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County historian resigns to take job in North Carolina
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 February 2020 at 11:56 am

File photos by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard speaks on May 26, 2016 during a ceremony at Mount Albion Cemetery, when a marker was unveiled at the Civil War section. That project was led by Albion seventh-graders with Ballard assisting the students with some of the research. Students catalogued the burial locations for more than 250 Civil War veterans buried at Mount Albion.

ALBION – Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard is resigning to take a position at the college in North Carolina.

Ballard, 31, has served as county historian the past five years, a tenure where he modernized the county’s Department of History, cataloguing many documents and photos and making them available online.

Ballard has also written a weekly column – “Overlooked Orleans” – and led numerous tours at local cemeteries, as well as downtown Albion. He also has spoken at many local organizations and is a frequent guest at Albion Central School, sharing with seventh-graders about local history.

Ballard has served in the part-time role while working full-time at Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, where he is director of library services.

He is taking a job at Davidson College near Charlotte. He will be Davidson’s assistant director of collection strategies.

“I’m at the point in my life where I have to decide what path I want to take, whether libraries or history,” Ballard said.

The library position, ultimately, pays better than working as a historian. Ballard was paid $8,600 as county historian in 2019. The pay was bumped up to $11,500 this year.

Ballard said he worked hard to share stories and history from the county, whether in the weekly column, tours or speaking engagements. He also responds to many emails with people seeking information about the history of houses, businesses and genealogy, as well as assistance in getting birth, marriage and death records.

Ballard has been dedicated to the position. When Ballard was on his honeymoon in July 2017, he and his wife Christine planned a trip to England, France and Poland. They visited the Somme American Cemetery in Bony, France and paid their respects at the graves of local soldiers who trained with Company F at the former Medina Armory.

Ballard is the former director of the Cobblestone Museum and then served as its board president. He has been president of the board of trustees for the Orleans County Historical Association and an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

He has juggled his full-time job at Roberts with his historian’s duties, while also finishing his graduate work at Brockport State College in American History. He graduates in May. He also has a master’s degree in library science from the University at Buffalo.

Matt Ballard was in costume in September leading tours of downtown Albion and the Courthouse Square. About 300 people attended two tours of “Murder and Mayhem,” tours highlighting notable characters and some crimes in the community.

Ballard is an Albion native. He joined Orleans County Genealogical Association when he was 18 and served as treasurer for more than a decade, and was a frequent speaker at the organization’s meetings.

His interest in genealogy led to him pursuing career as a historian and archivist. In February 2015 he was appointed as county historian, following Bill Lattin, who served in the role for about 35 years.

Ballard added to the Department of History’s digital presence, adding a laptop, email address and updated content on the website.

He has expanded the number subject files from 250 to about 1,400, and that doesn’t include about 750 family files for gathering genealogy materials.

He also catalogued about 500 rare books and the local history publications, and has the department prepared for a move from the basement of Central Hall to the second floor. This building on Park Street also serves as the Treasurer’s Office.

Ballard was named a “Friend of Education” by the Albion school district on April 1, 2019 in appreciation for several projects with seventh-graders. Ballard teamed with Albion’s service learning class to secure a headstone for Civil War veteran John Frost at St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Brown Road in Gaines.

They also added a historical marker at Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon for Charles Herbert Taylor, the only known Orleans County resident killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. Ballard also helped secure a historical marker for Lemuel Cook of Clarendon, the last living pensioner from the Revolutionary War. That marker is at Cook Cemetery on Munger Road. (Another marker is expected to be dedicated this spring in Holley for home that was a safe house on the Underground Railroad.)

Ballard and the seventh-graders also had a large bronze tablet from World War I placed back at its original location on the Orleans County Courthouse. The historian and students also created interpretive panels in Albion about the Erie Canal and the former Poor House on Countyhouse Road in Albion.

Ballard said he is willing to help his successor with a transition into the role as historian. He praised the county officials for embracing some of the changes he made to the office, with more computerization and soon more office and storage space.

‘I took the job and made it what I wanted it to be,” he said. “My hope is the next person coming in will have a solid platform coming in.”

He said the county is fortunate to have many dedicated and effective historians at the town and village level. He sees more potential to promote local history and attract visitors with heritage tourism.

“There is so much more that this position could be with the right person and the right level of support,” Ballard said.

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Orleans/Niagara BOCES students will hold signing day as they pursue careers in trades, tech
Posted 26 February 2020 at 8:33 am

Press Release, Rochester Technology & Manufacturing Association and Monroe Community College

MEDINA – “Signing Events” aren’t just for professional athletes anymore. Today high school students from Orleans/Niagara BOCES and their families will gather in Medina at 5:15 p.m. for the second  “Signing Day” for the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program. The students are in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Class led William Rakonczay.

Modeled after the NFL’s high-energy, suspense-filled Draft Day, the Youth Apprenticeship “Signing Day” will feature an official “Draft Clock,” contract announcements, signings between students and employers, photo ops, team swag, and the first steps to bright careers for these youth.

This unprecedented program, coordinated by the Rochester Technology & Manufacturing Association and Monroe Community College, was launched in Fall 2019 and includes a competitive, multi-phased application and interview process that pairs qualified high school students with local manufacturing companies for related instruction, job shadowing, and paid co-ops.

Developed by the RTMA and MCC, this unparalleled initiative was created to proactively address the increasing need for a well-trained labor supply in the manufacturing sector.

“We are experiencing a resurgence of American Manufacturing in our region and must take bold steps to provide highly skilled workforce to grow manufacturing capacity,” stated Bob Coyne, Workforce Development Director for the RTMA.  “The former days of manufacturing are behind us and we are proud to usher in the next generation of talented students who will help lead the industry to a new era of technology, international competition, and manufacturing distinction.”

Twenty leading manufacturers have stepped forward to serve as Student Sponsors for the inaugural Youth Apprenticeship Program. These companies include: E&R Machine Inc, JT Precision Inc, NAC, Niagara Precision Limited, Pivot Precision, TF Enterprise, Voss, Precision Grinding & Manufacturing, Acro Industries, Inc., Jrlon Engineered Products, JML Optical, Love Beets, OptiPro, Optimax, Kodak, PEKO Precision Products, Micro Instrument Corp., Precise Tooling & Manufacturing, and Cannon Industries.  The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program is supported by funding from RG&E and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

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Sentencing delayed for students charged with conspiracy at Albion Middle School
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 February 2020 at 8:12 am

ALBION – Sentencing has been delayed about a month for three students who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy for plotting to attack the Albion Middle School.

The case is being handled in Orleans County Family Court. Judge Sanford Church on Tuesday pushed back the sentencing because he wants additional mental health evaluations for the students.

The three were charged on Nov. 7 after an alleged plot to bring weapons to the school and harm classmates.

Two of the boys have pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the second degree, and one of those boys also pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment for sending a “disturbing image” to a female classmate, said Joe Cardone, the district attorney.

A third boy in an alleged plot pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the sixth degree.

There are no sentencing promises as part of the plea agreements. The judge could decide the boys need to be detained at a juvenile detention facility, or he could give them a lesser punishment of perhaps probation.

The boys are currently not allowed back in school. They are being tutored off site.

Because the three boys are all juveniles at age 13 their names aren’t to be publicized by the media.

Sentencing has tentatively been set for March 31.

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State will hold hearings about lowering new overtime threshold for farmworkers

Photo by Tom Rivers: Farmworkers harvest vegetables last August by Townline Road in Barre.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2020 at 6:20 pm

New legislation on Jan. 1 gives overtime wages for farmworkers after 60 hours in a week

BATAVIA – New state legislation started on Jan. 1 that gives overtime wages to farmworkers after 60 hours in a week. This is the first time farmworkers have had overtime pay.

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon announced on Monday she will convene a wage board for farm laborers that will hold hearings, review and make recommendations regarding overtime work for farm laborers in New York State. That could include requests to reduce the number of hours worked in a week for farm laborers to qualify for overtime.

There will be public hearings at five locations in the state, including one at 11 a.m. April 23 in Batavia at Genesee Community College, at the William Stuart Forum, 1 College Rd. (Click here to register to speak at the hearing and see other hearing locations.)

Under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law last year, the wage board will consider and make recommendations as to overtime work and, specifically, will hear testimony about reducing the threshold for overtime below 60 hours per week and whether to do so in phases.

“We worked hard to ensure this bill included the proper labor protections and benefits that our farm laborers are entitled to,” said Commissioner Reardon. “We have an opportunity to improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of farmworkers. Overtime is a key component and we need to get it right.”

The Wage Board includes the following members:

• David Fisher, President of the New York Farm Bureau

• Denis Hughes, former President of the New York State AFL-CIO

• Brenda McDuffie, President of the Buffalo Urban League

Fisher, as president of NY Farm Bureau, released the following statement:

“What will be especially challenging for farmers and their employees alike is the timing of the statutorily required hearings.  The law directs the Wage Board to hold its first meeting by March 1 with a report due by December of this year.  It will be incredibly difficult for board members to reasonably determine if the overtime threshold should be justifiably lowered.

“Farmers have just started to implement changes on their farms to comply with the new law and are still determining what is best for their small businesses and employees. Further, crops are not even in the ground for the spring planting season, let alone having no real-world examples of how this new law will impact harvest season. This short window of time also does not allow any ability to see how different growing conditions due to extreme weather can impact overtime needs.

“New York Farm Bureau strongly believes it will take data from multiple growing seasons to appropriately evaluate the economic realities and labor challenges facing New York agriculture as a result of the new overtime threshold implemented only weeks ago. And until that can happen, it should not be lowered.

“New York Farm Bureau appreciates that the Department of Labor accepted our organization’s suggestion to hold the Wage Board hearings in areas of the state that provide easier access for the farming community to attend. We highly encourage our members to take the time to speak at one of the hearings or submit public comments to help better inform the Wage Board members.”

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Winter storm warning for Orleans with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2020 at 4:11 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The railroad tracks are pictured Saturday at dusk in Medina near Allis Road.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a winter storm warning for Orleans County from 7 p.m. Wednesday through 1 p.m. Thursday, with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected.

The winter storm warning also includes Genesee, Niagara and northern Erie counties.

“Winds could gust as high as 45 mph resulting in significant blowing snow,” the Weather Service said. “Travel could be difficult with very poor visibility and snow-covered roadways. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute on Thursday.”

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Governor wants to speed up permitting process for large-scale solar, wind energy projects

Photo by Tom Rivers: Solar panels are shown in Ridgeway on Saturday at the corner of Route 31 and Beals Road. This project has been under construction for several months and is expected to be turned on April 15.

Staff Reports Posted 25 February 2020 at 1:58 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to speed up the permitting process for large-scale renewable energy projects, including solar and wind energy that are often met with resistance in their communities.

“This legislation will help achieve a more sustainable future, invigorating the green economy and reaffirming New York’s position as a market leader with a revamped process for building and delivering renewable energy projects faster,” Cuomo said on Friday in announcing the legislation which is a 30-day budget amendment.

If adopted, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will create a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting to improve and streamline the process for siting of large-scale renewable energy projects. The governor said the projects deliver significant benefits to local communities.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley is critical of the governor’s proposal because he said it takes local control of energy projects from local municipalities.

“This is an unprecedented attack on the autonomy of our local governments,” Hawley said in a statement. “If the people who live in our towns and villages Upstate have no say when it comes to something as fundamental as land use, what rights can they reasonably expect to maintain? Of course Cuomo’s wealthy donors in the energy industry want him to be able to handpick their projects and situate them wherever is best for them. That doesn’t mean the governor should go along with it.”

The governor wants to establish the Office of Renewable Energy Permitting, which will consolidate the environmental review and permitting of major renewable energy facilities. This will create a single forum in which the Department of Economic Development’s (the state agency arm of Empire State Development) new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting, or “Permitting Office,” to ensure permitting decisions are predictable, responsible, and delivered on pace to help the state achieve a goal of having 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

The governor wants to ensure that complete applications are acted upon within one year, except in the case of certain former commercial and industrial sites, which will be reviewed within six months.

Municipalities will have an opportunity to advise the Permitting Office on compliance with local laws and the Permitting Office will consider and may apply local laws in light of the state’s clean energy and environmental goals.

Projects that have already commenced permitting under the current Article 10 process will be able to opt-in to the new permitting process to ensure they can also accelerate their schedule for completion.

State Sen. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo, who is running for Congress, also criticized the proposal by Cuomo.

“I have seen this Governor try to ride roughshod over the democratic process and rights of local communities many times in the past, but this is by far the worst instance,” Jacobs said.

The current law governing the siting of renewable energy projects allows local municipalities to have representation and a voice in whether a project application is approved. The new system being proposed by Cuomo creates a review and permitting process controlled entirely by the governor’s state agencies, Jacobs said.

“This is the most undemocratic and frankly arrogant proposal from the governor I have seen,” Jacobs said.

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Albion man’s pasta sauce gaining a following, including at Tops
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2020 at 11:02 am

‘People are caught off guard to have a homemade taste in a jar.’ – Darrin Albanese

Photos by Tom Rivers: Darrin Albanese is shown with jars of Albanese’s Finest Gourmet Pasta Sauce on Monday after they were freshly made by Permac in Bergen. Albanese has the sauce at about 25 locations in Western New York and soon it will be available at many Tops stores.

ALBION – Darrin Albanese for years enjoyed cooking for family and friends. He liked to see their exclamations, especially with his homemade spaghetti sauce.

Some of his friends liked it so much they insisted he make more batches and put it in jars for them to take home.

Albanese, 52, uses natural, fresh ingredients with no added salt or sugar. He has tweaked the recipe from his mother Theresa and father David.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking, especially for when people come over,” Albanese said.

Last year, after prodding from friends and his daughter Kaleigh, he decided to make the sauce available as a business.

He worked with Cornell University’s Food Venture Center to test the shelf life of the sauce and affirm the scheduled process for a manufacturer to make the sauce in bigger batches.

In late October, he had the first jars available of Albanese’s Finest Gourmet Pasta Sauce. ANG Shur Sav in Churchville was the first store to put it on its shelves. Now Albanese’s Finest is at about 25 locations, and soon will be sold at several Tops stores.

Albanese has been doing tastings at many of the sites and that has fueled many of the sales of the traditional Italian marinara sauce.

“People tell me it has an undeniable taste,” Albanese said. “People are caught off guard to have a homemade taste in a jar.”

The jars are 24 ounces and include fresh spices and herbs.

Permac Enterprises in Bergen manufactures the sauce for Albanese, and about 160 others. Jamie Lloyd, co-owner of Permac, said Albanese has one of the fastest trajectories of any of the businesses the company has worked with the past 16 years. Lloyd said securing a purchase order from Tops, less than four months after the first jars went on the market, is very unusual. It’s hard to get shelf space in the bigger grocery store chains.

He said Albanese has a quality product, and he is a good promoter, connecting with stores and doing many tasting events for people to try the pasta sauce.

“You got to make sure everybody knows how good it is,” Lloyd said. “It’s up to them to get out and market it.”

Albanese said he takes the sauce on the road, often driving 100 miles or more a day, offering samples to store managers or owners. If the store agrees to sell the sauce, Albanese will try to set up tastings for people to try the sauce on pasta or bread.

The label was designed by Darrin Albanese and includes a photo of his daughter Kaleigh, who encouraged her father to make the sauce available to more people. The label also includes a swan, which has been Darrin’s nickname since childhood. “I wanted to show her if you put your mind to something you can do it,” Albanese said.

Once they taste the sauce, the sales are easy, he said. He sold seven cases, about 80 jars, at a tasting at the Miller’s Bulk Foods on Route 104 in Ridgeway. He had to drive home to Albion when he ran out of jars at a tasting at the Runnings store in Brockport.

Albanese is pleased with the early success of the product. He is looking to make a meat sauce available in May.

When he was a teen-ager, he worked at his family’s restaurant, Albanese’s Restaurant & Lounge, which was open for about 20 years on Route 31 in Albion. He also did dishes at Tillman’s Village Inn.

Albanese said he feels like the timing is right for Albanese’s Finest. He sees a public wanting higher-quality foods, that are all natural and taste like they are homemade.

He knew his family and friends liked his pasta sauce. The reaction these past four months has proven the sauce has appeal beyond his immediate circle.

He recalled his first tasting on Nov. 15 at Skip’s Meat Market on Ridge Road in Greece. He had the sauce in a crockpot. There was a line of people wanting to try the sauce. They gave him an enthusiastic response.

“It’s fun to know something you came up with that people enjoy it,” he said. “The experience at Skip’s Meat Market solidified that even strangers like my sauce.”

Albanese’s Finest is currently available in Orleans County at the following locations:

Albion – Save-A-Lot and The Back Room Bakery

Holley – Hurd Orchards

Kendall – Partyka Farms

Medina – The Bread Basket. Miller’s Bulk Food, LynOaken Farms and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

To see the full list of locations, check the Facebook page for Albanese’s Finest.

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Medina Village Board urges state to amend criminal justice reforms
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2020 at 9:12 am

MEDINA — The Medina Village Board is urging the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to amend criminal justice reforms that started on Jan. 1.

The “drastic changes in the laws” are “overly broad and vague and having unintended consequences at the municipal level,” according to a resolution approved by the board on Monday evening.

The criminal justice reforms don’t allow judges to set bail in many cases where there used to be discretion for bail.

The state also overhauled the discovery process and now requires an expedited timeline to provide materials such as police reports, radio transmissions, body-worn and dash-cam video, laboratory test results and volumes of other materials and data related to prosecution. There is now a mandate to turn over voluminous trial-related material within 15 days.

The new laws were approved as part of the state budget last year, without public or law enforcement input.

The changes have put more demands on police departments, court systems and district attorney’s offices, forcing many of them to add staff to be in compliance with the laws.

The Medina board said the increased costs come without state aid during a time of a state-imposed tax cap of about 2 percent.

The Medina board said prosecutors and courts are being consumed by the demands for misdemeanor and felony cases, making it impossible to prosecute vehicle and traffic infractions within the timeframes of the new discovery mandates.

The Medina board asked for the following amendments proposed by the New York State Conference of Mayors, which still meet the intent of the criminal justice reforms:

• Ensure that cities and villages are provided with additional financial and operational support to offset the cost of the mandated measures;

• Allow 60 days for prosecutors to disclose evidence to the defense for criminal charges;

• Excuse from the accelerated discovery requirements any charge not involving a misdemeanor or felony;

• Adjust the 20-day arraignment requirement to accommodate local courts that meet on a monthly basis;

• Allow prosecutors to withhold sensitive information, such as victim contact information, without having to obtain a court order.

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Burger King in Medina looks to add charging station for electric cars
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2020 at 8:25 am

MEDINA – The Burger King on Maple Ridge Road in Medina wants to add an electric charging station for electric cars.

Burger King has talked with Dan Gardner, the village code enforcement officer, about the approval process for installing a charging station.

Gardner advised the Village Board on Monday about the charging station, which would be the first in Medina or Orleans County to be available to the public.

The village currently doesn’t have specific language in its code for electric charging stations. The board asked Gardner to work with Chris Busch, the Planning Board chairman, to consider how the village code could be amended to include electric charging stations.

Gardner said Burger King hasn’t made a formal application to install a charging station, but is serious in making one available.

Village Trustee Marguerite Sherman said she would like to see a charging station in the downtown business district as well. She said the charging stations draw visitors to a community.

“People with those cars plan their trips around a charging station,” she said.

The state has offered grants for communities to put in charging stations.

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Medina FD will pursue federal grant for new ladder truck
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2020 at 10:11 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Medina Fire Department’s ladder truck, shown at a fire on Marshall Road on March 13, 2016, is 24 years old. The Fire Department is seeking a federal grant that would pay about 95 percent of the costs for a new truck, estimated at $1,450,000.

MEDINA – The Village of Medina is applying for a federal grant that would pay about 95 percent of the costs of a new ladder fire truck.

The Village Board this evening authorized Fire Chief Matt Jackson to submit an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The new Quint ladder truck would cost an estimated $1,450,000 with Medina’s share about $70,000.

The grant application is due by 5 p.m. on March 13. The grants likely won’t be announced until November or December.

“I think we have a good chance with the age of our current vehicle and the condition it is in,” said Mayor Mike Sidari.

Medina’s current ladder truck is from 1996. The ladder is 75 feet long. Medina would like a truck with a 100-foot-long ladder.

If Medina is awarded the grant in late 2020, it would likely be another year from then before the new truck is ready because it takes about 11 months for a manufacturer to build the truck.

Village officials said Medina is already spending about $70,000 a year on the current ladder to keep it going.

“We’re being nickel and dimed with the mechanical issues,” said the fire chief.

Medina faces another issue if it gets a new ladder truck. The fire hall is too small for a new truck.

Currently there is only two inches of clearance from the top of the truck to get in and out of the bay in the fire hall. The new trucks are 4 inches above the top of the door.

Fire Chief Jackson is suggesting the village consider a 75-by-50-foot addition to the fire hall with two taller bays to allow more space to get trucks in and out of the building.

An addition would be an estimated $1.3 million to $1.5 million for the building, and extending heating and other utilities, as well as engineering costs.

“With the size of the vehicles today it’s inevitable someday,” Jackson told the board about an addition to the fire hall.

Medina wants to have the building designed and ready to bid out if the grant for the new fire trucks comes in. Mayor Sidari said there would likely be grants to help with an addition, with the village likely having to finance some of the costs.

It will be a moot point though if the village doesn’t receive the FEMA grant. The fire department has received FEMA funds before for equipment and towards a fire truck.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated. The original post said the current truck has a ladder that is 96 feet long. It is 75 feet long.)


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Hawley seeks state funding increase for Cooperative Extension
Posted 24 February 2020 at 3:27 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting increased funding for County Cooperative Extension Associations which haven’t seen a funding increase in over 20 years.

CCEs are statewide organizations which are actively engaged in their communities in fundamental areas of agriculture and nutrition sciences as well as youth development and leadership including 4-H programming, economic development and community and environmental progress.

“We are requesting your support for an increase in the overall funding to the CCE system from $3.9 million to a total statewide amount of $8 million which would support all CCE county associations,” Hawley wrote in the letter.

“With increased funding the CCE system will be better able to proactively respond to local emerging necessities in the area of food system support,” Hawley wrote. “In addition, it will better leverage county funding and competing grant support for all communities. Additionally, funding will help generate research-based environmental justice projects related to urban agriculture.”

Hawley is a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, former owner and operator of his family farm in Batavia, and is a past president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau.

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Girl with epilepsy in Lyndonville awaits seizure alert response dog
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2020 at 1:37 pm

Jade Moore, 15, has struggled with neurological disorder the past 5 years

Photos by Tom Rivers: Jade Moore, 15, looks forward to having a seizure alert response dog. Jade has been taken by ambulance from school after having seizures.

LYNDONVILLE – Jade Moore has to be careful around loud noises, and bright and flashing lights – which are often unpredictable. She never knows what will trigger an epileptic seizure.

Provided photo: Roman is a seizure alert response dog that graduates in June from a training program by Canines 4 Hope in Palm Beach, Fla.

She can’t watch the Lyndonville fireworks because of the exploding colors and tries to stay clear of the loud booms. Even her brothers need to be careful with the sounds and screens from video games if Jade is closeby.

The seizures aren’t always started by a thunderous noise or flashing light. Sometimes they strike while she is sleeping.

Jade, 15 is a sophomore at Lyndonville. She has had seizures at school, with the ambulance called. It’s worrisome for her and her family, and the school, because her breathing will often slow down during a seizure.

“It scares me because she can’t be left alone,” said Jade’s mother, Elizabeth.

Jade has suffered from epileptic seizures for at least five years. She may have had mini-seizures when she was younger than 10, but Jade and her family didn’t realize it.

But when she was 10, cheerleading at a Medina youth football game at Vets Park, the condition couldn’t be ignored.

She was on the sideline, rooting for the football team when she started twitching and lost her balance. Her arms and legs were shaking, and everything seemed to be spinning.

The seizures have been increasing since then. Jade has suffered two concussions from falling and hitting her head during a seizure.

Jade’s mother stays close to Jade at night and may need to spring into action if there is a seizure. The family, including Jade’s siblings, keep emergency pills on them to give to Jade to help bring her out of a seizure.

Each day she takes 10 different pills to help stave off the seizures. Her mother said the medication seems to work for a few weeks, then the seizures start up again and doctors try other medicines.

Elizabeth Moore wears this shirt as the mother of a daughter with epilepsy.

The family is optimistic help is on the way. Roman, a German shepherd, is being trained as a seizure alert dog. Roman completes his training in June and is expected to join the family in July. The family has raised $4,000 towards the $18,000 cost. They are seeking help to meet the expense. They have started a Go Fund Me and will be selling candy bars as a fundraiser. Insurance doesn’t cover the cost for the alert dog.

Moore is determined to get Jade the dog. Moore has been gladly taking overtime shifts at Mizkan, a vinegar plant in Lyndonville, to help pay for the dog.

Her daughter has been more withdrawn socially since the seizures increased and became more intense. She is sensitive to people staring at her when she has a seizure and her eyes roll back in her head.

Roman the dog will be able to detect Jade’s odor, which secretes when she has a seizure. Roman will be trained to wake up Elizabeth or a sibling if Jade is having a seizure at night.

The trainers have been sent clothes with Jade’s scent. Near the end of the dog’s training, Jade will go to Florida to spend a week with the dog as the last step in the training.

Jade has had to back off some of her extracurricular activities due to the seizures. She looks forward to being more active at school and the community once she has Roman by her side. Next school year, Jade is planning to enroll at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES to study cosmetology.

Her mother said Jade has been courageous in coping with the condition.

“She’s a tough kid,” Moore said. “She can handle a lot more than most children can handle.”

Jade Moore is pictured with some of her family members, including Ilana Shapiro, mother Elizabeth Moore, Jade, brother David Moore and brother Gauge Moore.

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Medina Postal Carrier to be honored for heroic act
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2020 at 12:50 pm

MEDINA – A U.S. postal carrier in Medina will be honored on Wednesday with the Postmaster General Hero Award.

Lisa Moule has worked for the United States Postal Service as a Medina rural carrier for nearly 14 years.

She will be honored on Wednesday at the Medina Post Office for her concern and quick response when she was delivering mail to one of her hardship-case customers.

When Moule was speaking to an elderly customer while bringing the mail, Moule noticed the woman seemed confused. Without hesitation, Moule called 9-1-1 to get the woman medical attention. Moule waited until help arrived. She later heard that it was believed the woman had suffered multiple strokes.

“I’m proud of the service our carriers provide at the mailbox and the care they take of the community they serve,” said Medina Postmaster Scott Streebel. “Lisa certainly went above and beyond her regular duties. It’s an honor to recognize her for this life-saving act.”

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Albion, Medina to open sectionals at home
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 February 2020 at 11:54 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Chris Shabazz and Medina’s Jarin Rhim, shown here in action during a recent league game, and their Purple Eagle and Mustang teammates will host sectional contests on Wednesday.

Section VI Class B1 home games for both the Albion boys and girls teams and the Medina boys squad will highlight the upcoming busy first week of the sectional basketball playoffs.

Seeded No. 8, the Albion girls (7-12) will host No. 9 Maryvale (10-10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The victor will advance to a quarterfinal round matchup at top seeded City Honors (20-0) on Friday.

The No. 6 seeded Albion boys (15-5) squad will host a 7 p.m. Wednesday game against the winner of Tuesday’s first round contest between No. 14 Dunkirk (5-15) and No. 11 Maryvale (7-13). The winner will visit No. 3 Depew (13-7) in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Satuday.

Seeded No. 8, the Medina boys squad (11-9) will host No. 9 Tonawanda (9-11) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will visit top seeded Bennett (15-5) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The No. 11 seeded Roy-Hart (6-14) boys will open Section VI B2 competition at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday against No. 14 Buffalo Arts (4-15) with the winner advancing to a Wednesday contest at No. 6 Cleve Hill (9-10).

Seeded No. 4 the Lyndonville boys (12-8) will begin Section V Class C3 competition at home at 7 p.m. Friday against the winner of the opening round game between No. 12 Marion (0-20) and No. 5 Dundee (9-11).

Weekly Schedule
Section VI Boys Playoffs
Class B1
Wednesday – No. 9 Tonawanda at No. 9 Medina, No. 14 Dunkirk/No. 11 Maryvale winner at No. 6 Albion, 7 p.m.
Saturday – Tonawanda/Medina winner at No. 1 Bennett, Dunkirk/Maryvale/Albion winner at No. 3 Depew, 1 p.m.

Class B2
Tuesday – No. 14 Buffalo Arts at No. 11 Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.
Wednesday – No. 9 Math Sciences at No. 8 Wilson, No. 10 Akron at No. 7 JFK, Arts/Roy-Hart winner at No. 6 Cleveland Hill, 7 p.m.

Section VI Girls Playoffs
Class B1
Tuesday – No. 13 Medina vs. No. 4 Burgard at MSY Prep,, 5:30 p.m.; No. 9 Maryvale at No. 8 Albion,  7 p.m.

Class B2
Tuesday – No. 9 Akron at No. 8 Cleveland Hill, No. 13 Allegany-Limestone at No 4 Newfane, No. 10 Roy-Hart vs. No. 7 Buffalo Arts at Hutch-Tech, 7 p.m.
Friday – Akron/Cleve Hill winner at No. 1 Wilson, 7 p.m.

Section V Boys Playoffs
Class B2
Wednesday – No. 9 Attica vs. No. 8 World of Inquiry,7 p.m.

Class C1
Tuesday – No. 12 Holley vs. No. 5 Rochester Academy, at Bishop Kearney 5 p.m..

Class C2
Tuesday – No. 9 Pembroke at No. 8 Bloomfield, No. 11 Campbell-Savona vs. No. 6 Alexander at Warsaw, 7 p.m.

Class C3
Tuesday – No. 9 Wheatland-Chili vs. No. 8 Blivar-Richburg at Fillmore, No. 11 Naples at No. 3 Oakfield-Alabama, 7 p.m.
Friday – No. 4 Lyndonville hosts winner of Tuesday’s No. 12 Marion vs. No. 5 Dundee game at 7 p.m.

Class D1
Tuesday – No. 12 Kendall at No. 5 Honeoye, 7 p.m.
Friday – No. 3 Notre Dame hosts winner of the No. 11 Pavilion vs. No. 6 Jasper-Troupsburg at 7 p.m.

Class D2
Saturday – No. 1 Elba will host winner of the No. 9 Destiny vs. No. 8 Belfast  game

Section V Girls Playoffs
Class B2
Tuesday – No. 10 Attica at No. 7 LeRoy, 7 p.m.

Class C1
Wednesday – No. 16 Sodus at No. 1 Pembroke, No. 15 Campbell-Savonna vs. No. 2 Byron-Bergen, 7 p.m.; No. 14 Holley vs. No. 3 Canisteo-Greenwood at Keshequa, 5:30 p.m.

Class C2 – No. 12 South Seneca at No. 4 Wheatland-Chili, No. 12 Lyndonville vs. No. 5 Clyde-Savannah at East Rochester, No. 11 Alexander at No. 6 Oakfield-Alabama, 7 p.m.

Class D 1
Wednesday – No. 12 Genesee Valley at No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 10 Kendall at No. 7 Pavilion, 7 p.m.


Medina native’s biodiesel company partners with ADM Trucking
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 February 2020 at 8:25 am

Biodiesel technology will reduce carbon emissions from big trucks

Provided photo: Colin Huwyler, a 2002 graduate of Medina High School and son of Monte Huwyler and Bobbie Huwyler, both of Medina, continues to make advancements in the field of biodiesel technology. He is shown here last year with a 2013 Volvo VNL equipped with his Optimus system. His Pittsburgh-based company has just entered into a partnership with ADM Trucking of Decatur, Ill., to install his revolutionary system in five of ADM’s trucks.

Medina native Colin Huwyler’s company, Pittsburgh-based Optimus Technologies, continues to advance nationwide with projects in the field of high performance biodiesel conversion systems.

The company has just announced an ambitious project being launched in partnership with ADM Trucking of Decatur, Ill., in which five of their trucks used in daily fleet operations will be outfitted with Optimus Technologies revolutionary Vector System.

ADM is a global leader human and animal nutrition, and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company.

The company was founded in 1902 in Minneapolis by George A. Archer and John W. Daniels as Daniels Linseed Company. The name was changed to Archer Daniels Midland Company in 1923. They located their headquarters to Decatur in 1969.

Optimus Technologies founder, Huwyler is creator of the revolutionary Vector fuel system, which enables diesel engines to run almost entirely on sustainable biodiesel. The company was awarded $1 million last summer in NYSERDA’s 76West Clean Energy competition, to be used in expanding their technology in the Southern Tier.

“We’re excited to announce this partnership with ADM and commend their commitment to sustainability and leadership in both the biodiesel and transportation sectors,” said Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus Technologies.

“Trucking is the backbone of the American economy and carbon emissions from transportation continue to rise,” he said. “Optimus’ technology coupled with ADM’s fuel provides heavy-duty fleets an immediate pathway to reduce these emissions over 80 percent. While the promise of heavy-duty fleet electrification is still decades off, this project demonstrates the ease, low cost and efficacy of integrating biodiesel into existing fleet equipment and operations.

In a press release this week issued by the National Biodiesel Board, it was announced ADM’s trucks will be used in daily fleet operations for a yearlong period, with each vehicle anticipated to travel 160,000 to 180,000 miles. It is anticipated the vehicles will reduce up to 500,000 pounds of CO2. Advanced monitoring protocols will compare the performance and results of the new technology with five other trucks operating on conventional diesel.

While nearly all diesel engine manufacturers support at least 20 percent biodiesel, the Optimus Vector System is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run 100 percent on biodiesel in a wide range of climates, resulting in drastic reductions (80 percent or more) in greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time reducing fuel costs.

The system is already in use in shorter-mileage, local fleet applications, such as distribution and waste removal. This new project is designed to evaluate its use for longer-haul over-the-road fleets, potentially opening a pathway to significantly higher volumes of biodiesel in the U.S. truck fleet.

In addition to ADM and Optimus, this project is supported by the American Lung Association, National Biodiesel Board, Illinois Soybean Association and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

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