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4 Medina firefighters graduate from state academy

Staff Reports Posted 11 May 2018 at 2:57 pm

MEDINA – Four Medina firefighters are among 57 graduates of the state academy in Montour Falls today.

Firefighters Bradley Mahnke, Cody Doran, Steven Long and Timothy Miller graduate from the 11-week Recruit Firefighter Training program at the NYS Fire Academy.

In addition, Captain Matt Jackson of the MFD graduated from the month-long First Line Supervisors Training Program conducted by the Fire Department of The City of New York.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today congratulated the 57 graduates of the Recruit Firefighter Training Program at the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls.

Today’s graduates hail from 24 fire departments and represent the Academy’s 75th Recruit Firefighter Training class. This is the largest class to ever graduate at the Academy since the program’s inception in 1984.

“These graduates join the more than 100,000 brave men and women serving in the fire departments across this great state who, with dedication and courage, respond to emergencies day and night to protect us all,” Governor Cuomo said. “I congratulate these New Yorkers on this significant accomplishment, and thank them for their commitment to public service.”

The Recruit Firefighter Training Program class is 11 weeks long and includes more than 500 hours of intense training that exceeds the state’s minimum standards for firefighter personnel. Graduates of the program also receive national certification in Firefighter I, Firefighter II and Hazardous Materials Operations. All of today’s graduates will become full-time firefighters in their respective fire department when they return home.

During the 11-week program, firefighters received training in areas such as emergency vehicle and pump operations, flammable gas firefighting, basic rescue technician skills and foundational firefighting training and operations. They also participated in daily physical fitness training in preparation for the Candidate Physical Ability Test.

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Kendall, Medina again listed among top high schools by U.S. News

Photo by Tom Rivers: Kendall Junior/Senior High School has earned a Silver Award as a high-performing high school in the latest ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2018 at 11:18 am

U.S. News and World Report on Wednesday published its list of top high schools in the state and nation and Kendall and Medina again are on the list as Silver Medal winners.

The news publication weighs data on student achievement from 22,000 high schools in the country. Kendall has been at the top of the list in Orleans County in recent years, but the latest report shows Medina edging ahead of Kendall.

Medina ranked as the 197th top high school in New York and 2,297th in the country. Kendall was ranked 205th in New York and 2,455th nationally, which puts them near the top 10 percent.

The other high schools in Orleans weren’t on the list of top performers.

The U.S. News’ Best High Schools List is compiled by first analyzing how well students performed on qualifying high school state assessments such as Regents Exams in Algebra 1 and ELA.

The high schools identified as over performing were then ranked nationally in terms of college readiness, using participation and success in the Advanced Placement program. U.S. News then awarded more than 6,040 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.

Some highlights from each high school in Orleans include:

• Albion (unranked)

597 students and 40 teachers

75 proficient in mathematics, 92 percent proficient in reading

88 percent graduation rate

College Readiness Index – 20.1

AP tested, 29 percent

AP passed 61 percent

48 percent economically disadvantaged (eligible for free or reduced-price lunch)

• Holley (unranked)

519 students and 48 teachers

68 percent mathematics proficiency, 81 percent reading

53 percent economically disadvantaged

• Kendall (Silver Award)

317 students and 29 teachers

81 percent mathematics proficiency, 91 percent reading proficiency

College Readiness Index – 24.3

37 percent AP tested, 54 percent pass AP

47 percent economically disadvantaged

• Lyndonville (unranked)

309 students and 29 teachers

62 percent mathematics proficiency, 91 percent reading proficiency

College Readiness Index – 34.4

51 percent AP tested and 57 percent passing

44 percent economically disadvantaged

• Medina (Silver Award)

631 students and 52 teachers

91 percent proficiency for both math and reading

College Readiness Index – 26.2.

41 percent tested for AP and 51 percent passing

48 percent are economically disadvantaged

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Medina fire causes about $40K in damages

Posted 10 May 2018 at 9:31 am

Press Release, Medina Fire Department

MEDINA – The Village of Medina Fire Department on Wednesday at 6:24 p.m. was dispatched to a possible electric fire in the bathroom with a resident unable to exit the house at 611 Ann St.

Second platoon firefighters arrived on location and simultaneously removed the resident and encountered a fire in the ceiling of the bathroom. A working fire was then declared bringing the Ridgeway and Lyndonville fire departments to the scene.

Crews exposed the bathroom ceiling as well as the flooring above the bathroom on the second story and stopped any further fire spread. Damage is estimated at $25,000 to the structure and $15,000 to the contents.

The resident was uninjured and is being assisted by the Red Cross at this time. The area of origin was the bathroom ceiling fan/light and the cause is being listed as accidental at this time.

There were no firefighters injured. Also assisting on scene were fire investigators from the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

During this incident, two 911 ambulance calls were handled by crews as well.

We thank all of the departments on scene as well as the public safety dispatchers at the Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

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Letter mailed 24 years ago comes back to BOCES

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Clark Godshall, superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES, holds a letter that he signed 24 years ago, a purchase order for a VHS tape on “The Secret World of Bats.”

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2018 at 6:49 am

No explanation why the letter went undelivered for more than 2 decades

MEDINA – In May 1994, Clark Godshall was working as assistant superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES. He also was the purchasing agent, signing about 3,000 to 4,000 purchase orders each year.

One of those purchase orders and was mailed on Sept. 30, 1994. It was sent to Austin, Texas to The Bat Conservation International. The Orleans-Niagara BOCES wanted to buy a VHS tape, “The Secret World of Bats.” The price was $40. The postage cost 29 cents.

The VHS tape was never delivered. On Monday, staff at the O-N BOCES received the returned letter from the Postal Service, with it marked as returned to sender on May 3, 2018. It had never been opened and the envelope has turned yellow on the edges. There was no explanation where the letter had been the past 24 years.

“Maybe it fell into a crack someplace,” Godshall wondered on Wednesday.

He has been the BOCES superintendent for the past 18 years, and has signed thousands upon thousands of purchase orders.

The local BOCES continues to maintain a collection of VHS tapes that are loaned out to member school districts. Beta tapes, however, are no longer kept at the BOCES.

Godshall found the returned letter – nearly 24 years after it was first mailed – to be an interesting conversation piece.

“Have faith in the Post Office,” he said. “Eventually it will get there.”

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Medina library budget passes with near-unanimous vote

Staff Reports Posted 9 May 2018 at 3:15 pm

MEDINA – Residents of the Medina Central School District voted in favor of Lee-Whedon Memorial Library’s 2018-19 budget on Tuesday. There were 97 votes, and 92 were in favor of the $608,061 budget.

Isabella Mark, the current board president, also was re-elected to another five-year term at the library’s annual meeting on Monday.

The $608,061 budget for 2018-19 increases the tax levy by $3,473, or 0.66 percent. This tax, which comprises the majority of the library’s funding, is charged to all property owners in the school district and is collected on the school tax bills.

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Medina Band Boosters pick officers for 2018-19

Staff Reports Posted 8 May 2018 at 10:45 pm

Provided photo: At the May meeting for the Medina Band Boosters, elections were held for the offices that make up the organization. The 2018-2019 officers include Mindy Kenward, president; Julie Granchelli, vice president; Kelly Allen, treasurer; Holly Rousch, secretary; Kelly Uderitz, student accounts; Diane Grosslinger, uniforms; Lyn Woodruff, chaperones; Sean Callard, transportation; Kathy Dreyfus, publicity; and Eric Alexander and Stacy Silker, delegates.

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Lyndonville, Medina school districts say shared programs have been successful

Photos by Bruce and Associates: Medina and Lyndonville students worked together to perform The Addams Family in March. The show was in Lyndonville.

Posted 8 May 2018 at 12:27 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville and Medina school districts

Jason Smith, Lyndonville Central School District Superintendent, and Mark Kruzynski, Medina Central School District Superintendent, say that their districts’ collaboration over the last several years has proven to be very successful.

The districts, like many communities across America, find their student populations dwindling as families get smaller.

“In the six and a half years I have been at Lyndonville, we have worked with Medina on a variety of projects, most notably athletics,” Smith said. “We have been able to offer our students marching band, cross country, soccer, football and of course the musical. Looking at our declining populations from both schools and keeping an eye on the long-term, we believe that working together whenever possible is the best thing for our students.”

Kruzynski said the partnership benefits both districts.

“This expands the amount of programs available for kids, which is the ultimate goal, and expands the quality of the programs for the kids as well,” he said. “We are always evaluating and always looking at different things that we can share and save money.”

The annual musical has been very well received by both the districts’ communities. Smith makes the observation that it helps the directors have a bigger cast and more talent to draw from.

“It has become a richer experience for the cast, crew and the audience,” he said.

The two superintendents have even got in on the act with both performing in the pit band this year for The Addams Family.

The superintendents and the athletic directors meet on a regular basis as well to update one another on their findings and discuss how to improve upon their success.

“One thing that we are looking at in Lyndonville, in respect to sports, is the transportation department here at the schools to offer more comprehensive transportation,” Smith said.  “We don’t want to put the students at a disadvantage to travel to and from Medina. That is something we have heard from our community over the past couple of months and we are looking to make some improvements there.”

Medina is exploring that as well, Kruzynski said.

“Now that the girls soccer will be hosted by Lyndonville next year, we will also be providing transportation for all of our soccer players who need it,” he said.

The combined Medina-Lyndonville varsity team wears Medina mustang uniforms and plays their home games in medina at Vets’ Park.

The superintendents have walked a fine line providing collaborative opportunities for all their students while maintaining their individual identities. Both districts believe that their school colors and mascots provide a common thread that runs through generations as symbols of their town’s character and history.

“It is interesting because both districts wanted to retain their identity as Tigers and Mustangs,” Smith said. “But both of our districts recognize the need to share.  We have two districts that work very well together and both Mark and I work well together professionally and that is the key to our relationship.”

There has been a nice side benefit for partnering together on the activities as well.

“Many of our students have become friends across both districts,” Kruzynski said. “Relationships are being formed that would not be formed otherwise. That was not the primary goal, but it was definitely a benefit.”

Planning ahead, both superintendents says they will continue to meet to map out how they can provide the best opportunities for their students.

“Our board officers have met and are going to meet again in July to see how things are progressing, assess what is going well and see what we can improve,” Smith said.

“We are always looking for ways to save money for both the districts,” Kruzynski added. “In the long-term we are hoping this partnership can evolve to see where we can share costs well into the future.”

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Medina library has annual meeting today, vote on budget Tuesday

Photos by Tom Rivers: The new mural featuring characters from children’s books now is part of the children’s library at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library. Judith Villavisanis, an artist, spent more than a month creating this mural on the south wall in the children’s section of Lee-Whedon. She finished the “Worlds of Wonder” mural in late February.

Posted 7 May 2018 at 10:58 am

Press Release, Lee-Whedon Memorial Library

MEDINA – The Board of Trustees of Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina has scheduled its annual meeting for 7 p.m. today at the Library. It will be preceded by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

Corduroy, a bear in a children’s book, is part of this scene.

The Board will present the Library’s Annual Report to the community as well as the proposed budget for 2018-19. Also on the annual meeting agenda will be the election of one member to the Board of Trustees. Incumbent Isabella Mark is running unopposed for another term.

The Board is proposing a total budget of $608,061 for 2018-19. The proposed increase to the tax levy would be $3,473. This increase of .66% would increase the property tax levied for the library from $525,946 to $529,419. This tax, which comprises the majority of the library’s funding, is charged to all property owners in the school district and is collected on the school tax bills.

“As in past years, this budget reflects the Board’s concern for providing materials and services to the community and, at the same time, maintaining a viable building,” said Isabella Mark, Board President. “We have held the tax levy stable since 2016, this year’s request is certainly very conservative.”

The proposed tax increase will primarily be used to offset increased costs for technology.

Copies of the proposed budget are available at the library.

Voting on the budget will take place at Lee-Whedon on Tuesday from noon until 8 p.m. Residents of the Medina Central School District over the age of 18 are eligible to vote at the annual meeting and on the budget. Identification and proof of residence are required.

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Medina’s Tuesday Club has been mainstay for 120 years

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Members of Medina’s Tuesday Club are shown at their April meeting at the home of Nelda Toussaint of Medina. Seated in front, from left, are Nelda Toussaint, treasurer Sandy Thaine, Sue Dydo, secretary Bonnie Heck, Lorraine Root and president Kathie Valley. Standing at right is Ann McElwee. The club has been in existence for 120 years.

Posted 7 May 2018 at 10:31 am

‘We’re a very eclectic group of women’ – member Pat Payne

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

MEDINA – In a time when social organizations are losing members, some even closing, a Medina club has maintained its membership for more than a century.

Although 120 years old, the Medina Tuesday Club hasn’t deviated much from the traditions established when the club was formed.

The Tuesday Club’s roots go even farther back, having sprung out of what was called the Fortnightly Culture Club, organized in 1891 for the purpose of reading about and presenting at each meeting papers on American history, literature and travel.

An 1897 souvenir edition of the Medina Tribune states, “Such is the interest in the work that it is a rare exception if a paper is not presented when expected.”

In 1894, the FNCC joined the New York State Federation of Women’s Clubs and Societies as charter members, and later the Western Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Pat Kennedy, a member of the Tuesday Club, reads a review of her assigned book, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, during the April meeting.

The Tuesday Club, as it is known today, first met on Oct. 10, 1898 at the home of Mrs. Earl Card (the married women were all known by their husband’s names). They had yet to decide on a name for their new club. There were 16 ladies in attendance, several of whom had been members of the FNCC.

They finally decided on the name, “Tuesday Evening Reading Club,” with membership limited to 30. Dues were 25 cents.

A history of the club was compiled in 1949 for the 50th anniversary, in which it says a fee of 5 cents was imposed on members who were absent without an excuse, such as illness or out of town. There were few social activities, as it was difficult to do much on 25-cent dues.

The name was changed to the Tuesday Reading Club in 1903. At the last meeting of 1905, it was voted to omit “Reading” from the name of the club, as it had become a study club.

Previously, a waiting list had been maintained with names of candidates for membership, but it was voted in January 1906 to abolish the list. In the future, names of possible new members would be handed to a committee who would recommend which names should be asked to join. Today, a woman must be asked to join.

In the beginning, they met twice a month, but decided in the late 1950s to discontinue the second meeting of the month, except for October and April. Special events include a Calendar Lunch in October, Christmas party in December and banquet in May. The club today does not meet in June, July or August.

Throughout the years, the club has had entertainment at their meetings, put on plays and invited guest speakers, all focusing on a subject chosen by the program committee for that year.

Today, programs have been simplified, with book reviews replacing individually researched papers, debates and round-table discussions. Since the 1990s, meetings have been held in member’s homes, rather than schools, churches or other public places.

Some years ago, it was decided they would not have desserts at their meetings, so as to eliminate the possibility of one hostess trying to outdo another. Their format now is to have one book review, and then break for 15 minutes for water and nuts. Then the second half is devoted to the second book review.

The club today has 24 regular members, five associate members and four honorary members, one of whom is Joyce Beatenbough of Lyndonville. Having joined in 1958, Beatenbough is the longest standing member. Other honorary members are Lil Hagood (1977), Arden Dick (1987) and Ann Perkins (1991).

To celebrate their anniversary this year, two members each month have been looking back through the club history and selecting a year to review.

Nelda Toussaint of Medina joined in 1978, because she had two little kids and it was a wonderful way to get out of the house, she said.

“It offered a cultural evening and no extra duties went along with it,” Toussaint said. “It is an organization full of tradition.”

Jan McCloy of Medina said she joined in 2004 because it was an interesting thing to do.

Pat Payne of Medina said she likes the diversity of people in the club.

“If you look around the room, you see a variety of occupations, ages and backgrounds,” she said. “We’re a very eclectic group of women.”

Each year, a program committee decides on a theme for the year, and Lee-Whedon Memorial Library director Catherine Cooper, also a member, helps get the books to go along with the theme.

Rarely does someone get asked to review a book they don’t like.

“Once, I had to read a book on the World Bank and it was so boring, but I got through it,” Lorraine Root said. “If you really didn’t like a book, I think they might give you another.”

Kathie Valley, club president, said presentations are always high quality, very well given and interesting.

The club has always been philanthropic and uses its dues to make a donation to a worthy cause at Christmas time.

Current officers are Kathie Valley, president; Pam Maryjanowski, vice president; Bonnie Heck, secretary; and Sandy Thaine, treasurer.

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Medina celebrates Arbor Day to delight of elementary kids

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2018 at 3:15 pm

Rain and mud push party inside; 68 new trees going in ground

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Karen Sanchez-Cabrera and other first-graders in Allison Woodburn’s class perform a skit this morning at Oak Orchard Elementary School in honor of Arbor Day.

This year’s celebration at Medina was pushed back a week to accommodate teachers and staff who attended last Friday’s calling hours for Andrea Lonnen, a kindergarten teacher who passed away unexpectedly on April 22 at 45. Lonnen was a big supporter of Arbor Day and had her classes help plant trees, said Chris Busch, Medina’s Tree Board chairman.

Nicole Goyette, a Medina teacher and Tree Board member, holds the microphone for first-grader Mckenna Adams, who was part of the Arbor Day skit. The event typically is an outdoor celebration and students help shovel dirt and plant the trees. But the threat of rain, and the wet and muddy grounds prompted organizers to shift the event inside.

Nicole Goyette is the Arbor Day coordinator. She welcomes students to the celebration. This year’s Arbor Day was dedicated to Wilson Southworth, who passed away at age 70 on Dec. 8. Southworth was a long-time member of the Tree Board, its vice chairman and a proponent of reforesting the Village of Medina.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari reads a proclamation about Arbor Day. “Trees are enjoyed by every citizen, young and old, wherever they are planted, and are a source of joy and beauty in our community,” Sidari said.

Medina is planting 68 trees this spring. The community is an official Tree City USA, a recognition of the village’s commitment to plant trees.

The auditorium at Oak Orchard was full of students this morning.

Stevie Parker reads her poem about Arbor Day that won a competition in the high school.

The Tree Board presented a “Friend of the Urban Forest Award” to the Medina Departent of Public Works and to Bob Sanderson, a Medina resident who donates to plant many of the new trees. Sanderson owns Candlelight Cabinetry and Kitchen World in Lockport. The company uses lots of wood, and Sanderson has said the business is committed to planting new trees through several initiatives.

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