Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 10:21 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, weather, flooding, Attica.

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Press release from Wyoming County Emergency Managment, file photo:

The New York State Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be on site today in the Village of Attica. They will be located at the Department of Public Works facility, 43 Exchange St.

The purpose of this command center is to help residents and businesses with the recovery process from the severe flooding that occurred in Wyoming County on July 13. They intend to be on site until 8 p.m.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 6:32 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, fire, Warsaw, Perry, Silver Springs, news.

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Improper disposal of rags used to stain wood is said to be the cause of the shop/garage fire Tuesday night in Warsaw.

One firefighter suffered a minor hand injury during the mishap and was treated at the scene.

Firefighters from Warsaw, Silver Springs, Perry Center, and Perry fire departments were at 5268 Streamer Road for two-and-one-half hours putting out the flames.

Fire Chief in Charge Warsaw Assistant Fire Chief Adam Richter was assisted at the scene by Wyoming County Emergency Services and NYSEG, with Leicester Fire Department standing by at empty fire stations.

The estimated cost of damages to the shop is $60,000.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, government, David DiPietro.

Press release:

A Legislative column by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R,C-East Aurora)

The safety of all New Yorkers was put in jeopardy in 2013 with the passage of the SAFE Act. I remember the dysfunction as if it were yesterday.

It was my first day as a New York State Assemblyman, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got a call saying I needed to return to the chamber in the late hours, really early morning. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders called both houses of the Legislature back to vote on the SAFE Act in the early morning. This was a piece of legislation that was written in the dead of night and set up an entire system that stripped away our constitutional right to bear arms as law-abiding citizens.

Since that day I’ve fought day in and day out to fully repeal the SAFE Act. I’ve introduced legislation every session since that day to repeal the SAFE Act. I’ve held numerous public forums, collected hundreds of thousands of signatures in opposition to the SAFE Act, and remain vigilant to this day in making sure our Second Amendment rights are restored. Every session in the Assembly I sponsor a bill that would fully repeal the SAFE Act.

On July 31 Congressman Chris Collins announced the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), which will unilaterally grant Second Amendment rights back to law–abiding citizens like us across the United States and make it illegal for any state to enforce or impose any further regulations or taxes relating to firearms. I was able to stand next to Collins when he announced this legislation. I urge all Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to support it.

The Constitution was written to protect all citizens from the government. Our forefathers wrote the Second Amendment so law-abiding citizens like you and I can protect ourselves like they did against oppressive governments, both foreign and domestic, at the time. Government was never meant to be a large and restrictive “Big Brother.” It was implied throughout the Constitution that limited government of the people, by the people and for the people was the best strategy for the United States. That still stands true today. We can’t allow big-government bureaucrats to take our rights away from us. That’s a basic principle of the foundation that this great nation was built on.

The Second Amendment is one of the most important fundamental amendments of our Constitution. I’m glad that Congressman Collins is taking a stand against big government. I hope his colleagues in Congress will stand firm to pass this legislation. It’s time to make America and New York safe again, and this legislation does just that.

Assemblyman David DiPietro represents the 147th Assembly District, which covers all of Wyoming County and the southern portion of Erie County.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 4:29 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Chris Collins, government.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has proposed new measures for protecting Second Amendment rights by introducing legislation to limit states authority when it comes to regulating rifles and shotguns, commonly used by sportsmen and sportswomen.

The Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA) would prevent states from implementing any regulations on these weapons that are more restrictive than what is required by federal law. Upon passage of this bill, most of the language included in New York State’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo would be void.

“This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo,” Collins said. “I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and have fought against all efforts to condemn these rights. I stand with the law-abiding citizens of this state that have been outraged by the SAFE Act and voice my commitment to roll back these regulations.”

Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act violates federal regulation and the following provisions would be void under the proposed legislation:

-          Cuomo’s SAFE Act expanded rifle and shotgun bans to include semi-automatic guns with detachable magazines that possess certain features.

-          The Cuomo SAFE Act banned the capacity of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It further limited magazines to seven rounds at any time.

In the Collins’ bill, States or local governments would not be able to regulate, prohibit, or require registration and licensing (that are any more restrictive under Federal law) for the sale, manufacturing, importation, transfer, possession, or marketing of a rifle or shotgun. Additionally, “rifle or shotgun” includes any part of the weapon including any detachable magazine or ammunition feeding devise and any type of pistol grip or stock design.

Under this legislation, any current or future laws enacted by a state or political subdivision that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be void. Should a state violate this law, and a plaintiff goes to court, the court will award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages.

Congressman Collins was joined today by local, county, and state elected officials and citizen supporters of the Second Amendment during events to unveil his bill in Erie and Monroe counties.

Hamburg Rod and Gun Club:

Assemblyman David DiPietro

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton

Representatives from SCOPE

Rochester Brooks Gun Club:

Senator Rich Funke

Senator Rob Ortt

Assemblyman Peter Lawrence

Monroe County Legislator Karla Boyce

Representatives from SCOPE

To read the text of H.R. 3576, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act, click here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, government, Chris Collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) cosponsored legislation that enhances  law enforcement at our borders and provides resources to improve security at ports of entry.

The Border Security for America Act authorizes $5 billion over four years to carry out staffing increases and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement biometric exit-entry systems at all points of entry, exempting U.S. and Canadian citizens from screening.

“Our northern border is an economic asset to Western New York and we need to make sure we move people and products across safely and effectively,” Collins said.

“I am fully supportive of increased national security measures, like those included in this bill, but worked with my colleagues to make sure we avoid disruptions to both American and Canadian citizens that might result from new protocols.”

In February, Collins corresponded with former DHS Secretary John Kelly and CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan expressing a deep concern regarding the department’s proposed expedited implementation of the biometric exit-entry system.

Collins cited impacts to Western New York related to trade and tourism and pointed out the differences between the northern and southern borders when it comes to security. As a result, DHS exempted American and Canadian citizens from their initiative.

Now, this new House legislation proposed by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (TX-10) carries the same exemption while providing expanded resources for border security.

“Our northern and southern borders face different needs when it comes to security,” Collins said. “Chairman McCaul took the needs of Western New York into careful consideration when drafting this language and I thank him for his efforts.”

The Border Security for America Act:

·         Authorizes a Border Wall — Requires the deployment and construction of tactical infrastructure and technology to achieve full operational control and situational awareness. This deployment includes wall, fencing, technology, and other barriers.

·         Secure and Fast Ports of Entry — Authorizes necessary resource investments to improve and enhance our ports of entry. Targets illegal immigration and drug trafficking at our ports of entry, while increasing lawful trade and travel.

·         More Boots on the Ground — Adds 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 CBP Officers and streamlines the way that veterans and existing local law enforcement officers can be hired.

·         More Air and Marine Flight Hours – Increases the number of annual flight hours of CBP’s Air and Marine Operations and prioritizes requests for support from the Chief of the Border Patrol to secure the border.

·         Forward Operating Bases – Directs DHS to upgrade existing forward operating bases to a minimum standard.

·         Use of the National Guard – Authorizes use of the National Guard along the Southern Border to help with aviation and intelligence support and allows the reimbursement for states that call out the National Guard to help secure the border.

·         Targets Visa Overstays — Identify visa overstays through full deployment of the Biometric Entry-Exit System at all ports of entry while exempting American and Canadian citizens 

·         Border Patrol Access to Federal Lands — Prohibits Federal agencies from impeding, prohibiting, or restricting CBP activities on federal land located within 100 miles of the Southern Border to execute search and rescue operations, and to prevent all unlawful entries into the United States.

·         Support Local Law Enforcement — Authorizes the Stonegarden grant program at $110 million for state and local law enforcement to aggressively fight drug trafficking, smuggling, and other crimes on the Southern Border.

To read the text of H.R. 3548, Border Security for America Act, click here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, announcements.

Press release:

New York State Police Troop A will conduct a weeklong enforcement initiative to crack down on speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. The Speed Week starts today and runs through Aug. 8.

Speeding is listed as a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in New York State. In 2015, 343 people were killed and 18,191 people were injured in speed-related crashes statewide.

During this campaign, Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are violating laws while driving. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are identifiable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Speeding by all vehicle types, as well as other traffic violations, will be heavily enforced throughout the week in addition to normal year-round enforcement. Troopers will also be watching for other traffic violations, including distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and drivers who are violating New York’s Move Over law.

During the August 2016 Speed Week campaign, State Police issued more than 21,600 traffic tickets, including 10,500 tickets for speeding, and nearly 650 for distracted driving.

Funding for the Speed Week initiative is provided through a grant from the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

The fines for speeding on 55-mph highway or posted 65-mph zones are as follows:

    • 10 mph or less over the limit –  minimum $45/maximum $150

    • 11- 30 mph over the limit – minimum $90/maximum $300

    • 31 mph or more over the limit – minimum $180/maximum $600

Second Conviction

    • 10 mph or less over the limit – minimum  $45/maximum $300

    • 11 - 30 over the limit – minimum  $90 /maximum $450

    • 31 or more over the limit – minimum  $180/maximum $750

Third Conviction

    • 10 mph or less over the limit – minimum  $45/maximum $525

    • 11 – 30 over the limit – minimum  $90 /maximum $675

    • 31 or more over the limit – minimum  $180/maximum $975

Court surcharges are as follows:

    • Town or Village courts – $93

    • Other Courts (city traffic courts, etc.) – $88

Violation point structure:

    • 1 – 10 mph over limit = 3 points

    • 11 – 20 mph over limit = 4 points

    • 21 – 30 mph over limit = 6 points

    • 30 – 40 mph over limit = 8 points

    • More than 40 mph over limit = 11 points (triggers suspension)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 11:02 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, fire, news, Warsaw, Perry, Silver Springs.

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Firefighters from Warsaw, Perry, Silver Springs and Perry Center fire departments responded to a fire at 5268 Streamer Road, Warsaw, around 7:45 this evening.

Assisting crews and Fire Chief in Charge Warsaw Assistant Chief Adam Richter was Emergency Managment and NYSEG.

At the time of this post, the cause of the fire is unknown and no injuries were reported. ​

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm
posted by Howard Owens in fire, Warsaw, news.

There is a working barn fire at 5268 Streamer Road, Warsaw.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, health, mental health, news, announcements.

How do rural counties with limited resources combat an issue as multifaceted as heroin and opiate addiction?

Quite simply, they collaborate to find common-sense practices to beat the dragon.

In January, officials, doctors, healthcare providers, and community members from three counties -- Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming -- formed the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Its goal is to not only raise awareness of the growing epidemic but to also find and compile: a list of resources available to addicts and their families; data on the number of overdoses, deaths, and uses of naloxone within each county; and identifying roadblocks to treatment.

During the July meeting, a roadmap of sorts was laid out for the Task Force.

From the time an individual is born, they are, to some degree, rated on performing tasks independently. Doctors gauge a child’s progress: Sits independently. Walks independently. Teachers grade a student’s performance: Works independently. It’s a skill desirable to some employers: Must be able to work independently.

It is a mantra instilled in a person's mind from a very young age: Be an individual. Don’t follow the crowd. Learn to be independent. Yet, there are times, when being independent becomes counterproductive to the needs of a community.

Although each of the GOW counties are afflicted with the same problem – the increase in overdoses and deaths due to heroin and opiates – independently, there are gaps in services and help for both addicts and their families. However, collectively, the Task Force can help fill those gaps.

In an effort to find where each county is lacking and how to get funding for the resources it needs, the Task Force determined three areas to address: community education and action, data compilation and access to care.

Community education and action

Three goals were created to better educate the public:

    • Educate students, parents and community about the dangers of heroin and opioid use – Narcan training and education, sharps and medicine disposal sites, and develop materials for distribution;

    • Identify resources and local partnerships to help prevent use – pharmacies, law enforcement, recovery services, and mental health service; and

    • Develop recommendations for future goals and action steps to prevent use – encourage attendance and participation in Task Force meetings, recovery coaching, peer speakers, and more.

Data

Part of the requirements for applying for State funding is to have the data and statistics to back up the need. However, compiling those numbers becomes a collaborative effort between multiple agencies. Additionally, the task is further hindered by the fact that the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s (ME) Office handles cases from its own and the GOW counties. Subsequently, toxicology reports are often not received back for six months or more.

According to a recent report, the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office has performed 1,020 autopsies in 2016. In 2015 it was closer to 900. In 2008 approximately 975 were performed and in 2005 860. The years 2012 and 2013 both showed approximately 880.

The goals of this group are to develop a tool to track data, identify the data each county already has, and perform a gap analysis to identify missing data and create a plan to overcome any barrier.

Access to care

Again, a barrier addicts and family members face is access to care in relative proximity to where they live.

Officials say when an addict is ready to get the help they need to begin the recovery process, there is an immediacy to their need.

One of the goals of this group is to map out the access to care in the Western Region Naturally Occurring Care Network (NOCN).

The NOCNs include the Finger Lakes, Monroe, Southeastern, Southern, and Western regions of New York State.

In addition to finding a place to receive care, the group also identified eight groups of potential entry points for families and individuals in crisis. They include hospital emergency rooms, crisis hot line, primary care physicians, law enforcement, community-based organizations, healthcare homes, community-based groups, and schools and colleges.

Nationwide, every 17 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose. About two years ago, there were 100 deaths in Erie County. In 2015, it more than doubled. In 2016, that number could reach over 500. That’s about 10 per week. February alone recorded 23 overdose deaths in just one week.

In Wyoming County, between 2010 and 2014 the number of opioid-related emergency department admissions increased 47.6 percent – 42 and 62. The number of opioid-related inpatient hospital admissions rose from 61 to 91 respectively – a 49.2-percent increase. 

According to a recent article in The Batavian (the sister site of the Wyoming County Free Press), there were five deaths in Genesee County that the Monroe County Medical Examiner attributed to the overuse of opiate-related drugs in 2013.

In 2016, 17 deaths with toxicology completed were attributed to drug mixtures that included opiates, with four toxicology reports for last year still pending.

To date in 2017, there are seven deaths where toxicology is still pending.

Of the 17 known OD-related deaths in 2016, only five were attributed to heroin mixed with other drugs, whether prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medications. (Note: the ME for 2016 was Erie County.)

There were nine deaths caused by a combination of prescription opiates mixed with other drugs.

There was one death caused by "acute and chronic substance abuse."

Of the 18 overdose deaths in 2015, 14 involved prescription opiates used in combination with other drugs and two were caused by heroin used in combination with other drugs.

In 2014, there were 12 drug-induced deaths. Nine of the 12 involved prescription opiates combined with other drugs. Heroin, used singularly or in combination with other drugs, contributed to three deaths. 

Between 2010 and 2014 those who were admitted for treatment for any opioid in Western New York was 7,679 in 2010. By 2014, the number of people seeking treatment rose by almost a third – 10,154 – a 32-percent increase.

Across the state, those in treatment for heroin use was 55,900 in 2010; in 2014, the number was 77,647. Deaths across the state due to heroin overdose increased 163 percent (215 in 2008, and 637 in 2013) and opioid overdoses increased 30 percent (763 to 952).

While nearby counties like Erie and Monroe have access to more mental health services and rehabilitation centers due to their populations, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties struggle to find those same services closer to home for their residents.

The next meeting date and time for GOW Opioid Task Force to be determined.

For more information, Kristine Voos at Kristine.Voos@co.genesee.ny.us

Monday, July 31, 2017 at 5:24 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, history, Historian's Office, Warsaw, cemetary.

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Sometimes…there just isn’t any family left to maintain the gravestones of deceased relatives.

So who cleans and repairs the tombstones?

“Sometimes nobody,” said Wyoming County Historian Cindy Amrhein. “Many of the incorporated cemeteries do their best, but it is difficult with limited funds. Other cemeteries are considered abandoned; there is no association who cares for it and no recent burials are happening. New York State law only requires those to be mowed by a town twice a year.”

Just last week, Amrhein and about 25 people participated in the workshop "Grave Matters" – a program that provides volunteers training in gravestone preservation techniques through classroom instruction and hands-on demonstration. The program is provided by the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies (WNYAHA).

The classroom portion of the program was held at the United Church of Warsaw on South Main Street. Participants then traveled south down the road just a bit with WNYAHA Administrative Coordinator Terry C. Abrams to the Warsaw Pioneer Cemetery for the hands-on portion of the workshop.

“They (WNYAHA) have been holding the workshop for nine years,” Amrhein said. “Terry asked me this spring if I would serve on the board. When the topic of where to hold Grave Matters this year came up, it was suggested to hold it in Wyoming County since it has never been presented here.”

Since most repair projects are done by volunteer groups, Amrhein says proper techniques are important in maintaining the integrity of the stone.

“When thinking about repairs keep it realistic on what you can do without machinery or other equipment,” Abrams said. “A sand and gravel mix tamped down is really all you need to level out a sinking stone.

“You’ll want to get the lichen and dirt off the stone because, over time it will eat away at the stone – especially limestone. And it’s also important to keep vegetation around the stone to help with preventing erosion.”

The new recommendation for cleaning is a product called "D/2 Biological Soluntion." It is biodegradable and doesn't damage the stone or the ground, says Abrams. However, he also noted that the product can be costly.

(A website called gravestonecleaner.com sells a one-gallon jug and one-quart reusable/refillable combo of D/2 for $55. Larger quantities are available; there are also instructions on the clean for cleaning gravestones with it.)

“From a historical standpoint, our office has tombstone inscriptions from every cemetery in the county since they were first written down in the 1950s,” Amrhein said. “Some of the old stones can be difficult to read without proper cleaning and repair. Methods have changed as we learn more. The way it used to be done, in some cases, has inadvertently caused more damage to the stones. Knowing the right way can be shared with others especially if a volunteer group plans to work on a particular cemetery.”

However, whether a person or group can repair or clean a gravestone for a non-relative, depends on who owns the cemetery, Abrams says.

“Generally, if a person performs a reasonable search for next of kin and can't find one, the person can go to the cemetery board and make the request to repair the stones.”

When a headstone is in fairly good condition, it can be a useful tool for the Historian’s Office as well as genealogists.

“When we are researching an event, a headstone may be the only clue we have at the moment about the person,” Amrhein said. “A headstone, or lack thereof, can tell us if those involved moved out of the area before they died, or if they are in fact buried in the county and when they died.

“Sometimes the stone is already knocked over and the piece you need is really there just underneath the surface of the dirt where the grass grew over. It was fascinating to watch our instructor, Brian Daddis, reset a stone back to level again and to clean it off.”

Daddis is the owner of Brian Daddis Masonry Restoration out of North Tonawanda.

Gone are the days of bolting metal straps to the stones to hold them together – only to later have rust deteriorate the stone around the mended area. Gone are the days of cleaning the markers with bleach or spraying on shaving cream in order to read them, says Amrhein.

“All of those things help in a tombstone's destruction.”

In addition to the Historian’s Office, Warsaw Town Historian and Assistant County Historian Sally Smith hosted the event. Other sponsors included Carmichael & Reed Monument Co., Robinson & Hackemer Funeral Home, and Lantz’s Bulk Foods, all of Warsaw.

For more information about WNYAHA visit http://www.wnyaha.org/

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Monday, July 31, 2017 at 2:23 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, cars, Varysburg, car show.

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The Varysburg Fire Department held its annual Junkyard Reunion Sunday afternoon at the Vincent Almeter Park, Varysburg. 

The fundraising event draws classic and antique vehicles from around New York and neighboring states.

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Monday, July 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Perry, Attica, Wyoming.

Adam M. Jellison, 39, of Attica, was charged July 30 with two counts of aggravated harassment, two counts of assault in the third degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, and strangulation in the second degree. Attica PD responded to a violent domestic incident on Prospect Street in the predawn hours Sunday. Following an investigation, Jellison was charged with the noted offenses. He was arraigned in the Village of Attica Court where bail was set at  $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. A full stay-away order of protection was also issued. He is due in court Aug. 21.

Ryan J. Mosher, 24, of Perry, was arrested July 28 for endangering the welfare of a child. Perry Police say Mosher is accused of abusing a 3-year-old girl. He was arraigned in Warsaw Town Court. He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due in the Village of Perry Court Aug. 1.

Charles H. Woodworth, 71, of Perry, was charged July 25 with criminal mischief in the fourth degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Woodworth is accused of throwing a coffee cup at a female, causing it to break during a domestic dispute. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say the incident took place in front of a 3-year-old child. He is due in the Town of Perry Court Aug. 23.

Christian J. Finkney, 29, of Wyoming, was charged July 26 with: aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree – alcohol-related revocation; aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree – three or more dates; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device; and unlicensed operator. Deputies say, around 9:30 p.m. July 26 Finkney’s vehicle was seen at a closed business in the Village of Wyoming and he was walking around the exterior of the building. During the investigation, it was found he had permission to be at the business. However, deputies say he drove there with a revoked New York State non-driver identification card. Finkney was arraigned in the Village of Warsaw Court where bail was set at $500 cash or $2,000 bond. He is due in the Town of Middlebury Court July 31.

Monday, July 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Java, Warsaw.
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     Jared T. Price

Since July 18 Jared T. Price has been arrested four times. This latest arrest stems from an alleged domestic incident in the Town of Java.

On July 18 an order of protection was issued against Price. According to police reports, four hours later, the Java man violated the order.

On July 28, he was again accused of being involved in a disturbance with the protected parties at a Welch Road address.

However, deputies say Price left the home prior to their arrival. A State Trooper found the 21-year-old several minutes later close by.

Following the investigation, he was charged with burglary in the second degree, criminal contempt in the second degree, and attempted petit larceny.

However, deputies say Price was not cooperative upon arrest and kicked out the rear door window of a patrol car in an attempt to flee.

Subsequently, he garnered additional charges of resisting arrest, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, and attempted escape in the second degree.

The suspect was arraigned in the Town of Warsaw Court and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Other charges in the last couple of weeks include:

    • July 18: Criminal contempt in the second degree for violating an order of protection. Bail was issued and posted;

    • July 20: Unlawfully growing cannabis and unlawful possession of marijuana; and

    • July 24: DWAI – drugs and related vehicle and traffic charges. Bail was again issued and posted.

The arrest on the 24th stems from a traffic stop for which Price is accused of driving a vehicle with no doors, no front windshield, no license plates, and with an ax stuck in the roof of the car.

As of this post, Price has not posted bail for the latest arrest and charges.

See related: Java man arrested after allegedly driving a vehicle with no doors or front windshield

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Covington, Perry.

Sally A. Johnston, 58, of Germantown, Md., was charged July 24 with speed over 55 mph and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Johnson was stopped on Route 63, Covington, for allegedly traveling 79 in a 55-mph zone. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say, during the stop, it was found her license has been suspended in New York State since 1987 for failure to answer two traffic tickets. She is due in the Town of Covington Court Aug. 21.

Bailey Shrum, 23, of Rochester, was arrested by Rochester PD July 25 on a warrant out of the Village of Perry. Perry Police officials say Shrum stole a credit card from a family member in 2016. He was charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree and petit larceny. He was put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, events, Warsaw, Sports, football.

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Photos submitted, information provided by Warsaw Junior Tigers.

Three Warsaw Junior Tigers earned accolades following a four-day, all-in football camp at the College at Brockport held earlier this month.

Tristan Schurr, Jacob McEntire, and Brayden Merritt worked with both experienced high school and collegiate athletes, as well as top-level coaches to fine tune fundamental football skills. The camp, hosted by Offense-Defense Sports, focuses on the development of players from youth through high school levels.

Tristan and Jacob each earned Most Valuable Player rankings. The designation is given to one player per age group, per position.

Brayden earned the Performance Award, which is given to players who have made a major, play-making impact during camp and throughout the week.

“I think it’s important that if a player wants to continue to develop skills outside of the regular season, that they have a reputable program to go to,” said Warsaw Junior Tigers President Kelly Ashcraft. “This camp has a long standing tradition of working with players to make sure that they have the skills needed to make them successful both on and off the field. I couldn’t be prouder of our boys for taking the initiative.”

“It really helps improve both your offensive and defensive skills. You learn a lot from the other players and coaches,” Tristan said. “The camp makes you a better person and leader, too.”

All three players have been invited to the 12th annual Offense-Defense All-American Bowl (dates to be released in coming weeks).

“With practice starting on Monday (July 31) for the 2017 season, these boys have a head start and are hoping to bring some of what they learned back to their teammates,” Ashcraft said.

Check out the action at the season opener at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Middle-High School football fields, Warsaw. The junior game starts at noon, with the senior game starting at 2 p.m.

The Warsaw Junior Tigers is part of the Community Youth Football League (CYFL), which consists of 17 towns throughout Wyoming, Allegany, and Livingston counties.

For more information about the camp visit http://www.o-d.com/.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, weather, government, flooding, tornado.

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Press release, file photo.

A bipartisan group of senators and assemblymen are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a disaster declaration and provide emergency funding to assist communities impacted by recent tornadoes and flash floods.

Senators Patrick Gallivan and Christopher Jacobs, and Assemblymen Sean Ryan, Michael Kearns and David DiPietro represent communities in Erie and Wyoming counties hit hard by severe weather earlier this month. Areas impacted by tornadoes and flooding include Hamburg, Holland, Orchard Park, Attica and Bennington.

In a letter to the governor, the legislators cited extensive damage to homes, businesses, trees, power lines and roads. They are seeking financial assistance for residents and local governments to help pay for the extensive cleanup and recovery efforts.

The letter states in part:

“The National Weather Service has confirmed three tornadoes struck the region, including two in communities that we represent. An EF2 tornado with winds of 110-135 mph hit the Town of Hamburg and an EF1 tornado with winds of 95 mph was recorded in the Town of Holland.

“In addition to the tornadoes, Western New York was also hit with heavy rains on July 13 and July 20 that caused flash flooding throughout Wyoming County, especially in the towns of Attica and Bennington.”

Wyoming County Fire and Emergency Management Director Tony Santoro estimates $2.3 million in damage to public infrastructure. Officials say in many cases, repair costs will exceed municipal budgets for road repair. Additionally, dozens of homes and businesses were also flooded, with some reporting 2 to 6 feet of water inside their buildings.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm

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Press release, photo submitted:

Shake on the Lake, Wyoming County’s Professional Shakespeare Festival celebrates its sixth season by producing its first tragedy, "Romeo & Juliet." This year’s tour is the largest to date and takes the company to eight counties – Wyoming, Livingston, Genesee, Orleans, Erie, Niagara, Monroe and Cattaraugus.

Josh Rice, co-founder and producing artistic director of Shake on the Lake, organized the company in 2012 to fulfill a life’s dream to bring professional theater to his hometown of Silver Lake. Since then, this rural-based company has grown from three professional theater artists to nearly a dozen and from four live shows to 16 during this year’s "Romeo & Juliet: tour.

“After producing comedies for the first five seasons, this year we are doing our first tragedy,” Rice said. “ 'Romeo & Juliet' is Shakespeare’s best-known play and is actually quite funny for the first three acts. Then, things get really interesting. We are excited to show people how we can put a mirror up to these 400-year-old plays and reflect back to audiences things that are still as relevant now, in 2017.”

Chad Bradford, associate artistic director, and founding company member is directing this year’s performance. He has helped shape the creative and collaborative process that Shake on the Lake is known for in their fast, physical, and fun style of adapting Shakespeare.

“When wrestling with a play as beautiful, iconic and famous as 'Romeo & Juliet,' one is tempted to take the bits and pieces of their favorite productions and cram them into a single performance,” Bradford said. “However, with the collaborative, ensemble-based working model that we have established here at Shake on the Lake, I’m learning things about the play that I never knew before.”

Both men are both alumni of the National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellowship program, which specializes in creative placemaking through the arts.

Rice’s program, the Mnemonic Theatre Project (MTP), develops theater programs for seniors living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. After four years of successful programs in Westchester County, he is launching the inaugural MTP workshops in Wyoming County in conjunction with the Office of the Aging, and Alzheimer’s Caregiver Partnership of WNY.

Bradford’s project, Voices UnCaged, brings theater to inmates in New York and Arkansas. For the second year, he will bring this program to Groveland Correctional Facility in Livingston County. The one-week theater outreach program, with teaching artists from Shake on the Lake, will culminate in an original performance by the students for an audience of their fellow inmates and prison administrators.

The company returned for its residency in Silver Lake in mid-July. In addition to performing, the company has a full schedule of K-12 educational programming (Perry, Lyndonville, Belmont and Niagara Falls), community outreach, and performances throughout Western New York.

“We’re thrilled that Shake on the Lake is welcomed in so many communities throughout Western New York,” said Managing Director Pilar McKay. “This year we also joined the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo to strengthen our ties to the regional theater community and to represent professional theatre in rural areas.”

Performances in Wyoming County are scheduled as follows:

    • Attica: July 31 at the Attica Historical Society, Main Street. Performance is free;

    • Arcade: Aug. 1 at the Village of Arcade Park (sledding hill), Main Street, rain location at the Hope Lutheran Church, Main Street. Performance is free; and

    • Silver Lake: Aug. 3, 4 and 5 at the Public Beach, with a rain location at Epworth Hall, Silver Lake. Cost is $10 per person or $35 for five people.

All performances begin at 6:30 p.m.

Shake on the Lake partners with organizations in many of the tour venues including Lyndonville Area Foundation, Lyndonville; Niagara Falls Air Force Base, Niagara Falls; Springville Center for the Arts, Springville; Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, Ellicottville; Western Monroe Historical Society, Brockport; GO ART!, Batavia; Orleans County Tourism, Point Breeze; Arts Council for Wyoming County (Wyoming County shows), Perry; Wyoming County Tourism (Wyoming County shows), Warsaw; and Dansville Rotary, Dansville.

Shake on the Lake is a live theater festival and is the first live outdoor theater festival in Wyoming County. The mission of the festival is to entertain, engage and enrich those in the community by creating professional theater productions in a natural, outdoor setting.

This program is supported by the NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (a statewide Theatre Regrant Program), the Lyndonville Area Foundation, the Conable Family Foundation, and the Austin Community Foundation.

For more information on Shake on the Lake, including updates on events and fundraising, volunteer, and sponsorship opportunities visit www.shakeonthelake.org or email shakeonthelake@gmail.com.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

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Balloons Over Letchworth celebrated its 30th anniversary with a ribbon cutting at Letchworth State Park yesterday evening.

Sean Quigley, his wife Denise, the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, Letchworth park officials, family, and friends gathered at the Middle Falls Area by the Glen Iris Inn to celebrate the milestone.

“We offer our hearty congratulations to Sean Quigley on 30 years of Balloons Over Letchworth,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner. “Sean’s business is one of the most recognized and respected tourism attractions in Wyoming County. He provides a truly unique experience to his customers and something special for visitors to see as he flies his balloons over the gorge.”

While he has been enamored with balloons since he was a small child, it wasn’t until 1979 that he took his first flight in a hot air balloon, and 1987 when he bought his own rig. It wasn’t until 1993 that he walked away from a 21-year career in real estate and bought Balloons Over Letchworth.

Quigley is an F.A.A. licensed commercial pilot; he has since logged over 2,000 flights in hot air balloons in festivals and races from Florida to Maine as well as in Europe. In 1989, he placed sixth of 38 countries represented in Le Coup Du Monde, World Cup balloon race in Belfort, France.

He has piloted his balloon over the brim of Niagara Falls several times and placed ninth in the United States in a distance long jump competition, traveling more than 114 miles in two-and-one-half hours.

In 2004 he flew in a weeklong festival over the Alps at Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. In January 2012, he flew two flights to 13,000 feet over the Austrian Alps.

Visit Balloons Over Letchworth for more information.

See related: Balloons Over Letchworth celebrates 30 years of flight over the park’s gorge

Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 9:02 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, events, Attica, Warsaw.

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Photo provided by the Sheriff's Office.

He has the kind of voice akin to one's favorite song – an old familiar sound that can be listened to over and over and never becomes tiresome. For more than the past four decades, Jay Myers has been that song with the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Division.

Well, maybe he is more like a favorite crooner… Familiar. Reassuring. And for the county's residents who listen to the police and fire scanner calls, he is more recognized by the sound of his voice than what he looks like.

Although his last official day isn’t until July 30, on Tuesday, friends, family, and coworkers – past and present, gathered at the Vets Club in Warsaw to wish Senior Dispatcher Myers a happy retirement. 

“I do notice it more when Jay is not on (the scanner). It’s kind of weird,” said Bliss Fire Chief Clarence George. “He just has everything down. He’s got two ends to run on accident calls, he has to coordinate all the backup as well… not just calling the ambulance to an accident, but he also has the responsibility of relaying the information to other authorities. I really hate to see him go but…retirement is nice.”

He sits in his chair before a bank of computers, under dim lights and with a headset secure in place. He is an unassuming man. Quiet. Shy. Modest about his impact as a dispatcher and almost bashful when one recognizes his voice.

Myers can not only claim the title of the longest employee with dispatch – although Myers does dispute this, he is just about positive there was one guy who was a dispatcher for the county for about 42 years – he is also the last original employee from the Bureau of Fire.

At some point during the early 1980s, the Bureau was changed to a Civil Service job, thus being renamed to the Communications Division of the Sheriff’s Office. Even though by that point Myers had been doing the job for half-a-dozen years – give or take – he was required to apply for, take and pass the Civil Service test to keep his job.

He also began his career before the 9-1-1 emergency system was in effect and teletypes were the norm, as opposed to the wall of computers he sits in front of now. Calls were recorded on a reel-to-reel audio tape recorder – its tapes had to be changed nightly, a card file system was used, and calls were taken with pen and paper – a habit Myers carries to this day.

“It is not easy keeping up with the technological advances,” said Sheriff Greg Rudolph. “When Jay started there was a microphone and calls were handwritten and documented on cards. Now everything is computerized (phone, radio, computer-aided dispatch). To put it in perspective, he started when 9-1-1 was cutting technology and most phones had stickers on them with local emergency numbers.”

Throughout his career, major technological advances have simplified (meaning less paperwork) his job and streamlined communication between dispatchers and emergency personnel.

Yet, technology wasn’t the only upgrade to the division.

“I started in 1976 in a small 10 (foot) by 10 (foot) workspace. During the winter we’d put plastic on the windows to keep warm. During the summer, the AC would freeze up,” Myers said. “And Arcade had their own dispatcher for fire and police. That was her business right in her home. If an incident warranted, she would then call dispatch.”

“Jay has gone from the tiny little room in the old jail to the nice spacious room that we are in today. He has seen the advent of computers and the major changes in the county radio system,” said Fire and Emergency Management Director Tony Santoro. “When he started there was only one tower location in the county – that was not very reliable – to the eight-tower system that we have today. He went through the implantation of the E9-1-1 system and from not having a CAD (computer-aided dispatch) and map system to having a system that is very automated.”

The only thing that had not changed since Myers started his job was the two dispatchers per shift schedule. During any given shift in the Communications Division, there are two dispatchers on duty. However, if the emergency warrants it, such as the recent weather events, a third dispatcher is brought in.

“Back then, we had to call each and every car to know where they were. The only computers we had at the time were teletypes for getting the information to the patrol cars,” Myers said. “We were also responsible for taking bail money for inmates and were the point of contact for inmate visitors. But the visits were only on Saturdays and Sundays.”

“He’s kept up with the technology,” said Emergency Management Fire Coordinator Bill Streicher. “Taking us older individuals and throwing a computer in front of us…He’s kept up. He’s always maintained a level of professionalism.”

Myers said he didn’t set out for communications as a career choice – he majored in Criminal Justice at Genesee Community College. But, it was an opportunity he says he had taken advantage of at the time and it sounded interesting.

“I was there when Jay first came on board,” said retired dispatcher Betty Fancher. “He’s a nice guy. That’s all there is to it.”

Fancher had been a dispatcher from 1976 until 1999 and has known Myers since he was a little kid.

“I was one of the dispatchers that trained Jay. He’s a very caring person; always wanted to learn.”

Sandy Tiede had worked with Myers for more than 30 years and says they couldn’t get to the call quick enough because he was already on top of it.

“We worked so many holidays together and it was somewhat quiet and it was nice to share a holiday with a friend when you can't be at home,” Tiede said.

While the job has intense moments at times, sometimes a bit of comedic relief is bound to inadvertently happen.

“One night right after briefing…we went in at 10:45 for briefing…we got into the office and Jay started cleaning. He liked to make sure everything was clean,” Tiede said. “While he was cleaning, he accidentally hit all the fire department buttons in the county. Sirens all over the county went off and people kept calling in and he just told them all to disregard. Fortunately, it was late at night instead of 4 a.m.”

“He’s a fireman so he knows what we are going through when we are on a call,” George said. “He knows what you’re going through when you get to a scene and knows what you have to do. He is someone with experience that’s nice to have on the other end.”

In addition to his “day job,” Myers is also the fire chief for the Attica Fire Department, beginning his career when he was 16 years old. However, as is the case now, he says there were special restrictions for the younger firefighters.

For as much as Myers had to learn and adapt to the ever changing technology, he was a teacher as much as he was a student.

“There are certain calls or complaints that are very frustrating and very stressful despite the number of years on the job,” Rudolph said. “But Jay never portrays that to the public. He may show it privately when the call is over, but never to someone seeking assistance….never!”

“Perseverance is the biggest one,” Streicher said. “And to remain as calm as possible through major events. Being clear in what is being said and say it in a precise manner.”

Myers says one of the most challenging aspects of his job is getting a location when people don’t really know where they are.

“It’s most difficult to get accurate information and understanding the caller when they are in a tense situation,” Myers said. “But it’s satisfying getting help to people who need it.”

While he says he’s going to miss some of the people – but generally sees them anyway – he is looking forward to a less complicated day.

But then again…

“I’m not really looking forward to it (retirement) because it’s a big change after doing the same schedule for the past 40 years of my life.”

“Jay will sincerely be missed at the Sheriff’s Office, not only for his reliable dispatching skills but because of the person he is and positive attitude and enjoyment he brings to the Division and Office,” Rudolph said. “We all have made the comment many, many times, ‘I want to go in and see what Jay is up to today.’ To me, there is no greater compliment to the type of person he is.”

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Above photo provided by the Sheriff's Office.

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