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Posters present data about local teen drug and tobacco use
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2018 at 1:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

The Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition has created several posters that present data about teen drug, alcohol and tobacco use in Orleans County.

The information was gathered in a survey of 1,450 students in grades 7-12 in Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina school districts.

The posters were created by the coalition using infographic software, Venngage. The posters will be presented at school districts, coalition meetings, community events and on billboards in the county.

The posters highlight the following data:

• In 2017, 82 percent of Orleans County youth did not use alcohol;

• In 2017, 90 percent of Orleans County youth did not use marijuana;

• In 2017, 95 percent of Orleans County youth did not smoke cigarettes;

• In 2017, 98 percent of Orleans County youth did not use prescription drugs (that weren’t prescribed to them);

• Orleans County’s five most important health concerns, according to an adult survey: 65 percent say illicit drug abuse; 40 percent say prescription drug abuse; 40 percent say mental health issues; 33 percent say child abuse/neglect; and 24 percent say alcohol abuse.

Wayne Litchfield, a member of the Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition, designed many of the new posters. He is pictured last Thursday during a coalition meeting at the Hoag Library in Albion.

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Today could be a record-breaker with a high near 71
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2018 at 9:18 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: “Bud, the Blooming Buffalo” greets visitors at Wilson in Niagara County. Bud is one of 154 buffalo that were painted as part of the Herd About Buffalo outdoor art project to benefit the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in 2000.

Today could be a record-breaker for warmth in Western New York. The temperature is forecast to reach a high of 71 degrees in Orleans County.

The National Weather Service warns the high temperatures, with a combination of rain and snow melt, will cause area creeks and rivers to rise.

There is a 90 percent chance of rain today.

“At this time, rises are expected to be within bank, but there is a small chance of flooding if rainfall exceeds the current forecast,” the Weather Service said.

Wednesday will reach a high of 60 before dropping to 40 by 5 p.m. Thursday’s high will only be near 36.

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Schumer urges ‘swift construction timetable’ for new national cemetery in Pembroke
Staff Reports Posted 20 February 2018 at 8:40 am

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has completed the final acquisitions of an additional 60-acre parcel and a 77-acre parcel in Pembroke that is required in order for the VA to construct the new Western New York National Veterans Cemetery, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced.

Schumer said once constructed, the new veterans’ cemetery in Genesee County will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel upward of 100 miles to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest vet cemetery in Bath.

“It’s a huge cost saver for veterans,” Earl Schimdt, the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency director, told Orleans Hub previously. “You’re maintained, secured and honored every day.”

The cemetery provides free markers, burials and ongoing maintenance to veterans and their spouses.

The cemetery has been in the works for nine years. With the land acquisitions complete, Schumer is now urging the VA to swiftly begin construction of the cemetery this year. Schumer said with the two newly acquired parcels the cemetery will effectively double in size.

“I applaud the Department of Veteran Affairs for overcoming this last impediment and acquiring these two land parcels,” Schumer said. “With this final hurdle cleared, I urge the VA to stick to a swift construction timetable and take the steps to begin the Western New York Veterans Cemetery construction this year.”

Previously the VA purchased a 132-acre site bordering on Indian Falls Road and State Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke as the site of the new veterans’ cemetery but required these two additional parcels before construction could begin.

Schumer explained the new cemetery design calls for the main entrance to be built through this 60-acre parcel of land so that veterans, their families, and cemetery visitors can access the cemetery from Indian Falls Road, rather than via the busy State Route 77 corridor. Schumer said both parcels are located adjacent to the existing 132-acre cemetery site that was purchased by the VA in 2014.

“Making this cemetery a reality has been one of my top priorities, and now the VA has a clear path to begin construction,” Schumer said. “I am elated the VA heeded my calls and I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition. This cemetery’s construction guarantees Western New York’s veterans will have the proper burial, at a site close to the homes, families, and the very communities they dedicated their lives to defend and serve.”

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Albion Village Board will look at offering tax exemptions for veterans
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2018 at 8:15 am

ALBION – The Village Board is considering whether to offer a property tax exemption for veterans. If the veterans received a tax break, it would mean other village property owners would see an increase to make up the difference.

“I think we owe it to our veterans,” said Village Trustee Pete Sidari. “Let’s figure out a way.”

The board last month was asked to approve two tax exemptions for veterans. Earl Schmidt, director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County, said if the exemptions were passed by the Village Board, other village property owners would see their taxes increase by 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed property, or $18 for a house assessed at $60,000.

“We need to really look at this,” Village Trustee Eileen Banker said during a board meeting last week. “I know it’s hard to shift it to the other residents.”

Banker wants the board to further study the issue during budget negotiations. The village budget needs to be adopted by late April. There needs to be a public hearing for residents to comment on the exemptions before the board votes on it.

Village Trustee Stan Farone wants to see at what level the other municipalities are offering veterans for exemptions.

Schmidt asked that the Village Board to pass a veterans’ exemption that would provide about 15 percent off village taxes. Schmidt said there are 179 veterans in the village that would be eligible for the exemption.

He also asked that the village pass an exemption for Cold War era veterans that provides about 10 percent off taxes. There are 13 veterans in the village that would be eligible for that benefit.

With both exemptions, municipalities have the option of deciding maximum exemption levels so the amount of the exemptions can vary.

In other action at last week’s meeting, the Village Board:

• Accepted a $1,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation for its summer concert series. Albion was awarded the funds after Lori Laine, leader of the Albion Rocks group, submitted a video about Albion Rocks and the Concert Series.

That video was included in Community Across America’s “Video Clip Competition,” which offered $5,000 in prizes, with $2,000 the top award. Albion NY Rocks won the $1,000 second place prize.

• Approved Derek Hinman as a member of the Albion Fire Department.

• Appointed Amy Jenks as a member of the Planning Board.

• Appointed Loretta Tomasino to the Historic Preservation Commission.

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Gaines will consider whether Zoning Board will continue to do Planning Board functions
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2018 at 6:58 pm

GAINES – It was about six years ago when the Gaines Town Board voted to abolish the Planning Board and have the duties be shifted to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Carol Culhane was the newly elected town supervisor and eliminating the Planning Board was done at her first meeting on Jan. 2, 2012.

Now there is a new town supervisor in office and Joe Grube said he wants the Town Board to look at bringing back the Planning Board. Grube said some sections of the town ordinance reference the Planning Board, which currently doesn’t exist.

“Why do we only have one board when everyone else has two?” Grube said after the Town Board meeting last week.

Grube wants to hear feedback about the issue from an ad hoc committee that was formed about two years ago as part of the town’s efforts to update its comprehensive plan.

The Planning Board used to review building projects in the town while the Zoning Board of Appeals considered variances for projects that were too close to setback requirements or didn’t meet other standards.

Grube has already reversed one decision from the Culhane-led board. That board voted not to renew the contract of Doug Heath, who was the town’s longtime attorney. Culhane instead hired Andrew Meier of Medina. Grube, in his first meeting at town supervisor last month, appointed Heath as the town attorney.

The Town Board last week made a change to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Gerard Morrissey was appointed to a five-year term, replacing Ray Burke, who was a staunch Culhane supporter. Burke was instead appointed to be an alternative on the board. The Town Board also reappointed Jim Navarra to an alternate on the ZBA for another five-year term.

In other action:

• The board approved a $500 contribution to the Metro 10 race on Aug. 18 in Albion. That race pits runners from Rochester and Buffalo. They run 5 or 10 miles. A biking component may also be added to this year’s race, which is in its fourth year.

“The race goes through Gaines,” Grube said. “It brings a lot of people to town.”

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Jay Pahura appointed DPW superintendent in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2018 at 1:46 pm

File photo: Jay Pahura, a long-time motor equipment operator for the Department of Public Works in Albion, runs a roller over fresh pavement on Hamilton Street in Albion in this photo from October 2015.

ALBION – The Albion Village Board has named a long-time motor equipment operator in the Department of Public Works to serve as the new DPW superintendent.

Jay Pahura has been the acting superintendent. The Village Board made his appointment official last week. The board also agreed to fill Pahura’s vacant motor equipment operator position.

The DPW superintendent position has been in flux since Dale Brooks left the village on Dec. 31, 2015 after he was elected the Barre highway superintendent. Todd Sargent also filled in as interim DPW superintendent.

In other business at last week’s Village Board meeting:

• The board gave Pahura permission to declare three trucks as surplus and to use proceeds from the sale to buy a one-ton truck from a dealer in North Carolina. The village will sell a 1997 Ford one-ton, 2000 Chevy one-ton and 2009 Ford pickup. Pahura said the sale of those vehicles should bring in $15,000 to $18,000. That will go towards a one-ton truck that will cost $28,500. Pahura has money in the DPW budget to cover the difference in the cost, subtracting the sale of the three used trucks from the $28,500.

• Accepted $2,500 from the school district to go towards the estimated $5,000 cost to have a crossing guard in the morning and afternoon during peak traffic times by the schools.

• The pile of Christmas trees left at Bullard Park will likely be burnt in a bonfire this spring. The village planned to burn them in a bonfire at Bullard on Feb. 10, but the fire didn’t take off because the trees were covered in snow.

“We will have a tree-burning when it dries up in the spring,” said Trustee Stan Farone, who helped organize the event.

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Governor’s criminal justice agenda includes eliminating bail for people charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies
Staff Reports Posted 19 February 2018 at 12:04 pm

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s criminal justice agenda has the support from many civil rights and criminal justice leaders across New York. The Reverend Al Sharpton, Hazel Dukes, the Anti-Defamation League and other leading civil rights and criminal justice advocates last week issued an open letter outlining their support for the Governor’s sweeping agenda.

The nation-leading reform measures will transform our criminal justice system by removing critical barriers and reaffirming our beliefs in fairness, opportunity and dignity for all, Cuomo said.

“New York is the beacon of progress and equal opportunity for the nation, and we must continue to lead the way forward by ensuring a safer, fairer criminal justice system,” Cuomo said. “The truth is that our Lady Justice is still not color blind and her scales are still not balanced. But together, we can break down the economic and racial inequities that have perpetuated for far too long – and continue our historic march towards a more equal society for all.”

The governor’s proposed legislation would:

• Eliminate monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges;

• Expand the discovery process to include disclosure of information in a timely manner;

• Reduce unnecessary delays and adjournments in court proceedings;

• Ban all asset seizures, unless an arrest is made and enhance reporting requirements for local law enforcement and District Attorneys; and

• Improve the re-entry process for individuals transitioning from incarceration to their communities.

For more on Cuomo’s criminal justice proposal, click here.

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Sales tax grew by $1 million for Orleans in 2017
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2018 at 11:31 am

Sales tax revenues jumped by $1 million for Orleans County in 2017, up 6.45 percent from $15,287,529 to $16,273,192.

Statewide the year-over-year sales tax collection growth was up 3.9 percent, the biggest growth in the state since 2013, according to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

“This is welcome news for municipalities, as local revenues have been under significant pressure in recent years,” DiNapoli said. “As 2018 unfolds, local officials would be well advised to be cautious with respect to local budgets. As we know, collections are dependent on consumer spending, and the impact of new federal tax changes on this spending is the great unknown in this equation.”

The 57 counties outside New York City all experienced increases, except for Putnam County, but that was more due to a technical glitch adjustment, DiNapoli said.

The four GLOW counties all had sizable increases. Besides the additional $1 million and 6.45 percent for Orleans, Genesee up 4.44 percent from $37,040,250 to $38,683,226; Livingston, up 5.68 percent (from $30,167,806 to $31,880,449); and Wyoming, a big jump of 9.39 percent from $16,695,292 to $18,262,292.

DiNapoli said there was big growth statewide in the fourth quarter, mainly due to a significant upswing in retail sales during the holiday season.

He also said motor fuel prices have a directly measureable effect on local sales tax collections. In 2017, tax collections from the sale of motor fuel increased statewide for the first time since 2012.

In Orleans County, more than 90 percent of the local sales tax stays with the county government. The county shares $1,366,671 with the 10 towns and four villages. They have been frozen at that level since 2001.

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New Y director has already expanded programs, partnerships

Photos by Tom Rivers: Greg Reed, the director of the Orleans County YMCA, will be leading a new spin bike class beginning today. Reed found 10 nearly new spin bikes at a deep discount for the Y. Reed started as director on Oct. 2.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2018 at 9:49 am

MEDINA – The new director of the YMCA in Orleans County is focused on bringing more people to the Y on Pearl Street.

Greg Reed has the site open a half hour later each day while adding new programs and partnerships in the community.

The efforts seem to be paying off. The Y added 50 new members in January and now has 450 “member units.” A unit may include a family with multiple people under the membership.

“Our goal is to have more people in here,” said Reed, who started as director on Oct. 2. “I see it as a community center.”

Soon after he started the new job, Reed sent out emails introducing himself to different community members. He sent one email to Dan Doctor, Medina Central School’s director of community outreach. Doctor just happened to be looking for a site for an afterschool program that wouldn’t be on campus.

He was at the Y 10 minutes after getting the email. The district and Y formed a partnership for an after-school program in the Y’s basement. Doctor and volunteers gave the basement a fresh coat of paint and brought in furniture and games. The Y is offering the space rent free.

The new Education Recreation Club celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 2.

Doctor said Reed has been “awesome” to work with. Doctor had been working on the ERC for 18 months. It came together quickly at the end with Reed’s support, Doctor said.

Reed is hopeful many of the kids and their families will become Y members once they see what the organization has to offer.

“We just wanted to have a partnership with the school,” he said. “I just wanted more people in the building. When they’re here, they’ll see what assets we have.”

Reed is pictured on Friday with Dan Doctor, Medina Central School’s director of community outreach. The Y is offering use of the basement for a new Education Recreation Club, which meets after school at the Y.

Reed, 33, joined the Y after working five years as a physical education teacher and athletic director at a charter school in Denver, Colorado. Reed moved to Stafford with his wife and three children to be closer to her family. Her father is pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Batavia.

When he was athletic director at the charter school, Reed made providing opportunities for kids his focus. He is bringing the same philosophy to the Y.

That may mean partnering or complementing what is offered at a school district. Reed stressed he doesn’t see the Y as a competitor for existing programs at the school or in the community.

The Y has two full-time employees and 35 part-timers. Besides the main site at the former Armory on Pearl Street, the Y runs a before- and after-school childcare program at Albion Central School, and an after-school program at Medina Central School.

The Y is running a “Strong Communities Campaign” with a goal of $28,000. That would support memberships and programs for people unable to pay. Reed said the organization doesn’t turn people away if the can’t pay for a program.

The Y offers many youth and adult sports programs, as well as other group exercise classes, including sunrise yoga.

Some other recent changes at the Y include:

• The site is open a half hour later, now 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 on Friday, and 1:30 on Saturday. The Y also is staying open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reed expects the Sunday hours to continue around Memorial Day. Once it gets warm out, there is less demand to be open on Sundays.

• A batting cage in the attic is now available.

• The facility is brighter after Reed used a lift to change 60 lift bulbs at the ceiling. He also got the big fans working.

• The Y purchased 10 spin bikes at a deep discount and Reed is leading a class with those bikes that starts today.

• The weight room was reorganized with one wall knocked out to open up the space.

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Lady Eagles, Lady Tigers to host playoff games
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 February 2018 at 8:53 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall’s Lyndsay Wright, left, and Lyndonville’s Anna Lewis and their teammates will host Section V Class D1 opening round layoff games on Tuesday.

Kendall and Lyndonville will both open Section V girls basketball playoff competition by hosting Class D1 games at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No.8 Kendall will host No. 9 Alfred-Almond with the victor facing the winner of the No. 16 Dundee vs. No. 1 Wheatland-Chli contest on Friday.

No. 7 Lyndonville will host No. 10 Northstar with the winner facing the victor of the No. 15 Bolivar-Richburg vs. No. 2 Fillmore contest on Friday.

In Class C1, No. 16 Holley visits No. 1 Red Creek at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Boys Class C1 competition also gets underway on Tuesday as No. 15 Holley visits undefeated (20-0) No. 2 Pembroke.

In boys Class D1 pre quarterfinals on Wednesday, No. 13 Lyndonville visits No. 4 HAC and No. 17 Kendall travels to No. 1 Clyde-Savannah, both at 7 p.m.

Medina hospital, Rosenkrans Pharmacy added to state’s drug take-back program
Posted 18 February 2018 at 9:44 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the second group of participants in the State’s $2 million Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program.

Participants include 172 retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities across the state. Two-hundred and forty-six facilities are now enrolled in the program, which began in 2017.

Two sites on the list are from Orleans County, including Medina Memorial Hospital at 200 Ohio St., Medina; and Rosenkrans Pharmacy, 526 Main St., Medina.

The second-round locations enrolled in the Pilot Pharmaceutical Take Back Program will officially begin accepting waste medications in May 2018, when medication collection boxes are delivered to and installed by participating pharmacies.

“Installing medication drop boxes in community pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities, increases opportunities for New Yorkers to properly and easily dispose of unwanted medications,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The hundreds of pharmacies and facilities participating in New York’s free drug take-back program are protecting their communities and the environment.”

Under the drug take-back program, DEC will purchase medication collection boxes and pay for the disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years. Implementation of this pilot program will help improve water quality, protect public health by removing medications from home medicine cabinets, and reduce potential adverse impacts to fish and aquatic organisms. The Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program complements Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ongoing efforts to combat opioid addition by removing unused and expired pharmaceuticals from the waste stream.

In addition, in his veto of Senate Bill Number 6750, which would have required chain pharmacies to provide drug disposal options paid for by customers, Governor Cuomo directed DEC to engage with stakeholders and local governments to prepare a report on the feasibility of creating and implementing a comprehensive, statewide pharmaceutical product stewardship program. DEC will issue the report later this year.

The statewide Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program is funded with $2 million from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. These resources will cover the full cost of purchasing U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-compliant medication drop boxes, as well as the cost of pick up, transport, and destruction of collected waste pharmaceuticals for a two-year period. The Governor’s Proposed Executive Budget for 2018-19 includes an additional $1 million to support this pilot program.

With technological advances in analytical techniques, it is now possible to detect low levels of drugs in surface water and groundwater. Some drugs pass largely unaltered through wastewater treatment plants and enter rivers and other waterways.

Flushed medications have been found in New York lakes, rivers, and streams and can negatively affect the waterways. A national study conducted in 1999 and 2000, by the U.S. Geological Survey found low levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives, and steroids in 80 percent of rivers and streams tested. Medications adversely affect fish and other aquatic wildlife and increase the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

In addition, there are concerns about unused pharmaceuticals getting into the wrong hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one U.S. citizen dies every 16 minutes from a drug overdose and has declared this public health threat an epidemic.

The pilot program is open and is accepting applications. Retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are encouraged to enroll online at the Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program web page on DEC’s website (click here) or by (clicking here).

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Crosby’s celebrates upgrades at stores in Elba, Batavia
Staff Reports Posted 18 February 2018 at 5:21 pm

Provided photo: Many local officials from Elba joined Crosby’s store leaders, as well as State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, during a grand re-opening celebration on Feb. 8.

Crosby’s recently celebrated the grand re-opening of two convenience stores in Batavia and Elba.

Both of these locations were existing structures acquired by Crosby’s in early 2017 that underwent remodels that included major cosmetic upgrades and a variety of customer-friendly amenities including fuel, a sub shop and multiple hot and cold beverage options.

“Updating these two stores allows us to better serve our customers with an expanded offering,” said Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores. “Crosby’s thrives in communities like these because we become an active participant within the community – beyond simply offering products and service.”

The stores offer a newly expanded selection of cold beverages, dairy and frozen foods, fresh fruit, grocery items, tobacco products and other amenities including an ATM, prepaid wireless phone cards, gift cards, propane exchange and a variety of New York State Lottery games. Both locations will accept SNAP benefits.

The Batavia location, at 5267 Clinton Street Road, recently upgraded the fuel facility and now offers Mobil fuel. The Elba location, at 64 S. Main St., offers Mobil gas and diesel fuel.

In addition to the festivities at each location, Crosby’s will donate $500 each to the Byron-Bergen Central School District and the Elba Central School District.

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Albion to host sectional twin bill on Tuesday
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 February 2018 at 9:41 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Brylie Hapeman and Hunter Webster and their Purple Eagles teammates will open Section VI playoff competition at home Tuesday with a Class B1 doubleheader.

The Albion girls and boys basketball teams will both open Section VI playoff competition at home on Tuesday as  the Purple Eagles host a Class B1 doubleheader.

The No. 4 seeded Albion girls will host No. 13 Olean at 5:30 p.m. The winner will advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals against the winner of the No. 12 Springville  vs. No. 5 Fredonia contest.

The No. 10 Albion boys will then entertain No. 15 I-Prep at 7:15 p.m. The winner will advance to a Wednesday’s contest at No. 7 City Honors.

The No. 10 Medina girls will visit No. 7 MST Prep at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with the victor advancing to a Thursday contest at No. 2 International Prep.

Seeded No. 3, the Medina boys have earned a double bye and will open B1 competition on Friday by hosting a quarterfinal game. The Mustangs opponent will be either No. 11 Burgard, No. 14 Springville or No. 6 Dunkirk. Burgard will host Springville on Tuesday with the winner to play Dunkirk on Wednesday. The winner of that contest will then visit Medina.

Also in Class B1, the Newfane girls are seeded No. 1 while the Panthers boys squad is No. 4. The girls will host the winner of Tuesday’s No. 9 Alden at No. 8 Tonawanda game on Thursday. The boys have drawn a double bye and will host a quarterfinal contest on Friday. The Panthers will host either No. 13 Fredonia, No. 12 Alden or No. 5 MST. Alden hosts Fredonia on Tuesday with the winner visiting MST on Wednesday. The winner of that contest will then face Newfane.

In Class B2 girls openers on Tuesday, No. 11 Roy-Hart visits No. 6 Buffalo Arts and No. 5 Akron hosts No. 12 Health Sciences. The Akron vs. Health Sciences winner will then visit No. 4 Wilson on Thursday.

In the Class B2 boys openers on Tuesday, No. 9 Roy-Hart will host No. 16 DaVinci at 7 p.m. and No. 15 Akron will visit No. 10 Southwestern.  The Roy-Hart vs. DaVinci winner will visit No. 8 Gowanda and the Akron vs. SW victor will face No. 7 Cleve Hill, both on Wednesday. Wilson, which is seeded No. 5, will face the winner of Tuesday’s No. 13 Eden vs. No. 12 Riverside game on Wednesday.

In the girls Class C bracket, No. 11 Barker visits No. 6 Tapestry on Tuesday.

60s in forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2018 at 7:41 am

Photo courtesy of Marsha Rivers: The Erie Canal is pictured at sunset in Brockport on Saturday evening in a photo taken from the Smith Street bridge.

The forecast for the next few days includes sunny with a high near 37 today, followed by occasional showers and a high near 52 on Monday, which is a holiday, Washington’s Birthday.

Tuesday is forecast to reach 67 followed by a high of 60 on Wednesday.  On Thursday, the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it will drop to a high of 37 and then a high of 42 on Friday.

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This year’s Medina Arbor Day celebration will be in honor of the late Wilson Southworth
Posted 17 February 2018 at 5:42 pm

Press Release, Medina Tree Board

MEDINA – The 2018 re-organizational meeting of the Medina Municipal Tree Board began with a moment of silence.

Tree Board members paused to remember their friend and fellow board member, Wilson Southworth, who sadly passed away at age 70 on Dec. 8. Southworth was a long-time member of the Tree Board, its Vice-Chairman and a staunch proponent of reforesting the Village of Medina.

Wilson Southworth

“I spent many a sunny winter afternoon with Wilson, pruning young trees in the village,” said Chris Busch, Tree Board chairman. “Sometimes it was just he and I, sometimes we were joined by other tree board members. We had such a great time pruning trees, conversing and enjoying ourselves. He was such an asset to the board and such a good friend. We all miss him very much.”

Southworth was a strong advocate for planting trees and a very dedicated board member, said Busch.

“I’ll bet not many people knew he was a member of the Tree Board let alone Vice-Chairman.” said Busch. “He really got it when came to the value of street trees in the village. Wilson really understood the impact that tree-lined streets have on neighborhoods and people, and he had an excellent grasp of what was involved in planning, planting and maintaining a village forest. He took the job very seriously and enjoyed it.”

As a fitting tribute to him, the Tree Board voted unanimously to dedicate this years’ Arbor Day celebration to him.

“He’d be so tickled to see this,” said newly elected Tree Board Vice-Chair and Arbor Day Coordinator, Nicole Goyette. “Each year, hundreds of school children attend the Arbor Day celebration in Medina. When he was teaching, his classes were always there with a special song or poem prepared for the occasion. So, it is right and proper that this years’ celebration should be for him.”

Arbor Day in Medina has been billed as “WNY’s biggest and best” Arbor Day celebration.

“As far as we know, it is the biggest and best,” said Goyette. “We’ve had 700-plus school children and dozens of citizens attend for many years. I don’t know of any other Arbor Day in WNY that can top that.”

Goyette said that as part of the tribute to Southworth, some of the Arbor Day activities he created as a teacher will be performed again. A memorial tree will be planted in his memory as well.

“The Tree Board provides a memorial tree program,” said Goyette. “For $250, a tree will be planted somewhere in the village forest and an engraved granite brick placed in the Memorial Tree Garden in front of City Hall. Wilson helped plant that garden.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Village Tree Fund in Wilson Southworth’s memory or wishing to donate a memorial tree and brick in his memory may do so at the Village Clerk’s office.

Credit cards, cash and checks are accepted, and the phone number is 798-0710. Memorial Tree donation forms are available for download by clicking here or at the Clerk’s Office. Completed forms should be turned in to the Village Clerk with the $250 fee.

This years’ celebration will take place at Butts Park on Friday, April 27, at 9 a.m. and will be known as the Wilson Southworth Memorial Arbor Day Celebration.

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