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Lockport man sentenced to 5 years in prison for having cocaine in Orleans
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2017 at 3:54 pm

Harold Hill Jr.

ALBION – A Lockport man was sentenced to the maximum of 5 years in prison today as part of a plea deal for having cocaine.

Harold D. Hill Jr., 39, of Pine Street in Lockport has been in the county jail since last July, when he was arrested at Salt Works Road in Medina.

Hill had the cocaine, which weighed 0.65 ounces, concealed in his mouth. He pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, which normally carries a maximum of 8 years in state prison.

He pleaded guilty on May 1 and faced a maximum of 5 years in state prison. Judge James Punch gave Hill the maximum as part of the plea, despite a request from Hill’s attorney for leniency and a sentence that included drug addiction treatment in prison.

Hill is a second felony offender. His criminal history is connected to his struggles with drug addiction, his attorney told the judge in court today.

“You have had many, many opportunities to address one of your core problems – drug addiction,” Punch said.

Hill hasn’t addressed his drug problems, Punch said. A drug treatment program as part of the sentence wasn’t “a realistic expectation” given Hill’s criminal history, the judge said.

“This problem with drugs is a cancer in our society and you’re spreading it into our community,” Punch said.

In addition to five years incarceration, Hill will have two years of post-release supervision.

In other cases today:

• A Medina man was sentenced to six months in the county jail after getting his third arrest for drunk driving or driving while ability impaired.

Edgar L. Rosario, 30, of Medina was sentenced today for felony DWI. He was arrested on Sept. 25 after he was allegedly driving drunk with a BAC of 0.18 percent and struck a house on Eagle Harbor Road.

In addition to six months in jail, Rosario will be on probation for five years.

“I’m sorry to my family and everyone,” Rosario said during sentencing.

The judge said Rosario is fortunate the sentence was the county jail and not state prison.

“People are entitled to a mistake, but you’ve had three,” Punch told Rosario. “I don’t think you’ve graduated to the state prison system, but you’re very close.”

• A Holley resident was arraigned on first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

David L. Durbano, 32, of Ridge Road allegedly had sexual contact with a 9-year-old girl. The judge set bail at $20,000.

• Jacob T. Marks, 28, of Densmore Street in Albion was arraigned for third-degree grand larceny and petit larceny. He allegedly took a credit card and jewelry from the victim in the crime and spent $38,000 in unauthorized purchases from September 2016 to April 2017.

The judge set bail for Marks at $10,000.

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Medina company hosts graduation today for students in Mechantronics
Posted 26 June 2017 at 11:04 am

CNC Technical Solutions Training Center is celebrating 10-year anniversary

Press Release, GCC

MEDINA – Today at noon Genesee Community College (GCC), Erie Community College (ECC) and the CNC Technical Solutions Training Center will recognize its most recent Mechatronics training students in a graduation ceremony.

Graduates represent several classes of skilled, manufacturing employees from companies throughout the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) and western New York regions. The graduation program will be held at the CNC Technical Solutions training facility in Medina.

In addition to the graduates, their company supervisors or representatives, local dignitaries, including State Senator Robert G. Ortt, 62nd Senate District and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, New York State Assembly District 139 will be attending.

The graduation program will feature additional remarks by GCC Provost/Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kathleen Schiefen, ECC Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Richard C. Washousky, CNC Technical Solutions Center CEO and Founder John Nappa, Joseph Tomlinson, Joint Apprentice Chairman of the Buffalo Ford Stamping Plant/Ford Motor Company and graduating students.

The Mechatronics Program at Genesee Community College started in spring 2015 as a collaborative partnership between GCC’s BEST (Business Employee and Skills Training) Center, the Genesee County Economic Development Center and the CNC Technical Solutions Center.

The program is designed to meet local company demands to train incumbent workers who maintain and often program the high-tech, industrial equipment and machinery in modern manufacturing plants. Since its start, the GCC program has graduated 42 participants over six courses.

Participating companies have included Associated Brands, Bonduelle U.S.A., Brunner, Chassix Automotive, Creative Food Ingredients, Freeze-Dry Foods, Liberty Pumps, United States Gypsum and Yancey’s Fancy.

Mechatronics is a multi-disciplinary, technical field which integrates mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and micro-electronic skills. Participants coming into the program have high-tech manufacturing responsibilities, with strong backgrounds in electronic and mechanical skills.

This program is designed to instruct participants in the areas of electrical and mechanical technical repair support. Each course is tailored to meet the training needs of local manufacturers, which enroll students in this program.

The Mechatronics program consists of three 17-week phases: Phase 1 – Industrial Electronics, Phase 2 – Industrial Controls and PLCs, and Phase 3 – Advanced Industrial Controls and Practical Applications. Each phase consists of 136 hours of classroom lessons and technical hands-on skill applications. Participants attend one day a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the duration of the course.

“The need for employees skilled in mechatronics is rapidly increasing. Companies need to be able to immediately troubleshoot and maintain their own high-tech equipment to compete effectively in a global environment that demands speed,” said Reid Smalley, Executive Director of Workforce Development, GCC. “CNC Technical Solution’s resources and expertise provide the essential resources and facilities to make this program a reality and serve a rapidly emerging need in the GLOW region. GCC is excited to play an instrumental role in this training initiative to provide our area manufacturers with critical technical skills.”

CNC Technical Solutions was incorporated on June 26, 2007, ten years earlier to the day of this graduation event, according to CEO John Nappa. CNC Technical Solutions is a think-tank group of engineers, technicians and technical writers dedicated to delivering world-class engineering, technical training and technical support services to the automotive, medical, aerospace and food industries as well as other private-sector industries. They specialize in the customization of machine and control-specific training.

While the Mechatronics program tuition is partially funded by companies, there is generous, additional assistance provided by two sources. The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) provides significant funding designated within the New York State budget. The WDI works regionally across NYS to identify targeted strategies which address workforce-development opportunities and challenges.

These strategies can include partnerships, training and/or funding. High Tech Rochester (HTR) also provides financial support from NYS’s Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership. HTR is a nonprofit whose mission is to be a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation-based economic development. They apply business expertise and network connections to aid in the formation and profitable growth of companies in the Rochester area and the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.

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Libraries kick off summer reading program
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2017 at 7:59 am

‘Build a Better World’ is theme of 6-week challenge

Photos by Tom Rivers

The local public libraries in Orleans County, as well as the state and nation, have kicked off the annual summer reading challenge with a theme: “Build a Better World.”

Hoag Library in Albion promoted the reading challenge with this float during the Strawberry Festival Parade on June 10. The library had help from the Albion FFA chapter with the display.

Hoag also had a kick off celebration on Saturday with games, free hot dogs and other activities. The library will have an all-day signup for the reading challenge today, and will welcome a children’s choir from Uganda for a performance at 6 p.m. today.

Hoag has daily activities to promote building a better world, including many hands-on activities, including building birdhouses on Wednesday and programming Lego robots on Friday. Many community members also will be guest readers for story times during the summer. (Orleans Hub editor Tom Rivers will do the story hour on July 26 at 11 a.m.)

The Grigg Lewis Storytellers will also be at Hoag every Thursday with activities to help children understand the world and see how objects and construction work. This Thursday’s challenge at 3 p.m. will include a competition for children to build the longest, strongest and highest bridges.

Click here to see the summer reading challenge schedule at Hoag.

Jim Babcock works on building a playhouse at the library on Saturday. For every book read this summer during the reading challenge, children will get a ticket for a chance to win the playhouse. The drawing will be on Aug. 3. Babcock will help children build birdhouses on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Anitrice Bennett, a trustee for Hoag Library, goes into the photo booth for silly pictures on Saturday with her son, Jordan Marshall, and niece, Gabriella Romig.

Lions Club members Kevin Howard, left, and John Keding served free hot dogs on Saturday to kick off the reading challenge.

Other libraries are also participating in the reading challenge.

Click here for more information from Community Free Library in Holley.

Click here for more information on Yates Community Library in Lyndonville.

Click here for more information on Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

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AAA reports gas prices decline as July 4 approaches
Posted 26 June 2017 at 7:01 am

Press Release, AAA Western and Central New York

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is now $2.26 per gallon, down three cents from last week. A year ago, the price was $2.31. The New York State average is $2.44 per gallon, down two cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.43.

AAA Western and Central New York reports the following averages:

  • Buffalo – $2.36 (down 3 cents)
  • Rochester – $2.37 (down 3 cents)
  • Rome – $2.39 (down 2 cents)
  • Syracuse – $2.30 (down 3 cents)

As we approach the Independence Day holiday weekend, refineries continue to produce record amounts of gasoline – a key contributor to declining gas prices over the past few weeks. In fact, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted last week that U.S. refinery capacity has increased by 659,000 barrels per day since mid-August 2015, which is the equivalent of building a new refinery in the U.S.

Record amounts of gasoline production have easily met increasing demand from drivers leaving gasoline stockpiles at high levels. Although a record number of travelers are expected to hit the road for the 4th of July, high refinery rates and gasoline stocks appear poised to handle the surge in demand, so a dramatic increase in the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline seems unlikely. After record-breaking demand a few weeks ago for the Memorial Day holiday, the national average price per gallon has been dropping for two weeks.

Locate gas prices across the country at http://gasprices.aaa.com.

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Albion grad showed up very early at high school for 4 years, opening doors, giving friendly greetings

Photo by Tom Rivers: Devin Ware is pictured after graduation Friday by the main doors leading into the high school. Ware was at school at 7 most mornings since his freshman year, opening the doors for teachers and his classmates.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 June 2017 at 9:10 am

Devin Ware wanted to brighten mornings for high schoolers

ALBION – High schoolers at Albion could always count on a friendly greeting each morning from Devin Ware. He would open the front door for them at the school, and sometimes hand out candy canes and treats.

Ware for 3 ½ years made giving a warm welcome to his classmates a mission. He would stand at the front doors for about 45 minutes every school day, sometimes in bitter cold.

Ware, 18, graduated on Friday. Twice he won the district’s Character Award – as a sophomore and senior – for his commitment to being at school early to help give his classmates a good start to their day.

“I wanted to help people have a good morning because mornings aren’t the best time for some people,” Devin said.

He started showing up early at school midway through his freshman year, getting a ride with his grandfather, Rob Seymour, who started his workday just before 7 at CRFS in Albion.

Devin preferred riding with his grandfather and getting to school early over riding the school bus.

When Devin arrived at the school campus, he had some time to kill before classes started. He noticed teachers were there early, sometimes with both arms full of papers and books.

Devin opened the door for them. Then classmates started arriving. He opened the door for them, too, staying by the door just before the homeroom bell.

“I got to know a bunch of people by doing it,” he said about the morning routine at the front door.

He became more outgoing, greeting his classmates by name. During holidays he added an extra touch, giving away candy canes before Christmas, treats at Halloween, and Tootsie pops with coffee filters that had holes poked through to resemble flowers. Devin and his grandmother included ribbons with Albion’s color of purple, gold and white with the Tootsie pop flower creation.

Devin said he struggled at one time with anger issues in school and some shyness. But his role as morning greeter helped him become more outgoing and to connect with his classmates.

“I wasn’t really noticed that much in school,” he said. “With opening the door, it made me feel like I was doing something. I kept doing it. Every person I would open the door for, I would say ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning.’”

Some of his classmates called him “Devin the Doorman.” They appreciated him being there.

Devin said he didn’t just open the door and give a warm greeting to “preferred friends.” He gave everyone the same treatment.

“No matter who you are, I opened the door,” he said.

Devin plans to work the next two years to save up money for college. He would like to study art and work in animation.

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Collins, Cuomo spar over health legislation’s impact in NY
Staff Reports Posted 25 June 2017 at 7:58 am

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) says the Republican healthcare plan would result in biggest tax cut in Western New York history.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the legislation will pull $2.3 billion in federal funding from the state, hurting healthcare providers and vulnerable New Yorkers.

Collins issued this press release on Saturday:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) hailed the inclusion of his amendment to the House passed American Health Care Act into the Senate version of the bill.

The amendment, introduced with Congressman John Faso (NY-19), would require New York State to take over the county portion of Medicaid by 2020 and would provide the largest property tax reduction ever to Western New York.

“This was a long fought battle against the injustice in Albany and is a big victory for taxpayers,” said Congressman Collins.

Federal law now permits states to share some of their costs with local governments, but New York is the only state that has imposed this level of burden on property taxpayers. Counties currently have no say in how local revenues are spent on Medicaid; they’re simply required to foot part of Albany’s bill. Local state leaders agreed that the inclusion of the amendment is important and welcome news for Western New York residents.

“Mandate relief has been talked about in Albany for as long as anyone can remember – it certainly wasn’t new when I was talking about it as mayor. It’s not a headline-grabbing or attractive issue, so meaningful proposals on mandate relief are generally swept aside. But I can tell you that it’s real. It’s real for the local governments who deal with tight budgets and it’s real for taxpayers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. I applaud Congressman Collins for bringing this issue to the forefront. Ideally, this would have been a serious discussion at the state level, but having failed that, I’m pleased that we could possibly address the crippling burden placed on our local governments as part of larger, federal health care discussions,” said State Senator Robert Ortt (R-North Tonawanda).

“As a long-time supporter of curbing the costs of Medicaid, which would take a heavy burden off of local governments, I am proud to support Congressman Collins’ amendment. The impact on my assembly district and local taxpayers will be tremendous with estimated tax reductions of 49 percent in Orleans County and 35 percent in Genesee County. It is clear that New York’s outrageous Medicaid spending is one of the driving forces behind property and school tax increases and it is time for government to take that burden off our residents’ backs,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia).

“I’m pleased that the Senate has included Rep. Collins’s amendment in the healthcare reform bill. This promises real relief for property tax payers in communities like Niagara County, and holds state government accountable to fund their mandates instead of passing on costs to the local level. Americans deserve access to the best healthcare possible, but it shouldn’t fall to just homeowners to fund the system,” said Niagara County Legislature Chairman Wm. Keith McNall.

“Congressman Collins’ Medicaid proposal will provide historic ‘real’ property tax relief for hardworking local taxpayers. Currently over 30 perfect of the Ontario County property tax levy currently goes towards paying for New York’s unfunded Medicaid mandate. I look forward to working with Rep. Collins and the members of the Board of Supervisors as we continue our efforts to reduce the burden on hardworking taxpayers in our community,” said Jack Marren, Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

“We as a board supported a resolution in support of this measure because protecting property taxpayers is one of our prime concerns. This legislation will reduce an unfunded state mandate and help us deliver real tax relief to local homeowners,” said Eric Gott, Chairman, Livingston County Board of Supervisors.

“We appreciate Rep. Collins efforts to relieve the counties of this extraordinary unfunded mandate. This will be a tremendous relief to local county property taxpayers and will allow us to invest in our infrastructure and other county services,” said Raymond Cianfrini, Chairman, Genesee County Legislature.

“For years counties in New York have decried the use of property taxes to fund New York State’s expansive Medicaid program.  We are optimistic that changes at the federal level can result in real, substantive, positive changes to the bottom line for county property tax payers,” said David B. Callard, Chairman, Orleans County Legislature.

The Senate is expected to vote this week on their version of the Obamacare repeal bill.

Cuomo: Faso-Collins bill ‘reckless and dangerous political maneuver’

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday released the following statement on the health care bill and the Faso-Collins amendment being considered in the US Senate:

“This year, some members of New York’s own Congressional delegation have voted to cut $2.3 billion in federal funding to New York State and New York State alone. I have never seen representatives in Washington fighting to take funding away from their home state, but that’s exactly what Faso, Collins and their colleagues have done. This shocking action from officials elected to help their constituents comes at a high price for New Yorkers: every resident of this state will be forced to pay the ‘Faso-Collins Federal Tax’ to make up the difference.

“In a reckless and dangerous political maneuver, Chris Collins, John Faso and certain partners in the New York delegation have betrayed their constituents by attempting to burden them with a piece of health care legislation that will amount to a 10 percent tax increase to their property taxes to make up for cuts from the federal government. New York is already a ‘donor state’ that contributes $48 billion more in taxes to the federal government than it receives in federal spending. At a time when middle class families are already struggling to make ends meet, Faso, Collins and other members of the delegation who supported this reckless amendment will have to answer to the people of this state for it.

“Over the last seven years, I have made capping and cutting property taxes a main priority, passing the first-ever 2 percent property tax cap, and legislation forcing local governments to propose shared-services plans to lower local property taxes, but Faso and Collins are seeking to reverse that. This is nothing more than a political gimmick dressed up as property tax relief and every New Yorker should call their representative to stop this reprehensible legislation from passing.”

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Lots of fun at first kickball tournament in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 June 2017 at 10:42 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Randy Giattino heads for third on his way to a home run for the St. Mary’s team in today’s kickball tournament at Bullard Park.

Giattino played with his 10-year-old son, Mason, and other players and coaches from the St. Mary’s Little League team. St. Mary’s finished second overall in the single-elimination seven team tournament.

The FLED Foundation organized the first-time event as a benefit for families with children fighting leukemia. The tournament was called, “Kicking Cancer’s Ballz.”

Carl Beecher, center, of Barre is congratulated by his teammates after a big home run in the tournament. Beecher played for the Toe Jammers which won the title.

Colby Klinkbeil, 16, of Kent delivers a pitch for the team called “Big Ballers.”

Emma Aquina, 14, of Oakfield kicks the ball. She played on a team called “Kick’n 4 Kancer.”

Lily Williams, 16, of Albion performs with the band, Of The Bear, which also played in the kickball tourney.

Of The Bear huddles before a game against St. Mary’s.

Morgan Bedford of Newfane rolls in a pitch for the Toe Jammers.

The event included three bands performing, free food and other games, including a duck pond, face painting and visit by Princess Jasmine.

Beth and Kyle Webb started the FLED – Fight Like Elaina Dixie – Foundation in honor of their daughter, Elaina, who passed away at age 2 ½ on Feb. 7 after battling leukemia for nine months.

They wanted a kickball tournament to highlight one of Elaina’s favorite games.

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Holley gives Class of 2017 a big sendoff at graduation
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 24 June 2017 at 8:21 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley’s Class of 2017 toss their caps by the stadium scoreboard following commencement this morning at the Holley Hawks Stadium.

There are 92 students in this year’s graduating class.

The cafeteria at Holley Middle School/High School was a sea of red Saturday morning as the Class of 2017 gathered to prepare for commencement. Megan Fribance plans to study psychology at The College at Brockport in the fall and McKenzie Hendrickson will study nursing at Walsh University.

Will Harrington plans to attend Elmira College in the fall majoring in pre-vet studies, Anna Adams will attend Genesee Community College to major in general studies, and James Skehan will study computer science at Monroe Community College.

Big smiles on a big day from Jessica Mandigo, who will study psychology and social work at SUNY Fredonia, and Makenzie Ferranti, who plans to study liberal arts at Genesee Community College beginning next spring. Ferranti also sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” during commencement.

Holley graduates and faculty process from the Middle School/High School to the Holley Hawks Stadium for commencement.

The Holley Central School Class of 2017 enters the stadium to “Pomp and Circumstance”

In his salutatory address, Jesse Beach noted that graduates have “survived high school (including Common Core).”  He encouraged the Class of 2017 to celebrate their accomplishments. “We all worked hard to be here today.”

Anna Brasted, Class of 2017 valedictorian,  called graduation a “bittersweet day.” She thanked teachers for helping the Class of 2017 to be, “ready for tomorrow’s challenges….. thank you for caring so much,” Brasted said.

Veronica Mendoza, vice president of the Class of 2017, presented her class’s parting gift to the Holley Central School District – a new digital camera for the yearbook staff.

“Yearbooks let us reflect on a piece of our lives,” Mendoza said.  “We hope the new camera will capture the fun memories that high school has.”

Evinn Neadow, Holley Middle/High School art teacher, gave the commencement address. She said she turned to her Facebook page for help in writing her speech by asking friends what they wish they had known at the time they graduated from high school.

She received many responses including – “Don’t be afraid to ask for help….. You won’t know how great your parents are until you become one yourself…. we all make mistakes, learn from it and move on.”

Neadow described her journey after high school and how she turned to a career in art education after she graduated from RIT with an undergraduate degree in fine art and photography.

“There was no job waiting for me,” Neadow said. She realized she loved being in school and knew art education was the right path for her.

“You are an awesome group of intelligent, talented and kind individuals,” she told graduates.  “Find what makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfillment….. and keep moving toward that goal.”

Neadow advised graduates to enjoy the journey wherever they choose to go.  “Work hard and be proud of everything you are,” she said.

Andrew Cary receives his diploma from Holley School Board President Brenda Swanger.  Cary will be attending the Valley Forge Military Academy and College and plans to eventually join the military. High School Principal Sue Cory is at left by Robert D’Angelo, the district superintendent.

Ashlyn Hotchkiss receives her diploma from Brenda Swanger. Ashlyn will study psychology at SUNY Geneseo in the fall.

Jennah McMillion toped her graduation cap with a sparkly tiara.

Holley graduates move their tassels following the Declaration of Graduation by Superintendent Robert D’Angelo.

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Ride For Roswell passes through Orleans
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 June 2017 at 5:13 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Thousands of bikers took part in the 22nd annual Ride For Roswell today across Western New York. Here two of the riders are shown crossing the Marshall Road canal bridge during the 102 miles ride which included parts of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties. In all some 7,380 riders took part in the event which raised a whopping $4.6 million to support Roswell Park and the fight against cancer.


Immigrant ancestors showed incredible resilience building new lives in America
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 24 June 2017 at 12:09 pm

“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 3, Issue 26

Dating back to the earliest years of the United States, immigration was a welcomed occurrence; the arrival of new European immigrants was believed to bring desirable traits that would strengthen American stock. Despite this early stance on a process that was of little concern to most Americans, groups surfaced with the intention of restricting or ending waves of immigration.

The emergence of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s and 1850s brings forth a “Gangs of New York” image to the minds of many. The exact level of activity of such groups in Orleans County is uncertain, but we do know that men such as John Hull White of Albion and Elisha Whalen of Medina were aligned with these political ideas. White, a Conservative Democrat in the years when Republicans considered themselves the “Party of Lincoln,” found it impossible to win an election in our Republican-dominated county.

An influx of Irish and German immigrants established an unfounded fear of the Catholic Church, while many of these immigrants flooded into the emerging sandstone quarries of our region, bringing with them a willingness to toil amidst dynamite and heavy stone. Shortly after came the laborers from the Norfolk region of southern England, who with pickaxe and shovel, filed into the ranks with the Irish and Germans. Minimal legislation meant no visas, no limitations, no need for connections to family already in the United States, nor guarantee of work.

The mass of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe starting in the 1860s and 1870s raised questions about the ongoing solvency of unrestricted immigration. With the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the federal government established a solid stance on the limitation of specific immigrants, prohibiting any immigration of individuals from China. Additional laws passed over the following decades created the conditions experienced at places like Ellis Island, the conditions that so many genealogists read about.

Immigrants were no longer desirable, their genetic traits more likely to diminish the hearty stock of American citizens than strengthen. These new immigrants were viewed as unwilling to assimilate, preferring to gather in ethnic communities while retaining their cultural and religious practices. Their presence developed unfounded fears of disease, leading the federal government to limit access to those “likely to become a public charge,” polygamists, sexual deviants, anarchists, radicals, and the disabled.

Agents at ports of entry would observe immigrants for physical defects, limps, poor posture, feeble natures, weakness, and abnormal body shape, many feeling as though they could learn more about an immigrant’s physical condition from a few moments of unnoticed observation than they could through detailed medical examinations. These laws created the concept of the illegal immigrant, who concealed illness and disability, or lied about political beliefs to try their luck at a better life in a country determined to keep them out; until this point, there was no illegal immigration.

I found myself reflecting on this image of my great grandparents, taken on the day of their wedding in 1919, as I prepare to travel to their hometown of Wabcz, Kujawsko-Pomorskie in Poland. I often think of the hardships they endured. Frank Kaniecki, seated upon the table, was three years old when he arrived at Ellis Island with his parents and younger brother Paul. His mother, eight months pregnant, gave birth to a baby girl during the journey across the Atlantic, the baby dying several days later. One can imagine Frank’s father, Antoni, leading his grieving wife with two toddlers in tow through the lines of immigrants while agents observed their every move. Rose Romanski, standing with her hand on Frank’s shoulder, was only one year old when her parents brought her to America.

At the time this photograph was taken, both were celebrating their second marriage. Each lost their spouses to consumption, a condition that often ravaged the immigrant populations that labored in the quarries. Their marriage, one of necessity, ensured that the children from their previous marriages were cared for, eight in total. These families, arriving amidst the influx of new immigrants out of German-controlled Poland, found themselves fleeing ongoing pressure to destabilize the Catholic Church and suppress the Polish culture. Generally accepted within the community of Albion, Frank changed his last name from Kaniecki to Crane in the 1930s in the hopes of attracting more American customers to his grocery store in Albion’s Polonia.

As few of our ancestors would qualify for legal entry into the United States under the laws of today, we should be forever grateful that they were afforded the opportunity to start a new life in America. The resilience of our immigrant ancestors is an amazing thing.

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Lyndonville celebrates 63 graduates at commencement
Staff Reports Posted 24 June 2017 at 8:54 am

Photos courtesy of Tracey Lewis

LYNDONVILLE – The 63 graduates in the Class of 2017 toss their caps following commencement on Friday at the school.

The ceremony was held at Stroyan Auditorium on Housel Avenue. After the program, the graduates met on the soccer field to toss their caps.

The class is pictured at the auditorium at the beginning of the program.

Jessica Smith, Lyndonville’s valedictorian, addresses her classmates and the crowd on Friday. Smith is headed to Rochester Institute of Technology to major in film animation.

Dawson Joy hugs teacher Robin Boyle after he was presented with the Fred Large Scholarship, which is named in honor of Boyle’s father, a retired coach and teacher at Lyndonville.

Dr. Aaron Slack, high school principal, announces the names of the graduates while they received their diplomas.

Ted Lewis, president of the Board of Education, and Jason Smith (right), the district superintendent, present the diplomas to the graduates.

Salma Huzair and her classmates get ready to sing the alma mater.

Brooke Kiefer and her classmates sing the alma mater to close out commencement.

Ted Lewis, president of the Lyndonville Board of Education, is pictured with his daughter Aubrey, one of the graduates this year for Lyndonville.

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Kendall grads told be bold and courageous
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 24 June 2017 at 7:32 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KENDALL – Carol D’Agostino, Kendall’s Jr./Sr. High School principal, presents a diploma to Alanna Gordon on Friday during commencement at the school auditorium. Gordon was one of 54 graduates. She has passed the NYS Boards as a CNA and hopes to work in a nursing home.

District Superintendent Julie Christensen addressed the crowd. She 77 percent of the Class of 2017 graduated with at least Regents diploma and 72 percent are entering college. Five percent of the class are entering the Armed Forces.

Christensen told graduates that graduation is a process that continues every day of their lives.  “Your fireworks begin today,” she said, “reach for the stars … work hard, exhibit a passion for your chosen path … be bold, be courageous, be your best.”

Members of the Color Guard, Matthew Murray and Allen Tonas, present the flags. Miguel Aguirre and Lyndsay Wright served as Marshals.

Members of the Band Ensemble, directed by Ashlea Strouse, perform “America the Beautiful.”

Graduate Alexis Payton gives the invocation. District Superintendent Julie Christensen is at left.

Salutatorian Chelsea Wright told graduates as they complete this chapter of their lives, there is no way to escape change.

“When faced with challenges we do not crumble, we must learn to adjust as we go,” she said.  “You will be the ones who change the world.”

Wright will attend St. Bonaventure University in the fall and major in accounting.

The 2017 Commencement Address was given by Kendall Class of 2000 graduate Michael Turbeville.  Turbeville returned to Kendall as a high school teacher in 2006, but decided to change careers and graduated from the Police Academy in 2015.  He now works for the Rochester Police Department in the Lake Section.

Turbeville advised graduates on “How to Succeed According to Turbs.”

He challenged them to take a step back and slow down. “You don’t have to have life figured out,” he said.

Turbeville also told graduates to be kind.  “No one has ever said, ‘this has been a great day,’ from the back seat of a police car,” he said, and noted he deals with the challenges of police work through kindness.

“I think of how I want to be treated,” Turbeville said.  “You can respond with anger and fear or love and kindness. Different and bad are not synonyms. We can disagree and still be kind.”

Lastly, he advised students to be humble as they make their way into the next phase of their lives.

Cooper James Rowley receives his diploma. He will attend Monroe Community College in the fall, majoring in agriculture and food studies.

Elizabeth Rath gives the valedictory address. She challenged her fellow graduates to, “jump out of your comfort zone … take this passion, this excitement and drive it into the world.”

Rath said the compassion and support graduates have received all their lives from family and friends in the Kendall community have given them a strong base as they move forward. She will study biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester this fall.

James Longrod gives the benediction.

With class officers facing fellow graduates, tassels are moved from right to left, to signify commencement is completed and they have graduated high school.

The Kendall Class of 2017 acknowledges the crowd before leaving the stage.

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120 graduates from Albion urged to keep small-town values
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2017 at 10:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Chanyce Powell smiles after receiving her diploma  from Board of Education President Margy Brown during the 139th annual commencement at Albion High School this evening.

Powell was one of 120 graduates at Albion, which celebrated the graduation in the high school gym.

Tessa Pollock heads to the stage to receive her diploma.

Emily Blanchard gave two speeches during commencement – one as class president and a second for being the class valedictorian. She said the class of 120 developed close friendships and supported each other while showing lots of school spirit.

She urged her classmates to turn their dreams into action. The classmates are all likely feeling some uncertainty as they leave high school, but Blanchard said they are well grounded from their small-town values. She thanked the teachers, administrators, staff and the students’ parents for instilling strong values in the class.

Joe Madejski, the class salutatorian, congratulated Blanchard for putting in the hard work to be valedictorian. Madejski used humor in his speech. He urged his classmates to laugh and be optimistic in their lives.

Seniors in the chorus sing, “For Good” after they led the crowd in singing the National Anthem.

Vivian Rivers, class vice president, stands at attention with members of the Board of Education during the National Anthem.

Connor Zicari heads up to get his diploma.

Friends and family of graduates line up to take pictures of graduates as they receive their diplomas.

Kory Reynolds hugs Morgan Aina, the little sister of his friend and fellow graduate, Blake Aina.

Tyler Nashburn heads to the stage for his diploma.

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Sandstone Society gives scholarship to history-minded student
Staff Reports Posted 23 June 2017 at 5:59 pm

Provided photo

MEDINA – The Medina Sandstone Society presented a $500 scholarship to Madeline Winters, who was selected as the Outstanding John Ryan Scholar.

Pictured, from left, include: John Ryan Scholarship review committee members Steve Bunch and Mary Zangerle, Madeline Winters, Sandstone Society Vice President David Miller, and committee member Sue Holland.

The John Ryan Scholarship program was started three years ago by the Sandstone Society with cooperation from the Medina High School History Department, under the direction of teacher Todd Bensley.

In addition to the scholarship, students are inducted into this program and have their names inscribed permanently on a wall in the hallway of the History Department. They also have a special designation recorded on their High School diploma.

The overall purpose of the John Ryan Scholar’s program is to instill a love of history in high school students, urging them to find out about and become involved in the community in which they live.

The scholarship is named in honor of John Ryan, who opened the first commercial quarry in Medina in 1837, quarrying the famous Medina Sandstone.

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African youth choir has several performances in Orleans

Provided photo: The Imani Milele Children’s Choir, a ministry of Light Africa Ministries based in Uganda, will be performing four concerts from Saturday through Monday in Orleans County.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2017 at 5:13 pm

A youth choir from Uganda will be performing four times in Orleans County, beginning Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Canal Village Farmers’ Market in Medina.

“We’re trying hard to bring some quality musical artists,” said Gail Miller, manager of the market across from the Post Office on East Center Street. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to book a very special musical guest- the Imani Children’s Choir of Uganda.”

The performances by the Children’s Choir will help raise funds for continued development and support of Light Africa programs in Uganda. The program features children’s songs, hand clapping, traditional spirituals and contemporary tunes.

“We are hoping the Medina and surrounding community will come out and give these children a big, beautiful welcome!” said Miller.

The concerts are free to the public, but donations of support are welcome.

The choir will be at the Farmers’ Market from 11 to 12:30 on Saturday. On Sunday, they will be at the First Baptist Church for two performances, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and in the afternoon from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Imani Milele will conclude its tour through Orleans County on Monday at the Hoag Library in Albion, performing from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Hoag Library will kick off its summer reading program on Saturday with a theme of “Building a Better World.” Betty Sue Miller, the library director, said the choir’s concert is well timed near the beginning of the six-week reading program.

“What better way to build a better world that have some culture from another region,” Betty Sue Miller said.

Over the past years, the children have appeared in hundreds of concerts around the world, including Washington DC, Dallas Texas and Sea World in San Diego, as well as schools around the USA.

For more information on the choir, click here.

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