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4-H Dog Club members featured on national stage

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 February 2017 at 9:44 am

Kaitlyn Johnson, 13, appears on the cover of the January 2017 issue of Front and Finish, a national on-line magazine for dog trainers.

Two members of the Orleans County 4-H Heelers Dog Club have been receiving national attention.

Nicole Mrzywka traveled to New York City in February to compete with her English springer spaniel, Champ. Cerise Renaissance Man, for the Westminster Dog Show; and Kaitlyn Johnson was the featured cover story in the January 2017 issue of Front and Finish, a national on-line magazine for dog trainers, with her rough collie dog Poirot.

Johnson, 13, is a 7th grader at Oakfield-Alabama Middle School. She says she loves to do obedience with Poirot.

“Poirot is not only my dog, he is my best friend,” she wrote in the article for Front and Finish.

Her mom, Terri Lewis, said Kaitlyn competed in the Cleveland Classic Dog Show in Ohio in December 2016 with one-year old Poirot.

“She was the only youth to compete in obedience that weekend and placed 2nd in her class,” Terri said. “The judge was so impressed with her that he asked if she would be willing to write an article for an online magazine he publishes (Front and Finish). Kaitlyn was very proud to have the opportunity and submitted her article. She was the cover story.  We are very proud of her accomplishments and are looking forward to continued success.”

Nicole Mrzywka, 15, is a sophomore at Holley Central High School. She participated in the prestigious 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on Feb. 14. Nicole competed in the Breed Classes – Best of Breed Competition – with her two year old dog, Champ. Cerise Renaissance Man.

Provided photo: Nicole Mrzywka gets her English springer spaniel ready on Feb. 14 for Westminster Dog Show.

“It was a really great competition,” Nicole said. She explained that dogs are judged on how well they are built and meet the standard for their breed and how well they move. “I was very nervous.”

She said this was her first experience at the Westminster show and she did not expect to get very far this year, but, “as a learning experience, I learned so much.”

Some dogs are invited to participate in the Westminster show, she said, and others are welcome to participate if they have acquired a number of points in previous dog shows.  Nicole said her springer spaniel had the points to qualify and she decided she would like to see what it would be like to take part.

Nicole said she hopes to be back at Westminster next year to take part in the Jr. Showmanship competition.

“My favorite thing is getting into the ring and showing,” she said. “It is what I love.”

File photo by Tom Rivers: Nicole Mrzywka, far right, is shown at the Orleans County 4-H Fair last July during one of the dog shows.

Provided photo: Kaitlyn Johnson and her dog, Poirot, are pictured after a competition.

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Orleans 4-Her chosen for a ‘Day in the Life’ experience at NBC in New York City

Staff Reports Posted 17 February 2017 at 8:11 pm

John Gabalski

Orleans County 4-H member John Gabalski has been chosen by the National 4-H Council to shadow MSNBC and NBC News anchor Craig Melvin during a “Day in the Life Experience” on Wednesday at NBC studios in New York City.

John is 15-years old and is a member of the Orleans County 4-H Rabbit Raisers Club, Outback Orleans Club, and 4-H Senior Council.

He was nominated for the opportunity by Orleans County 4-H educator Robert Batt and was selected from among youth 4-H leaders in New York State.

John has been involved in Orleans County 4-H since the age of 5, when he joined as a Cloverbud. He is a 10th grader enrolled in the Seton Home Study School Program and lives in Byron with his parents, Walter and Kristina Gabalski.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” John said. “It relates to the career I am interested in and my future goals.”

The “Day in the Life” experiences are part of the 4-H Grows alumni outreach effort to connect notable 4-H alumni to 4-H youth.

File photo by Tom Rivers: John Gabalski is pictured with a pen of rabbits during the 4-H animal meat auction in August 2015. Robert Bannister, in back, served as auctioneer for the event.

“These experiences will offer a 4-Her the opportunity to shadow an alum in their everyday career setting, experiencing their leadership in action through immersion activities, participating in meaningful leadership experience with the alum themselves, illustrating how 4-H alumni are paying it forward to the next generation of leaders,” the National 4-H Council said.

Dvon Williams, director of integrated marketing, National 4-H Council, noted John was chosen because of his interest in journalism and broadcasting and his role as a 4-H news reporter.

John’s experience on Feb. 22 will include meeting with Craig Melvin to learn more about his background and career; participation in a rundown meeting with Melvin and the news team; a tour of the New York City studio; and watching Melvin’s full-hour broadcast live in studio.

John’s parents say they are excited about the trip.

“We are grateful for the opportunities 4-H provides for our children,” Walter and Kristina Gabalski said in a statement. “They have learned about leadership both in their club-related activities, at the annual 4-H Fair, and through hands-on, real-life immersion experiences such as Career Explorations at Cornell University, Capitol Days in Albany, and the upcoming trip to NBC in New York City.”

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On 100th birthday, Albion woman credits faith and family for longevity

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2017 at 8:36 am

Emma Kenyon

ALBION – Emma Kenyon is 100 years old today. The Albion woman credits her longevity to her faith, and the love from many family and friends.

Kenyon has led an active life, working at Liptons, Kodak, Harrison Radiator Company and Owen’s Glass. She also worked in healthcare.

She is still going strong, her daughter Anne Downey said.

“She enjoys fellowship and socializing,” Downey said. “She has enjoyed her family, knitting and going on camping trips.”

Kenyon has been a widow for 18 years following the death of her husband, Donald Kenyon. She has three children – Anne Downey, and Patricia and Daniel Gormley – as well as two step-sons and five step-daughters, 10 grandchildren and 15 step-grandchildren.

The 1936 Albion graduate is a member of the Oak Orchard Assembly of God Church in Medina. She just moved to The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion.

“Her faith has been a key for her, and her family has always been around her,” Downey said.

Downey and her family wanted to wish her mother a happy, 100th birthday.

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Allison Christensen named to Dean’s List at Husson University

Posted 15 February 2017 at 7:03 pm

BANGOR, ME – Allison Christensen, a Kent resident, has been named to Husson University’s Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester.

Christensen is a senior who is currently enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies/Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.

Students who make the Dean’s List must carry at least 12 graded credit hours during the semester and earn a grade point average of between 3.60 to 3.79 during the period.

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Boy Scouts honor Nathan Pace with prestigious Silver Beaver award

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 February 2017 at 3:59 pm

Provided photo, Iroquois Trail Council

BATAVIA – Nathan Pace of Medina is pictured with his wife Margaret after he was awarded a Silver Beaver award on Saturday by the Boy Scouts of America, Iroquois Trail Council.

The Silver Beaver is a national award from the Boy Scouts of America that recognizes distinguished service to local youth. Each recipient is a long-tenured volunteer who has also made significant contributions of service to their local community.

Pace, an attorney in medina, is an Eagle Scout. He has a long Scouting history that includes a former tenure as a Scoutmaster among numerous other direct leadership roles. Pace also currently serves as President of the Buffalo Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he has been instrumental in helping to develop new leadership training and camping opportunities for youth and adults throughout Western New York.

Pace was recognized during the Iroquois Trail Council’s annual meeting on Saturday. The council was itself recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the 2016 Journey to Excellence Gold Award for program excellence. The Iroquois Trail Council provides development, leadership, and life skills to more than 2,500 youth in Orleans, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties.

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Albion firefighter now a member of FDNY as EMT

Provided photo: Andrew Cheverie is pictured on Tuesday after he graduated from the FDNY EMS Academy.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2017 at 9:04 am

‘It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,’ says Andrew Cheverie, 20

Photo from FDNY: Andrew Cheverie, center, is pictured with FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, left, and James P. Booth, chief of EMS.

NEW YORK CITY – Andrew Cheverie grew up in the Albion Fire Department. He spent countless hours at the fire hall with his father, Al Cheverie, the current president of the AFD.

Andrew, now 20, joined as an explorer at 14, a cadet at 16, and a full-fledged member at 18, trained as an interior firefighter.

The training and mentorship with the AFD convinced him he wanted to make firefighting his career. He is on his way to that goal after graduating on Tuesday as an EMT with the Fire Department of New York.

Cheverie will be part of a team responding to ambulance calls. He had orientation on Thursday and today is his first day taking calls.

He is based out of Washington Heights, Station 13 in northern Manhattan. It’s a busy area for FDNY. Cheverie said he will be responding to five to seven ambulance calls per eight-hour shift.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said by phone on Thursday night. “I’m looking forward to starting the next phase of my life.”

Andrew earned his Eagle Scout rank and created a smoke simulator and other stations for a fire prevention program. He is pictured on Oct. 14 when an elementary school student moved quickly through the course, staying low.

His parents, Al and Jan Cheverie, attended the graduation program on Tuesday, when 171 new EMTs were sworn in.

“I use the word ‘family’ to describe this Department because this is not simply a job,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro told the FDNY EMS Academy graduates. “This is a career. This is a commitment to something bigger than you, bigger than all of us. It is a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and yes, without question, a family. We respond together and everything we do is a team effort.”

Andrew applied for FDNY back in the fall of 2015. He didn’t hear anything from the department then, so he completed a year at the Harrisburg Area Community College, studying fire science. Then he enrolled at Monroe Community College to study fire protection technology.

He was halfway through his first semester at MCC when he got the call from FDNY that he had been accepted in the three-month EMS Academy. Cheverie jumped at the chance.

He said the training through Albion, with Haz-Mat and emergency vehicle operations, stood out and helped him earn a spot at FDNY.

“All of the training at the Albion Fire Department has helped me,” he said. “Without that I wouldn’t have decided to become a firefighter.”

He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree through the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York City. His ultimate goal is to be a professional firefighter with the FDNY, transitioning from the ambulance to firefighting.

Cheverie said he can adjust to living in the big city.

“I’m definitely a country boy at heart,” he said. “I loved living in Orleans County, but being 20 years old there is so much to do in the city.”

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2 local students makes Dean’s List at Geneseo

Staff Reports Posted 9 February 2017 at 6:30 pm

GENESEO – The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced its Dean’s List for the Fall Semester 2016. To be on the list, a student must have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average while taking a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Two students from Orleans County made the Dean’s List: Elizabeth Banty of Albion and Bradley McPherson of Medina.

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4 locals on Dean’s List at Nazareth College

Staff Reports Posted 3 February 2017 at 6:47 pm

ROCHESTER – Nazareth College announces its Dean’s List for the Fall of 2016 semester and the list includes four from Orleans County.

Madeline Bilicki of Medina is studying Social Work.

Cady Messmer of Albion is studying Business Management.

Sarah Papponetti of Albion is studying Health Sciences.

Regan Stacey of Medina is studying Musical Theater.

A student’s grade point average must be at least 3.5 or above, and they must complete 12 credit hours of graded work that semester in order to be included on the dean’s list at Nazareth.

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Many students from Orleans make Dean’s List at GCC

Staff Reports Posted 3 February 2017 at 6:33 pm

BATAVIA – Genesee Community College, including all seven campus locations in Batavia, Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw, proudly announces the following from Orleans County are among 312 full and part-time students who were named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester. Students honored on the Dean’s List have earned a quality point index of 3.50 to 3.74.

This year’s Genesee Community College Fall 2016 Dean’s List honorees, with their hometowns, are listed below:

• Albion – Jessica Kincaid, Courtney Cook, Peter Madafferi, Zachary Champeney, Andrea Muoio, Alyssa Shortridge, Mitchell DeSmit, Emma Mitchell, Kathy Alexander, Christina Koester, Brian Smeltzer, Stephanie McGee and Stephanie Poole.

• Clarendon – Heather Sugar.

• Holley – Dennis Wakula, Ceallachan Kelly, Starlyt Knight, Skylar Keiffer, Randi Gergely, Allister Bartlett, Richard Tamblin, Courtney Strickland and Amy Greenman.

• Kendall – Karin Forte

• Kent – Phyllis Tinkous

• Lyndonville – Christopher Hutchings and Dakota Froman.

• Medina – Bailey Allen, Nikkie Keyes, Lucas Cook, Abigail Smith, Brittany Button, Lisa Tombari, Haley Noreck, Melinda Pitcher and Adam Dunn.

• Waterport – Sierra VanWycke.

The College also maintains President’s and Provost’s Lists comprised of students who earned quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better. These other GCC honorees are announced separately.

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Lydia Erakare makes Dean’s List at SUNY New Paltz

Staff Reports Posted 3 February 2017 at 6:20 pm

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz is proud to congratulate Lydia Erakare of Albion for being named to the Dean’s List for the fall ’16 semester. Dean’s List designation is reserved for students who excel academically and earn at least a 3.3 grade-point average in a semester with a full-time course load.

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