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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Thieves steal hundreds of bronze markers from the graves of veterans in Byron-Bergen area

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron, crime, veterans

The way Jim Neider sees it, stealing markers from the graves of men and women who served their country through military service is "as low as you can go."

Neider was reacting to news that more than 400 bronze markers -- perhaps many more -- have been stolen from the graves in at least a half-dozen cemeteries in the Byron-Bergen area.

The case is being investigated by both the State Police and the Sheriff's Office.

The markers are placed by families and veterans service organizations and, in many cases, were pushed into the turf beside the headstone of a veteran decades ago.

The markers are designed as flag holders and include a bronze medallion designating a veterans group, such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. The medallion typically weighs about a pound and the current replacement value is $32 each.

"They're very expensive," said Nieder, a local veterans leader. "I do discourage people now from getting them because they do have a tendency to walk."

Nieder said since the 1990s, veterans and families have been more likely to buy aluminum markers, which have no scrap metal value to speak of, or less commonly, plastic.

Whoever is involved in the theft of the markers is facing a charge of grand larceny, said Trooper Victor Morales, public information officer for Troop A.

Nieder pointed out that there is a law now on the books that covers both the sale and purchase of markers used on the graves of veterans. Section 450-A of the state's general business law says "it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, association or corporation to engage in the buying or selling of metal cemetery markers and flag holders bearing the insignia of any veterans' organization placed upon the graves of veterans."

Each violation of the law is punishable by a $500 fine or 15 days in jail or both.

Morales said the State Police are investigating the left of markers in four cemeteries in the Byron-Bergen area. More than 400 markers were stolen from these cemeteries. The Sheriff's Office is investigating thefts from other cemeteries, but Morales didn't know how many other cemeteries or how many additional markers were stolen from those locations.

We've been unable to contact the investigator with the Sheriff's Office handling the case.

The disappearance of the flag holders was discovered over the weekend. It's unknown when they might have been taken.

When asked for his reaction to the thefts, Neider said his first thought wouldn't be publishable. He said this isn't like stealing something from somebody's front lawn. The thieves are going into graveyards and stealing from those who unselfishly served and are dead and buried and unable to defend themselves. 

"It's the ultimate slap in the face to these veterans and their families," Neider said. "They earned these markers by their service. It's akin to the problem in Batavia earlier this summer of people going in and desecrating headstones. It's almost beyond that because these markers are earned by these veterans, and it's a cemetary for crying out loud. ... It's pretty low. As low as you can go."

Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of these items, or, who may have information on the larcenies is asked to contact the State Police in Batavia at (585) 344-6200 or the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: We just spoke with Tom Williams, with the American Legion in Bergen. He said local Legion leaders are trying to figure out what to do. It would cost $16,000 to replace all of the markers. 

"That's a lot of money," Williams said. "You know how hard that is to come by."

He doesn't have a count on how many total markers were stolen. There's still an inventory taking place of all the graveyards in the Byron-Bergen region.

Among the more than 400 known to be stolen was the one that marked his father's grave, said Williams, who served in the Seabees from 1963 to 1966.

He doesn't think much of the perpetrators who lifted the markers of America's heroes.

"Those are people who made sure we were kept free," Williams said. "They did their job. They left their homes, their families. I did that, the same as my dad. It's just the idea that whoever did this is a real son of a bitch. It just bothers me. Why would they come here? Why would they do that? There are people who are nuts. They don't understand. They have no clue."

Photo: For the purpose of illustration, a picture of a marker in a local cemetery. If you see these, made of bronze, and they're not in a cemetery, contact local law enforcement.

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Lost beagle found in Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, byron, pets

Bobbie Jo M. Klycek found this beagle wandering in her backyard this morning. She lives on Lymon Road, Byron. She left a message with the animal shelter, but took the dog to work with her this morning (she works in Batavia). If this is your beagle, call her at (585) 507-5656.

UPDATE: It appears the owner has been located.

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:54 am

Law and Order: Batavia woman accused of driving while impaired by drugs

post by Billie Owens in byron, crime

Patricia Ann Wheeler, 54, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with failure to keep right, driving left of pavement markings, and operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, first offense. At 6:07 Thursday evening, Wheeler was arrested on these charges and it is alleged that she operated a motor vehicle on a public highway while her ability to do so was impaired by drugs. She is to appear in Batavia Town Court on Nov. 20. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Joseph Corona.

Rachel Leigh Zepp, 20, of Northfield Gate, Pittsford, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21, failure to obey a traffic control device, and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. At 12:31 a.m. last night, it is alleged that Zepp was found in possession of these items during a traffic stop, prompted by alleged observed violations of vehicle and traffic laws. She is to appear in Byron Town Court on Oct. 27. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Joseph Corona.

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 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Law and Order: Man accused of stealing laser from employer and pawning it

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, crime, Le Roy, pembroke, Stafford

Stephen Michael Esposito, 25, of Folsomdale Road, Cowlesville, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and falsifying business records. Esposito allegedly stole a Spectra Precision Model 412 Laser from his employer in Stafford and then pawned it in Batavia, signing a document at the time stating he owned the property.

Robert W. Plantiko Jr., 29, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 1st, robbery, 1st, menacing, 2nd, assault, 3rd, and criminal mischief. Plantiko was arrested on a warrant stemming from an alleged incident Sept. 5 at 105 Watson St., Batavia. Plantiko was jailed without bail. Plantiko was also charged with harassment, 2nd, for allegedly punching another person during an alleged altercation at 7:09 p.m. Thursday at a residence on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

A 16-year-old resident of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and hindering prosecution, 2nd. The youth is accused of not allowing police into a residence on Thorpe Street at 10:06 p.m., Friday, when police showed up with a felony arrest warrant for Robert Plantiko. The youth was observed by Officer Frank Klimjack allegedly trying to hide Plantiko inside a kitchen cupboard.

Samuel Gene Coughlin Jr., 18, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Coughlin was charged after police were dispatched at 2:53 a.m. Thursday to the parking lot on Jefferson Square on a suspicious condition complaint. A 17-year-old resident of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was also charged.

Aaron L. Klein, 43, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st. Klein was arrested following an investigation by Officer Marc Lawrence into a property damage accident reported at 2:57 p.m. Sunday at 34 Clinton St., Batavia.

Bobby L. Mobley Jr., 29, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana over eight ounces. Mobley turned himself in on an alleged incident from Sept. 14. He was allegedly found in possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana during a traffic stop on Jackson Street.

Maleak Hakeem Green, 21, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to obey a court order. Green allegedly violated a court order of protection.

David W. Zengulis, 51, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Zengulis was stopped at 9:06 a.m. Friday on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Officer Frank Klimjack. Zengulis submitted to a breath test and allegedly registered a BAC of .30.

Mckayla J. Kosiorek, 20, of South Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Kosiorek was located at an address on Hutchins Street while police investigated an unrelated matter. Kosiorek was allegedly found to have a warrant for failure to appear.

Mark T. Zdrejewski, 61, of Meyer Road, North Tonawanda, is charged with four counts of issuing a bad check. Zdrejewski allegedly issued bad checks to a local business. He was arrested on a warrant.

Ty’ree D. Winkfield, 16 of Washington Avenue, Albion, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, a Class D felony, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Winfield was stopped by Le Roy PD for an alleged traffic violation. Upon investigation, it was determined the vehicle he was driving was allegedly stolen from Albion. Winkfield was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Charles F. Chidsey, 28, of Clay Street, Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Chidsey was arrested following a complaint of loud music.

Brian Wilson Herke, 29, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Herke was stopped at 11:24 p.m. Sunday on Townline Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Shannon M. Malone, 42, of Route 98 Road, Varysburg, is charged with petit larceny. Malone is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Arthur Wayne Adner, 66, of Cobblestone Court, Holley, is charged with possession or transport or offer for sale of unstamped cigarettes. Adner was stopped at 11:26 a.m. Sept. 16 on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona. Adner allegedly possessed 1,800 untaxed cigarettes.

Mitchell Andrew Cummings, 23, of Byron Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a seat belt violation. Cummings was stopped at 11:43 p.m. Friday on Byron Holley Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona for allegedly driving without a seat belt.

Amanda Rose McDonald-Mruczek, 32, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for an attempted petit larceny charge. McDonald-Mruczek was arrested following an appearance in City Court for alleged failure to appear on an attempted petit larceny charge. She was jailed on $250.

Timothy S. Spiotta, 46, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Spiotta was stopped at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday on Farnsworth Avenue, Oakfield, by State Police.

Roger W. Little, 47, of Byron, is charged with criminal mischief and harassment. Little was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Law and Order: Batavia resident accused of falsifying weigh slips at Ed Arnold

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, byron, corfu, crime, Le Roy, Stafford

Joseph Allen Hogan, 46, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with four counts of petit larceny and five counts of falsifying business records. Hogan is accused of altering weight slips at Ed Arnold Scrap in order to receive overpayment on scrap. Hogan was jailed without bail.

Christopher M. Colantonio, 35, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and forgery, 2nd. Colantonio was arrested on a warrant for allegedly stealing checks from a woman he knew, forging them and cashing them at a local bank. Colantonio was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Thomas E. Hensel, 31, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of burglar tools. Hensel was allegedly found in possession of a full set of lock picks at a location on Pearl Street at 10:25 p.m. Saturday.

Anya R. Rambuski, 44, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired. Rambuski was stopped at 11:58 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Linda L. Fagan, 65, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Fagan allegedly got rid of several instruments and other property owned by her brother.

Robert J. Propst, 34, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Propst was allegedly involved in a domestic incident in which he grabbed the shirt of the victim, threw her phone and was yelling at her in the presence of children. Propst was jailed on $2,000 bail.

A 16-year-old resident of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal contempt, 2nd. The youth allegedly threatened another person, violating an order of protection.

Paul M. Gelardo, 29, of Fargo Road, Stafford, is charged with petit larceny. Gelardo allegedly stole a bicycle from T.F. Brown's.

A pair 17-year-olds from Buffalo are charged with petit larceny. The two youths are accused of stealing money from their employer at the time, Darien Lake Theme Park.

Jeffrey John Farrell, 27, of West Avenue, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. Farrell allegedly stole $433.74 in merchandise from Walmart.

Kimberly Ann Pietrzykowski, 26, of Old Telephone Road, Bethany, is charged with petit larceny. Pietrzykowski is accused of stealing $204.90 in groceries from Walmart. The shopping cart of groceries was recovered in the parking lot of Home Depot.

Bradley J. Barnard, 19, of Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Barnard is accused of taking a carbonated beverage and placing it in his backpack while in the cafeteria at GCC. Surveillance video was used to confirm the alleged theft.

Kyle B. Sovocool, 21, of Le Roy, is charged with promoting sexual performance of a child less than 17 years old, possession of sexual performance by a child and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Sovocool was arrested as the result of a State Police investigation stemming from a Jan. 22 complaint. Sovocool was jailed on an unspecified bail. No further details released.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

Casino night in Byron raises funds for Reis Memorial Scholarship

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, Reis Memorial Scholarship

To help restore depleted funds in the Reis Memorial Scholarship, community volunteers hosted a casino night fundraiser at the South Byron Fire Hall this past weekend.

Members of the Reis family lost their lives in a fire in Byron on May 19, 2008.

The night's live auction included selling an apple pie made by Jean Allyn, grandmother of the three Reis children, Ginny, Emily and Tim, and mother to Cheryl Reis, who died in the fire.

The fundraiser included a basket auction with 32 baskets available.

The scholarship was formed in 2013 to reestablish a fund that was depleted in 2012. The annual scholarship awards $1,000 to a graduating senior from Byron-Bergen who demonstrates both academic merit and the admired characteristics of the Reis children. The 2013 recipient of the award was Kim Lovett, who is attending Nazareth College to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. 

The success of successive fundraisers by the foundation enabled the group to provide financial assistance to former community members whose home was destroyed in a fire this year.

Sponsors this year included: Dewey Produce, Stafford Painters. Ray and Jean Allen, Kircher Construction, Inc., Roberts Accounting, Ernie and Wendy Haywood, Crazy Cheap Cars, NAPA Auto Parts - Bergen , WNY Concerete, Pudgie’s Lawn and Landscape.

Info and photo submitted by Jon Flannery.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

Gift from Liberty Pumps puts new technology in the hands of every Byron-Bergen student

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, byron, byron-bergen, liberty pumps

There's a selfish reason Charle Cook got behind the idea of his company donating money to help the Byron-Bergen School District buy 1,100 tablet computers for all of the district's children: He wants potential future employees to have the technical skills to work for the Liberty Pumps of tomorrow.

But the donation is also a good deed that will benefit his and his son's alma mater and perhaps encourage other rural companies to be as generous with their local school districts.

"We felt it's important as kids progress through school that they become knowledgable and comfortable with technology," said Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty. "It's going to be part of their future employment. To have that as a kind of leg up to students who might not have access is an advantage.

"Somewhat from a selfish standpoint," he added, "we're going to need a certain segment of those graduates, and we're interested in keeping as many kids as we can in the community."

Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said the gift was timely. The district had recently cut a staff position from its library and New York's formula for aid to district continues to disportionately favor affluent suburban districts over rural districts.

"This allows us to do something that most of the school districts in the more affluent areas of the state are able to do," Kosiorek said. "We're very thankful for that."

That was part of what motivated Liberty to seek out a way to assist the district, said Jeff Cook, who initiated the talks with the district that led to the donation.

"The reason Liberty Pumps thought the Learn Pads were a good idea was that we hear a lot about how wealthier, suburban districts seem to have advantages over poorer, more rural districts in terms of course offerings and opportunities for their students," Jeff Cook said. "We were looking for a way to help give our students an edge while minimizing the overhead burden of the district and therefore the taxpayer."

Charlie Cook didn't want to reveal the total monetary amount of the donation, but it's roughly 30 percent of the cost of the 1,100 tablets, which cost a few hundred dollars each. That donation made Byron-Bergen eligible for a technology grant from the state education department that covered the remaining 70 percent of the cost.

There will be no new local spending as a result of the program.

The tablets are known as LearnPads. They are Droid-based tablets with modifications to suit the needs of an educational institution.  

First, there are limits on how students can use them. There's access to YouTube, for example, but they can only watch teacher-approved videos. They can only visit approved Web pages. They can only download and install teacher-approved apps.

Teachers control the entire LearnPad environment according to the education needs of the class.

From a desktop computer program, teachers can customize how the LearnPads can be used, develop each day's lesson plan, then provide a QR code that can be posted to a wall. As students enter the class that day or that hour, the student scans the QR code to receive the lesson plan. As class progresses, teachers can monitor student activity to ensure they're staying on task.

However, Kosiorek stressed, LearnPads don't replace lectures and class discussions.

"This is a great tool for students and for teachers, but it doesn't replace quality education," Kosiorek said. "It's a tool, it's a supplement, an addition to a teacher's toolbox."

There are educational books available on the LearnPad and Kosiorek said the district hopes to someday replace all of its text books with tablets. That would save the district money as well as end the days of one-ton backpacks and multiple trips to lockers for students.

And yes, there are games available to students. Math games and vocabulary games, for example.

"Many students have access to video games and those games are very engaging," Kosiorek said. "There are goals that are set and you work toward those goals, so whatever we can do to provide relevance and engagement for students (we will do)."

Every student, starting this week, gets a LearnPad, from kindergarten through 12th grade. The younger students don't get a keyboard and will just use the touch screen, but starting in about third grade, keyboards will be introduced.

At younger grades, the LearnPads stay in school -- at least until the summer, when they can go with the summer reading program already installed -- while older children can bring the LearnPads home for homework once permissions slips and guideline acknowledgments are signed.

"We're very excited to be doing it," Charlie Cook said. "I've got four grandkids in the system right now and when I come to an event, which I do as often as I can, it's amazing to me to watch these kids work with the technology, even what they have currently. I think even in preschool years, they were up operating the touch screen, so this is a natural progression for them."

Jeff Cook said he hopes other business owners will look at this initiative and contact their own school administrators and ask "How can we help?".

Education, after all, is everybody's business.

"My hope is that what Liberty Pumps is doing will gain traction in the business community and others will join in on supporting our schools," Jeff Cook said. "If you are a business that is passionate about something you would be willing to help fund or support, I would suggest talking to the school administration about your idea and see if it is feasible. 

"In the case of Byron-Bergen, they did all the leg work and presented us with their vision based on our ideas. This could be anything from supporting sport programs and class offerings, to equipment for the district. Anything that could enhance a student's learning opportunity."

Photo: Casey Kosiorek, left, and Charlie Cook.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Grand Jury: Man accused of damaging jailhouse door, biker accused of DWI

post by Billie Owens in batavia, byron, crime, grand jury indictments

Here are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury>

Jeffrey M. Black is accused of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 25, 2013, hedrove a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the Town of Byron while intoxicated. In count two of the indictment, he is accused of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony for allegedly having a BAC of .08 or more.

John J. Saddler is accused of criminal mischief in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 16 in the City of Batavia he acted with intent to damage the property of another person and, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he had such right, damaged the property of another person in an amount greater that $1,500. The damaged property was a glass door at the Genesee County Jail.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Local school districts benefit from 'Pencils 4 Schools' program

Over the past two weeks, 80,000 pencils have been delivered to school districts, including Batavia City Schools, Oakfield-Alabama Central, Byron-Bergen Central, Pavilion Central, Alexander Central, and Attica Central as part of the attorney William Mattar Pencils 4 Schools campaign.

It was established in response to ever-tightening school district budgets. Understanding the difficulty school districts and families face in trying to provide supplies for students, Mattar is pleased to donate these pencils to help get the school year off to a great start for the young leaders of tomorrow. This year, the firm received a record number of requests from schools.

School districts can still register for Pencils 4 Schools by calling 444-4444 or by e-mailing [email protected].

Representing clients across New York State with offices in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, and Albany regions, William Mattar, P.C., focuses on auto injury cases for those seriously injured in motor vehicle and truck accidents. For more information about the firm’s community involvement, visit www.WilliamMattar.com

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