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Monday, April 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm

GCEDC board set to vote on assistance for Liberty Pumps expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, GCEDC, liberty pumps

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a final resolution at its May 1 board meeting.

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its existing facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen, to create new spaces for production and warehouse, research and development and a new office, display, auditorium and training center. The company is investing $9.8 million for the expansion project, creating 27 new positions, and retaining 124 employees. 

Liberty Pumps has undertaken several projects in the last few years. In 2000, the company invested $3.7 million to construct and equip a 60,000-square-foot facility and in 2008 they undertook a 64,000-square-foot addition.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park -- 99 MedTech Drive in the Town of Batavia, on the 2nd floor, across from Genesee Community College.

Not in the press release, but from another e-mail sent out by GCEDC today:

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion onto its existing 120,000-square-foot facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen. (Of that,) 81,400 square feet will be dedicated to production and warehouse, 7,600 square feet will house new research and development/ test facility space, and 11,000 square feet will hold new office, display, an auditorium and training center. ... The company has submitted an application to the GCEDC requesting assistance that includes tax savings of $377,600, a mortgage tax exemption savings of $93,750, and property tax abatement of $863,577 due to the incremental increase in assessed value.

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Alleged victim of shotgun menacing claims Bergen resident was communicating with his wife

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, crime

The man who went to the residence of John Lavarne Robinson the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2013 and allegedly found himself face-to-barrel with a shotgun said in a statement to police that he only had a simple question for Robinson: Why was the Bergen resident communicating with his wife?

The Brockport resident said he had previously confronted his wife about the communication with Robinson and said he believed she had gone out on a couple of dates with Robinson. After checking phone records online, the man said he found there were new, recent communications between Robinson and his wife.

"I wanted to talk with John about his involvement with (my wife) and tell him to stop talking with her," the man wrote in his statement.

The statement, and Robinson's statements, along with the charging document were acquired by The Batavian from the Sheriff's Office through a FOIL request.

Members of Robinson's family and his supporters have left comments on The Batavian, through e-mails and on social media defending his actions.

Their version of events has consistently said that the alleged victim was banging on Robinson's door, threatening Robinson and that Robinson called 9-1-1 and was told by dispatchers to use his shotgun to protect himself.

Family members have also said the alleged victim was arrested by State Police the day of these alleged events, but Trooper Victor Morales, spokesman for Troop A, said there is no record of such an arrest.

Deputy Matthew Butler, who investigated the case and arrested Robinson, included several statements he attributes to Robinson in part of the charging document. He said Robinson told him, "I called 9-1-1." "He was kicking the shit out of my door." "I loaded my shotgun." "I yelled that I had a gun." "9-1-1 told me to do that." "He was calling me a coward and that he was going to kill me." "I thought he was coming in."

The Brockport resident said, "At no time did I want to cause harm to John. I just wanted to discuss his relationship with my wife. When I saw that shotgun pointed at my face, I was scared to death that John was going to shoot me."

In his statement, the man said he had reason to believe Robinson was in his house and kept knocking on the door. He said when he went looking for another doorway, he walked past a window and saw movement so he took a closer look into the window.

He says he did call Robinson "a coward" for not coming out.

He said he saw Robinson on the phone and Robinson screamed at him, "get out of here or I'm going to (blow) your (sic) f---ing head off." He wrote, "John was saying this and pointing the gun at my head and he was only a few feet away from me."

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Bergen resident builds new store and gas station at routes 33 and 19

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business

Bergen has a new gas station and convenience store, along with a Dunkin' Donuts location, on Clinton Street Road, near the intersection of Route 33 and Route 19.

Owner Kamaljat Sembhi, who started operating a small, old gas station on the property in 1996, said he thought the location was ideal for an expanded store and gas station. He worked with Dunkin' Donuts to lease space inside the store and offer drive-up donuts and coffee.

"I thought it was a pretty good spot," Sembhi said. "The best corner in the area."

The new store is 3,000 square feet and there are three pumps outside along with two diesel pumps and a kerosene filling station.

The Bergen resident said business has been "pretty good" since opening a month ago.

"We've been busy. I'm happy with that."

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Grass fire off South Lake Avenue in Bergen

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire

A grass fire is reported at 56 S. Lake Ave. in Bergen. The caller indicated it may be a controlled burn that got out of control. Bergen Fire Department is responding. The location is between Mackenzie Street and Parkview Drive. A responder on scene reports smoke coming from behind a residence.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: The fire is out. Bergen is back in service.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Law and Order: Bergen resident accused of pointing shotgun at person who was looking through his window

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

John Laverne Robinson, 51, of North Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with menacing, 2nd. Robinson is accused of pointing a shotgun at another person while the person was looking through Robinson's window.

Aaron M. Hatt, 22, of Alexander, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Troopers responded to a complaint of a domestic dispute in the Town of Pembroke. In route, troopers came upon a young man walking down the center of Gabby Road. He reportedly said he had just argued with a female at the address of the initial complaint. Hatt was taken back to the house and upon investigation, troopers learned Hatt had allegedly been involved with a physical confrontation with the victim. He allegedly possessed marijuana at the time of his arrest.

Connor W. Kelly, 19, of Rushville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. A trooper stopped Kelly's vehicle on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, for allegedly lacking its plate lamp. the trooper noted evidence of alleged recent marijuana use.

Bernard Lee Evans, 43, of Cato Street, Pavilion, was arrested on bench warrants for alleged criminal contempt, 1st, and harassment, 2nd. Evans was held without bail.

Kelly Marie Faro, 37, of Church Road, of Hamlin, was arrested as a fugitive from justice. Faro was arrested on an unrelated matter by Deputy John Baiocco. During his investigation, he discovered an active warrant out of Cuyahoga County for alleged drug possession. Faro is being held without bail pending extradition.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Byron-Bergen rallys support for bill to make Greek yogurt the state's official snack

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, bergen, business, byron, byron-bergen

Photos by Howard Owens / Story by Sloan Martin, WBTA.

New York has several State symbols: the sugar maple is the state tree and the state gem is a garnet. What it doesn’t have, though, is a state snack and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School are doing something about it.

In a fun school assembly Thursday, the students marked their accomplishment of getting a bill to Albany.

With pop hits like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and Lorde’s “Royals” reimagined to proclaim the benefits of yogurt, along with funny skits, the auditorium was filled with B-B fourth-graders who’re amped up and extremely knowledgeable about yogurt.

“It’s very healthy for you and it has lots of good vitamins and calcium,” Sadie said.

“We’ve learned that we’ve been producing the most yogurt in New York State, especially in this area,” Grace said.

Learning about its impact on their bodies, the economy and the government, it’s been an interactive and engaging learning experience.

Superintendent Casey Kosiorek says he’s proud of the kids and their teachers for taking what they learn and putting it into action.

“It really lines up with everything Genesee County’s about with dairy farming and additions to our yogurt companies as well,” he said. “It really aligns well. It’ll be memorable for the students, especially after it becomes a law.”

“Absolutely, this is interdisciplinary,” Kosiorek said. “They’ve had to work on their writing, they’ve had to utilize their math, they’ve had to learn about social studies, they’ve had to learn about government. As you can see, they were singing and writing songs, producing films – all the skills that we look for as our young people move up to the junior-senior high school and then college and careers."

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says it’s government in action.

“They’re living it by writing us letters, by doing these skits today,” Ranzenhofer said. “We’re going to make this become a law.”

The bill to make yogurt the official state snack has been introduced in the Senate and once it passes both houses, it will find itself on the governor’s desk -- all because of the Byron-Bergen fourth-graders.

Mike Davis, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Kevin Williams, Muller Quaker Dairy, and Roger Parkhurst, Alpina Foods.

 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

Byron-Bergen students selected for National Junior Honor Society

Press release:

On March 19, a distinguished group of 23 students from Byron-Bergen Jr. High School was welcomed into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) by its President, Lauren Burke. Ms. Burke addressed the audience with a challenge: Continue to excel in the five qualities that members of National Junior Honor Society must represent – Scholarship, Citizenship, Service, Leadership, and Character. “While the recognition [of being a member of National Junior Honor Society] is great, the true reward is the satisfaction in knowing that you are working to be the best person you can be.”

The induction ceremony featured two guest speakers – English Teacher Diana Walther and Music Teacher Laurence Tallman. 

Mrs. Walther focused on the skills needed to be a successful citizen. She shared stories of witnessing the newest members of NJHS exhibiting those skills. “I see perseverance. Each of you has shown me, at one time or another this year that you finish what you start,” she said. “Your character is transparent through your choices. You do what’s necessary to be successful, and are beginning to realize that there is a distinct difference between the ‘easy path’ and the ‘successful path’ in life. Walking down the more challenging path has led you here.”

Mr. Tallman referenced the recent Byron-Bergen musical production “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” which is based on the writings of acclaimed author and philosopher, Robert Fulghum. He reminded the audience that some areas of wisdom, often learned at a young age, play a vital role throughout a lifetime. “We must be reminded of them from time to time, because these are the things that remind us to live not just for the self, but for the better of the whole. They remind us to practice civility, good character, kindness, and love. And, like anything, they must be practiced daily in order to become a regular part of your life.”

The National Junior Honor Society Vice President, Margaret Graney, concluded the ceremony by reading descriptions of the five defining qualities of NJHS members and lighting a candle to signify the importance of each quality in our lives. 

Congratulations to National Junior Honor Society 2014 Inductees.

7th Grade
Sarah Bleiler
Kolbi Brew
Lydia Campbell
Adam Drake
Mariah Fee
Jared Fregoe
Leah Gale
Emma Goodman
Annaliese Hersom
William Johnson
Oliver Kelley
Rayelle Merrell
MacKenzie Rosse
Brianna Shade
Emma Smith
Wade Thompson

8th Grade
Cameron Brumsted
Benjamin Chaback
Brionna DeMichel
Justin Hannan
Brendon Kendall
Adam Swapceinski
Esther Wilkins

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:11 am

Byron-Bergen sophomores selected for leadership program

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron, byron-bergen

Press release:

Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminars have been held yearly throughout the United States and Canada since 1958. The purpose of HOBY is to provide sophomores the opportunity to meet many distinguished leaders of the community from various sectors such as business, technology, education, government, arts, and science. Through intense but informal panel discussions, HOBY participants get a realistic look at their nation, its people, and their own role in the world community.

Every year, all sophomores are eligible and encouraged to apply for this exceptional leadership seminar. This year, Ashley Montgomery, daughter of Becky and Marc Montgomery, was selected as the Byron-Bergen High School “HOBY Ambassador,” with Colby Savage, son of Julie and Donald Savage, selected as alternate. Ashley, Colby, and sophomores around the country are selected based on a variety of criteria such as leadership ability, sensitivity to others, communication skills, community service, etc.  Ashley will attend this seminar held at the University of Rochester from May 30 through June 1. Check www.hoby.org for more information.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

Law and Order: Bethany man accused of taking part in crime spree in Wyoming County

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, byron, corfu, crime, pembroke
Bradley Jordan Amber Reinisch

Bradley R. Jordan, 21, of East Bethany, and Amber L. Reinisch, 18, of Castile, are charged with burglary, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th.

The investigation that led to the charges against Jordan and Reinisch began with a resident in the Village of Silver Springs reporting that she observed a male and female break glass in an overhead door and enter the garage attached to her apartment. State Police responded, but the suspects fled before they arrived on scene. Suspect and vehicle descriptions were provided to law enforcement officers in Wyoming County.

Police also received a complaint of a male and female fitting the description of the burglary suspects causing a disturbance at the McDonald's in Warsaw. The vehicle description for the two individuals also fit the burglary description. The vehicle was reportedly seen heading toward Save-A-Lot in Warsaw.

A short time later, a customer at Save-A-Lot reported seeing a male customer in possession of a handgun. The person had not threatened anybody with the weapon, but had removed it from his waistband as he walked through the store and then put it back in his waistband.

Village of Warsaw police officers, Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and troopers all responded to the area. The suspect vehicle was located and Jordan and Reinisch were taken into custody.

Both suspects are accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart and Olympia Sports in North Warsaw, along with the burglary in Silver Springs. The alleged theft from Walmart was of a compact C02 pistol, which State Police say was the weapon later observed by a customer at Save-A-Lot. State Police alleged that when Jordan observed troopers at the front of the store, he ducked into a bathroom and discarded the weapons in a wastebasket. The weapon was later recovered and secured as evidence.

Jordan and Reinisch were arraigned and jailed on $5,000 bail each.

Tilar B. Clark, 22, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Clark's vehicle was stopped by State Police in the Town of Attica, Wyoming County, for an alleged equipment violation. He was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Paul D. Barth Jr., 23, of Cohocton Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Barth was allegedly sending text messages to a person he was ordered by a judge not to contact.

Desiree Michelle Hutchinson, 18, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Hutchinson allegedly admitted to Officer James DeFreze that she was hold her baby while in same room with a friend who was smoking marijuana.

Scott P. Rodon, 48, of Garfield Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Rodon was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Oliver Thomas, 22, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Thomas allegedly hit a person in the face during an argument, which was reported at 3:45 a.m. Friday.

Taylor M. Andrews, 20, of McKenzie Road, Caledonia, is charged with menacing, 2nd. endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, 5th. Andrews is accused of encouraging a juvenile to use a crowbar against another person during an argument. The victim was not struck with the crowbar. The alleged incident was reported at 2 a.m. Friday at 21 Wood St., Batavia.

Robi Liam Terziani, 19, of Route 19A, Portageville, is charged with petit larceny. Terziani is accused of stealing hydrocodine pills from a residence in Byron where he was hired to do service work.

Billy Joe Budziszewski Jr., 22, of Route 77, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and bail jumping, 2nd. Budziszewski was arrested on warrants out of Village of Corfu Court. He is also allegedly the subject of warrants out of Erie County on burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny charges and out of Wyoming County for failure to pay fine. Budziszewski was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Chance Robert Cooley, 19, of Route 5 & 20, Canandaigua, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cooley was allegedly found in possession of marijuana in a medicine container and a glass smoking pipe with marijuana in it. Cooley was the passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 12 :15 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Chris Parker. Also charged was Anthony Lee Irish, 22, of Terri Drive, Farmington, who was also issued traffic summons for no front plate and no insurance.

Christopher C. Berg, 27, of Pavilion, is charged with a misdemeanor under the vehicle and traffic law. Berg was stopped by State Police at 8:36 p.m. Wednesday on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details released.

Adam J. Bobzin, 43, of Byron, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bozin was stopped at 9:42 a.m. Thursday on West Sweden Road, Bergen, by State Police.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Man indicted on 16 counts involving six children under 17

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy

These are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury.

Marino M. Marasciulo III is indicted on 16 criminal counts, including third-degree rape, all alleged to have occurred in the Town of Bergen. In late January or early February, 2013, this adult over the age of 21, allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person under 17, a Class E felony. In count two, the defendant is accused of allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under 17, also a Class E felony. In count three of the indictment, the defendant is accused of forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor. In or about July 2012, for intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, Marasciulo allegedly forcibly touched the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire. In count four, Marasciulo is accused of a Class A misdemeanor, in or about July 2012, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less that 17 or directed or authorized such child to engage in an occupation involving substantial risk of danger to her life or health. In count five, the defendant is accused of the same conduct as in count four but in April or May 2013 and with a second child under 17. In counts six and seven (Summer of 2012), eight (Summer of 2012 -- May 2013) and nine (late January or early February 2013) the defendant is accused of the same conduct but with a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth child, respectively. The remaining seven counts, all Class A misdemeanors, are for unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly providing alcohol to a person or persons under 21.

Shadow S. Jonathan is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause, and causing, physical injury to another person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a wooden beam, on Sept. 13 in the Town of Alabama. On the same date, the defendant is also accused of attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury and attempting to cause such injury by means of a dangerous instrument, a metal stake.

Nicole M. Dellapenna is indicted for second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury to another person, causing injury to the person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a knife, in the Town of Le Roy of Aug. 24. She is accused of criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly possessing a dagger or dangerous knife or other dangerous instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.

Matthew A. Beccue is indicted for allegedly driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. On Nov. 22 in the City of Batavia, he drove a 1994 Chevrolet in the parking lot of a gas station and on Route 63 and on Liberty Street all while allegedly intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated, also a Class E felony, for allegedly have a BAC of .18 or more.

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