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Friday, February 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Chimney fire reported on Broadway Road, Bethany

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A chimney fire is reported at 5901 Broadway Road. Bethany Fire Department is responding. The location is between East and Transit roads.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Stafford fire is called to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: Stafford is told to remain in quarters.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Bethany command tells Stafford to stand down.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: The assignment is back in service.

Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:00 am

Geneseean of the Year: Tim Adams making a difference in business and with local youths

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Chamber Awards, Geneseean of the Year, Stafford

Metal can be molded, shaped and welded together so that it becomes something stronger.

So can the youth of our community.

In a manner of speaking, Tim Adams does both.

As owner of Adams Welding and Manufacturing in Stafford, Adams makes and repairs farm equipment and commercial products.

As a community member who grew up on a local farm, Adams remains deeply committed to 4H and donates hundreds of hours of his time each year to the organization.

Adams grew up in 4H and even after turning 19, he remained involved.

"You don't realize right away the impact 4H has on you and the values it instills in you until later on," Adams said. "It's not that you're out of 4H at 19 -- you don't realize at 19 all the values that you've taken from 4H until later on. This last year really hit home that without people who are willing to volunteer there's not going to be organizations like 4H."

This commitment to our community, both as a volunteer and a local business owner, is the reason Adams will receive a Geneseean of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce on Saturday night.

"I'm surprised to be getting the award," Adams said. "That's not why I did it. I didn't do it to get an award. I do what I do to help 4H. It's truly an honor to get it, but I never thought what I did was that much more than anybody does. I just did what I did to get it done."

The son of Mike and Debbie Adams, Tim grew up on their farm in East Bethany, where he developed an appreciation for farm equipment that is in good working order.

"I was pretty meticulous about it," he said.

At first, the Adams farm was a hog farm (later adding replacement heifers) and Tim got involved with the 4H Swine Club, where he met the late Ron Komer, whom he said was a big influence on his life and his view of leadership.

"He was always there to help you if you needed something," Adams said.

In high school, Adams was taking a class at BOCES and a classmate, Jake Pocock, asked him if he'd ever tried welding. He hadn't. Jake had him put on the protective gear and weld two pieces of metal together.

 "All it took was one stick rod and I was hooked," Adams said.

Two years of welding classes at BOCES and two years of more study at Alfred State and Adams had a career, and with his connections to the ag community in Genesee County, Adams had a place to start to build a business.

In early 2012, Tim Adams and his brother Scott (Adams Trucking) took a big step together for the growth of both of their businesses and built a shop in Stafford on Route 5.

Adams' involvement with 4H includes leading the Swine Club, conducting the tractor safety courses, serving on various committees and taking charge on some key fundraising efforts.

This past year, he helped organize -- with John Duyssen, Keith Carlson, Heather Weber -- the Swine Club's first pulled pork BBQ, which Adams believes is the most successful fundraiser in the history of Genesee County 4H.

This was also the first year the Swine Club sold a club pig at the County Fair's livestock sale.

Among the most cherished contributions Adams makes to 4H is teaching the tractor safety classes. He took his first class from Bob Mullen at age 14 and has been involved in tractor safety ever since.

He said it's such a critical class for farm kids and does a lot to prepare youngsters to help out around their family farms.

"Being involved in 4H teaches responsibility, it teaches community service, it teaches you to take responsibility for an animal and be accountable, and it teaches a lot of life skills," Adams said.

He is also a member of a welding trade association, the Farm Bureau and has helped raise money for Crossroads House.

All of this community involvement has inspired Scott Adams to get more involved.

"It's something to see somebody actually carrying off and pulling off as much effort as he does," said Scott Adams, who's chairing the fair committee this year. "He actually cares about what he does. He goes that extra mile to get something done. From what he does with 4H, he's got me more involved with the fair and the ag society. He's motivated me to get involved more in the community. It's an eye-opening experience that one person can make a difference."

Clearly, making a difference is important to Tim Adams. He wants to make a difference in lives of young people the way people like Komer and Mullen did with him. Maybe today's 4H members will remember what Tim Adams did for them.

"I hope they look back like I did 10 years after I was out and look back and say, 'Hey, he was helping make me the person I am today,' " Adams said. "I'm hoping that's what they'll say."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Drifting snow and wind apparent cause of truck accident at Suicide Corners

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

Accidents will happen. That certainly appeared to be the case last night at Suicide Corners after a tractor-trailer struck the home of Tom and Debbie Douglas.

The intersection has a reputation for being dangerous. But it appears that none of the factors sometimes attributed to the intersection contributed to last night's crash.

Suicide Corners is the intersection of East Road and Route 20 in Bethany.

A year ago, the Douglases were worried the state would take their home to build a roundabout to improve traffic safety at the intersection, but community pressure helped convince the DOT to scuttle the plan.

It's been at least five years since there has been an accident at the intersection and more than a decade since the last fatal accident there.

Tom Douglas thinks improved signs and lighting have helped make the intersection safer and DOT is planning to add more safety enhancements this summer.

There was a moment at about 3:30 a.m. when he thought, "here we go again."

"We were asleep and we heard a big bang," Douglas said. "It didn't sound like a car wreck and the house just shook a lot. I thought a tree had come down. It was windy last night. I looked out the window and I saw the car lights. I saw the driver looking under the truck, almost like he'd hit another car, so I yelled out to him and he said no. When I came downstairs it was like, 'wow! what a mess.' "

The truck knocked a hole in the living room wall, pushing a couch well into the room and sending debris flying.

Douglas said the driver was pulling an empty trailer. The south blowing wind had caused a great deal of snow to pile up on Route 20 on the hill west of the Douglas residence. The empty box, the wind and the snow caused the truck to jackknife. The truck actually hit the house at an angle, and with the impact of the cab, the trailer whipped around to the east, pulling the cab back toward Route 20.

Nobody was injured in the accident.

Top photo: Douglas explains what happened to his house when the truck hit it. Pictures below provided by Tom Douglas.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 4:30 am

Big rig strikes house in Bethany, no injuries reported

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany

A tractor-trailer struck a house in Bethany at 1051 10515 East Road, at the intersection of Route 20. No injuries are reported. "Unknown circumstances." Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:44 a.m.: Firefighters are on scene. Command confirms the big rig struck the house and now is in the yard "well off the roadway." Road conditions at Suicide Corners are described has having a lot of drifting snow. "We're going to need a plow out here. We've got a large amount of snow covering the whole roadway." The Department of Transportation is notified about the need for plowing. A heavy wrecker is called to pull out the truck and, most likely, tow it away. The house that was hit is the 200-year-old home owned by the Douglas family. Last year, the DOT proposed putting a roundabout at the intesection to reduce the high number of accidents there. It would have required tearing down the house. Ultimately, residents' opposition convinced the DOT to drop the roundabout plans. In DOT studies going back to the 1990s, there have been 36 crashes at the intersection and three fatal accidents.

UPDATE: Last night, a responder estimated the damaged area on the structure to be about 10'X10'.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

Baskin Livestock named Conservation Farm of the Year

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Baskin Livestock, Bethany, business

Press release:

The Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors has announced the selection of Baskin Livestock as the 2013 Genesee County Conservation Farm of the Year. Baskin Livestock will be the honored guests of the District at the Celebrate Agriculture Dinner on March  22th at the Alexander Firemen’s Recreation Hall.  They will be formally presented with their award at that time.

Baskin Livestock is owned and operated by Bill Baskin and Susan Blackburn. Bill purchased the former James Hume Jr. Dairy Farm from Chester Ptak in 1992. Since that time, Bill and Susan have acquired several neighboring farms (John Gardner, 1996; James Hume – remainder, 2001; Kruszelnicki, 2001; Don Norton, 2005; Woodhouse, 2007; Ethel Cook, 2009) and now own a total of 1,748.66 acres in the towns of Alexander, Bethany and Batavia. Of that total 1,157 acres is cropland. Most of the cropland acreage is fenced for pasture. Little Tonawanda Creek runs through the farm. With only a few exceptions, livestock is fenced out of the stream channels. Baskin Livestock became a District Cooperator in January of 1993. They started working on a plan for grazing in 1995. A grazing plan was written by Art Hanson of Western New York Crop Management (WNYCMA) in April 2001. Baskin Livestock is a medium Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and has a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) completed by WNYCMA in July of 2002. Baskin Livestock is active in the Agricultural Environmental Management Program (AEM) .

They raise dairy replacement heifers, beef, and quarter horses. Recent conservation practices installed with district assistance include heavy use area protection (bedded pack), waste transfer system, roof runoff structure, compost facility, and waste storage facilities.  Baskin Livestock has one of the most extensive grazing (pasture) systems in the County.

Monday, February 10, 2014 at 1:44 am

Semi rollover on Route 63, no injuries but traffic blocked

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany, Stafford

A tractor-trailer is on its side on Ellicott Street Road near Fargo Road. No injuries are reported but traffic is blocked. 

Traffic being shut down at East Road and at Texaco Town. 

Bethany and Stafford fire departments responding. Pavilion handling traffic at Texaco Town. 

It will be an hour before a heavy wrecker is on scene to right the truck.

Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Car crash at Route 63 and Fargo Road, Bethany

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany, Stafford

A two-car accident is reported at Route 63 and Fargo Road. The occupants are conscious. There is entrapment. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with mutual aid from Stafford for fire police and a rescue unit. Mercy Flight is not able to fly due to weather.

UPDATE 4:51 p.m.: An ambulance from Le Roy is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: There are four victims.

UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: An ambulance from Byron is requested. It will be the fourth ambulance in.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: An ambulance from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's fire hall.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: Two patients have been extricated.

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: "Third patient extricated, one more to go."

UPDATE 5:27 p.m.: The fourth and final patient is extricated. So far, two ambulances are transporting patients to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: Bethany is taking a patient to UMMC.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: A total of three patients went to Strong. Two flatbed tows are called. Traffic is backed up. Command says when it clears up a crew should respond ASAP to salt the road. Once that is done, they'll go in service, he says.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: The roads are reopened. The Bethany assignment is back in service.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Photos: The Sun Before the Storm

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Stafford, weather

With the sun out this morning, I went for a short drive out to the Bethany area thinking, "the sun before the storm."

Our previous winter storm watch has been upgraded to a warning and between tonight and tomorrow night, we could get up to 10 inches of snow.

Heading down Clipnock Road, I spotted a group of trainers working out harness racing horses.

Bottom picture, a broken barn door on Transit Road.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:27 am

Three-car accident reported on Route 63 near East Road, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

A three-car, head-on accident is reported on Route 63 near East Road, Bethany.

Injuries are reportedly minor, with one person complaining of hip pain and another with a leg injury.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:28 a.m.: Traffic is being shut down at Transit and East roads.

UPDATE 6:33 a.m.: A deputy on scene says just two vehicles are involved.

UPDATE 6:58 a.m.: Patient number one has been extricated.

Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 5:56 am

More than 2,100 residents east of Batavia without power

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, Stafford, weather

More than 2,100 National Grid customers are without power and have been since about 2 a.m.

Freezing rain apparently caused some transformer issues.

The outage area is triangle-shaped with the western tip near Clinton Street Road just north of East Main Street and spreading east nearly to Le Roy with the northern boundary just north of the Thruway and southern edge running along Route 63 to East Bethany.

National Grid expects power to be restored by 5:30 a.m.

UPDATE 5:17 a.m.: Earlier this morning, the power outage affected 4,538 customers. And, emergency dispatchers are aware there are people in the county without power. No, they can't help you get your power restored. It's best to restrict calls to dispatchers in situations like this to actual emergencies or others calls for service.

UPDATE 5:50 a.m.: There are multiple reports throughout the county of wires down, wires arcing and flooded basements. Town of Batavia's chief has requested all available manpower to the two fire halls to be ready for new incoming calls.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: There are at least a dozen power outage areas in Genesee County. The two largest at the moment are in the Elba area, with 317 customers without power. Power has been out since 4:49 a.m. and a repair crew is not yet assigned to the outage. In Bergen, 1,060 customers are without power. The outage started at 7:04 a.m. and there's no ETA for repairs. Fire departments from throughout the county are still handling calls for power lines down, trees down and cellar pump details.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: The largest power outage reported in the county now is in the Byron area, 838 customers. Power reported out at 5:01 a.m. A repair crew is assigned. No ETA for repairs.

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