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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Batavia PD looking for missing 14-year-old

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Batavia PD is looking for help locating Emily Staschak, who police say is a runaway.

Emily is 14.

She is 5'6" and 150 pounds with red hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and blue jeans and no shoes. 

Police believe she is in the local area.

Anyone with information that may assist in locating Emily is asked to call (585) 345-6350.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Troop 6006 marks 3rd Eagle Ceremony for 2014

Dylan Scroger shared his long journey to making the highest rank of Eagle Scout this past weekend at the First United Methodist Church in Batavia. This marks the third scout to achieve the highest rank this year for Troop 6006.

Sharing this day with family and friends, he thanked all who have helped him on his journey. A speech was read by Ron Schmidt, Boy Scouts commisioner, which gave a much-detailed history behind Dylan's path to Eagle:

" Dylan Scroger's path to Eagle began in this room. He was a youth member of our church, and both Mr. McAllister and I invited him to join the boys of our troop. He joined the troop in the Fall of 2007. The first merit badge he earned was fishing, which he completed on a campout held at the McAllister pond. Since then he has completed 26 more Merit Badges of which 13 were required and two were historical badges.

During his membership in Troop 6, he has held many leadership positions. He has been an assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, the assistant senior patrol leader, and served a year as the senior patrol leader, and finally he served as junior assistant scoutmaster. He currently is registered with the troop as an assistant scoutmaster. He has gone to summer camp with the troop for five years, as well as going on their High Adventure trip this past summer. He has gone with the group two times to the Cooperstown area camping.

In the summer of 2010, he attended the weeklong junior leader training held at Camp Dittmer. His performance there earned him an invitation to be on the training staff for future years, which he did. In July of 2013, Dylan chose to attend the Firstr National Jamboree to be held at the Summit Bechtel Reservation, the new permanent Jamboree site. Our council sent two troops of 36 boys each. Dylan was elected to serve as senior patrol leader for his troop. Dylan was also elected to be a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow, which is considered the Honor Society of Boy Scouts. He completed his Ordeal and became a member in 2013.

This past year, Dylan planned his Eagle Scout project, worked with the troop leadership and committee to get it approved, and then got the help of the boys in the troop to help him complete the project. His project involved building a kiosk for the disc golf course at Darien Lake State Park.  He used my barn and workshop for some of his construction work, and it was fun to stand there and listen to the boys as they visited will they worked. They seemed to forget I was sitting there.  There were some hitches along the way, but he completed the project as he had planned it."

Scout Commisioner Ron Schmidt (far left) pictured below received the mentor pin. Also next to him is Troop 6006 Scoutmaster Ron Bernard and Dylan's family. Lots of church supporters came to the ceremony.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III: We Are Number One

post by Rhonda Pangrazio in batavia ramparts pee wee III, sports

BATAVIA RAMPARTS PEE WEE III:  WE ARE NUMBER ONE

Hockey players from the Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team cheer and shout “we are number one” after proving they were the best team at the Tri-County Youth Hockey BREAKIN’ THE ICE tournament in Brockport this weekend.  Batavia began the tournament Friday night facing the host team from Brockport, Tri-County Youth Hockey (TCYH).  Both teams battled and the game remained scoreless until TCYH scored in the third period.  Down by one and late in the game, Batavia rallied.  With just over one minute remaining, forward, Sean Pies lit the lamp for Batavia with help from an assist by defenseman, Katherine Carmichael.  Less than a minute later, forward, Max Hutchins would pass to forward Drew Bower who would net the winning goal. 

After beating the teams from Rochester Youth Hockey and Monroe County Youth Hockey on Saturday, the Batavia Ramparts faced TCYH once again for the championship on Sunday afternoon.  Hutchins put Batavia on the board in the second period and a penalty shot in the third period would give forward, Zackary Geitner, an opportunity to add to Batavia’s lead.  He delivered.  With a score of 2-0, TCYH pulled their goalie and Hutchins out skated the Tri-County defense to put the puck back in the net.  Batavia wins with a final score of 3-0. 

Batavia’s goalie, Joshua Barber, was outstanding, showing his talents in each game.  The one point scored by TCYH would be the only goal on Barber throughout the tournament weekend.  Barber finished the weekend with three shut outs, helping his team post victories with scores of 2-1, 7-0, 4-0, and 3-0.  Barber’s efforts were noted and rewarded by receiving two of the four MVP awards during the tournament.  Max Hutchins and Drew Bower were also tournament MVPs.

The Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team brings home the championship after going undefeated this weekend and proving they are number one.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Moose Lodge in Le Roy celebrating 100th Anniversary

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, LeRoy Moose Lodge #1132

The Moose Lodge in Le Roy is 100 years old today.

Members have been celebrating since Saturday with various events, including a dance with the band Monster Johnson (pictured above). 

Today, the lodge is holding an open house all day, with food. At 6 p.m., various dignitaries will be on hand to honor the Moose on the 100th Anniversary.

There is a lodge enrollment ceremony at 8 p.m.

The lodge has 330 male members and 203 female members. It is a completely nonprofit organization and all proceeds from membership and fundraisers are returned to the community for good causes.

Up until this year, only a man could sponsor a new male member, and only women could sponsor women. That's no longer true, and getting new members is always a priority for the Moose, Richard Tredinnick said.

"We live and die with our membership," Tredinnick said. "It's more than just dues. It's also more people who can participate in our events, and by doing that, we have more money we can give back to our local community."

The Moose sponsor numerous community events, including breakfast with Santa, an Easter Egg hunt, breakfasts for Mother's Day and Father's Day, and dinners honoring emergency service responders and one honoring veterans.

Next week's events:

  • Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m., meatloaf dinner
  • Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., followed by DJ Jamin Jim at 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m., dinner, followed by the Rebel Posse Band

Amanda Earl contributed to this story. Photos by Amanda Earl.

Moose member Amy Larocco

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Today's Deals: Sweet Ecstasy Bakery, Settler's, Santino's Pizza, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford, NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

$$$  Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is a $20 gift certificate off instruction for the price of $5! For new students only. Not good with any other discounts or offers.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

SOLD OUT

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Law and Order: Liberty Street resident accused of throwing a knife

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, corfu, crime, Pavilion, Stafford

Gregory Seppe, 56, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, attempted assault, 2nd, menacing, 2nd, possession of a hypodermic instrument and controlled substance not in original container. Batavia PD responded to a report at 10:20 p.m. Friday of Gregory Seppe "waving a knife around." It was also reported that Seppe put the knife in a toaster. When patrols arrived, a property manager told officers that Seppe threw a knife at him. While taking Seppe into custody, officers observed alleged hypodermic instruments and a crack pipe in plain view in Seppe's bedroom. They also found Seppe in possession of a controlled substance not in its original container. Seppe was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Haleigh I. Ogden, 16, of East Avenue, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Ogden is accused of entering a car on Chase Park and removing a purse containing credit cards and other personal items at 4 a.m. on Sept. 5. She's also accused of entering another vehicle on Chase Park and taking property from that vehicle that morning. She's also accused of possessing marijuana later that afternoon.

Thomas P. Moynihan II, 39, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, uninspected motor vehicle and operating out of class. Moynihan was arrested following the investigation by officer Kevin DeFelice into a scooter accident at 1:49 p.m. Friday at the corner of Ross Street and East Avenue, Batavia. Moynihan was jailed on $500 bail. (Initial Report)

Zachary C. Parker, 17, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with sexual abuse, 2nd, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. Parker was arrested following an investigation by Batavia PD into a complaint filed at 3:30 p.m. on April 27. No further details released.

Curtis M. Gallagher, 30, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, speed not reasonable and prudent, moving from lane unsafely and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Gallagher was stopped at 2:49 a.m. Sept. 20 on Route 98, Batavia, by officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Ryan F. Schumacher, 24, Ellicott Street, Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Schumacher was arrested by officer Devon Pahuta following a complaint of harassment at 2:11 a.m. Thursday at an address on West Main Street, Batavia.

Steven J. Russ, 42, of Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Russ allegedly pushed another person to the ground. The alleged incident was reported at 11:06 p.m. Saturday at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

Eric D. Halsey, 24, of Oak Street, Batavia, is cahrged with criminal mischief, 4th. Halsey was arrested following a reported domestic incident at 11:24 p.m. Thursday.

Matthew J. Poole, 23, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog. Poole allegedly found in possession of three unlicensed dogs.

Jeffrey J. Farrell Jr., 27, of West Avenue, Medina, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge. Farrell was released on cash bail.

Gabriel Pena-Aragon, 26, of Chatham GDNS, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Pena-Aragon posted police bail and was released.

Shaun P. Coulter, 29, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Coulter is accused of damaging several outlet covers at UMMC while there for treatment.

Joseph F. Rotoli Jr., 52, of South Main Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operator and unsafe turn. Rotoli was stopped at 7:44 p.m. Sept. 20 on West Main Street by officer Nedim Catovic.

Philbert P. Williams Jr., 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Williams allegedly stole merchandise from Olympia Sports on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Also charged was Terrance Brown, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia.

Kevin A. Cole, 36, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cole allegedly issued threats at another person.

Blanton E. Thatcher, 61, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with a building code violation. Thatcher was arrested on a warrant for allegedly failing to appear on a code violation. He posted bail and was released.

Brian R. Preedom, 48, Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 1st, aggravated harassment, 2nd, and trespass. Preedom allegedly threatened another person and went on that person's property without permission. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Janice L. Lear, 50, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unsafe lane change. Lear was stopped at 12:10 a.m. Sept. 18 on West Main Street, Batavia, by officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Melanie Suzanne Mercurio, 23, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and failure to keep right. Mercurio was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on Pearl Street Road, Batavia, by deputy Joseph Corona. (CORRECTION: The original charge listed was inncorrect and it has been corrected).

Nichole Marie McKerrow, 30, of Niskey Lake Road, Atlanta, Ga., was arrested as an alleged fugitive from justice on a felony violation of probation charge. She waived extradition and was transported to New York and is being held without bail.

Preston Scott Daigler, 16, of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, is charged with assault, 3rd. Daigler allegedly punched another person in the mouth causing the victim to sustain loose teeth requiring provisional splinting. Daigler was taken into custody by Batavia PD on an unrelated non-criminal matter and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Rion J. Pawlak, 33, unknown address, is charged with petit larceny and falsifying business records. Pawlak was held in custody. The alleged crime was reported in Stafford. No further details released.

Stephen A. Marazita, 32, of Byron, was arrested on a warrant by State Police. He's also charged with a traffic violation. No further details released.

Jeremiah J. Bach, 33, of Clifton Park, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bach was stopped at 3:45 p.m. Saturday on Commerce Drive, Batavia, by a trooper.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm

4-H hold annual dinner to honor member achievements

post by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, agriculture

Press release:

This past Saturday, Sept. 27th, approximately 100 Genesee County 4-H members and their families gathered for the 2014 Achievement Night celebration. This marked the end of the 2014 4-H calendar year. It is a time to honor the work and accomplishments of the 4-H youth, marking their progress and growth in their given project areas. This night of recognition is used to motivate 4-H members to participate, create, and achieve in 4-H, to encourage and support the learning efforts of young people, and to foster a sense of belonging.

The event began at 5 p.m. with a host of games designed and run by our 4-H volunteers, followed by dinner and presentation of honors and awards. We would like to extend a thank you to everyone who came out and made this year’s 4-H Achievement Night a success!

Interested in joining Genesee County 4-H? The new member enrollment deadline for the 2014-2015 program year is Nov. 3, 2014 (Oct. 24th for Market Auction Program). Call the 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, to request an enrollment packet or for more information.

Photo: Ben K., Caleb C., Emily M., Samantha W., Tim Adams- Swine Club leader, Dillon W., and Melissa K.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Le Roy PD warns about theft from purses in supermarkets

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is advising consumers to use caution as a result of larcenies which have been occurring in local supermarkets relating to the theft of wallets from purses.

In the past week, the Le Roy Police have received two complaints where wallets have been stolen out of purses left in shopping carts. It is believed that the victim was unknowingly followed around the store by unknown persons while their purses were located in the shopping cart. The suspect(s) then waited until the victim was distracted (or caused the distraction) and stole the wallet from the purse. This is a relatively common crime technique and has occurred in the past in Le Roy and other towns.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Photo: Hochul visits ag park for update on economic development

post by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, kathy hochul

Kathy Hochul, former congressional rep for Genesee County and current candidate for lieutenant governor of New York, stopped by the Gensee Valley Agri-Business Park this morning and met with Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, for an update on economic development efforts locally.  Hochul said once in office economic development will be one of her priorities.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Police looking for suspects who used credit card number stolen from Oakfield resident

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

Press release:

On 09/19/14 at 10:15 p.m. two (2) unknown subjects used an ESL Federal Credit Union cloned debit card three (3) times for large amounts at the Tops Market Pkwy on McKinley in the Town of Hamburg, Erie County. The victim lives in Oakfield, Genesee County, and was in possession of his debit card during these unauthorized transactions.

Fraud Prevention and Investigations Unit at ESL Federal Credit Union believe this is a “counterfeit card” scam which originated from a recent security breach from a large national retail store. East Aurora PD has a similar case with the same subjects.

Anyone with any knowledge of the unknown subjects or that may have information to exchange is asked to please contact: Inv. Ron Wilson, NYSP Batavia, [email protected] / 716-361-1585 or Det. Pat Welch East Aurora PD 716-353-0622.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Accident reported at River and Main, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident is reported at River and Main, Batavia.

It's believed to be minor injuries.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

City announces result of latest neighborhood enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Press release:

On September 25 the City of Batavia Police Department joined by the Genesee County Drug Task Force (The Genesee Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from Batavia PD, LeRoy PD and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office), Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Genesee County Probation participated in the fifth neighborhood enforcement detail this summer. The purpose of these details was to systematical approach known problem areas within the City and target criminal activity.

In total 10 law enforcement personnel from four different agencies were partnered in a focused enforcement details in seven separate locations. NET patrols included State St., Hutchins Pl., Lewis Pl. Washington Ave., Jackson St., Liberty St., Swan St., Sumner Ave., Central Ave., Thorpe St., Pringle Ave., Wood St., Harvester Ave. and Clifton Ave. (State St. and Thorpe St. included foot patrol). The following are results of this year’s fifth detail:

  • 48 data runs
  • 15 vehicle/traffic stops
  • 6 Traffic tickets issued

There were also the following four penal law arrests:

  • Seaver, Kyle S., age 21, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana
  • Schramm, Princetess T. age 22, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana Schaffer, Justin R., age 28, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th
  • Wolff, Brett A., age 22, Disorderly Conduct

There were nine probation checks and one violation.

Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) details were outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. They include dedicated patrols for targeted enforcement with the goal of intercepting and interrupting the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband as well as locating and arresting wanted persons. All agencies involved expect to continue joint law enforcement efforts in the future. These details are not advertised prior to taking place and locations are selected based on criminal data, the presence of nuisance and illegal behavior and ongoing investigations.

If you see criminal activity or know about a crime that has occurred please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370. 

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Photos: Bethany barn fire aftermath

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, fire

This is what's left of the barn on Transit Road, Bethany, this morning, after yesterday's fire.

Doug Yeomans took these pictures.

As you can see, there's a bit of smoke and licks of flame. I checked with a dispatcher about any reports of a rekindle and was told none have been received. The dispatcher was sending a chief out to the scene to check on the site.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Trespassing charges lodged against 57 young people in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime

Early Saturday morning, deputies responded to a report of an under-age drinking party at a location on Dry Bridge Road, Town of Alexander.

As a result of the investigation, 57 people were charged with trespassing.

The following people were issued appearance tickets:

Alexander Colon, 20, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 16, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Brian E. Majors, 18, of Batavia
Jordan I. Richardson, 18, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Byron
Jordan M. Dieter, 18, of Wyoming
(Name Redacted), 17, of Alexander
Joseph A. Auricchio, 23, of Darien
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Attica
Joey R. Tatro, 19, of Attica
Crystal L. Wojtkowiak, 18, of Attica
(Name Redacted), 17, of Lancaster
Leo D. Perry, 19, of Varysburg
(Name Redacted), 16, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Corfu
Lauren M. Swimline, 19, of Corfu, NY
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Abraham C. Conners-Johnson, 18, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Jason J. Rudey, 20, of Cheektowaga
Jessica C. Kliszak, 20, of Alden
Ryan J. Kratzke, 22, of Alden
Amanda M. Hale, 18, of Batavia
James E. Soggs, 20, of Batavia
John P. Dougherty, 19, of Pavilion
Stephen E. Pike, 18, of Lakeville
Jessica L. Griseta, 19, of LeRoy
Amber L. Baumgart, 19, of LeRoy
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 16, of Delevan
(Name Redacted), 16, of Attica
David R. Cook, 20, of Attica
(Name Redacted) 17, of Attica
(Name Redacted), 17, of Warsaw
David J. Glaus, 18, of Attica
Scott J. Ash, 19, of Attica
Thomas J. Rose, 18, of Elba
(Name Redacted) 16, of Byron
Erica L. Corrado, 19, of Rochester
(Name Redacted), 16, of Alexander
Dominic A. Beck, 18, of Warsaw
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Dustin T. Pile, 18, of Attica
Evan C. Harding, 20, of Darien
John H. Nelson, 18, of Attica
Connor G. Brown, 18, of Attica
Steven N. McLaurin, 23, of Warsaw
Kyle M. Leach, 23, of Warsaw
Chris E. Robinson, 19, of Warsaw
Angelica M. Hightower, 18, of Corfu
Bethany T. Weber, 19, of Castile
Tyler A. Decaro, 19, of Buffalo
Brandon R. Ziolkowski, 20, of Alden

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

Byron-Bergen names two alumni to hall of fame

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, education, schools
Elizabeth Findlay David Keller

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central Schools has named two alumni to the Hall of Fame for 2014.  Elizabeth Findlay (class of 1980) and David Keller (class of 1975) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.  This honor is in its twelfth year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

This year’s honorees exemplify dedication, leadership and service.

While attending Byron-Bergen Central School District, Miss Elizabeth Findlay participated in National Honor Society, Band, Chorale, Solo Festival and All County Band.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Fredonia in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Reading from SUNY Brockport.  Miss Findlay started teaching at Byron-Bergen in 1985 as a kindergarten teacher for her first 5 years, becoming a 6th grade teacher in 1990 and continues in that role today.  Miss Findlay has been very active in Byron-Bergen Central School District, participating on many committees, mentoring new teachers, and is a Master Teacher for student teachers.  Miss Findlay also participated in the Bureau of Education and Research in Rochester “using guided reading to help your students become better readers.”  In the 2005-06 school year, she was selected as the Byron-Bergen Middle School Teacher of the Year.  In 2008, she was chosen as the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.  Miss Findlay has served on the Gillam-Grant Board of Directors and is a member of the St. James Episcopal Church.  Miss Findlay is a compassionate role model and a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to the youth of the Byron-Bergen learning community.

Mr. David Keller was active in French Club, Future Teachers of America, American Field Service, Yearbook Co-Editor, Swim Club, Concert Band, Marching Band, and hosted an exchange student from Brazil during his time at Byron-Bergen.  In 1975, Mr. Keller joined the U.S. Army Bands Program and studied music under the Navy Master Chief Mike Scairini.  Upon graduation from the School of Music, Mr. Keller served in multiple Army Bands throughout the United States and in Berlin, Germany.  In 1992, Mr. Keller was selected to the prestigious U.S. Army Field Band (the musical ambassadors of the Army) in Washington, D.C.  The culmination of his military career came when he was selected as the first musician to become a Command Sergeant Major.  Sergeant Major Keller (retired) served our nation for over 34 years and while in the U.S. Army Field Band, performed in all 50 states.  He performed for every Presidential Inaugural event from George Bush, Sr. through Barrack Obama.  During his Military career, Mr. Keller received numerous awards and medals.  Mr. Keller has performed with many symphonies and orchestras throughout the United States.  During his long and distinguished military career, Mr. Keller pursued his education at numerous universities and colleges, ultimately studying music with Karl Nitchie, Principle Bassoonist Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Keller is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  Mr. Keller is currently the Principle Bassoonist, Genesee Symphony; Bassoonist/Clarinetist, Batavia Concert Band; pit musician for Genesee Community College, Batavia Players, and Byron-Bergen CSD.  Mr. Keller participates in the Byron-Bergen holiday and spring concerts (2011-present), performs in the pit orchestra for musicals, and has assisted with construction/painting of the school musical sets.  Currently, Mr. Keller is the treasurer of the B-B Music Boosters, and has been instrumental in fundraising events for the group; and is an active member of Gillam-Grant.  Mr. Keller enjoys gardening, renovating his 179 year old house in South Byron, taking cruises, and being helpful to others.  Mr. Keller’s loyalty to his community/country, passion for music, and tireless volunteerism make him an outstanding role model for our youth.

The 2014 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on Friday, October 17, 2014.  They will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives.  After an induction ceremony and dinner that evening, the two honorees will be recognized just prior to the boys’ varsity soccer game.  If you would like to attend the induction ceremony and dinner ($25.00 per person), please contact Patty Gunio at (585) 494-1220, ext. 2329 by October 10, 2014, to find out the details and make a reservation.  (Seating is limited to 80 people.)

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

Batavia Blue Devils 2014 Hall of Fame induction dinner

The lates edition of inductees for the Batavua Blue Devil Hall of Fame are; front row, from left to right, Maria Spiotta Dentino, '99, Jamie Callahan Hulbig '98, and Dr. Allyson Shirtz Howe '90. Back row L to R, George Cline accepting the award for his nephew Jack Kelley of the class of 1954, Pat Fricano '80, Tom Hoitink '65 and John Buckley '72.

A great crowd was on hand as friends, relatives and previous inductees turned out to celebrate this years selections. Above are former BHS baseball and grid coach and 2004 HoF inductee Phil "Pep" Johnson and wife, Pat. 

Mike and Mary Callahan with daughter, Jamie.

Tom Hoitink with wife, Kathy, left and sister, Gail

Tim Buckley with Rob Hale. Rob quarterbacked the Blue Devils to the state title in the fall of '91. Rob and the entire '91 football team were inducted into the Blue Devil HoF in 2005.

Pauline Fricano flanked by sons Pat and Mike.

Master of Ceremonies Paul Spiotta HoF committe member John McGowan.

The ever-smiling Joe Marchese.

Ben Bakos and Jim Saraceni on hand to celebrate with their life-long friend Pat Fricano.

Long time friends and teammates, Sam Pilato and Tom Hoitink, co-captains of the Blue Devil basketball team during the '64-'65 campain.

Mary Hale with son Rob.

Sharon and John Buckley with John's former football coach, Ray Jamalkowski, HoF inductee from the class of 2005. Blue Devil fans remember John as a passionate football player, who would, as they say, "bring it" on every down. His message last night, like his play on the gridiron, was equally moving, providing plenty of impact.

It was a great night to see old friends, renew old acquaintances and celebrate the Blue Devil Hall of Fame's latest edition. Congratulations to all!!  

Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Photos: A visit to Roanoke Apple Farm, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, business, Roanoke Apple Farm

Heading back to Batavia this afternoon, I stopped in at Roanoke Apple Farm, in Bethany, for the first time.

Above, Alex Kiefer, an employee, picks apples.

Scott Darron and his daughter Natalya load up a bushel of apples. Darron said he was planning on making pies.

Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Photo: Tree on Telephone Road in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander

After the motorcycle accident in Alexander this morning, and before heading down to Wyoming for Appleumpkin, I took a picture of this tree on Telephone Road near Sandpit Road.

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