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Medina approves 5-ton weight limit on village streets
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2017 at 10:51 pm

Village Board wants trucks to use Bates and Salt Works roads

MEDINA – The Village Board approved a 5-ton weight limit on village streets, a move intended to direct tractor trailers to Salt Works Road on the western end of the village and Bates Road on the east side.

The village did have some streets with 8-ton limits, but now all village streets will have a 5-ton limit for vehicles.

The board made the change on Monday, following a public hearing that drew no dissenting voices.

“Hopefully this will eliminate some of the trucks coming through the village and ruining our streets and sidewalks,” said Mayor Michael Sidari.

The board has had heard complaints from residents in recent months, especially about trucks that use Park Avenue early in the morning through the evening.

The board wants trucks to stay off Park Avenue and instead take Maple Ridge Road to Salt Works Road. From there they have access to Associated Brands and companies in the Olde Pickle Factory.

Mayor Sidari said the village has notified companies that provide GPS directions about the weight limit change. The village also wants to put up signs along the state roads, directing trucks to either Salt Works or Bates roads. Sidari said Medina will need permits from the state Department of Transportation for those signs.

Tractor trailers in the village have run over some signs and damaged curbs while making turns.

The mayor said the new laws for truck traffic will also help the Police Department better monitor the truck traffic in the village and eliminate confusion about weight limits on village streets.

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Inmate gets additional time for trying to have prescription drug brought into women’s prison
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2017 at 6:31 pm

ALBION – An inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility was sentenced to additional 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison for attempting to have a drug brought into the women’s prison.

Stacie Calloway, 47, is a Rochester native currently in the women’s prison. On March 26, she attempted to have Alprazolam, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety, be brought into the prison.

Calloway pleaded guilty to attempted promotion of prison contraband in the first degree.

The charge usually carries a 2- to 4-year maximum in prison. As part of a plea, Calloway will face an extra 1 ½ to 3 years in prison. She was due to released in December.

Her attorney, David Wade, asked Sara Sheldon, the acting Orleans County Court judge, for leniency for Calloway, whose husband is in hospice care with terminal brain cancer. Wade also said Calloway’s criminal record is driven by her drug addiction.

Calloway apologized for her “very poor choices” and asked the judge to include a drug treatment program in the sentence.

Judge Sheldon said Calloway has twice been in the Willard drug treatment program through the state prison system. Sheldon told Calloway she would receive additional drug treatment when she is released from prison. The judge urged Calloway to take a leadership role in the program.

“I think there is a lot of hope for you,” the judge said. “Look at you, you’re fabulous.”

In other cases in County Court today:

• The judge accepted Virginia A. Rivera, 37, of Albion into a judicial diversion program. If Rivera successfully completes the program, which includes inpatient drug treatment, a felony charged will be dismissed. Rivera will instead be sentenced to 3 years of probation for a misdemeanor of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Rivera in court today pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. If she fails the judicial diversion program, Rivera could face 1 to 9 years in state prison.

She admitted she had cocaine with the intent to sell. She doesn’t have a prior criminal record.

• John W. Murphy, 44, of Medina was arraigned for fifth-degree criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He allegedly was involved with the sale and distribution of prescription Suboxone strips. Murphy entered a not guilty plea today in court. He will be screened for the judicial diversion program.

• Mary Golding, 52, of Waterport was arraigned for third-degree burglary, menacing in the second degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.

She allegedly went into a building on North Liberty Street in Albion, and brandished a knife, threatening a woman. The judge issued an order of protection for the woman.

Judge Sheldon also set bail at $10,000 for Golding.

Her attorney, Mark Lewis, said Golding had been drinking heavily and using illicit drugs at the time of the alleged crimes.

Golding will also be screened for the judicial diversion program. Last year she was sentenced to a year in jail for going into a neighbor’s house on Harris Road on Nov. 8, 2015 and stealing a jewelry box so she could feed her heroin addiction.

Golding today in court said she has been struggling with alcohol, cocaine and heroin addictions.

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Governor legislation adding e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act
Posted 23 October 2017 at 5:58 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation adding electronic cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans their use everywhere that smoking tobacco products are prohibited.

“These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them,” Governor Cuomo said. “This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

This bill (S.2543A/ A.516A) would reduce the exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals for e-cigarette users and those around them. Under current law, only smoking substances containing tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes or pipes, are restricted in public places. While many counties have already banned the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including restaurants, bars and other work places, this bill makes the law consistent across the state.

In July, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that immediately banned the use of e-cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.

Electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems, which include e-cigarettes, vaping pens, e-hookah and similar devices, typically contain nicotine. Some ingredients found in e-cigarettes are considered toxic and there is no regulation of what chemicals e-cigarettes contain how much nicotine the user is inhaling. These factors could lead to long-term adverse health effects for e-cigarette users and bystanders.

Senator Kemp Hannon said, “As the proud sponsor of this legislation, I am pleased New York will be taking this step to protect New Yorkers from the potential harms of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes often contain toxic chemicals in addition to nicotine, something bystanders should not be forced to breathe. With recent reports showing their use among minors increasing, New York must continue to work to regulate these devices in a common sense manner.”

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, “Closing the e-cigarette loophole by including it in the Clean Indoor Air Act is a long-overdue step that will help protect every New Yorker’s right to enjoy indoor public spaces free from the intrusion of e-cigarette vapor. I am pleased that the Governor signed this bill into law, and look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to enhance New York’s tobacco control measures.”

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Sanford Church says he is ready to serve community as next county judge

Photos by Tom Rivers: Sanford A. Church is running for Orleans County Judge. He is pictured last week at his law office on East Bank Street in downtown Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2017 at 1:55 pm

‘I’ve learned to keep an open mind, listen to everything, and then figure it out and figure out what the just response is.’

ALBION – Sanford A. Church, 59, is the Republican candidate in the Nov. 7 election for Orleans County judge.

Church grew up in Albion and played on the Albion football and basketball teams, and was one of the top tennis players on Albion’s undefeated tennis teams. He earned a law degree at Duke University, where he met his wife, Diane, who is also an attorney.

They have two grown children. Ben, 26, is a graduate of the Northwestern Medical School in internal medicine, and is doing his residency in California. Molly, 24, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and is studying to be a mental health counselor in Boston at Tufts University.

Church returned to Albion after getting a law degree, and worked with his late father, Ted Church, at an office on East Bank Street.

This picture of Sanford E. Church hangs in the law offices of Church and Church in Albion.

The Church family goes back generations in Albion, including Sanford E. Church, the first lawyer in the family who was an elected district attorney and went on to serve as lieutenant governor, state comptroller, and the chief judge of the NYS Court of Appeals. A historical marker stands by his former home on Ingersoll Street, which is now the Merrill-Grinnell Funeral Home.

Sanford A. Church seeks to succeed the retiring James Punch as county judge. Church has the backing of Punch and most of the attorneys in the county for the elected position. Church faces Tonia Ettinger on Nov. 7.

Church has been a long-time Little League coach for the Rotary-Lions team, and has been involved with the Rotary and Lions clubs, as well as serving on the Albion Board of Education.

He has been the public defender for about 20 years, representing low-income people facing felony charges. Church, a former member of the Albion Board of Education, has practiced law in all of the courts a county judge will preside.

Church was interviewed at his Albion office last week by Tom Rivers, the Orleans Hub editor.

Question: After graduating from Duke, why did you come back to Albion?

Answer: When were at Duke we were around a lot of lawyers who wanted to be at big firms. I watched it and didn’t want to do that, and decided to come back to my family practice where we’ve been lawyers forever.

Question: You were mid-20s then?

Answer: It would have been ’84, so roughly 26.

Question: How did you get involved as an assistant DA?

Answer: The way it worked first is I came back and started practicing with my dad. Curtis Lyman was the DA at the time. He asked if I would be one of his assistant district attorneys. I did that in ’85 for just a few months because then – this is a long story – there are attorneys who work for judges and the one who was working for (former) Judge Miles got a job as a support judge. So then Judge Miles, who had seen me do things in court, asked me to be his law clerk, which is the lawyer that works for the judge and does research, and writes decisions. I did that until ’89 and then I worked part-time in the same type of job for the Family Court judge in Batavia, and kept the practice here. And then I did assistant DA and assistant public defender, depending on what was going on and who wanted me to do what. Then I moved to public defender.

Question: I think you’ve been the public defender for as long as I’ve been here. (Tom Rivers started working as a reporter in Orleans County in July 1996.)

Answer: It’s got to be over 20 years.

Question: Why have you stayed in that job so long? What do you like about it?

Answer: The public defender’s job is part time. It allows me to do other things and still be a lawyer. I like coaching, too. It enables me to do all the different types of courts that I do. It is helping to represent people.

Sanford Church speaks during last Thursday’s Orleans County Republican Rally.

Question: What do you do as public defender? Aren’t you the administrator of the office as well as an attorney handling cases?

Answer: The way it is set up there is the public defender’s office and I am the boss so to speak of the public’s defender’s office. There are three assistant public defender attorneys who work under me or for me, however you want to say it. And so then with the criminal cases if we have a conflict of interest with the case we have to get an attorney who is not affiliated with the public defender’s office, in other words, not me or the three other attorneys. Right now the system is set up so Jeff Martin (an attorney in Holley) assigns the assigned counsel, who are private practitioners who take cases.

Question: Who are the three assistants?

Answer: Nathan Pace, Dominic Saraceno and Patricia Pope. She doesn’t do county court. She does the other courts.

The only courts the public defender’s office does in Orleans County is criminal. But I do Family Court, Surrogate’s and others as well.

Question: What is the Surrogate’s Court?

Answer: It takes care of peoples’ estates who have passed.

Question: What would the judge do?

Answer: In the beginning, it can be if a will is valid. Someone in the family may think there was undue influence on somebody signing the will, something like that. There are legal formalities that have to be filed and a surrogate can end up ruling whether the will is to be accepted or not. Sometimes it’s a battle. After it is accepted the executor has to then collect everything and dole it out so it is consistent with the will. If there is a disagreement within the family or whoever about how that should be done, then the judge has to figure that out, too.

Question: It seems there is a persona for a judge, in terms of having control of the court room. That doesn’t show up in credentials or the resume.

Answer: I can just say it’s not a plug-in position. I’ve been around law and lawyers all my life. It’s not a plug-in, anybody-can-do-it correctly for the community position. It takes the experience, knowledge and respect to do what needs to be done. You can’t just step in there and know criminal law, for example.

Question: Isn’t the judge also an administrator of the court?

Answer: Yes, with an amount of staff. I administer the PD’s office and I have some staff, too.

Question: And you have to keep the cases moving. Aren’t there time frames for the judge to keep cases moving?

Answer: For everything but Supreme Court there are what they call “standards and goals” for the courts. At least in Family and Criminal Court they try to have the cases done in six months. Now with jury trials in the criminal cases that can be hard to do, but that is what they strive to do.

Question: The public defender is a different path to getting to judge. It seems like in the smaller counties it is often the district attorney who makes the leap to judge. You have a little bit of a different resume than Judge Punch, who was DA before being judge.

Answer: I agree that it is different. The Family Court work, as an attorney for a child, I do all of that, too.

Criminal law is a lot of what is done in Orleans County, whether you are the public defender or the DA you get immersed in particular cases. The challenge is, and I’ve felt I have the ability to do it pretty well, is you figure out what the issues are in the cases, then you research it and figure out how to apply it to the case. Whether it’s the DA’s side or the public defender’s side or the defense side, it really helps to develop the knowledge base, so when you’re the judge you don’t have to start from scratch with making different decisions.

Question: Whether you’re the DA or public defender you’re playing by the same rules?

Answer: It’s the same body of law. I’m appointed, and the DA is elected. In general I’ve never run for one of these offices before. The DAs have and the public is a little more aware of them than a public defender or defense attorney.

Question: How long is the appointment for public defender?

Answer: It’s for two years. We go with the Legislature. They will meet in January and organize for two years.

I think I work well with the Legislature. I’ve been appointed a bunch of times. I work on the budget and keep that in line.

Question: People probably want to know why you want to run for judge?

Answer: I’ve been around it a long time and the judge matters. It’s an important spot. The local attorneys certainly support me. They respect me and know I can do it. I’m willing to do it and do what the county deserves. I’m used to the county and the law.

Sandy Church warms up a pitcher for the Rotary-Lions team during a game in July versus Carlton. Church has been a Little League coach for about 15 years.

Question: Why have you continued in the Albion Little League, long after your son aged out?

Answer: Number one, baseball was the thing when I was growing up. I like baseball. When I was a kid I had all of the baseball cards. I like working with the kids and getting to know some of them. Even when I was a basketball coach, you want to help the kids.

I’ve been able to back off as the head coach in Little League, but I still like working with the kids.

Question: Why have you and Diane stayed here in Albion?

Answer: I prefer the rural community. I don’t know everybody, but I know lots of people. I just like it better than the cities.

My two kids did fine coming from here. You can get involved in a whole bunch of extracurricular activities and you get the schooling. You can get there from here if a kid wants to do that.

Question: What else do you want to say?

Answer: One of the things that makes me qualified as anybody – if not more qualified than anybody around here – is that I learned how to suspend judgement after working for all of the judges over the years. I’ve learned to keep an open mind, listen to everything, and then figure it out and figure out what the just response is. I think I’ve been able to do that. The people that know the area and know me, who aren’t making snap judgements on me from one experience, they respect my ability to do that.

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Mumford businessman announces challenge against Collins for 27th Congressional District
Staff Reports Posted 23 October 2017 at 12:21 pm

Nicholas Stankevich

MUMFORD – Nicholas Stankevich of Mumford in Livingston County has announced he wants to challenge Chris Collins in next year’s election for the 27th Congressional District, which includes Orleans County.

“As an entrepreneur and local businessperson, I know that we can do better,” Stankevich said in an email to reporters today. “The challenges facing our towns and our country are enormous, and it’s time we elect someone who will stand up for all of us in   Washington by putting people first. This campaign is about rolling up our sleeves and fixing the problems facing our communities.”

Stankevich is seeking the Democratic Party’s endorsement in the race against Collins, a Clarence Republican. Stankevich grew up in Elma, Erie County. He is vice president of Marketing and Operations at Genesee Country Inn Bed and Breakfast at Mumford, and also works as an advisor for businesses.

“From Niagara County to Ontario County, I’m asking you to join me in bringing real leadership to New York’s 27th Congressional District,” he said in his statement announcing his candidacy. “We will work together to bring back good paying jobs to Western New York, accountability to Washington and ensure that we conserve and invest in our environment. There needs to be a new dawn of representation that moves Western New York forward, in a direction we can all be proud of.”

For more on the Stankevich campaign, click here.

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NY has $5 million in grants for animal shelter improvements
Posted 23 October 2017 at 10:40 am

File photo: Chuffles, a male cat that was up for adoption, is pictured in 2014 at the Orleans County Animal Shelter in Albion.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that $5 million is available to support critical improvement projects at New York’s non-profit and municipal animal shelters, humane societies, and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Funded in the FY 2018 Budget, the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund is the first state-funded program of its kind in the nation. It will allow eligible organizations to make significant updates to their facilities to enhance animal care and health, as well as to support companion animal adoptions.

“With this first-in-the-nation capital fund, we will help shelters upgrade their facilities to support the care and health of animals under their care,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will better equip New York shelters to continue their important work of finding these pets a loving home in New York.”

Administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Companion Animal Capital Fund is available to not-for-profit pounds, shelters and humane societies that are operated by or are under contract with a municipality. According to the New York State Animal Protection Federation, more than 150,000 animals are brought to these facilities each year and many are adopted by New York families. The Fund will help these organizations continue to provide sheltering services to local communities, promote better care for the animals and facilitate more adoptions.

The Companion Animal Capital Fund will provide competitive matching grants to offset the costs associated with capital projects, such as renovating dog kennels, improving medical facilities, or building more efficient shelters to reduce the cost of operation. Funds can be used to construct, renovate, rehab, or acquire buildings or equipment needed to house, treat, and care for sheltered dogs and cats.

Eligible organizations that serve a single municipality with a population of less than two million people may apply for grants of $50,000 to $200,000. The awarded funding may not exceed 50 percent of the proposed project cost and applicants are required to match 25 percent of the grant total.

Eligible organizations serving two or more municipalities, or one municipality with a population of more than two million individuals, may apply for grants of $100,000 to $500,000.  For these grants, the awarded funding may not exceed 75 percent of the proposed project cost and applicants are required to match 50 percent of the grant.

All applicants must apply through Grants Gateway (click here) by 4 p.m. on January 10, 2018. More details on eligibility and the application process are available on the Division of Animal Industry webpage by clicking here. For questions, contact Alexandra Chiusano at Alexandra.Chiusano@agriculture.ny.gov.

“This is a major step forward for New York, its shelters and the companion animals they care for,” said Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. “The Federation is incredibly thankful to Governor Cuomo, Senator Boyle, Assemblywoman Glick and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for embracing our vision and making it a reality. We look forward to working with shelters across the state to help them in this process. Capital improvements are needed across the state. This funding will help animal shelters move forward and provide excellent care to the dogs, cats and other companion animals in their facilities.”

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Canal begins tree-cutting on embankment from Medina to Fairport
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2017 at 9:07 am

Photos courtesy of Chris Busch

MEDINA – This photo on Sunday shows trees that have been taken down on the canal embankment by the Marshall Road canal bridge in Ridgeway.

The Canal Corp. has begun taking down many trees on the embankment in Medina. The Canal Corp. hired Mohawk Valley Materials from Utica to remove vegetation on the Canal Corp. right of way.

The company started the tree clearing in Medina and will be headed east to Fairport, trying to clear about 140 acres before the end of the year.

Sections of the towpath are closed while contractors work to clear trees.

The Canal Corp. discussed the plan on Sept. 25 during a meeting in Medina at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library. The Canal Corp. won’t be touching any trees on privately owned land. The trees have roots that can burrow into the soil, going under the towpath and reaching the canal walls. That can make the canal vulnerable to leaks and weaken the walls, Canal Corp. officials said.

After brush, vegetation and some trees are removed, the land will be seeded and mowed. That will make it easier for Canal Corp. officials to do inspections of the embankments, to make sure there aren’t any leaks or problems, Canal officials said.

Some of the wood is stacked after being cut down near the Marshall Road bridge.

Chris Busch, chairman of Medina’s Tree Board, said the tree clearing is upsetting to many residents, but he supports the effort to remove trees close by the canal.

“These trees were not a managed forest,” Busch said. “They were not planned and placed so as to be in harmony with the canal bank. Albeit beautiful, they have grown wild and random, creating a danger to the stability of the canal bank.”

Busch said a canal breach – a collapsed wall – would be catastrophic with the likely flooding.

“This is the beginning of managing the plant growth along the canal bank,” Busch said. “It’s a good thing.”

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Albion, Kendall, Holley set for soccer semis
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 October 2017 at 7:20 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The Albion and Kendall girls soccer teams have both advanced to the sectional semifinals this week. Albion’s Kendall Derisley and Kendall’s Lyndsay Wright are shown here in action during a recent non league meeting. The Holley boys squad has also advanced to the semis.

The Albion and Kendall girls teams and the Holley boys squad will all be competing in the semifinal round of the soccer sectional playoffs this week.

No. 8 seed Albion will face No. 5 Alden in the Section VI Class B-1 semifinals at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Williamsville North. Niagara-Orleans League champion No. 2 seed Newfane will take on No. 6 Olean in the first semi at Will North at 6 p.m.

Now at 10-6-2, Albion advanced by defeating top seed City Honors 3-1 in the quarterfinals while Alden blanked I Prep 6-0. Newfane edged Springville 3-2 in another quarterfinal.

No. 4 Kendall will face Genesee Region League foe top seeded Wheatland-Chili in the Section V Class D-1 semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at a site to be announced.

Kendall, which advanced to the semis by downing Bishop Kearney 3-1 to improve to 14-4, lost to W-C by a 3-1 score during the G-R season.

No. 3 Holley will face No. 2 Williamson in a Section V Class C-1 semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Webster Thomas.

The Hawks nipped G-R foe No. 6 Pembroke 1-0 in double overtime in the quarterfinals to improve to 9-5-3.

Williamson blanked No. 7 Marcus Whitman 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

Section VI Class C field hockey playoffs get underway on Monday with three quarterfinal contests including No. 5 Medina (5-7) at No. 4 Holland (7-8-1) and No. 6 Wilson (5-7) at No. 3 Roy-Hart (8-4), both at 3 p.m., and No. 7 Eden (5-10-1) vs. No. 2 Barker (11-1) at Medina’s Vets Park at 6:30 p.m.

The semifinals on Wednesday will have the Medina/Holland winner taking on top seeded Akron (11-1) and the Wilson/Roy-Hart winner facing the Eden/Barker winner.

On the gridiron, Holley and Medina/Lyndonville will both take to the road Thursday for bowl game final contests.

Holley will visit G-R foe Attica at 5:30 p.m. in the Section V Class C-1 Connors and Ferris Bowl championship game.

Medina/Lyndonville will take on Olean in the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Bowl title contest at Piioneer High at 7:45 p.m.

The pairings for the Section VI volleyball playoffs are slated to be announced on Monday.


Blue Mass offers appreciation, blessing for first responders
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2017 at 6:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Albion held a “Blue Mass” for law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, coroners and other first responders this morning.

This is the second straight year the parish and the Knights of Columbus has held the Mass. Some local firefighters and law enforcement officers gather outside the church just before the Mass at 10:30 this morning.

Local first responders gather before the Mass. The Knights of Columbus, led by Grand Knight Greg Dugan, organized the Mass. Dugan, owner Greg’s Barbershop, was critically injured in a motorcycle accident on Aug. 6, 2012.

“The first responders saved my life,” Dugan said today.

He was seriously injured in the accident, breaking both knees, both wrists, separating his pelvis, fracturing his left hip, and lacerating his left leg.

Dugan said the Mass today was a chance for the church to pray for the first responders, including those unable to attend the Mass this morning.

Father Richard Csizmar greets firefighters, including Harry Papponetti at right and Dale Banker, smiling.

“We hear of the courageous fire personnel who put their lives in jeopardy when approaching a blazing inferno. They are concerned about the lives that may be inside the house,” Csizmar said in a homily during the service. “They go about trying to protect the safety of those whose homes are next door. They run to accident scenes, to join others ministering to accident victims. They do so because of the generosity within their hearts. They do not look for glory and recognition—they see the value of the life of another human being, even if unknown.”

Law enforcement officers head into the church for the Mass.

Csizmar said this about police and deputies:

“We admire those who work nights, driving through the village, waiting for that next call. It may be an accident, a shooting, a fight, a person wanting to jump from a bridge. They arrive and are the first to deal with the bleeding. They talk to the person so distraught at the scene. They clean up the mess. They do not seek any reward.”

A blue wreath brought to the service by Merrill-Grinnell Funeral Home symbolized first responders killed in the line of duty, including Bruce Baldwin, Albion Fire Department; Richard Buongiorne, Kendall Fire Department; Lewis Grimes, Albion Fire Department; Matthew Phillips, Albion Fire Department; and David Whittier, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department. Csizmar also acknowledged the loss in the past week of Buffalo police officer Craig Lehner.

The Gates Keystone Club (Police Pipes and Drums) played at the Masseur the second year. The band formed in 1998 to “for the purpose of honoring our fallen brothers and sisters and to participate at official ceremonial events.”

Knights of Columbus members Casimer Pruski, left, and Bob Ballard, right, both past grand knights, get ready for the Mass.

“We ask God to bless all who wear the uniform in service to our community and country,” The Knights said in a message in the church program. “We also pray for a special blessing upon your families, your spouses, children and parents who pray for your safety daily.”

Firefighters from Albion and Barre stand during the Mass this morning.

Stephen Winner, drum major for the Gates Keystone Club, leads the band through the center aisle in a processional at the end of the Mass.

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Medina band has top score at Orchard Park
Posted 22 October 2017 at 5:31 pm

Photo and article courtesy of Medina Mustang Band

The Orchard Park school district hosted the Cavalcade of Bands on Saturday with 13 bands from Western NY and Pennsylvania competing.

It was a beautiful Fall night for this activity as evidenced by the large crowd in attendance. In SS1 Medina took first place with a score of 87.75, followed by East Irondequoit with 82.30.

First place winners in the other classes were Pioneer in SS3 with 73.20; Northwestern in SS2, 78.55;  Webster in LS2, 85.60; and Lancaster in the National class with 87.15.

Every week the band director makes subtle changes to the show to improve the performance and the presentation of Medina show theme for this year, “With Every Heartbeat.” This week the band members were wearing shirts with an image depicting an EKG image of a heartbeat.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the band will perform their show in Vets’ Park followed by a Senior Recognition. This is open to the public and a great opportunity to see these young people perform without having to travel.

The State Championships are on Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse when every band in the conference will compete.  In LS3 there are 7 bands and the show starts at 8 a.m. LS2 has 9 bands starting at 9:36 a.m.; SS3 has 11 bands beginning at 12:25 p.m.; SS2 has 10 bands, including UB in exhibition, starting at 3 p.m.;  SS1 has 8 bands starting at 6:10 p.m. with Medina performing at 7:02 p.m.

The National class has 9 bands beginning at 8:05 p.m. and includes Syracuse University in exhibition.

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Governor signs legislation for health care benefits to volunteer firefighters with certain cancers
Posted 22 October 2017 at 4:37 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: Carlton firefighters put out a big brush fire on Aug. 29, 2015.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to deliver health care benefits to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with certain cancers.

“New York is forever grateful to the 96,000 volunteer firefighters who selflessly put their own personal safety at risk in order to keep their neighbors and communities safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this measure, we will provide these courageous New Yorkers the protections they need and the peace of mind they deserve.”

Currently, volunteer firefighters are eligible for accidental disability and death benefits through Workers’ Compensation if they are injured in the line of duty. Effective January 1, 2019, firefighters will also be eligible for health benefits to support treatment for life-threatening cancers.

Under the bill (S1411B- A711B), volunteer firefighters who contract certain cancers will receive access to tax free disability and death benefits. Specifically, volunteer firefighters diagnosed with lung, prostate, breast, lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive systems, or melanoma cancer will be automatically eligible for health benefits if:

• Upon entry to volunteer, a physical exam did not show any evidence of the cancers covered by this bill;

• Individuals have at least five years of service fighting fire in the interior of buildings; and

• The firefighter is currently active or within 5 years of his or her last active date.

Kenneth Pienowski, President of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York said, “This is a great day for New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo and our elected representatives in Albany have acted to decisively protect those who protect the people of this great state. New York’s brave volunteer firefighters now have the protections and help they need in the tragic event of a cancer diagnosis. We are tremendously grateful to the Governor for his action. We also thank State Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi, and Assemblymember Brian Kolb for their leadership and support through this entire process. Because of them, the future generation of volunteer firefighters will not have to face cancer alone.”

John P. Sroka, President of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said, “All firefighters, regardless of whether they are paid or volunteer, fight identical fires. Because of this, all firefighters should be treated equally and receive equal benefits in the event of a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, this is now a reality. New York’s selfless volunteers, who sacrifice so much to protect all of us, now have the benefits that they need. The Fire Chiefs of New York applaud Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for their actions today and throughout this year’s session.”

Thomas Rinaldi, President of the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York said, “The Fire Districts of New York are grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo and bill sponsors State Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, and Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi for protecting New York State’s brave volunteer firefighters. Presumptive cancer coverage is an essential benefit for 21st century firefighters, and the signing of this legislation ensures that all firefighters in New York State will be equipped for 21st century fires. It is fitting that volunteers who sacrifice their time, safety, and health to protect their communities now have essential assistance available in their times of need.”

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Local Santa works hard to keep Charlie Howard legacy alive
Staff Reports Posted 22 October 2017 at 9:50 am

Provided photos

CLARENDON – Ken McPherson, a local resident and graduate of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, spoke about Howard and Santa School’s history during a presentation last week at the Clarendon Historical Society.

Howard founded the school in Albion in 1937 and continued it locally until his death in 1966. The school continues in his name in Midland, Mich. The class has sold out this coming week. To accommodate additional students, the school will run a second week of Santa lessons Nov. 2-4. (Click here for more information.)

McPherson has been portraying Santa for more than 30 years. He also collects memorabilia from the school when it was in Albion. He gives several talks a year about Howard and the former Christmas Park.

Howard’s Santa classes dealt with psychology, costuming, make-up, whisker grooming, voice modulation, the history and legend of St. Nicholas and learning the correct way to “ho-ho-ho.” Howard believed you couldn’t be a proper Santa unless you knew the history of the character you were portraying.

Howard was considered the country’s “Number 1 Santa,” and is perhaps best remembered as being Santa in the Macy’s Parade in New York City from 1948 to 1965. His school was featured in national magazines.

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Holley nips Pembroke in OT sectional thriller
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 October 2017 at 10:47 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Holley’s Kayden Servais, who scored the game winning goal, here takes a shot as Cyle Felski comes in to defend for Pembroke during the Hawks double overtime sectional victory this evening.

In a wild finish, No. 3 seed Holley scored with only three seconds remaining in the second 15 minute overtime period to nip visiting No. 6 Pembroke 2-1 this evening in the quarterfinals of the Section V Class C-1 boys soccer playoffs.

Holley sent everyone crashing to the net on the play which started with a corner by Andrew Moseman. In the wild scramble which ensued Kayden Servais was credited with scoring the goal off an assist  from Matt Wilson.

Holley’s Matt DeSimone battles for control of the ball with Pembroke’s Casey Shaw during the host Hawks overtime sectional win this evening.

“Everyone was up there crashing,” said Holley Coach Dan Orbaker. “It’s wonderful for the boys. It’s pretty good to get that ‘W'”.

Holley grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the first half as Erik Balys scored off an assist from Moseman.

However, Pembroke battled back to knot the contest on a goal by Sunny Kittisack with 18:03 remaining in the second half.

Regulation play ended deadlocked at 1-1 and neither team could score in the first 15 minute overtime.

However, the action picked up in the second overtime.

First, Holley had one shot rattle off the cross bar and another just miss the net off a corner.

Pembroke answered back with strong pressure as Holley goalie Patrick Bower had to make two clutch diving saves in the final four minutes  before the Hawks finally scored the game winner in the final three seconds.

The Hawks and Dragons had played to a pair of one goal decisions during the Genesee Region League season. Each team won on their home field as Pembroke took the first 3-2 in overtime and Holley the second 1-0.

The victory advances Holley, whih improves to 9-5-3, to the semifinals next Wednesday against No. 2 Williamson which downed No. 7 Marcus Whitman 6-0 .

Holley’s Andrew Moseman brings the ball up field as DeSimone supports and Pembroke’s Patrick Wolford is along side.


Kendall girls down Kearney to gain semis
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 October 2017 at 10:32 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall’s Hailee Mitchell tries to keep the ball away from Bishop Kearney’s Amata Valentini during the host Lady Eagles sectional win this evening.

Rebounding from an early deficit, No. 4 seed Kendall rallied to defeat visiting No. 12 Bishop Kearney 3-1 this evening in the quarterfinals of the Section V Class D-1 girls soccer playoffs.

Improving to 14-4, Kendall now faces  No. 1 Wheatland-Chili, a 4-0 victor over No. 8 Alfred-Almond, in the semifinals next Wednesday at a site to be determined. W-C downed Kendall 3-1 during the Geneesee Region League season.

Kendall’s Taylor ReQua brings the ball up field.

Kearney grabbed a 1-0 lead when Kaia Goode scored on a breakaway with 11:49 remaining in the first half.

However, Kendall answered right back with a pair of goals in the final four minutes to the half to move on top for good.

Kendall knotted the contest on a penalty kick goal byTaylor ReQua with 4:47 to go. The Lady Eagles then took the lead on a goal by Michela Hanlon with just 40 seconds remaining on a rebound shot off a corner kick by ReQua.

That same combination Hanlon from ReQua later added an insurance goal midway through the second half.

Katherine Pearson made 5 saves to earn the win in goal for the Lady Eagles.

The Lady Eagles also downed Kearney by a narrow 1-0 margin early in the season at the Kendall Tournament.

Kendall’s Michela Hanlon drives toward the goal.


Church in Knowlesville continues Apple Fest tradition for 40-plus years
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2017 at 5:21 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – It was apple mania today at The United Methodist Church of the Abundant Harvest which celebrated its annual Apple Fest. The church, which includes the United Methodist congregations in Millville and Knowlesville, prepared 156 apple pies and 56 gallons of apple butter. Some of those jars of apple butter are pictured in the top photo.

The church also served meals with roast beef, salt potatoes and and a Waldorf salad that includes apples. This photo shows Betty Lou Standish, left, scooping out the Waldorf salad and Joelle Brown, center, getting a roast beef sandwich ready.

There were 24 vendors at a craft fair, including Corina Stockmaster of Medina, who made these bracelets. Stockmaster is a jewelry artisan.

“Anyone can learn to do this,” she said. “It just takes patience. I like making new creations.”

Jim Nicholson of Medina holds a yellow tuna fish he made with a woodworking art known as intarsia. He takes pieces of wood and puts them together to create his artwork.

Paulette Orlowski of Albion uses plastic canvas to create sports, holiday and Teddy Bear themed collectibles.

Lisa Fitzak of Albion made many fall floral creations.

Norene Higgins of Albion created these bears, moist heat bags, towels and other items.

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