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Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Wires down on North Byron and Oak Orchard roads, Elba, traffic shut at Lockport and Route 98

post by Billie Owens in elba

Elba Fire Department and fire police will be shutting down Lockport Road at Route 98 because of wires, possibly high tension wires, down on the roadway at North Byron and Oak Orchard roads. National Grid has been contacted, unknown ETA.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m.: The roadway is clear. The roads are reopened. The Elba assignment is back in service.

Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

After 26 years, 587 wins, 10 sectional titles and one state championship, Tom Nowak honored at retirement party

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

In a room filled with friends, fans and supporters last night, former Elba Lady Lancers Head Coach Tom Nowak was all smiles.

"It's really special," Nowak said. "It's a little bit, I don't know, I want to say the word, 'imposing,' because you want to be in the background as a coach. It's difficult when you come out here and you're the person, but it's really nice to see."

Nowak was honored with a retirement party at the Elba Fire Hall that featured a collection of memorabilia and lots of memories from 26 years of serving the community by teaching young people how to compete and win.

In 1977, after two years at Dundee, Nowak joined Elba Central as a history teacher. He also became the varsity football coach and the varsity girls basketball coach.

His football record over 22 years was 130-60-6 with two sectional titles.

Leading the Lady Lancers, Nowak compiled a 457-132 record, eight sectional titles and, most significantly, a state title in 2012.

"Just that one precious one," Nowak said of the state championship. "It was special. We went in 2000 and lost in the finals. I always thought I'd never get a chance to go back and I got a chance to go back and the girls came through."

Teaching and coaching in Elba was a perfect fit, he said.

"I've always considered myself a shallow person," Nowak said. "I like history and I like sports. I first got to be a history teacher at Elba and then I got a chance to coach, so it really worked out well for me."

It takes time and dedication to be a successful varsity coach in any sport, and that means, Nowak acknowledged, that he maybe wasn't home as much as his wife might have liked over the years.

"We're going to do some things for my wife," said Nowak, who retired from teaching in 2009. "She spent so many years staying home on a Friday night watching Dallas and Falcon's Crest while I was out gallivanting around scouting football games. It will be nice to give her the opportunity to do some of the things that maybe we didn't get to do when I was a coach."

With all those wins and all those titles, surely young coaches could learn something from Nowak, and here's his advice:

"Find a mentor," Nowak said. "Find the people who are successes and spend some time and find out why they're successful.You will see something you can incorporate into your own plan. That's something I did. I looked at some role models because as a young coach you really don't know what to do and that was really beneficial to me."

Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 7:45 am

Law and Order: Woman accused of stealing cookware set from Walmart

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Pavilion

Danielle Marie Stevens, 37, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and unregistered vehicle. Stevens is accused of stealing a cookware set valued at $139.96 from Walmart. She is also accused of driving to Walmart while her license is suspended. Stevens was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Leonard Charles Millard, 56, of Highland Park, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Millard was arraigned in City Court and released on his promise to pay an installment of $100 by Friday and another $100 before his scheduled Dec. 5 court appearance.

Mary A. Brairton, 24, unknown residence, is charged with felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation. Brairton was arrested by State Police at 4:37 p.m. Monday on North Street, Batavia, in connection with an alleged incident reported at 2:44 p.m. Monday in the Town of Pavilion. No further details released.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Farm tour ends, tourists find themselves stranded -- where's the bus?

post by Billie Owens in elba

A group of at least 12 people who finished touring a local farm returned to the bus only to find it gone. The full-size passenger bus, all their belongings, and the driver -- gone.

One of them called dispatch about their predicament and Sheriff's deputies are going to their location. We're not sure, but believe it is in the Elba area. The dispatcher said there is a language barrier.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: The location is on Watson Road, Elba.

UPDATE 5:51 p.m.: The bus driver left apparently over a dispute about payment. The bus that allegedly left the group stranded is described as a white bus with black trim, not as large as a Trailways bus. It has rear doors that swing open and it bears a New Jersey license plate. The male driver is wearing a tan jacket. People are trying to get another bus to the location, but the passports and other personal items are, of course, still on the bus that disappeared.

UPDATE (by Howard): The driver returned of his own volition. He said he felt bad and came back. His name is Hector and he's an independent operator out of New Jersey. He was hired by a company based in Staten Island. He was given a $1,000 up front, but was supposed to have already been paid another $7,800, he said. He showed me a text message from the person he claimed was the owner of the transportation company promising him $5,000 on Saturday. Of course, the tour is over by then so Hector wasn't impressed with promise. Hector agreed to take the tour members back to their hotel in Geneseo. He isn't, at this point, promising to continue with the tour. The tourists are from the Czech Republic on an agriculture tour of WNY.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Elba students hear survivor of horrific crash talk about drivers distracted by cell phones

post by Billie Owens in elba

Press release:

Today, cell phone distracted driving survivor advocate Jacy Good spoke at Elba High School to help students understand the consequences of using cell phones behind the wheel.

In May 2008, on the day she graduated from college, a driver distracted by his cell phone conversation ran a red light and caused a crash that killed both of Good’s parents and left her clinging to life.

“Jacy’s story is powerful and moves both students and faculty,” said Chris Salinas, principal at Elba. “It is especially important for teens to hear Jacy’s message. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and using cell phones increases crash risk. Jacy’s story helps students understand that they will be safer if they disconnect while driving.”

“My college graduation day should have been a time to celebrate,” Good said. “Instead, my entire world was shattered because of an unnecessary cell phone call. People need to understand the dangers of using a cell phone ­– handheld or hands free – while driving. Lives are at risk and poor decisions can have lifelong consequences.”

After the loss of her parents, Good joined FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving. FocusDriven is a survivor advocate network that supports cell phone distracted driving victims and their families. Individuals and families educate the public by sharing their personal stories. The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee works with FocusDriven to provide Good’s presentations in schools across the state.

Those interested in having Good speak at their school should e-mail [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

Additional traffic safety information can be found at: www.safeny.ny.gov/SRO-Toolkit <http://www.safeny.ny.gov/SRO-Toolkit>

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Photos: Annual barn dance in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in barn dance, elba

Again, there was a big turn out for the annual barn dance in Elba.

Above, the Rebisz family of Bergen ready for the hoedown.

Virginia Steinbrenner, of Batavia, dances with Donald Darling, of Sterling Springs.

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Turnovers Doom Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Nick Sabato in bergen, byron, elba, football, high school sports, sports
Elba/Byron-Bergen turned the ball over four times as they fell to Attica, 28 to 6.
 
The Blue Devils got off to a fast start as Jake Strzelec scored the first two touchdowns of the game on a pair of 6-yard runs to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
 
The Lancers appeared to have momentum as they drove deep into Attica territory before Jake Dollard picked off the first of his three interceptions in the game. 
 
After neither team could put points on the board, Elba/Byron-Bergen was driving again with less than two minutes to play in the half before Dollard intercepted Garrett Chapell again, this time taking it 80 yards for a touchdown to go up 21-0.
 
Disaster would strike again as Andy Underhill fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Blue Devils the ball deep in Lancer territory. However, Elba/Byron-Bergen appeared to turn the momentum their way after keeping Attica off the board before halftime.
 
“I thought we rallied pretty well at halftime,” said Elba/Byron-Bergen head coach Mike Cintorino. “We made some adjustments at halftime and our kids came out firing in the second half.”
 
The Lancers came up big on the first drive of the second half, recovering a fumble at the Attica 28-yard line. They wasted no time in turning the mistake into points as Steele Truax plunged in from a yard out to cut the lead to 21-6.
 
Chapell had his team driving again after a defensive stand, but the Blue Devils were able to get the ball back after the Lancers turned it over on downs.
 
The Blue Devils would get one more score as Damian Marchetti found Evan Krawczyk for a 30-yard touchdown pass to put the finishing touch on the game.
 
“Attica played a great game,” said Cintorino. “We knew it was going to be a dog fight, the last three years have been. It’s always a physical game with them. Turnovers, penalties and mistakes can come back to haunt you and that’s what happened today.”
 
Strzelec stepped up in place of injured star running back Matt Perry, who missed his second straight game. Strzelec finished with 128 yards on 29 carries and 2 touchdowns on the day for Attica.
 
Chapell finished the game going 13-of-29 passing for 101 yards and 3 interceptions for the Lancers.
 
Attica (5-1) will play host Notre Dame next Friday, and if they win, the Blue Devils will get a share of the Genesee Region League title.
 
Meanwhile, Elba/Byron-Bergen (2-4) travels to Finney, where a win could put them into sectional play.
 
“We are a young team, so all of these things we try to learn from,” said Cintorino. “We when make mistakes like we did today and in other games, we are going to break down the film, we are going to make those adjustments and hopefully they can learn from them.”
 
Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

Elba's Veterans Memorial Park is all spiffed up

post by Bonnie Marrocco in elba, Veterans Memorial Park

Those elected to serve the public in Elba certainly did so this year when they took on a project to spruce up Veterans Memorial Park. The result is something everyone can appreciate.

"Village trustees did most of the improvements you see at Veterans Memorial Park over the spring and summer," said Elba Mayor Scott Schuler. "They painted the pavilions, planted flowers, took down the chain link fence and added columns and solar lights."

About $14,000 was spent, and the upgrades also included refurbishing planters, signs at the village limits and some benches, as well as planting flowers on Main Street and purchasing some new benches.

Most of the money came from the village auction of equipment no longer in use and the remainder from its park fund. (The auction raised $24,000 and surplus funds were put back into the general fund.)

The park on Route 98 contains three baseball fields, a basketball court, a tennis court, a volleyball net, playground equipment and multiple pavilions. The village hosts concerts there every week in August. This year they hosted their first Community Pig Roast, which will be an annual summer event at the park.

Monday, September 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

Law and Order: Motorcyclist involved in accident charged with DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, crime, elba, pembroke

Thomas Richard Ellis, 46, of Kings Lane, Rochester, is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, speed not reasonable and prudent, unapproved/no face shield on motorcycle and driving without corrective lenses. Ellis was charged following a motorcycle accident at 8:06 p.m., Friday, in the area of 4491 Old Ford Road, Elba. (initial report)

Ronald Jason Scroger, 33, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. On Friday, Scroger allegedly went to Walmart and removed merchandise from its packaging, damaging the item's package. He then allegedly left the store with $170.82 in stolen merchandise. He then allegedly returned with a stolen item and exchanged it for a gift card with a value of $34.97.

Kelly James Rhim, 35, of Eller Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and DWI. Rhim was stopped at 2:15 a.m., Saturday, on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Jeffrey Scott Vandusen, 24, of Chapel Avenue, Cheektowaga, is charged with resisting arrest. Vandusen is accused of fleeing from law enforcement during an attempted traffic stop at 8:05 p.m., Sept. 18, on Phelps Road, Pembroke, for alleged traffic violations.

Kory James Towne, 23, of Phelps Road, Corfu, is charged with resisting arrest, speeding and failure to yield. Towne is accused of fleeing from law enforcement during an attempted traffic stop at 8:05 p.m., Sept. 18, on Phelps Road, Pembroke, for alleged traffic violations.

Samuel J. Singletary, 50, of Alphonse Street, Rochester, was arrested on warrants for alleged aggravated unlicensed operation and speeding. Singletary was arrested upon his arrest from the Monroe County Jail on unrelated matters and arraigned in Town of Elba Court. Bail was set at $500.

Kevin Albert Roberts, 22, of Perry Road, North Java, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Roberts is accused of conspiring with another person to shoplift at Walmart.

Mathew Lee Klein, 19, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with trespass. Klein was allegedly seen atop the roof of the bus garage at Alexander Central School at 1:48 a.m., Sept. 21.

Jerell J.T. Jones, 25, and Nathaniel R. Davis, 18, both of 20 N. Spruce St., Batavia, are each charged with two counts of petit larceny. Jones and Davis are accused of shoplifting from YNGodess on two separate occasions. Jones and Davis were jailed on $1,000 bail each.

The following individuals were cited for alleged possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21 following a Batavia PD investigation into a complaint of a loud party at 25 Trumbull Parkway at 12:23 a.m., Friday: Eric J. Soto, 19, Ian J. Legares, 18, Emmanuel Garcia, 20, Jessie C. D'Paula, 20, Stephanie E. Griffin, 20, Carlton RV Lampe, 18, Michael A. Archer, 19, Leofal Soto, 19, Jared R. Wansart, 19, Troy R. Pakusch, 19, Jah-Neel A. Warner, 17, Adam T. Pratt, 19, Lasania S. Hyatt, 19, Jared J. Midwick, 18, Carrie M. Curry, 19, Randy O. Mutt, 19, Andrea F. Parravano, 19, Shanique Y. Headley, 18, Ashley R. Makowski, 18.

Dennis A. Edson, 49, of 17 Porter Ave., Batavia, is charged with trespass. Edson is accused of entering a neighbor's property without permission.

Dajuandrick C. Gardner, 36, of 22 East Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Gardner was allegedly found in possession of a crack pipe.

Andrew DeMara Hewitt, 29, of North Street, Churchville, was arrested on a warrant related to a petit larceny charge. Hewitt allegedly did not appear on a petit larceny charged in Town of Byron Court. He was jailed on $150 bail.

Jeremy L. Jones, 20, of Hammonsport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Jones was arrested by State Police in the Town of Pavilion. No further details released.

Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

McCulley throws for five TDs, ND crushes Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Nick Sabato in elba, football, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

Notre Dame ended its three-game losing streak to Elba/Byron-Bergen with a dominating 40 to 7 victory.

For the second consecutive week, Tim McCulley scored five touchdowns for the Fighting Irish, this time all through the air as Notre Dame controlled the game from start to finish.

The Irish opened the scoring as McCulley hooked up with Josh Johnson for a 13-yard TD strike in the first quarter to go up 6-0.

McCulley would later find Jason Hart on a one-yard toss to give the Irish a 13-0 lead. In total, McCulley would throw four touchdown passes in the first half, two more to Johnson on plays of two and 51 yards respectively.

The senior quarterback went 18-for-27 passing for 335 yards and also picked up another 61 on the ground.

The Lancers would get on the board just before the end of the half on a three-yard pass from Garrett Chapell to Chad Kowalik.

Charlie Herbert was on the receiving end of the fifth and final touchdown pass from McCulley late in the third quarter. Herbert racked up 134 yards on six grabs, while Johnson had 161 on seven catches.

The Fighting Irish defense was stout all game, holding Chapell to just 13-of-33 passing for 127 yards and intercepting him four times, once by Johnson.

“Our skilled guys had a good game today, although we did have a couple of lapses,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso. “I’m really proud of the overall effort, of the great effort that got us to this point, but we have a lot to work on and we are going to get back at it on Monday.”

Brandon Naylor had a strong game for Elba/Byron-Bergen (2-2), carrying the ball 16 times for 100 yards. The Lancers will next travel to Oakfield-Alabama next Friday night.

Notre Dame (4-0) is the only remaining unbeaten team in the Genesee Region League, and they will take on Pembroke next Saturday.

Also Saturday, Batavia lost to Canandaigua Academy 49-12.

Photos by Howard Owens.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

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