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Posted 15 April 2021 at 9:26 am

New historical marker dedicated for Revolutionary War hero
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 April 2021 at 9:08 am

Marquis de Lafayette, French military officer, provided critical aid to George Washington in securing American independence

Photos by Tom Rivers: Justin Kania, an Albion seventh grader, shares about a farewell tour in 1824-1825 to honor Marquis de Lafayette, a young French aristocrat and military officer served with George Washington. Lafayette traveled on the Erie Canal from Lockport to Rochester in June 1825 to great fanfare.

ALBION – A new historical marker, in a distinctive blue background with red trim, was unveiled on Wednesday by the Erie Canal in Albion in honor of a French military officer who provided critical aid to Continental Army in securing American independence from the British monarchy.

Marquis de Lafayette returned to the United States in 1824 for a farewell tour that was intended to last four months. It turned into a 16-month visit that included a journey along the Erie Canal through Orleans County.

Lafayette rode in a packet boat in full regalia that was pulled by a team of white horses from Lockport to Rochester on June 6-7, 1825, four months before the canal officially opened.

The new marker is located between the Ingersoll and Main Street lift bridges in Albion.

Lafayette was given a hero’s welcome from the Americans. He passed through Albion which was then known as Newport.

Albion service learning students and the Seventh Grade History Club teamed with the DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to erect the marker, which was installed by the Village of Albion Department of Public Works.

The marker notes Lafayette’s journey on the Erie Canal during the farewell tour, and includes the Lafayette Trail logo. The Lafayette Trail Inc. is planning bicentennial celebrations of Lafayette’s farewell tour in 2024-2025.

The group is pushing to have 175 markers in place to commemorate the tour. That includes 11 in New York State.

Patrice Birner, state regent of the DAR, spoke at the dedication event. Birner, a Middleport resident, said the DAR is supporting the historical markers for Lafayette, who she called “a rock star” who helped secure the country’s independence.
She plans to attend dedication ceremonies next month for Lafayette in Niagara Falls and Brooklyn.

Birner presented pins with Lafayette’s signature to Justin Kania and Kaitlin Bennett, two Albion seventh-graders who participated in the marker’s unveiling. Tim Archer, left, is the service learning teacher at Albion.

Kaitlin Bennett holds one of the pins with Lafayette’s signature.

Kaitlin Bennett speaks at the marker’s unveiling, calling Lafayette “The Hero of Two Worlds.” He commanded U.S. forces in several battles, including the siege of Yorktown, which proved the fatal blow to the British.

“He was a significant man in our country’s history who can here to help us,” Kaitlin said.

When Lafayette returned to France, he was imprisoned for five years due to his role as a monarch. Lafayette was released by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797.

Lafayette would later served in the French government. He died on may 20, 1834 and is buried in a Paris cemetery under soil gathered from Bunker Hill.

Albion teacher Tim Archer thanked the organizations for supporting the new marker, which he said helps tell local history.

For more on the Lafayette Trail, click here.

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Jacobs testifies before House committee, speaks out on Scaffold Law
Staff Reports Posted 15 April 2021 at 8:10 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) testified on Wednesday afternoon in front of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in support of his legislation the Infrastructure Expansion Act.

He spoke against the Scaffold Law in New York State, which he said drives up construction costs by 8 to 10 percent.

New York’s Scaffold Law imposes an absolute liability standard for all gravity-related injuries on construction projects. New York is the only state with such a law. In February, Jacobs reintroduced his legislation, the Infrastructure Expansion Act (H.R. 1300), that would protect New Yorkers from high construction costs by pre-empting the Scaffold Law on any project receiving federal funding – instead implementing a standard of comparative negligence for these projects.

“Absolute liability under the Scaffold Law means employers and property owners are fully liable for worksite accidents, regardless of the contributing fault of the worker,” Jacobs testified. “To understand the injustice of this law, take for example that courts have ruled repeatedly that the intoxication of an employee is not a defense for an employer under the statute. Contrast this with the liability standard of comparative negligence – the standard in every other state – which allows for a reasonable determination of fault between two parties.”

Jacobs wants to exempt federally funded projects from the Scaffold Law and instead place them on a standard of comparative negligence.

“For the sake of our roads, our bridges, our schools, our railroads, our homes and all New Yorkers, the Scaffold Law must be reformed,” Jacobs said.

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NY will allow bars, restaurants to stay open to midnight
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 April 2021 at 7:36 am

Racing tracks can allow spectators, up to 20% capacity

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the state has extended the closing time for bars and restaurants from 11 p.m. to midnight, effective April 19. The curfew for catered events will move from midnight to 1 a.m.

“This is a change that the NYS Restaurant Association has loudly advocated for and we thank all restaurant owner/operators who added their voice to our phone2action campaign to help get this change made,” the Restaurant Association stated on Wednesday. “We will continue to ask for additional capacity and curfew changes – and we hope to see further easing of restrictions in the near future.”

Cuomo also announced that spectators will be allowed at horse and auto races at 20 percent capacity, beginning Thursday, April 22. Spectators will be subject to the state’s strict guidance, which is currently in effect for other professional sports competitions with fans.

Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to the state’s health and safety protocols on face coverings, social distancing and health screening.

“We’re continuing to fight the pandemic each and every day, and the vaccine – the weapon that will win the war – is working,” Cuomo said. “As the situation becomes more manageable, we’re allowing spectators at auto and horse races back into stadiums to safely enjoy great events together. We have a long way to go before reaching a level of immunity that defeats the Covid beast for good, and that’s why New Yorkers need to continue practicing safe behaviors as they go about their daily lives.”

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Roy-Hart’s music program earns national recognition for third straight year
Posted 14 April 2021 at 5:13 pm

Provided photo: Roy-Hart’s music program has found ways to engage students during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press Release, Roy-Hart Central School

MIDDLEPORT  – The Royalton-Hartland school district has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Royalton-Hartland CSD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The Royalton-Hartland Central School District is proud to be recognized once again as A Best Community For Music Education District and want to thank the Board of Education, administration, instructors and community members for their never ending support of our program,” said Superintendent Dr. Hank Stopinski. “Our district recognizes the importance of our music program in reaching the District Vision and its overall impact on our students.”

Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. They have found that in this time of a national pandemic, music and the arts provide a valuable way to keep students engaged in school.

“The phenomenal Music Department at Royalton-Hartland has not only given me a great music education, but it has instilled a passion for music in me,” said Elise Baumer, a 12th grade student. “After facing a major and life altering injury when I was in sixth grade, I turned to music. I became more involved with orchestra and chorus by participating in All-County and All-State solo festivals. Music at Royalton-Hartland has allowed me to build character and self-confidence. The music teachers at Royalton-Hartland truly care about the students and want to support us. I will carry my love for music with me for the rest of my life.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well.

Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

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DOT workers in Albion mourn loss of coworker
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2021 at 4:59 pm

Photos courtesy of CSEA Western Region 6

ALBION – The State Department of Transportation team in Albion are pictured with a memorial they made outside the DOT office on Route 31 in Albion.

The memorial is in honor of Thomas Butler, 43, of Oakfield, who was a highway maintenance supervisor with the DOT. He was killed in an ATV accident on Saturday in Oakfield. Butler was a CSEA member since 2006.

“CSEA Local 506 President Brian Ossont is asking the CSEA universe to keep the Butler family and friends in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time,” the union stated on its Facebook page.

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13 more Covid cases in Orleans, 15 in Genesee
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2021 at 4:36 pm

There are 28 more cases of Covid-19 in Orleans and Genesee counties, bringing the total during the pandemic in the two counties to 7,568. That includes 2,692 in Orleans and 4,876 in Genesee.

In Orleans County there are 13 new positive cases of Covid and those new cases are residents 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, and 50s.

Orleans is reporting 14 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

Of the new cases 2 were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

In Orleans 4 of the current positive individuals are hospitalized, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said.

In Genesee County there are 15 new positive cases and those individuals live in West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke), Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) and East Region (Bergen, Byron, LeRoy, Pavilion, Stafford). Those people are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

Genesee is reporting 25 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

Genesee is reporting 4 residents are currently hospitalized due to Covid.

• Active case numbers decrease: The number of active cases in the two counties is down from 173 on Tuesday to 143 today. In Orleans, the active cases are down from 74 to 60, while in Genesee the active cases decreased from 99 to 83.

• Vaccine clinic in Ridgeway on April 15: There are still appointments available for the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, April 15, from 12:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Ridgeway fire hall on Route 104. (There were 71 spots available as of 4:45 p.m.) Click here to make an appointment.

Walk-ins can stop in from 1 to 3 p.m. with doses available on a first come, first served basis.

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Ortt, Hawley didn’t like state budget but grateful for increase in veterans’ program

Photos by Tom Rivers: State Sen. Robert Ortt, center, speaks today outside the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency office on Route 31. He is joined by Orleans County Chief Administrative Officer Jack Welch, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Veterans’ Services Office Director Nancy Traxler.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2021 at 2:55 pm

ALBION – State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley both were resoundingly opposed to the state’s new $212 billion budget.

But both acknowledged there are some good parts of the spending plan, included $4.5 million for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer to Peer Program.

That program was zeroed out in the governor’s initial budget proposal. It was at $3.5 million. Ortt and Hawley both said the Republican conference pressed hard for the program to get an increase.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley also spoke during the news conference today.

“I am proud to have fought to restore this vital, life-saving funding into this year’s budget so that veterans may get the mental health assistance they need and deserve,” Ortt said. “It is shameful that Gov. Cuomo opted to cut the funding for this program completely in his Executive Budget, but its inclusion in the final state budget is welcome news.”

Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties will share $185,000 with each county getting an equal third of that amount or $61,667. Niagara and Monroe counties each have also been approved for $185,000.

Orleans will run the program out of the Veterans Service Agency. None of the funds will go towards administering the program with the money going solely to boost social opportunities and peer connections among veterans. In the past the program has paid for fishing outings, baseball and Buffalo Sabres games, YMCA programs, a train ride with the Medina Railroad Museum and other activities.

The Peer to Peer Support Program was established in honor Pfc. Joseph P. Dwyer, who is from Suffolk County and later moved to North Carolina. After returning home from Iraq, Dwyer suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. He received care from the VA, but had a hard time integrating into civilian life, eventually taking his own life.

“22 veterans a day take their lives due to the lingering effects of their service at nearly 1.5 times the rate of the general population,” Ortt said. “This funding will help connect those suffering from the invisible scars of war with the assistance they need to survive, and we must continue the fight to ensure this program is a permanent fixture in the budget every year.”

Ortt and Hawley both said they want to see the funding become a permanent part of the state budget, and not be in limbo each year.

“To think that funding for this vital program was ever on the chopping block is incredibly disheartening, and I am grateful to my colleagues in the Legislature for preserving this program as the governor tried to defund it entirely,” Hawley said. “For many veterans, the hardship they face persists even after they return from duty, and we should be doing all we can to help them in their struggles for all they do for us and our nation. As a veteran myself and member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I can’t say enough how much of an impact programs such as the Dwyer program have on the lives of soldiers returning to civilian life and how disastrous losing such an important program would be.”

Nancy Traxler, director of the Orleans County Veterans’ Service Office, said programs are being planned through the program. She expects those activities to be announced soon as Covid-19 restrictions are being eased.

“Veterans all over New York are being helped by this program, and it would have been a great loss to the veteran community had this funding not been added back into the budget,” Traxler said.

Veterans in Orleans County interested in upcoming activities through the Dwyer program can call Traxler’s office at (585) 589-3219.

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Medina has 3 seats up for election on Board of Education
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2021 at 12:26 pm

MEDINA – There are three seats up for election on May 18. Candidates for the positions need to submit petitions signed by at least 25 registered voters in the school district by 5 p.m. April 19 to be eligible to be on the ballot.

The following Board of Education seats are open this year:

  • Two 3-year terms for seats currently held by Dr. Ann Webster-Bunch and Lori Draper
  • One 1-year term for the seat currently held by Brian Koch. (The winner of this seat will begin immediately after the election on May 18.)

For information about a petition, please call Julie Kuhn, District Clerk, at 798-2700, option 6, 1.

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Lyndonville district not happy with new state requirement for mask wearing
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2021 at 8:56 am

School has allowed students to not wear masks when spaced out 6 feet or more

LYNDONVILLE — The school district has had students for in-person classes five days a week throughout the school year. They haven’t been required to wear masks when at their desks, which are spaced apart 6 feet or more.

But new guidance from the State Department of Health on Friday requires masks to be worn at all times by students, except when they are eating. The state reduced the social distancing from 6 to 3 feet. The state also advised that partitions set up in many classrooms and on desks aren’t encouraged because they aren’t proven to be effective.

“Our Board of Education and I fully realize and appreciate that this new required regulation will not be well received by the majority of our community, as the survey results in the summer overwhelmingly supported reduced mask use,” Jason Smith, the district superintendent, wrote in a letter to the community on Tuesday.

Lyndonville will be shifting to a new mask policy on Friday, requiring the face coverings to be worn except at meals.

“I also question and am frustrated by the timing of such a new regulation at this point in the year, as our school has been and is fully committed to a safe, responsible, and reasonable reopening plan where we are providing in-person instruction five days per week,” Smith said. “All that being said, the Board and District are engaged in advocacy and lobbying efforts with local and state officials to address these concerns.”

Some of the board members want to take legal action against the state for requiring the mask policy in cases where social distancing is possible at 6 feet or more.

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YMCA ready to expand Canal Club’s opportunities for biking, kayaking

Provided photos: A group of kayakers led by Colby Albone paddle down the Erie Canal near Medina before the pandemic. Albone oversees the kayaking program for the YMCA.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 14 April 2021 at 7:50 am

MEDINA – A new program started by Greg Reed, director of the Orleans County YMCA, is designed to attract tourists and give local residents a chance to be active by experiencing more of Medina has to offer – on land and water.

In 2019, Reed wrote a grant to the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation’s Legacy Fund for $25,000 to purchase bikes and kayaks, which can be rented by tourists and Medina residents.

Kayakers taking part in the YMCA’s Canal Club, paddle near Medina Falls on Glenwood Lake. YMCA director Greg Reed started the club in 2019 with a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation Legacy Fund.

He started the YMCA Canal Club, which he sees as being able to promote Medina and the canal year round.

“We have a great natural resource in the canal, and this provides a great opportunity to run such a program,” Reed said.

He thinks not only bikes and kayaks would be popular, but mountain bikes and snowshoes. The Canal Club members would receive lower rental fees, but the equipment would be open to the community, as well.

Reed said he came from Denver, where bikes can be rented year round. He pitched his idea to the Medina Village Board at its last meeting, asking to have a small shed in the canal basin to store kayaks and a bike rack in Rotary Park from which to rent bikes.

The bikes and/or scooters would be e-bikes, which means an individual can unlock them and pay the rental with an app on their phone.

Last year, Reed applied for and was approved for a $40,000 matching grant from the Erie Canalway Corridor’s Consolidated Fund. He ordered bikes and then the pandemic hit. They arrived in August, and Reed has been waiting for guidance from the state to be updated so they can be used.

Reed said the New York State Power Authority is promoting their Staycation Program and while they are on board with rentals, they have not said what they will do regarding excursions until the pandemic is over.

The YMCA has purchased 10 bikes, and depending how it goes, Reed said he would like to order 20 more. He would also like to have some suited for people with disabilities.

In the meantime, he said the YMCA will continue its regular biking and kayaking programs from the canal basin to Culvert Road and back. He said Pittsford did a similar program last year and he wants to replicate it here.

He said when tourists come to Medina, they are looking for things to do and this would promote tourism and local businesses.

“This will be complimentary to our business,” Reed said.

Colby Albone is heading the Canal Club programming. Another local sporting enthusiast is David Fuller of Medina, who is also planning to do waterway recreation, such as tubes and kayaks. He has wanted to have rentals for some time and recently partnered with the Erie Canal Boat Company in Lockport to make it happen.

Colby Albone instructs kayakers how to paddle before entering Glenwood Lake.

Fuller said he will be working with the Erie Canal Boat Company, which also has a launch pad in Fairport. In addition, Fuller has a friend who lives on the Oak Orchard River at 3359 North Gravel Rd. and has agreed to make his property available for kayakers and canoers.

Fuller will keep his equipment there and plans to install an outdoor bathroom and changing room. He said boaters can travel the river to Bates Road, where a resident allows launching there, but asks that users respect the property. From there, it is possible to continue to Oak Orchard on the Ridge or Knowlesville Townline Road.

Fuller will also provide shuttle service for kayakers and canoers who need a ride back to their cars. Bikes are available for rent now, and other equipment will be available May 7. Fuller has tubes, kayaks, boats and two stand-up paddle boards. Information on rentals can be found by logging on to the Erie Canal Boat Company’s website and clicking on the Medina section.

Fuller’s bikes include two e-bikes which can be rented at Vine Street Park.

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Candidates file petitions to run for town, county offices
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2021 at 6:50 pm

Slate shows several Republican primaries, including races for town supervisor in Barre, Murray

Candidates for local town and county elected positions have filed petitions to run for those offices in November. However, some will face Republican primaries on June 22.

The primaries include two races for town supervisor, including retired Sheriff Randy Bower trying to oust Joe Sidonio in Murray. In Barre, Sean Pogue faces a challenge for town supervisor from Scott Burnside. Barre also has four candidates running for two other positions on the Town Board.

The slate of candidates include two changes on the seven-member County Legislature. Ken DeRoller and John DeFillipps  aren’t seeking re-election.

Republicans backed Ed Morgan, who is retired as Murray highway superintendent, for the at-large position currently held by DeFillipps. John Fitzak, a member of Carlton Town Board, was endorsed by Republicans for DeRoller’s position representing the towns of Carlton, Kendall and Murray.

Candidates usually need to submit petitions signed by at least 5 percent of the registered voters in their party. This year, due to Covid-19, the number of signatures was reduced to 1.5 percent.

Those petitions needed to be turned into the Orleans County Board of Election by the March 25 deadline.

There is still a chance for candidates to run for an elected position. They can do it under an independent line. They would need petitions signed by at least 2.5 percent of the total registered voters in that town, district or county. That is down from the 5 percent requirement before Covid. Those petitions are due to the Board of Elections from May 18 to May 25.

Here are the candidates who have submitted petitions so far:

Town of Albion

  • Town Supervisor – Richard Remley, Republicans
  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – Arnold Allen Jr. and Sandra Bensley, both Republicans

Town of Barre

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Scott Burnside and Sean Pogue, both Republicans
  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – George McKenna, David Waters, Lynn Hill and Tom McCabe, all Republicans

Town of Carlton

  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – Jeffrey Gifaldi and Deborah Yockel, both Republicans
  • Town Clerk (1 position) – Karen Narburgh, Conservative and Republican; and Dori Goetze, Republican
  • Highway Superintendent (1 position) – Kurt Van Wyke, Republican
  • Town Justice (1 position) – Kevin Hurley, Republican

Town of Clarendon

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Richard Moy, Republican
  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – William Fox, Democrat; Marc Major, Republican; and Christopher Caufield, Republican

Town of Gaines

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Tyler Allport, Republican
  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – James Kirby and Kenneth Rush, both Republicans
  • Town Justice (1 position) – Henry Smith Jr. and Charles Prentice Jr., both Republicans
  • Town Clerk (1 position) – Susan Heard, Republican

Town of Kendall

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Anthony Cammarata, Republican
  • Town Councilpersons (2 positions) – Paul Jennings and Wayne Martin Jr., both Republicans
  • Town Clerk (1 position) – Amy Richardson, Republican
  • Highway Superintendent (1 position) – Warren Kruger, Republican
  • Town Justice (1 position) – Debra Kluth, Republican

Town of Murray

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Joseph Sidonio, Conservative and Republican; and Randy Bower, Republican
  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – Michael Mele and Paul Hendel, both Republicans. (A petition also was submitted for Robert MacClaren, a Republican, but he declined the nomination and won’t be on the ballot.)
  • Highway Superintendent (1 position) – Dirk Lammes, Conservative and Republican
  • Town Justice (1 position) – Gary Passarell, Republican
  • Town Clerk (1 position) – Cynthia Oliver, Republican

Town of Ridgeway

  • Town Councilperson (2 positions) – David Stalker, Conservative and Republican; Jeffrey Toussaint, Republican; and Cliff Barber, Republican
  • Town Clerk (1 position) – Laurie Kilburn, Conservative and Republican; Elisa J. “E.J.” Cox, Republican; and Hannah Hill, Republican
  • Highway Superintendent (1 position) – John Olinger, Republican

Town of Shelby

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – Jeffrey Smith, Republican
  • Town Councilpersons (2 positions) – Edward Mathew Zelazny, William Bacon and Stephen Seitz Sr., all Republicans

Town of Yates

  • Town Supervisor (1 position) – James Simon, Republican
  • Town Councilpersons (2 positions) – Paul Lauricella Jr., Conservative; and Terry Chaffee Jr. and Harold Suhr, both Republicans
  • Town Justice (1 position) – Donald Grabowski, Republican

Orleans County

  • Legislator District 1 (Barre, Calrendon, most of Shelby) – William Eick, Republican
  • Legislator District 2 (Ridgeway, Yates, part of Shelby) – Lynne Johnson, Republican
  • Legislator District 3 (Albion and Gaines) – Fred Miller, Democrat
  • Legislator District 4 (Carlton, Kendall, Murray) – John Fitzak, Republican
  • Legislator At-Large from West (countywide) – Merle “Skip” Draper, Republican
  • Legislator At-Large from Central (countywide) – Donald Allport, Republican
  • Legislator At-Large from East (countywide) – Edward Morgan, Republican
  • County Treasurer – Kimberly DeFrank, Republican
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New Covid cases reported today include 14 in Orleans, 19 in Genesee
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2021 at 4:43 pm

There are 33 more confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported today in Orleans and Genesee counties, bringing the total during the pandemic to 7,540 in the two counties including 2,679 in Orleans and 4,861 in Genesee.

In Orleans County there are 14 new positive cases reported today and those cases are 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.

Orleans is reporting 17 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

Of the new cases one was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive. There are currently 2 Orleans residents hospitalized due to Covid, according to a news briefing this afternoon from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

In Genesee County there 19 new positive cases of Covid and they are 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 and 50s.

Genesee is reporting 18 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

One of the new positive individuals is an inmate at the Genesee County Jail, where 32 inmates have now tested positive during the pandemic.

Six Genesee residents are currently hospitalized due to Covid.

Vaccine Update from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently on pause due to a very rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after getting the vaccine, generally 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.

If you have recently received the vaccine, be alert for potential symptoms such as developing a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath – within the last few weeks – contact your primary care provider and seek medical treatment.

There are still two vaccines and there have been no adverse events with either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

All New Yorkers 16 and over are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Visit the GO Health Vaccination Page to check for upcoming vaccination clinics. All of our clinics are targeted for Genesee and Orleans residents but are open to residents who live, work and/or study in New York State.

If you do not have internet access, there are walk-in hours with walk-ins on a first come, first served as vaccine is available. The walk-in hours for Wednesday, April 14, at GCC in Batavia are 1 to 4 p.m. The walk-in hours for Thursday, April 15, at the Ridgeway fire hall are 1 to 3 p.m.

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NY announces it will target vaccine to farmworkers, food production companies
Posted 13 April 2021 at 4:04 pm

State will partner with community health centers, local health departments to bring pop-up vaccination sites to farms

Photo from Governor’s Office: Andrew Cuomo speaks at Angry Orchards in Orange County today, announcing a push to get farmworkers and food production workers vaccinated.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new targeted effort to vaccinate workers at New York State farms and food production facilities. The state will coordinate with local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers to bring pop-up vaccination sites to workers, including migrant workers, at their places of employment.

The Governor also announced that as part of the new vaccination effort, New York State will provide 500 doses to Sun River Health, a local health care network, to administer to Angry Orchard employees, as well as farm and food production workers from other facilities in the Orange County area. Vaccines will be administered beginning Wednesday, April 21.

“As we continue to expand eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine and establish more pop-up sites to reach New Yorkers in underserved communities, it’s critical that we bring the vaccine to every part of the state, not just those with high populations,” Cuomo said at Angry Orchards in Orange County today. “That’s why we’re making sure food production workers and farm workers in rural areas, including migrant workers, get vaccinated for Covid-19.”

New York Farm Bureau State Director Chris Kelder said, “Farmworkers are essential to the success of agriculture and to feeding millions of New York’s consumers, from St. Lawrence County to Manhattan.  It is critical that workers have ongoing access to Covid-19 vaccines to ensure their health and safety as they do their work. Access to vaccines has been the leading priority of New York Farm Bureau and farmers from across the state.”

The effort to vaccinate food production workers and farmworkers builds on New York’s efforts to combat food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The FY 2022 Enacted Budget adds $50 million to Nourish New York for a total $85 million investment to extend the program through 2021. This critical program helps people who are food insecure access the nourishment that they need, leveraging the vast agricultural industry of New York State to connect food banks and providers to purchase locally grown and produced food.

Since the Governor launched Nourish NY at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020, 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products have been purchased from New York farmers and delivered to more than 1.3 million households in need across New York State.

Rural & Migrant Ministry Executive Director Reverend Richard Witt said, “It is important for all of us involved in the food system: farmworkers, farmers, consumers, the health system and the State continue to work diligently to ensure that farmworkers are protected and vaccinated. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward.”

Rural & Migrant Ministry Catskill Regional Coordinator Juanita Sarmiento said, “I have seen first hand, while translating and helping our local rural and migrant communities with testing and vaccines, the impact of this pandemic. We need to continue to uphold not only the efforts to keep New York healthy but to establish an accessible educational campaign on the importance of the vaccination and testing efforts. I’m glad to see us take these steps forward.”

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Health Department seeking info on dog that bit someone in Batavia
Posted 13 April 2021 at 2:10 pm

Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments

BATAVIA – The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner following a dog bite incident on Thursday, April 8, around 3:20 pm.

The person was walking on the sidewalk near Batavia Gardens Apartments heading west towards Jerome Place in Batavia.

The dog is described as a tan Chihuahua. The dog was accompanied by a 16-18 year old male who was described as tall and thin with brown/dark/dirty blonde, semi long shaggy hair. He was wearing a black hoodie, pants and glasses. He had headphones on and was paying attention to his phone at the time of the incident.

It is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies shot. If the health status is not identified, post exposure rabies shots will be offered to the victim.

If you have information about the location of the dog and its owner, please contact the Health Department in Genesee County at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

Spring is here and animals are out more, so “love your own…leave the rest alone.” All wild and unknown animals (even dogs and cats) should be avoided whenever possible since the possibility of exposures to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime.

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