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June 2, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, veterans, news.

Press release June 1 from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo and my fellow legislators for finally stepping up and making the veteran buy-back credit a reality. This is a great example of bipartisanship. Our vets have waited far too long to receive the recognition they deserve, and the opportunity to purchase back their service time from the state is a small show of gratitude for those who have sacrificed more than we can imagine.

"As a veteran, son of a veteran and Ranking Member on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I can attest to the hardships and commitment of our servicemen and women and will continue to fight for more programs and services to help those who have fought for our liberty and freedom.”

June 1, 2016 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marshall, batavia, old court house, news, movies, entertainment.

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With a cast and crew into the dozens of people in Batavia today, scenes for the upcoming bio-pic about Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, were completed today at the Old Courthouse in Batavia.

There are no pictures here of Chadwick Boseman, who is playing Marshall, because producers asked photographers not to take pictures of him in costume. They want to preserve the mystique of Boseman in character until the film is released, one of the co-producers said. We were free to wander the set and take pictures of all other aspects of the production.

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The interior of the Old Courthouse was dressed up to look like a county courthouse in Oklahoma in the 1940s. Light switches were removed and the holes covered, the exit sign removed, an old clock and fans installed and pictures hung on the wall suitable to the time and location. There were also a 48-star U.S. flag behind the bench and the Oklahoma state flag.

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Carl Hicks, who grew up in Le Roy, is interviewed by Mike Patinella for the Buffalo News. Hicks was the construction supervisor for the set.

June 1, 2016 - 6:47pm

Say a middle-school student habitually sasses a teacher and repeatedly winds up in the vice principal's office. Or maybe a teen is often truant from school or acts out in a way that might get him or her in trouble with the law, perhaps already has.

In many cases, there's a voluntary way to make amends and square things with authorities. It's the Genesee County Youth Court -- an alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. The goal is to decrease behavior problems and increase "citizenship skills."

On Tuesday afternoon, the local legislature's Human Service Committee was given an agency review of the Youth Bureau by Director Jocelyn Sikorski, which includes the Youth Court.

She told them that referrals are up. There were 32 last year and there have been 17 to date this year.

With a success rate of 90 percent or better, there are cost savings to the county because this reduces the caseload in the juvenile justice system, Sikorski said.

Eligible young people are referred by either their school or law enforcement. Parents and guardians are involved throughout and everything is kept confidential. Sentencing is individualized and there's no permanent record in the youth’s file or record.

Youths who want resolution through the Youth Court, fill out an application. If approved, the defendant appears before a court of peers.

A "prosecutor" representing school and community interests argues their side and makes a sentencing recommendation. The defense acts on behalf of the teen in question and also makes a sentencing recommendation. A clerk-bailiff maintains court records, administers the oath, and makes sure the court runs smoothly. A panel of three teen judges listen to both sides of the issue and recommends a sentence based on what is heard in the courtroom.

This process gives the wrongdoer a chance to learn from mistakes through early intervention and positive peer pressure.

Those who voluntarily serve in the Youth Court learn about public speaking, group decision making and the justice system.

It began in 2008 and costs about $16,000 a year to run. Funding is provided by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), a component within the U.S. Department of Justice. Chelsea Dillon is the coordinator; she works collaboratively with the Probation Department, law enforcement agencies, the Dept. of Social Services and schools in the county.

Another program administered by the county Youth Bureau is the federally funded "Youth Opportunity Program," an AmeriCorps offshoot, now in its second year here.

The fledgling program enrolls at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth in direct service projects sponsored by AmeriCorps.

"We had a lot of learning in our office," Sikorsky said of the inaugural year. "We're getting better. There are challenges with the youth being served."

Steps are being put in place to prevent problems encountered initially. But through no fault of the county, future funding is not assured for its continuance here or elsewhere.

The federally funded AmeriCorps Program was also reviewed for the committee by Sikorski. It focuses on creating jobs and providing paths to opportunity for young people about to enter the workforce. Through AmeriCorps, participants learn valuable work skills, earn money for education and develop an appreciation for citizenship by working in community service helping others.

Going forward, a concern with the AmeriCorps program is the higher minimum wage of $9.70 an hour in 2017.

"We still will be competitive with that," Sikorski said, because with their education award and their bi-weekly stipend, an AmeriCorps participant makes $9.85 an hour.

"2018...(we) believe that we will struggle to recruit AmeriCorps members with the raise in the state minimum wage, with the money we have to give our AmeriCorps members. Our hands are tied based on that program."

The grant cycle is every 15 months, and Genesee County next cycle runs from October through the end of 2017, when the minimum wage is set to become $9.70 an hour. Each cycle requires a competitive grant application process to secure funds.

"The minimum wage I think will hit us in 2018," Sikorski said.

Committee Chair Rochelle Stein asked if the minimum wage requirement applies to AmeriCorps at all.

"If this is a government program, though, isn't that exempt?" Stein asked. "Because I thought that governments were exempt from the minimum wage increases. I could be wrong."

Sikorski replied: "My understanding is we're exempt (as county government) from the fact that we have to raise the wages to coincide with the raise in the minimum wage. Correct."

County Manager Jay Gsell said "But that may not apply to this program because it's not necessarily with public entities. That's one of those things that you'll have to look at. We'll have to look into that."

Gsell said the minimum wage hike requirements and any future budget impacts on various programs are still being determined.

Regardless of wages, all AmeriCorps members gain an education benefit. A 900-hour volunteer would get, for example, a $2,650 education award upon completion. A parent or grandparent can allocate it to their child or grandchild; you can use it to pay for your own tuition; and, student loans incurred during AmeriCorps participation can be deferred, and no interest will accrue on them.

In another Youth Bureau initiative, Sikorski happily reported that the Kiwanis Club provided $200 to buy "Halloween kits" last October for 90 boys and girls who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to dress up at school or go trick-or-treating in costumes with friends and family. A total of 40 went to children in one of the city's two elementary schools, and 50 went to underprivileged kids in the other.

"Oh, my gosh, it was so much fun!" she said.

The goal is to make this amusing seasonal holiday outreach travel -- next on one side of the county, then the other, then back to the city.

Stein asked about the back-to-school supplies and was told annually, they are able to help between 30 and 50 children with supplies.

Following Sikorski's presentation, the committee agreed to give permission for the Youth Bureau to apply for a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association to fund a summer tennis program. If granted, it would provide $1,900 to pay for a tennis instructor, mileage and some equipment.

June 1, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Movies in Motion, batavia, business, news.

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 Movies in Motion, owned by Jeff and Lynda Edenholm, has survived a crosstown move, a couple of recessions, the arrival of red boxes and red envelopes, and even the age of streaming entertainment, for 20 years and that has a lot to do with the kind of customer service you can only get from a mom-and-pop shop, Lynda said.

"We know all of our customers by name," Lynda said. "We don't even have cards."

Movies in Motion opened on Clinton Street Road and Seven Springs Road on May 31, 1996. They moved a little over eight years ago when R&D Outlet acquired the building for its own retail location. The Edenholms picked a small storefront at 511 E. Main St., Batavia.

Some people still like the physical CD, others don't have Internet access and there's no contracts or long-term commitments, and that has kept a core of customers loyal to the store, Lynda said.

The 24/7 dropbox helps, too.

Like any true entreprenuer in a competitive environment, the Edenholms have never been afraid to try new things. They've sold skateboard and video games, pizza and ice cream, and a year ago they started selling handcrafted wooden furniture and handpainted wooden signs. Both new sidelines have been a boost to the business, they said.

"There's no place else in town where you can get handpainted, custom signs," Lynda said.

Jeff builds all the furniture and the Edenholms are pleased with the progress that business venture is making.

Last March, Jeff and Lynda also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.  

"It's been hard," Lynda said. "When we get home, there's nothing to talk about because we've enjoyed each other all day, so we watch movies."

Jeff and Lynda have two adult children and a grandchild.

While the furniture and signs have been a great addition to the business, DVD rentals are still Movies in Motion's bread and butter.

Lynda said they enjoy providing family entertainment and serving the residents of Genesee County.

"We don't think of it as work, as a job," Lynda said. "We get to do what we love to do."

Movies in Motion is open from noon to 9 p.m. Sundays thru Thursdays, and noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The Edenholms now take holidays off to spend more time with their grandchild. For more information, call (585) 343-0971.

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June 1, 2016 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, news, Darien Lakes State Park, Announcements.

Press release:

Residents, friends and patrons of the Corfu Free Library are invited to come to Darien Lakes State Park for an evening of reading at 7 p.m. on June Wednesday, June 8. 

The June 8 Reading Invasion will take place at Darien Lakes State Park, located at 10475 Harlow Road in Darien Center, on the island, which you can access via a footbridge.

A Reading Invasion is a way to simply enjoy reading your favorite book with others. There are no discussions, no rules, just a time to read together in public. 

Participants are invited to bring family, friends, a comfortable chair or blanket and of course, a book.

The raffle for the “Anne of Green Gables” gift basket will also take place at the conclusion of the Reading Invasion. Tickets will be available at the event and are $1 each. The gift basket features an Anne of Green Gables doll and three books in the Anne of Green Gables, the popular series written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

The Corfu Free Library periodically hosts Reading Invasions at different locations throughout the year. Residents are encouraged to check the library’s website at www.CorfuFreeLibrary.org, stop by 7 Maple Avenue in Corfu for program information, or call the library at (585) 599-3321.

June 1, 2016 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, public works, urban forestry.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Department of Public Works is working with Urban Forest Analytics, LLC, the consultant for the development of a Tree Management Plan.

This work requires the consultant to do assessments, and GIS locations of the trees in the public right of way, and in city parks. Please be advised that personnel from Urban Forest Analytics, LLC, will be completing this work during the month of June, so residents may notice these workers in the parks and along city streets.

These personnel should be identifiable by wearing safety vests as well as clothing identifying them as working for Urban Forest Analytics. Residents may also contact the City of Batavia, Department of Public Works at 345-6325 with any questions or concerns they may have in relation to this project. partnering

June 1, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in resurrection parish lawn fete, St. Joe's, news, batavia.

Information provided by the Lawn Fete committee Chair Debbie Mullen and Vice Chair Tom Wescott.

The 2016 Resurrection Parish Lawn Fete will be held June 10-12 and will be a sure-to-please fun-in-the-sun outdoor family event.

Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Friday (June 10), 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday (June 11) and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (June 12) at St. Joseph's Church on Main Street in Batavia.

It kicks off Friday evening with a musical spectacular. As in years past, Main Street in Downtown Batavia will be closed from Summit to Ross streets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. But instead of a parade, there will be an hour and a half "Concert in Brass" in front of St. Joe's church. Billed as "a unique musical procession that will electrify spectators."

The Concert in Brass will feature: St. Joe's Reunion Brass, Mighty St. Joe's Alumni Drum Corps, Batavia Middle School Band, and a WNY favorite, The Hit Men Brass Ensemble. Grounds will be open to 11 p.m. for fun and frolic.

A wide variety of tasty treats will be available to enjoy all weekend. They include: sausage with onions and peppers, hots, hamburgers, French fries, waffles, pizza, popcorn, nachos, ice crea,, beverages and more. On Friday and Saturday nights, the beverage tent will features some of the area's well-known musicians.

There will be Kiddie Rides galore, treats and a variety of games.

At about 5 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, there will be a drawing for $10,000 in cash prizes to be awarded. Tickets will be available at "The Cash Booth." Please note that due to NYS regulations, NO CHECKS can be accepted. CASH ONLY!

If you and your family are looking for summertime fun, a place to meet up with old friends and make new ones, enjoy some good eats and treats, and maybe become a cash winner, then plan on visiting the St. Joseph's Church parking lot June 10-12.

June 1, 2016 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pathway to prosperity, economic development, batavia, downtown, news.

Press release:

Partners of the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) Program, including the Batavia Development Corp., Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), Genesee County, City of Batavia and Batavia School District, will host members of the business community for an economic development forum on the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s Upstate Revitalization Plan, Finger Lakes Forward.

The forum will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, at One City Centre in Batavia (Council Chamber, 2nd floor) and will feature remarks by Vincent Esposito, regional director of Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes regional office.

The event will discuss new initiatives specific to the Finger Lakes region, one of three regions awarded $500 million by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative — a competition designed to help transform local economies by providing $500 million over the next five years to support projects and strategies that create jobs, strengthen and diversify economies, and generate economic opportunity within the region — in 2015.

Attendees will hear about Finger Lakes Forward, a long-term strategic plan which will seek to address workforce development and poverty reduction; entrepreneurship and development; and higher education and research. Information about the NYS Consolidated Funding Application process will also be provided.

“It is important that we continue to educate and keep the business community apprised about the unique collaboration taking place among private and public sector stakeholders to stimulate new growth and development opportunities in our regional economy,” said Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO.

The event is free and open to the public. A lunch sponsored by Clark Patterson Lee and Harris Beach, LLP, will be provided. For more information and to register, please contact Rachael Tabelski, director of Marketing & Communications at GCEDC, at 585-343-4866 or [email protected].

June 1, 2016 - 11:36am
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, office hours.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Tuesday announced new summer hours for his district office in Albion. The office will be open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 1 to Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5). Hawley’s office is located at 121 N. Main St., Suite 100, in Albion.

“With summer on its way I have made the decision to change my district office hours slightly,” Hawley said. “I will still remain very accessible as your representative and encourage my constituents to stop by my office or my bi-weekly office hours to discuss issues or questions they may have about state government.

"The summer is an important period for legislators to spend time in their home districts gathering input, talking with residents and bringing those experiences back to Albany when the legislative session reconvenes.” 

June 1, 2016 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, old court house, news.

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The cast and crew trailers are ready, but few are on location yet for the filming of the bio-pic about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, which is using a couple of locations in Genesee County, including the Old Courthouse.

Filming was scheduled to start this morning, but has been pushed back to 1 p.m.

The trailers are located in the courthouse parking lot behind Falleti Ice Arena.

May 31, 2016 - 9:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, news, crime.

A caller to dispatch reports that the driver of a flatbed semi-truck just dumped "500 papers out the windown in front of his house." The address is 1503 Main Road, Pembroke. The semi continued heading westbound. It has a black container in the back. Law enforcement is responding.

May 31, 2016 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in St. Anthony’s School, City Church, batavia, business, news.

City Church is expanding, but it's not moving. The popular Downtown evangelical church recently closed escrow on its purchase of the St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church on Liberty Street on the city's Southside, which was owned by the Diocese of Buffalo.

The purchase also includes St. Anthony’s School, with a full gymnasium, a full kitchen and adjoining dining area, the rectory and a house.

But it's keeping the old movie Mancuso Theater that is now City Church, as well as its meeting facility off Center Street called The Generation Center. 

"We're 100-percent owners -- signed, sealed and delivered. We're very thankful for the property," said City Church Pastor Marty Macdonald this afternoon. "We're excited about the future. We felt this was a God-honoring opportunity."

"We're very interested in the gymnasium, and in helping preserve the heritage of the building," Macdonald said.

There are repairs to be done and plans for things to come, but the pastor said those are not yet finalized. But the name will remain the same, he said.

Meanwhile, City Church is planning a blockbuster block party this summer.

"We love being Downtown, on Main Street in Batavia," he said. "That is our home and will always be our home. We want to continue to help and brighten the city."

St. Anthony's Church closed more than three years ago. The school closed in 2006.

May 31, 2016 - 2:13pm

Press release:

Come out and support the animals of the Genesee County Animal Shelter by donating scrap metal.

Volunteers for Animals are collecting scrap metal to raise money for the animals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th in the parking lot at the shelter, located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Metal of any kind will be accepted: railings, doors, garbage cans, file cabinets, bicycle frames, gutters, pipes, poles, fencing, window frames, lawn furniture, tools, shelving, washing machines, dryers, stoves, wheel barrows, wagons, etc.

We CANNOT take propane tanks, air-conditioning units, or refrigerators.

Scrap service provided by Ed Arnold EAS Scrap Processors of Corfu.

UPDATE 12:58 p.m., June 1: Due to the overwhelming response from donors wishing to have their scrap metal items picked up, the Volunteers for Animals are going to be extra busy doing just that between now and the weekend. So people are encouraged to find a way to bring their own scrap metal donations to the site, if arrangements have not already been made.

May 31, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, United Way, news, 5K races.

The United Way is proud to announce the 2016 United Way Race Series and Genesee County Runner of the Year Award. This year's series will include eight races and for the first time will include 5K races (3.1 miles each) outside of the City of Batavia. 

The series begins this Saturday with the All Babies Cherished “Run Baby Run” 5K. Start time is 9 a.m. at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, 350 Bank St., Batavia. Cost to register is $25 and registration ends at 11:59 p.m. June 1. To sign up online go to: https://runsignup.com 

Other races in the series include:

July 4th                                       Kiwanis Independence Day 5K (Centennial Park, Batavia)                     

July 16th                                    The OATKA 5K (Le Roy)                                                      

Aug. 13th                                   Jenny Kuzma Memorial 5K (Bergen)                             

Aug. 20th                                   Don Carroll Toys for Kids 5K (Kibbe Park, Batavia)        

Sept. 5th                                    Jaycees Labor Day 5K (MacArthur Park, Batavia)                      

Sept. 17th                                  ARC Friends and Family 5K (Elba)                                               

Oct. 2                                         Run for the ACORNS 5K (GC Park & Forest, East Bethany)                            

United Way Director Erik Fix says “The United Way believes that one of the keys to a successful community is the health of its people. To this end, the UW has created this series with the goal of increasing the overall health and wellness of our community. The UW Race and Runner of the Year Award are designed to recognize the top runners in the Genesee County region, while promoting local races, and the sport of road racing in our community."

To be eligible for season ending awards participants must finish at least four events with results from a runners top five events scoring points. Overall and Age Group awards will be given. There is no need to register for the series. Participation in one of the events automatically qualifies you for the series. Results will be posted on the United Way website www.uwgeneseecounty.org. Additionally, a booth will be set up at each event with current standings.

Cash prizes will be presented to the top three overall finishers in Men’s and Women’s divisions. Prizes are as follows:

Overall Male:                        $300

Overall Female:                   $300

Runner-up Male:                  $150

Runner-up Female:             $150

Third-place Male:                 $50

Third-place Female:             $50

Men and Women Age Groups –  First- through Third- places will receive non-cash awards.

If you are intersted in being a sponsor for the race series, please contact UW Regional Director Erik Fix at [email protected] or call 585-356-2814.

May 31, 2016 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy.

Eric Swede, 27, of Main Street, Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on May 28 and charged with one count of disorderly conduct, a violation. In the early morning hours of May 28, patrols received a complaint from a local establishment of a patron refusing to leave. Patrols located Swede behind the establishment where he allegedly refused to leave when told to do so and then proceeded to cause a disturbance by being loud and cursing. At that time he was taken into custody for his actions. Swede was arraigned and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $250 cash or $3,000 bond. Swede is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on June 16.

Richard Ortiz, 20, of Park Way, Rochester, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on May 27 and charged with: one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, a Class A misdemeanor; one count of aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, a misdemeanor; one count of uninspected motor vehicle, a violation; one count of unlicensed operator, a violation; one count of passing a red signal, a violation; and one count of inadequate muffler, a violation. It is alleged that Ortiz was observed by patrols passing through a red signal. Upon stopping Ortiz he was allegedly found to be in possession of oxycodone without a prescription as well as several other traffic infractions including not having a valid driver's license. Ortiz was issued several tickets and is to appear on June 20 in Le Roy Town Court to answer to the charges. 

Rebecca J. Fili, 38, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on May 29 by the LeRoy Police Department and charged with: one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, a Class A misdemeanor; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd, a Class A misdemeanor; unlicensed operator, a violation; and inadequate exhaust, a violation. Fili was stopped by the LeRoy Police after allegedly operating a motor vehicle on Bacon Street with an inadequate exhaust. After a brief investigation, it was found that Fili had a suspended and expired driver's license. Further investigation revealed that Fili allegedly possessed a quantity of cocaine. Fili was issued an appearance ticket for the charges and will appear in the Le Roy Town Court on June 20.

May 31, 2016 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Oakfield, news.

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A house fire struck the Mathew Pribek family residence Saturday, at 5581 Burns Road, Medina, and Pribek believes both of their dogs got out safely. One was found and one is still missing.

The residence is just over the county line, so the Pribeks are asking anyone in the North Oakfield area to on the look out for Pepper.

"She is friendly, but scared and lost," Pribek said. "Our family is desperate to have her back and are prepared to reward anyone who finds her."

If you are in the area of Burns Road, East Shelby Road or Albion Road, North Oakfield, watch for Pepper and if you find her, call Mathew Pribek at (585) 861-0211.

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May 31, 2016 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, news.

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Ross Fanara and his wife found themselves the unexpected babysitters of a newborn fawn over the weekend.

Fanara said they fed the baby two containers of goat milk and waited for mom to return, which she did less than 24 hours after the fawn turned up on their doorstep.

May 30, 2016 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke, news.

A vehicle has rolled over and travelled into the trees off the westbound lanes of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 404.7.

A minor head injury is reported.

Pembroke and Indian Falls responding along with Mercy EMS.

May 30, 2016 - 9:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Memorial Day, Le Roy, news.

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Rob Radley submitted these photos of today's Memorial Day events in Le Roy at Trigon Park and a parade on Main Street. The events were organized by the American Legion Botts-Fiorito Post #576 and the Auxiliary.

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May 30, 2016 - 5:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in water rescue, Alabama, news.

Alabama, Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding to Indian Falls to rescue a person who slipped and fell at Indian Falls. No rope rescue team required. Mercy Flight is on standby.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Patient transported by ground ambulance to ECMC with head and neck injuries and a facial laceration.

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