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Community members are stars of Hometown Christmas shows
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2016 at 4:08 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Rose Allen sings, “Mary Did You Know,” during today’s noon show of the seventh annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas at the Holy Family Lyceum.

There are three shows today of Hometown Christmas, which features 19 acts, with singing, dancing and some comedy.

Hometown Christmas raises money for a memorial scholarship for Nicholas Kovaleski, who fought leukemia before passing away at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He was also an active Boy Scout.

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Jay and Kelly Kovaleski, parents of Nicholas, talk about the new workshops they have created called, Live With Purpose. (Mr. Kovaleski is holding a T-shirt with the program’s logo.)

The interactive workshop is geared towards helping teens and others find purpose and direction for their lives. The Kovaleskis will be run a free workshop on Jan. 13 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Gotta Dance Studio at 28 West Bank St., Albion. Click here for more information.

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Marcy Downey and Gary Simboli sing “Happy Days” during Hometown Christmas.

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Rylie Lear, center, and other dancers perform a routine to “Frosty the Snowman.”

 

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Angela Tarricone, an Albion High School senior, performs one of her two songs, including “Grownup Christmas List.”

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Amy Sidari, Hometown Christmas coordinator, gives an inspirational welcoming message to start the show.

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Enterprising man ran general store in Carlton, at site that later became Narby’s
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 3 December 2016 at 10:19 am

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“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 2, Issue 49

CARLTON – At a time when trips into town took hours instead of minutes, the rural grocery and dry goods stores provided an essential and efficient service to those living in the country.

This image shows the wagon belonging to Gifford D. Fowler, the owner of a general store at Two Bridges in Carlton. A native of Parma, Fowler was brought to Carlton as a young man by his father Benjamin who purchased the store in 1877 from Lemuel Palmer.

For nearly ten years, Benjamin operated the store and it is extremely likely that Gifford worked for his father in various capacities during the late 1870s and into the early 1880s. After his marriage to Belle Simpson of Carlton, Gifford purchased his father’s interest in the store in 1886 and took sole ownership of the business. This photograph was taken in September of 1888, just a short while after buying out his father.

The store was joined together with the Two Bridges Hotel, which is pictured here; this photograph is looking at the west side of the building now known as Narby’s Superette and Tackle. Situated on the east side of this building, the store doubled as a post office prior to the days of rural delivery. The store owner usually served as the postmaster for the area, simply out of convenience.

At the time, this would have served as one of the few locations locally to purchase dry goods and medicines, using a delivery service to make the whole process easier. A traveler from Two Bridges may expect to take a one- to two-hour trip by horse and buggy to the business district in Albion, so a local outlet was far more opportune.

In the photograph we see A. J. Small, a store clerk, showing two local women some samples of linens carried by the store. Situated on top of the wagon are assorted jars and cans of food and other merchandise. The side of the wagon reads “General Merchandise” and “G. D. Fowler – Carlton, N.Y.”

Fowler’s ownership of the business was short-lived, selling his interest to his father-in-law, John C. Simpson, in 1890. The family relocated to Niagara Falls where Gifford was later appointed as a farm manager for the Erie County Preserving Company. A later stint as a vegetable and fruit buyer for the Curtis Brothers Company in Rochester was concluded by his retirement to Albion in 1923, where he and his wife purchased a nice home on South Main Street. Following their golden wedding anniversary, the couple relocated back to their first home – Two Bridges.

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61 trees will be lit up at Lyndonville for Christmas celebration
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2016 at 9:55 am
File photo by Tom Rivers: Lyndonville last year had 54 trees decorated by the community at Veterans Park. This year the celebration has grown to 61 trees. Santa will stop by the park at 5 to flip a switch, turning on the lights.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Lyndonville last year had 54 trees decorated by the community at Veterans Park. This year the celebration has grown to 61 trees. Santa will stop by the park at 5 to flip a switch, turning on the lights.

LYNDONVILLE – In 2013, Lyndonville started a Christmas event where trees would be decorated by community members and then lit up at Veterans Park.

Lyndonville saw the tree display in Oakfield and its success in bringing the community together and adding a festive display for the holidays.

The first year Lyndonville had 26 trees decorated, and that grew to 43 in 2014 and then 54 last year. Today there will be 61 trees lit up. They will be displayed at the park until just after New Year’s.

Local organizations, businesses and residents pay $30 to sponsor a tree, and then they have to decorate it.

The lights will be turned on for the trees today at 5 p.m., when Santa arrives.

Teri Woodworth, the village clerk, helps coordinate the event. She isn’t surprised to see it grow each year.

“This is a very strong community,” she said. “We’re a small community, but people come out and stand for what we’re about it.”

The Christmas in Lyndonville began at 8 this morning with a community breakfast at the Lyndonville Presbyterian Church. There are events throughout the day, including horse-drawn sleigh rides from 2 to 4:45 p.m., caroling at Veterans Park from 4:30 to 5 p.m., Santa’s arrival and tree lighting at 5 p.m., visit with Santa at Village Hall from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and a Christmas choir LaLaPalooza at the Presbyterian Church.

Click here to see the full schedule.

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Bell ringers still needed for Red Kettle
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2016 at 9:14 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jean and Jim Peglow were out ringing the bell for the Red Kettle drive this evening at the Tops in Albion. The Peglows are members of the West Barre United Methodist Church, which volunteered to be at the Red Kettle today and also on Saturday.

The Red Kettle drive raises about $20,000 each year for Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. The agency uses the funds to help low-income residents with emergency lodging, food, clothing, some medical expenses and to avoid having their water shut off. Each person is capped at $150 through the emergency fund, said Annette Finch, director of Community Services for Community Action.

Bell ringers are needed in Albion at Tops, Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot and Wal-Mart; in Medina at Tops; in Holley at JP’s and in the Public Square by Sam’s Diner and the Eastern Orleans Community Center; and in Lyndonville at the E-Z Shop gas station.

Community Action also has countertop kettles at other spots in Orleans County. All of the funds from the Red Kettle drive are used to help people in Orleans County. For more information about volunteering, contact Finch at (585) 589-5605.

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Melinda Bailey also volunteered as a bell ringer on Monday at Tops. She and several other residents at Heritage Estates took turns at the Red Kettle.

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Arc of Genesee Orleans wins $2,500 from Bank of Castile
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2016 at 5:48 pm

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Provided photo

BATAVIA – The Arc of Genesee Orleans, an organization that serves people with developmental disabilities, won a $2,500 challenge from Tompkins Bank of Castile.

Pictured, accepting the check, include, from left: John McKenna, President & CEO of Tompkins Bank of Castile; Kevin Graham, CFO of Arc; Shelly Kordish, Director of Education Services; Carolyn Dawson, Director of Administrative Services; Jill Pegelow, Director of Community Services; Patricia Kepner, Director of Quality/Compliance; and Donna Saskowski, Executive Director.

Tompkins Bank of Castile has been running a “Community Minute Challenge.” Through the social media contest, the public votes for select not-for-profits in Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Monroe and Wyoming counties. The Arc was the top vote-getter in the latest contest with another planned for early 2017.

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Medina hospital welcomes new high-tech medicine camera
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2016 at 3:59 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller, left, and Nicole Cummings, a nuclear medicine technologist, look over a new nuclear medicine camera for radiology this afternoon at Medina Memorial Hospital.

The hospital spent about $300,000 to acquire the new equipment that replaces one that was 16 years old. The new nuclear medicine camera does quicker scans, with half the radiation dosage. The scans are also more accurate, said Jennifer Maynard, the director of imaging and cardia services for the hospital.

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The hospital celebrated the new equipment with a ribbon-cutting today. Pictured from left include: Cindy Perry, director of Outreach, Education and Marketing for Community Partners; Dr. Dale Sponaugle, radiologist; Nicole Cummings, a nuclear medicine technologist; Jennifer Maynard, director of imaging and cardiac services for the hospital; and Sean Mulligan, CT and Molecular Imaging Product Sales Specialist at GE Healthcare.

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Local officials look over the new equipment. Paul Pettit, public health director in Orleans County, is at far right. He congratulated the hospital and its parent organization, Orleans Community Health, for the upgrade.

“I applaud Orleans Community health for the continued investment in bringing new technology to Orleans County residents,” Pettit said.

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Jennifer Maynard holds up a cake to celebrate the new nuclear medicine camera. The equipment can be used to check for cancer, thyroid problems, heart conditions and other health issues.

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Orleans interested in shared jail someday with Genesee
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2016 at 12:20 pm
File Photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Jail, built in 1970, may not be a long-term answer for housing inmates.

File Photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Jail, built in 1970, may not be a long-term answer for housing inmates.

ALBION – Orleans County officials want to talk about a shared jail with Genesee County.

The project would be several years away, but David Callard, Orleans County Legislature chairman, wants to get started with looking at a regional jail.

Both counties may need upgraded jail facilities in the future. The state Commission on Corrections was pressing Orleans for a new jail, but has allowed the county to keep using the existing jail after Orleans spent about $1 million in 2013 for a new roof, boiler system, and a series of energy efficiency improvements, including new caulking around about 100 windows and also on the seams of the building.

The state however isn’t allowing the county to exceed the 82-inmate capacity. The county for many years was given a waiver to accommodate a bigger jail population on the weekends.

With no waiver, the county is boarding out some inmates, and also isn’t accepting inmates from other counties if the capacity tops 82 inmates.

That issue has cost the county about $350,000 in lost revenue this year, Callard said Monday during a county budget hearing.

Genesee is interested in an expanded and updated jail. Callard said the two counties should look at a joint project.

Orleans wants to work with Genesee on a study to see how a shared jail would be run and where it could be best located. The two counties would need State Legislature approval for a shared facility. The state law currently requires each county to have its own jail.

Callard said the two counties have already been trailblazers for shared services. They run a health department with a shared director and some shared staff, as well as a joint board of directors for the Board of Public Health. Orleans and Genesee are the only counties in New York, and one of just 16 in the country, with a shared health department, Callard said.

That example and experience of the two counties working together may help Orleans and Genesee overcome barriers to a shared jail.

Callard said Orleans is reaching out to Genesee officials to first pursue a study of the new jail.

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Teddy Bears get patched up at hospital
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2016 at 11:50 am

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Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Otis, a toy dog owned by Garrison Foote, gets bandaged by registered nurse Mary Dunham at Medina Memorial Hospital this morning. The hospital welcomed kindergartners from Albion on Wednesday and this morning. They were all urged to bring in a stuffed animal that could be bandaged with pretend injuries.

The children and their toy animals also went in the X-Ray room.

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Mary Dunham gives a Teddy Bear some medical attention as part of today’s Teddy Bear clinic. Medina Memorial brought back the clinic last year after it had stopped for a few years. The hospital hopes the Teddy Bear Clinic helps children to feel more comfortable if they ever need to go to the hospital.

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Sasi, the official “spokesbear” for the Orleans County Health Department, tells students about the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds. Sasi’s handler is Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public health educator for the Orleans County Health Department. Sasi has been the Health Department’s ambassador for about 20 years.

Brenna Podesta (next to Goodrich-Kresse) is an intern with the Health Department. She read a story, “Leo the Little Lion learns how to get ahead of lead.”

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Holley students ring in holiday concert season
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 2 December 2016 at 9:15 am

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Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – The Holley Middle School Chorus performs “The Christmas Song,” arranged by Carol Strommen, during the Winter Concert Thursday evening in the Middle School/High School auditorium.

The Middle School Chorus is directed by Kelly Marzano. She told the audience the group is always “a lot of fun” to work with. Marzano noted school music programs are about “having a good time, making music and making good memories.”

 

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Harleigh Andrews performs a solo during the Middle School Chorus’ performance of “Believe,” arranged by Roger Emerson.

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Thomas Dobri (far right) was also a featured soloist during the performance of “Believe.”

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The Holley Middle School Band performs “Holiday Bell Festival,” arranged by Eric Osterling, under the direction of Zachary Busch.

The Middle School Band also performed “Bobsled Run,” by Lloyd Conley, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, arranged by John Edmonston.

The Holley Middle School/High School Winter Concert also featured performances by the Concert Choir, the Women’s Choir and Concert Band.

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Medina earns silver medal among best high schools in U.S.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 December 2016 at 5:15 pm

Albion and Kendall are at bronze level, among top high schools in country

Photo by Tom Rivers: Some members of the Class of 2016 smile during commencement last June.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Some members of the Class of 2016 smile during commencement last June.

MEDINA – An annual report on the top high schools in the country includes three out of five high schools in Orleans County.

Albion and Kendall both earned bronze recognition, while Medina is at the silver level.

There were nearly 20,000 high schools ranked in the report by the U.S. News & World Report. (Altogether, there 28,561 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but more than 8,000 were eliminated from consideration because they were too small to be analyzed, U.S. News said.)

U.S. News looked at graduation rates (based on the 2014 cohort), math and reading scores on state proficiency tests, and college readiness programs, such as Advanced Placement participation and passing rates from students.

U.S. News also looked at how disadvantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were outperforming disadvantaged students in the state.

The 6,218 highest-scoring schools, just over 30 percent that were large enough to be ranked, earned gold, silver or bronze awards.

The gold medals went to the top 500 schools, while schools ranked 501 to 2,673 earned silvers.

Medina earned a silver based on its 2,424 ranking. (It is ranked 207th out of New York high schools.) The district’s scorecard includes a College Readiness Index of 23.0 with 39 percent of high schoolers taking AP classes. The mathematics proficiency is at 88 percent with 90 percent meeting English proficiency. (Click here for more on medina’s profile.)

Albion and Kendall were among 3,545 high schools to earn bronze rankings among the top high schools. (Bronze schools have a college readiness less than 20.17.)

Albion’s college readiness index was 11.9 with 22 percent of students taking AP classes. The math and English proficiency levels were both at 84 percent. (Click here for more on Albion’s profile.)

Kendall didn’t have a college readiness index but its math proficiency is listed at 78 percent while 94 percent meet English proficiency. (Click here for more on Kendall.)

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GCC adds course in solar manufacturing
Posted 1 December 2016 at 4:14 pm

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – Genesee Community College starts the spring semester on Jan. 17. One of the newest courses is Introduction to Solar Manufacturing (CHE193) taught by Dr. Brian Fraser, assistant professor of chemistry.

The new course provides overview of the solar manufacturing industry including the latest technology, production and the growing market for the newest high tech industry that promises to bring hundreds of new jobs to Western New York. Students will understand where and how the new local companies, Solar City and 1366 Technologies, fit within the solar industry and landscape. Through this course, students can explore if this may be a new career opportunity for them, and if so, the best pathway to pursue it.

“Anyone interested in solar energy and science will find this course very helpful,” Fraser said. “There will be enough information to help students appreciate careers in nanotechnology and other sciences, and understand the emerging developments in the solar industry. It is also a great general education elective with a focus on the future. The hybrid format of the course also provides some flexibility with in-class and online requirements.”

There is no prerequisite for CHE193, which meets Wednesdays from 1:25 – 2:45 p.m. at the Batavia campus starting Jan. 17 and running through May 13. Additionally, Professor Fraser will use a variety of freely accessible resources that include up-to-date information, rather than requiring purchase of a textbook.

GCC offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs, including over 15 degrees that can be completed 100 percent online. Most degree and certificate programs feature online or hybrid courses and at least 50 percent of each program can be completed online without attending class at a campus center location.

In addition, every course in GCC’s Computer Information and Networking Technology program offers at least one section that uses the 360 degree learning model enabling students to learn anytime, anywhere and on any device. The instructors in these courses deliver two-way, interactive instruction in the classroom and/or online through personal computers, laptops, tablets and other smart communication devices. All course material is recorded and stored in the cloud allowing students to review and revisit a class lecture for clarification.

“Without a doubt, GCC remains at the cutting edge of new teaching and learning opportunities,” Dr. Rafael Alicea-Maldonado (Dr. RAM), dean of Math, Science and Career Education said. “We hope anyone who is even remotely considering college education will contact us soon. There are so many great and affordable options.”

To review the class schedule which features hundreds of courses, click here.


Slack says strong Medina school district key to community’s future
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 December 2016 at 11:43 am
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Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Aaron Slack, current high school principal in Lyndonville, speaks during a community forum on Wednesday. He is a finalist for Medina school superintendent. Dr. Clark Godshall, Orleans/Niagara BOCES superintendent, is at lower left.

MEDINA – When Aaron Slack graduated from Medina High School in 1990, like many students from a small town he was eager to leave the community.

Now he sees Medina enjoying a “renaissance” in the downtown, and its business parks are filling up with companies.

Slack said the area is poised for more growth with high-tech companies coming to the STAMP site just across the county line in the Town of Alabama.

Engineers and highly skilled workers will be looking to move near STAMP. Medina is one of many communities they will be considering, Slack said.

“STAMP could be a game-changer, but what will differentiate Medina?” Slack said during a community forum on Wednesday, where he was featured as one of three finalists for Medina school superintendent.

A strong school district with a sound education that is technologically relevant and offers extracurricular opportunities will be important to keep and attract Medina families, Slack said

He met with district stakeholders on Wednesday, including students. Some of the student leaders said there isn’t equal access for all students to technology. Slack wants to level the playing field and bridge the digital divide.

He also wants teachers to use technology to engage students. That’s what he did 20 years ago as an eighth grade English teacher in the Greece school district. He went on to be a middle school assistant principal and then principal in Greece. Then he worked for the Harrison Central School District in Westchester County as director of technology before returning to the Rochester area as an administrator for the alternative school run by the Monroe 1 BOCES.

In 2011, he came closer to home when he was hired as principal at the Lyndonville High School.

Slack said Jason Smith, the Lyndonville district superintendent, has been a great role model for a district leader. Smith is transparent with the Board of Education, and maintains a student-focus with strong connections in the community.

Slack has seen the Medina-Lyndonville shared services partnership first hand. The arrangement has benefited both districts by preserving athletic teams and the school musical, drawing from students from both schools. That shared service expanded this year with two Lyndonville students joining the Medina FFA.

Slack said he would favor more partnerships among the two districts with academic programs, including Advanced Placement courses.

Educationally, he said schools need to make it a priority to have every student reading by third grade. If students can’t reach that benchmark at that grade “they will be behind the 8-ball the rest of their academic careers.”

He was asked about the Common Core standards and high-stakes testing for grades 3 to 8. Slack said the tests are typically taken in April-May and districts don’t get the results until October. That is far too long of a delay, and doesn’t allow schools and parents to move fast enough to help struggling students.

Lyndonville has been using real-time testing so it can measure student progress and work with students who may need extra help.

The high-stakes testing, teacher evaluations, and Common Core have been “a perfect storm of stress” for the teaching profession, Slack said. He worries about an “emerging teacher shortage” due to the recent education changes. But Slack said Medina can be attractive for teachers if they have leadership opportunities, a supportive administration and “a voice in the process.”

He was asked about bullying and said Lyndonville has worked hard to embrace character education and create “a safe and caring climate.” The district has an anonymous online form to report bullying.

At Lyndonville, all students from grades Pre-K and 12 are on one campus using the same bus run. Older kids have been mentors to younger students.

He said he is most proud of the 98 percent graduation rate at Lyndonville last year. But Slack said no student should not graduate.

Slack said he would welcome the chance to be superintendent in his hometown. He currently lives in Medina and knows many of the residents and students. He said he would be visible in the schools and at after-school events.

“Being superintendent is two jobs – the people and the paper, and the people come first,” he said. “You can’t get swept up in the bureaucracy of being superintendent.”

The Medina Board of Education is considering three finalists for the job. In addition to Slack, the board and district stakeholders met with Dr. Stephen Lunden, the assistant superintendent at Maryvale, on Monday and Dr. Michael Weyrauch, principal at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES in Medina, on Tuesday.

Wendi Pencille, BOE president, said the board is working to make a decision soon.

 

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Cosmetology students send off Marine with well wishes and a haircut

Provided photo: (L to R) Brooke O’Connor (Lockport), Shianne Sullinger (Medina), Emily Haseley (Lockport), Brandon Churchfield (Lyndonville), Megan Hoefer (Newfane), Sarah Kurbs (Lockport), Hannah Yocum (Albion), Dainna Patterson (Lockport).  Kneeling: Keara Clifford (Lockport) and Xittally Rosario (Albion). 

Posted 1 December 2016 at 10:34 am

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Brandon Churchfield, a recent graduate from the Security and Law Enforcement Program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, recently stopped by the BOCES center to say hello and show off his new Marine uniform.

Churchfield, who hails from Lyndonville, recently enlisted and wanted to make sure to stop in to visit with former teacher Steve Browning and some of friends.

One of his stops was Anne Carnahan’s Cosmetology class.  The students trimmed up his hair before he left and wished him well on his new adventure.

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Pride Pak’s facility awes dignitaries

Photos by Tom Rivers: Pride Pak has been praised for the appearance of its new vegetable processing site on Maple Ridge Road in Medina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 December 2016 at 10:10 am

MEDINA – Fred Miller worked at Lipton in Albion as a young man. The plant closed in 1980, putting hundreds of people out of work.

Miller would go on to run a hardware store in downtown Albion. He also is an Orleans County legislator.

Robert Chapman, Pride Pak’s vice president of sales and marketing, welcomes about 300 people to the ribbon-cutting and opening celebration for the company’s new facility in Medina. Chapman credited CEO Steve Karr, lower left, with pushing the project to completion.

Robert Chapman, Pride Pak’s vice president of sales and marketing, welcomes about 300 people to the ribbon-cutting and opening celebration for the company’s new facility in Medina. Chapman credited CEO Steve Karr, lower left, with pushing the project to completion.

On Wednesday he attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the new Pride Pak vegetable processing site in Medina, a 68,000-square-foot building. Pride Pak has plans for expansion, with two more similar-size buildings.

Seeing the building stirred memories for Miller, of the busy Lipton plant that provided jobs for hundreds of working class families.

“This is wonderful to see,” Miller said inside the spacious Pride Pak, a 280-foot-long building where employees trim, clean and pack salads for Wegmans and other Pride Pak customers. “It reminds me of the old days when I went to Liptons.”

Pride Pak was looking at the former Bernz-O-Matic site in Medina, but decided to build new on Maple Ridge Road. The new facility didn’t need a costly retrofit and the site has room for the future expansions.

Steve Karr, Pride Pak CEO, said the company didn’t go cheap with the new building. It wanted an attractive facility on an important gateway in the Medina community.

Steve Karr, company CEO, thanks the Medina community for a warm welcome for Pride Pak.

Steve Karr, company CEO, thanks the Medina community for a warm welcome for Pride Pak.

Mike Sidari, the Medina mayor, thanked Karr and Pride Pak for such a nice addition to Maple Ridge Road. Not only will the company employ up to 300 people at full build-out, but it added a beautiful site on a busy corridor, Sidari said.

“It’s an inviting building as you come into the village,” Sidari said.

The grand opening celebration on Wednesday included fancy hors d’oeuvre appetizers, and local beers and wines, as well as a band playing. A warehouse was turned into a room for fine dining.

“We’ve been to a lot of ribbon cuttings,” State Sen. Robert Ortt said, “but none like this. This is truly amazing.”

Ortt said Pride Pak’s decision to build its first U.S. facility in Medina shows that rural Orleans County welcomes business.

“You don’t have to be in Rochester to attract a world-class headquarters,” Ortt said. “They have invested here in Medina, in Orleans County, in Upstate New York, in the United States of America.”

Warehouse space in Pride Pak was transformed into a party on Wednesday.

Warehouse space in Pride Pak was transformed for a festive celebration on Wednesday.

Pride Pak has one packing line in place and is working to get more on line. The packing equipment allows the company to double the rate of trimming, cleaning and packing vegetables for the salads.

Medina, the Town of Shelby, Orleans County and Empire State Development all worked to provide incentives for Pride Pak, and to get infrastructure in place for the new building and the future expansions.

Steve Karr thanked the government officials for their work with the project, which is about a $20 million investment for phase 1.

Steve Karr, the Pride Pak CEO, is pictured in overalls in mid-October when he was working with contractors helping to measure and connect lines that day. He is pictured in the warehouse space, which was the scene for an upscale party on Wednesday.

Steve Karr, the Pride Pak CEO, is pictured in overalls in mid-October when he was working with contractors helping to measure and connect lines that day. He is pictured in the warehouse space, which was the scene for an upscale party on Wednesday.

Karr said about 50,000 man hours went into the facility’s construction. He has been working 80 hour weeks in Medina to move the project along.

He was wearing a suit on Wednesday for the grand opening. But much of his time the past year was in overalls, helping with construction projects at the site.

Karr’s work ethic is legendary at the company. Robert Chapman, Pride Pak’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Karr’s determination made the ambitious project a reality on a tight schedule.

“Steve Karr is the most hard-working and committed man I’ve ever seen,” Chapman told about 300 people during the grand opening celebration. “It is Steve’s hard work and dedication that made this project in Medina possible.”

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After Cuomo veto, Hawley said he is assured raffle law will be updated
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 December 2016 at 8:56 am

ALBION – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley on Tuesday said it was “unthinkable” that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would veto legislation that would modernize raffle laws, allowing fire departments and charities to advertise fundraisers online and accept debit card and credit card payments.

“Disrespectful and heartless doesn’t begin to describe Cuomo’s actions toward our tens of thousands of tireless volunteers in charities, churches and fire departments, who donate their time to improving their community and now have their hands tied when it comes to fundraising,” Hawley said in a statement on Tuesday, a day after Cuomo’s veto.

The Assembly and Senate both gave strong support for the raffle legislation, which passed 136 to 8 in the Assembly and 59 to 3 in the Senate.

Hawley had a softer message on Wednesday, saying he spoke with Cuomo officials. The governor’s administration wants to find a solution to “the state’s outdated gaming laws,” Hawley said.

He noted the current laws are punitive to organizations like the Stafford Fire Department, which had sold tickets out of the area for a Corvette raffle.

“The governor’s office reiterated that they intend to help our local charities and fire departments and admit that the decision to veto the legislation was not an easy one,” Hawley said. “I am hopeful that we will resolve the situation sooner rather than later, and I will do everything in my power to make it so.”

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