Waterport teen rescues man who drove into Lake Ontario

Photo by Tom Rivers
Hayden London is pictured today at Frank’s Auto in Albion, where he has a part-time job.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 May 2016
BARKER – A Waterport teen went fishing with three friends at Golden State Park in Barker on Thursday and likely saved the life of a man who drove into the lake.

Hayden London, 17, and his friends – Alex Plummer, Josh Tombari and Matt Scroger – were fishing by the inlet at the state park. They heard an engine roar and then a big splash in the water.

They ran to the lake and saw a green van pointed down in the water. The front was submerged. Another man was standing near the shore and told the teens a man was inside the van.

London and Plummer each grabbed big rocks. London took off his shirt and dove in the water. He saw a man who appeared to be elderly inside, hitting at the window trying to get out.

London smashed the driver’s window with a rock. Water came rushing inside the van, London recounted today. London put his shirt on the window, to protect the man from the broken glass. London and Plummer then pulled the man out of the van.

“He did a damn fine job,” Lt. Patrick Rindsleisch of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department said about London.

The rescued man seemed to be OK at the scene but was taken by ambulance for observation. Rindsleisch declined to release the man’s name, citing privacy concerns.

But he said London “helped the guy immensely” in a remote area of the Niagara County.

London is a junior a Lyndonville Central School. He said he is grateful the man was saved from the sinking vehicle.

“At first we were froze because we didn’t know what to do,” he said. "We could see he was trying to get out. I didn’t want to watch someone die.”


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Patriotic chalk art added outside Albion Middle School

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 27 May 2016
ALBION – Jennifer Gray, a chalk artist and director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, works on a chalk art creation of the Statue of Liberty and an American flag today outside the Albion Middle School.


Christopher Mitchell Funeral Home sponsored the display which will be on the grounds for the Memorial Day ceremony following a 10 a.m. parade on Monday.

Jennifer Gray, left, and Go-Art! intern Alexis Krinki of Brockport work on the chalk art creation today. Krinki is also a GCC student. This is her first time doing chalk art.


Go Art! and the Albion Merchants Association are organizing a chalk art display and contest on June 11 as part of the Strawberry Festival. For more on that event, click here.

Alexis Krinki works on the stars in the flag for the chalk art display by the Middle School.


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State approves grant for teaching kitchen at fairgrounds

Staff Reports Posted 27 May 2016

KNOWLSEVILLE – The state has approved a $25,675 grant for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County to establish a teaching kitchen at the 4-H Fairgrounds. The funds will go towards a kitchen at the Trolley Building.


The funding was announced today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said $1.1 million in state funds will be used for projects to strengthen the research, promotion and development of New York State's agricultural industry.


The funding, approved by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority, supports efforts range from upgrading equipment at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, to developing a marketing plan for the Lake Ontario Wine Trail, to boosting the craft beverage industry through research at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station.


The Upstate revitalization Award-winning Finger Lakes Forward plan for investing state resources recognizes the centrality of agriculture in the region’s economy. The Finger Lakes produces approximately a quarter of New York State’s total agricultural output and the industry supports 19,000 jobs in the region.


"Agriculture remains a key economic engine for New York and we must do all we can to ensure its continued strength," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support the thousands of farms and agricultural businesses that call the Finger Lakes home, as well as the research that has been critical in the growth of New York's craft beverage industry."


The Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, solicits applications each year to assist in the development of agriculture and agriculture-related businesses in nine counties in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. The Authority has awarded more than $6.5 million to 60 projects in the region through the Agriculture Development Grant Program since 2011.


The Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority Board of Directors has voted to fund the following projects in 2016:


• New York Wine and Culinary Center: $192,000 for the purchase of audio visual equipment, purchase of new kitchen equipment, food truck improvements, 2017 CSA Fair, guest chef events, and marketing and promotion material and collateral.

• New York Wine & Grape Foundation: $195,000 to support the NY Drinks NY program.


• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County: $25,675 to establish a teaching kitchen at the Orleans County fairgrounds.


• Lake Ontario Wine Trail: $27,750 to implement the Lake Ontario Wine Trail Marketing Plan.


• New York Apple Association: $82,701 to assess the economic contribution of the apple industry in New York State and to enhance the industry's economic development activities.

• New York State Agricultural Experimental Station: $100,000 for plant growth chamber renovation and purchase of a bench top refractometer.


• New York State Agricultural Experimental Station: $220,000 for research to support accelerated production of organic grains, corn and soybeans.


• New York State Agricultural Experimental Station: $200,000 for the third year of a multi-year plan to research malting barley production.


• New York State Agricultural Experimental Station: $56,874 to support the development and testing of apple varieties for the production of hard cider.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "These counties are home to some of New York's most diverse agricultural producers and are vital to the success of the industry throughout the State. These key investments in research, facility upgrades, and marketing will benefit both the producers and the public, and this funding will help to ensure the success of agriculture in the state and drive the industry forward."


For more on the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority, click here.


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Several Memorial Day parades planned in Orleans County

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 27 May 2016
MEDINA – Flags have by placed by the graves for veterans at Boxwood Cemetery in Medina in time for Memorial Day.


Here is the list for Memorial Day parades in Orleans County for Monday:
Albion – Parade starts near the Orleans County Court House on Main Street at 10 a.m. and proceeds to the Albion Middle School front lawn where there will be a service near the Vietnam Memorial.
Holley – A ceremony will start at the American Legion Post at 9 a.m. and proceed to the VFW Post.  Veterans will also visit cemeteries.
Kendall – A parade will start 7 p.m. at the Morton Fireman’s Field and end at the Morton Union Cemetery where a ceremony will be held.
Lyndonville – The parade will start at 9 a.m. at the Catholic Church and end near the library.  A ceremony will be held there.
Medina – The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the Olde Pickle Factory building and proceed to the State Street Park where a ceremony will be held.


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2 from Albion among GCASA scholarship recipients

Provided photo

GCASA awarded scholarships this week to three students, from left: Caitlin Malanowski of Albion, Jessica Bukowski of Notre Dame High School in Batavia, and Madeline Gibbs of Albion.


Press Release, GCASA Posted 27 May 2016

Each year, GCASA Foundation awards two $1,000 scholarships: one to a Genesee County student and one to an Orleans County student. GCASA Foundation Scholarship was established to support the work of GCASA. The foundation board is committed to the scholarship program, created to help students who will study human services, counseling, or health services.


This year, the selection committee, comprised of two board members, Kathleen Maerten and James Morey, and one past board member, Jason Smith, decided to add an additional Director’s Choice scholarship award in the amount of $250 due to the exceptional applications received.


The committee selected Jessica Bukowski, a senior at Notre Dame High School as the award recipient for a Genesee County student. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Senate, and Mock Trial Team. She also is a competitive gymnast and member of the Varsity swim, diving, softball, and cross country teams. Jessica works as a gymnastics coach and is expected to graduate second in a class of 39 students. In Jessica’s essay, she wrote, “I will study and perform the best I can in my education and then take what I learn to help make at least one person’s life better.” Jessica plans to pursue a degree in Psychology at Canisius College.


Caitlin Malanowski is an Albion Central School senior and the recipient of the award for an Orleans County student. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Albion Marching Band, Women’s Select Choir, and Drama Club. She participates in track and cross country. She also volunteers as a tutor at the Albion Elementary School, helping younger students with reading, writing, math, and science. Caitlin is expected to graduate third in her class of 131 students. Scott Green, High School Counselor, commented in his recommendation letter that Caitlin is someone who leads by example. He said, “I don’t think I can truly express how deserving I believe Caitlin is of this scholarship.” She plans to study Nursing at Elmira College.


The Director’s Choice scholarship was awarded to Albion Central School senior Madeline Gibbs. She has been involved with cheerleading and track throughout high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Rotary Interact Club, and Yearbook Club. Madeline volunteers as a tutor in the Elementary School and as a religious education teacher for pre-K and kindergarten children at her church. She also volunteers for Vacation Bible School and Cheerleading Camp. She is expected to graduate 16th out of 131 students. Madeline plans to study Nutrition and Exercise Science at Ohio State University.


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Albion Rotary awards scholarships

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 27 May 2016
ALBION – The Albion Rotary Club awarded three scholarships to graduating seniors for $2,750 total. Rotarians Bonnie Malakie, left, and Club President Karen Sawicz, right, are pictured with the scholarship winners Kyle Smith and Elizabeth Goff. Nathaniel Tremblay, not pictured, also was awarded a scholarship.

Elizabeth Goff received the A. B. “Dick” Eddy Rotary “Service Above Self” Scholarship. This scholarship for $1,250 is awarded in memory of Dick Eddy, a community leader, businessman, and Rotarian, who committed his life to the principle of service above self. The award goes to a senior who has demonstrated a personal commitment to community service and leadership, and displays high potential for future accomplishment.


Goff has been on the high honor roll, and has run sprints in track, while also being active in the school music program. She also serves as president of Rotary Interact, a Rotary program in the school. She wants to study physical therapy in college, with plans to go to Genesee Community College for two years before finishing at Daemen College in Buffalo.


Kyle Smith received the Edward B. Archbald Memorial Scholarship for $1,200. Archbald was a farmer, philanthropist, outdoorsman and a 70-year member of Rotary. This scholarship is presented to a graduating senior pursuing a college education who shares a love for sports, recreational activities, community service and work experience. The scholarship was raised from $500 to $1,250 this year by Rotary.


Smith has been a key player for Albion football and baseball. He will play football at Ithaca College where he will major in business and marketing. He has worked part-time at Mark’s Pizzeria and Panek Farms also also interned with the Orleans Economic Development Agency.


Tremblay received the Rotary Career Advancement Prize for $250. The award goes to a graduating senior entering a field that doesn’t require a traditional college education, such as a technical field, agriculture, law enforcement, or business. Key factors in selecting the recipient include community service, school activities, and work experience. Tremblay wants to become a police officer.


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Lyndonville makes big effort with flags out for Memorial Day

Provided photos Posted 26 May 2016

LYNDONVILLE – Volunteers from the Yates Community Library placed 50 flags on the school grounds near the Johnson Creek dam today. Another 50 flags will be placed on Main Street on Friday morning.


Other Lyndonville residents also purchased Main Street flags that were bought in honor of loved ones. Donors for those flags will get to take the flag home on Monday after the traditional Memorial Day service held at the village park.  

Library Trustee Patricia Mumau attaches a flag dedication tag for the flags on the school lawn.


Ginny Hughes did much of the organizing for the flag display.  She saw a similar display in Auburn. Kathleen Sillick created laminated dedication tags for each flag with names as specified by the donors. Jim Watson and his son Eric provided rebar and PVC pipe cut to fit for appropriate flag display. Patricia Mumau created an advertising flyer and designed the layout for flag placement. Gail Foss and Herbert Bohnet, also trustees, assisted in driving in the rebar posts and labeling the flags.  Mark Hughes and Joy Bohnet, spouses of trustees, also helped.

Library Trustees Ginny Hughes and Gail Foss attach a tag with flag dedication and name of donor. Mark Hughes is in back with the driver device.


The Lyndonville Village Department of Public Works surprised the trustees with a special gift that greatly aided installation: a custom-fabricated driver for pounding in the supporting rebar.


The flags will fly all weekend and will provide a background for the annual Memorial Day service in Veterans Park, downtown Lyndonville, at 9 a.m. on Monday.


After noon on Memorial Day, those who have purchased a flag may pick them up to take home. 


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Kendall community turns out in record numbers at annual memorial walk

Photos by Kristina Gabalski
The annual Grace Lang/Amber Liese Walk Thursday afternoon was well-attended.


By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 May 2016

KENDALL – Despite threatening skies and a heavy downpour about 45 minutes into the event, students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members

came out in record numbers Thursday afternoon for the annual Grace Lang/Amber Liese Memorial Walk at the Kendall High School Track.

The event is sponsored by the Kendall Sr. National Honor Society and benefits the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Teens Living with Cancer, Kendall Ambulance and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

Members of Libby Jurs' family pose together before hitting the track to walk.

This year's walk was dedicated to Libby Jurs, a beloved former Kendall school nurse, who died of cancer in 2015. The Jurs Family participated in the Walk and said Libby had participated herself in past years.  


"She is missed for sure buy a lot of people," Libby's husband, John said.  "She touched a lot of people."

"We appreciate all that has been done for our family by the Kendall Central School District," Libby's daughter, Jennifer  said.

A sign alongside the track featured a photograph of Libby.


National Honor Society co-advisor Gretchen Rosales estimated participation this year at more than 100 people, which is more than usual.

"Libby had a huge impact on all of us," Rosales said.  "Today is a celebration of her life.  We are excited to be able to honor her memory today."


Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D'Agostino said this year's school yearbook will be dedicated to Libby during the school's formal awards ceremony next Friday.

The Walk is named for Grace Lang, the Kendall school nurse who preceded Libby, who died of cancer of 1990, and Amber Liese, a Kendall student who died of cancer in 2010 just months after graduation.

Members of the Kendall Central School faculty, staff and administration pose on the track with the photo of Libby.


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Minor injuries in accident where truck flipped in Albion this morning

Provided photos Posted 26 May 2016

ALBION – This pickup truck flipped over when it was struck this morning by another driver who allegedly ran the Stop Sign at the intersection of Liberty and West State streets in Albion.


The driver of the truck and his passenger were fine, although one may have sustained a minor head injury, Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

Alberto Mendoza-Gonzalez, 42, of Marshall Road, Medina, was the driver of the other vehicle that went through the Stop Sign. He was issued vehicle and traffic violations for failure to stop, speed not reasonable, failure to yield, and driving without a New York State license. The Border Patrol was called due to Mendoza-Gonzalez's questionable immigration statue, Nenni said.


The police chief said this intersection has been the scene of many accidents over the years.


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Albion students unveil marker at Civil War section of Mount Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 May 2016

ALBION – Marines Pvt. Trey Liberatore and Sgt. Derek Yertich raise the American flag today during a ceremony at Mount Albion Cemetery, where a new memorial plaque was unveiled in honor of the Civil War soldiers from the county.

The two Marines stand at attention while the flag is raised.


The seventh-grade class and many community members and veterans attended today's dedication ceremony.

Abby Allen sings the National Anthem during today's program.


Today culminated several months of effort for the seventh grade "Service Learning" classes that are led by teacher Tim Archer.


Students in the fall catalogued the burial locations for more than 250 Civil War veterans buried at Mount Albion. That includes 72 on the east side, 137 on the west side, and 41 at the Civil War section. About 160 of those veterans had rusty, old cast iron Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) markers that needed repainting.

The GAR marker for Christopher Drake was repainted, along with about 160 others that were rusty.

These students – Bailey Blanchard in front, Josh DePoty and Alexa Grandy –  read the names of 47 Civil War veterans whose names weren't included on the marble slabs inside the tower at Mount Albion when the tower was built in 1876.


The tower was dedicated on the country's 100th anniversary and includes the names of 466 Orleans County residents who died in the Civil War. Seventh-graders researched the names of Orleans residents who died in the war, teaming with archivists and historians in the research.


These Orleans County residents died in the war but their names aren't in the monument: Miles Ameden, James Bayn, Jonas Bayne, Lyman Blanchard, Henry Burbank, Martin Burnett, James Caldwell, Jefferson Chapman, Oliver Clark, James Collins, William Crann, Dolly Denison, Edmund Everett, George Everett, Edmund Furndon, James Hammon, Henry Harden, Willis Herman, Edwin Holsenberg, Alexander Hosbury, Charles Hulbert, S. Hunnant, John Hurburger, Jenkins Irving, Lawrence Keegan, Ira Kelsey, Frederick Kruse, George Lytle, John McPherson, Thomas Morrison, William Mulligan, Ethan Murin, Alfred Parkinson, Monroe Peaslee, George Washington Pier, Abial Randall, Elisha Sanderson, John Simmons, Arrill Snyder, George Stanton, Charles Starks, George Sutton, Lewis Teyrrell, William Trow, Nathan Venton, George Woodhull, Gilbert Woodhull.

Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard, who helped students with some of the research on the Civil War soldiers, speaks about the creation of the 50-square-foot lot at Mount Albion for veterans at the site of today's ceremony. The spot was picked for veterans back in 1883.


Ballard thanked seventh-graders for their "noble deed" in remembering and honoring veterans.

About 200 people attended today's ceremony including the Honor Guard from the American Legion.

Seventh-grader Emily Mergler, wearing period dress for the ceremony, said women also made many sacrifices during the Civil War, keeping houses, farms and businesses running while caring for children while their husbands were at war or killed in battle. Tim Archer, the Service Learning teacher, is in back.

Seventh-grader Infinity Bell talks about some of the Civil War soliders from the community.

Seventh-grader Quinn McCue highlights some of the class's efforts this year. She said the group isn't done. It will unveil a historical marker in September at Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon for Herbert Charles Taylor, the only Orleans County resident believed to have been killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Student Rocco Auricchio reads a poem, "Our Soldier Dead," by Joel B. Swett.

Seventh-grader Eli Pask notes the sesquicentennial of the surrender at the Appomattox Court House. The 150th anniversary was in April 2015.

The new bronze plaque for Orleans County Civil War soldiers was unveiled today. The plaque is on a 6-foot-long piece of Medina sandstone donated by Fred Pilon. The stone was saved when an Albion street was torn up about a decade ago.


Seventh-grader Jakob Talbot unveiled the new marker. Students also planted a sugar maple tree by the Civil War section and placed an urn by the cannon.

Members of the American Legion Honor Guard do a gun salute after the marker was unveiled.

These students – Ashley Ames, Logan Conlon, Sierra Kast, Kailey Merrill and Lauren Wehling – play Taps at the service today.

Tim Archer listens to his students during today's program. Archer thanked many of the local historians and Mount Albion staff for help with the Civil War research and recognition efforts this year.


He said he and the students enjoyed spending so much time in the historic cemetery.


"This cemetery is really a treasure that we have right here in our community," Archer said.


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Area soldier was happiest serving with friends in military

The late Sgt. Jonathan Webster, 27, served 2 tours in Afghanistan, fought cancer

Photos courtesy of Candy Farmer and Rachel Hafner

Sgt. Jonathan "Webbie" Webster is pictured on one of his two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the Army. Webster died at age 27 on May 10 following complications from chemotherapy to treat cancer.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 May 2016
ALBION – Jonathan Webster was 17 when he joined the Army. It was a decision that brought needed structure for a young man who had lived with foster families. He moved around, making it difficult to settle in at a school district during his high school years.

One of his foster families in Le Roy urged him to get his GED and join the military. Webster followed that advice and he found a calling and sense of purpose with the military. He made numerous friends in the Army and the military became a family for him, even when he served two tours in Afghanistan, Webster’s mother Candy Farmer said.

“He joined the Army at age 17, thank God,” said Farmer of Holley. “When he was in the Army that’s when he was his happiest. The Army saved his life. It gave him structure and a sense of family.”

Jonathan Webster excelled in the military. He was promoted to sergeant.

Webster was enlisted for nearly seven years. He was first sent to Fort Lewis in Washington State, and later served a year at Fort Drum near Watertown. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 4, 2013.


He suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. His family said he was in a convoy when a roadside bomb blew up, killing one of his close friends. Webster received the Purple Heart and numerous medals for his service.


Webster reconnected with family when he was back in the area. He “struggled for a while” readjusting to civilian life, said his sister Rachel Hafner of Albion.

Jonathan Webster holds his niece, Isabelle, in this photo from 2014.

Webster found a groove, living in Gates and working as a machinist. He enjoyed working with his hands. He visited his sister in Albion and her four children. He loved to carve pumpkins with them, take them fishing and play catch in the backyard with a football.


Last August Webster was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The surgery seemed a success, but doctors discovered more cancer with a CT Scan about four months after the surgery. Webster had nine weeks of chemotherapy starting in December.

Webster suffered a rare side effect from the chemo: Bleomycin Toxicity damaged his lungs making it difficult to breathe. Webster was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital on April 6. On April 28, he was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to await a double-lung transplant. Webster was stricken with pneumonia and blood clots. He died on May 10.


His family remains in shock at how quickly Webster lost his health. He was muscular and committed to fitness.

Webster is pictured with his nephew Brody Hafner of Albion. Webster added many tattoos while he was in the military.


While he was fighting cancer and going through chemotherapy, he sent friends and family reassuring text messages.


“He said everything would be Ok, and don’t worry about me,” his sister said.


Webster was charming around women. But he was also private and didn’t want attention while he was sick.


Webster’s mother said her son overcame a difficult childhood to succeed in life and serve the country with honor.


“He triumphed over everything you put in front of him,” Farmer said.

Webster is pictured with his mother, Candy Farmer of Holley, in this photo from Mother's Day 2015.

Webster comes from a military family in the Holley area. His uncle, the late Gary Stymus, was one of the 11 Holley men who died in the Vietnam War. Many of Webster’s family members have served in the military, including his brother Jason Webster, who is recently retired from Marine Corps.


Hafner, Webster’s older sister by 10 years, said her brother is a success story.


“He was a hell of a fighter,” she said.


The family is planning a celebration of his life on June 18 from 1 to 6 p.m. at VFW in Holley. Many of Webster’s Army friends from Fort Lewis in Washington and Fort Drum are expected. Military honors, including a 21-gun salute, will be presented at 1 p.m.


A GoFundMe account has also been established to help the family cover funeral expenses. Click here for more information.


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Orleans, Genesee introduce mobile apps for emergency notifications, services

Photos by Tom Rivers

Orleans County Emergency management and Public Health officials today discussing a new app for "Orleans Aware" that includes information about hazardous weather, detours, evacuation routes, emergency shelters and the option for families to create their own disaster ready plan for their home. The group in photo includes, from left: Dale Banker, Emergency Management Coordinator for the county; Albert Cheverie, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; and Paul Pettit, Public Health Director.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2016

ALBION –  Orleans County, and its southern neighbor in Genesee, both debuted new apps today that are designed to encourage residents in both counties to be prepared and protect themselves and their loved ones in the case of a disaster.


The two counties are the first in the state with such mobile apps. Paul Pettit, the Public Health director in both counties, said more counties are working on their own apps, but Genesee and Orleans are the first to utilize the technology to inform the public.


"This is about getting the information out to the public in real-time fashion," Pettit told Orleans County legislators today.


Orleans used grant money through emergency management and public health to develop the app with the Quickseries Publishing.

Genesee County unveiled the app for "Ready Genesee" and Orleans debuted "Orleans Aware" today. They are the first counties in the state to make such apps for community preparedness available.


The app includes interactive and instructional guides to help users prepare for emergencies. Residents can also develop disaster-ready plans that are specific to their own homes.


The counties can also send out news alerts, alerts on hazardous weather, evacuation routes and emergency shelters. The county will likely give details on upcoming rabies clinics, information on public health threats such as the Zika virus, and news about burn bans, for example.


The app has options to develop many other features for informing the public, but residents shouldn't expect to be overly inundated with alerts, said Albert Cheverie, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.


"There won't be any chicken dinner announcements," he said.


The new apps are free and available to everyone using an iOS or an Android device. It can be downloaded directly from the App Store or Google Play. Orleans Aware may not be available at the App Store until next week but it is ready from Google Play.


Dale Banker, the county's emergency management coordinator, said the app will make it easier for the county to send clear messages in an immediate fashion to residents about emergencies and public health issues.


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Candidates for Hillside chancellor meet and greet Holley community

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

Residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Chancellor candidates outside the Holley Elementary School Tuesday evening.


By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 May 2016
HOLLEY – Things are really beginning to heat up in the dog-eat-dog-eat-goat-eat-hedgehog race for “Chancellor of the Chapel.”


The four, four-legged candidates for the honorary title participated in a meet the candidates night Tuesday evening outside the Holley Elementary School.  

Samson the dog, Scarlett the hedgehog, Gamma the dog, and M&M the goat, are all vying for the title. 

Scarlett the Hedgehog, managed by Corrinda Shepherd, demonstrates "curling up in a ball" for voters.  It's a neat trick that she also does while floating on water. Scarlett is a loving mother who can be trusted as a caring confidant. Her diminutive size belies her fighting spirit.


The unconventional “tongue-in-cheek” election is a fundraiser being held by members of the Holley Elementary Student Council to benefit the restoration of the Medina sandstone chapel in the historic Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon. Voters can purchase as many ballots as they want to “buy” their candidate into office.  


“We want students to do something outside school walls,” Elementary Principal Karri Schiavone said. “We want students to know there is a bigger world than the elementary school. This was perfect.”

M&M the Goat was curious to learn about potential political supporters. Campaign manager Fran Gaylord confessed he never envisioned himself managing an election campaign for a goat, but noted M&M would do a stellar job of "keeping the grass down" around the Chapel, if elected.

Student Council members last year raised funds to help replace the roof on the Holley Community Free Library.


Schiavone also divulged the candidate who is likely to garner her support.

“I’m partial to M&M (the goat),” Schiavone said. “Although I’m very impressed by Scarlett’s pearls. She came dressed to win.”

Scarlett the hedgehog sported a natty pearl necklace early in the evening. Other candidates offered stickers and bags of candy to voters. M&M the goat even brought along two very cute companions - baby Nigerian dwarf goats.

Samson the dog - a 200 pound English Mastiff to be exact - reveled in the lovin' attention received from voters. His campaign manager, Craig Lane, said "no one will get in the Chapel" if Samson is Chancellor. He said his team's strategy is, "to beat Gamma." Rumors Tuesday evening had it that Gamma campaign manager Sandy Heise had been heard to admit, "Samson is a cute dog after all."


Student Council advisor Sally Martin said money raised by the students will be used to fix the stained glass window at the chapel.


A political "parade" is planned at the school next week, with students walking through the halls in support of candidates. There will also be an opportunity for students to cast their own vote.

"We had our school budget vote last week, " Martin said, when parents came to vote. "I told the students this time, you can vote."

Candidate Gamma the Dog is managed by Sandy Heise.  His campaign staff noted he is a Catahoula Hound - the State dog of Louisiana. They additionally accused the M&M camp of playing dirty by bringing cute baby goats to lure voters.  Gamma's campaign staff is warning other candidates to, "watch out for the goat."  Gamma, however, has his own amazing "cuteness factor" on his side.


The results of the race will be announced on Flag Day, June 14, when the new Chancellor will take office.  Votes are $1 each and are unlimited.  


Polling places include the Clarendon Town Hall, Holley Village Office, Community Free Library, and the offices of Dr. Dan Schiavone and Dr. Krista Wiley in Holley.

Residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Chancellor candidates outside the Holley Elementary School Tuesday evening. All candidates and voters who attended the event Tuesday evening were well-behaved. The two-legged campaign managers, however, sometimes had difficulty containing zeal for their candidates.

Samson the Dog shared sweet treat favors with supporters.

The M&M campaign team brought along two incredibly cute baby Nigerian Dwarf goats as part of their entourage. The bold move raised the ire of the Gamma camp, in particular. M&M campaign manager Fran Gaylord downplayed any unfair effort on his candidate's part to garner more votes. The babies had to be brought along as the are still in need of being bottle-fed, Gaylord explained.


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Big tree by Swan Library comes down

Owner plans to regrade lawn, plant ‘more appropriate tree’

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 25 May 2016

ALBION – A 40-foot-tree tree in the front lawn of the former Swan Library was taken down this morning by Lusk Tree Service. Chad Fabry, owner of the building, said the large tree was damaging the retaining walls and also caused water to flow towards the historic building.


Fabry said he plans to regrade the lawn to direct water away from the building. He also intends to plant a smaller tree in front of the building.

“It was the wrong tree for the wrong place,” Fabry said about the tall evergreen. “It was an ill conceived selection for that spot. It nauseates me to take out a tree, but I see no other options.”


Fabry purchased the Swan site in February 2015. The 6,000-square-foot site was originally a mansion built in 1851. It was donated by the Swan family for use a public library in 1900. It was the community library for 112 years until the new 14,600-square-foot Hoag Library opened a couple blocks away in July 2012.


Fabry is now using the building for office spaces.

This file photo shows how the site looked with the tall tree.


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State police, local law enforcement will increase DWI patrols over Memorial Day weekend

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office Posted 25 May 2016

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that State Police and local law enforcement statewide will be increasing patrols to combat drunk and impaired driving this Memorial Day weekend.


Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year and police will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers from our highways. The initiative starts on Friday, May 27 and runs until Monday, May 30.


"There is zero tolerance for reckless and impaired driving and state police and local law enforcement will be out in full force to help ensure a safe holiday weekend," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage all New Yorkers to stay safe and celebrate responsibly in order to help keep our roads safe and prevent senseless tragedies."


Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols by State Police and local law enforcement agencies during this holiday weekend.


According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, drunk driving killed 317 people and injured more than 5,600 others in New York State in 2014. Another 188 people were killed in drug-related crashes.


Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once their emergency lights are activated.


On Memorial Day weekend in 2015, Troopers arrested 187 people for drinking and driving, and issued more than 12,000 tickets. In addition, 33 counties participated in the Memorial Day crackdown resulting in 141 DWI/DWAI arrests, 16 DWAI-drug only arrests, 147 other arrests, and 1,874 summonses for violations of vehicle and traffic laws.


This initiative is partially funded by the Governors Traffic Safety Committee.


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Albion biology students prep flowers for downtown

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 25 May 2016
ALBION – Students the Albion AP Biology class this morning helped plant and water flowers in 17 planters that soon will be set in downtown Albion.


The students in Sandy Climenhaga's class include Caitlin Malanowski in front, and from left: Meredith Patterson, Meghan Hurley, Madeline Gibbs, Sarah Kuehne, Alyce Miller, Sandy Climenhaga (behind Alyce) and Jared Fearby.


, Albion AP biology teacher, and student Katelyn Perry work together in planting flowers this morning.

The students worked with three volunteers – Lisa and Skip Stratton, and Paul Brooks – from the Albion Merchants Association. Lisa Stratton coordinated the flower effort, which also includes 16 hanging baskets. Donations include $1,000 for the Town of Albion, $500 from the Village of Albion and 17 other sponsors that gave $25 each.

Alyce Miller waters some of the flowers in one of the planters this morning behind the DPW garage on Washington Street.

The bio students learn about flowers as part of their class. They study photosynthesis and dissect flowers to learn about plants.


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