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Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Black Swallowtail in our garden.

post by Jay Terkel in Black Swallowtail, Butterfly, corfu

We just had this beautiful visitor to our flower garden. I'm not sure how common this Black Swallowtail is in this area


Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

Young ATV rider in critical condition following accident in Corfu

post by Howard Owens in accident, corfu

A 16-year-old Pembroke resident is in critical condition this morning at Erie County Medical Center following an ATV accident in the Village of Corfu last night.

Benjamin L. Falker was riding a 2012 Polaris Sportsman 500 on West Main Street when he attempted to enter the sidewalk south of Prospect Street. He lost control and struck a row of bushes and the four-wheeler flipped over and he was ejected. 

The ATV struck a utility pole and came to rest in an upright position. 

Benjamin, the sole occupant of the ATV, sustained a head injury and was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

The investigation is continuing and charges may be pending.

Investigating the accident are Deputy Jason Saile, Sgt. William Scott of the Crash Management Team, Investigator Timothy Weis, Sgt. Brian Frieday and Officer Rich Retzlaf of the Corfu PD.

Assisting at the scene was the Corfu Fire Department and Mercy EMS.

(Initial Report)

Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm

ATV accident reported in the Village of Corfu

post by Howard Owens in accident, corfu

A four-wheeler has hit a utility pole in the area of 29 W. Main St., Corfu, near the corner of Prospect Street.

A person is injured. Mercy Flight requested to the scene. A landing scene will be set up at the Corfu Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: The patient is seriously injured.

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: The landing zone is being switched to the area behind the primary school.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE Midnight: Patient transported to ECMC.

Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Photos: Indian Falls United Methodist Church Community Days

Today the Indian Falls United Methodist Church held its annual Community Days -- Blueberry festival. The festival featured a car/tractor show. There were complimentary hot dogs, baked goods and other items for sale by the churches members. 

At 4, the church held a kids peddle kart race for children of all ages to come out and race each other. 

At 5, the church hosted a lawnmower race that was open to everyone to come out to and race. 

The Indian Falls Fire Company also attended community days, bringing along two trucks with them. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Corfu Concerned Citizens meeting, public invited

post by Billie Owens in corfu, events

The Corfu Concerned Citizens next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Pembroke Community Center, located at 116 E. Main St., in Corfu. The meeting is open to the public.

Event Date and Time

August 6, 2013 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

Law and Order: Man accused of stealing electric shopping cart from Walmart

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, corfu, crime, Darien, walmart

Kyle Jackson, 21, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Jackson allegedly drove an electric shopping cart across the Walmart parking lot, onto Route 63 and into the parking lot of Rite Aid at 4:30 a.m., June 12.

Douglas G. Goodwin Jr., of 130 Bank St., Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, and criminal mischief, 3rd. Goodwin is accused of entering an apartment and stealing a hot water tank, gas and water lines and other items. Goodwin was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Foster M. Brandt, 22, of 20 Tracy Ave., Batavia, was arrested on warrants for obstruction of governmental administration and criminal mischief, 3rd. Brandt was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Christina A.M. Deluna, 33, of 122 State St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Deluna was arrested by Batavia PD following an investigation into a domestic incident reported at 6 p.m, Friday.

Angela S. Bianco, 42, of 137 State St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bianco was allegedly seen on security footage at Sav-A-Lot taking a Red Osier billfold belonging to another customer.

Bryon Gilbert Keller, 18, of Sumner Road, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Keller is accused of stealing a laptop computer from a residence in Darien.

Frank Lyman Stanton, 32, of Bethany Center Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and no/inadequate exhaust system. Stanton was stopped at 12:32 a.m. Sunday on South Lake Road, Bergen, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Joshua Todd Fullmer, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful growing of marijuana. At 5:48 p.m., Saturday, deputies responded to a report of a fight at 3124 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Upon investigation, Fullmer was allegedly found in possession of brass knuckles and had several marijuana plants growing on his property.

Joshua Christopher Uptegrove, 27, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Uptegrove allegedly pushed another person during an argument.

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

Law and Order: 77-year-old Corfu resident accused of damaging windows at the Log Cabin

post by Howard Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, Le Roy, pembroke

Anthony L. Holohan, 77, of Gilmore Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 2nd. On July 11, an employee of the Log Cabin Restaurant arrived at work and found a hole in a picture window in the dining room. Later he found another window was damaged. After an investigation, Holohan was arrested and accused of damaging the windows at about 3 a.m., July 11. The estimated damage is $2,260. There's no known motive for the alleged crime. Holohan posted $5,000 bail and was released.

Ryan C. Riggi, 18, no permanent address, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Riggi is accused of twice possessing and using a credit card of another person, stealing more than $3,000. Riggi was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 36, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Stevens is accused of stealing a bottle of hydrocodone pills from the purse of another person.

Matthew Charles Olcott, 34, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on warrants out of the Town of Pembroke and Town of Batavia, for criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, violation of probation, attempted unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 2nd. Olcott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court on all charges and jailed on $500 bail on the Town of Pembroke charges.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Village of Corfu office staff accuse mayor of creating a hostile work environment

post by Howard Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson

The two members of the Village of Corfu office staff have formally filed letters of complaint with the trustees accusing Mayor Ralph Peterson of creating a hostile work environment.

In her letter, Assistant Clerk/Treasurer Denise Beal said she believes Peterson's treatment of her is meant to demean her as a woman and is therefore a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Both Beal and Clerk/Treasurer Sandra Thomas said they do not want to take further legal action but may be left with no choice if the trustees are unable to stop Peterson's alleged harassment.

The trustees received the letters Monday and voted to forward the complaints to Village Attorney Mark Boylan for his advice on how to handle the complaints.

Beal's letter indicates that it's mostly a feeling she gets from Peterson that he tries to harass and intimidate her because she is female. The one concrete example she gives of different treatment of her and Thomas is that Peterson allegedly demanded Beal and Thomas give him copies of office and file cabinet keys but has not made the same demand of the all-male maintenance staff.

Both Beal and Thomas said things kind of came to a head in the past week with Peterson's alleged insistence that his criticism of the office staff be included in the village newsletter.

"His subjective comments he wrote in the village newsletter are embarrassing," Beal wrote. "I have been employed by the Village of Corfu for over 5 years. Never have I felt so degraded and harassed by a male. I have always taken great pride in my work and have performed my duties with great confidence, the highest levels of professionalism, efficiency and accountability. I have always enjoyed my job, but the hostile work environment that has been created by Mr. Peterson is making it difficult to be at work."

Peterson has not yet responded to a request for comment sent via text message.

Both Thomas and Beal said they believe at least some of the motivation for Peterson's conduct is the fact that they are potential witnesses in the criminal case against Brandi Watts, the former village court clerk accused of stealing more than $10,000 in court funds.

Special Prosecutor Donald O'Geen has warned Peterson and the trustees that there should be no interference with the investigation.

As part of their complaints, Thomas and Beal cite Peterson's alleged attempt to fire them, his request for passwords and keys, his moving a desk and chair for himself into Beal's office, and constant assertions of authority and intimidation when he's in the office.

"I could go into many detailed examples of Ralph Peterson's barrage of threats, innuendos, accusations, falsehoods and harassment," Thomas wrote. "Some are a matter of public record, and many have been made behind closed doors and in emails. He has now made public his contempt and made insinuations of incompetence of the office staff in the Village Newsletter to Village residents. This is unacceptable."

Thomas concludes, "Although Mayor Peterson is smugly confident that he is untouchable and (can) do and say absolutely anything he wants, I am filing this complaint imploring the Board to put a stop to this deplorable situation and prevent any further harassment and retaliation."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Burling Drugs in Corfu closes after 21 years as crony capitalism takes its toll

post by Howard Owens in Burling Drugs, business, corfu, Dan Burling

The way Dan Burling sees it, the cards are stacked against the small business owner these days, especially for independent drug store owners.

Reimbursements from big insurance companies for customers' prescriptions have shrunk dramatically in recent years, Burling said. In his view, big mail-order firms engage in anti-competitive practices designed to cripple local pharmacies. And the coming implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act is just going to make matters worse.

So the former State Assemblyman did the only thing he thought he could do: Close.

Yesterday was the last day of business for Burling Drugs in Corfu.

"When I came here 21 yeas ago, there was no pharmacy here," Burling said. "It was shut down. I opened the store up. I put a lot of my heart and my soul into it."

There's no way an independent shop can survive, he said, on what insurance companies are willing to pay these days.

"It looks to me like the insurance companies are ratcheting down their reimbursement to match what the large chains can pay," Burling said. "I have no quarrel with the large chains, Rite-Aid or anything, but our margins just weren’t enough to sustain our business."

To survive recently, Burling had to borrow money and that's something he is no longer willing to do.

"I wasn't taking much out of the business," Burling said. "I did everything I could possibly do to try and stay profitable, but the profits just weren't there."

Big mail-order houses also put the squeeze on independent pharmacies, he said.

As a member of the Legislature, Burling sponsored a bill that made it illegal to force patients to buy prescriptions by mail order. The big firms just ignore the law, Burling said.

"They constantly badger my customers," Burling said. "They get the data and they call them and they market their mail-order business directly to them."

And the crony capitalists in Washington continue to work against the survival of the little guy.

"Medco and Express Scripts merged, and as far as I'm concerned, that never should have been allowed," Burling said. "Being in politics as long as I was, I know how it works. Big money goes to the politicians in Washington and they ignore the little guy and get paid off."

Obamacare -- the Affordable Health Care Act -- Burling said is going to put the squeeze on all sorts of small businesses in medicine. The law will force even smaller reimbursements and the mandated cost cuts that small business owners won't be able to manage. You'll see a lot of health-care providers go out of business when that happens, Burling said.

He understands some people are upset by his store's sudden closure, but his co-op contract with Rite-Aid gave him an out now and he decided to exercise it.

Over the 21 years he's run the store in Corfu, Burling said not only has he provided a pharmacy to the community, he's also brought in doctor offices -- doctors who have since relocated to their own practices.

"These are contributions that I made to the community that I think were significant," Burling said, "but there comes a time in your life, you know, when you're at my age, that this is the only way I'm going to be able to retire, the only way I'm going to be able to enjoy life."

Monday, July 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Former village justice Robert Alexander says he would never do anything to hurt the people of Corfu

post by Howard Owens in Brandi Watts, corfu, crime, Robert Alexander

Former Village of Corfu justice Robert Alexander said after his appearance in County Court this afternoon that he would never, ever, do anything to hurt the people of his lifelong hometown.

Alexander would not discuss the specifics of the case against him -- he's charged with coercion and official misconduct -- but reiterated in a short statement to media gathered outside the courthouse that he's a born-again Christian and that he wouldn't break the law.

"I had the privileged of serving in the Village of Corfu for 24 years," Alexander said. "I grew up there. I love that village, and when I see people or hear people in social media or on television or anything like that say anything about a case, I say, let a case run its course, number one, but number two, the wonderful people of Corfu shouldn’t have to be put through all those kinds of things where it’s played out in the media versus where it’s played out in a court."

Asked whether he would take the case against him to trial, Alexander said that's something for him and his attorney to discuss and otherwise declined to comment.

The changes stem from what may have been an alleged attempt by Alexander to clear the name of his daughter, Brandi Watts.

Watts worked for Alexander as his court clerk from 2009 to 2011.

After Watts was named in a NYS comptroller's audit that allegedly found the court was missing more than $10,000 in funds, Alexander reportedly asked his new court clerk, Pam Yasses, to audit the court books. Yasses reportedly completed the audit and found the court was missing funds.

According to Yasses, who spoke about the situation at an Oct. 8 meeting of village trustees, Alexander did not accept the results of the new audit and Yasses complained that Alexander was trying to intimidate her and get her to quit her job.

The allegations against Alexander reportedly stem from that incident.

Alexander denied breaking the law.

"I won’t say anything about the case, except I will only say I love the people of Corfu and never do anytihng, as a born-again Christian, as a man serving them, I would never even think of breaking the law in any way, shape or form, no less doing it," Alexander said. "I would certainly would never, ever, ever want to bring anything that would hurt those people that I served for 24 years. We'll let it play out in court."

Alexander also told reporters, "I’m a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in the end I will be vindicated."

Neither Watts nor Alexander entered a plea today and both are scheduled to reappear at 2:15 p.m., Aug. 12, in County Court.

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