Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Kellie Pickler to play Allegany County Fair

ANGELICA —  The 2008 Allegany County Fair will feature 2006 American Idol finalist, Kellie Pickler as the main act Friday night.

This year, the fair announced only one show will take place instead of the usual two. Pickler will perform at 8 p.m. on July 18.

Tickets remain at $30 plus a $3 handling fee. Tickets will be available beginning the middle of February by mail or phone. Ticket orders will be filled by the earliest postmark, so send your orders to Allegany County Fair, Ticket Office, PO Box 84, Angelica, NY  14709.

Pickler opened for Rascal Flats this past weekend in Buffalo at the HSBC Arena.

The 2008 Allegany County Fair will run July 14-19 at the Fairgrounds in Angelica. The complete program will be announced soon.

More charges filed against RIT professor

HENRIETTA – Michael Krembel, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was charged for allegedly enticing a 14-year-old boy over the Internet.

Krembel, of Churchville, was arrested Tuesday by the City of Batavia Police. Officers had been watching Krembel for a while, according to Detective Todd Crossett. A mother filed a complaint several months ago alleging her teenage daughter had sexual contact with Krembel and various other men she met on the Internet.

At that point, officers began to track four men online. Crossett posed as a 14-year-old boy on the Internet and Krembel attempted to meet the boy in person Tuesday evening in Batavia, according to police.

On Wednesday, he was also charged with criminal sexual act in the third degree and endangering the welfare of a child for his alleged involvement with the teenage girl last summer.

He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail in the Genesee County Jail, Crossett said.

City kids to benefit from private school

ROCHESTER — McQuaid Jesuit school officials are hoping to change the lives of 60 to 120 city kids.

With the recent announcement that the Catholic Diocese of Rochester will close 13 of its  schools come June, the Jesuits recently announced plans to open a middle school in Rochester by the fall of 2009 that would follow acurriculum to serve at-risk youth.

In addition to staff, the school would feature volunteers and mentors and would be partly funded by donations.

It hasn’t been decided whether the school would be co-ed, officials said. If it’s co-ed, there would be separate boys and girls programs and the school would have about 120 students. The school would start with one to two grade levels and grow to full size over three years.

U.S. Marshals arrest Utica man

YORKVILLE — Members of the U.S. Marshals Service along with officers from state and local agencies took a Utica man into custody Wednesday in Yorkville, according to federal marshals. 

Joshua Butler was being sought by members of the Marshals Service led by New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force for violation of release conditions, officials said. 

Marshals said Butler was arrested in 2004 on federal weapons charges. 

Butler was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Syracuse and remanded to jail pending the outcome of his current case, marshals said.

Groundhog festival marks sixth year

GREECE — Punxsutawney Phil can’t be in two places at once Saturday.

The famed Pennsylvania rodent — or woodchuck or whistlepig, depending on your vocabulary liking —  will try to peek at his shadow Feb. 2. Legend says if Phil sees his outline in Punxsutawney, we’re in for six more weeks of winter.

Greece will mark the occasion with its own sixth annual Groundhog Day Festival. Since Phil will be preoccupied in Pennsylvania, a volunteer will do the honors up here, donning a groundhog suit for the occasion.

“We just have too much fun,” said organizer Cheryl Ann Bilski. “There’s always something to do and people to see and something to eat and games to play and it’s fun to come out and be a kid for a day and play in the snow.”

The Greece Chamber of Commerce's Erie Canal Committee plans the event. Attendance has grown from 125 to 1,200 at its peak. Organizers are hoping for 1,350 people this year. It’s held on the Greece Town Hall campus.

Former upstater receives French Legion of Honor

ROCHESTER — It took him 63 years to receive it. Retired Rochester businessman Mario Grossi, now a snowbird, was awarded the French Legion of Honor in a ceremony held Jan. 12 in Naples, Fla.

 Grossi, a World War II veteran, is 84.

He saw an article in a newspaper a few years ago that said France was looking for GIs who had served in France during the war.

Grossi was in the fourth wave than crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy in France. As a member of the 8th Infantry Division and part of General George S. Patton’s Third Army, his unit fought its way through France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and finally into Germany.

Philippe Vinogradoff, the Consul General of France, who is based in Miami, presented Mario Grossi and five other Florida veterans with the award this month. The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize eminent military merits in the service
of France.