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Posted 13 July 2020 at 7:00 am

We appreciate input from our readers, and we publish letters to the editor without charge. While open speech and responsibility are encouraged, comments may be rejected if they are purely a personal attack, offensive or repetitive. Comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Orleans Hub. Although care is taken to moderate comments, we have no control over how they are interpreted and we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of comments and the rationality of the opinions expressed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity. Please limit the length of your letter (we suggest no more than 500 words) and provide your name, telephone number, mailing address and a verifiable email address for verification purposes. Letters should be emailed to news@orleanshub.com.

Cuomo: Data will drive school reopenings; Schools need to submit plans

Posted 13 July 2020 at 9:27 pm

All regions currently meet threshold for starting school in terms of low rate of positive Covid-19 tests

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Each region’s percentage of positive tests are currently well below the 5 percent threshold for schools to reopen.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new, data-driven guidance for reopening schools in New York State. Schools in a region can reopen if that region is in Phase 4 of reopening and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average since unPAUSE was lifted.

Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1. New York State will make the formula determination during the week of August 1 to 7.

“Everybody wants to reopen schools, but you only reopen if it’s safe to reopen, and that’s determined by the data,” Cuomo said. “You don’t hold your finger up and feel the wind, you don’t have an inspiration, you don’t have a dream, you don’t have an emotion – look at the data. We test more and we have more data than any state. If you have the virus under control, reopen. If you don’t have the virus under control, then you can’t reopen.”

New York State, the Reimagine Education Advisory Council and the Department of Health released finalized guidance and guiding principles for reopening schools today, which are available by clicking here.

The DOH and Governor’s Reimagine Council are working closely with the Department of Education as it releases education guidance. Plans to reopen schools are due on July 31.

Topics addressed by state guidance include:

  • Masks/PPE
  • Social Distancing
  • Cohort Structures
  • Restructuring Space to Maximize In-Class Instruction
  • Transportation
  • Food Service
  • Aftercare and Extracurriculars
  • Screening
  • Tracing
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

“We’re not going to use our children as the litmus test and we’re not going to going to put our children in a place where their health is endangered,” Cuomo said. “It’s that simple. Common sense and intelligence can still determine what we do, even in this crazy environment. We’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs. What I say to the experts is very simple. I’m making the determination as to whether or not I would send my daughter to school. If it’s safe, I’ll send her. If it’s not safe, I’m not going to send her. And you can determine that by science.”

Crews stop leak of liquid fertilizer in Clarendon, working on cleanup at Route 237 site

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 8:42 pm

Provided photos from Orleans EMO: The Monroe County Fire Bureau Hazmat Team works to contain the leak on an overturned tanker.

CLAREENDON – Emergency response crews have stopped the leak of liquid nitrogen fertilizer after a tractor trailer rolled over at 3:30 p.m. on Route 237 in Clarendon.

The crews are expected to be there for a while longer on the cleanup, the Orleans Emergency Management Office said.

The spilled product poses no significant health risk and is primarily an eye and skin irritant. Air quality monitoring is being done in the area of the scene, with no adverse readings are being indicated at this time, said the Orleans EMO.

The Clarendon Fire Company and Monroe Ambulance were dispatched to the accident in the area of 4602 Holley-Byron Rd. Upon arrival Clarendon firefighters reported a tractor trailer on its side with liquid nitrogen dumping from the top hatch of the trailer, and the driver out of the vehicle sitting on the side of the road.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Monroe Ambulance.

The tractor trailer was carrying approximately 6,100 gallons of liquid nitrogen fertilizer at the time of the accident. As of 5:45 p.m., Monroe County Fire Bureau Hazmat Team was able to stop the leak. At this time, crews are working to drain the remaining liquid nitrogen from the tank, before the truck and trailer can be removed, the Orleans EMO said.

The accident shut down a section of Route 237 between Church Street and Hinds Road.

The NYS DEC Spill Response Team is on scene and monitoring the situation and assessing the potential environmental impact.  Holley-Byron Road (Route 237) remains closed at this time between Church Street and Hinds Road in the Town of Clarendon.

At this time the following agencies have been involved with the response: Clarendon, Holley, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray, Barre and Albion Fire Departments, Orleans County Emergency Management, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe Ambulance, Monroe County Fire Bureau, NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police, National Grid, A.D. Call and Son’s, and Kerhaert’s Towing.

“It was quite a team effort,” said Dale Banker, Orleans County EMO coordinator. “Great work by all.”

Albion, Kendall and Brockport are standing by to cover jobs in the eastern and central portions of the county. Crews will be on scene for quite some time this evening as cleanup efforts continue, the Orleans EMO said.

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Photos: Tanker leaked liquid fertilizer after flipping on 237 in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 6:45 pm

CLARENDON – An Orleans Hub reader sent in these photos of a tanker after it flipped at about 3:30 p.m. on Route 237 at the curve near the Hanson quarry.

The tanker leaked several thousand gallons of liquid fertilizer with nitrogen.

Route 237 is shut down between the Route 31A intersection and Hinds Road.

The State Police is handling the situation with assistance from many local fire departments, the DEC Spill Response Team, Monroe County Hazmat Team and other first responders.

The tanker rolled into the cattails at the curve, which is a wetland.

The driver of the truck was taken by ambulance. A person who was one of the first on the scene said the driver didn’t appear to have serious injuries.

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Orleans and Genesee each report 1 new case of Covid-19

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 6:18 pm

Orleans and Genesee counties each have one new confirmed case of Covid-19. Orleans has now had 269 people test positive while Genesee has had 234 test positive for coronavirus.

In Orleans, the new positive case is a person from Yates in the 20s. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported today.

Orleans also has one more recovery from Covid-19, for 114 recoveries from community members. In Orleans, there are seven people hospitalized with Covid-19.

The new positive case in Genesee County is a person from Oakfield in the 20s. The individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee also is reporting one more recovery for 170 total. No one in Genesee is currently hospitalized with Covid-19.

More information from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

Nursing Home Visitation: Limited visitation and activities will be allowed in those regions in which the nursing home is in Phase 3. Click here for the guidance.

• Precautionary Quarantine: Everyone (including children) who has traveled to/from any restricted states (for more than 24 hours) are required to self quarantine and self-monitor their health upon entering New York. This means the individual(s) cannot leave to go shopping, visiting, daycare and are only allowed to go for emergency care for the first 14 days back in New York.

Businesses including childcare providers should include a travel question in their regular health screening for their staff and clientele/children. Click here for the guidance. For general inquiries contact or call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or click Ask A Question.

As of July 7, the 19 states in the travel advisory include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Those violating could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine and potential fines.

In Orleans, there are 16 people currently on precautionary quarantine due to the advisory, while Genesee is reporting 8 people on precautionary quarantine.

At-risk: Please continue to make sure you are practicing social distancing especially if you have underlying health conditions or are over 65 years old. Wear masks/face coverings whenever you are out in public, especially if you cannot maintain a 6-foot space between non-household members. Wash or sanitize your hands and shared items often.

The most important thing to remember is if you are having any type of symptoms to STAY HOME! Some of the symptoms people have been reporting are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, headaches, fatigue nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Masks/Face-coverings are still required to be properly worn (covering nose & mouth) for all employees who work with the public. They are to be worn with direct contact (and all food service workers are to properly wear coverings when preparing and serving food – no exceptions) with the public as well as with co-workers when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not able to be kept.

All residents over the age of 2 years old and able to medically tolerate a face-covering are required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in public and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more.

Social Gathering Sizes: According to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders 202.42 and 202.45, all non-essential gatherings of up to 50 of individuals of any size for any reason (graduation parties, celebrations, or other social events) unless otherwise designated (ex. religious gatherings) are now allowed for those regions in phase 4. This is as long as requirements are followed for appropriate social distancing, and wearing cloth masks/face coverings over the mouth and nose.

Community Testing Sites: Check with the testing site for any specific criteria necessary for testing such as illness, contact with someone who tested positive, essential worker, required for reopening/business, etc. Many need to have a doctor referral/prescription. Always call first.

  • Oak Orchard Health: 301 West Ave Albion, NY 14411. Call (585) 589-5613 to be screened and to schedule an appointment – no walk-ins.
  • WellNow Urgent Care: 4189 Veterans Memorial Drive Batavia, NY 14020.
  • Rochester Regional Health Urgent Care: 16 Bank Street Batavia, NY 14020. (Rochester Regional Health has transitioned Covid-19 evaluations from the tents at 127 North Street to Urgent Care.)

Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in both counties.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,639 antibody test results received there are 51 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 709 antibody test results received there are 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

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Tanker spills thousands of gallons of liquid fertilizer on 237 in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 5:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Numerous fire departments and hazmat response crews are in Clarendon after a tanker flipped on the curve on Route 237 and spilled thousands of gallons of liquid fertilizer with nitrogen.

The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. Route 237 is shut down between the Route 31A intersection and Hinds Road. The tanker flipped on the curve near the Hanson quarry.

Media are not allowed close to the scene. The State Police is handling the situation with assistance from many local fire departments, the DEC Spill Response Team, Monroe County Hazmat Team and other first responders.

The tanker rolled into the cattails at the curve, which is considered a wetland.

The driver of the truck was taken by ambulance. A person on site said the driver didn’t appear to have serious injuries.

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RTS Orleans will resume regular service, collecting fares on Wednesday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 3:28 pm

ALBION — RTS Orleans, which operates a public transportation service in Orleans County, will resume regular service and collecting fares on Wednesday.

The Regional Transit Service, which operates public transportation in Orleans and seven other counties, hasn’t been collecting fares since March 19.

RTS initially waived fares to help protect RTS bus drivers and customers. RTS has implemented enhanced bus cleaning, and bus operators have access to masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.

Riders are urged to wear a face covering or mask, wash/disinfect their hands often, maintain social distancing when possible, and stay home if feeling sick.

In Orleans County, RTS has been operating a Dial-A-Ride public transit service only since April 6. On Wednesday, it will return to regular service. Click here for more from RTS Orleans.

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Monument in place at new veterans’ memorial on Courthouse lawn

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 1:14 pm

‘Dedicated to our courageous brothers and sisters of this community who served our country in times of peace and war’

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The new veterans’ memorial on the Courthouse lawn added the memorial stone. The Knights of Columbus in Albion has spearheaded the project that includes a flagpole wth a POW/MIA flag. It stands next to a larger pole with an American flag.

The stone states the following:

“Dedicated to our courageous brothers and sisters of this community who served our country in times of peace and war. We thank them for their service. And especially to those who gave their lives in that service. May God grant them eternal rest.”

The stone includes the insignias of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army National Guard and Merchant Marine.

The back of the memorial stone lists sponsors for the project: Knights of Columbus in Albion, St. Mary’s Archery Club, St. Mary’s Athletic Club, Orleans Veterans Club, American Legion Sheret Post in Albion, Veterans of Foreign Wars Strickland Post in Albion.

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Posted 13 July 2020 at 12:40 pm

Page Sponsor

Link to Generations Bank website

GCC suspends fall athletic season

Contributed Story Posted 13 July 2020 at 12:39 pm

BATAVIA – Genesee Community College has made the decision to suspend its fall athletic season to protect the health and safety of the students and community in light of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This decision will affect men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, swimming and diving, and women’s volleyball, which is in line with the majority of Region III decisions.

GCC coaches have communicated this news to their teams, and are maintaining continual engagement with the College’s student-athletes, as well as providing opportunities for safe athletic conditioning activities where possible.

“This decision, although not without its disappointments, is the best path for us to ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and training staff,” said Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement & Inclusion, Kristen Schuth. “While we are eager to move forward with such an important part of the student and campus experience, the landscape of this semester just does not allow us to do so in a method that would have been convincingly without associated risks. I look forward to the day when it is safe for the fields and floors of GCC to hold competitions again.”

GCC will honor all signed scholarship agreements for incoming student-athletes and for those returning.

At this time, the length of the fall sports suspension is unknown, and decisions regarding winter and spring sports have not yet been made. Sport-specific updates will be shared as they become available at geneseeathletics.com.

Unveiling of painting of grand cobblestone home will kick off museum reopening

Photos by Ginny Kropf: This cobblestone house at 8856 Ridge Rd., Gasport, was restored by Victor Monter and his wife Julie Scanio, who have recently sold it and donated a painting of the home to the Cobblestone Museum at Childs. The historic home was built in 1834-36 as a Quaker meeting house.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 July 2020 at 10:45 am

Cobblehurst is a landmark on Ridge Road in Gasport

The Cobblestone Museum’s planned reopening July 15 will be a welcome event, according to Museum director Doug Farley.

In light of the coronavirus, new safety precautions will be observed. Traditional cobblestone tours will still be offered this summer, but by appointment only at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Each tour will be limited to four people from the same household or group. Guests and docents will be required to wear a mask. Reservations and payments should be made in advance on the museum’s website or by phone.

A highlight of the reopening will be the unveiling of a painting of Cobblehurst, a historic cobblestone home at 8856 Ridge Rd. in Gasport. That artwork has been donated by owners Victor Monter and Julie Scanio.

The couple, who have just sold the home, have done a fantastic job of preserving the structure for the benefit of everyone, including future generations, Farley said.

“We are so happy to celebrate their achievement by displaying the painting,” he said.

Farley said Cobblehurst has always been a building that has garnered a lot of interest from folks, and the Cobblestone Society was very pleased when the owners allowed them to include the building on their 2019 Cobblestone Tour of Homes.

Victor Monter and his wife Julie Scanio pose by the massive stone fireplace in the great room of Cobblehurst, a historic cobblestone house on Ridge Road, Gasport.

“Based on attendance reported after the event, Cobblehurst was the most visited site on the nine-building tour,” Farley said.

According to information provided by the current owners, Cobblehurst was originally built in 1834-36 as a Quaker church. The Quakers buried their dead in an adjacent cemetery during this period.

A history of the house, compiled by Darrell Mantei in July 2000, says the Quakers moved to new quarters in Gasport in 1905. The building sat vacant until 1917 until it was purchased by a Mrs. Pratt from Albion in 1917. Mantei writes that Pratt remodeled the house with exquisite taste and much money.

She toured Europe for ideas and brought back the iron fireplace utensils. She had a cellar hand dug under the building, with 5-foot thick walls to support the foundation; added a second story with the construction of six dormers; built a cobblestone wall on the north and west sides of the property; added a pantry room, porches, patio, garage with apartments for servants and a toolshed; all of which remain in good repair today.

Inside, the house was done in Mission style, with the liberal use of oak in the stairway, baseboards, cupboards and built-in drawers and leaded glass wall cases. Pratt appointed the house with several stained glass windows (which the current owners said are Tiffany), the iron fireplace utensils from Scotland and three hanging five-bulb bronze light fixtures from the Roycroft Guild in East Aurora. All remain in good shape and working order today.

Mantei lived in the home with his wife Barbara and raised their children there after purchasing Cobblehurst from the William Webster family in 1967.

Monter and Scanio also provided a column written by former Orleans County historian and longtime director of the Cobblestone Museum C.W. “Bill” Lattin, called “Bethinking of Old Orleans,” in which he writes about Emma Reed Nelson Webster, a one-time owner of Cobblehurst.

Lattin had no recollection or information on the owner identified as “Mrs. Pratt.” However, in a notebook which Monter shared, there is a lengthy, hand-written letter by a man who was hired to help build the house and he speaks about Mrs. Nelson having a nephew in Kenmore named Pratt.

Lattin also shared in his column that Emma Reed Nelson Webster was a philanthropist who endowed the Orleans County community with both physical and financial gifts. Her first husband was Dr. Edwin J. Nelson, a dentist in Utica who also had an interest in a knitting mill. After his death, Emma married Frank D. Webster, a former resident of Barre who later ran a truck farm on Long Island.

It says Emma never forgot her native home or relations and often visited Albion for family reunions. She also purchased and donated the brick home on North Main and Linwood Avenue in Albion for the home of Daughters of the American Revolution. Emma and her husband eventually purchased the former Quaker cobblestone meeting house on Ridge Road and remodeled it into a residence called “Cobbleshurst.” (According to this information, it was the Websters who named the residence Cobblehurst.) Lattin said it was Emma who laid out the elaborate gardens, stone walls and garden pond and built the sun porch on the north side. Owners in the 1950s and 60s added the pool, he said.

As Lattin also wrote that Emma died in 1931, it is reasonable to assume that William Webster, from whom the Manteis  purchased Cobblehurst, was a descendent of Emma and Frank D. Webster. Mantei’s writeup states that after Mrs. Pratt died, the house was used as a bed and breakfast in the 1920s. He said five or six families called Cobblehurst home during the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. He said some raised gladioli, one raised chickens and it was a restaurant briefly. There is no information on the date when the Websters purchased the property.

Monter and Scanio have the guest book from the 1920s when the home was a bed and breakfast. It is full of compliments on the hospitality and the cuisine.

Mantei also wrote that Cobblehurst was the site for the broadcast of a morning breakfast show at one time.

Cobblehurst had again been abandoned and sat empty for seven years when Monter and Scanio purchased it.

The young couple met on a blind date. Scanio grew up in Tonawanda, and Manter in the Southern Tier. He attended Jamestown Community College, and then transferred to Buffalo State and the University of Buffalo to study mechanical engineering. He worked in Buffalo for 15 years, having a very successful career in his profession. Seven years ago, just before he met Scanio, he bought his first house in Lockport – an 1860s home, which he renovated.

Soon after meeting Scanio, Monter bought another property – a large commercial building in Lockport. Scanio had an antique store on the first floor and there were apartments upstairs. By now, Monter had the “bug,” and they purchased several others to renovate and rent.

After the couple married and had their son, Bradley, who is now 4, Monter decided to change his career. He was working as director of business development for a plastics company in Niagara Falls, a position he gave up to become a landlord.

“I was gone all day and getting home late at night,” Monter said. “I never saw my son, so I decided to leave my career.”

Monter said they buy the worst houses and renovate them into buildings which totally amaze people.

“I’m a one-man band,” he said. “I have several who help when I need it, but I do 98 percent of the work myself. Being an engineer, I can also do the blueprints.”

He is currently doing two major renovations in Gasport, one which has been sitting for years and the other an 1850s building with the foundation collapsing and the roof caving in.

They were expecting Bradley when they decided they needed a bigger place.

“I wanted an older house, and Julie was adamant about having a pool,” Monter said.

Cobblehurst fit both their wishes.

“We looked at it, and it was in such bad shape,” Monter said. “It had been empty for eight years and the roof leaked. The hardwood floors in the Great Room were all warped, in some places raised six to eight inches. Plaster was cracked on the walls and hanging from the ceilings.”

This is a view of Cobblehurst from the driveway, showing the front sunporch, which houses a swimming pool.

But the house had an enclosed sun porch on the front with a pool.

They closed on the property July 3 five years ago.

Not only did Monter take up every piece of flooring, sand it and trim it to fit, but replastered all the walls and ceilings, installed new electrical service and converted one of the five bedrooms upstairs into a walk-in closet. Outside they removed five dump truck loads of leaves.

“We got a ton of history with this house,” Monter said of the 5,200 square-foot home.

He explained it was built on a sand bar in a dried up lake bed under the house. The home sits on 2 1/2 acres. If they had stayed there, Monter was planning to clean out and rebuild a pond in the west yard. He said none of the materials used in the house are native to the area. Mrs. Pratt had everything (except the cobblestones) imported from Europe. Cobblehurst was one of the first homes on Ridge Road with electricity and running water, he added.

The last year it was a bed and breakfast, more than 400 people visited from all over the world, he said.

In addition to the giant fireplace in the Great Room, there is another in the master bedroom upstairs.

The couple made the decision over a year ago to live in Gasport five months of the year and set up permanent residence in Florida, where they plan to buy in a retirement community. They put Cobblehurst up for sale, and when there were no prospective buyers, they decided to stay and have a winery there. A small room overlooking the west lawn was converted into a tasting room and they applied for all the necessary permits.

“We had only five days left in our realtor’s contract and we weren’t going to relist it,” Monter said. “The same day I got my permit in the mail, we got an offer on the house.”

They are in the process of moving into an apartment in the building he is renovating in Gasport. They currently own more than a dozen rentals in the Lockport area, and Monter is looking at another “fixer-upper” on Route 31.

Monter said he first talked to Farley several years ago and asked him if he had any history on Cobblehurst. When Farley asked Monter and Scanio if they would participate in the tour of homes, they said, “Let’s do it.”

“We expected a dozen or so people, but two tour buses pulled up in front, followed with cars by the dozens,” Monter said.

The new owners, who will be moving in shortly, are a couple from the United Kingdom, Monter said.

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VFW had big ‘B’ Division softball title run

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 July 2020 at 9:54 am

Contributed Photos – Members of VFW’s 1981 Medina Women’s Softball League ‘B’ Division playoff championship team included, in front, Gail Murphy, Karen Jones, Elaine Pittard, Captain LuAnn Howe, Bev Ettinger, Brenda Gardner and Lorrie Szatkowski. Standing are Gail Grabowski, Paul Mauragis, Karen Pavloch, Karen Higgs, Brad Nudd, Connie Flynn, Mary Weld and Jim Szatkowski.

VFW was a perfect six for six in capturing the Women Women’s Softball League ‘B’ Division playoff stretch during a memorable stretch from 1981 to 1991.

During that run VFW claimed the ‘B’ Division playoff crown in three two year bursts winning in 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1990 and 1991.

In between those title years VFW competed in the ‘A’ Division in 1983 and from 1986 to 1989.

VFW started that title run in dramatic fashion in 1981. After finishing in a tie for fifth place during the regular season at 8-8, VFW upset regular season champion Sacred Heart in two straight games by close contests to claim the crown.

Battling out of the losers bracket VFW nipped Sacred Heart 6-5 in the opening game of the title series. Trailing 2-1 VFW took the lead for good by scoring three times in the third inning highlighted by a two-run single by Elaine Pittard. Singles by Pittard and Bev Ettinger and an error later scored what proved to be the game winner in the fifth inning.

VFW then put a lock on the title by besting Sacred Heart 10-8 in the second and decisive game.  Three runs in the seventh inning on a single by Pittard and three errors locked up the win and the title.

VFW then made a successful title defense by outlasting Thomas Tire 13-12 in eight innings in the 1982 playoff final. Leading by as much as 12-5 at one point, VFW had to score a run in the eighth inning on a single by Ettinger and an RBI sacrifice fly by Brenda Gardner to retain the title.

VFW made a strong return to the ‘B’ Division in 1984 capturing both the regular season and playoff titles. VFW nipped defending champion Thomas Tire 10-9 in the playoff finals.

Leading 9-8, VFW scored the game winner in the seventh on a double by Pittard and singles by Ettinger and Sherrie Albee. Albee, Lorrie Szatkowski, Crystal Luxon and Gail Jones all had home runs in the game.

VFW repeated as both regular season and playoff champions in 1985 but this time needed two games to retain the playoff crown. Bernzomatic defeated VFW 7-3 in the first game of the title round. However, VFW rebounded to down Bernzomatic 18-11 in the second comest to lockup the championship.

Leading 10-8, VFW put a lock on the title by scoring four times in both the fifth and sixth innings. Albee had a two-run homer in the sixth. Mary Weld finished with four hits, Albee three and Pittard, Szatkowski and Pat Eckard two each.

Then after four seasons in the ‘A’ Division, VFW again made a strong return to the ‘B’ Division capturing both the regular season and playoff titles in 1990.

In the playoffs,  VFW rebounded from a 14-8 loss to White Birch in the first game of the finals to post an 18-3 victory in the second and deciding title round contest. A three-run homer by Elaine McPherson upped VFWs lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning. A four tun fifth inning on hits by Bri Gillette, Ettinger, Dottie Barr and Debbie Caleb then upped the advantage to 11-3 and put a lock on the win.

VFW then successfully defended its playoff title in 1991 as a split with F&H in the finals proved to be enough to retain the crown.

Rebounding from a narrow 8-7 eight inning loss to F&H in the opening game of the tile round, VFW posted a 6-2 victory in the second contest to retain the championship. Leading 1-0, VFW pulled away in the clincher by scoring five times in the fourth inning as Szatkowski, Barr and McPherson all had key RBI singles. Hits by Cathy Fox and Gail Jones ignited the uprising which also included a hit by winning pitcher Bri Gillette.

VFW’s 1991 ‘B’ Division playoff championship team included, in front, Debbie Caleb, Terri Strassel, Elaine McPherson, Bri Gillette, Bev Ettinger, Juanita Gardner and Lorrie Szarkowski. Standing are Bob Jones, LuAnn Howe, Gail Jones, Michelle Stanton, Chris Draper, Nikki Gillette, Cathy Fox and Dottie Barr with Sarah Barr.

Orleans, WNY considered ‘abnormally dry’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 9:40 am

Photo by Tom Rivers. The grass has turned yellow near the lift bridge in Eagle Harbor. This photo was taken on Sunday, a day after significant rainfall in the area.

Orleans County and Western New York are considered “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Drought Monitor. This is the first stage of drought intensity. Other parts of the state — the north country and a section of eastern New York — are in the next stage, moderate drought.

Part of Franklin County in the north country is in severe drought.

The Drought Monitor report was released last Thursday. Since then, Orleans County and WNY received significant rainfall on Saturday.

Last week the county endured six straight 90-degree days with not much rain until Saturday.

Map from U.S. Drought Monitor, which is a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Crosby’s in Medina robbed at knifepoint last night, suspect at large

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 9:23 am

MEDINA – A male suspect is at large after robbing Crosby’s in Medina last night at 1 a.m.

The suspect displayed a knife and demanded cash, said Lt. Todd Draper of the Medina Police Department.

The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money. No employees were injured. Attempts to locate the suspect were unsuccessful and the investigation is ongoing, Draper said.

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Medina declines WiFi hotspot at Village Office/City Hall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 8:53 am

MEDINA – The Village Board has declined an officer to have a WiFi hotspot installed for free in the parking lot at the Village Office and City Hall on Park Avenue.

RTO Wireless has offered to install the hotspots and is working to put them in place at nine town halls and two of the village offices – Albion and Holley. Ridgeway is the only town not participating because it is close to the Medina Village Office and the town has a small parking lot.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said he didn’t feel comfortable with WiFi access off the village’s network.

“I don’t want a back channel into our system,” Sidari said during a board meeting on Friday. “I don’t feel comfortable having it available for use or access.”

The mayor said ambulances and police cars also use the system and he worries their information would be compromised with public WiFi access.

Sidari said RTO Wireless has tried to assure him the system can’t be compromised, but he remains concerned.

“They say they can’t be hacked but everyday you hear about people being hacked,” he said.

Sidari and the board members also noted there are other public WiFi access spots in the community, including Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, which is a block away from the Village Office. The school district also has WiFi for students to access at the school parking lots.

The board on Friday also hired Jonathan Miller as a firefighter/EMT. He starts on July 27 and will be on a 78-week probationary period.

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Police will crack down on seat belt use in state parks

Posted 13 July 2020 at 8:17 am

Press Release, New York State Police

The New York State Police, the New York State Park Police and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee are partnering to ensure that visitors to state parks are buckling up for safety.

Buckle Up New York Summer Parks Initiative, or “BUNY in the Parks,” is an enforcement and educational campaign to ensure that motorists and passengers properly buckle-up their seatbelts while travelling inside state parks, and to teach the importance of properly securing our youngest visitors in approved child safety seats. This year’s campaign will be held from July 11 to Aug. 10.

Since New York State became the first state in the nation to enact a primary seatbelt law, effective January 1, 1985, countless lives have been saved. The seatbelt compliance rate has steadily increased and reached a record 94% in New York State in 2019.

However, motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for children. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reflects that, of the 794 children that were killed in fatal crashes in 2017, 37% were unrestrained. The NHTSA also found that among children under 5 years old, an estimated 325 lives were saved in 2017 by restraint use.

New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “As the summer travel season continues, the State Police and our partners strongly encourage the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats in motor vehicles. This is about protecting the smallest New Yorkers, our children. By simply buckling-up, we can reduce severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes. We will continue to work diligently to promote proper seatbelt use and compliance.”

This initiative coincides with one of the peak times that visitors travel to state parks throughout New York State, and the goal is for motorists and their families to arrive and depart safely.   Increasing seatbelt use is one of the most effective ways to reduce crash related injuries and fatalities. Ensuring motorists adhere to proper child restraint laws will, no doubt, protect the lives of many that cannot speak for themselves.

During the 2019 BUNY in the Parks campaign, the New York State Police and State Park Police issued 7,596 total tickets, including 3,369 tickets for child restraint violations, and 3,927 tickets for adult seatbelt violations.

Highlights of New York State’s occupant restraint law:

  • In the front seat, the driver and each passenger must wear a seat belt, one person per belt. The driver and front-seat passengers aged 16 or older can be fined up to $50 each for failure to buckle up.
  • Every occupant, regardless of age or seating position, must use a safety restraint when riding with driver who has a junior license or learner permit.
  • Each passenger under age 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate child safety restraint system. The restraint system must comply with the child height and weight recommendations determined by the manufacturer. Depending on the size of the child, the restraint system may be a safety seat or a booster seat used in combination with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Children must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat up until the age of two.
  • The driver must make sure that each passenger under age 16 obeys the law. The driver can be fined $25 to $100 and receive up to three driver license penalty points for each violation.

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