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Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Crash with minor injuries on Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany, Stafford

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported at the intersection of Ellicott Street Road and East Bethany--Le Roy Road. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are responding.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Genesee County firefighters working a house fire in Middlebury

post by Billie Owens in alexander, bergen, Bethany, fire, Le Roy, Pavilion

Several Genesee County fire departments are helping fight a fully involved house fire on Kingsley Road in the Town of Middlebury, which is in Wyoming County. The house is at 566 Kingsley Road.

Bethany, Pavilion and Le Roy are called to the scene, along with a tanker from Alexander. An engine from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's hall. York is asked to fill in at Pavilion. Bergen is asked to stand by in its quarters. Bethany is requested to send an ambulance to the scene.

UPDATE: For coverage from the Wyoming County Free Press, click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 9:41 am

Accident with minor injuries at Route 63 and Little Canada Road

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany

A minor-injury accident is reported at Route 63 and Little Canada Road. It is blocking traffic. Bethany fire and Mercy medics are responding and Stafford is called for traffic control.

UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: The assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 6:42 am

Working barn fire on East Road in Bethany

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A working barn fire is confirmed at 10628 East Road, south of Route 20 in Bethany. Pigs are reportedly inside of it. Bethany fire is responding, along with Alexander, the city's Fast Team, Pavilion, Stafford and Wyoming. Town of Batavia Fire is to fill in at Bethany Fire Hall.

UPDATE 6:47 a.m.: Darien fire is asked to fill in at Alexander Fire Hall.

UPDATE 7:18 a.m.: East Pembroke is asked to fill in at Bethany Fire Hall.

UPDATE 7:30 a.m.: The command chief says "most of the pigs got out." The barn itself was "on the ground" by the time fire crews arrived.

UPDATE 7:52 a.m.: South Byron is requested to fill in at Stafford Fire Hall.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: The farm is owned by David and Rebecca Orr. There were three adults and from nine to 11 piglets lost in the fire.  At least nine pigs were saved. The fire is still under investigation, but Emergency Management Coordinator said investigators are looking at the heat lamps used to keep the piglets warm.

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: Video from the scene.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 5:03 am

Five Genesee County fire departments called to house fire in Town of Covington

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Bethany, fire, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford

Five Genesee County fire departments are responding, mutual aid, to the Town of Covington in Wyoming County for a working structure fire with a person still inside the residence. The location is 864 Perry Road. In addition to Covington fire, responders requested include Le Roy, Pavilion, Bethany, Stafford and the City of Batavia Fast Team.

UPDATE 5:28 a.m.: The person inside got out safely. The fire is out. The assignment is back in service. The resident told firefighters he normally throws debris from his heat stove outside his back door, and did so this time but forgot about a wooden pallet he put there. It caught fire and smoke came up through the back porch into the house, waking the resident. The fire burnt a portion of the back porch.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Officials considering bow hunting in Genesee County Park to deal with overpopulation of deer

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Bethany, Genesee County Park, wildlife

Deer in the southeast part of Genesee County have figured out that if they hide out in the county park they are not going to get shot at, which has led to an overpopulation of deer in the park, causing problems for the county's forestry management efforts.

County officials are considering -- and the discussion is still in early stages -- allowing a limited number of hunters to hunt deer in a portion of the park during bow hunting season.

"We're still working on the actual nuts-and-bolts details of the plan," said Tim Hens, county superintendent of highways. "It hasn't even been presented to the parks advisory committee yet, but I can tell you it would be very limited in nature in terms of not being through the entire park. It would be limited to specific areas of the park to avoid obvious conflicts with bicyclists and hikers and horseback riders and everything else that goes on down there. It is a multi-use park and the safety of everybody is obviously paramount."

The County Park covers about one square mile in Bethany. It was established in 1915 as the first county park in New York. The land was purchased in 1882 in order to procure cooking and heating wood for what was then the county poorhouse. Various efforts to plant trees in the park took place over the next two decades, and by 1935 nearly 170,000 tress had been planted.

The deer hunting plan is being drafted by an ad-hoc committee comprised of the parks supervisor, affiliated agencies like the Department of Environmental Conservation, wildlife and forestry experts, and members of the Genesee County Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee.

The plan would be presented to the advisory committee when completed and if the committee approves it, it would still need approval by the County Legislature.

"Speaking in very general terms, the initial concept calls for a fee-based lottery draw for hunters who will have access to limited regions within the park for limited period of time during regular bow season," Hens said. "Hunting will be bow-only. Focus will be on deer management and there will be an initial emphasis with disabled vets and youth hunts."

The hunt would likely take place for more than one season, Hens said, but whether it became a perpetual event would depend on how successful it was at knocking down the deer population in the park. Letchworth, which is significantly larger, has an annual deer hunt for the same reason, but since the county park is smaller, an annual hunt may not be necessary.

Hens said the ad-hoc committee is interested in community feedback on the proposal and there will be a public information meeting on the plan before it is presented to the Legislature.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Pavilion graduate and partner heading to Uganda to build classroom, teach and pursue conservation goals

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Pavilion

The 237 students of Bigodi Secondary School in Uganda will soon be able to study in a new classroom thanks to the efforts of two Michigan State University graduates who on their own have raised nearly $10,000 and leave today to complete their project.

The students, Kirk David Mason, of Lansing, Mich., and Sarah Scott, of Bethany, were inspired to build the project through the life of Benson Bamatura, a Ugandan conservationist who died early last year.

Scott, who has a degree in zoology, met Bamatura while in a student exchange program in 2013 in Uganda.

When Bamatura died, he left behind five children. When researching options for ways to honor Bamatura, the Bigodi officials offered to ensure an education for Bamatura's children in exchange for the construction of a classroom.

Strictly tapping into their own personal network of friends and family, plus some fundraisers in Lansing, Mason and Scott were able get just about $100 shy of their $10,000 goal.

"We tried company sponsors, but since were weren't a nonprofit, there wasn't much interest," Scott said. "A lot of companies were like, 'it's a great project, but since you're not a nonprofit, we're not going to donate.' It's all been about friends and family."

Their trip will encompass more than building the classroom. Both are certified to teach English in a foreign language, so will instruct teachers on English. Mason, a documentary filmmaker with a degree in media, will make a series of short videos for students around the world to learn more about conservation and that part of Africa's natural habitat.

Both Mason and Scott have arranged with their former schools -- Pavilion locally and Mason's school near Lansing  -- to establish pen pal programs with Bigodi students.

There is also an arts program project they're pursuing with the Wyoming County Arts Council.

"We hope to build a bridge between two different cultures," said Mason, who is making his fifth trip to the region.

The school is in the midst of wildlife sanctuaries and near Africa's own "Great Lakes" area (such as Lake Victoria, which feeds the Nile) and among the conservation topics Mason plans to explore with his films are the issues effecting those lakes as well as our own Great Lakes.

Other topics to explore include regional sustainable food programs, sustainable agriculture and work on a documentary about food systems and food provisions.

"We e-mailed as many people as we could think of to make as many connections as we can," Scott said.

They hope to raise even more money to either generate funds for school supplies and books or perhaps also build a second classroom.

Mason sees the trip as a responsibility to fulfill because he's benefitted so much from his education. Scott's motivation is similar.

"I feel very fortunate to get the education I've received," Scott said. I want to be able to give back."

And she didn't want to just be all talk, either.

"I've always wanted to be able to do something like this and then actually stick to what I say I'm going to do, because a lot of people say, 'oh, let's do this' and then don't actually do it," Scott said. "I wanted to actually make something happen."

The trip, Scott believes, might also be a good career move.

"Pretty much all of Uganda is a biodiversity hot spot, so I’m really excited to just work in that environment," Scott said. "I’m hopefully going to be networking. There’s a lot of research that goes on in that area looking at primates and there are thousands of species of birds there, too, so it’s a pretty exciting place to be as a zoologist. I’m going to make as many connections as I can and hopefully find more work in that area, too."

Links:

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Bethany man accused of causing brain injury to toddler makes court appearance

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, crime

A Bethany resident accused of causing a brain injury to a toddler appeared in County Court today, but his case was continued to another date because his newly hired attorney was unable to make an appearance this morning.

Anthony P. Dibble, 25, was arraigned last week on a sealed indictment charging reckless assault of a child and assault in the second degree. 

In an interview following Dibble's appearance, Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl said the toddler, a 2-year-old female, suffered a very serious brain injury and underwent surgery to relieve swelling in her brain.

"Fortunately, she is recovering at this point," Zickl said.

Asked for a prognosis, Zickle said, "I don't know the prognosis and I don't even know if the medical professionals would predict that because neurological injuries are very tricky, especially predicting the future."

Dibble is the child's biological father, Zickl said; however, the child lives with her mother, who is not a Genesee County resident.

The parents are not married, Zickl said.

By mutual agreement, the toddler was staying with Dibble on an overnight visit in August.

The injured child was driven to UMMC by Dibble and from there was taken by Mercy Flight to Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where the surgery was performed.

Zickl declined to discuss the circumstances the prosecution believes led to the girl's injuries.

The indictment accuses Dibble of causing a serious physical injury to the brain of a child less than 5 years old by shaking the child or slamming or throwing the child so as to impact the child's head on a hard surface or object.

He is also accused of intending to cause physical injury to a person under 7 years of age and caused such an injury by biting the person. 

Buffalo attorney Dominic Saraceno has apparently been retained to represent Dibble. Because of a prior commitment, he couldn't be in court today on relatively short notice, but did contact the office of Judge Robert C. Noonan and ask that the case be continued to a later date.

Dibble is due in court again at 10:45 a.m., Jan. 22.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 7:40 am

Law and Order: Arrest made in concession stand burglary in Oakfield

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Darien, Oakfield

Brandon P. Matteson, 18, of Dutton Road, Silver Springs, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Matteson is accused of stealing from a locked concessions stand in an Oakfield Park.

Gary D. Piazza, 59, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Piazza is accused of shoplifting from the gas station at 99 Jackson St., Batavia.

Michael B. Neth, 37, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Neth allegedly pushed another person to the ground. The alleged incident was reported at 11:15 p.m., Saturday. 

Steven R. Columbo, 28, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Columbo allegedly grabbed the arm of another person hard enough to cause dark bruising and substantial pain. The alleged incident was reported at 9:51 p.m., Wednesday.

A 16-year-old resident of Dellinger Avenue was charged with trespass. The youth was allegedly on property on Liberty Street without permission. Also charged with trespass at the same location was Destiny N. Green, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia.

David Mobley Schmieder, 20, of Silver Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from the lane unsafely. Schmieder was stopped at 2:37 a.m. Thursday on Erie Street, Darien, by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Friday, December 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

Grand Jury Report: Man accused of causing brain injury to a child in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, walmart

Anthony P. Dibble is indicted on counts of reckless assault of a child and assault in the second degree. Dibble is accused of causing a serious physical injury to the brain of a child less than 5 years old by shaking the child or slamming or throwing the child so as to impact the child's head on a hard surface or object. He is accused of intending to cause physical injury to a person under 7 years of age and caused such an injury by biting the person. The alleged crimes were reported Aug. 11 in the Town of Bethany.

Carrie A. Stewart is indicted on counts of burglary in the third degree, petit larceny and criminal contempt in the second degree. Stewart is accused of entering Walmart on Sept. 14 with the intent of committing a crime inside the building. Once inside Walmart, Stewart allegedly stole party supplies, books, dolls, toys, an Easy Bake Oven and a karaoke machine. She allegedly violated a court order that required her to stay away from a person at Walmart.

Robert J. Propst is indicted on counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. On Aug. 6, Propst allegedly use force to steal property from a victim on Pearl Street, Batavia, while wielding a knife. He's accused of stealing property from the person, including a Visa credit card.

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