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Friday, September 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Single motorcyle accident reported on Old Ford Road, Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba

A motorcycle accident is reported in the area of 4491 Old Ford Road, Elba.

Injuries are reported.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m.: Injuries are minor. Elba Fire back in service, except for fire police still on scene.


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Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 11:55 am

Richenberg wins fifth straight ARC 5K in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in 5K, elba, Genesee ARC, sports

While rain seemed to encourage a few of the ARC 5K walkers to shorten the course today, it didn't slow down Michael Richenberg (second picture), who won the race in Elba for the fifth straight year.

A slow drizzle turned into a bit of a downpour about a minute into the race, but hundreds of runners still completed the course.

Race results are not yet available.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the full race results.

Friday, September 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Labyrinth walk Sunday will celebrate Fall Equinox

post by Howard B. Owens in Blue Pearl Yoga, elba, Fall Equinox

Area residents are invited to walk through a labyrinth on the property of Tricia Zdep, 6600 Log City Road, Elba, on Sunday as part of a harvest celebration for the Fall Equinox sponsored by Blue Pearl Yoga.

Labyrinths -- a complex series of winding paths that require walkers to follow a serpentine trail -- have been an important spiritual part of many cultures for thousands of years, said Patricia Hawley.

"Walking through one is a powerful meditative and contemplative act," she said.

The word "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night) and signifies a time when night and day are about equal length.

The term can also be used in a broader sense, meaning that the universe is in perfect balance, said Karen Reisdorf, owner of Blue Pearl Yoga

"At this time we concentrate on balancing our spirits, harvesting our dreams, and giving thanks for the beauty and bounties of Mother Earth," Reisdorf said.

The walk is at 1 p.m. and participants are asked to bring a gift from nature (leaf, flower, feather, stone, etc.) and any vegetables or flowers that have been harvested from your garden or from a farmers market. The event includes:

  • Blessing of the harvest, offerings of gratitude;
  • Yoga practice, planting new intentions;
  • Ending meditation;
  • Sharing of the harvest.

Leading the event with Reisdorf is Joni Yaskulski.

The labyrinth was made by Zdep and her husband at least five years ago (see it on Google Maps).

Pre-registration is required. Cost is $15. For more information contact Blue Pearl Yoga at 585-230-5430 or email [email protected]

Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Torrey Farms receiving Grower Achievement Award from United Fresh at DC conference

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, elba, Torrey Farms

Torrey Farms is being honored Oct. 1 with the 2013 Grower Achievement Award by United Fresh, a growers' association.

One of county's largest farms, the Torreys are being recognized for grower operations that strive to grow and market high-quality produce while contributing to the good of the industry.

Maureen Torrey has become a strong advocate in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere for public policies that protect farmers and promote agriculture.

She has testified before the House Committee on Agriculture regarding the farm bill and immigration policy.

Last year, for example, Torrey Farms lost 92 of 100 employees working in the packing shed following an I-9 audit. 

"The employees we lost averaged about 18 years of experience," Torrey told United Fresh. "Now we have to build it up from scratch."

The award will be given at the United Fresh annual Washington Public Policy Conference.

At the conference, produce industry leaders from across the supply chain meet with congressional lawmakers and their staff, as well as officials from the Food and Drug Administration to discuss policy issues that affect the agriculture industry.

(via OrleansHub)

Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Fourth Annual Barn Dance at Torrey's to benefit Elba Historical Society

post by Billie Owens in elba, events

The Fourth Annual Barn Dance to benefit the Elba Historical Society will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Torrey's Barn. It is located on Route 98 in Elba.

The local country band M.A.C. will start things off and then Kelly's Oldtimers will play for your listening enjoyment and to accompany round and square dancing.

Adults $6, ages 18 and under $3.

There will be hay bales to sit on or you're welcome to bring your own chairs.

Delicious refreshments will be available and the coffee is free.

There will be door prizes, 50/50s, and a lottery basket!

Event Date and Time

October 12, 2013 - 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 12:21 am

Turnovers key to Lancers' victory over Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, football, high school sports, pembroke, sports

Coming into the second half Saturday in Elba, it seemed like anybody's game.

Turnovers helped stymie both offensives in the first two quarters of the Elba/Byron-Bergen vs. Pembroke matchup and the Lancers held a slender 7-0 lead.

Mike Cintorino, head coach for Elba/BB, said his team made some adjustments at the half and came out ready to play.

That play included two key interceptions by Austin Yockel. On one, Yockel returned the ball to the red zone, setting up a core and in the other he went the distance himself for six.

The Lancers were dominant in the second half in a way they weren't last week in a 23-6 loss to Alexander.

"It's a home opener," Cintorino said. "Just like Alexander was fired up last week to open up at home, I think our guys were excited to open up at home. We've always opened up better at home. I think we've never opened up on the road and won a game, at least since I've been here."

Turnovers are what doomed the Dragons, Head Coach Justin Loeber conceded.

Twice in the first half, Pembroke snagged the ball from the Lancers only to give it right back, and turnovers in the second half were directly related to Elba/BB scores.

"We played a good, young football team," Loeber said. "They hit hard. They're physical. We made too many mistakes on the defensive side and too many turnovers on offensive. Too big plays on defense, other than that, it's a 13-7 ball game."

Lancers QB Garrett Chapell was 6-12 for 172 yards and three TDs. He had one interception and one fumble. Kyle Dougherty caught four passes for 135 yards and two TDs (including the first quarter score in the top picture). Yockel had two catches for 37 yards and a TD. Brandon Naylor rushed for 76 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown. Steele Truax had 13 tackles and two forced fumbles. Dougherty had 13 tackles. Andy Underhill had 11 tackles and one forced fumble. Hunter Tayler had six tackles and two sacks. Mike Shanley had three tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

On offensive for Pembroke, Tyler Bruning was nine for 17 for 79 yards and one TD. He threw three interceptions. Dakota Swimline carried the ball 16 times for 28 yards. Zack Kelsey had one 14-yard TD reception.

One of Yockel's two second-half interceptions.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Farmers say this year's onion crop coming in below average

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, elba, mucklands, onions

There are some years that are better than others for onion growers.

This year is one of the others.

Paul Mortellaro, co-owner of G Mortellaro And Sons in Elba, said this year's harvest will be about 60 to 75 percent of an average year and about 50 percent of a good year.

That sounds about right, said John Torrey, of Big-O Farms, Elba.

Wind, cold and rain either blew away or drowned a good portion of the onion crop this summer.

"The onions were thinned so much by the wind that you're not seeing a lot of small bulbs, but you're not seeing a lot of tonnage because there's not a high enough plant population," Mortellaro said.

Big-O runs a huge onion operation and Torrey agreed that wind and water were a problem this year.

"We've had our challenges during the growing season," Torrey said. "While we're in the midst of a full harvest, we're probably going to have a little below average yield."

The price for onions right now -- a market largely determined by Western growers -- is from $9 to $11 per 50-pound bag, Mortellero said. That's decent, but of course local onion growers would like to see it go higher.

Onions are a slow crop to bring to maturity and harvesting them is a slow process, too. The harvest started in July and will continue through October.

Out on the muck today, I met Elizabeth Buck and Courtney Hill, researchers from Cornell. They are assisting in a project to test four different kinds of possible treatments to combat rhizoctonia. Rhizoctonia is a fungus that goes after the roots of onions. (Pictured above, Hill; Buck is pictured in the slide show below).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Accident with minor injuries at Ford and Norton roads

post by Billie Owens in accidents, byron, elba

An accident involving two vehicles is reported at Ford and Norton roads. Injuries are minor. Elba and Byron fire departments are responding along with medics.

UPDATE 3:07 p.m.: A second ambulance is called in for a subject with chest pain.

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: Byron is transporting one patient to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: The other patient is a 38-year-old male who was taken to UMMC with an injured right hand.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Two big trucks collide at Route 262 and Norton Road

post by Billie Owens in accidents, elba

Two large trucks have collided at Route 262 and Norton Road in Elba. Callers to dispatch indicate the drivers may be out of the vehicles and that injuries may be minor. But there are conflicting reports. Elba fire and Mercy medics are responding. Mercy Flight in Batavia is on ground standby. A semi and a dump truck are thought to be involved. There is a significant amount of debris in the roadway as well as some spilt fuel or other hazardous materials.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: A responder on scene reports the people involved are OK but may have minor injuries. Medics are told to continue. Mercy Flight's standby is cancelled. The spilt fuel is believed to be from the "saddle tanks" on the truck(s) and not from any cargo. The county HAZMAT team is on standby for now.

UPDATE 2:16 p.m.: A fill-in out of Barre's fire hall is requested for Elba. It is confirmed that the collision is a semi-truck vs. dump truck.

UPDATE 2:19 p.m.: One lane of traffic on Route 262 (Ford Road) is completely blocked. Believe it's the eastbound lane. State Troopers request HAZMAT to the scene.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Additional fire police out of Byron are called.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The Department of Environmental Protection is being contacted about the spill of 50-plus gallons of diesel fuel, which is said to be soaking into the ground. Meanwhile, Elba Town Highway Department is asked to bring in a truckload of sand to absorb the spill as best as possible for now. They are going to shut off traffic at Old Ford Road by Andy's Pizza.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: Mercy medics are back in service and report the two drivers involved are sign-offs.

UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: Command reports there's a lot of Speedy Dry on the ground and confirms Elba Town Highway is on its way with sand. The fuel is "held up in a ditch, but some is going into the ground, a cow pasture with an electric fence."

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Oakfield fire police are called and the Elba School District has been informed of traffic issues.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: Traffic police are shutting down Route 262 at Transit Road.

UPDATE 3:02 p.m.: Command calls for two ambulances, non-emergency. One for a truck driver involved in the incident, who previously declined medical aid, and another for a firefighter suffering from possible heat exhaustion.

UPDATE 3:12 p.m.: Authorities updated the spill information to say that one truck contained 40-plus gallons of diesel fuel, and the actual amount that leaked out is not yet known. They need to untangle the vehicles to make a better determination. The other vehicle's fuel tank did not rupture. The auxiliary is called to bring in refreshments this hot and windy afternoon.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: After pulling apart the mangled wreckage, they determined a little while ago that indeed one truck spilt roughly 40 gallons of diesel fuel and the other's fuel tank is still intact. Fire police have shut down Edgerton and Norton roads. One of the truck drivers was taken to UMMC for evaluation.

UPDATE 4:24 p.m.: A responder reports that one lane of Route 262 will be reopened but Norton will remain closed for awhile.

UPDATE 4:58 p.m.: Both lanes of Route 262 will be open until a tow truck for one of the vehicles arrrives.

UPDATE 5:16 p.m.: The Elba assignment is back in service. All roads are being reopened.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: According to the initial investigation, said Trooper Holly Hanssel, the driver of the white farm truck allegedly failed to yield at the intersection. The farm truck was southbound. It T-boned the Town of Bergen truck. Both drivers were shaken up, but neither was injured.

"The driver of white truck definately whould have been injured if he didn't have his seat belt on," Hanssel said. "They were both seat-belted in and I think that has a lot do with why there are no injuries."

About 25 to 30 gallons of fuel were spilled. About 10 minutes ago, Hanssell cleared the scene and informed dispatch that the spill issue appears to be taken care of but that DEC will double check in the morning.

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Alexander muscles way to opening-game victory over Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, bergen, byron, elba, football, high school sports, sports
Dylan Scharlau heads toward the end zone in the fourth quarter.

One year makes a big difference in high school football.

To start the 2012 season, Elba/Byron-Bergen had the size and experience over Alexander. The final score that opening game was 40-13.

The way Lancers Head Coach Michael Cintorino sees it, the Alexander players didn't forget that smackdown.

Yesterday in Alexander, the tables were turned and the Trojans came out on top 23-6 victory after dominating a rain-drenched second.

"I think the key to the game is Alexander returned an awful lot of guys who are very well coached," Cintorino said. "Their guys came ready to play. Not that we didn't, but they had a little fire in them from what happened to them last year against us. I think that stayed with those young guys and they put their time in during the off season."

The Lancers were powered last season by the legs of Zach DuBois and the arm of Zac Gillard. Both players graduated.

All but three of Alexander's 19 varsity players hit the weight room hard during the off season, said head coach Tim Sawyer. This year, the Trojans may lack the roster size of some other teams, but they can put some big guys on the field.

Senior running back Dylan Scharlau is 6' and 195 lbs. Quinn Furlong, at TE and LB, is an inch shorter, but the same weight. Alton Rupp and Will Burke check in on offense and defense at 190 and 195 lbs. On the offensive and defensive lines are anchored by Kelsey Patten (225 lbs.), Jonathon George (230 lbs.), Damien Hargraves (200 lbs.) and Alex Jewett (245 lbs.).

With Nelson Burke at QB and Zach Laird at wide out, the Trojans can also run and catch.

"Elba is a physical team," Sawyer said. "But we have some pretty good size this year combined with strength. I thought it was a good, even match-up."

The key to the game may have been the start of the second half, which didn't result in a score for Alexander (penalties killed their drive), but it did help turn the tide.

Up by three after Scharlau's 30-yard field goal gave Alexander a 9-6 lead to end the second quarter; the Trojans had the first possession of the third.

"This doesn’t show on the scoreboard but I think this is huge," Sawyer said. "To start the third quarter, we’re going into a strong wind into a driving rain and possessed the ball for seven minutes. We didn’t get any points, but it chewed up their offensive advantage of the wind and all."

The rain and the wind stayed steady throughout the fourth quarter, when the Lancers offense was facing the western end zone. With the wind at their back, the Trojans were able to engineer two touchdown drives.

Burke hit Laird for a 17-yard pass for a TD and Scharlau pushed the pile forward on a goal line TD run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Burke.

Elba/BB's lone score came on a pass from Garrett Chapell to Kyle Dougherty, giving the Lancer's a quick 6-0 lead.

Last season the 2-6 Trojans had a tendency to get down early and then find it difficult to battle back, so Sawyer as much pleased with the way his team won as he is with a 1-0 start to the season.

"They boys believed in themselves and kept battling," Sawyer said. "To be down early and finish the game 23-6, that’s a big step for our football program."

Both coaches said they have work to do with their teams.

For the Lancers, there's no one glaring issue, Cintorino said. There's a lot of little things, but mainly the mental errors need to be addressed.

Two fumbles in the second half were costly for the Elba/BB.

"I have confidence in this group and I think we can work on those kinks, coach them up, and get them were they need to be," Cintorino said.

It feels good, Sawyer said, to go into the next week trying to improve the team coming off a win.

"We made some mistakes," Sawyer said. "We have some things to work on. It's nice to get the win, but when I got into the team room, it's going to be like, 'Hey, we've got to shore some things up here.' "

On the game Scharlau carried the ball 26 times for 157 yards and two TDs, plus the 30-yard field goal. Burke was six for 11 for 178 yards and one TD pass. Burke also gave up an interception. He ran the ball four times for 29 yards. Laird caught the ball three times for 44 yards and a TD.  He had six carries for 36 yards. On defense, Patten had two sacks and four tackles. Laird had a sack, four and a half tackles and a forced fumble.

For Elba, Brandon Naylor gained 78 yards on 17 carries. Chapell was 4-13 for 40 yards and one TD. Austin Yockel caught two passes for 25 yards and Dougherty's one catch was the nine-yard TD reception in the first quarter. On defense, Naylor had 16 tackles and one forced fumble. Andy Underhill had 13 tackles and a forced fumble. Austin Hynes Fisher had six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Dougherty had four tackles and an interception.

Other football action:

  • Pembroke beat Charles Finney 41-0. The Dragons gained 300 yards on the ground. Dakota Swimline had 14 carries for 150 yards and three TDs. Cal Neurhor had eight tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
  • Batavia beat Edison Technical 22-0 taking command of the game in the first quarter, scoring 16 points. Nick Canzoneri carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards and two TDs. Brandon Stevenson gained 215 all-purpose yards. Dominick Mogazero and Trevor Rittstersback each had 12 tackles.
  • Notre Dame crushed Holley 52-0. Tim McCulley came up big throwing for 229 yards and four TDs. He was seven for 10 passing. McCulley ran the ball eight times for 92 yards and one TD. Andrew Mullen taking over as lead man out of the backfield gained 151 yards and scored three times. The Irish had a total of 270 yards on the ground. He had one catch for 49 yards. Notre Dame scored 39 first-half points and notched one TD on Mullen runs in the third and fourth quarters. Cam Chamberlain gained 25 yards on eight carries. Josh Johnson had two TD receptions and gained 83 yards. Luca Zambito caught the ball twice for 47 yards and scored once. Chamberlain had eight tackles. Joe Zickl had five and a half.
  • Oakfield-Alabama lost to Attica 45-6. Chris Nanni carried the ball 21 times, gained 72 yards and scored once. Chase Manzella notched 17 tackles. Attica, part of the Genesee Region League, returns with workhorse running back Matt Perry, now a senior, who ran for 228 yards and two TDs on 28 carries.

Football next Friday and Saturday:

  • Finney is at Alexander, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Notre Dame at Oakfield-Alabama, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Le Roy at Bishop Kearney, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
  • HF-L at Batavia, Friday, 7:30 p.m. (we'll cover this game)
  • Pembroke at Elba/BB, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

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