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Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Car in a ditch on Sand Hill Road, Alabama

post by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama

A car accident is reported at 7428 Sand Hill Road. Injuries, if any, are unknown. The car is in a ditch. Alabama Fire Department and medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: Mercy Flight is called to the scene. The accident is "around the bend." Fire police are told to shut down Sand Hill Road at Bloomingdale Road.

UPDATE 1:26 p.m.: Traffic on Sand Hill Road is being completely shut down.

UPDATE 1:37 p.m.: Mercy Flight has landed.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne and headed to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: The road is being reopened. Alabama is back in service.
Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Senate Majority leader visits Batavia to help announce $2 million for STAMP

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, business, GCEDC, Mike Ranzenhofer, STAMP

Dignitaries from throughout the county were at the Upstate Med-Tech Center today for the official announcement of $2 million in funding for the STAMP project in Alabama.

The project, if successful, is expected to produce thousands of jobs and the round of funding will help pay for grading and infrastructure improvements for a portion of 1,300 acres targeted for development.

"The investment we’re making today will make STAMP a shovel-ready, high-tech industrial megasite," said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (top photo), who traveled to Batavia today for the announcement. "Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Capitol Region communities are already attracting high-tech companies and high-paying jobs."

STAMP is intended to attract high-tech/clean-tech and nano-enabled manufacturing and Genesee Economic Development Center CEO Steve Hyde (top inset photo) projects an eventual 10,000 jobs at the site, with support and supply chain jobs from Buffalo to Rochester adding another 20,000 positions.

STAMP is most often compared to Luther Forest in Saratoga. According to GCEDC, Luther Forest, in the past five years, has seen $1.5 billion in private investment, and more than 2,000 jobs created.

"Once we bring that site to what we call ‘shovel-ready light’ we will be ready to market the project to some of the largest semi-conductor manufacturers in the world," Hyde said.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer (second inset photo) thanked Skelos for helping secure the funding for STAMP and said the project has the potential to transform the region.

"This is really critical funding that will keep the project going and keep it on track," Ranzenhofer said. "We’re a step closer today than we were previously to making sure we develop scientific and technological manufacturing jobs in the future here in Genesee County. I’d rather see them developed right here between Rochester and Buffalo than in another state or another country."

Following the announcement, Skelos and Ranzenhofer met with local and regional media and discussed a variety of issues.

On Cuomo's plan to decriminalize possession of personal use marijuana, both Skelos and Ranzenhofer are adamantly opposed to the measure.

"When you talk to lot of drug counselors, they tell you marijuana leads to a lot of other kinds of addictions with heavier drugs," Skelos said. 

He added, "I don’t believe in legalizing drugs that the federal government has said are destructive to lives."

Ranzenofer said he's following the lead of GCASA in opposing decriminalizing possession.

"They felt strongly that this type of thing is a gateway drug for the very kind of people they’re trying to treat in our communities," Ranzenhofer said. "The experts in our community don’t believe that it is proper legislation and I’ll certainly defer to the experts in our community."

Even though polls show most New Yorkers support losing marijuana laws, Skelos said "the voters in my district on Long Island are not knocking down the door saying legalize marijuana."

On the ethics complaint against Sen. Ranzenhofer: Skelos said he has not received a copy of the complaint filed by Michelle McCulloch, even though it was sent to his office by registered mail. Ranzenhofer said he also has not yet seen it. 

Skelos called the firing of McCulloch, a mother of four children, a "personnel change." He said, "We all make personnel changes in our lives. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it."

Asked about his statement to a Buffalo TV station that McCulloch "knows why she was fired," even though he's said he wouldn't discuss a personnel matter, Ranzenhofer wouldn't comment further, except to say, "It wasn't for political activity."

He also said he's never directed anybody to gather signatures or petitions for Chris Collins, who is running in the NY-27 GOP primary against David Bellavia.

"People have volunteered for the past 50 years," Ranzenhofer said. "I've never directed anybody to do that."

On mandate relief for counties, particularly Medicaid: Skelos said the state simply can't afford to pick up its share of Medicaid costs.

He said NYS has already provided relief to counties, first by capping annual increases at 3 percent, then by agreeing to phase out the local mandate increase.

Counties promised each time not to ask for more help with Medicaid, Skelos said.

"They should be reminded that just a couple of years ago they said, ‘we’re fine,’ we’ll never need to come back again," Skelos said.

Skelos said reporters should ask federal elected officials why some states get 80-percent reimbursement for Medicaid while New York gets only 50 percent.

The Batavian happened to already have an interview scheduled with Rep. Kathy Hochul for this afternoon and we asked Hochul that question.

Hochul said that as a former town board member and former county clerk, she certainly understands the need for mandate relief, but the reason New York doesn't get more help from the federal government is the state has instituted a number of services and programs within Medicaid that are not required. Those additional programs drive up the costs for both the state and counties.

On another unfunded mandate issue, Skelos did agree that if proposed creation of a youth court division in NY's counties goes through, the state should pay for the additional cost. Officials estimate the new court will cost more than $1 million in Genesee County.

On efforts to increase the state's minimum wage, Skelos said he remains opposed to the idea.

"My concern is that if we raise the minimum wage with the fragile economy we have, there would actually be a loss of jobs," Skelos said. "Fifty percent of the people earning minimum wage are young people, age 16 to 24, and the last time we raised the minimum wage, 22 percent of them lost their jobs."

Professor Mike Jackson, RIT, presented officials with framed, commemorative computer chips.

Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

'Best and brightest sixth-grade math and science minds' honored today at GCC

Press release:

The best and brightest sixth-grade math and science minds in the GLOW region were honored during an awards breakfast at Genesee Community College today.

In February, school districts across the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming county region nominated 70 students for the inaugural cohort of the Math Science Preparatory Program at GCC. Embedded within the competitive application process was an opportunity for two students to earn a full scholarship to Math Science Preparatory Program at GCC for their first year in the program.

Two students were selected from among 21 Scholar of the Year finalists to win the first-ever award, and all the finalists were recognized today (May 29, 2012). The scholarship winners and 2012 Inaugural Math Science Scholars of the Year are Triton Adamski of Pembroke Central School, and Kiera Gross of Pavilion Central School.

Triton earned the highest score in the competition by performing exceptionally well on the competitive placement examination (placing into college-level mathematics). Combined with his excellent classroom grades in math and science, a thoughtful essay on the role of LEGOS ® in the better understanding of math and science, and an educational Powerpoint presentation, Triton clearly earned top honors. Triton also received awards for reading and character, and has been asked to tutor younger students in reading and math. He is an active member in team sports, his school's band, and the SADD club at Pembroke. Triton's mother, Denise Adamski, told the ACE program that he is looking forward to a wonderful and challenging experience at Genesee Community College.

Kiera demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the scientific method with her essay about the use of crash-test dummies in safety experiments. An active sixth grader at Pavilion Central School, Kiera is a member of PageTurners, as well as Sixth-Grade Band and Chorus. Kiera is also a black stripe belt at Cain's Taekwondo Academy, where she is a member of SMAC Competition Team and GOLD (Guidance on Leadership Development) Team. She also helps run craft activities for kids in grades one through four in Kids Count Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at Akron Free Methodist Church. She is a Cadette Girl Scout and a member of 4-H. She enjoys caring for animals, camping, and making her own science experiments.

ACE program specialist Karlyn M. Finucane says she and other members of the GCC ACE team are looking forward to working with all of the students who were nominated for the Math Science Preparatory Award throughout the next several years.

"While the inaugural cohort was limited to 48 students, the overall quality of the applicants and overwhelming interest expressed by the community for this type of program has prompted the research and development of several additional math and science enrichment opportunities to meet the educational needs of our region's top performing students," says Finucane.

In alphabetical order, students nominated by their school districts in Genesee County for the Math Science Preparatory Program include:

•    Triton Adamski, Pembroke Central School *◦§

•    Landon Bish, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School *

•    Logan Cadieux, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School *◦§

•    Kim Davis, Pavilion Central School ◦

•    Cassandra DeLelys, Elba Central School ◦

•    Trevor Fitzgibbon, Alexander Central School *◦§

•    Samantha Gibbs, Alexander Central School

•    Cassidy Graham, Alexander Central School ◦

•    Kiera Gross, Pavilion Central School *◦§

•    Cameron Hausfelder, Alexander Central School *

•    Gabrielle Havens, Batavia Middle School *

•    Kelsey Hilburger, Elba Central School ◦ *

•    Madison Hoerbelt, Batavia Middle School

•    Lauren Hume, Alexander Central School ◦

•    Ethan Hutchins, Batavia Middle School *◦§

•    Tara Jagodzinski, Pavilion Central School *◦§

•    Logan Kellogg, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School

•    Jora Kusmierski, Alexander Central School

•    Jay Lewis, Batavia Middle School *

•    Nathan Loria, Batavia Middle School ◦ *

•    Michal Lullo, Batavia Middle School *

•    Joseph Marchese, Batavia Middle School

•    Aaron Michalak, Batavia Middle School *◦§

•    Christa Moscicki, Batavia Middle School

•    Madison Murray, Batavia Middle School ◦

•    Jason Normandin, Pavilion Central School ◦ *

•    Callee Norton, Elba Central School ◦

•    Anand Patel, Batavia Middle School *

•    Benjamin Pflaumer, Elba Central School ◦

•    Justina Pruski, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School ◦ *

•    Lauren Reding, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School ◦ *

•    Erik Scharlau, Alexander Central School

•    Kylie Schlagenhauf, Oakfield-Alabama Middle School ◦

•    Jordyn Schmidt, Batavia Middle School

•    Trevor Schoonover, Pavilion Central School ◦

•    Chloe Schrier, Pavilion Central School ◦

•    Edward Skalny, Batavia Middle School *◦§

•    Benjamin Slenker, Alexander Central School *◦§

•    Job Smith, Alexander Central School ◦

•    Ethan Stone, Pembroke Central School *◦§

•    Nicholas Ventola, St. Joseph's School *◦§

•    Grace Vogler, Pembroke Central School *◦§

•    Moira Werner, St. Joseph's School ◦

•    Emma Whalen, Pavilion Central School ◦

•    Claire Zickl, Batavia Middle School *◦§

•    Bethany Zwolinski, Pembroke Central School ◦

Key:

* Accepted for Math Science Preparatory Program

◦ Nominated for Math Science Scholar of the Year Award

◦§ Award Finalist

Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

Senator Majority Leader in town to announce funding for STAMP

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, GCEDC, STAMP

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will be in Batavia today, at the offices of Genesee County Economic Development Center, to announce approval of $2 million in funding to advance the development of the STAMP project in Alabama.

The project is a planned 1,300-acre high-tech manufacturing park and the funding will help pay for design and infrastructure work.

Joining Skelos at the press conference will be Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde.

Skelos is also expected to attend a campaign fundraiser tonight for Ranzenhofer in Erie County.

Monday, June 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Law and Order: Orangeville man charged with two counts of menacing

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, alexander, crime, Le Roy, Oakfield

Rodney L. McKenzie, 47, of Orangeville, is charged with two counts of menacing, including a count that alleges the use of a weapon. McKenzie was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 11:20 a.m., Sunday, in the Town of Alabama. No further details were release.

Paul H. Burch, 32, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Burch was stopped by Le Roy Police Saturday in the Village of Le Roy.

Roger K. Rumble, 27, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, refusal to take a breath test and speeding. Rumble was stopped by Le Roy Police Saturday in the Village of Le Roy.

Marche La'Shon Brown, 26, of Doran Street, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Brown was stopped at 3:15 a.m. Sunday on Route 98, Batavia, by Deputy Matt Fleming.

Coretta Melissa Pitts, 44, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Pitts was allegedly at the residence of a person she was ordered not to contact.

Jeffery M. Johnson, 24, no permanent address, is charged with menacing, 3rd. He was arrested by State Police for an incident reported at 11:27 a.m. Sunday in Oakfield. Johnson was held in jail.

Jerod P. Norcross, 33, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Norcross was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 3:50 p.m., April 11, in Alexander.

Michael J. McCarthy, 24, of Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 and inadequate plate lamp. McCarthy was stopped by State Police at 2:35 a.m. Saturday in the Town of Batavia.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Oakfield-Alabama names new school superintendent

Press release:

The Board of Education is proud to announce our unanimous selection of
Mr. Mark Alexander as the next superintendent of the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District. Mark began his career as a third-grade teacher at the Churchville-Chili Central School District before joining the faculty at Oakfield-Alabama in 2000. He was promoted to the position of elementary principal in 2008.

Mark has also served as an adjunct instructor at Genesee Community College where he was awarded the prestigious National Institute of Staff Development and Organizational Development Award for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership.

Mark earned degrees in mathematics education and curriculum specialization at the College at Brockport before pursuing his certification in school leadership through the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

Mark has served in many leadership positions while a member of the Oakfield-Alabama team, including: chair of the Safety, Health and Wellness Committee; Anti-Bullying Committee member; past chair of the District Advancement Team; past chair of the Career Day Committee; and past president, treasurer, and Negotiations Team member of the Oakfield-Alabama Teachers’ Association.

Most importantly, Mark is an educational leader who has a demonstrated record of commitment to the children of this community, their families, support staff members, teachers, administrators and the broader school community. He is a leader of great character, passion and intelligence.

The board would also like to take this opportunity to express our community’s gratitude to Chris Todd for his outstanding leadership over the past five years. We wish Chris and his family well as he begins his new position as district superintendent of Oswego County BOCES on June 1. We also would like to welcome Mr. Ed Orman, our interim superintendent, who will stay on board with Oakfield-Alabama through our transition in leadership.

Mr. Alexander is a uniquely talented educational leader who will be leading a wonderful school system. He attended and graduated from Oakfield-Alabama and has deep roots in our community. The board looks forward to welcoming Mark and his family with great anticipation and enthusiasm.

Please join us in welcoming Mark on Tuesday, June 12 for a light refreshment reception, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Middle-High School Community Room.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Two people injured on Route 77 when car turns into passing truck

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

A driver may have failed to signal before making a left-hand turn on Route 77 in Alabama this afternoon leading to a collision with a semi-truck that was trying to pass his vehicle.

Both the driver and one of his passenger's were injured in the 1:06 p.m. accident at the intersection of Route 77 and Ledge Road.

No citations were issued, according to the accident report prepared by Deputy Chris Parker.

Suffering minor injuries were Randolph S. Mattice, 44, of Court Street, Syracuse, and Christie A. Rogers, 51.

Both a witness and the truck driver reported they didn't see a turn signal on Mattice's vehicle.

The truck driver, William Conroy, 42, of Williamee Road, Trumansburg, was not injured.

Suzanne M. Walsh, owner of the 2000 Pontiac Driven by Mattice, was also uninjured.

(Initial Report)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

MVA with minor injuries on Route 77, Alabama

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Alabama

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported on Route 77 between Ledge and Marble roads. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with medics.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The accident involves a car and a tractor-trailer.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: A second ambulance is requested, out of Oakfield. The tractor-trailer's fuel tank is intact.

UPDATE 1:46 p.m.: One patient is being transported to the hospital in Warsaw.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: A second patient is being taken to the Warsaw hospital.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: Alabama is back in the hall, in service.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Law and Order: Hot coffee call gets Oswego man in hot water

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime, Le Roy

William Henry Foote, 57, of Myers Road, Oswego, is charged with felony driving while ability impaired by combined drugs and alcohol, felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and felony driving while ability impaired by drugs. Foote was arrested after deputies responded at 3:35 p.m., Monday, to a report of a person who said he had burned himself by spilling coffee on his chest. Foote was evaluated by ambulance medics, but refused further treatment. Further investigation by Deputy Joseph Graff and Deputy Howard Carlson led to Foote's arrest.

Russell Hosahi Blumer, 39, of Gillate Road, Alexander, is charged with assault, 3rd, resisting arrest, aggravated DWI and DWI. Blumer was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Gillate Road, Alexander, at 4:23 p.m., Monday. Blumer was later located operating a Kubota tractor and was allegedly intoxicated. Blumer was allegedly verbally combative and physically resisting arrest, causing a hand/finger injury to a deputy. The deputy was treated at UMMC and released.

A 17-year-old resident of River Street, Batavia, and a 16-year-old resident of South Main Street, Batavia, are charged unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. The youths were allegedly found in possession of beer at 11:42 p.m., Saturday, at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia.

Deidre Roshelle Scott, 25, of an undisclosed address, Rochester, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and inadequate headlights. Scott is accused of giving a false identification following a traffic stop at 2:03 p.m., March 15. Scott's alleged deception was discovered after Scott reportedly failed to appear in court and the person whose identity she allegedly used was issued a summons for failure to appear.

James Thomas Kusmierczak, 27, of Chestnut Street, Medina, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and possession/consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Kusmierczak was stopped for allegedly consuming beer in a motor vehicle. During the stop, Kusmierczak was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Jeffery Scott, 29, of Keeney Road, Le Roy, and Adrian James, 32, of East Main Street Road, Le Roy, are charged with trespass and petit larceny. The two men were arrested following a report of people removing property from a local business. When approached, Scott was immediately taken into custody. James was captured after initially fleeing on foot.

Melissa G. Betances, 31, of 180 1/2 Pearl St., Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and moving from lane unsafely. Betances was stopped Monday on Pearl Street by Officer Darryle Streeter.

Josanne Alysse Schultz, 23, of Wolcottsville Road, Akron, is charged with petit larceny. Schultz is accused of shoplifting at Kmart.

Brett Douglas Perfitt, 17, of Bennett Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, speed not reasonable and moved from lane unsafely. Perfitt was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 2:10 a.m., Monday, on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.  Perfitt allegedly failed to reduce speed when approaching a curve and traveled off the roadway into the woods. Perfitt said he was not injured in the accident and declined medical treatment. The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:15 am

Covel's 10 Ks pave way for Hornets slot in Section V title game

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Alabama, Oakfield, sports

Alec Covel and the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets persevered through seven innings of playoff baseball Friday to secure berth in the Class CC finals Tuesday against #1 seed Lyons.

Covel gave up 11 hits against Perry, but more importantly, he struck out 10 and surrendered only two runs to lead the Hornets (17-4) to an 8-2 victory.

Covel said he just wanted to "win one for the team."

The Yellow Jackets got to him for a quick run in the first inning, but then Covel settled in and gained confidence as the game went on.

"In the beginning I had trouble spotting my curve ball," Covel said. "It started coming through. It was working and they weren’t hitting it so I kept throwing it."

The sophomore mixed his off-speed stuff with a dominating fastball to keep the Perry hitters off balance for most of the night.

His lone base on balls came in the final frame, when Perry scored its only other run of the night.

Co-head Coach Dan Gilbert, who shares the position with James Patrick, said the win was a team effort -- Covel was backed by solid defense, but praised Covel's attitude and work ethic.

"It's a combination of Alec's temperament -- he's a great pitcher, great work ethic, hard-nosed kid who doesn't get rattled, and he had great defense behind him," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said the Hornets knew they would have their hands full with Perry, but the team never gave up and the five-run sixth was just what the Hornets needed to put away the #11 seed.

"We knew coming in they were scrappy and they played scrappy," Gilbert said.  "We knew we would have to persevere through any kind of adversity or bumps in the road. We had a couple of mistakes along the way that we had to persevere through and we didn’t quit and we didn’t give up. And we got the big inning when we needed it."

The offense was led by Kurtis Dunlap, who reached base four times -- one hit, two walks and one hit by a pitch -- and scored three runs.

Tommy Manzella had a triple and a run scored.

Hunter Spiotta had his second 2-3 game of the playoffs and scored a run.

The Hornets go into the finals as the #2 seed and getting to the championship game is what O-A's seniors have had in mind all season, Gilbert said.

"The senior leadership has been phenomenal," Gilbert said. "They’ve had a desire to make a run the whole year. They’ve picked up everybody along the way. Our hats go off to the seniors every day because sometimes when you’re a senior, senioritis kicks in. These guys just want to play baseball, do the best they can for the team. That’s been the key to our success all year."

Even though they will be facing the #1 seed, Gilbert said the Hornets are ready for the challenge.

"We feel confident," Gilbert said. "We know we have a chance. We’re going to have to play quality baseball, but we have good quality kids who are going to work hard and leave it on the field."

The game will be played Tuesday at a location yet to be determined.

If you have trouble viewing the slide show, click here.  To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

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