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Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Power line down and burning on Alleghany Road, Alabama

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, fire

A high-tension power line has fallen down and is burning at 6888 Alleghany Road in Alabama. The location is north of the Judge Road intersection. Town of Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: The high-tension wires are the responsibility of the New York Power Authority, which is being notified. About 300 yards of grass around the wires is on fire.

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: The power authority has been informed and there's a representative en route. But he's coming from Lewiston so it will take time to get there. The Department of Environmental Conservation is being notified.

UPDATE 7:47 p.m.: Little can be done until the power is shut down. Firefighters on scene are ensuring the blaze does not spread to structures. No structures are threatened at this time. State forestry workers are available if needed since land under the power lines belongs to New York.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: A grass truck out of Akron and tankers from Pembroke and Indian Falls are requested as mutual aid to Alabama. The grass fire is described as large. It's behind the White Memorial State Game Farm.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: After researching the location, the state power authority says the power lines belong to National Grid. The state has contacted National Grid and a rep is being sent, but no ETA given.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Oakfield is to fill in at Alabama's hall. Another unit out of Niagara County is called in.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: The high-tension lines are fully powered. A National Grid rep is in the area and still needs to figure out how to shut down power there. A supervisor is en route. Once they figure it out, one of them will coordinate duties with the fire officials. The shifting wind is proving to be somewhat problematic.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: A fire truck out of Shelby is requested.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: A grass truck out of East Pembroke is called.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: A tanker from Oakfield is called and so are fire police from East Pembroke to help with traffic control.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: National Grid has a 30-minute ETA. Tankers are filling up at Parkers Pond at Gordon and Judge roads.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: The chief says the fire has been extinguished on the northwest side of the site. They are heading up on the hill to concentrate their efforts on the other side. Grass under the power lines continues to burn because the electrictity has yet to be shut down by National Grid.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: The chief reports the fire is contained and the remainder consists of a 50-foot swath of land underneath the power lines. National Grid has not yet arrived.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: National Grid is on scene. The fire is under control and the scene is being turned over to them to handle.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Former Boulder Park falling further into disrepair, but Thursday's fire did little damage

post by Howard B. Owens in Boulder Park, fire, history, indian falls, pembroke

What's left of a once popular amusement park in Indian Falls was largely undamaged by a late evening fire along Phelps Road.

One small structure -- impossible to tell what it once was -- was charred while several structures remain, though largely overgrown by brush, vines and trees.

The causes of the fire, which was reported at 9:01 p.m., remains under investigation. 

The park, locally known as "Boulder Park," opened in 1949, the brainchild of Phil Morrot. Historians know it as "Morrot's Boulder."

While the park featured a miniature steam train and a Ferris wheel, the highlight of the park was reportedly its merry-go-round.

The carousel -- designed by Phil's sister, Emily Bourgard, and built by the Herschell Company -- was a menagerie of animals, including 32 horses, a lion, tigers and a giraffe.

The park was sold in the 1960s, fell into disrepair and was closed by 1970, at which time the animals of the carousel apparently went missing.

An Indian Falls resident, Cindy Henning Hanks, published a book in 2003 about the carousel and what happened to the animals. She's been able to track what happened to all but three of the wooden, hand-carved beasts.

According to her website, the giraffe sold at auction a few years ago for $51,000.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, the property is currently owned by Kelkco, LLC, out of Clarence Center.

The fire is being investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Pictures below were taken today.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Man hit by wife's car jailed, accused of damaging car with an object

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, alexander, crime

A domestic dispute in Alexander on Thursday started out as a report of a wife running over her husband with her car and ended for him with a trip to the Genesee County Jail.

Jerod Norcross, 33, formerly of Attica and currently believed to be a resident of West Virginia, suffered a couple of cracked ribs when the side-view mirror of his wife's Toyota struck him, as well as a contusion to his foot when a tire backed over it.

Norcross is accused of taking an unknown object and smashing in the back windshield of the car and cause other damage to the car's body.

After being transported to UMMC by the Alexander ambulance, Norcross was treated and released. Upon release from the hospital, Norcross was arrested by a trooper and arraigned in Alexander Town Court.

He was charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, and jailed on $2,500 bail.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending, according to State Police Sgt. Sam Taglienti.

The wife was not charged because it's not believed she intentionally tried to hit her husband, Taglienti said. She was reportedly trying to get away from him and he was allegedly trying to stop her.

The type of object that Norcross allegedly used to smash the back windshield has not been determined, Taglienti said. It hasn't been found.

The couple formerly lived in Attica, according to Taglienti, and moved to West Virginia and were in Alexander visiting family.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Large cloud of black smoke on Sky Road, Alabama

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, fire

A large cloud of black smoke is reported in the area of 13762 Sky Road in Alabama. It's off the road and in the woods. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: Alabama reports it is a large controlled burn on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The firefighters are returning to service.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

Meet the Muckdogs: Eric Binder

post by Gretel Kauffman in baseball, eric binder, meet the muckdogs, muckdogs

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:25 am

Car fire put out with passerby's extinguisher

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A car was on fire in the parking lot of Sport of Kings restaurant, 419 W. Main St. in Batavia. The city fire department was responding but the flames were knocked down by a passerby with a fire extinguisher. The fire truck is back in service. Police are on scene.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

Drivers from July 7 accident on Indian Falls road both remain hospitalized

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Indian Falls Road, pembroke

The drivers of both vehicles involved in a two-car, head-on collision on Indian Falls Road on July 7 remain hospitalized but their health is improving.

Donald Sage, 70, of Judge Road, Oakfield, remains in intensive care at Strong Memorial Hospital. 

On a website set up by Strong for family members to share information about loved ones, his daughter reports that Sage recently was able to breath for 27 hours without a respirator. Sage suffered internal injuries and a broken arm.

Meanwhile, investigators were finally able to talk with Sonya M. Charache, 30, of Gorton Road, Alabama, a couple of days ago, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

Charache is in intensive care at ECMC. (A family member reports that Sandra is out of intensive care, though will remain hospitalized for some time.)

Dibble said, as is common in traumatic accidents, Charache is unable to remember the accident.

Investigators are analyizing data from the computers on the vehicles, but that information will only get them so far in determining what happened, Dibble said.

"They can tell you about speed, braking and seat belts," Dibble said, "but they can't tell you why a driver crossed over into the other lane. We still don't know what caused the accident."

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 1:55 am

More than 100 firefighters battle barn fire in Elba under harsh conditions

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire

Basic elements -- wind, water and fire -- were all critical factors in a blaze that destroyed a 160-year-old barn on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road on Thursday afternoon.

The Elba fire was called in at 4:15 p.m. and the first Town of Batavia chief on scene reported only smoke coming from the barn.

Two minutes later, flames began shooting out the front door of the barn and within another minute they covered nearly a quarter of the roof. Even a quick response by a group of Genesee County volunteer fire departments couldn't beat the windswept flames from engulfing the front barn of Post Farms and spreading to a second attached barn.

Complicating matters for firefighters was the lack of public water on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. 

Eventually, Elba Fire Chief Brian Russell would request every single tanker from all 17 fire departments in Genesee County to the scene along with tankers from Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties, not to mention a couple of milk trucks drafted into duty to bring water from nearby ponds.

"When you’re flowing this much water on a barn fire you just go through water really quick," Russell said. "It just takes time to fill up the trucks and bring them back in."

In temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees and humidity that raised the heat index above 100, water was also essential to firefighter safety. First, Elba's auxiliary brought in refreshments and then the Salvation Army set up a rest and recovery station. A portable pool was also set up that firefighters could get in as a way to cool off.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene. The large contingent helped ensure crews could remain fresh.

"You’re wearing a lot of equipment and a lot of gear," Russell said. "It doesn’t take long for a body to get overheated."

Russell was grateful for the mutual aid from more than 20 departments throughout the region.

"Mutual aid is key in any situation like this, from manpower, the other trucks, water, you’ve just got to have the other departments responding," Russell said.

A Sheriff's Office investigation concluded that the fire started by exhaust from a skid loader in one of the barns.

The barn was full of hay and straw, which complicated firefighting efforts even further.

The barns are part of Post Farms, a dairy farm. The second attached barn contained calves. They were all evacuated safely. No livestock was hurt as a result of the fire.

One firefighter suffered a minor case of heat exhaustion and was taken by Mercy EMS to UMMC. He is reportedly fine.

The Post Farm has been in the family since the 1890s, when Stu Post acquired it. It's currently owned by Jeff Post.

His grandmother, Louise Post, spoke with reporters and the family is devastated by the loss of the barns and the contents.

"I think they are all very sorry to have this happen, not only the ones who work here, but the remainder of the family," Louise said.

"We lost a lot of history and a lot of product," she added.

While the fire was in progress, neighbors complained about the water situation on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. The fire, they said, is exactly why either the Town of Batavia or the Town of Elba needs to bring public water to the road.

Plus, the well water on the road is undrinkable.

Douglas Clark and his wife said they've been drinking nothing but bottled water for 15 years, and when farmers are spreading manure, their bathing water smells pretty bad.

"I also work with these farmers and I support these farmers, so what am I supposed to do?" Douglas said. "The town ought to put water right down this road."

(Initial Report)

Below is a slide show of more than 60 photos from the fire. Click on the button in the lower right to expand to full screen mode. Pictures may be purchased by clicking here.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 12:28 am

Ghost Riders and Ghost Riders both set to perform at Jackson Square

post by Daniel Crofts in batavia, concerts, Ghost Riders, Jackson Square, music

It turns out there are two sets of Ghost Riders in town, and both will play at Jackson Square tomorrow night.

Batavia resident Dough Mellenthine, one of the directors of the "other" Ghost Riders, describes it as a miniature drum and bugle corps and a "brass choir." They play everything from patriotic tunes to chorales to "fun-filled, good time music" (as worded in a press release).

Formed in 1996 to compete in the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) "World Championship," which is held every year at various locations throughout the country, the Ghost Riders have distinguished themselves numerous times. They have appeared in championships for 15 consecutive years, won the New York State American Legion Crown, and, last year, won the Silver Medal and position of first runner-up at the DCA World Championship with a score of 98.0.

Mellenthine co-directs Ghost Riders along with Rod Keppel. Music is arranged by "World Drum Corps Hall of Fame" and "Buglers Hall of Fame" member Donny Allen. Group members are professional musicians whose experiences range from education to judging music competitions.

"This is not beer tent stuff," Mellenthine said. "I believe we're Batavia's best-kept secret."

Ghost Riders will perform from 8 until 8:30 p.m. at Jackson Square tomorrow night. Mellenthine said they've been practicing all year for this performance, so it ought to be good!

To learn more about Ghost Riders, visit their Facebook page.

Photo submitted by Doug Mellenthine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Report of youths with baseball bats fighting on East Main Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

There is a report of six youths with baseball bats fighting at the intersection of Jerome Place and East Main Street.

UPDATE 12:01 a.m.: First officer on scene, no youths anywhere to be seen.

View Larger Map

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Meet the Muckdogs: Garrett Wittels

post by Gretel Kauffman in baseball, garrett wittels, meet the muckdogs, muckdogs

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Grass fire reported in Indian Falls

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, indian falls, pembroke

A grass fire has been reported at the intersection of Route 77 and Phelps Road.

Indian Falls and Pembroke fire departments dispatched.

Newstead, standing in for one of the departments, standing down. Akron, standing in, is responding.

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.: Pembroke, Indian Falls, all available manpower requested to the scene. The location has been identified as "Boulder Park." There is a 30-by-50 foot area on fire several yards from a building.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m. "There are remains of a structure that is involved now." Also, law enforcement requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: Corfu, returning from Elba, called the Indian Falls chief and asked if he needed a hand. One word answer: "Yes." Corfu fire in route.  

UPDATE 9:27 p.m.: Poles, rakes and a chainsaw needed to help clear a way to get to the structure. Lights being set up to illuminate the scene.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: Fire is out.

UPDATE 10:08 p.m.: Corfu back in service. Road reopened.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Pole fire reported at campsite in Alexander

post by Billie Owens in Attica, alexander, Bethany, fire

A pole fire is reported at the Skyline Resort at 10933 Darien-Alexander Townline Road in Alexander. The pole on fire is F59.

Attica firefighters are called since Alexander is responding to the barn fire in the Town of Batavia. Bethany is called to fill in at Alexander's hall.

UPDATE 4:38: The fire is out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Barn fire on Batavia-Elba TL Road

post by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, fire

A barn fire is reported by the homeowner at 4103 Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

Smoke is showing and a second alarm is called.

UPDATE 4:17 p.m.: Units are also called from Elba, Oakfield, East Pembroke, Alabama and Corfu, which is standing in at Town of Batavia's hall.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: The location is just west of Pekin Road.

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.: This is a working fire, fully involved. "If you got somebody, roll," says the chief. National Grid is called in.

UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: Fire police are called to shut down the roadway.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: The site is determined to be in Elba's fire district and Elba is in charge of command.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: A tanker from South Byron is called in.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Tankers requested from Bergen, Stafford and Bethany.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: The Elba Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary is called to provide cold refreshments for the responders. A pumper tanker and all available manpower out of Barre is requested. There's no ETA for National Grid. A tanker from Clarendon is called in.

UPDATE 4:56 p.m.: A second ambulance is called in.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: "The firefighters are going to need more water on the back of the building or they're going to lose the milking parlor."

UPDATE 5 p.m.: "The platform is shutting down." The chief asks for a list of all tankers at the scene.

UPDATE 5:02 p.m.: Tankers are requested from Darien, Pavilion and Corfu. A tanker out of York is called to stand by in Pavilion. It's the Post barn.

UPDATE 5:07: Every tanker is Genesee County is at the scene, with the exception of tankers from Darien, Pembroke and Indian Falls. Now those three are called in, too.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: A grass truck from Byron is called in. Indian Falls was already on scene. A unit from East Shelby in Orleans County is going to stand in at the Oakfield hall. Any available tanker in Livingston and Wyoming counties is requested.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: It is confirmed that all electrical power to the barn has been cut.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The chief wants Elba Highway Department contacted to bring a load of stone to the scene.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: The barn is owned by Jeff Post, who is the fourth-generation family member to own it. The barn was built at the turn of the 20th Century by Leo Post. It is on a dairy farm. The barn was built around 1850. Stewart Post acquired the farm around 1890.

UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: Rescue manpower from Bergen and Albion requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: There are two barns on the property. Both are total losses.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Food and beverage for 75 to 100 firefighters are requested.

UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: A third ambulance is called in, non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility are being assembled for transport to the scene to help out. The Salvation Army is expected to the scene in about 40 minutes, presumably to help the auxiliary provide food and beverages.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Some Town of Batavia units returning. All out-of-county tankers released. In-county tankers to remain on scene.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: Elba command breaking down.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m.: Somebody just stole a pickup truck belonging to a fire police volunteer who was stationed at Pekin and Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. The truck, which has fire police lights on it, was last seen heading east on Batavia-Elba.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.: The truck has been returned. "The guy thought it was his brother's truck."

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: All units back in service.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Three local students named to SUNY Cortland Deans' List

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones, Stafford

Three local residents were named to the Deans' List at SUNY Cortland for the Spring 2011 semester:

Amanda Mignano <http://readabout.me/Amanda-Mignano/BL8V>, a junior Art major from Stafford.

Michael Humphrey <http://readabout.me/Michael-Humphrey/BL1S>, a junior Physical Education major from Le Roy.

Meghan Olsowski <http://readabout.me/Meghan-Olsowski/9D4>, a senior Sociology major from Le Roy.

Honorees must earn a grade point average of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale, while completing 12 or more credit hours of classes during the semester.

SUNY Cortland was ranked by Kiplinger's among its Top 100 Best Value Colleges and Universities in the United States for a fifth consecutive year. SUNY Cortland is also home to the largest undergraduate teacher education program in the Northeast.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Batavia Music and Arts Advocacy Group to meet

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Batavia Music and Arts Advocacy Group (B-MAA) will hold an organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the GOArt! building (corner of Bank and Main streets in Downtown Batavia.

For this meeting, RSVPs are encouraged for seating purposes.

All parents of children involved in music and art in the Batavia City School District are encouraged to attend.

Our mission is to increase community awareness of the importance of the arts as core education as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, and to motivate and guide local efforts to
maintain and improve music and art education in the Batavia City Schools.

For more information, to RSVP, and to get involved, please e-mail: [email protected] or call Cheri Kolb (344-1735) or Lauren Hoerbelt (343-1842).

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

YMCA of Genesee County names executive director

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, Milestones

The Board of Directors of the YWCA of Genesee County has announced the appointment of Jeanne M. Walton to the position of executive director. The board along with the Selection Committee was very impressed with her enthusiasm and sincere dedication to the
mission of the YWCA.

She is a graduate of the University of Rochester and brings more than 20 years of small business management expertise to the facility. Walton has a broad-spectrum background that yields a complete understanding of the needs of the community and how to implement processes and programs to serve the community in a new and progressive fashion

Walton says she's excited to use new and innovative means to enhance the image of the YWCA while creating programs that are designed to serve women, children and businesses in the region.

“The YWCA of Genesee County has the potential to be a premier facility in this area," Walton said.  "I will work hand-in-hand with the staff, volunteers and board of directors to accomplish this in a new and fresh way.”

Walton resides in the Town of Batavia with her two children.

For more information on the YWCA of Genesee County, its mission, and community involvement opportunities, please contact the YWCA at 343-5808; email us at [email protected] or visit our website www.ywcagenesee.org

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Due to popular demand, Yorkshire Hall announces another show

post by Billie Owens in announcements, yorkshire hall

After a sold-out world premiere of its dinner show,"13 Memento Mori Lane," Yorkshire Hall in Pembroke has announced a "held over" performance at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.

The original "comedy/mystery/farce," is accompanied by a formal dinner. A special introductory ticket price of $22.95 includes the dinner, show and gratuity. Tickets are limited to advance sales only, and can be ordered by calling (585) 762-8160 or (716) 474-4300.

Yorkshire Hall is operated by the Walker family, owners of Holiday Hollow, and is located in the newly built theater on the Holiday Hollow property at 1410 Main Road (Route 5) in Pembroke. More information about the show is available at www.Yorkshire-Hall.com.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

BEST Center announces first grads of Building Leadership Excellence

post by Billie Owens in announcements, BEST Center, Milestones

Press release:

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce the first class of Building Leadership Excellence students have completed their 12-week leadership course.

Building Leadership Excellence is an intensive, hands-on program designed to develop the proven skills needed to manage, influence, create, inspire and lead organizations. Participants learn to think and act strategically, resulting in enhanced management performance and improved organizational skills in decision making, coaching, innovative problem solving and conflict resolution.

The program is designed for managers, supervisors, team leaders and future leaders. Each session is filled with real-life examples and practical techniques for achieving results. Topics covered include communicating effectively, understanding personal styles, mentoring, creative problem solving, building strong teams and several other key management issues.

"Building Leadership Excellence is a great opportunity for managers from all walks of life and industries to come together and work in an engaging and dynamic team environment," said Lina LaMattina, director at The BEST Center. "Today's organizations are looking for innovative leadership and this program offers that knowledge and skills set to the participants."

Congratulations to our first graduating class! We know these leaders are doing great things in their organizations:

Joyce Kingdom, Genesee ARC, Batavia

Paul Saskowski, Genesee ARC, Batavia

Joanna Barefoot, GCC

Laura Keenan, GCC

Judy Welch, Livingston/Wyoming ARC

Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County Legislature

Matt Slezak, Texas Brine

Joseph Demmer Jr., Willow Group

June Redden, Willow Group

Robyn Brookhart, Liberty Pumps

Dave Williams, Liberty Pumps

Erica Southwood, Livingston/Wyoming ARC

The next Building Leadership Excellence program will begin in August with a full-day kick off session from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. Participants will attend 10 half-day sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 and 25, Sept. 8, 15 and 22, Oct. 6, 13 and 20, and Nov. 3 and 10.

A graduation celebration, that includes final project presentations to participants' supervisors, will take place in a full-day session on Nov. 17. This intensive, skill-building program also incorporates 10 hours of one-on-one coaching for each participant in an effort to enhance his or her ability to apply new skills in the workplace.

Genesee Community College's BEST Center (focused on Business and Employee Skills Training) is a local provider of business consulting, community training and workshops for companies of all sizes and in all industries.

It offers a variety of tailored programs on-location at businesses across the GLOW region, or at any of Genesee Community College's seven campus locations (Albion, Arcade, Batavia, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw).

For further information on The BEST Center, please contact Lina LaMattina, director, at 343-0055, ext. 6299, or visit The BEST Center online at www.bestcenter.org

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