LeRoy, N.Y. --The weather in LeRoy is typical for a January day.
The day itself - not so typical.
“It's something to have this happen here, LeRoy's no big special town,” said resident James Thomas.
Thomas, who owns a pizza parlor in town is referring to the national spotlight now on LeRoy after twelve girls came down with tic like symptoms in November.
“Personally I think it's blown out of proportion,” said resident Peter Skillman. “A lot of the girls are trying to get in on the publicity, I don't think that's it's as severe as everyone's making it out to be. My main concern is I do want them to find what the cause is, for some of the girls, the symptoms are pretty significant in a small town like this."
Erin Brockovich wants that as well.
Saturday she sent a team to town to collect soil samples.
“We felt that the environmental component needed to be investigated further and that’s what we’re here for, we’re not sure we’re going to come up with the answers,” said Bob Bowcock, an investigator with Erin Brockovich’s team. “It was an occurrence, we’re not sure if it’s a temporary occurrence in the environment or a temporary occurrence from some sort of biological event, we don’t know, but don’t rule out environmental."
Saturday they collected samples near the site of a chemical spill from a 1970 train derailment.
“Stumbled upon that, not only is this a superfund clean up site but it's one of the worse in the state of New York and all you have to do is look around, it's pretty impressive with the number of monitoring wells the quantity of chemicals discharged,” said Bowcock.
All the attention is creating a buzz around town.
“I'm welcome to have them come in and bring doctors in to find out what's going on,” said resident James Thomas.
Others though, don't like the attention.
“People in a small town get nervous when they have some attention but as I said I hope they find the cause of this and I think it will soon go away,” said Skillman.
Below is a statement from the LeRoy School District in reponse to Brockovich's team and media outlets on its property:
This morning, without any prior notice to the District, camera crews from a number of media sources, including both national and local outlets, entered District property for the purpose of filming an unidentified individual taking soil samples.
It is appalling that whatever group or entity employing this individual, as well as the media outlets participating in this effort, chose to conduct themselves in this way - which can only be characterized as grandstanding. Not only was this criminal activity which forced the District to call in local law enforcement to maintain the security of its property, it disrupted the District’s preparations for a weekend music event involving students from over twenty-two schools as well as other student activities. No legitimate organization would function in this manner.
As previously indicated, the District is working in conjunction with local and state agencies relative to this matter. Based upon the results from testing already conducted at the District as well as review of other information from multiple sources, environmental factors have not been identified as a cause of the symptoms that have manifested in some students. Testing conducted with rogue samples is of no scientific value, as it is not conducted in accordance with scientific methodologies and safety protocols utilized by reputable environmental experts in all testing situations. In fact, such actions could hamper the coordinated effort already underway by the District in conjunction with environmental, health, and safety experts to address this matter. The District will continue to provide information with respect to these efforts as it becomes available.
Local law enforcement will continue to monitor the security of the District’s property.