Flower lovers will have chance to shine at fair

Photo by Kristina Gabalski
Master Gardener volunteer Amanda Mrzywka is helping to organize the first-ever Flower Show at the 2015 Orleans County 4-H Fair.


By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 May 2015

KNOWLESVILLE – Something new and fun is planned for flower lovers at the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair in July.


For the first time, the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program and 4-H Youth Development are sponsoring a Flower Show, which will be held in the Lartz Building on the fairgrounds.


There are Open and Junior Divisions and everyone is welcome to enter.


The show will take place throughout the week of fair, from July 27 to Aug. 1. Judging of exhibits is set for Monday afternoon to kick off the fair. Following judging, the exhibits will be on display all week next to the Master Gardener booth.


“We are so excited to be having our first annual flower show here at Orleans County 4-H Fair,” said Master Gardener volunteer Amanda Mrzywka, who is helping to organize the event. “There is a class for everyone. We hope that this is a success and we are excited to see everyone’s creative flair. They can let their minds go wild. The more creative, the better.”


There are ten categories for entries: Cut flower bouquet (single or multiple stems); kissing ball design; miniature gardens or fairy gardens; dried flower or dried flower bouquets; edible container arrangement; foliage or flowering houseplants; made for the shade; bountiful baskets; pedestal or regular urns for sun; painting or drawing of a flower garden.


Plants must predominate – no artificial plant material is permitted in an exhibit. Exhibits must remain on the fairgrounds during the entire fair and exhibitors must keep entries in show condition.


“Plant material must be kept fresh and/or watered as needed. Unsightly or wilted plant material must be replaced,” general rules state.


Entries may be made individually, as groups/ organizations, or as businesses. Up to three entries may be submitted per individual per class. Groups or businesses may submit one entry per class. 4-H youth may elect to show as Open, but may not exceed three entries per class total.

Pre-registration is due 4:30 p.m. on July 20. Entries can be dropped off at the Lartz Building on Sunday, July 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. or on July 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition to the Flower Show, a variety of programs will be held each evening (except Wednesday) at 6 p.m. by Master Gardeners and local gardening clubs.


On Wednesday evening, July 29, a Fresh Bouquet Competition is planned and open to the public beginning at 6 p.m. The entry fee is $10. Register the week of fair at the fair office.


More information including rules, entry cards and registration forms is available online by clicking here (then click on fair tab) or at the Cooperative Extension at the fairgrounds, 12690 State Rt. 31.


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State Police will step up enforcement on distracted and impaired driving this weekend

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office Posted 22 May 2015
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced that State Police and local law enforcement across New York State will be increasing patrols to combat impaired and distracted driving this Memorial Day weekend from Friday to Monday.

“Ensuring the safety of motorists and passengers on New York roadways is top priority of this administration and driving under the influence or while distracted will simply will not be tolerated,” Cuomo said. “I urge all motorists to be safe this Memorial Day weekend and to exercise caution when getting behind the wheel.”

Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and more troopers on major highways during this holiday weekend. 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.

CITE vehicles allow Troopers to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

“As we remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, we encourage all motorists to drive safely,” said State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico. “We are reminding motorists to buckle up, obey speed limits, and put down any electronic devices when behind the wheel.”

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people every year.


On Memorial Day weekend in 2014 State Troopers arrested more than 235 people for DWI and issued more than 12,000 tickets.


This targeted enforcement effort is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and STOP-DWI, a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining highway safety program that allows participating counties to qualify for the return of all fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses.


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Communities plan Memorial Day events in Orleans County

File photo
The Holley-Kendall Marching Band was part of last year’s parade in Holley on Memorial Day.

Staff Reports Posted 22 May 2015
The community will honor veterans with parades and services throughout Orleans County on Monday.


In Albion, a parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main and State streets. The parade will go south on Main Street before turning east on Route 31 and ending at the front lawn of the Albion Middle School, where a service will follow the parade.

In Holley, a ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at the American Legion with a parade following at about 9:45. The parade will go from the Legion and continue to the VFW on Veterans Drive. After the VFW, veterans will lay wreaths at Holley cemeteries.

In Lyndonville, a parade begins at 9 a.m. on Lake Avenue at the parking lot of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and continues to Main Street where it ends by the library at the Village Park.

In Medina, a parade begins at 11 a.m. on Park Avenue by the Olde Pickle Factory. It continues to State Street Park where a ceremony will follow. Both the VFW and American Legion will serve lunch following the ceremony.


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In celebrating Carl Akeley, a call to preserve natural world

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 May 2015
HOLLEY – The Clarendon Historical Society threw another birthday for the community’s most famous son, Carl Akeley, on Wednesday. The top photo shows a comic book image of Akeley fighting with leopard in Africa.

Akeley survived and managed to kill the leopard in Africa. Akeley was a world renown taxidermist and inventor. He was instrumental in creating the first national park in Africa.

Provided photo
Carl Akeley is pictured with a leopard in Africa that he killed with his bare hands after it attacked him.


Last year the Historical Society celebrated Akeley’s 150th birthday with 150 people turning out for the party, which featured a presentation by the author of a book about Akeley’s life.

Jay Kirk wrote “Kingdom Under Glass,” a book that traced Akeley’s upbringing on Hinds Road in Clarendon, when he started “stuffing” birds and small animals, to his ground-breaking advances in taxidermy and his adventures in Africa.


The 151st party featured another prominent Akeley enthusiast, Stephen Quinn. He worked in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, where many of Akeley’s elephants, lions, rhinos and gorillas are displayed in New York City at the American Museum of Natural History.

Steven Quinn addresses about 100 people on Wednesday at Holley Junior-Senior High School, sharing photos and insights from a trip to Africa, retracing Carl Akeley’s trips to the continent from 1921 to 1926.


Quinn said the mountain gorillas are threatened, losing habitat and suffering attacks from predators and illnesses. The gorilla pictured has a nose fungus, Quinn said.

“The natural world is to be cherished,” Quinn said. “We’re accountable to the natural world.”


Quinn is recently retired from the American Museum of Natural History. He said the Akeley Hall “is truly a magnificent place.”

Quinn wanted to retrace Akeley’s route in the eastern Congo, where Akeley and his team visited from 1921 to 1926, bringing back paintings, photographs, and specimens collected in the field nearly a century ago.

Akeley became a passionate advocate for the mountain gorillas and other wildlife, and pushed for a national park in the area.

Quinn in his presentation also highlighted the work of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Program, which provides care to sick gorillas, cleaning and suturing cuts and providing medicine.

“The work they do is truly wonderful,” Quinn said. “They work they do wouldn’t be possible without Carl Akeley, who gave his life and is responsible for the first national park in Africa.”


Akeley was on his fifth trip to the Congo in 1926 when he died of fever. He is buried in Africa, just miles from where he encountered his first gorilla.

The taxidermist community is working to raise money for monument for Akeley at Hillside Cemetery in Holley. For more information on that project, click here.


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Guest conductor says marching band ‘best prevention program there is’

Mike Dreyfus, a substance abuse counselor, says band teaches commitment and discipline

Mike Dreyfus

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 May 2015
MEDINA — Mike Dreyfus has watched the Medina Mustangs perform hundreds of times. He still gets caught up in the emotion of the music and choreography of seeing 100-plus kids performing in unison.

“I still feel smitten by it all,” Dreyfus said. “I still get goose bumps when they hit on impact.”

Dreyfus has been an active band booster for nearly two decades. He won a guest conductor contest and will lead the marching band on Monday’s parade that begins at 11 a.m. The band will go from the former Fisher-Price on Park Avenue to Main Street and then to State Street Park. It’s about a 2-mile route.

Community members paid $1 to vote for one of five guest conductors. Dreyfus emerged the winner. He has been an active fund-raiser and vocal cheerleader for the band.

His son Kip joined as an eighth grader and graduated in 2003. Mike and his wife Kathy have stayed band enthusiasts even after their son graduated.

“In band there is a sense of family,” Dreyfus said. “It’s a giant trust exercise.”

No one sits the bench in band, Dreyfus said, and boys and girls share leadership roles.

“These guys and gals are friends,” Dreyfus said. “Everybody is equal. It’s positive competition and it’s gender neutral.”

File photo

The Medina Mustang Band is pictured in last year's Memorial Day parade.

Dreyfus sees other benefits with a demanding program such as the band. He has worked 40 years with people who struggle to be law-abiding citizens in his roles as probation officer for 20 years and then as a substance abuse counselor for two decades.

The band connects students to the community, teaching them discipline and drawing them away from temptations with drugs and alcohol.

“It is the best prevention program there is,” Dreyfus said. “I’ve seen the value of this whole program for the kids involved. The band program screws the kids’ heads on straight. It teaches them commitment. It teaches discipline and focus.”

Dreyfus played football in high school and college. He admitted he’s a little nervous about leading the band on Memorial Day.

“I know nothing about this,” he said about conducting. “The only thing I play is the stereo.”


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Glorious sunset out in the country

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 21 May 2015
BARRE – It was a sensational sunset this evening in West Barre. I forgot to make note of which road is in this picture. It was near West Barre Road and Bragg Schoolhouse Road.


It will be a little chilly on Friday before it warms up for the Memorial Day weekend. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 56 on Friday with an overnight low of 36. The Weather Service warns there could be spots with frost on Friday night through Saturday morning.

Saturday is forecast for a high of 64 and a low of 49, followed by a high of 74 on Sunday with a low of 56. On Memorial Day, the temperatures could reach 76, but there is a chance of thunderstorms.


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Report: Albion and Medina among top 20 best small towns in NY

Photo by Tom Rivers
Main Street in Medina is pictured this afternoon with a banner, American flag and hanging basket. Medina is ranked No. 18 in a report of best towns to raise a family in New York.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2015
The Medina and Albion communities both are in the top 20 of best towns to raise a family in New York, according to a report from Niche.

Niche has an on-line database that determines the ranking, using public education, safety, housing, community involvement and access to family necessities including grocery stores and libraries. Those factors measure how good an area is for families, Niche states.

Medina was ranked 18th overall of the best towns, which doesn’t include suburbs and cities with more than 100,000 people. Albion was ranked 20th.

Mount Hope Town in Orange County was the top ranked community in New York. East Aurora, at No. 3, was the highest ranked in Western New York with Geneseo at No. 5, Fredonia at No. 8 and Batavia at No. 17.

To see the report and the data on Medina and Albion, click here.

File photo by Peggy Barringer
Peggy Barringer took this photo on Jan. 15, 2014, of the moon looming over the Orleans County Courthouse and the County Clerks Building in Albion. Courthouse Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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Trailer burns in wooded area of Yates

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 May 2015 4:25 p.m.
YATES – A trailer in a wooded area along Marshall Road in the Town of Yates burned this afternoon.

The owner of the trailer was working with a power saw. He hit a nail and suspects a spark caught the insulation on fire. It quickly spread at 1867 Marshall Rd.

The trailer was mostly collapsed when firefighters from Lyndonville and Medina arrived on scene soon after the dispatch call went out at 1:30 p.m.

The trailer was not being in lived in. The owner was trying to make improvements so it could be used as a camp during the summer.

Firefighters work together to take down the last remaining wall of the trailer.

“It’s nice and peaceful,” said the owner, who asked that his name not be used.

He tried to put the fire out himself with a hose, but it spread too fast. Firefighters were able keep the fire from moving to the nearby woods, said Adam Ehrenreich, a captain with the Lyndonville Fire Department.

Lyndonville firefighter Steve Bane Jr. tries to put out any remaining hot spots from the fire.


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NY will suspend road and bridge construction over holiday weekend

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office Posted 21 May 2015
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced that road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. on Tuesday in order to accommodate travelers during the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend. Some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.


“Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, so starting Friday the state will be temporarily halting most major construction projects in order to make things easier for travelers,” Cuomo said. “By suspending the majority of construction work through Monday, we will help to ease congestion and reduce traffic delays as much as possible. I encourage all drivers to be safe, keep your eyes on the road and enjoy the holiday.”


The construction suspension is in keeping with Cuomo’s Drivers First program, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists to minimize traffic congestion and travel delays due to road and bridge work.


“Once again we are strictly limiting construction activities so that the many New Yorkers who are heading out to visit family, friends or any of the great tourist destinations New York State has to offer will not be inconvenienced by road work along the way,” said NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald.


AAA predicts that of the more than 37 million people traveling more than 50 miles from home this weekend, an estimated 33 million of them will be traveling by car. This Memorial Day weekend is expected to have the highest travel volume of the past 10 years.


Travelers are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before departing. The free service allows users to check road conditions or link to air and transit information.


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Community Action joins Red Nose Day to highlight child poverty

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 21 May 2015
ALBION – Staff and volunteers at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee are wearing red noses today as part of an effort to raise awareness for child poverty.

“We wanted to support the cause,” said Anni Skowneski, case manager at Community Action. “We wanted to raise awareness for child poverty, which is something we work with every day.”


The people pictured include, front: Kim Miller. Second row, from left: Wendy Hinkley, Andrea Severson, Anni Skonewski and Heidi Wyant. Back row: Barb Kiefer, Pam Wadhams, Carol Berray, Bonnie Malakie, Amy Lester, Freddie Stewart, Mary Guzik and Cathy Brien.

People throughout the world are participating in “Red Nose Day.” For more information, click here.

Orleans County is seeing an increase in the number of people in poverty. Orleans went from 4,731 or 11.6 percent of its population in 2000 to 5,194 or 13.0 percent in 2013, according to the Census.


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Credit Union celebrates 50th anniversary

Photos by Tom Rivers
The Cobblestone Country Federal Credit Union has grown fro its early days as the Liptons Federal Credit Union. The credit union moved to this site on West Avenue last summer, following extensive renovations to a former health care site. The credit union has a charter for all of Orleans County.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2015
ALBION – A credit union celebrating its 50th anniversary this year was started by employees at Liptons in Albion. That company left town more than three decades ago, but the credit union has stayed and grown.

The former Liptons Federal Credit Union served employees of that company on East Avenue, across from the current McDonalds. Some banks wouldn’t lend money to the employees so they put their money together, loaning it so people could buy cars, fix up their houses and pursue other projects.

That credit union went through some name changes as it merged with two other credit unions in the Albion area. It was most recently the Central Orleans Credit Union until the name was changed about a decade ago to the Cobblestone Country Federal Credit Union.

Today the credit union has a charter to serve all of Orleans County, including people who live outside Orleans but who work and attend church in the county.

The Cobblestone Country Federal Credit Union used to rent space at this building next to COVA.

A year ago, the credit union moved from a historic building at 239 South Main St., a building next to COVA and the Arnold Gregory Memorial Complex.

The credit union moved into a one-story former health care site at 299 West Ave. The building has been renovated with a drive-through window added.

The more accessible and modern facility has boosted traffic and customers for the credit union, said Nancy Zielonko, the credit union manager.

She is one of four full-time employees for the site. She started at the credit union in 1992, when the organization had about $2 million in assets. That has grown to $8.5 million now.

“We’re basically a full-service bank,” Zielonko said.

The credit union has checking and savings accounts, and can loan money for cars, home improvement projects and other projects. The credit union can also initiative mortgages, working with a larger parent organization through the credit union association.

The team of employees at Cobblestone Country Federal Credit Union include, from left: Teresa Radka, Audrey Christopher, Chris Ranallo-Hoffmeister and Nancy Zielonko.

The Cobblestone Country Federal Credit Union has a local board of directors headed by Wayne Hale, the retired director of planning and tourism for Orleans County.


Zielonko said a progressive board and dedicated employees have allowed the credit union to expand services and make the move to its own building on West Avenue. The organization had been renting on South Main Street.

The four employees combined have 81 years of service at the credit union. Zielonko has worked there for 23 years and head teller Audrey Christopher has 22 years of service. Teresa Radka has 20 years as a loan officer and Chris Ranallo-Hoffmeister, the assistant manager, has worked there for nearly 16 years.

Zielonko said the credit union will work with people who may need to rebuild their credit. The organization offers checking accounts and other services without minimum balances and per-check fees. She said the traditional banks are profit driven.

“We’ve helped a lot of people,” Zielonko said. “We loan old school. You’re not just a credit score.”

The local credit union has 2,800 members. The organization has its annual meeting today at 3 p.m. It will also be promoting its 50th anniversary.

For more information, click here.


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NY bans birds from county and state fairs this year

Move made to protect against avian flu

File photo by Tom Rivers
These turkeys were part of last year’s meat auction at the 4-H Fair in Knowlesville. The state has banned turkeys, ducks and other fowl from fairs this year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – The annual 4-H Fair in late July will be missing some mainstays – turkeys, chickens, ducks, peacocks and other fowl.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has banned the birds from all county fairs and the state fair this year. Richard Ball, state agriculture commissioner, issued the order on Tuesday, saying the state needs to be proactive in fighting the potential spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

“Avian influenza has not yet been detected in New York State, but it is a very serious threat to poultry and all breeds of fowl and is continuing to spread,” Ball said on Tuesday. “Despite the efforts of the best poultry health experts in North America, we do not fully understand the cause of the rapid spread of this virus. This commonsense step will help limit the spread of the influenza to other farms and chickens.”

Orleans County had 126 entries in fowl events in last year’s fair from 27 kids in the 4-H program. The news from the state is disappointing to the 4-H’ers, but the kids will still work to educate the public about poultry, said Cara Wachob, the poultry superintendent along with her husband Jim.

“It’s definitely a disappointment, but we want to do our part to stop the spread of avian flu in New York State,” she said.

Robert Batt, the 4-H educator in Orleans County, said kids in the poultry program may do photography displays of their chickens, turkeys and other fowl. They may also have other educational displays about the birds.

Batt said the ban is the first he’s experienced in a 4-H career going back about two decades. He understands the need to safeguard the poultry industry.

“It’s absolutely a safety thing,” he said.

Wachob said the local 4-H’ers will put some of the energy they would have used in preparing the birds for the fair into educational displays about the industry and poultry sicence.

The ban covers all breeds of fowl, including chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl, bantam poultry, geese, and ducks. Exhibitors who have already registered fowl for the 2015 New York State Fair will be contacted and will receive a refund of their entry fees.

“This is a disappointment to us as well as to fairgoers and our exhibitors, who look forward to this competition every year,” said Troy Waffner, acting fair director. “But we believe people understand that we are stewards of the animals in our care and I know they understand that we’re doing what’s best for everyone, and especially for the birds.”

The State Fair has already made plans to fill the space in the Poultry Barn normally used for displaying chickens with rabbits and cavies, and the daily rooster crowing contest will be replaced by a rabbit hopping demonstration on seven days.

While the current strains of avian influenza circulating in the Midwest are extraordinarily deadly to birds, experts stress that the H5N2 and H5N8 strains are not a threat to humans. Chicken and eggs are safe to eat, the Department of Ag and Markets advised.


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For final concert, Albion elementary chorus teacher picks cowboy classics

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 May 2015
ALBION – Linda Logan, a music teacher in Albion for 34 years, directed her final concert this evening, leading 117 students in the third and fourth grade chorus.

Logan and many of her students wore western and cowboy outfits. The sang folk song and cowboy medleys, including “Shoo Fly,” “Old Dan Tucker,” “Home on the Range,” “Git Along Little Doggies,” Grandma’s Feather Bed” and others.

“These are songs every kid should know,” she said before the concert.


Logan said she tried to pick fun songs throughout the year. She thanked her students and their parents, many of whom she taught a generation ago.


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Local state legislators collect about $15K annually for travel expenses, per diems

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2015
Local state legislators collect about $15,000 a year for their travel and per diem allotments for their work in Albany, according to a report from the State Comptroller’s Office.

Lawmakers can collect up to $172 per day for travel, lodging and food expenses.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, received $14,487 in 2013, $15,429 in 2014 and $7,391 for the first quarter for 2015, according to the comptroller’s report.
That’s a little less than Jane Corwin, R-Clarence, who received $17,321.68 in 2013, $16,914.85 in 2014 and $5,943 so far in 2015. (Hawley represents most of Orleans County in the Assembly with Corwin's district including the Town of Shelby.)

Former State Assemblyman William Scarborough had the most in per diem expenses with $28,438 in 2013.

Scarborough of Queens pleaded guilty to grand larceny on May 7. A federal indictment accused him of receiving $40,000 for fraudulent state travel vouchers submitted during a four-year period ending in 2012. He has resigned from the Assembly.

In the State Senate, former Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, received $17,745 in 2013 and $14,928 in 2014. Maziarz didn’t seek re-election in 2015. His successor, Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda, has received $7,040 so far in 2015.

John Sampson of Brooklyn recorded the highest per diem reimbursements in the Senate with $24,517 in 2013.

For more on the report, click here.


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Boy Scouts will honor Bob and Eric Brown

File photo by Tom Rivers
Eric Brown, right, and his son Harrison served as starters at the Pinewood Derby in Albion in March 2014.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2015
BATAVIA — Two brothers in Carlton, who have worked together for years at a fruit farm and running an agri-tourism retail store, will be honored next week by the Iroquois Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Bob and Eric Brown run Orchard Dale Fruit Farm. For more than three decades, the Brown family also ran Brown’s Berry Patch before deciding to close that retail operation this year.

Eric has been an active Scout leader. His two sons, Harrison and Jeffrey, are Boy Scouts.

The family has hosted many Scouts over the years at events at Brown’s Berry Patch, giving them wagon rides and letting them get a taste of farm life.

Bob and Eric will both be presented with “Distinguished Citizen” awards from Orleans County as part of the 40th annual Boypower dinner on May 28 at Genesee Community College.

“Bob and Eric are both being recognized for their years of community service,” said Jim McMullen, the Scout executive for the five-county Council. “They’ve done a tremendous amount to support the local economy with their businesses and they’ve boosted the quality of life in Orleans County.”

That Boypower dinner is a fundraiser for the Iroquois Trail Council. For more information, click here.

Distinguished citizens will also be honored from Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming and Niagara counties. The featured speaker will be Gale A. Buchanan, a leader in the field of scientific agricultural research and former chief scientist for the United States Department of Agriculture.


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Holley’s Top 10 recognized by Board of Education

Photo by Kristina Gabalaski

Holley Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory (middle) poses with Class of 2015 valedictorian Emily Radford (left) and salutatorian Nicole Boyle (right). Members of the Holley Class of 2015 Top Ten were honored during the School Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening with the Soaring to New Heights Awards.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 May 2015

HOLLEY – The Holley Central Middle School/High School was a bustle of activity Tuesday evening during the annual school budget vote. In addition to voting, several other events were held including a concert and the monthly School Board of Education meeting.


The Holley Central School Music Department held its annual chicken barbecue in the Middle School/High School Dining Hall and elementary music students presented their Band and Chorus Spring Concert.


The Holley PTSA held a free ice cream social between 4-6 p.m. in the foyer, where voting was taking place and the Scholastic Book Fair was open into the evening.


During the Board of Education meeting, Holley's Top Ten graduating seniors were recognized with the Board's monthly “Soaring to New Heights Award.” That recognition goes to people for giving of their time and abilities to benefit Holley schools.


Emily Radford is the valedictorian and Nicole Boyle is salutatorian. Other Top 10 include Jessica Skehan, Taylor DeSimone, Leah Baker, Tessa McArthur, Mikayla Hargreaves, Jade Underwood, Cole Quiter and Andrew Rowley.


“I’m really proud of this group,” Board President Brenda Swanger told the students. “I feel thrilled for all of you.”


Also during the meeting, Superintendent Robert D'Angelo and board members discussed the reorganization of the district's Building and Grounds Department.


D'Angelo received permission from the Board to move the B-Shift Coordinator position out of the organizational chart and create the position of Director of Facilities.


Board member Sal DeLuca, Jr. expressed concerns that the buildings currently are “... not being taken care of as they should be taken care of,” and proposed that a Director of Facilities once hired, should have input on how the Buildings and Grounds Department is organized and run.


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2 decline plea offers and will go to trial

Brockport man charged with felony sex crimes; Medina woman accused of drug charges

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2015
ALBION – Two people facing numerous felony charges rejected plea offers this week and will go to trial this summer in Orleans County Court.

A 28-year-old Brockport man faces numerous counts of second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act and other charges. Matthew M. Edwards of West Ridge Road was arraigned in Orleans County Court on Jan. 5.

He is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in the Village of Holley between July 4 and Aug. 30. Edwards also allegedly provided the girl with drugs and alcohol, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He is in Orleans County Jail on $200,000 bail.


Edwards faces 20 counts of second-degree rape, 14 counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, five counts of unlawful dealing with a child in the first degree and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

He will go to trial on Aug. 26.

In another case, a Medina woman will go to trial beginning on July 15.


Erika H. Poole, 34, of Church Street faces three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and one count of criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree.

Poole was arrested in February 2014 for three of the drug charges. Her husband, Brenton Poole, also was arrested on Feb. 12, 2014. He was sentenced to five years in state prison last June for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Mrs. Poole was arrested again on July 18 for allegedly possessing cocaine.


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Medina school renames library in memory of former teacher

Contributed photos
The library at Clifford Wise Middle School was rededicated as the Barbara Barnes Library last week in honor of a teacher killed in a Sept. 29 car accident. Pictured, from left, include: Joe Byrne, Medina Teacher Association President; Troy Barnes, Barbara’s son; Bruce Barnes, Barbara’s husband; Braidy Barnes, Barbara’s son; and Bridget Barnes, Braidy’s wife.

Staff Reports Posted 20 May 2015
MEDINA – How do you remember an incredible person, friend and teacher such as Barbara Barnes?


That is the question the staff and students have been pondering since her tragic passing on Sept. 29 on the way to a job that she loved. Barnes was killed in a car accident on Lake Road in the Town of Newfane.


Her colleagues, students and loved ones gathered on May 14 at Clifford Wise Middle School as Barbara’s two sons unveiled the new sign above the school’s library. The site will now be officially known as the Barbara Barnes Memorial Library.

Barbara Barnes


Barnes taught special education at the Clifford Wise Middle School for 18 years.

The plaque with Barbara's photo that read in part, "Her contagious smile, her caring eyes and her amazing sense of humor; no one who knew Barbara Jean Barnes will forget her beautiful spirit. Barbara Barnes cherished being part of the Medina School Community, and she thought of Wise as her second home and its faculty, staff, and students as her second family. We are blessed to have known her, as a teacher and a friend."

Joe Byrne, Medina Teacher Association president, said that Barnes was cherished by everyone who had the pleasure of interacting with her.


“She loved being a teacher and being part of the students’ lives,” Byrne said. “It seemed very fitting to her memory and her legacy to name the library after her so that for years to come that everyone walking through the door here will know how much she was loved and admired and how much of an impact she has made on us all.”


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Deputy DeFilipps honored by company that made bulletproof vest

Officer is ‘Save 1,912’ for Safariland Group

Photos by Tom Rivers
Deputy James DeFilipps is pictured with his wife Marie and their infant son Jake at the Orleans County Public Safety Building on Tuesday.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2015
ALBION – About two months after he was shot twice while on duty, Deputy James DeFilipps held his son Jake before many in the law enforcement community and his family on Tuesday. Jake will be 1 in a few days.


“I’m very grateful he’s still here,” the deputy's wife Marie said on Tuesday.

DeFilipps and his family are thankful that a bulletproof vest protected the deputy when he was shot twice at close range on March 21 at about 3 a.m. A bullet to the chest was blocked by the vest and left no bruise. A shot in abdomen was also stopped, but DeFilipps has a deep bruise that gunshot.

He expects he will be able to return to work in early June, working the night shift in eastern Orleans County.

DeFilipps started his career with the Holley Police Department. He has worked the night shift for the Sheriff’s Department for about a decade. Mrs. DeFilipps said her husband is eager to return to work.

“This is what he was born to do,” she said.

The family has received numerous cards from well-wishers, Mrs. DeFilipps said.

When her husband spent a few hours in Strong Memorial Hospital after being shot twice on March 21, police officers visited from the State Police, Rochester Police Department and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, as well as officers from Orleans County.

Friends have dropped off food and many other kind gestures have been extended to the family. DeFilipps and his immediate family all live in Holley. His mother, Marsha, is the Holley historian.

The big community response has been humbling, said Anne Schutz, DeFilipps’s sister.

“It’s really made me believe in Holley again,” Schutz said.

A representative from the Safariland Group holds the plaque given to Deputy James DeFilipps on Tuesday.

Schutz remembers a few hours after her brother was shot, and asking him if he would return to road patrols.

“He said, ‘Definitely,’” Schutz said.

DeFilipps was shot twice by James Ellis, 44, of Wyoming County. Ellis allegedly pulled a handgun on an ex-girlfriend in Shelby on March 21. Ellis was then chased by police before crashing his vehicle into a telephone pole on Route 31A in Clarendon.


DeFilipps was working the east end of the county and responded to the scene in Clarendon. Police say Ellis open fired on responding officers, including DeFilipps. After DeFilipps was shot twice, he fired at Ellis, killing him.

DeFilipps was only about 10 feet away from Ellis during the shootout.

A grand jury reviewed the evidence and found DeFilipps was justified in using lethal force.

Representatives from the Safariland Group, manufacturers of the bullet proof vest, presented DeFilipps and Sheriff Scott Hess with plaques noting that DeFIlipps is “Save No. 1,912” for the company. He was wearing an American Body Armor Extreme Series vest when he was shot.

DePuty James DeFilipps is presented a plaque and other gifts from Stacey Petyak, a manufacturers representative for Safariland Group. Sheriff Scott Hess, left, also received a plaque to be displayed in the department.


Stacey Petyak, a manufacturers representative for the company, presented the plaques during the ceremony.

“It is not just about us and our armor,” she said. “It is about your heroic actions and your action of valor that you are here today and the other officers.”

The company wanted the Sheriff’s Office to have a plaque as well, noting that DeFilipps survived the gun shots.

“When you look at this you realize what you’re dealing with everyday, the good, the bad and the in between,” she said to a group of law enforcement officers.


DeFilipps also received several gifts – an embroidered hat, travel mug, gear bag and a challenge coin – noting he is “Save No. 1,912.”

Whenever there is a save due to the company’s products, the Safariland Group will shut down production at its three plants to recognize the save and read the story behind the incident with the officer, Petyak said.


She said the “Save Officers” have developed their own network, often reaching out to one another.


“These are officers who took what would be fatal blows,” Petyak said.


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Holley budget and propositions all pass

Melissa Ierlan is elected as write-in candidate

Photos by Kristina Gabalski
The Holley Central School Music Department held its annual chicken barbecue on Tuesday evening in the Middle/High School Dining Hall.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2015
HOLLEY – The school budget and all propositions on the ballot passed with big margins of support on Tuesday and three candidates were elected to the Board of Education, including one as a write-in.

Melissa Ierlan, the Clarendon code enforcement officer and president of the Clarendon Historical Society, was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Education as a write-in candidate with 121 votes.


There were three open seats on the board, but only two candidates submitted petitions. That left the remaining seat to be filled by write-in.


Incumbents Mark Porter, 358 votes, and Anne Winkley, 381 votes, also were re-elected.

The budget passed, 371-105. The school district is cutting its budget by about $1.7 million to $23,300,000. The budget keeps the tax levy unchanged at $6,741,780.


The proposition authorizing the purchase of school buses passed 333-140. Holley will purchase two full-size school buses, one wheelchair bus and one 30-passenger school bus at a total cost not to exceed $355,000.


The proposition for Community Free Library passed, 378-99. It authorizes the district to raise $108,072 to be used in support of the maintenance and operations of the library in Holley.

Members of the Holley Central School Beginner Band perform under the direction of Hannah Bock during the Elementary School Band and Chorus Spring Concert on Tuesday evening.


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Lyndonville budget with tax cut passes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2015
LYNDONVILLE – The school district’s budget that reduces taxes by 5.3 percent passed “overwhelmingly,” by a 101-19 vote, said Jason Smith, the superintendent of schools.

The school district’s proposed $13,253,892 budget increases spending by 0.5 percent, but taxes will be cut by 5.35 percent or by $250,000 to $4,416,578.


Other propositions also passed, including $90,653 for Yates Community Library and authorization to purchase one 66-seat bus at a maximum $105,000.


Three people ran unopposed for three-year terms to the Board of Education. Incumbents Ted Lewis and Michelle Dillenbeck were elected along with board newcomer Kelly Cousins.


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Voters pass Kendall budget, propositions

Nadine Hanlon re-elected to Board of Education
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2015
KENDALL – Kendall residents gave strong support for a $15,065,842 budget today. The spending plan passed 172-50.

The budget increases expenditures by 1.6 percent but keeps the tax levy unchanged.

All of the propositions passed with wide margins of support.


Proposition 2 creates a school bus replacement reserve fund not to exceed $100,000 annually. It passed 180-40.


Proposition 3 allows the purchase of school buses to replace existing vehicles at a sum not to exceed $250,000. It passed, 174-46.


Proposition 4 allows the creation of a capital improvement reserve fund not to exceed $5 million. It passed, 174-47.


Kendall residents also re-elected Nadine Hanlon, the current Board of Education president, to another five-year term. She was unopposed and received 199 votes.


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