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Medina resident wants upgrades to skate park

Photos by Tom Rivers: Alex Feig, left, shows some of the deterioration to the equipment and cracks in the asphalt at the skate park to Mayor Mike Sidari, and Joe Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2018 at 9:32 pm

Skate Jam on Sept. 15 may indicate if community interest in skate park improvements

Alex Feig shows one of the long cracks in the asphalt at the skate park that can cause people to tumble off their skateboards.

MEDINA – Alex Feig sees a revamped skate park as another draw for the Medina community, enhancing the quality of life for local residents and also bringing visitors to the village.

Medina has site for skateboarders at Butts Park. But the site, built on a former tennis court, has cracks in the asphalt and the 20-year-old ramps, ledges and quarter pipes are showing their age.

“We have the space but right now it’s being underutilized,” Feig said about the skate park on South Main Street at Butts.

Feig, 32, would like to see the asphalt, which is prone to deterioration, be replaced with a concrete surface. The tennis courts are also too big. A smaller area would be better, Feig said. He’d like to see the fences removed so it’s an open area. If he had his wish, he would like to see bowls that skaters would go down and pick up speed and then be able to do different skating tricks.

Other communities have opened skating parks, including Amherst just last month. The Alix Rice Peace Park has a series of deep concrete bowls and other challenging features.

Feig has reached out the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has matching funds to develop new skate parks.

“If we dream big it could become a tourist attraction,” Feig said. “Skate parks can draw a lot of people in.”

Feig has planned a skate jam on Sept. 15 at the skate park at Butts from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is led by the Medina Skate Society with the Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition a sponsor. Orleans United for eight years held a skating competition and demonstration at the park.

The Sept. 15 event includes a competition for the best trick. There will also be free food and music, and a skateboard and helmet giveaway.

Feig also wants to use the event to gauge interest in upgrading the skate park. It would take community fundraising to improve the site.

Alex Feig meets with Mayor Mike Sidari at the site today. Feig said concrete would be a better surface than asphalt. Feig also said the fences should be removed and area made smaller. A big goal would be to have bowls that people could skate in.

The village already is using about $500 given in memory of Luke Nelson, a skateboarder from Middleport who often used the park. He was 23 when he passed away on April 22, 2017. The money given in his memory went towards a repair kit for the cracks in the asphalt.

Luke’s mother, Terri Nelson, said she would like to see a bench at the park for parents to sit while they watch their children. She brought her son to the park numerous times because there wasn’t a designated spot in Middleport where skateboarders felt welcome.

Feig, who works at WBTA radio station in Batavia, said skateboarding was popular when he was a kid 20 years ago. He got away from it as a young adult but now is back at it.

“It’s a physical activity, but it’s also an artform,” Feig said about skateboarding. “Everyone goes at their own pace.”

Skateboarding will be a sport in the Olympics for the first time in 2020. He expects the sport will get a boost from that, drawing more participants.

Terri Nelson, Alex Feig and Pat Crowley, director of the Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition, hold a banner promoting a skate jam on Sept. 15 at Butts Park.

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Rural Democratic Conference will host attorney general candidates Aug. 27 in Batavia
Staff Reports Posted 20 August 2018 at 1:50 pm

BATAVIA – Candidates for the Democratic nomination for New York Attorney General will attend a forum hosted by the Democratic Rural Conference of New York State at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27.

Leecia Eve, Sean Patrick Maloney and Zephyr Teachout have all confirmed their attendance at the event at Genesee Community College in Batavia.

“We’re very glad to be able to create this opportunity for our membership to hear from these candidates,” said Irene Stein, chairwoman of the Democratic Rural Conference. “It would be difficult for those running for Attorney General to visit each of our counties in this truncated campaign; this allows them to speak to rural Democrats and their concerns in a very direct way.”

Candidates will be able to make introductory statements, answer questions from DRC Board members about rural issues, and take questions from the audience.

The DRC represents Democrats from New York counties with populations less than 250,000. Democrats from 47 of the 62 counties in the state belong to the organization, which has been active in New York Democratic politics for over 20 years.

The forum will be at GCC’s Conable Technology Building, Room T-102, on 1 College Road.

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NY bans smoking in licensed and registered facilities that provide child care services
Posted 20 August 2018 at 1:32 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to further protect children from exposure to secondhand smoke. The bill prohibits individuals from smoking in facilities that provide child care services, including private homes.

“The dangers of secondhand smoke are indisputable and we must do everything in our power to protect children from this public health hazard and the life-long misery that comes with it,” Governor Cuomo said. “This measure will bring us one step closer to a strong healthier New York for all.”

This bill (A.397B/S.7522), prohibits smoking in any facility that provides child care services in New York State, including private homes. All facilities required to be licensed or registered for child care services must comply with the smoking ban within 90 days, even when children receiving care are not present.

“Second and third-hand smoke is a detriment the development of our kids, and by working with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, we have taken significant steps toward establishing a healthier environment for all,” said Senator Kemp Hannon. “I thank the Governor for taking action and signing this legislation to protect children from second and third-hand smoke in family day care settings.”

“New York is a leader in health advocacy and educating our youth on the dangers of smoking,” said Assembly Member Aileen Gunther. “This latest action furthers these efforts and will help our vulnerable youth grow up in better, safer environments across the state. I thank the Governor for signing this bill into law and increasing protections for the next generation of leaders in the Empire State.”

This action builds on legislation signed by the Governor in August 2015 that prohibits individuals from smoking near schools while after-school programs are in operation, and legislation signed in 2017 that bans the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds across the state.

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Lyndonville church welcomes new pastor
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 August 2018 at 12:13 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Olga Gonzalez recently assumed duties as new pastor of the Lyndonville United Methodist Church. She sits in her office working on a sermon.

LYNDONVILLE – The congregation of Lyndonville United Methodist Church has welcomed a new pastor after the Rev. Beth Malone was transferred to a new church.

Olga Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico, assumed her duties the first week in July.

She said coming to the area and becoming a minister was God’s plan.

Gonzalez and her husband Alexis first came to the Upstate New York in 2002, arriving in Syracuse to visit his family.

After receiving a bachelor of arts degree as an administrative assistant and a master’s in social work in Puerto Rico, Gonzalez took a job as a mental health counselor at a community health center in Syracuse.

In December 2011, she was praying and asking for a job where she could use the gifts and talents God had given her.

“In January 2012, I received an e-mail from a friend in Syracuse who knew a pastor who was looking for a missions worker,” Gonzalez said. “She said she knew I had a heart for missions and thought of me. I looked to the Lord and said, ‘You work fast.’”

She got in touch with the pastor of Brown Memorial Methodist Church in Syracuse and began the process to come to the area, working with Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.

She and her husband arrived in Syracuse in June 2012. She worked there four years, where they helped start a new Hispanic Methodist Church, the first and only one in Syracuse, and in 2016, she began studies to become a pastor. She is currently working to get her master’s of divinity at Northeast Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College.

In January 2015, Gonzalez was appointed assistant pastor of the Cicero United Methodist Church.

Her husband had said he would go wherever God sent them. She had never heard of Lyndonville when she was appointed here, she said.

“But after six years in the city, I said, ‘Hallelujah.’ I’ve already fallen in love with Lyndonville.”

The Fourth of July was the first time in her life Gonzalez had seen fireworks, she said.

“What a Fourth,” she said.

She said she is touched by how friendly people are in Lyndonville.

“People are calling to ask if I needed anything,” she said. “I know how hard it is for a congregation to face this kind of change, but they have been very welcoming.”

Living in the country is closer to God’s creation, the pastor said.

In October, she is planning to go on a mission trip to Cuba. The church in Cicero is collecting money and school supplies to be delivered there.

“I’m ready for this journey,” she added.

Church member Ruth Hedges said, as much as they loved the Rev. Malone, the congregation is very impressed with Gonzalez.

“She is so full of energy,” Hedges said. “I think she is going to be just great.”

The church is having Family Fun Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays and recently started “Unplugged for Kids,” featuring organized play time for families, with refreshments, prayer and games.

Summer worship hour is 10 a.m. on Sundays and beginning Aug. 5, they started a garden service at 8:15 a.m. at Robin Hill Estate on Platten Road.

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More than 4,000 students in past decade have taken free classes through GCC’s summer program
Posted 20 August 2018 at 11:58 am

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – Ten years ago, the Genesee Community College introduced a summer scholarship program that exemplified the college’s commitment to increasing accessibility to higher education.

As Genesee Promise Plus recognizes its 10-year anniversary, more than 4,000 students have taken advantage of the tuition-free summer courses at GCC, Dr. Shelitha Williams, vice president of Student and Enrollment Services, reported to the Board of Trustees last week.

Genesee Promise Plus scholarships remove financial barriers to college for citizens across the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties providing high school students, as well as adults with no previous college course credit, the chance to “try it” tuition-free at GCC.

The program was originally aimed at graduating high school seniors, but in 2010 officials realized Genesee Promise Plus would serve high school juniors as well. And in 2013, GPP expanded again to provide adults who had never attended college in the past with the summer scholarship program.

While increasing access to college was GPP’s primary goal, there have been any many tangential benefits. College bound students can complete developmental classes or prerequisites to lighten their freshman year course load helping ensure timely college graduation. GPP builds confidence and gives some students, particularly adults, the chance to try college without a huge investment, Dr. Williams said.

On average, 312 high school seniors annually participated in GPP with 2010 being the peak year of enrollment with 392 students. High school juniors averaged 82 participants annually with 2016 being the peak year with 197 enrolled students. Adults averaged 11 students annually with 30 students enrolled in 2014. This past year in 2017, 27 adults enrolled. Final figures for this summer are not yet available.

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2 plead guilty after robbery at Medina park
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2018 at 11:39 am

ALBION – Two Lockport men pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court after a robbery at State Street Park on March 8.

Deandre Reed, 20, allegedly displayed a weapon in taking money and a cell phone from two strangers at the park. The weapon turned out to be a toy gun.

Reed appeared in court last Thursday and pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in the first degree and could face up to five years in state prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 25.

A codefendant, Robert Holmes, pleaded guilty to petit larceny and could face up to a year in jail when he is sentenced on Oct. 25.

In another case, Gerardo Quiros pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors after he allegedly barged into a home on Root Road in Barre and tried to drag his girlfriend out of the house by her feet. He was stopped by her brother, who made Quiros leave at gunpoint.

Quiros during an appearance on Aug. 7 pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in the second degree and attempted unlawful imprisonment in the first degree. He will be sentenced on Sept. 17. Any incarceration will be served with a sentence for a more serious crime.

Quiros in July was found guilty of sexual assault and rape charges. He allegedly held a woman against her will for several weeks, while physically and sexually assaulting her. He was convicted by a jury and will be sentenced at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17.

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Republican leaders expect to soon pick Collins’ successor on the ballot

Photos by Tom Rivers: Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, left, speaks with Ed Morgan, chairman of the Orleans County Republican Party, during the GOP summer picnic on Sunday at the Archer’s Club by the Oak Orchard River in Carlton.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2018 at 10:34 am

Ortt, Hawley are both pursuing position along with about a dozen others

CARLTON – It will be an intense next 10 days for Republican Party leaders in the eight counties that are in the 27th Congressional District.

They will be interviewing about 10 candidates this week who want to replace Chris Collins as the GOP candidate on the ballot in November. The Republican leaders want to narrow the field to three candidates by the end of the week and then, in about 10 days from now, pick a final candidate.

“It’s very complicated,” Ed Morgan, the Orleans County Republican Party chairman, told Republicans on Sunday during the summer picnic at the Archer’s Club.

Ed Morgan, chairman of the Orleans County Republican Party, addresses about 100 people who attended the summer picnic on Sunday at the Archer’s Club. Carlton Highway Superintendent Kurt Van Wycke is in back at left.

Collins suspended his re-election campaign after being indicted on Aug. 8 for insider trading. He faces charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI.

Morgan said the congressman should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Collins has suspended his re-election campaign, and Republican leaders want to remove his name from the ballot.

It’s too late in the process for the usual candidate nominations or primaries. That leaves it to the eight county chairmen to find a replacement, but Morgan acknowledged the Democratic Party leaders are expected to mount a legal challenge to keep Collins on the ballot.

“All of this could go haywire because the Democrats will take it to federal court and the judge could decide in October that Chris Collins has to stay on the ballot,” Morgan said.

If a sitting state legislator is picked to replace Collins on the ballot, the Republicans would then have to find another candidate to run for that state seat.

“It could be a trickle-down effect where we might have to fill other seats,” Morgan said.

State Sen. Rob Ortt and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley are both interested in serving as the Republican candidate for the 27th Congressional District.

It would also be risky for a state legislator to pursue the Congressional spot because a judge could decide Collins is the candidate. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Sen. Robert Ortt both want to be considered to take Collins’ place on the ballot. They can’t be on the ballot for two positions. They could be picked to be the Congressional candidate only to have Collins stay on the ballot, and then they couldn’t run for the Assembly or State Senate.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw stopped at the Orleans County Republican Party picnic on Sunday. He doesn’t have an election in November for his current position. He could run for Congress this November without requiring Republican leaders to find a replacement for him to run as comptroller.

“I don’t have an election so there would be nothing lost,” he said about state legislators who would have to relinquish their position. “I’m the best bet and I’m the safest bet.”

Mychajliw is a former investigative news reporter in Buffalo.

“My job was holding politicians accountable, both Democrats and Republicans,” he said about his previous career as a reporter.

He has already been elected comptroller three times in Erie County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans.

“I’m battle tested,” he said. “I’m ready to get in a brawl with Nate McMurray.”

McMurray is backed by the Democratic Party. He is the current Grand Island town supervisor. His campaign has been given more media attention since Collins was arrested, and the McMurray said his fundraising in the few days after Collins’ arrest topped the totals in the previous months.

McMurray and Democratic Party leaders say Republicans shouldn’t be able to swap a different candidate for Collins so late in the political calendar.

“We’re going ahead with the process because of time,” Morgan told Republicans at the picnic. “Our opponents couldn’t have picked a better time to put us behind the 8 Ball and I have no doubt in my mind they did that.”

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley greets Republicans on Sunday in Carlton at the Republican Party’s summer picnic.

Hawley, the local assemblyman for more than 12 years, is pursuing the Congressional seat because he said he has been encouraged to pursue the position by so many business owners, residents and organizations such as Unshackle Upstate and the National Federation of Independent Business.

“That’s why I’m interested,” he said. “It’s about the people and businesses of Western New York.”

He said his background as a small business owner with his insurance company and also from his days in farming make him a good fit to represent the district, which includes all of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston and portions of Erie, Monroe, Niagara and Ontario counties.

It’s a heavily agriculture district. Hawley said he already knows the farming issues and other concerns in the rural communities.

“I know how things work because I’ve been there,” he said. “Right now we need some stability and calmness (in the Congressional position).”

Hawley said he would hold frequent town hall meetings if he was elected to Congress. Collins has been criticized for not holding those type of events.

“It’s about being open and transparent with the people,” Hawley said.

State Sen. Robert Ortt joined the Republicans for lunch before heading to Warsaw for another GOP gathering.

Ortt has been in the State Senate for about four years with a district that includes Orleans, most of Niagara and the western portion of Monroe counties. Normally, candidates for Congress spend at least a year working on the campaign.

“Most congressional races are marathons,” Ortt said. “But this is a sprint over 60 to 70 days.”

If he is picked the candidate he said he would be all over the district.

“Whoever works the hardest” will likely win, Ortt said.

After meeting with Republicans Sunday at the Archer’s Club, Ortt, Hawley and Mychajliw left to see Republicans in Warsaw, Wyoming County. Then there was another GOP event later in the evening in Niagara County.

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Nearly 30-pound salmon wins Orleans County Fishing Derby

Photos by Tom Rivers: Kent Morgan, owner of Let It Ride Charters in Carlton, holds the grand prize fish, a 29-pound, 14-ounce salmon caught by his customer, Joseph Miller of Harrisburg, Pa. The big fish won the $4,000 grand prize.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2018 at 8:24 pm

CARLTON – The Orleans County Fishing Derby concluded today after 16 days with a nearly 30-pound salmon taking the top prize, $4,000.

The derby has been an annual event for about 35 years. There were almost 400 participants in the competition, which is sponsored by the Albion Rotary Club.

The grand prize fish – 29 pounds, 14 ounces – was caught by Joseph Miller of Harrisburg, Pa. He was on a charter boat owned by Kent Morgan, who has been a local charter captain for 18 years.

Besides $4,000 for the biggest fish, the four division leaders – salmon, rainbow trout/steelhead, lake trout and brown trout – each get $500, followed by $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.

Division first -place winners ($500 each)

• Salmon – 26 pounds, 14 ounces by Mike Schaeffer of Silgo, Pa.

• Rainbow/steelhead – 12 pounds, 2 ounces by Glenn Weber of Harrisburg, Pa.

• Brown trout – 14 pounds, 13 ounces by Michael Grager of Lyndonville

• Lake trout – 17 pounds, 12 ounces by Brian Gambell of Hilton

Brian Gambell of Hilton holds the first place lake trout at 17 pounds, 12 ounces.

Michael Grager of Lyndonville holds the first place brown trout at 14 pounds, 13 ounces. Grager is the charter boat captain of “Get Hooked” based at Point Breeze. He noticed the leaderboard didn’t have many brown trout more than midway through he derby so he made a concerted effort to catch them. In the beginning of the derby he thinks most anglers are focused on catching big salmon. He used a spoon in shallow water just east of the Point to catch the first place brown trout.

Dane Ballard, 14, of Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland holds a 26-pound, 3-ounce salmon he caught with his grandfather, Denny Jackson of Ogdensburg, Pa. The fish was the second place salmon in the derby.

The first place winner for steelhead also was on Morgan’s boat, Let It Ride Charters. Kent Morgan holds the fish with his first mate, Jack Rossman. Glenn Weber of Harrisburg, Pa., caught the 12-pound, 2-ounce fish which won first place.

Mike Waterhouse, retired sports fishing promotion coordinator for Orleans County, served as the emcee of the awards program at the Carlton Recreation Hall.

Becky Karls, left, sold raffle tickets and Marlee Diehl, back right, handed out prizes. About 75 people attended the awards program.

Bill Downey, chairman of the derby, also distributed some of the prizes at the awards event. Many local businesses donated for the event.

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Bikers use 90-mile ride, raffle to benefit Jason Johnston scholarship fund

Photo by Victoria Flugel: This photo was taken Saturday during the fourth annual Jason Johnston Dice Run. There were about 50 motorcycle riders in the event. Victoria Flugel took this photo while sitting on a motorcycle with her husband, Eric Flugel. They were first-time participants in the ride.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2018 at 10:09 am

Event honors memory of Albion soldier killed in Afghanistan

Jason Johnston

ALBION – The fourth annual Jason Johnston Dice Run on Saturday raised more money for a scholarship given annually by the Albion Elks Riders.

There were 47 riders on dice run, which went 90 miles through Orleans County and outside Orleans to Bergen, Pavilion, Attica and Batavia. Each biker paid $20 to be in the event, with passengers paying $10. (There were 31 passengers on the ride.)

Following the ride, there was food, beer and a raffle at the Albion Elks Lodge, aswell as music by DJ Ken Draper and then a concert by The Who Dats.

Proceeds go towards a scholarship in memory of Specialist Jason Johnston, who was 24 when he was killed in Afghanistan in the War on Terror on Dec. 26, 2009. Johnston was on his second deployment. He was also a paratrooper.

He completed a 13-month-deployment in 2008 and left again for the war-torn country in October 2009. He was killed by a roadside bomb the day after Christmas.

“We have a great community that doesn’t mind helping someone who gave his all for them,” said Brad Johnston, Jason’s father. “That’s what Jason was all about, helping people.”

Photos by Tom Rivers: A group of motorcyclists check out some of the merchandise up fr auction during the benefit on Saturday.

The Elks the past four years have given $1,000 scholarships to a graduating senior pursuing a helping profession. Riley Seielstad was awarded the scholarship this past June.

Brad Johnston said the family appreciates the efforts from the Elks to establish the scholarship. The organization has enough funds to keep it going for at least 12 more years.

Johnston joined the Elks Riders two years ago. The American Legion also gives a scholarship in memory of Jason Johnston for a graduate headed to the military. The Legion is planning a fundraiser to keep that scholarship going.

“I don’t want him forgotten, and the scholarships also help students and soldiers,” Johnston said on Saturday at the Elks Lodge.

Joe Joyce, left, of East Pembroke is a member of the Patriot Guard. Mike Reigle is president of the Albion Elks Riders. Joyce is a paratrooper who wanted to be part of the ride to honor Johnston, who was also a paratrooper. There were four Patriot Guard riders on the ride, members of the Orleans ABATE, local Elks Riders and a group of bikers from the Albany area. Regime said the Elks Riders plan to keep up the ride for years to come.

The Who Dats including lead singer Lonnie Froman, performed for the crowd at the Elks.

Ed Hilfiker is the guitarist for the Who Dats.

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Donations allow Medina Fire Department to purchase new boat

Photo courtesy of Medina firefighter Jacob Crooks: Firefighters Tim Miller and Adam Fisher and Captain Matt Jackson try out the Medina Fire Department’s new inflatable boat in the Canal Basin.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 August 2018 at 8:31 am

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department has a new boat, thanks to the efforts of a local businessman and the generosity of the community.

Jeff Lyons, owner of Lyons Collision, was at the scene with his tow truck where a man had driven into the canal on Aug. 17, 2017. He noticed the condition of the fire department’s row boat, when they tried to carry divers out to the submerged truck.

Photo by Tom Rivers: A boat for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department marine patrol was brought from Lake Alice in Carlton to help locate a submerged truck in the Erie Canal on Aug. 17, 2017. That boat didn’t have working sonar. A magnet was tied to rope to try to locate the truck.

“Our boat couldn’t handle the divers and their tanks,” said fire chief Tom Lupo. “It was a 1963 with a 1954 motor.”

As a result, the Orleans County sheriff’s boat had to be called, which resulted in a wait of more than an hour.

Shortly after that day, Lyons went to businesses and individuals in the community and secured $7,000 in donations, which was enough to cover the cost of the Inmar inflatable boat and 25 hp Suzuki motor, with a little left over.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Medina Fire Department captain Jonathan Higgins, firefighter Joe Simmons and Mayor Mike Sidari take a ride in the fire department’s new inflatable boat, which was launched to escort the Corning Museum of Glass Barge into the canal basin on Aug. 9.

With the extra money and only $300 out of the village budget, firefighters Jacob Crooks and Joseph Simmons were able to rebuild the fire department’s existing trailer.

“They did a terrific job, and so inexpensively,” Lupo said. “It was way cheaper than buying a new trailer.”

The boat made its maiden voyage on Aug. 9, when it was launched to escort the Corning Glass barge into the Canal Basin for its weekend visit with the schooner, Lois McClure.

Lupo said the engine had to be properly broken in, idling it for an hour, then running it at a low speed for two hours.

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Household hazardous waste event was popular today
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2018 at 6:06 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Employees from Environmental Enterprises Inc. in Cincinnati move drums of household hazardous waste today at the Orleans County Highway Department.

About 240 residents participated in a household hazardous waste drop-off today in Albion. The county has organized the event the past four years and hires Environmental Enterprises Inc. to take away the hazardous household products.

The event is chance for residents to dispose of automobile batteries, propane tanks, oil-based paints, solvents, polishes/waxes, aerosols, pesticides, fluorescent bulbs, adhesives & resins, motor oil & filters, acids, corrosives, antifreeze and other household hazardous waste.

Numerous propane tanks were dropped off by residents.

The county will pay Environmental Enterprises Inc. about $20,000 to take about the hazardous household waste. The state will pay half of the expense. The final cost will be determined after all the materials are weighed.

Last year residents dropped off about 10,000 pounds of paint.

Jim Bensley, left, is the county’s director of planning and development. He helped run the event today.

The collection event doesn’t include explosives, pressurized tanks, ammunition, PCBs, pathologic waste, infectious waste, radioactive waste, syringes, pharmaceuticals, computers and electronics.

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Rochester keeps Metro 10 title in fourth event at Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2018 at 4:44 pm

Road work on Route 31 shifts start and finish to downtown Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Members of the Rochester team check out the Metro 10 cup and go to get their victory glass after Rochester defeated Buffalo in today’s Metro 10 competition, which pits runners from the two communities. This year’s race also included a cycling component for the first time.

Rochester won 8 of the 10 categories to win the Metro 10 cup for the fourth straight year. The fourth annual event had more than 300 participants.

McKenzie Trotter of Barker is on the last leg of the 10-mile race on East Bank Street when her daughter, Tessa Seward, ran to see her.

The mother and daughter finished the race together.

The 177 runners who completed the 10-mile course are lined up on Main Street at about 8 a.m. today for the start of  the Metro 10 race, which had runners pick a team – Rochester or Buffalo.

The course shifted from starting and ending by Bullard Park due to road construction on Route 31. The race instead started and ended in downtown Albion.

An additional 104 runners completed a 5-mile course. There were also walkers on the 5-mile course and for the first time the event included a 10-mile bike ride.

The Metro 10 uses a point system that includes overall average time for each metro in the 5 and 10 mile races, top male and women finishers in the 5- and 10-mile races, 5 mile walk winner and 5 mile average time for each metro.

Each person who completes either the 5 or 10 mile race gets a medal.

Brennan Root, 22, of Rush won the 10-miler in 56:31, a 5:39 pace per mile while Kristin Fitzsimmons, 31, of Penfield was the first woman to finish at 1:11:40, a 7:10 pace.

Corey Brown, 30, of Tonawanda won the 5 mile in 29:51, a 5:58 pace, while Kristina Martin, 26, of Holley was the first woman to finish in 32:56, a 6:35 pace.

Neil Weaver 24, of Pittsford receives a medal after finishing the 10-mile run in 1:34:46. Ed Spence, a volunteer with the Warrior House of WNY, presents the medal. The race proceeds go to the Warrior House in Shelby, which offers a hunting retreat to wounded veterans and children of veterans.

Before the run at 8 a.m., about 40 cyclists take off just after 7 in the morning for the first ever 10-mile bike race.

Jeff Casillo, left, and Erin Smith of Albion spearheaded the biking event. Casillo was the first overall finisher with Smith coming in third. They are pictured just before the start of the race.

Thom Jennings, the race director at left, congratulates Albion Mayor Eileen Banker, who completed the 10-mile bike ride. She is joined by Albion village trustees Gary Katsanis, back left, and Stan Farone, who also did the bike race.

Ed Spence of the Warrior House said the organization is there to support veterans and their families.

Danielle Conrad of Carlton is presented her medal after running 10 miles.

Jim Salmon, host of the Home Repair Clinic on WHAM, joined Thom Jennings in announcing age group awards after the race.

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Flood warning issued for Orleans County this morning
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2018 at 6:41 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Butts Road in Albion is shown on Thursday evening when it was raining. This section of the road near Route 31 is getting new pavement.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a flood warming for small streams and urban areas in Orleans, Niagara and Erie counties until 9 a.m. this morning.

Heavy rain will cause flooding of low spots and small streams, the Weather Service said. Small streams and creeks may exceed their banks.

Up to 2 inches of rain has fallen in some areas with another inch possible, the Weather Service said.

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Small black bear spotted in Knowlesville this afternoon
Staff Reports Posted 17 August 2018 at 7:29 pm

KNOWLESVILLE – Shane Rath was at work for the State Canal Corporation this afternoon when a small black bear scooted by the lift bridge and crossed Knowlesville Road just before 5 p.m.

(UPDATED 7:58 p.m.: People on the Memories of Medina Facebook page say there is a mother bear and three cubs on the move in Knowlesville.)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has these recommendations about black bears:

If you encounter a bear:

• Never approach, surround, or corner a bear – Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.

• Never run from a bear – stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.

• Use noise to scare away bears from your campsite –  yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.

• Do not throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear – Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.

If a bear becomes aggressive and approaches you:

• Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.

If a bear becomes aggressive and charges you:

• Stand your ground.

• If you have bear spray, dispense directly at the bear.

If a bear becomes aggressive and follows you:

• Stay together.

• Do not run, but continue to back away while speaking loudly.

If the bear continues to follow you:

• Stand your ground.

• Intimidate by making yourself look bigger by waving arms, clapping, shouting, banging sticks.

• Prepare to fight or use bear spray.

If the bear makes contact with you:

• Fight back with anything at hand (knife, stick, rocks, fists).

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Gandy Dancers provided maintenance services to local railroads
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 17 August 2018 at 6:41 pm

Busy railroad went through Yates, Carlton and Kendall for about 60 years

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 33

KENDALL – This rather interesting photograph shows five men working as part of a section gang along the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg Railroad. It is believe that this particular crossing was located somewhere in the town of Kendall and the photograph was taken September 11, 1897. The men appear to have stopped for dinner (the midday meal) as several metal pails appear on the car. One of the young men appears to be holding his pocket watch, as if to show that it is noontime.

The Lake Ontario Shore Railroad was chartered in 1858, and like all great projects, was delayed for nearly ten years until the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad Company was formed on March 27, 1868. It would take another three years before construction commenced at Red Creek, New York and within two years the railway was operational from Ontario, Wayne County to Oswego. The rails eventually stretched to Kendall but the Panic of 1873 forced the company’s mortgage bonds to be called in early, which drove the railroad into bankruptcy.

On September 22, 1874 the line was sold to the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg Railroad (RW&O) at foreclosure and on December 23, 1875 the Lake Ontario Railroad (as it was renamed) was consolidated into the RW&O Railroad. The railroad carried passengers for nearly 60 years, up to four trains each day, until June 1, 1933 when passenger traffic ceased. The railroad remained an important transportation line for freight travelling through the towns of Yates, Carlton, and Kendall.

These men, often called “Gandy Dancers,” played an important role in the maintenance of railroads throughout the United States. Although many section gangs were responsible for the construction of railroads, including the installation of new ties and rails, their daily maintenance routine was the most important part of the job. The term “Gandy” is derived from the five-foot long metal “lining bar” used to reposition tracks. Throughout the course of regular use and travel, the vibrations of the train engine and cars as they passed over the rails would cause slight movements in the tracks. These many small “adjustments” would eventually create significant shifts in the tracks that could lead to derailments. Gandy dancers used their lining bars to realign the tracks to prevent the catastrophic consequences associated with freight and passenger derailment; the maneuvering of the pole by the section worker mimicked a dance.

The section gang’s arsenal of tools included the spike maul, used for driving railroad spikes, ballast forks and ballast tampers, used for repositioning and distributing ballast (stone under and around the railroad ties), as well as rail and tie tongs used for carrying wood and metal for replacing worn rails and rotten ties. This work required that gang members synchronize their motions, allowing for the appropriate distribution of their physical effort. The result was the creation of call-and-response songs that focused on railroad life, allowing workers to sync their labor to the rhythm of music.

In the south, section gangs were largely comprised of African Americans while northern section gangs typically consisted of immigrants. These jobs were entry-level positions at best, consisting of hard work and low wages. One particular example of this involved a local Irish immigrant, Michael Duggan who arrived in the U.S. in 1891. In 1945, he retired from the New York Central Railroad as a flagman, but started his employment as a section hand probably around the age of 24. The flagman was responsible for stopping street traffic as trains passed through; a much easier job than the manual labor of a section worker.

Standing front and center in this image is Charles Martin Vincent who was living in Kendall at the time this photograph was taken. He was approximately 24 years old and newly married, having wed his wife Ella Ireland on July 7, 1897. It is presumed that his work for the railroad was rather short lived as he relocated to East Avenue in Holley by 1905 and worked for some time as a hardware store clerk for Ira Edwards.

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