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DWI crash simulation sends powerful warning to not drink and drive

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 June 2017 at 12:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Kim Bow, an administrative assistant at Lyndonville Central School, portrays a grieving mother this morning during a DWI crash simulation at the school. She is led from the crash scene by Deputy Tory Tooley.

The school has been doing the simulation before prom and graduation party season for several years, trying to send an important reminder to students to not drink and drive.

Lyndonville and Medina firefighters volunteered in the simulation today, using extrication tools to pull students out of the vehicles.

“We know this would devastate our community just to have one accident,” Lee Dillenbeck, the school’s athletic director and dean of students.

About 200 students watched first responders work to help students in the vehicles. The students wore makeup to appear bloodied. Three students were put on stretchers and put in ambulances. Two students had blankets placed on them to signify their deaths.

Ken Strickland, an investigator with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, explains to students why firefighters are using different tools to extricate the students. Strickland said first responders see many fatal accidents from drunk driving in Orleans County.

“Some of these people take months to recover,” Strickland said. “Some of them never get over their injuries.”

Strickland said students that drink alcohol, even one beer, can impair their ability to drive and have tragic consequences.

“Everybody will have some guilt that they will carry the rest of their lives,” Strickland said.

Natalie Allen is one of the students who volunteered to be a victim in a crash this morning. She is carried from the car to a stretcher.

Another student, Kelsi Spada, is led by stretcher to an ambulance.

Jason Smith, the school district superintendent, thanked the volunteers during today’s simulation.

“We want to keep the message strong and send an important reminder,” he said.

Lyndonville has its prom on Friday night at the White Birch. Then there will be many graduation parties this summer.

After the simulation, students attended a presentation by Justin A. Randall Jr. and his aide, Julie Flanagan.

Randle was 21 in 1982 when he was involved in a serious car accident while driving drunk. He has been in a wheelchair since 1982, can’t communicate with his voice and lives in a community residence staffed by the state in Mount Morris.

Randle was a star athlete at Cal-Mum in Livingston, leading the football and basketball teams. He also was one of the region’s top tennis players.

Randle, an “All-American kid,” played youth sports and had lots of friends at Cal-Mum.

He now communicates with his eyes, through a beeper and with special software where he can write out messages.

He told students, “To think before you drive or ride.”

Flanagan said a drunk driving conviction can also keep them from jobs, getting loans an scholarships, as well as costing them several thousand dollars in fines and legal fees.

She urged students to resist peer pressure to drink alcohol. They don’t need alcohol to have a good time, she said.

“How do you protect yourself?” she asked. “You do not drink and drive a vehicle. You do not ride in a vehicle with someone who has had a drink.”

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Lyndonville budget passes; write-in candidate wins

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2017 at 8:57 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The proposed $13,532,000 budget passed, 201 to 31. The budget doesn’t increase taxes. The tax levy remains the same at $4,266,578.

In the race for the Board of Election, incumbent Susan Hrovat won one of the seats in a write-in campaign. She received 132 votes and was elected to a one-year term.

Penny Barry had the most votes, 189, for a three-year term. Darren Wilson had support from 92 voters.

Besides the budget, other propositions all were approved including:

• Authorization to increase taxes for Yates Community Library by 6.4 percent or $5,854, from $91,589 to $97,443 – passed 171 to 59.

• Permission to establish a capital reserve fund with a goal to have up to $4 million in the fund for construction, reconstruction, and other improvements to the district’s facilities, buildings and grounds – passed 198 to 34.

• Authorization to buy one 66-seat passenger school bus for up to $112,000 and one 22-seat passenger, wheel-chair lift equipped van at an estimated a maximum cost of $68,000 – passed 202 to 28.

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Lyndonville’s school resource officer previously served in that role for Medina

Provided photo: Jason Barnum, a school resource officer for Lyndonville Central School and an Orleans County deputy sheriff, was visiting the school’s health classes today to teach drug prevention education.

Staff Reports Posted 10 May 2017 at 9:40 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The district’s school resource officer is no stranger to the community or the SRO position.

Jason Barnum, an Orleans County deputy sheriff, was named Lyndonville’s school resource officer for the final two months of the school year.

Lyndonville is trying the position in a two-month arrangement with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. The district over the summer will evaluate whether to continue the position next school year.

Barnum served as a school resource officer when he worked for the Medina Police Department and spent the school year working with at the Medina School District.

Barnum will be available to meeting with parents on Tuesday, May 16, at 8 a.m. or 6 p.m. in the High School Library.

“A properly trained SRO offers so much to a District, besides a law enforcement presence,” Jason Smith, the district superintendent, said in a message to parents and the community. “The needs of our students are ever-changing and ever-demanding, and our District has developed a strong tradition of partnering with community agencies to offer outstanding services for our students (Mental Health and GCASA are two recent examples).”

Smith listed the following goals of the partnership between the district and the sheriff:

• To bridge the gap between police officers and young people and increase positive attitudes toward the legal system

• Teach the value of our legal system

• Promote respect for people and property

• Reduce crime by helping students formulate an awareness of rules, authority, and justice

• To take a personal interest in students and their activities

• To allow students access to the legal system

• Provide a positive role model

• The school resource officer is a visible and active law enforcement figure on campus dealing with any law-related issues

• A classroom resource for instruction in the following areas: law-related education, safety programs, violence prevention, alcohol and drug prevention, and crime prevention

• A resource to teachers, students, and parents for conferences on an individual basis

• A member of the staff working hand in hand to solve problems in the school community.

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Lyndonville students will perform Shakespeare this evening

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2017 at 11:41 am

District, with backing from Lyndonville Area Foundation, partners with ‘Shake on the Lake’

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Leif Isaacson, sitting in chair, plays one of the narrators in Lyndonville’s production of Shakespeare. He is shown during a rehearsal on Thursday. The show is 7 p.m. today in Stroyan Auditorium at Lyndonville Central School. The performance will be about a half hour and is free to the community.

Josh Rice, foreground, is director of the production. He is the co-founder of Shake on the Lake, which is based in Wyoming County. That group has a mission of bringing Shakespeare to rural areas.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation is covering the cost to have Rice work with nine Lyndonville students the past two weeks on the production.

Alissa Klinetub joins the cast in singing “Othello,” a song about a Shakespearian character. The Lyndonville students have followed a loose script and improvised in making it their own show.

“It’s very organic,” Leif Isaacson said about the process.

Brian Cunningham, an eighth-grader, also is one of the narrators. He welcomed the chance to work on his theater skills the past two weeks.

“The more you’re on stage, the better,” he said.

Jennifer Trupo, the school’s drama program director, also appreciated having Rice work with the students.

“I’m always open to opportunities for the students, especially with someone who is a professional,” she said.

Shake on the Lake performs Shakespeare in Western New York. The group already is lined up to perform in eight WNY counties this summer. They will be performing in Orleans County on Aug. 8 at the Yates Community Library and Aug. 9 at the Orleans County Marine Park. The Lyndonville students will have the opportunity to do the “pre-show” for those performances.

Josh Rice, center, leads the students in some warmup exercises at the beginning of rehearsal on Thursday.

The students play a popular theater game, Splat, which includes frequent improvisations. The students performing Shakespeare this evening include Brian Cunningham, Hayden Arlington, Adia Wachob, Alissa Klinetub, Tamara Huzair, Sawyer Wilson, Salma Huzair, Qasim Huzair and Leif Isaacson.

These students wait for their cue to take the stage.

For more on Shake on the Lake, click here.

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Lyndonville academic team competes at nationals

Posted 5 May 2017 at 7:59 am

Provided photo: The Lyndonville Academic Decathlon team competed last month at nationals in Madison, Wisconsin.

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Academic Decathlon team represented New York State at national competition April 20-22 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The team was led by captain Thomas Bummer and took 8th place out of 11 U.S. schools in its division. Overall, Lyndonville took 22nd of the 31 participating U.S. schools. Schools were divided into three divisions based on their size so similar-sized schools competed against each other.

Lyndonville was in Division 3. Within each division, students competed in the Honors, Scholastic, or Varsity categories based on their GPA. This year’s theme was World War II.

Students competed in the following areas: Speech, Interview, Essay, Social Science, Science, Art, Music, Mathematics, Economics and Literature. Speeches were given in front of two judges and five of their fellow competitors.

Paige Gardner earned a bronze medal in Mathematics in the Honors category. Brooke Kiefer was awarded the team MVP and earned the highest score on the team. She was given $250 towards her future education for each award.

Thomas Bummer and Rebecca Schoolcraft each had the honor of carrying the New York State flag during the competition’s ceremonies.

The team consisted of Devon Allen, Natalie Allen, Sierra Blanar, Thomas Bummer, Paige Gardner, Brooke Kiefer, Rebecca Schoolcraft, Jessica Smith, Trevor Thaine and coaches Paula Reimann and Kristine Mostyn.

This was an amazing experience for everyone. The team greatly appreciated all of the community support they received.

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American Legion in Lyndonville sending delegate to Boys State

Staff Reports Posted 28 April 2017 at 10:31 pm

Provided photos

LYNDONVILLE – The Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post 1603 in Lyndonville selected delegates for the American Legion Boys State which will be held at SUNY Morrisville from June 25 through July 1.

Jesse Iniguez, center, was selected as delegate. He is pictured with Post Commander Steve Goodrich, left, and Boys State committee member Carl Boyle.

At Boys State, students learn about government operation and structure. The delegates run for government offices in the different levels of state government. They operate the level of state government which they are elected. The draft legislation, vote on bills, and make and pass budgets.

Brody Brown was selected as alternate delegate. He is pictured with Carl Boyle. Brown and Iniguez are both students at Lyndonville.

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Lyndonville adds school resource officer on trial basis

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2017 at 4:40 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The school district has boosted resources to promote safety and drug prevention, and now is adding a school resource officer on a trial basis.

The Board of Education has approved a school resource officer for the final two months of the school year. An Orleans County deputy sheriff will work fulltime out of the school district in May and June. Lyndonville will reimburse the Sheriff’s Office $8,000 per month for having a trained and qualified deputy devoted to the school district.

The Orleans County Legislature approved the agreement on Wednesday. Sheriff Randy Bower said it is a trial program that he hopes continues after the school year.

A school resource officer is specifically trained to work in schools. The officer interacts with all classes, grades K-12, and works with parents in the community.

The officer will be available to conduct any investigations on campus if necessary. The officer will be assigned to Lyndonville only and will not leave the school. A patrol car would be parked at the school around the clock as a crime deterrent. The officer may also be available at afterschool events as well. The officer will also give a weekly report to administration.

After the two-month trial, Bower and Jason Smith, the school district superintendent, will assess the needs of the district and decide if a part- or full-time school resource officer is needed. State funding may be available to offset the cost of an SRO but the state wants a five-year commitment.

The Lyndonville Board of Education also discussed other collaborations at its April 17 meeting when members of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) and Orleans County Department of Mental Health spoke with the BOE.

GCASA works with Lyndonville schools on a number of programs, providing prevention and intervention. Currently, a GCASA representative works with a Lyndonville health teacher for a single-day program called SPORT, along with Project Sticker Shock and Red Watch Band.

“We really want to work with you to help at the prevention and intervention phases,” Sherri Bensley, a prevention educator at GCASA, told the BOE.

Bensley proposed that the district adds a prevention educator housed in the district one day a week. This person would be able to perform student screenings and referral services. Other services offered would be Teen Intervene, teen early intervention program; evidence-based program with elementary students; accountability circle drug/alcohol awareness program; and parent meetings regarding policies on drugs and alcohol which would include tips on how to talk to your teens about drugs and alcohol.

Mark O’Brien, director of the Orleans County Department of Mental Health, has a mental health therapist working out of the school district, an arrangement at all five school districts in the county.

The mental health therapists help students with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Having those personnel at schools eliminates the transportation issue for students, and also means they are out of class for less time because they don’t have to travel to the Mental Health building in Albion.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to Lyndonville stage

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2017 at 10:40 am

Show features 100 students from Lyndonville and Medina

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Jadiel Flores Medina plays the Beast, shown here chastising Belle (Natalie Allen) soon after she arrived in his castle.

Lyndonville and Medina students are working together on their sixth musical with Beauty and the Beast. Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Lyndonville’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave.

The two schools have a shared drama program, beginning in 2012. Jennifer Nerone-Trupo, the show’s director, said the arrangement has worked well for the two schools, allowing for bigger casts and more ambitious shows.

“I knew I had the kids who could pull off these parts,” she said about the many charismatic characters in Beauty and the Beast. “This is a great show that features many students.”

Thomas Bummer plays Gaston, a vain, egotistical, narcissistic, ultra-masculine villain determined to marry Belle, who declines the offer. Gaston is shown here with five “Silly Girls” played by Sophia Cardone, Emily Green, Maisie Griffin, Cora Payne and Layna Vitoria.

Belle (Natalie Allen) is shocked to see her father Maurice (William Bellan) being held in a dungeon by the Beast. Belle offers to take her father’s place.

Two of the Beast’s servants include Cogsworth (Leif Isaacson) and Lumière (Christian Hahn). Cogsworth is a tightly wound, enchanted stuffy mantle clock and head of the Beast’s castle. Lumière is suave, French, and a debonair enchanted candelabra.

Babette (Madison Holland) is a flirtatious maid turned into a feather duster.

Mrs. Potts (Sierra Blanar) is the head of the kitchen turned into a tea pot. Chip (Jacob Corser) is her son who has been turned into a teacup.

Brian Cunningham plays LeFou, Gaston’s bumbling sidekick.

These dancers are high-energy inside the tavern, where Gaston announces he will go after the Beast.

Belle (Natalie Allen) sulks in the guest room and bemoans her situation, trapped in the castle. Mrs. Potts (Sierra Blanar) and Madame de la Grande Bouche (Alissa Blount), an operatic wardrobe, attempt to cheer her up.

The cast performs “Be Our Guest” to make Belle feel welcome.

“Be Our Guest” is one of the show’s biggest numbers. The cast includes 58 students. There are also 20 students in the pit orchestra, 17 on stage crew, and five working the lights and sound.

Lumière (Christian Hahn) treats Belle (Natalie Allen) are part of the “Be Our Guest” scene. He would also give Belle a tour of the castle, which leads to the forbidden West Wing. Belle sees the mysterious rose floating in a bell jar, and she reaches out to touch it. Before she can, the Beast stops her and orders her to get out accidentally shoving her in the process. Fearing for her life, Belle flees from the castle.

The Beast is mournful after Belle leaves the castle. He would soon redeem himself, saving her from wolves in the woods. He needs Belle to fall in love with him to break a spell so he can return to being human again.

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Lyndonville FD welcomes new rescue truck

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2017 at 11:12 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Fire Department received a new rescue truck this evening at about 8 p.m. The truck can be used for EMS calls and also for extrication at motor vehicle accidents.

Pictured with the vehicle, include right to left: Mayor John Belson, Fire Chief Ben Bane, 2nd Assistant Chief Lee Kistner, Lt. Mike Heideman, EMS Captain Scott Buffin and Fire Captain TJ Heideman.

The new rescue truck replaces a truck from 1989. This is also Lyndonville’s first new fire truck in several years. Mayor Belson said the vehicle cost about $170,000 and will be paid over seven years.

Firefighters, including Lee Kistner, left, and TJ Heideman look over the new truck, which was manufactured by Rosenbauer and includes a Ford F 550.

(The Holley and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray fire departments also welcomed new Rosenbauer rescue trucks in the past year, said Jim Tabor of Carlton, who is the Senior Sales Representative at Empire Emergency Apparatus, New York State’s Rosenbauer Fire Apparatus Dealer.)

The Lyndonville truck committee was headed by David Hydock. Other members included Scott Buffin, Jason Gerety, Mike Tabor and Mike Heideman. They spent about a year working on the project.

Ben Bane, the fire chief, said the truck will be easier to get around on EMS and extrication calls than a larger fire truck.

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Yates approves construction on water district expansion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2017 at 3:28 pm

YATES – The Town Board approved a construction bid last week that was below estimates for a water district expansion.

Pilon Construction in Albion was the low bidder for the project will serve 12 residences east of the Village of Lyndonville. Pilon’s bid of $280,168 was the lowest of four bidders. The next lowest bid was $354,657 from Blue Heron Construction.

The project, Water District No. 4 – Phase 10, covers Ward and Goodwin roads and is the last stretch of Yates without public waterlines. Ward and Goodwin are between Alps and Platten roads, and west of the Ashwood hamlet.

Yates has $100,000 set aside in a water district reserve. The town plans to borrow the remaining costs with a low-interest loan.

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