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Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Opening ceremonies are Thursday for Cost of Freedom Tribute at Pembroke Town Park

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, corfu, Oakfield, pembroke, veterans

The Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post #626 is hosting a series of events this week as part of its Cost of Freedom Tribute at the Pembroke Town Park, located next to Pembroke High School, 1145 Main Road (Route 77) in Corfu. On Thursday, June 12, opening ceremonies will take place.

First, at 11 a.m., is the Assembly of Color Guards in the athletic field.

Starting at noon:

  • The American flag at the park will be lowered to half staff, led by the 98th Division drill sargeant;
  • The Special Forces Association Parachute Team from Fort Bragg, N.C., will conduct the "Jumping in of the American Flag." Air support will be provided by WYN Sky Diving from Akron;
  • The National Athem will be sung by Harmony Bordinaro;
  • The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Bobbie Metcalf of Blue Star Mothers;
  • Invocation -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Introduction of guest speaker by LTC William Fava (Army retired);
  • Guest speaker -- Brigadier General Frank Cipolla (Army retired);
  • Placement of Memorial Wreath -- American Legion Post #626 & VFW Post #1484;
  • Placement of additional wreaths by the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #193, Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Post #626 Auxiliary, Genesee County American Legion, and Genesee County American Legion Auxiliary;
  • Benediction -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Rifle Salute -- North / South Skirmish Association of WNY;
  • Taps -- Tom Cecere;
  • Fly-over at 1300 hours, if Pentagon approved.

Following opening ceremonies, at 1:30 p.m., patriotic music will be played by Danny B.

The daily closing ceremony is at 8 p.m. with a benediction by Rev. Patrick Wilson of the Alabama Baptist Church; Rifle Salute by the North / South Skirmish Association of WNY; Taps by Tom Cecere and Frank Panepento.

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Body of fallen Iraq War vet returning home today

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Medina, pembroke

Flags have been placed on both sides of West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia, adjacent the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, to honor Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, a paratrooper who died during training last week.

Schmigel is a decorated Iraq War veteran.

Born in Batavia, Schmigel went to high school in Medina.

The Patriot Guard escorted her casket into Genesee County and then to Medina. The procession is expected in Batavia around 7:15 p.m.

Rita Towner helped organize an effort to use flags from Redfield Parkway to line West Main Street. She's asking that any residents along the route today and Wednesday (when the funeral procession will travel from Batavia to Corfu) to put out any flags they have in the parkway or along the roadway.

Below is a video from Route 77 in Pembroke that was submitted by a reader.

UPDATE: Also participating in the flag placement: Kathy Owens, Dennis Altman, Spencer Towner, Laura Mullen, Quinton and Michelle Taylor, the Browns, Lynn Conroy and her cousins.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

Fire on roof at Flying J Travel Plaza, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke

A fire on the roof, near an air-conditioning unit, is reported at the Flying J Travel Plaza. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with Corfu and the city's Fast Team. The fourth platoon is called to stand by in city quarters. The building is evacuated. A first responder on scene reports nothing showing. Command says units already on the road can continue emergency mode.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m.: Fire appears to be out.

UPDATE 11:11: A code enforcement officer is on scene.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Corfu is back in service.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: Pembroke command says they are picking up and will be leaving the scene shortly.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Manure pile on fire on Marble Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke

A manure pile is on fire at 8122 Marble Road, according to a farm hand there. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. The location is between Akron and Gabbey roads.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: The site is next to the alpaca farm. A responder on scene says "it's smokin' pretty good."

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Pembroke is back in service.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Collins lauds selection of Pembroke for location of new veterans cemetery

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, pembroke, veterans

Press release:

"For too long, Western New York's veterans have been denied the honor of being laid to rest among their fellow heroes right here in our community," Congressman Chris Collins said. "Today's announcement of a veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke finally rights that wrong. This location will allow veterans from all around our region to be properly and locally honored for their service to this country."

Background: The VA has selected a 132-acre parcel on Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke (Genesee County) as home for the long-anticipated Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery. Currently, the closest veterans’ cemetery is located in Bath, approximately 100 miles away.  

Press release from Sen. Charles Schumer's office after the jump:

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

Law and Order: Man accused of giving fake name to police during investigation

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

Jarrod K. Fotiathis, 19, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with false personation. Fotiathis was suspected of being involved in a fight Wednesday night on Swan Street. When questioned, Fotiathis allegedly gave a false last name to a police officer. Officers reportedly asked him several times for his real last name and Fotiathis allegedly refused to do so. 

William Scott Smith, 46, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was allegedly found in possession of marijuana at 11:45 p.m. May 16 on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Michael Joseph Elmore, 23, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and trespass. Elmore allegedly trespassed on private property and was found in possession of marijuana at 3:10 p.m. May 24 by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Kristine Szumigala, 40, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Szumigala was allegedly involved in a fight at 8:57 a.m. Sunday at 16 Bank St., Batavia.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:45 am

Grand Jury files indictment in case of shots fired on State Street in September

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

A Genesee County Grand Jury has filed an indictment against a Batavia resident who is accused of firing a handgun at another person while on State Street on Sept. 27.

Deshawn Allen Butler, 34, was wanted for a time in connection with the shots fired incident and was arrested in December. He was released from jail a few days later when the prosecution, which wasn't ready to proceed with a pre-trial hearing, called a felony hearing.

Butler was indicted on counts of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, a Class C violent felony, and attempted assault, 1st, also a Class C violent felony.

Other indictments filed by the Grand Jury:

Kelly M. Zwolinski is indicted on a count of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, a Class E felony. Zwolinski is accused of knowingly possessing stolen property valued at more than $1,000. In this case, a Western barrel-racing saddle, a Western trail saddle, two sets of stirrups and a breast collar.

Jose A. Esquilin is indicted on a count of DWI as a misdemeanor and aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony. Esquilin was stopped Dec. 6 on the Thruway in Pembroke.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Motorcycle crash on Hopkins Road

post by Billie Owens in accident, indian falls, pembroke

A motorcycle crash with unknown injuries is reported at 7129 Hopkins Road. Mercy Flight is on ground standby in Batavia; not available to fly except to Strong Memorial Hospital due to wind. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. A first responder says the rider is off the bike, standing up and holding his helmet.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m.: Mercy medics are responding non-emergency mode.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Big black bear sighted near the Five Corners area off Akron Road

post by Billie Owens in pembroke, wildlife

Reader Ivy Otto e-mailed us about her sighting of a black bear early Wednesday morning. Unfortunately we are not able to use the two photos she sent us. Otto says she saw the bear on Akron Road in the "Pembroke/Akron area...almost near the 5 Corners."

"Just wanted to give the neighborhood a heads up!"

The pictures show a full-grown bear coming out of a wooded area alongside a white house, with a white tool shed in back and a white pole in front (the top is not visable, may be a flagpole) with fieldstones around its base.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Images in Dance students danced their way to high honors in Rochester competition

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, pembroke

Pictured from left, top row: Samantha Balbi, Tia Stone, Lauren Halle, Ava Reinhart, Kaetlyn Andrews. Middle row: Jessica Sosnowski, Panorea Tsoukalos, Evelyn Chadbourn, Taylor Lundfelt. Bottom row: Melania Frias, Londyn Hume, Ariana Frias.

Press release:

Images in Dance students achieved excellent ratings at the Star System National Talent Competition last month in Rochester. They competed against dancers from throughout Western New York and Canada.

Among the 17 top performances included a routine by Batavia High School Senior Taylor Sanders, who achieved Platinum and was named First Overall dancer of her division. Taylor, the daughter of Gerry and Lynn Sanders, of Batavia, will be attending Niagara University in the fall and intends to continue with her dance opportunities while studying Pre-Medicine. Another top performer, Amanda Boss, the daughter of Dan and Sue Boss, of Pembroke, will be attending Genesee Community College in the fall. She intends to continue her dance career while studying Health Studies at GCC.

Highlights of the Rochester event included:

Amanda Boss -- Elite High Gold and 4th Overall

Ariana Frias -- Elite High Gold and 10th Overall

Melania Frias -- Platinum and 3rd Overall

Tia Stone -- Elite High Gold and 8th Overall

Samantha Balbi -- High Gold

Panorea Tsoukalos -- Elite High Gold and 1st Place

Lauren Halle and Ava Reinhart -- Duet Elite High Gold

Taylor Sanders and Amanda Boss -- Duet Platinum and Platinum and 1st Overall

Road Trip & We've Got The Beat (Twinkle Team) -- 2 Elite High Golds

Up, Vacation & Jai Ho (Juniors) -- 3 Elite High Golds

Wrecking Ball (Teens/Akron) -- High Gold and 3rd Overall

Breath of Life (Teens/Perry) -- High Gold

Images in Dance owner Robin Cotler will coordinate two additional competition opportunities for her students this spring. All dance routines will be performed at the Images in Dance recitals. Recital dates are posted in our newsletter at imagesindance.com

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