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VFW and American Legion in Medina honor Jim Freas
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2019 at 7:47 pm

‘He is the glue that keeps us all together’ – VFW commander Dan Anderson

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Leaders of two veterans’ organizations in Medina today presented awards to Jim Freas for his service to veterans.

Freas, a Vietnam War veteran, is past commander of the VFW and Legion in Medina. He also is involved with the Marine Corps League based in Albion.

Pictured from left include Dan Anderson, VFW commander; Jim Freas; Glenn Whitmore, Commander of American Legion Post #204 in Medina; and Steve Johnson, vice commander of the Legion in Medina.

Click here to see a video of the awards presentation.

Freas, 80, is a past commander of both the VFW and American Legion in Medina. He also was county commander of the Legion for Orleans County. He served in the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1969 and did two tours of duty in Vietnam. After Vietnam, he joined the Army Reserve for 10 years.

Freas is in the Honor Guard and attends about 50 funerals for veterans each year. He helps contact veterans to make sure they have a presence at funerals for veterans.

He also is the emcee of the annual Memorial Day observance at State Street Park and contacts the veterans’ organizations for their role in the event.

Jim Freas, right, was part of an Honor Guard that did Veterans Day observances at monuments for vets in Medina, including this one by the Orleans County YMCA, which was originally the Medina Armory. Dave Kusmierczak is at left.

Dan Anderson, commander of the VFW, presented an award to James “Gunny” Freas for “meritorious and distinguished service” to the VFW Lincoln Post # 1483 and the VFW of the United States.

The American Legion in Medina presented Freas with a “certificate of appreciation” for his many years of dedication to the Legion and the country. The certificate was signed by Glenn Whitmore, Legion commander, and Steve Johnson, Legion vice commander.

Anderson of the VFW moved to Medina six years ago after 23 years in the military. He said Freas was the first one to welcome him to the community and the VFW.

“He has done so much for the veterans around,” Anderson said about Freas. “If anyone has a question about the VFW or Legion, he knows the answer or will find out. He is the glue that keeps us all together. Jim seems to be everywhere.”

Freas said he enjoys the time with the veterans in the organizations. He praised the veterans for attending the funerals, often in rainy and cold weather.

“We have a good bunch with a lot of dedicated guys,” he said.

He welcomed more younger veterans to be part of the Honor Guard, which attends funerals and other functions.

Freas has attended all 12 Patriot Trips led by State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, where about 100 people go annually to see memorials to veterans in Washington, D.C. Freas helps as a guide and also raises money to cover some of the costs of the trip.

He was asked why he is so involved in the many efforts.

“I do it for the veterans,” he said.

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Office for the Aging assistant director named County Employee of the Year
Staff Reports Posted 11 November 2019 at 5:33 pm

Provided photo: Susie Miller (center), assistant director of the Office for the Aging in Orleans County, accepts the County Employee of the Year award on Thursday. She is joined by Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the County Legislature, and Jack Welch, the county’s personnel director.

ALBION – The Orleans County Employee of the Year has shown her dedication to senior citizens for many years. Susie Miller, assistant director for the Office for the Aging was honored last Thursday during an employee luncheon at Tillman’s Village Inn.

The employees of the month were also recognized at the luncheon. From the monthly honorees, a county committee picked the Employee of the Year.

Miller started working as a Community Service Worker in the OFA and two years later was promoted to Aging Services Specialist. She became the Assistant Director in January 2015.

In her time as an Aging Services Specialist and Assistant Director she has worked with thousands of older adults to navigate through health insurance options.

Information, education, counseling, and assistance may be given about health insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, employee coverage, Medicare Savings Program, Extra Help, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap policies, Medicare Part D, EPIC, Medicaid Managed Care, and Medicare Fraud & Abuse, said Jack Welch, the county’s personnel director.

Regular changes in the health insurance industry, and the growing baby boomer population, continue to result in a constant demand for health insurance counseling services. In 2018, the county estimated a savings of $1,129,000 to older adults in Orleans County through health insurance counseling from Miller and the county’s other health insurance counselor.

“These are dollars saved for older adults on limited budget to spend in the county to live,” Welch said.

Miller also volunteers to speak at public events to spread the word about what Office for the Aging has to offer. She has spoken at churches, civic groups, community events and summer picnics.

“This employee will tell you she loves what she does and is committed to the work she does every day,” Welch said. “She truly is an advocate for the clients that she serves.”

She also assists clients with conflict resolutions on medical claims that were not billed correctly. This can take hours and many phones calls. The numbers of clients served continues to rise yet the county funding remains stagnant.

Miller created a comparison meeting during open enrollment to be able to serve more clients that we could not fit in for a one on one counseling session. She also accepted the challenge of creating a schedule for a newly hired aide so that clients could get services sooner than later.

“It is not easy trying to schedule slots when certain clients request certain days and times, and also trying to schedule our aides to be in the same area of the county on the same day,” Welch said. “By changing up the schedule we will see some mileage savings in the future.”

Miller also was an important part of a large grant Office for the Aging received to start a volunteer transportation program in 2018.  Office for the Aging was granted $70,000 over a three-year period to make a needed service into a reality. That program now has 18 trained volunteers and 30 riders. There have been more than 100 rides given in seven months.

“She is a team player and is always asking what she can do to help out,” Welch said. “She keeps office morale up and truly cares about staff.”

The Employee Assistance Committee also recognized employees of the month. The EAP Committee receives nominations from fellow employees and department directors and then the nominations are reviewed and discussed by the committee and a selection is made.

The employees of the months for the past year were:

• October 2018: Scott Snook (Computer Services)

• November 2018: Torry Tooley (Sheriff)

• December 2018: Joanne Marek (County Clerk),

• January 2019: Jeffrey Gifaldi (Sheriff)

• February 2019: Ronald Mannella (Weights and Measures)

• March 2019: Elizabeth Jubenville (Social Services)

• April 2019: Rebekah Karls-Judd (Office for the Aging)

• May 2019: Susan Miller (Office for the Aging)

• June 2019: Wayne Krull (Highway)

• July 2019: Katie Harvey (Personnel & Self Insurance)

• August2019: Danielle Figura (Mental Health)

• September 2019: Jennifer Szalay (Social Services)

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Dedicated group honors soldiers on Veterans Day
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2019 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Russell Young plays Taps today at Butts Park in Medina while the Honor Guard stands at attention.

Young and the local veterans stopped at several war memorials in Medina for observances on Veterans Day. The group of about 15 veterans also stopped by Orchard Manor, a nursing home on Bates Road, for a service and to visit veterans there.

Click here to see a video of the veterans offering a prayer, a rifle salute and then the playing of Taps at Vets Park.

These veterans, including Steven Earle (third from left) of Lyndonville, do a rifle salute by the Korean War Memorial at Pine Street Park on Park Avenue. This is across from the Olde Pickle Factory. Employees at Baxter Healthcare who are veterans stepped outside the building to observe this tribute to veterans.

Dave Kusmierczak salutes while Taps is played by the Korean War Memorial. Kusmierczak began each stop by reading the Veterans’ Prayer.

“We thank theee for the privilege of life and the blessings we enjoy through thy graciousness in our country, the land in which we are given the freedom of speech, religion and the pursuit of happiness,” Kusmierczak read. “Assist us to know thee better and that thou art the God of the universe and our ideal.”

Mark Traxler carried the American flag at each of the stops by the veterans today. He is putting the flag away after the observance at Pine Street Park.

The veterans today started their ceremonies by the American Legion Post near the Glenwood Avenue canal bridge.

From there they went to the Company F Memorial in front of the YMCA, at the Butts-Clark Monument at Butts Park on South Main Street, the Korean War Memorial on Park Avenue, by the tank at Vets Park, by the cannon at State Street Park and by the monument at the VFW.

Veterans also did an observance at the Orchard Manor nursing home and visited with veterans there.

Veterans gather by the monument outside the Orleans County YMCA, which was originally used to train soldiers when the facility was the Medina Armory. The bronze statue of a soldier was dedicated in September.

Tony Vicknair puts his rifle away after the gun salute by the YMCA. The group then headed to its next stop at Butts Park. Steve Johnson is behind Vicknair.

The veterans in the honor guard take their places by a tank before the observance at Vets Park on West Oak Orchard Street .

This is the monument in front of the tank at Vets Park.

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Tractor trailer jackknifes in Shelby on 31A
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2019 at 2:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

SHELBY – A tractor trailer from Grand Island hit a guard rail and slid off the road at about 1:30 p.m. today. This photo is looking east on Route 31A, just west of Townline Road near Barre.

The driver of the truck for JS Trucking wasn’t injured.

This is looking west at the scene. The accident closed a section of Route 31A. Shelby and East Shelby firefighters were on the scene with a crew from the Albion Fire Department called to help clean up leaking fuel from the tractor trailer, which was empty.

Road conditions are slick due to the freezing temperatures and falling snow.

No other information was available.

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Governor signs package of bills to enhance services for veterans in NY
Posted 11 November 2019 at 1:17 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Mark Traxler carried the American flag during Veterans Day observances at local veterans’ memorials in Medina, including at this photo at Butts Park. Dave Kusmierczak of Medina in back read the veterans’ prayer during the observance today.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a package of bills to enhance support and bolster protections for New Yorkers who serve or have served in the armed forces. The package consists of 14 bills that protect the rights of active duty military members and veterans in a number of areas, including access to education, employment, voting, discharge status protection, and general services and benefits.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to defend our nation, and we must honor them and support them just as they supported us,” Governor Cuomo said. “This package of bills includes a wide range of protections and benefits to help ensure the veterans across our state get the services, educational and employment opportunities, and respect they have earned through their many sacrifices.”

Governor Cuomo’s actions today build upon his longstanding commitment to the nearly 750,000 veterans living in New York State. Under his administration, New York has enacted the nation’s largest fund for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, certifying over 600 businesses to date; convened the state’s first-ever Summit on Veterans and Military Families; launched the Justice for Heroes Initiative to fund legal clinics at law schools that provide assistance to veterans; provided funding for nonprofits that offer peer-to-peer support for veterans and their families; and waived the application fee for veterans taking Civil Service exams.

Governor Cuomo’s efforts have made New York the most veteran-friendly state in America.

The 14 bills signed today are listed below by category.


• S.1660A / A.4654A Enacts Program for Veterans to Receive High School Diplomas

Currently, the State Education Department has a program called Operation Recognition, which allows New York State veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans and who joined military service prior to graduating from high school to be awarded high school diplomas.  This bill would extend that program to all New York State veterans, including those who deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


• S.3300 / A.6297 Requires Employers to Prominently Indicate if a Work Opportunity Is Set Aside for Disabled Veterans

Section 55-c of the Civil Service Law authorizes 500 positions be set aside for disables veterans. However, currently employers are not required to publicly post whether positions are 55-c eligible.  This bill requires employers to prominently display in their job postings that a job is 55-c eligible so that qualifying veteran applicants know of the opportunities available to them.

• S.6474 / A.8282 Adds an Additional Year of Service Credit an Applicant Can Use to Deduct from Their Age When Applying for Certain Public Service Positions

This bill allows for a veteran to deduct up to seven years of military service from their age in order to qualify to sit for placement exams for certain public service positions, such as in the NYPD or FDNY. Currently, one must be 35 or younger in order to take the test, and applicants can deduct up to six years of military service from their age to qualify. The measure allows someone to deduct more time in service to recognize that they will be better prepared to serve in these important positions.

Health and General Services

• S.4049A / A.5660 Mandates a Report to Determine How Many Homeless Veterans Are Living in New York State

This bill mandates a report to be completed by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, the Office of Temporary and Disability Service, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Children and Family Services to determine the number of homeless persons in New York State who are veterans. The study would gather information on the number of homeless veterans living in the state, including how many of them have children, so advocates and policy makers can better develop solutions to address this problem.

• S.5285A / A.1093B Allows More Veterans to Have Paid Leave for Health Reasons

Under current law, State employees who are veterans may get additional paid leave from their work to receive health-related services without loss of pay. This bill allows municipalities to offer their veteran employees the same opportunity, reflecting policy in place for veterans who are employed by the State.

• S.4477A / A.6792A Requires the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Mobile App Be More Easily Accessible

The mobile application known as the New York State Veterans’ App has been helpful to veterans across New York by providing a multitude of material on federal and state veterans benefits, programs and services. The app has not always been easily accessible or promoted by the Division of Veterans’ Services. This bill requires the Division of Veterans’ Services to easily direct veterans to the app through its website.

• S.5991 / A.7594 Updates the Duties of the Women Veterans Coordinator at the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

This bill updates the duties of the women veterans coordinator within the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services to ensure that the coordinator more effectively addresses the unique needs and challenges faced by the State’s women veterans population.

• S.2377 / A.1804 Requires State Agencies to Document Important Information Pertaining to the Lives of Veterans

This bill requires the New York State Departments of Health and Corrections and Community Supervision to collect certain information pertaining to the veteran populations they service.


• S.5184 / A.7293 Makes Military Voting Provisions Available for School District Elections

Current law allows those who are serving in the military to register as military voters in New York State and to receive an absentee ballot for all federal, state, and local elections. Unfortunately, such provisions do not extend to ballots for school district elections; this bill makes military voting available for all school district elections for which absentee ballots are already authorized.

Discharge Status

• S.6467 / A.8095A Requires Division of Veterans’ Services to Maintain a Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board Program

This bill directs the Division of Veterans’ Services to maintain a Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board Program. Under the program, Division staff would review the evidence submitted by veterans seeking to appeal their discharge status and issue written, non-binding advisory options to assist veterans during the United States Armed Forces’ appeals processes.

• S.6527 / A.8096 Requires Local Veterans Service Agencies to Assist with the Completion of the Discharge Upgrade Application

Local Veterans Service Agencies provide valuable assistance to veterans located within their jurisdiction, and this bill requires these agencies to assist veterans in the process of submitting an application for a discharge upgrade.

Taxes and Other Fees

• S.1681 / A.7289 Extends the Real Property Tax Exemption to Active Members of the Armed Forces

Currently only seriously disabled veterans, not active members of the armed forces, are eligible for a real property tax exemption when they must modify their homes to accommodate a service-related disability. This bill ends this discrepancy and extends the tax exemption to seriously injured active members who stay in service despite their disability, so they can take full advantage of it when making modifications to their property.

• S.6260 / A.7234 and S.6306 / A.8109 Authorize Specified Counties to Waive Fees for the Construction and Improvement of Veterans’ Organizations

Veterans’ organizations throughout New York play an important role in ensuring that veterans can experience a sense of community. These organizations have been required to pay certain fees when building or making capital improvements to their facilities, and the organizations have been placed in a position of having to increase dues and potentially discourage veterans from participating. S.6260 / A.7234 authorizes Nassau and Suffolk counties to waive for veterans’ organizations certain fees for construction of and capital improvements. S.6306 / A.8109 authorizes Washington and Saratoga counties to do the same.

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6-10 inches of snow expected for Orleans, WNY
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2019 at 10:47 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: The World War I cannon at State Street Park in Medina has a light coating of snow this morning. The cannon was rededicated on May 27 following more than a year of restoration work by Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration, in Altoona, Pa.

The National Weather Service is forecasting 6 to 10 inches of snow today through Tuesday for Orleans County and Western New York.

A winter storm warning is in effect through 6 a.m. Tuesday. The Weather Service said the snow will be most intense in Niagara Frontier with the greatest accumulations expected inland from the Buffalo metro area.

Conditions will deteriorate this afternoon and evening as snowfall rates increase and temperatures begin to drop, the Weather Service said.

Since 1935, the B.L. 60 Pounder British field gun has been the centerpiece of the World War I memorial in Medina.

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5K raised $4K for veterans’ medical van service
Staff Reports Posted 11 November 2019 at 7:37 am

Provided photo: Operation Honor flag winners include Eli Van Buren, Arian Cayea and Katie Olinger.

MEDINA –  The second annual Operation Honor 5k run/walk was Saturday and raised $4,000 in much-needed funds for the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council Van Service.

The money was raised through sponsorships and participation fees to be in the race/walk that started at the Junior Wilson’s Sportsmen’s Club on Bates Road.

Sarah Levanduski-Surdel and Jenn Thom organized the second annual event and thanked the sponsors, participants and volunteers.

First place in the 5k run was shared by the male winners Arian Cayea and Jack Hill who tied with a time of 18:04. The first female winner was Katie Olinger who clocked in with a 25:49. Cayea and Hill donated their first place American flag prize to the third place winner Eli Van Buren.

Funds from this year’s event will provide support to keep the vans running and replacing them when needed. The medical van service is an all-volunteer organization from office staff to drivers and provides transportation to medical appointments to over 1,600 veterans yearly with over 4,800 hours of volunteer service.

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Winter storm warning in effect Monday through Tuesday morning
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 November 2019 at 9:37 pm

Heaviest snowfall rates, worst travel expected Monday afternoon through Monday night

Photo by Tom Rivers: A mud-covered leak was in the grass at the Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on Friday. More than 1,000 cross country runners competed at the park, and turned parts of it into muddy trails.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Orleans County and Western New York from 8 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Heavy snow expected with accumulations of 6 to 10 inches on the Niagara Frontier. The greatest accumulations expected inland from the Buffalo metro area, the Weather Service said.

“Travel could be very difficult,” the Weather Service said. “Conditions will deteriorate during the day Monday, with the heaviest snowfall rates and worst travel from late Monday afternoon through Monday night.”

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Orleans Dem leader endorses McMurray for another run at Congress
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 November 2019 at 4:44 pm

Nate McMurray

Nate McMurray, a Democrat who lost a close election about a year ago to Chris Collins, has been endorsed by the Orleans County Democratic Party chairwoman.

Jeanne Crane, leader of the Orleans County Democrats, joins four other Democratic Party leaders in endorsing McMurray in an upcoming special election to fill a vacancy in the 27thCongressional District.

Collins resigned in September ahead of a guilty plea in federal court in a case about insider trading.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t set a date for the special election to fill the vacancy.

“I am so pleased to support Nate in the upcoming special election,” Crane said. “He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day … few jobs, lack of affordable housing, and high taxes. We need Nate!”

McMurray, the current Grand Island town supervisor, also works as vice president of Business Development for Delaware North. He has also been endorsed by the Democratic Party leaders in Niagara, Wyoming, Monroe, and Genesee counties.

“I am excited to have Jeanne Crane and the Orleans County Democrats with me as I run for Congress,” he said in a statement. “For the last few years, Western New York has not had the representation it deserved in Congress, and it hurt our working families and economy. I am ready to be the fighter we need to deliver healthcare access, jobs, and infrastructure investment.”

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Son of Rudy’s Diner owner committed to carry on legacy

Photos by Tom Rivers: Brody Hoffmeister gives his grandmother Debbie Russo a hug at Rudy’s Diner in Medina. The family is grieving the loss of Brody’s mother and Debbie’s daughter, Kelly Duffield. She died from cancer on Oct. 21 and had worked at Rudy’s since it opened in May 1988.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 November 2019 at 10:18 am

Brody Hoffmeister is 3rd generation to run popular spot in Medina

Provided photo: Brody Hoffmeister and his mother Kelly Duffield are shown together in this recent photo.

MEDINA – One of Medina’s most popular and enduring restaurants lost its leader last month with the death of Kelly Duffield. She was 49 when she passed away on Oct. 21, after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer.

Duffield has been a big part of Rudy’s since her parents, Debbie and Joseph Russo, opened it on May 10, 1988.

Duffield’s son Brody Hoffmeister is now running Rudy’s with help from his grandmother Debbie, as well as a dedicated group of 20-25 employees.

Hoffmeister, 25, thanked the community for its outpouring of love and support with the loss of his mother. He has received more than 500 messages on Facebook, and many cards and flowers.

“I didn’t realize how the community would be rallying behind us,” he said at Rudy’s last week just after the lunch rush. “I didn’t realize how many people my mom knew.”

His mother worked 12-15 hours or more at the diner, which opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 9 at night. She thought of the “Mojo Burger” challenge, where people can write their names on the wall in the dining room if they can eat the 1-pound burger. There are hundreds of names on the wall.

His mother led the employees, ordered food and tracked inventory, and enjoyed banter with the customers. She owned Rudy’s since 2006.

“My mom made it look easy,” Hoffmeister said. “I didn’t realize how hard this is to do.”

Hoffmeister has grown up at the diner. As a teen-ager he delivered meals to customers in the downtown, and others who might be sick or homebound. Then he washed dishes before moving up to become a cook.

Brody Hoffmeister is pictured with some of the staff in the dining room at Rudy’s. From left include Jennifer McCauley, Dawn VanLeuven and Ellie Kage.

Hoffmeister likes being in the kitchen. The past few years he has been a cook, and has also worked to implement some new technology, including computers for the ordering. Waitresses enter the orders in on a hand-held computer pad, and those orders then appear in monitors in the kitchen. On-line orders also appear on the monitors.

Hoffmeister said Rudy’s will make other improvements, but it won’t change its friendly atmosphere with classic comfort food.

“We aren’t going to the change the quality that makes us successful but we need to modernize so we can go another 30 years,” Hoffmeister said.

Brody Hoffmeister checks an order on the screen in the kitchen. Waitresses take orders on computers, and those orders them show up in the kitchen, which gets the orders to the cooks faster and more accurately. Online orders also show up on the monitors in the kitchen. Hoffmeister also said the new computer system helps him to better track inventory.

His grandparents, Debbie and Joe, opened Rudy’s on May 10, 1988. Kelly was a senior in high school when Rudy’s started. Rudy was Joe’s nickname from when he was a cook in the Vietnam War.

Joe Russo took on a big project of remodelling Rudy’s after a fire badly damaged a dairy business that was there. Joe gave it a distinctive look. It continues today with a 1950s feel inside with Leave It To Beaver posters. Joe and Debbie treasured their customers and there is a large portrait of one customer near the front entrance.

“There is just something about this building,” Hoffmeister said. “It’s the memories of the people here, including the people who aren’t here anymore. There are guys who come in here every day at the same time to meet up.”

Mr. Russo passed away on June 3.

Ellie Kage, a long-time waitress at Rudy’s, takes two lunches – beef on weck with onion rings and hamburger stroganoff, to customers last week. Kage was with Rudy’s when it opened and came back 2 ½ years ago when she moved back to the area.

Debbie Russo has been helping her grandson at Rudy’s, including with some of the ordering.

“He’s been doing a good job,” she said about Hoffmeister.

She also thanked the community for its support.

“That’s what keeps us here – the people,” she said. “I come here everyday and I love it. It’s home.”

Rudy’s Diner has been a mainstay with its red awnings on West Center Street.

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Lady Raiders repeat as Regional champions
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 9 November 2019 at 1:53 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Barker’s Serena Harris scores the first goal in the Lady Raiders 6-1 victory over East Rochester in the Class C Far West Regional this morning at Williamsville North.

Getting goal production from five players Barker captured a second straight Class C Far West Regional field hockey championship by romping past East Rochester 6-1 this morning at Williamsville North.

The victory propells Barker into the Class C state semifinals against Bronxville (Section 1) at 11 a.m. next Saturday at Williamsville North. Bronxville advanced with a 5-0 regional win over Taconic Hills (Section IX) this morning.

The Barker scoring parade included two goals by Ciara Gregoire along with one each by Serena Harris, Natalie Bruning, Rachel Hurtgam and Madison Gancasz.

Katrina Clare chipped in with four assists for the Lady Raiders giving her a team leading total of 21 on the season as Gancasz had two and Aaliyah Wheat one.

Barker goalie Courtney Hillman knocks a shot attempt away.

“We got contributions from a lot of players which was great,” said Barker Coach Jeff Costello.

Courtney Hillman made 8 saves in goal for the Lady Raiders.

Barker built up a commanding 4-0 lead at the half as a quick three goal scoring burst in the final 11 minutes broke the contest wide open for the Lady Raiders.

Harris gave Barker a 1-0 lead when she scored her fourth goal of the season at 17:08 off a nice centering pass from Clare.

Bruning made it 2-0 with her fifth goal of the campaign at 11:07 off another assist from Clare, a tally which ignited a burst of three goals in 10 minutes.

Hurtgam followed up with her 12th goal of the season at 3:34 from Gancasz and then Gancasz scored herself, her fifth of the campaign, at 1:10 from Clare to round out the decisive scoring burst.

“I thought we passed the ball really well in the first half,” said Costello. “We moved the ball down field really well and got off some hard shots.”

Gregoire rounded out the Barker scoring parade with two goals in the first 13 minutes off the second half, her 16th and 17th of the season. She tallied at 28:02 from Wheat and again at 17:11 from Clare.

The Lady Raiders improve to 17-3 on the season with their fifth Far West Regional victory since 2010.

Barker, which had to go into overtime to nip East Rochester 4-3 in last year’s Far West Regional, advanced by downing Eden 4-0 in the Section VI Class C championship game on Tuesday.

East Rochester, which is the lone Class C team in Section V, had an automatic berth into the regional.

Click here to see the national anthem.

Click here to see Barker do their pregame cheer.

Click here to see Head Coach Jeff Costello give the halftime speech.

Click here to see Madison Gancasz score Barker goal #4.

Click here to see Ciara Gregoire score goal #5

Click here to see Barker celebrate at the end of the game.

Barker’s Natalie Bruning celebrates after scoring the Lady Raiders second goal.

Albion community added lots of pep for football team at New Era Field
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 November 2019 at 11:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ORCHARD PARK – The Albion pep band was out in force to support the Albion football team during Friday’s game at New Era Field. These drummers in the pep band get ready to head inside the stadium.

They include, from left: Aubrey Boyer, Emma Tower, Abby Tucker, Olivia Morrison, Sophie Zambito, Molly Wadhams, Andrew Uderitz and Nick Perry.

These sousaphone players include Rowan Ford, Dyllan Roath and Jacob Coolbaugh.

The pep band makes its way through the security check leading into New Era, the home of the Buffalo Bills.

Angela LaGalbo and the Albion cheerleaders help fire up a large contingent from Albion.

An Albion fan is excited after a big play from the Purple Eagles. Albion lost the game, 34-20, to WNY Maritime in the Section VI Class B championship game.

The game was Albion’s first appearance in the title contest since 2002. Albion finishes the season at 8-2.

High school band teacher Michael Thaine, right, and the pep band were high energy throughout the game.

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Vets share experiences with Lyndonville students
Posted 9 November 2019 at 8:30 am

Photos courtesy of Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville students interview Bob DeMallie on Friday as part of an oral history project.

The school district welcomed and honored about 40 veterans. There were veterans from each branch of the military who met with middle and high school students to discuss their lives before, during and after the military.

Students listened intently as veterans shared memories and answered questions. The students will create a report for each interview and incorporate them into a book to share with the district.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley was among the veterans who shared some of his experiences. He served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and the US Army Reserves.

He has been a member the past nine years of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee and sponsored legislation to aid veterans and current service personnel. During his keynote speech, Hawley reflected on his father’s military service in World War II and discussed his annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C.

Hawley presented Lyndonville Central School with a NYS Assembly Citation in recognition of the district’s First Annual Veterans Day Program. The district also received recognition from NYS Senator Robert Ortt for celebrating Veterans Day and honoring those who have served the country.

Local veterans check in on Friday morning for the event at the former elementary school.

“The project was a meaningful way for students to understand the dedication of our military personnel and the sacrifices they have made for our freedom,” said Superintendent Jason Smith.

The district would like to thank all the veterans who participated in this year’s Veterans Day Project and Laura Moore, fifth-grade teacher, and local veteran Bob DeMallie for project coordination and assistance. The district looks forward to hosting the event again next year.

Lyndonville students welcomed veterans for the event on Friday.

(Editor’s Note: There is 5K run and walk this morning at 11 to benefit the Veterans Van Service in Orleans County. This second annual event starts at the Junior Wilson’s Sportsmen’s Club on Bates Road in Medina. Click here for more information.)

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South Clinton crossing in Albion was busy intersection for agricultural shipping
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 9 November 2019 at 7:34 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 5, No. 42

ALBION – This photograph, taken sometime around 1900, shows the New York Central Railroad crossing at Clinton Street in Albion looking east towards Main Street. The photographer is standing on the platform of the train station on Clinton Street in an attempt to showcase two important businesses in the vicinity.

On the right is the business of Morgan & Linson, started in 1887 by Benjamin Franklin Morgan who purchased the operation from Sheldon & Warner. Morgan, a son of William Pitts Morgan and native of Gaines, then brought Lyman Sewall Linson into a partnership in 1890.

Linson was an 1876 graduate of New York University who attended the University of Pennsylvania to study law before working out west in the railroad industry. His return to Albion and entrance into the partnership with Morgan likely brought a level of expertise required for shipping goods by way of rail. The pair dealt in coal, mason’s supplies (lime and cement), and produce, focusing specifically on the storage and shipment of apples and beans.

Morgan & Linson constructed additional coal sheds at this facility in 1900, which included the implementation of an elevator used to lift coal for storage in bins located on the upper floors of the building. Coal was then dropped down chutes and into wagons for delivery to homes throughout the area. Morgan’s death at New York City in 1909 following a lengthy illness led to the eventual dissolution of the partnership. In 1917, Guy Merrill, Platt LaMont, and Elbert Rowley formed the Morgan & Linson Cold Storage Company, Inc., taking over the property and operating the business; Linson retained partial interest in the company.

Around 1941 this building was devastated by a fire during a period of time in which the Atlantic Commission Company was leasing the facility to store onions. Workmen backed a cart into a kerosene stove, knocking it into a coal bin, which started a small fire. The flames were quickly extinguished and the men returned to work unloading a freight car outside. The flames reignited and the alarm was sounded. 50,000 bushels of onions were destroyed but thankfully the brick cold storage building and office was saved from obliteration. Eight firemen were stationed at the facility overnight to quell any flames that started up.

To the left is the Albion House, one of Albion’s larger hotels along with the Orleans House and Exchange Hotel. The photograph shows five young children seated on the front steps and two men seated on the corner of building adjacent to a sign that reads “Reed & Allen, American Rochester Beer;” likely the entrance to the bar. Attached to the tree out front is a sign that reads “Livery.” Like many hotels in the area, hackney cabs (horse drawn taxis) were offered to pick up or drop off visitors at various stops in Albion. The barn that housed the horses at the Albion House was sold in 1922 to Albert Foote, who relocated the building to his farm in Barre.

One other interesting item in this photograph is the small shed located along the railroad tracks; another is visible in the distance located along Main Street. These flagman’s shanties were an essential feature at railroad crossings. Approximately eight feet across and constructed in a hexagonal shape, the buildings contained a small coal burning stove, a bench seat, and a small stock of coal located under the bench. Men would sit inside of these shanties for eight hours each shift, three each day, exiting the building to stop road traffic as trains were crossing. Although the job seemed simple, it was frequently dangerous as flagmen were responsible for observing road and rail traffic simultaneously. In 1926, Thomas Coffey was struck and killed by a train while working as the flagman at this crossing. Negligence or lack of awareness was harmful, if not fatal.

An interesting news story appeared in papers throughout Western New York in 1908. Morgan & Linson’s office cat went missing and it was feared by the owners that the cat had climbed into a boxcar, only to be carried off to some far-off place. A telegram was sent immediately to Cincinnati, the next stop for the produce that was being shipped. Soon after the telegram was sent, a response was received notifying the owners that the tabby was found within one of the boxcars having survived eight days without food or water. To make the story more remarkable, the cat was returned to Albion by express train that same day.

I’m not sure what is more interesting, the fact that the cat was rapidly returned to Albion, or that this was considered “news” at the time!

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WNY Maritime tops Albion for Class B title
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 8 November 2019 at 9:47 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Deyonci Farley scores his first touchdown during the Purple Eagles 34-20 loss to WNY Maritime this evening in the Section VI Class B championship game at New Era Field.

A big second half comeback bid fell short as No. 3 seed Albion dropped a 34-20 decision to top seeded WNY Maritime in the Section VI Class B championship game this evening at New Era Field.

Trailing by 20 at 26-6 early in the third quarter Albion came battling back.

The Purple Eagles first cut the deficit to 26-14 on a 25 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Thomas Furmanski to Kevin Hillman and a two-point conversion run by Brillance Johnson with 7:49 to go in the quarter. A 22 yard kickoff return by Hillman and a 16 yard run by Johnson set up that scoring opportunity.

Maritime then gambled and lost on a fourth down play at midfield giving Albion excellent field position but the Purple Eagles were unable to capitalize.

However, the Albion defense again came up with a huge play, this time on a fumble recovery by Chris Shabazz at the Albion 30 yard line, and this time the Purple Eagles offense did capitalize.

A big fourth down 7 yard pass completion from Furmanski to Shabazz kept what turned out to be a 70 yard scoring drive alive. The march was then capped off by a big 24 yard touchdown run by Deyonci Farley who burst clean up the middle on the play with 6:54 to go in the fourth quarter slicing the deficit to 26-20.

Albion’s Tyray White stretches for extra yardage as Maritime’s Devaughn Holmes comes in to make the tackle.

“Our kids kept battling and didn’t give up,” said Albion Coach Adam Krenning. “Our kids have battled like that all season.”

However, the Purple Eagles comeback hopes were dashed seconds later as Maritime’s Reuben Hampton returned the ensuing  kickoff some 75 yards down to the Albion 1. On the very next play Hampton plunged over for the touchdown upping the Maritime lead to 12 at 32-20 with just 6:38 remaining, just 16 seconds after the Albion TD.

“That was a dagger to the heart. That took the wind out of our sails,” said Krenning of the big kickoff return. “Their speed is impressive.”

The Purple Eagles got the ball back two more times but could get no closer than the Maritime 45 which was where the first drive was halted on downs.

Another fumble recovery by Shabazz then got the ball right back for the Purple Eagles at the Albion 10 but an errant snap resulted in a safety giving Maritime a 34-20 lead with just 1:38 to go.

Maritme also got off to a quick start grabbing a 12-0 first quarter lead on a 60 yard punt return by Addison Copeland and a 1 yard run by Maurice Vaughn.

Albion did answer back with a 5 yard touchdown run by Farley with 5:29 to go in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 12-6 but the six point margin would be as close as the Purple Eagles would get. Runs of 19 yards by Farley and of 15 and 11 by Johnson highlighted the drive.

Maritime again answered the challenge on a 16 yard touchdown run and two-point conversion carry by John Washington with just 26 seconds to go to take a 20-6 advantage into the half.

Maritime then upped its lead to 26-6 three and a half minutes into the third quarter on a 1 yard touchdown run by Vaughn, a lead which proved to be just too much for Albion to overcome. A 30 yard pass from Washington to Demetrius Potts down to the Albion 1 keyed that drive.

Albion answered back with two scores to again cut the deficit to just 6 at 26-20 but another huge special teams play on the 75 yard kickoff return then keyed Maritime to a clinching touchdown.

“I’m proud of every one of you,” Krenning told his charges afterwards. “You have nothing to hang your heads about. You did yourselves and your community proud. Be proud of this moment.”

Maritime advances to the Far West Regional with a 9-1 record while Albion, which was making its first appearance in the title contest since 2002, finishes the season at 8-2.

The Albion trio of Tyray White, Michael DiCureia and Chris Shabazz tackle Maritime’s Maurice Vaughn.