angelique's vision.

When Community Action, in turn, heard about what the Scouts were doing, they decided to partner with them to make this a much bigger, annual event called "Circle of Giving" and to develop a Community Action Jr. Angels program.

The first "Circle of Giving" was held on Saturday at Byron-Bergen High School.  The Jr. Angels were there to collect donations of food, clothing and toys, and to make cards for the recipients.

The goal is to eventually turn this into an opportunity for area Girl Scouts to earn a badge.

Beyond that, Community Action has included this project in a book of statewide initiatives so that people in other areas of New York State can read about it and get similar projects started.

"One 8-year-old's dream could turn into thousands of Girl Scouts doing the same thing," said Pat Standish, founder of Community Action Angels of Genesee County.

Standish gave the Scouts an inspirational talk about her experience with the "Angels" and told them how much people will appreciate what they are doing.

"When I first started (with Community Action Angels)," she said, "I thought kids would want things like bicycles and iPods. But what's important to them is not what you give, but that you show that you care."

She also stressed the importance of team effort when it comes to the "Angels" and similar volunteer initiatives.

"I may have had the idea (as founder)," Standish said, "but I needed the help of volunteers to make it happen. And Angelique had an idea, but she couldn't have done it without help from all of you and your families."

Organizations that sponsored this endeavor include Stahlka Agency, Complete Payroll Processing, the Sallie Mae Fund and First Niagara Bank.

"They gave money so the kids wouldn't have to wait (to get started)," Standish said.

Dee Dee Hintz, Angelique's grandmother and legal guardian, expressed gratitude to Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Aaron Johnson and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister for handing out fliers for this event.

"I think this is the beginning of something big," Hintz said, noting the number of volunteers involved in the overall project.

"Next year will be even bigger," she said. "(Angelique) already knows what she wants to do next year. She'll carry this on for at least two or three more years."

A final note

"Circle of Giving" is the philosophy of Community Action Angels, which encourages its beneficiaries to "pay it forward."

According to Standish, many of the people helped by the "Angels" over the years have become volunteers.

Special thanks to Angelique's mom, Jennifer Cejka, for sharing background information prior to the event and for providing the inspiration for the article's title.

September 14, 2011 - 10:33am

At Byron-Bergen Tuesday night a pair of 2-0 Genesee Region Division 1 teams squared off. The game was delayed approximately 40 minutes due to thunder after only 1:50 of the game had been played. After the break Alexander came out moving the ball well and put immediate pressure on the Bergen net. Junior Defender Gabby Kwiatek found Senior Forward Julia Pettys with a pass and Pettys beat the keeper to make it 1-0 early in the first half. Pettys would 2 more times before the half (with an assist to Junior Midfielder Maria Dominick on the last goal) to build the halftime lead to 3-0.

Senior Goalkeeper Amanda Bender made 3 fantastic stops to keep Bergen off the scoreboard in 1st half.

Alexander's bench was a bit short to start the game (only 3 active subs due to various circumstances) got a bit shorter as Sophomore Defender Eliza Vacanti went down with a knee injury with under 10 minutes to go in the 1st half.

After the half Alexander came out a bit slow to start but picked it right back up.  Bergen pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 but Junior Midfielder Abby Shilvock would restore the 3 goal lead just over 10 minutes into the 2nd half as she made the score 4-1.  

Bergen would again pull one back to make it 4-2 but it wouldn't take long for Alexander to have a great passing sequence that resulted in a goal by Sophomore Midfielder Lydia Spiotta (assisted by Dominick) to make it 5-2.  Pettys would net her 4th goal (assisted by Shilvock) moments later to make the final score 6-2.

Senior Amanda Bender had 8 saves in goal for her 2nd win of the year.  The defense and midfield played excellent games.

Alexander is now 3-0 while Bergen falls to 2-1.  Alexander's Varsity team hosts Oakfield Thursday at 4:30 while the JV team hosts Oakfield Saturday at 10am.

March 19, 2011 - 5:52pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in GCC, elba, alexander, byron-bergen, lego league, tech wars.

Howard and I both had a chance to stop over at Genesee Community College for Tech Wars 2011 on Thursday. Howard took some photos, I took some video.

Many thanks to the NXT Lego team members and their coaches for sharing their work with The Batavian.

Here is the video (with a scenic view of the space behind the college to close it out):

For previous coverage, see:

Float in Elba Onion Festival parade gives a 'FIRST' look at LEGO League

Elba students build robots one Lego at a time  

Elba's FIRST Lego League invites robot fans to a maze race at GCC

Photos by Howard Owens

February 2, 2011 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron, byron-bergen, Robert Morris School.

Two Genesee County schools are among 10 finalists to receive $50,000 grants from Pepsi Co. following a competition among thousands of grant proposal submitted to the soft drink company.

Supporters of the projects were asked to express that support through online voting and text messages in the national competition.

"We couldn't have done it without the team effort of the entire community," said Robert Morris Principal Diane Bonarigo.

Robert Morris applied for a grant to fund construction of a new playground.

The Byron-Bergen Elementary School Playground Committee also finished in the top 10.

Next, Bonarigo said, Pepsi will review the grant applications again and make sure all of the paperwork is in order. She said she expects official confirmation of the grant in a couple of weeks.

"We are very excited to be finalists," said Bonarigo. "The students are excited."

She thanked the whole community for their support and the local media for promoting the competition.

July 26, 2010 - 8:21pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in events, music, concerts, byron-bergen.
Event Date and Time: 
August 4, 2010 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Come on down to Hickory Park, at Route 19 in Bergen, for Big Band music and refreshments! The fun starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4 and lasts about an hour and a half.

This event is sponsored by the Bergen Fire Ladies Auxiliary and the Byron-Bergen Public Library, and will feature "78RPM."

For more info, call 494-1120.

July 26, 2010 - 11:51am
posted by James Renfrew in Announcements, byron, byron-bergen.
Event Date and Time: 
July 25, 2010 - 11:45am to July 27, 2010 - 9:45pm

 Not Your Typical Tuesday

Special Summer Program for Children in Byron


Come to our Cook-Out

Tuesday, July 27th

6:00 – 8:00 PM

For kids, adults, everyone!

You don’t need to bring anything this night, but be prepared to support our Youth Group in their “Big Give” plans to support the Heifer Project International.

Look at what we’ve done this month – hygiene kits for Haiti, flowers planted in Trestle Park, school supplies for Cameron Community Ministries, and now the Heifer Project!

July 26, 2010 - 11:42am
posted by James Renfrew in byron, byron-bergen.
Event Date and Time: 
July 26, 2010 - 11:40am to August 1, 2010 - 11:40am

 Byron Heritage Festival Calendar of Events

July 31, 2010


Fishing Derby                                                                                    8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (Ages 12 and under)

(Sponsored by Byron Kiwanis)                                                        (sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m.)


May 16, 2010 - 1:05pm

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, the Elba school and community will be holding a chicken BBQ to benefit Elba High School student Ryan Wolcott.

Elba and Byron-Bergen faculties, students, and friends of Ryan and the Wolcott family will be serving food in the Elba Central School cafeteria. Eat in or take out. Tickets will be $9 at the door, and $8 pre-sale (available at the school). All proceeds will go to the Wolcott family.

There will also be a spaghetti dinner to benefit Ryan on June 6 at the Elba Rec Hall, which will feature several local bands.

Here is a brief bio of Ryan, written by his mother, Jody Wolcott.

Ryan is a 10th grader at Elba Central School; he was born with Wiscott-Aldrich Syndrome. It is a rare immune deficiency similar to "The Boy in the Bubble."

He was treated with a bone-marrow transplant when he was 2 years old and has ongoing complex care. The most debilitating complication is that he has chronic obstructive lung disease or C.O.P.D. He struggles to breathe and is dependent on oxygen from a tank or concentrator. He has other medical and physical challenges that affect his stamina and mobility and depends on a scooter to get around.

Ryan was the Elba-BB football team water boy when he was able and was the honorary Elba Basketball team water boy this year. He likes to listen to music, play the Wii, watch movies, and has learned to depend on his friends for support.

January 11, 2010 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, byron-bergen.
Event Date and Time: 
January 13, 2010 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

The Byron-Bergen Winter Cheerleaders are asking you to help them raise funds to pay for tumbling and dance clinics and to buy various items the squad needs.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13 Applebee's restaurant on Lewiston Road in Batavia will donate 10 percent of the amount of your check (excluding tax and tip) to the Byron-Bergen Cheerleaders when you dine there from 4 to 7 p.m. and present a voucher.

September 7, 2009 - 10:20am
posted by Chad Flint in sports, alexander, Girl's Soccer, byron-bergen.

Highlights(from Alexander's perspective) from Alexander's 1-0 win over Byron-Bergen last Friday.



September 4, 2009 - 9:38pm
posted by Chad Flint in sports, alexander, Girl's Soccer, byron-bergen.

Byron-Bergen visited Alexander Friday evening in the opening game for Alexander and the 2nd game of the season for Byron-Bergen.  BB entered the game with an 0-1 record after suffering a 3-0 loss to Kendall earlier in the week.

Alexander came out hot in the beginning moving the ball down the field and creating a couple scoring chances that didn't find the net.  After the first 10 minutes BB settled in and controlled the play for the remaining 30 minutes of the first half with some excellent short passing and ball control.  Despite their large advantage in possession time BB struggled to create any dangerous scoring chances.  The most dangerous scoring chance in the first half was created by Alexander when Senior Forward Anna Dominick sent a cross from the left side of the field to the back post where Junior Forward Morgan Mattice was making a great back post run but her sliding attempt at goal was wide and the score remained 0-0.  Tessa Bigelow hit a great shot from 25 yards out but Amanda Brown made a diving stop to keep Alexander off the board a few minutes later.  BB had a cross to the front of the net late in the first half but the volley was put over the bar.

The 2nd half was more of the same with BB controlling the play but not creating much as far as scoring chances.  Dominick had a great chance midway through the 2nd half but Brown again came up with a diving stop.  Alexander had another great chance with 10 minutes left in the 2nd half when Junior Autumn Atkinson sent a direct kick to the back post and Junior Claire Hartl headed the ball just wide.  BB's Stacey Maskell had a breakaway late in the 2nd half but was challenged by Junior GoalKeeper Hannah Wilson and was unable to get a shot off before Wilson pounded on the ball.

In OT Alexander settled down a bit and began to move the ball around.  Sophomore Julia Pettys had a great run at the start of the 2nd OT but was unable to get a shot off as the last defender took the ball off her foot.  BB looked to have the game's first goal with under 5 minutes left off a corner kick but Junior Amber Finan headed the ball off the goal line just as the ball was about to find the net.

With under 30 seconds in the left Alexander finally found the net as Freshman Abby Shilvock sent a cross from the right side of the field into the center of the 18 yard box where Dominick beat 2 defenders and the goalkeeper with a shot low in the right corner of the net.  Alexander killed off the last 30 seconds of the game and the final was 1-0 in favor of the home team.

With the win Alexander is now 1-0 on the season while Byron-Bergen falls to 0-2. 


February 11, 2009 - 4:45pm
posted by Tasia Boland in schools, byron-bergen.

The calmness in Scott G. Martzloff’s voice assured me he was beginning to gear up for the challenges of his new position. On July 1, Dr. Martzloff will take over as the Superintendent of Schools of the Byron-Bergen Central School District. He will be succeeding Gregory Geer who is retiring after eight years on the job.

Martzloff’s voice raised with excitement as he spoke of the committment of the entire school administration. He knew this was the place for him when he first went to a Byron-Bergen basketball game and got to talk with staff, parents and those involved in the community. There is a sense that this is a real close-knit community, he said.

His visit to the area showed him the eagerness of the community members to help one another. After his visit he said, “I want to be a part of this.”

Martzloff has always been committed to his work. He earned Doctorate of Education at the University of Rochester, a Master of Science degree and Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership at SUNY Brockport, and a Special Education teaching certification at SUNY Geneseo. He published a book in 2007 titled: Transformational School Culture.

He knows the position is going to be a change from his last. For ten years, he was a school administrator in the Rochester City and the Rush-Henrietta Central school districts. Still, he feels he's ready to face all that comes with the title: Superintendent.

“It is a challenging position, but I feel I have prepared myself well to take on that challenge,” said Martzloff. He said the most rewarding part of his job is seeing students be successful. His number one priority as Superintendent is to listen, listen and listen.

“I plan to do a lot of listening. I want to have a lot of conversations with people in the community and hear their perceptions,” said Martzloff.

Enthusiasm took over his words when he spoke of the importance of community involvement.

“I am looking forward to being very active in the district, and working with all members of the community,” said Martzloff. He plans to set goals and see Byron-Bergen become a world class district. His wife, Kimberly, a school counselor at Rush-Henrietta Senior High School, and their three young children, 6-year-old Victoria, 4-year-old Elizabeth and 3-year-old Scott Jr., plan to relocate to the Byron-Bergen School District from their current location, Honeoye Falls.

Martzloff said that it's hard sometimes managing his time for work and family.

“Although I am very committed to my work, family comes first,” said Martzloff.  

He said he will spend more time talking with the current superintendent, Geer, when it is closer to July. Martzloff said he wants to be respectful to Geer, and allow him to continue to do his job in a positive manner.

From the Byron-Bergen Web site:

Mr. Ernie Haywood, President of the Byron-Bergen Board of Education, commented on the appointment saying, "After extensive input from the community and our staff, the Board of Education chose Dr. Martzloff because we believe his qualifications and experiences fit our District’s needs. His skills set is one that will continue the District’s efforts focused on providing each and every one of our students the best educational experience possible.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

7 p.m. Saturday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Dragons continued putting up absurd offensive numbers.

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

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

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

Pembroke is now 4-0.

September 25, 2008 - 10:02pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Attica, sports, soccer, byron-bergen.

 Curtis Fannon and Justin Barrett had a goal and an assist each in leading Byron-Bergen to an 8-1 win over Attica.

Casey Longhini and Bryan White each scored twice for the Bees (5-5-2).

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