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Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

Locally grown produce helps fill community food pantries

post by Bonnie Marrocco in agriculture, bergen, charity

Fifteen years ago longtime Le Roy resident Stu Freeman noticed that leftover potatoes were sitting in fields rotting after harvest season, so he got farmers in the community to allow him to glean the vegetable to donate to local food pantries. That year he brought about 300 pounds of potatoes in and he's been doing it every year since.

Since then the "Potato Man" as he is affectionately known, has also gotten farmers to donate cabbage, carrots, onion and butternut squash. So much so that he couldn't keep up with the demand.

Two years ago he recruited members of his congregation, Bergen First Presbyterian Church, to assist. They regularly gather, sort, wash, pack and deliver fresh produce to food pantries every two weeks throughout the fall and winter. Last year they delivered more than 15,000 pounds to The Salvation Army and Community Action in Batavia, as well as Go Christian Church in Churchville.

Congregation member Kelsey Hill got involved and she is grateful for the opportunity to live out her faith in a practical way.

"I rounded up high school kids from the Sunday school class that I was co-teaching and we volunteered together," Hill said. "I was excited for the opportunity to show the students that faith isn't just something to talk about on Sunday mornings, but something to live out every day."

There are about 10 area farmers who participate. Although the farmers are committed to helping, they prefer to remain anonymous. The Batavian agreed not to print their names or the names of their farms.

Besides food, Freeman also collects coats and shoes for The Salvation Army in Batavia, Open Door Mission in Rochester and Teen Challenge in Buffalo. In the past three years, he has brought them hundreds of both, with help from his church and community.

He is an extremely humble man who is hesitant to talk about himself or his accomplishments, but having come from a family of 10 children, he knows how hard it is to make ends meet.

"I've done what the good Lord has put in my heart to do," Freeman said. "I don't want praise or publicity, I just want other people to get involved by donating food to the hungry. One church can't do it all."

Hill also encourages individuals, families and churches to give food or money to charities for families in need.

"We could also use more hands to wash and dry vegetables this Saturday and it's open to whomever would like to help," Hill said

Among those extra hands will be the Byron-Bergen Soccer team.

The next "Potato Wash" will be held 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of Bergen, 38 S. Lake Ave., Bergen.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Car crash at Town Line and South Lake roads, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in accident, bergen

A two-car accident, with one person complaining of abdominal pain, is reported at Town Line Road and South Lake Road in Bergen. It is blocking traffic. Mercy and Bergen ambulances and Bergen fire are responding. Two others in the accident are minors and need to be evaluated.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: About 15 minutes ago, Bergen ambulance transported one patient to South Lake Hospital in Brockport.

UPDATE 7:10 p.m.: Medics are back in service with two sign offs.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

Smell of natural gas at Byron-Bergen Central School, students evacuated

post by Billie Owens in bergen, byron, Le Roy, Stafford

The smell of natural gas at Byron-Bergen Central School prompted the principal to pull the fire alarm in order to evacuate students. The natural gas alert came to dispatch through RG&E. Bergen Fire Department is on scene. Mutual aid from Le Roy fire is also requested. The school is located at 6917 W. Bergen Road.

UPDATE 9:29 a.m.: "We do have an odor at the high school in the kitchen area and they are checking out the elementary school as well," says Bergen Command's firefighter Michael Crosier.

Le Roy Fire Chief Tom Wood is in charge of operations at the elementary school

RG&E workers just arrived. The superintendent had the elementary school evacuated as a precaution but no odor is of natural gas is reported and the odor of natural gas was found in the mechanical room.

UPDATE 9:33 a.m.: One engine from Churchville is requested to stand by in its hall to provide coverage for Le Roy. Bergen. Bergen command says the smell of natural gas at the high school is coming from a couple of different areas.

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: Responders are doing a second walk-thru of the high school. There was the odor of natural gas coming from the pool area. When the walk-thru is completed, Le Roy can go back in service.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Stafford also was put on standby for Le Roy and is back in service, along with Le Roy and Churchville.

UPDATE 10:39 a.m.: Bergen command says RG&E has identified a few leaks and crews are working to repair them. The school will be closed for rest of the day and the children are being dismissed.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: Bergen command asks dispatch to have a deputy respond to the Byron-Bergen Central School because there are a lot of parents showing up to get their children and "some aren't too happy about things." A deputy is responding.

UPDATE 10:57 a.m.: A Le Roy fire official sent us the following corrections to this post (which have also been noted above):

1) Churchville was put on standby for Bergen, not Le Roy;

2) Stafford was on standby for Le Roy;

3) No odor of natural gas was reported at the pool;

4) In addition to leaks at the high school, the odor of natural gas was found in the mechanical room of the Elementary School.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: This message has been sent to parents at Byron-Bergen.

Dear Byron-Bergen Parents and Guardians,

This is Byron-Bergen Superintendent, Casey Kosiorek. I want to inform that students of the district will not be returning to school today as a result of a gas leak in both buildings. Elementary students may be signed out at the Bergen Fire Hall.  Jr./Sr. High School students may be signed out at the track. Students that can't be picked up will remain at these locations until they can be bussed at their regular time. Lunch will be provided. This evening's Elementary Open House has been cancelled. We will keep you updated as we continue to work through the situation.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: The students are evacuated and the schools are closed, according to the superintendent.

UPDATE 11:56 a.m.: The Bergen assignment is back in service. RG&E remains on scene.

Monday, September 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Law and Order: Cashier accused of stealing $1K from Walmart

post by Howard Owens in batavia, alexander, bergen, crime, Oakfield

Samantha Jane Roberts, 22, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny. Roberts is accused of stealing $1,072 in cash from registers at Walmart while employed as a cashier.

Adante L. Davis, 23, of 32 Washington Ave., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct.  Davis allegedly made obscene gestures and used foul language directed at police officers while the officers were working in the area of West Main Street.

William C. Wurster, 52, 337 Bank Street, Apt. 70, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. During a dispute with a neighbor, Wurster allegedly picked up a 2x4 and swung it around his head in a threatening manner.

Patrick Gilman Kimball, 30, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and failure to dim headlights.  Kimball was stopped at 2:30 a.m., Friday, on Route 5, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Andrew Charles Webster, 20, of North Street, Leicester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Webster was allegedly found in possession of Tramadol during a traffic stop at 11:47 p.m., Sunday, on Gillate Road, Alexander, by Investigator John Weis.

Curtis Paul Howden, 34, of Redman Road, Brockport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, drinking in a motor vehicle and failure to keep right. Howden was stopped at 12:35 a.m., Friday, on South Lake Road, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Kasey Ann Woodhouse, 24, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment 2nd. Woodhouse is accused of sending harassing messages to another person via Facebook after being told not to have contact with that person.

Robert L. Peachey, 30, of Oakfield, is charged with conspiracy 5th and grand larceny 4th, and Roy D. Hooten, 52, of Oakfield, is charged with conspiracy 5th. Peachey and Hooten were arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:03 p.m., Saturday. No further details released.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

Photos: Late afternoon in Bergen and Stafford

post by Howard Owens in bergen, Stafford

On an overcast day, I drove past this farmfield on Route 262 in Bergen and thought on a bright, blue-sky afternoon it might make a good picture. Yesterday, with a little available time and the sun heading west with a clear sky, I drove out the same location to make this picture.

Kevin Scroger was mowing the grass on the shoulder with his granddaughter Leyna Perkins, age 3 1/2. He told me the field was soybeans, near time for harvest. He's also pictured with his grandson, Carter Perkins, age 1. You may remember Kevin from the piece we did on the Hawleys' barley harvest.

The bottom picture is of Marty McDonald's barn and silos in Stafford.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Propane tank ablaze near house on Dublin Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire

A large propane tank toppled over and is on fire near the house at 7615 Dublin Road, just west of Jerico Road. A state trooper at the scene says she's trying to get someone away from the fire and the person is refusing to leave. Bergen Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 4:06 p.m.: The officer reports the person is now away from the fire.

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: Fire command reports a 100-gallon cyclinder is on its side, free burning, with no exposure to the house.

UPDATE 4:19 p.m.: Griffith Oil is called to help its customer at that address.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: A rep for the oil company asked if the tank was still free burning and fire command says it is but the fuel level is low at this point.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

Law and Order: DNA allegedly links two people to 2012 burglary in Le Roy

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, corfu, crime, Le Roy
Kristen Brightenfield James Kavanagh

Kristen L. Brightenfield, of South Byron, and James M. Kavanagh, 23, of Chili, are charged with one count each of burglary, 3rd and grand larceny, 4th. Brightenfield and Kavanagh were arrested following a lengthy investigation by Le Roy PD into a burglary in April 2012 at the old Jell-O Factory, 57 North St., Le Roy.

John O'Shea was arrested for the burglary shortly after it occurred and is currently serving a sentence in State Prison. Brightenfield and Kavanagh are accused of being accomplices. Investigators executed a search warrant at a location in Monroe County and allegedly recovered stolen property. DNA evidence linking Brightenfield and Kavanagh to the crime was also reportedly found at the scene. Both suspects were arraigned and released on their own recognizance.

Rachel Lynne Chatley, 18, of Angling Road, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Chatley and a 17-year-old friend (name withheld by the Sheriff's Office) are accused of shoplifting $115.55 worth of merchandise from Walmart.

Christopher John Naugle, 44, of Appletree Avenue, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Naugle is accused of throwing a lit cigarette at another person and hitting that person in the face with it. During the investigation, Naugle was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and a pipe with marijuana inside of it. Naugle was jailed on $300 bail.

Monday, September 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

Law and Order: Woman accused of breaking property; man accused of assault

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Oakfield

Katherine J. Briggs, 34, of 172 S. Main St., #112, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Briggs allegedly damaged property of another person during an argument. The alleged incident was reported at 2:16 a.m., Saturday.

Kyle E. Kirtley, 24, of 6 Pine Tree Road, Central Square, is charged with assault, 3rd. Kirtley is accused of punching another person in the head several times causing substantial pain. The alleged incident was reported at 2:16 a.m. Saturday at 172 S. Main St., Batavia. Kirtley was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Tracey Lynn Brewer, 48, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brewer is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Sara Marie Zilliox, 38, of South 7th Street, Lewiston, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Zilliox was charged following a traffic stop at 1:05 a.m. Saturday on Lake Road, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Christine Marie Osborne, 38, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Osborne is accused of stealing $62.78 in merchandise from Walmart.

Mark Anthony Rebmann, 24, of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Rebmann is accused shoplifting $24.99 in merchandise from Kmart. During the investigation by Deputy Joseph Graff, Rebmann was allegedly found in possession of heroin.

April Marie Palmer, 27, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a grand larceny, 4th, charge.

Dale A. Hollwedel, 26, of 9983 Francis Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Hollwedel was stopped at 1:42 a.m. Thursday following a complaint in the MacDonald's drive thru by Officer Jason Davis.

Kimberly M Volk, 24, of 111 Liberty St., Apt. A, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Volk is accused of shoplifting at Tops.

Willie F. Irvin II, 31, of 22 Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Irvin is accused of verbally threatening another person while on State Street. He was jailed on $750 bail.

Jason E. Carpenter, 35, of 137 State St., Batavia, is charged with disobeying a mandate. Carpenter allegedly contacted another person in violation of an order of protection.

Rosemary R. Waters, 27, of 23 Forrest Ave., Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th.  Waters allegedly picked up a mobile phone from the floor during an altercation and threw it back down, breaking it.

Froylan Hernandez, 26, from California, is charged with trespass. Hernandez was arrested by State Police following a report at 2:14 p.m. Aug. 10 on Wilkinson Road, Batavia. Hernandez was jailed on bail. No further details released.

Maurice G. Leach, 37, of Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. Leach was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police. No further details released.

The following individuals were arrested by State Police at 11:30 p.m. Friday at a location in the Town of Bergen, and charged with trespass: Alana M. Diefendorf, 16, Olivia R. Sweet, 16, Jacob M. Hillabush, 19, Danielle C. Zelazny, 17, Joseph T. Burr, 20, Dakota Troy Harlach, 20, Hannah M. Feary, 19, Kyle K. Shultz, 19, Daniel J. Ognibene, 19, Payton V. Conley, 18, Richard S. Streiff, 19, and Matthew C. Ferris, 18. Diefendorf, Sweet, Hillabush, Zelazny and Burr were also charged with possession/consumption of alcohol under age 21.

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Alexander muscles way to opening-game victory over Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Howard Owens in alexander, bergen, byron, elba, football, high school sports, sports
Dylan Scharlau heads toward the end zone in the fourth quarter.

One year makes a big difference in high school football.

To start the 2012 season, Elba/Byron-Bergen had the size and experience over Alexander. The final score that opening game was 40-13.

The way Lancers Head Coach Michael Cintorino sees it, the Alexander players didn't forget that smackdown.

Yesterday in Alexander, the tables were turned and the Trojans came out on top 23-6 victory after dominating a rain-drenched second.

"I think the key to the game is Alexander returned an awful lot of guys who are very well coached," Cintorino said. "Their guys came ready to play. Not that we didn't, but they had a little fire in them from what happened to them last year against us. I think that stayed with those young guys and they put their time in during the off season."

The Lancers were powered last season by the legs of Zach DuBois and the arm of Zac Gillard. Both players graduated.

All but three of Alexander's 19 varsity players hit the weight room hard during the off season, said head coach Tim Sawyer. This year, the Trojans may lack the roster size of some other teams, but they can put some big guys on the field.

Senior running back Dylan Scharlau is 6' and 195 lbs. Quinn Furlong, at TE and LB, is an inch shorter, but the same weight. Alton Rupp and Will Burke check in on offense and defense at 190 and 195 lbs. On the offensive and defensive lines are anchored by Kelsey Patten (225 lbs.), Jonathon George (230 lbs.), Damien Hargraves (200 lbs.) and Alex Jewett (245 lbs.).

With Nelson Burke at QB and Zach Laird at wide out, the Trojans can also run and catch.

"Elba is a physical team," Sawyer said. "But we have some pretty good size this year combined with strength. I thought it was a good, even match-up."

The key to the game may have been the start of the second half, which didn't result in a score for Alexander (penalties killed their drive), but it did help turn the tide.

Up by three after Scharlau's 30-yard field goal gave Alexander a 9-6 lead to end the second quarter; the Trojans had the first possession of the third.

"This doesn’t show on the scoreboard but I think this is huge," Sawyer said. "To start the third quarter, we’re going into a strong wind into a driving rain and possessed the ball for seven minutes. We didn’t get any points, but it chewed up their offensive advantage of the wind and all."

The rain and the wind stayed steady throughout the fourth quarter, when the Lancers offense was facing the western end zone. With the wind at their back, the Trojans were able to engineer two touchdown drives.

Burke hit Laird for a 17-yard pass for a TD and Scharlau pushed the pile forward on a goal line TD run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Burke.

Elba/BB's lone score came on a pass from Garrett Chapell to Kyle Dougherty, giving the Lancer's a quick 6-0 lead.

Last season the 2-6 Trojans had a tendency to get down early and then find it difficult to battle back, so Sawyer as much pleased with the way his team won as he is with a 1-0 start to the season.

"They boys believed in themselves and kept battling," Sawyer said. "To be down early and finish the game 23-6, that’s a big step for our football program."

Both coaches said they have work to do with their teams.

For the Lancers, there's no one glaring issue, Cintorino said. There's a lot of little things, but mainly the mental errors need to be addressed.

Two fumbles in the second half were costly for the Elba/BB.

"I have confidence in this group and I think we can work on those kinks, coach them up, and get them were they need to be," Cintorino said.

It feels good, Sawyer said, to go into the next week trying to improve the team coming off a win.

"We made some mistakes," Sawyer said. "We have some things to work on. It's nice to get the win, but when I got into the team room, it's going to be like, 'Hey, we've got to shore some things up here.' "

On the game Scharlau carried the ball 26 times for 157 yards and two TDs, plus the 30-yard field goal. Burke was six for 11 for 178 yards and one TD pass. Burke also gave up an interception. He ran the ball four times for 29 yards. Laird caught the ball three times for 44 yards and a TD.  He had six carries for 36 yards. On defense, Patten had two sacks and four tackles. Laird had a sack, four and a half tackles and a forced fumble.

For Elba, Brandon Naylor gained 78 yards on 17 carries. Chapell was 4-13 for 40 yards and one TD. Austin Yockel caught two passes for 25 yards and Dougherty's one catch was the nine-yard TD reception in the first quarter. On defense, Naylor had 16 tackles and one forced fumble. Andy Underhill had 13 tackles and a forced fumble. Austin Hynes Fisher had six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Dougherty had four tackles and an interception.

Other football action:

  • Pembroke beat Charles Finney 41-0. The Dragons gained 300 yards on the ground. Dakota Swimline had 14 carries for 150 yards and three TDs. Cal Neurhor had eight tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
  • Batavia beat Edison Technical 22-0 taking command of the game in the first quarter, scoring 16 points. Nick Canzoneri carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards and two TDs. Brandon Stevenson gained 215 all-purpose yards. Dominick Mogazero and Trevor Rittstersback each had 12 tackles.
  • Notre Dame crushed Holley 52-0. Tim McCulley came up big throwing for 229 yards and four TDs. He was seven for 10 passing. McCulley ran the ball eight times for 92 yards and one TD. Andrew Mullen taking over as lead man out of the backfield gained 151 yards and scored three times. The Irish had a total of 270 yards on the ground. He had one catch for 49 yards. Notre Dame scored 39 first-half points and notched one TD on Mullen runs in the third and fourth quarters. Cam Chamberlain gained 25 yards on eight carries. Josh Johnson had two TD receptions and gained 83 yards. Luca Zambito caught the ball twice for 47 yards and scored once. Chamberlain had eight tackles. Joe Zickl had five and a half.
  • Oakfield-Alabama lost to Attica 45-6. Chris Nanni carried the ball 21 times, gained 72 yards and scored once. Chase Manzella notched 17 tackles. Attica, part of the Genesee Region League, returns with workhorse running back Matt Perry, now a senior, who ran for 228 yards and two TDs on 28 carries.

Football next Friday and Saturday:

  • Finney is at Alexander, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Notre Dame at Oakfield-Alabama, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Le Roy at Bishop Kearney, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
  • HF-L at Batavia, Friday, 7:30 p.m. (we'll cover this game)
  • Pembroke at Elba/BB, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Truck on fire on westbound I-490

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire, Le Roy

A truck fire is reported on the westbound I-490 near mile marker 2.8. Le Roy Fire Department is responding. The occupants are out of the vehicle.

UPDATE 3:08 p.m.: The scene is close to a small body of water near that mile marker, which is actually in Bergen's fire district. Le Roy is put back in service and Bergen has command. A witness indicated the fire was in the back of a pickup and that the occupants "were seen running from the scene." A Sheriff's deputy is also responding.

UPDATE 3:18 p.m.: Bergen command reports the truck has a blown transmission and that the fire department is not needed. The assignment is back in service.

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