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Holley remembers those who made ultimate sacrifice for their country
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 29 May 2017 at 11:24 pm

Photos by Kristina Gablaski

HOLLEY – The Holley community gathered today for their annual Memorial Day observance. The top shows a wreath-laying ceremony at Hillside Cemetery at the grave of soldier Jewell Buckman, who was killed in World War I.

Early morning showers forced the start of Holley Memorial Day observances inside.  Community members gathered at the Jewell Beckman American Legion Post 529 for speeches by local veterans, leaders and special guests. Post Commander John Pera encouraged those attending to “remember those who gave all.”

Holley Central High School senior Jessica Mandigo read the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” and Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty spoke of the meaning of freedom. He said the United States offers, “boundless opportunities,” to its citizens because of the freedoms defended and preserved by those who, “paid the ultimate price to protect our country and the freedoms we enjoy everyday,” Sorochty said.  “I thank God for the wonderful country we live in.”

Michael Keene, author of “Vietnam Reflections:  The Untold Story of the Holley Boys,”attended Memorial Day observances in Holley and spoke during ceremonies at the Jewell Buckman American Legion Post this morning. He said the eight young men Holley lost during the Vietnam War received 40 medals for combat and valor but, “were more than soldiers or heroes,” they enjoyed many of the same past times young people in the community enjoy today.

Community members gathered outside the Jewell Buckman Post following speeches for placement of wreaths at the Memorial in the Public Square.

Sunshine began to break through the clouds as the parade processed south on Main St. (Rt. 237) to V.F.W. Post 202.

This year’s parade included the debut of the newly formed Holley-Kendall Marching Band comprised of students from Holley and Kendall schools.

A wreath was laid at the memorial at the Holley V.F.W.  Three flowers were also placed – a white carnation symbolizing purity; a red carnation symbolizing the heroic war dead and their defense of the United States of America; and a blue carnation symbolizing eternity.

The salute by the Honor Guard at the Holley V.F.W.

Holley Central alum Nicole Boyle reads “The Gettysburg Address” during ceremonies at Hillside Cemetery.

Three generations of combat veterans in the Wagner Family – Hank, WWII; son, Jerry, Vietnam; grandson J.J., Afghanistan, placed a wreath from the Jewell Buckman American Legion Post at the flagpole/veterans memorial in Hillside Cemetery.

Ceremonies concluded at Holy Cross Cemetery with prayers for deceased soldiers offered by Fr. Mark Noonan, pastor of St. Mary’s/St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Parish.

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Medina basks in patriotic parade
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2017 at 10:08 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Frank Berger served in the Honor Guard during today’s Memorial Day observance at State Street Park. Berger and the Honor Guard are watching the American flag be raised to start the ceremony.

A big crowd packed downtown Medina and a route that ended at State Street Park for the annual Memorial Day Parade.

A Medina police car leads the parade, followed by veterans in the Honor Guard.

These Boy Scouts head down Main Street. Many community organizations were part of the parade.

These two friends waves mini American flags. Jameson Mickley, left, is from Chicago and is visiting family in Medina. Lanie Feder, right, lives in Medina.

Hannah Sones waves to the crowd. She is headed to Girls State as a representative from Orleans County.

A group from P.raising Kids joined the parade participants.

These members of the youth baseball program tossed candy to kids along the parade route.

The Medina FFA pulled a float with an old tractor.

Mark Watts drives a 1933 fire truck that was used by the Medina Fire Department until 1972, when it was taken out of service. The truck was purchased by Joe Conley and he owned it until Watts bought it in 2007.

Devin Taylor acknowledges people in the crowd while driving an East Shelby fire truck in the parade.

Chase Mahnke and other members of the Medina Mustang Band pause on Main Street while waiting for the alumni marching band. After the alumni band passed, the students followed them on the parade route to State Street Park.

The color guard, including Danielle Schmidt (center), perform on Main Street.

The Medina Mustang Band capped off the parade.

The crowd salutes as the American flag is raised at State Street Park.

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Motorcyclist dies in Royalton accident
Staff Reports Posted 29 May 2017 at 9:03 pm

ROYALTON – A motorcyclist was killed in an accident at 4:56 p.m. today in front of 4955 Royalton Center Road, Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour said in a news release.

Preliminary investigation shows the motorcycle was traveling northbound and struck a vehicle traveling southbound turning into a driveway. The driver of the motorcycle died upon impact. The name of the driver of the motorcycle is being withheld until family members are notified.

The investigation is continuing by the Niagara County Accident Investigation Unit.

Niagara County deputies, the Middleport Police Department, Gasport Chemical Hose Fire Company and Tri-Town Ambulance all responded to the scene.

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Governor announces $7 million for homeowners impacted by Lake Ontario

Photos courtesy of Governor’s Office: Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Greece today to see the flooded shoreline. He announced $7 million in state funding to assist homeowners impacted by flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. He also signed legislation to amend the Clean Waters Infrastructure Act of 2017 to expedite access to emergency financial assistance to municipalities across the state, including those effected by the flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Posted 29 May 2017 at 8:26 pm

Up to $40K for homeowners to support interior and exterior repairs to structural damage caused by flooding

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $7 million in state funding to assist homeowners that have been impacted by flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The new investment program will provide up to $40,000 for homeowners to support interior and exterior repairs to structural damage caused by flooding, as well as the repair or replacement of permanent fixtures. The Governor also today signed legislation amending the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 to provide emergency financial assistance for municipalities to be available immediately. The amended legislation removes a 120-day waiting period, allowing municipalities across the state to access emergency loans.

This funding is in addition to the $10 million in state funding announced for eligible municipalities, and the up to $5 million in grants announced for small businesses with physical damage or loss as a result of flooding. These programs are open to eligible applicants in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne counties, and provide grants for flood-related costs that have not or will not be compensated by any other federal, state or local recovery program or any third-party payers.

“As water levels remain at an historic high throughout this region, it is vital that we continue to provide relief and resources to residents and business owners who have been impacted by this unprecedented flooding,” Cuomo said. “With this additional funding to provide direct aid to affected homeowners, we are ensuring that residents along the coast are able to make needed repairs to their homes and recover from the flooding.”

The original legislation did not allow for emergency assistance to be available until 120 days after the effective date, or August 18, 2017. However, due to the nature of emergency situations faced by municipalities across Upstate, and in anticipation of such emergency situations in the near future, the amended legislation will remove the 120 day waiting period, making the emergency loans available sooner.

Cuomo has also directed State Parks to implement a 5 mile per hour speed limit for recreational vessels operating within 600 feet of shore.

The $7 million in new funding for homeowners will be provided through New York State Homes and Community Renewal and be available to eligible municipalities and not-for-profit housing organizations seeking to assist homeowners. Applications will be made available tomorrow on the HCR website. Homeowners will ultimately apply for assistance via their municipality or appropriate not-for-profit provider, and homeowners may contact the HCR Office of Community Renewal directly to express interest and ask questions by emailing ocrinfo@nyshcr.org or calling 518-474-2057.​

The Governor also directed the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to implement a five mile per hour speed limit to control wakes within 600 feet of the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shoreline as part of the state’s ongoing response to coastal flooding in the region. Beginning today, vessels operating within 600 feet of shore must observe a 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating.

Under normal conditions, boaters are required to obey the 5 mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of shore. With the current state of emergency in the region, and as water levels continue to rise throughout the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River system, the Governor is directing State Parks to institute the expanded speed restriction.

Waves created by boat wakes can exacerbate shoreline erosion, further threatening residential and municipal infrastructure. Reducing speeds will result in reduced boat wakes and lessen the wave action along the shore. Reduced speeds are also necessary to ensure safe boating, as many hidden hazards and debris have been covered by elevated water levels and can threaten boaters. State agencies are working with municipalities to educate boaters and have positioned digital message boards at strategic locations throughout the region.

“DEC remains committed to providing direct assistance to homeowners and local governments throughout the region to address impacts to infrastructure from this record flooding,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Report Suspected Price Gouging

The Governor is asking residents to report suspected price gouging to the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at 866-244-3839. The hotline is available for residents and businesses concerned about potential price gouging or other exploitative practices by service providers in the area. If you believe you are being charged excessive prices for any essential consumer goods or services during the present disaster situation, you are urged to call the hotline and staff will connect you to the Department of State Division of Consumer Protection.

Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC Permitting Offices available throughout the summer

To continue the state’s efforts in helping residents and businesses recover from flooding and damage, the NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices will offer weekend hours throughout the summer, starting Memorial Day weekend.

In addition, those who are not able to visit the Emergency Response Mobile Command Center can call the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at 1-866-244-3839, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues, assistance with flood mitigation measures such as sandbags, and for technical guidance regarding on-site repairs to their property. To date, the state has assisted more than 1,240 individuals at the Mobile Command Centers, fielded more than 700 calls through the hotline, and DEC has issued more than 420 permits.

The Command Center will be in Orleans County on Wednesday (May 31) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Orleans County Marine Park in Carlton, Point Breeze Road (Route 98).

The governor reports the following resources have been deployed in Orleans County since the flooding started:

  • 140,000 sandbags distributed
  • 1 sandbagger deployed
  • 56 National Guard members deployed
  • State sandbagging operation at 14410 Route 31 in Albion
  • 3 Department of Corrections and Community Supervision inmate crews, 2 in the Town of Kendall and 1 in the Town of Carlton

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Medina alumni band members put on a show for 50th reunion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Wendy Hall Scharlau, Class 1991, joins the Medina Alumni Marching Band during today's parade that included 168 participants from 47 different classes.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2017 at 4:30 pm

Joe McKain, retired Medina band director, is pictured with sisters Debbie Stack, left, and Shelly Smith.

MEDINA – They marched, played music and smiled along the parade route, getting loud applause and shouts of, “You still got it.”

The alumni members of Medina’s Marching Band were nearly 200 strong for their 50th anniversary reunion celebration, capped with a performance in Medina’s Memorial Day Parade.

Joe McKain started the program in 1967. At the time there was little money for the program, and no drums, flags or equipment – or instructors.

“Orleans County has a hub for marching bands when I was hired in 1967,” McKain said today.

Holley was a perennial state champion, and Albion and Kendall also had strong marching bands.

Medina started in 1967 with 24 kids. The band would grow to 150, and played in Washington D.C., the Kentucky Derby, Toronto, and the Indianapolis 500 track, which is 2 ½ miles. The band became a strong source of pride for the community, and remains so.

McKain joined the alumni band in the parade today. Their participation is a tribute to the program and strong ties they feel for Medina, McKain said.

The band makes its way down a packed Main Street.

McKain addressed the band before they marched down Park Avenue, through downtown on main Street and down East Center Street to State Street Park.

“Your presence here is obviously an honor to me,” he said. “But as far as I’m concerned it’s also a tribute to the program that you helped build in your own special way.”

McKain thanked the community and the students for their support of the program. He also praised the Medina Band Boosters which started in 1968 and helped take the band to new heights.

“It took years and years to build it up,” he said about the program.

Traci Phillips Culver, Class of 1987, enjoys being part of the reunion parade.

The horn section is loud and enthusiastic.

The drumline acknowledges a cheering crowd.

Jim Steele, current band director, watches the alumni band. He offered lots of applause as the group passed by on Main Street.

Julie Waters and other alumni head down East Center Street and are close to the finish at State Street Park.

The alumni band and current band (behind them) march and perform in the parade.

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Albion parade marks Memorial Day
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2017 at 3:09 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jenny Johnston marched with the Albion Fire Department during this morning’s Memorial Day Parade.

Her son Jason Johnston was 24 when he was killed on Dec. 26, 2009 in Arghandab, Afghanistan. He died from wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Spc. Johnston was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Jason was active in the Explorer program through the Albion Fire Department. He is the only Orleans County resident to die in combat in Afghanistan.

Angel Aldaco carries this sign while marching with members of the Knights of Columbus.

Richard Heard, a World War II veteran, was recognized during the parade.

Matt Passarell carries the American flag as part of the honor guard near the beginning of the parade.

Zack Baron carries the flag for Troop 164.

Many Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisies were part of the parade.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, center, marched in the parade with other veterans, including Phil Warne, left, and Earl Schmidt.

Arella Ives and the Albion marching band performed their James Bond – 007 show for the crowd.

Shannon Broda, one of the drum majors, leads the band down Main Street.

The band finishes with a flourish during their performance in the parade.

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Albion will add cruises on Saturdays this summer

Photo by Tom Rivers: Cars are pictured during the Strawberry Festival last June for the car show. These cars are on east State Street. The new “Canalside Cruise Night” will have the cars by the canal.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2017 at 9:25 am

Main Street will close for big cruise on July 22

ALBION – Saturdays will be cruise night in Albion this summer.

Some Albion business owners and the Village Board have seen the popularity of the cruise nights in other communities and they want to welcome car owners, and show off the historic architecture, serene canal waters and small-town charm of Albion.

The Albion Canalside Cruise Night will start on June 17 and continue on Saturdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. until Aug. 26. Car owners should register for each cruise at Digital Ink Arks, corner of Platt and East bank streets.

“We want to bring some life to Main Street and the downtown on Saturday nights,” said Adam Johnson, one of the cruise-in coordinators. He is also opening 39 Problems, an eating establishment at 43 North Main St. The site will serve pizza, ice cream, soups, salads, sandwiches and other food. The business opens on June 5.

Johnson is sponsoring the cruise nights through 39 Problems. Digital Ink Arts, Arnold’s Auto Parts and the Village of Albion also are sponsoring the events.

Each week has a theme. Johnson said the cruises welcome old and new cars, motorcyles and even boats.

Johnson is hopeful to draw 60 vehicles or more for each cruise with cars down by the canal. A section of Main Street will be closed on July 22 for a big cruise.

The cruise-in schedule includes:

• June 17: late model cruisers

• June 24: custom paint and hot rod night

• July 8: jeep and truck night

• July 15: bike night (motorcycles)

• July 22: big cruise with Main Street shut down and several side streets, boaters also welcome

• July 29: rain date

• Aug. 5: classic cruisers

• Aug. 12: tuner night

• Aug. 19: boat night

• Aug. 26: finale featuring convertibles

File photo by Tom Rivers: John Borello, left, and Ed Hilfiker, guitarists with The Who Dats, perform during the Orleans County 4-H Fair in this photo from July 2015. The Who Dats will be performing in Albion’s concert series by the canal on June 29.

The village also is continuing its Thursday night concert series by the canal. That schedule includes:

• June 15: That ’60s Band

• June 22: The Dave Viterna Group

• June 29: The Who Dats

• July 6: Dady Brothers

• July 9: Traveling Troubadours

• July 13: Blind Leading the Blind

• July 20: The Lonely Ones

• July 27: DRIVEN

• Aug. 3: Jonesie & the Cruisers

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Thomas wraps up 13th visit to Medina
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2017 at 10:46 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Thomas the Tank Engine pulls away from Medina for a 25-minute train ride today as part of the Day Out with Thomas event. Thomas spent two weekends in Medina in a visit hosted by the Medina Railroad Museum.

Thomas drew about 10,000 people to Medina for the two weekends. The train engine made his 13th stop in Medina. Thomas has 42 events this year in the United and Canada. Medina is the lone stop in New York.

Brennon Castle, 4, of Wheatfield plays at one of the activities, which includes Harold the Helicopter. This display allows kids to simulate putting coal in an engine.

Nasier Wooten, 3, of Buffalo gives Sir Topham Hat a high five.

This family poses for a photo in front of Thomas.

There was lots of Thomas merchandise for sale.

A young passenger looks out the window of the train as it heads out of Medina.

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Nearly 200 will play in Medina reunion band for Memorial Day Parade
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2017 at 3:36 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Medina graduates who played in marching band are out rehearsing today for Monday’s Memorial Day Parade at 11 a.m. from downtown to State Street Park. The marching band is celebrating 50 years of competing in competitions, including many state championships.

Joe McKain was the band director in the fall of 1967.

“He took it to a whole new level,” said  Alana Kozody Koneski, a 1973 graduate.

She has been helping with the reunion plans, and will be part of the band’s performance on Monday in the parade.

Greg Nellist, center, also has been working on the 50th anniversary celebration. Nellist graduated in 1975. The band was able to collect about 400 contacts of former band members. For the parade on Monday, 168 graduates have signed up to play with at least one representative from 47 graduating classes.

This will be the biggest reunion for the band. In 2005 and 2006, Nellist said smaller groups played during the homecoming football game.

Nellist would like to see the band get together for a bigger reunion every five years, with the possibility of forming a concert band that could perform during the year.

The drumline practices its music and formation int he high school parking lot and driveway this afternoon.

The band had a get-together on Friday evening at the Sacred Heart Club with about 175 people. They looked at old photographs of the band, watched videos of competitions and enjoyed some fellowship.

Today they are rehearsing for several hours before enjoying at picnic together at 3 p.m.

“Band members here share almost a spiritual connection,” Nellist said. “Once you’re a band geek, you’re always a band geek.”

Some of the band’s twirlers go over their steps during today’s rehearsal.

Alana Kozody Koneski, Class of 1973, remains a big advocate for the band.

“The band to me is one of the best organizations a child can get into,” she said. “It teaches discipline and how to work together as a unit.”

The band has stayed strong for a half century. Nellist said that is a tribute to the community, which has stayed behind the band.

Monday’s performance by the alumni band is also a chance for the band graduates to thank the community.

“They have supported us for 50 years,” Nellist said. “For as small as this community is, and for as this community is, they have always been behind us.”

Brian Kozody, a 1985 graduate, and Jim Lichtenthal, Class of 1989, enjoy today’s rehearsal for the alumni band.

Cellist, who now works as an industrial electrician, said the band has endured because it enjoyable for the kids.

“The main thing about the band is we wanted to have fun,” Nellist said. “We were no where’s near as good as the kids are today. These kids today are phenomenal.”

Buttons say the band members’ names, the year they graduated, and what instrument or role they had with the band.

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Volunteers work to save old outhouse at Cobblestone Museum
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2017 at 10:14 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CHILDS –Cobblestone Museum volunteer Ken Capurso, left, President Jim Bonafini, center, and maintenance employee Bob Albanese work on an old outhouse from 1830 at the Cobblestone Museum. They are pictured on May 13, the first of several workbees to preserve the building.

The outhouse was originally built in about 1830. The outhouse, behind the Cobblestone Universalist Church, is the oldest structure at the museum. The church is next in line at 1834.

The old outhouse was derisively referred to as the “blue tarp building” by museum volunteers and staff. The blue tarp helped with the leaking roof and a rotting side wall.

But the museum felt it made a bad first impression, especially with the church hosting several weddings a year.

The Cobblestone team tore off the leaking roof and gave it new supports and a roof.

Jim Bonafini holds an original nail from the building. (The outhouse will likely be used for storage when the project is complete.)

Ken Capurso measures the length of the boards on the roof.

The cobblestone buildings at the museum get a lot of the attention – as they should – but the museum also includes six outhouses. One of the outhouses at the museum was used by Rufus Bullock and his family. Bullock grew up in Albion and went on to be the governor of Georgia during Reconstruction after the Civil War.

The new roof is on and the blue tarp is off, but there is still work to do on the outhouse.

The building is back is an oil house that was used for the original lighthouse at Point Breeze.

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KeyBank employees worked on many community projects last week, including at Hospice
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2017 at 9:07 am

Provided photo

ALBION – KeyBank employees volunteered at about 30 sites in Rochester region on Wednesday, including Hospice of Orleans. This photo shows, from left: Amy Jewell, Brenda Gabrielson, Nancy McPhee, Steven Dutcher and Jodi Zeppetella.

The bank sent its employees into the community for service projects for its 27th annual Neighbors Make the Difference Day. There were about 7,000 bank employees receiving paid time off to volunteer in the neighborhoods where they live and work.

Jodi Zeppetella, Brenda Gabrielson, Nancy McPhee, Steven Dutcher and Amy Jewell are pictured in front of the sign for Hospice of Orleans.

KeyBank also had employees working on projects in the Rochester region at The American Legion, Batavia VA Medical Center, Canandaigua VA Medical Center, Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse, Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, Fairport Baptist Homes, Foodlink, Inc., Heritage Christian Services, Humane Society of Wayne County, Lifetime Assistance, Livingston County Center,  Northfield Family Service, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Veterans Outreach Center, Wayne County Rural Ministry, Wyoming County SPCA and other locations.

Many of the bank’s branches closed at noon on May 24 to accommodate employee volunteers.

“KeyBank is focused on supporting neighborhood prosperity throughout the Greater Rochester region,” said James Barger, Rochester Market President. “Neighbors Make the Difference Day allows our employees the opportunity to volunteer their time with organizations and projects that help stabilize our neighborhoods and support our community.”

Amy Jewell and Jodi Zeppetella wash windows at the Martin-Linsin Residence for Hospice of Orleans.

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Lady Tigers capture D1 sectional title
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 May 2017 at 7:04 pm

Contributed Photo – Lyndonville players and coaches celebrate their Section V Class D1 championship win over Alfred-Alomd this afternoon at Houghton College.

Scoring in every inning, top seeded Lyndonville rolled to a 10-1 victory over No. 2 Alfred-Almond in the Section V Class D1 championship softball game this afternoon at Houghton College.

Lyndonville next faces D2 champion Elba, an 8-5 victor over Bradford, on Tuesday for the overall Section V Class D title and a berth in the state playoffs.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Stacy Buckland hurled Lyndonville past Alfred-Almond in the D1 title contest.

“The girls just played a great game. They were solid,” said Coach Joe Moore.

Lyndonville jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning without the benefit of a hit as a pair of errors aided the uprising.

The Lady Tigers tacked on solo runs in the second inning,on an error following singles by Bri Paniccia and Cassie Boyce, in the third on a fielders choice play following a double by Alecia Hinkson, and in the fourth on an RBI double by Ella Lewis to make it 5-1.

Lyndonville then put a firm lock on the victory by erupting for 3 runs in the fifth inning and 3 more in the sixth.

A double by Hinkson ignited the fifth inning scoring burst which included singles by Miranda Lembcke and Paniccia and a two-run double by Boyce to make it 8-1.  A double by Makenzie Muck and an RBI triple by Ella Lewis in the sixth then helped to cap off the scoring.

The sectional title is the first for the Lady Tigers since 2013.

Contributed Photo – Lyndonville captains Makenzie Muck, Miranda Lembcke and Aubrey Lewis proudly display the sectional championship trophy.


Holley celebrates opening of community garden

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: The new Holley Community Garden is completely fenced-in, with access by way of the white garden shed.  Rainwater is being collected via gutters on the shed roof.  Sue Persia said the beds contain screened topsoil, "Nutri-Brew" - consisting primarily of brewery waste.  The composed material adds nutrients to the soil and conditions it.  Persia said it is very helpful in providing pH levels which are excellent for plant growth.  Additionally, dry, aged and bagged cow manure was provided by grant funds.  All raised bed soil-mix materials are organic, Persia said.  She provided those who have rented beds with information on organic, homemade disease and pest sprays.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 27 May 2017 at 5:56 pm

Young violinist John Patt provided music for the event.  He played “The Star Spangled Banner,” an appropriate choice for Memorial Day Weekend.

HOLLEY – No seeds have been planted, no vegetable transplants set in place, but the newly created Holley Community Garden is already reaching its goal of bringing the community together.

“This is wonderful,” Myron Holley Garden Club member Sue Persia said Saturday morning during an event celebrating the official opening of the garden. “This is going to be a catalyst for the community… a place to interact with neighbors… a place for the community to work together to make something positive happen. What better way than to go back to the soil?”

Community residents and leaders gathered at the garden at 10 a.m. for a ribbon cutting and refreshments. The event also provided an opportunity for those who have already rented a 4′-by-8′ raised garden bed to get to know each other.

The garden is located off the north side of State St. (Rt. 31) on the east side of the village where there is ample room for raised growing beds.

The garden came together quickly this spring when the Clarendon Lions Club and the Myron Holley Garden Club agreed to supervise the project, which was facilitated by a $15,000 grant through the Orleans County Public Health Department. The grant was supplied by the Medical Reserve Corporation under the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Association of City, County and Health Officials.

“We are glad to see the grant put to good use,” Al Cheverie of the Orleans County Health Department said.

Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty and Al Cheverie of the Orleans County Health Department cut the “green” ribbon on the garden shed to officially open the Holley Community Garden.  Sue Persia looks on. Persia read a favorite garden poem:  “There is always music in the garden… but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”

Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty said local resident Brenden Bedard informed him of the opportunity.  He said he realized the Holley community could take on the project after the Clarendon Lions and Myron Holley Garden Club agreed to supervise construction and care of the garden.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” Sorochty said. “It is a worthwhile project and very heartwarming. I’m grateful for everything everybody has done.”

Community residents enter the garden for the first time.

Sorochty noted in addition to the Orleans County Health Department, Lions and Garden clubs, many people have been involved in making the garden a reality, including the Holley Village Board, Village Clerk Deborah Schiavone, Village of Holley Department of Public Works and Sara’s Garden Center.  The garden will be organic, Sue Persia said.

Sue Persia says she is planning monthly educational events at the garden.  There are still beds available for rental.  The fee is $20 per year and participants must sign an agreement  to abide by the garden rules.

More information is available at the Holley Village Clerk’s Office, Clarendon Town Clerk’s Office, Holley Community Free Library and the Holley Community Center, or call 585-638-5750.

The garden shed acts as a doorway to the garden and also houses an array of garden tools and wheelbarrows.

Watering cans are lined up and ready for duty.

The first community members to rent raised beds pose in front of the garden. Friends Jennifer Anderson and Mylynda Kuba -pictured on the right side of the sign – say they are excited about the garden. “We are discussing what we are going to put in,” Kuba said. Anderson purchased the very first bed for Kuba as a birthday present. The two say they are looking forward to expanding their ability to garden. They can easily walk or ride bikes to the site. Kuba and Anderson became friends several years ago when they met during the Holley June Fest 5K race. They say the Community Garden will be another way to meet people in their community.

Two standing planting beds will make gardening easier for those with mobility challenges.  Eventually, the garden may be completely handicapped accessible, Mayor Sorochty and Sue Persia say. Sorochty said the village provided wood chips for mulch in the garden-bed area.  He said many of the chips came from trees and limbs downed during the March wind storm.  Holley Department of Public Works Superintendent David Nenni worked to create a parking area for the garden.  Village electric will also be connected to the site.

Sue Persia said 4-Hers created clever garden markers.  Those attending the event were welcome to select one.

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Scouts honor Frank Sidari with special graveside marker
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 May 2017 at 3:08 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Scouts from Troop 164 dedicated a special Boy Scouts of America gravesite marker today at St. Joseph’s Cemetery for Frank Sidari, who was an active member of the troop for about 75 years.

Sidari was a Scout in the troop when he was a kid, and went on to be a Scoutmaster for more than 30 years. He was an active volunteer with the troop up until his death at age 90 on April 18, 2015.

The gravesite markers were created by former Albion resident Bob Capurso, who now lives in Bergen. Capurso was a Scout in Troop 164 in the 1960s through 1972. Sidari was his Scoutmaster. Capurso has started a company called Legacy markers that create the bronze markers for influential Scouting leaders. The marker for Sidari is the fourth one made by Legacy Markers.

Sidari also is a Silver Beaver winner, the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America.

Sidari was in the last Mounted Cavalry Division in WWII. He was an Infantryman and Rifleman from 1943-1946 in the 124th Cavalry in the China-Burma-India Theater. After the war, Sidari worked as a union carpenter and then as the Albion Code Enforcement Officer.

Sidari’s wife Jane and her and Frank’s sons attended the dedication today. They include, from left: Frank, Bruce and Mike Sidari.

Members of Troop 164 were part of the dedication today. They include, from left: Bob Capurso, Cubmaster Mike Beach, Oliver Beach, Noah Shiffer, Assistant Scoutmaster Bryan Catlin, Matt Flanagan, Sue Flanagan, Scoutmaster Dan Flanagan, Jonathan Doherty, Tom Madejski, Assistant Scoutmaster Rick Merrill, Ethan Merrill and Michael Grabowski.

Frank Sidari is pictured here on March 15, 2015 during a 90th birthday celebration.

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DEC advises motorists to be alert for turtles crossing the road

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from April 3 shows a painted turtle on Albion-Eagle Harbor Road in Gaines.

Posted 27 May 2017 at 9:18 am

Drivers asked to consider helping turtles cross the road; Use caution with snapping turtles

Press Release, DEC

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding the public that the state’s native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs.

Drivers that see a turtle on the road should use caution and should not swerve suddenly or leave their lane of travel, but take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving.

In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as the turtles migrate to their nesting areas. New York’s 11 native species of land turtles are in decline, and turtles can take more than 10 years to reach breeding age. The reptiles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local turtle population.

This time of year, it is especially important to be on the lookout for turtles and to drive cautiously, particularly on roads near rivers and marshy areas. If a turtle is spotted on the road or near the shoulder, drivers should safely stop their vehicle and consider moving the turtle to the side of the road in the direction the reptile is facing.

Picking the turtle up by its tail may frighten or injure the reptile. Most turtles can be picked up by the side of their shells.

It’s important to use extreme caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick the turtle up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands, or slide a car mat under the turtle to drag the turtle across the road. Do not take the turtle into personal possession. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be collected without a permit.