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Cory returns as Holley principal on Monday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2019 at 12:29 pm

Dan Monacelli praised for serving in interim role at school last 3 months

Photo from Holley Central School: Dan Monacelli is shown on Friday with a cake on his last day as interim principal for the Holley Junior-Senior High School.

HOLLEY – Dan Monacelli’s interim role as principal for the Holley Junior-Senior High School ended on Friday after nearly three months.

Monacelli, a retired Albion principal, filled for Holley while Susan Cory was on a personal leave of absence. She will be back at the school on Monday.

“The kids loved him,” said Brenda Swanger, the Board of Education principal. “He did a great job. He’s a great guy who is so full of life.”

Monacelli, an Albion native, retired from Albion in June 2017. He started his teaching career in Elba, and returned to Albion as a Correction Room specialist. Then he taught health before getting into administration at Pembroke and the Niagara Academy. He was hired as high school principal at Albion in 2007 and then moved over to lead the middle school.

“We’re very thankful he was willing to fill in for us,” Swanger said.

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Holley, Kendall near the top in GR cheerleading competition
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2019 at 9:57 am

Photos courtesy of Nick Serrata

BATAVIA – Holley cheerleaders compete Saturday in Genesee Region League competition at Genesee Community College.

Cheerleading is a sport in the GR League and teams have up to 2 ½ minutes for a routine where they are scored on tumbling, jumps, stunts, cheers, dance – “everything,” said Holley coach Penny Cole.

If the teams go over 2 ½ minutes, they are docked points in their score.

Holley finished third in the Division I with a score of 72.23. Attica was first with 72.35 followed by Alexander at 72.28.

Kendall competes in Division II and was the runner-up with 56.93 points. Wheatland-Chili won Division II with a score of 59.43.

The teams will compete at Sectionals on Saturday at RIT.

“Competitive cheer” was approved as a new interscholastic sport in New York by the Regents in April 2014. The Regents also makes “traditional cheer” available for squads that focus on spirit-raising activities and don’t do stunts, lifts or tumbling.

Nick Serrata is an official photographer for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Click here to see more of his photos.

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Orleans Hub will recognize ‘outstanding citizens’ of 2018
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2019 at 8:44 am

ALBION – Orleans Hub will have our annual awards presentation today for our choices of the “outstanding citizens” for 2018.

We’ll be presenting certificates and thanking people who stepped up in a big way last year to make the community a better place to live.

We’ll be recognizing Tami Ashton, Mark Bennett Sr., Penny Cole, Michael Hungerford, Jak Kohmann, Melissa Ostrom, Leonel Rosario, Tony and Laura Sidari, Brett Sobieraski and Chris Wilson.

This event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is at Hoag Library in Albion. The public is welcome to attend, although space is limited. We’ll likely post a video of the awards presentation on YouTube.

Every year since the Orleans Hub started in 2013 we’ve honored a group of people who made Orleans County better in the past year.

In Orleans County, we are fortunate to have many people dedicated to good works and improving the community. Sometimes they react in the spur of the moment, saving another person’s life. Sometimes it’s years of effort before they see the fruit of their labors. And, sometimes after suffering a painful personal tragedy, they will step forward to help others.

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Supermoon dazzled in the sky last night
Staff Reports Posted 20 February 2019 at 8:11 am

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Carpenter

LYNDONVILLE – Elizabeth Carpenter of Lyndonville took these photos of the supermoon last evening. She lives along Lake Ontario. She said the moon was “beautiful” last night.

Last night was the largest supermoon of 2019. A supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit brings it to the closest point of the Earth while the Moon is full. The Moon looked much larger than normal when it was rising in the horizon at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Playoff basketball: Albion boys and Medina girls win
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 February 2019 at 9:37 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Liam Ward goes in for a layup against Alden defender Lucas Bush during the host Purple Eagles sectional win over the Bulldogs this evening.

No. 11 seed Albion won 68-40 over visiting No. 14 Alden in the opening round of the Section VI Class B1 boys basketball playoffs.

Albion now visits No. 6 seed Niagara-Orleans League foe Newfane at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Medina girls basketball team also won this evening to advance. No. 7 seed Medina defeated visiting No. 10 Tonawanda 44-31 this evening in the opening round of the Section VI Class B1 girls basketball playoffs.

Improving to 12-9, Medina next visits No. 2 seed East Aurora in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Medina’s Tyesha Robinson takes a shot against Tonawanda during the Mustangs sectional opening win over the visiting Lady Warriors this evening.

For more coverage of the local teams in Sectionals today, click here for local sports.

You’re here checking the site, so you know: Orleans Hub is a vital resource for our community. Day in and day out, we share information and insights that matter to those who live and work in the towns, villages and hamlets of our county. Local advertisers help make the Hub possible, and so can you.

Donate today to keep Orleans Hub healthy and accessible to all. Thank you!

Residents urged to get pumped about heart health
Posted 19 February 2019 at 6:56 pm

In 2015, 144 people from heart disease in Orleans County

Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Public Health Column

The Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming County Health Departments are encouraging county residents to “Choose Health.” By taking small steps in our day-to-day living and making positive health choices, people have the ability to change their future health for the better.

During an average lifespan, the heart beats more than two billion times. The heart is vital to your health and without it, blood wouldn’t be able to move through your body. February is American Heart Month, a time to remember how important this muscle is and educate ourselves on how to take better care of it since it is the reason we are all still alive.

More people die of cardiovascular diseases than all other causes of death combined

In fact, approximately 610,000 people die in the United States every year from heart disease, making the disease accountable for 1 in every 4 deaths.

In 2015, Genesee County had 201 deaths from cardiovascular disease, Orleans County had 144 deaths, and Wyoming County had 120 deaths. The most common cardiovascular disease is coronary heart disease (CHD), killing an average of 370,000 people every year. This disease occurs when the small blood vessels that carry oxygen and blood to our hearts get very narrow. Coronary heart disease is usually caused by a condition called atherosclerosis, which occurs when fatty material and a substance called plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries.

Plaque is a waxy substance that forms in the artery wall made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances. The buildup forces the arteries to become narrow, slowing down or completely stopping the blood flow to the heart. Narrowing of the arteries can lead to chest pains (stable angina), shortness of breath, or even heart attack.

Heart disease has a close relationship to lifestyle choices. This is why it is so important that you make healthy decisions, participate in physical activity, and eat healthy. The New York State Department of Health recommends people of all ages engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week. If you do not exercise at all, start slow and discuss with your doctor steps you should take to get active and help improve your heart health. This may include going to the gym, getting involved in a sport, or even walking the mall with a friend. You can even break the exercise up and do 10 minutes three times a day building up to 30 minutes a day, if 30 minutes all at once seems to be too overwhelming. By repeating these small changes daily, they are likely to turn into a habit and your heart will thank you for it in the long run.

It is also important when focusing on heart health to pay close attention to nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to many health problems, including high blood cholesterol levels, obesity, and diabetes. Consuming food high in saturated fat (whole milk, butter, and red meats), trans fats (foods with hydrogenated oils like boxed cookies, crackers, and doughnuts) or sodium (found in many processed foods) can increase your risk of getting heart disease.

To improve you’re eating habits and lower risks of heart disease you can eat more fruits and vegetables, limit processed foods, eat foods high in fiber, reduce your sodium intake and limit trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol. When choosing to eat meats avoid red meats and go for lean meat instead, these would include meats such as lean ground turkey, fish, and skinless chicken. “Staying on track when it comes to eating healthy can be a difficult thing to do but is extremely necessary to stay healthy and prevent cardiovascular disease,” states Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Although poor nutrition and lack of exercise are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, the single largest risk factor is smoking.

Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as nonsmokers are, and are between two and four times more likely to die suddenly from heart disease. This is due to the nicotine in cigarettes raising blood pressure and the carbon monoxide limiting the amount of oxygen that can be carried by your blood. Although you may not smoke, exposure to smoke in the home and workplace has also been shown to increase risk from the second hand smoke. Talk with family members about quitting smoking or discuss designated smoke areas to reduce second hand smoke. The New York State Smoker’s Quitline is a great resource for free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and support services. Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866- 697-8487) or visit

There are also other factors that increase your risk for heart disease. Unfortunately some of those factors may be out of your control. One factor happens to be gender. For example, men in their 40’s have a higher risk of heart disease than women. However, as women get older, their risk increases so that it is almost equal to a man’s risk. Secondly, genetics can play a role in developing heart disease. If someone in your family has had heart disease, especially before age fifty, your own risk increases as you age. It is especially important that precautions are taken and healthy habits are made in order to decrease risk of developing heart disease.

So how do I know if I am having a heart attack? Well, here are some signs:

• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and then comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or just pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. This can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort

• Breaking into a cold sweat

• Nausea

• Lightheadedness

• Palpitation ( feeling like your heart is pounding or beating fast)

It is important to understand that men and women often have different signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Women are more likely to experience the less known symptoms of the jaw and back pain, nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, many people are unsure of what is happening to their body and wait to seek help instead of going in right away to find out what is wrong.

It is important to learn the signs, but also remember that even if you are not sure if it is a heart attack, to tell a doctor about your symptoms. Just one call to the doctors, explaining your symptoms could save your life. Minutes matter! If you think you are having a heart attack, do not wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.

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Winter weather advisory issued for Orleans, WNY on Wednesday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2019 at 2:48 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Village of Albion DPW plows the sidewalk on Monday in front of First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Orleans County and most of Western New York from 1 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Buffalo announced.

Mixed precipitation is expected with total ice accumulations of a few hundredths of an inch and less than an inch of snow.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” the Weather Service said. “The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute.”

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Morgan, retiring Republican leader, praised for ‘putting Orleans County on the map’

Photos courtesy of Ed Morgan: Ed Morgan, center, is pictured with former gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino, left, and Marc Molinaro.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2019 at 11:30 am

‘He’s isn’t bombastic. He’s not a bomb thrower. He has a blue-collar work ethic where you show up and put your time in.’ – Nick Langworthy, Erie County GOP chairman

Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Ed Morgan, Orleans County Republican Party chairman, at a meeting in New York City in January 2014, when Morgan and other Republican leaders tried to get Trump to run for governor.

MURRAY – Ed Morgan has met President Donald Trump several times and attended numerous events with the biggest Republican Party stars in the state and country.

He has been a key leader for the Republican Party in the state, a man whose blessing has been critical for many candidates at the local and state levels.

With Morgan as the Orleans County Republican Party chairman, the top candidates for state-wide positions, including governor, made sure to visit Orleans County. Marc Molinaro addressed the GOP fall rally in 2018, Rob Astorino did in 2014 and Carl Paladino was in Orleans in 2010. All ran for governor against Andrew Cuomo.

“You meet a lot of good people,” Morgan said about his role as a Republican leader. “Most of these people are down to earth. They put their pants on just like you and me.”

Morgan has ended a 12 ½ year tenure as Orleans County Republican Party chairman, and an 8-year commitment as a vice chairman on the NYS Republican Party Committee.

As vice chairman for the state GOP, he led the eight counties of Western New York despite being from one of the smallest counties. Niagara and Erie have far more people, and their chairmen have a bigger weighted vote.

But Morgan commanded their respect. The county chairmen in the bigger counties wanted Morgan to continue as vice chairman, as their leader. No one was looking to replace him.

“He is as genuine as they come,” said Nick Langworthy, chairman of the Erie County Republican Party. “There is zero ego with this man. He listens to your input. He has been a real asset to me. He was someone I could count on.”

Morgan led the 80-member Orleans County Republican Party Committee until Feb. 1. Skip Draper is the acting chairman until the party reorganizes.

“I want to thank Ed for his countless hours of dedication to the Republican Party,” Draper said. “We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Morgan decided now was the right time to step down from the role. His wife Dorothy recently retired as a deputy elections commissioner with the county.

Morgan is pictured with from left: Assemblyman David DiPietro, Carl Paladino and Nick Langworthy, the Erie County Republican Party chairman.

Morgan will continue to work full-time as Murray’s highway superintendent. He also is chairman of the Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District, an elected fire commissioner for the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company and Orleans County’s representative on the board of directors for the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

“It’s been a great ride,” Morgan said. “There are parts that I will miss but some parts that I won’t.”

The election calendar has moved up, and the Republican Party already is going through the endorsement process. Soon they will be circulating petitions and the primary is June 25, instead of in September.

Morgan is happy to not be heavily involved in that process this election cycle. He will continue in a reduced role as a member of the Town of Murray Republican Committee.

He will be deeply missed as a WNY leader for the Republicans, Langworthy said.

“He cares so much,” Langworthy said. “He wants Western New York to be a better place. He’s had a tremendous career and he goes out on top. It’s the end of an era in Orleans County. He certainly put Orleans County on the map.”

Morgan grew up in Bergen. His brother Dan was a long-time president of the Board of Education for the Byron-Bergen school district.

Morgan said his family strives to be involved in the community. Before he was the highway superintendent, he was a farmer and the FHM fire chief. He was elected highway superintendent in November 1989.

He was instrumental in putting in the infrastructure for the Holley Business Park, and also pushed to have 15 water districts built in Murray.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Ed Morgan cooks spaghetti during the St. Rocco’s Italian Festival in September 2016. Morgan has been active with numerous local organizations.

He gets recruited to serve on boards, and it doesn’t take long before the other board members ask him to take on a leadership role.

“I’ve never aggressively went out and looked for anything,” Morgan said about the roles. “People approach me.”

Langworthy said people like Morgan’s style.

“He’s isn’t bombastic,” Langworthy said. “He’s not a bomb thrower. He has a blue-collar work ethic where you show up and put your time in.”

Many of the Republican Party chairmen are lawyers or business professionals. Morgan was unusual in the top echelon of the Republican Party in coming from a background as a farmer and then as a highway superintendent.

Richard Siebert, Genesee County Republican Party chairman, said Morgan is well regarded by Republican Party leaders in Western New York, and the elected officials from the party. Siebert hoped Morgan would stay as the WNY leader for four more years.

“His style is not to be aggressive but he is outspoken,” Siebert said. “He isn’t a pushover. He’s very dedicated and he’s respected by all of us.”

Siebert serves on the board of directors with Morgan for the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., which owns the Batavia Downs and OTB parlors in Western New York.

“We’ve been friends a long, long time,” Siebert said. “He’s a natural leader. He’s very dedicated.”

Photo by Tom Rivers: Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor in 2014, speaks at the Orleans County Fall Republican Rally in October that year. Morgan shared the stage with the candidate at the event. Many of the top candidates for state-wide offices visited Orleans out of repsect for Morgan.

Morgan, in his role as leader of the 8 county chairmen from WNY, insisted that all voices be heard, including from the smaller counties, especially when choosing candidates, Siebert said.

Morgan attended numerous Republican functions in WNY and Albany. He kept the other county leaders well informed of the issues, and navigated some surprises when George Maziarz suddenly withdrew his re-election campaign in the summer of 2014 and Chris Collins last year was indicted, stopped campaigning and then jumped back into the race. Morgan also led the search process for a candidate when Chris Lee resigned from Congress in February 2011. Morgan had just taken the helm as vice chairman for the region. There were 16 candidates, with Republican leaders deciding to back Jane Corwin.

Morgan has attended numerous events in WNY to support candidates. He wants elected officials with conservatives values and a focus on reducing government costs. He has travelled to Albany many times for the state convention and to meet with legislators. He is well known by most of the Republicans in the Assembly and State Senate.

“I enjoy the traveling and meeting people,” Morgan said. “It’s a drive. I’ve always had the drive when I do something it’s 100 percent.”

He attended the Republican National Conventions in 2012 in Tampa when Mitt Romney was nominated for president and in 2016 in Cleveland when Donald Trump was the candidate. Morgan was in the room when Trump gave his victory speech at about 3 in the morning on election night at the Hilton hotel in New York City.

Morgan said Trump is a “gentleman” to talk with privately. He first met him in 2014, when Republican leaders went to Trump Tower in New York City, to try to get him to run for governor. Trump would decline that race. He instead set his sights on being president.

“I’ve had several private dinners with Donald before he was president,” Morgan said. “We tried to talk him into government.”

Behind Morgan, Orleans County was an early county to endorse Trump for president in 2016. Not all local Republicans supported that endorsement. Some wrote letters to the editor in the Orleans Hub, questioning Trump’s moral fitness to be leader of the country.

Morgan said he continues to back Trump in his push for border security and with his success revving up the economy.

The local Republican Party is strong financially and continues to field good candidates, Morgan said.

He offered this advice to Skip Draper in leading the local party:

“Do your thing and don’t try to be me,” Morgan said. “Listen to both sides and don’t have a personal agenda. Our job is to find good candidates who will serve on fiscally sound boards.”

Morgan is pictured with State Sen. Rob Ortt, former State Sen. George Maziarz and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Many of the elected officials sought out Morgan for advice on local issues.

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Governor announces expanded assistance for victims of domestic violence, hate crimes
Posted 19 February 2019 at 10:27 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced legislation expanding assistance available for victims of hate crimes and certain other crimes often associated with domestic violence who were not physically injured during the crime is now effective.

Signed by Governor Cuomo last summer and effective on Monday, the new law allows these individuals to apply for reimbursement of shelter costs and crime scene cleanup expenses from the New York State Office of Victim Services.

“By providing greater protections for innocent victims of crime, we are ensuring individuals who have endured the pain and suffering of these horrific events receive the support they need to recover,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is proud to be one of the first states to provide compensation to crime victims, and the expansion of this law reaffirms the State’s commitment to helping these individuals and their family members whose top priority should be healing, not navigating the financial burden of an act of crime against them.”

Previously, victims who were not physically injured during the crime were only eligible for certain OVS benefits if the charges included criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation; certain menacing, harassment, aggravated harassment, criminal contempt and stalking offenses; and hate crimes.

These individuals were eligible to seek compensation from the agency for a variety of crime-related expenses, such as bills related to counseling and moving expenses, but crime scene cleanup and shelter costs were not included. These expenses are now covered for such claims filed with OVS. Non-physically injured victims of certain menacing, criminal mischief and robbery offenses are included as those eligible to receive reimbursement for loss of earnings and counseling expenses.

This legislation is the latest in a series of changes to state law and increased financial investment under Governor Cuomo’s leadership designed to expand eligibility and improve access to assistance and services for crime victims.

Other significant changes include the nearly $16 million in federal funding administered by the Office of Victim Services to expand access to civil legal assistance for victims of crime; $8.4 million in state and federal funding to improve and expand services for vulnerable adults at risk of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation; and $4.5 million to expand child advocacy centers and fund mobile centers to ensure child abuse victims have access to these services closer to home.

In addition, vulnerable elderly or disabled individuals incapable of caring for themselves who have lost up to $30,000 in savings because of a crime are eligible to seek OVS assistance. The change recognizes that many vulnerable elderly or disabled individuals fall victim to financial exploitation, as well as abuse, often by someone they know. Previously, the agency could only reimburse victims to this extent for loss of support or earnings. The age requirement established for vulnerable elderly under state law is at least 60 years old.

All of these legislative changes come at no cost to taxpayers. Funding for crime victims’ compensation and reimbursement, as well as the Office of Victim Services’ day-to-day operations comes entirely from the fines, mandatory surcharges and crime victim assistance fees that certain offenders must pay following conviction in New York State or federal courts.

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Albion healthcare clinic adds occupational services

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Orleans Community Health is now offering occupational therapy at its Albion site. Paul Graupman, occupational therapist, is working with Mary Stack of Medina to regain mobility in her fingers after breaking her wrist.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 February 2019 at 8:19 am

ALBION – Orleans Community Health is broadening its healthcare services by offering occupational therapy at its Albion Walk-in Healthcare Center.

Physical therapy is already offered in Albion on an out-patient basis, said Nancy Fallon, director of Occupational Services at Orleans Community Health. Occupational therapy was offered there for a short time a few years ago, but was discontinued when they lost their therapist.

Nancy Fallon, director of Rehabilitation Services at Orleans Community Health; Paul Graupman, occupational therapist; and Allyn Christopher, certified occupational therapist assistant, discuss the new occupational therapy service now being offered at the Albion Walk-in Healthcare Center.

“We want to get awareness out there that we can now offer this service in Albion,” said Allyn Christopher, certified occupational therapist assistant.

Occupational therapy is different from physical therapy, as OT works with issues necessary for day-to-day living, Christopher said.

Occupational therapy works to regain mobility due to muscle injuries, orthopedic issues, sports injuries, amputation and strokes.

Occupational therapy has always been offered at Medina Memorial Hospital, Fallon said. It is beneficial for a variety of orthopedic and neurological conditions, work-related injuries and arthritis.

“There is a definite need for this service, especially for hand therapy,” she said. “We are excited to expand our services and offer have them available close to home.”

The Albion Walk-In Clinic also offers primary care, lab, X-rays and physical therapy. It is located on Route 31 just east of the village.

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School bus driver shortage felt state-wide, according to report

Photo by Tom Rivers: A school bus heads down East Park Street in Albion last Tuesday during blowing snow.

Posted 18 February 2019 at 9:37 pm

Press Release, NYS School Boards Association      

More than eight in 10 school transportation directors in New York consider driver shortage either their “number one” problem/concern (60 percent) or a “major” problem/concern (23 percent), according to a report by the New York State School Boards Association, New York Association for Pupil Transportation and National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT).

A shortage of bus drivers can have significant consequences for school districts and the children they educate, including: lengthy bus trips as districts consolidate routes; delayed arrivals and departures; cancelled field trips and extracurricular activities; increased costs as a shortage of drivers drives up wages; and, in extreme cases, children and families having to provide their own means of transportation to and from school.

In some districts, a lack of bus drivers can become a safety issue. Districts with severe shortages often have to press fleet mechanics into bus driver service, meaning bus repair and maintenance may suffer.

“Transporting students to and from school is an often overlooked component of a school district’s responsibilities, but has a significant impact on student learning and safety,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “The importance of school bus drivers is most evident when there is a shortage of them.”

The report found that three-quarters (74 percent) of New York’s school transportation directors had unfilled school bus driver positions at some point during the 2017-18 school year. More than one-quarter of school districts (27 percent) had as many as 11 to 20 percent of unfilled school bus driver positions at some point during the school year.

The shortage of school bus drivers in New York appears to be a problem in all regions of the state, although some regions are impacted more greatly than others. In every region of the state north of New York City, at least 72 percent of transportation directors said driver shortage was their number one problem or a major problem.

School bus driver shortages appear to have gotten worse. Asked to characterize the school bus driver shortage trend for their school district or transportation companies over the past three years, seven of 10 survey respondents said the problem was either “significantly worse” (38.5 percent) or “somewhat worse” (32 percent). Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) said the problem was “about the same.” Only 6.5 percent of respondents said the problem had gotten “somewhat better” (5 percent) or “significantly better” (1.5 percent).

The biggest factor contributing to bus driver shortages, according to the report, are recent federal and state requirements that have made obtaining a commercial driver license (CDL) more costly and time-consuming.

The report recommends that school leaders and transportation directors work closely with the state Department of Motor Vehicles to make obtaining a CDL less burdensome without sacrificing safety, including expanding the number of testing sites which must meet federal standards; training and preparing examiners for the new testing regimen to increase consistency among them and their approach to the test; and further adjusting the availability of testing times to include weekend appointments.

It also highlights a number of other actions that can be taken at the local level as well that can improve school bus driver recruitment and retention, such as providing free training, defraying other costs related to obtaining a CDL and/or starting employment, and exploring ways for school transportation and human resources departments to work together in the recruitment, training and retention of bus drivers.

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Family of Orleans man seeks answers after his death in Greene County prison
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2019 at 5:05 pm

Ex-wife of Delmus Tanner, 38, intends to sue prison over his strangulation

Delmus Tanner

COXSACKIE — The family of Delmus Tanner has been waiting more than three months for answers to why he died while an inmate at the Greene Correctional Facility near Albany.

Tanner, 38, died on Nov. 13, four days after he was taken to the Albany Medical Center and put on life support. He was taken there on a Friday. It wasn’t until the following Monday that his family was made aware of the seriousness of his condition, his ex-wife Ashley Farrell said today.

State police are investigating Tanner’s death and told his family in November there would be answers by Jan. 1, Farrell said.

She has shared Tanner’s death certificate with The Daily Freeman in Kingston, NY. That newspaper reported on Friday that Tanner’s death certificate listed “strangulation by another” as the cause. The State Police also told the newspaper that a grand jury is going to review the case.

Tanner was serving a 5-year sentence on drug charges. He had a chance to released later this year after a parole hearing in August.

“You’re going to prison to rehabilitate and do your time,” Farrell said. “You’re not going to prison to die.”

She was married to Tanner for 15 years until 2015. They have two children together, ages 11 and 17. Tanner also has another child.

“Delmus should have been coming home,” she said. “He couldn’t get out and show us the man he wanted to be. He was going to come out and be a good citizen.”

She has been trying to raise public awareness about Tanner’s death, reaching out to reporters and posting on social media.

“I want to know what happened to him,” she said today. “His children deserve to know what happened to him.”

Tanner’s death has been gaining media attention following the death of another inmate, Anthony Myrie, 24. He died at the prison a week ago an “incident involving several” other inmates, The Daily Freeman reported after contacting the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The Albany Times Union reported on Sunday that the state DOCCS says the death is consistent with “sudden cardiac arrest.”

Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B also posted on Instagram about seeing friends allegedly abused by correction officers at the Greene Correctional Facility. Farrell posted on Cardi B’s Instagram, sharing about Tanner’s death, and then reporters started calling Farrell.

She is grateful for the publicity, and hopes it helps bring answers from the State Police.

“Delmus is getting the attention he deserves and the issue of prison violence is getting the attention it deserves,” said Farrell, who recently moved from Albion to Batavia. “I am relieved that this is getting out.”

Tanner was a fun-loving person who enjoyed “the good things in life,” taking his children to Chuck E. Cheese and the beach, Farrell said.

“He took pride in being a father,” she said. “He was a good man who would help anybody. He would give you the shirt off of his back.”

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NY makes more money available for HEAP following recent harsh weather
Posted 18 February 2019 at 1:40 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $15 million in additional funding is available to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes following a spate of severe weather over the past month.

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 19, households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off may apply for a second emergency benefit through the Home Energy Assistance Program. In addition, Governor Cuomo announced the extension of the application period for both regular and emergency HEAP benefits until April 26.

“Families should not have to choose between heating their homes and paying for other essentials like food or medications,” Governor Cuomo said. “With much of the state remaining in winter’s icy grasp, the availability of this extra funding will help our most vulnerable New Yorkers stay warm and safe through the duration of the season. I encourage anyone who may need help paying their heating bills this winter to apply for assistance.”

Households are ordinarily only eligible to receive one regular HEAP benefit each winter, and then one emergency HEAP benefit in the event of an energy crisis. Beginning Tuesday, households that have already received a regular and emergency benefit during this HEAP season will be able to apply for additional assistance if they are faced with the possibility of having a utility shut off or running out of heating fuel without the means to replenish it.

New York State’s persistently cold temperatures and snowfall in recent weeks have been comparable to last winter – one of the coldest on record. The statewide demand for emergency HEAP benefits remains high, with more than 35,000 households seeking assistance so far this year.

Though temperatures remained seasonally mild to start the winter, a polar vortex plunged New York into a deep freeze in January, where temperatures in many areas of the state dipped below zero. Additionally, several winter storm systems brought significant accumulations of snow throughout the state, including a lake-effect band that set a daily snowfall record in Buffalo late last month.

The amount a household receives from HEAP depends on their income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $55,178 per year, or $4,598 per month, and still qualify for help. A household that heats with oil could receive more than $2,200 in total assistance this winter.

Overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, HEAP is 100 percent federally funded. Applications for emergency HEAP are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone. Click here to be directed to the Orleans County Department of Social Services.

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Youth Board seeks nominations to recognize outstanding young people
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2019 at 11:46 am

Group also wants to honor adults who work and volunteer on behalf of children in Orleans County

HOLLEY – The Orleans County Youth Board wants to honor local youths for their community service and adults for their work on behalf of children in Orleans County.

The Youth Board is sponsoring its 37th annual Youth Recognition Dinner on May 16. The Youth Board each year recognizes about 20 youths for their outstanding community service or if they have taken on an extraordinary role in their family.

In addition to the youth awards, at least two adults will be honored for their service to young people.

The Helen R. Brinsmaid Memorial Youth Worker Award recognizes a youth-serving professional whose work surpasses normal expectations.

Doug Egling, a caseworker for the Orleans County Department of Social Services, won the award in 2018. He is assigned to Albion middle and high schools. He supervises some children who are classified as PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision), and also does preventive and foster care cases.

The Eileen Heye Adult Volunteer Recognition Award is given to an adult who provides service as a volunteer to Orleans County youth.

Sal DeLuca of Holley received the Eileen Heye Adult Volunteer Award in 2018 for his 30 years of volunteer service to Holley youth. DeLuca has been a long-time soccer, baseball and track coach. He also has served as president of the Holley Sports Boosters Club. He spends many hours at the Woodlands field concession stand, working the grill and refilling the cooler with water, Gatorade and soda.

Nominations are due to the Youth Bureau by March 30. For more information, call the Youth Bureau at (585) 344-3960, or email, or click here to see links to the application’s on the Youth Bureau’s web page.

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Basketball sectionals will tip off Tuesday
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 February 2019 at 10:20 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Kendall Derisley and Vincent Zona and their Purple Eagle teammates will host a doubleheader Tuesday evening to open the Section VI Class B1 basketball playoffs.

Local sectional basketball playoff action will get off to a fast start on Tuesday with a total of six games including a doubleheader at Albion.

That Section VI Class B1 twin bill will have the No. 11 seed Albion boys hosting No. 14 Alden at 5 p.m. followed by the No. 6 Albion girls hosting No. 11 Newfane at 7 p.m.

The winner of the boys’ game will visit No. 6 Newfane at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The victor of the girls’ game will face the winner of Tuesday’s No. 14 Fredonia at No. 3 Springville contest at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Albion girls defeated Newfane twice during the Niagara-Orleans League season by scores of 47-17 and 38-35.

The Medina, Roy-Hart and Kendall girls teams and the Holley boys squad will also all be in action on Tuesday.

The girls games will have No. 7 Medina hosting No. 10 Tonawanda in Class B1, No. 12 Roy-Hart visiting No. 5 Akron in Class B2 and No. 9 Kendall visiting Mt. Morris in Class D1, all at 7 p.m. Medina defeated Tonawanda 68-34 in an early season non league contest.

The No. 13 Holley boys will visit No. 4 Avon in Class C1 at 7 p.m.

The Genesee Region League Division 2 champion and No. 2 seeded Lyndonville boys squad (12–2, 17-3) will open Section V Class C3 competition at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against the victor of the opening round contest between No. 10 Bolivar-Richburg and No. 7 HAC.

The Niagara-Orleans League champion and top seeded Medina boys squad (12-0, 17-3) will begin Section VI Class B1 playoff action at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s contest between No. 9 Fredonia and No. 8 Depew.

The week’s playoff schedule by class and section is as follows.

Section V Boys Playoffs
Class C1
No. 13 Holley (3-17) at No. 4 Avon (15-5), 7 p.m. Tuesday
Class C3
No. 2 Lyndonville (17-3) will host the winner of the No. 10 Bolivar-Richburg (5-15) vs. No. 7 HAC (9-11) game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Class D1
No. 9 Kendall (8-12) at No. 8 Alfred-Almond (11-9), 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Section V Girls Playoffs
Class C1
No. 9 Holley (6-13) at No. 8 Warsaw (9-9), 7 p.m. Wednesday
Class C3
No. 11 Lyndonville (4-16) at No. 6 Cal-Mum (8-10), 7 p.m. Wednesday
Class D1
No. 9 Kendall (5-14) at No. 8 Mt. Morris (7-13), 7 p.m. Tuesday

Section VI Boys Playoffs
Class B1
No. 14 Alden at No. 11 Albion, 5 p.m. Tuesday
No. 6 Newfane will host the winner of the Alden vs. Albion game at 7 p.m. Wednesday
No. 1 Medina will host the winner of the No. 9 Fredonia vs. No. 8 Depew game at 1 p.m. Saturday
Class B2
No. 11 Roy-Hart at No. 6 JFK, 7 p.m. Wednesday
No. 9 WNY Maritime at No. 8 Akron, 7 p.m. Wednesday
No. 4 Wilson will host the winner of the No. 12 Eden vs. No. 5 Southwestern game at 1 p.m. Saturday
Class C2
No. 10 Barker at No. 7 Riverside, 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Section VI Girls Playoffs
Class B1
No. 11 Newfane at No. 6 Albion, 7 p.m. Tuesday
No. 10 Tonawanda at No. 7 Medina, 7 p.m. Tuesday
Class B2
No. 12 Roy-Hart at No. 5 Akron, 7 p.m. Tuesday
No. 2 Wilson will host the winner of the No. 10 Gowanda vs. No. 7 Allegany-Limestone game at 7 p.m. Thursday