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Tessa White of Medina named to Conference All-Academic Team at Paul Smith’s

Staff Reports Posted 19 February 2018 at 1:26 pm

PAUL SMITHS – Tessa White of Medina was named to the Yankee Small College Conference’s Fall 2017 All-Academic Team.

White, a student at Paul Smith’s College who was honored for participation in cross country, majors in Criminal Justice.

Student-athletes with grade-point averages of 3.2 and above are eligible for the honor. Forty-three Paul Smith’s students made this year’s list.

Paul Smith’s College is the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks.

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GCASA named one of 2018’s ‘Best Companies to Work for’ in NY

Staff Reports Posted 9 February 2018 at 1:17 pm

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State for 2018.

The agency is one of 27 organizations recognized with 15-99 employees. The New York State Society for Human Resource Management has been recognizing “Best Companies” for the past 11 years.

“As a non-profit organization it is often difficult to be competitive with compensation and benefits offered by the for profit sector,” said John Bennett, GCASA executive director. “Here at GCASA, we are always looking to enhance employees’ day-to-day job satisfaction in meaningful ways. Being honored as a best company is the result of servant leaders, a dedicated professional staff and a wonderful board of directors.”

GCASA will be honored at a public awards dinner to be held in Albany at the Marriott on April 18.  During the event, GCASA will learn its rank among the 27 companies in the category for small employers with 15-99 U.S. employees.

GCASA has been serving Genesee and Orleans counties for over 40 years. Services include prevention education and outpatient and residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders, and an employee assistance program.

The New York State Society for Human Resource Management created the awards in 2007. The society evaluates and ranks the best places of employment. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, whose practices benefit the state’s businesses, economy, and workforce.

To be considered for participation, organizations had to fulfill specific registration eligibility requirements, then participate in a two-part survey of employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies. Best Companies Group, an independent firm that manages Best Places to Work programs on state, regional and national levels around the world, conducted the survey, then evaluated the results and determined the best places of employment in the Empire State.

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Cameron Morgan of Medina named one of 10 ‘Take Five’ scholars at UR

Staff Reports Posted 8 February 2018 at 10:50 am

ROCHESTER – Cameron Morgan, a Medina graduate, has been named one of 10 “Take Five Scholars” at the University of Rochester. He will be able to enroll for a fifth year at UR tuition-free.

Morgan is a senior majoring in brain & cognitive sciences and linguistics. He will do coursework on the theme of Disability, Stigma, and Identity. Morgan is the son of Dean and Mary Morgan.

The University of Rochester accepted 10 students into the Take Five Scholars Program. This program enables select undergraduates to enrich their academic experience by enrolling for a fifth year of study tuition-free. A signature program in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Hajim School of Engineering and unique in American higher education, Take Five broadens the scope of an undergraduate education by allowing students to explore new subjects outside their major area of study.

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Orleans Hub celebrates ‘outstanding citizens’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2018 at 10:03 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Orleans Hub held its annual awards program this evening at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina. The Hub recognized eight residents as “outstanding citizens” for their efforts to better the community.

Front row, from left: Krista Wiley-Neale, Lori Laine, Cheryl Maxon (representing her son, Dan Schiavone), and Peter Sidari. Back row: Pastor Mike Outten, Andrew Szatkowski, Jerome Pawlak and David Green.

David Green: The retired Orleans County sheriff has remained an active community member in his retirement. For nearly 20 years he has been a key leader in a classic car show, which runs about 10 weeks in Medina. The car shows draw about 100 cars on a typical Friday. The “Super Cruise” brings about 300 cars when Main Street is closed off and Elvis impersonator entertains. Green also remains an active volunteer with the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company and helps organize East Shelby’s annual swap meet at fairgrounds, which usually raises $5,000 to $10,000 for fire company.

Mike Outten: The pastor of North Point Chapel in Albion led his congregation in its move to the former United Methodist Church building in Albion. The building has found new life with the congregation, which has started new ministry programs while keeping a historic structure intact.

Krista Wiley-Neale: A veterinarian who owns Wiley’s Ark Animal Care in Holley was key in restarting the Holley June Fest and also in expanding the Festival of Lights in December. Wiley-Neale also serves on the Village of Holley Development Corporation Board which was able to complete the sale of eight “Diaz homes” in 2017. Those houses will be returned to the tax rolls after about 15 years of being vacant. Wiley-Neale also is a member of the Holley Rotary Club, which tackles several community projects each year.

Jerome Pawlak: The long-time grocer has been generous to numerous community efforts over the years, while also serving on the boards of directors for United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the Orleans Economic Development Agency and many others. He has coached Little League, youth basketball and been an active member of his church.

Peter Sidari: The county’s Emergency Management Office received a $75,000 grant for a new fire safety trailer last year. Sidari, an Albion firefighter who works as a fire safety educator for the North Greece Fire District, was key in picking out the design of the new trailer and insisting on kid-friendly decals and characters on the trailer that serve as a billboard, helping to reinforce the message of having a fire escape plan. Many firefighters served on the committee to design the trailer. Sidari was key to the effort, including the training of 42 volunteers who will lead kids through the program.

Dan Schiavone: The Holley dentist served as chairman of a village-created development corporation that took possession of eight homes from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and then resold them. The organization had a big breakthrough in 2017, getting the EPA to relinquish eight houses that had been off the tax rolls for about 15 years. The EPA took ownership of them after a chemical leak in January 2002 at the former Diaz Chemical. Schiavone worked with the EPA, a real estate company and the village officials to see the sales through completion.

Andrew Szatkowski: The Medina resident organized a toy drive that resulted in about 700 gifts to be given away to children at Christmas. Szatkowski set up the donations for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when thousands of people were in downtown Medina for a Christmas celebration, capped by the Parade of Lights. The toys were given to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, which distributed them to families in Orleans County.

Lori Laine: The Kent resident has been enthusiastic in painting rocks with kindness messages and placing them in the community, including delivering them to nursing home residents. Laine organizes rock-painting parties on Tuesdays in Albion. She has promoted community through the rocks. Laine also is an active promoter for Donate Life, urging people to be organ donors. She also spearheaded a first-time pet parade in October for Albion’s Fall Festival.

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Albion student advances to state finals for American Legion Oratorical Contest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 February 2018 at 11:01 am

Provided photo: Zone 5 Vice Chairman Norma Weissend congratulates Melissa Barnosky after she took first place on Saturday at the American Legion Zone 5 Oratorical Contest in Mount Morris.

MOUNT MORRIS – For the third straight year an Albion student has advanced to the state competition for the American Oratorical Contest.

Melissa Barnosky took first place on Saturday at the Zone 5 competition at Mount Morris. Barnosky, a senior at Albion, also advanced to the state contest last year. Meredith Patterson made it in 2016.

Barnosky competed against three other students and moves on to the finals in Albany on March 3. If she wins the state contest, she will advance to the national finals in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 14-15.

Melissa won at the school and county levels. She came in second at the district level to qualify for the zone competition. She received an $800 scholarship for winning first place at Zone 5.

Students in the competition deliver a prepared speech on the U.S. Constitution and citizen duties and obligations to the government. The speech must be 8-10 minutes in length. If it is over or under, there are penalty points.

The students also prepare for several assigned topics on various amendments. The students do not know which assigned topic they will have to present until 5 minutes prior. The assigned topic is randomly chosen by one of the members. Then the contestant is informed of the topic.  The speech needs to be 3 to 5 minutes in length without penalty points.

The assigned topic was on the 2nd amendment –  “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Melissa was escorted to the event on Saturday by Gary Befus, a member of the American Legion in Albion. Rich Gannon, an Albion social studies teacher, is the Oratorical Contest advisor for Albion.

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Freeman Lattin of Albion named World Representative at UAlbany

Staff Reports Posted 1 February 2018 at 6:15 pm

ALBANY – Freeman Lattin of Albion has been named a World Representative for a Living-Learning Community at the University at Albany.

World Representatives are students who were selected in fall 2017 to serve as peer leaders in the University at Albany’s Living-Learning Communities (L-LCs). These students were identified and nominated by their L-LC faculty mentors and upperclassmen for having demonstrated leadership within their communities.

World Representatives serve on an advisory board to Student Engagement throughout the academic year, communicate feedback from their peers to Student Engagement to improve the L-LCs, and help plan and facilitate social activities for L-LC students. Student Engagement, housed in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, selected 47 freshman World Ambassadors for the 2017-2018 year.

The University at Albany’s Living-Learning Communities provide students with an opportunity to live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share their personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

Students select from a wide range of L-LCs that are divided into two groups: major-specific communities, based around academic interests and intended majors; and special-interest communities, based around common interests among students.

When you reside in an L-LC, you enjoy all the same amenities as other student residents, yet benefit from a unique, community-oriented living experience.

Jodi Gaines, founder and CEO of CRFS, to be recognized with ATHENA Award

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 January 2018 at 3:43 pm

Jodi Gaines

ROCHESTER – Jodi Gaines, the CEO and founder of Claims Recovery Financial Services in Albion, will be recognized this evening with an ATHENA Award.

Gaines is one of 15 finalists for the award, which is given by the Women’s Council and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes professional women who are leaders in business and community service.

Gaines has grown her company from one employee, operating out of her kitchen to 2002, to more than 500 employees in Albion at the former Chase site on East Avenue.

The company assists banks and investors to recoup money when a home is foreclosed. Gaines and her employees work with attorneys, county clerks, utility companies and investors from all over the country. CRFS works to recover past-due interest, unpaid principal, unpaid taxes and unpaid insurance on houses.

Gaines is on the board of directors for the United Way of Orleans County and also is in the first class of the new Leadership Orleans program. She also was active in Albion’s youth soccer program, serving as commissioner.

For more on the ATHENA Awards, click here.

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Many local residents recognized for high grades at GCC

Staff Reports Posted 19 January 2018 at 4:34 pm

Genesee Community College is recognizing students for academic achievement. The college has released the names of students on the Dean’s List (3.50 to 3.74 grade point average) and students on the President’s and Provost List’s (3.75 or higher) with the President’s List for full-time students and the Provost’s List for part-timers.

The Fall 2017 President’s List of GCC students from Orleans County includes:

ALBION – Lauren Becht, Jennifer Benz, Alex De Smit, Matilda Erakare, Aleah Foos, Owen Foos, Nicholas Johnson, Kelsi Nice, Katlin Pieniaszek, Jessica Reigle and Chase Tkach.

HOLLEY – Johnathen Affronti, Cameron Bennage, Jennifer DeVault, Corinne Johnson, Kirsten Newbould, Shannon Parsons, Madeline Rowley, Jessica Scott and Kailey Waterman.

KENDALL – Robert Cook and Richard Wolf.

KENT – Emily Boyle, Kelly Bropst and Matthew Edick.


MEDINA – Bailey Allen, Adam Dunn, Brandie Fidanza-Carson, Sarah Fisher, Daniel Heschke, Olivia Hill, Zachary Laird, Ace Strickland, Elexa Taylor, Emma Wilson and Arden Zavitz.

The Fall 2017 Provost’s List of GCC students from Orleans County includes:

ALBION – Joseph Blair, Jennifer Dekay, Joshua Girvin, William Gregoire, Alyssa Lawrence, Adrian Milroy, Emma Mitchell, Summer Moore, Kendall Piccirilli, Matthew Quider, Vickie Restivo and Richard Vanderwedge.

HOLLEY – Bethany Bentivegna, Mary Buggie-Hunt, Starlyt Knight and Ryan Wolfe.

KENDALL – Angelique Zinner.

KENT – Colby Ricker.

LYNDONVILLE – Scott Buffin.

MEDINA – Rosemarie Albone, Heather Burd, Stuart Durrant, Melinda Pitcher, Carlin Sanders, Brian Schultz, Jessica Ward and Taylor Warner.

The Fall 2017 Dean’s List honorees from Orleans County include:

ALBION – Jeanine Baron, Kastriot Bela, Samantha Bowman, Desirae Davis, Jessica Kincaid, Brady Meakin, Katie Morgan, Nicole Smeltzer, Kaitlyn VanSkiver, Miles Walton, Shannan Wells and Angela Westlund.

HOLLEY – Hayley Diep, Rebecca Gay, Henry Haggerton, Kaitlyn Hendry, Cassandra McCormack, Trent Osborne, Sarah Rogers, Antonette Silvis and Sarah Westcott.

KENDALL – Matthew Cook and Autumn Steffen.

LYNDONVILLE – Steven Boring, Danell Gibson, Lacey Heideman, Abigeil Rodriguez and Kevin Rogers.

MEDINA – Brandon Ashley, Josh Cifelli, Colm Cooper, Grace Fuller, Jamie Fulwell, Corinne Hall, Danielle Higgins, Adam Lindberg, Stephanie McGee, Kali Montgomery and Autumn Salatka.

WATERPORT – Sierra Chudy, Sherika Coke and Dwight Wadsworth.

Genesee Community College serves over 6,000 students per semester through more than 70 academic programs and certificates, including the new Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, and the new Nanotechnology degree with ECC. On a microscopic scale, nanotech focuses on careers in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, medicine and photovoltaics.

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Shelby, Ridgeway firefighters take officer training program in Genesee

Staff Reports Posted 18 January 2018 at 8:12 am

BATAVIA – Twenty-nine regional firefighters participated in the four-hour Leadership, Accountabiity, Courage & Knowledge (L.A.C.K.) program held on the Genesee County Fire Training Center on Jan. 8.

The L.A.C.K. program provides an opportunity for fire officers, training officers and chief offers to improve their personal and organizational skill set. On-going education and training of first responders is essential for awareness, prevention and safe and effective response.

L.A.C.K. participants included:

ALABAMA FIRE DEPARTMENT: Richard T. Brunea, Michelle L. Patnode, William C. Schutt and Alison L. Thompson.

BATAVIA, TOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT: James W. Bouton, Daniel J. Coffey, Paul R. Dibble, Benjamin R. Fisher, Joseph J. Hinz, Gary D. Diegelman, Thomas M. Garlock, Clayton A. Gorski, Daniel A. Jacques, Ian A. Sanfratello, Tyler J. Stewart, David Tran and Robert H. Tripp.

CORFU VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT: Mitchell D. Bates, Lori Ann Santini and Kristen M. Gaik.

ELBA VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY: Jennifer A. Cardinali, Mandy L. Esten, Timothy J. Hoffarth, Michael J. Schad, Jr. and George M. Underhill.


SHELBY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jeffrey C. Arnett, Crystal M. Petry and Scott E. Petry.

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Albion student advances in oratorical contest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2018 at 10:07 am

Provided photo

An Albion student finished in second place on Sunday during the district competition of the American Legion Oratorical Contest in Buffalo.

Pictured from left include: Skip Merrick, Commander for the Oratorical Contest in Allegany County; first place winner Aiden Heaney of Belfast High School; second place winner Melissa Barnosky of Albion; and Oratorical Contest Zone 5 Chairman Lee Brucino.

Melissa Barnosky of Albion won the school and county competitions. By placing in the top two at district, she qualifies for the zone level contest on Feb. 3 at Mount Morris. If she wins at the zone level, she will advance to the state competition.

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