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Month: October 2013

Fire alarm and smoke prompts evacuation of Lyndonville school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

LYNDONVILLE – Some smoke in an art storage room in the primary wing of the Lyndonville Central School triggered a fire alarm and kept students and staff out of the building for more than an hour this morning.

Lyndonville and Medina firefighters both investigated the storage room and the entire building, and deemed the site safe, said Jason Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

The alarm went off at 9:12 a.m. Students and staff left the school building on Housel Avenue and went to the former elementary school building while firefighters investigated for about 40 minutes.

Firefighters and the school haven’t determined a specific cause or source of the smoke. The area has been on watch throughout the school day since students and staff returned to the building at about 10:30 a.m., Smith said.

He thanked the firefighters for their response and said students and staff were cooperative during the alarm.

Exercising with some scare

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Ann Batt dressed up as Harry Potter today for Halloween. She joined other senior citizens in costume during their exercise class at the Albion Academy.

The senior citizens have made it an annual Halloween tradition to dress up during their exercise class. The exercise session is led by Leslie Allen.

Hawley: SAFE Act delay exposes more flaws

Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Press release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) highlighted the newest problem with Gov. Cuomo’s overreaching gun control law as another reason to repeal the measure.

The State Police have confirmed that they will not begin tracking ammunition background checks and purchasing history on Jan. 15 as planned, due to their inability to compile a proper recording system by that time. Hawley pointed to the hang up as further proof that the bill was irresponsibly rushed into law.

“The SAFE Act was forced through so hastily that its authors didn’t even properly consider its impact on the very law enforcement agencies charged with upholding it,” Hawley said. “It is disturbing to think that this would be handled with such little care that a deadline for enforcement would be imposed that our own state police couldn’t be reasonably expected to meet.

“Between all of the amendments, corrections and corresponding protests from law-abiding gun owners, it could not be more clear that the SAFE Act must be repealed. As a co-sponsor of legislation to do just that, I will continue to fight for our constitutional rights and responsible measures to truly strengthen the safety of our communities.”

Brown’s 5K raised $2,566 for Hospice

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Brown’s Berry Patch and the Albion Rotary Club raised $2,566 for Hospice of Orleans with a 5-kilometer walk and run on Oct. 12. Margy Brown, center, presents a check to Hospice today. She is pictured with Rotary Club President Cindy Perry, left, and Marsha Rivers, director development and community relations for Hospice.

CARLTON – For 17 years the Brown family has organized a 5-kilometer run and walk through their orchards as a benefit for Hospice of Orleans County.

The race has now raised $31,190 for the agency, with the Oct. 12 race netting $2,566.

Margy Brown presented a check to Hospice Director of Development and Community Relations Marsha Rivers today during the Albion Rotary Club meeting. The Rotary Club provides some manpower during the race.

The Oct. 12 race was dedicated in memory of Judy Christopher, a Rotarian and volunteer at many of the Brown’s races.

“She was always a mentor,” Brown told the Rotary Club today. “I had a great deal of respect for her.”

The race T-shirt included an image of a phoenix as a tribute to Christopher, who owned Phoenix Fitness for about two decades in Albion.

High wind warning for tonight and tomorrow

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a high wind warning for tonight from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The advisory is in effect for Orleans, Genesee, Monroe and Wyoming counties.

Sustained winds are expected from 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 mph.

“Winds of this magnitude may bring down some trees and power lines, resulting in scattered power outages,” the NWS said in an advisory. “In addition, holiday decorations and other loose outdoor items such as trash cans may be blown away.”

The NWS urged residents to take precautions at home and while traveling, and to take preparedness actions.

National Grid urged residents to create an emergency kit with the following:

Water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day

Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Charged cell phone

Flashlight and extra batteries

Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

First aid kit

Bank employees pick Oz theme for Halloween

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Employees at Five Star Bank in Albion today created a yellow brick road and Emerald City, while dressing as the main characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Branch manager Wendy Hinkley, right, dressed as Oz. Other employees include, from left: Katie Harvey as Dorothy, Amanda Bigley as the Scarecrow, Felicia Dhondt as the Lion, Susan Plummer as a witch and Marilea Greean as the Tin Man.

The bank also has been playing the sound track from the show throughout the day.

“People have just loved it,” Hinkley said.

Orleans Hub welcomes submitted photos from other workplaces that dressed up today. Please send the photos with IDs to

Medina accepts $25K from Monsanto for ag education

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Provided photo

MEDINA — Representatives from Monsanto were in Medina last week to present a $25,000 check to the school district for its agriculture program.

The company met with FFA students, district leaders and local elected officials as well as State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Medina will use the funds to create a small, self-sustained, on-campus mini-farm with video surveillance; a compost center; a hydroponics system; and organic community gardens at the middle and elementary schools.۬

Medina would like to have some of the projects in place by May, when the community will host the state FFA Convention.

Mustangs claim B-1 title in rain soaked OT thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Jubilant Medina/Lyndonvlle players celebrate their 2-1 double overtime victory over Newfane in the Section VI Class B-1 championship game this evening at Hamburg.

HAMBURG – The third time in overtime was the charm!

After losing and tying in overtime in two regular season encounters, Medina/Lyndonville outlasted Niagara-Orleans League foe Newfane 2-1 in a rain soaked double overtime thriller this evening to capture the Section VI Class B-1 championship for the second time in three years.

A goal by Brennen O’Connor with 3:04 remaining in the second 15 minute overtime period earned Medina/Lyndonville that elusive win over Newfane and the sectional championship.

“It feels like I’m in a dream. I’m in soccer heaven,” exclaimed a jubilant O’Connor seconds after his corner shot hooked high into the Newfane goal to end the marathon rain drenched contest.

“In sectional games it comes down to those kind of plays,” exclaimed a very happy Medina/Lyndonville coach Steve Luksch who of the wind driven rain that fell in sheets throughout beamed “This is soccer weather.”

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Brennen O’Connor (9), who scored the game winning goal for Medina/Lyndonville, drives the ball up field against Newfane defender Andrew Kaszuba.

The victory propels Medina/Lyndonville into the Section VI Class B state qualifier game against another N-O foe, Akron, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamburg. Akron blanked Southwestern 2-0 in the Class B-2 title game.

Medina/Lyndonville got off to a lightning quick start when James Ianni scored on a header off a long free kick by O’Connor just 1:52 into the game.

However, despite having the advantage of the wind at their backs the Mustangs could not find the net again in the half.

Newfane controlled play for much of the last 12 minutes of the half, pressure that resulted in the tying goal scored by Brett Stern with 3:38 to go in the half.

The Panthers had the wind advantage in the second half but Mustangs goalie Adam Hoot along with his defense, which was anchored by Barry Rogenmoser, Hayden Allis and Evan Milleville, turned back almost constant pressure.

Hoot, who had to leave the game briefly after one collision in the goal area, made a couple of key stops and Alex Murphy, who came in when Hoot had to briefly leave the game, also made one big stop.

Allis and Rogenmoser likewise came back to make key clears and help keep Newfane from scoring again.

Newfane also had the wind advantage in the first overtime period but the Mustangs defense held firm highlighted by one big clear by Milleville.

Newfane did have one good shot just sail across the goal mouth and late in the period Medina/Lyndonville just missed off a free kick opportunity.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The rain which fell in torrents is clear here as James Ianni, who scored the Mustangs first goal, works to gain control of the ball against the Panthers Skyler Maurer.

Gaining the wind advantage again, Medina/Lyndonvlle put on good pressure in the second overtime.

The Mustangs though missed on three corner opportunities before O’Connor found the range on a well aimed shot which hooked into the net for the title winner with 3:38 remaining.

“It was just a great team effort,” said Luksch. “I’m just very proud of these guys.”

The Mustang also claimed their only other sectional championship on the Hamburg turf field nipping Tonawanda 1-0 in the 2011 tittle contest.

Medina now takes a 13-4-2 record into the overall B contest against Akron. The Mustangs split a pair of regular season meetings with the N-O champion Tigers.

Ironically Saturday’s game will also be a rematch of the 2011 Class B state qualifier which saw the Tigers defeat the Mustangs 4-0.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The Mustangs midfield duo of Anthony Pane (13) and Scott Barber (8) work against Maurer as the heavy rain falls.

Section VI Field Hockey

Top seeded Barker blanked No. 4 Holland 4-0 and No. 3 Eden upended No. 2 Akron 2-0 this evening in the semifinals of the Section VI Class C field hockey sectionals on the turf at Amherst High.

Melissa Grosshans, Olivia Denny, Madison Greenwald and Heather Mason took turns scoring the goals for Barker. Caitlyn Mason made four saves to earn the shut out in goal.

Big Albion crowd turns out for Coach D’s Hall of Fame induction

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Dick Diminuco, the retired football coach and athletic director at Albion, addresses about 700 people on Wednesday night when he was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Diminuco’s plaque will be part of the Hall of Fame exhibit in the First Niagara Center, an arena in Buffalo. (The photo shows him as coach at Alden, where he led the team for four years after 34 years at Albion.

BUFFALO – Retired Albion football coach Dick Diminuco joined 12 other athletes and sports leaders in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. None of the other inductees, including NFL and NHL players, could top Diminuco in fan support at the banquet.

Coach D filled eight tables with former players, coaches, teachers, friends and family.

His crowd of supporters gave him an enthusiastic cheer when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“He has touched so many lives in such a positive way,” said Randy Knaak, who succeeded Diminuco as Albion’s athletic director. “People are glad to have an opportunity to celebrate his special day with him.”

Knaak played tackle for Diminuco in 1980 and 1981. The team in Knaak’s senior year played at Rich Stadium. It was an unforgettable experience, Knaak said.

He credits his coach for pointing him to college and connecting him with the physical education program at Canisius College.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today without him,” Knaak said.

Diminuco grew up in Rochester and attended college in Kansas at Ottawa University, where he was a star quarterback.

When Knaak graduated, Diminuco encouraged him to take a job at Albion, first in the correction room and as a coach for three sports. Knaak, a P.E. teacher, said Diminuco was a mentor to his players, coaches and the other teachers.

“He wasn’t just a coach to us,” Knaak said before dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo. “He was more than a coach.”

Diminuco won 204 games with Albion, including state championships in 1983 and 1987. When he retired from Albion, he took the job as coach at Alden for four seasons, including a 31-3 record the last three years. Diminuco won 242 games in his career with only 70 losses.

Knaak and Dan Monacelli put the call out in the Albion community to see who would want to attend the induction ceremony, where tickets cost $75.

“It wasn’t hard to get people here,” Knaak said.

Monacelli, now the middle school principal, played on Diminuco’s first team at Albion in 1979, a squad that played at Rich Stadium. Monacelli today counts Coach D as one of his best friends.

Diminuco steered Monacelli to Ashland University in Ohio, and welcomed him back to Albion as a teacher and coach after college.

“If it wasn’t for Dick Diminuco I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing,” Monacelli said.

The Hall of Fame introduction for Coach Diminuco showed many newspaper clippings when he was coaching Albion, a perennial powerhouse for three decades under Coach D.

Monacelli said the coach treats people like they are a son or daughter.

“The turnout here tonight is because of all the relationships he’s formed over the past 40 years,” Monacelli said.

Albion was a perpetual powerhouse for three decades under Coach D, regularly defeating teams from larger schools. Monacelli said Diminuco stressed team over individuals.

“He made everybody believe that we were one,” Monacelli said. “He didn’t care who scored or who made the tackle. It was about doing what’s right and winning. He is the man, end of story.”

Diminuco called the induction in the Hall of Fame “very special.” The turnout, from so many at Albion, was “very humbling,” he said at the banquet.

“I’ve seen a lot of people tonight I’ve haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.

During his induction speech he thanked his wife of 37 years, Dale, for being such a great life partner. “I outkicked my coverage when I got you, honey,” he said.

“He wasn’t just a coach to us. He was more than a coach.” – Randy Knaak on Coach Dick Diminuco

Diminuco had a reputation as an intense coach who sometimes loudly voiced his displeasure with officials.

“One of my regrets is that I was very tough on football officials, especially in my younger days,” Diminuco a crowd of about 700 in Buffalo. “I feel bad about that, really I do. I’m serious, I do. I never won a debate with them.”

He referred to himself as “just an old football coach.” But the Hall of Fame committee said he had an impact of thousands of high school athletes in Western New York.

Diminuco said he is thankful for his career in high school athletics and the many relationships through coaching.

“I have not touched as many people as have touched me,” he said. “I have had so many great role models and mentors in my life.”

Albion students will perform a farce of a high school musical

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

‘Just Another High School Music’ features improv and comedy

Photos by Tom Rivers – Elijah Van Epps does a Tom Jones routine while Zach Shaffer is the magician David Copperfield, two characters in Albion High School’s latest drama production, “Just Another High School Musical.”

ALBION – The annual fall musical at Albion High School will keep the audience in stitches.

“We wanted to do a farce,” said Gary Simboli, the musical’s director.

Twenty-two students are in the cast and 12 are in stage crew. They created their own blocking and choreography for “Just Another High School Musical,” a show where students are forced to improv because their director abandons the show, leaving students to perform in front of live audience without a director.

Jenna Reigle, left, and Char Olick lead the cast in one of the numbers.

Albion students take the lead with parts of the show, but Simboli provides plenty of guidance and instruction.

“I like the challenge and the fast pace,” Simboli said today during the final rehearsal before the show on Friday and Saturday. There are shows at 7 p.m. both days, plus a noon performance on Saturday at the middle school auditorium.

“Every single student gets their moment when they are genuinely funny,” Simboli said.

At the close of the first act, David Stilwell, left, and Kyle Thaine sing “Intermission.”

Students get to play contemporary high schoolers, and work on their acting and choregraphy.

Simboli says he likes to try more contemporary shows for the fall musical. In the spring, he picks many Broadway classics. The school this spring will perform “The Wiz.”

In one of the sillier scenes, three boys — William Pecorella, Zach Shaffer and Elijah Van Epps — do a spoof on “Little Women.”