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Howard B. Owens's blog

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

Law and Order: Truck driver arrested after trying to shove deputy off his cab

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, corfu, crime, Pavilion

Charles Kenneth Kelly, 60, of Silver Street, Mars Hill, Maine, is charged with harassment, 2nd, disorderly conduct and failure to obey traffic control device. Kelly was stopped at 11:10 p.m. Tuesday on Route 20, Alexander, by deputy Lonnie Nati. During the stop for an alleged traffic violation, Kelly allegedly became verbally abusive and struck Nati in the chest several times in an apparent attempt to push him off the tractor-trailer he was driving. Kelly pled guilty to the charges in Alexander Town Court, paid a $440 fine, and was released.

Calvin Robert Rando, 56, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with attempted petit larceny. Rando was allegedly observed opening a car door without permission and attempting to steal cigarettes.

Myles D. MacLeod, 26, of Sliker Road, Corfu, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, plate display violation, refusal to take breath test and driving without stop lamps.  MacLeod was stopped at 1:06 a.m. Tuesday on East Avenue, Batavia, by officer Devon Pahuta.

Cindy L. Bush, 52, of Oak Orchard Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, driving while ability impaired by drugs and controlled substance not in original container. Bush was stopped at 2:48 a.m. Sept. 19 on Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, by officer Marc Lawrence.

Dennis Joseph Pietrowski, 67, of Caledonia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or grater, and speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Pietrowski was stopped at 3:20 p.m. Monday on Route 20, Pavilion, by deputy Joseph Corona.

Todd Lester Fairbanks, 32, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Fairbanks allegedly violated a stay away order of protection. He was jailed on $250 bail or $500 bond.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:19 am

Le Roy Moose Lodge turns 100

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, LeRoy Moose Lodge #1132

The Le Roy Moose Lodge #1132 celebrated its 100th Anniversary Tuesday night with fun, games and a few speeches.

Speakers included Stuart Erbelding, the lodge's current governor, and Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Photos by Amanda Earl.

Hayden McCombs was co-winner, with Art Adner, of the shuffleboard contest.

Lodge Governor Stuart Erbelding.

Taylor Schneckenburger, 5, and sister Addy, 3, said they enjoyed the spaghetti dinner.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Office for the Aging director tells legislature about increasing need for services locally

post by Howard B. Owens in office for the aging

A graying population in Genesee County and ever-more constricted sources of government funding has the Office for the Aging straining to keep up, but the job is getting done, Director Pam Whitmore told the Human Services Committee on Monday during a department review.

The legislative committee met at the agency's offices on Bank Street for the briefing.

Statistically, about 20 percent of the county's population was age 60 or older in 2010, Whitmore said. Now that percentage is about 25 percent and it's expected to be 30 percent by 2020.

There is an increasing trend, said County Manager Jay Gsell, for people born and raised in Genesee County who moved away for careers and lower taxes to return in their retirement years to be closer to family.

That means even more people wanting to use the services of the Office for the Aging.

A successful program, Whitmore said, is the agency's health insurance counseling service.

In 2013, the program saved all of its clients $2.6 million combined in health insurance premiums by helping find better insurance alternatives. So far this year, the savings is $3 million.

And that's just one year of savings, Whitmore said. The office doesn't calculate what the savings might be over a period of years.

The service is primarily funded through a $32,000 federal grant and supplemented by a $10,000 grant.

For 2015, the funding seems to be in good shape, Whitmore said, but she's more doubtful about 2016 and beyond.

"The program doesn't break the bank, but it does offer a rather huge return on investment," Whitmore said. "We see it helping our local economy by creating more discretionary spending through the money people are saving."

In general, the Office for the Aging is seeing more and more people coming through its doors every day, Whitmore said.

"We're trying to manage that with the staffing we have now in the office," she said. "Our funding is capped, but the number of people who walk through the door is not capped."

There's also growing demand for the meal delivery program and medical transportation.

Home health care is also an area long on demand and short on resources.

The waiting list for services is about 40 households long, but it never grows larger because at 40 on the list, the office stops adding names.

"It could be 100 names long if we kept adding them," Whitmore said.

The service helps elderly residents who have in-home medical needs.

A big concern in the office, she said, is the lack of middle-income housing in Genesee County, she said.  

There's no shortage of low-income housing and homes that are more expensive are available, but in that middle-income bracket, especially for seniors looking for apartments, there's just nothing available.

"We'd love to see that kind of option here," Whitmore said. "It's a niche, but a niche we don't have here. We need it, too, and in our county or another county in the state is going to meet that need."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

The Batavian now a member of the New York Press Association

post by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian

The New York Press Association has served as a membership organization for community newspapers in the State of New York for 161 years.

Today, The Batavian became the second member in the group's history that publishes news exclusively online.

The first was RiverheadLocal on Long Island.

We're proud to become members of NYPA, which has a distinguished history of serving the needs of news publishers in New York.

Here's a statement from NYPA about our membership:

The New York Press Association is delighted to welcome Howard Owens and The Batavian as our newest online-only member. 

The Batavian is a highly respected news organization which provides relevant local content to its readers,” said executive director Michelle Rea.“Readers should be able to access quality news content wherever and whenever they choose. Content and relevancy are the key, and The Batavian excels at both.  

"NYPA has a proudly supported New York’s community news organizations for more than 160 years, and as news organizations evolve, so do NYPA’s programs and services. NYPA continues to introduce best practices and new business models for print and digital platforms. We’re thrilled to have The Batavian join the conversation.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Batavia PD looking for missing 14-year-old

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Batavia PD is looking for help locating Emily Staschak, who police say is a runaway.

Emily is 14.

She is 5'6" and 150 pounds with red hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and blue jeans and no shoes. 

Police believe she is in the local area.

Anyone with information that may assist in locating Emily is asked to call (585) 345-6350.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Moose Lodge in Le Roy celebrating 100th Anniversary

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, LeRoy Moose Lodge #1132

The Moose Lodge in Le Roy is 100 years old today.

Members have been celebrating since Saturday with various events, including a dance with the band Monster Johnson (pictured above). 

Today, the lodge is holding an open house all day, with food. At 6 p.m., various dignitaries will be on hand to honor the Moose on the 100th Anniversary.

There is a lodge enrollment ceremony at 8 p.m.

The lodge has 330 male members and 203 female members. It is a completely nonprofit organization and all proceeds from membership and fundraisers are returned to the community for good causes.

Up until this year, only a man could sponsor a new male member, and only women could sponsor women. That's no longer true, and getting new members is always a priority for the Moose, Richard Tredinnick said.

"We live and die with our membership," Tredinnick said. "It's more than just dues. It's also more people who can participate in our events, and by doing that, we have more money we can give back to our local community."

The Moose sponsor numerous community events, including breakfast with Santa, an Easter Egg hunt, breakfasts for Mother's Day and Father's Day, and dinners honoring emergency service responders and one honoring veterans.

Next week's events:

  • Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m., meatloaf dinner
  • Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., followed by DJ Jamin Jim at 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m., dinner, followed by the Rebel Posse Band

Amanda Earl contributed to this story. Photos by Amanda Earl.

Moose member Amy Larocco

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Law and Order: Liberty Street resident accused of throwing a knife

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, corfu, crime, Pavilion, Stafford

Gregory Seppe, 56, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, attempted assault, 2nd, menacing, 2nd, possession of a hypodermic instrument and controlled substance not in original container. Batavia PD responded to a report at 10:20 p.m. Friday of Gregory Seppe "waving a knife around." It was also reported that Seppe put the knife in a toaster. When patrols arrived, a property manager told officers that Seppe threw a knife at him. While taking Seppe into custody, officers observed alleged hypodermic instruments and a crack pipe in plain view in Seppe's bedroom. They also found Seppe in possession of a controlled substance not in its original container. Seppe was jailed on $20,000 bail.

Haleigh I. Ogden, 16, of East Avenue, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Ogden is accused of entering a car on Chase Park and removing a purse containing credit cards and other personal items at 4 a.m. on Sept. 5. She's also accused of entering another vehicle on Chase Park and taking property from that vehicle that morning. She's also accused of possessing marijuana later that afternoon.

Thomas P. Moynihan II, 39, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, uninspected motor vehicle and operating out of class. Moynihan was arrested following the investigation by officer Kevin DeFelice into a scooter accident at 1:49 p.m. Friday at the corner of Ross Street and East Avenue, Batavia. Moynihan was jailed on $500 bail. (Initial Report)

Zachary C. Parker, 17, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with sexual abuse, 2nd, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. Parker was arrested following an investigation by Batavia PD into a complaint filed at 3:30 p.m. on April 27. No further details released.

Curtis M. Gallagher, 30, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, speed not reasonable and prudent, moving from lane unsafely and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Gallagher was stopped at 2:49 a.m. Sept. 20 on Route 98, Batavia, by officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Ryan F. Schumacher, 24, Ellicott Street, Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Schumacher was arrested by officer Devon Pahuta following a complaint of harassment at 2:11 a.m. Thursday at an address on West Main Street, Batavia.

Steven J. Russ, 42, of Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Russ allegedly pushed another person to the ground. The alleged incident was reported at 11:06 p.m. Saturday at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

Eric D. Halsey, 24, of Oak Street, Batavia, is cahrged with criminal mischief, 4th. Halsey was arrested following a reported domestic incident at 11:24 p.m. Thursday.

Matthew J. Poole, 23, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog. Poole allegedly found in possession of three unlicensed dogs.

Jeffrey J. Farrell Jr., 27, of West Avenue, Medina, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation charge. Farrell was released on cash bail.

Gabriel Pena-Aragon, 26, of Chatham GDNS, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Pena-Aragon posted police bail and was released.

Shaun P. Coulter, 29, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Coulter is accused of damaging several outlet covers at UMMC while there for treatment.

Joseph F. Rotoli Jr., 52, of South Main Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operator and unsafe turn. Rotoli was stopped at 7:44 p.m. Sept. 20 on West Main Street by officer Nedim Catovic.

Philbert P. Williams Jr., 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Williams allegedly stole merchandise from Olympia Sports on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Also charged was Terrance Brown, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia.

Kevin A. Cole, 36, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cole allegedly issued threats at another person.

Blanton E. Thatcher, 61, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with a building code violation. Thatcher was arrested on a warrant for allegedly failing to appear on a code violation. He posted bail and was released.

Brian R. Preedom, 48, Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with coercion, 1st, aggravated harassment, 2nd, and trespass. Preedom allegedly threatened another person and went on that person's property without permission. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Janice L. Lear, 50, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unsafe lane change. Lear was stopped at 12:10 a.m. Sept. 18 on West Main Street, Batavia, by officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Melanie Suzanne Mercurio, 23, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and failure to keep right. Mercurio was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on Pearl Street Road, Batavia, by deputy Joseph Corona. (CORRECTION: The original charge listed was inncorrect and it has been corrected).

Nichole Marie McKerrow, 30, of Niskey Lake Road, Atlanta, Ga., was arrested as an alleged fugitive from justice on a felony violation of probation charge. She waived extradition and was transported to New York and is being held without bail.

Preston Scott Daigler, 16, of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, is charged with assault, 3rd. Daigler allegedly punched another person in the mouth causing the victim to sustain loose teeth requiring provisional splinting. Daigler was taken into custody by Batavia PD on an unrelated non-criminal matter and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Rion J. Pawlak, 33, unknown address, is charged with petit larceny and falsifying business records. Pawlak was held in custody. The alleged crime was reported in Stafford. No further details released.

Stephen A. Marazita, 32, of Byron, was arrested on a warrant by State Police. He's also charged with a traffic violation. No further details released.

Jeremiah J. Bach, 33, of Clifton Park, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bach was stopped at 3:45 p.m. Saturday on Commerce Drive, Batavia, by a trooper.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm

4-H hold annual dinner to honor member achievements

post by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, agriculture

Press release:

This past Saturday, Sept. 27th, approximately 100 Genesee County 4-H members and their families gathered for the 2014 Achievement Night celebration. This marked the end of the 2014 4-H calendar year. It is a time to honor the work and accomplishments of the 4-H youth, marking their progress and growth in their given project areas. This night of recognition is used to motivate 4-H members to participate, create, and achieve in 4-H, to encourage and support the learning efforts of young people, and to foster a sense of belonging.

The event began at 5 p.m. with a host of games designed and run by our 4-H volunteers, followed by dinner and presentation of honors and awards. We would like to extend a thank you to everyone who came out and made this year’s 4-H Achievement Night a success!

Interested in joining Genesee County 4-H? The new member enrollment deadline for the 2014-2015 program year is Nov. 3, 2014 (Oct. 24th for Market Auction Program). Call the 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, to request an enrollment packet or for more information.

Photo: Ben K., Caleb C., Emily M., Samantha W., Tim Adams- Swine Club leader, Dillon W., and Melissa K.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Le Roy PD warns about theft from purses in supermarkets

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is advising consumers to use caution as a result of larcenies which have been occurring in local supermarkets relating to the theft of wallets from purses.

In the past week, the Le Roy Police have received two complaints where wallets have been stolen out of purses left in shopping carts. It is believed that the victim was unknowingly followed around the store by unknown persons while their purses were located in the shopping cart. The suspect(s) then waited until the victim was distracted (or caused the distraction) and stole the wallet from the purse. This is a relatively common crime technique and has occurred in the past in Le Roy and other towns.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Photo: Hochul visits ag park for update on economic development

post by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, kathy hochul

Kathy Hochul, former congressional rep for Genesee County and current candidate for lieutenant governor of New York, stopped by the Gensee Valley Agri-Business Park this morning and met with Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, for an update on economic development efforts locally.  Hochul said once in office economic development will be one of her priorities.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Police looking for suspects who used credit card number stolen from Oakfield resident

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

Press release:

On 09/19/14 at 10:15 p.m. two (2) unknown subjects used an ESL Federal Credit Union cloned debit card three (3) times for large amounts at the Tops Market Pkwy on McKinley in the Town of Hamburg, Erie County. The victim lives in Oakfield, Genesee County, and was in possession of his debit card during these unauthorized transactions.

Fraud Prevention and Investigations Unit at ESL Federal Credit Union believe this is a “counterfeit card” scam which originated from a recent security breach from a large national retail store. East Aurora PD has a similar case with the same subjects.

Anyone with any knowledge of the unknown subjects or that may have information to exchange is asked to please contact: Inv. Ron Wilson, NYSP Batavia, [email protected] / 716-361-1585 or Det. Pat Welch East Aurora PD 716-353-0622.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Accident reported at River and Main, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A two-car accident is reported at River and Main, Batavia.

It's believed to be minor injuries.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

City announces result of latest neighborhood enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Press release:

On September 25 the City of Batavia Police Department joined by the Genesee County Drug Task Force (The Genesee Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from Batavia PD, LeRoy PD and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office), Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Genesee County Probation participated in the fifth neighborhood enforcement detail this summer. The purpose of these details was to systematical approach known problem areas within the City and target criminal activity.

In total 10 law enforcement personnel from four different agencies were partnered in a focused enforcement details in seven separate locations. NET patrols included State St., Hutchins Pl., Lewis Pl. Washington Ave., Jackson St., Liberty St., Swan St., Sumner Ave., Central Ave., Thorpe St., Pringle Ave., Wood St., Harvester Ave. and Clifton Ave. (State St. and Thorpe St. included foot patrol). The following are results of this year’s fifth detail:

  • 48 data runs
  • 15 vehicle/traffic stops
  • 6 Traffic tickets issued

There were also the following four penal law arrests:

  • Seaver, Kyle S., age 21, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana
  • Schramm, Princetess T. age 22, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana Schaffer, Justin R., age 28, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th
  • Wolff, Brett A., age 22, Disorderly Conduct

There were nine probation checks and one violation.

Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) details were outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. They include dedicated patrols for targeted enforcement with the goal of intercepting and interrupting the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband as well as locating and arresting wanted persons. All agencies involved expect to continue joint law enforcement efforts in the future. These details are not advertised prior to taking place and locations are selected based on criminal data, the presence of nuisance and illegal behavior and ongoing investigations.

If you see criminal activity or know about a crime that has occurred please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370. 

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Photos: Bethany barn fire aftermath

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, fire

This is what's left of the barn on Transit Road, Bethany, this morning, after yesterday's fire.

Doug Yeomans took these pictures.

As you can see, there's a bit of smoke and licks of flame. I checked with a dispatcher about any reports of a rekindle and was told none have been received. The dispatcher was sending a chief out to the scene to check on the site.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Trespassing charges lodged against 57 young people in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, crime

Early Saturday morning, deputies responded to a report of an under-age drinking party at a location on Dry Bridge Road, Town of Alexander.

As a result of the investigation, 57 people were charged with trespassing.

The following people were issued appearance tickets:

Alexander Colon, 20, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 16, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Brian E. Majors, 18, of Batavia
Jordan I. Richardson, 18, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Byron
Jordan M. Dieter, 18, of Wyoming
(Name Redacted), 17, of Alexander
Joseph A. Auricchio, 23, of Darien
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Attica
Joey R. Tatro, 19, of Attica
Crystal L. Wojtkowiak, 18, of Attica
(Name Redacted), 17, of Lancaster
Leo D. Perry, 19, of Varysburg
(Name Redacted), 16, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Corfu
Lauren M. Swimline, 19, of Corfu, NY
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Abraham C. Conners-Johnson, 18, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Jason J. Rudey, 20, of Cheektowaga
Jessica C. Kliszak, 20, of Alden
Ryan J. Kratzke, 22, of Alden
Amanda M. Hale, 18, of Batavia
James E. Soggs, 20, of Batavia
John P. Dougherty, 19, of Pavilion
Stephen E. Pike, 18, of Lakeville
Jessica L. Griseta, 19, of LeRoy
Amber L. Baumgart, 19, of LeRoy
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
(Name Redacted), 16, of Delevan
(Name Redacted), 16, of Attica
David R. Cook, 20, of Attica
(Name Redacted) 17, of Attica
(Name Redacted), 17, of Warsaw
David J. Glaus, 18, of Attica
Scott J. Ash, 19, of Attica
Thomas J. Rose, 18, of Elba
(Name Redacted) 16, of Byron
Erica L. Corrado, 19, of Rochester
(Name Redacted), 16, of Alexander
Dominic A. Beck, 18, of Warsaw
(Name Redacted), 17, of Batavia
Dustin T. Pile, 18, of Attica
Evan C. Harding, 20, of Darien
John H. Nelson, 18, of Attica
Connor G. Brown, 18, of Attica
Steven N. McLaurin, 23, of Warsaw
Kyle M. Leach, 23, of Warsaw
Chris E. Robinson, 19, of Warsaw
Angelica M. Hightower, 18, of Corfu
Bethany T. Weber, 19, of Castile
Tyler A. Decaro, 19, of Buffalo
Brandon R. Ziolkowski, 20, of Alden

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

Byron-Bergen names two alumni to hall of fame

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, education, schools
Elizabeth Findlay David Keller

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central Schools has named two alumni to the Hall of Fame for 2014.  Elizabeth Findlay (class of 1980) and David Keller (class of 1975) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.  This honor is in its twelfth year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

This year’s honorees exemplify dedication, leadership and service.

While attending Byron-Bergen Central School District, Miss Elizabeth Findlay participated in National Honor Society, Band, Chorale, Solo Festival and All County Band.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Fredonia in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Reading from SUNY Brockport.  Miss Findlay started teaching at Byron-Bergen in 1985 as a kindergarten teacher for her first 5 years, becoming a 6th grade teacher in 1990 and continues in that role today.  Miss Findlay has been very active in Byron-Bergen Central School District, participating on many committees, mentoring new teachers, and is a Master Teacher for student teachers.  Miss Findlay also participated in the Bureau of Education and Research in Rochester “using guided reading to help your students become better readers.”  In the 2005-06 school year, she was selected as the Byron-Bergen Middle School Teacher of the Year.  In 2008, she was chosen as the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.  Miss Findlay has served on the Gillam-Grant Board of Directors and is a member of the St. James Episcopal Church.  Miss Findlay is a compassionate role model and a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to the youth of the Byron-Bergen learning community.

Mr. David Keller was active in French Club, Future Teachers of America, American Field Service, Yearbook Co-Editor, Swim Club, Concert Band, Marching Band, and hosted an exchange student from Brazil during his time at Byron-Bergen.  In 1975, Mr. Keller joined the U.S. Army Bands Program and studied music under the Navy Master Chief Mike Scairini.  Upon graduation from the School of Music, Mr. Keller served in multiple Army Bands throughout the United States and in Berlin, Germany.  In 1992, Mr. Keller was selected to the prestigious U.S. Army Field Band (the musical ambassadors of the Army) in Washington, D.C.  The culmination of his military career came when he was selected as the first musician to become a Command Sergeant Major.  Sergeant Major Keller (retired) served our nation for over 34 years and while in the U.S. Army Field Band, performed in all 50 states.  He performed for every Presidential Inaugural event from George Bush, Sr. through Barrack Obama.  During his Military career, Mr. Keller received numerous awards and medals.  Mr. Keller has performed with many symphonies and orchestras throughout the United States.  During his long and distinguished military career, Mr. Keller pursued his education at numerous universities and colleges, ultimately studying music with Karl Nitchie, Principle Bassoonist Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Keller is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  Mr. Keller is currently the Principle Bassoonist, Genesee Symphony; Bassoonist/Clarinetist, Batavia Concert Band; pit musician for Genesee Community College, Batavia Players, and Byron-Bergen CSD.  Mr. Keller participates in the Byron-Bergen holiday and spring concerts (2011-present), performs in the pit orchestra for musicals, and has assisted with construction/painting of the school musical sets.  Currently, Mr. Keller is the treasurer of the B-B Music Boosters, and has been instrumental in fundraising events for the group; and is an active member of Gillam-Grant.  Mr. Keller enjoys gardening, renovating his 179 year old house in South Byron, taking cruises, and being helpful to others.  Mr. Keller’s loyalty to his community/country, passion for music, and tireless volunteerism make him an outstanding role model for our youth.

The 2014 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on Friday, October 17, 2014.  They will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives.  After an induction ceremony and dinner that evening, the two honorees will be recognized just prior to the boys’ varsity soccer game.  If you would like to attend the induction ceremony and dinner ($25.00 per person), please contact Patty Gunio at (585) 494-1220, ext. 2329 by October 10, 2014, to find out the details and make a reservation.  (Seating is limited to 80 people.)

Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Photos: A visit to Roanoke Apple Farm, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, business, Roanoke Apple Farm

Heading back to Batavia this afternoon, I stopped in at Roanoke Apple Farm, in Bethany, for the first time.

Above, Alex Kiefer, an employee, picks apples.

Scott Darron and his daughter Natalya load up a bushel of apples. Darron said he was planning on making pies.

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