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Medina students will compete in national rocket launch competition

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina students in teacher Mike Lepkyj’s advanced engineering class have qualified for the 15th Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge in Washington, D.C. on May 15. The group includes, from left: Max Poler, Ryan Goodin, Federico Rosario, Kristian Snyder, Nick Bogan, Carson Gates, Coby Albone, Kaela Grosslinger and Katie Bilicki. Vasillios Bitsas is missing from photo.

Posted 25 April 2017 at 11:00 am

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Medina Technology teacher Mike Lepkyj and ten of his students are heading to Washington, DC to compete in the national finals of the 15th Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

The team’s name is Chris P. Bacon and they will face off against 99 of the top rocketry teams from across the country to claim the title of national champion on May 13. TARC is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program and is designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters. This year’s rules require a rocket to carry one raw egg to reach 775 feet before returning the egg to Earth, uncracked, all within 41 to 43 seconds.

“This is the first time we are going to the nationals in the five years I have taught here,” said Mr. Lepkyj. “We found out right before spring break and everyone is really excited. We have been learning new techniques every year and it just gets better and better each year. Every year we have come within a hair of winning, so this is great. Each student made a rocket and we narrowed it down to the best by testing them. The design was pretty sophisticated and difficult because each year the criteria for the design changes. We had people come to the high school to record our height and time and we got to a height of 775 feet in 41.43 seconds. It was great to qualify.”

Katie Bilicki assembles a rocket that has four engines. It won’t be used in the upcoming competition. Nick Bogan is at back left and Carson Gates is at right. The rockets in the competition can only have one engine. This rocket, with the four engines, is expected to go more than 2,500 feet high.

The rockets need to be 24.6 inches long. They have to fly and land without breaking the egg, and the rocket needs to be in good enough shape to be flown again.

Student Nick Bogan says he has been taking technology classes since he was a freshman.

“I was taking Advanced Engineering and when I heard they were doing rockets, I knew it would be a great class to join,” Bogan said. “We ended up being successful, so I am pretty happy about that.  Going to DC is a great opportunity and this is the first year we have gotten this far. I am really excited. I am not sure how well we will do, but it will be a great experience any way.”

The team’s get three qualifying flights to see if they are eligible for nationals. However, at the national competition, each team gets only one try.

The lower a team’s score, the better. For every foot off 775 feet in height, the team gets a point. For every second off the 41 to 43 second goal, 4 points are added to the total.

There are 816 teams in the country, and only 100 qualify for nationals. Medina students design and make the fins on the rockets, experiment with length of the rocket body, as well as weights and measures.

Students need to consider angling the rocket launch to factor in wind strength. Being off by small percentages can make the rocket from going too high or too low.

Colby Albone said he loves class.

“I think it allows us to get creative and Mr. Lepkyj lets us use our imagination and design whatever we want,” Albone said. “It’s a lot of fun and we use a lot of math and science in hands-on projects.”

“Everyone is very excited about this,” says Mr. Lepkyj.  “I have had former students come up to me and they are just as excited about this as my current students. Some of them even came over on the break. It’s a big deal for the students. They will meet and greet with our local elected officials in DC and then get to compete for $150,000 in prizes and scholarships.”

The winning team has the chance to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris Air Show in June.

For more on the competition, click here.

(Editor’s Note: Includes reporting by Tom Rivers.)

County closes offices due to winter storm

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 March 2017 at 8:00 am

All five school districts in county closed for second straight day

Orleans County is closing its county government buildings today due to the winter storm. Employees of Buildings and Grounds, Highway, the Emergency Management Office, Sheriff’s road patrol and jail should report as normal.

All Oak Orchard Health Centers – Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport, Warsaw and Hornell – including WIC offices will be closed again today.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County is also closing today due to the storm.

The Albion, Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina school districts are all closed today for the second straight day.

Genesee Community College also has closed all of its campus locations, including the sites in Albion and Medina.

Clarendon town offices closed today.

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Closings for March 15, 2017

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2017 at 7:40 pm

(Updated at 10:57 a.m. on March 15, 2017.)

• The meeting for the law enforcement efficiency committee, looking at possible shared services or consolidation, is cancelled for this evening.

• With Albion schools closed today, the Tarzan preview and basket auction will now be next Wednesday, March 22, at the Albion First Baptist Church from 6 to 7 p.m. for putting tickets in baskets and from 7 to 8 p.m. for the preview and announcing basket winners.

• Hoag Library in Albion is closed. A Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester meeting scheduled for 5:30 at the library has been cancelled. The next meeting will be April 5 at Hoag.

• Albion Central School is closed on Wednesday including all afterschool activities.

• Holley Central School is cancelled.

• Kendall Central School is closed on Wednesday.

• Lyndonville Central School will be closed.

• Medina Central School is shut down for the day.

• Orleans County Christian School is closed.

• Genesee Community College also has closed all of its campus locations, including the sites in Albion and Medina.

• Orleans County is closing its county government buildings today due to the winter storm. Employees of Buildings and Grounds, Highway, the Emergency Management Office, Sheriff’s road patrol and jail should report as normal.

• All Oak Orchard Health Centers – Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport, Warsaw and Hornell – including WIC offices will be closed again today.

• The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County is also closing today due to the storm.

• The Albion Area Ministerium has cancelled this week’s Lenten gathering due to the severe winter storm. The next gathering will be Wednesday, March 22, at noon at Christ Church. The gatherings are from noon to 1 p.m. and open to the community. Remaining 2017 dates include March 22 & 29, and April 4.

• Albion Town Justice Joe Fuller is closing Town Court on Wednesday due to the winter storm. Those cases will be rescheduled for 9 a.m. on April 19.

• Clarendon town offices closed today.

• Gaines Town Court is cancelled for Wednesday and the cases moved to 3 p.m. on March 22 at the Gaines Town Hall, 14087 Ridge Rd.

• Yates Town Court is closed today due to inclement weather.

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Albion Town Court closed for Wednesday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2017 at 5:46 pm

ALBION – Albion Town Justice Joe Fuller is closing Town Court on Wednesday due to the winter storm.

Those cases will be rescheduled for 9 a.m. on April 19.

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More closings for today, March 14, 2017

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2017 at 1:47 pm

The winter storm is intensifying this afternoon, prompting two organizations to close early.

• Oak Orchard Health is closing its sites at 3 p.m. today in Albion, Brockport, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

• The Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) is closing its Albion and Batavia locations at 4 p.m.

• Orleans County Legislature Chairman David Callard has authorized early dismissal for all county employees at 4 p.m. except for Highway/Buildings and Grounds and the Sheriff’s Department.

• Gaines Town Court is cancelled for Wednesday and the cases moved to 3 p.m. on March 22 at the Gaines Town Hall, 14087 Ridge Rd.

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GCC closes all campus centers today, including Albion and Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2017 at 8:16 am

Holley and Murray offices also closed, and meetings canceled

Genesee Community College has closed all of its location in the the four GLOW counties for today, including the campus centers in Albion and Medina.

Other cancellations:

• The Village of Holley has closed the village office and cancelled the Village Board meeting for this evening.

“The Village of Holley Office is closed today due to the winter storm,” said Brian Sorochty, the village mayor. “Key staff will be working today to maintain village streets and services. The scheduled Village Board meeting for tonight has been rescheduled to Monday, March 20, starting at 5:30 p.m. Please visit the village website to see the updated meeting calendar.”

• The Town of Murray also is closing the town offices and won’t have its meeting this evening. Murray Town Supervisor John Morriss said the town bills will be paid at a workshop meeting on Thursday and most of the other agenda items for this evening will be moved to the April regular board meeting.

• The Gaines Town Court office is closed today but there will be court on Wednesday.

• Clarendon Town Hall closed today. Usually open noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

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Church closings for March 12, 2017

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2017 at 3:25 pm

The Eagle Harbor United Methodist Church has canceled the Sunday service due to power outage.

Albion businesses have many activities today for Hometown Holiday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2016 at 10:32 am

Santa will make appearance at old Swan Library

File photo by Tom Rivers: Mrs. Claus is pictured here during Hometown Holiday in December 2013. She will be back at Knight’s Pride today from noon to 3 p.m.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Mrs. Claus is pictured here during Hometown Holiday in December 2013. She will be back at Knight’s Pride today from noon to 3 p.m.

ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association has many activities planned today for the fifth annual Hometown Holiday.

Children can make ornaments (at MMIM), make reindeer dust (at Lynne Marie Hair Boutique), play holiday games, write letters to Santa and eat cookies.

Mrs. Claus will be at Knight’s Pride from noon to 3 p.m. and Santa will be available to meet youngsters at the old Swan Library from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

The activities are all free go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (although not all locations will be participating the full six hours).

Here is a list of some participants: SnL Sweet Escapes, cookie decorating; Digital Ink Arts, holiday games; Tease, cookies and hot cocoa; Xpress Fitness & tanning, reindeer raffle; Hazy Jade Gift Shop, Santa hand print art; Uptown Browsery, snowman ornament; Olde Dogge Inn, pine cone ornament; Downtown Browsery, letter to Santa; and Save-A-Lot, coloring contest.

There will also be an elf hunt, where people can win a ticket for the reindeer raffle if they find an elf. The Merchants also have a 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

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2 injured in 3-car crash on 104 in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 September 2016 at 3:59 pm

090416_accident1

RIDGEWAY – Two people were taken by ambulance to hospitals following an accident with three vehicles this afternoon on Route 104, between Knowlesville and Culvert roads. The top photo shows firefighters working to cut the battery after the driver had been removed from the vehicle.

The driver was eastbound on 104 and turned to go into the driveway at a house where a bride and her bridesmaids were getting ready. The driver pulled in front on a pickup headed westbound, according to an Orleans County sheriff’s deputy.

090416_accident2

These trucks collided after the driver of the pickup truck at left attempted to avoid a vehicle that crossed into the westbound lane suddenly at 1:15 p.m. A passenger in the vehicle at left was taken by ambulance. A deputy at the scene said none of the injuries were serious.