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Livingston County

Friends in WNY spur Twitter trend #RondoForCMstrong to honor accident victim

By Timothy Walton
Jul 20, 2013, 3:23pm

If you have been on twitter lately, chances are you have seen the abundance of tweets using the hashtag #RondoForCMstrong (RajonRondo for Cal-Mum Strong). The tweet, started in Cal-Mum to honor one of the recent victims of the tragic car accident, that killed three young adults and injured two others is trending in the Buffalo and Rochester area. 

Emily Peterson, 17, passed away yesterday at Strong Memorial and was the third victim of the crash. Peterson along with the other accident victims were returning home after volunteering for a summer school program at BOCES in Batavia.

Her friends and family took to twitter in an attempt to get her favorite athlete, Rajon Rondo, of the Boston Celtics, to tweet for her. Many have also reached out to ESPN, NBA and other athletes to help get the tweet trending nationwide.

To the friends and family it means alot, a friend said.

"We all thought that it could never happen and never would have but its just taken off to something so unbelievable." said Seth Meyers, a friend of Emily. "Rondo was Emily's favorite player. I can't even explain how many times she talked about him and supported him."

Since the tweets began, Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo, has not only seen the tweet, but dedicated a tweet to it as well. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, MTV and VH1 reality star Dustin Zito and many other residents and businesses throughout WNY have also joined in the trend.

Boy Scouts honor 2012 'Distinguished Citizens' at GCC

By Daniel Crofts
May 24, 2012, 1:13pm

Area scouts showed their colors and displayed true Boy Scout pride last night for the "BoyPower Distinguished Citizens" dinner at Genesee Community College.

These young men and their leaders are members of Iroquois Council Trail, Inc., the Boy Scouts of America council serving Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Niagara counties. Every year, they honor one outstanding community member from each county.

Betty Lapp was the 2012 Distinguished Citizen for Genesee County. Lapp is the former director of GCC's Nursing program. She retired in 2005, and has been a "professional volunteer" ever since.

Originally from Ohio, Lapp has an impressive track record as a Geneseean:

  • Board Chairperson of United Memorial Medical Center
  • Board Chairperson of Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (formerly BOCES)
  • Regional Action Phone
  • Family Counseling Services
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Cub Scouts
  • Genesee County Department of Health
  • Genesee County Mental Health Services

Her service to the wider region includes membership in the following organizations:

  • Lake Plains Community Care Network
  • WNY Rural Area Health Education Center
  • Genesee Valley School Boards Association

Other recipients were:

James Culbertson, Livingston County

David Bellavia, Orleans County (Bellavia currently lives in Batavia, but is originally from Lyndonville)

MORE after the jump (click on the headline to read more):

Mitchell McLaughlin, Wyoming County

Ken Kaufman and Michelle Farina, Niagara County

According to Roger Triftshauser, DDS, BoyPower Dinner chairman and master of ceremonies, these are people who have "gone over and above in service of the common good."

Click here for a list of past recipients.

The featured guest speaker was Vice Admiral Dirk J. Debbink, chief of the Navy Reserve. He spoke of his days as a Boy Scout and of what the Scouts taught him about preparedness, leadership, teamwork, self-reliance, and the "power of an oath."

Triftshauser announced that he would be paying for two Boy Scouts to attend this year's summer camp in honor of Debbink. He chose to do this in lieu of giving Debbink a personal gift, for which he knew he would receive a check in return.

Additional photos:

Scout Executive James McMullan

Photo courtesy of Kevin Carlson

Silent auction items:

Area Boy Scouts head to Virginia for well-earned fun at 'Jamboree'

By Daniel Crofts
Jul 23, 2010, 12:50pm

Pictured: two Boy Scout troupes from the Iroquois Trail Council (ITS), which covers Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Orleans and Niagara counties.

This band of 36 youths -- ages 13 to 17 -- are going to Fort A.P. Hill, Va., for the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree, which takes place from July 26 until Aug. 4. Fort (Ambrose Powell) Hill, named after a Confederate general, is an active-duty Army installation near the town of Bowling Green.

The Jamboree normally takes place every four years; this time, however, there was a five-year interim so it would coincide with the 100th anniversary celebration of Boy Scouts of America.

The boys will be accompanied by two adult Scoutmasters -- Guye Smith, of Lima, and Jim Yencer, of Avon, and two youth assistant Scoutmasters (one of whom is from Alexander), making a total of 40 area scouts attending this national event.

Planning for this trip started about two years ago, according to Smith. Since then, the boys have worked very hard to raise money in order to cover the cost.

"Some of them raised every penny (that they needed to pay their individual fares)," Smith said. "That's part of the scout way -- to pay your own way."

The ITS scouts raised money by doing two bike-a-thons, one in July 2009 and the other in October 2009.

The boys biked all the way from Lockport to Brockport -- with an overnight stay in Albion for the first one -- and then from Holley to Macedon all in one day for the second.

The troupes are leaving by bus today. Yencer said they will spend Saturday in Philadelphia, then take the U.S.S. New Jersey (a retired navy vessel) to Aberdeen, Md., to visit the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum on Sunday morning. From there, they proceed to Fort A.P. Hill.

While attending the Jamboree, the boys will be treated to a wide variety of activities such as air-rifle shooting, scuba diving, canoeing, archery and a 5K run; there will also be a musical group performing at the "arena show" (which will be broadcast online) on Saturday, July 31, and if tradition is kept, they may also get a visit from President Barack Obama.

Not only is this Jamboree historic because it is being held during the scouts' centennial, it is also the last one to be held in Fort A.P. Hill (where it has taken place since 1981).

For more information on the Jamboree, please visit

For more information on the ITC, visit

Photo courtesy of Jim Yencer

Federal charges filed against accused child pornographer apprehended in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens
Jun 17, 2009, 2:29pm

Federal charges have been filed against Dalton Wilke, the accused child pornographer from Livingston County that Batavia Police Detective Todd Crossett helped apprehend last August by imitating a 15-year-old in online conversations.

Wilke, 45, faces a felony charge of using the Internet to persuade or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Wilke reportedly had pictures of minors engaging in sexual activity on his computer when he was apprehended. He faces charges of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. 

He faces five to 20 years in prison on the child pornography charges and up to 10 years for the enticement charge.

GCC thrives: College set to open a new campus center in Lima

By Philip Anselmo
Feb 10, 2009, 12:26pm

One local institution is not only surviving the current economic crisis—it's thriving. Genesee Community College set a new record for enrollment at the start of this past school year. Now, the Batavia-based college is gearing up to erect a new campus center in Lima.

From the press release:

Genesee Community College will open a new campus center on Rochester Street (Route 15A), north of Lima, President Stuart Steiner announced Friday, February 6th.

The new Center, near the corner of Rochester Street and Gale Road, will replace the campus center currently located in Lakeville. The new structure will be about 9,000 square feet and, unlike the Lakeville building, will contain a multi-disciplinary science lab.

Over the next several weeks, the College will contract with a private developer to construct the new center. With an aggressive construction schedule, the College hopes to occupy the building for the fall semester, Dr. Steiner said.

A College task force examined many possible sites in northern Livingston County for the new center. The task force recommended the Lima location to best serve students, Dr. Steiner said. "We believe that the greatest concentration of northern Livingston County students attending Genesee in the years ahead will be from that sector of the county," Dr. Steiner said. "Just as important, the Lima location is quite accessible to students living across northern Livingston County."

The size of the Lima parcel will give Genesee the opportunity to expand the Center in the future if enrollment outgrows the building, Dr. Steiner noted.

The center will house technology-equipped classrooms, a student computer lab, and will be electronically linked to the College library and other College services. A wide range of courses will be offered at the Lima Center, and students will be able to obtain academic advising, financial aid assistance, and other services from Center staff. The Lima Campus Center will also be a focal point for business training offered through The BEST Center (Genesee's workforce education division), non-credit classes, and community events, Dr. Steiner said.

The current recession has prompted great public recognition of the value of Genesee and other community colleges, Dr. Steiner noted: "Community colleges now serve more than half of all students in the State University of New York, and a growing number of students and families now make community colleges their top higher education choice. At Genesee, we've become recognized for classroom excellence, small classes, state-of-the-art technology, and transfer and career programs that bring students the results they need. We believe the new Lima Center will bring top-notch education to even more Livingston County students, and make a very positive impact on the well-being of Livingston County."

More than 900 Livingston County residents attended credit classes at Genesee Community College last year.

News roundup: Five injured in Livingston County crash

By Philip Anselmo
Aug 7, 2008, 8:27am

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

  • Five people were sent to the hopsital yesterday following the collision of a tractor trailer and a car at the intersection of Routes 20 and 36  in the town of York in Livingston County. The driver of the car is alleged to have run a red light and crashed into the truck. No one was critically injured.

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