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Friday, December 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Burglary suspects in Orleans County may also have hit Oakfield homes

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Orleans County

Four men accused of burglaries in Albion, Medina and Lockport are also potential suspects in a series of burglaries in Oakfield in September and October.

The Orleans County District Attorney's Office announced the arrests today, according to Orleans Hub.

None of the suspects have been charged yet in Genesee County.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster congratulated the job done by law enforcement in Orleans County, but said the local cases are under review by Genesee County District Attorney's Office. Local charges may yet be filed.

From Orleans Hub:

Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said the four were persons of interest in the crimes before their arrests. Police from Albion, Medina Lockport and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department were in daily communication, sharing information and gathering evidence.

“Criminals don’t follow jurisdictional lines and neither do we,” Nenni said at a news conference at the Village Hall. “We became one big sheriff’s department or police department.”

The arrestees are:

  • Jonathan Banks, 21, of 4886 S. Townline Road, Medina, faces 10 counts of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted burglary and attempted robbery in the second degree, six counts of grand larceny, seven counts of petit larceny, three counts of attempted petit larceny, and four counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief. He is held in Niagara County Jail on $160,000 bail.
  • Isaiah Bonk, of 531 E. Center St., Medina, faces nine counts of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted burglary in the second-degree, six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, seven counts of petit larceny, three counts of attempted petit larceny, and four counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He is held in Orleans County Jail on $50,000 bail.
  • Jasper Lloyd, 20, of 107 E. Bank St., Albion, was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of grand larceny and one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He is in Orleans County Jail on $50,000 bail.
  • Thomas Shingleton, 36, of 177 Bates Road, Medina, has been charged with one count of attempted burglary in the second degree and one count of attempted petit larceny. He is in Orleans County Jail on $20,000 bail.
Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Photo: Town of Batavia's Ladder 25 sees first action in Albion

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Albion, fire, Orleans County

Town of Batavia's newest fire truck, Ladder 25, saw its first live firefighting Thursday at the large factory fire in Albion. Photo by John Spaulding, a Livingston County-based fire services photographer. For complete coverage of the fire and its aftermath, visit Orleans Hub and scroll down.

 

CORECTION: First structure fire. The truck was used in Ed Arnold Scrap fire. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

Three Batavia residents injured, Medina woman killed in Orleans County accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Orleans County

A Medina woman died and three Batavia residents were hospitalized following a two-car accident at Oak Orchard River Road and Waterport Road, Town of Carlton, yesterday evening.

Sun glare appears to be a leading contributing factor to the accident, according to the Orleans County Sheriff's Office.

Ashley D. Morehouse, 28, of Medina, was driving a 2000 Pontiac sedan west on Oak Orchard River Road when she failed to stop for a stop sign, according to the Sheriff's Office. Her car was struck by a northbound 2003 Pontiac SUV driven by Lorrie D. Kuhns, 52, of Batavia.

Morehouse was pronounced dead at the scene by Orleans County Coroner Scott M. Schmidt.

Her passenger, Gary L. Weese, 40, of Batavia, was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Dominic Amrhein, Morehouse's 4-year-old son, was transported by Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance to Strong. Dominic was strapped into an approved child safety seat in the rear passenger seat, the Sheriff's Office said.

Thomas S. Kuhns, 61, of Batavia, and Lorrie Kuhns were taken by a Medina FD ambulance to ECMC.

The accident remains under investigation and is being conducted by Deputy M.J. Emens, Deputy J.J. Cole, Deputy K.J. Colonna, Lt. R.E. Perry, Investigator C.L. Black and Chief Deputy T.L. Drennan.

Carlton and Albion fire departments responded to the accident.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Tom Rivers makes the leap from print to online news with new site serving Orleans County

post by Howard B. Owens in journalism, Orleans County, OrleansHub

For 17 years, Tom Rivers soldiered on in small-town, print journalism, honing his craft writing about pinewood derbies, high-school graduations and new varieties of cucumbers.

All that changed over the past 30 days. After 15 years at the Batavia Daily News, he quit. He quit to become an online news journalist in Orleans County.  OrleansHub.com officially launched today.

Rivers did it, in part, because, "it seemed like the county would benefit from having a locally owned, locally run news site."

It's a big step and an unusual one, to go from a steady job at a daily newspaper to a locally owned, online-only news start-up. (There are nearly 100 successful locally owned online community news sites in the nation, and perhaps without exception, all founded by out-of-work journalists who started their ventures as much out of necessity as passion).

Rivers has the passion, but he also has the financial backing many locally owned start-ups lack.

Karen Sawicz, owner of the Lake County PennySaver, is providing the resources necessary to get OrleansHub off the ground.

While Rivers is the editor, reporter, photographer and public face of OrleansHub, the PennySaver is supplying technical, advertising and back-office support and Sawicz is paying his salary until online advertising revenue can carry the site on its own.

The 38-year-old journalist, who is married with four children, said he couldn't have carried out the vision for OrleansHub without Sawicz's support.

It's clear Rivers admires Sawicz. They're both Rotary Club members and have known each other for years. 

"One of the things I liked about her is she's in charge of the hot dog stand at the strawberry festival," Rivers said. "In terms of the thankless job that no one wants, she goes and deals with the health department, gets all the stuff, cleans it up, puts it away. I just thought that showed something. She's also willing to do the heavy lifting. When I first came out here, there were two chambers (of commerce), Albion and Medina, and she was willing to be kind of the leader to bring those two together."

Sawicz's parents purchased the PennySaver in 1960 and she bought it from them in 1989.

Rivers said locally owned businesses in Orleans County have never had a bigger cheerleader than Sawicz.

Sawicz chaffs at the idea of county governments giving out government contracts to non-local businesses and Rivers opposes tax subsidies for national retailers.

They have a mutual passion for Orleans County that brings them together as a publishing team.

They both think existing media outlets weren't giving Orleans County the coverage it deserved.

"There's more that happens in Orleans County than just the bad stuff," Sawicz said. "We want good stuff to be told, too."

Rivers thinks the Daily News does a better job than other news outlets of getting beyond the murders and the weird crimes, but there just wasn't enough news getting published about his home community, he said.

In a way, Rivers is now competing with his former employer, but he is not about to say anything negative about the Daily News. While he acknowledges the newspaper industry as a whole is struggling -- part the reason he wanted to give online-only news a try -- he also thinks small-town papers will survive.

For the Daily News, however, the launch of OrleansHub puts the Johnson family, owners of The Batavia Daily News, the Livingston County News and the Watertown Daily Times, in a unique position.

Where the vast majority of online-only news sites are in urban or suburban settings, the Johnson's rural newspapers are likely the only ones in the nation facing competition from multiple start-ups in rural communities.

Besides OrleansHub and The Batavian squaring off against the Batavia Daily News, there is the Genesee Sun in Livingston County and the aggregation site NewzJunky.com in Watertown.

Only time will tell how all that shakes out, but for Rivers, he's just focused on making his new venture a success, and he knows that will take hard work.

And he's OK with that.

"(Being a journalist) is actually a fun job and I wanted to do more, to work more than just 35 hours a week," Rivers said. (Daily News staffers are limited to 35-hour work weeks these days, according to Rivers.)

In his time with the Daily News, Rivers won several statewide writing and reporting awards. He also published a regionally successful book based on his series of articles about working in GLOW-area farm fields called "Farm Hands."

Rivers has a new book out, a collection of his columns written for the Daily News, called "All Ears." Rivers said the book is "a love letter to the Daily News." (For more on Tom's books, click here.)

It also served to close one chapter on the professional career of Tom Rivers and now he's excited about the unlimited possibilities of being online news site owner.

The efficiencies of online publishing means Rivers will be able to produce more news than a print news staff produces and he'll get it published quicker, with more real-time news reports than Orleans County readers will be able to get from any other source.

Rivers is also an avid photographer and is looking forward to publishing more photos with his stories than he could publish in print.

And he's passionate about Orleans County and plans to be an advocate for growth and community pride in the area.

He hopes OrleansHub will energize younger readers to get involved in their community.

"They're not newspaper readers," Rivers said. "They might realize they can get plugged into the community with the history society or youth baseball. As you show them more of the community, they will see more ways to get plugged in, and I think that's what we need to be a viable, vibrant community."

One of the things that gave Rivers the courage to make the leap from being a print employee to an online journalist was covering the ag beat for so many years.

He would see farmers, many in their 50s or 60s, hit hard times or a changing market place and they would totally reinvent their businesses.

He mentioned LynOaken Farms in Lyndonville, which had a thriving Empire apple business that was a century old when storms nearly destroyed the farm. The owners came back from those difficulties to move into heirloom apples and open a winery and become one of Orleans County's agricultural success stories.

"You have to be able to change," Rivers said. "Even though you might be growing the best Empire apples, if they're not paying the bills or if long term that's not the way to do it, you have to switch."

Rivers made the switch and Orleans County is likely to be better off because of it.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

Corfu teen dies in Orleans County crash Sunday night

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu, Orleans County

For the second time in eight days, a motor vehicle accident has claimed the life of a Genesee County teen.

Kelsey Milks, 19, of Corfu, died Sunday night in a three-car accident on Alleghany Road, Town of Shelby, just north of the county line.

The cause of the accident has not been determined.

Milks was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Dana R. Cipra. Cipra is hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center.

Two Mercy Flight helicopters were called to the scene Sunday and Town of Alabama volunteer firefighters provided traffic control and set up a landing zone at a location in Genesee County.

According to WIVB, "a red minivan was traveling north on Route 63, near the Iroquois Wildlife Refuge Swamp, when it collided head-on with a southbound car. A third vehicle then collided with the car."

Walter C. Hawkins, 73, of Medina, was driving the minivan. He was treated and released at Medina Memorial Hospital.

The driver and passenger in the third vehicle were uninjured.

Milks was a senior at Pembroke High School when she participated in a GO ART! art show.

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Boy Scouts honor 2012 'Distinguished Citizens' at GCC

Area scouts showed their colors and displayed true Boy Scout pride last night for the "BoyPower Distinguished Citizens" dinner at Genesee Community College.

These young men and their leaders are members of Iroquois Council Trail, Inc., the Boy Scouts of America council serving Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Niagara counties. Every year, they honor one outstanding community member from each county.

Betty Lapp was the 2012 Distinguished Citizen for Genesee County. Lapp is the former director of GCC's Nursing program. She retired in 2005, and has been a "professional volunteer" ever since.

Originally from Ohio, Lapp has an impressive track record as a Geneseean:

  • Board Chairperson of United Memorial Medical Center
  • Board Chairperson of Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (formerly BOCES)
  • Regional Action Phone
  • Family Counseling Services
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Cub Scouts
  • Genesee County Department of Health
  • Genesee County Mental Health Services

Her service to the wider region includes membership in the following organizations:

  • Lake Plains Community Care Network
  • WNY Rural Area Health Education Center
  • Genesee Valley School Boards Association

Other recipients were:

James Culbertson, Livingston County

David Bellavia, Orleans County (Bellavia currently lives in Batavia, but is originally from Lyndonville)

MORE after the jump (click on the headline to read more):

Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

Batavia resident seriously hurt in crash in Orleans County

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Orleans County

A 29-year-old Batavia man is in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital following a head-on collision in Orleans County on Saturday afternoon.

Paul J. Smith was southbound on Oak Orchard Road when his car crossed into oncoming traffic. According to the D&C, Smith told investigators that he fell asleep at the wheel.

The driver of the sedan Smith's car hit was Barbara J. Lamka, 44, of Albion. She was extricated from her vehicle and taken to Strong by Mercy Flight, where she's listed in satisfactory condition.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

Local fire companies dispatched to Orleans County for house fire

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Orleans County

Fire units from Oakfield, Elba and Batavia are being sent to Orleans County for a mutual aid fire call.

There is a house fire at  5717 Burns Road, Barre.

A pumper and tanker from Oakfield are at the scene, Elba requested to fill in at Barre's fire hall and Batavia's Fast Team requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m.: Alabama pumper requested to fill in at the East Shelby fire hall.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 6:18 am

Four county departments, along with ESU and hazmat team called to scene of fatal tanker fire in Barre

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, byron, elba, fire, Oakfield, Orleans County

Genesee County volunteer firefighters were called to the scene early this morning of a tanker truck fire that claimed the life of the truck's driver in Barre, Orleans County.

The tanker was carrying ethanol and the fire reportedly spread quickly into the wooded area around the accident.

To fight an ethanol fire, fire fighters must use foam, so Genesee County units that have foam cabability were called to the scene.

Units responded from Town of Batavia, Elba, Byron and Oakfield, along with Genesee County Emergency Services Unit and the county's hazmat team.

The fire is now out and clean up work along is in progress.  

One Elba tanker along with the hazmat team and ESU remains on scene at this time. Emergency Coordinator Tim Yaeger said the remaining Genesee County personnel wlll be on scene yet for quite some time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Local Cornellians host Dean Kathryn Boor, from Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Genesee-Orleans Cornell Club is pleased to announce a luncheon Thursday, April 7, 2011  with Dean Kathryn Boor'80 from Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ms. Boor was named the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences  last July. 

Boor earned her B.S. in food science from Cornell (1980), her M.S. in food science from the University of Wisconsin (1983) and her Ph.D. in microbiology (1994) from University of California-Davis. She joined Cornell in 1994 and promptly established the Food Safety Laboratory. She is the director of Cornell's Milk Quality Improvement Program.

Cornell, as New York's land-grant university, is unique in pursuing its land-grant mission within an Ivy League setting. CALS is known globally for its educational, research and extension programs and for developing the knowledge, technology and human capacity to address some of the most challenging issues facing society in the areas of the environment, food and energy systems, and community and economic development.

The luncheon will be at Bohn's Restaurant located at 5256 Clinton St. (Rt. 33.) in Batavia.  The cost of the luncheon is $20 per person. This invitation event is open to the public with a reservation given by March 31st.  Call Hans Kunze at 585-330-9063 for reservations.

Event Date and Time

March 10, 2011 - 2:25pm - April 7, 2011 - 12:00pm
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