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Outstanding citizens made community better in many ways

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 January 2018 at 4:01 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: David Green is pictured on Aug. 23 during the Super Cruise on Main Street. He has teamed with Donna Bushover for about 20 years to organize the car shows.

Each year since Orleans Hub started in 2013 we have named a group of “outstanding citizens.” We want to recognize people for stepping up to bring a new program or project to the community, or who have been consistent contributors for many years.

Here are some people who stood out in 2017:

Retired sheriff keeps the classic cars coming to Medina

Dave 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.

That car show typically attracts a few hundred people to the downtown. That “foot traffic” provides energy and customers for the Medina businesses, and the shows have been part of the Medina downtown resurgence.

The car shows draw about 100 cars on a typical Friday. The “Super Cruise” brings about 200-300 cars when Main Street is closed off and Elvis impersonator entertains. Green also sells raffle tickets during the Super Cruise with proceeds going to the Orleans County United Way.

There was some concern with the car shows earlier this year, with some merchants wanting to move the show away from the Canal Basin and Main Street, due to parking concerns. The shows went on as usual while the village considers how to resolve a downtown parking crunch – a good problem to have.

Green was diplomatic and didn’t lash out at anybody when the issue was raised just before the car show season.

The retired sheriff 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.

Pastor brings new ministry to historic building in Albion

Mike Outten, pastor of North Point Chapel, is pictured at the former United Methodist Church building in Albion in this photo from March 30. North Point Chapel moved into the site in March and reopened the sanctuary which had been condemned due to concerns about a failing roof. The supports shown in this photo were found to not be needed.

A church building that is part of the historic Courthouse Square was feared doomed after the United Methodist congregation moved out of the building two years ago and the site then sat vacant with little interest from a new buyer.

The United Methodists moved out after being told by engineering and architectural firms the roof was failing and would need a $1 million repair, which included strengthening the structural supports for the building.

The church building is one of seven historic churches at the Courthouse Square, which is a nationally recognized historic district. Losing the church or having it sit empty would have been a blow to the district and one of the community assets.

North Point Chapel, a new congregation in Albion that was meeting at the Arnold Gregory Office Complex, felt God leading them to the church building on Platt Street. They purchased the building and a next-door site for $38,000. (They also took over a $22,000 contract for the roof support beams.)

North Point held services in a Sunday School classroom until the sanctuary was reopened in December. Outten, who ran a construction company, found the costly roof repair wasn’t necessary. Structural supports were buried in the insulation in the roof and weren’t seen by architects and engineers.

Outten and church volunteers repainted the sanctuary, replaced numerous lights (including high ones near the ceiling) and changed the sanctuary stage, adding space for the band.

Outten has insisted the past two years he’s been in Albion that he felt God had a plan for North Point to serve the Albion community. In addition to giving the church building new life, North Point welcomed two missionary teams for community service work in Albion this summer, which included a basketball camp, Vacation Bible School and work on the building.

Outten and the congregation also have handled the thankless job of garbage collection during the annual Strawberry Festival.

The church runs weekly Bible studies and a “Celebrate Recovery” program for people battling addictions.

Outten deserves praise for seeing the good in what often appears a hopeless situation, whether an old building or people struggling with overwhelming problems.

Holley veterinarian took the lead in bringing back community festival

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Holley-Kendall Marching Band performs during a parade at the June Fest celebration.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Holley Rotarian Krista Wiley-Neale, right, presented Marge Dale with a check $2,000 from the Holley Rotary Club to help Dale and her husband after their house burned down in Clarendon on Nov. 28.

Holley took a break from its June Fest in 2016. The festival needed more volunteers and funding. Often when a community festival takes a break, it doesn’t come back.

But the June Fest returned in 2017 with a big parade, 5k race, music and many other activities and vendors.

Krista Wiley-Neale helped bring back the June Fest, and also was a key organizer in an expanded Festival of Lights in December. The Holley Village Board named her the “Citizen of the Year” and insisted she flip the switch during a Christmas tree lighting.

Wiley-Neale, owner of Wiley’s Ark Animal Care, 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.

She has provided a “can-do” attitude and optimistic attitude in the village.

Long-time grocer supported many community organizations

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jerome Pawlak ended a long career in the grocery business with the closing of Pawlak’s Food Center.

Jerome Pawlak lasted much longer in the grocery business than most small-town grocers. The grocery business in Albion is highly competitive with Wal-Mart, Tops, Rite Aid, Dollar General and other stores selling groceries.

Pawlak endured all that competition, while being a generous supporter of numerous community organizations.

He also has served 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.

Pawlak and his family have been “all in” with Orleans County for many years. They opened a Save-A-Lot store in Holley after the community was without a store for five years.

Pawlak closed that store in September 2016 and he announced the end of his Albion business this past October. He wanted to continue but couldn’t reach an agreement for the lease in the Albion plaza.

The Pawlaks have been a presence in Albion for 49 years. They started a store in Lyndonville 57 years ago before moving to Albion.

Pawlak showed resourcefulness in keeping his business going for as long as he did. In addition to the grocery store, the Albion site included The Video Station, Save-On Beverage Center and an outdoor food stand during the warmer weather.

Firefighter was key in design of new fire safety trailer

Photos by Tom Rivers: A new fire safety trailer debuted in 2017. A $75,000 state grant from State Sen. Robert Ortt paid for the trailer, which will go to local school districts and community events.

Peter Sidari spoke at the Albion Board of Education meeting on Oct. 4, explaining the benefits of a new fire safety trailer and asking the Board to support a fire prevention and planning program.

Fire departments in Orleans County have a new tool for teaching fire prevention and the importance of a fire safety plan. In October, a new trailer with smoke simulators and other features debuted in the county.

Pete Sidari, an Albion firefighter, was among the committee members that picked out a design for the trailer and trained firefighters in leading safety programs with the trailer.

Sidari brings more than a decade of experience from his job as a fire safety educator for the North Greece Fire District.

Sidari pushed for kid-friendly decals and characters on the trailer that would serve as a billboard, helping to reinforce the message of having a fire escape plan.

The trailer is being used in educating the community on proper fire safety. Local firefighters have already taken it to the five school districts in Orleans County for students to practice exiting through a window in case of a fire, and to learn about smoke in a building (the trailer has a fog machine) and also to not open a hot door (the trailer can heat up doors).

There have been 42 firefighters in the county trained to lead students through the trailer. Sidari said the public education program will be a work in progress. Many other communities with fire safety trailers have paid personnel who lead the program. In Orleans County, almost all of the firefighters are volunteers. Only Medina has paid staff.

Many volunteers were part of the committee with the fire safety trailer. Sidari was a key to “selling” it to the local schools. He attended several Board of Education meetings and provided insight on how the trailer should be used and firefighters be trained.

Holley dentist led effort to return ‘Diaz homes’ to tax rolls

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Village of Holley Development Corporation President Daniel Schiavone, left, is pictured on May 2 with Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty, Village Trustee Connie Nenni, and Orleans County Legislators Ken DeRoller and John DeFilipps. They are gathered on the porch of 37 S. Main St., one of eight “Diaz Homes” that Schiavone and the village worked for years to get turned over by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

It was a thankless task for Dan Schiavone: leading a village-created development corporation that take possession of eight homes from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and then resell them.

Schiavone, a Holley dentist, served as chairman of the Village of Holley Development Corporation. 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.

The houses were cleaned and deemed safe although the EPA wanted assurances of lead abatement at some of the sites before they were sold.

Schiavone worked with the EPA, a real estate company and the village officials to see the sales through completion.

The eight houses sold for $192,600 with the EPA getting 90 percent and the Village of Holley Development Corporation collecting the other 10 percent.

“It will be a big plus for the village to have them back on the tax rolls and not be eyesores in the neighborhood,” Schiavone said.

He also can be counted on supporting many community fundraisers and events. The Holley Board of Education recognized his efforts in December with a “Soaring to New Heights” award.

Medina resident led new toy collection effort to brighten Christmas for many local children

Photo by Tom Rivers: Shawn Ramsey, left, is owner of Canalside Tattoo in Medina. He is pictured with Andrew Szatkowski, organizer of the toy drive that resulted in 500 gifts to be given away.

Andrew Szatkowski said he didn’t want any local kids to not have a present on Christmas day. Szatkowski had a brainstorm. He knew thousands of people would be in downtown Medina for a Christmas celebration, capped by the Parade of Lights, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

He urged people to drop a present at Canalside Tattoo. If they donated a gift or $5, they would get a raffle ticket for one of 20“Medina Experience” packages. Szatkowski thought the raffle was also a way to promote Medina businesses and events.

The one-day toy drive on Nov. 25 resulted in 500 toys being donated plus about $700. The toys were dropped off at Canalside Tattoo on Main Street in Medina.

The toys were given to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, which distributed them to families in Orleans County.

“In our county there are children that need toys,” Szatkowski said. “I think it’s important as a community that we step up. There are children that need help.”

Community Action officials said the toys were a big contribution for the agency that has 300 children on its list for Christmas.

Painted rocks bring smiles to community

Photo by Tom Rivers: Lori Laine is pictured with two rocks that were among more than 100 delivered to residents of The Villages, the former county nursing home, during the holidays. She painted about 40 of the Christmas rocks for nursing home residents. “It’s such an easy thing to do and it makes people so happy,” she said.

An interesting phenomenon took hold in Albion and many communities around the country in 2017. “Kindness Rocks” are painted, often with inspirational words and messages, and left in the community for people to find. They are encouraged to then post a picture with the rock and rehide it.

Lori Laine loved the idea and organized rock-painting parties in Albion. She painted several hundred rocks, some in very intricate detail. Laine pushed the Albion “rockers” to paint rocks and take them to the local nursing home.

Laine said the rocks have brought more people to Main Street, Mount Albion Cemetery and other locations in the community. She sees families with young children on rock hunts.

“It’s great to see parents and their kids walking around looking for the rocks,” Laine said. “They’re having fun with it.”

Laine also has been an active promoter for Donate Life, urging people to be organ donors. She put together a Donate Life float for the Strawberry Festival Parade in June. Laine is committed to that cause because her husband, Tom, received a liver transplant in July 2014.

Laine also organized a first-time pet parade in October for Albion’s Fall Festival. She has a big heart and makes Albion a lot more fun.

Orleans Hub will recognize the outstanding citizens at an awards program, likely in February. More details will be announced.

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Holley’s Bradley Ralph re-enlists in National Guard

Staff Reports Posted 27 December 2017 at 6:03 pm

HOLLEY – Major General Anthony P. German, the Adjutant General, announces the recent re-enlistment of a member of the State National Guard in recognition of his continuing commitment to serve community, state and nation as part of the Army National Guard.

Sergeant Bradley Ralph from Holley has re-enlisted to continue service with the Headquarters and Service Company, 642nd Support Battalion.

“New Yorkers count on our citizen soldiers to be ready and be there when disaster strikes,” German said. “And our nation counts on our soldiers when duty calls for overseas service. I congratulate our members for choosing to stay in service and striking that balance between military duties, education or employment commitments and family obligations.”

“Every one of the men and women serving in our 16,000 strong Army and Air National Guard plays an important role and these soldiers who continue to re-enlist provide experience and continuity for whatever challenges lay ahead for our New York National Guard family.”

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Caleb Pettit named DAR Good Citizen for Albion, Orleans County

Staff Reports Posted 22 December 2017 at 8:25 am

Caleb Pettit

ALBION –  Caleb Pettit is the recipient of the 2017 Orleans County DAR Good Citizen Award. He competed with student representatives from Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina.

His winning 550-word essay was entitled “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It: How Has America Advanced the Cause of Freedom in the Rest of the World.”  Caleb read his essay during the DAR’s December meeting. DAR member Nancy Good presented him with a scholarship in memory of her mother, Margery Knapp. Caleb’s winning essay will now advance to the District level.

The DAR Good Citizen Award and Scholarship Contest reward good citizenship qualities such as dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in home, school and community. Caleb was selected by his teachers (based on these qualities) to represent Albion High School.

Caleb is an Eagle Scout and all-star lineman for the football team.

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Holley student awarded $30K scholarship to attend Alfred State

Staff Reports Posted 21 December 2017 at 6:38 pm

ALFRED – An Orleans County resident has been awarded a $30,000 “Presidential Scholarship” to attend Alfred State.

Dalton Thurley of Holley is slated to graduate in 2018 from Holley Senior High School and has been accepted into the mechanical engineering technology program.

The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to students who must possess a 91 (3.5 on 4.0 scale) or better cumulative high school average through their junior year; at least a 1270 combined reading/writing and math SAT or 26 composite ACT score is required. Recipients must maintain a required grade point average to continue to receive free room in subsequent semesters.

Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Alfred State offers some 49 associate degree programs, 26 baccalaureate degree programs, and two certificate programs.

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GCC recognizes outstanding students and professors of fall semester in Orleans

Posted 8 December 2017 at 5:29 pm

Press Release, GCC

Genesee Community College’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers have named the Fall 2017 Instructors and Students of the Semester. Each semester, one instructor and one student from each campus center are recognized for their outstanding instructional and/or academic performances.

For several weeks, the campus centers collect nominations from fellow teachers, colleagues and students and a small committee led by James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers, determines the winners.

Albion Campus Center

Kristin McAdoo

Kristin McAdoo of Knowlesville has been selected as the Fall 2017 Instructor of the Semester at the Albion Campus Center. She was nominated by a student who noted, “She is one of the sweetest teachers. She has a lot of patience and is a great role model. I look up to her. She encourages us to do everything with our whole heart and not to give up.”

McAdoo graduated from Medina High School, earned her degree in Elementary and Special Education at SUNY Geneseo and went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Reading from SUNY Brockport. She is teaching Gaining Power in College Reading at GCC this semester and shared that “our campus feels like a family; everyone is supportive of each other.”

Married with four children and one grandchild, Kristin also serves as the reading specialist for the Brockport Central School District. She is active in her community, serving on the Rochester Area Literacy Council and with the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. McAdoo’s hobbies include reading and being a volunteer EMT/firefighter. She noted her most rewarding teaching experiences are “when students come back to visit and tell me that they learned from, and appreciated, my class.” In reflecting on her career, McAdoo explained that she wouldn’t change a thing relative to the career choices she’s made: “I love what I do!” In offering some advice to a new instructor, she said: “Listen to your students and don’t be afraid to try a new idea.”

Brian Daluisio

Brian Daluisio of Medina has been selected as the Fall 2017 Student of the Semester at the Albion Campus of GCC. Brian is pursuing a degree in Teacher Education with intention to transfer to SUNY Brockport upon completion of his A.A.S. degree to eventually become an elementary education teacher.

Daluisio says that the thing he most enjoys about college is that it challenges him and offers him the hope of a better future. His academic strength comes through in his commitment to do whatever work is required, no matter how difficult.

His nominating instructor said that Daluisio stands out from the crowd because he is consistently diligent, reliable and steady in his work. “Brian is the kind of person who, I believe, will go far in life simply doing his work thoughtfully, faithfully and thoroughly. Brian’s focus and determination are clear.”

Outside of the classroom, Daluisio enjoys water skiing, hiking, swimming and snow -boarding. He cites his family, and especially his grandparents, as the major influences in his life.

Medina Campus Center

Karen Krieger

Karen Krieger has been selected as Medina Campus Center’s Instructor of the Fall 2017 Semester. She teaches Foundations of Academic Success in Medina and in the past has also taught Career and Education Planning. Krieger currently serves as an academic advisor at the Medina Campus.

She earned her B.S. in Sociology from Buffalo State College and her M.S. in Education from D’Youville College. She enjoys reading, yoga, and walking outdoors. Krieger was a special education teacher for grades 1-5 at Medina Central School District prior to coming to GCC, and served as a college supervisor for the Department of Education at SUNY Brockport from 2013-2014.

Krieger resides in Albion and is married with two children, a golden retriever and two tiger tabbies. Students appreciate that “she is so willing to go above and beyond for everyone.”

Krieger said, “Watching students grow and obtain their educational and career goals have been among the most rewarding teaching experiences for me.”

Her one piece of advice to new instructors is to “Take the time to get to know your students and listen to them.” When asked about GCC’s Medina Campus Center, she said, “GCC Medina Campus Center is a learning environment and opportunity close to home, where education is nurtured and faculty and staff go above and beyond to encourage and support our students.” Krieger is exactly that, a dedicated educator who offers unconditional support and encouragement landing her the title of Instructor of the Semester.

Autumn Salatka

Autumn Salatka of Medina has been named Medina’s Fall 2017 Student of the Semester. Her major is Liberal Arts and Science: Teacher Education Transfer, with a concentration in English. She is a full-time, first semester student at GCC and is expected to graduate in 2020. She is currently undecided where she will complete her next degrees and NYS teaching certifications.

When asked why she decided to attend GCC, Salatka shared that she wanted to build confidence within herself and become better educated. She enjoys being a college student, and appreciates how different it is from high school. Instructors who nominated her expressed that her work ethic shines through in all aspects of her class work and participation.

Salatka approaches every assignment with an infectious energy and is always eager to assist her peers. She demonstrates leadership skills and has certainly made a lasting impression during her first semester. She shared that her parents, siblings, and her nephew Elijah, are major influences and inspirations in her life. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at PAWS Animal Shelter, as well as assisting foster/adoptive groups that her family belongs to.

When asked what advice she had for new students, she said “It’s OK to be nervous. I still get nervous, but that’s the feeling we get when we leave our comfort zones. You’ll learn that leaving your comfort zone is the only way you can grow as a person.”

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3 from Orleans compete in National Dog Show in Philadelphia

Provided photos: Nicole Mrzywka of Holley is interviewed by professional ice skating stars Tara Lapinski and Johnny Weir.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 21 November 2017 at 1:53 pm

Nicole Mrzywka, Madison Ploof and Kaitlyn Johnson were among a contingent from the Orleans County 4-H program that participated in the National Dog Show last weekend in Philadelphia.

Last February Nicole Mrzywka and Kaitlyn Johnson of the Orleans County 4-H Heelers Dog Club received national attention when Nicole traveled to New York City to compete in the Westminster Dog Show with her English springer spaniel Champ. Cerise Renaissance Man.

Kaitlyn was featured in a 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.

Now, they and members of the Heelers 4-H Dog Club have participated in the prestigious National Dog Show, sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.

Last weekend Kaitlyn, Nicole and fellow Heelers Club member Madison Ploof traveled to Philadephia for the show.

Nicole is a junior at Holley Central School, and said this is the second year she has exhibited at the National Dog Show.

This year she competed with her English springer spaniel in the Best of Breed competition; Kaitlyn Johnson competed in the Jr. Showmanship competition; and Madison Ploof competed with her German pincher in the Best of Breed competition.

Nicole Mrzywka of Holley is pictured in the show arena.

The National Dog Show is broadcast at noon on Thanksgiving Day on NBC, and Nicole said that although she and her fellow 4-Hers did not make it to the best of show competition for the telecast this year, she was interviewed by Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir for a segment which will air at some point in the broadcast.

“It was really cool,” Nicole said of the interview, which occurred while she was grooming her dog. “They were very nice people.”

Nicole said several members of the Orleans County 4-H Heelers Dog Club traveled to Philadelphia to watch the competition.

“We all did fundraising as a club,” Nicole said about funding the trip.

Club members who exhibited paid their own entry fees, she said.

Participating in a national event does make her nervous, Nicole said, but she also has lots of fun. She said the show was more crowded than in the past.

“It’s a great experience and one of my favorite shows… next year I plan to make it to the blue carpet,” Nicole said of reaching the portion of the competition which is televised.

She said all club members who attended learned much from the experience which they will be able to utilize as they compete with their dogs in the future.

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Albion, Holley PDs honored by AAA for traffic safety enforcement

Staff Reports Posted 20 November 2017 at 4:30 pm

Albion and Holley police departments both have been recognized by the American Automobile Association with 2017 Community Traffic Safety awards.

The Albion Police Department received the Platinum Award. The nationally recognized AAA Platinum Community Traffic Safety Award is the highest award AAA can bestow on any Police Department.

It’s awarded to departments that have developed and maintained traffic safety initiatives in their communities and who have shown success in those initiatives.

The Albion Police Department has used programs such as; Buckle Up New York, Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, Stop DWI, Pedestrian Crossing Safety and Awareness and the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program to enforce vehicle and traffic laws as well as to educate and assist motorist.

“Throughout 2017 the Albion Police Department conducted several targeted details that focused on specific areas of safety for both motorists and pedestrians,” Police Chief Roland Nenni said. “These details were done in non-traditional ways to increase their effectiveness. Several more details are planned using techniques that have never been done in our area and will increase awareness and effectiveness with the end goal of making our community safer.”

This is the seventh consecutive year that the Albion Police Department has received the Community Traffic Safety Platinum Award.

“The Albion Police Department is dedicated to making our highways and streets safer for all who use them,” Nenni said. “Throughout the holiday season we will continue our efforts by adding more patrols and details and we urge motorist to make responsible decisions.”

Nenni also leads the Holley Police Department, which was awarded the Bronze Award for the department’s efforts in traffic safety.

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Ortt will receive national award from Arc for advocacy for direct care workers

Posted 1 November 2017 at 4:45 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: State Sen. Robert Ortt speaks in Medina in June.

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt

SAN DIEGO, CA – State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) will be recognized by the Arc of the United States this week at the organization’s annual convention in San Diego.

Ortt will receive the Catalyst Award for the “Public Policy Victory of the Year” for his work to support direct care professionals serving individuals with disabilities.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized for my role in what was a tremendous team effort by dedicated individuals, families, and workers in the disability community,” Ortt said. “We knew that direct care workers not only care for the needs of these vulnerable individuals, but also help them to lead complete lives. And while government can be slow or difficult, what happened here was that through effective communication, advocacy, and education; we were able to take a significant policy goal – funding our hard-working direct care professionals – and turn it into a reality.”

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Ortt prioritized direct care and worked with families, advocates, and legislators as part of the bFair2DirectCare campaign. Ortt fought to include the funding in the Senate Republican budget and urged the Governor to recognize the urgency of the issue. The final adopted budget provides a $146 million multi-year boost in wages to compensate direct care and other clinical professionals for the work they do in caring for others. Ortt noted that the increases will help state-funded non-profits that specialize in the care of vulnerable New Yorkers not only recruit and retain employees, but continue to provide the same level of care that allows them to lead fuller, more independent lives.

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities. With nearly 700 state and local chapters nationwide, the Arc works with its federation of state and local chapters to create an impressive network of human service agencies ensuring they have the strongest civil rights advocates promoting and protecting their needs at all levels.

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22 students from Orleans Career and Tech into the National Technical Honor Society

Provided photo – First row (from left): Destiny Satkowski, Alexis Stratton, Kennedy Smelski, Alisha Scroger and Samantha Lawson. Middle row: Heaven Flood, Madeline Kraus, Carly Eldridge, Catherine Fleischhut, Tristen Johnson, Richard Miles and Desereé Brewer. Back Row: Skyler Christopher, Jamasen Johnson, Steven Schumacher, Porter Bellan, Malik Abdulghani, Jordan Klosin, Elijah Klosin, Matt Steves and John Reed.

Posted 31 October 2017 at 3:44 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Congratulations to the 22 students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center who were recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

Congratulations go to Malik Abdukghani (Lockport/Building Trades), Caleb Bellan (Medina/Welding), Desereé Brewer (Lockport/Security and Law Enforcement), Josephine Capen (Royalton Hartland/Allied Health), Skyler Christopher (Royalton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), Carly Eldridge (Royalton Hartland/Allied Health), Catherine Fleischhut (Roylaton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), Heaven Flood (Lyndonville/Cosmetology), Jamasen Johnson (Royalton Hartland/Electricity & Electronics), Tristen Johnson (Newfane/Electricity & Electronics), Jordan Klosin (Barker/Building Trades), Madeline Kraus (Medina/Allied Health), Samantha Lawson (Barker/Cosmetology), Richard Miles (Royalton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), John Reed (Lockport/Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering), Destiny Satkowski (Medina/Allied Health), Steven Schumacher (Royalton Hartland/Welding), Alisha Scroger (Medina/Culinary Arts), Kennedy Smelski (Lyndonville/Allued Health), Elijah Sones (Medina/Building Trades), Matthew Steves (Royalton Hartland/Building Trades) and Alexis Stratton (Barker/Cosmetology).

The students were honored at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ technical education center in front of their teachers, families and school district representatives.

The students had to maintain an 89.5 average in their career and technical education programs and an 84.5 average at their high schools, have superior attendance, exemplary behavior, be a member in good standing with SkillsUSA and have a recommendation from a faculty member.

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Director says Medina band serves as great ambassadors for community

Provided photos: Medina band members wait for the scores to be announced and awards handed out on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

Posted 30 October 2017 at 7:09 pm

Band narrowly misses winning state championship

Courtesy of Medina Mustang Band

The Medina Mustang Marching Band narrowly missed winning a state title on Sunday when it competed in the 44th annual New York State Field Band Conference Championship at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

This was Medina’s 41st appearance in the championship show.  There are 52 schools in the Field Band conference coming from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Congratulations to the schools that offer and support this art form for their student body.

The day started off at 8 a.m. with the Dome Breakfast put on by the Boosters for the students and their families as a form of pep rally. From there the students, staff, boosters and all of the equipment and props travel to Hobart College where they practiced for several hours before heading to Syracuse for more practice and then their performance.

This photo shows the band forming a heart shape at the end of the show, which was entitled “With Every Heartbeat.”

The band was led onto the field by Drum Major Shelby Green and Assistant Drum Majors Madison Kenward and Brigid Keller.

In Small School 1 Division (SS1), Medina competed against seven other schools and came in second place with a score of 92.35, bested by East Syracuse-Minoa at 92.60. The difference between 1st and 2nd place was a mere .24.

First place scores for the other classes are:

• SS3: Roslyn – 80.85

• SS2: Phoenix –  86.40

• LS3: Corning Painted Post – 84.70

• LS2: Cicero North Syracuse – 90.0

• National: Arlington – 97.25

Jim Steele, Medina’s band director, commented that he feels totally at peace knowing that the Mustang Band went to Championships and performed their best.

“Regardless of placement these kids are great ambassadors for our school and our community and should be commended for their hard work and dedication to better themselves as musicians and more importantly, as people,” Steele said. “They again are all champions in my eyes.  A heartfelt thanks needs to go out to our high school Principal and Vice Principal, Mike Cavanaugh and Kevin Lasky in addition to our Superintendent, Mark Kruzynski for attending the show with countless other Medina fans and followers. They all witnessed a top notch performance by our kids. Our Boosters are second to none and again proved yesterday that we are the luckiest organization in the world to have them with us. They too were true ‘rock stars’ last night.”

Seniors in the band are shown on stage at the Senior Recognition on Oct. 25.

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