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February 5, 2019 - 3:33pm

Every year, the University at Buffalo’s Dental School participates in a national event called “Give Kids a Smile Day,” in which children ages 1 to 18 who do not have access to dental care can receive free dental services.

This year, the Dental School has chosen Batavia city schools to participate in the event on Saturday, Feb. 9. These include Batavia City School District, Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph’s Regional School.

Coordinating the event is Paula Fischer, Rural Dentistry Program project coordinator at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and a Batavia resident. Also a resident of Batavia is Dr. Joseph Zambon, dean of the Dental School.

It is not too late to sign up for the free program, Fischer said.

A bus will leave the parking lot at JCPenney at 9 a.m. to take children to Buffalo. Fidelis, a major event sponsor, has made the bus available, Fischer said.

To sign up, call Paula Fischer at (716) 829-6240.

UB Dental’s Give Kids a Smile event offers free dental care, including exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions and orthodontic consultations (braces).

In addition, other services offered are hearing and vision screenings and healthy eating demos. Every child and parent will receive oral health supplies and lunch bag.

Both Zambon and Fischer grew up in Batavia and are thrilled to be able to offer this free service to their community.

“Every year the dental schools GKAS event grows, and this year we were discussing expanding its reach, and I immediately thought of Batavia,” Fischer said. “I reside in Batavia with my family and I currently serve on the City of Batavia Youth Board.

"My children attended John Kennedy Elementary, St. Joseph Regional School and Notre Dame High School. I reached out to Wade Bianco, Karen Green and Julia Rogers to assist with getting the word out. They were excited to offer this opportunity to their students and families.”

The first Give Kids a Smile Day started in 2002 in St. Louis, Mo., where free dental care was delivered to nearly 400 children. The American Dental Association recognized that this grassroots effort had great potential to raise awareness nationally about the importance of oral health to overall health, and about the staggering need that exists among millions of children who go without care, Fischer said. 

So, in 2003, Give Kids a Smile evolved into a nationwide program with the collaboration of the American Dental Association, Henry Schein, Proctor & Gamble and DEXIS. UB Dental School has been participating since 2003. Thousands of dentists and volunteers give their time to provide free oral health education, screenings and treatment to underserved children, Fischer said.

Since 2003, more than 5.5 million children have been cared for by more than half a million volunteers.

February 5, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in news, bergen, Milestones.

Photo: in front are Barb Zinter, Rene Vurraro, administrator Cortney Gale, Mayor Anna Marie Barclay and lifelong resident Vickie Almquist. At rear are Eric Wies, Chris Fay, historian Ray MacConnell, Matt Sluberski, Kirk Roberts and Kevin Donovan.

BERGEN – Months of work by the Department of Public Works paid off for the Village of Bergen when they were awarded the Project of the Year for Small Cities/Rural Communities by the Genesee Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association.

The award was presented at the association's 34th annual banquet Jan. 31 at RIT Inn and Conference Center in Henrietta.

They received the award for Project of the Year for Small Cities/Rural Communities for their renovation and repurposing of the village’s former water treatment plant into the Sage Pavilion. It is named after the village’s first mayor.

Those who attended for Bergen’s honor included Mayor Anna Marie Barclay, administrator Cortney Gale, historian Ray MacConnell, office employees, employees of the Department of Public Works, who did much of the work on the pavilion, and lifelong resident Vickie Almquist.

Photo by Virginia Kropf.

For previous coverage click here.

February 5, 2019 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, byron, news.


Nancy Clark shared these photos with us of an ice jam and ice overflow on Black Creek near Walkers Corner Road in Byron from this morning.




February 5, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, Darien, alexander.
charlescoopermug2019.jpg joshuacoopermug2019.jpg
Charles Cooper Joshua Cooper

Charles Elias Cooper, 35, of West Seneca Street, Lodi, and Joshua Dennis Cooper, 32, of Dunlap Road, Ovid, are charged with: soliciting without a permit; a scheme to defraud in the second degree; and 6th-degree conspiracy. In addition, Joshua Dennis Cooper is also charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. At about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a report of individuals trying to scam residents for driveway repair work on Alleghany Road (Route 77) in Darien. The investigation revealed that the defendants were allegedly performing work at a residence without the property owner's permission and then tried to charge the property owner multiple sums of money. The defendants were arrested and arraigned in Darien Town Court. The investigation was handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, Deputy Kevin Forsyth, Deputy Kyle Krzemien, and the NYS Police Commerical Motor Vehicle Unit.

Emily Elizabeth Dale, 27, of Water Street, Attica, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; speed not reasonable and prudent; moving from lane unsafely; and unlicensed operator. Dale was arrested following an investigation into a motor vehicle accident on Maplewood Road in the Town of Alexander at 5:38 p.m on Feb. 1. Dale was allegedly operating her motor vehicle in an intoxicated state when she drove off the roadway. Her operating privileges were allegedly suspended at the time. She was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation. She is due in Town of Alexander Court this afternoon (Feb. 5). The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Mathew Clor.

February 4, 2019 - 5:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia, Le Roy.

John A. Snook is indicted for the crime of criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 15 in the City of Batavia Snook intentionally violated a duly served order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party. In count two, Snook is accused of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony, for allegedly entering a dwelling unlawfully on Jackson Street. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Snook is accused of having been convicted of first-degree criminal contempt on Jan. 5, 2015 in Genesee County Court and that conviction was for violating a stay away family offense order of protection. It was also within five years previous to the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Matthew J. Arelline is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 3 in the Town of Le Roy that Arelline drove a 2015 Mitsubishi on Route 19 while he was intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, he is accused of DWI, as a misdemeanor. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17.

Kelicia M. Storey is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Sept. 26 in the Town of Le Roy that Storey drove a 2015 Kia on Route 19 while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Storey is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count three that she had three or more suspensions in effect at the time that were imposed on at least three separate dates: Sept. 27, 2015; Jan. 14, 2017; and Aug. 19, 2018.

February 4, 2019 - 3:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news.

A legislative statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Gov. Cuomo’s projected $2.3 billion budget shortfall:

“This gigantic budget shortfall wasn’t caused by the federal government or its policies.

“It was spurred by reckless and insistent spending on corrupt economic development programs, tax credits for rich Hollywood movie producers and a billion dollars spent on a subway with trains that still don’t run on time – all hallmarks of this governor.

“Now the governor is grasping at straws trying desperately to find someone to blame – a practice he is well versed in. Unfortunately for him, the person to blame is looking back at him in the mirror.

“I hope that new Tappan Zee bridge was worth it, governor. Maybe you can call the one million residents who have left the state under your leadership and convince them to come back and pay for it.”

February 4, 2019 - 1:23pm

The Batavia Society of Artists will host its kick-off event for 2019-- a free Artist Mixer -- from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at GO ART! 

It is located in the historic Seymour Place building in Downtown Batavia, 201 E. Main St.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a piece of their artwork to display for the evening.

Enjoy some wine and cheese and talk with other artists from the area.

All levels and mediums welcome.

An Art Book Sale will be available to benefit The Batavia Society of Artists.

Dues to join the society are $30 a year for an individual; $50 for a couple; $10 for students; the drop-in fee for events, programs and demos is $5.

The Board of Directors is comprised of: Teresa Tamfer, Nicole Tamfer, Nancy Brown*, Carole LaValley, Shauna Blake*, Amy DiSalvo and Karen Crittenden. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month.

(*New Board Members)

Here's the rest of the year's lineup; all demos (except En Plein Air) are held at GO ART!:

  • March 12 -- Colette Savage Demo of warm undertone painting with pastels, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • April 9 -- Mike Killelea Demo of adding people and animals to finished watercolors for interest, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • May 9 -- Spring Art Show Reception at Richmond Memorial Library, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • May 18 -- Saturday Sketch Out -- Genesee County Park & Forest Nature Interpretive Center in East Bethany, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • June 11 -- Linda Metcalf Hands-on Demo of encaustics, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • July 9 -- Picnic at Kiwanis Park & En Plein Air Demo with Sue Meyer -- Bring a dish to pass, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Aug. 15 -- GO ART! Show Reception -- Upstairs in the Batavia Rotary Club Gallery, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 10 -- Shauna Blake Hands-on Demo of alcohol inks, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Oct. 8 -- Chris Humel Hands-on Demo of caricatures, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Nov. 12 -- Becky Maynard Demo of acrylic pour ornaments, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 5 -- Winter Art Show Reception at Richmond Memorial Library, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 10 -- Christmas Dinner Party at Dibble Family Center, $20 per person, 6 p.m. - 'til ?
February 4, 2019 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Kevin Michael Waleski, 31, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 3:24 a.m. on Jan. 27, Batavia police responded to an address on South Main Street in Batavia for a report of a disturbance. Waleski was subsequently issued an appearance ticket for second-degree harassment after he allegedly punched another person in the face. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Brendan David Curry, 38, of Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated, with a previous conviction within the last 10 years; DWI; and refusal to take a breath test. Curry was arrested on Feb. 1 at 1:10 a.m. following an investigation of a vehicle off the roadway on State Street Road in Batavia. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released under supervision. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on Feb. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Paul P. Parise, 49, of Kingsbury Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and aggravated DWI -- with a BAC of .18 percent or higher. Parise was arrested at 8:33 p.m. on Jan. 22 on Kingsbury Avenue following an accident wherein he allegedly drove while intoxicated and struck an unoccupied vehicle parked roadside then left the scene. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Joey A. Evans, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespassing. He was arrested at 5:35 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the JCPenney store in Batavia City Centre following an incident there. He had been told not to return following a previous incident. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

February 4, 2019 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, batavia, graham corporation, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider accepting applications for incentives from Graham Manufacturing and Gateway GS, LLC at the agency’s Feb. 7 board meeting. 

Graham Manufacturing is seeking incentives for a $1.075 million capital investment for various properties at its campus in the City of Batavia. The investment would renovate 8,000 square feet of existing space for expanded workforce training and add 5,000 square feet of new space for the construction of a warehouse. The project would help retain 291 jobs.

Gateway GS, LLC is proposing to invest $450,000 to build out the interior of a spec building the company constructed in 2018 at the Gateway II Corporate Park in Batavia. The project would create five new jobs.

Since each project would receive benefits of more than $100,000 public hearings would be scheduled if the applications for incentives are accepted by the GCEDC Board.

All GCEDC Board meetings are open to the public. Meetings are at 4 p.m. unless noted otherwise and take place at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia across from Genesee Community College.

February 4, 2019 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.26, no change from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.60. The New York State average is $2.49 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.77. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

Batavia -- $2.53 (down 2 cents since last week)
Buffalo -- $2.53 (down 2 cents since last week)
Ithaca -- $2.37 (down 1 cent since last week)
Rochester -- $2.44 (down 2 cents since last week)
Rome -- $2.47 (down 1 cent since last week)
Syracuse -- $2.38 (down 1 cent since last week)
Watertown -- $2.47 (down 2 cents since last week)

In its latest report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that demand for gasoline hit 9.6 million barrels per day, which would be considered average during the busy summer driving season, but not typical during winter, which is a usually low demand season. Either the preliminary rate is off (EIA may revise it later this year when it releases final figures for the month) or the weather forced motorists to fuel up.

Given the weather conditions across much of the country over the past two weeks, motorists are likely driving less. If the estimate is not revised, one reason for the jump could be that the weather led motorists to fill up and stockpile ahead of storms. Despite the increase in demand, the country’s high level of gasoline stocks may keep average pump prices in check.

Prices are down across the region today. The increased stock level may help to stabilize prices, while feeding growing domestic gasoline demand.

February 4, 2019 - 8:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Longtime Viking Valhalla Restaurant cook Harris Busmire rolled a 300 game Thursday night at the bowling center attached to his place of employment -- Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

The 54-year-old right-hander's honor score came in the Thursday Owls League, and was his fourth perfect game since 2001.

In the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes, Scott Allis registered a 299 game in a 730 series, and in the Monday Night League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville, Matthew Hurlburt strung 11 in a row after an opening spare for a 290 game en route to a 763 series.

For a list of high rollers for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points bowling column is scheduled for this Thursday.

February 4, 2019 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.
Video Sponsor

With his three children in his minivan, along with one of their friends, returning to Elba on Saturday afternoon, Justin Calarco-Smith was being cautious, he recalls. He had already come through a couple of snow drifts on Route 98. 

Shortly after passing Batavia Elba Townline Road, he came upon another drift with near whiteout conditions when he noticed a silver SUV ahead of him lose control and start to slide sideways.

He didn't actually see the southbound pickup truck driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion strike the silver SUV because of the poor visibility but he was able to stop in time to avoid being entangled in the accident.

Calarco-Smith is the funeral director at H.E. Turner Funeral Home. He's been to fatal accident scenes before but on Saturday he was one of several passersby who tried to render aid to the victims of the crash. This was a close call involving his own family and he said it took him some time to process what happened.

Despite the efforts of people on the scene to assist Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, a mother and son from Albion, they did not survive the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

"Upon seeing the SUV and pickup truck on the west shoulder of Route 98, I immediately pulled my van over to the east shoulder (it got stuck in the ditch) and called 9-1-1 to report the accident," Calarco-Smith. "After I hung up with dispatch, I exited my car, and along with three other bystanders who stopped to try to help, I got out to see what I could do to help. A female bystander asked if I had blankets for the victims to keep them warm. I ran back to my van and got a blanket out of our trunk and handed one to her."

The accident was reported at about 1:30 p.m. Winds through Genesee County that day were about 30 mph, two days after a major snowstorm had hit the area. Several sections of Route 98 that afternoon had significant snow drifts on the roadway, including the area where the accident occurred. The state's Department of Transportation is responsible for the maintenance of Route 98 and there was no snow fence erected on the west side of Route 98 where the accident occurred.

Calarco-Smith estimates there was one to two inches of snow covering the roadway at the time of the accident.

Because of Calarco-Smith's job, and as a resident of Elba, he knows many of the first responders who arrived at the accident. He praised his friends for how they conducted themselves at the scene.

"These same friends who were out in the elements constantly checked on my children assuring them all would be fine, while I was away from my vehicle," Calarco-Smith said. "I can't say enough about the professionalism, kindness and caring they demonstrated while on the scene. They are truly the calm in the eye of the storm."

A note about the video: I shot it Sunday afternoon so I make reference to "the accident yesterday." At the time I shot it, I anticipated publishing it Sunday, not Monday. That didn't happen. The video is intended to provide a look at the area of the accident scene and discuss what conditions were like on Saturday.


The farm field west of the location of the double fatal crash on Route 98 in Elba.


The site on Route 98 in Elba of a double fatal crash on Saturday.


Snow fence west of Route 98 a location south of Townline Road.

February 3, 2019 - 11:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, news, batavia.
Video Sponsor

In 2018, the volunteers of the Town of Batavia Fire Department answered 377 calls for service, Chief Dan Coffey said Saturday night at the department's annual awards and installation banquet at Terry Hills.

Thirteen of those calls were for structure fires and 28 were motor-vehicle accidents. The town also responded to 168 false alarms. 

The department responded 51 times as a mutual aid company and needed the assistance of mutual aid companies seven times.

The top responder for the year was Tyler Stewart, who showed up for 264 calls. James Bouton responded to 241 calls and Clayton Gorski responded to 202 calls.

Clayton Groski was named 2018 Firefighter of the Year. 

Paul Barrett received the President's Award.

The 2019 officers:

  • Chief Dan Coffey
  • Deputy Chief Jim Bouton
  • Assistant Chief Paul Dibble
  • Assistant Chief Tom Garlock
  • Captain Conor Wilkes
  • Lieutenant Dave Tran 

2019 Corporate Board:

  • President Scott Garlock
  • Vice President Nate Fix
  • Treasurer Don Koziol
  • Secretary Steve Coburn
  • Director Tim Yaeger
  • Director Gary Diegelman
  • Director Bob Mullen
  • Director Bob Tripp
  • Director Paul Barrett

To find out how you can serve your community and become a volunteer with your local department, visit ReadyGenesee.com.


Clayton Gorski, second from right, with the department's line officers, was named Firefighter of the Year.


Top responders for 2018, with President Scott Garlock: Clayton Gorski, Tyler Steward and Jim Bouton.


In years past, the department presented a gift to dinner attendees, such as a mug or a glass. This year, the department instead donated $1,000 to The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation. Dan Coffey, Laurie Napoleon, Mark Napoleone and Scott Garlock.


Installation of officers, conducted by Bill Schutt.


The Town of Batavia Fire Department.

February 3, 2019 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.


A semi and a burgundy coupe collided at the intersection of Ellicott Street and Summit/Liberty. City fire, police and Mercy medics are on scene. Traffic was backed up in both directions, but traffic lanes are being reopened now.

The female driver of the coupe may have minor injuries and is being transported by Mercy medics to UMMC for evaluation. The truck driver appears to be uninjured. He faces a citation for allegedly running a red light. 

February 3, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.


A mother and her adult son from Albion were killed Saturday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on a snow-covered Route 98 in Elba.

Teresa M. Norton, 53, was driving a 2008 Suzuki SUV north on Route 98, with her son, Thomas M. Norton, 22, in the passenger seat, when the vehicle hit a long patch of deep snow in an area about a mile north of Batavia Elba Townline Road. Norton apparently lost control of the Suzuki and it slid sideways. A 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck was southbound. The truck, driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion, struck the Suzuki on the passenger side.

Toussaint was transported to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy EMS for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The property west of the accident, according to county records, is owned by Torrey Farms. According to sources, there were no snow fences installed along the west side of Route 98. NYS Department of Transportation is responsible for maintenance of Route 98, including erecting snow fences where they might be needed.

The Batavian was at the crash scene shortly after the accident and that section of Route 98, as well as a section south of Townline Road, were heavily covered in snow, at least several inches thick.

First responders described the roadway as hazardous when they were arriving on scene.

DOT snow plows arrived at Route 98 about 30 minutes after the accident.

Both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the accident and is leading the investigation with assistance from troopers and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The investigation is not yet complete.

The Elba Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the accident with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and Town of Oakfield fire departments.

Photos: Reader submitted photos.


February 3, 2019 - 9:47am
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, lifestyle.


For most Groundhog Day is just a passing curiosity about weather or not the groundhog saw his shadow. But for the 10thyear a hearty group met on East Ave in Batavia for an outdoor party.  “February needed some type of festival” said founder Don Chmielowiec. So 10 years ago he invited over a few friends to celebrate outside. Over the last ten years the weather has ranged from 55 degrees to 10 degrees and -30 degree wind-chill. Of course there was a blizzard one year and rain twice but the party is always outside and fighting the weather seems to be part of the fun. The partygoers stay warm with hearty dished kept warm in crockpots and locally made ciders.  Punxsutawney PA may be the most famous Groundhog’ Day party but Batavia has it’s own too. 


February 2, 2019 - 9:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, fire.


A structure fire with smoke showing is reported at 3 W. Main St., Village of Le Roy Hall. The location is just west of Clay Street. Le Roy Fire Department is responding, along with City of Batavia fire. The second platoon is called to city fire headquarters on Evans Street.

Stafford and Town of Batavia fire departments are also called to respond.

UPDATE 10:16 pm.: All second-alarm responders are back in service.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: Le Roy Fire Chief Tom Wood said the initial call was for an automatic smoke alarm -- smoke in the building. His first assessment determined smoke was billowing from the bell tower. The first crew on scene discovered a broken water pipe that was leaking onto another pipe and creating steam. Mutual aid was canceled.

February 2, 2019 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany, news.

An accident is completely blocking the westbound lane of Broadway Road (Route 20) in Bethany after a collision between two vehicles near Francis Road. Minor injuiries reported. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Alexander Fire Department is called to the scene to assist Bethany. Traffic assistance is needed.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Alexander reported it had returned to its fire hall about 10 minutes ago. A female is being transported to UMMC with complaints of neck pain.

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Bethany is back in service and the road is open.

February 2, 2019 - 2:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A person is complaining of an arm injury after a two-car collision in front of the Totem Pole Smoke Shop on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The address is 1031 Ledge Road. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

February 2, 2019 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, elba.

A motor-vehicle accident, with two people unconscious, is reported on Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), between Edgerton Road and Batavia Elba Townline Road. Elba Fire Department is responding. Road conditions are said to be icy and hazardous.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m.: A law enforcement officer confirmed this is a double fatal accident. No other information is available at this time. The scene is under investigation.

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: After more than a three-hour wait, troopers refused to allow media access to the scene or release further information. We did have access to the scene for a few minutes shortly after the accident. The roadway, for at least a 100-yard stretch, was covered in several inches of snow, blown over the roadway by wind. Route 98 coming out of Batavia had at least two stretches of similarly snow-impacted roadway. It was only after the accident that State DOT plow trucks showed up (after troopers contacted the DOT about the need for plowing). We're not sure when or if the State Police will release more information.

UPDATE 6:32 p.m.: The state has the legal authority to go onto private property to erect snow fencing. In past years, the state has put up snow fences on Route 98 along sections of roadway subject to snow drift. This year, the state has not put up snow fencing on state-maintained Route 98.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: State Police have yet to release any further information.


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