Month: May 2014

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Albion embraces food truck rodeo at Courthouse Square, COVA event

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2021 at 7:21 pm

‘It’s been beyond our expectations. We’ve been beyond busy.’

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Bobby Skrzypek & the Pedestrians perform today as part of a food truck rodeo event at the Courthouse Square. In addition to the food trucks, three bands performed from noon to 7 p.m.

There wasn’t an official Albion Strawberry Festival today, but the village was busy with food and entertainment at the Courthouse Square and also at a “Caring for COVA” event at the Arnold Gregory office Complex.

Brian Alexander of Dubby’s Wood Fired Pizza said the customers kept coming throughout the day, which he said was the first “mega event” of the year.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “It’s been beyond our expectations. We’ve been beyond busy.”

The food trucks and vendors were lined up along East State Street at the Courthouse Square.

The Albion Merchants Association organized the food truck rodeo with the live bands. It was an attempt to fill a void with the Albion Strawberry Festival cancelled for the second year. Covid-19 restrictions capped the crowd at 500 people and those restrictions have been in flux and uncertain.

Alice Casson, left, and Annette Mannella serve up a strawberry sundae at the First Presbyterian Church of Albion. The church continued its strawberry sundae booth and also has more than 60 baskets up for raffle through Sunday afternoon. Church leaders said the sundaes were in demand.

The band Vette was the lead off performer. This trio includes from left: Travis Mackie, Kole Moore and Alex Fitzak. Shelby Starr is the drummer.

Today was the band’s first performance in front of a live audience since last August during a benefit at the Elk’s Lodge. The band enjoyed playing southern, classic and hard rock for the crowd.

“It feels amazing,” Fitzak said about performing in front of people again. “It’s unbelievable.”

Another band, the Zackstreet Boys, also performed at the Courthouse Square.

The “Caring for COVA” included several food and craft vendors, and other entertainment. Serenity Acres brought along several farm animals including a horse.

Kylie Brown, 10, of Albion pets the horse, “Gooby,” from Serenity Acres.

The Albion Lions Club served up some grilled goodies. In this photo Lions Club member Kevin Howard is grilling sausage while Barb Navarra gets a customer a drink.

Dylan DeSmit of the band Driven sings “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes during today’s benefit for COVA.

Arnold’s Auto Parts coordinated a classic car show that included two lines of vehicles.

Two out scoring bursts keys Akron past Albion

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 June 2021 at 6:22 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Javon Jones readies to tag Akron’s Jake Klodzinski at home during the Purple Eagles loss to the host Tigers this afternoon.

A pair of early inning two out scoring bursts keyed Akron to an 8-4 win over visiting Albion this afternoon in a Niagara-Orleans League baseball game.

Akron took the lead for good by scoring four quick runs with two out in the first inning on a two-run double by Andrew Romesser and a two-run single by Jack Bower.

The Tigers made it 6-1 by scoring twice with two out in the second inning as Adam Mietz had an RBI single.

Jake Mazza added an RBI single in the fifth frame and Kyle Swift an RBI single in the sixth to round out the Tigers scoring.

Albion scored three times in the sixth highlighted by a two-run double by Damion Lattimer but could get no closer than 7-4.

Alex Gibson and Mason Bennett each had two hits on the day for the Purple Eagles.

Akron is now 6-3 and Albion 3-7.

The Purple Eagles next visit Roy-Hart and the Tigers host Newfane on Monday.

N-O Standings: Medina 10-0, Roy-Hart 7-2, Akron 6-3, Wilson 5-5, Newfane 4-6, Albion 3-7, Barker 0-12.

Akron’s Andrew Bower tags out Albion’s Damion Lattimer at third trying to stretch a double into a triple.

Kendall has good day at Class B3 track meet

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 June 2021 at 6:08 pm

A quartet of Kendall athletes placed at the Section V Class B3 track meet held at Cal-Mum today.

Kendall had Derek Edick place second in the Triple Jump and fourth in the Long Jump, Alezya Brown fourth in the Triple Jump, Hannah Brundage fourth in the 1500 and Ethan Kuhn sixth in both the 100 Hurdles and 400 Hurdles.

Holley had Allyson Skehan place third in the 400 Hurdles and Maddie St. John fifth in the Discus.

Lyndonville’s Josh Slingerland took third in the 800.

Mustangs post key win over Rams to clinch a tie for the N-O diamond title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 June 2021 at 1:47 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Joe Cecchini, left, celebrates with his teammates after hitting a home run during the Mustangs key win over Roy-Hart this morning at Vets Park.

Clinching at least a tie for the title, defending champion Medina downed Roy-Hart 9-1 this morning in a key Niagara-Orleans League baseball game at Vets Park.

Medina, which took over sole possession of first place with a 9-0 win at Roy-Hart on Thursday, stays undefeated in N-O action at 10-0 while the runner-up Rams slip to 7-2.

Xander Payne went the distance on the mound for Medina scattering 5 hits and striking out 7.

Alex Doval bangs out a hit for Medina.

Medina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double by Aiden Paul. Two walks followed by a sacrifice bunt by Alex Doval put runners at second and third setting up the opportunity.

Roy-Hart did cut the deficit to 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Jake Gould but the Rams could not cross home plate again.

The Mustangs got that run back with interest in the home half of the fourth by scoring three times to open up a 5-1 advantage.

A leadoff home run by Joe Cecchini into the grandstand in left field ignited that uprising. A single by Doval, a walk and a bunt single by Corey Saj then loaded the bases and Brian Fry capitalized on the opportunity by banging out a two-run double to cap off the key frame.

The Mustangs picked up a solo run in the fifth as Zack Fike doubled and came home on a wild pitch and then capped off the victory with three tallies in the sixth.

AJ Seefeldt had an RBI double and Fike followed up with a two-run double during that uprising which was ignited by a double by Payne.

Medina will close out the N-O season by visiting Wilson on Monday and then hosting the Lakemen on Tuesday.

Roy-Hart has a home and home series against Albion on Monday and Tuesday and then a makeup contest against Akron on Wednesday..

Lady Tigers top York in Class C2 semifinal

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 June 2021 at 1:40 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Chloe Stinson slides safely into second base on her double before York’s Alaina Englert can make the tag. The action took place during the host Lady Tigers sectional semifinal win this morning.

Breaking away from a 1-1 deadlock. top seeded Lyndonville used a three run fourth inning scoring burst to key a 5-1 victory over visiting No. 5 York this morning in the semifinals of the Section V Class C2 softball playoffs.

Addison Dillenbeck singled in two runs and Brooke Robinson one in the decisive fourth inning as a walk and a single by winning pitcher Haley Shaffer set up the opportunity.

Haley Shaffer delivers a pitch for Lyndonville.

Improving to 17-1, the Lady Tigers added an insurance run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Ella Lewis

York did get the first two runners aboard in the top of the seventh but couldn’t capitalize as Shaffer retried the next three batters in order on an infield popup, a strikeout and a fly out. She scattered 6 hits and struck out 6 on the day.

York jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning on a double by Emily Wallace.

Lyndonville though pulled even in the second inning as Chloe Stinson doubled and came home on a single by Robinson who had a total of three hits.

Lyndonville will now host the Section V Class C2 championship game on Monday against  No. 3 Bolivar-Richburg which defeated No. 2 Dundee/Bradford 12-3 in the other semifinal.

11-year-old wears cape and races for kids with cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2021 at 12:39 pm

Matteo Lambert gives his medals to children facing much harder test

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Matteo Lambert, 11, of northern Virginia finishes the Albion Strawberry Festival 8K this morning. He won his age group completing the course in 37:43.

Matteo made the trip to Albion to run in honor of Gage Stacey, 12, of Lockport who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

After the race, Matteo presented Gage with the cape that Matteo wore during the race and the medal he earned.

Matteo Lambert and Gage Stacey pose for a photo after the race today. Matteo said Gage has super hero powers.

Matteo has been running races for kids with cancer since 2019. He wears a cape with the name of a kid with cancer, and gives them the cape and his medals.

He has now run about 50 races for other people. If they can’t make the race in person, Matteo sends them the cape, the medal and a video praising their courage.

“You’re a champ and a hero,” Matteo posted on Facebook this morning after meeting Gage.

Gage recently turned 12. Like Matteo, he loves to play soccer and be outdoors. The fathers of the two boys connected through social media and arranged for Matteo to come to Albion this morning to run for Gage.

Matteo said he borrows the super powers of the kids fighting cancer for the race.

Matteo’s father, Brandon Lambert, said his son has an “extraordinary empathy gene.” Mr. Lambert noticed it about 2 years ago when Matteo won a medal at a 5K and gave it to a kid fighting an illness.

The family has formed the Off The Charts Club, where kids with cancer are nominated as heroes, and can receive care packages from Matteo including a personalized cape, race medal and other gifts.

Matteo has run races for other kids in more than 15 states. He will be running a 4K race on Sunday morning in Syracuse.

Mr. Lambert said the children fighting cancer feel empowered when they get the cape and the medal.

“They’re getting it from someone their size and age who really sees them,” he said.

Matteo and Gage started talking months ago. The families began planning for today’s race and get together about six months ago.

Matt Stacey, Gage’s father, said Gage was happy to attend the race and see Matteo run in his honor.

Gage is the family’s super hero, showing tremendous courage since being diagnosed with Medulloblastoma.

“He takes it on the chin and is very resilient,” Gage’s dad said.

Brandon Lambert said the kids fighting cancer are all extraordinary. They have inspired Matteo and the family.

“A lot of these kids who have cancer they become leaders,” Mr. Lambert said. “After what they’ve been through they can face anything.”

Photo by Marsha Rivers: Matteo Lambert turns from the Erie Canal Towpath and gets ready to cross the Ingersoll Street lift bridge in Albion this morning during an 8K race.

Strawberry Fest race returns with nearly 200 finishing 5K/8K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2021 at 11:55 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jackson Skrypnick, 8, of Spencerport races “The Strawberry” is the last stretch of today’s Strawberry Festival 5K/8K. Jackson held off The Strawberry.

Brett Sobieraski of Kent wore the costume. He is a retired Rochester Police Department sergeant and continues to be an endurance athlete.

About 200 finished the race this morning. This was the 30thyear for the race. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Bert Gallmon, left, served as the race director for the Albion race for the first time. He runs Wolfpack Multisport, which manages other events in the region. Gallmon helps Sobieraski put on the Strawberry costume. Gallmon kept the tradition of having a local runner wear the costume for the race.

Alden Cayea of Medina was the first male to finish, completing the 5K in 18:08. Dana Goetze of Lyndonville was the first female to cross the finish line, with a time of 21:00.

In the 8K, Roger Bolton of Albion was the fastest male in a time of 30:41 and Amy Konopka of Scottsville was the fastest female at 34:22.

Erin Smith Casillo heads down East State Street near the finish for the race. She is pushing her dog Ruthie in the stroller. She has pushed three of her kids in a stroller in the race in prior years. This was Ruthie’s first time in the 5K. Ruthie is a Shorty Bull – half English and half French bulldog.

Albion HS band relishes first live concert since December 2019

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2021 at 6:33 am

Band and chorus perform at lawnchair concert

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – For the first time since December 2019, the Albion High School band performed live for a concert on Thursday. Covid-19 prevented in-person concerts since the middle of March 2020. Some of the band members on Thursday had just stepped off the baseball field for the Purple Eagles.

Until April this school year, band students were on a hybrid schedule with half the students one day and half the next, and others remote. They weren’t able to get together as a group until about two months ago.

Mike Thaine, the high school band director, is shown directing the band outside the school during a lawnchair concert.

The band performs in front of family and friends who were spread out in lawnchairs in the grass between the middle and high schools.

The high school chorus this year is led by Connor Doran. The chorus last performed in a live concert on March 3, 2020 during a district-wide chorus concert in front of about 1,000 people in the high school gym. The district last year had its last day of in-person classes on march 13 due to the Covid pandemic.

The high school band and chorus performed for about an hour and 15 minutes on Thursday.

In Barre, don’t vote for one-issue candidates but those with vision for town

Posted 11 June 2021 at 8:10 pm


We are getting close to voting day, June 22nd (and don’t forget that early voting starts on June 12th) and I want to urge Republican Barre voters to make time to vote!

Please make it a priority! And please vote for Sean Pogue, Lynn Hill and Tom McCabe for Barre Town Board if you don’t want endless litigation hampering the Heritage Wind Project (turbines).

More importantly, don’t put people on the Board who only have one issue they are concerned with rather than governing. It would be a disaster for this town, in my opinion.

This current Board has been strong and visionary in trying to get the best deal for Barre. All concerns raised that they are not giving residents information or are not following protocols is just plain false.

Claims that special needs children are at risk or that there will be health concerns in general are not backed up by factual evidence. And the two credible surveys in Barre clearly showed that the majority of residents support the project. The survey that the anti’s are touting that 70% are against the project would not hold up to any scrutiny by an independent audit.

The fact is that turbines and solar are coming one way or another. We can either get a good deal for the town, county and schools now while it is offered, or see them coming anyway and we get very little. It is not just New York State going to green energy; turbines have been built in 44 states, and there are 12,000 major solar projects currently in the US database. Green energy is on the rise in both blue states and red states. The fact is that people are doing just fine living with them.

It is my belief that in a few short years, no one will freely admit that they opposed wind turbines because the facts will be more widely known. I visited the High Sheldon wind farm community a few years ago with a group to hear residents and Board members talk about their progress after 10 years, and they were very excited to talk to us and tell us how great things have been.

In Sheldon, they also had a group of anti-wind protestors, who claimed that they would  move if the turbines were built, and predicted that all kinds of awful things would happen. As a bus took us around the town, one Board member pointed out that none of the residents who indicated they would move actually did. And the group of speakers said that after the turbines had been around for about a year, many of the residents who had been previously opposed came to thank the Board, citing the lower taxes and other great benefits.

Property values did not go down. The roads were vastly improved. The Town had new equipment. The schools had benefited greatly. The farmers flourished.

So don’t let the anti-crowd mislead you about the turbine project. Don’t let them scare you away from the best deal Barre has ever seen! Please vote on June 22nd for Sean Pogue, Lynn Hill, and Tom McCabe, who will support this issue but will also serve all the residents and do care about many issues besides the turbines.

Chris Loss


Lady Tigers, Mustangs face key tests Saturday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 June 2021 at 6:32 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Austin Mosher and Lyndonville’s Brianna Krisher and their Mustang and Lady Tiger teammates will face key diamond contests on Saturday morning.

Top seeded Lyndonville will host No. 5 York in the semifinals of the Section V Class C2 softball playoffs at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Now at 16-1 on the season, Lyndonville advanced by blanking Genesee Region League foe Byron-Bergen 17-0 in the quarterfinals.

York, which trimmed No. 4 Oakfield-Alabama 5-2 in the quarterfinals, brings an 11-6 record into the semis.

The victor will face the winner of the Dundee/Bradford vs. Bolivar-Richburg semifinal in the championship game Monday on the home field of the highest remaining seed.

The Medina baseball team will look to maintain sole possession of the Niagara-Orleans League lead by hosting runner-up Roy-Hart at 11 a.m. Saturday at Vets Park.

Medina is now 9-0 and Roy-Hart 7-1 in N-O competition.

The Mustangs took over sole possession of first place by defeating the Rams 9-0 on Thursday evening at Gasport.

In another N-O game Saturday, Akron (5-3) will host Albion (3-6) at 3 p.m.

N-O Standings: Medina 9-0, Roy-Hart 7-1, Akron 5-3, Wilson 5-5, Newfane 4-6, Albion 3-6, Barker 0-12.

Amherst 13, Wilson 5

A six run second inning sparked Amherst to a 13-5 non league win over visiting Wilson this afternoon.

Mike Miller had three hits, including a double, and Chris Dispenza two, also including a double, for Wilson which next hosts Medina in an N-O game on Monday.

N-O Softball

Akron 16, Newfane 1

Undefeated (10-0) Akron locked up outright possession of the N-O championship with a 16-1 win over Newfane (0-11) this afternoon.

N-O Standings: Akron 10-0, Roy-Hart 6-3, Wilson 6-3, Medina 5-4, Albion 4-6, Barker 3-7, Newfane 0-11

With declining local Covid cases, no more regular updates from Health Department

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2021 at 4:48 pm

Press releases will go out on as needed basis; Health Department website will continue to track data

Today will be the last regularly scheduled update from the Orleans and Genesee County Health Departments on Covid data due to declining caseloads. There are currently 11 active cases in the two counties, with 3 in Orleans and 8 in Genesee.

The Health Departments have been issuing news releases on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, which was down from Monday through Friday updates. Earlier in the pandemic there were updates every day, including Saturdays and Sunday.

Since Tuesday, there are 9 new cases in the two counties with 7 in Genesee and 2 in Orleans.

In Orleans the 2 new cases bring the total since March 2020 to 3,094. The 2 new cases are individuals in their 40s and 70s.

Orleans currently doesn’t have anyone hospitalized due to Covid.

The county is also reporting 2 more of the previous positive individuals have completed their 10-day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

In Genesee County the 7 new positive cases bring the total to 5,333 positive cases since March 2020.

The individuals are in their 20s, 40s, 60s and 70s. There is one Genesee resident currently hospitalized due to Covid.

Genesee also is reporting 7 more of the previous positive individuals have completed their 10- day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

Strating on Monday the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments will track Covid-19 data on the “Emerging Issues Page” of the GO Health website every Monday and Thursday, with the exception of holidays. Press releases will be distributed and Zoom briefings will be scheduled on an as needed basis.

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health Departments Covid-19 Case and Vaccination map will continue to be updated Monday through Friday.

No Strawberry Fest, but lots happening in Albion on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2021 at 3:06 pm

The 30th Strawberry Festival 5k/8k will happen on Saturday morning. Last year’s race was cancelled but it is back this year.

ALBION – There isn’t a Strawberry Festival for the second straight year due to the uncertainty with Covid restrictions in the months leading up to the event, as well as the limits on crowd sizes.

Last year it was quiet in Albion when the festival was scheduled for the second weekend in June.

This year, there are several events planned for tomorrow, the second Saturday in June which is typically jam-packed with activities during the festival.

5K/8K RACE: The 5K/8K is back for the 30th year and begins at 8 a.m., starting in front of the Courthouse on East State Street. So far nearly 200 people are registered for the race. Click here for more information.

CARING FOR COVA: There will also be a Caring for COVA event at the COVA Base and Arnold Gregory Complex at 239/243 South Main St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

That event includes a basket raffle, craft vendors, COVA open house, fire department apparatus, Blue Groove coffee, K9 demonstrations from the Albion Police Department and Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Car Seat Safety Checks, State Police rollover simulator, Best of Tymes Party Rental, Lion’s Club Food Booth and a Car Show sponsored by Arnold’s Auto Parts. The car show will be from noon to 3 p.m. The Lion’s Club will be serving food for free to law enforcement officers. Tree House will be doing a “Splash Bash” with proceeds going to COVA.

FOOD TRUCK RODEO: The Albion Merchants Association has its first Food Truck Rodeo from noon to 7 p.m. on East State Street near the Courthouse.

There will also be three bands playing during the time period.

The band lineup includes:

  • Vette, noon to 2 p.m.
  • Bobby Skrzypek & the Pedestrians, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Zackstreet Boys, 5 to 7 p.m.

The Albion Merchants will also celebrate opening day of a new farmers market on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be at the municipal lot on main Street next to the Presbyterian Church.

STRAWBERRY SUNDAES: The Presbyterian Church will have strawberry sundaes available from noon to 4 p.m. for $5.

The church is also doing a basket raffle with over 60 baskets that will begin at noon. Tickets and baskets will be available for viewing at the church, 29 East State Street. Tickets will be drawn on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Travel Thoughts by Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 11 June 2021 at 3:00 pm

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Pensacola and Mobile!

I stumbled on a Pelican Hangout with so many amazing pelicans. This one was defending his prime real estate from a seagull looking to take it over.

One of our major stops on the cross country motor home trip I took with my brother and sister-in-law in 2016 was Houma, LA. We spent ten days there visiting with my

nephew and his family. I broke away from the rest of the family for a three day mini-adventure on my own. I discovered that Pensacola was about a four and a half hour drive from Houma. I had been to central and eastern Florida, but not the panhandle or the gulf coast side. Also, I have a friend who lives in Pensacola I wanted to visit. So….yep…..I decided I had to go!

I booked two nights at the Pensacola Victorian Bed and Breakfast – a GREAT choice! The write-up about it said it was reported to be haunted, but I found it to be charming and quite unique. I love staying at B&B’s when I am able and usually check that option before looking into hotels. Once I had my plan and accommodations in place, I took off in the rental car and followed a route that kept me hugging the gulf coast from Houma, through New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, and on to Pensacola – awesome scenery all along the way.

I arrived in Pensacola mid-afternoon and was really sleepy from the drive, so I checked in at the B&B and took a little nap. That evening, I found a little seafood shack for a delicious dinner and drove around a bit to get my bearings.

This really cool spaceship house was found on a scenic drive along the gulf coast at the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola Beach. There was actually another one very similar to it, too.

The morning of my second day, I hit the beach. Pensacola Beach is absolutely STUNNING with silky white sand that felt amazing when I stuck my toes in it. I sat and enjoyed the sun and water for a while and then had a fabulous shrimp boil lunch at a place called “Crabs” with the tag line: “We Got Crabs” – Hahaha!

After leaving the beach, I took a drive down a scenic road along the gulf coast with water on both sides and stopped for some amazing photo ops. I even found two alien homes that were built to resemble spaceships.

When I knew I was going to Pensacola, I really hoped I’d see some pink flamingoes, but, apparently they tend to be further south and didn’t get to see any. But, I did stumble on a “Pelican Hangout” – a harbor FULL of pelicans! I got so excited, I found a place to park and spent some time watching their antics and taking photos. I got a kick out of one perched on a pillar out in the harbor that was fiercely defending his turf from a seagull who was determined to take it over – the pelican won and I cheered his victory!

That evening, I was able to meet up with my friend, Debbie. She took me to a wonderful Irish Pub for a delicious steak dinner. We walked off our meal by strolling through a beautiful Veterans Memorial Park. This is a must see if in Pensacola – very impressive! They even had a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. At that time, I hadn’t seen the one in DC, so I was happy to see it there. A few years later, I finally got to see the one in DC.

Pensacola is home to the Pensacola Naval Base, the Blue Angels, and National Naval Aviation Museum. This is one of the displays at the entrance of the very impressive museum.

After a full day and an excellent meal, I had a second good night’s sleep in the B&B (no weird noises or smells from the reported hauntings either night – either I was too tired and slept through it or the spirits were behaving while I was there….hehehe). The next day, I went to the Naval Base to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and stopped at a lovely lighthouse on the way. The museum is another must see in Pensacola – amazing! I could have spent an entire day there, but I needed to get on the road back to Houma. So, I wandered through the first floor and was totally blown away by what I saw – I really wish I had planned a full third day there so I could have spent more time.

On my way back to Houma, I saw a sign for a Battleship Park in Mobile, AL. I decided to make an unscheduled stop just long enough to get a few photos…..well, almost three hours later, I was back on the road. What got me side-tracked was one of those amphibian tour vehicles – you know the ones – a Duck Tour that drives on the road and then right into the water for a cruise. I had never been on one and always wanted to, so…..I did!!!  And, I had a BLAST!!! We went all over downtown Mobile and then saw more of the city from the water. The guide and driver made it so much fun — they played the song “Sweet Caroline” and turned up the volume for the chorus and we all sang along as loud as we could….and, the best part was when we got to the part that goes “Sweet Caroline, bah, bah, bah” we were told to sing “quack, quack, quack”, instead and some of the people had loud duck call quackers to use – it was so much fun! We stopped at a red light by a group of people sitting outside at a café and when we sang, they joined in and sang with us. Best time ever!!! I went on another duck tour in Seattle a couple years later and it was fun, too, but not as great as the one in Mobile – it will always be my favorite duck tour!

This building found in Mobile, AL is actually called “Twin Robots”. It reminded me of the 1986 movie, “Short Circuit” – kinda looks like the robot character, doesn’t it?

I also learned that there is a major rivalry between Mobile and New Orleans about exactly who started Mardi Gras. Mobile claims that they were the beginning of it all because the person who did the first Carnival started the parade in Mobile and it went all the way to New Orleans, where it lasted several weeks and became a tradition there. The people of New Orleans say it was created by a Frenchman from New Orleans and it just happened that the parade started in Mobile. Whatever the real origin is, both cities are able to lay claim to some part of it.

I’m glad I decided to take a side-trip mini-adventure to experience Pensacola and Mobile and to spend a wonderful evening with my friend, Debbie.

Visit my blog for all the photos from my drive along the Gulf Coast and time in Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL:  (click here) 

Happy Adventuring,
Kim Pritt

Job Corps remains committed at food distribution events

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2021 at 11:19 am

‘It’s all about helping. It’s our love for Orleans County.’

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Kevin Ross, an employee at the Iroquois Job Corps in Medina, moves a 20-pound box of produce this morning during a food distribution in Albion.

Anthony Washington, right, is another Job Corps employee who helped lug boxes to car trunks and truck beds for about 2 hours.

The Job Corps had six employees helping at the distribution this morning. The Job Corps staff go to almost every distribution, which typically is three or four a month.

“They have been angels,” said Annette Finch, director of emergency service at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.

Ross has volunteered at about 25 of the distributions since last year. He works as a nursing instructor at the Job Corps.

“This is about helping people and it’s good for the community,” said Ross, who is also a firefighter and paramedic.

Anthony Washington is a career transitions specialist for Job Corps, helping students to find jobs or get connected to college. He is happy to help at the distributions.

“It’s a change of pace, but it’s more about helping people out,” he said.

Krista Fiegel, an employee at the Iroquois Job Corps, has led the Job Corps team at the distributions since at least last September. She is thankful the Job Corps supports allowing staff to be off site to help at the distributions. With the drive time and work at the distributions it can be a three to four hour commitment.

Finch said the Job Corps staff have a great system down for organizing the boxes and getting people in place. The men often handle the heavier boxes with dairy products, but Fiegel said the women are strong and can move the heavier boxes, too.

There are typically 300 main boxes at the each distribution, but there are often surprise items that aren’t known until the delivery truck arrives in the morning. Today there was tofu for the first time, and corn on the cob, sealed in packages of four.

Community Action staff and the volunteers will quickly count all the loose or unexpected items, and determine how many to include with each boxes. Sometimes that’s two or three bags of Brussels Sprouts, grapes, apples, green bags, containers of yogurt, and other items.

They do the work in all kinds of conditions, from stifling heat to sub-freezing temperatures. At one of the distributions last month, the weather went from rain to sleet to hail to rain in the morning.

“We power through it,” said Fiegel, who works in outreach for Job Corps. “Nobody complains.”

She sends an email to staff with a list of the upcoming distributions, and people volunteer, often from many different departments. The efforts have helped build a stronger team at the Job Corps.

But Fiegel said the main motivation is wanting to help people get food and have the distributions go more smoothly and quickly.

“It’s all about helping,” Fiegel said. “It’s our love for Orleans County.”

The Orleans Hub each year recognizes a group of “Outstanding Citizens.” The Orleans Hub picked the Job Corps as one of the award winners in 2020. We normally recognize the “Outstanding Citizens” during an awards presentation with all the winners. A larger gathering was difficult due to Covid restrictions earlier this year. Tom Rivers, the Orleans Hub editor, presented the Job Corps team with the plaque this morning and commended the group for staying committed to the food distributions.

The group this morning includes from left Anthony Washington, Marylou Porter (human resources manager), Lance Tlustos (TEAP specialist), Krista Fiegel, Kevin Ross and Denise Socha (data integrity specialist).

There was a long line of vehicles down Chamberlain Street this morning. That line then extended down McKinistry, East Park and onto Main Street.