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Lots of rain drenches Orleans

Photos by Tom Rivers: This leaf is pictured on a fallen tree on the edge of Bullard Park this afternoon near Sandy Creek in Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2016 at 3:28 pm
Sandy Creek is pictured north of Route 31 along Bullard Park.

Sandy Creek is pictured north of Route 31 along Bullard Park.

It has been raining almost nonstop since Thursday. The very dry ground conditions from the drought will likely prevent any significant flooding concerns, the National Weather Service in Buffalo reported.

However, there could be some minor flooding where there is poor drainage or where leaves are blocking drainage systems.

There has also been some fog today. The Weather Service forecasts the temperature to drop to 40 degrees overnight, when another tenth to a quarter inch of rain could fall.

Saturday will be cloudy with a high of 48 and a 70 percent chance of more rain – less than a tenth of an inch.

Sunday is forecast for a high of 56 with a 40 percent chance of rain – between a tenth of an inch to a quarter of inch.

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Orleans sees jump in voter registrations
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2016 at 2:17 pm
Photos by Tom Rivers: An Albion resident on East Avenue has a sign out in support for Donald Trump.

Photos by Tom Rivers: An Albion resident on East Avenue has a sign out in support for Donald Trump.

ALBION – The contentious race for U.S. president has resulted in a jump in voter registrations at the Board of Elections in Orleans County.

The BOE has registered 1,963 voters so far this year, bringing the county’s total roll to 23,262 eligible voters.

The increase of nearly 2,000 registered voters is about double the number from 2015 when the county added 1,089 registered voters. (In some cases, the registered voters are just changing addresses or may have a name change.)

About half of the new registered voters in Orleans were processed online through the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The state Department of Motor Vehicle’s automated online system (click here) processed 214,356 online voter registration applications from October 1 to October 14, including 122,147 from first-time voters.

The number of applications received during those two weeks shattered the previous one month record of 140,602 applications, including 78,432 from first time voters in September.

This sign on Allen Road in Albion proclaims support for Hillary Clinton.

This sign on Allen Road in Albion proclaims support for Hillary Clinton.

“Our online voter registration system has broken down barriers and enabled hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to participate in the electoral process,” Governor Cuomo said. “These new records demonstrate the ease and success of this system and I am proud these New Yorkers are ensuring their voices are heard.”

Since Governor Cuomo launched the online application system in 2012, the DMV website has processed 822,014 online voter registration applications, including 383,118 from first time voters.

The Orleans County BOE also needs to have enough ballots for the Nov. 8 election. Given the interest in the presidential race, the BOE is having enough ballots for 85 percent of the registered voters. That would be a big increase from the 70 percent that were available in 2012 during the Obama-Romney presidential race.

If the 85 percent isn’t enough, the BOE also has a stack of affidavit and other emergency ballots, said Eileen Aina, a deputy election commissioner.

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State Park campgrounds see record attendance for fifth straight year
Posted 21 October 2016 at 7:24 am
Photo by Tom Rivers: The lighthouse at Golden Hill State Park in Barker is pictured in August. The park by Lake Ontario includes many spots for camping.

Photo by Tom Rivers: The lighthouse at Golden Hill State Park in Barker is pictured in August. The park by Lake Ontario includes many spots for camping.

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that State Park campgrounds set a new record for attendance for the fifth consecutive year.

Through Columbus Day, campsites, cabins and cottages across the state were occupied for more than 633,000 nights, surpassing 2015’s record of 623,891 nights.

“More and more visitors are discovering the unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor recreation offered by our state parks,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our commitment to preserving parks and campgrounds across New York attracts new visitors and revenue to support jobs and create economic activity across the state.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Governor Cuomo is driving the renewal of our State Parks and campgrounds. State Parks offer fun things to do all year long, and I encourage people to plan a getaway at one of our incredible destinations.”

State Park camping occupancy has climbed nearly 17 percent since Governor Cuomo took office, rising every year from almost 542,000 overnight stays in 2011 to 633,000 so far this year.

Attendance Records by Year: 2011 – 541,771; 2012 – 578,428; 2013 – 583,016; 2014 – 594,441; and 2015 – 623,891.

Overnight Stays in 2016 by Region: Western New York – 109,241; Finger Lakes – 95,492; Southern Tier – 79,921; Central New York – 170,685; Mohawk Valley – 30,400; North Country – 148,870; Capital Region – 34,578; Mid-Hudson – 29,551; and Long Island – 44,173.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites

Late season camping remains available at a few select campgrounds. Camping reservations are available through ReserveAmerica (Click here for more information).

Governor Cuomo is committed to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor’s NY Parks 2020 plan (click here) is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2016-17 State Budget includes $90 million toward this initiative.

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State reaches 3-year contract with employees getting 2 percent raises
By Staff Reports Posted 21 October 2016 at 7:02 am

The Cuomo administration and the union representing 54,000 state workers have reached a three-year labor agreement with 2 percent annual raises.

The contract with the New York State Public Employees Federation, one of the largest unions in the United States, also will reduce “out-of-control healthcare costs,” Cuomo’s office said.

“Our public workers play a vital role in the function of New York and their outstanding contributions continue to move this state forward,” Cuomo said. “The new contract strikes a balance of ensuring that our public servants are treated fairly, while reaffirming our commitment to fiscal discipline that taxpayers deserve. This is an important step in our efforts to maintain New York’s outstanding workforce, and I look forward to continuing to work together for years to come.”

Wayne Spence, president of the NYS Public Employees Federation, said the union’s contract team worked tirelessly on the agreement the past two years.

The contract needs to be ratified by the union membership.

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Window decorating contest gets Medina downtown in Halloween mood
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2016 at 10:33 pm


MEDINA – The storefront windows in many downtown businesses are decorated for Halloween, with skeletons, grave markers and other ghoulish displays, including this one at English Rose Tea Shoppe showing skeletons having an afternoon tea.

There are about 15 businesses in the second annual All Hallows’ Eve Window Decorating contest organized by the Medina Business Association. The community is welcome to vote for their favorite display through Facebook (Click here).

Voting continues until Oct. 27, with the winner announced on Oct. 28 at the annual Beggar’s Night in the downtown, which runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


ATB Staffing Services is decorated for the spooky holiday.


The Book Shoppe also has a Halloween themed front window.

Other participating businesses include: Medina Veterinary Clinic, All Inclusive Process, Into the Enigma, Case-Nic Cookies, Celebrity Day Spa, Brushstrokes Studios, NAPA Auto Parts, Rosenkrans Pharmacy Inc., Creekside Floral, Meggie Moo’s Ice Cream Parlor, Della’s Chocolates and Katherine K. Boga Law Office.

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4 sites added to Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame

Photo by Tom Rivers: The new inductees of the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame are pictured today after an induction ceremony at Medina City Hall, where the Hall of Fame is located in the main meeting room. The inductees include from left: Emma Flower Taylor Mansion in Watertown, owned by Katherine and Richard Pyne; Hillside Cemetery Chapel in Clarendon (Erin Anheier in front and Melissa Ierlan from Clarendon Historical Society); Sonnenberg  Manor in Canandaigua (David Hutchins, executive director of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, and Deborah Kelly, program manager); and the First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo (Christina Banas, front, is the church business manager and Elena Delgado in back is the church pastor). Takeform Architectural Graphics in Medina donated the plaques for the Hall of Fame.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2016 at 7:52 pm

2 mansions, a towering church, and a cemetery chapel all recognized

MEDINA – Four exceptional structures made of Medina sandstone were inducted today into the fourth class of the Hall of Fame for the Medina Sandstone Society, with two mansions, an enormous church and small cemetery chapel all recognized for their enduring significance to their communities.

The Medina Sandstone Society created the Hall of Fame in 2013 to recognize outstanding sites made of the local stone. The Hall of Fame is located inside Medina City Hall in the main meeting room. City Hall is a prominent Medina sandstone building on Main Street.

The initiative has proven an eye-opener for the Hall of Fame committee, which has travelled throughout Upstate New York, and even to Erie, Pa. to see some of the nominated sites.

“There are really some gorgeous, gorgeous buildings,” said Hall of Fame Committee member Jim Hancock during today’s induction ceremony.

He is on the committee with David Miller and Don Colquhoun. They travel together to visit the nominated sites. They look for architectural significance and uniqueness, overall beauty, longevity and maintenance.

The following were inducted in the Class of 2016 (Descriptions courtesy of Medina Sandstone Society) :

• Hillside Cemetery Chapel in Clarendon


Located just outside the village of Holley, Hillside Cemetery is an active town cemetery established in 1866 and developed between 1866 and 1938 at 4065 Holley-Byron Rd. An elegant Gothic Revival style chapel was built in 1894 for $3,350 and is a primary feature of the cemetery.

Originally constructed for burial services at the cemetery, the 20-by-32-foot chapel was designed by Rochester architect Addison Forbes and features Medina sandstone construction, a slate roof, and decorative glass windows. The chapel and cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

In 2014 the Landmark Society of WNY selected the chapel for inclusion as one of their Five to Revive properties. In 2015 the Town of Clarendon was awarded $126,210 from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to help fund much-needed repairs to the cemetery chapel.

The Clarendon Historical Society was praised for pushing to raise awareness of the chapel and secure the funding for repairs. Erin Anheier, one of the Historical Society members, said the grant documents were signed today and she expects much of the work to happen next year.

She is hopeful the chapel will be used for community events, including art shows, musical events and even small weddings.

“They’ve brought the chapel back to life,” said HOF Committee member David Miller.

Anheier thanked town officials, and local residents for supporting the efforts to save the chapel.

• Emma Flower Taylor mansion in Watertown

102016_mshofwatertownBuilt in 1896 as a wedding present to his only surviving child by then NYS Governor Roswell Pettibone Flower, the Emma Flower Taylor mansion in Watertown is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne architectural style, one of the most recognizable of the Victorian styles. It is located at 241 Clinton St.

It is a massive 2 ½ story mansion constructed of rock faced, random course Medina sandstone. The home was designed by Charles Rich of the NYC firm of Rich Lamb, which also designed Sagamore, the home of Theodore Roosevelt on Oyster Bay, Long Island.

It has many distinguishing features including a porte-cochere, tiled roofs, a wrap-around porch on the first floor, second floor porches, rounded corner turrets, large overhanging gables, an asymmetrical footprint and surfaces, and widow bays. Its most unique feature is the use of Medina sandstone which was quarried in Medina, moved to the site by rail, and cut on site.

The mansion was converted to eight apartments in 1940 after Mrs. Taylor’s death. The Sandstone Society said it is a magnificent structure which was built and maintained in the classic Victorian tradition both externally and internally. The present owners, Richard and Katherine Pyne, have stayed true to preserving this architectural gem in its original Queen Anne style. The Pynes have owned the mansion for 13 years. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

“This is a labor of love owning these structures,” Mrs. Pyne said. “We look after it with love year after year.”

• First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo

102016_mshofpres2The First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, New York was established in 1819 and was the first organized church in Buffalo. The current building, made of beautiful Medina sandstone, was designed by Green & Wicks and was built by Jared Hyde Tilden. In addition to this wonderful church, a 163-foot tower was completed in 1897. In both cases the style is Richardson Romanesque. Upon the completion of this tower, the congregation formally dedicated the sanctuary on May 6, 1897.

When this church was first thought to be sited, the congregants and trustees wanted to be in the midst of the expanding population in Buffalo. As the city grew, so did First Presbyterian and its desire to grow their mission. As a result, they assisted in the formation of thirty-nine other congregations.

Today, almost 200 years after its formation, First Presbyterian and its beautiful sandstone edifice are examples of truly outstanding longevity, both in spirit and structure, HOF member Jim Hancock said.

The church is located at 1 Symphony Circle across from Kleinhans Music Hall. Houghton College uses the church for classes. The Village Church also has services at First Presbyterian.

Elena Delgado, the church’s pastor, said First Presbyterian is challenged to maintain “the brick and mortar” of the property due to a declining membership and aging congregation. The church has welcomed the other organizations to use the site.

“It’s an extraordinary jewel of architecture,” she said. “It’s very majestic and it means so much to the community.”

• Sonnenberg Manor in Canandaigua

102016_mshofsonnebergFrederick Ferris Thompson, a prominent banker in NYC, and his wife Mary Clark Thompson –whose father, Myron Holley Clark, was governor of NYS in 1855 – purchased the Sonnenberg property in 1863, keeping the name which means “sunny hill” in German.

In 1887, they replaced the original farmhouse with a 40-room Queen Anne style mansion at 151 Charlotte St. The mansion was designed by Francis Allen, a noted Boston architect. Allen also designed and oversaw the remodeling of the mansion approximately 15 years after it was constructed.

The mansion’s facade is rusticated Medina gray and red sandstone. After Mary Clark Thompson’s death in 1923, the property was sold to the Federal Government who built a veteran’s hospital The government used the mansion to house doctor’s families and some nurses. In 1972 the mansion and its grounds were transferred from the Federal Government to a local non-profit organization formed to restore and reopen the property. It was opened to the public and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The property is now under the New York State Parks System.

“Not only is the building magnificent, but the grounds and the gardens are as well,” said Hancock, the HOF committee member. “You have to go visit.”

David Hutchins has been the site’s executive director for 11 years.

“It’s an incredible place,” he said. “I’m honored to be there and proud to be part of its legacy of preservation.”

For more on the Hall of Fame, click here.

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Gillibrand, Schumer seek federal funds to help struggling dairy farmers
By Staff Reports Posted 20 October 2016 at 4:34 pm
Photo by Tom Rivers: A cow is pictured recently at Post Farms in Elba.

Photo by Tom Rivers: A cow is pictured recently at Post Farms in Elba.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have been joined by several other senators in seeking federal appropriators to include funding for dairy farmers across the nation in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Specifically, the senators in the bipartisan letter requested appropriators to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to refund farmers for the $73 million that they paid into the Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) in 2015.

The senators are also calling on the committee to allow the USDA to provide emergency assistance to dairy farmers and take greater action to support dairy producers by excluding any provision preventing the USDA from implementing clause 3 of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935 or from engaging in surplus removal and price support activities under section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.

Gillibrand and Schumer have been joined by Susan Collins (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Angus King Jr. (I-ME), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D- NH), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Chris S. Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kelly A. Ayotte (R-NH), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI) in sending a bipartisan letter, seeking release of the federal funds.

“As you know, dairy farmers across the country are struggling to stay in business.  This year alone, dairy farms in a number of states have been forced to close at alarmingly high levels,” the senators wrote in their joint letter. “The Dairy Margin Protection Program has not provided the safety net for farmers that was anticipated when the program was created. We believe that there are key measures that can be taken that will provide critical near-term support to cash-strapped dairy farmers and pave the way for longer-term sustainability in the industry.”

Milk prices have dropped by more than 40 percent over the past two years, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts low prices to continue for the near future. Dairy production costs continue to rise, and severe drought in some regions of the country has driven costs up further.

The letter concludes with the senators imploring the Appropriations Committee “to help our nation’s dairy farmers during this crisis.”

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Oak Orchard Health buys OTB site, 2 other properties on Route 31

Photo by Tom Rivers: The former Off-Track Betting parlor at 317 West Ave. in Albion, as well as the green house at left, were acquired by Oak Orchard Health, which runs a healthcare site next door.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2016 at 11:20 am

ALBION – Oak Orchard Health is looking to expand healthcare services in Orleans County, including dental and possibly vision and behavioral health, after acquiring three sites on Route 31 in Albion.

Oak Orchard purchased the former Off-Track Betting Corp. site at 317 West Avenue, as well as a next-door house, and a vacant parcel. The sites are next to Oak Orchard’s existing Albion health care site.

“We know there is a great need in Orleans County for health services and we look forward to filling some of that need,” said Jim Cummings, chief executive officer for Oak Orchard.

Oak Orchard, a Federally Qualified Health Center, will work on securing financing for a new site on the newly acquired properties. The current site is cramped. A bigger new building would allow Oak Orchard to add medical professionals and will become the main healthcare site for Oak Orchard in Albion, Cummings said.

The existing site may become the site for vision, dental and behavioral health services, Cummings said. Oak Orchard will work with the Orleans County Health Department and State Department of Health to assess services that could be provided by Oak Orchard.

The green house by the OTB will be torn down, Cummings said. The OTB parlor, which is set back from the road, may stay and be used for storage and for Oak Orchard’s maintenance staff. The new building might go in front of the OTB building.

Oak Orchard will work with an architect for the new building. If the financing, and state and local approvals fall into place, Cummings said the new site could be ready in about two years.

“We’re moving on our plan for more medical space,” he said. “That is our broad-based goal because the needs in Orleans are significant for health and dental.”

Oak Orchard is marking its 50th anniversary in the community this year. Oak Orchard was originally founded by the University of Rochester in 1966 to provide health care for migrant farmworkers. Oak Orchard has expanded to an integrated health center with services for all community members. Oak Orchard has sites in Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport, Warsaw and Hornell, as well as a mobile dental unit.

Oak Orchard Health recently received a perfect score during an operational site visit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care.

Oak Orchard successfully fulfilled all 19 program requirements – an accomplishment that places Oak Orchard Health among a very small number of community health centers nationally to achieve this score, Cummings said.

The health center was measured on clinical, quality, financial, and operational performance and practices during the in-depth review. The operational site visit results provide a comprehensive assessment of the health center’s compliance and performance status.

“An operational site visit that results with no negative findings is very rare and a testament to the dedication put forth each day at Oak Orchard Health,” Cummings said. “I am proud of our team and its successful efforts to deliver high quality health care to our community.”

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Kendall BOE members praised for volunteer service
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 October 2016 at 9:37 am

Some water fountains, classroom sinks test too high for lead

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Pictured include, from left, in front: Kendall Elementary Principal Sharon Smith, Board of Education Vice President Charles Patt, Board of Education member Lisa Levett, Board of Education President Nadine Hanlon, Board of Education member Martin Goodenbery and Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D'Agostino. Next week is Board of Education Week and October is National Principals Month. (BOE member Chaley Swift is missing from photo.)

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Pictured include, from left, in front: Kendall Elementary Principal Sharon Smith, Board of Education Vice President Charles Patt, Board of Education member Lisa Levett, Board of Education President Nadine Hanlon, Board of Education member Martin Goodenbery and Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D’Agostino. Next week is Board of Education Week and October is National Principals Month. (BOE member Chaley Swift is missing from photo.)

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Central School Board of Education and Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School principals were recognized during Wednesday evening’s regular meeting of the school board.

Superintendent Julie Christensen read proclamations declaring Oct. 24-28 Board of Education Week and October National Principals Month. Christensen presented BOE members with coupon books provided by the Kendall PTSA.

“We appreciate all your work,” she told board members. “We know we could not do the work without you.”

In her report, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D’Agostino said recent assemblies featuring the Sweethearts and Heroes anti-bullying program were very successful. She said the event has led the school to make new efforts to prevent bullying behavior.

Every Friday video clips are shown about bullying and students receive a daily quote about, “how we should treat each other,” D’Agostino said.

She explained the school would be forming a “Mosaic Club” where students can meet to discuss and provide support to each other regarding issues such as domestic violence or sexual identity. D’Agostino said the club would be a “safe place for kids to come together to support each other and educate our school.”

Christensen reported that there are currently 388 students in the elementary school and 297 in the Jr./Sr. High School for a total of 685 students in the district, down from 718 a year ago. Elementary Principal Sharon Smith said her school had just registered five new students on Wednesday.

Christensen also reported on results from the second round of water tests for Kendall Schools.  Initial tests showed lead levels above acceptable levels in newly renovated areas, but Christensen said those systems were flushed and now only one classroom sink in the Jr./Sr. Science wing retested above acceptable levels. All others tested well below the acceptable threshold. The affected sink will be posted as unacceptable for drinking, but is safe for hand washing, she said.

In the Kendall Elementary School, six outlets located in low-use classrooms/restrooms tested above the acceptable threshold for lead. Christensen said of those six, four are located in limited-use office areas. She said signs in those areas indicate sinks should only be used for hand washing and three affected water fountains will be shut off until they are replaced.

Finally, Board of Education members approved the agreement with Holley Central School to combine wrestling teams.

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County offices are back open this morning after water main break
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2016 at 7:36 am

ALBION – The county offices will reopen this morning after a water main break forced the County Administration Building, Public Health, Mental Health and Elections to close at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Town of Albion Highway Department and Village of Albion Department of Public Works worked to fix the break and had the water back on at about 10:30 p.m.

The problem also affected The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center – the former county nursing home – which had to rely on bottled water.

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WWII and Korean War vets visit memorials in D.C. 
Posted 19 October 2016 at 9:02 pm


Press Release, State Sen. Rob Ortt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) today led two dozen local veterans in the second annual Western New York Warriors Flight to Washington, D.C. to visit several war memorials dedicated in their honor.

Prior to takeoff, the American Legion Stephen Sikora Post 1322 held a special sendoff ceremony at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport for the 24 World War II and Korean War veterans.

“During last year’s trip, it was touching to see the outpouring of emotion from our veterans,” said Senator Ortt. “This daylong trip allows members of the Greatest Generation, who are now in their 80s and 90s, and other generations of Americans who have bravely served our country, to travel to the nation’s capital to see their monuments for the first time. The World War II Memorial wasn’t completed until 2004, so sadly, many members of our Armed Forces who served in that era did not get to see the historic tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters. This WNY Warriors Flight is a way for us to honor our veterans and to show that we are forever grateful to the millions of Americans who served and the thousands who died protecting our country and our liberties. It’s our way of giving back to our nation’s heroes.”

The veterans were chaperoned by local volunteers as they traveled around the nation’s capital. The group visited the National WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, the “Changing of the Guard” ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, among other notable sites. During an emotional wreath laying ceremony at the WWII and Korean War memorials, the group paused to reflect on the lives lost in service.

The Patriot Guard Riders concluded the trip with a Welcome Home Ceremony at the Buffalo airport. Several members of the Patriot Guard lined the arrival area with the American flag at their sides, and saluted and thanked each veteran for their service.

The WNY Warriors Flight was made possible with a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, making the trip free for the veterans. Other partners included the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce and Health Systems Services, which provided wheelchairs for the vets. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Transportation Security Administration and Southwest Airlines also helped to make the trip an enjoyable experience.

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Law enforcement investigating bank robbery in Elba on Tuesday
Posted 19 October 2016 at 3:38 pm

101916_elba2Press release, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department

ELBA – At approximately 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center (9-1-1) received a report from a teller at Elba M&T Bank, 7133 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), Elba, that the bank had been robbed.

A description of a vehicle involved in the robbery was given to dispatchers and patrols from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police responded.

The bank teller observed the get-away car and license plate number and reported it to dispatch, along with a description of the two robbers. The car was described as a silver Dodge Stratus, which traveled northbound on Route 98 upon leaving the bank.

101916_elba1The two suspects were wearing face masks, gloves and dark-colored hoodies. The get-away car was located approximately 1/10th of a mile north of the bank and it looked like the suspects got into another vehicle and fled.

Investigation revealed that the silver Dodge Stratus was stolen from the Spencerport area and the license plates were stolen from the City of Rochester.

The amount of money stolen is unknown, but it is believed to be not substantial.

Investigation is continuing by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and FBI.

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Parkway named one of ‘Five to Revive’

Provided photo by Landmark Society of WNY – Credit Richard Margolis: The Lake Ontario State Parkway runs near the lakeshore in Orleans and Monroe counties and has been in need of paving and repair in recent years.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2016 at 2:24 pm

Landmark Society calls Parkway a top preservation priority

ROCHESTER – The five top preservation priorities in the region for the Landmark Society of Western New York includes the Lake Ontario State Parkway, a road which residents and elected officials have tried to draw attention to due to deteriorating conditions in recent years.


Photos by Tom Rivers: The Lake Ontario State Parkway has two westbound and eastbound lanes. The road is bumpy in spots with cracks and pockmarks, especially just across the Orleans County line in Hamlin. Many of the off-ramps are in bad shape.

The Landmark Society announced its annual list of “Five to Revive.” The group has picked five priorities each year since 2013.

It has previously named the old Holley High School (2013) and Hillside Cemetery and Chapel in Clarendon (2014) to the list. That designation has drawn interest from a developer for the old school in Holley and grant funds for the chapel at Hillside.

The Parkway is 35 miles long, including 12.7 miles into Orleans County. The road ends near the Lakeside Beach State Park in Carlton. The Parkway includes bridges that go over the Oak Orchard River

The Landmark Society noted the road is one of only two state parkways built in western New York. It was constructed beginning in the late 1940s. It was originally planned by Franklin D. Roosevelt to connect Fort Niagara to the Thousand Islands.

“The Lake Ontario State Parkway is architecturally significant as a designed historic landscape in the tradition of earlier parkways in New York State, featuring a picturesque curving route, rustic sandstone bridges and buildings, and park-like landscaping, offering scenic views of Lake Ontario and the surrounding countryside,” the Landmark Society stated.

The bridges over Oak Orchard River were built for the Lake Ontario State Parkway, which ends abruptly 2 miles west of the river.

The bridges over Oak Orchard River were built for the Lake Ontario State Parkway, which ends abruptly 2 miles west of the river.

The organization said the Parkway needs significant investment.

“A part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, the Parkway could present an opportunity for reuse as a multi-purpose recreational corridor, with road maintenance costs decreased as the Parkway’s use and appeal is diversified to better serve varied groups of users,” the Landmark Society said.

Other sites on the “Five to Revive” include:

  • Former Rochester Brewing Company complex, Rochester, NY
  • Downtown Perry Block of Commercial Buildings, Village of Perry, Wyoming County
  • Dove Block, City of Geneva, Ontario County
  • The Traditional Trades

In listing the traditional trades, the Landmark Society said there is a shortage of trained professionals in carpentry, masonry, stained/decorative glass, painting, roof repair, metalwork, and window restoration with historic buildings.

“Without a new generation of craftspeople to take over, we are approaching a crisis level of diminishing resources and knowledge to care for our historic resources,” the Landmark Society stated. “Rehabilitation of historic buildings has increased exponentially during the past several decades, providing employment opportunities for craftspeople who are trained in these specific skills.”

The organization said other communities have developed trade schools and preservation skills programs.

“This the fourth year that The Landmark Society of Western New York is announcing the Five to Revive list to call attention to key properties and priorities for revitalization in western New York,” said Wayne Goodman Executive Director.

“The Five to Revive initiative is proving to be very successful and continues to showcase our ongoing efforts demonstrating that preservation and adaptive reuse are effective strategies for revitalization in Western New York,” said Tom Castelein, Vice-President of Preservation on The Landmark Society Board who chairs the Five to Revive initiative.

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Medina ER says it is committed to high-quality care ‘as quickly as possible’
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2016 at 12:22 pm

Quick Questions with Dr. Richard Elman and Mackenzie Smith

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dr. Richard Elman serves as medical director of the Emergency Room at Medina Memorial Hospital. He is pictured with, from left: Amanda Luckman, secretary of the ER (sitting); MacKenzie Smith, nurse manager and stroke coordinator (in back); and Maria Piotrowski, a registered nurse.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dr. Richard Elman serves as medical director of the Emergency Room at Medina Memorial Hospital. He is pictured with, from left: Amanda Luckman, secretary of the ER (sitting); MacKenzie Smith, nurse manager and stroke coordinator (in back); and Maria Piotrowski, a registered nurse.

MEDINA – Some of the new faces at Medina Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room may look familiar to community members.

Dr. Richard Elman is the ER’s medical director. He worked for the hospital in the 1990s. He returned when the hospital in August partnered with TeamHealth, a physician services organization, to provide staffing for the ER, which serves about 10,000 patients annually.

TeamHealth started work in the Medina ER on Aug. 1. It has five full-time staff and six part-timers working at Medina. That includes physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. TeamHealth works with about 3,000 hospitals in the country.

The ER’s nursing staff is also managed by MacKenzie Smith. She grew up in Medina and was working at a large hospital in Rochester before returning to work in her hometown about 1 ½ years ago. Smith also is coordinator of the designated stroke center at the hospital.

Smith said the ER has been focused on improving care and providing it “as quickly as possible.”

She is pleased with that push for excellence. The ER also has updated equipment with computers mounted in the two trauma rooms, new nurses’ stations and cabinetry. Wireless scanners and redone floors are coming to the ER, which includes seven rooms, plus a triage room.

The two ER leaders were interviewed last week at the hospital.

Question for Dr. Elman: Why do you think so many hospitals are contracting with TeamHealth for ER services, rather than trying to do their own staffing?

Answer: There is a lot you can do when you are that large. They are a very well-oiled organization. They provide a lot of resources and support to all of their members. There is continuous education, best practices – how should this ER be running and what can we do more efficiently – that is offered to us and there are expectations that we implement these processes as we move forward.

Question: Have you already identified processes that could be improved in Medina?

Answer (Dr. Elman) : Oh we’ve already started making some changes since we’ve been here.

Answer (Smith) : Dr. Elman is also the chairman of emergency medicine for Catholic Health Services.

Answer (Dr. Elman) : I spent the last 13 years as chairman and facility medical director for South Buffalo Mercy Hospital. Over the last year and half I’ve been chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine for the Catholic Health System. (Medina and the Catholic Health System have an affiliation.)

Question: What are some of the things that are improved at the Medina ER?

Answer (Smith) : It’s fair to say things are improved. Dr. Elman is working on new policies and really bringing us up to speed for a lot of evidence-based practice and to provide the best care and treatment for our patients.

Answer (Dr. Elman) : I work about 10 shifts a month here on average so I’m actively involved not just in the administrative aspect but the clinical aspect. So I walk the walk. I work here and see what issues there are and what we can do to improve it. I work collaboratively with MacKenzie and the team we have down here – nurses, aides, PAs and our docs – to communicate the messages we need to get through, about how we want to change what we’re doing.

MacKenzie Smith and Dr. Richard Elman are pictured in one of the trauma rooms with a new mounted computer, which makes it quicker to enter and check medical data.

MacKenzie Smith and Dr. Richard Elman are pictured in one of the trauma rooms with a new mounted computer, which makes it quicker to enter and check medical data.

Question: If there is down time what does a doctor do here?

Answer (Dr. Elman) : I’m doing paperwork, or the schedule, chart review or working on policies. I do a lot of my administrative work in the down time.

Answer (Smith) : I do want to point out is that even though they are a national organization, TeamHealth is very involved with each individual hospital. The regional medical director is coming down in November for an EMS education night over at Medina Fire Department. They are very forthcoming with doing education.

Question: What do you think the community should know about the ER?

Answer (Dr. Elman) : We are focused on efficient quality care, reducing or improving turnaround times so patients aren’t spending hours in the ER when they don’t need to be here, to instilling best practices in medicine and in patient health.

Question: Are there statistics on that?

Answer: We’re in the process of bringing in a new electronic medical record. Once that process is completed we’ll have the ability to run reports. We look at door-to-provider time. That national goal is 30 minutes for the patient to see a provider within 30 minutes of arrival. We look at turnaround times for discharged patients, and percentage of patients who leave without being treated or against medical advice. There are national statistics or thresholds, and our goal is to be under them. Those will all be focuses of what we do.

Question: Does Medina have to submit an annual report?

Answer (Smith) : It’s a running report more for our measures of patient care and delivery, for chest-pain patients, for stroke patients, those are the metrics that we have to submit and are held accountable for. The turnaround time and the door-to-provider time is ongoing. There are some variances for that. There is some wiggle room. If your volume is very high or if your acuity is very high that makes up for the times that you are not.

Really the metrics that are reportable would be the stroke and chest pain, and the very patient-centered metrics. We are a stroke center so we have rigorous metrics we have to do for that.

We are very efficient at knowing what can be treated here and what we have to ship out. A lot of times we do have to ship out to the higher level of care facilities. But we are very efficient with our times for that. We also have a very close collaboration with Medina Fire in getting our patients out. They have a very quick time for getting patients out of here for transfers. It’s not always a common thing at other facilities. We’re fortunate to have Medina Fire.

Question: Do you have a sense of what percentage you’re able to handle here without sending to ECMC or another larger hospital?

Answer (Smith) : It all depends on what the patient is presenting for. If it’s a trauma patient they really need to go to a trauma center. Our job is to stabilize those critical patients. And that’s what we need to be excellent in: stabilization. Knowing when to get them out, we do that very quickly and efficiently.

Answer (Dr. Elman) : We can primary care. We don’t have a lot of specialists. Anybody with a complicated medical problem – a heart attack or a stroke or a trauma, or a lot of patients may be getting medical care at other tertiary care centers in Buffalo or Rochester – those patients we will probably have to transport. It’s what is best for the patient in each case.

Dr. Richard Elman enters data into the computer in the Emergency Room at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Richard Elman enters data into the computer in the Emergency Room at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Question: If there was no ER in Medina, what would happen for the community?

Answer (Dr. Elman) : They would have to go to Batavia, Lockport, Rochester or Buffalo on their own. We can treat a fair amount here and we can stabilize what we can’t treat.

Answer (Smith) : It would be detrimental for our community. Our ER is vital for the community. It is vital for businesses coming to the community.

If you are having a cardiac arrest or if you’re loved one is having a cardiac arrest or respirator distress, it’s a very long ride to the city.

Question: How many stroke patients do you have a year?

Answer (Smith) : Last year we were between 60 and 75.

Question: Do they then go by Mercy Flight after getting the clot-busting drugs?

Answer (Dr. Elman) : It depends on their condition and whether Mercy Flight is flying based on the weather outside.

Answer (Smith) : If not they would go by Medina Fire and that’s why I say our collaboration with Medina Fire is very important. We have a very close working relationship.

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Kendall accepts donation for cemeteries
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 19 October 2016 at 9:37 am

‘Kendall’s Finest’ display planned for Town Hall

File photo by Tom Rivers: This chapel at Beechwood Cemetery was built in 1898 with Medina sandstone. This photo was taken in the fall of 2015.

File photo by Tom Rivers: This chapel at Beechwood Cemetery was built in 1898 with Medina sandstone. This photo was taken in the fall of 2015.

KENDALL – A donation by Partyka Farms will help the Town of Kendall improve its cemeteries.

Town Board members Tuesday evening passed a resolution which makes budget adjustments to accommodate the $350 donation which was raised from proceeds of dinners served by Partyka’s during Kendall Homegrown Days. The resolution splits the donation evenly between Greenwood and Beechwood cemeteries, with $175 allotted to each.

Town Council members discussed potential improvements projects with Highway Superintendent Warren Kruger. Kruger suggested sealing or painting the building at Greenwood Cemetery which is made of concrete blocks, and purchasing doors for the “chapel” building at Beechwood Cemetery.

Supervisor Tony Cammarata said the doors or wrought iron gates, would need to be durable and Town Clerk Amy Richardson said she would provide council members with input provided to the town by retired Orleans County Historian Bill Lattin regarding what materials would maintain architectural period integrity.

Councilperson Wayne Martin, Jr. reported on the progress of the “Kendall’s Finest” project. The town is working on a display of photos of current active duty military personnel from Kendall to be placed on a wall in the meeting room at the Town Hall. A wooden plaque with the words “Kendall’s Finest” will be stained, Martin said, and all branches of the military will be represented.

The town currently has several photos but Martin is hoping for more. “I know there are a lot of (local) young men and women in the service,” he said.

Council members discussed holding a special ceremony prior to Veterans Day in November to dedicate the wall, inviting the families of military personnel who are pictured.

“It is important to honor these men and women who sacrifice for us everyday,” Cammarata said.

Councilperson Barb Flow reported on Clothing Closet dates at the Concordia Lutheran Church. Children’s clothing for infants through age 18 will be available for free on select Tuesdays and Saturdays at the church located at 1769 Kendall Rd.

The dates and times are: Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to noon; Nov. 8, 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to noon; Dec. 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m.; and Dec. 17, 9 a.m. to noon.

Donations of children’s clothing is also accepted during those times. To make other arrangements call 585-734-3239.

Councilperson Flow also said The Kendall Community Band will be performing Nov. 22 at the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium to benefit the Kendall Food Cupboard.  Those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to support the Food Cupboard. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will include a mix of patriotic songs, show tunes and big band music.

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