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Contraband, including synthetic marijuana, seized at Orleans Correctional Facility
Posted 23 January 2018 at 9:05 pm

Press Release, New York State Corrections Officers Benevolent Association

ALBION – A package delivered to the Orleans Correctional Facility on Friday contained illegal drugs and a screwdriver, the union representing corrections officers is reporting today.

Based on information obtained in an investigation, officers searched a package that was delivered to the prison and seized 286 grams of synthetic marijuana – commonly known as “K2” – and 120 homemade pills. The pills are being tested to determine what substance they contain. A screwdriver also was located inside the packaging.

In a separate incident at the facility on Sunday, an officer was assaulted by an inmate. The officer sustained a fractured bone in his right hand and abrasions to the side of his head.

The assault occurred while the inmate was being escorted from the visiting area. He became very aggressive and boisterous when he was ordered by officers to calm down. The inmate then turned suddenly and punched the officer in the mouth and head, the union said.

The officer and a second officer who was on the scene put the inmate in body holds. They were able to apply mechanical restraints. The inmate, 22, is serving seven years after being convicted for burglary in the second degree in 2013. The inmate was removed from the visiting area and placed in a special housing unit.

The officer was treated by facility medical staff and followed up at an outside hospital. He did not return to duty.

“The reality we face is that contraband and violence is still a prevalent issue in state correctional facilities,” said Joe Miano, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President. “Inmates are still finding innovative ways to smuggle contraband into our prisons. The contraband, ranging from drugs to weapons and more, compromises the safety and security of inmates and staff in our correctional facilities. Unprovoked attacks on staff still continue at an alarming rate and proactive steps must be taken to provide a safer environment for our members.”

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Barre planning bicentennial bash from June 29-July 1
Posted 23 January 2018 at 5:51 pm

Press Release, Barre Bicentennial Committee

BARRE – The Town of Barre will celebrate its Bicentennial June 29-July 1, with events primarily at the Barre Town Park on Route 98. A full weekend of entertainment is planned including an antique car and tractor show, game booths, a parade, contests, fireworks and live music.  A delicious array of food will also be available all weekend long.

History will be on display with photos, recipes, and stories from Barre’s past highlighted throughout the weekend. Many organizers will be in period dress and attendees are encouraged to dress in historical costume as well.

Historical exhibits will highlight notable residents such as former US Congressmen Lorenzo Burrows and John G. Sawyer, American anthropologist and ethnologist Frank Hamilton Cushing, and Marvin V. Frey, an evangelical minister and writer of the well-known spiritual song “Kum-Ba-Yah.”

The event’s planning committee is looking for historical contributions from the public. If you have a story or item of significance from Barre’s history, or would like to be involved with the planning or fundraising for the event, please contact one of the committee members or the Town Hall.

Several fundraisers are planned, including can/bottle drive bins available for returnables located at the Town Hall and the Barre Deli. Several fundraiser dinners are planned with the next one, a spaghetti dinner, on Feb. 3 at the West Barre United Methodist Church. Tickets will be available at the door. Any monetary donations would be gladly accepted as well.

There will be contests for residents to participate in including beard growing and photography. Participants can start growing their beards now.

In addition to the weekend-long celebration at the end of June, the town will officially mark its 200-year anniversary on March 6, 2018. There will be a recognition ceremony at the Barre Town Hall on that date and another ceremony on March 3, 2018 at 1 p.m. with local politicians and press invited.

About Barre:

The Town of Barre was founded in 1818 and was named after the birthplace of an early settler, Judge John Lee. The town, at 55.1 square miles, forms the southern border of Orleans County. In the quiet Town of Barre, there are country roads, small churches, friendly neighbors, and some of the best chicken barbecues around.

The Town of Barre remains much the same today as when it was founded; it is still a friendly agricultural community. The farms in the town are small family owned operations and among these are several century farms.

The town also contains approximately 4,000 acres of muck land. Along with the farms are some small businesses and other community services including two churches, a volunteer fire company, and an airport. There are also two sportsmen clubs in town and many acres of wide-open spaces providing countless opportunities for outdoor fun, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and trail riding.

For further information, please contact the Town of Barre Bicentennial Planning Committee:

Sean Pogue (585) 589-5100, ext. 6

Maureen Beach (585) 589-5100, ext. 1

Adrienne Daniels (585) 589-5100, ext. 1

Kathy Klein (585) 409-5635

Kelly Dudley (585) 746-1677

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Benefit on Saturday will assist Albion man awaiting heart and liver transplants
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2018 at 4:57 pm

Provided photo: Matt Grammatico is pictured with his wife, Rhonda.

CARLTON – A dinner with more than 100 gift baskets and other items up for auction on Saturday will raise money for an Albion man who needs a heart and liver transplant.

Volunteers are prepared to make 1,000 spaghetti dinners on Saturday during a benefit from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Carlton Rec Hall.

Matt Grammatico, 44, is awaiting a heart and liver transplant. He owns an auto repair shop in Hamlin. He opened MPG Automotive last year. His wife Rhonda is a long-time lunchroom monitor at Albion Central School. Their son, Nate, is a junior at Albion and is heavily involved in the music and theater programs.

Many of Nate’s classmates will be performing during the benefit on Saturday.

“The kids have really stepped forward to support Nate and his family,” Seielstad said. “It’s amazing. I’m getting choked up just thinking about it.”

Seielstad said the Grammatico family is very giving, always quick to respond to help others.

“They have touched the lives of people far and wide,” Seielstad said. “They’re the kind of people that when somebody needs something they’re the first to say, ‘How can I help you?’”

Matt is the son of Mike Grammatico, a retired Albion music teacher. Matt grew up in the Barker school district.

Matt was born with a serious heart condition called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. He underwent his first operation at 6 weeks old, followed by an open-heart reconstructive surgery when he was 11. Matt also needed multiple procedures and surgeries throughout the next 30 years of his life.

During one of the surgeries as a child, Matt was unknowingly given a Hepatitis C tainted blood transfusion. The virus attacked his liver, undiscovered, for more than 20 years, further complicating his health. He has been diagnosed with end-stage liver disease.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Retired Albion instrumental teacher Mike Grammatico plays in a saxophone duet with his grandson Nate Grammatico during a concert on Jan. 30, 2015. Nate and many of his classmates, as well as music teachers, will be performing during Saturday’s benefit for Nate’s father.

Matt and his doctors in Rochester and at the Cleveland Clinic are working to keep him stable and prepare him for a heart and liver transplant. While Matt waits for the transplant, he is struggling to perform everyday activities and to keep the auto business going. The family faces significant medical expenses as well as the loss of income while Matt is unable to work.

Event organizers are hoping the fundraiser will help sustain the family until Matt receives his transplant.

“We are giving it all we have – the rest is up to a higher power,” Seielstad said.

The benefit on Saturday will give the family funding for trips to Cleveland Clinic for extended stays; costly medicines and medical bills; and some current living expenses because Matt sometimes can’t work due to health issues.

Seielstad said many in the Albion community will be volunteering at the dinner. Matt Moore is heading the cooking effort and Karen Krieger is organizing the team of volunteers.

There are about 100 baskets to be auctioned off, and 10 other items will go to the highest bidder in a silent auction. Some of those items include an iPad Mini, Sabres tickets, golf packages, custom end tables, a kayak and a quilt.

Dinner tickets are available at the door or at Bloom’s Flower Shop and Snell Realtors. Donations can dropped off at Seielstad’s home at 302 W. Park St., Albion, or through Pay Pal (click here).

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3 are sentenced at County Court
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2018 at 12:01 pm

ALBION – Three people were sentenced in Orleans County Court on Monday, and two others had their sentencings pushed back.

Joseph Piedmont, 52, of South Clinton Street was sentenced to six months in Orleans County jail, plus five years of probation.

Piedmont admitted to taking a debit card. Part of his sentence includes paying restitution of $14,321 to KeyBank. Once he’s out of jail, Piedmont needs to start paying $250 monthly in restitution over 60 months.

Piedmont’s attorney Nathan Pace said Piedmont’s drug and alcohol abuse fueled the crime.

• A Rochester man was sentenced to five years of probation for promoting prison contraband. Ashanti E. Kellum, 23, of Adams Street in Rochester was part of a group that tried to bring heroin and Alprazolam into the Albion Correctional Facility, a women’s prison. Alprazolam (also known as Xanax) is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety.

Kellum has no prior criminal history. The Orleans County Probation Department recommended probation instead of incarceration.

• A 17-year-old was sentenced to probation for disseminating indecent material to a minor. The boy sent “extremely graphic images to an underage female,” District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

The boy was granted youthful offender status so his name shouldn’t be made public. The crime also won’t be on his record.

He was in jail for several months while officials tried to find housing for him. He has since reunited with his mother and is enrolled at a school in Niagara County. He hopes to play sports.

Sara Sheldon, the interim County Court judge, told the boy she would be checking his progress and making sure he attends school and keeps his grades up. He also can’t send any sexually explicit texts to other people as part of his probation. The judge told the boy he has lots of potential to live a productive life.

“Consider for now on that you have two mothers,” Judge Sheldon said. “I’m going to be watching you.”

• Frank Ranallo, 47, of Medina was to be sentenced but it was pushed back until Feb. 26 so probation could complete a pre-sentencing report. Ranallo was late for court on Monday and also missed another recent court date. His father attended court both times and said his son had medical issues.

Sheldon said she suspected Ranallo was causing self-inflicted injuries to delay incarceration.

Ranallo could spend up to a year in the county jail for violating his probation by not attending substance abuse and mental health counseling appointments. He also was using drugs, and committed another crime of attempted burglary.

He will be sentenced on Feb. 5. Judge Sheldon set bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

• A Medina man could have been sentenced to four years in prison on Monday for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Russell E. Sargent, 52, of West Avenue admitted in a previous court appearance to having cocaine with the intention of selling it on May 18.

His attorney, Nathan Pace, asked for an adjournment so probation could complete a full pre-sentencing report. Pace apologized on behalf of Sargent for not understanding what probation wanted so the report could be completed.

Sheldon agreed to delay sentencing until March 26, but said Sargent would be held in the county jail until then.

• In another case, Amanda C. Laraby, 37, of Middleport will be screened for a judicial diversion program. If she is accepted and passes the program, a felony charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor and she would avoid going to jail.

Laraby, in court on Monday, said she has battled an opiate addiction daily for five years.

She was charged last month with selling prescription opiate drugs.

• Judge Sheldon also set March 20 as the start of a trial against Darren Marker, 32, of Medina. He has been charged with first-degree robbery. He allegedly was in a vehicle on Main Street in Medina at 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 8 when he pulled out a knife and threatened a victim. Marker allegedly already owed the victim $110 after borrowing money with no intention of paying it back, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Marker also allegedly stole cellular phone power banks from Crosby’s. He also faces charges of second-degree menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of petit larceny, and criminal mischief in the fifth degree.

He has been in jail with bail set at $100,000 cash and $200,000 property bond.

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Murray man sentenced to 4 years in prison for sex act with 16-year-old
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2018 at 11:01 am

ALBION – A Murray man was given the maximum of four years in state prison for first-degree attempted sex abuse.

Joseph Quarella, 41, was living at Skyline Circle in Murray when he allegedly subjected a 16-year-old girl to the crime, which occurred in November 2016.

He pleaded guilty on Oct. 30, when he admitted to forcibly touching the victim’s private parts.

Quarella is a second felony offender and already has served a sentence in state prison for second-degree assault in Cayuga County in 2005.

In court on Monday he said the girl, 16, was a “problem child” who would cut herself. He started “sexting” with her, sending sexually explicit messages, thinking it would make her feel better.

Sara Sheldon, the interim County Court judge, told Quarella he is the adult who took advantage of the victim, giving her drugs and alcohol.

In addition to four years in prison, Quarella will face 10 years of post-release supervision and will be a registered sex offender.

He also has to pay a $1,000 sex offender victim fee, $375 court surcharge and $50 sex offender registration fee.

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NY will continue Medicaid coverage for DACA recipients regardless of federal action
Posted 23 January 2018 at 10:43 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will remain eligible for state-funded Medicaid, regardless of any federal changes to or termination of the program.

There are approximately 42,000 DACA recipients in New York, many of whom are at risk of losing their employment-based health insurance if the federal government changes or terminates the program. Under New York law, DACA recipients are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) and eligible for state-funded Medicaid or CHIP.

“The federal government’s failure to take action to protect DACA recipients is appalling, un-American, unjust and puts hundreds of thousands of children at risk,” Cuomo said. “Here in New York we will do everything in our power to protect DACA recipients and ensure they receive health care. As Washington holds DACA recipients hostage for funding for a wall, we will not allow vitriol and dysfunction to put lives at risk. We will continue to stand up for the rights of immigrants, and will continue to defend the principles of opportunity and equality that this state and this nation were founded upon.”

DACA allows for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to be eligible for work permits and receive renewable periods of deferred action from deportation. After the Trump Administration announced plans to terminate the DACA program, New York State filed a complaint to protect New York Dreamers.

Information on applying for or renewing Medicaid coverage for DACA recipients is available by clicking here. The state funds all of the costs associated with this coverage.

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Local group helps students look like princesses for prom
Posted 23 January 2018 at 9:50 am

Provided photo: Cosmetology teacher Sue Lindke with student Samantha Macek who is looking for the perfect prom dress.

Press Release, Orleans-Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Paula Travis believes that every young lady going to the prom deserves to look her best regardless of their financial reosurces. That is why she started the organization WHO (Women Helping Others).

The organization is run out of the Zion Lutheran Church of Gasport and offers Becca’s Closet.

“The organization is dedicated to carrying on the legacy of Rebecca Kirtmann, a high school student from Florida, who believed that every girl should be able to attend formal school-sponsored events, such as prom and homecoming, despite their financial situation,” Travis said.  “Becca collected hundreds of gowns by herself and gave them to girls free of charge. She was killed in a car accident in 2003 and her friends and family carry on her legacy nationwide.”

Recently Paula stopped into the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center and offered dresses to students. Many students stopped by the cosmetology class where Ms. Travis set up for the day and tried on gowns until they found the perfect one for themselves.

“This is just a wonderful thing for our students. It is great to see them walk out of here feeling like a princess,” said cosmetology teacher Sue Lindke. “All that Paula asks is that the students pay it forward by bringing a personal care item in to help out others who are in need.”

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Ridgeway man held without bail after new charges for violent felony
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2018 at 9:12 am

ALBION – A judge has sent a Ridgeway man to Orleans County Jail to be held without bail after he was charged with additional violent felonies after posting bail for allegedly assaulting a woman last year.

Gerardo Quiros

Gerardo Quiros, 31, posted $250,000 bail last spring after he was accused of holding a woman against her will for several weeks, while physically and sexually assaulting her.

Quiros is facing 36 counts including seven counts of first-degree rape, 23 counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, third and fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful dealing with a child and unlawful possession of marijuana.

That case is pending in court. He was offered a plea deal where he would face a maximum of 7 to 15 years in state prison. Quiros declined that offer.

Sara Sheldon, the interim County Court judge in Orleans County, on Monday revoked the bail and ordered Quiros to be held without bail due to the additional charges.

He was arraigned on the new charges when he allegedly broke into his girlfriend’s parents’ house in Barre and attempted to drag the woman out by her feet.

He was arraigned on Jan. 1 in Town Court for second-degree burglary, attempted second-degree kidnapping and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $100,000 and Quiros was promptly bailed out.

Sheldon continued bail on Monday at $100,000 for the new charges. Quiros, however, remains in jail without bail after Sheldon revoked the $250,000 bail on the previous charges.

“We feel he is a tremendous flight risk,” District Attorney Joe Cardone told the judge.

He also requested orders of protection for six people, and the judge granted that request.

The judge also set Sept. 18 as the tentative date for a trial on the latest charges.

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Collins, Schumer both vote to end government shutdown
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 9:06 pm

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, both voted for a short-term spending bill that will fund the government for three weeks.

The measure passed the House and Senate, and President Donald Trump has signed the bill.

Collins released the following statement after voting in support of the short-term and to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.

“I am disappointed by the political tactics that Senator Schumer pulled this weekend, not only closing the government but putting the millions of children that rely on CHIP in jeopardy,” Collins said. “While short-term spending agreements are never ideal, I am pleased that we have reopened the government and extended CHIP for six years. As we continue to negotiate a solution to the DACA situation and work toward a long-term funding agreement, I hope Senate Democrats have learned their lesson that these types of political games do not work.”

Schumer, leader of the Democrats in the Senate, commented on Twitter that Congress has much more to do including protecting “Dreamers,” crafting a budget and addressing health care, veterans, disaster relief, pensions and the opioid epidemic.

“The #TrumpShutdown will soon end, but the work goes on,” Schumer said on Twitter.

New York’s other senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, voted against the short-term funding.

“I am deeply disappointed that today’s outcome fails to protect Dreamers,” she said on Twitter. “They deserve better from the elected leaders of the only country many of them have ever called home.”

Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, joined the House in approving the funding.

“No one wanted to see the great government of the United States closed for business,” she said on Twitter. “The last #GOPshutdown in 2013 cost our economy an estimated $24 billion and brought everything from federal research to reducing the backlog of veterans’ disability claims to a standstill.”

She said the bill passed today because Democrats “were finally off a seat at the table.”

“There were no winners here,” she said. “But I’m proud to cast this vote to end the #GOPshutdown so the country can get back to work.”

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Farm Service Agency closed due to federal shutdown

Photos by Tom Rivers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office at 446 West Ave., Albion, is closed today due to the federal budget shutdown. The office includes the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 1:53 pm

The federal budget shutdown has closed the U.S. Department of Agriculture service office at 446 West Ave.

There is a message taped to the door. “This U.S. Department of Agriculture office is currently closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding. The office will reopen once Congress restores funding.”

The office includes staff from the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Heath Eisele, District Conservationist for the NRCS in Genesee, Orleans & Niagara Counties, sent an email to NRCS customers today.

“We understand the uncertainty that the current circumstances present for Americans that USDA serves every day, as well as our many partners around the country,” Eisele wrote. “Effective today, except for critical activities that protect life and property (i.e. work on high-hazard dams and preserving plants at PMCS), many NRCS staff will be furloughed pending reinstatement of funding by Congress. These staff will not be available by phone or email, and cannot carry out work for the Agency, until funding is restored.”

Eisele is among the NRCS staff on furlough. He said in an email to NRCS customers that many NRCS services and payments will be delayed or interrupted including grants and agreements.

The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge also seems to be closed. No one answered the phone today. The refuge’s social media accounts also won’t be updated today except for a message from the refuge stating the lack of new social media posts is due to the federal shutdown.

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Retiring town supervisor praised for 18 years of service to Barre
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 11:43 am

Photos courtesy of Maureen Beach

BARRE – The Town of Barre held a party on Saturday for Mark Chamberlain, who retired on Dec. 31 after 18 years as town supervisor. In the top photo he is shown cutting a cake with his wife Lois by his side.

The celebration was held at the Barre Town Hall. During Chamberlain’s tenure as town supervisor, Barre built a new town hall, a new salt storage facility, a new town park and also created four new water districts. Construction of the fourth water district starts today.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley presents a proclamation to Chamberlain from the State Assembly for his 18 years as town supervisor.

Chamberlain, a retired chemistry teacher at Albion Central School, served as Barre town supervisor following his career as a teacher.

Chamberlain chats with town residents, including Bill Basinait at left.

Sean Pogue, the new Barre town supervisor, reads a citation for Chamberlain, thanking him for his service. Chamberlain didn’t seek re-election in November. Pogue won a three-way race for town supervisor and took office on Jan. 1.

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Barker football players may have a place to play in Medina as merger talks are underway
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 January 2018 at 9:42 am

At the end of this past season Roy-Hart ended its football merger agreement with Barker leaving Barker’s underclassmen players in search of a place to play in 2018.

Interestingly, Barker may have just found a solution to that problem in Medina where the projected number of varsity players for the upcoming season is low.

Talks between the schools is now underway about such a merger that would make the Mustangs football squad a tri-school team as Medina already has a football merger agreement with Lyndonville.

“Barker is looking for an opportunity for their kids to play football and it makes sense for us as our varsity numbers are projected to be very low this coming season,” said Medina varsity Football Coach and Athletic Director Eric Valley.

“I’m optimistic because right now Medina is our only option,” said Barker Athletic Director Dave Carson. “We’re just looking for an opportunity for our kids to play football.”

Both Athletic Directors noted that all practices and home games would be held at Medina just as has been the case since the start of the Medina/Lyndonville merger.

Valley added adding the 30 percent of Barker’s enrollment numbers that would be added to the already combined Medina/Lyndonville numbers for a merger will not affect what division Medina will play in this fall.

“We will still be a Class B,” said Valley who noted that whether Medina is a two school or a three school football team the Mustangs will still be in the B2 division of what is an expanded Section VI Class B. He added that the number of Class B schools has increased from 18 last year to 21 and will be divided into three seven team divisions of which Medina and Albion will be in the B2 division.

The Medina Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the possible football merger with Barker at Tuesday’s meeting.

Dense fog advisory in effect until 10 a.m.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 8:26 am

James Michael Beach, an eighth-grader at Albion, took this photo of the ice shelves at Swallow Hollow nature trail on Sunday when he went for a hike with his family at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

A dense fog advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. today for Orleans and much of Western New York. There also is a flood watch for Orleans and other nearby counties from 1 p.m. today until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The dense fog will create poor visibilities, resulting in hazardous driving condition, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

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Medina Scouts embrace Pinewood Derby tradition
Posted 22 January 2018 at 8:09 am

Provided photo, John Dieter, Cub Master of Pack 35

MEDINA – Cub Scout Pack 35 Medina held its annual Pinewood Derby at St. Mary’s Church hall on Sunday. Each of the four dens raced in heats to determine the fastest car, then winners of each den went on to race to determine fastest car of the pack.

The boys all did a great job preparing their cars over the past several weeks in preparation of the big race. The pack also did a sibling race and at the end even some of the leaders made cars and had a race off.

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Kendall man trains for Boston Marathon year after chemo for colon cancer
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2018 at 7:51 pm

Jim Baker says running saved his life, allowing for detection of tumor

Photos courtesy of Jim Baker: Jim Baker is pictured on Sept.17 when he finished the Rochester marathon, covering the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 35 minutes, which qualified him to run in the Boston Marathon in April.

KENDALL – Jim Baker had achieved a dream in April 2016 when he ran the Boston Marathon. Baker expected to feel triumph that day, but he struggled to get to the finish line.

His time of 4 hours, 59 minutes was more than an hour off what he was expecting for the race. Baker’s best time of 3:27 was at the Rochester marathon in September 2015. That time qualified him for Boston.

But on April 18, 2016, he felt a cramp and “side stitch” during the prestigious race in Boston. He almost stopped, but pushed on to the finish. It was the Boston Marathon after all.

“I wasn’t my normal self,” he recalled on Saturday. “But I gutted it out.”

The slow time wasn’t a one-day aberration. Baker, a Kendall resident who works as a chemist for Kodak, didn’t get back to his brisk 8-minute pace in the weeks after Boston.

The pain also continued when he ran. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with colon cancer. He had run Boston with a plum-size tumor in his colon.

“I had a huge tumor in my side,” he said. “It had grown like wildlife.”

The tumor was removed and he started chemotherapy in June 2016. After seven months of treatment, his doctors declared him cancer-free a year ago on Jan. 13, 2017.

Baker didn’t let cancer derail his running. Even during chemo, he typically ran 15-20 miles a week – “at a very slow pace.” He battled nausea but kept going, except when it was cold out. The chemo made him especially sensitive to cold temperatures. He decided to take a two-month break from running during the harsh winter weather.

Jim Baker is shown on Jan. 13, 2017 when he received a certificate of completion for chemotherapy at Interlakes Oncology at Wilmot Cancer Institute.

He picked up his mileage after completing chemo, with a goal of running a marathon again and qualifying for Boston. On Sept. 17, he ran the Rochester marathon in 3:35, and that 8-minute, 12-second pace earned him another chance to run Boston.

He will be back at the starting line for that big race on April 16.

“I’ve got redemption on my mind,” he said.

Baker wants to break 3:45.

Although he’s disappointed in his time at Boston in 2016, Baker said that race was a sign that something was wrong with his health. When he didn’t bounce back after Boston, he went to the doctor for a colonoscopy, which revealed the tumor.

“If I didn’t run I’d be gone,” he said. “I wouldn’t have known I had the tumor if I didn’t run. There were no other warning signs. I had no loss of appetite.”

He also didn’t get what he thought was a cramp, except when he was running. If he wasn’t a runner, he would have felt that pain.

He had a colonoscopy two years before the one that showed the tumor. Baker had been fighting Crohn’s Disease for 15 years. (When his tumor was removed, taking out part of his colon, Baker said the Crohn’s Disease went away, too.)

Jim Baker completed a half marathon in Rochester on Jan. 6 when temperatures were just above 0 degrees. Baker ran the course in 1:47.

Baker started running 11 years ago when he was 44. He would go for walks during lunch breaks at Kodak, but Baker said that walking didn’t do anything to chip away at his extra pounds. He initially couldn’t run more than 200 yards without stopping. But he didn’t give up.

Conquering 2 miles while running was a milestone. He ran his first race at a 10K (6.2 miles) and enjoyed the energy and people at the races. He signed up for more races and joined the Bagel Bunch, a running group in Greece.

The other runners have become good friends and given him plenty of advice on increasing his speed and avoiding injury. He has completed 11 half marathons and five marathons – and shed 40 pounds.

Baker grew up in Albion and wasn’t a runner. He didn’t have the slightest inkling to run in high school or as a young adult. “Back then softball was my form of exercise,” he said, laughing.

Baker and his wife Stacey moved to Kendall about 27 years ago. They have two grown children, Kyle and Megan.

He knows running is difficult for many people, especially when they start. He encourages people to stick with it. It took him about six months of steady running to feel comfortable and really enjoy his runs.

Running also makes you more in tune with your body. If you’re running a little slower than normal, and that time lingers, you should go to the doctor.

Baker said that ultimately saved his life.

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