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Brianna Blackburn of Holley graduates from Clarkson University

Staff Reports Posted 7 March 2017 at 4:51 pm

POTSDAM – Brianna C. Blackburn of Holley received a bachelor of science degree in political science & business minor & law studies minor from Clarkson University on December 31, 2016.

With its main campus located in Potsdam, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world’s pressing issues.

Orleans deputy earns several awards at police academy

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 March 2017 at 4:20 pm

Provided photo, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office

Adam Hazel, left, is congratulated by Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower on Friday when Hazel earned several awards at the Rural Police Training Academy at Genesee Community College.

Hazel was hired as an Orleans County deputy sheriff on January 3, 2017. On Friday, he graduated from the Rural Police Training Academy.

He was awarded First Place Academic Achievement Award; 2nd Place Firearms Qualification Rounds Top Gun; 2nd Place Firearms Overall Averages Top Gun; and 2nd Place Overall Academy Achievement Award for Sworn Officers.

“We are very proud of his accomplishments while at the academy and welcome him to our team at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office,” Bower said.

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High schoolers attend Rotary leadership conference

Staff Reports Posted 3 March 2017 at 9:20 am

Provided photo

CLARENCE – Four students from Albion High School who are members of the Rotary Interact Club attended a youth leadership conference on Thursday at Clarence, joining about 100 high school students in Western New York.

This photo shows Albion students with Tim Howard, the Erie County sheriff, who was one of the presenters during the conference. Howard’s brother is retired Albion town justice Kevin Howard. The students include, from left: Evan Steier, McKenna Boyer, Jarod Hollinger and Vivian Rivers.

The Interact Club is a youth service organization affiliated with Rotary. Albion teacher Tim Archer serves as the Interact advisor.

Thursday’s conference entitled, “Empowering the Youth of Today to Affect Change,” included student leaders from across WNY who voiced their opinions on a variety of topics. A panel of area leaders represented media, government, law enforcement, education and health services.

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Several local residents named to RIT Dean’s List for fall semester

Staff Reports Posted 1 March 2017 at 8:20 pm

ROCHESTER – The following local residents made the Dean’s List at Rochester Institute of Technology for fall semester 2016-2017:

Colm Cooper of Medina, who is studying in the business exploration program.

Flint Dilella of Holley, who is studying in the electrical engineering program.

Nicholas Ettinger of Albion, who is studying in the electrical engineering technology program.

George Glynn of Holley, who is studying in the computer science program.

Tabby Golda of Albion, who is studying in the biomedical engineering program.

Jonas Hartway of Medina, who is studying in the illustration program.

Alyssa Hering of Albion, who is studying in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Cody Jones of Medina, who is studying in the mechanical engineering technology program.

Patrick Jones of Medina, who is studying in the mechanical engineering technology program.

Emily Joslyn of Kent, who is studying in the psychology program.

Marco Lopez of Medina, who is studying in the electrical engineering technology program.

Stella Russo of Medina, who is studying in the physician assistant program.

Roland Sanford of Albion, who is studying in the computational mathematics program.

Brady Smith of Holley, who is studying in the civil engineering technology program.

Riley Starr of Lyndonville, who is studying in the mechanical engineering program.

Zackary Waild of Medina, who is studying in the biochemistry program.

Traci Westcott of Holley, who is studying in the photographic and imaging arts program.

Matthew Witte of Medina, who is studying in the software engineering program.

Carson Zgoda of Medina, who is studying in the medical illustration program.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Dean’s List if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of “Incomplete”, “D” or “F”; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

Local 4-H’er shadows MSNBC news anchor in NYC

Photos courtesy of National 4-H Council: John Gabalski meets Craig Melvin, an MSNBC/NBC News anchor. Gabalski travelled to New York City last Wednesday to shadow Melvin for the day as part of 4-H’s “Day in the Life Experience.”

Staff Reports Posted 1 March 2017 at 8:26 am

4-H Day in the Life connects notable 4-H alumni to 4-H youth

Craig Melvin goes over the day’s schedule with John Gabalski. The local 4-H’er participated in a rundown meeting with Melvin and the news team, toured the New York City studio, and watched Melvin’s full-hour broadcast live in studio.

Orleans County 4-H’er John Gabalski describes his trip to the NBC studios in New York City last Wednesday as fantastic.

“It was an inspirational experience,” John said.

John, 15, was selected by the National 4-H Council to take part in a “Day in the Life Experience” with 4-H alum Craig Melvin, who is an MSNBC/NBC News anchor. Melvin anchors MSNBC Live on weekdays and is co-anchor of the Today Saturday edition.

John was able to visit the MSNBC/NBC News studios at Rockefeller Center New York, and learn first-hand from Melvin what it takes to be a news anchor at a major television network.

He also got to enjoy some down time with Melvin, who treated John to lunch from the NBC Commissary.

“I had some pasta, a roll and fruit,” John said. He and Melvin then took their lunch back to Melvin’s office and discussed the work that goes into producing Melvin’s daily one-hour news broadcast. John said Melvin was also interested in learning more about his participation in 4-H, including raising rabbits.

Gabalski watches Melvin’s hour-long segment in the studio.

John is a member of the Orleans County Rabbit Raisers and Outback Orleans 4-H Clubs, and is also a member of Orleans County 4-H Senior Council. He lives in Byron with his parents, Walter and Kristina Gabalski.

John watched Melvin’s Feb. 22 broadcast live in the studio. “That was my favorite part of the experience,” John said.

He was able to watch Melvin while listening to the director through an earpiece. “It was very interesting to see how everything works behind the camera, the way they handle the cameras and the lighting. It’s pretty cool,” John said.

Melvin also gave John a tour around the offices and studios of MSNBC/NBC News. John said Melvin pointed out the office door of Al Roker, however Roker was not in his office at the time.

John Gabalski is pictured outside the studio at Rockefeller Center New York.

The “Day in the Life Experience” is part of an alumni outreach effort by 4-H GROWS to connect notable 4-H alumni to 4-H youth.

Dvon Williams, director of integrated marketing, National 4-H Council, said John’s visit to shadow Craig Melvin at MSNBC/NBC News was the first of the “Day in the Life Experiences,” which will be repeated in other regions across the country.

John is considering the possibility of a career in broadcasting. That interest in journalism and his role as a 4-H news reporter were factors in him being chosen for the “Craig Melvin Day in the Life Experience,” Williams said.

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2 from Orleans on Dean’s List at Binghamton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2017 at 3:17 pm

BINGHAMTON – Two students from Orleans County are on the Dean’s List at Binghamton University, State University of New York, for the Fall 2016 semester. This honor recognizes students who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher.

Monica Benjovsky of Albion and Julia Smith of Kendall both are on the list of honored students.

Lyndonville wins state academic decathlon

Provided photos: Lyndonville High School’s Academic Decathlon team includes: Trevor Thaine, Sierra Blanar, Brooke Keifer, coach Paula Reimann, Devon Allen, coach Kristine Mostyn, Rebecca Schoolcraft, Thomas Bummer, Jessica Smith, Paige Gardner, and Natalie Allen.

Posted 27 February 2017 at 1:08 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – The nine-member team from Lyndonville High School won the New York State Academic Decathlon Championship held at SUNY College at Brockport on February 24-25 to claim its first overall title in that competition.

Lyndonville has been a contender for the title for over two decades, winning the Small School State Championship several times and placing regularly in the top four, but this was its first overall state win, defeating second place West Genesee High School from Syracuse.

The state title is determined by the highest scoring school, regardless of size, and Lyndonville was the smallest school in the competition.

The Lyndonville squad, coached by Paula Reimann and Kris Mostyn, earned the right to compete in the United States Academic Decathlon National Finals in Madison Wisconsin in late April.

The Academic Decathlon is widely considered to be one of the premier academic competitions for high school students in the country, and the level of study is well beyond most high school curriculum.  Each team is comprised of three students with A averages, (Honors division), three students with B averages (Scholastic division), and three students with C averages (Varsity division) who compete against participants from within their respective divisions.

The United States Academic Decathlon establishes a yearly theme for the competition, which is made up of 10 academic events:  math, science, economics, literature, music, art, social science, speech, interview and essay writing.  This year’s theme was World War II, and the topics of all of the written academic tests related to that era.

Awards are set on an Olympic model, where gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded in each category for each grade point division.  Each student competes for individual medals and their total scores count for the team total.  Teams began preparing for this event at the beginning of the school year and qualified for the state tournament by placing highly in their regional competitions.  The five schools competing in this year’s finals were Lyndonville, Mesa Charter School (Brooklyn), West Genesee, Westhill, and Tully (Syracuse area).

Lyndonville’s team consists of Devon Allen, Natalie Allen, Sierra Blanar, Thomas Bummer, Paige Gardner, Brooke Kiefer, Rebecca Schoolcraft, Jessica Smith, and Trevor Thaine.  The team collected a total of 30 medals out of the total possible 90 medals available to win in the tournament.

Medal winners for Lyndonville were:  Trevor Thaine (2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze), Brooke Kiefer (2 gold, 3 silver), Rebecca Schoolcraft (3 gold, 1 bronze), Jessica Smith (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), Thomas Bummer(1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze), Sierra Blanar (1 silver, 2 bronze), Natalie Allen (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), and Devon Allen (1 bronze).

In addition to winning the state title and the most medals, Lyndonville’s Coach Paula Reimann was recognized with a plaque for her more than 25 years of dedication to the Academic Decathlon Program.  Lyndonville team member Thomas Bummer won the Trevor Cook Memorial Spirit Trophy, dedicated to the memory of the former Lyndonville team member who died in service to our country.

Although some financial support for the cost of their trip to the National Tournament in April is provided by the New York State Academic Decathlon, the majority of those costs are left to the school district and team to raise.  If any organization or individual would like to contribute, please contact Lyndonville Central School at 585-765-2251. Click here for more information on a GoFundMe for the team.

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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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