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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Genesee County firefighters working a house fire in Middlebury

post by Billie Owens in alexander, bergen, Bethany, fire, Le Roy, Pavilion

Several Genesee County fire departments are helping fight a fully involved house fire on Kingsley Road in the Town of Middlebury, which is in Wyoming County. The house is at 566 Kingsley Road.

Bethany, Pavilion and Le Roy are called to the scene, along with a tanker from Alexander. An engine from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's hall. York is asked to fill in at Pavilion. Bergen is asked to stand by in its quarters. Bethany is requested to send an ambulance to the scene.

UPDATE: For coverage from the Wyoming County Free Press, click here.

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Rollover accident, unknown injuries, on Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Pavilion

A one-car rollover accident with unknown injuries is reported at 6653 Ellicott Street Road. Pavilion fire and Mercy medics are responding. The location is between Cook and Sparks roads.

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: Minor injuries. A second vehicle was also involved.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Two-car crash with injuries by Bunce School in Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Pavilion

A two-car accident with injuries is reported in the area of Bunce Elementary School, 7071 York Road. Pavilion fire is responding along with two Mercy medic units.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 6:03 am

Five Genesee County fire departments called to house fire in Town of Covington

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Bethany, fire, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford

Five Genesee County fire departments are responding, mutual aid, to the Town of Covington in Wyoming County for a working structure fire with a person still inside the residence. The location is 864 Perry Road. In addition to Covington fire, responders requested include Le Roy, Pavilion, Bethany, Stafford and the City of Batavia Fast Team.

UPDATE 5:28 a.m.: The person inside got out safely. The fire is out. The assignment is back in service. The resident told firefighters he normally throws debris from his heat stove outside his back door, and did so this time but forgot about a wooden pallet he put there. It caught fire and smoke came up through the back porch into the house, waking the resident. The fire burnt a portion of the back porch.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Pavilion graduate and partner heading to Uganda to build classroom, teach and pursue conservation goals

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Pavilion

The 237 students of Bigodi Secondary School in Uganda will soon be able to study in a new classroom thanks to the efforts of two Michigan State University graduates who on their own have raised nearly $10,000 and leave today to complete their project.

The students, Kirk David Mason, of Lansing, Mich., and Sarah Scott, of Bethany, were inspired to build the project through the life of Benson Bamatura, a Ugandan conservationist who died early last year.

Scott, who has a degree in zoology, met Bamatura while in a student exchange program in 2013 in Uganda.

When Bamatura died, he left behind five children. When researching options for ways to honor Bamatura, the Bigodi officials offered to ensure an education for Bamatura's children in exchange for the construction of a classroom.

Strictly tapping into their own personal network of friends and family, plus some fundraisers in Lansing, Mason and Scott were able get just about $100 shy of their $10,000 goal.

"We tried company sponsors, but since were weren't a nonprofit, there wasn't much interest," Scott said. "A lot of companies were like, 'it's a great project, but since you're not a nonprofit, we're not going to donate.' It's all been about friends and family."

Their trip will encompass more than building the classroom. Both are certified to teach English in a foreign language, so will instruct teachers on English. Mason, a documentary filmmaker with a degree in media, will make a series of short videos for students around the world to learn more about conservation and that part of Africa's natural habitat.

Both Mason and Scott have arranged with their former schools -- Pavilion locally and Mason's school near Lansing  -- to establish pen pal programs with Bigodi students.

There is also an arts program project they're pursuing with the Wyoming County Arts Council.

"We hope to build a bridge between two different cultures," said Mason, who is making his fifth trip to the region.

The school is in the midst of wildlife sanctuaries and near Africa's own "Great Lakes" area (such as Lake Victoria, which feeds the Nile) and among the conservation topics Mason plans to explore with his films are the issues effecting those lakes as well as our own Great Lakes.

Other topics to explore include regional sustainable food programs, sustainable agriculture and work on a documentary about food systems and food provisions.

"We e-mailed as many people as we could think of to make as many connections as we can," Scott said.

They hope to raise even more money to either generate funds for school supplies and books or perhaps also build a second classroom.

Mason sees the trip as a responsibility to fulfill because he's benefitted so much from his education. Scott's motivation is similar.

"I feel very fortunate to get the education I've received," Scott said. I want to be able to give back."

And she didn't want to just be all talk, either.

"I've always wanted to be able to do something like this and then actually stick to what I say I'm going to do, because a lot of people say, 'oh, let's do this' and then don't actually do it," Scott said. "I wanted to actually make something happen."

The trip, Scott believes, might also be a good career move.

"Pretty much all of Uganda is a biodiversity hot spot, so I’m really excited to just work in that environment," Scott said. "I’m hopefully going to be networking. There’s a lot of research that goes on in that area looking at primates and there are thousands of species of birds there, too, so it’s a pretty exciting place to be as a zoologist. I’m going to make as many connections as I can and hopefully find more work in that area, too."


Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

Crash on an icy Route 20, Pavilion, yesterday, claims life of Erie County resident

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

An Erie County man who apparently lost control of his vehicle on an icy Route 20 in Pavilion yesterday died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Christopher J. Hartnett, 44, of Woodward Drive, West Seneca, was driving his 2007 Dodge minivan eastbound when the vehicle slid off the road and struck a tree.

The accident was reported at 4:48 p.m. on Route 20 near South Street Road.

He was extricated from the van by volunteer firefighters and transported by Mercy EMS to an area hospital, where he died upon arrival.

Two passengers, Andrew Hartnett, 14, of West Seneca, and Jonah Cross, 10, of Amherst, were both injured. Andrew Suffered a head injury and some lacerations and was taken to Strong, where he's listed in stable condition. Jonah suffered minor injuries and was transported to Strong for a precautionary evaluation.

A dog in the vehicle appeared to be unharmed and was taken to the animal shelter until family members could pick him up.

Pavilion and Le Roy fire departments responded to the scene.

Trooper Steve Brady assisted the Sheriff's Office at the scene.

The accident is being investigation being conducted by Deputy Chad Minuto along with Crash Management Team members Sgt. Eric Seppala and Deputy James Diehl.

Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Rollover accident reported on Route 20, Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

A one-car rollover accident is reported in the area of 7365 Telephone Road, Pavilion.

Injuries are reported.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Roads are icy.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: Apparently, minor injuries.


Friday, January 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

UMMC announces first newborn of 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pavilion, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to welcome the Genesee County New Year’s Baby for 2015. Kynlee Lynne Holland, a baby girl, was born to Jonathon and Danielle Holland of Pavilion, NY on Thursday, January 1st at 1:25 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She was delivered by certified midwife, Kim Danser, CNM. Baby Kynlee weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long. She is the second daughter for the new parents. She has a sister, Makenna, age 6, waiting anxiously for her at home.

Both parents work in shipping and receiving. Mrs. Holland is employed at Walmart in Batavia, NY and Mr. Holland works for Quaker Muller Dairy in Batavia, NY.

As the New Year’s baby, Kynlee and her parents received a $200 gift card to Target, an engraved feeding spoon, books and a touchless thermometer from United Memorial Medical Center.

In 2014, there were 646 babies delivered at United Memorial.

Monday, December 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Town of Pavilion reeling from loss of highway superintendent

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

Folks in the Town of Pavilion were shaken Friday by the death of Highway Superintendent John Strathearn, who succumbed to a heart attack suffered while salting the roadway on Route 19 near the fire hall.

CPR was performed on Strathearn after he collapsed Friday morning, but he died about 3 p.m. that afternoon, said Town Clerk Cindy Starr.

"He was a great guy," Starr said. "That's just how he was. I would ask him to do something, and he would do it."

Strathearn worked for the town for nearly 30 years (picture of a pin he was awarded last spring).

He was born Jan. 3, 1953 in Batavia, the son of the late Leigh and Eleanor Buckout Strathearn.

He was a graduate of Wyoming Central School.

He was a member of the Silver Lake Sportsmen’s Club, the Wyoming County Veterans Club in Warsaw and the Loyal Order of the Moose #1132 in Le Roy.

More than 200 people, possibly 300, turned out for a celebration of Strathearn's life on Saturday at B.W.'s restaurant, Starr said.

"Everybody thought very highly of John and that was a great tribute to him, I thought," Starr said.

Town of Pavilion employee Jamie Cleveland said Strathearn was always ready with a helping hand for whomever needed it.

"No matter what, no matter the cost, either on the job or just personal," Cleveland said. "I worked with him for 14 years and never heard one complaint about him. He had an impeccable record."

The loss is being felt throughout the town and the town's staff, Starr said.

"He was part of the family," Starr said. "Each one of us felt he was part of our families. He's a great loss for every member of our staff."

Calling hours are 3 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, at Robinson & Hackemer Funeral Home, 246 N. Main St., Warsaw, where John’s funeral service will be held immediately following visitation at 7 p.m. Burial will be in Dale Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Pavilion Fire Department, Pavilion, NY 14525 or the Wyoming Hook & Ladder Co., Wyoming, NY 14591.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Crash with injuries in Village of Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Pavilion

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at South Lake Road and Ellicott Street Road, Village of Pavilion. Mercy medics and Pavilion fire are responding.

Photo submitted by Amber Hackett.

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