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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm

New Elba Betterment Committee holds first raffle

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Betterment Committee

Robert Given, of Elba, is the first winner of the first raffle put together by the brand new Elba Betterment Committee.

A group of Elba residents have come together to help improve and promote Elba and they kicked off things with a raffle for a basket filled with more than $1,000 worth of gifts.

Given's name was picked during a drawing Friday at Chap's Elba Diner.

All items in the basket were donated by Elba merchants small businesses and farmers, according to Pauli Miano (who submitted the photos). Prizes included an iPad mini, bags of potatoes, Lottery tickets, a weed eater, over $300 worth of gift cards, craft items, pet supplies, books autographed by local authors, shirts and sweatshirts.

In a second raffle, anyone who came to Chap’s today was able to buy a chance on a hundred dollar bill. Sandi Chappius of Elba was the winner.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

Photos: Giant flag raised over East Main to honor Elba firefighter

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba

Ladder trucks from Town of Batavia Fire and City Fire were used this morning to hoist a large American flag over East Main Street for the funeral procession of Melvin Loder.

Loder was a volunteer firefighter with the Elba Volunteer Fire Department. He died at home Saturday (full obituary).

Photos by Sloan Martin, WBTA.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Farmers watching weather closely as seasonal planting window narrows

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, elba, weather

As it is every year, local farmers are playing the weather lottery. What numbers will come up, nobody knows.

In the meantime, they're planning their crops, waiting for a little dry spell and a bit warmer weather to start planting.

"We always hope every single year that Mother Nature will give us a good growing year," said Barbie Starowitz, of Star Growers Farm in Elba. "We think that every year. We hope every year for a good year just to pay the bills."

For many crops, now is the ideal time for getting seeds in the ground, but when the soil is still too soft from rain or the temperature still a bit cold (as it's expected to be for the next few nights), then farmers may run out of time to sow all their fields, if any.

CY Farms has started planting onions -- as have other farmers -- because, as CEO Craig Yunker says, "the muck is more forgiving," but his crews still haven't started on peas or corn.

Yunker said they like to start planting around April 1 and corn seed should start going in the ground by April 20. So far, CY has yet to plant a single acre of corn or peas.

"We'd like to get going," Yunker said.

This year, CY Farms will return to growing cabbage. The Yunkers made headlines last year when they decided to forgo cabbage.

Craig Yunker cited three reason for cutting the crop: The uncertainty raised by the employer mandate in Obamacare; the loss of labor to an immigration audit; and the high price of corn.

This year, the employer mandate is delayed for at least a year (allowing CY Farms to employ more than 50 people); Yunker has been able to find some qualified help to replace the workers he lost; and corn has dropped nearly $2 in price per bushel and is now trading at just under $5.

Those three factors led Yunker and his managers to decide to cut corn acreage this year and grow cabbage again.

For Star Growers, the crop mix will be pretty much the same as always -- corn, peas, soybeans, wheat, cabbage and onions.

Most of what Star grows goes to canning factories, either Seneca or Bonduelle.

"We've been waiting for a good growing season, but Mother Nature seems pissed at us," Starowitz said. "It's either too wet or too dry."

Like Star Growers, MY-T Acres grows mainly for canners and food processors. Pete Call said this year's crop will be pretty much like the last few years: green beans, peas, cabbage, potatoes for potato chips, spinach, sweet corn, red beets, grain corn, wheat, rye, oats and alfalfa.

We couldn't reach Torrey Farms, another large crop farm in the county, for comment.

Top Photo: Craig Yunker, CY Farms, with buckets of onion seeds. Each bucket holds 500,000 seeds and costs the farm $1,410. "It's the most expensive seed we buy," Yunker said. Below, preparing the muck to be seeded.

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Photos: Waterfowl off Norton Road, Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, elba, waterfowl

Driving down Norton Road, I passed the wetland where the late Ron Graziaplena used to set up waterfowl habitat and release his birds. These geese were right up by the roadway being watched by another motorist. As I took pictures, they came closer to the roadway. They're obviously pretty domesticated and were probably looking to be fed. Hopefully, they'll stay out of the road.

Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Photos: Easter Egg Hunt in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in elba

Boy Scout Troop 6017 hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for the children of Elba today. The hunt included eggs with winning tickets for dozens of prizes.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

Northbound Route 98 shut down at Lockport Road for auto accident

post by Billie Owens in accidents, elba

Elba Fire Police are called to shut down northbound traffic on Route 98 at Lockport Road due to a motor-vehicle accident.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Cashiers

post by Chennelle Witt in elba, ny

Company Name

Arrow Mart

Job Type

Part-Time

Local convenience store retailer seeks cashiers. Multiple locations with positions available. Candidate must be willing to work in a fast paced environment and show up to work on time and with a smile! To hear more about the position or to apply online, visit https://my.peoplematter.at/mwsenterprises/hire.

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 8:47 am

Law and Order: Two women arrested after report of fight on State Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Oakfield, State Street

Melissa R. Piazza, 24, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd. Piazza allegedly threw a stick at a vehicle during an argument on State Street at 6:53 p.m., Wednesday.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 48, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Lyons allegedly brandished a stick and a knife while threatening another person during an argument on State Street reported at 6:53 p.m., Wednesday. A child was allegedly present to witness the threats.

Dillion Lee James Farley, 22, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to keep right, moving from lane unsafely. Farley was reportedly involved in a property damage accident at 11:14 p.m. Sunday on Lockport Road, Elba. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jason Charles Lusk, 33, of Collegeview Drive, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Lusk allegedly hit an acquaintance while in front of two deputies at 2:13 a.m., Saturday.

Harry Thomas Gibson, 49, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with attempted petit larceny. Gibson was seen by Dollar General staff allegedly placing merchandise in a bag in an attempt to steal it. When confronted, Gibson reportedly dropped the bag and left the scene.

Sara J. Smith, 28, of Fairmont Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant related to a criminal mischief charge. She allegedly failed to appear. Smith posted bail (amount not disclosed) and was released.

Aaron Walter Smith, 26, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was arrested following an investigation by officers Chad Richards and Stephen Cronmiller into a report of a suspicious vehicle left unattended and running in the area of Kwik Fill.

Rebecca E.A. Mulholland, 23, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Mulholland's vehicle was stopped at 3:54 a.m. Saturday on Ellicott Street by Officer Peter Flanagan following a "check the welfare" request for a vehicle matching the description of the one driven by Mulholland.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 7:35 am

Photo: Car off the road in Elba, buried in snow

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, weather

A reader sent in this picture of a car off the road on North Byron Road, Elba. It looks like we got about six inches of snow overnight.

UPDATE: Jeff Allen sent in the picture of Maddie and Goliath a little taken aback by all the heavy, wet stuff in their yard. Below that, a picture from Greg Rada of his father's driveway this morning.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Head-on collision with injuries on Quaker Hill Road, Elba

post by Billie Owens in accident, elba

A two-car, head-on collision with injuries is reported at 6054 Quaker Hill Road. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is between Ridge and West Muck roads.

UPDATE 6:57 p.m.: Responders are told Mercy Flight is unable to fly due to weather.

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: "All units be advised it's very slippery out here."

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