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Today’s Fair Schedule (July 24, 2017)

Photos by Tom Rivers: Cecelia Farreggia, 11, of Holley and her sister Micalina get their beef cows cleaned at the wash rack this morning at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Micalina is showing a Texas longhorn later this week.

Staff Reports Posted 24 July 2017 at 10:27 am

Midway will not be open. Special gate price $2.

Daily Feature: Orleans County Flower Show. Lartz Exhibit Building.

Daily Feature: Orleans County Quilt Show. Trolley Building.

Opening Day: Gates open at 2 p.m.

Dairy Cattle must be received by noon, Dairy Cattle Barn 8 a.m. Senior Council Stand Opens

8 a.m. Cloverbud Horse Show Followed by Walk/Trot Horse Show, Carlos Marcello Arena

8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Commercial Exhibits in Place

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Orleans County Master Gardener Flower Show Entries accepted at Lartz Building

9 a.m. Dog Show (Classes 6-25) Show Arena

10 a.m. Market Auction Weigh-In

10 a.m. to noon: Common Garden Vegetables, Market Packages, Cut Flowers, Indoor Gardening, Fruits and Nuts, Plant Collection (Preserved and Scrapbook), Landscape Pictures and Plants, Experiments, Horticulture Methods – all judged at Trolley Building

Eli Pask, 14, of Barre gives his chickens fresh water this morning. Eli has about 15 chickens at this week’s fair.

11 a.m. Field Crops judged at Trolley Building

1 to 3 p.m. Group Exhibits, Food Preservation, Baked Goods and Visual Arts – all judged at Trolley Building

3 p.m. Fair Official Meeting at Fair Office

4 p.m. Paid per Car Admission Begins: Special Opening Day $2

5 to 8 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with Face Painting, Crafts and Art Projects at Trolley Building

6 p.m. Opening Ceremony, Presentation of Colors by Veterans at Flag Pole Garden

6 p.m. Leader’s Pie Stand opens

Carter Kuipers, 9, of Byron cleans a cow this morning. This is his first time showing animals at the fair. He will be competing in the swine and beef shows.

6:30 p.m. 4-H Clothing Revue at Stage

6:30 p.m. Mini-Horse Show and Horse Driving Classes at Carlos Marcello Arena

6:30 p.m. Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses at Lawn south of the Knights


6:30 p.m. 4-H Bake Sale. Blue Ribbon Baked Goods available for a limited time at Trolley Building

6:30 p.m. Youth Exhibits open at Trolley Building

7 p.m. Talent Show sponsored by Denise Carnes at Stage

7 p.m. Swine Show sponsored in memory of Frank Matos at Swine Area

7 p.m. Calf Feeding and Care Demonstrations at Cattle Barn

8:30 p.m. Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses at Lawn south of the Knights


9 p.m. Orleans County 4-H Fair $1,000 Karaoke Contest at Stage

10 p.m. Buildings Close

Photo courtesy of Nik Elliott: Bailey Elliott, 3, of Barre gets a kiss from one of the goats at the fair this morning.

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Fair opens for busy week in Knowlesville
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 July 2017 at 10:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Jenna Cecchini, 6, of Medina washes a heifer with help from her father, Justin, this morning at the wash rack at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Today is opening day for the fair. 4-H kids were busy this morning cleaning animals and getting ready for a busy week. The fair runs until Saturday night.

Joyce Chizick of Lyndonville volunteers at the grill this morning in the Senior Council Stand. Chizick is there every morning making pancakes. She has done that at the fair for at least 35 years. Many people know her as “The Pancake Lady.”

This year is the first time in a half century that Pauline Lanning isn’t overseeing the stand. She retired from the volunteer role. Dawn Marciszewski is the new leader of the Senior Council Stand.

Erik Lang, left, and his brother Elijah of Holley clean out a cage for a rabbit this morning. Both have a rabbit at the fair.

Liz Jurs, 18, of Elba takes a break and checks her phone this morning. She is showing five Jersey animals this week at the fair.

To see the schedule for today, click here.

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Flood watch issued for today through 5 a.m. Monday

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Oak Orchard Lighthouse is pictured on July 14 at Point Breeze.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 July 2017 at 10:08 am

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a lakeshore flood watch from 5 p.m. today until 5 a.m. on Monday. The flood watch includes Orleans, Niagara and Monroe counties.

Showers and thunderstorms mainly after 4 p.m. could bring a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain, with higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain. The Weather Service says, “An isolated tornado also cannot be totally ruled out at this time.”

The Weather Service said the combination of high lake levels and wave action may worsen flooding in low-lying areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

The Weather Service has also issued a beach hazards statement for today from early afternoon until late evening because life-threatening waves and currents are expected.

“Stay out of the water and stay away from dangerous areas like piers and breakwalls,” the Weather Service said.

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Car show draws a crowd to blocked off Main Street in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2017 at 9:07 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

 ALBION – One the car owners, with the license plate “MARKSTOY,” heads up Main Street after spending a couple hours in today’s Super Cruise in Albion.

The village had a section of Main Street, as well as Bank Street, blocked off for the big car show.

The rain kept some of the expected participants away, but more than a 100 cars were lined up on Main and Bank streets.

Organizers were pleased to see many people walking in downtown, checking out the vehicles.

“This is awesome seeing all the families out walking about,” said Adam Johnson, one of the organizers of the event.

The car show brought a lot of people downtown, who enjoyed looking at the cars and chatting with friends.

Cars are lined up on Main Street.

Joe Coyle looks at a 1931 Ford with his sons Collin (gray shirt) and Liam (green shirt). “It’s really exciting to see the turnout,” Coyle said.

Dale Strong owns the 1931 Ford. His father bought it in 1958. The car had been in storage for about a half century until Strong revived it last year to take his daughter to her wedding.

This 1972 Chevy van from Rochester was popular at the car show.

The Albion Canalside Cruise Nights started on June 17. The cruise nights continue on Saturdays until the finale on Aug. 26 featuring convertibles.

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Today is deadline to enter flower show at Fair
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 July 2017 at 10:56 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Amanda Mrzywka is almost hidden behind the “Bountiful Basket” she entered two years ago in the flower show at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. Mrzywka is organizer of this year’s show.

KNOWLESVILLE – There is still time to participate in this year’s annual flower show at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Show organizer Amanda Mrzywka said youth participants and other community members are welcome to enter. Registration and entries must be received by 5p.m. today.

Entries can be brought to the Lartz Building at the fairgrounds on Route 31 in Knowlesville.

Classes for entries include Spectacular Succulents, I Stand Alone, Miniature Gardens, Dried Flower Bouquet, Made for the Shade, Marvelous Modest Houseplants, Huge Humble Houseplants, Bountiful Baskets and Cut Flower Bouquet.

“There are several new classes available this year,” Mrzywka said.  “Like our HEY… it’s Homegrown …. which can be any of your homegrown vegetables and fruits…. another is our table design class with a theme of your choice and a bouquet that accents your table theme.”

There will be honorable mention prizes and a Best in Show prize.

“The fairy garden classes are intense this year and have a lot of competition amongst friends. Join in on the fun,” she added.

Each entry is $2, cash or check is accepted. Make checks payable to OCCCE. All 4-H and youth exhibits are $1. Exhibitors in the Open Class may enter an unlimited number of entries for $20. Flower Show exhibitors receive one free single day fair pass.

Judging will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday. 4-H and Junior exhibits will be judged Monday at 2 p.m. Exhibits will be displayed throughout Fair Week – July 24-29 – next to the Master Gardener Booth in the Lartz Building.

A fresh bouquet competition is planned for Saturday, July 29. Anyone can enter with the entry fee $10. Those interested can register the week of fair at the Fair Office.

For more information go to  The flower show is sponsored by Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension and 4-H Youth Development.

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Canadian cyclists ride around Lake Ontario in fundraiser for cancer patients
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2017 at 10:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – This group of nine cyclists from Canada rode through Orleans County on Friday as part of the “Tour Du Lac” – a week-long bike ride around Lake Ontario to raise money for Wellspring, an organization that serves cancer patients and their families in Fonthill, Ontario.

The cyclists covered about 90 miles on Friday and rode along Route 31 while passing through Orleans County. They stopped for lunch at Bullard Park in Albion.

The group pictured includes, form left: Dan Toppari, Kyle Boggio, Len Stolk, Paul Allen, Larry Boggio, Graham Repei, Frank Adamson, Ian Forbes and John Yardley.

Six of nine cyclists are members of Rotary clubs in Canada. They have been riding about 90 to 100 miles since the trip started on Sunday. They rode to Lockport on Friday.

Today they complete the trek in Canada at Welland and expect to have raised about $90,000 to support the Wellspring organization which provides free programs to men, women and children living with cancer, as well as their caregivers and family and friends.

Two of the cyclists ride in Bullard Park on Friday. They stopped for a short respite and lunch provided by the Albion Rotary Club.

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Catastrophic canal break put Eagle Harbor under water in 1927
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 22 July 2017 at 8:43 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 3, Issue 30

The success of the Erie Canal was not without trials and tribulations over its 200-year history. These photographs, taken in August of 1927, show the damage sustained during an extensive break in the canal wall near Eagle Harbor.

On August 3, 1927, local farmers observed a slight leak in the south wall of the canal near the Otter Creek gully. L. E. Bennett reported seeing a three-foot square hole open up, spilling thousands of gallons of water out of the waterway in a matter of minutes; the initial opening formed approximately 100 feet west of the Otter Creek culvert. Within a relatively short period of time, the flooring of the canal gave way and the south wall broke free, creating a hole that spanned 50 feet in length and 7 feet in height.

Newspapers reported that over 1 billion gallons of water had spilled into the neighboring fields surrounding Eagle Harbor, creating a large lake that reached 20-60 feet in depth in certain areas. Canal employees contributed the ongoing issue of water backup to the damming of the Otter Creek culvert by debris and a leaking guard gate at Bates Road in Medina.

Canal Commissioner Thomas Farrell rushed to Albion shortly after the break was discovered to direct efforts to rebuild the collapsed wall. It was his impression that the repairs would be completed within ten days; however his more pessimistic colleagues anticipated a minimum of three weeks to finish the work. Albion officials pleaded with the State to keep the waterway open from the Lattin’s Bridge Guard Gate (now Bowman’s Bridge) through the eastern section of Orleans County.

Although this ensured open traffic through Albion, it did little to remedy the disruption to major shipping traffic coming from Buffalo. It was reported that 1-2 million bushels of grain were stopped at Buffalo due to the break. The catastrophic rupture occurred during the peak shipping period, delaying grain, sugar, and metal shipments from points across the Great Lakes region. Panicked farmers urged canal workers to expedite the repairs to alleviate extensive flooding on their lands, which threatened to destroy crops and orchards.

One of the photographs shows the submerged home of John Porter, who reported that his 1 acre crop of potatoes was submerged by 10 feet of water. Other farmers anticipated that their orchards would see the effects of long-term submersion over the next several years. Local potato, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, and grain crops were threatened by the extended flooding, but most feared that the potential for warmer weather would finish off any crops that managed to survive.

The break became a spectacle, drawing thousands of motorists to the area. Professional and amateur photographs alike flocked to the site, snapping images of the damage. The influx of spectators forced State Police officer to guard the location, preventing access by curious onlookers.

Over 250 men were hired to work night and day in an effort to expedite the repairs. Over 20 trucks, 6 steam shovels, and other pieces of power equipment were utilized to hasten the project. Within two weeks the majority of work was complete, resulting in the laying off of 150 workers who were employed with the carpentry gang.

Newspapers reported that state truck drivers were raising concerns about the use of unlicensed trucks and drivers to haul stone and materials on and off the job site. After all work was completed, the total damage was estimated at $250,000 ($3.5 million today) and residents impacted by the flooding were expected to bring lawsuits against the State for damages.

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Orleans seeks study on county-wide water district
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2017 at 3:18 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers – The 1-million-gallon water tank on Route 98 is pictured through a metal fence at the site north of the village in the Town of Gaines. A firm about two years advised the village to spend nearly $1 million to bolster the tank with a series of improvements.

ALBION – Orleans County will seek state funding to study a county-wide water district, which could be created to maintain and operate some of the water infrastructure in Orleans.

The study has the support of the Albion Village Board and several of the town boards.

Albion’s Department of Public Works handles the maintenance and operation of the village system. The village sells water to the towns of Carlton, Gaines, Albion and Barre.

Holley and Lyndonville also have water systems, the Niagara County Water District serves Medina, and the Monroe County Water Authority is a supplier for Kendall, Murray and Clarendon.

The highway superintendents for the towns also function in a part-time role as water superintendents, and highway employees also work on the water systems.

Several highway superintendents are expected to retire soon, and the water plants, storage tanks, water towers and other infrastructure are all getting older.

Some local municipal leaders think a county-wide water district could be the best answer for qualified personnel overseeing the water systems, and could also draw more grants and resources for costly capital projects.

“It’s definitely worth looking in to,” said Dean London, mayor of Albion.

The village is a primary water supplier in the county. But the MCWA has been pushing westward from Monroe, locking Kendall, for example, into a 40-year agreement.

A countywide water district could help the Village of Albion keep the local towns as customers. The district could also have an overseeing board of directors with representatives from the village, towns and county.

“The water plant is a resource we have,” London said. “If we had county-wide participation, it could set ourselves in a good direction.”

London said the plant at Wilson Road in Carlton is under capacity and could produce more water, serving more water districts and serving as an economic development tool in the county.

“Monroe County (Water Authority) is trying to make inroads from the east,” London said. “We need to protect what we have.”

Orleans County is taking the lead on the application to the state for the study. The county has received letters of support from the municipal boards from the villages of Albion, Holley and Lyndonville, as well as the Town Boards from Barre, Clarendon, Gaines and Ridgeway.

If the project moves forward, the municipalities are expected to continue to keep their own infrastructure, with the county-wide water district perhaps having its own superintendent, staff and possibly billing clerks.

The study would flesh out details and different scenarios.

The study and the formation of the countywide water district could drive investment to the Albion water plant, boosting its capacity and increasing its efficiency, said Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer.

Nesbitt said the timing for the study is ideal with the imminent retirement of some of the local highway superintendents. The state also has boosted resources for water infrastructure, and the study and a possible county-wide district could increase the chances for securing some of those funds locally, he said.

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Medina welcomes nominations for distinguished alumni
Posted 21 July 2017 at 11:38 am

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina Central School District is accepting nominations for their prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.

This award was created to honor alumni, promote school spirit, foster pride in our school, and to serve as an incentive for current students.

Any former member of the school community can nominate alumni who graduated at least 10 years ago. We are looking for nominees who have achieved one or more of the following: Excellence in their chosen career, outstanding contributions to their community or profession or made outstanding contributions to humanity.

Nominations must be submitted by July 31 to Michael Cavanagh at Medina High School. The application can be found on the district’s website at under the Community section, and then click on the Alumni link.

All nominees will be reviewed by a committee comprised of present and former teachers, administrators and alumni. Nomination forms will remain on file for a period of three years.

The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. in front of the student body and guests.

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Collins says appropriations bill demands report on shoreline damages
Posted 21 July 2017 at 10:32 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded the release of the FY18 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill that includes language requiring the Secretary of State to issue a report on damages to the shoreline of Lake Ontario.

The report would also require an assessment of damages attributable to the implementation of Plan 2014 by the International Joint Commission (IJC). Finally, the report will include options for providing compensation to shoreline property owners adversely affected by the flooding.

“This is welcome news for Western New York and those impacted by the horrific flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline,” said Collins. “This report will be a productive first step in determining the extent of the damage caused by Plan 2014 and will provide answers to our questions about what compensation is available. I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues from New York to replace the disastrous Plan 2014.”

Two other southshore Congressional representatives praised Collins for working to include the shoreline report in the bill.

“Plan 2014 has created considerable uncertainty for home owners and municipalities and has no doubt contributed to damage along the Lake Ontario shoreline, just as the International Joint Commission said it would,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “I applaud Congressman Collins for his work in including this important language in the FY18 State and Foreign Operations. This report will be vitally important in working to find the cause of the flooding and the impact of Plan 2014. This will ensure that we can work to mitigate future disasters, while giving us better information to better protect shoreline property owners from the expected impact.”

“Plan 2014 has resulted in magnified, drastic changes in water levels and property owners in shoreline communities across Wayne, Cayuga, and Oswego Counties are facing significant property damage and shoreline erosion,” said Congressman John Katko. “I am pleased to see the advancement of this amendment which will take the first steps towards getting these property owners the relief and support they deserve.”

For text of the bill, click here.

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Albion will close off Main Street for big car show on Saturday

Photo by Tom Rivers: The car show during the Strawberry Festival in June proved to be a crowd magnet. This photo shows a blocked section of East State Street.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2017 at 8:33 am

This map shows the layout for Saturday’s Super Cruise, which will include music and food vendors.

ALBION – Main Street in downtown Albion will be closed off Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. for a big car show.

The “Super Cruise” is expected to draw 300 to 500 vehicles, including classic cars, motorcycles, Jeeps, trucks, street cars and modern vehicles.

This is the first time in several years the street will be blocked off for a car show.

Bank Street, from Liberty to Platt streets, will also be closed off to traffic.

“If we get the turnout we’re expecting, it will be something to see,” said Mayor Dean London.

There will also be a food court at the village parking lot north of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street, live music and an open mic at Shay’s. Many of the downtown businesses will also be staying open later to be part of the event, including U-Need-O Burrito and 39 Problems, two eating establishments on main Street.

The car show runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., but the streets will be shut down at 4 to allow the cars and vendors to get set up. The streets will reopen at 9 p.m. after cleanup from the Super Cruise.

“We’re hoping to make a spectacle of it,” said Adam Johnson, a coordinator of the Albion Canalside Cruise Nights, which started on June 17.

The Cruise Nights have been on Saturdays by the canal. This Saturday will be the biggest cruise of the year.

Johnson and organizers have received a good response from car clubs in Rochester and Buffalo.

“There has been a real strong buzz in Rochester and Buffalo,” Johnson said. “Our cruise is a little bit unique because it’s not just classic and old cars. We’ve opened it up to the Honda Club, tuners, Jeeps and motorcycles.”

Johnson, owner of 39 Problems, hopes the event will be showcase for the downtown business district.

“This is a chance to take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and the downtown and see our historic buildings and architecture,” Johnson said.

The Albion Canalside Cruise Nights continue on Saturdays until the finale on Aug. 26 featuring convertibles.

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Chamber seeks nominations to honor businesses, community members
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 July 2017 at 2:09 pm

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce welcomes nominations for its annual awards program.

The Chamber will honor member businesses for their achievements in business and community service.

The 19th annual awards dinner will be Sept. 22 at the White Birch Country Club in Lyndonville.

Here are the award categories:

• Business of the Year: This award is presented to a business that has experienced significant over all achievements/success throughout the year.

• Lifetime Achievement: This award is presented to an individual with a long-term record of outstanding business achievements.

• Phoenix Award: This award is presented to an organization or business that has successfully adapted or re-used an existing facility.

• New Business of the Year: This award is presented to a business or organization that has opened in the past year.

• Community Service Award: This award is presented to a business, organization or individual that has provided meaningful contributions to the community in either professional or non-professional spheres.

• Agricultural Business of the Year: This award is presented to an agricultural business that has experienced significant overall achievements/success throughout the year.

• Businessperson of the Year: This award is presented to an individual who has had outstanding accomplishments within their own business/businesses and who has made notable contributions to our local business sector.

• Small Business of the Year: This award is presented to a small business that has experienced significant achievements/success throughout the year.

Nominations must be received by Aug. 3. Nominations can be emailed to Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Chamber website (click here).

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Tractor-trailer driver hits building, flees scene
Staff Reports Posted 20 July 2017 at 1:40 pm

Damage from truck crash at ABCD Holley

A tractor-trailer truck struck Grace’s Place Agri-Business Child Development today at about 12:30 p.m., damaging the front façade of the building on Maziarz Drive in the Holley Business Park. The trucker then fled the scene. In the above photo, Holley firefighters Ron Meier, left, and Fran Gaylord inspect the damage to the building.

Damage from truck wreck at ABCD Holley

Holley police are attempting to locate the truck driver. Gaylord said tractor-trailers sometimes make a wrong turn at the business park and go past the child care center. A truck has hit the building once before, he said.

4-Hers get ready for next week’s annual fair

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: 4-H Rabbit Raisers Brian and Owen Shaw (back to camera) of Kendall remove benches from the Wachob Building. Benches are removed from storage and placed around the fairgrounds during the annual work bee.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 July 2017 at 9:14 am

Rabbit Raiser Nate Shaw of Kendall sweeps out the Wachob Building in preparation for cage set up.

KNOWLESVILLE – The 2017 Orleans County 4-H Fair is just days away and the fairgrounds in Knowlesville was busy Wednesday evening as 4-Hers, their families, club leaders and Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension volunteers and staff worked to get the barns, buildings and grounds ready during the annual pre-fair work bee.

Orleans Count Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director Robert Batt said this year’s work bee was especially well attended.

“The work bee is a night when the kids get together and put their muscle into preparing for fair week,” Batt said.

The 2017 4-H Fair runs from July 24-29.  Admission is $7 per vehicle.  Opening ceremonies are set for 6 p.m. on Monday at the Flag Pole Garden and Orleans Hub stage. This year’s entertainment features Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses, The Creature Teacher live show with wild animals not typically seen on the fairgrounds, and live chalk art in addition to the $1,000 Karaoke Challenge and the Fair Talent Show.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary year of Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension, two nights of fireworks are planned (Thursday and Friday).

The annual Flower Show will also take place in the Lartz Building.  The show is open to the public. Entries are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 22.  Entry forms and additional information can be found at

Rabbit Raiser Club members and families work to move cages from the Wachob Pavilion into the Wachob Building to house 4-H rabbit, cavy and poultry fair entries.

4-Hers and their families prepare to set up the beef and dairy barn for 4-H exhibits. The barn was completely empty when they arrived Wednesday evening.  Stalls and demonstration areas needed to be put in place for fair week.

4-H horse club members, families, and their leaders gather in the Knights Building Wednesday evening as they prepare for the 2017 Fair.  Sheep and goat club members also worked to set up the barn for their entries and shows.

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Job Corps students make memorial bench in honor of Jeff Evoy
Staff Reports Posted 20 July 2017 at 8:32 am

Provided photos

MEDINA – Carpentry students from the Iroquois Job Corps in Shelby created a memorial bench in honor of the late Jeff Evoy, who served as Medina Central School superintendent for five years.

Evoy passed away at age 50 on June 22, 2016 after battling a serious illness.

The bench was presented on Tuesday during the Medina Board of Education meeting. The bench is in front of the district office next to the high school.

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