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Medina school will host emergency drill on Friday

Staff Reports Posted 19 April 2018 at 10:21 am

MEDINA – Medina High School will host a large-scale emergency preparedness drill on Friday. Law enforcement, firefighters and medics will begin staging at the middle school at 11 a.m.

After a safety briefing among the participants and positioning of the team, the drill will begin no later than 12:45 p.m.

The drill will go until 2:30 p.m., with personnel rotated out. The Medina Fire Department will have a command post set up in the bus garage.

The community will see emergency vehicle traffic in the area and is asked to avoid the Medina Central School campus between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Medina will open construction bids next month for $32 million capital project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2018 at 5:28 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: Medina will build a campus access road, linking Oak Orchard and Wise schools, that will run where this playground stands by the elementary school. The playground will be removed and a new one put on the other side of the school.

MEDINA – The school district will open bids on May 2-3 from contractors on a capital project that is estimated at $32,588,000 for a slew of improvements at all three school buildings, the bus garage, and Vet’s Park. There would also be a new access road between Oak Orchard Elementary School and Clifford Wise Middle School.

The district last year did an overhaul of Vet’s Park. More work is planned for the park as part of the next phase of the capital project.

The district had a public referendum on Dec. 21, 2016 for two propositions. District residents approved, by a 367-45 vote,  spending $1,425,000 to allow for an expansion at Vet’s Park by acquiring 1.6 acres of land south of the park, adding permanent bleachers, more lighting, a new press box in the bleacher system, new fencing and additional synthetic turf in the current press box location.

Proposition 1 also passed, 372-43, and includes $32,588,000. That proposition is the focus for contractors right now. They are preparing their proposals. There was a walk-through this afternoon for contractors to review the buildings and grounds.

Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, said the size and scope of the project has numerous contractors interested from Buffalo and Rochester. That should result in very competitive bidding, he told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

“There are a ton of builders interested so that’s a good thing,” he said. “The project can guarantee 2 years of work for people, because some of the work will be continuous.”

The State Education Department still needs to approve a building permit for the project. Kruzynski said that was expect last month, and then earlier this month. He has been assured by state Education officials it will be granted.

Here is a breakdown of project estimated at $32,588,000:

• Health, Safety and Code Compliance – $7,691,000

The district will replace aging bus lifts, upgrade the fire alarm systems, door hardware and toilets.

The roof, ceiling panels and wall panels will all be upgraded at the swimming pool.

Windows and a generator will be replaced at Oak Orchard Elementary School. Those windows are more than a half century old.

The project expenses are broken out to $3,637,300 at the elementary school, $2,562,400 at the middle school, $892,800 at high school, $561,500 at bus garage and $7,000 at concession stand.

• HVAC – $13,596,300

All three school buildings, as well as the bus garage, will have HVAC totally overhauled with $4,728,200 planned for the high school, $4,115,200 at the middle school, $4,103,000 at the elementary school and $649,900 for the bus garage.

The district also will add air-conditioning for the high, middle and elementary schools at $285,600 per building or $856,800 total. The HVAC and air conditioning projects will be funded 98 percent by the state, school officials said when discussing the project just before the public vote.

The boilers are all about 25 years old and are nearing the end of the their useful lives. If the district tried to fix a boiler or install air-conditioning outside of a capital project, Medina would have to pay 100 percent of the costs.

• Information Technology – $380,000

The district wants to move the network operations center from the basement of the district office to Oak Orchard Elementary School.

The project will also add fiber optics to handle future needs as Medina moves to more electronic devices and on-line testing.

• Academics/Programs at High School – $2,408,900

The project will include upgraded science rooms, renovations in library (by knocking out a wall and expanding to a next-door computer lab), replacing windows and renovating toilet facilities.

A pole barn will also be built for storage for marching band equipment (so no longer have to rent at Olde Pickle Factory).

The gym bleachers will be renovated, and JV softball and baseball fields will be upgraded. There also will be renovations in Ag Classroom and greenhouse.

The high school opened about 25 years ago and needs some work, especially with HVAC and to meet new state codes and technology needs, Kruzynski said.

This map of the campus shows where the new access road and parking lot (in white) would go, shifting some traffic from West Oak Orchard Street.

• Academics/Programs at Middle School – $1,028,000

The project includes renovations to the auditorium with stage floor, carpet, houselighting, some lighting and sound, and also some toilet renovations.

• Academics/Programs at Elementary School – $2,085,600

The project includes auditorium renovations – carpet, seating, general, and improvements to toilets, new drinking fountains, classroom storage units with sinks, upgrades to the playground, and provisions to abate hazardous materials if any are found inside walls during the construction project.


• Site work for track – $896,000

The track has already been resurfaced six times and the state won’t pay for another resurfacing but will aid a reconstruction of the site. The rebuilt track will have six lanes, event area, a scoreboard, and fencing and paving.

• Site work for road from elementary to middle school – $3,012,700

A campus road will be constructed between Oak Orchard Elementary and Wise Middle School for bus traffic. The road will be heavy duty for buses.

The project includes demolition, removal and grading, as well as new sidewalks, stormwater management, parking and road lighting, removal of playground and construction of a new one for younger elementary-age students, and restored landscaping.

A new parking lot with room for 70-75 vehicles also will be added.

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Medina may name new road in honor of Marcia Tuohey

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2018 at 12:36 pm

Former mayor was influential in establishing Business Park

Marcia Tuohey

MEDINA – One of the new roads leading into the Medina Business Park may be named in honor of the late Marcia Tuohey, who was Medina’s mayor for eight years in the 1980s and pushed to develop the park and welcome companies to the site.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency worked to have two roads built in the park in the past two years, on each side of the Pride Pak vegetable processing plant. One of the new roads will have Pride Pak’s name. The other road hasn’t been named.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari told the Orleans EDA board of directors today that the Village Board is strongly considering naming the road for Tuohey, who died on Aug. 7, 2014.

The Village Board last month voted to accept the roads from the EDA. Medina needs to formally name the roads.

“We’re looking at Marcia Tuohey Way or Drive because she had such influence,” Sidari told the Orleans EDA this morning. “Some people want Marcia Tuohey Way because she always seemed to get her way.”

Sidari laughed when commenting that Tuohey had a strong will. She was first elected as a trustee in Medina in 1979, and in 1982 she became the village’s first woman mayor.

Provided photo: In this photo from 1985, Marcia Tuohey is out inspecting flood damage in the village of Medina.

In 1990, she became Orleans County’s first female county legislator, and then was picked by her peers on the seven-member body to serve as chairman of the Legislature from 1996 until 2006.

Prior to serving as a local elected official, Tuohey had an active business career in Medina for 30 years as the co-owner and operator of a nursing home, motel and restaurant, mobile home park, and rental properties.

County Legislator Skip Draper worked with Tuohey on some of the economic development projects when he was Shelby town supervisor. He currently is an EDA board member. He was pleased to hear Tuohey is being considered for one of the new roads.

“That would be a nice gesture,” he said.

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Medina Memorial Hospital has new affiliation with Rochester Regional Health

Posted 11 April 2018 at 1:33 pm

Press Release, Orleans Community Health and Rochester Regional Health

File photo by Tom Rivers: Medina Memorial Hospital will stay independent but will also be part of a new affiliation with Rochester Regional Health.

MEDINA – Orleans Community Health, the parent organization of Medina Memorial Hospital, is entering into an affiliation with Rochester Regional Health. Through the agreement, Orleans Community Health will contract select health care services from Rochester Regional Health and its hospital in Batavia, United Memorial Medical Center.

“We’re excited about this new affiliation,” remarked Dawn Meland, board chair of Orleans Community Health. “It gives us more attractive options when we decide how to bring new services to the area, which is a great thing for our patients. Additionally, as we identify opportunities to reduce costs, improve efficiency and make health care more sustainable in this part of the region, we now have a partner ready to help us better take advantage of those opportunities.”

Shortly after the start of the new year, Rochester Regional Health began to expand its primary care offerings through this agreement. Market research has identified a shortage of primary care providers in Medina and Orleans County. In January, a full-time primary care office began to operate at the United Memorial Medical Center’s Medina location on Maple Ridge Road. Orleans Community Health is also looking to expand this office space to support future growth. UMMC joined the RRH system in 2015.

Orleans Community Health will remain its own independent organization under the terms of this agreement.

“Orleans Community Health is a critical asset to our community and they share our commitment to delivering great care close to where people live and work,” said Dan Ireland, president of United Memorial Medical Center. “It’s a natural partnership. It’s also an important partnership for the future. Together, we’re making care more accessible in a model that can adapt as the needs of patients continue to evolve.”

(Update at 2:51 p.m.) Medina Mayor Mike Sidari posted this statement on Facebook this afternoon:

“With a working relationship between these three hospitals I feel it will benefit all of Orleans and Eastern Niagara Counties,” Sidari said. “We should be seeing more specialized services here in Medina so area residents will not have to travel to Rochester. I encourage residents to be in touch with the hospital and take advantage of the services they will be able to provide.”

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Medina Winter Guard has strong finish to season

Posted 8 April 2018 at 5:25 pm

Provided photos: This photo shows the members of the three Winter Guard units at Medina.

Courtesy of Kathy Dreyfus, Medina Mustang Band Publicity Chair

The North East Color Guard Circuit (NECGC) celebrated its 30-year anniversary on Saturday when the Gates Chili school district hosted the championships. Thirty-five guard units from western NY and Canada performed in competition followed by the Heritage Hurricanes and ARC of Yates, two guards for adults with disabilities. These two guards received standing ovations and tied for “Grand Champions.”

Median students compete in the Novice class on Saturday.

In the Novice class, Medina came in fourth. In the Cadet class, Medina won first place with a score of 76.75. In Scholastic A division, Medina’s Varsity won first place with a score of 80.88.

Instructor Diana Baker commented that all 3 groups did well. “Remember how far they’ve come and not how far they have to go. The guards may not be where they want to be but neither are they where they used to be.”

Medina took first in the Cadet class.

Band Director Jim Steele is well aware of all the work the students in these three groups put in since coming together in November. He is pleased with their determination and motivation to improve their skills and demonstrate them in their performances.

Other winners include: in Regional A, Gates-Chili with a score of 83.71; in A1, Corning Painted Post at 80.71; in SR, Magic of Scout House at 82.31; in Independent A, Gates-Chili at 87.81; in Scholastic Open, Victor with a score of 89.20; and in Independent Open, Lancaster at 89.40.

With the Winter Guard season closing, the Mustang Band is preparing for its spring street show and practices have begun.

Medina’s Varsity won first place with a score of 80.88 in Scholastic A division.

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GoFundMe established for Medina Dog Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 April 2018 at 9:27 am

MEDINA – A GoFundMe has been established to raise money for the new dog park planned in Medina, next to the former compost plant on North Gravel Road.

The GoFundMe went live on Monday night. The Friends of the Dog Park Committee has a $20,000 fund-raising goal for the new dog park, which will include three fenced-in areas, one for small dogs, one for large dogs and an agility area.

The Medina Village Board last week voted to set aside about 1 acre of the land at the former compost plant for the dog park.

“This park will allow a large public place for dogs to not only exercise, but work on training and social skills,” Alaina Wilson, the park organizer, stated on GoFundMe. “This will be the first  public dog park in Orleans County and we hope that it will also bring in visitors or even future residents, which will help boost the local economy.”

Besides donating through GoFundMe, supporters of the park can also send a check made out to “Village of Medina Dog Park” and it can be dropped off or mailed to the Village Clerk’s Office at 119 Park Ave., Medina, NY 14103.

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Polish culture celebrated on Dyngus Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 April 2018 at 8:21 am

Provided photo

MEDINA – Polish culture was celebrated on Monday with Dyngus Day parties throughout Western New York, including one at the Sacred Heart Club in Medina, where JT Thomas was crowned king and Irene Dunn was named queen. Both are active members of Sacred Heart.

The Sacred Heart Club served up Polish food, including sweet and sour cabbage, smoked kielbasa, lazy pierogis, pierogis, Golumbki (stuffed cabbage) and fresh Polish sausage.

St. Mary’s Athletic Club in Albion also served many Polish dinners on Monday.

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Medina wants new dog park to be ready in summer

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina’s new dog park will be constructed next to the Compost Plant on North Gravel Road. This group includes, from left: Cindy Davis, owner of the Pet Nanny; Alaina Wilson, dog park organizer; and Mayor Mike Sidari. Davis also brought Ryden, the dog, along for a walk.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 April 2018 at 9:26 am

MEDINA – Cindy Davis, owner of the Pet Nanny in Medina, sees many benefits for dogs getting exercise. They are better behaved, they sleep more soundly, and they enjoy the socialization when they are outside.

Davis is busy with a business where she takes dogs for walks. She is excited to see Medina working towards building a new dog park. The Village Board on Monday approved having a dog park next to the former Compost Plant on North Gravel Road.

Alaina Wilson and Cindy Davis stopped by the former Compost Plant on Friday to look over the grounds. Two enclosures will be built on the side of the building, one for large dogs and the other for agility exercises.

“Dogs aren’t just dogs anymore,” Davis said. “They are family.”

The village looked at having a designated spot for dogs at one of the village parks, but those parks tend to have many neighbors nearby.

“We looked at all of the parks and we wanted to disturb as few people as possible,” said Alaina Wilson, the lead organizer for the dog park.

The Compost plant has few neighbors and it has a buffer of trees on the sides of the property. It’s also on a high-traffic road that should be easy to find, said Mayor Mike Sidari.

He praised Alaina Wilson for pushing the park, and having the determination to find a suitable location. Wilson also is taking the lead with raising $20,000 for the park. That will pay for three fenced-in enclosures, with one spot for smaller dogs, another area for larger dogs, and an agility area.

“The sooner we can raise the money, the sooner we can build it,” she said. “I’m hoping it will be ready during the summer.”

Donations can be sent by check to the Village Office and be designated for the Dog Park. Wilson also is setting up a GoFundMe for the park and will have other fundraisers. She also welcomes donations of benches and other furniture for the park.

There will be a list of sponsors at the park, for donors who give at least $100. Davis, owner of the Pet Nanny, was the first to commit to $100.

“I can only walk so many dogs a day,” she said. “Pets are a big thing for a lot of people.”

Alaina Wilson is pictured near the front of former Compost Plant where a fenced-in area for small dogs will be built. The Compost Plant is now used for storage by the village.

Wilson, 28, is a doctoral student at Medaille College in Buffalo, studying clinical psychology. She used to live in North Carolina and saw the benefits of a dog park where the dogs get needed exercise and socialization. Dog owners also make friends with the other dog owners.

“It’s something that’s missing in Medina right now and I want to see Medina grow,” she said.

Mayor Sidari backed the project. He sees it as an asset to Medina residents, and he expects the park will draw visitors to Medina for people looking for a spot for their dogs to run. He has heard from many people who drive nearly an hour to go to a dog park.

He also thinks the site can make Medina stand out for site selectors and prospective businesses. Medina has the infrastructure for new businesses. But often it’s quality of life issues that sway a business owner to build in a certain community.

“Businesses look at what is available,” he said. “After they look at water, sewer and infrastructure, they look at what’s available with the schools and activities.”

Wilson will share updates on the dog park on the group’s Facebook page. Click here for more information.

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Medina Scout, Christian Hahn, earns his Eagle

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2018 at 6:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Christian Hahn is pictured with one of the 16 bookshelves he made that will be placed at businesses and organizations around the community for the Orleans County Adult Learning Services. Hahn received his Eagle Scout rank today.

MEDINA – Christian Hahn completed a 12-year journey in the Boy Scouts of America today, earning his Eagle Scout rank.

Christian, 18, started Cub Scouts when he was 6 in the first grade, and went on numerous camping and hiking trips, including the National Jamboree in Virginia and the Philmont Scout Ranch in the rugged New Mexico wilderness. At Philmont, Christian and other Scouts needed to hike 50-60 miles over hills.

“It’s a family tradition and it’s taught me valuable things in life,” Christian said today at the Medina United Methodist Church, which hosted his Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony.

His grandfather, Don Miller, was a Scoutmaster of Troop 28 in Medina, and Christian’s uncle, Tim Miller, now leads the troop as Scoutmaster.

Christian counts numerous friends through Scouting, as well as learning tons of skills, from building fires, cleaning water to cooking with a Dutch oven.

For his Eagle project, he made 16 bookshelves that are painted light blue for the Orleans County Adult Learning Services. OCALS is using the shelves as part of the “Little Blue Bookshelf Project,” which promotes literacy by placing the shelves in local businesses and organizations, and stocking the shelves with books for families and young children.

Christian made the shelves and gave them three coats of paint. He worked on the project from August until November. He thanked the following businesses for donating to the project: Medina Lumber and Lockport Lumber gave wood; Evans Ace Hardware gave eight cans of paint and paintbrushes; Valu donated nails; Tractor Supply contributed paint rollers and drywalls screws.

Christian Hahn is pictured when he competed in the Pinewood Derby in January 2011, back when he was 11. He never won the event, “but I had a lot of fun.”

Christian will head to Wells College in the Finger Lakes this fall to major in computer science, and then he plans to go to Med School. He wants to works as a doctor in an emergency room.

In school he competed in track, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer and swimming. He also was in the musicals with Medina and Lyndonville students, including having the lead role of Gomez Addams in last weekend’s show of The Addams Family.

Although he has completed Scouts, Christian isn’t ending his Scouting career. He wants to stay active with the troop as a volunteer.

A cake celebrating Christian Hahn’s Scouting accomplishments was served after the ceremony today.

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Medina’s ‘First Lady’ became an instant celebrity when she married President Cleveland when she was 21

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 31 March 2018 at 8:16 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 13

“I am waiting for my wife to grow up.” – Grover Cleveland

As a young bachelor in Buffalo, Cleveland was said to have muttered these very words to his sisters who frequently asked him about his intentions to marry. His statement, although witty, held a certain degree of truth and it is with that truth that the story of Frances Folsom is told.

In 1996 an historic roadside marker was installed at the corner of Main and Eagle Streets in Medina, denoting the structure that Folsom called home for a brief moment in her life during the 1870s. The marker reads:

“Frances Folsom lived here in the mid-1870s with her grandmother and attended Medina High School. In 1886 at age 21 she wed Pres. Grover Cleveland.”

The daughter of Oscar and Emma Harmon Folsom, Frances was born July 21, 1864 at Buffalo, New York where her father practiced law with Grover Cleveland in a firm known as Lanning, Cleveland and Folsom. Folsom and Cleveland became close friends after a failed run for the office of Erie County District Attorney left Cleveland with a sense of defeat. It was said that Cleveland doted on the young girl, purchasing the first baby carriage for Frances.

On July 23, 1875, Oscar Folsom was tragically killed when he was thrown from his carriage in Buffalo’s Black Rock district. Cleveland was made administrator of Folsom’s will, but sources vary on whether Cleveland was, in fact, made the legal guardian of Frances. Oscar’s widow and eleven-year-old daughter relocated to Medina to live with Ruth Harmon, the grandmother of Frances, while Cleveland settled the estate. During the approximately three years that she lived in Medina, “Frankie” as she was later known (a nickname much to her disliking), became a popular pupil among fellow students and teachers at the Medina high school. It was after Cleveland finalized his business partner’s estate that Emma and Frances returned to Buffalo.

Frances continued her studies at Central High School in Buffalo and eventually entered the sophomore class at Wells College where she was attending when Cleveland was inaugurated for his first term. Despite her best efforts to attend the prestigious event, she was not permitted to miss classes.

After her graduation in 1885, Frances was whisked off to Europe by her mother at the urging of Cleveland so that she could experience the culture of the old world. At this time it was suspected by the public that Emma was visiting Europe to purchase her wedding dress under the assumption that Cleveland was courting the elder Folsom. Upon their return to New York on May 27, 1886, an announcement was made the following day noting Cleveland’s engagement to Frances and not Emma as previously thought.

On June 2, 1886 Grover and Frances were wed in the Blue Room, the stately parlor on the first floor of the White House, becoming the only couple to celebrate their wedding in the executive mansion. Frances became an instant celebrity, the press following her every move. As a fashionable young woman, she frequently wore gowns that were edgy for the time.

Photo by Tom Rivers: There is a historic marker for Frances Folsom at the corner of Main and Eagle streets in Medina, near Hartway Motors.

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was floored by her frequent wearing of gowns that revealed bare shoulders, claiming it negatively influenced young women. She quickly became a marketing tool for companies that used her likeness to sell goods. Others marketed goods on claims that she either purchased or used the goods herself, suggesting that Mrs. Cleveland was endorsing the products. Harper’s Magazine went as far as to feature her as a frequent cover subject, which undoubtedly assisted the periodical with the sale of issues.

While companies benefited from the marketability of the President’s wife, one Democratic Congressman attempted to pass a bill that would stop the widespread use of any woman’s image for commercial purposes without her written permission. Although the piece of legislation did not specifically address her by name, the bill was clearly aimed at alleviating the external pressures felt by the Clevelands at the hands of the corporate world. Suffering a heart attack at the age of 71, Grover Cleveland passed away on June 24, 1908; his widow 27 years younger than he, remained at Princeton, New Jersey where she would remarry to Thomas Preston nearly five years later. She died in her sleep on October 29, 1947 and was laid to rest next to her first husband in Princeton Cemetery.

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