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Month: September 2014

Medina man in serious condition after Hartland accident

Staff Reports Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

HARTLAND – A Medina man is in serious condition after an accident in Hartland this afternoon, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Steven R. Churchfield, 48, of Medina was headed east at about 5 p.m. on the 9400 block of Ridge Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The vehicle traveled onto the south shoulder striking a utility pole, severing the pole in half. The vehicle continued off the road where it overturned coming to rest in a field.

Churchfield was transported by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. He is currently listed in serious condition at ECMC. The accident is being investigated by Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Accident Investigation Unit. Charges are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Wilson tops Medina in field hockey

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Barker downs Kenmore to stay unbeaten

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Dominique Hughes (1) works to move the ball up field against Wilson’s Madeline Mocarski during the Mustangs loss to the Lakewomen this afternoon at Vets Park.

Improving to 5-2, Wilson defeated Medina 4-1 this afternoon in a Niagara-Orleans League field hockey game at Vets Park.

Wilson jumped out to a 2-0 halftime advantage on goals by Madeline Mocarski and Courtney Wheeler, whose tally came with only 14 seconds to go.

Olivia Mitchell and Rachael Cobo each scored a goal for Wilson in the second half.

Addison Zavitz scored for Medina which slips to 0-7.

Barker 5, Kenmore 1
Defending champion Barker stayed unbeaten at 7-0 with a 5-1 win over Kenmore (3-4).

Gabby Clare scored three goals for the Lady Raiders as Erin Greenwald and Emma Duffy each added one.

Newfane 1, Roy-Hart 0
A goal by Madison Bunn lifted Newfane (3-4) to a narrow 1-0 win over Roy-Hart (1-6).

Mia Ludwig earned the shutout in goal for the Lady Panthers as she stopped a penalty shot.

Main Street Store in final days before move to Legion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The Main Street Store is selling most of its items at 30 to 90 percent off before it opens in about two weeks in the American Legion at 131 South Main St.

ALBION – When it started eight years ago, the Main Street Store was intended as a place to teach job readiness skills for unemployed residents and also provide quality “nearly new” merchandise at low prices.

The store has been a big success, expanding to a neighboring storefront about two years after it first opened. The store outgrew those two storefronts in the downtown, said Angel Slick, the retail operations manager.

“We’ve just grown and grown through the programs that we do,” Slick said at the store today at 49 North Main St.

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee operates the store and was looking for a bigger site. About a year ago it identified the American Legion as an ideal location for the store. The agency recently closed on the American Legion and has been busy painting the inside, working on the floor and making other improvements.

Elizabeth Daniels checks the inventory at the Main Street Store, which is in its final days in downtown Albion before moving to a bigger site on South Main Street.

The Main Street Store expects to open in the Legion site in about two weeks with a grand opening planned from Oct. 22-25.

The agency works with about 100 people a year in the job readiness program. Slick said about 65 usually find jobs with 45 keeping those jobs for at least 90 days. Those job connections are the program’s greatest success, Slick said.

The store offers assistance with resumes, letters and job searches, while providing skills that would be valuable to employers.

While the site serves as a job-training ground, Slick noticed that the community has responded to the merchandize, from clothes, to furniture and other household items. The Main Street Store won’t sell items that aren’t “like new.”

The store has a laundry machine and dryer, and every clothing item is washed before being displayed.

“We launder all of the clothes,” Slick said. “We avoid that thrift store smell.”

Daisy Stroud, left, is the donor program specialist for the Main Street Store, helping to attract merchandise, volunteers and financial donations. She is pictured with Melissa Thompson, who is in the business and office administration program.

The Legion will boost the available retail space by 1 ½ times. There will be more parking and much more accessibility for customers, said Daisy Stroud, donation program specialist for the store. She tries to attract merchandise, volunteers and financial donations.

Community Action staff and volunteers have been busy getting the Legion ready for the store, while also boxing up some of the merchandise from the two downtown storefronts.

“The new location will be so much easier for the customers to meander through the racks,” Stroud said. “We’re striving for an upscale boutique where we can cater to all.”

The Legion is getting a makeover. The main room will have the store merchandise. The dining room will be used as a classroom. The Legion has access to the back bar for 18 months. When that time is up, Community Action could transform that space into the classroom, and use the other classroom space as a more upscale chic section, Slick said. She is grateful for the possibilities.

The new location will be open later on Tuesdays through Fridays until 7 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Monday. Currently, the store closes at 5 p.m.

“We’re trying to be there for the community,” Slick said.

Unbeaten Albion spikers down Medina

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Olivia Neidert goes up to spike the ball againt Medina’s Brittany Schultz during the Purple Eagles win over the visiting Mustangs this evening.

Defending champion Albion opened the second half of the season with a 25-13, 25-19, 25-15 victory over visiting Medina this evening to remain undefeated at 7-0 in Niagara-Orleans League volleyball competition.

Kelsee Soule had 11 spiking kills, 6 service aces and 5 digs; Meghan Hurley 13 assists, 10 digs, 4 kills and 2 aces and Chanyce Powell 4 kills, 4 blocks and 6 digs to lead the Purple Eagles attack.

Albion jumped out to an early 12-2 lead in the opening set as Soule served up points 1-7.

Medina rallied back to within four at 12-8 as Nicole Blount scored points 4-8 but the Mustangs could get no closer.

Olivia Neidert served up points 16-19 to up Albion’s lead to 19-9 and Powell followed up with a pair of kills to help close out the 25-13 win.

Albion again grabbed an early 7-2 lead in the second set as Hurley scored points 3-7.

However, Medina battled back to move into a 10-9 lead as Blount served up points 7-10, including two aces.

Trailing 16-15, Albion regained the lead for good as Soule served up points 16-20, a run which included a block by Powell and a kill by Hurley.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Nicole Blount bumps sets the ball for Medina as Megan O’Keefe backs up the play.

The closest Medina got after that was three at 21-18 as Soule registered a kill for the set winner for the Purple Eagles.

Medina jumped out to an early 7-5 lead in the third set but Albion answered with back-to-back kills by Hurley and Soule to regain the lead for good at 8-7.

The Purple Eagles then used two long runs of service points to break the set open as Elizabeth Bentley scored points 9-14 and Soule 16-21. Hurley had two kills and Soule one during that stretch.

Wilson 25-25-25
Newfane 13-17-18

Wilson improves to 4-3 by scoring a straight set victory over rival Newfane (5-2) as Mercedees Rees served up 11 straight points in the opening set.

Sam Ess and Megan DiLaura both had 5 kills and Ana Bryer 20 digs for Wilson.

Roy-Hart 25-25-25
CSAT 14-21-11

Renee Koch served up seven straight points in the second set and Savoy Laubacker 7 in a row in the third set to highlight Roy-Hart’s straight set victory over CSAT.

Malissa Maines had 3 kills and 3 aces, Bea Bacon 6 kills and 2 blocks and Jenna Snell 4 kills for the Lady Rams.

G-R League

Holley 23-25-25-14-25
Lyndonville 25-13-22-25-22

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s duo of Meghan Hurley (6) and Chanyce Powell (10) block a spike attempt by Medina’s Molley Gross as Abi Smith backs up the play.

Coming from behind twice, Holley outlasted Lyndonville in a five set Genesee Region League marathon 23-25, 25-13, 25-22, 14-25, 25-22.

Tessa McArthur had 3 kills and 3 blocks and Brianna Barber 3 digs and 2 assists for Holley.

Morgan Hungerford had 5 aces and 5 kills for Lyndonville.

Byron-Bergen 25-25-25
Kendall 18-14-7

Byron-Bergen also scored a straight set 25-18, 25-14, 25-7 victory over Kendall.

5 historic sites on 98 join for ‘Museum Crawl’ on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – Three of the five museum leaders are pictured for the Museum Crawl from Batavia to Point Breeze on Saturday. Pictured, from left, include Amy Vlack from the Elba Historical Society Museum, Jeff Donahue from the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia, and Sarah Karas from The Cobblestone Museum.

Five historic sites along Route 98, from Batavia to Point Breeze, are joining for their first “Museum Crawl” on Saturday. Participants can buy one ticket for $5 and get access to all five sites.

The museums all tell an American story, from the birthplace of Western New York at the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia to sites that showcase architecture, home life, agriculture, a schoolhouse and even outhouses from more than a century ago.

“I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to partner with some of the local historical organizations in our community,” said Sarah Karas, co-director of the Cobblestone Museum. “It is a great way to support each other.”

The Cobblestone Museum includes several historic structures. The museum has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The Holland Land Office Museum also has that lofty designation.

The DAR House in Albion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That site will be included on the Museum Crawl, and so will the Elba Historical Society Museum and Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum.

Karas highlighted some of the features from each site:

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum, completed in 2010, is the first lighthouse built on the Great Lakes in 100 years.

The Cobblestone Museum preserves the unique cobblestone masonry style and life during the 1800s.

The Orleans County Chapter DAR House is a Greek revival building with period furnishings and contains early Orleans County artifacts.

The Elba Historical Society Museum is full of local artifacts and information, including the designation as the location of the first rural mail route in the country.

The Holland Land Office Museum, which occupies the historic Holland Land Office Company Building, contains a rich history of how Western New York was settled.

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Cobblestone Museum is a National Historic Landmark, the only site in Orleans County with that status from the U.S. Departent of the Interior.

“Each museum brings their own unique charm to the tour,” Karas said. “None of them are the same, so you will be learning something new at each one.”

The crawl runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the exception of the DAR House, which will be open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. for the event. (The DAR House will be open at 11:30 a.m. for a presentation on the Clarendon Historical Society and Cobblestone Museum’s efforts to restore a red fox that was stuffed 134 years ago by famed taxidermist Carl Akeley when he was only 16. The Cobblestone Museum owns the Akeley fox.)

“This will be a great opportunity to learn about local history,” said Diane Palmer, vice regent for the DAR and also a board member for the Cobblestone Museum. “People can stop by places they may have intended to visit but haven’t taken the time.”

The Cobblestone Museum is also hosting children’s author Cynthia Cotten for a book signing. Her book “Window Across Time” will be available for purchase at the museum. Cotton lives along the canal in Lockport. Her book spans almost two centuries, and consists of eight stories linked together by a cobblestone house in a fictional small town on the Erie Canal. Through the eyes of the young people who live there, readers get a look inside (or a window to) both large and small moments in the history of the house, Western New York and the United States.

Photo by Tom Rivers – The DAR House, at the corner of Route 98 and Linwood Avenue, will be open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the Museum Crawl.

Passbooks for the Crawl are $5 per person or $10 per family. They can be purchased pre-sale or day of the event at each museum and two local participating businesses: Bindings Bookstore in Albion and Chap’s Diner in Elba.

Participants will have their passbook stamped at each museum. Once all five stamps are collected, a certificate will be given that can be redeemed at one of the five local restaurants offering special promotions for Crawl participants. The restaurants participating this year include Oliver’s Candies, Chap’s Diner, The Crooked Door, Tillman’s Village Inn and the Black North. Crawl finishers will also be entered to win a souvenir basket from each museum.

The museums can be visited in any order at any time throughout the day. However, organizers suggest starting at either the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum or the Holland Land Office Museum and working your way through the museums in a linear fashion.

“It is a great way to get out and support your local museums, culture, and history while also having a good time.,” Karas said. “We hope to expand it out next year to make it even bigger and better.”

Medina ghost-hunting group reveals findings

Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – Joey Robinson, left, explains the audio clip they are playing. Matt Roeseler operates the laptop and Brian Bogan provides extra information.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

MEDINA – The Medina Area Paranormal Society (MAPS) revealed their ghost-hunt findings at a talk at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library last night for more than 75 people.

The group conducted investigations at three locations in Medina: the Greek Revival at 107 Pearl Street, NAPA Auto Parts and the Medina Historical Society.

Catherine Cooper is the director of the Lee-Whedon Library and is a board member of the Medina Historical Society. She invited the MAPS group to reveal their findings to the public to generate interest in the history and because the Halloween season is approaching. MAPS was invited to each location because the owners of each location were experiencing something they believed to be paranormal.

The Historical Society has hosted cemetery tours and ghost walks, with the events drawing good-size crowds. Cooper said there is community interest in the paranormal.

MAPS originally started in 2008 with seven members, when the group members were in high school. As time went on and graduation approached, they disbanded. In 2013, Joey Robinson and Matt Roeseler decided to reform the group and included Brian Bogan and Scott Barber in the four-person team.

Provided photo – A strange mist was captured in the front room of the Medina Historical Society, across the hall from the war room. Their K-II electromagnetic meter was stating they had a high reading and this was photographed at the same time.

“These guys got interested in doing their own research here locally so we asked them last year to speak,” Cooper said. “They’ve done more research this year and so we invited them back. We like the fact that there are young people interested in investigating the past and they’re using new technology to support their interests. They’re very professional.”

MAPS was inspired by watching the television show “Ghost Hunters” and uses similar equipment to conduct their own investigations. They use tape recorders, flashlights, temperature gauges, a camera and K-II meters, which measure electromagnetic fields.

They have also made some of their own equipment such as a full-spectrum camera, which captures non-visible light; an electromagnetic field generator, which is thought to possibly energize spirits; and a ghost box.

Roeseler explained the ghost box, saying, “There’s a lot of different variations of it, but we’ve got a radio that scans through the stations really quickly. I put it in a foil box so it cuts down on the actual voices coming through so it’s more white noise and more validation.”

The Medina Historical Society welcomed MAPS back into its building at 406 West Ave. for a second time. The museum was built in 1841 and belonged to the Merritt family. It was turned into the Town of Ridgeway building and eventually became a museum.

“I’m sure over time people have died there because it was a home and people tended to die at home in the past,” Cooper said. “I think the reason that the Historical Society might be haunted is that we have a collection of items that were of personal use and personal interest and had attachment to people that have gone on. I can only surmise.”

“At the Historical Society, some of the members would be very skeptical and others would be believers,” Cooper said. “Of the believers, a few of the board members attest to having seen a person in the kitchen.”

MAPS also investigated the NAPA Auto Parts building. It was constructed in the 1830s and held a jail cell in the basement. There were also more upper apartments, but a fire destroyed them. At least one death has occurred in the building, but possibly more.

“The owner has the upstairs apartment,” Joey Robinson said. “We validated some of the stuff he’s heard go on there, like he says he hears knocks all the time and these unexplained footsteps.”

The Greek Revival building on Pearl Street was constructed in the 1850s and served as a rooming house for a while. There was a murder at the location in the 1980s.

The audience listens intently to the clips, trying to determine what is being said in them.

MAPS captured electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) at all three locations. EVPs are voices of supposed spirits captured on a recording device that can be heard during playbacks. Many of the recordings are cryptic in nature because the voices are quiet and words can’t always be heard clearly.

Some of the more distinct recordings this year included children’s laughter at the Historical Society and a male voice at NAPA that is possibly saying, “What have I got in my pocket?” The Greek Revival produced an EVP of male voice saying “hey” and another of a little girl saying “matches” in response to the members trying to find matches in the room.

Other sounds the group recorded are footsteps and banging. All the evidence is scrutinized and people may interpret the evidence differently. Much of it can be left to personal interpretation and some people may be highly skeptical of it.

The group works hard to find scientific explanations that may disprove the evidence as well. They have disproved some experiences as light from car headlights, sounds from plumbing or exterior noise. Exposed electrical wiring can even create an electromagnetic field that can cause the brain to send signals to make a person feel like they are being watched or even experiencing something paranormal.

“People can contact us,” said Robinson. “If someone calls and says they have something in their house, we’ll come and investigate their house. As of right now, we’ve done commercial business areas and the museum, but we’re willing to branch out and do other places around here. We like it enough we’ll probably be doing this for a little while, so wherever it goes, it goes.”

To contact MAPS, visit the group’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Historical Society members also welcome people to join them on the last Monday of every month at the Lee-Whedon Library to learn more about local history.

Before it used Lake Ontario, Albion’s water plant was next to canal

Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

By Bill Lattin
Orleans County Historian

ALBION – In this picture from the 1950s we see the Albion municipal water system, pumping station and treatment plant which was located just west of the village, north of the Erie Canal.

Pools of water are being aired here for purification. This came from wells and Otter Creek before the present water treatment plant on Lake Ontario opened in the early 1960s.

The original Albion Water Works Co. was organized in 1887 with water being distributed for domestic use in the fall of 1888. An iron standpipe (water tower) was part of this system and was located on South Main Street and Allen Road. A second standpipe was added in the mid-1930s.

Laverne Kimball was the plant superintendent when our photo was taken. He and his wife Iva lived in the two-story brick residence that appears in the background.

Owner seeks buyer to continue Curvin’s

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – John Grimes believes Curvin’s News on Main Street in Medina can be a profitable business. He wants to retire and sell the business after operating it the past 19 years.

MEDINA – It looked like Curvin’s News was closing about a month ago, but owner John Grimes is giving the store more life – but not for long.

Grimes has owned and operated the business the past 19 years. He wants to retire and is looking for a buyer for the business.

“I’m old and out of ideas,” he said. “If someone has an idea they could make a decent amount of business. I think things could be done to make it more profitable.”

Grines is asking $50,000 “or reasonable offer” for Curvin’s, which has been a part of Medina for nearly a century.

Grimes thought he had a buyer for the business but that didn’t come to fruition. He is also trying to sell the next-door video store.

Grimes ran the businesses with his wife Barb. She died on Feb. 12, 2012 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Grimes said he has struggled to run the businesses without his wife.

He nearly shut down the business two years ago after a former employee stole about $65,000 worth of lottery tickets.

Curvin’s has long been a popular gathering place for residents. Grimes is hopeful a buyer will step forward and there will be a new generation of Curvin’s for the community.

He welcomes prospective buyers to give him a call at 798-4745 or stop by the store at 540 Main St.

Holley, Kendall booters score wins

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Holley blanked visiting Attica 6-0 and Kendall bested host Pembroke 4-2 today in Genesee Region League boys soccer action.

Andrew Cary had 3 goals, Derek McArthur 2 and Gabe Mendoza 4 assists to lead the way for Holley which improves to 3-2-1 in G-R action.

Jake Adams had 3 goals and Skyler Heller 1 to set the pace for Kendall which stays unbeaten at 7-0 in the league and 11-0 overall.

Cody Travis, Will Condo, Justin Barrett and Riley Iqbal each had an assist for the Eagles.

Wilson harriers sweep Medina

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Holly Heil leads the pack at the start of today’s home meet against Wilson which won both races.

Wilson swept host Medina this afternoon in a Niagara-Orleans League cross-country meet winning the boys race 26-29 and the girls 15-50.

The Wilson boys squad was led by the 2-3 finish of Trey Rees and Nathanial Johnson.

Medina’s Austin Heil won the race in 17:34 as Daniel Heil placed fourth for the Mustangs.

Torey Couturier finished second and Shea Munnikhyen third to lead the Wilson girls.

Medina’s Holly Heil won the race in 20:16.

The defending champion Barker boys team improved to 4-0 by defeating Albion 17-46 and Newfane 19-42. Newfane (3-1) downed Albion (1-2) 19-40 in the other portion of the meet.

Barker’s Sergio Cruz won the race in 16:58. The Raiders also had Doug Bachman second and Casey Webb fourth.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Paige Wagner, left, and Hannah Heil negotiate the Mustang’s home campus course.

Newfane’s Sam Auerhmer placed third and Albion’s Aaron Chen fifth to round out the top five.

The Newfane girls improved to 4-0 by defeating Barker 17-45 and Albion 19-36. Albion (1-2) downed Barker (2-2) 18-45 in the other portion of the meet.

Newfane swept the top three places with Kim Goerss, Nina Burkardt and Lydia Chunco.

Albion’s Madison Coville and Meredith Patterson placed fourth and fifth to complete the top five.

Barker’s Gabby Baker placed sixth.

The defending champ Akron girls improved to 3-0 by defeating Roy-Hart 17-46 and CSAT 15-50. Roy-Hart (2-2) also topped CSAT 15-50.

Akron’s Margo Henley won the race in 20:41.

The Akron boys also picked up a pair of wins, 28-29 over Roy-Hart and 21-39 over CSAT to improve to 2-1. Roy-Hart (2-2) also downed CSAT 20-35.

Roy-Hart’s Avery Green won the race in 19:18 with Akron’s Liam Regan second.