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Temperatures will climb this week, hitting 82 on Thursday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2017 at 11:24 pm

POINT BREEZE – A fishermen walks along the western pier of the Oak Orchard Harbor this evening.

After a chilly last week, with lots of rain, the National Weather Service in Buffalo said temperatures will be on the rise this week in Orleans County.

The highs include 54 and sunny on Monday, 62 with showers likely on Tuesday, 74 and sunny on Wednesday, 82 and mostly sunny on Thursday, 62 and mostly sunny on Friday and 62 with a chance for showers on Saturday.

A boat passes through the harbor as the sun sets at Point Breeze.

Kimberly Palmer on Byron and Jeff Price of Batavia watch the sun set while they sit at the end of the eastern pier at the Oak Orchard Harbor.

Palmer and Price said it was a “perfect” evening to come to Point Breeze.

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Governor directs state agencies to prepare for possible flooding on Lake Ontario

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lake Ontario is close to houses and the road on Park Road in Carlton in this photo taken on Thursday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2017 at 11:57 am

Many lakeside communities, including in Orleans County, declare states of emergency

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Cuomo today has directed state agencies to assist local communities in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wayne counties for possible flooding issues due to rising water levels on Lake Ontario and is urging all residents in the region to prepare for flooding.

At the Governor’s direction, sandbags have already been deployed to the region and have been filled to be ready for placement in lower elevation areas.

In some areas, sandbags have been pre-positioned in locations that have previously experienced flooding in the past few days and weeks. Other state assets have been staged at the regional stockpile in Monroe County.

Currently, there have been no reported significant issues in the region, however out of an abundance of caution, communities are preparing for additional lake rises.

“After significant rain and runoff, we are seeing the waters on Lake Ontario rise to higher than normal levels,” Governor Cuomo said. “While there is no current danger to residents in the surrounding areas, I am directing state agencies to assist our local officials and for those who live in the area to prepare for potential flooding and stay tuned to local weather forecasts.”

Lake Ontario is currently 18 inches above average for this time of year according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and expectations are that the level will continue to rise into May. The Army Corps of Engineers attributed the high water levels to higher-than-usual rates of precipitation and runoff.

About 40 percent of the lake water comes from local runoff and precipitation, with the remainder flowing in through the Niagara River.  To offset the rising levels, the Corps has increased outflow at the Moses-Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River between Massena and Cornwall, Ontario, throughout the past week.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management has been in constant communication with county emergency management officials in the region.  A conference call has been conducted with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, FEMA, Exelon, and the counties in the region to discuss any effects to the nuclear power plants and there are no concerns that potential flooding would impact the plants.

DHSES has deployed one sandbag filler and 60,000 sandbags to Niagara County, 30,000 sandbags to Orleans County, one sandbag filler to Monroe County, one sandbag filler and 30,000 sandbags to Wayne County, 13,000 sandbags to the Town of Huron (Wayne), and 12,000 sandbags to the Town of Wolcott (Wayne).

Additionally, two high axle vehicles have been pre-positioned at the Chili Stockpile along with two Zodiac boats, and two additional sandbag fillers which have been moved from the Montgomery and Binghamton stockpiles. Two additional sand bag fillers have been moved to the Oriskany Stockpile from the Queensbury and JFK stockpiles along with 50,000 sandbags. The Stockpile in Chili is also fully stocked with generators, light towers, and barriers, for use throughout the potentially impacted areas.

All State Police assets, including 4x4s, high axle vehicles and boats are ready for deployment as needed. Troopers have been instructed to remain on high alert and to closely monitor flood prone areas for rising waters while on patrol.

The creeks and streams that feed Lake Ontario are also high. This photo from Thursday shows the submerged docks at Captain’s Cove in Carlton.

Local States of Emergency have been issued in the following localities:

Niagara County

Orleans County

Wayne County

Town of Wilson (Niagara County)

Town of Somerset (Niagara County)

Town of Porter (Niagara County)

Town of Newfane (Niagara County)

Town of Carlton (Orleans County)

Town of Kendall (Orleans County)

Town of Yates (Orleans County)

Town of Huron (Wayne County)

Town of Ontario (Wayne County

Town of Williamson (Wayne County)

Village of Sodus Point (Wayne County)

Special State of Emergency orders for all Wayne County bays and harbors; Sodus Bay, Port Bay, East Bay, Blind Sodus Bay, Pultneyville Harbor and Bear Creek Harbor. No wake, idle speed only. (Wayne County)

A local State of Emergency allows the issuing local chief executive to exercise powers and authorities to bring the emergency situation under control.  By declaring a state of emergency, the local chief executive may issue emergency orders that they deem necessary in order to preserve life and property, such as road closures or evacuation orders.

The New York State Department of Transportation is actively preparing for high water by readying equipment and staff who will conduct flood watches, monitor bridges as water rises, and respond as needed. DOT crews have been actively working to clear culverts and drainage basins to help ensure they flow freely. The NYSDOT has 3,835 operators and supervisors statewide and is ready to respond with 1,413 large dump trucks, 325 loaders, 74 excavators, 18 graders, 10 bucket trucks, 17 vacuum trucks with sewer jets, 6 trailer mounted sewer jets, 12 water tankers, 13 water pumps, and 4 bulldozers.

The New York State Thruway Authority is monitoring for potential flooding the region and are ready to deploy additional staffing and equipment to assist with any flooding issues as they develop.

In preparation for severe weather and flooding, New York State Parks continues to actively monitor the situation and has directed the Park Police and park personnel to take appropriate action to prepare for possible flooding at State Park facilities including clearing culverts and drainage areas and preparing equipment that may be necessary to respond to flood-related issues.

The best way to receive official emergency information, which can change quickly, is to subscribe to NY-ALERT ( the state’s free, customizable, all-hazards notification system.

Governor Cuomo urged boaters on Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River to be aware of floating debris such as logs and other items that can be encountered during spring run-off conditions and high water and to pay special attention to the following safety information:

Flood Safety Preparedness:

Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry. Develop and practice a family escape plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.

Program emergency numbers into the phones of each household member.

Make an itemized list – as well as potential photo and video documentation – of all valuables, including furnishings, clothing, and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.

Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine, first aid supplies, and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.

Have a plan for your pets.

Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and emergency cooking equipment available.

Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.

Find out how the location of your property relates to possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.

Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.

Check your insurance coverage. Homeowners’ insurance policies generally do not cover flood damages. Only flood insurance can protect your home against flood damages. You can purchase flood insurance whether or not you live in a mapped flood zone.

Travel Precautions during a Flood:

During flash flooding, your vehicle can be the biggest danger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.

Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.

Driving through 6 inches of standing water can cause cars to lose control and stall.

Do not underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. A foot of rushing water can carry away a small car and it takes just two feet of fast-moving flood water to carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-up trucks. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.

If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

Flood Safety During a Flood:

Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.

If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly. If you are directed to a specific location, go there.

Know where shelters are located.

As a precaution prior to any flood, check basement drains to make sure they are clear and energized wires are off the floor. If flooding of a home or business has already occurred, contact your utility companies to have electricity and natural gas service turned off. In the event of flooding, never attempt to turn off electricity and natural gas service. Stay out of flooded basements. Energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard; natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger.

Bring outside possessions, including lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects, inside the house, or tie them down securely.

If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house.

Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.

Secure your home by locking all doors and windows.

More safety tips for staying safe before, during, and after floods and other storms can be found on the DHSES website:

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Medina will plant 83 trees this year
Posted 23 April 2017 at 9:12 am

File photos by Tom Rivers: Elementary students from Medina help plant trees in State Street Park during the Arbor Day celebration a year ago. Medina planted 71 trees in 2016.

Press Release, Medina Tree Board

MEDINA – Arbor Day 2017 will mark the tenth year in a row that the Village of Medina has been awarded the Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The award honors Medina’s commitment to community forestry.

Overall, this year Medina will plant 83 trees, mostly along areas of Eagle and Pearl Streets with additional plantings throughout the village.

This year the village will also plant several trees from citizens’ sponsored tree requests.

“Each year, we receive more and more applications from citizens looking to plant trees on the right-of-way in front of their home.,” said Chris Busch, Medina’s Tree Board Chairman.

“For $180, the village will plant an approved tree, sponsored by a citizen (provided the site/tree meet criteria).”

Applications for citizen- sponsored tree plantings are available on the village’s Municipal Tree Board website.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, and the USDA Forest Service. Tree City USA is a national designations.

Medina’s annual Arbor Day Celebration will held 9 a.m. this Friday at Rotary Park in Medina’s Downtown Historic District. Hundreds of school children from Oak Orchard School and Wise Intermediate School are anticipated to be in attendance.

Mayor Mike Sidari poses with elementary students after planting trees at State Street Park on April 29, 2016.

Nicole Goyette, Arbor Day Coordinator for the village and Creative Studies Teacher with the Medina Central School District, is quick to tell of the many benefits of planting urban trees.

“Medina’s students are very aware of the benefits provided by village trees. They know that trees reduce carbon dioxide and other air pollutants; they know that trees capture storm-water, lower summer air temperatures, and- most importantly- make our village a beautiful place to live. They are very excited for Arbor Day!”

Recent studies indicate a row of mature street trees has been shown to increase property values up to 18%.

Mayor Mike Sidari will read the annual Arbor Day Proclamation, declaring April 28, 2017 as Arbor Day in Medina. The Tree Board will also be awarding two “Friends of the Urban Forest” awards to citizens or groups who have gone above and beyond to support forestry in Medina.

This year, a large number of the 83 trees being planted were made possible for the second year in a row through a generous gift from Candlelight Cabinetry in Lockport and Kitchen World in Williamsville. Medina resident Robert Sanderson is vice president of marketing and a managing partner at Candlelight Cabinetry. He is a big fan of Medina’s tree program. Several of the trees being planted are representative of the hardwoods used by the company in their cabinet making operations. Those trees include maple and oak.

“The Tree Board is again thrilled with Bob’s generous support from Candlelight and Kitchen World,” said Busch. “Bob is a huge believer in what we do and it makes perfect sense to have such a great woodworking company sponsor tree plantings. The cost of trees has risen exponentially over the past few years, and we are extremely grateful for the support.”

The Sanderson family definitely have a stake in the Medina area. Three generations of the Sanderson family have lived in Medina for over 100 years. Randal Sanderson is the proprietor of Kitchen World on Transit Road in Williamsville and his father, Bob Sanderson, is majority owner of Candlelight Cabinetry manufacturing in Lockport.

Arbor Day is celebrated in Medina and across New York State on the last Friday in April. For additional information about the Medina Municipal Tree Board, how a community member can plant a tree, tree memorials, tree planting/growing tips, and other tree related information, visit the Municipal Tree Board’s website by clicking here or by contacting the Village Building Department at 798-0770.

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Man who died in skydiving accident was experienced skydiving instructor
Posted 23 April 2017 at 7:31 am

Press Release, Orleans County Undersheriff Chris Bourke

BARRE – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a skydiving accident on Saturday evening in the Town of Barre, which claimed the life of a Rochester man.

Undersheriff Christopher M. Bourke reports that at 7:23 p.m., the Orleans County Sheriff’s 911 Center received a call of a man down in a field off the Pask Road. C.O.V.A. Ambulance, Barre Fire Company and the Clarendon Fire Company Off Road Unit responded to the area.

The male victim was located approximately ¾ of a mile south of Pask Road in an open field. The 30-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene by Orleans County Coroner Rocky Sidari. (Victim not identified at this time pending notification of family members.)

The initial investigation indicated that the victim was an experienced skydiving instructor with over 700 civilian jumps. Witnesses report that the victim and another skydiver, both members of the WNY Sky Diving Club, left the Pine Hill Airport and made what is referred to as a “Sport Jump”  at about 7 p.m. The second sky diver, upon arriving on the ground, could not locate the victim and immediately began a search for the victim. The jump plane took off from Pine Hill Airport to assist in the search.

At this time, the cause of the accident is unknown. The Sheriff’s Office is working with the F.A.A. and the Monroe County Medical Examiners’ Office in an attempt to determine the facts leading up to this tragic event.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the New York State Police, Barre Fire Company and the Clarendon Fire Company.

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Wilson tops Medina in Evoy Scholarship game
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 April 2017 at 10:06 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Owen Frasier slides into second as Wilson shortstop Jackson Rotella gets set to apply the tag. The action took place during the Lakemen’s win over the Mustangs this evening at Vets Park in the inaugural Jeff Evoy Memorial Scholarship game.

A big six run fourth inning scoring burst keyed Wilson to an 11-5 victory over Medina in the inaugural Jeff Evoy Memorial Scholarship baseball game at Vets Park this evening.

Trailing 4-3, Wilson moved on top to stay in the decisive frame as a three-run homer by John Bender capped off the six run uprising.

Singles by Steve Frerichs and Tanner Seeley, along with a sacrifice fly by Jonah Miller, plated the first three runs as a double by Justin Daul and a single by Matt Daul set up the threat.

Medina’s Brett Riemer gets congratulations from Coach Don Baker as he rounds third base after hitting a two-run homer.

The Lakemen later tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on a double by Jackson Rotella and a triple by Connor Seeley.

Medina had grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on a double by Brett Riemer and a fielders choice play off the bat of Nate Sherman.  A double by Alex Allis also helped key that scoring burst.

Wilson rallied into a 3-2 lead in the third on a two-run triple by Jackson Rotella and an error.

Medina moved back on top for what proved to be the last time at 4-3 in the home half of the third on a two-run homer by Riemer.

The Mustangs then got runners to second and third after a hit batter, a single by Sherman and a sacrifice bunt by Trevor Luthart but Wilson hurler Nate Fox got out the jam with a clutch inning ending strikeout stranding Medina runners at second and third.

Fox allowed 7 hits and struck out 7 in six innings of work. Bender came on to hurl the seventh inning and gave up 1 hit and 1 walk and struck out 3.

Rotella and Tanner Seeley both had a pair of hits on the evening as did Riemer, Sherman and Allis for the Mustangs.

Wilson is now 4-0 and Medina 1-3 in N-O competition.

Special game honors former superintendent
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 April 2017 at 9:58 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Mrs. Maureen Evoy and her children Kelsey and Sean threw out the ceremonial first pitches this evening at the inaugural Jeff Evoy Memorial Baseball game between Medina and Wilson at Vets Park. The contest honored  the former Medina superintendent who passed away last year and raised funds for a scholarship in his memory. Prior to coming to Medina Evoy taught and coached at Albion and served as a principal at Pembroke.

The Evoy family is surrounded here by former colleagues and friends of Jeff Evoy from Medina, Albion and Pembroke and the Medina and Wilson teams prior to the start of this evening’s Evoy Memorial Scholarship game from Medina. The contest was also a special one for Wilson as Lakemen Coach Mark Kurtz was a life long friend of Evoy’s.

Skydiver killed in Barre
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2017 at 9:45 pm

BARRE – One person died in a skydiving accident near Pine Hill Airport at about 7:30 this evening.

Crews were dispatched to an area near Pine Hill and Pask roads in Barre to respond to a skydiver who was in an orchard.

No other information is available at this time.

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‘Run for Wayne’ honors memory of Albion music teacher
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2017 at 5:12 pm

Wayne Burlison continues to inspire community

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lisa Burlison, wife of the late Wayne Burlison, welcomes runners and other participants in the third annual Run for Wayne today. She is joined by the couple’s son, Adam, and family friend Marsha Rivers and the Rev. Randy LeBaron, pastor of the Albion Free Methodist Church.

Rivers encouraged Burlison to sign up for his first race. He went on the run marathons and help start the Albion Running Club.

Burlison died at age 36 from colon cancer on March 26, 2014.

Adam Burlison gets ready to cut the string holding the balloons. Mark Moore, the race director, is at right.

The race started at 12:01 p.m. on Clarendon Road by the Ronald L. Sodoma Elementary School, where Mr. Burlison was a band teacher.

“Run for Wayne” started at 12:01 in recognition of Hebrews 12:1 as one of Burlison’s favorite Bible verses. The verse states: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

There where about 75 runners and walkers in the race today. Proceeds are being used towards a second memorial scholarship in Burlison’s memory, as well as to help develop a running/walking trail at Bullard Park.

Mary Martin, left, finishes the race with her friend Sarah Meister. Martin, 21, was one of Burlison’s students.

“He taught me how to play the jazz drums and got me into running,” Martin said.

Ed Russell, 75, of East Amherst is close to the finish line. Russell ran a 5K in the morning in Williamsville, “Run Forest Run!”

Last year Russell ran 185 races. He wants to run at least 100 this year.

Evan Steier of Albion had the fastest time overall in the Run for Wayne at 19:12. Lindon Morici of Albion was the fastest woman at 20:17 for the 3.17-mile course, which is slightly longer than a 5K. The 3.17-mile course represents the 3 months and 17 days that Burlison lived his diagnosis of Stage 4 colon cancer.

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Volunteers pick up trash along canal on Earth Day
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2017 at 3:35 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Dominic Burton and Isaac Neidert (in back) were among the volunteers out today picking up trash along the Erie Canal. Dominic and Isaac are shown just west of Main Street in Albion.

They helped with the cleanup organized by the Albion Betterment Committee.

There were about 100 canal cleanups in the state today, including three others in Orleans County. The Sons of the American Legion and Medina Lions Club each picked up garbage along the canal in Medina. In Holley, the Masonic Lodge from Kendall picked up trash along the canal.

This group worked on cleaning up the towpath in Albion. They are pictured between the lift bridges in Albion.

Gary Kent, one of the directors for the Albion Betterment Committee, joins other volunteers in the cleanup this morning.

(Anyone with photos of the cleanups efforts in Medina or Holley is welcome to email them to

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In 1882, big fire damaged several Albion storefronts
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 22 April 2017 at 7:55 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 3, Issue 17

ALBION – On Friday, January 13, 1882 at 9 o’clock in the evening, occupants of properties located along West Bank Street in Albion noticed the odor of smoke coming from an unknown source. When neighbors discovered smoke billowing out of F. C. Parchert’s millinery and fancy goods business, they sounded the fire alarm.

Quickly arriving on scene, fireman forced open the door to find a pile of paper boxes ablaze. The stifling smoke made it impossible to remain within the store for even a short period of time and despite efforts to carry in extinguishers, the fire had already spread up the partition walls.

Hart Hose No. 3’s engine arrived on scene with slight delay, as the horses were not stabled nearby. Upon the company’s arrival, the fire had worked its way up the walls and burst through the roof. No. 3’s engine worked tirelessly for seven hours, providing steady streams into the early hours of the morning; another engine on scene broke down shortly after its arrival.

Wind conditions remained favorable as nearby merchants feared for their buildings and merchandise. It was expected by those fire companies on scene that the lack of wind and presence of Proctor’s brick block to the north at Beaver Alley would curtail the fire. Instead, flames leaped to the north, setting the wooden skylight of Wolsley Russell’s photography studio ablaze, stretching through the interior, and threatening façades along West Bank and Main.

As the Swan Block was surrounded on both sides firemen sought to contain the fire, dousing the Proctor and English blocks near Beaver Alley and wetting down the east side of Main Street. Soon after the Swan Block caught fire and firemen carried hose around West Bank in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading further westward. Sparks and embers rained down upon buildings along the eastern side of Main Street as gusts of winds blew in from the west.

Medina fire companies arrived shortly after midnight and several engines were sent by special train from Rochester to provide mutual aid. Although the men found it unnecessary to unload the engines, the firemen from Rochester were greeted by hearty cheers from Albion’s companies. As the fire progressed, walls collapsed and brought down burnt wood and bricks upon nearby telegraph poles, snapping the lines like string.

The total loss of the fire was estimated at $151,000, roughly $3.8 million today, with approximately $95,000 of that covered by insurance. The heaviest loss was suffered by George H. Sickels who not only suffered a staggering $40,000 loss of his buildings, but another $40,000 relating to his dry goods store. William Swan’s block was a loss of $11,000, while F.A. and D.B. Day lost their buildings at a combined total of $5,000. Other merchants, such as George Waterman who operated a hardware store out of his block along the east side of Main Street, lost considerable merchandise due to water damage and theft. As the engines pumped water onto those buildings, the pressure broke windows, providing an opportunity for nearby observers to grab merchandise.

The presence of fireworks, chemicals, liquor, and kerosene within the businesses added to the ferocity of the fire. Visitors from Rochester claimed that the flames could be seen from the western outskirts of the city and embers travelled as far as Caroline Street, carried by the sudden gusts of winds. The dramatic circumstances of the fire led to numerous injuries among firemen and bystanders alike.

Albert S. Warner, foreman of the Young American Hook & Ladder Company sprained his ankle amidst the commotion and refused to leave the scene; he directed his company under the physical support of two men. Dean Currie, whose second floor office was on fire, fell down a flight of stairs in the Swan Block and sprained his wrist. Charles Hilbert, an employee of George Ough, had his collarbone broken when a fire engine knocked him into the canal.

Perhaps the most interesting story of that evening was the presence of a cat, which appeared upon a smoldering pile of bricks in front of Sickels’ Block; the feline painfully meandered towards the intersection of Bank and Main. Belonging to William Hawes, whose confectionary store was destroyed by the fire, bystanders were perplexed as to how the cat survived the conflagration.

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Candidates step forward to run for Board of Education
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2017 at 9:05 pm

Medina seeks to reduce board seats from 9 to 7

Candidates have come forward to run for volunteer positions on the Board of Education.

The five local districts had a candidate filing deadline on Monday. They will be on the ballot during the May 16 annual budget votes and elections.

Medina also is seeking to reduce the number of positions on its board from nine to seven. If the proposition passes, the board would remain at nine seats in the 2017-18 school year, with the reduction taking effect beginning July 1, 2018.

• ALBION – There are three candidates running for two five-year seats on the board. Wayne Wadhams, Kathy Harling and incumbent Marlene Seielstad are all running. Dean Dibley decided not to seek another term on the board.

• HOLLEY – There are two open seats and both incumbents – Robin Silvis and Sal DeLuca – are seeking re-election to three-year terms. Andrea Newman also is seeking election to the BOE.

• KENDALL – Lisa Levett and Jason ReQua are running for two spots on the board. There is one five-year term and another to fill about a year on the board, from May 17, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The latter term is to fill the spot vacated when Martin Goodenbery moved out of the district. Levett is currently on the board, filling a different vacancy created when Chris Gerken resigned.

• LYNDONVILLE – Two people – Penny Barry and Darren Wilson – are running for two open seats. Susan Hrovat isn’t seeking re-election to her spot on the board, and Michelle Dillenbeck resigned from her seat last month. One of the open seats is for three years and the other is to fill the remainder of Dillenbeck’s term, which runs to June 30, 2018.

• MEDINA – In Medina, four people are running for three open seats, including incumbents Dave Sevenski and Bill Keppler. Mary Hare and Arlene Pawlaczyk are also running. Chris Keller isn’t seeking re-election.

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Medina school district continues trend of reducing taxes
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2017 at 5:22 pm

MEDINA – The Board of Education this week adopted a $36,620,793 budget, which represents a 2.42 percent spending increase or $866,961 more than the $35,753,832 in 2016-17.

However, the district is proposing a 0.22 percent tax decrease, down from $8,660,915 to $8,641,861, or $19,054 less in taxes.

The district has steadily been reducing taxes in recent years. The 2013-14 budget had a $9,135,636 tax levy. Medina has now reduced school taxes by $493,775 in four years, a 5.4 percent decrease.

Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, said Medina hasn’t sacrificed programs or its fund balances to chip away at the tax levy.

The district will continue all of its programs in 2017-18. It is keeping the shared services agreement with Lyndonville for some sports and extracurricular programs. Next year, the districts will add a new shared sport: girls varsity soccer.

The 2017-18 budget includes about $550,000 more in Foundation Aid from the state. The proposed district budget includes staffing cuts through attrition – 2 elementary teachers, a special education teacher, one classroom aide and one clerical position.

The district will have a public hearing on the budget at 6:30 p.m. on May 9 at the district office. The vote will be from noon to 8 p.m. on May 16 at the district office.

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NY celebrates Organ Donation Day
Posted 21 April 2017 at 3:14 pm

Provided photo: Lori Laine of Albion set up a display at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albion today, urging people to sign up as organ donors. Laine said she was pleased that NY now allows 16- and 17-year-olds to be organ donors.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New Yorkers applying for health insurance through NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan marketplace, can now enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry as an organ donor.

April is National Donate Life Month, and the launch of this new option builds on New York State’s commitment to increasing organ donation rates. In addition, Governor Cuomo directed One World Trade Center, the SUNY Administration Building in Albany and the State Fairgrounds Entrance in Syracuse to be lit blue and green for Donate Life’s Blue and Green Day on April 21.

“There are more New Yorkers waiting for organs than there are organs available and we are addressing this critical public health issue by making it easier than ever to register,” Governor Cuomo said. “To honor those waiting for a donor and countless donor heroes across the state, New York has gone blue and green across the state, and I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to enroll today.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring NY State of Health to add the organ donation component to its health insurance application. With the launch of the option, individuals 16 years of age or older, who are completing an application, renewing a plan, or making a life status change will be asked if they would like to be added to the NYS Donate Life Registry.

In February, Cuomo announced new legislation that makes 16- and 17-year-olds eligible to register to be organ, eye and tissue donors. The new legislation enables this population to enroll in the Registry at the same time they first apply for a driver license, learner permit or non-driver ID, potentially increasing enrollments in New York by thousands.

New Yorkers can now enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry through the following:

NY State of Health –

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles –

NYS Board of Elections –

When applying for a New York City Identification Card –

NYS Department of Health –

According to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, more than 118,000 people nationwide are currently waiting for organ transplants. As of today, the total number is close to 10,000 in New York State. On average, 22 people die every day in the United States from causes that could have been treated with a donated organ. In addition, tissue donated by one person can positively impact the lives of more than 50 other people.

Five years ago, Governor Cuomo signed Lauren’s Law to increase enrollment rates in New York State. The legislation was named for Lauren Shields, a then 12-year-old girl from Stony Point in Rockland County who received a heart in a transplant operation in 2009. The law changed the language on the DMV license renewal form to highlight the choice for New Yorkers to enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry. Customers are now required to check one of the two boxes related to organ donation in order for their application to be processed.

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Animals, big and small, celebrated by Medina FFA
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2017 at 2:01 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Cora Payne introduces a group to a Morgan horse named “D.C.” during today’s Animal Appreciation Day.

The Medina FFA puts on the event each year. The day started with 42 animals, but another was added when a chick hatched in the morning.

FFA member Alyssa Root holds a tortoise.

These ducks were among the menagerie of creatures that were featured on Animal Appreciation Day.

Kennedy and Mason Eick brought in their dog “Buddy,” a Shih Tzu. The two kids are the children of Todd Eick, the FFA advisor.

Hannah Dhow, an FFA member, shows these U.K. Shetland ponies.

Madison Bielak meets the llamas.

These pigs took a break from meeting so many students.

The tortoise was a popular stop. The turtle is pictured with Kala Schrader, left, and Alissa Blount.

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Orleans drops in latest county health rankings
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2017 at 9:44 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Some kids shoot baskets on a warm March 24, 2015 at the basketball courts in Lyndonville.

Orleans County ranks 48th in overall health outcomes out of 62 counties in New York.

The county had been gradually moving up in the county rankings, from 52nd in 2013, to 49th in 2014, to 47th in 2015 and then 44th last year.

The report for “Health Outcomes” measures rates of premature death, low-birthweight babies and days of poor physical and mental health, as well as percentages of residents considered in poor or fair health (14 percent in Orleans, which is better than state average of 16 percent).

However, Orleans ranks 58th worst overall for premature death. It is 42nd for quality of life, the two factors that make up the ranking for health outcomes.

Saratoga County was the top-ranked county for health outcomes with the Bronx rated 62nd, the worst.

The County Health Rankings are compiled by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The County Health Rankings are a snapshot of the health of each county. The rankings for New York State are out of the 62 counties. There are five main categories and the factors that make up each category are measured and ranked.

Health Outcomes measures “Today’s Health” and includes length of life, premature death, sickness, mental health and low birth weight.

• “Health Factors” looks at tomorrow’s health and includes health behaviors: adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment index, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted disease and teen births.

Orleans ranked 55th in Health Factors and exceeded state averages for adult smoking (18 percent vs. 15 percent), adult obesity (29 percent vs. 25 percent), excessive drinking (19 percent vs. 18 percent), and teen births (29 per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19, compared to 21 in NY).

• “Clinical Care” considers uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, preventable hospital stays, diabetic monitoring, and mammography screening.

Orleans rated 60th in this category, nearly the worst in the state despite having a better rate on uninsured, 9 percent, versus 10 percent state-wide. Orleans does poorly in the report with 1 primary physician for every 10,500 people, compared to 1,200:1 statewide, and one dentist for every 4,620 people, compared to 1,270:1 in the state.

Orleans also has 1 mental health provider for every 2,190 people, compared to a 420:1 ratio in the state.

• “Social and Economic Factors” includes high school graduation, some college, unemployment, children in poverty, social associations, children in single-parent households, violent crime and injury deaths.

Orleans ranked 51st. Its unemployment rate, 6.5 percent, topped the state average of 5.3 percent. The county has 23 percent of children in poverty, above the 22 percent rate statewide. There are 39 percent of children in single-family households in Orleans, which tops the 35 percent average statewide.

• Orleans does its best in the category measuring “Physical Environment.” That includes air pollution, drinking water violations, severe housing problems, driving alone to work, and long commute – driving alone.

Orleans is ranked 22nd overall for this category. It didn’t have any drinking water violations and its percentage of residents facing severe housig problems, 15 percent, is better than the state average of 24 percent.

The county exceeds the state average for percentage of people driving alone to work, 83 percent compared to 53 percent statewide.

This year’s Rankings also introduce a new measure focused on young people, those 16 to 24, who are not in school or working. About 4.9 million young people in the U.S. — 1 out of 8 — fall into this category. Rates of youth disconnection are higher in rural counties (21.6 percent), particularly those in the South and West, than in urban ones (13.7 percent).

“Young adults who are not in school or working represent untapped potential in our communities and our nation that we can’t afford to waste,” said Paul Pettit. “Communities addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, and education can make a difference creating opportunities for all youth and young adults. The County Health Rankings are an important springboard for conversations on how to do just that.”

To see the report on Orleans, click here.

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