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Medina school district tweets for Biden, Trump to better role models after taunts of fight
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2018 at 11:25 am

MEDINA – The school district has tweeted its disapproval of recent comments by former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, where they challenge each other to a fight.

Biden started taunts on Tuesday when he was speaking an anti-sexual assault rally  at the University of Miami. He told students if he and Trump had attended high school together, Biden probably would have “beat the hell out” of Trump.

Trump on Thursday morning put out a tweet: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

The Medina School District today at about 10:30 this morning urged Trump and Biden to be better role models.

“President Trump tweeted that he would destroy Joe Biden in a fight, after the former VP said he would beat up Trump,” Medina Central School District tweeted. “If students did something similar to these two 70+ year olds, they’d be disciplined per code of conduct. Adults-remember you are role models and kids are watching!”

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Grants support projects on canal, but none in Orleans
Posted 23 March 2018 at 10:55 am

Press Release, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

WATERFORD – Seven education and recreation projects will get off the ground this year with funding support from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The grants are aimed at inspiring people to learn more about New York’s legendary canals and further explore the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

The grants range from $2,000 to $7,000 and are leveraging an additional $77,231 in private and public project support.

(Editor’s Note: None of the grants are in Orleans County, but we’re including the press release to show what some of the other canal communities are doing.)

In Western New York, the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation was awarded $3,750 to install interpretive signs to explain the significance of the Locktender Tribute Monument and the Erie Traveler, a replica Durham-style boat at the Flight of Five Locks in Lockport.

“While large investments often draw the greatest attention, small projects are adding up to big results for communities and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor as a whole,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We are grateful for the work of canal communities and organizations across the state for the great work they do to advance education, recreation, and preservation along this historic waterway.”

Over the past 10 years, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 69 small grants to communities and non-profit organizations that have spurred $1.67 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education.

2018 Erie Canalway Grant Awards

• Corn Hill Waterfront and Navigation Foundation was awarded $6,000 to provide opportunities for students from the Rochester City School District to participate in a new environmental education/STEM program on the Erie Canal aboard the boat Sam Patch.

• Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation was awarded $3,750 to install interpretive signs to explain the significance of the Locktender Tribute Monument and the Erie Traveler, a replica Durham-style boat at the Flight of Five Locks in Lockport.

• Madison County was awarded $7,000 to conduct a feasibility study for four potential hand-launch sites for paddlers along the Old Erie Canal State Park between the Town of Dewitt and Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Chittenango.

• Montgomery County received $7,000 to develop an app for use along the Erie Canalway Trail through Montgomery County to share stories of the people and history of the Mohawk Valley.

• Rochester Accessible Adventures was awarded $7,000 to expand access to recreational opportunities along the Erie Canal to people with disabilities and their family and friends. Funding will support replication of RAA’s adaptive paddling and cycling center model in Fairport to a second location at CityGate in Rochester and potentially a third location in Lockport. The CityGate location will enable use by Monroe Community Hospital rehabilitation programs.

• Schenectady County Historical Society received $2,200 to support Rowin’ the River: An Early Mohawk Experience. This suite of programs and events enables visitors to experience rowing in a replica bateau – vessels that traveled and traded along the Mohawk River prior to construction of the Erie Canal. Funds will be used for boat repair and to promote rowing programs at the Mabee Farm.

• Village of Newark was awarded $2,000 to support art in education in the Newark School District. Working in partnership with Mural Mania, students will refurbish an existing mural and create a new mural about the Erie Canal.

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Albion Rotary, Interact serve more than 250 ham dinners
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2018 at 10:05 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion Rotary Club and Rotary Interact students served more than 250 ham dinners on Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

This food line includes, from left: Nikolas Greean, Deb Boyer, Mike Bonnewell and Becky Karls. Bonnewell, the Albion school superintendent, is the Rotary Club president this year.

The St. Patrick’s ham dinner is a fundraiser for the Interact Club, including an Interact project to assist a school in Honduras.

Mary Anne Braunbach gets potatoes cleaned and ready to be cooked.

Bruce Landis, right, has a new batch of ham. The other Rotarians, from left, include: Brad Shelp, Dick Remley and Don Bishop.

The Interact Club served up a variety of desserts. The students include, from left: Lillian, Sarah and Emma Mathes.

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Schumer, Gillibrand say ‘major victories’ in federal funding bill
Posted 23 March 2018 at 8:56 am

Press Release, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced major victories that will greatly help Upstate New York in the bipartisan federal funding bill.

The senators said these victories will boost the economy and support vital programs, including funding for the opioid prevention, Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI), funding HOME/CDBG Program, critical railroad safety programs, support for education and higher-education and much more. Schumer and Gillibrand provided statements for several major areas in which the budget will be a major boost for Upstate New Yorkers.

The bill includes the following victories for Upstate New York:

Opioid & Prescription Drug Prevention & Treatment Programs

“For too long, heroin and opioid use, fatal overdoses, and drug-related crimes have been on the rise, plaguing Upstate New York communities,” said Senator Schumer.

“Too many lives have been destroyed, too many families have been torn apart, and too many communities all over New York are suffering because of the opioid epidemic,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This is a public health crisis, and our communities need more funding and resources to combat and help address substance abuse.”

Specifically, the agreement provides a $3.3 billion increase over last year’s funding levels for efforts throughout government departments and agencies to combat the opioids and mental health crises, including more than $2.8 billion in increases for treatment, prevention, and research for programs within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will get a $1.4 billion increase over last year; SAMHSA leads our nation’s treatment efforts to address the opioid and heroin crisis gripping communities throughout New York and the rest of the nation. In each of the last two fiscal years, New York received more than $111 million from SAMHSA block grants.

Additionally, the agreement funds nearly a $2 billion increase over last year’s levels for programs beyond SAMHSA in efforts through several departments and agencies specifically targeted to attack the opioid/heroin crisis.

$300 million more for Department of Justice initiatives including interdiction, enforcement, drug and mental health courts, and treatment programs;

$350 million more for the Centers for Disease Control for preventing prescription drug overdoses;

$500 million more in NIH funding for targeted research on opioid addiction within the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA);

$415 million more to the Health Resources & Services Administration, which promotes health care in underserved communities and oversees Community Health Centers. There are 65 CHCs in New York, serving nearly 2 million patients in 2015 and employing more than 15,000 New Yorkers; and

$61 million more to the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional funding for treatment and prevention ($434.6 million total).

HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)/ Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

“CDBG funding is the very cornerstone of Upstate economic development efforts and community revitalization, so it was critical that we fought and won to provide substantial resources via this vital program all across Upstate New York,” Schumer said. “Investing in strong neighborhoods is an important victory to help economic development efforts in Upstate neighborhoods by providing homeownership, rental assistance, and housing rehabilitation funds. We were able to secure $1.36 billion for HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) funding and $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.”

Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Funding

“I am very pleased to announce new federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The Great Lakes are some of New York’s most treasured resources, and this important program helps ensure that we can continue to restore and preserve the Great Lakes watershed for years to come. I will always fight in the Senate to protect our Great Lakes, and I was proud to fight to make sure this funding was included in the omnibus bill.”

Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

“This bill contains an important victory for updating New York’s aging water infrastructure and job creation: we secured $1.694 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $1.163 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund,” Schumer said. “This represents a $600 million increase in our water infrastructure.”

Firefighter Assistance Grants

“This funding for the Firefighter Assistance Grants will help ensure that fire departments across New York have the training, equipment, and staffing they need to serve their communities safely and efficiently,” Gillibrand said. “Firefighters risk their lives to keep us safe, and I will always support programs that provide them with the necessary resources they need to keep them and our communities safe.”

High-Speed Internet

“To create the vibrant Upstate New York economy of tomorrow that creates and sustains the jobs of the future, we must invest in high-speed internet networks today, so that every Upstate home, school or small businesses gets – and stays – connected,” Schumer said. “With this multimillion-dollar investment, rural communities across New York state will finally have the resources needed to close the digital divide. These investments will create jobs, expand minds and build a strong base for future economic growth in New York state and beyond.”

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

“LIHEAP is a lifeline for over one million New Yorkers, including many seniors living on a fixed income, veterans, and low-income families who struggle to pay their heating bills in the winter,” said Gillibrand. “No New Yorker should have to choose between staying warm in the frigid cold and paying rent or putting food on their table, and I’m proud to have fought for these critical home energy assistance funds in the omnibus.”

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Albion high schoolers perform Godspell
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2018 at 10:37 pm

Cast shares parables, shows Jesus and disciples building a community

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Victor Benjovsky portrays Jesus in Albion High School’s production of Godspell. There are shows 7 p.m. Friday (March 23) and noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the middle school auditorium. Tickets are available at the door.

A cast of 22 students will perform. Nineteen of the cast members are disciples and will use their own names. The other three characters are Jesus, John the Baptist (Brennan Moody) and Judas (Enoch Martin).

It’s an ensemble production with all 22 cast members performing on stage throughout the show.

“Albion is blessed with many talented students, not only on the stage but in the pit and crew,” said Gary Simboli, the show’s director. “Everyone gets at least one featured solo.”

Besides the 22 cast members, there are 24 students with the stage crew and eight in the pit orchestra.

Brennan Moody, in his role as John the Baptist, baptisms the disciples, including Sophia Zambito.

Moody enters the auditorium from the back door, singing, “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.”

These disciples include, from left: Sophia Zambito, Miranda Smith, Zach Moore, Molly Wadhams, Kaylyn Holman, Jacob Ettinger and Hannah Van Epps.

“The show is designed to show how to build a community and a family and it has built a community,” Simboli said. “It has pulled these kids together. I can see them continuing these friendships after the show, which is the point.”

Kaylyn Holman, one of the disciples, has a solo, “Turn Back, O Man.”

The disciples, including Aubrey Boyer (center), put on colorful scarves to symbolize they are followers of Jesus.

Enoch Martin is in the role of Judas, who betrays Jesus and is overcome with guilt.

Riley Seielstad, a senior, is the disciple in center with the red dress. Seielstad has been in all the theater productions since sixth grade.

“It’s the camaraderie you feel,” she said about being in the shows. “We’re such a huge family.”

She said Godspell is a way to tell the parables to a contemporary audience. The message hasn’t been watered down.

“It’s about the big idea of loving each other,” Seielstad said.

Enoch Martin (Judas), Victor Benjovsky (Jesus) and Laiken Ricker (disciple) perform one of the high-energy songs in the musical.

Benjovsky is a senior. He was in his first musical, Honk, as a freshman after being coaxed by his two older sisters. Benjovsky said he has made some of his closest friends through theater and had the most fun.

This is the 67th show directed by Simboli and Kathy Winans. The two started working together 33 years ago. Their first show was Snoopy. This is the first time they are directing Godspell.

Chase Froman, a disciple, gets a turn in the spotlight.

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MAAC Clothing Depot will be moving in Medina
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2018 at 4:20 pm

File photo: Clothing Depot volunteers are pictured in 2014 and include, from left: Sharon Breckinridge, Donna Barnum, Alice Zacher and Sue Metzo.

MEDINA – The Clothing Depot, run by the Medina Area Association of Churches, will be heading to a different site, the former Bells Supermarket at the corner of Orient and Starr streets.

The Clothing Depot is current part of the old Medina High School, the Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God on Catherine Street.

But that building has been purchased by Roger Hungerford and Talis Equity and will be renovated into apartments. The MAAC can stay in the building until June 30.

The MAAC said the former Bells site, which is owned by Matt Mundion, will be better location for displaying the used clothing, furniture and other items. The site has one big room. At Calvary, the MAAC uses a larger room and then four smaller rooms, said Sue Metzo, one of the board members and a volunteer with the Clothing Depot since 2006.

“It’s big enough and it has parking,” she said about the former Bells.

The site needs work before the MAAC can move in. The group is seeking community support to help with renovations. If the MAAC can assist Mundion with work on the building, that will result in a much more affordable lease. If Mundion has to do the improvements, Metzo said MAAC will have to pay more for rent.

The group has sent an appeal letter to the community, seeking support with renovations to the building.

The Depot has provided a way for residents to donate quality clothing and housewares, and then be purchased by customers, especially many in lower-income families, Metzo said.

The MAAC raises about $30,000 to $35,000 from the Clothing Depot each year that is donating back to the community, assisting Scouts, church projects, senior citizens, high school scholarships, Hospice of Orleans and other organizations.

Metzo said the MAAC has been looking for a site for the Clothing Depot for about 18 months. Many of the sites required rent that was three or four times what the MAAC has been giving Calvary. Mundion has offered a good deal, she said.

Once renovations are done, Metzo said the MAAC will start moving over many smaller items to the former Bells. The MAAC may need a professional mover to help with larger items, such as racks, counters and tables.

“We would certainly appreciate any donation of materials, money, or talent that anyone could give,” Metzo said.

The MAAC said the former Bells will need a new cage for incoming donations, a wall to separate the store area from the work area, more lighting, a furnace, and a good cleaning before it is painted.

The Clothing Depot goes back to least 2005 at Calvary. There are about 25 volunteers from several churches who run the site, which is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

For more information, call Metzo at (585) 798-4080 or (716) 864-1293 or email

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Collins joins House in approving $1.3 trillion funding bill
Staff Reports Posted 22 March 2018 at 3:30 pm

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, voted in favor of a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, which will  keep the government from a shutdown.

The vote was 256-167. The legislation includes providing the nation’s troops their biggest pay raise in eight years as a part of the biggest increase in defense spending in the past 15 years, Collins said.

“This bill makes historic investments in the brave men and women who protect our nation by correcting the mistakes of the Obama administration by providing the military with the resources they need,” Collins said. “Hardworking Americans can be assured that Congress is spending taxpayer dollars wisely to make sure our children can feel safe in their schools, our towns and cities have sound infrastructure, and we are closing gaps in security at our borders.”

The legislation includes funding for President Trump’s opioid campaign to combat drug abuse and the Fix NCIS bill to close loopholes in background checks for gun purchases. A total of $1.6 billion was allocated to begin building a wall along the southern border over the next six months, Collins said.

The funding package includes a provision echoing Collins’ legislation to create a federal database of broadband infrastructure that would make it easier for carriers to build out in rural areas.

Congressman Collins has been an advocate for the University of Rochester’s Laboratory of Laser Energetics, which was given $75 million in the funding package to continue its groundbreaking research.  The legislation also extends the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through September 2018, while keeping in place pilot training requirements enacted after the 2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash in Clarence.

Additionally, Collins said the bill gives the Trump administration the ability to increase the number of H-2B visas available for temporary farm workers based on the needs of the nation. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) received full funding to protect the lakes from environmental threats.

“While this legislation is good for Western New York, it also sets the United States on a path toward a safer, stronger America,” Collins said.  “Key priorities of Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration are represented in this package and I applaud its passage as we work to get America back on track.”

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Carbon monoxide leak prompts evacuation of Bank Street in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2018 at 2:28 pm

1 person taken to Strong West for treatment

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Albion and Barre firefighters have been on East Bank Street testing for carbon monoxide levels since being called to the scene at 12:22 p.m. The buildings on the southside of the street have been evacuated and firefighters have been using fans to push in fresh air.

Several people complained of feeling sick from carbon monoxide. One person was taken by COVA Ambulance to Strong Memorial West in Brockport for treatment. COVA tested other people at the scene. Some were given oxygen but most had levels that weren’t elevated.

Albion Fire Chief Harry Papponetti said the flue was broken last night in a furnace inside the building. The carbon monoxide detectors went off last night, but no one called for the fire department until today just after noon.

East Bank, between Main and Platt streets, has been closed to traffic since about 12:30 p.m.

Firefighters are using fans to lower the carbon monoxide levels in the buildings.

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Orleans has fifth most population loss among 62 counties since 2010
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2018 at 12:36 pm

The latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau have been released and the numbers show that Orleans County has the fifth largest population loss among the 62 counties since 2010.

The population is down 4.4 percent or by 1,900 residents from the 42,883 in the 2010 Census. Orleans is now at 40,993, according to the population estimates in 2017. The county is down another 362 people from the 2016 estimate.

Statewide, the population has grown 2.4 percent or by 471,297 since 2010 when the population was 19,378,102. However, the upstate population has declined 1.0 percent or by 61,668 (from 6,339,276) in 2010. Downstate has grown by 4.1 percent or by 532,965 people from 13,038,826 in 2010, according to the Census data compiled by The Empire Center.

Orleans is one of 8 counties with 4 percent of more population loss since 2010, according to the report. Rural counties are leaders in population decline.

Other counties with bigger losses than Orleans include:

• Hamilton County, 62nd of the 62 counties, has the biggest percentage drop at 7,3 percent, down 351 people from 4,836.

• Delaware, 61st, is down 6.2 percent or 2,979 from 47,980

• Chenango, 60th, shrank 5.2 percent or 2,614 from 50,477

• Tioga, 59th, is down 5.0 percent or 2,547 from 51,125

• Orleans, 58th, declined 4.4 percent or 1,900 from 42,883

The nearby GLOW counties also experienced losses.

• Wyoming ranked 53rd out of the 62 counties with 3.9 percent drop or decline of 1,662 from 42,155

• Livingston, 35th, is down 2.4 percent or 1,594 from 65,393

• Genesee, 40th, declined 3.5 percent or 2,213 from 60,079

The Bronx, grew 6.2 percent, and added 86,052 from 1,385,108, to lead the state in population growth.

To see the report from the Empire Center, click here.

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Medina Lions hear from nurse who volunteered in Puerto Rico
Staff Reports Posted 22 March 2018 at 8:16 am

Provided photo: Emily Winters greets Medina Lions Club President Dean Bellack during a Lions meeting earlier this month.

MEDINA – Emily Winters, a Medina native who is a registered nurse and professional development specialist at Highland Hospital in Rochester, shared with the Medina Lions Club about her experiences in Puerto Rico.

Winters was part of a group of 11 health care providers from Rochester who went to Puerto Rico to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Winters spoke to the Medina Lions Club on March 5 about her 16-day volunteer effort in Puerto Rico. Winters went with a team out of Highland Hospital that worked to bring medical relief to those in a time of great need, said Dean Bellack, Medina Lions Club president.

Her story included her personal feelings of anticipation and anxiety of making such a trip and how such different experience shapes how you view life when you return.

Her team treated hundreds of people per day from minor issues to major critical needs.

“They saw it all,” Bellack said. “In addition, Emily Winters finds time to raise her family, commute to her position as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist at Highland Hospital in Rochester. The Medina Lions appreciate your commitment to Medina and your profession.”

She is the daughter-in-law of Bob Winters, who is a member of the Medina Lions Club. The club has 52 members and is active with several community events every year.

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Cobblestone Museum one of 7 WNY heritage sites in running for ‘Creativity Incubator’

Photos by Tom Rivers: A bride steps inside the Cobblestone Church during a wedding in July 2014.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2018 at 9:13 pm

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Church is one of seven heritage sites in Western New York in the running to have a team of experts visit and make suggestions for interpretation and other ways to connect with visitors.

An online contest which determine which site will receive the expertise. The contest for the Heritage Network Creativity Incubator program runs until April 1. The Incubator is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts/Greater Hudson Heritage Network.

The Cobblestone Museum is included with some prestigious sites in WNY, including the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site in Buffalo, Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, Geneva Historical Society and Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.

(The Cobblestone Museum currently has the third most votes, behind the leader Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University and then the Memorial Art Gallery. Click here to vote.)

Doug Farley, the Cobblestone Museum director, said the contest has already help spread the word about the Cobblestone Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Gaines.

A Bible is displayed inside the Cobblestone Church, which was constructed in 1834, making it the oldest cobblestone church in North America.

The Incubator series was launched to assist museums and historical sites that are pressured from changing demographics, shrinking attendance, tightened budgets, increased competition, and exponential growth of technology and social media.

The Creativity Incubator includes workshop series led by the Museum Mavericks, who are some of the most creative thinkers in the field today.

The winning museum or heritage site will have its collections or permanent installations re-imagined by the Museum Mavericks and session participants. The group will also explore the chosen site’s collections, discovering the amazing stories they hold and creating new ones.

“The end goal of the program is to open our eyes to the possibilities and encourage museums to think more imaginatively about the interpretation of their collections and the visitor experience,” according to the Incubator.

The Cobblestone Museum also has a few seats left for a maple bus tour on Friday. Georgia Thomas of Medina is leading the tour to Merle’s Maple Farm in Attica and Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn in Angelica. For reservations call (585) 589-9013 or book online at

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GCC to induct new members of Alumni Hall of Fame
Posted 21 March 2018 at 4:36 pm

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – The Genesee Community College Foundation is proud to announce its 2017 and 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees. The community is invited to the induction ceremony at 4 p.m. on March 28 at the Conable Technology Building, One College Road.

Candidates for the Alumni Hall of Fame are nominated by friends, family, colleagues or other associates. Each of the selected honorees has made significant contributions to their profession and has provided distinguished service to the community and/or Genesee Community College.

The GCC Alumni Hall of Fame, which is located on the second floor of the Conable Technology Building, boasts honorees from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.

Each of these outstanding GCC graduates has made a lasting impact on their communities and earned this honor. We are proud to welcome the following to the Alumni Hall of Fame:

2017 Inductees:

• George Walker IV, ’98, SVP of Creative Development, Dynamic Attractions

• James Branciforte, ’80, CEO Lifetime Assistance, Inc.

2018 Inductees:

• Georgann Carrubba, ’03, President and CEO, Tencar

• Scott Gardner, ’98, President and CEO, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce

The complete list of Hall of Fame members is available at

The Alumni Hall of Fame Induction is free and open to the public. GCC welcomes all Hall of Fame members, GCC alumni, and of course, the friends and family of our newest inductees to attend this celebration.

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Lyndonville and Medina students will perform The Addams Family
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2018 at 10:49 am

A zany cast of characters hits the stage in Lyndonville

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Qasim Huzair stars as Uncle Fester in the upcoming production of The Addams family by Lyndonville and Medina students. Huzair is shown at rehearsal on Wednesday. The people in the back are the “Ancestors.” Uncle Fester sings about his love for the Moon.

The show features 38 students from the two schools, plus another 17 in the stage crew. In addition, the superintendents from both school districts are playing in the pit band. Jason Smith of Lyndonville is playing the trombone and Mark Kruzynski of Medina is on the drums.

The performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 pm. The shows are at Lyndonville High School’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave. Tickets are available at the door.

Shelby Green plays Grandma, who is 102. She calls out to a 90-year-old man in the crowd and welcomes a get together.

Jennifer Trupo is director of the musical. She held auditions in November and students have been rehearsing for about four months.

She wanted to do the show because it is zany and features several character actors. She knew the cast had the talent to pull off the show.

“They have embraced it and they are having fun with it,” Trupo said. “We have a lot of phenomenal character actors. Most of the leads are in 9th or 10th grade. They’re very young but they are very amazing.”

It’s a love story, really. There may be some dark themes and an obsession with death, but the latest musical by Lyndonville and Medina students is also a love story between Wednesday Addams (Layna Viloria) and Lucas Beineke (Jacob Corser), who come from two very different families.

Christian Hahn portrays Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the family. He is shown while the Addams family welcomes the Beineke family for dinner. The Beinekes increasingly grow alarmed by the ghoulishness of the Addams family.

Cora Payne plays Morticia Addams, the family matriarch who fears, with her daughter’s engagement, that Morticia is less needed to her family. She is shown with two Dancing Ancestors, Sawyer Wilson (left) and Trenton Crews.

The Ancestors make many appearances during the show.

Brian Cunningham plays Pugsley Addams. He steals a potion from Grandma and intends to give it to his sister, hoping she wouldn’t go through with the wedding. The potion is supposed to bring out someone’s dark nature.

Tamara Huzair stars as Alice Beineke, the mother of Lucas. She drinks the potion intended for Wednesday and in front of everyone declares her marriage is passionless.

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Medina Scouts have annual Pinewood Derby
Posted 21 March 2018 at 9:20 am

Provided photos

MEDINA – Scouts in Pack 28 & Pack 25 held their annual Pinewood Derby on March 10 at the Medina United Methodist Church. The top four finishers, from left, were Brandon Brueckner, 1st place; Matthew Jacobs, 2nd place; Austin, 3rd place; and Milo Vidovich, 4th place.

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Voss Manufacturing gives BOCES students paid internships

Provided photo, from left: Tom Kammerer, Kyle Toth (North Tonawanda), Coby Sortore (Starpoint), Tom Culmo (Lyndonville), Austin Cox (Medina), Ethan Kujawa (Medina), Steven Schumacher (Royalton-Hartland) and Alex Kammerer (Project Engineer).

Posted 21 March 2018 at 8:32 am

‘I really wish more students were going into the trades. Manufacturing is cool again. It is a fantastic career and it is growing.’

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Six students from Orleans/Niagara BOCES Niagara (NCTEC) and Orleans (OCTEC) Career and Technical Education Centers have been lucky enough to obtain a paid internship, also known as capstoning, at Voss Manufacturing, Inc.

The Sanborn company is a diversified manufacturer that specializes in the design and manufacture of tooling, equipment, machining and fabrications.

Tom Kammerer, general manager, and his son Alex, who is the company’s project engineer, are giving the students real-world experience that will work in conjunction with their education in their career and technical education programs to boost their career success.

“We have had a great relationship with BOCES for almost 40 years now,” he said. “I am an advocate of BOCES. The facilities are good, the equipment is really good and the teachers do an excellent job at training. I can’t say enough about it.”

The company offers a shadowing program in the students’ junior year and if they do well they are asked back for the capstoning program in their senior year. They work at Voss in lieu of attending their BOCES program for several months.

“It’s a great way for them to go into the workforce and see what it is all about,” said Mr. Kammerer. “For us, it’s like a prolonged interview process. We put them to work with all the basic skills and see if they can master them and if they fit in as part of our team.”

The students currently capstoning there are Colby Sortore (Welding Program/NCTEC), Kyle Toth (Electricity and Electronics/NCTEC), Austin Cox (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering/OCTEC), Ethan Kujawa (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering/OCTEC), Tom Culmo (Auto Body/OCTEC) and Steven Schumacher (Welding/OCTEC).

Mr. Kammerer says he and his employees progressively give them exposure to higher level training.

“The analogy I use is that if you don’t master algebra, you can’t take calculus,” he said. “All the skills they are learning here in the shop are the building blocks and they have to master the basics and then we will move them up. They will rely on those basics the rest of their lives in their trade so they are very important.”

Welding teacher Eric Farrell says he is grateful to Mr. Kammerer.

“Tom is very interested in working with students and training them,” Farrell said. “Voss tries to train the students in many different areas so that they understand the workings of the company and the processes that take place at the company. Voss is a big believer in education first, work second and with that being said, they are very flexible with our students.  Voss is a great place for the students to learn and start their career.”

Jackie Coyle, a Work Based Learning Coordinator at BOCES, said, “Voss is an excellent partner for Orleans/Niagara BOCES. They understand that students are young and need to learn from experiences in the work world.”

BOCES would like to continue these type of partnerships with many local businesses.  A Work Based Learning Coordinator collaboratively engages employers and schools in providing structured learning experiences for students. These experiences focus on assisting students to develop broad, transferable skills that are needed in the workplace.

Bill Rakonczay, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering teacher, said, “The opportunities they give my students year in and year out in the capstoning program is tremendous. They are taking what they learn here in class and applying it to real state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing machines such as CNC mills and lathes. It reinforces that the skills we are teaching here in class apply directly out in the workforce.”

Mr. Kammerer said he is hoping that some of the students stick with Voss.

“We are expanding and we could really use them,” he said. “They start their capstoning with us in December. At the end of it, around June, if they are performing well and we have a job opening, we will offer it to them. I really wish more students were going into the trades.

“Manufacturing is cool again. It is a fantastic career and it is growing. The work is difficult and demanding, but it’s different and it is more computer based. I would say 40 to 50 percent of our workforce is from BOCES. Our shop foreman is even a graduate from BOCES. It is our lifeline for our future.”

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