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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Photos: Marshall Tucker Band at Frost Ridge

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge, music

The Marshall Tucker Band played Frost Ridge on Saturday. Photographer Peggy Barringer shared these photos.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Photos: GLOW Ducks first home game

post by Howard B. Owens in football, GLOW Ducks, sports

The GLOW Ducks youth football program played its first home game today at Notre Dame.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Missing chocolate lab in Indian Falls area

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, indian falls, pembroke, pets

Deb Hill's chocolate lab Maggie has been missing since yesterday.

Deb said Maggie may have been scared of yesterday morning's weather and tried to follow her husband to work.

In the Indian Falls, Route 77, Phelps Road area.

She has a silver chin.

UPDATE: A reader has helped reunite Deb and Maggie.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Fatal pedestrian accident at Flying J in Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Flying J, pembroke

Photos and information from Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

A woman from out of the area died today after being struck by a box truck pulling in for diesel gas at the Flying J off Route 77 in Pembroke.

The woman had apparently just left the restaurant at the travel plaza and was heading back to her truck when she was hit.

She was traveling with her husband, who was not injured.

The box truck is from Aberstar Freight.

The driver apparently did not see the woman.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by a county coroner. 

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments were dispatched at about 12:15 p.m. with a report of a woman struck by a vehicle who was unconscious. Mercy Flight was put on ground standby, but never dispatched. Dispatchers were told that Mercy Flight wouldn't be needed, once a chief arrived on scene.

UPDATE: The deceased is identified as Carolyn V. Baltzell, 61, of Hot Springs, Ark. The driver is identified as Serge Guindon, 56, of Dorval, Quebec, who was driving a 2012 Peterbuilt box truck. The investigation is on going, but not charges are pending at this time. The investigation is being handled by Deputy Joseph Corona, Deputy Dana Richardson, Sgt. James Meier and Investigator William Ferrando.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Football Round Up: Week #1

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

Pembroke vs. Elba/Byron-Bergen. The Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers started the season in fine feather with a 21-7 win over Pembroke. Head Coach Mike Cintorino summed up the game: "Improved Pembroke squad came out fired up and played hard for their home opener scoring on the first drive. Lancers responded with a score of their own to tie it up and never looked back. Took the lead on a Mike Shanley 89 yard TD run. Interesting 2-day game scenario with some work to do. Looking forward to getting back to work next week and coming home to face the Holley Hawks next Saturday." Stats: Mike Shanley: 15 carries 199 yards, 3 TDs (8,89,21); Richard Flores: 8 carries 95 yards; Andrew Gottler: 7 Tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble; Steele Truax: 10 total tackles; Lancer Total Yards: 374; Dragons Total Yards: 132.

Alexander at CG Finney. The Trojans came up short against CG Finney, 28-20. Cody Trzecieski led the Trojan defense with 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery from his linebacker spot. Tyler Laird had 7 tackles defensively.  Dustin Schmeider had 4 tackles and 1 sack for the Trojans. Offensively QB Jared Browne hit Laird for a 41 yd TD pass to start the Trojans scoring in the 2nd quarter.  Late in the 3rd quarter, Browne scored on a one-yard run. Late in the 4th quarter tailback Tim Calkins scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 22-20 but the 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.  The Trojans then recovered an onside kick with 20 seconds remaining. Two plays later CG Finney intercepted a pass and scored it as time expired. Laird carried the ball six times for 54 yards. Tailback Alex Hadsall had 4 carries for 24 yards before getting hurt. Calkins had 78 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Alexander placekicker Zack Shilvock was 2 for 2 on PAT and had 2 touchbacks when kicking off.

Batavia at Livonia. Game still pending because of weather delay. The game will be completed Monday at 7 p.m. at Livonia. Batavia trails, 7-0.

Full game coverage from earlier:

Also, we covered Warsaw at Perry for the Wyoming County Free Press

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 12:44 am

Hornets savor win over Notre Dame after years of frustration

NOTE: The information we were given about how long it's been since O-A beat ND was wrong.

It's been nearly 20 years since Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame, and after holding on for a 16-13 win against the Fighting Irish on their home turf, Hornet players celebrated like they had just won a sectional title.

"It feels great," said wide receiver Reice Woodward, a sophomore starting his first game on varsity. "We haven't beaten Notre Dame in a long time and we're starting the streak now."

With seconds left on the clock and Notre Dame in possession of the ball well into O-A territory, a Hornet's victory was far from assured. Then Woodward scooped up a Josh Johnson fumble and Hornet's captain Allen Chatt jumped high in the air, knowing at long last, a win was a cinch.

"With everything my team has been through this pre-season, and my being on the squad since eighth grade and losing to Notre Dame every year, I can't explain it," Chatt said. "It's the best feeling ever."

The first half of the game was all Oakfield-Alabama. The Hornet's defensive line was pushing around the smaller Irish offense seemingly at will. QB Connor Logsdon tasted turf several times. Fans and coaches kept yelling for him to throw the ball away, throw the ball away. After a play where a wall of white jerseys descended on him, the 5' 9" Logsdon yelled that he couldn't see anything over the line.

The Hornets would have ended the half up by four touchdowns instead of just two, except for wide open receivers twice dropping catchable balls.

It was looking like it was going to be a long afternoon -- if not a long season -- for Coach Rick Mancuso and his squad.

Then Logsdon, from deep in Irish territory completed a pass. RB Peter Daversa gained some ground and the Irish got another reception down field.

It was starting to look like a drive, then a short little run that ended in an apparent fumble (ND's coaches insisted the whistle had already blown, but to no avail) was recovered by the Hornets.

Whatever adjustments Mancuso made, they seemed to stick in the second half. Logsdon played with more confidence, feeling less pressure from O-A's defensive line, and Notre Dame showed it could move the ball down field

"We got a little flat right before the half," said O-A's Head Coach Brian Palone. "And Notre Dame did a great job of making adjustments."

Palone said his team has developed a new defense this season, and he expected the defense to struggle and the offense to do well, but the opposite happened he said. It was really the defense that won the game, so he was proud of his team in that regard, and at how hard they worked to protect their lead even as the team struggled in the second half.

"The way we ended the game here shows a lot about their character and never giving up," Palone said. "We had the lead the whole time, but momentum shifted over to Notre Dame the whole second half and I felt like our defense really stepped it up."

Senior linebacker Casey Arnold said the win was a real team effort. 

"The defensive line couldn't have been better," Arnold said. "We played as a team. We flew to the ball. I'm really proud of this team."

Chatt said all along, he's thought this year's Hornet's squad is something special, but nothing is more special than coming out on top against Notre Dame to open the season.

"I have a good feeling about this squad," Chatt said. "They're 27, 28, whatever we have, strong. They come down with the pads, loading the balls on the bus, whatever it is that needs to be done. I'm as proud as I can be about these guys today. Nothing tastes sweeter than to beat Notre Dame."

Chatt was 12 for 31 passing for 166 yards with two TDs and two INTs. Woodward led the receivers with two catches for 66 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception. He had one fumble recovery. Sal Schwabble had one catch for 41 yards. Ryan Emery, two for 30 yards, and Trent Stack, two for 26.

On defense, Jon Harris had one sack and 10 tackles. Schwable had eight tackles and a sack. Jacob Natalizia had two interceptions.

We didn't receive stats for Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Notre Dame stats: Peter Daversa, 18 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; Jack Sutherland, 15 carries, 37 yards; Joe Zickl, 3 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD; C.J. Souzzi, three receptions, 26 yards; Zickl, 8.5 tackles; Souzzi, five tackles; Ethan Osborne, sack.

Touchdown, Joe Zickl.

Appearances can be deceiving. Despite a great effort by O-A's Ryan Emery, Casey Midwick did catch this pass for Notre Dame.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Le Roy's offense and defense prove too much for Cal-Mum in game split over two days

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

The rain may never have fallen in a deluge, but Cal-Mum was certainly swamped by a relentless Oaktan Knight offense and an immovable defense in a game that took consecutive days to complete because of stormy weather.

Final: Le Roy 40, Cal-Mum 0.

The win assured Head Coach Brian Moran with a career record on the plus side against Le Roy's biggest rival, at 17-15.

Moran said, yes, the winning record against the Red Raiders is important to him.

"I'm proud of that because that (Caledonia) is a great community and great football program," Moran said. "You forget sometimes that Caledonia makes Le Roy better and Le Roy makes Caledonia better. That's been evident over the last 25 years."

The game started on time at 7:30 Friday night under the lights of Hartwood Park, but after the halftime show, officials spotted flashes of lightning to the northeast.

The game was delayed and about a half hour later, it was postponed (along with 11 other Section V games). Play resumed at 9 a.m. today, and by 10, Le Roy officially had a 1-0 record on the season.

The split game didn't bother the players much, said QB Mike McMullen.

"It wasn't a distraction, but it was definitely different," McMullen said. "I don't think anybody on the team has ever done anything like this. I don't think any of the coaches have ever done anything like this, so it is different, but you've got to play through it. So we did and came out and played hard."

To start the half, Cal-Mum tried an onside kick, but the Knights were ready and covered the ball.

Moran thought it was the right call by John Walther. If it had worked, it could have given the Red Raider's a spark.

"That's the way you should start the second half," Moran said. "You're down 21-0 and who knows what the weather is going to do. I give them credit for doing that."

Rather than Red Raider ball, the Knights had possession on about the 50-yard line. Soon, the Cal-Mum defense was looking at the back of #16, Jon Pierce, sprinting toward the goal line for a score that all but sealed the visiting team's fate.

"That was huge," McMullen said. "I told them when we came out there, 'hey guys, we've gotta score first drive. We've got to show them what we're about, make a point.' "

Pierce was the star of the game, always around the ball on defense and racking up more than 100 yards of total offense.

He's emerged, at least in the first game, as the running back Le Roy's coaches always thought he could be. He charges at the line with exceptional lower body strength, quickness and speed.

"We've been expecting this from Jon for quite a while," Moran said. "I'll be honest with you. Jon is a great kid and he has a great ability to move in the hole and then accelerate. Last night we saw it and today, again, we saw it and we're proud of him."

To open the game, Cal-Mum keyed on the McMullen to Ryan McQuillen combination, which isn't a bad strategy. A more mature player in Pierce gives an already powerful offense another weapon.

"He does have great hips," Moran said. "If you just stand behind him at practice you see it. That's what makes a good running back, somebody who can get up into those little small holes and make that cut inside and out. Jon has the capability to do that."

Before the start of the season, Moran and other coaches expressed some concern about an inexperienced offensive line. Friday and Saturday, the line showed it had the ability to move the pile and open holes.

That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, even after a 40-0 win against a good team.

"There's a lot of things you can do better," Moran said. "You sit back and start to evaluate tape. This is only week one. As we're sitting there and looking at it a little differently on the film, you know there are people who need to read their keys a little better and their footwork needs to be better and the offensive line has to communicate better. We're always thinking about improvement. That's the name of the game."

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

House fire reported on Griswold Road, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

A residential structure fire with people trapped is reported at 7197 Griswold Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire and Bergen fire dispatch.

UPDATE 7:30 a.m.: Stafford fire requested to the scene.

UPDATE(S) by Billie 7:35 a.m.: Everyone is out of the structure. Command reports the fire is possibly out.

UPDATE 7:38 a.m.: Pavilion has also been called and Caledonia is asked to stand by in Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 7:43 a.m.: Caledonia is canceled.

UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: According to Alecia Kaus, Video News Service, who went to the scene, one of the residents (one of the people reportedly "trapped") stayed in the house and put out the fire himself.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:04 am

Big game in Le Roy interrupted by weather, will resume at 9 a.m., Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

The threat of lightning played havoc with the Section V football schedule Friday night, including perhaps the biggest game of the night (certainly, all the Rochester media thought so, turning out in force at Hartwood Park), Cal-Mum and Le Roy.

Officials suspended the game after the half-time show and play will resume at 9 a.m., with the Oatkan Knights leading 21-0.

In all, 12 Section V games were postponed due to weather.

Batavia is down 0-7 to Livonia and play will resume in Livonia at 1 p.m. Elba is beating Pembroke 17-7, and play will resume at 5 p.m.

Top photo: Le Roy's Jon Pierce breaks up a pass by Jake McEwen.

Photos from the first half in the slideshow. To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Players from 1995 state champion team at pep rally for Le Roy's opening night game

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, spors

Coach's final season, a team that enters the 2014 season with a lot of promise, a first game against the school's biggest rival -- it's a good time to remind the players and the fans about the program's highest pinnacle, a state championship.

Five members of Le Roy's 1995 state champion team were invited back home today for a pep rally at the end of the school day.

The former players each took a turn talking about P-R-I-D-E (Perseverance, Responsibility, Involvement, Diversity and Empathy).

The men were wearing T-shirts honoring Coach Brian Moran's 26th and final season leading the Oatkan Knights.

Deputy Joe Loftus told the story of his 13-year quest for a full-time career in law enforcement. Sales Manager Brian Fulmer flew in from Minnesota to talk about responsibility. Bill McKenzie, now a teacher in York, spoke on involvement. Brandon Shaugnessy couldn't leave Texas today because his wife recently had a baby two months earlier than expected, so Coach Jim Bonacquisti read his statement about diversity. Pat Ashley, a corrections officer with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, was assigned empathy.

Ashley remarked that he got assigned the word a lot of people get wrong, confusing it with sympathy, and after giving some examples of how he uses empathy in his career working in a jail and as a small arms instructor, he said maybe he got it wrong, too. (He was spot on: putting yourself in the others' shoes, seeing things from their point of view).

Then the pep of the pep rally began when Student Body President Derek O'Sullivan took the mic.

Derek had members of the marching band beat their drums and then cheered on the volleyball and soccer teams, which also have games today.

He then said, "and I think there's another team playing tonight. Coach Moran, who are we playing?"

"Cal-Mum," Moran said.

Derek noted that the folks in Caledonia probably think they're doing to win. Are they? He asked the crowd? A few kids yelled "no," so he asked again, and the room exploded with a resounding, "NO!"

Afterward, Moran said the rally was "really enjoyable."

"You know, that's why we coach," Moran said. "You take a look at the young people we have up here today, and that's why we coach.

"You talk about the wins and losses," he added, "but we forget about those, you know, shortly after they happen. What you remember are the relationships, the commitment that you have with each other; and for coaches, we want to see what they're doing 10, 15 years from now. Obviously, today, you take a look at these young men and we're just proud of their accomplishments."

The Le Roy-Cal-Mum rivalry is woven into the fabric of both communities, Moran noted, but in a positive way.

"Caledonia and Le Roy is the greatest rivalry in New York State in high school football and we're so close, but that's what leads to great communities," Moran said. "The interest in the game, the interest in each other, the bond that we have with Caledonia and Le Roy. When the game's on, obviously we want to win and they want to win, but when it's over, it's over. And whatever they need, or somebody in our community needs, they're always reaching out. I think that says it all about what both communities are about."

Come on out to the game (7:30 p.m.). It will be a great community, Friday Night Lights experience. If you can't make it, the game will be carried live on WBTA or live streamed over WBTAi.com.

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

The 2014 Section V football season starts tonight

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

Big game in Le Roy tonight as archrival Cal-Mum visits to kickoff the 2014 season.

Batavia is at Livonia and Elba is at Pembroke. The complete Section V schedule can be found here.

Below are links to all of our Genesee County football preview stories. The slideshow above is a roundup of all our pre-season photos. To purchase prints, click here.

Best of luck to all of our local teams for a great 2014.

Also, if you love football and have the journalism training to cover sports, we could use the help of a free-lance football writer this season. It's really time consuming for me to take all the pictures and write the game stories. We can't afford to pay a lot, but being out on the gridiron is a lot of fun and the community appreciates the coverage. If you're interested, e-mail me at [email protected]

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8:33 am

Law and Order: Driver charged in rollover accident on Richley Road, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, Darien, Le Roy

Gregory P. Hamm-Johnson, 24, of Alexander, is charged with reckless endangerment, 2nd, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Hamm-Johnson was allegedly the driver involved in an accident on Richley Road, Darien. His vehicle reportedly struck a mailbox. Hamm-Johnson reportedly overcorrected, reentered the roadway and spun sideways and rolled multiple times before coming to rest on the roadway. Johnson then allegedly left the scene of the accident. A search of the area, assisted by Corfu Fire Dpeartment, found there were no people around the accident scene. Hamm-Johnson later turned up at the Batavia Barracks of the State Police to report the accident and said he was the operator of the vehicle. Hamm-Johnson reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Jody M. Buck, of Sloan, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, DWI with a child passenger under age 16 and leaving the scene of an accident. State Police observed a vehicle on Route 5 with front end damage. The car was later identified by Corfu PD as one that matched the vehicle description of a car that ran over a mailbox on Route 77. Parts of the vehicle found at the accident scene reportedly matched Buck's vehicle. Buck allegedly registered a BAC of .14.

Charles Robert Lowe, 50, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with trespass. Lowe was allegedly on another person's porperty without permission at 9:45 p.m., Aug. 19.

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

Photos: Rascal Flatts at Darien Lake

Photographer Amanda Earl attended the Rascal Flatts concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Thursday.  She said the band played great and the fans really enjoyed the show.

Alexis Theriault, age 2, enjoyed the show as well.

Hanna Wells, center, with her aunt, Mary Beth Uetz, and grandmother, Carol Sawyer. They drove from Oswego to see the show in the VIP section. Amanda said, "Hanna sang and danced along to every single song with true enthusiasm this evening. She even caught a guitar pick tossed out into the crowd by Joe Don Rooney." Hanna became a fan of the band when she first heard the number-one hit song, "Bless The Broken Road."

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8:02 am

Four arrests reported at Rascal Flatts concert

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department during the Rascal Flatts Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Sept. 4:

Ashley R. Peak, 21, of Livermore Road, Dryden, is charged with for resisting arrest, harassment, 2nd (two counts), and disorderly conduct after allegedly causing a disturbance while being ejected from the concert venue. Peak allegedly then kicked and spit on a deputy and resisted arrest.  Ashley was arraigned in Darien Court and jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 17-yearo-old of Iroquoius Avenue, Lancaster, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing marijuana.

Jon R. Perry, 31 of Fletcher Street, Tonawanda, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly grabbing another patron by the shirt and not letting go. 

Ashley N. Hayden, 22 of Upper Clark Avenue, Van Etten, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching and kicking a CSC security guard in the groin.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Kiwanis set to host annual gala and auction Sept. 13 at GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club

Members of the Kiwanis Club have been working hard for months to bring together the annual Bidding on a Brighter Future Gala and Auction, which is next Saturday, Sept. 13, at The Forum at Genesee Community College.

The fun starts at 5:30 p.m., which includes live and silent and basket auctions, appetizer, entree and dessert stations.  

The emcee for the evening is Hiram Kasten.

Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table of 10.

Proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Club's effort to purchase a new home for the Justice for Children Advocacy Center.

To purchase tickets or make donations, visit GLOWGala.org.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Missing your dachshund?

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A sales rep with the Castilone car dealership came across this lost dachshund while on a test drive with a customer. The pup was corralled, brought back to the dealership and then turned over to BPD to be taken to the shelter. So if you're in the City of Batavia and missing a dachshund, that might be the place to find it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

Law and Order: Dog allegedly attacks another dog for second time in a week

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Kristine S. Baker, 27, of Clinton Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Baker's cane corso (a mastiff-type breed) reportedly weighing more than 100 pounds, allegedly jumped the fence of her yard and attacked and injured another dog that was being walked along Clinton Street. Police report that this is the second time in a week Baker's dog allegedly attacked and injured another dog.

Gregory Seppe, 56, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with appearance in public under influence of narcotics or drugs other than alcohol and possession of a controlled substance not in original container. Seppe was reportedly observed repeatedly falling down on a Main Street sidewalk. He was allegedly incoherent and unable to stay awake for more than a few seconds at a time. He was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to Mercy EMS for treatment.

Keanon Sean Williams, 37, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and strangulation, 2nd. Williams allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck and applied pressure while in the presence of her children during a domestic dispute. Williams was jailed without bail.

Dale Eugene Stiles Jr., 45, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Stiles allegedly removed funds from a banking account following a court order "not to have any further involvement."

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

Car and tractor-trailer accident reported on Route 98 near Prospect

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A car and tractor-trailer have collided on Route 98 near Prospect Road.

A medic is requested to the scene for evaluation of one person.

Alexander fire dispatched.

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