Collins wants to block funds for college programs for inmates

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins Posted 31 July 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3327, the Kids Before Cons Act, which will block the Obama administration’s plans to use Pell grants to fund college programs for prisoners.

“The Obama administration’s plan to put the cost of a free college education for criminals on the backs of the taxpayers is consistent with their policy of rewarding lawbreakers while penalizing hardworking Americans,” said Congressman Collins. “The Kids Before Cons Act closes the loophole the Obama administration is trying to exploit, and protects taxpayers from footing the bill for criminals’ educations. This legislation ensures that Pell grants will be used for their intended purpose of assisting financially disadvantaged students struggling to attain a college education.”

H.R. 3327 does the following:


• Upholds the 1994 law that prohibits prisoners from receiving federal Pell grants by forbidding the Department of Education from using its experimental authority to provide funding for higher education for prisoners.


• Instructs the Department of Education to conduct a study on whether students enrolled in a charter school or in private schools as a result of participation in a voucher program run a higher or lower risk of incarceration than students who attend public school.

Full text of the legislation can be read by clicking here.


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Today's Fair Schedule (July 31, 2015)

Photos by Tom Rivers

Sara Winter, a member of the Chainsaw Chix, creates a frog on a lily pad during the Orleans County 4-H Fair on Thursday. Winter has been a featured attraction at the fair the past six years.

Special Event Orleans County 4-H Fair Car Show, located in the Buzz
Hill Education Center lot.

Daily Feature: Orleans County Flower Show sponsored by Orleans County Master Gardeners. Display located in the Lartz Exhibit Building with daily presentations at 6 p.m.

Daily Feature: Meet Michael Keene, author of five books on hidden
history in New York, in the Lartz Building from 3-9 p.m.

8 a.m. Senior Council Stand Opens

9:30 a.m. Youth Ag Olympics Fun Activitie - South Lawn

9 a.m. Miniature Horse Show & Driving Competition - Carlos Marcello Arena

10 a.m. $5 Admission per car starts

10 a.m. All Buildings Open

10 a.m. Grand Master Showman Workshop - Starting in Show Arena

10:30 a.m. Tractor Driving Contest - South Parking Lot

Chantelle Kidney of Medina is pictured with a sheep that won best in show on Thursday.

12 p.m. Leaders’ Pie Stand Opens

12 to 2 p.m. Pottery by Megan Demonstrations with pottery wheel - Trolley Building


12:30 p.m. Dog Show, Agility Competition (Classes 23-30) - Show Arena

1 p.m. Story Time by Lee-Whedon Memorial Library of Medina - Trolley Building

1 to 3 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with face painting, crafts and art projects - Trolley Building

2 p.m. Story Time by Lee-Whedon Memorial Library of Medina - Trolley Building

3 to 10 p.m. Midway Rides of Utica $20 Unlimited Ride wristband - Midway

3 p.m. Horse Judging Contest - Carlos Marcello Arena

4 p.m. Royalty questionnaires due - Fair Office

Lillian Mathes, 10, of Barre tries to control her sheep during a livestock show on Thursday.

4 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links - Log Cabin

4 to 7 p.m. Pottery by Megan Demonstrations with pottery wheel - Trolley Building

4:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun. Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile - Lawn South of the Knights Building

5 p.m. Friday Night Fish Fry: Sponsored by Renovation Lodge #97. Cost: $9 Adult (Half portion $7) - Curtis Pavilion

5:30 p.m. Classic Car Cruise-In - Education Center Lot

Jane Kelly sings "At Last" during the karaoke finals on Thursday.

5:30 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi - West end of Lartz Building

6 p.m. Set Up for Band - Stage

6 p.m. Registration Ends for Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull - Fair Office

6 p.m. Grand Master Showman - Livestock Areas

6 to 8 p.m. Pie Eating Contest: Sponsored by Brown’s Berry Patch (Register at Fair Office during the week) - Curtis Pavilion

6 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links - Log Cabin

6 p.m. Master Gardener Presentation: Everything Lavender - Lartz Building

6 to 8 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with face painting, crafts and art projects - Trolley Building

6:30 p.m. Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull. Pedal Tractor Course - Fair Office

These trained pigs are dressed up for the Pork Chop Review.

6:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun
Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile - Lawn South of the Knights Building

7 p.m. “The Who Dats” Classic rock of all eras, alternative and blues - Stage

7 p.m. Quadrille Horse Demonstration - Carlos Marcello Arena

7 p.m. Spanish/English Story Time by Agribusiness Child Development - Trolley Building

7:30 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi - West end of Lartz Building

8 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links - Log Cabin

The sun sets Thursday in this photo showing the Carlos Marcello Arena for horses and the west end parking lot.

8:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun. Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile - Lawn South of the Knights Building

9 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi - West end of Lartz Building


10 p.m. Buildings Close

10 p.m. Fireworks (Rain Date Saturday @ 10:00pm)

10:30 p.m. Greased Pole Climbing Contest (Teams must pre-register at Fair Office). At Greased Pole


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Grease pole proves a slippery challenge

Only 2 of 4 teams can make it to the top

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 31 July 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Alex Graff is up on Nic Elliott's shoulders as the team, Rough N Ready, tries to climb the grease pole on Thursday night at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.


The team wasn't able to pull off the challenge. Four teams tried it, but only two made it.


"It's slippery up there," Graff said.

Brad Driesel of Rough N Ready gets close to the top. Before he could get there, the bottom of the team started to give out. A nearly full moon shows in this photo.

The A Team makes it to the top of the pole as a crowd of several hundred people gather at 10 p.m. to close out the fair. The A Team completed the challenge in 1 minute, 1 second. That was good for second place on Thursday.

Lusciously Lube was the fastest team on Thursday. They climbed the pole in 38.32 seconds.

Devan Freeman of Medina is on top of the grease pole for Lusciously Lube with Ben Martin second from the top, and Mike Murphy third from the top.


Many of the team members are from Medina. Some of them tried it last year and couldn't get to the top.


"We didn't make it last year so this was a redemption thing," Ben Martin said.


Lusciously Lube advances to the finals on Saturday night.


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Karaoke brings out singing sensations at fair

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 31 July 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Thursday was the finals for karaoke at the Orleans County 4-H Fair and Ayman Huzair, 21, captured first place and a $500 prize for his performance.


Huzair sang a medley of songs from Michael Montgomery, Bruno Mars and Cupid.

Huzair welcomed the crowd to join him on stage for the “Cupid Shuffle.” He just graduated from Brockport State College with a biochemistry degree and is applying to med school. His sisters Salma, 16, and Tamara, 13, both performed, and so did their brother Qasim, 11. The siblings took three of the top 5 spots.

Salma Huzair won second place and $250 for singing “Broken Hearted Girl.”

Rich Nolan, a past champion, was third with “Eight Second Ride.” Nolan, 25, of Medina said the contest, featuring 16 singers who qualified from Monday through Thursday, was a showcase of the singing talent in Orleans County.


“I just love performing for people,” Nolan said. “It’s just fun to have fun with the crowd.”

Olivia Redick of Kendall was fourth with “Girl Crush.”

Qasim Huzair proved a crowd favorite with his performance of “Sugar.” Qasim sang in public for the first time on Wednesday and transformed from a quiet kid into a high-energy singer.

Dawn Hoffmeister of Ridgeway sings "Still Got The Blues." Hoffmeister, 54, said she has been singing karaoke for more than 20 years.


"I just love to sing," she said. "It's my passion."

Lindsay Thurber sings "Gunpowder and Lead."

Liz Osborn sings "Girl Crush" during the karaoke finals.


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4-H’ers model clothes they created

Photos by Kristina Gabalski Posted 30 July 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Rebecca Semmel, a 4-H’er from Wyoming County, braved hot, sticky conditions to model this outfit she made during the WNY 4-H District Clothing Review on Wednesday at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.


A visit to Gettysburg, Pa., inspired the historical outfit which is typical of women's fashion, circa 1863. Rebecca will wear her outfit when she works in the
Historical House at the Wyoming County Fair later this summer.


The Orleans County 4-H Fair played host to the Western New York 4-H District Clothing Review Wednesday afternoon. 4-Hers from Chautauqua, Niagara, Wyoming and Orleans counties took part, modeling garments and clothing ensembles they had made or embellished.

Melinda Waag, 14, of Fredonia models her outfit.

Orleans County’s own Emma Mathes, 14, of Barre models her lacy party dress during the WNY 4-H District Clothing Review. She is a member of the Adventurers 4-H Club.

Dana Daigler, 17, of Niagara County models a purchased skating outfit she embellished by hand with 2,300 Swarovski crystals.


Dana spent 12 hours on the project and used crystal AB and fire opal colored crystals to accent the bright red skating outfit.


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Medina hospital says infections have been greatly reduced

Staff Reports Posted 30 July 2015
MEDINA – Medina Memorial Hospital officials say they have reduced MRSA and C. Diff infections by 71.4 percent this year compared to data in 2013-14, when Consumer Reports says Medina Memorial had the highest rate of infections for Western New York hospitals.


Officials at Orleans Community Health, the parent organization of Medina Memorial, say they believe in the transparency of reporting of quality measures.


“However, we are concerned with the Consumer Reports methodology, which according to their technical specifications states that ‘although extremely serious, these infections are relatively infrequent, which makes the infection rates volatile, as the occurrence of one or two infections can have a large impact on reported rates ...’” according to a statement from the hospital today.


Medina Memorial staff have made changes to cleaning processes, skin preparation prior to certain procedures and education for staff ordering and obtaining blood cultures to accurately reflect a community acquired or a hospital acquired infection, hospital officials said in a statement.


“We will continue to implement best practice measures in our hospital to continue to provide quality care close to home,” Medina Memorial officials said.


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New Yorkers can now print temporary driver’s licenses

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office Posted 30 July 2015

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New Yorkers now have the opportunity to print a temporary license from the Department of Motor Vehicles website when they renew or replace their driver licenses, learner permits, or non-driver identification card online.


This service will provide a quick, convenient way to get a temporary license, without making a trip to the DMV, allowing drivers and residents to be able to prove a new license is on the way.


“This administration remains committed to streamlining the processes of government, and one of our focuses has been making DMV wait times shorter and services more convenient,” Cuomo said. “We are bringing the DMV of New York into the 21st century and improving the way it serves millions of customers.”


The printable documents are similar to, and as valid as, one from the DMV office or DMV kiosk, but with the added convenience of printing from home. The temporary license, permit or non-driver identification card is valid for 60 days. Each temporary document appears on an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven-inch page and carries a background image of the New York State coat of arms.


Customers can access this service on the DMV’s website or with a MyDMV account. (Click here for more infromation.) When using the DMV website, a download link on their confirmation page will appear to download the temporary document. Customers renewing or replacing a license through their MyDMV account can log into their account and re-download their document for up to five days after completing their transaction.


The ability to download a temporary document is also offered to customers renewing or replacing their registrations. Additionally, the DMV website allows customers who are renewing late, or who have lost their documents, to obtain a temporary document immediately and avoid a trip to a DMV office.


The DMV is continuing to expand its online service capabilities. More than 1.2 million New Yorkers now receive email and text reminders from the DMV to renew their driver licenses, non-driver identification cards, and registrations, and to inspect their vehicles.


The DMV began offering this service to New Yorkers in February 2014 as part of its Customer Service Initiative. Customers can sign up for the electronic reminder service online, by mail, at a DMV office, or at a kiosk in a state-run DMV office and can choose to receive the reminders by email, text message, or both. Once enrolled, it is easy to change contact information in the future or unsubscribe from the service at any time.


The DMV sends enrollees license, non-driver identification card, and registration e-reminders approximately 90, 60, and 30 days prior to expiration and again at expiration. Customers receive e-reminders to have their vehicle inspected on the first of the month of expiration, the 15th of the month, and again at expiration. A MyDMV account is not required for this service.


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Some snapshots from the Fair

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 30 July 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Camryn Eick, 9, of Albion holds two alpaccas – Stella, left, and Bella. She was getting ready to take them for a walk on Wednesday at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Ruthie Kuipers, 5, of Byron competes in the small fry pedal tractor pull. She finished second in the 45 pounds and under division.

Nick Sacco, 13, of Albion competes in the dairy showmanship competition on Wednesday. Nick works part-time at the Neal family dairy farm and is showing one of their cows.

Ken Strickland, an investigator with the Orleans County Sheriff's Department, competes in a new doughnut-eating contest at the fair. Every contestant ate more doughnuts than Strickland. Deputy Jeff Cole also competed in one of the doughnut-eating heats.

Kylie Poynter, right, and her sister Tiffany sing "Just A Kiss" by Lady Antebellum during karaoke at the fair.

Jeremy Neal gives the instructions for the grease pole competition to the BB Queens, a team with eight women and one man. They were successful in getting to the top of the pole on Wednesday night.

Blue, a horse owned by Michela Hanlon of Kendall, relaxes in its stall after a busy Wednesday of competitions.


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Grease pole returns as fair favorite

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 30 July 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Andrew Jones of the Troll Diggers makes it to the top of the grease-slathered pole on Wednesday night at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.


The Troll Diggers completed the climb in 26.2 seconds, the fastest of two teams on Wednesday. That qualified the Troll Diggers for Saturday's championship, which will feature the fastest teams from qualifying rounds on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


The grease pole caps off the fair at 10 p.m. each night from Wednesday through Saturday, and draws crowds of several hundred people.


The Troll Diggers were runner-ups in 2014. The team includes members mostly from Hamlin and Brockport.


"It's a hoot," said Sam Pak, one of the team members.

The Troll Diggers pose for a photo after conquering the grease pole. The team includes, front row, from left: Andrew Agent and Sam Pak. Back row: Nate Jenks, Andrew Jones, Neal Kruger, Jeff Ebel, Isaiah Jenks and Jonah Pak.

Taylor Soule (in white) makes her way up the grease pole. Cady Messmer is the second person up from the base. They are members of the BB Queens, a team of eight women and one man. The BB Queens debuted last year and advanced to the finals. This time they finished in 1:04 for second place.

Ricky Messmer makes it to the top of the grease pole. Taylor Soule, who recently got home from boot camp in the Air Force, was the third person up for the BB Queens.


Soule of Albion said she wanted to compete again because of the tight friendships on the team.


Messmer, 23, said he has played many sports and nothing compares to the thrill and sense of camraderie of climbing the grease pole.

The BB Queens include, front row: Brianna Dixon, Cady Messmer and Taylor Soule. Back row: Eboni Taylor, Hannah Hapeman, Ricky Messmer, Brooke Bensley, Halle Jurs, and Jessica Grimes.


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Medina hospital fares poorly in national ranking for avoiding infections

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2015
MEDINA – A national ranking by Consumer Reports of infections at hospitals puts Medina Memorial Hospital far below average in preventing five infections.

Medina fared the worst of 13 Western New York hospitals in the report. The data is based on hospital-acquired infections from October 2013 to September 2014.

The data doesn’t give a true picture of the hospital and doesn’t reflect improvements at Medina Memorial, said Wendy Jacobson, president/CEO of the hospital.

“We are concerned by the methodology used and the age of the data,” Jacobson said in a statement. “Medina Memorial Hospital has a robust Infection Prevention program and reviewed the data in real time (October 2013- September 2014). As with any good Performance Improvement program, changes were made to policies and procedures. The current data shows a significant decline in MRSA infections in 2015.”


In addition to MRSA, the Consumer Reports study looked at hospitals' ability to avoid problems with C. difficile, central lines, urinary tract catheters, and surgical sites.


To see an article about the issue from The Buffalo News, click here.


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19th person arrested in drug bust

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2015
ALBION – Kaylee M. Loiacono, 27, of Brockport was arrested on drug charges on Tuesday, bringing the number of people arrested in a recent drug bust to 19.


Loiacono of 87 Willow Brook Apartments was arraigned in Orleans County Court this afternoon. Judge James Punch set bail at $5,000.


She was charged with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd degree and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd degree, which are both Class B felonies.

The Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force worked with law enforcement agencies in four counties in a 7-month investigation into the sale and distribution of heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription pills and marijuana in Orleans County.

The Task Force announced 17 arrests on Friday, with another person being arraigned on Monday.


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