Author visiting Medina and Le Roy to discuss 2 romantic comedy novels

Provided images: Dylan Newton will be in Medina on June 13 and will give a presentation on her two most recent novels.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 5 June 2023 at 11:19 pm

MEDINA – A noted author will visit Author’s Note, Medina’s independent book store, on June 13 to discuss her two latest romantic comedy novels.

Dylan Newton will discuss, sign copies and read from her books, “How Sweet It Is” and “All Fired Up,” beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Newton was born and raised in a small town where the library was her favorite hangout. After more than a decade working in corporate jobs, she quit to pursue writing books, and has since created four published novels, with more to come. When she isn’t writing, she spends the day with her husband, as they split time between Florida and Upstate New York with their two daughters.

In addition to Tuesday evening’s event, which is free and open to the public, Newton will also introduce her books at a similar event at 6 p.m. June 14 at Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy.

Author’s Note’s new marketing director Jack Masse gives an insight into each of the books.

“How Sweet It Is” follows event planner Kate Sweet as she falls in love with a bestselling horror writer, Drake Matthews, after she plans his new book launch event. Kate is famous for creating the perfect dream weddings for her clients. Kate’s and Drake’s lives change drastically, turning into something of a nightmare. With Drake being unprepared in the face of chaos and the sting of romance, their story of romance will surprise everyone, including the characters themselves, Masse said.

“All Fired Up” is about the blossoming love between two opposites – Imani Lewis, a book publicist, and Zander Matthews, a handyman helping Imani fix her grandmother’s house. Imani has agreed to stay with her grandmother for the summer as she recovers from surgery, back in the small town where Imani had an embarrassing one-night stand.

Zander is a former Marine still holding on to a lost love of a woman who blew into town a year ago, only to disappear soon after. He agrees to help Imani fix up her grandmother’s house, as long as they stay within the friend zone, but life seems to have other plans.

“How Sweet It Is,” Newton’s first romantic comedy, has received many awards and reviews. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews describes the novel as “A hilarious rom-com romp that delivers on both sweet and heat. It was tagged as a rom-com selection by The Nerd Daily, named to PopSugar’s list of 12 Swoon-Worthy Romance Books to Read in one sitting and selected as a book club read by Woman’s World.

“All Fired Up” is the second book in Newton’s Matthews’ brother series, and has also received many awards and reviews. The Nerd Daily describes the novel as “A delightful second chance, opposites attract, small town romantic comedy that would be perfect for fans of the Bergman Brothers series by Chloe Liese, the Brown Sisters trilogy by Talia Hibbert, and others. Booklist also defines the novel as an “utterly delightful romance.”

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Duct-taped cardboard boat crosses canal in Holley Regatta
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2023 at 10:30 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Boy Scouts in Troop 62 in Holley, Gunner Knight in yellow vest and Jack Breuilly in front, paddle a cardboard boat held together with 12 rolls of duct tape.

They are racing Avery Haggerty who was on a boat made from Big Guys Campground.

The Boy Scouts made it easily across the Erie Canal as part of a trial regatta for the Holley June Fest on Saturday. Organizers were pleased with the race and want to open up the event to the community next year.

The boat paddled by Avery was a bit wobbly and seemed to spin around in a circle.

Boy Scouts check the boat for sturdiness while it was on the north side of the canal, just east of the lift bridge. Logan Lane, Gabe Haggerton and Zack Mrzywka also were part of the Scout team on Saturday.

These adult volunteers carry the Scout boat to the canal water. The Scouts named the boat, “S.S. Waterhog.”

Jack Breuilly, left, and Gunner Knight get ready paddle about 150 feet to the other side of the canal. The teams could have no more than two people in a boat.

Brian Bartalo, Holley district superintendent, would like to see different teams and clubs from the school enter the competition next year.

The June Fest also included a performance from the Holley-Kendall Marching Band.

The band started at Public Square and headed to White Street and then to the canal park.

The June Fest included bounce houses, pony rides, alpacas, food, beverages, craft vendors and a wine-tasting.

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In 1850, first resident priest appointed to serve Orleans, eastern Niagara

Provided photo: Rev. Richard Harmon, left, was the first resident pastor of Medina and Eastern Niagara/Orleans Counties. Photo by Chris Busch (Right) The monument at the grave of Father Harmon is in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Medina.

Posted 5 June 2023 at 12:35 pm

Rev. Richard Harmon, age 25, served wide territory from Somerset and Middleport, to Albion and Holley.

By Chris Busch

MEDINA – With the arrival of the Erie Canal on the Niagara Frontier came many of the first Catholics to the region. Sparsely settled only twenty years before, this new land was now poised for unbridled economic and spiritual growth.

With Catholics scattered across Niagara and Orleans counties, there were precious few opportunities for communal worship or to receive the Sacraments. The Catholic faithful were often hard-pressed for a priest to say Mass, and when a priest was available, he had to travel considerable distances and visited only occasionally.

Quoting Rev. Thomas Donahue, D.D. from his book, The History of the Catholic Church In Western New York, 1904:

“We can imagine how welcome the visit of a Catholic clergyman must be in the remote regions to the Catholic inhabitants. They sometimes waited for years to have their children baptized and to receive the sacraments, and the advent of a priest was the occasion of great gladness. He could say Mass for them in one of their homes, or in the court house; would baptize their children, would give them holy communion, and in their happy moments they would feel that they were again members of the Church from which they had been practically excluded.”

Such was the case on the Niagara Frontier. In 1832, there were a few Catholics in Medina, Middleport and Albion who were occasionally visited by priests from Lockport and sometimes Rochester. According to histories written on the subject, those visiting duties often fell to Rev. Michael McNamara, Rev. Patrick Costello and later, Rev. Bernard O’Reilly.

In 1832, Father Michael McNamara traveled from Rochester to say Mass for the Catholics of Medina. This was a highly anticipated event and the news spread like wildfire, not only among the village’s Catholics but among their Protestant friends as well. Fr. McNamara said Mass in the home of William Walsh and it was filled for the occasion.

Soon after, Reverend Bernard O’Reilly came from Rochester (and later, Lockport) and said Mass for the Catholics at the home of William O’Donnell on West Center Street.

Fr. O’Reilly was among the first to minister to Catholic families in Medina and the surrounding wide area. It was O’Reilly who officiated at the first Catholic marriage in Medina– that of James Kearney and Ann Kelly. The home of James Cullen located upon Laurel Hill was the scene of several meetings after that.

Outside of these uncertain visits of the priest, the people were obliged to send to Lockport or Rochester for a clergyman when they were sick, or to journey to one of these places when they wished to be married, have their children baptized or bury their dead.

Catholics in Medina and the surrounding communities continued to rely solely on infrequent visiting priests until upon the joyous day of Nov. 1, 1850 when The Most Rev. John Timon, Bishop of Buffalo, assigned a young priest from Ireland to Medina.

From Medina, Rev. Richard Harmon, age 25, was given charge of all the Catholic faithful in a wide territory from Somerset and Middleport, to Albion and Holley.

Again quoting Rev. Thomas Donahue, D.D. from his book, The History of the Catholic Church In Western New York, 1904:

“Then came Father Harmon, who by his gentle ways and zealous labors gained the affection of all, and is held in fond remembrance.”

Thus, Fr. Richard Harmon became the first resident pastor of Medina and the “father” of a newly formed family of the Catholic faithful. His first baptism was John Holoway, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Holoway, Medina.

It is worthy to here note that the Diocese of Buffalo has recently undertaken a reorganization of parishes into ‘family’ groups to better minister to WNY Catholics with limited resources.

Ironically, the newly organized Family #11 of parishes encompasses the very same wide region as Fr. Harmon’s ‘family’ in 1850- the territory between Somerset and Holley. The Catholic Church in Eastern Niagara and Orleans Counties seems to have come full circle.

Like many young priests of that time, Fr. Harmon was a native son of Ireland, and completed his priestly formation in Europe.

Rev. Richard Harmon was the son of John H. and Hannah Lyons Harmon of County Carlow, Ireland. His parents, who never came to America, had thirteen children– four daughters and two sons who died in Ireland, and seven sons who settled in Indiana and Michigan.

Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian reflects:

“Acquiring a higher education in Ireland at that time was no easy task. The Penal Laws were somewhat less stringently enforced by then, but the memory remained of a time in the 16th and 17th centuries when Catholic priests had been hunted and churches destroyed. Catholics were not allowed to own land, vote, hold public office, and especially – receive a higher education.”

Harmon began his college studies in Carlow College and later attended a seminary in Sauns, (Southern) France where he was ordained a secular priest. From there, he traveled to America and to Buffalo. He was first stationed briefly at Lockport until his assignment to Medina in 1850.

With Mass often being said in a home, sometimes vestments were kept on site. A traveling priest had to carry what was needed to say Mass with him, including a ‘saddle chalice’– a simple chalice made in two pieces, making it easier to carry in a saddle bag. He may have also carried a small altar stone, perhaps made of oak, that was blessed by the bishop.

Fr. Harmon lived in the old Vandemark Hotel, Main and West Center (where Avanti’s now stands.) There was no rectory in Medina and only a small wood structure church. It was his task not only to minister to the faithful, but to build a permanent Catholic presence on this frontier in the communities under his care. He immediately set about doing just that.

Quoting Rev. Thomas Donahue, D.D. from his book, The History of the Catholic Church In Western New York, 1904, regarding Somerset–

“Fr. Harmon was the first priest to visit the vicinity of the present church at Somerset. He came in 1851, and was entertained as a guest by Mr. David Barker, a Protestant gentleman, on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning Father Harmon said Mass in the home of Michael Burke.”

And regarding Albion–

“Bishop Timon visited Albion in June, 1849, accompanied by Father Harmon of Medina. A site was selected for a church on North Main Street; and soon after work was begun on the building…”

From Albion, charge was given to Rev. J. L. Castaldi in 1865 of what became known as St. Mary’s of Holley.

As was the case with any circuit riding priest, Fr. Harmon came by horseback in the heat of summer and the cold of winter to minister to his flock across his wide pastorate. Fortunate indeed when the slow mule drawn packets of the canal could be used.

With Mass often being said in a home, sometimes vestments were kept on site. A traveling priest had to carry what was needed to say Mass with him, including a ‘saddle chalice’– a simple chalice made in two pieces, making it easier to carry in a saddle bag. He may have also carried a small altar stone, perhaps made of oak, that was blessed by the bishop.

According to an article from The Catholic Standard, authored by Stephanie A. T. Jacobe, Ph.D., June 4, 2021 entitled What did a circuit riding priest carry with him?:

“In many places the family would keep vestments and linens, but a traveling priest had to carry much of what he needed with him.

Before the Second Vatican Council, a lawful Roman Catholic Mass could only be celebrated on an altar consecrated by a bishop. It had to be a single piece of natural stone. The five crosses (at each corner of the stone) symbolize the five wounds of Christ and mark the places where a bishop would have consecrated the stone with oil. There was often also a small area where two relics were inserted into the stone. In the early Christian Church, portable altars could be made of wood.”

And so it likely was with Fr. Harmon– a man of gentle ways and zealous faith – a circuit riding priest with a God-given fervor and devotion to shepherd his faith-family on this new, vast and often harsh frontier.

Unfortunately, it was not meant to be that Fr. Harmon presided over his growing family for long. The zealous priest purchased some property in Medina with the thought of erecting a church, but this was not to happen.

Sadly, Fr. Harmon contracted a fever and died at the age of 26 in the spring of 1851 in the Vandermark Hotel in Medina. The young priest who had brought so much promise had been called home.

His body rests in the priests’ and sisters’ plot in St. Mary Cemetery, Medina. His grave is marked prominently with a beautiful, large monument denoting a pastor who was much beloved by his people. In all likelihood, the tremendous labors and hard life of a circuit riding priest with his arduous duties likely contributed to the fever that claimed his life. The faithful might say that perhaps he had been chosen by God for this one singular task– to establish God’s Church among the Catholic faithful in this region.

Fr. Harmon contracted a fever and died at the age of 26 in the spring of 1851 in the Vandermark Hotel in Medina. The young priest who had brought so much promise had been called home.

Whatever the case, Fr. Harmon died fervently shepherding his family.

Though his time in our region was brief, his impact was immense. Fr. Harmon accomplished much and sowed the seeds that soon grew into the faith family known today across Eastern Niagara and Orleans Counties.

The fruits of his labors still remain in the communities that were under his care – in Medina, Barker, Middleport and Albion from which grew parishes in Holley, and later Lyndonville and Kendall. They are a testament to the sacrifices made by Fr. Harmon and the faithful forebears of this region who through their perseverance, founded and grew a Catholic faith community through difficult times on a new frontier.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Chris Busch is a member of Parish Family #11 in the Diocese of Buffalo and a communicant at Holy Trinity/St. Mary’s in Medina. He is also a retired history teacher from Lockport High School West.

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Albion PD for first time joins in torch run for Special Olympics
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2023 at 11:32 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Members of the Albion Police Department carried the torch for the Special Olympics this morning in a 2.7-mile run through the village. The top photo shows Sgt. Will Francis, right, handing the torch to officer Sean McElhinny. They are running south on Main Street.

Police Chief Dave Mogle carries the torch at the beginning of the run. Lt. Brandon Annable is at left. Nearly everyone in the Albion PD was part of the run this morning.

Mogle said he went to a Law Enforcement Torch Run last year in Niagara Falls with Village Trustee Tim McMurray to see what a run in person and the logistics involved.

Mogle wanted to host the run to offer another chance for law enforcement between Erie-Niagara counties and Monroe to be part of a torch run. (Batavia also hosts one in Genesee County.)

“We wanted one in Orleans County,” Mogle said. “We welcome more agencies to be a part of it.”

The Albion Police Department pose with students at Albion before the run.

Alex Yankevich, an Albion student, holds the torch before the police officers started on the run.

Dillon Black, a sergeant with the Albion PD, takes a turn carrying the torch. He is followed by Nathaniel Staines.

Albion police officer Justyn Haines runs on Main Street. He wears a commemorative shirt for the torch run. Matt Prawel, an Orleans County deputy and the Albion school resource officer, is at right.

Erica Raepple, senior director of development at the Special Olympics in New York, said the Law Enforcement Torch Run raised $2.4 million for the Special Olympics last year, with funding going to support unified sports and many other programs for people with disabilities.

Leslie Daum of Waterport carried an American flag for the beginning of the run. She said she has been a longtime supporter for the cause. She remembers attending the opening ceremonies in 1979 at Brockport State College when the local college hosted the International Special Olympics.

The officers head south down Main Street. They were headed to Route 31, where they then went east to the Albion school campus to Clarendon Road, back on Route 31, down McKinistry Street and then back to the village office on East Bank Street.

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Local wildlife management area created in 1941 after concern over big muskrat operation for furs
Posted 5 June 2023 at 9:21 am

The Great Blue Heron, one of the many birds who benefited from the establishment of wildlife management areas locally. (Photo courtesy of Doug Domedion)

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans, Vol. 3, No. 19

TOWN OF ALABAMA – One does not readily associate fur coats or a firearms tax with the Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area, but both were, in fact, factors in the development of this resting refuge for migrating waterfowl.

The Oak Orchard Watershed, locally referred to as the “Alabama Swamp” or “The Swamp” is part of a chain of lowlands that extends across the state. Attempts to drain the area were attempted periodically, the most ambitious was carried out by the Western New York Farm Company in 1914 when they installed canals and lateral ditches convert the swamp to arable muckland for growing onions and potatoes.

In his “History of the Wildlife Areas”, Thomas “Dan” Carroll explains that the Elba muck drainage had a secondary effect on the ecology of the swamp.

“Rapid dumping of flood waters from the mucklands through the dredged section of the Oak Orchard Creek resulted in increased flooding of the lands downstream. Conditions were improved for waterfowl and furbearers generally west of the Oakfield-Albion Road.”

This came to the attention of Martin A. Schmitt, a Buffalo furrier of German descent, who recognized that this tract of open land covered with shallow water would be ideal for the growth of cattails, the staple food of muskrats. In 1927, he purchased 1,000 acres “lying westerly from the Oakfield-Albion Road to Knowlesville Road and another 500 acres west of the Knowlesville Road” to raise muskrats for his fur shop. The enterprise was named the Martin A. Schmitt Fur Farm and was later the Oak Orchard Fur Farm Inc.

Martin A. Schmitt advertised primarily in Dziennik Dla Wszystkich, Everybody’s Daily, a Polish language newspaper published in Buffalo. This ad highlights the Hudson Seal coat, no doubt made from locally sourced Oak Orchard muskrats. There must be one surviving in a closet or attic?

Fur coats were at that time a status symbol, associated with wealth, glamour, and luxury. Mink coats were the most luxurious and the most expensive. However, a large market existed for affordable alternatives – such as muskrat.

To enhance the habitat for muskrats, he installed a system of low dikes to catch the spring floods. He enclosed the resulting ponds with low muskrat-proof fences to contain his stock and employed a game warden to keep hunters and trappers off his farm. He issued trapping privileges to thirty muskrat hunters who worked on a commission basis, keeping one of each three animals taken. In 1929, Mr. Smith noted that 10,000 muskrats had been taken off the property in the previous hunting season.

The skins were stretched on wire frames to dry and cure, and then bought by the Martin A. Schmitt & Co. Inc., furriers of 208 Watson St. Buffalo, which was owned by the same stockholders. The skins were tanned and dyed to resemble sealskin and made into Hudson Seal coats, a term which was more appealing than “Muskrat Coats”. About 55 skins were used in the production of one coat. Having been trimmed and squared, the skins were pieced using a zig-zag line so that the joining would not show from the outside. A skilled workman could finish a coat in a day. The coats had good color and texture, offered medium warmth and best of all, were affordable.

During this time, Orleans County Sportsmen, concerned at the decline of wildlife in the area, advocated for the establishment of a refuge in the southwestern part of Orleans County. H. Everett Hart produced a report on the Oak Orchard Swamp in 1935. He noted that increasing numbers of wild fowl were congregating throughout the year on the land inundated by Mr. Schmitt for his fur farm. Muskrats, being mainly vegetarian, feed on aquatic plants and in doing so, they create open water which attracts wading birds, ducks and songbirds.

The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, now known as Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, included an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition to generate revenue for wildlife conservation. A portion was made available to the New York State Conservation Department for land acquisition.

Martin A. Schmitt died in 1939. Wildlife manager, Robert F. Perry, later regional director of the Region 8 Office of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, encouraged the purchase of the Schmitt property. It was acquired for $10 (currently $212) per acre in 1941 and formed the basis for the Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area. Several adjoining properties were purchased in due course until the site totaled 2,500 acres. This was the first step in the creation of the wildlife habitat complex we are familiar with today.

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Hoag librarian honored by Nioga with outreach award for tech aid
Posted 5 June 2023 at 8:55 am

By Claire Squicciarini, correspondent

Photo by Claire Squicciarini: Betty Sue Miller, director of Hoag Library, congratulates Michael Magnuson, the adult services librarian, for winning Nioga’s outreach award.

ALBION – The Nioga Library System is a non-profit system serving public libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. Each year at the Nioga annual meeting an outreach award is presented to a library employee in three-county library system.

Michael Magnuson, the adult services librarian at Hoag, was recognized for his tech services he provides to Hoag Library patrons.

“I do my best to try to help if I can’t I try to refer them to someone who can,” Magnuson.

He previously worked at the public library in Jamestown where that library providing some tech help to the community. Magnuson shared that initiative with Betty Sue Miller, the Hoag Library director. She backed the idea and Magnuson began to schedule individual appointments to help those in the community that aren’t too tech savvy.

“He has helped to make an atmosphere here that I am just absolutely thrilled with,” Miller said. Seeing his impact, the program coordinator Katie Leach from the Orleans Digital Literacy Initiative partnered with the Hoag library and made Magnuson a tech mentor.

Now Magnuson provides tech support every Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Hoag Library. Magnuson and Leach refer people to each other to ensure the communities satisfaction. Leach saw the effect Magnuson had on the library and community and nominated him for the Outreach Award.

“I was thrilled that Nioga saw the benefit from outside our own little perimeters,” Miller said. The hard work and compassion of Magnuson was recognized from outside the community while being appreciated within.

“It’s a huge honor I am glad to be able to help people here in the community,” Magnuson said. Magnuson joined the Hoag Library staff in September 2018. He said he welcomes people of all ages to stop in if they have a tech question.

Nioga, in its nomination form, stated the outreach award goes to someone providing outstanding services to people in any of the following populations:

  • Individuals with visual, physical, or developmental disabilities
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Individuals who are 65 years or older
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Individuals who are geographically isolated
  • Individuals with and economic or educational disadvantage
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Pratt welcomes crowd for concert in historic Albion opera house
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2023 at 7:30 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lonnie Froman is the lead singer for “Match Box Blues” with the Pratt Music Hall Pit Band during a concert at the historic Pratt opera house on the third floor of 110-114 North Main St.

Shannon Vanderlaan and her mother Karen Conn sing “Stand By Me” during the concert at the Pratt.

About 100 people attended the concert on Sunday at the Pratt theater, in what was billed as the venue’s first musical concert in a century.

The Pratt hosted some smaller events about a decade ago, but building owner Michael Bonafede said the permit was for up to 20 people and the site only had a one-day special permit for those performances.

The Pratt secured a certificate of occupancy about a year ago and Bonafede said he hopes Sunday’s event is the beginning of the Pratt again being used regularly for performances.

“We want this to be a place known for sharing the joy of music, and sharing the joy of performance,” Bonafede told the crowd.

Michael Bonafede discusses some of the history of the Pratt theater, which was built in 1882. The original wooden floor and stairways remain.

Bonafede and his wife Judith Kohler purchased the site in 2005 and have made steady improvements to the building, which has many tenants on the first and second floors.

He was thrilled to see the stage used by musicians on Sunday for three hours, and to have a nice-size crowd.

The attendees brought their own chairs, blankets or cushions to watch the performers.

D.J. Button takes a photo of the Pratt Music Hall Pit Band before the performance on Sunday. The pit band includes: Alona Kuhns – bass; Don Mancuso – guitar; Doug Egling & Mark Ketchum – saxophone; Erin Moody – vocals; Gary Simboli – keyboard & vocals; Karen Conn –vocals; Kate Egling – vocals; Leon Corky Zak – keyboard; Lonnie Froman – percussion and vocals; Mike Bonafede – drums; Ron Albertson – vocals; Shannon Vanderlaan – vocals, Warren Jayne – guitar.

Ron Albertson was among the singers who performed on the historic stage. He sang “634-5789” by Wilson Pickett.

Leon “Corky” Zak played the keyboards. He bears a striking resemblance to his brother, Michael Bonafede.

Kate Egling sings “The Thrill Is Gone” by B.B. King.

Doug Egling, left, and Mark Ketchum played their saxophones for the band. Other performers in the community were welcome to sing with the Pratt Music Hall Pit Band later in the concert.

Alona Kuhns plays Bass in the it band.

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Medina marching band earns many awards, including ‘Best in Class’ at Sherburne competition
Posted 4 June 2023 at 10:01 pm

Photos and information courtesy of Medina Marching Band

The Medina Mustang Marching Band traveled to Sherburne in Chenango County to participate in the 74th Annual Sherburne Pageant of Bands. This is the oldest pageant of bands in New York State.

Thirty bands performed in the parade and were rated by judges. Medina earned several awards including:

  • The Frank Miller Outstanding Band Director Award
  • Best in Class Award – Class A
  • Drum Majors Award, 1st Place
  • Color Guard trophy, 1st Place
  • Parade trophy, 1st Place
  • Drum Line trophy, 2nd Place

Medina took first in Concert Band in Class A with 91.5 points. Medina also earned second for Jazz Band with a score of 92, behind Norwich in first with 93.5, and Medina was second in Small Ensemble with 97 points, behind Norwich with 98.

The Mustangs were first in Color Guard in Class A with a score of 98, first in parade in Class A at 95.75, and second in drum line in Class A with 81.705, behind Pulaski at 86.725.

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Albion police officers will carry torch for Special Olympics on Monday morning
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 June 2023 at 1:38 pm

ALBION – Albion police officers will do a torch run on Monday morning in village as part of an effort to raise awareness for the Special Olympics and people with disabilities.

Albion is joining the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the first time. Many police departments support the effort in the region.

The Albion police officers will start the run at 10 a.m. at the Albion Village Hall on East Bank Street. Participants who want to be part of the effort are encouraged to be there at 9:30 a.m. Several people with disabilities and their friends and family are expected to be part of the event, which has an option for a walk instead of run.

The event will be end at about 11 a.m. back at the Albion Village Hall.

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Crusaders racing for 66th season at Culvert Road track in Ridgeway
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 June 2023 at 12:41 pm

Provided photos

RIDGEWAY – The Crusaders Motorcycle Club will be racing today as part of the 66th season of flat track racing on Culvert Road.

Today’s events are highlighted by the annual memorial race in honor of past friends and family. The gates opened at 7:30 a.m. with practice starting at 11:30 a.m. and racing beginning at 12:30 p.m. at 3312 Culvert Rd.

Our 2023 events include the Men’s Mad Dawg Race on June 18, the Women’s Mad Dawg Race on July 9, the Men’s Mad Dawg Race on July 23, and a rain date for Aug. 27 if needed. The Crusaders have updates on the club’s Facebook page and website.

Jude Lacy of Medina is pictured on a 125 4-Stroke from a race on May 21. He placed 2nd overall in the 125 4 Stroke Class in our 2022 race season.

The Crusaders also had their Kiddie Kamp on Saturday. The 50cc Kiddie Kamp participants are shown with Brad Hazel and Austin Luczak, who are local pro riders who taught the class.

The training session is for riders ages 4 to 8. The class provides young riders with basic riding and racing skills. The participants are taught what all the different colored flags represent, how to watch for the green race light and to practice their starting skills.

They also learn how to maneuver around the corners. By the end of the day all the riders pick up their speed and increase their riding skills.

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Albion marching band wins 1st place at Nunda competition
Posted 4 June 2023 at 12:15 pm

Press Release, Albion Marching Band

Provided photo: Albion drum majors Jason Anstey and Audrey Pask hold the band’s prizes following the competition at Nunda.

ALBION – The Albion Purple Eagles Marching Band continued their successful competition season with a win in Nunda on Saturday, earning 1st place with a score of 95.15.

The previous weekend the Purple Eagles were awarded the designation “Outstanding with Distinction” at the Darien Lake Music Festival. These honors followed their first place finish at the Springville Pageant of Bands earlier this month.

The band’s competition show this year is entitled, “Highlights from Jersey Boys.” The show features the music of Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons. Nicholas Andrews is the trombone soloist. The band is led in competition by senior drum majors Audrey Pask and junior Jason Anstey.

The Purple Eagles conclude the season at the hometown Albion Strawberry Festival parade on Saturday with the parade starting at 10 a.m.

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Refill with Randy – Stand in the gap when others are overwhelmed
By Orleans Hub Posted 4 June 2023 at 8:00 am

Good morning! Grab your favorite cup. Fill it up. And let’s start this week right by joining Randy as he remembers a friend’s kindness during a time of crisis and talks about what it means to stand in the gap for someone.

There are a few things I want to mention up front today. First, I would like start by saying thank you to all who have taken the time to drop me a message on FB or introduce yourself to me out in the community. I am grateful for your feedback and hope to connect with more of you over time. Second, I would like to note that today’s article follows up two previous ones from March 12 (click here)  and April 23 (click here). And lastly, I wanted to note that I am writing this on May 30 which is significant because it was eleven years ago on this day when my mother lost her battle to brain cancer. 

As I wrote about previously, after almost four months of surgeries, radiation, and chemo, which only worked to slow down the inevitable, my mother went to The Aurora House (a hospice home in Spencerport) to spend her final two weeks. It would have been more convenient to stay close to home but unfortunately our own Hospice Home here in Orleans County, the Martin-Linsen Residence, was still under construction.  Thankfully though there was an apartment downstairs at the Aurora House which I was able to stay in for the duration of my mother’s time there.

As the days went by I spent less and less time away as my mother grew weaker. If this was a marathon, as many people had referred to the process of caring for a loved one, I was about to hit the wall. It had been days since I had been able to eat or sleep much and part of the reason was that I didn’t want to leave mom’s side. I didn’t want her to be alone.

And that’s when my friend John “Jack” Burris showed up to stand in the gap. One night he walked in around 10 p.m. and announced  that he was going to stay with mom through the night so that I could go downstairs and sleep. I knew it would be no use protesting so I did just that and, as it turned out, his timing was perfect because mom ended up passing away that next day and, thanks to being able to sleep, I had enough strength to deal with it better.

Now jump ahead to September of the same year. I had written previously about how I had begun running and eventually finished the Niagara Hospice Half Marathon in 2011. It just so happened that the morning before mom passed I had signed both myself and my wife Sheryl to run it in 2012. (Quick note to any husbands reading this… I do not suggest signing your spouse up for a 13.1 mile race without her knowledge unless you can blame it on making an emotional decision like I did.)

Well, long story short, I actually tried to run in the Strawberry Fest 5K that next week and ended up on an ambulance about the 2-mile mark for what they thought was a heart attack. Thankfully it turned out to just be the result of adding physical stress to the mental and emotional stress I had been under for so long and my body said no more. This was when I went on sabbatical and at times tried running again but could not train the way I needed to by the time September rolled around. And that’s when I called on Jack once more to stand in the gap and run the half marathon in my place.

Up to that point he had never ran that kind of distance but, just as I had run in memory of my friend Matt Jones the previous year, he agreed to take my place and run for mom.

I will never forget that day, and only partly because my wife won’t let me forget how I signed her up and then didn’t even run it myself. No, I will always remember Jack using every last effort to get across the finish line and then immediately taking the medal, putting it around my neck, and saying “This is for mom.”

Jack and I have had many adventures together since that time, whether driving to NYC to take care of my sister after her breast cancer surgery or working together on the Hands 4 Hope Street Ministry Truck, but it was his initial willingness to literally stand in the gap when I needed it most that forged the friendship that I am grateful for to this day.

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Medina Lions have busy day for annual community yard sale
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 June 2023 at 10:17 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Phyllis Winters, Lions Club president Jim Punch and Donna Bushover stand at the four corners of downtown Medina, getting ready for the annual Community Yard Sale. Winters and Bushover handed out maps showing location of yard sales and Punch set out some of the equipment available in the Lions’ Medical Loan Closet.

MEDINA – With nice weather, 34 participating vendors and hundreds of shoppers, the Medina Lions are proclaiming their annual Community Yard Sale a “resounding success.”

“We couldn’t be happier,” said chairman Jim Hancock.

The chicken barbecue sold out, the Weinermobile (which traveled the streets during the sale so shoppers could grab a hot dog and not have to stop for lunch) sold out, the Lions’ food booth at the Olde Pickle Factory did very well and 70 percent of the Lions membership turned out to help, Hancock said.

“And I am amazed at how many people there were out and about,” he said.

Lions members, including Phyllis Winters, Donna Bushover, president Jim Punch, Dave Bellucci and Dean Bellack were at the four corners of Main and Center streets at 8 a.m. to hand out maps of the yard sales to passersby. Those who wished, could make a donation for the maps. Punch brought out wheelchairs, walkers and canes to display.

“I want the public to be reminded that we have these things to loan out at our Medical Loan Closet,” Punch said.

Brenda Cherry of 504 Park Ave., Medina, puts out clothing in her yard sale early this morning.

Many people took part in the yard sale, including Brenda Cherry of 504 Park Ave. She has participated other years, and sometimes she has done well, and other times not so well, she said. She enjoys doing it and it’s a good way to get of things she can’t use.

There’s no telling what shoppers would find at the location advertised here at the corner of West and Park avenues.

“I like the opportunity to help someone who might need something I have, and it helps the Lions and the community,” she said.

Some families combined their goods into one large sale. Shoppers could find almost anything they were looking for, and often things they weren’t looking for.

Rob Klino on West Center Street had his sale, but went across the street and bought something from his neighbor.

At the Olde Pickle Factory, vendors included everything from baked goods and jewelry to fancy dishes and books.

OCALS, Orleans County Adult Learning Services, annually has a book sale at the vendor show.

“You can’t believe how many books we sell,” said Don Colquhoun, treasurer of OCALS.

This morning Pam Schuner, Carolyn Wagner and Kathy Punch were running out of room to display all the books that had been donated. Books included everything from baking to World War II.

Rob Robinson and his band entertained at the vendor fair, and the crowd really enjoyed them, Hancock said. “Everything went very well.”

Pam Schuner, front, Carolyn Wagner and Kathy Punch fill OCALS’ table with donated books at the vendor fair at the Olde Pickle Factory today.

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Benefit today in Albion for couple injured in motorcycle accident
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2023 at 3:31 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – There are 80 items up for raffle today at Dubby’s Tailgate on Platt Street in Albion as part of a benefit for Sean and Nicole Van Winkle Paul. They couple is known locally as the leaders of Frosty and Friends, a group that supports many community causes.

They were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident May 6 in Oakfield. Nicole recently moved out of the intensive care unit but has a long road to recovery, said Christine Nenni, one of the organziers of today’s benefit. Sean broke his ribs, an elbow and sustained other injuries in the crash.

Nenni, one of the owners of Best of Tymes Party Rentals, has teamed with the Pauls on several events to benefit local children.

Juliette takes a shot with a basketball outside Dubby’s, were there are bounce houses, temporary tattoos, face painting, balloons and other activities.

In addition to the 80 gift baskets, there are four major items up for raffle. The event goes on until 5 p.m.

A GoFundMe also has been set up by daughter Christine Wainwright to support the couple and their family.

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Holley welcomes law firm to Public Square
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2023 at 12:29 pm

Klafehn, Heise & Johnson takes over space and clients for retiring Jeff Martin

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Dave Gagne, right, president of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Kevin Johnson and other attorneys and staff for Klafehn, Heise & Johnson to Holley’s Public Square.

Jeff Martin, center left, is retiring after more than 40 years as a local attorney. He is handing off his clients and office to Kevin Johnson, second from left.

Klafehn, Heise & Johnson already has an office in Brockport at 109 Main St. Johnson said the Brockport site has many clients who come from Orleans County. The Holley office will make it easier for them to meet with staff in person.

Jeff Martin, far left, cuts the ribbon with staff from Klafehn, Heise & Johnson during an opening celebration on Friday evening. Klafehn, Heise & Johnson have been working out of Holley since January.

Other staff in the photo include, from left of Johnson: Melissa Rutherford, a paralegal focusing on Medicaid issues; Brittani Bradshaw, a paralegal focusing on Medicaid and estate; Marnie Johnson, human resources and office manager; Jacinda Styers, receptionist; and Samantha Sullivan, attorney. Carrie Bonacci, a probate paralegal who also works in administrating estates, also attended the celebration. Holley mayor Mark Bower is at right.

Kevin Johnson grew up in Holley until age 10. He is one of three attorneys with the firm, including Roy Heise and Samantha Sullivan. (The late Mark Klafehn also was active with the firm until he passed away in 2011.)

“We’re thrilled to be here in Holley,” Johnson said after a ribbon cutting. “We’re here to serve whatever your needs.”

Holley Mayor Mark Bower welcomed the firm to the Public Square.

“To have you Kevin taking over this firm is wonderful for the Village of Holley,” Bower said. “And thank you Jeff for your years and years of service to Holley.”

Martin said he feels good knowing his clients will be well cared for by Klafehn, Heise & Johnson.

“I’m leaving my clients in excellent hands,” he said.

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