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Medina FFA students qualify to compete at State Convention

Staff Reports Posted 3 April 2017 at 11:00 am

Provided photo: Medina FFA students pictured include, from left: Alyssa Root, Alexis Maines, Kennedy Eick, Jack Hill, Ryenn Oliver and Cora Payne. Kennedy, Ryenn and Cora qualified to compete at the FFA State Convention.

Students in the FFA program at Medina High School recently competed at the FFA Western Regional Career Development Event.

Teacher Todd Eick took several students to the competition and three of them scored high enough to earn a spot at the FFA State Competition where they will be representing Medina and the Western Region at the State Convention at Morrisville College in May.

The results from the Medina FFA competitors are:

• Alyssa Root – 3rd Place in Extemporaneous Speaking;

Jack Hill – 4th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking.

In the Extemporaneous Speaking Competition, participants are given 30 minutes to deliver a speech on one of the three assigned agriculture topics. Students must learn to think on their feet and develop an argument quickly and persuasively.

• Cora Payne – 1st Place in Prepared Public Speaking;

Alexis Maines – 4th Place Prepared Public Speaking;

Kennedy Eick – 2nd Place in Junior Prepared Public Speaking.

In the Prepared Public Speaking Competition, students write and deliver a six- to eight-minute speech about a current agriculture-related topic. The speaking skills gained through this event help students excel in school, community and career.

• Ryenn Oliver – 2nd Place Senior Creed Speaking.

In the Creed Speaking Competition is for FFA members must present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions about its meaning and purpose.  The event boosts self-confidence and develops the ability to communicate in a powerful, professional manner.

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Medina closes out Winter Guard season

Staff Reports Posted 3 April 2017 at 10:25 am

Provided photo: The students who participated in the Cadet Guard are as follows: 1st row – Kailey Steele, Hailey Wilkins, Madison Owens, Brooke Moden, Destiny Bickel and Raelyn Baker. 2nd row – Bianca Islam, Elizabeth Parker, Gabi Medina-Flores, Phallon Rivera, Lyanna King,  Kiana Cleveland, Alayna Smith and Brooke Woodrow. Back row – Destiny Jones, Neveah Conley, Arie McMurray, Neveah Williams,  Amaya Cleveland,  Allissa Adams, Isabella Zimmer, Melanie Poynter, Kayleigh Wright,  Brooklyn Garrow.

MEDINA – The 2017 Winter Guard season came to a conclusion on Sunday when the North East Color Guard Circuit held their championships at SUNY Brockport.

There were 42 units from Central & Western NY and Canada competing in 8 classifications.  The ARC of Yates also performed in exhibition.

There were 10 guards in the Cadet class and Medina came in second place. In Scholastic A, there were three guard units and Medina came in second with a score of 82.82.

The students who participated in the Varsity Guard are as follows: 1st row (sitting) – Grace Fuller,  Mikayla Soha,  Alexis Neuman,  Leann Schneider and  Shine Sullinger.  2nd row – Hayley Hurt,  Allyssa Beyer,  Sabrina Quiros,  Morgan Allis,  Brianna McMullen and  Sarah Goodin. 3rd row – Alyssa McMullen, Avery Vanderwerf, Danielle Schmidt, Kyra Baes and Kaela Grosslinger. Back row: Paige Martin, McKenna Callard, Talishiona Feitshans and Laura Washak.

The Winter Guard students have been working hard on their shows since November.

“We must also give credit to the ‘Prop Boys’ consisting of Moms and Dads who worked hard at building props for both groups and then hauling them around to practices and to competitions,” said Kathy Dreyfus, public relations manager for the Winter Guard and Medina Mustang Band. “The students themselves also assisted in getting props set up before a show started and removing them afterwards, all within the 7 minutes allowed for each performance. Work has already begun preparing for the Spring Street season.”

First place winners on Sunday in each class were: Cadets, Victor;  Regional A, Patriots Too with a score of 83.61;  A1 class, Lancaster with a score of 83.54;  SR, Magic of Scout House with a score of 77.65; IA,  Lancaster Independent with a score of 88.14; SA – Gates with a score of 84.71; SO, Phoenix with a score of 84.50; and IW, Luminosa with a score of 78.

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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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No surprises in village elections

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2017 at 9:47 pm

Candidates in Lyndonville, Medina – all unopposed – elected

It was a low-key election in Lyndonville and Medina today. The candidates were all unopposed and re-elected with a small turnout at the polls.

In Lyndonville, Mary Kage was elected to a two-year term for village trustee. She received 14 out of 17 total votes.

Kage was appointed to the board in September, filling a vacancy created when Jim Tuk resigned. The election was for the final two years of Tuk’s term.

In Medina, two incumbents were uncontested for re-election. Owen Toale, 59 votes, and Todd Bensley, 61 votes, were both backed for two-year terms on the Village Board.

Toale is a retired publisher of the former Journal-Register in Medina. Bensley teaches AP government and participation in government in Medina, and also is the village historian.

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Candidates unopposed in Medina, Lyndonville elections today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2017 at 9:44 am

Polls are open today from noon to 9 p.m. for village elections in in Medina and Lyndonville. The candidates in both villages are unopposed.

In Lyndonville, Mary Kage is the lone candidate for a two-year term as a village trustee. Kage was appointed to the board in September, filling a vacancy created when Jim Tuk resigned. The election is for the final two years of Tuk’s term. Lyndonville’s election is from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall.

In Medina, two incumbents are uncontested for re-election. Owen Toale and Todd Bensley are seeking two-year terms on the board. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 615 West Ave.

Toale is a retired publisher of the former Journal-Register in Medina. Bensley teaches AP government and participation in government in Medina, and also is the village historian.

“I’m proud to be a member of a board that discusses issues and goals and comes up with a plan,” Toale posted on Facebook on Sunday. “Communication and cooperation are hallmarks of this board. No agendas here other than the betterment of our community.”

Toale said negotiating and ratifying contracts for the DPW, fire and police are among his biggest accomplishments in the past two years. The agreements were approved without an outside negotiator which Toale said saved thousands of dollars..

“We sat down with the union people, came to fair agreements for both, got full board approval and union ratification and sealed the deal,” he said.

Tool, in his Facebook post, said he has time to tend to village issues during the day because he is retired. He often meets with agencies, village employees and department heads, and attends webinars to learn how to better run the village.

Toale praised Bensley, calling him, “a deep thinker who looks for solutions before jumping to conclusions.”

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Artist begins work on bronze statue of soldier to go by Medina Armory

Staff Reports Posted 21 March 2017 at 9:12 am

Provided photos: Sculptor Brian Porter is pictured with a subframe for a statue of a soldier that will go by the former Medina Armory, which is now the YMCA on Pearl Street.

The statue of a soldier that will go by the former Medina Armory is taking shape.

Brian Porter, a sculptor who works as an assistant professor for Erie Community College, is working on the statue that will resemble a young soldier, someone who looks between 18 and 21.

That was typical soldier of Company F, which trained out of the Armory in Medina. The Company F Memorial Committee wants the statue to look like a typical soldier from the site when they left the community in October 1940 during World War II.

The 7-foot-high bronze statue will be erected outside the Armory, which was used for about 75 years to train soldiers for battle. The statue will honor those soldiers and help people appreciate the building’s past in training soldiers to defend the country

Porter created the statue for the Seabees Memorial in North Tonawanda.

Porter is trying a new process using 3D technology. He scans in the image of the miniature clay model, and data sent to a CNC machine is used to cut out thin plywood slices that are then glued together. The wood structure is a subframe for the clay to be shaped upon.

“It was a really interesting process to get to this point and many people that viewed it on campus were excited about the look of this stage of the structure,” Porter said.

The next step will be to begin carving and prepping the surface for clay modelling.

The plywood slices have been glued together in sections of about 10 pieces each. Porter anticipates that they will be easier to model and mold in this way.

The miniature clay model, about 20 inches high, is next to the wood structure which will be covered in clay in the next step in the process.

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Yates votes no on money for Medina ambulance, but intends to help fund effort

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 March 2017 at 9:33 am

YATES – The Yates Town Board voted against a contract with the Village of Medina on Thursday night, where the town would contribute to the ambulance service.

Town Board members say they want to pay towards a new ambulance, but don’t like the language in the contract referring to a “deficit” with the ambulance service.

The Medina Fire Department provides ambulance service for the western Orleans County towns of Yates, Ridgeway and Shelby. The Fire Department has four ambulances and wants to replace one every two years. The ambulances cost about $160,000 each, so each year the department wants to set aside $80,000 towards an ambulance.

The three towns and village of Medina will pay a pro-rated share towards the ambulance based on percentage of ambulance calls in each municipality between Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 each year.

In Yates, the town share, including for residents in the Village of Lyndonville, would be about $15,000 a year, said Jim Simon, the town supervisor.

The current contract with Medina expires June 30. Yates has been in a contract with Medina since 2007 for ambulance services. Yates hasn’t been contributing to the cost in recent years.

Town Board members said they want to support paying for an ambulance, but don’t want to be pulled into financing other operational costs.

Yates officials have been meeting with Medina officials for more than a year, discussing the ambulance contract. Wes Bradley, a Yates town councilman, said the focus initially had been on an ambulance replacement fund and having the three towns contribute. But it has expanded to helping with an undefined deficit for the service.

“I’m still not 100 percent comfortable (with the contract),” Bradley said during the Town Board meeting.

Bradley has been a member of the Lyndonville Fire Department for 37 years. He said the Medina Fire Department provides “top-notch” service to the Yates community. He just wants the language clear in the contract.

The proposed contract would establish an Advisory Board, with Yates, Shelby, Ridgeway and Medina all appointing a representative. That board is welcome to make recommendations to the Medina Village Board on how to reduce a deficit with the service.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari declined to discuss the issue until he had a chance to talk with the Village Board. He said he wanted to three towns to view the ambulance as a shared service.

Jim Whipple was the lone Yates board member to vote for the new contract. Whipple, however, didn’t want the town to be pulled into management of the service.

“We just want to support the ambulance and not get involved in collections and operations,” Whipple said.

The Medina Village Board would still oversee the service, but the new Advisory Board would give the towns more input in how the ambulance service is run.

Town Supervisor Jim Simon, and councilmen John Riggi and Wes Bradley voted against the contract. Councilman Brad Bentley was absent from the meeting.

Simon said the town already budgeted $15,000 this year to support the ambulance. He said Yates is pleased with the service and wants to help pay for new ambulances in the future.

The contract in the past has been rolling over each year. Simon and the Yates officials would like to have the issue settled soon.

“We don’t have another ambulance service we can turn to,” Simon said.

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20 winterguards competed at Medina event

Posted 13 March 2017 at 12:09 pm

Photos and article courtesy of Medina Mustang Band

MEDINA – Medina hosted a Winterguard show, Colorburst 2017, on Saturday with 20 guards performing, traveling from schools in Western New York and Canada.

Overall the home show was a success in terms of attendance despite the weather. A majority of the guards are sponsored by a school district, but there were five independent guards that are not connected to a school but are community sponsored.

The independent groups include the Patriots from Rochester, the Magic of Scout House and the Ventures from Kitchener, Ontario, Lakeside from Oswego and Prizm from Hamilton, Ontario. The independent guards are made up of people who participated in this activity while in school and want to continue by joining these other groups.

In the Cadet class, Medina took second place. In the Scholastic A class, Medina was awarded first place with a score of 76.09.

In the other classes, 1st place went to Victor Cadets,  Patriots Too in RA with 72.33, Corning Painted Post in A1 with 65.05,  Magic of Scout House in Senior with 68.38,  Patriots in IA with 82.05 and Orchard Park in SO with 76.30.

Medina’s next competition is Saturday, March 25, in Jamestown and then the Championships on Sunday, April 2, at The College at Brockport.

Medina’s cadet group finished second in Saturday’s competition.

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Second Heritage Festival will be a bigger event, spread out over 10 days

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 March 2017 at 6:35 pm

Event coordinated by GCC, volunteers returns Sept. 8-17

File photos by Tom Rivers: Last year’s debut Orleans County Heritage Festival including a timeline event at GCC’s Medina campus, which included re-enactors. impressionists and displays covering decades and centuries of American history. Ed Brodbeck, left, of Cheektowaga is Gen. Ulysses Grant. Jay Black, right, of Batavia portrays a provost marshal during the Civil War. Black brought along a collection of weapons that were used in the Civil War for people to look over.

The Orleans County Heritage Festival will return in September, and this time, instead of one activity-packed weekend, the festival will be spread out over 10 days, from Sept. 8-17.

“People felt overwhelmed with the choices available,” said Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history and a festival organizer. “Instead of a couple days we’re going to have two weekends book-ending the whole festival.”

Last year’s county-wide celebration of historically and culturally significant locations involved 29 sites including special programming at GCC’s Albion and Medina campus centers. Maxfield said about 500 people attended, and they received a collectible button and ribbon.

GCC’s Albion campus will host events the first weekend, with the action shifting to the Medina campus the second weekend for a timeline festival. The timeline festival will include re-enactors, impressionists and artisans.

Local historic sites will be highlighted during the weekdays with an afternoon and evening event, Maxfield said.

“We’re going to be spotlighting one at a time,” he said. “We’re still in the early stages of planning.”

The debut festival highlighted historic cemeteries, farms, homes and other historic gems.

The new themes for this year include the following:

  • Erie Canal – locations associated with the historic canal to celebrate the bicentennial of this extraordinary 19th century transportation system;
  • Military – locations associated with the military history of Orleans County ranging from the French and Indian Wars through 20th Century Wars with special emphasis on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I;
  • Cobblestone & Sandstone – locations associated with the substantial use of cobblestone and/or sandstone in the historic architecture;
  • Legends and Lore, Spirits and Supernatural – locations associated with a history of spirits, supernatural and/or ghost activities.

Lynne Menz, the Orleans County Tourism Marketing Manager, is excited about what the expansion of time will mean for visitors.

“In addition to being very pleased with the events and programs held in each location last year, almost all visitors wished they could have made it to more locations during the 3-day weekend,” Menz said. “This new 10-day format will allow people to experience a much wider range of events without having to force people to choose between events held at the same time but in different locations.”

Sam Maryjanowski of Medina, front, and Steven Burley of Barker are dressed as German soldiers from World War I during the Heritage Festival on Sept. 10, 2016.

Another first for this year is that the Heritage Festival is being organized by a board of directors.

“We had great cooperation from many community volunteers as well as GCC faculty, staff and students for the first heritage festival,” said Jim Simon, GCC associate dean. “But we realized that a more organized leadership structure would allow for the festival to provide even more to the community.”

The Board of Directors includes Derek Maxfield, Lynne Menz, Tracy Ford, Matt Ballard, Erin Anheier, Al Capurso, Cindy Robinson and Jim Simon.

Any locations or presenters interested in participating in the Second Annual Orleans County Heritage Festival should submit an application to Jim Simon, GCC Medina Campus Center, 11470 Maple Ridge Rd, Medina, NY 14103. Application forms can be found at the Heritage Festival website at Applications are due by March 20, 2017.

For more information please contact Jim Simon, associate dean of GCC’s Orleans County Campus Centers at (585)798-1688, ext. 4191, or Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or

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