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Lyndonville

Shakespeare makes return to Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2017 at 8:09 am

Romeo & Juliet performed in Lyndonville with show today at Oak Orchard Lighthouse

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A 14-member cast from Shake on the Lake performed Romeo & Juliet on Tuesday evening behind the Yates Community Library.

The top photo shows Zach Lusk (Romeo) and Larissa Jeanniton (Juliet).

Shake on the Lake is on an eight-county tour performing Shakespeare’s play with a modern twist.

Shake on the Lake will be performing the show this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse at Point Breeze. (A group of Lyndonville students will be performing ahead the show at 6 p.m.) Admission is free.

The play tells the story of forbidden love between the two main characters.

Vinny Mraz plays Benvolio in the famous play. A crowd watched the show on the lawn behind the library.

Shake on the Lake is performing 15 shows on the tour, which ends Aug. 12 at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

About half of the cast returned from last summer’s tour. Most of the cast members are professionals.

Matt Duncan plays the musician, or “The Big Dripper,” singing several Elvis tunes during the show. This is his fourth season with Shake on the Lake, which is based in Wyoming County.

This signs directs people to the play which was performed behind the library by Johnson Creek. Today’s performance will be by the shore of Lake Ontario at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse.

The crowd broke out in laughter many times during the show.

Courtney Bennett-Baker plays Gregory in this sword-fighting scene.

Before the show by Shake on the Lake, seven Lyndonville students performed for about a half hour. They worked with Shake on the Lake in theater workshops in may, and then on Monday and Tuesday. These students include, from left: Brian Cunningham, Hayden Arlington, Sawyer Wilson, Qasim Huzair, Salma Huzair and Tamara Huzair. Leif Issacson also was in the cast of “Groundlings.”

The Lyndonville Area Foundation provided funding for the youth acting workshop and also for the Shake on the Lake performance on Tuesday in Lyndonville.

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Shake on the Lake returns for 2 performances this week in Orleans

File photos by Tom Rivers: Performers from Shake on the Lake perform Shakespeare July 31, 2016 at the Orleans County Marine Park. The travelling troupe, based in Wyoming County, will be back in Orleans County this week, partnering with Lyndonville drama students.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2017 at 10:52 pm

LYNDONVILLE – A theater troupe known as Shake on the Lake will be performing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet twice this week in Orleans County as part of a tour in Western New York.

The group will be performing in Lyndonville at Veterans Park next to the library on Tuesday and then in Carlton on Wednesday at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse on Route 98. The actors will use the lighthouse as their stage. Boaters will be able to watch that performance from their vessels.

Both performances start at 6:30 p.m. and are free to the public. They two shows will include Lyndonville drama students who were in a theater workshop in early May with Josh Rice, one of the Shake on the Lake leaders.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation provided funding for Shake on the Lake to team with local students in performing Shakespeare on May 5 at Lyndonville Central School, and then for the two performances this week.

Josh Rice leads theater workshop with Lyndonville students in early May. They will be part of the performance sin Orleans County this week.

Shake on the Lake started in 2011 with a goal to bring Shakespeare to rural Western New York. The group is based in Silver Lake, Wyoming County, and includes professional actors.

Last summer Shake on the Lake toured in five counties, including a July 31 performance at the Orleans County Marine Park at Point Breeze.

This year’s season kicked off on July 27 in Geneseo and concludes Aug. 12 at at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base.

This season’s show features the story of forbidden love between Romeo and Juliet, but includes some modern twists.

For more on Shake on the Lake, click here.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated to note the location for Wednesday’s show is at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse and not the Orleans County Marine Park.)

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Nearly 200 students perform in Summer Music Fest

Photos by Tom Rivers: These trumpet players rehearse on Thursday for their Summer Music Fest concert later that evening in Lyndonville. These musicians include from left: Jason Anstey of Albion, Will Rousch of Medina, Justin Higgins of Lyndonville and Benjamin O’Connor of Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 July 2017 at 10:49 am

Albion, Lyndonville and Medina again put on concert

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville hosted the Summer Music Fest this week which included 162 students from Albion, Lyndonville and Medina.

This is the fourth time the three schools have collaborated on the music festival and included the most students so far, up from 147 last year. Students had full days rehearsing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, before another rehearsal and the concert last evening.

The students will perform again on Sept. 15 as part of the Orleans County Heritage Festival. Several of the songs, such as “Over There,” have origins during World War I.

John Bailey, a Lyndonville band director, leads the combined ensemble during rehearsal on Thursday afternoon.

The music fest was a chance for students to keep their singing and instrument skills sharp, while also connecting with friends and kids from other local districts.

“They experience a fun way to play music together,” said Jeanette Sheliga, instrumental teacher at Medina. “These kids are from smaller districts so this gives them an opportunity to play in larger ensembles.”

She noted that Lyndonville and Medina share some programs, such as the musical, as well as athletic teams. The connections made in the elementary level may help them “cross district lines in shared programs when they are older.”

Students entering grades 5 through 7 were chosen to participate by their music teachers.

The two bands were directed by the elementary band teachers from the three districts: Jeanette Sheliga, Medina; Lindsey Fix, Albion; and John Bailey, Lyndonville. Chorus directors were Kathy Bleiler-Dick, Medina; Anna Atwater of Albion; and Jennifer Neroni-Trupo, Lyndonville.

Gabe Mark of Medina is one of the percussionists in the combined band.

The combined ensemble plays “Over There” during a rehearsal on Thursday. Lyndonville students wore orange, Medina students wore blue and Albion musicians had on purple shirts.

S’Koi Sanders-Smith of Albion plays the clarinet.

This group of trumpet players hits the right notes during rehearsal.

John Bailey of Lyndonville directs the band during rehearsal. “This looks awesome from my point of view,” Bailey told the students.

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NY approves $315K for Lyndonville schools to improve connectivity, technology

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 July 2017 at 1:57 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The state Education Department has approved phase two of a technology plan at Lyndonville Central School.

After approving $133,000 for interactive classroom whiteboards about a year ago, the state has given its OK to $315,600 for “connectivity” at the district. The new routers, network improvements, switches, wireless access points, and classrooms hardwired for computers will allow the district to have the computer infrastructure in place for phase three, when Lyndonville adds laptops, desktop computers, computer servers and more white boards.

“We don’t want to purchase more equipment and not have the infrastructure to support it,” said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

The projects are funded with the $733,000 allocated for Lyndonville as part of a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, which was passed by NY voters in 2014.

Lyndonville’s has held public hearings on its technology plans, and submitted the plans to the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that Lyndonville’s phase two for connectivity was part of $103.2 million approved for 154 Smart School Investment Plans.

The technology upgrades will modernize classrooms across New York and equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the global economy, Cuomo said.

“By investing in modern technology for classrooms across the state, we expand educational opportunity, increase student engagement, boost achievement, and close the digital divide,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding equips students with the skills and technology they need to succeed in the modern economy and build a stronger New York for all.”

Smith said Lyndonville is using Google Classroom, where teachers post assignments online and students can then submit research papers and other school projects.

The district plans to visit other schools to see how they have implemented laptops and other technology in the classroom.

Lyndonville is waiting on state approval for phase three of the technology plan, which includes the laptops for student use.

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More photos from Fourth of July in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2017 at 11:40 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville was the place to be on the Fourth of July in Orleans County, with activities and entertainment from morning to night.

The day is highlighted by a parade and fireworks, but included much more, including the WNY Garden Tractor Pull. The top photo shows Bill Tesch of Barker competing. The tractors are modified with powerful engines to pull a weight transfer sled that weighs 7,000 to 9,000 pounds. It gets heavier as it moves farther down the track.

Frank Burkett of Grand Island competes with his tractor, “Sweet Pea,” in the tractor pull.

Lonnie Froman, lead singer for the band The Who Dats, entertained a crowd for three hours before the fireworks.

Zach Shaffer and the March Time Marchers practice before the parade. A spot by LynOaken Farms served as a staging area for the marching bands.

About 1,500 plastic ducks were dropped into Johnson Creek for the duck race, which is a fundraiser for Hospice of Orleans.

Lloyd Denniston, left, and his father John retrieve the ducks from Johnson Creek.

Ann Marie Holland, president of the Lyndonville Lions Club, waves to the crowd on Main Street. The Lions Club has organized the festival the past 43 years.

The Lyndonville Central School marching band performed patriotic music in the parade. The band rehearsed the week after school was let out for the summer.

The Middleport Fire Department was one of many fire departments in the parade.

The day was capped with a 40-minute fireworks show beginning at 10 p.m.

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Politicians can’t resist Lyndonville parade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2017 at 9:55 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Fourth of July Parade has become a can’t miss for politicians and aspiring elected officials. Tuesday’s parade included many candidates for public office, including Orleans County Legislator Don Allport of Gaines. He faces a challenge this year from Al Capurso.

Capurso rode in the parade in a car driven by his son, Kenny.

State Sen. Rob Ortt passes out candy to kids on Main Street.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley has a bucket full of candy to pass out to children.

Ed Houseknecht and his supporters promote his campaign for Shelby town supervisor.

Gerry Zinkievich, left, is running for Shelby town councilwoman and Wendi Pencille is challenging Houseknecht for Shelby town supervisor.

Karen Kaiser, left, has a team of supporters out in her campaign for Ridgeway town clerk.

Kim DeFrank, right, is running for Orleans County treasurer.

Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower acknowledges friends in the crowd.

Paul Lauricella rides a tractor with signs opposing wind turbines and the SAFE Act. He is running for Yates Town Board.

Bruce Schmidt, the Gaines town justice and former Orleans County Republican Party chairman, rode a Corvette in the parade.

Save Ontario Shores, a group opposed to a large-scale wind turbine project in Yates and Somerset, also was in the parade with its message against the project by Apex Clean Energy.

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Fireworks cap off festive celebration in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2017 at 7:08 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The village of Lyndonville was packed for the fireworks show behind the school on Tuesday night. Young Explosives put on a 40-minute show capped by an exciting finale with bursts of light and booming noises.

The Lyndonville Lions Club has put on the Fourth of July event for the past 43 years. The fireworks show is one of the biggest in Western New York.

Many people brought lawn chairs and set up on the school softball and baseball fields to watch the spectacle in the sky.

This display is part of the fireworks finale.

Shaun Kelly of Kent lights a Chinese lantern and prepares to let it fly just before the fireworks.

Shaun Kelly and other family members release five Chinese lanterns. The family does it in memory of Shaun’s nephew, Trenton Nelson, who died at age 16 on June 2, 2015 after being fatally stabbed in Rochester.

These three siblings from Barker let go of a Chinese lantern, which function as small hot air balloons. The group includes, from left: Brent Johnson, 13; Natalie Reglina, 15; and Neila Johnson, 9.

Julio Doval, 12, of Medina has fun with sparklers.

This group enjoys glow sticks and accessories. Most of these kids are the grandchildren of Jim and Debbie Schmitt of Lyndonville. The Schmitts have been coming to the Lyndonville Fourth of July festival for more than 40 years. They were musicians in the second annual festival, and enjoyed the community so much they moved to Lyndonville.

Marty Hobbs and the Who Dats performed in concert for three hours before the fireworks.

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Lyndonville parade celebrates Red, White and Blue

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 July 2017 at 7:18 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Members of the Lyndonville Central School marching band perform on main Street during the annual Fourth of July Parade in Lyndonville.

The parade featured many patriotic floats from community organizations.

Stanley Thurber, clutching a POW/MIA flag, rode in a 1960 Impala owned by Cecil Livingston of Medina.

Randall Bane dressed as Uncle Sam while carrying a message, “In God We Trust.” The button on his hat thanks veterans in the Butts-Clark American Legion Post for their service.

A local Girl Scout has her face decorated for Independence Day. She is on a float with other Girl Scouts.

Jake Stinson carries his daughter Amber in the parade. Stinson was in the parade promoting his business, Turf Pro.

The Lyndonville Fire Department marches down Maple Avenue near the beginning of the parade route.

Cobble the Mouse from the Cobblestone Museum waves flags to the crowd along Main Street.

The Lyndonville Class of 1982 had a Christmas themed float. They tossed a generous supply of candy to kids along the parade route.

This llama joined 4-H kids in promoting the 100th anniversary of the 4-H program and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

This costumed bald eagle joined the Knights of Columbus and St. Joan of Arc.

This group from the Knights of Columbus and St. Joan of Arc were celebrating freedom, including the 14th Amendment from 1868 which granted citizenship to people born and naturalized in the United States, including former slaves recently freed. (Bob Golden is holding that sign. Greg Dugan is dressed as Uncle Sam.)

There were many fire trucks from Orleans and Niagara counties in the parade.

The crowd stands at attention for the Honor Guard.

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Delano Steele kicks off Yates library summer concert series

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2017 at 10:51 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The rock band Delano Steele performed this evening at Veterans Park in Lyndonville to start the Yates Community Library’s concert series.

The band members include, from left: Kyle Worgo on bass guitar and lead vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and lead vocals, Ross Burgess on lead guitar, and Alex DeSmit on drums.

(The Barker Community Band was supposed to start the series a week but the concert was cancelled due to rain. The Barker group has been rescheduled for July 24.)

The library has seven concerts scheduled at Veterans Park. The library’s concert series – “More Than Just Books” – has been a summer staple in Lyndonville for about 20 years. The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council provides funding for the series.

Kyle Worgo, left, and Dylan DeSmit perform the band’s original song, “Alcohol and Cigarettes.” Delano Steele includes musicians from Albion and Lyndonville. The band is named for a road in Barre.

Delano Steele has recorded a CD, “Shake the Ground,” and is working on a second album. The band plays hard rock, metal and soft rock.

Ross Burgess plays the lead guitar.

Alex DeSmit is a high-energy drummer for the band.

The bands all play at Veterans Park next to the waterfalls on Johnson Creek.

The concert lineup for the rest of the season includes:

• July 10 (7 p.m.) – David Stockton & Pocket Change: 30th anniversary of this versatile group.

• July 17 (6:30 p.m.) – Old Hippies: Bill and Kay McDonald take the audience back in time.

• July 24: (7 p.m.) – Barker Community Band, playing marches, show tunes, Armed Forces Salute.

• July 31 (6:30 p.m.) – The C.D.R. Trio, playing Blues & Rock.

• Aug. 14 (6:30 p.m.) – Blue Sky, playing contemporary country.

• Aug. 28 (6 p.m.) – Dounya, featuring the Huzair family

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Lyndonville will host big July Fourth bash

File photos by Tom Rivers: A man sits back on the school campus and enjoys the fireworks show on July 4, 2014. Young Explosives will be back for the fireworks show on Tuesday night.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2017 at 10:09 am

LYNDONVILLE – Orleans County’s smallest village will host a big July Fourth bash on Tuesday. The all-day event in Lyndonville is highlighted by a patriotic parade at noon and a fireworks display at about 10 p.m.

The Lyndonville Lions Club is the lead organizer of the Independence Day celebration. The Lions have been putting on the event for 43 years.

“Every single member works on the Fourth of July,” said Lynne Johnson, who just ended two years as president of the Lions Club.

About 30 Lions Club members are busy throughout the year working on the event. They also have help from other community volunteers, as well as the village and town.

“Because everybody is involved in Lyndonville in community service we don’t seem to ever be lacking,” Johnson said. “It all comes together. It’s like the Amish raising a barn. The community comes together and helps each other. There is a lot of blood and sweat that goes into the event, but everybody has fun.”

Volunteers are setting up tents this morning and prepping for a busy Tuesday. There was some last-second scrambling to find enough grills, but Johnson said it’s shaping up to be a great day, including with the weather forecast.


Faith Bible Baptist Church in Medina made this patriotic float, “Old Glory,” in last year’s parade. This year the parade has a theme, “Symbols of Freedom.”

Some highlights in the schedule include:

• The festival opens at 10 a.m. with a bounce house for kids from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the front lawn of the school.

• Arts & Crafts Show from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school front lawn with more than 60 vendors.

• Chicken barbecues with baked beans & salt potatoes from 1 to 5 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

• Concert by Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes & Drums, 1:30 p.m.

• WNY Garden Tractor Pull  from 1 to 4 p.m. on Housel Avenue.

• The Hospice of Orleans Duck Race starts at 3 p.m. in Johnson Creek. About 1,400 ducks have been sold already. Hospice has 2,500 total with the top prize, $500.

• The Who Dats in concert at High School Parking Lot from 7 p.m. until the fireworks.

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