Highlights from Medina’s sectional title win
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 May 2021 at 11:39 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Escorted by fire trucks, Medina players are shown here during their pre game walk to Vets Park where the Mustangs trimmed Southwestern 21-13 this evening to capture the Section VI Class C championship. Click here to view the video of the parade. from the Middle school to Vets Park.

Medina defenders Dominic Larabee (7) and Chase Weese (71) sack Southwestern quarterback Aidan Kennedy.

Mustangs quarterback Xander Payne delivers a pass.

Medina’s Joe Cecchini tackles Trojans quarterback Aidan Kennedy.

Medina’s Corey Saj drags Southwestern tackler Matt Pannes as he tries for additional yardage.

Medina’s Tyler Chinn looks to evade Trojans defender Matt Pannes.

Mustangs defender Brian Fry hauls in one of his two pass interceptions.

Though it was the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic caused first ever Spring football season a large crowd had Vets Park rocking this evening as if it was a warm Autumn Friday night. The crowd and players here stand at attention during the playing of the national anthem.

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Mustangs edge Trojans in a thriller to capture Section VI Class C championship
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 May 2021 at 10:33 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina players and coaches celebrate with the championship plaque after edging Southwestern for the Section VI Class C title this evening at Vets Park.

In a down to the wire thriller, Medina ended a 33 year playoff title drought by edging past Southwestern 21-13 in the Section VI Class C championship game this evening at Vets Park.

“It feels great. It’s been a long time coming,” said Brian Fry who scored all three Medina touchdowns and also had a huge day on defense with two pass interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

The outcome wasn’t decided until the final seconds when the Mustangs defensive unit came up huge to stop a Southwestern drive at the Medina 10 yard line as a big hit by Noah Skinner knocked the ball loose and Fry made the recovery to seal the victory.

Medina’s Brian Fry celebrates with Mitchell Silversmith (76) and Colvin Stalker (59) after his victory clinching fumble recovery in the final seconds.

“That was a huge play at the end,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “The defense played lights out. It just feels amazing.”

The Mustangs defensive unit also came up with a huge goal line stand early in the fourth quarter stopping three Trojan running plays at the 1 yard line.

“Those were huge plays. That was the turning point,” said Valley.

Medina jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead by taking the opening kickoff and driving 72 yards in 14 plays capped off by a 3 yard touchdown run by Fry and an extra point kick by Cole Seefeldt.

The Mustang twice converted fourth down plays on the drive via pass competition by quarterback Xander Payne first of 10 yards to Joe Cecchini and then of 14 to Tyler Chinn. Payne also hooked up with Jarin Rhim for a 17 yard pickup and Cecchini for 12 yards on the drive.

Southwestern though answered back with an 11 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aidan Kennedy to Nate Johnson two minutes later but the Trojans missed the extra point kick keeping Medina up by a slender 7-6 margin. A 65 yard pass completion from Kennedy to Johnson keyed that drive which was set up by a pass interception by Garrett Swan.

The Medina defense stopped Southwestern’s other two opening quarter possessions first on a fumble recovery by Chris Johnson and later on a sack by Cecchini and Johnson which forced a short Trojan punt from the Southwestern 12.

Medina’s Chris Johnson sacks Southwestern quarterback Aidan Kennedy.

The Medina offensive unit was quick to capitalize on that opportunity. Starting from the Southwestern 28 it took the Mustangs just three plays to find the endzone on runs by Fry of 14, 13 and finally 1 yard for the TD. Payne then hooked up with Corey Saj for the two-point conversion giving Medina a 15-6 lead with 31 seconds to go in the opening period.

Late in the second quarter an interception by Fry gave Medina the ball at the Southwestern 45. A 22 yard pass from Payne to Fry quickly moved the ball to the 23 but from there the drive stalled out on downs.

Bolstered by that defensive stand, the Southwestern offense got rolling as Kennedy broke loose and zig zagged his way all the way up field for a 67 yard touchdown run with just 25 seconds to go in the half. The extra point kick by Neves Hoose pulled the Trojans with two, 15-13 at the half.

The Medina defense again came up huge on the first play of the second half as Fry recovered a fumble near midfield and returned it all the way to the Southwestern 4.

Pushed back twice by penalties and then aided by a big roughing the passer penalty against the Trojans on fourth down, the Mustangs finally scored on a 2 yard touchdown run by Fry with 6:51 to go in the third quarter to make it 21-13.

“We moved the ball  in critical situations,” said Valley.

The Mustangs defensive unit then made that lead hold up with several huge plays over the last quarter and a half.

First, Fry made a leaping interception in the Medina end zone to turn back a Southwestern threat late in the third quarter. Then the defensive unit made the critical goal line stand in the first two minute of the final quarter stopping three Trojan runs from the one yard line.

Finally, the big hit by Skinner and the fumble recovery by Fry at the Medina 10 in the final seconds capped off the thrilling win earning the Mustangs an undefeated 6-0 season and their first sectional championship since 1988.

Medina is now 4-0 in sectional title contests having previously defeated Silver Creek 20-14 in 1980, Cassadaga Valley 26-7 in 1982 and rival Albion 14-7 in 1988.

Fry takes the game winning fumble recovery up field as Southwestern’s Nate Johnson tries to make the tackle.

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Active Covid cases decline in Genesee, Orleans in past week
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2021 at 4:44 pm

2 counties report 42 new cases since Tuesday; Genesee has 2 more Covid deaths

The number of active Covid-19 cases in Genesee and Orleans counties has declined from 151 a week ago to 108 today, according to an update this afternoon from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

The 108 active cases today includes 65 in Orleans and 43 in Genesee, which compares to 82 in Orleans and 69 in Genesee a week ago.

There are 42 new cases reported today in the two counties over the past three days since the last update on Tuesday. That brings the pandemic total in the two counties to 8,242 since March 2020.

7-day totals: The number of new cases the past seven days totaled 111, which 53 in Orleans and 58 in Genesee. That is down from the 157 the previous week when there were 73 new cases in Orleans and 84 in Genesee. Before that week there were 164 the seven days ending April 30, 187 the seven days ending April 23, 180 the seven days ending April 16, and 186 the seven days ending April 9.

In Orleans County the 16 new positive cases since Tuesday brings the county’s pandemic total to 3,023 positive cases. The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 80s.

Orleans currently doesn’t have any of its residents hospitalized due to Covid.

The county also has 30 more of the previous positive individuals who have completed their 10-day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

In Genesee County there are 26 new positive cases since Tuesday for a total of 5,219 cases during the pandemic. The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s and 50s.

There are currently 7 Genesee residents hospitalized due to Covid. The county also had two more deaths from Covid in the past week and has now had 123 resident die from a Covid-related illness in the pandemic.

Genesee also is reporting 34 of the previous positive individuals have completed their 10-day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

More from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

Masking: Although the CDC has determined it is safe for the majority of those who are fully vaccinated to not have to wear masks in most cases indoors and outside, NYS is currently still under the masking guidance and will be for both those fully vaccinated (2 weeks after final vaccination) or anyone not vaccinated. We are currently waiting on the State DOH and the chamber to provide updated guidance on these recommendations. We are advocating for the state to quickly adopt the CDC recommendations but until any changes are released current guidelines remain in effect.

Vaccine Update: Anyone 12 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID- 19. Currently only the Pfizer vaccine is allowed for those who are 12-17 years old. All vaccination clinics are for both first and second doses for Moderna and Pfizer brands on a “First Come, First Served” basis. Some clinics have walk-in (generally Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) and some are by appointment only (generally Pfizer). Please note making an appointment for any of the clinics will help save you time and make sure there is vaccine available for you.

For GO Health Department-run clinics use this link for updated clinics:

For general clinic locations, including pharmacies, go to www.vaccines.gov.

Both counties are offering vaccination clinic registration via phone – these numbers are for Covid Vaccination Registration only. In Genesee, call (585) 815-7168. In Orleans, call (585) 589-3170. For both numbers ask for the vaccine registration help line. The vaccine registration help line is NOT associated with either Public Health Department. The individuals who answer the phone can only assist with registering for a Covid-19 clinic, they cannot answer Covid-related questions.

For more information about the vaccine and access for those who are 60 and older who do not have internet access, please contact your respective Office for the Aging (OFA). For Genesee OFA please call 585-813-2457 for Covid-19 Vaccine assistance between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and leave a message if you get voicemail and someone will return the call. For Orleans OFA please call 585-589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and leave a message if you get voicemail and someone will return the call.

The OFA offices can only assist with the clinic links as they are available. The system may experience slowdowns. Please be patient and try again later.

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Hawley urges Cuomo to follow CDC guidelines, drop mask mandate for people vaccinated
Posted 14 May 2021 at 3:24 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is putting pressure on  Gov. Cuomo to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) example and lift all mask mandates for those who have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations.

A proponent against the one-size-fits-all solution to New York’s fight against the pandemic, Hawley sees no reason why the entire state should continue to follow the draconian enforcement of capacity restrictions and mask wearing if the federal government is ready to move on.

“Western New York is ready to move on from the pandemic, and we’re grateful for the recognition of personal responsibility the CDC is returning to the people,” Hawley said. “It’s been a long time coming, as the governor’s continued restrictions are seemingly less and less about science and safety and more about continued state control over every aspect of our lives. The people of New York are reliable, smart and trustworthy, and the governor must absolutely follow the example of the CDC.”

Hawley said he staunchly believes in leaving the responsibility and decision making to the localities.

“I’ve said from the start that part of the mismanagement of the fight against Covid is the fact that the state oversaw it all without partnering with local governments,” Hawley said. “These local institutions know the needs and capabilities of their areas better than the state, and they’ll be able to legislate accordingly moving forward.”

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Sponsored Post
Posted 14 May 2021 at 1:00 pm

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Forecast next few days: sunny and highs near 70
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2021 at 9:52 am

Robin Zaczek sent in this photo of a Robin nest with eggs in a small tree next to her Albion home. “A reminder that despite the turbulence and uncertainty, nature can provide us with beauty and hope,” she said.

The forecast the next few days has lots of sunshine with highs near 70.

Today will be sunny in Orleans County with a high near 67, followed by a mostly sunny Saturday with a high near 70, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Sunday will be sunny with a high near 68, followed by mostly sunny on Monday with a high near 69, and mostly sunny on Tuesday with a high near 70.

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NY reviewing CDC recommendations on dropping masks for fully vaccinated people
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2021 at 9:32 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday that fully vaccinated adults don’t need to wear masks in indoor or outdoor gatherings, large or small.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidance and said it is based on new studies from people in Israel and the U.S. who’ve been vaccinated.

She said a federal mask requirement will remain in effect for people, whether vaccinated or not, who ride buses, trains, airplanes and when they are in stations and airports.

“If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC tweeted on Thursday.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state isn’t yet ready to adopt the CDC guidelines. He wants a review led by Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the Department of Health.

“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening,” Cuomo said. “We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose Johnson &  Johnson vaccine.

The CDC issued these recommendations for fully vaccinated people with mask-wearing (this doesn’t apply to healthcare settings):

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
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Gaines man killed when tractor overturns, pinning him underneath
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2021 at 7:19 am

GAINES – A Gaines man was killed on Thursday afternoon when his tractor overturned and he was pinned underneath, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke said.

George W. Manning, 72, was attempting to use a Ford 8N tractor to pull out a small tree near his house at 13945 Ridge Rd. with a chain when it flipped over pinning him beneath. Manning was pronounced dead at the scene by Orleans County Chief Coroner Scott Schmidt.

Emergency personnel were called to the scene at 3:18 p.m. with report of a man trapped under an overturned tractor. Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies, Albion firefighters and C.O.V.A. Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

The victim’s son, George Manning III, reported that he discovered his father pinned under a tractor and unresponsive. He summoned the neighbors to call 911 and assist him, Bourke said. The son, with assistance of a husband and wife team from next door, were able to lift the machine enough to pull the victim out from under the tractor. The son began CPR but was unable to revive his father.

The victim was transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office. State Police also assisted at the scene.

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9 facing drug charges in Orleans, including man for criminally negligent homicide after fatal overdose
Staff Reports Posted 13 May 2021 at 8:08 pm

Nine people are facing drug charges in Orleans County, including an Akron man for criminally negligent homicide after a fatal drug overdose.

Anthony V. Abraham

The Orleans County grand jury on Wednesday handed up sealed indictments for 12 individuals following an investigation into the sale and distribution of various controlled substances in the county.

As a result, nine of the 12 warrants were executed by the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, the Albion Police Department, the Medina Police Department and the Holley Police Department.

The following were arrested:

Cassandra McGuire

Anthony V. Abraham, 33, of 6767 Cedar St., Akron, who was charged with 1 count of criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony, and 1 count of reckless endangerment in the first degree. (class d felony).

He was charged as a result of a fatal overdose investigation conducted by the Medina Police Department with the assistance of the Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Johnny Sponaugle

Cassandra McGuire, 31, of 140 South Clinton St., Albion, who was charged with 6 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, class B felonies, and 6 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, also class B felonies.

Johnny Sponaugle, 45, of 123 Liberty St., Batavia, who was charged with 1 count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Mathew E. Daugherty

Mathew E. Daugherty, 26, of 380 Ontario St., Lockport, who was charged with 1 count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in third degree and criminal possession of controlled substance in the third degree.

Heather R. Conley, 32, of 177 Bates Rd., Medina, who was charged with 2 counts each of

Heather R. Conley

criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Frederick M. Farro Jr., 44, of 316 West Park St., Albion, who was charged with 1 count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, which are class D felonies.

Frederick M. Farro Jr

Gary R. Ettinger, 34, of 334 Hamilton St., Albion, who was charged with 1 each count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

Thomas R. Brown, 54, of 1 Thomas St., Holley, who was charged with 1 count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

Gary R. Ettinger

Edward P. Symonds, 55, of 1432 Oak Orchard River Rd., Waterport, who was charged with 2 counts each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

Thomas R. Brown

All of the defendants were arraigned in Orleans County Court by County Court Judge Sanford Church.

Farro was committed to the Orleans County Jail on $10,000 cash bail due to his previous criminal history. All others were released due to the state bail reform law. They are to return back to County Court on June 2 for further court proceedings.

This investigation is ongoing and further arrests are pending, the Task Force said in a news release.

Edward P. Symonds

The Genesee County Drug Task Force and the Batavia Police Department also assisted in this investigation.

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No parades, but Albion marching band performs in online competition
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2021 at 1:35 pm

Band also planning for scaled-down performance for parents

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Saleya Williams, one of the drum majors for the Albion marching band, leads the group on Saturday while they prepared to be filmed for an online competition hosted by the Sherburne-Earlville school district in Chenango County.

The Albion band, like the others in the area, has seen the parade competition season cancelled this spring.  Some marching bands took the season off. Mike Thaine, Albion’s marching band director, didn’t want to lose another season after the 2020 spring season was wiped out due to Covid-19 restrictions. That kind of a gap could make it more difficult to keep the program going once the pandemic subsides.

The Albion band started rehearsing through Zoom in January. It wasn’t much fun but the students still welcomed the chance to see each other.

“The kids more than anything still wanted to meet, so we met through Zoom,” Thaine said. “Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d do – teaching marching band on Zoom.”

The band enters plays “Old Town Road” and gets into formation for the online competition on Saturday.

The drum majors – Annalise Steier and Saleya Williams – went over commands, such as attention, mark time, forward march, parade rest and others.

“The kids got sick of Zoom quickly and so did the staff,” Thaine said.

Zoom did offer a benefit of the 50 band members getting to work on the music early. This year the band is playing the popular song, “Old Town Road.” That song is a hit with many of the students.

When the group finally was able to rehearse in-person for the first time on April 15, they were ahead of the normal schedule. They have been in-person on most Thursday evenings since then, with the sounds of the band reverberating around the neighborhood, a welcome sound after more than a year absence.

Mike Thaine inspects the band from the roof of the high school with help from Lyndsey Almeter, the elementary school band teacher.

Thaine and the band have focused on playing the music, without the demands of complicated marching formations.

He is enthused by the group of 50 students, with most expected to be key performers in upcoming years.

The band will keep meeting Thursday evenings through the end of May. They are scheduled to perform for parents on May 27.

Saleya Williams has been in the band since seventh-grade, playing the trombone before shifting to drum major this year as a senior.

“It was very fun for me,” she said about being the band. Even though every one was older than me (when I was in seventh grade), they made me feel welcome, especially Mr. Thaine.”

Annalise Steier, left, and Saleya Williams gets their drum major uniforms out before Saturday’s online performance for the marching band.

Annalise Steier, the other drum major, also is a senior. She is grateful the marching band was able to get together this season, even though there aren’t any parades or travel.

“The best part is all of the relationships – the people,” she said.

Steier started in the band back in fourth grade, carrying the Purple Eagle banner in the parades.

Thaine said he looks forward to getting back to normal in the near future.

“This year we were just trying to do something to keep the kids engaged,” Thaine said. “We didn’t want to lose them for next year.”

Holley and Kendall have a combined marching band led by Zach Busch, a Holley band teacher. The group has been getting together for a performance on June 16 for friends and family at the Hawk Stadium. This will be the band’s only performance because the parades were cancelled, Busch said.

Medina’s band just started rehearsing and is focused on the fall field band season. Medina won the state championship on Oct. 27, 2019, the last time the band performed.

“With the restrictions we were not able to prepare for anything this spring and there aren’t any performance opportunities,” said Jim Steele, the band’s director. “We are excited to be back into the swing of things and the Mustang Marching Band is looking forward to performances next fall.”

Steele said he is working on a way to honor the seniors before the end of the school year.

“We are sad for our great seniors as they had a uneventful and disappointing ending to their impressive career in the program,” Steele said.

The Albion drum line gave a high-energy performance on Saturday. These three include, from left: Abby Allen, Jacob Thom and Aubrey Boyer.

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Jacobs introduces ‘Help Wanted Act’ to address labor shortages
Posted 13 May 2021 at 12:10 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

ORCHARD PARK – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced the Help Wanted Act on Wednesday evening to help address the growing labor shortages reported in Western New York and around the nation.

“The jobs report released Friday shows what we warned would happen – the President’s policies have disincentivized work and made it more lucrative for individuals to stay home and collect enhanced unemployment benefits than seek employment,” Jacobs said. “Now we are seeing the effects. Businesses cannot find employees to keep up with growing demand, restaurants are having to turn customers away when they need them most, and commodity prices are skyrocketing as organizations cannot find labor to support their supply chains. This legislation addresses the root causes of this labor shortage to get Americans back to work and support our economic recovery.”

The legislation would accomplish three main goals. It would require every state to reinstate the “work-search” requirement for unemployment benefits. This requires unemployment recipients to show proof of a job search to receive benefits. During the pandemic, this condition was waived by many states. In addition, the legislation strikes a provision from the CARES Act allowing individuals to collect unemployment if they voluntarily left their job. Finally, the legislation would prohibit the use of generic concerns about Covid-19 as a reason for turning down offers of employment.

“With more than a year of complying with Covid protocols, vaccines available to all adults, and infection rates dropping significantly, it is time for us to fully reopen and get back to work,” Jacobs said.

The jobs report released Friday showed the economy only added 266,000 jobs, falling short of the almost one million projected to be added. In addition, the Buffalo News reported local restaurants and retailers are struggling to find employees, and as a result are being forced to limit service, turn away customers, and suffer financially.

The Help Wanted Act introduced by Rep. Jacobs and cosponsored by Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL) and Rep. Tracey Mann (KS-01).

“There are nearly 8 million job openings and 14 million Americans out of work. If the American economy is going to make a full comeback, we have to get folks back to work – Congressman Jacobs Help Wanted Act accomplishes that goal,” Rep. Johnson said.

“I have continually advocated for reopening our economy and getting people back to work,” said Rep. Mann. “At a time when small businesses and other employers are searching for workers, the federal government’s interference to normal order is not the right path. It’s time to take off the masks, reopen our businesses and schools, and get back on track.”

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With gas prices on the rise, Ortt wants tax suspended on fuel
Posted 13 May 2021 at 10:40 am

Press Release, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Deputy Leader Andrew Lanza on Wednesday called on Governor Cuomo to suspend the New York State gas tax in the wake of a crippling ransomware attack that caused the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline supplies roughly 45 percent of fuel consumed on the Eastern Seaboard, carrying more than 100 million gallons of fuel per day between Texas and New York. The shutdown of the system since last Friday has already caused supply shortages and increased prices at the pump.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has already caused serious harm to our economy,” Ortt said. “The price of gas plays a major role in our economy, and in order to help our economy get back on its feet, it’s critically important to keep prices at the pump under control. New York’s gas tax is among the highest in the nation, and we implore you to suspend the gas tax immediately to provide much-needed relief to New York families and businesses.”

Earlier this week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp temporarily suspended the gas tax via Executive Order to provide relief from rising prices.

The increased costs and supply issues from the Pipeline shutdown comes on the heels of a devastating proposal being advanced by Albany Democrats that would increase the cost of gas by as much as 55 cents per gallon, and increase home heating costs by more than 25 percent.

“Policies at the federal level have caused prices to increase on everything from food to household goods,” Lanza said. “Now gas prices are skyrocketing because of the foreign cyber terrorist attacking on our pipeline. New Yorkers can not afford this latest cost increase as they try to make ends meet. Governor Cuomo must deliver relief until this crisis passes.”

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Mustangs to host Trojans Friday in Section VI Class C title contest
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 May 2021 at 10:11 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina running back Lennon Meacham, here getting a block from Zach Oliver, and their Mustang teammates will host Southwestern in the Section VI Class C championship game Friday evening at Vets Park.

Looking to end a long 33 year sectional title drought, No. 2 seed Medina will host No. 4 Southwestern in the Section VI Class C football championship game at 7 p.m. Friday at Vets Park.

Medina advanced to the title contest by romping past No. 3 Eden/North Collins 54-6 in the semifinals while Southwestern edged past top seeded Clymer/Sherman/Panama 24-21.

This will be Medina’s first appearance in the finals since 1988 when the Mustangs won their third Section VI title by downing rival Albion 14-7. Prior to that Medina also captured the sectional title in 1980 by downing Silver Creek 20-14 and in 1982 by besting Cassadaga Valley 26-7.

Southwestern brings a strong postseason record into the contest as the Trojans have won five Section VI titles (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019) and two state championships (2008 and 2009). The Trojans 2019 squad advanced to the state semifinals.

“Southwestern has a solid program and they have a number of sectional and state titles to back that up,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “They have a very athletic group of kids especially their quarterback Aidan Kennedy. He can really extend plays with his legs and his arm so we really need to bottle him up and contain him so that he doesn’t extend plays.”

Kennedy, who is a junior, has thrown for 1,074 yards and 15 touchdowns including 7 to senior Garrett Swan and 4 to senior Nate Johnson. Both receivers have over 350 yards in receptions.

On the ground, the Trojans are led by senior Zishan Munir who has rushed for 428 yards and 6 touchdowns and Kennedy who has picked up 203 yards and scored 4 TDs.

The Trojans also have a consistent place kicker in freshman Neves Hoose who has made 23 of 26 extra point kicks and 3 of 4 field goal attempts with the longest being 39 yards.

“Defensively they have guys who can play multiple positions and they give you multiple looks so we will have to be solid in our blocking schemes,” said Valley.

Offensively it is interesting that the Mustangs are likewise are led by a junior quarterback Xander Payne whose statistics are nearly identical to Kennedy’s as he has thrown for 938 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Senior Tyler Chinn has caught 6 of those TD aerials while senior Brian Fry has hauled in 3, juniors Joe Cecchini and Jarin Rhim 2 each and senior Corey Saj, and junior Iverson Poole 1 each.

Fry also leads the Mustangs ground attack with 628 yards and 7 touchdowns. Poole has added 3 rushing touchdowns, Payne 2 and Saj, who has rushed for 209 yards, has 1.

Defensively the Mustangs have allowed only 13 points in five games on one touchdown and two field goals.

That defensive unit has had plenty of contributors. In tackles Fry has 28, sophomore Noah Skinner 24, sophomore Chris Johnson 18, Saj 15, Cecchini 14, junior Zach Oliver 12, Chinn 10, Poole and junior Hayden Woodroe 9, sophomore Dominic Larabee 8 and senior Lennon Meacham 7.

Cecchini leads the team in sacks with 5 while Rhim has 3 and Oliver 2.

Woodroe, Chinn and Fry each have two pass interceptions.

Both teams bring 5-0 records into the title contest.

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New owners take reins of gym on Main Street in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2021 at 9:50 am

The Hustl House drops the ‘e’ for no excuses

The owners of The Hustl House are working to reopen the former Albion Fitness Center at 12 North Main St.  Opening day is set for May 17. The owners are all cousins from Lyndonville. They include, right to left: John Brabon, Nick Joy and Dawson Joy. The trio is putting down new rubber flooring and has added $10,000 worth of new exercise equipment.

ALBION – Three cousins from Lyndonville are putting their business expertise, passion for fitness and optimism in the area into a new venture: The Hustl House.

John Brabon, Nick Joy and Dawson Joy are co-owners of the gym that was the Albion Fitness Center at 12 North Main St. They will reopen the site on May 17.

They have sent $10,000 for new equipment, and are planning more upgrades, including tanning beds and possibly a sauna. They also have removed the carpeting and have put down rubber gym flooring.

With the gym’s name they dropped the “e” in Hustle “because there’s no excuses.”

Brabon, 29, works as a sales manager at Orleans Ford and has been the top seller for the dealership for many months. He sees an opportunity in Albion for the gym. The population of about 15,000 in central Orleans is currently underserved with options for a gym and fitness center, he said.

Nick Joy, 30, has his own business – the Shed Express – where he hauls sheds for the Amish community to locations throughout the Northeast. He has a master’s degree in exercise science and has worked as a strength and conditioning coach for professional athletes, including the L.A. Galaxy. His passion is fitness and his goal has been to open a gym.

He was getting a haircut next door at Zach’s Barbershop in Albion when Vinny Navarra came in a few months ago and urged Joy to make an offer on the gym and building.

Joy talked with his cousins and closed on the deal last Friday with Navarra, who started the gym and owns the building.

“I’ve always been into fitness and you never know when an opportunity will come up,” Joy said. “My goal is to help everyone be healthier, whether it’s high school athletes or anyone else in the community.”

The Hustl House has added more leg weights, lower-body equipment, a new squat rack, dead lift platform, leg press and machines to work the hip flexors, hamstrings and shoulders.

Dawson Joy, 22, has been working for a local fruit farm. Joy said he is a people-person and often he would only see a few co-workers a day in the orchards.

“I really enjoy connecting with people,” he said. “I’m excited to see all of the people who will be coming in.”

He will be the gym’s day-to-day manager. The site will be open 24-7 with a keycard access system.

The owners have lowered the monthly membership costs to $30. When they open next week, they will have about 75 percent of their immediate upgrades done. Brabon said there will be more improvements the next few months.

Gyms and fitness centers have been hurt during the Covid-19 pandemic with the state closing the sites for several months last year, and then restricting the capacity, or maximum number of people allowed inside. That capacity threshold will be raised from 33 to 50 percent on Saturday.

Brabon sees gyms as a good investment. He expects more people will be looking to strengthen their bodies and become healthier, especially after the stress and isolation of the pandemic the past 14 months.

Barbon praised Navarra for his upgrades to the building. Brabon is planning to turn the upstairs office space into six or seven apartments. Navarra did a great job creating those office spaces and making the building an attractive property, Brabon said.

The Hustl House will be posting updates on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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Sharing Table at Community Action will offer food, household supplies
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 May 2021 at 8:35 am

Provided photos: Community Action has a new Sharing Table that will have food and some household items.

ALBION – A new program bringing food to community members is gaining popularity in towns across the nation.

Anna Cruz, who moved to Albion from Long Island, learned about the Sharing Table from an online university, Western Governors’ University. She said a woman in Seaford began one last March.

Its concept is that a table is made available to the public, laden with canned food, produce, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, linens or toiletries.

People are invited to take what they want and leave what they can, even if it’s nothing. There are no requirements or income guidelines for those who frequent the Sharing Table.

Cruz shared the idea with staff at Community Action in Albion, and they liked the idea.

“This is a whole new initiative,” said Annette Finch, director of emergency services at Community Action.

The table will be available at Community Action’s Main Street Store every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our goal at Community Action is to make people self-sufficient,” said Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action. “Our hope is if someone needs help, in time they can give back.”

From left, Community Action director Renee Hungerford, Anna Cruz, Main Street Store employee Mary Yockel and director of emergency services Annette Finch discuss a new program planned for the Main Street Store in Albion.

Cruz said they plan to start a Sharing Table Club, which will meet once a month. Members will get a meal basket, which will have different themes, for example, an activity basket with popcorn and a movie.

Similar tables are cropping up across the United States, said Cruz, a clinical coordinator for Western Governors University.  She saw a shoe table advertised on Facebook.

“I thought a Sharing Table would be great to do here,” Cruz said. “I saw the table out front and called Michelle to ask if we could use that.”

Michelle George is manager of the Main Street Store. The table Cruz refers to is a fruit/vegetable stand outside the Main Street Store, which is loaded with all kinds of items, much of it surplus from the Orleans Correctional Facility. They never know what they’re going to have on the stand, Finch said. One time a tractor trailer pulled up with an abundance of salad mix. It was gone in six hours. Another time it was half a truck load of limes.

Hungerford said no one needs to feel guilty about taking anything from the Sharing Table. If they can leave $2, that would be fine, or perhaps they would like to give back by volunteering two hours in the Main Street Store.

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