Albion Interact Club connects with Senior Citizens through bingo

Provided photo, Albion Central School Posted 8 February 2016
ALBION – Some residents at the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion last week enjoyed a game of bingo with members of the Rotary Interact Club.


The following Rotary Interact Club members are pictured from left: Vivian Rivers, Haley Bader, Emily Blanchard and Nikki Eldred with Villages residents Joy Wieme, center, and Lucille Bloom, right.


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Medina Winterguard wins 1st at Victor competition

Provided photo Posted 8 February 2016
VICTOR – Medina’s Varsity Winterguard took first place against nine other guard units during a Winterguard show on Saturday at Victor Central School.

There were 28 guards performing altogether in eight different classifications, plus one guard in exhibition.  Medina’s Winterguard scored 62.21 points to take first in the A1 class. The students performed at a quick pace using flags, rifles and acrobatics.

Medina will next compete March 5 in Lancaster and then Medina has its Home Show on March 12 with both the Varsity and Cadet guards performing. The Medina Home Show, Colorburst 2016, will be in the High School Gym. The doors open at 4 p.m., the show starts at 5 and there are 20 guards performing. The Medina Cadet guard performs at 5:21 and the Varsity guard at 7:40.


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GCC professor will talk presidential primaries in lecture Tuesday

Derek Maxfield will explain caucuses, open and closed primaries
Staff Reports Posted 8 February 2016
BATAVIA – What is the difference between a caucus and a primary? Why is it important? How long will it take for each party to choose its nominee?

For answers to these questions and more, join GCC Associate Professor Derek Maxfield at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9 – the day of the New Hampshire Primary – for a presentation on the presidential nominating process.  The presentation will be at the GCC Batavia campus in the Conable Technology Building.

Maxfield has worked on a presidential campaign before. About 30 years ago he served on the staff for Sen. Paul Simon as he sought the Democratic nomination. Maxfield said the experience was exhausting and exhilarating.

He returned to New Hampshire on Jan. 29 to see a campaign rally in person for Donald Trump. Maxfield said Trump clearly has a following with more than 1,500 people at the event in Nashua. (Maxfield predicts Trump will win on Tuesday.)

Maxfield will discuss how different states choose delegates. Iowa held the first caucus last week and New Hampshire has an open primary tomorrow, where non-affiliated voters can cast a ballot during the primary. Other states like New York have closed primaries where only Republican and Democratic can vote in their respective primaries. (New York’s primary is scheduled for April 19.)

Maxfield also will discuss how candidates accumulate delegates. New York has 291 Democratic delegates and 95 Republican delegates up for grabs.

Maxfield said it is proving to be an exciting race thus far. It is possible no candidate will have all the needed delegates to secure the nomination in time for the convention. He will discuss a brokered convention, and also the possibility of Donald Trump going outside the party if he doesn’t have enough delegates and still pursues the presidency.


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Ministry of Concern adds development director to attract funding, volunteers

Provided photo
Nyla Gaylord is the new director of development for the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern.


Staff Reports Posted 8 February 2016
ALBION – The Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, known by many in the community as “The Agency of Last Resort,” has appointed Nyla Gaylord as director of development.


In this newly created position for GOMOC, Gaylord will focus on securing new sources of funding, recruiting volunteers, and program development.

“The Ministry of Concern, like so many small not-for-profits, is struggling to manage the impact of reductions in funding,” said Laverne Bates, executive director. “(The new position) will enable us to focus on securing funding for current operations and expand services.”


Gaylord, a resident of Clarendon, most recently worked as the director of development and community relations for Hospice of Orleans, Inc. She has worked as a grant writer and with other not-for-profit agencies.


“It is such a pleasure to work locally and see all of the great things being done in Orleans and Genesee County – yet there is so much more that can be done,” Gaylord said. “I believe that the Ministry of Concern has an important role to play in improving the lives of the poor and working poor in our communities.”


The Ministry of Concern grew out of a grass roots effort of local churches which organized in 1968 to respond to the needs of farmworkers and the poor.


Today, nearly a half century later, the agency serves residents who face crises, from shut-off notices for utilities to not having basic furniture.


GOMOC runs a program where donations of used furniture are delivered to families in need. The Just Friends, E-3 Team Youth Mentoring program provides mentors (coaches) to youths in need of positive adult connections. Emergency services are provided to help when other resources are not available. To donate or volunteer, call 589-9210 and speak with the new director of development.


GOMOC’s office is in downtown Albion at 121 North Main St. – the third floor of the Albion Visitors’ Center. Assisting people with utilities is the biggest category of need for GOMOC in Orleans County. GOMOC served 1,281 clients with utility bills in 2014.


The breakdown of other cases in Orleans includes 664 with furniture and appliances; 247 for holiday assistance; 223 for personal care items, food and baby supplies; 92 for prescriptions; 79 for school supplies; 50 for gas and transportation; 25 for emergency shelter and housing; and 136 for other.


For more on the Ministry of Concern, click here.


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4 are sentenced at county court, including 3 to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2016
ALBION – An Albion man who admitted to selling cocaine was one of four people sentenced in Orleans County Court today by James Punch.

Brandon Honore, 30, of East Park Street pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. He is a second felony offender with a previous drug charge for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. He has another prior felony and has already been in state prison.

Honore was arrested in July when 20 people were charged a seven-month investigation into the sale and distribution of drugs in Orleans County.

His attorney, Kevin McKain, said Honore had been working full-time for six years before the drug charge last July. McKain asked that the judge not revoke Honore’s driver’s license as part of the sentence and Punch agreed to let Honore keep the license when he is released from prison.

McKain said Honore has turned his life around and will be a productive citizen when he is out of prison.

Punch said Honore needs to be sent to prison.

“You have a long criminal history of drug crimes,” Punch said during sentencing this afternoon. “This is a serious and protracted criminal history.”

The judge also sentenced Honore to two years of post-release supervision. He told Honore to stay away from drugs or else the next sentence will be longer.

“You are introducing serious, harmful drugs into this community,” Punch said, calling Honore “a drug salesman.”

In other sentencings today:

• A Medina man was sentenced for his fifth alcohol-related offense. Bradley Dunaway, 52, of Oak Orchard River Road was sentenced today to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.


Dunaway had been drinking prior to an accident on June 20 at Ridge Road and Culvert Road in Ridgeway. Dunaway registered a 0.18 blood alcohol content, more than double the legal limit.

• A Medina resident was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Justin R. Carpenter, 31, of Medina was stopped on Aug. 22 by state police.

He registered a 0.20 Blood Alcohol Content, 2 ½ times the legal limit. He has a prior misdemeanor DWI from November 2006 in the Town of Shelby.

• A 19-year-old Bergen woman avoided jail and was sentenced to 3 years of probation. Kuyanna Kuyal pleaded guilty to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a charge that normally carries a maximum of a year in jail.


Kuyal has no prior criminal record. She admitted in a previous court appearance that she was in a car on May 7 when cocaine was sold. Kuyal allegedly assisted in cocaine sales, but did not possess the drug, District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

Judge Punch said today that Kuyal “wasn’t the driving force behind the crime.” He wants her to seek mental health treatment and continue with treatment through the Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.


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Albion student advances to state oratorical contest

Provided photo Posted 8 February 2016

Meredith Patterson, an Albion senior, won the zone competition for the American Legion Oratorical Contest and advances to the state competition on March 5 in Albany.

The zone event was held Saturday in Mount Morris. Another Albion student, Kyle Thaine, also competed. He won the district competition in Buffalo last month. Thaine and Patterson both advanced to the zone competition.


Patterson won an $800 scholarship for the Zone 5 victory and will receive another $2,000 scholarship for competing at the state level.


The participants at the zone event needed to deliver an 8- to 10-minute speech without notes about the Constitution. Each contestant also needed to speak for 3 to 5 minutes on one of five topics, assigned at the contest.

Patterson is valedictorian for the Class of 2016. She is also captain of the cross country team, a drum major in the marching band, and a lector at Holy Family Parish. She wants to attend an Ivy League school to major in political science.


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Canal Culvert is popular spot with snowmobilers

Site in Ridgeway part of inaugural ‘Covered Bridge Challenge’

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 8 February 2016

RIDGEWAY – Rich Kilger of Clarence rides his snowmobile into the Canal Culvert on Sunday as part of the "Covered Bridge Challenge," which includes 10 spots in six counties.


Snowmobilers are encouraged to visit each site and take a photo or "selfie." Kilger has visited nine of the 10 spots so far this winter, and hopes to complete the challenge with a visit soon to Oswego.


"We've been trying to ride the trails and see new places," Kilger said.

There was a ribbon-cutting by the Canal Culvert to celebrate the "Covered Bridge Challenge." Pictured from left include: Lynne Menz, tourism coordinator for Orleans County; Cathy Light, director of sales and marketing for Mohawk Valley GIS, which developed the Covered Bridge Challenge; Josh Narburgh, president of the Orleans County Snowdrifters; and Bruce Phillips, a member of the Snowdrifters.


The Mohawk Valley GIS developed the challenge with 10 sites after soliciting feedback from snowmobilers for covered bridges. Although the Culvert isn't a covered bridge, many snowmobilers pushed for it to be on the challenge.


Kilger, the Clarence snowmobiler, said the challenge is really "nine covered bridges and one really cool tunnel."

This group gathered at the Culvert after the Snowdrifters put on their annual pancake breakfast at the Carlton Rec Hall.


Narburgh said the warm winter has been tough on snowmobilers. The Snowdrifters will usually have about 300 members for winters with lots of snow, but only have about 100 who have paid the annual dues so far this year.


Narbrugh said he is still optimistic there will be enough snow for later in February and March. There needs to be at least 4 to 6 inches of snow for a hard base for snowmobilers, Narburgh said.


Kilger said he has been able to get out on his snowmobile a few times. He has driven it to some of the spots for the Covered Bridge Challenge to get a photo at the site.


Light said the challenge has brought attention to the 11,000 miles of snowmobile trails in th state and helped riders meet each other.


"Even though there hasn't been a lot of snow there has been a lot of new friendships," she said.


She said the Covered Bridge Challenge should become an annual event with different locations each year. Some of the spots, like the culvert, may not technically be a covered bridge.


"You need to stretch the definition of a covered bridge," Light said. "This is just intended to be fun."

Rich Kilger rides into the Culvert, the only spot where motorists can ride under the historic Erie Canal.


For more on the Covered Bridge Challenge, click here.


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Mr. Ed's 5K race has repeat winner

Photos by Cheryl Wertman
Vince Donner was the winner at this morning's annual Mr. Ed's 5K race in Middleport while Kimberly Mills was the top female finisher.


By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 7 February 2016

Led by a repeat champion, Middleport's Super Bowl Sunday tradition continued this morning as several hundred running enthusiasts from all around Western New York took part in the 27th annual Mr. Ed's 5K race under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 40's.

Vince Donner, a Roy-Hart High graduate and current Niagara Falls resident, took first place honors for the second year in a row with a winning time of :17.09.

Kimberly Mills of Basom was the first female finisher in a time of :19.25.

In all some 550 runners took part in the morning's actives which included a 5 K walk and a 1K fun run in addition to the main 5K run which had over 400 competitors.

Proceeds from the event go to the Mr. Ed's Scholarship Fund which benefits current and former Roy-Hart graduates.

Hundreds of running enthusiasts head away from the starting line at this morning's annual Mr. Ed's 5K race.


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SOS president asks Cuomo to fill local seat on Siting Board

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2016
YATES – The president of the citizens group opposed to the wind turbine project proposed in Yates and Somerset has written Gov. Cuomo a letter, asking him to fill the seat on a Siting Board for the "Lighthouse Wind" project.

There are supposed to be two local representatives and five leaders of state agencies on the “New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.” That board will review the proposed project that includes up to 71 turbines that could peak at 620-feet high in the two towns.

One local representative has been named to the board. Randy Atwater, president of the Barker Board of Education, was appointed by John Flanagan, majority leader of the State Senate.


Carl Heastie, speaker of the State Assembly, also could have named a local representative but he didn’t act on the matter.

Now Pamela Atwater, president of Save Ontario Shores and wife of Randy Atwater, is pressing Gov. Cuomo to fill the other local seat.

“The Article 10 Board, even with two local appointees, is already heavily skewed against local government and community Home Rule,” Atwater wrote to Cuomo. “To enter the next phase of the siting process with one local representative position unfilled would be unfair, a further insult to the concept of Home Rule and would send a signal that the entire Article 10 process is preconfigured to ignore legitimate local and regional concerns.”


The board includes five leaders of state agencies – chairman of the Department of Public Service, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, commissioner of the Department of Health, chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the commissioner of Economic Development.


The loss of “home rule” for the project has been denounced by many local municipal boards and elected officials, including the town boards in Yates and Somerset; the Erie, Niagara and Orleans county legislatures; and Congressman Chris Collins, State Sen. Robert Ortt and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.


Surveys in Yates and Somerset have also showed strong opposition by residents to the project.


Apex Clean Energy has submitted a preliminary scoping statement and has until Feb. 11 to respond to “several hundred” comments on the PSS. After those responses, Apex officials said they look forward to more formal conversations about the project with the community and state agencies, said Taylor Quarles, development manager for Apex’s proposed Lighthouse Wind project.


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900 attend Medina wine-tasting event

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 6 February 2016
MEDINA – A big crowd of 900 people are participating at the eighth annual Wine About Winter in downtown Medina.


Celebrity Day Spa is one of 30 wine-tasting stops on the event. This picture shows, from left: Brandy McKinney, Day Spa owner Edee Hoffmeister, and Amanda Riggle.


They were giving out gift certificates and coupons, as well as sips of wine. Hoffmeister said the event draws people to the downtown business district, giving them a chance to socialize and see many of the businesses.


Hoffmeister praised the Medina Business Association for its effort in planning and organizing the event.


"They have done a wonderful job with it," she said.

Some of the commemorative wine glasses are displayed on a table at the start of the wine-tasting.


The 900 people is up from 850 a year ago. Cindy Robinson, the Business Association president, said the event will likely be capped at 900 in the future.


"We're going to have to limit it because we don't want long lines and we don't want to overload the businesses," she said.

Some of the Wine About Winter participants are lined up on Main Street to sample some of the wines.

Joel Hurlbutt, 23, of Albion and his friend Angela Corloni of Albion are pictured at the English Rose Tea Shoppe in Medina. They said they were impressed by number of family-owned businesses in Medina.

This group of friends and family stayed together on the wine stops. They are inside The Bread Basket. The group includes, from left: Dalton Vercruysse, Erika Myhill, Lisa Wheatley, Lori Myhill, Kirk Myhill, Mary Washak, and Dale Watts.

Paul Schwenk, right, of Schwenk Wine Cellars in Kent pours wine for Jim and Paula Dresser of Medina at A Kut Above.


Mrs. Dresser said the event has become a chance to reconnect with friends and visit Medina's many shops in the downtown.


Peggy Johnson, one of the co-owners of Kut Above, said the event has proven popular.


"It's a perfect time of the year," she said. "In February a lot of people have cabin fever."


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Albion attorney left legacy of service to community

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 6 February 2016
Volume 2, Issue 6

ALBION – I received a few calls and inquiries about Thomas A. Kirby following the recent news article highlighting newly established scholarships through the Albion Central School District – who was he and why a scholarship in his name?


Albion Council #1330 Knights of Columbus developed an annual memorial award for a deserving graduating senior who showed commitment and service to the community. This image shows Thomas A. Kirby as a young man, a freshly minted lawyer eager to establish a local partnership in Albion. The photograph is paired in the collection with that of Thomas L. Hughes.


Thomas Kirby was born on March 22, 1869 in Albion to John and Catherine Hayes Kirby. As a young man, he was no stranger to patriotic duty and service to the community.


Undoubtedly a young Thomas would have heard the stories told by his father, who served with the 8th New York Cavalry during the Civil War, was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, and sent to Andersonville Prison Camp. He received his earliest education in the common schools of Albion and took an interest in law at a young age, studying with John Cunneen who would later serve one term as New York State Attorney General.


A flourishing partnership developed between Kirby and Thomas L. Hughes and the two practiced law together until Hughes decided to move to New York City. The relocation forced Kirby to practice on his own, maintaining an office on East Bank Street.


As an Irish Catholic, Kirby was dedicated to the church committee serving as a trustee of St. Joseph’s Church for a number of years. He was active in the local branch of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association in its earliest years during the 1880s, an organization largely responsible for supporting working Catholic men with life insurance during times of economic hardship, personal injury, and death.


For reasons unknown, the C.M.B.A. branch eventually developed into the Knights of Columbus Albion Council #1330 which focused its efforts on similar endeavors. The respected community member was selected as the organization’s first Grand Knight (president) when the council formed in 1908.


As a prominent member of the Republican Party and members of the New York State Bar Association, Kirby was elected for one term as Orleans County District Attorney from 1899-1901. During the famed trial of Charles Stielow, Kirby assisted the District Attorney with the prosecution of Stielow for the murder of Charles Phelps of Shelby, a role that created a heavy criticism of local officials involved in the case.


Kirby was instrumental in establishing the Albion Chapter of the American Red Cross during the First World War, acting as the organization’s first Vice Chairman. He was the attorney for the Village of Albion and President of the Board of Education at the time of his death on Jan. 29, 1922.


As an exceptional trial lawyer, Kirby developed a reputation throughout Orleans County and across Western New York as an outstanding and prominent orator. In Carl Carmer’s book, “Dark Trees to the Wind” published in 1949, Carmer recalls a Fourth of July celebration in Albion where “…the Town’s lawyer-orator, corpulent and elegant in his best blue suit and white waistcoat, stood on the platform and with calculated deliberation began his patriotic oration. Twenty minutes later his rich deep voice was pouring out his devotion to his country and his flag with all the poetry and rhetoric born in his Irish soul. His audience was spellbound…” It is without a doubt that Carmer was writing of Thomas Kirby.


His obituary concluded, “Thomas A. Kirby always stood for the right as he saw it and was fearless in his denunciation of wrong…Faithful in every trust reposed in him…” The Knights of Columbus chose to honor a man who was well respected within their organization and a man who was held in high regard throughout the community for his commitment to service and patriotism.


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Orchard Manor wears red to promote heart health

Provided photo Posted 5 February 2016
MEDINA – Orchard Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Medina took part today in National Wear Red Day.

Orchard Manor residents and staff wore red to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke. Donations made will help fund research and education efforts by the American Heart Association to fight against the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers – heart disease and stroke.

Pictured, include, front row, from left: Jenna Rath, Amy Martin, Dave Denny, Brenda Cherry, Richard Pizzuto and Michelle Clor.

Back Row: Patty DiNardo, Karen Biehl, Laurie Seager, Kari Root, LuAnn Thompson, Lori Sutton, Rose Ann Velesko, Katy Owczarczak, Jamie Murphy and Laura Lechner.


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Fire destroys barn, trailer at golf course in Gaines

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 5 February 2016 4:25 p.m. UPDATED 10:45 p.m.
GAINES – A fire at Par-Me Golf Course this afternoon destroyed a barn and trailer at the site on Brown Road owned by Parm Wilder.

The fire broke out just before 3 p.m. and spewed dark smoke into the sky.

Albion, Carlton, Holley and Kendall firefighters worked together to put out the fire. The Orleans County Emergency Management Office and fire investigators also assisted.


Parm Wilder said he was thankful for the strong response from the fire department. He lost several lawn mowers in the fire but the garage to the right was spared from the blaze. Wilder has two precious vehicles in that barn, including a 1949 Chevy truck and a Lamborghini.


"They were here right away and they got it out," Wilder said.

Wilder created a 9-hole golf course at the property, 2998 Brown Rd.

Albion firefighter Darryl Szklany checks the back of the structures while firefighters apply water to the blaze.

Szklany had a radio and updated firefighters on the other side about the intensity of the fire at the back of the barn.

Firefighters work through the smoke to get the fire out.

The Orleans County Highway Department also was deployed and helped demolish the building so the fire could be put out due to all of the sheet metal.


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Local United Way welcomes new board members

Press Release, United Way of Orleans County Posted 5 February 2016

ALBION – The United Way of Orleans County is pleased to announce three new members to its Board of Directors.


Cathy Balys of Holley and Rebecca Mannella of Medina were voted in last month. Carol D’Agostino of Kendall joined last summer.

Cathy Balys


Balys is manager of financial reporting and analysis for the Catholic Family Center in Rochester. Mannella oversees the ICU/Respiratory Therapy Department and Out-Patient Lab for Orleans Community Health. D’Agostino is principal of Kendall Junior/Senior High School.


“These women not only represent different geographic areas of our county, but they also bring a range of expertise and new ideas to our Board,” said Jessica Downey of Albion, Board President. “It’s fantastic to have them join us!”

Rebecca Mannella


Orleans United Way, which merged Eastern UW and Western UW four years ago, focuses on community improvement in three impact areas: education, health and income (jobs). A funding application process each fall helps the board select partner agencies that most effectively fulfill community needs.


Funds collected from individuals and employees at workplaces county-wide are distributed according to evidence-based results. The 2016 campaign goal is $279,104.31, coinciding with three major routes criss-crossing Orleans County.


Latest reports showed the campaign about 60 percent complete with five months remaining. This year’s campaign officially ends June 30.

Carol D’Agostino


“The local emphasis of our United Way is so important and, I think, misunderstood by some people,” said Executive Director Marsha Rivers of Albion, who serves as the organization’s lone full-time employee. A part-time financial coordinator, Tiffani Ford of Waterport, keeps the books. Volunteers – including the 14-member Board – do all the rest. “Our Board is a group of local leaders using local dollars to help local causes – we’re neighbors helping neighbors.


“Our affiliation dues to United Way Worldwide, because of our small size, are very modest – we get a ‘big bang for our buck.’ With UWW, we can identify with a widely known, well-respected brand while also taking advantage of community-building resources from all over the world, applying best practices right here at home.”


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