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Otto the K-9 meets Lyndonville Scouts

Posted 15 January 2017 at 7:09 pm


Photos courtesy of Amy Barry

LYNDONVILLE – Otto, the new K-9 for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, met with the Adventure Scouts from Lyndonville on Tuesday. Otto was joined by Deputy Jeff Cole, the dog’s handler.

Deputy Cole and Otto demonstrated commands and how sensitive Otto’s nose is by finding a few hidden items. Deputy Cole also reviewed correct practices if one of the scouts were ever lost, how to approach a police dog and handler, and answered questions about their training.

Deputy Tom Marano joined Cole and Otto, and Marano answered questions about being a deputy and some of the different types of calls he answers while on duty.

The scouts are learning about different facets of their community including law enforcement, safety personnel and other important people they may come in contact with as they grow up.

Along with the visit from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, the scouts have made toys from upcycled T-shirts and treats for PAWS (People for Animal Welfare Society) in Albion and are working on a free community soup luncheon.


Otto, a German Shepherd from Holland, joined the Orleans Sheriff’s Department on Oct. 13. On Tuesday, he met scouts from Lyndonville.

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Yates town supervisor again declines pay for 2017, prepares for busy year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 January 2017 at 1:40 pm
Jim Simon

Jim Simon

YATES – Town Supervisor Jim Simon is again declining any pay for his role in leading the Yates town government.

Simon took office on Jan. 1, 2016 after being elected in a write-in campaign against incumbent John Belson. Simon declined the $8,000 salary for the position in 2016 and is also refusing any pay this year. Simon also said no to $1,500 for his work as budget officer.

Simon, who works as dean of the GCC campus centers in Albion and Medina, sees a busy year in 2017.

The town expects to open construction bids in the spring for an extension of the town-wide water district. The project for Ward and Goodwin roads covers the last stretch of Yates without public waterlines.

The project will serve 12 residences east of the Village of Lyndonville. Ward and Goodwin are between Alps and Platten roads, and west of the Ashwood hamlet.

Simon said the project could cost $500,000 in “a worst-case scenario.” Yates has $100,000 set aside in a water district reserve. The town plans to borrow the remaining costs in a low-interest loan.

Simon was elected in November 2015 on a platform against the large wind turbines proposed by Apex Clean Energy. Apex continues to work on the application.

Simon has been picked to serve on the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable, which next meets in Albany on Jan. 27. That group includes representatives from government, energy companies, agriculture, environmental groups and other business leaders. The group was formed to make recommendations to the state which has set a goal of getting 50 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. Meeting that goal would likely require a rapid build-out of solar and wind power across New York.

Simon said he brings a voice that “home rule” should be preserved, that communities should have a say in their own land use.

“Shouldn’t a community decide for itself how to build a sustainable future?” Simon said on Thursday, following the Town Board’s annual organizational meeting.

Simon also has been picked to serve as chairman of the Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan Committee. That group includes representatives from the towns of Shelby, Ridgeway and Yates, as well as the villages of Lyndonville and Medina.

The group will next be meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Shelby Town Hall. It is planning to send a survey to about 6,000 residents in western Orleans soon to get their opinions on land use, opportunities and concerns for the community.

The local governments will work to update zoning laws and maps for the community to guide desired development. The western Orleans comprehensive plan was last updated in 2001.

The Town Board approved several appointments during Thursday’s organizational meeting, including:

Webster, Schubel & Meier of Medina for legal services at $7,500 for the year; Dan Wolfe as fire and building code officer, and also as zoning enforcement officer; Patricia Laszewski as assessor; Lynne Johnson as town bookkeeper and water bookkeeper;

Dawn Metty as Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board clerk; Gary Daum as ZBA chairman; Don Melfi and Jim Taylor as ZBA members; Roger Wolfe as water district superintendent and cemetery superintendent; Wes Bradley as youth agency representative; Michelle Harling as registrar of vital statistics; Dawn Metty as deputy registrar;

John Donald as dog control officer; John Riggi as deputy town supervisor; Dawn Metty as town historian and deputy town clerk; David Hydock as deputy highway superintendent; Susanne Sanderson as court clerk; Eric Harling as court bailiff;

M & T Bank and the Bank of Castile as official depositories for the town;

The Daily News of Batavia as official newspaper to publish the town’s legal notices, and Lake Country Pennysaver in Albion and Orleans Hub in Albion to carry additional advertising.

The Town Board also set the following as salaries and wages for 2016:

Highway superintendent at $64,180; Town clerk, $43,286; Supervisor bookkeeper at $14,700; Water superintendent at $13,658; Town justice at $8,500 for the year; Cemetery superintendent, $5,330; Town Board members, four at $3,259.75 each; Water bookkeeper at $3,100; Deputy highway superintendent, $2,550; Historian, $600; and Town supervisor at $0.

The hourly rates include: Highway motor equipment operator, $24.00; Code enforcement and zoning officer, $21.96; Court clerk, $15.19; and deputy clerk, $11.75.

The mileage reimbursement for town officers and employees using their personal vehicles was set at 53.5 cents per mile.

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Lyndonville seeks nominations for ‘Educator of the Year’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 January 2017 at 9:36 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district for the first time will recognize an “Educator of the Year” at the end of the school year.

The district is accepting nominations from students, parents, former students, administrators, teaching colleagues and other members of the community until Feb. 10. (Nomination packets are available at the school district’s main office as well as on the district website

Three finalists will be chosen from the pool of nominations.

The number of nominations a teacher receives has little to do with selecting a finalist. When nominating a teacher, it is important to highlight examples that illustrate the candidate’s dedication, knowledge, and skill as a teacher, as well as their ability to go above and beyond what is expected inside and outside of the classroom, the district stated.

Upon verification that the nominated teacher meets the required criteria, two additional letters of support will be needed to complete the nomination process. These should come from peer groups different than that of the nominator. Cover letters are included in this packet.

An impartial selection committee will choose the Educator of the Year. The committee will include the former Educator of the Year (after initial year), a high school student council member, an elementary leadership club member, a PTSA representative, one representative from each area (Elementary, Secondary, and K-12 Specialty Teacher), a Board of Education member, an administrator, and the superintendent.

The winner will be announced annually, at the regular meeting of the Board of Education in June. The Educator of the Year will receive a $1,000 district grant, as well as a plaque commemorating the achievement. The grant may be used for any educational initiative or project within the winner’s school, classroom, program, or department.

Eligibility requirements and criteria for Educator of the Year includes:

  • The nominee must be a current teacher within the Lyndonville school district.
  • The nominee must have completed 4 years of teaching at Lyndonville.
  • A nominee for Educator of the Year should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
  • The nominee must have a strong sense of values, integrity and professional ethics.
  • The nominee must actively collaborate with colleagues, administration, parents and families.
  • The nominee must play an active role in the school community, and demonstrate innovative 21st century skills and continuing professional growth Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues.

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Lyndonville school district has new solution for community feedback

Posted 7 January 2017 at 9:52 am

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville Central School wants to stay connected to its community. So, it’s making it easier than ever to reach district leadership with its recently launched cloud-based communication solution, Let’s Talk!

“With social media channels and online conversations compounding chatter at the bus stop, on the corner, and in our schools, it can be difficult to feel confident that we fully understand our community’s views and priorities,” said Jason Smith, district superintendent. “That’s why we launched Let’s Talk!, making our administrators easily accessible and giving our entire community a voice in district decision making.”

Let’s Talk! is a two-way, online communication solution that helps school and district administrators identify opportunities for engagement, spot potential crises, and build stronger relationships with parents, teachers, staff, students, and community members.

It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Users simply open the Let’s Talk! tab at and select a topic to start a conversation. They may submit anonymously, or leave their contact information for a personal response.

Lyndonville’s Let’s Talk! page invites comments, questions, and suggestions about key topics like special education, transportation, technology, capital projects, athletics, and events, and provides a place to reach both district schools, the superintendent’s office, and the Board of Education.

For more information about Let’s Talk!, contact Lori Lamay at (585) 765-3101

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Lyndonville sets Feb. 13 for vote on $10.7M capital project at school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2017 at 11:34 am

LYNDONVILLE – School district residents will vote on Feb. 13, determining whether a proposed $10.7 million capital project will go forward.

School officials will have a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Monday (Jan.9) on the project. That meeting will be at the Lyndonville Middle-High School Library on Housel Avenue.

The project includes many improvements at the Housel Avenue campus, and doesn’t include any work at the now closed former elementary school.

Lyndonville already has its local share of the project set aside in reserve funds so no additional local money will be needed to pay for the project, said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

The projects identified include roof work, new air-conditioning (currently only 1/3 of school has AC), interior renovations (including removing a wall and adding two classrooms), lighting improvements, and site work that will add parking spaces and improve traffic flow. It will also add a clearly designated drop-off spot for parents taking their children to school.

The athletic fields will also be improved with drainage, new dugouts, fencing and electric service.

Voting on Feb. 13 will be from noon to 7 p.m. in the auditorium lobby at the school.

For more on the project, click here.

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County passes resolution against turbines by lakeshore, saying they could endanger future of Niagara Falls base

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2016 at 9:37 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature made it official on Wednesday, passing a formal resolution against industrial-size wind turbines within 40 miles of a military installation.

Congressman Chris Collins has introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” in an effort to ensure that any new wind turbines located within a 40-mile radius of a military installation will be deemed ineligible for renewable energy tax credits.

The Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday followed Niagara County Legislature in supporting the legislation introduced by Collins.

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station employs over 2,600 people and contributes over $200 million a year to Western New York’s economy, Collins said. Many of the employees live in Orleans County, said Legislator Lynne Johnson, R-Lyndonville.

She said the “Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” would help protect the Niagara Falls installation “from any future closure attempt.”

Apex Clean Energy is proposing to construct about 70 wind turbines that could peak at over 600 feet. The turbines planned for Somerset in and Yates would be at least 25 miles from the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Apex said the turbines wouldn’t have a negative impact on the base. The company has been consulting with the Department of Defense and Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Station regularly “to ensure that any concerns regarding the base’s operations are resolved before the project is built,” Cat Strumlauf, Public Affairs Associate for Apex, said on Nov. 29 when Collins announced Wind Turbine Encroachment Act.

Two Yates officials – Town Supervisor Jim Simon and Councilman John Riggi – thanked the Legislature for supporting the legislation pushed by Collins.

Simon said the Niagara Falls base has a long history with changing aircraft and missions.

“The debate on the Air Reserve Station is ongoing,” Simon said, calling the site a “critical asset” for the community and country.

Riggi said the Collins bill would help keep “encroachment” away from the base. Riggi said he worries the tall turbines could give the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) a reason to shut down the base in the future.

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Orleans expected to press Congressional action to ban turbines within 40 miles of NF Air Base

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 December 2016 at 9:43 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has a resolution on the agenda Wednesday, supporting Congressman Chris Collins and his proposal to keep industrial-size wind turbines away from military airfields.

Apex Clean Energy is proposing to build about 70 wind turbines that would reach about 600 feet high in Somerset (Niagara County) and Yates (Orleans County).

Collins on Nov. 29 introduced legislation that would curb the installation of wind turbines in close proximity to military installations, such as the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls.

Collins worries the turbines would have a negative impact on the Air Reserve Station, perhaps jeopardizing the site in the future when its up for review.

“This air base employs over 2,600 people and contributes over $200 million a year to Western New York’s economy,” Collins said on Nov. 29. “Massive wind turbines built in such close proximity to military installations, such as the ones being proposed in Western New York, can negatively impact a base’s potential new missions and its future operations. I will do everything in my power to ensure the viability of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.”

Congressman Collins introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” in an effort to ensure that any new wind turbines located within a 40-mile radius of a military installation will be deemed ineligible for renewable energy tax credits. Full text of the legislation can be read by clicking here. A companion bill was introduced in the United States Senate by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.

The Niagara County Legislature already has passed a resolution in support of the “Turbine Encroachment Act,” and the Orleans County Legislature has a resolution on the agenda for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Orleans resolution says the turbines would be “a navigational hazard” that would harm the mission of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Losing the base would be an economic hit for the region and also could reduce the “military readiness of the United States,” according to the Orleans resolution.

Apex Clean Energy said the turbines would be more than 25 miles from the Air Reserve Station. Their proximity is a “non-issue,” the company said.

“Apex Clean Energy takes the safety and readiness of our military very seriously, and we work closely with the Department of Defense and its services to ensure our wind energy facilities do not adversely impact military missions,” Cat Strumlauf, Public Affairs Associate for Apex Clean Energy, said on Nov. 29 after Collins issued his news release.

Apex has been consulting with the Department of Defense and Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Station regularly “to ensure that any concerns regarding the base’s operations are resolved before the project is built,” Strumlauf said.

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Lions Clubs do eye screenings for Lyndonville students

Posted 15 December 2016 at 8:42 pm


Provided photos, Lyndonville Lions Club

LYNDONVILLE – Leah Gerety (pictured at left), a member of the newly formed Lyndonville Leo Club, helps elementary students line up for eye exams at the school.

Members of the Lyndonville and Medina Lions Clubs worked together on Nov. 29 to do complete vision screenings for 75 students in grades K-8 in the Lyndonville Central School District.

Lyndonville Lions Lynne Johnson and Bruce Schmidt, along with Medina Lions Jim Hancock and Christine Thompson, examined the eyes of the children in the Lyndonville school nurse’s office.

The students were escorted to and from the eye exams by Lyndonville Leo Club members Leah Gerety, Hunter Fuller, Tyler Coyle, Dustin Solomon, Tamara Huzair, Sawyer Wilson, Chris Clark, Shantel Benedict, Faith Chaffee, Allyson Deslatte and Savannah Poler. The Leo Club includes high schoolers who do community service projects.

Results of eye exams with specific findings were sent home with the students along with a letter encouraging a full eye exam.  The Lyndonville Lion’s Club will assist families, as needed, with the full eye exams and/or with securing glasses if necessary.

Lyndonville Lion’s Club members Bruce Schmidt, left, and Lynne Johnson are joined by Jim Hancock of the Medina Lion’s Club while the club organized an eye-screening event on Nov. 29 at Lyndonville.

Lyndonville Lions Club members Bruce Schmidt, back left, and Lynne Johnson are joined by Jim Hancock of the Medina Lions Club while the club organized an eye-screening event on Nov. 29 at Lyndonville.

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Lyndonville lights up 61 trees for holidays

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2016 at 9:20 pm


Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A boy looks at some of the Christmas trees that were lighted this evening in Lyndonville. There are 61 trees decorated by community residents and organizations.


This is the fourth year Lyndonville has displayed the decorated trees at Veterans Park. There were 26 trees in 2013 followed by 43 in 2014 and 54 last year.


Local organizations, businesses and residents pay $30 to sponsor a tree, and then they have to decorate it.


Santa Claus arrived at 5 p.m. and flipped the switch to light up the trees.


The trees will be lighted each evening until just after New Year’s.





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Santa makes triumphant return to Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2016 at 8:58 pm


Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Santa Claus waves to a crowd on Main Street when he arrived by horse-drawn sleigh at 5 p.m. today for Lyndonville’s community Christmas celebration.


Santa meets the crowd with Wes Bradley, emcee for the event which included Christmas caroling and the lighting of 61 Christmas trees at Veterans Park.


A crowd waits at Veterans Park for Santa to flip the switch, lighting up the trees decorated by community organizations and residents.


Santa is joined by Teri Woodworth, the village clerk, at the “North Pole Electric Company,” which had a switch to turn on the power for the lights.


Santa also met with children inside the Village Hall. Here is Santa greeting Zachary Barnum, 5, of Lyndonville, who asked for a remote-control Monster Truck. Teri Woodworth, the village clerk, is in back as one of Santa’s helpers.


Elijah Kingdollar, 5, of Yates asked Santa for a camera and suction boots.


Santa also met with Grayson Buffin, 1, of Lyndonville.


Before Santa arrived, the Lyndonville High School chorus sang Christmas carols in front of the library.

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