Orleans, Genesee combined report 100 new Covid cases since Friday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 January 2021 at 5:04 pm

Number of active cases drops from 495 on Jan. 12 to 301 today

Orleans and Genesee counties today are reporting 100 new Covid-19 cases in the first update from the G-O Health Departments since Friday. That brings the combined total to 5,726 in the two counties since March with 3,687 in Genesee and 2,039 in Orleans.

In Orleans County there are 33 new positive cases of Covid-19. The positive cases reside in the West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby), Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre) and East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).

The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Of the new cases, 6 were on quarantine prior to testing positive.

Orleans also is reporting 66 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

The number of active cases in the county has dropped 243 on Jan. 12 to 134 today. Six days ago on Jan. 19 there were 158 active cases in the county.

Orleans has 9 residents hospitalized due to Covid. There were 18 hospitalized on Jan. 19.

Albion Central School is reporting a middle school student and staff member have both tested positive for Covid-19.

“As the student learns fully remotely and hasn’t been in school since Nov. 30 and the staff member was last in school on Dec. 15, the Department of Health has determined there is no need to quarantine any additional students or staff due to the 48-hour look-back period,” the district posted on its website.

In Genesee County, there are 67 new positive cases since Friday. The new positive cases reside in the West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke), Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) and East Region (Bergen, Byron, LeRoy, Pavilion, Stafford).

The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Of the new cases, 4 are residents of the Batavia VA Medical Center.

Correction from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments: The following case was double counted and has been retracted from today’s data; Case in his/her 20s from Bergen.

Genesee is reporting 130 of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

The number of active cases in the county is at 167 today, which is down from 199 on Jan. 19 and 252 on Jan. 12.

Genesee is reporting 24 residents are hospitalized due to Covid, which is more than double the 11 on Jan. 19.

• Vaccine Information: At this time all appointments are full, however the G-O Health Departments encourage those eligible to keep monitoring in case people have canceled. People are encouraged to cancel their appointment if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, the flu or a cold; if they have been placed on mandatory quarantine because they are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; or they can’t make the appointment for any other reason.

Canceling the appointment as soon as you are aware you can’t make it will open up a new appointment for someone else. Please make sure you cancel using the information on your confirmation sheet or by calling the provider. The health departments cannot cancel appointments for other providers.

To check for vaccination clinics in Genesee and Orleans counties, click here.

Statewide: Cuomo says state’s rate of transmission has dropped below 1

Data and chart from Gov. Cuomo’s Office: This is each region’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that New York State’s rate of transmission, or Rt, has dropped below 1. An Rt of 1 or more means Covid-19 will spread quickly, Cuomo said.

Cuomo also announced that elective surgeries can resume in Erie County following a sustained decline in Western New York’s positivity rate. The county’s positivity has steadily declined for nearly three weeks, going from 8.6 percent on January 7 to 5.2 percent. Hospitalizations have declined from 427 on Dec. 31 to 323. The county’s hospital capacity is at 48 percent.

“We predicted that increased social activity would lead to a spike in Covid cases, and that the spike would eventually dissipate, and the ongoing fulfilment of that prediction is good news,” he said. “The rate of transmission—one of the most important numbers—has now declined below 1, meaning the virus is no longer spreading quickly. And when those numbers decrease, you can increase economic activity.”

Today’s data is summarized briefly below:

Today’s statewide data includes:

  • Test Results Reported – 219,538
  • Total Positive – 12,003
  • Percent Positive – 5.47%
  • Patient Hospitalization – 8,730 (+117)
  • Number ICU – 1,522 (-5)
  • Deaths – 167 (Total deaths in pandemic – 34,242)
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‘What’s Cooking?’ – Historian receives trove of cookbooks from community groups
Posted 25 January 2021 at 2:16 pm

Besides recipes, cookbooks provide a local history resource

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian  – Volume 1, Number 5

The spiral-bound cookbooks published as fundraisers for churches and community groups are a familiar sight in our kitchens. A collection of local cookbooks was just recently donated to the Orleans County Dept. of History. With their brightly illustrated covers and domestic content, they contrast with the largely black and white documents that comprise the majority of the Department’s collection.

At first glance, they might seem an unlikely resource, but in fact, these locally specific cookbooks are treasure troves of local history. They are of interest now and their value to social historians will only increase as time goes by.

The cookbooks in this donation represent Albion, Barre, Clarendon, Gaines, Knowlesville, Lyndonville, Medina, Shelby and Waterport. Most were published in the ’70s and ’80s, though the most recent is from 2010.

Many cookbook projects were church sponsored, but there are also cookbooks from schools, hospitals, a prison, the Lake Plains YMCA and groups such as the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans and the Orleans County Historical Association. Morris Press was the primary publisher. Cookbook projects were undertaken to mark anniversaries or for specific fundraising projects.

In some cases, the cookbooks are a testament to churches or groups that now no longer exist. The now-defunct list from this donated collection includes: The Journal-Register, Medina Association of Women, Sacred Heart Church, and Arnold Gregory Memorial Hospital. Also, the local advertisements provide a record of business and services.  Some still continue, many are no longer, reflecting business and economic trends.

These advertisements are a treasure trove for local historians.

Advertisement page from “What’s Cooking”: Twig Association, Arnold Gregory Memorial Hospital, Albion, NY, 1975

Community cookbooks were almost always compiled by women. For many contributors, this may have been the first time their name was in print. This was a source of pride, an affirmation of identity, of belonging to a recognized group.

Part of the pleasure – and historical value – of looking through the cookbooks is that of seeing familiar names among the contributors, family members or neighbors, many now departed. When viewing the cookbooks with a friend, the conversation invariably turns reminiscent, as stories and connections are recalled. In years to come, these cookbooks will be treasured as heirlooms by contributors’ descendants.

Advertisements from Knowlesville United Methodist Church cookbook, 1983

The saying “An army marches on its stomach” has been attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte. Women well know that families also march on their stomachs. History is as much about families as it is about armies.

The humble spiral-bound community cookbook is a succinct tactical manual to fall back on when faced with that dreaded question “What’s for supper?” Internet recipe searches can be overwhelming. The new cookbooks on the market now are either very specialized in terms of ingredients or techniques, or feature celebrities discovering the joy of cooking. Sometimes you just want a quick recipe for banana bread. The stained or dog-eared page of the trusty spiral-bound cookbook will lead the way.

The recipes are short, practical, straightforward, and thrifty. There are no “diet”, “lite” or ingredient intolerant options. If a recipe calls for milk, it is implied that the source will be a cow, not an almond. Some of the recipe titles are intriguing: The $100 Cake, Easy-Peasy Pudding, Glenda’s Pie, Elephant Stew, Crab Louis, Lovelight Icing. All of the recipes are “keepers”, having been tested and honed over time by those most merciless of critics: family members.

Some of the recipes have not aged well. We might look askance at the Fruit Salad recipe which was a fairly common submission:

1 can mandarin oranges,   6 cups miniature marshmallows,

1 can crushed pineapple,  1 cup sour cream,     1 cup coconut.

Drain cans, mix ingredients well, chill

No doubt, this recipe will remind many of their grandmothers. We should keep in mind that this recipe evolved at a time when grocery stores were not stocked all year long with the luxury of out of season fruit that we are accustomed to.

The cookbooks reflect the culinary traditions and food practices of a certain time, when households were transitioning from stay-at-home mothers to moms who worked outside the home. Family dinners were still the norm, so cooking practices adapted to simpler recipes. Convenience ingredients such as cans of mushroom soup or cans of cream of chicken soup were widely used.

We can observe major changes in food preferences and health considerations in the short time since these cookbooks flourished. Jell-O and Velveeta cheese are no longer in fashion. We have the luxury of access to a wide range of fresh food, varied sources of protein and ethnic foods. Our cooking technology has changed – rice cookers, air-fryers, Insta-Pots. Pizza and take-out proliferate and there are more options for those who have food intolerances. We take these trends for granted, but they are all part of ever changing culinary history

Cooks love to share recipes. This collection attests to the generosity of spirit of our Orleans County cooks.

Cookbooks from the Towns of Kendall and Murray would be appreciated as they are not represented. Contact Catherine.Cooper@orleanscountyny.gov.

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Recovery advocates encourage residents to ‘stand up’ during virtual event on Feb. 9
Posted 25 January 2021 at 1:51 pm

Press Release, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

BATAVIA – Next month’s Stand Up For Recovery Day is a virtual event this year but the question it poses reflects the reality that everyone can contribute to helping those suffering with substance use disorders.

Staff at The Recovery Station, a program of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, are asking those who wish to support the effort to post a video or picture that answers the following:

“What do you stand up for when it comes to recovery?”

Sue Gagne, coordinator of The Recovery Station, is inviting all community members to voice their support or showcase their artistic talents for the cause.

“Whether you are an individual in recovery, family member, friend, or ally, you are an important part of our recovery community,” Gagne said. “We hope you join us in showing support for the recovery movement in Genesee and Orleans counties. You are not alone!”

Stand Up For Recovery Day is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, and features a full agenda of activities promoted by Friends of Recovery – New York (www.for-ny.org/surd-registration), including:

  • Networking and sponsor presentations;
  • Opening plenary session including entertainment by Katharine Pettit Creative (KPC) and George Feaster Band;
  • Inspirational message, remarks by For-NY Board President Chacku Mathai and Executive Director Dr. Angelia Smith-Wilson;
  • Presentation of the group’s policy statement by statewide recovery advocates;
  • Remarks by partners from the New York state government and legislature;
  • Presentations on advocacy by Richard Buckman and Ashley Livingston;
  • Video Rally.

Optional events including a legislature chat session and virtual visits with area legislators.

Friends of Recovery –New York (FOR-NY) is a statewide Recovery Community Organization working on behalf of millions of individuals and families in New York to educate decision makers and the general public about recovery from addiction.

Leaders anticipate nearly 1,000 recovery warriors from various Recovery Community Organizations throughout the state to gather virtually in order to both celebrate recovery from addictions, but more so, to educate decision-makers and the general public about the recovery movement.

FOR-NY has identified its four priorities when it comes to help those in recovery as housing, personalized treatment and treatment on demand, recovery oriented systems of care, and transportation. It also supports racial justice as well as a public health response to Covid-19 which is inclusive of the recovery community.

For more information about the Stand Up For Recovery Day or The Recovery Station, contact Gagne at 585-815-5248. To support recovery efforts in Orleans County, call 585-210-8750.

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Orleans, Genesee getting less than expected Covid vaccines this week
Posted 25 January 2021 at 11:45 am

Instead of 2,500 doses, G-O Health Departments getting 300

Press Release, Geneee and Orleans County Health Departments

Genesee and Orleans counties continue to work diligently to distribute the limited supply of vaccine received in their continued response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping to receive 2,500 doses of the vaccine between Genesee and Orleans counties but were made aware that is not going to occur because of the statewide shortage,” said Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “We realize that those who hoped to schedule appointments this week are going to be very upset as well and we are disappointed to have to give them this news.”

The state allocations were the same as the week before at 250,000, but the county health departments are only receiving 300 doses total between the two this week which will be utilized for 1B essential workers per the state’s directive.

Those over 65 should continue to seek vaccine from their providers, pharmacies and the state sites. Appointments for vaccine are currently online ONLY. Last week the county-run clinics were able administer approximately 1,050 doses.

“At GCC on Friday alone, we were able to administer approximately 550 doses of the vaccine in a seamless fashion. On average, people got their shots and were able to leave the testing sites within 20 minutes,” Matt Landers, Genesee County Manager said. “As a result of our experience in operating the Covid-19 testing sites, our workforce and community volunteers have been able to replicate this into a smooth operation at the vaccination sites when vaccine supplies are readily available.”

We ask those who are 65 and older, part of Priority Group 1B, to continue to check the clinic schedules and as requested by the state, to use the pharmacy links. Pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network” are working to provide vaccine to the 65 and older population as they receive vaccine.

How the pharmacies set up their appointments are determined by the pharmacies and the state. The local Health Departments or OFAs do not have insight on how pharmacy clinics are run. Keep checking the site links as many of the pharmacies may not have received vaccine.

If you do not have a computer/internet access, please contact your Office for the Aging for assistance. For Genesee County call 585-813-2457 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for Orleans County call 585-589-3191 between 9:30-4:30 Monday through Friday and they will assist you as best as they can.

Please check the following links: For clinic schedules when vaccine is available and information about vaccination clinics, click here. Please note the registration links are subject to change and will be updated.

For the NYS-run Vaccine Clinics, click here. Clinics are only open when there is vaccine available. You currently can only register for an appointment online. Each provider is responsible for their own registration and setup. The Health Departments are only responsible for the clinics they sponsor. Please do not call the host sites for the County Vaccination Clinics…they are only providing the space and cannot assist with registration or questions.

You must return to the provider where you initially got your first shot, for your second shot. You must also get the same vaccine brand as your first shot. The appointment is to be made for you while you are there for your first shot.

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Medina mayor wants to try again for $10 million state grant for downtown revitalization
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 January 2021 at 10:34 am

Courtesy of Village of Medina, DRI application: The Village of Medina wants to improve public access to the Medina Waterfalls by constructing an elevated platform from the towpath. That project was part of Medina’s application in 2019 for $10 million in DRI funding.

MEDINA – A $10 million grant to catapult economic and housing opportunities in the downtown district is again available to each of the 10 regions in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his State of State addresses.

Medina was a finalist in 2019, missing out to Seneca Falls in the Finger Lakes Region.

“You’re not going to get it if you don’t go for it,” Medina Mayor Mike Sidari sad this morning.

The Village Board will discuss applying again for the grant during this evening’s board meeting. Medina could have a consultant “tweak” the previous application or Medina could start over with the application. Medina worked with Bergmann Associates previously to help prepare the application.

Medina was one of five finalists in 2019. That makes Sidari think the community already has a strong case for the funding.

Medina has a committee that identified residential, commercial and tourism projects that would build on recent successes and investments in the downtown and canal area.

The new application will likely be due in June with the winners announced in October or November.

Previous $10 million grant winners in the Finger Lakes region include the City of Geneva in 2016, the City of Batavia in 2017, the Village of Penn Yan in 2018 and Seneca Falls in 2019.

Medina’s application from 2019 lists the following projects to be considered for DRI funding:

• Streetscape Improvements at an estimated $1 million in DRI funding

Medina wants to improve the downtown pedestrian experience through street furniture, landscaping, and crosswalk enhancements on Main Street and Pearl Street.

The village wants to enhance crosswalks; add more benches, bike racks, trash receptacles and pedestrian lighting; and plant more street trees and shrubs.

• Rail with Trail, a multi-use trail along the Medina Railroad from the museum to Main Street, at an estimated DRI funding request of $200,000

The village wants to improve a gap within the pedestrian network and improve the connectivity from the Railroad Museum to the downtown. A “rail-with-trail” would create a multi-use path alongside the rail line.

• The Canal Village Farmer’s Market would become a year-round market with a community kitchen, distillery and event space as part of a $3 million project, with $2.8 million in DRI funding

The market is in its fifth year at the northeast corner of West Center Street and West Avenue. The market, which is run by Orleans Renaissance Group, currently operates on select weekends throughout the year out of a small building and temporary stands in the parking lot.

The ORG is seeking to construct a large, enclosed structure to allow for continuous, year-round operation of the market. The structure will be anchored by three tenants: the farmer’s market with a community kitchen and exhibit space; a distillery or microbrewery on the second floor; and a rooftop event space.

• Canal Basin Park – Improved waterfront access and amenities at the Canal Basin Park for $2 million, to be funded with the DRI.

The village in its application says the spot is hampered by an “overabundance of paved parking space and limited recreational access to the Erie Canal.” Medina wants to increase public access to the waterfront area and encourage recreational and passive use at this prime waterfront location.

Recommended improvements include:

• Installation of a pedestrian boardwalk along the rear facades of Main Street buildings;

• Conversion of the existing parking space into public greenspace with access to the Erie Canal;

• Construction of a promenade along the Erie Canal;

• Installation of boating docks on the Erie Canal;

• Comfort amenities, such as restrooms and showers;

• Crosswalk enhancements to improve pedestrian connection across East Center Street.

The village anticipates the changes would prompt building owners to “activate the rear facades of the buildings on Main Street, creating commercial opportunities on both sides of these structures and allowing for the development of new businesses.”

• State Street Park – enhanced programming to make the park a year-round recreational destination, with an ice skating rink, enhanced lighting, boat tie-ups, benches and bicycle racks, and a construction of a nature trail at a $600,000 cost, with the DRI funding $500,000.

The installation of motor boat tie-ups will allow boaters on the canal to join in on the enjoyment of local musicians’ performances at the bandstand during the summer months while the ice skating rink will allow for winter activities and encourage continued use of the park even during the off-season, the village stated in its application.

• Lions Park Boater Access – The village seeks $250,000 for the DRI to install boat tie-ups and docking facilities at the Lions Park near the Route 63 lift bridge.

The village, in its application, says boater amenities and docking infrastructure are limited within Medina. Throughout the community engagement process, the public consistently expressed a need for additional boater amenities along the waterfront.

This project also includes the creation of a fitness trail through Lions Park, with various pieces of fitness equipment located along the trail.

• Medina Falls Overlook – The village wants to better utilize the Medina waterfalls by adding a viewing platform and overlook off the Erie Canalway Trail, near the Horan Road Bridge. The project would cost an estimated $1.9 million with the DRI funding $1.5 million.

“Medina Falls is one of the Village’s stunning natural wonders,” according to the village’s application. “Its 40-foot drop dazzles onlookers and makes a great challenge for any kayakers willing to brave it. The scenic Falls, however, lacks an easily accessible viewing point and is obscured by brush, foliage, and a significant grade change that can be dangerous for interested onlookers to traverse.”

• Wayfinding Signage – Install a cohesive and well-branded system of wayfinding and directional signs at a cost of $200,000 with the DRI funding $150,000.

The signs would direct visitors to the Erie Canal, Waterfalls, public parking and other resources. Medina wants to add gateway signs, directional signs, kiosks and interpretive signs, light pole banners and identification signs for destinations and parking areas.

• Small Grant Fund – This fund will support economic-development related activities through the distribution of small grants to local businesses and investors. Medina would like a $900,000 fund with the DRI paying $600,000.

The fund is intended to support projects that retain jobs, generate increased economic activity, and improve the economic viability and livability of Downtown Medina. Eligible projects could include historic rehabilitation and repair, facade improvements, land acquisition, new construction, and event programming.

• Mustang City: Adaptive Reuse of the old Medina High School – A $9 million project with the DRI request at $3 million.

A developer, Talis Equity, seeks to transform 90,000 square feet into 40 loft apartments. Mustang City will fulfill Medina’s need for additional housing options and will allow for a new kind of “maintenance-free” living, with amenities and services including grocery delivery, cleaning, and laundry pickup. Just steps from the Erie Canal and downtown’s restaurants, shops and nightlife, Mustang City will provide attractive living options for anyone from young entrepreneurs to retirees, according to the village’s DRI application.

• Snappy’s Mixed-Use Development: This project at $1.8 million includes a $1 million DRI request. It would redevelop the Snappy facility on Commercial Street by the Erie Canal into a mixed-use commercial and residential space. The property could be redeveloped with the first floor for commercial uses and the second floor for residential.

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County planners will review Barre changes for wind turbines on Thursday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 January 2021 at 8:08 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday will review the Town of Barre’s revisions to its local law for wind turbines, including setback distances from property lines and houses, and other factors including the maximum height of the structures.

Apex Clean Energy has proposed Heritage Wind, a project with 33 wind turbines that would be nearly 700 feet high at tip height. Those turbines would have the capacity for 5.6 megawatts, making the project 184.8 megawatts.

The County Planning Board offers an advisory opinion on the referrals from local towns and villages. The 7 p.m. meeting will be online through Zoom. Instructions for joining the meeting should be available later this week on the Planning Board’s website page. Click here for more information.

The Planning Board agenda also includes:

 A request in Barre for site plan approval and special use permit for a diesel/gas powered vehicle repair shop at 4227 Oak Orchard Rd. in the Business District.

A request in Shelby for an amendment to the zoning text to clarify certain requirements for solar energy systems.

A request in Gaines for a moratorium to prohibit all battery and energy storage systems for six months.

A request in Lyndonville to review the site plan for a small ground-mounted 340.8 KW solar energy system at 15 Lynwood Dr. in the Agricultural Residential District.

In Yates a request to adopt a new zoning ordinance for solar energy.

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Finger Lakes sees progress in lowering Covid positivity rate, hospitalizations
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 January 2021 at 1:52 pm

Currently 3rd lowest of 10 regions in the state for positive percentage

The Finger Lakes Region, which had the highest positivity rate for Covid-19 tests in the state earlier this month, now is the third lowest of the 10 regions.

As recently as Jan. 7, the Finger Lakes had a seven-day average for positive tests over 10 percent (10.22 percent). Orleans and eight other counties are considered to be in the Finger Lakes by the state.

It dropped below 6 percent on Friday (5.78 percent) for the seven-day average. On Saturday the seven-day average dipped to 5.52 percent. Only the Southern Tier at 3.23 percent and Central New York at 5.34 percent were lower. (Western New York was at 5.89 percent and Long Island had the state’s highest percent at 6.99 percent.)

State-wide the governor said New York is making progress but the numbers are still too high.

Hospitalizations state-wide due to Covid declined by 189 on Saturday to 8,613. The Finger Lakes had 692 people hospitalized with Covid on Saturday. The Region hit a high for Covid hospitalization on Dec. 28 with 964.

“The Covid war still needs to be fought, and while many feel Covid fatigue, that is a luxury we cannot afford,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement today. “If we tire before the enemy, the enemy wins – it’s that simple. I am confident that we can defeat this and rebuild stronger than ever before. Until that day comes, I encourage all New Yorkers to keep fighting the good fight together – wear a mask, social distance and avoid gatherings.”

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Section V looks to move forward with start of High Risk sports for the winter season
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 January 2021 at 9:26 am

Following Friday’s announcement by the New York State Department of Health that High Risk winter sports (basketball, wrestling and ice hockey) will be allowed to begin practice on February 1 pending approval by the local county health department Section V Athletics  on Saturday released the following statement concerning the decision.

“The Section V COVID-19 task force and Winter/Fall II sport coordinators have already been communicating to finalize plans with membership. Section V Athletics has twelve different health departments to coordinate with and will communicate with them throughout this process.

“It is important to note that all high school interscholastic athletic teams are coached by New York State certified and professionally trained school board approved coaches. In addition, our state’s governing body for interscholastic athletics, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), has released a comprehensive resource document detailing all NYSDOH COVID-19 guidance (i.e., face coverings, spectator attendance, screening protocols, etc.).

“The Spring season start date is still set for Monday, April 19, 2021. We will continue to be sensitive to Spring sports that have already missed a complete season and sectional/state championship last year due to the pandemic.

“As always, we will provide more information as soon as details are finalized and following all guidance provided by NYSDOH, NYSPHSAA, and our local health departments.”

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Sledders delight in hill at Bullard after first big snowfall
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 January 2021 at 8:09 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Logan Kast, 12, of Albion gets sprayed with snow as he heads down the sledding hill at Bullard Park on Saturday. There hasn’t been much snow this year, but several inches fell on Friday and Saturday and many people dusted off their sleds, inner tubes and saucers.

Frankie DiCureia, 11, of Medina had a ball zooming down the hill.

Sophia Albanese, left, and her friend Mickey Stowell, 14, of Albion descend down the hill. There were kids of all ages having fun sledding on Saturday. The temperature was in the 20s, but there wasn’t much wind.

Traivon Eibl of Albion tried snowboarding and had a wipeout.

Lincoln Eibl, 4, is all smiles heading down the hill after a gentle push from his father, Traivon.

Finley Draper, 7, of Lyndonville grabs a string from his dad Tim Draper to climb the last slippery spot on the hill.

This photo is from the very top of the hill, where there is a staircase. Sledding can down the hill from a few different directions.

Rose Collins, 9, of Medina and Lucy DiCureia, 10, of Medina get sprayed with snow as the take off down the hill on the west side.

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Sunday Morning Positive Perks from your Sassy Small Town Missus
Posted 24 January 2021 at 8:00 am

 Let Me Explain…

I love this sign. It is an awful thing to say isn’t it? But yet for those of us who are vain, it is nonetheless true. Before you slip my Blog into the Cancel Culture recycle bin of life, allow me to explain myself.
Beauty does truly come from within. The beauty we hold within each of us is radiated daily by our actions. We need no spritzes or sparkles for that. It comes from a place deep inside us from what we have learned from life.
Hopefully life has shown you beauty in many ways. Some people are so beautiful within that they need no help on the outside. The kind of help you buy at the makeup counter. Truthfully a little help from Maybelline might just camouflage their true inside beauty.
Unfortunately, I do not have that dilemma. My brother’s running joke is that he can tell when he is at a gathering of my Cusimano/Clark side because there is lipstick on all the glasses. What can I say, it is an Italian thing we love our lipstick. I come by it honestly. Still I told my Aunt Linda that we should not be ashamed of our vanity, because us Clark ladies do harbor the curse of vanity. I explained my theory that there is no shame in taking pride in how we present ourselves to others. Even in appearance.
When forced to close up my shop for 1 month in the spring, I did like many and kicked it daily in my cozies and did not do hair or makeup. Why bother if no one is going to see you but your husband? He has to be accepting because we both share the deed to the house and hopefully he will just accept the “Beauty that lies within.” Hmm. April 20, 2020 my first day back to work after being off a month, I decided to embrace my new normal. I couldn’t kick it in my cozies, but I did not have to do hair or makeup. Or so I thought. I gave it a good try but the reality was that sometimes taking care of yourself means feeling good about how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. Yep I said it, in the mirror.
My aunt says she just doesn’t look in the mirror anymore. That is an option, but if she did she would see how beautiful she is not just on the inside! After a couple weeks back to work it seemed I just did not have the pep my step required. I tried a bit of blush, mascara and dusted off my flat iron. Most importantly I put my lipstick on.
People have questioned if I am not feeling well when I do not put on my lipstick. I was not blessed with nice plump colorful lips like my Aunt Ann on the Burgoon side, Dang! I need a boost from my Buxom lip color. It’s OK to be a little late sometimes if you need to sparkle yourself up. If it makes you happy to look dolled up a bit, then do it unabashedly. Because if you are happy, it is easier to pass that happiness on and color the world with a special hue and shade of joy. But know this, inner beauty can never be eclipsed by what we paint on the outside.
To see another fun Plaque, visit My Blog live online (click here) and catch up on Weekly Photo Perks and past Sunday Posts. Like and share your comments.
Debbie London
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Buffalo fans ‘Billieve’ for big game against Chiefs
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2021 at 10:05 pm

Provided photos

The “Believe” sign at the corner of Hamilton Street and Route 31 in Albion has been transformed into a “Billieve” sign to cheer on the Buffalo Bills, who play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the AFC Championship game. The winner goes to the Super Bowl and will play either the Green Bay Packer or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Peggy Mager gave the sign a dramatically decorated Bills flair. She was given permission by the Albion Betterment Committee for the sign’s new look, which includes lights.

The Bills finished the regular season at 13-3 and then won their first playoff games in nearly 25 years. The Bills are the No. 2 seed in the AFC, while the Chiefs are the top seed and defending Super Bowl champs.

Melissa Favo of Clarendon made this snowman on Route 31A in Clarendon to cheer on the Bills.

After she made the snowman, she gave him some more color to stand out in the snow.

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5 injured in accident on Maple Ridge, with 1 taken by Mercy Flight
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2021 at 8:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Maple Ridge Road and Bates Road today at about 4:30 p.m. resulted in five people being sent to hospitals.

The driver of the car at right entered into the intersection, turning east from Bates Road onto Maple Ridge in front of the white Jeep, causing the collision, a Medina police officer said at the scene.

The driver of the car sustained serious injuries and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. Two passengers in the car were also taken by Medina Fire Department’s ambulance to Strong for their injuries.

There were two people in the Jeep and one was dazed and was being evaluated by COVA personnel. They were transported by COVA to Strong.

Shelby firefighters responded to the scene and assist Lyons Collision towing the vehicle from the road. A section of Maple Ridge was closed to traffic for about an hour.

Mercy Flight set down on Marcia Tuohey Way in the Medina Business Park off Bates Road.

Press Release from Medina Fire Department:

This evening at 4:37 p.m. Medina Fire, Ambulance and Police were dispatched to the intersection of Bates Road and Maple Ridge Road for the two-car motor vehicle collision with entrapment. As the engine and ambulance crews began their response to the collision, a request for our ladder truck mutual aid to Lyndonville for the possible house fire came in as well. (The ladder truck was later cancelled while enroute to Lyndonville and rerouted to the collision)

Engine 11 arrived on scene and found one vehicle with 2 occupants and their canine blocking the westbound lane of Maple Ridge Road. The second vehicle was found on the South side of the eastbound lane of Maple Ridge Road with heavy front and driver’s side damage. There were three occupants with this vehicle, one trapped in the front seat, one lying outside the vehicle in the roadway and the third seated in the back.

As crews began to triage and initiate extrication with the Hurst Jaws of Life, additional resources were needed. Two more ambulances from the Village of Medina along with an additional extrication tool and manpower from the Shelby Fire Company were requested. Two helicopters from Mercy Flight were also requested for the trapped driver and the passenger who was potentially ejected.

As further assessments of each patient were completed, it was determined the patient that was lying in the road was not ejected and the second helicopter was cancelled. The three patients from vehicle #2 were all transported to Strong, one by Mercy Flight and two by Medina Fire Department ambulances. The two patients in vehicle #1 were transported to Strong by COVA. Their canine appeared uninjured and was being taken care of by an officer with the Orleans County Animal Control.

We would like to thank all our partners mentioned above as well as Lyons Collision and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. A special shout out to the dispatchers at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office for their great performance tonight handling two major events that were called in simultaneously.

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History of Childs: Farming – Part 5
Posted 23 January 2021 at 2:06 pm

Before Intergrow, Harding family worked the land on 98, north of Cobblestone Museum

By Doug Farley, Cobblestone Museum Director

GAINES – The Harding family is another long standing farming family in the Hamlet of Childs, going back to Joseph Napoleon “J. N.” Harding, in the late 1800s. J.N.’s granddaughter, Linda Harding Prince, remembers several family stories that have been passed down to her by her father, Joseph Lee Harding and mother, Dorothy.

“I was told that my grandfather, J.N., took the train to Michigan and came home with a bride, Bertha Lee Harding,” Linda said.

Bertha had been teaching school in Mt. Pleasant and came back to Childs to be a farm wife.  Linda said, “Bertha was just a little bitty thing, she wasn’t used to preparing meals for everyone on the farm.”

J.N. Harding, shown above, and his wife, Bertha, had several children including Joseph Lee, born 1911, and his twin sister Josephine who died at birth, Hannah born 1913, Gertrude born 1916 and died two years later with complications from measles, Mary Jo and twin sister Ruth born in 1921, and Barbara born in 1923.

Linda Prince remembers being told that just before the children were born, J.N. sent Bertha to stay with his three sisters, Ruth, Mary and Hannah, who did midwife duties.

“Sometimes Grandma would stay for several weeks,” Linda said.

Linda shared that during the birth of the last set of twins, the three aunts kept the baby girl, Ruth, and raised her as their own. Linda remarked, “It sure sounds strange today, but times were different then.”

J.N.’s sister, Ruth, had a dairy farm and lived in the cobblestone house just north of Five Corners. (Dr. Mary Ruth Neilans lives in her ancestral property today.) From that farm, Ruth ran a milk-house and delivered milk and dairy products all around Albion for many years.

The Hardings established four farms in the area, about 100 acres each. They maintained a dairy operation at the homestead on Oak Orchard Road (shown above) at the site of what is now Intergrow. They also raised sheep and kept chickens.

“Growing up with sheep was an interesting experience!” Linda said. “When lambs were born, my Dad would stay up all hours of the night. If a little lamb was having trouble, Dad would bring it in the house and set it in front of the oven with the door open to keep it warm.”

She also remembered Roy Ford from Kent Road who would come to the farm every winter to shear the sheep.

Medina Daily Journal, Tues. May 26, 1970

Tragedy struck the Harding Farm on the late night hours of Monday, May 25, 1970.  A lighting storm went through Childs about 9:30 p.m. Linda’s mother Dorothy went to bed around 10:30 p.m. and looked out the window to see that all was okay. At 10:45 p.m. she heard pounding on her window by Terry Williams, who had been driving by the farm and saw the fire. That’s when Dorothy saw the upper story of the dairy barn fully engulfed in flames.

Terry got a hold of a Trooper and the two men, along with Lee Harding and his son Howard, got all of the cows out of the stanchions and the heifers out of their pens.

“Unfortunately, like animals sometimes do, six cows ran back into the barn and were killed,” Linda said.

The barn was a complete loss. Without a place to keep the animals, Lee sold them all the next day to a farmer from Spencerport.

Linda said, “My father and brother were always very careful to turn off the electricity in the barn after they were finished with chores for the night.” The neighbors told the Hardings later that they believe they saw some bicycles at the runway leading up into the barn. Authorities speculated the fire could have been started by kids playing with matches or by lightning from the storm. They were never sure of the cause.

Linda recalls that after the fire, her father, Lee, was never quite the same. Linda’s mother, Dorothy, tried to keep the farm going for a few more years but couldn’t make it work. Lee Harding died in 1991 and Dorothy passed away in 1993. Linda said, “Lynn Roberts rented the farm for a few years, and I eventually sold the farm to Intergrow in 2002.”

The Hamlet of Childs is home to a new generation of agribusiness that stands out as unique among local farming interests, namely Intergrow Greenhouses located on Oak Orchard Road.   The business was sited at its current location because of its flat terrain and easy access to transportation.

Intergrow got started in the Town of Gaines in 2003 with a 15-acre facility built by owner Dirk Biemans, shown above.  It was the second greenhouse the company established after being formed in 1998 with an initial farm in Alleghany County. With several multimillion dollar expansions, the greenhouse operation has grown to over 55 acres under-glass in Orleans County. Additional greenhouses have also been added in Ontario County.

With a workforce of over 100 employees, Intergrow has maintained year-round production of many popular tomato varieties, supplying products to nearly all local supermarkets including Aldi, Tops and Wegmans.

Utilizing artificial light in the winter, Intergrow can create optimal growing conditions to produce delicious tasting tomatoes even during the cold winter months. The company’s computer controlled environment provides a safe, environmentally friendly solution to year-round farming.

Intergrow tomatoes are always fresh-picked and picked-fresh.  At just the right moment in their growth cycle, tomatoes are picked and shipped to their destination within 24 hours of ripening.  Intergrow utilizes their own fleet of trucks to get their product to their customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Jacobs wants agricultural employees to be eligible for Covid vaccine
Posted 23 January 2021 at 12:02 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

ORCHARD PARK – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) sent a letter to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo asking for the agricultural workers to be authorized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We owe our agricultural workers a debt of gratitude. They have supported our families and state economy throughout the entirety of this pandemic and are essential frontline employees,” Jacobs said. “Without their efforts, millions of families in New York, and around the nation, would not have been able to acquire the nutritious food needed to survive the health crisis.”

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that Phase 1b of the vaccine rollout include agricultural workers as eligible recipients. Currently, the Governor has authorized only “public-facing grocery store employees” as eligible members of the food and agriculture workers category in New York State’s Phase 1b vaccine program.

“Currently, in New York State, employees of our farms, producers, and processing facilities are ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, despite their essential status and the recommendation of the CDC,” Jacobs said. “The work they do is critical to the stability of our nation, and I have asked the Governor to consider granting them eligibility status.”

According to NYS Comptroller DiNapoli, in 2017, over 33,000 farms in New York State employed over 55,000 workers and garnered over $5.7 billion in revenue. In the same year, agriculture added over $2.4 billion to the New York State Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the state ranked in the top five of all producers for 15 different agricultural products.

“Not only is agriculture a major driver of the New York economy at a time when our state is facing massive budget deficits, but it is also a matter of health and safety,” Jacobs said. “Allowing the men and women working on the frontlines in agriculture to receive the vaccine strengthens and stabilizes our food supply chain at this critical time.”

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Hank Aaron, just before breaking home run record, visited Albion in 1974
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2021 at 9:47 am

Baseball legend passed away on Friday at age 86

Photos courtesy of Monacelli family

ALBION – Hank Aaron, who passed away at age 86 on Friday, was a guest in 1974 at the annual Albion Sports Night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Richard Monacelli, left, served as chairman of the event. He and his sons, Dan (second from right) and Rich, are pictured with the baseball legend for the Atlanta Braves.

Aaron was in Albion during the offseason when he was at 713 career home runs, one away from tying Babe Ruth’s record.

On April 8, 1974, he broke the record when he hit his 715th home run. Aaron would add 40 more to his career total before retiring in 1976. His 755 career home runs stood as the record for 31 years until Barry Bonds passed it in 2007 and ended his career with 762. (Aaron also hit 5 home runs in the Negro Leagues. Major League Baseball recently announced it will be adding Negro League achievements to MLB statistics. That would give Aaron 760 career homers.)

Aaron still holds baseball’s record for most career RBIs with 2,297, most total bases with 6,856 and most extra bases hits with 1,477. Each season Major League Baseball presents the Hank Aaron Award to the best hitter in both the American and National leagues.

Albion hosted many top professional for the Sports Night in the 1960s, ’70s and late ’80s. Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh Steelers star running back, is in back row at left in this photo from 1974. “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron is in back, second from right.

During its quarter century, Albion Sports Night welcomed other baseball Hall of Famers including Bob Feller in 1963, Brooks Robinson in 1966, Whitey Ford in 1968, Mickey Mantle in 1972, Willie Stargell in 1980, Cal Ripken Jr. in 1983 and Dave Winfield in 1986.

Yankee greats also appeared including Elston Howard and Jim Boutin in 1964, Catfish Hunter in 1976, Billy Martin in 1977, Lou Piniella in 1979 and Tommy John in 1982.

Some of the Buffalo Bills greats to attend the event included Cookie Gilchrist in 1963, Daryl Lamonica in 1965, Jack Kemp in 1966, Ron McDole in 1970 and Joe DeLamielleure in 1977.

Besides Franco Harris in 1974, other famed football players at Albion Sports Night included Lou Groza in 1964, Ron Jaworski in 1977 and Jim Crowley of the legendary Notre Dame Four Horseman backfield in 1974.

Many of the visiting star athletes stayed with the Monacelli family while they were in town for the event.

“I’m not old enough to have watched Hank Aaron play, but I do remember Poppy’s stories of him from the time he came to Albion for Sports Nights,” Jake Monacelli, Richard’s grandson, posted on Facebook on Friday. “Poppy brought a lot of joy to the Town by bringing some of Sport’s Greats and Hank was one of the Greatest. I don’t have the personal memories of Hank, but I do have the memories of the family’s stories and these pictures always helped bring them to life.”

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