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Farm Service Agency closed due to federal shutdown

Photos by Tom Rivers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office at 446 West Ave., Albion, is closed today due to the federal budget shutdown. The office includes the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 1:53 pm

The federal budget shutdown has closed the U.S. Department of Agriculture service office at 446 West Ave.

There is a message taped to the door. “This U.S. Department of Agriculture office is currently closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding. The office will reopen once Congress restores funding.”

The office includes staff from the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Heath Eisele, District Conservationist for the NRCS in Genesee, Orleans & Niagara Counties, sent an email to NRCS customers today.

“We understand the uncertainty that the current circumstances present for Americans that USDA serves every day, as well as our many partners around the country,” Eisele wrote. “Effective today, except for critical activities that protect life and property (i.e. work on high-hazard dams and preserving plants at PMCS), many NRCS staff will be furloughed pending reinstatement of funding by Congress. These staff will not be available by phone or email, and cannot carry out work for the Agency, until funding is restored.”

Eisele is among the NRCS staff on furlough. He said in an email to NRCS customers that many NRCS services and payments will be delayed or interrupted including grants and agreements.

The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge also seems to be closed. No one answered the phone today. The refuge’s social media accounts also won’t be updated today except for a message from the refuge stating the lack of new social media posts is due to the federal shutdown.

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Retiring town supervisor praised for 18 years of service to Barre
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 11:43 am

Photos courtesy of Maureen Beach

BARRE – The Town of Barre held a party on Saturday for Mark Chamberlain, who retired on Dec. 31 after 18 years as town supervisor. In the top photo he is shown cutting a cake with his wife Lois by his side.

The celebration was held at the Barre Town Hall. During Chamberlain’s tenure as town supervisor, Barre built a new town hall, a new salt storage facility, a new town park and also created four new water districts. Construction of the fourth water district starts today.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley presents a proclamation to Chamberlain from the State Assembly for his 18 years as town supervisor.

Chamberlain, a retired chemistry teacher at Albion Central School, served as Barre town supervisor following his career as a teacher.

Chamberlain chats with town residents, including Bill Basinait at left.

Sean Pogue, the new Barre town supervisor, reads a citation for Chamberlain, thanking him for his service. Chamberlain didn’t seek re-election in November. Pogue won a three-way race for town supervisor and took office on Jan. 1.

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Barker football players may have a place to play in Medina as merger talks are underway
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 January 2018 at 9:42 am

At the end of this past season Roy-Hart ended its football merger agreement with Barker leaving Barker’s underclassmen players in search of a place to play in 2018.

Interestingly, Barker may have just found a solution to that problem in Medina where the projected number of varsity players for the upcoming season is low.

Talks between the schools is now underway about such a merger that would make the Mustangs football squad a tri-school team as Medina already has a football merger agreement with Lyndonville.

“Barker is looking for an opportunity for their kids to play football and it makes sense for us as our varsity numbers are projected to be very low this coming season,” said Medina varsity Football Coach and Athletic Director Eric Valley.

“I’m optimistic because right now Medina is our only option,” said Barker Athletic Director Dave Carson. “We’re just looking for an opportunity for our kids to play football.”

Both Athletic Directors noted that all practices and home games would be held at Medina just as has been the case since the start of the Medina/Lyndonville merger.

Valley added adding the 30 percent of Barker’s enrollment numbers that would be added to the already combined Medina/Lyndonville numbers for a merger will not affect what division Medina will play in this fall.

“We will still be a Class B,” said Valley who noted that whether Medina is a two school or a three school football team the Mustangs will still be in the B2 division of what is an expanded Section VI Class B. He added that the number of Class B schools has increased from 18 last year to 21 and will be divided into three seven team divisions of which Medina and Albion will be in the B2 division.

The Medina Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the possible football merger with Barker at Tuesday’s meeting.

Dense fog advisory in effect until 10 a.m.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 8:26 am

James Michael Beach, an eighth-grader at Albion, took this photo of the ice shelves at Swallow Hollow nature trail on Sunday when he went for a hike with his family at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

A dense fog advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. today for Orleans and much of Western New York. There also is a flood watch for Orleans and other nearby counties from 1 p.m. today until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The dense fog will create poor visibilities, resulting in hazardous driving condition, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

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Medina Scouts embrace Pinewood Derby tradition
Posted 22 January 2018 at 8:09 am

Provided photo, John Dieter, Cub Master of Pack 35

MEDINA – Cub Scout Pack 35 Medina held its annual Pinewood Derby at St. Mary’s Church hall on Sunday. Each of the four dens raced in heats to determine the fastest car, then winners of each den went on to race to determine fastest car of the pack.

The boys all did a great job preparing their cars over the past several weeks in preparation of the big race. The pack also did a sibling race and at the end even some of the leaders made cars and had a race off.

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Kendall man trains for Boston Marathon year after chemo for colon cancer
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2018 at 7:51 pm

Jim Baker says running saved his life, allowing for detection of tumor

Photos courtesy of Jim Baker: Jim Baker is pictured on Sept.17 when he finished the Rochester marathon, covering the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 35 minutes, which qualified him to run in the Boston Marathon in April.

KENDALL – Jim Baker had achieved a dream in April 2016 when he ran the Boston Marathon. Baker expected to feel triumph that day, but he struggled to get to the finish line.

His time of 4 hours, 59 minutes was more than an hour off what he was expecting for the race. Baker’s best time of 3:27 was at the Rochester marathon in September 2015. That time qualified him for Boston.

But on April 18, 2016, he felt a cramp and “side stitch” during the prestigious race in Boston. He almost stopped, but pushed on to the finish. It was the Boston Marathon after all.

“I wasn’t my normal self,” he recalled on Saturday. “But I gutted it out.”

The slow time wasn’t a one-day aberration. Baker, a Kendall resident who works as a chemist for Kodak, didn’t get back to his brisk 8-minute pace in the weeks after Boston.

The pain also continued when he ran. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with colon cancer. He had run Boston with a plum-size tumor in his colon.

“I had a huge tumor in my side,” he said. “It had grown like wildlife.”

The tumor was removed and he started chemotherapy in June 2016. After seven months of treatment, his doctors declared him cancer-free a year ago on Jan. 13, 2017.

Baker didn’t let cancer derail his running. Even during chemo, he typically ran 15-20 miles a week – “at a very slow pace.” He battled nausea but kept going, except when it was cold out. The chemo made him especially sensitive to cold temperatures. He decided to take a two-month break from running during the harsh winter weather.

Jim Baker is shown on Jan. 13, 2017 when he received a certificate of completion for chemotherapy at Interlakes Oncology at Wilmot Cancer Institute.

He picked up his mileage after completing chemo, with a goal of running a marathon again and qualifying for Boston. On Sept. 17, he ran the Rochester marathon in 3:35, and that 8-minute, 12-second pace earned him another chance to run Boston.

He will be back at the starting line for that big race on April 16.

“I’ve got redemption on my mind,” he said.

Baker wants to break 3:45.

Although he’s disappointed in his time at Boston in 2016, Baker said that race was a sign that something was wrong with his health. When he didn’t bounce back after Boston, he went to the doctor for a colonoscopy, which revealed the tumor.

“If I didn’t run I’d be gone,” he said. “I wouldn’t have known I had the tumor if I didn’t run. There were no other warning signs. I had no loss of appetite.”

He also didn’t get what he thought was a cramp, except when he was running. If he wasn’t a runner, he would have felt that pain.

He had a colonoscopy two years before the one that showed the tumor. Baker had been fighting Crohn’s Disease for 15 years. (When his tumor was removed, taking out part of his colon, Baker said the Crohn’s Disease went away, too.)

Jim Baker completed a half marathon in Rochester on Jan. 6 when temperatures were just above 0 degrees. Baker ran the course in 1:47.

Baker started running 11 years ago when he was 44. He would go for walks during lunch breaks at Kodak, but Baker said that walking didn’t do anything to chip away at his extra pounds. He initially couldn’t run more than 200 yards without stopping. But he didn’t give up.

Conquering 2 miles while running was a milestone. He ran his first race at a 10K (6.2 miles) and enjoyed the energy and people at the races. He signed up for more races and joined the Bagel Bunch, a running group in Greece.

The other runners have become good friends and given him plenty of advice on increasing his speed and avoiding injury. He has completed 11 half marathons and five marathons – and shed 40 pounds.

Baker grew up in Albion and wasn’t a runner. He didn’t have the slightest inkling to run in high school or as a young adult. “Back then softball was my form of exercise,” he said, laughing.

Baker and his wife Stacey moved to Kendall about 27 years ago. They have two grown children, Kyle and Megan.

He knows running is difficult for many people, especially when they start. He encourages people to stick with it. It took him about six months of steady running to feel comfortable and really enjoy his runs.

Running also makes you more in tune with your body. If you’re running a little slower than normal, and that time lingers, you should go to the doctor.

Baker said that ultimately saved his life.

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Flood watch issued for Orleans, other WNY counties
Staff Reports Posted 21 January 2018 at 12:58 pm

A flood watch is in effect for Orleans and other Western New York counties from 1 p.m. on Monday to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

The warming temperatures, snowmelt and rainfall will enhance the risk for ice jam flooding, The Weather Service said. Rainfall during the watch period will average between a quarter and a half inch.

The counties in the flood watch Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne and Wyoming.

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Rain and then snow in forecast this week
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2018 at 8:39 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Wreaths are shown on veterans’ graves at Boxwood Cemetery in Medina on Saturday. The wreaths were placed there in December as part of the Wreaths Across America program.

The area gets a break from the harsh cold this week. Today is forecast for a high of 39 and low of 34. Monday calls for rain in the forecast before 3 p.m. with a high near 40, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Tuesday will reach 43 with a low of 23, with some precipitation likely. Wednesday will reach 27 with a chance for snow showers. On Thursday it will be sunny with a high of 25, followed by a high of 36 on Friday and a high near 47 on Saturday.

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Niagara Sheriff’s Office mourns loss of canine, EJ
Posted 20 January 2018 at 4:38 pm

Provided photo: EJ, a canine with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, is pictured with his handler and partner, Deputy Richard Bull.

Press Release, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office

LOCKPORT – It is with great sadness that Sheriff James R. Voutour announces the sudden passing of Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Canine EJ, handled by his partner Deputy Richard Bull.

Bull discovered Canine EJ unresponsive inside his kennel on Friday. Preliminary findings suggest Canine EJ passed away from a medical condition known as gastric torsion of the stomach. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Canine EJ was born on September 25, 2015 in Hungary and began his career with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in March 2017. Canine EJ was purchased in part from many generous community donations to Niagara County Law Enforcement Foundation.

“The Community has always been great supporters of our Canine Division as well as the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Voutour.

Canine EJ and his partner, Deputy Bull, were New York State certified in criminal apprehension, area searches, building searches, muzzle deployment, tactical high-risk deployment, tracking and advanced narcotics detection.

During their career as a canine team, Deputy Bull and Canine EJ were responsible for several successful tracks, the recovery of numerous pieces of evidence and discovery of illegal narcotics. They also conducted several demonstrations at various events throughout Niagara County, including Lockport Blue, D.A.R.E., Young Marines and the Niagara County Fair.

“While Canine EJ’s tenure with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office was short, he undoubtedly will be remembered for his hard work, loyal friendship to Deputy Bull and service to Niagara County,” Voutour said.

Canine EJ was named after LCpl. Eric James Orlowski, a United States Marine, fellow Marine and friend of Deputy Bull, who was killed in action on March 22, 2003 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.

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Holley students celebrate reading and rally behind grad who wants to run again

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: The bleachers in the Holley Elementary intermediate gym are usually red for the Holley Hawks, but Friday afternoon they were a sea of blue as students gathered for the Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) assembly.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 January 2018 at 10:10 am

Sierra Mendes had a leg amputated due to injuries from a serious car accident

Sierra Mendes

HOLLEY – The Holley Elementary School celebrated students’ reading achievements during a high-energy assembly on Friday and also introduced students to a recent graduate.

Sierra Mendes graduated in 2012. She recently suffered the amputation of one of her legs due to damage froma  serious car accident in 2012.

Mendes wants to receive a running blade which will help her to run once again with her sister. The Holley Elementary Student Council plans a special Walk-A-Thon on Feb. 8 to raise funds for the running blade.

Elementary Student Council faculty advisor Sally Martin introduced Sierra to students Friday afternoon during the annual Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) assembly.

Martin explained to students that Sierra was involved in a serious car accident five years ago and suffered severe injuries to her legs. Her right leg continued to cause her so much pain, she decided to undergo an amputation, and now has a metal leg which allows her to do almost everything except run, an activity she used to love to do with her sister.

Sierra now lives in Rochester and told Orleans Hub that Holley faculty reached out to her after she started a Go Fund Me account.

“Everyone has been so supportive,” Sierra said. “I loved running and have missed it, it would feel like a personal triumph to be able to run again.”

Pre-K students hold up letters that spell out READING.  Students were told they all have a talent for reading. Behind the students are Grace Azzolino, children’s librarian at the Holley Community free library, and Sierra Mendes.

In addition to the upcoming Walk-A-Thon, Martin said collection containers for donations have been placed at local businesses for Sierra.

The Holley grad also talked to students about the importance of reading, as the PARP program promotes literacy. She said until she was about 14 years old, she read everyday – all the time.

“The time I have spent reading is what I treasure most,” she said. “If you love to read you will never be bored and you will never be lonely.”

The assembly included games. Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders participated in the “Relay Read” race, while 3rd and 4th graders took part in the “Slide and Read” race, and 5th and 6th graders participated in the “Toss and Read” competition.

Students selected for the annual PARP limo ride to McDonald’s for lunch.  Two students from each grade in grades K-6 will take a ride in limo next Wednesday for lunch at McDonald’s. Two pre-K students were also chosen. They will join principal Karri Schiavone for a special treat at a time to be determined.

The Holley PTSA sponsors the PARP program and this year they provided T-shirts for all students. Art students at Holley High School were asked to submit designs for the shirt.  The design of Andrea Payne, a 12th grader, was chosen.

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Clarendon’s settlement was a fortunate stroke of serendipity
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 20 January 2018 at 8:43 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 4, Issue 3

CLARENDON – Of the New York State Historic Markers erected by the NYS Department of Education, the overwhelming majority cover locations deemed significant to the earliest history of Orleans County including Native American and pioneer sites. The marker situated at the Town Park on Holley Byron Road in Clarendon calls attention to one of the earlier settlements in our area.

The marker reads, “Farwell’s Mills, here Eldred Farwell, first white settler of town, built the first mills in Clarendon, saw mill in 1811, grist mill in 1813.”

While consulting several seminal publications on early Orleans County history, the spelling of Farwell’s name is clearly debated; here, the State Department of Education uses a shortened spelling. Arad Thomas records Farwell’s name as Eldridge in Pioneer History of Orleans County, New York, but this historian would prefer to reference Farwell’s name as spelled by David Sturges Copeland in his History of Clarendon from 1810 to 1888 where he records the name as Eldredge.

Perhaps this is a detail that would only concern Farwell himself, but his contributions to the early settlement of Clarendon are also duly noted within the pages of these books. Born to William and Bethel Eldredge Farwell on March 6, 1770 at Charlestown, New Hampshire, Eldredge settled in the vicinity of Clarkson along the Ridge Road. From other publications, we know that his brother Isaac settled nearby to the west of the Ridge Road and Lake Road intersection in the same location.

As so many historians have recorded, the story of Clarendon’s foundation occurred by happenchance after the unfortunate escape of Isaac Farwell’s horse around 1810. Following the animal’s trail along the bank of Sandy Creek, it is said that Eldredge stumbled upon a waterfall and while recognizing its potential for power, decided that he should settle the area. Farwell purchased approximately 210 acres the following year and relocated his wife and five children to the area in the spring of 1811. With that acreage upon which the beautiful waterfall sat came the mill privilege, providing him with the opportunity to construct a grist mill on the site.

In the unsettled wilderness of Orleans County, the role of the mill owner was one of significance, prestige, and prominence. Grist millers held the key to survival, providing an invaluable service to settlers who needed to grind corn and wheat into flour. Settlers could travel west, east, or south to “nearby” locations to grind their grains, but trips to these areas were marred by unimproved roads, swamps, and waterways without bridges. The convenience of a local miller, of course, was preferred and Ambrose Ferguson was hired to labor in the mill at the astonishing rate of $20 per month.

Farwell’s establishment of a grist mill in 1811 followed by a saw mill in 1813 provided a significant amount of political capital to the 43-year-old pioneer. When the town held early elections for the position of supervisor, he was selected by his neighbors to the post. He operated the first post office at the location then known as “Farwell’s Mills,” which his sons later assisted in delivering mail to Byron Center by horseback when the stagecoaches operated between Rochester and Buffalo. He was later selected as a judge in the court of common pleas and from that point on was known locally as Judge Farwell.

When William Morgan disappeared in 1826, presumed to have been kidnapped and murdered by Masons, a series of trials took place in Orleans County involving local men accused of participating in the conspiracy. Elihu Mather, brother of Gaines pioneer James Mather, was accused of driving the carriage carrying Morgan through Orleans County. The exhaustive process of selecting unbiased jurors resulted in Judge Farwell’s participation in the defense’s challenge of Stephen Martin as a potential juror. According to Farwell, Martin had expressed an opinion of guilt, telling him explicitly that the masonic institution was corrupt, that Morgan was forcibly carried by carriage along Ridge Road, and that Morgan was most certainly in the carriage driven by Mather. The testimony resulted in Judge Addison Gardiner setting Martin aside as a juror.

The site on which this marker sits was donated to the Clarendon Grange in 1940 by Morris Brackett, Chief Game Protector of the NYS Conservation Department and a descendant of Farwell.

Erratum: Volume 4, Issue 2 noted that B. T. Roberts was removed from the pulpit of the Methodist Church in Albion – Roberts was living in Albion and relocated to Pekin, NY, but did not serve as pastor of the Albion Methodist Church. A huge thank you to Pastor Randy LeBaron for the correction!

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Food service students prepare meal for first responders, military personnel
Posted 19 January 2018 at 9:05 pm

Provided photo: Food service students include, from left: Alexzandra Sciegel (Medina), Joseph Gates (Medina), Franco Eaton (Lockport), George Dueno (Lockport), Shamaria Howard (Medina), Jarrett Mason (Lockport), Shaniece Bailey (Lockport), Josh Woods (Lockport), Angel Gotay (Lockport) and teacher Jessica Kronenberg.

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Students in Jessica Kroneberg’s VIP Food Service Program recently put their culinary talents to a great use by helping to prepare a thank you lunch for first responders and military personnel.

The Orleans Career and Technical Education students made some side salads and desserts for military and first responder representatives who participated in a First Responders/Military Career Day at the center.  The students showed off their skills with a salad displayed like the American flag and red, white and blue fruit kabobs.

The representatives said they appreciated the students’ hard work.

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Leadership Orleans begins year for first class of 25

Photos by Tom Rivers: Skip Helfrich, program director for the new Leadership Orleans program, leads the opening retreat for the class on Thursday at Tillman’s Village Inn. The retreat was for two days. The class of 25 will meet monthly throughout the year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 January 2018 at 2:36 pm

GAINES – A new leadership program kicked off this week with a two-day retreat at Tillman’s Village Inn.

The program has been years in the making. Orleans has been one of the few counties without a leadership program. The new Leadership Orleans became a reality this year after the County Legislature set aside $33,000 last year to get the program off the ground.

Charlie Nesbitt, a retired state assemblyman, also has been critical in rallying sponsors for the program and urging people to participate. The debut class has 25 members and is led by director Skip Helfrich, a graduate of the program in Niagara County.

Nesbitt spoke during a reception for program participants and sponsors on Thursday evening.

“You know a successful community or county when you see it,” Nesbitt told the group. “These communities and places are successful from the efforts and decisions and vision of individuals.”

Nesbitt said one person can sometimes change the trajectory of the community. He cited George Eastman in Rochester or Henry Ford in Detroit. Some people, in contrast, can change the community in a negative way, Nesbitt said.

He pushed for Leadership Orleans so key people in the community could better understand how local government, businesses and other sectors work. The class draws on a cross section of the community. The program picked residents who have demonstrated leadership abilities, interest in community affairs, and a commitment to Orleans County’s future.

Charlie Nesbitt, a retired state assemblyman, addresses members of the class and supporters of the program on Thursday evening at Tillman’s Village Inn. Nesbitt has been influential in securing sponsors for the program and urging people to be in the class.

“It’s an exciting program to come into our county and it will offer a strong network for more people,” said Robert Batt, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.

Doug Farley, director of the Cobblestone Society & Museum, welcomed the chance to learn more about the county through Leadership Orleans.

“It will give a broad exposure to Orleans County,” he said.

Nesbitt hopes the class participants will develop close ties and work together to strengthen the community.

“What you are going to get out of this is a broad understanding of how our community works,” he said.

Helfrich is the director and he works out of an office at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee in Albion. Helfrich is the president/owner of Human Energies, a human resources and organizational development consulting firm. He leads many retreats for other leadership programs.

Participants had many team-building exercises over the two days and also took a personality inventory. People are one of four personalities according to the DiSC personal profile system. D’s like control and can be dominant; I’s are influencers who like recognition, S’s are steadfast supporters who don’t like confrontation; and C’s are cautiously analytical who like facts and data, and don’t like irrational acts.

Orleans Hub editor Tom Rivers also put together a trivia quiz for the group about local history and other interesting Orleans facts.

Leadership Orleans is a one-year tuition based program that requires enrolled individuals to commit to a two-day opening retreat, one full day per month of program participation over a ten-month period, and a two-day closing retreat/graduation ceremony.

Each month the group will learn about a different sector of the community, including government, arts and culture, volunteerism and non-profit organizations, community health, tourism and recreation, agribusiness, economic & workforce development, and education.

Jim DeFilipps, a deputy with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, introduces himself to the class on Thursday using some drawings of things he likes and things he dislikes.

The class members include: Robert Batt, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County; James DeFilipps, deputy for Orleans County Sheriff’s Office; Kaitlyn Delamarter, executive director of United Way of Orleans County; Marlee Diehl, retired recruiter and past district governor for Rotary; Staci Everetts, vice president of human resources of Claims Recovery Financial Services;

• Ed Fancher, executive director of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee; Doug Farley, director of Cobblestone Society & Museum; Jodi Gaines, CEO/founder of Claims Recovery Financial Services; Jackie Gilbert, owner/vice president of Darrell’s Place; Nadine Hanlon, clerk of Orleans County Legislature;

• Steve Hicks, financial advisor with Brighton Securities; Kathy Hodgins, director of treatment services for GCASA; Tim Hollenbaugh, service manager/sales for Bentley Brothers, Inc.; Brett Kast, orchard manager for Kast Farms; RJ Linder, credit representative for Farm Credit East;

• Amit Misra, director of manufacturing for Baxter Healthcare; Josh Mitchell, funeral director with Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes; Eddie Moss, director of computer services for Orleans County; Nick Nesbitt, owner/manager for Nesbitt Fruit Farms & Nesbitt Bros. LLC; Jessica Root-Olinger, manager for Dale S. Root Trucking LLC;

• Mike Ryan, manager of operations for RTS Orleans; Lisa Tombari, executive assistant for Talis Equity; Heidi Truschel, community relations manager for the Arc of Genesee Orleans; Eric Watson, president of Watson Enterprises; and Patrick Weissend, vice president and branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile.

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Canal Corp. backs off more tree-clearing in Monroe County

Photo by Tom Rivers: Trees that were cut down are lined up in early November by the canal in Albion near Butts Road.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 January 2018 at 9:34 am

The Canal Corp. won’t cut down more live trees in Monroe County. Residents and elected officials in Brighton, Perinton and Pittsford have opposed the tree-clearing, which started in October in Medina and headed east.

The Canal Corporation’s “vegetation management plan” called for taking down many trees on canal-owned land from Medina through Fairport. Canal Corp. leaders say the tree removal is long overdue. Cutting down the trees will make the banks easier to maintain and check for leaks.

The Canal Corp. also said tree roots have burrowed into the canal walls, making the waterway vulnerable to leaks. The Canal Corp. said it wants to establish a grassy slope by the towpath.

But the three Monroe towns have been vocal opponents of the plan. The Canal Corp. on Thursday announced the trees along the canal embankments in those towns won’t come down. Instead, the Canal Corp. will remove underbrush and dead trees, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle is reporting.

Work was suspended for the three towns on Dec. 19. The Canal Corp. said the work stoppage was due to the cold winter weather.

The Canal Corp. posted on Twitter that the state “will focus Embankment Maintenance efforts on dead trees and underbrush to enable better sightlines for inspections” and will also “work with property owners along Canal on site by site basis and hire arborist to inform future Embankment Maintenance Program work.”

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Governor urges vaccine to fight drastic rise of flu across state
Posted 19 January 2018 at 9:05 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is calling on all New Yorkers six months of age and over who have not yet received a flu shot to get vaccinated as soon as possible. According to the Department of Health, cases of influenza rose by 54 percent and new cases were diagnosed in all counties of the state over the past week. In addition, 1,606 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza, the highest weekly number since Department of Health reporting began in 2004.

“With flu cases on the rise, New Yorkers should take steps to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their loved ones,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am directing the Department of Health to work with local providers to help protect our communities from this flu outbreak, and I urge all New Yorkers to visit local health centers and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

For the last six weeks, influenza has been geographically widespread across New York. As of January 13th, 17,362 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza have been reported and 5,267 people have been hospitalized with influenza in New York State this season.

“Influenza is a potentially deadly disease, and getting vaccinated is the best thing New Yorkers can do to protect themselves and those around them, followed by good hand hygiene,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “To address the high number of cases we’re seeing across the state, Governor Cuomo has directed the Department of Health to work with healthcare associations to take action against the flu and coordinate on issues of hospital capacity and surge planning. I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated immediately.”

In addition to calling on all New Yorkers to get vaccinated, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Health to take the following actions:

• Continue surveillance of hospitals statewide on bed capacity and supply of vaccines and antiviral medications;

• Coordinate with Greater New York Hospital Association, Healthcare Association of New York State, and the Community Health Care Association of New York State to support hospitals on capacity issues and encourage them to review their surge plans to expand capacity;

• Ensure that New York continues to have an adequate supply of flu vaccine and remaining in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding vaccine availability. CDC is currently reporting adequate supplies of flu vaccine nationwide; and

• Promote the usage of HealthMap Vaccine Finder, developed by Google and supported by the CDC, a free and helpful online service that allows users to search for locations offering immunizations. To find a flu vaccine near you, please visit:

To receive a flu shot, contact your local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting your local health department.

In addition to getting a flu shot, it’s important to practice good hand-hygiene:

Unlike some viruses, influenza is easily killed by soap and hot water.

Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.

Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Choose a product with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. People with the flu are infectious for up to 7 days after symptoms begin.

For more information about the flu, click here.

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