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Month: November 2014

Kendall, Roy-Hart to host tournaments

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

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Elizabeth Rath (2) and her Lady Eagle teammates will face rival Holley Thursday in the opening round of the Kendall Tournament. Roy-Hart will also host a girls basketball tournament this coming weekend.

Girls basketball tournaments at Kendall and Roy-Hart will highlight the up coming first full week of the high school winter sports season.

Kendall will face rival Holley at 7 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Lady Eagles Tournament. Barker will take on Rochester School of the Arts in the other semifinal at 5 p.m.. The consolation and championship games will be at 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Roy-Hart girls will face Tonawanda at 7 p.m. on Friday in the opening round of the Lady Rams Tournament. Bennett will take on Nichols in the other semifinal. The consolation and championship games will be held at 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Lyndonville girls will open the season with a non league game at Roy-Hart at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Medina boys basketball squad will open the season at home at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with a non league game against Burgard. Albion will also open the season at home against Burgard at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Week’s Schedule


Wrestling – Lyndonville at Albion, 6 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Holley at Northstar, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Lyndonville at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Wrestling – Brighton at Holley, 6 p.m.
Swimming – Albion at HAC, Medina at Wheatland-Chili, Barker at Oakfield-Alabama, Roy-Hart at Attica, 5:30 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Burgard at Medina, 6:30 p.m.; Pembroke at Kendall, 7 p.m.
Wrestling – Albion at Alexander, Barker/Roy-Hart at Fredonia, 6 p.m.


Girls Basketball – Kendall Tournament (Barker vs. SOTA, 5 p.m.; Holley vs. Kendall, 7 p.m.)
Swimming – Alexander at Medina, Byron-Bergen at Roy-Hart, Oakfield-Alabama at Albion, Attica at Barker, 4:30 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Kendall at Barker, 6 p.m.; Burgard at Albion, Byron-Bergen at Holley, Alexander at Lyndonville, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Roy-Hart Tournament (Bennett vs. Nichols, 5:30 p.m.; Tonawanda vs. Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.)


Girls Basketball – Kendall Tournament, 5 and 7 p.m.; Roy-Hart Tournament, 5 and 7 p.m.
Wrestling – Holley Team Tournament, 10 a.m.; Medina at Depew Tournament, Lyndonville at Tonawanda Duals

Holiday 5K brings runners to Medina

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

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Runners round a bend on the towpath along the Erie Canal, which was part of the 5-kilometer course on Saturday for the second Home for the Holidays 5k.

There were 103 finishers in the race, which was up from the 85 in last year’s debut event.

Nolan Bouchane of Lyndonville finishes the race in 19:20, the second fastest time. Bouchane, 18, is a student at the University of Buffalo.

Sam Morgano of Orchard Park won with a time of 18:37. Tammy Putt of Allegany was the first woman to finish with a time of 19:36.

Some of the participants ran in Santa hats, jingle bells and other holiday outfits. This group includes, from left: Teresa Wilkins of Medina, Mercedes Houseman of Albion, and Debbie Tompkins of Medina.

The race started and finished next to the American Legion on Main Street.

Cute elves, ugly sweaters join Santa in Medina holiday celebration

Staff Reports Posted 30 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Peggy Barringer

MEDINA – There were activities from morning to night for Medina’s Old Tyme Christmas Celebration on Saturday.

The “Home for the Holidays”event included a Cutest Little Elf Contest. The top photo shows the winners, including from left: Madelene Wilcox of Buffalo, second place; Jaelyn Castricone of Medina, first place; and Aurora Owczarczak of Medina, third place. Jaelyn got to ride in the noon parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet folks in the downtown.

Cutest Elf contest winner Jaelyn Castricone gets to ride with Santa.

All the cutest elf contestants were invited to walk in the noon parade to celebrate Santa’s arrival.

Melodee and Kadinz Sager of Medina decorate cookies at Case-Nic Cookies.

Maddysen Snook with her grandpa Christopher Seefeldt, both of Medina, enjoy the parade with Santa’s arrival.

Shawna Baldwin paints Olaf, a popular request, on Elizabeth Giarla of Barker at Wide Angle Gallery.

Catherine Cooper, director at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, reads classic Christmas stories during Story Hour at the library.

Horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides were provided courtesy of Hartland Carriage of Gasport.

Jodi and Russ Peters sing Christmas Carols for the folks gathered at The Bread Basket.

Georgia Thomas wears some vintage clothes at the Medina Historical Society open house. Georgia said that the house was decorated circa 1850 with a tabletop Christmas tree with natural-type ornaments of ribbons, lace and gingerbread cookies.

Erik Wilcox of Buffalo was the winner of the Ugly Sweater Contest held at Tea & Couture Atelier.

Erik’s “ugly” sweater includes a cut-out framing his ipad playing Christmas videos and taped-on Christmas lights. He and his family learned of the Medina Olde Tyme Christmas Celebration by searching online. They thought it would be the perfect location for them to meet up with his mother Carol, of Greece, NY. They each traveled halfway for a family day of fun.

Holley girls face early road tests

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

Photo by Mike Wertman – Seniors Samantha Barniak, left, and Jade Underwood, will lead the Holley girls basketball team into the upcoming Genesee Region League season.

Looking to improve upon last year’s 3-16 record, the Holley girls basketball team will face a challenging season opening stretch by playing seven of their first eight games on the road.

The veteran senior duo of Samantha Barniak and Jade Underwood will lead the way for Holley which is slated to open the G-R season at Byron-Bergen on Tuesday.

Barniak had 127 points, 89 rebounds and 37 steals for the Lady Hawks last year.

The Lady Hawks early season road stretch will be highlighted by participation in the Kendall Tournament this coming Thursday and Saturday. Holley will face the host Lady Eagles in the opening round.

Holley also returns experience in senior Tabitha Swift along with juniors Emily Bailey and Nikki Sipio.

Sophomores Hayley Rowley, Makenzie Ferranti and Claudia Drechsel are up from the JV ranks.

“These is no reason we can’t improve on last year,” said Coach Justine Tese. “We need to continue to play tight defense and rebound and get better balance in our scoring. I’m confident in our senior leadership.”

The Lady Hawks key losses to graduation were Nicole Blackburn (194 points, 122 rebounds), Lexi Reyngoudt, Nicki Mauro and Claudia Passarell.

Holley’s Schedule

Dec. 2 – at Byron-Bergen, 7 p.m.
Dec, 4 – at Kendall Tournament, vs. Kendall, 7 p.m.
Dec. 6 – at Kendall Tournament, TBA
Dec. 10 – Pembroke ,7 p.m.
Dec. 15 – at Alexander, 7 p.m.
Dec. 19 – at Kendall, 7 p.m.
Dec. 30 – at Lyndonville, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 6 – Attica, 7 p.m.
Jan. 8 – Lima Christian, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 – at Wheatland-Chili, 7 p.m.
Jan .16 – Elba, 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 – Lyndonville ,7 p.m.
Jan. 22 – Oakfield-Alabama, 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 – at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Byron-Bergen, 7 p.m.
Feb. 5 – at Pembroke, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 – Alexander, 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 – Kendall, 7 p.m.
Feb. 16 – at Attica, 7 p.m.

Raider swimmers prep for N-O opener

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

Photo by Mike Wertman – Getting set to help lead the Barker swim teams into the upcoming Niagara-Orleans League season are these Raider returnees. In front are Alexander Goodlander, Collin Webb and Casey Webb. In back are Ann Buffington, Renee Levy and Allison Austin.

The Barker boys swim squad, which finished second in the final Niagara-Orleans League standings last year at 8-2, is led by a quartet of All-League meet place finishers.

That group includes seniors Casey Webb (2nd in 50 and 100 freestyle events) and Alex Goodlander (3rd 100 backstroke, 6th 50 free) along with freshmen Collin Webb (3rd 100 free) and Andrew Jenks (4th 200 individual medley).

The Barker girls squad, which went 4-5-1 in N-O action a year ago, returns a good underclassmen dominated nucleus including seniors Renee Levy and Allison Austin; juniors Emma Jenks and Erin Greenwald; sophomores Christiana Carestia, Madison Dryburgh, Grace Weller, Abigail Bachman and freshman Natalie Menz.

“We have a good group,” said Coach Mike Gendrue. “We have a few veterans back and everyone is working hard. The non league meets at the beginning of the season should give us a good idea of where we are at.”

The Barker boys squad finished in second place last year at 8-2 while the girls team went 4-5-1.

The Raiders will have four non league meets against Genesee Region League opponents before opening the N-O season on December 16 at home against Akron.

Barker’s Schedule

Dec. 2 – at Oakfield-Alabama, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 4 – Attica, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 9 – at Pembroke, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 – Notre Dame ,4:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 – Akron, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 – at Albion, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 6 – Newfane, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 – Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 – at Medina, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 – at Akron, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 – Albion, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 – at Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 29 – Medina, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Boys All-League meet at Newfane, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Girls All-League meet at Akron, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Girls N-O vs. G-R Crossover meet at Gates-Chili, 6 p.m.

Burning rubbish draws firefighters in Murray

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

Photos by Tom Rivers

MURRAY – Dark smoke billowed into the sky at about 4:30 p.m. today, making firefighters think there was a structure fire at 16210 Lynch Rd.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they learned the cause for the smoke was a rubbish fire, including a burning television and other household items that were in a pile. Firefighters from Fancher-Hulberton-Murray and Holley responded to the scene.

Winners announced for Parade of Lights

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

Matt C.M. Contracting is a repeat grand champion

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Matt Mundion and his giant igloo – The North Pole – was named grand champion in Saturday’s Parade of Lights. Mundion and his business, Matt C.M. Contracting, also won last year for a float with a team of deer pulling a sleigh stacked with presents.

Mundion this time built a framework of wood and attached white fabric on the outside to give an igloo look. He used two of the deer from last year – Rudolph and Dasher – as part of the display.

He also built a door in front so he could see to steer the igloo. He drove a four-wheeler underneath the igloo to travel the parade route.

Mundion is pictured under the igloo with Heather Schrader.

Other winners in the parade include:

Business/Commercial: Weed Man with Dancing Derrick Bradley on top of the float.

Service Organization: Albion FFA, which had a Polar Express themed float.

Not-For-Profit: Medina Band Boosters

Religious: Orleans County Christian School (with a Charlie Brown theme)

Fire Company: Shelby Fire Company

Other groups: Medina School Transportation Department. Pictured include, from left: Rob Dennis, transportation director; and drivers Tina Dennis, Linda Draper, Bonnie Carpenter and Mike Lyons.

Littlest Elf Award (for best design for involving youths and adults): Medina Head Start

Star Award: Bentley Brothers (Laura Bentley fills the snow machine on top of the float)

Community Spirit Award: Waterport float

Santa’s Pick: Habitat for Humanity

Friends raise funds for funeral of 22-year-old Albion man

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

Justin Swanger, who was well liked for sense of humor, died unexpectedly on Friday

Photo by Tom Rivers – A photo of Justin Swanger is displayed during a chicken barbecue and fund-raiser at Kirby’s Cider Mill in Albion today. Justine Daniels (right), one of Justin’s friends, is among the group that put on the fund-raiser to help pay for Justin’s funeral expenses.

ALBION – Justin Swanger was a freshman when he moved to Albion from Ohio. He soon won over friends with his sense of humor and contagious laugh.

He also earned a spot on the basketball team with a scrappy playing style and a knack for hitting long 3-pointers.

Swanger, 22, died in his sleep unexpectedly on Friday. His father, the late Jamie Swanger, also died as a young man.

Many of Justin’s friends gathered today to raise money for their friend’s funeral expenses. They served about 250 chicken barbecue dinners from Kirby’s Cider Mill on Brown Road. Justin worked there at times and also joined the farm at the Rochester Public Market, where the Kirby farm has been a vendor for many decades.

Justin was a dependable employee, showing up at 4 a.m. to get ready for the market in Rochester.

“A lot of times he was the one waking me up,” Mitchell Kirby said about those early mornings.

Justin enjoyed the fast pace at the market and interacting with the many customers. He also worked at Lowe’s.

During the chicken barbecue, a slide show included many photos of him with friends. Kirby played some of Justin’s favorite music.

“He’d want us to get together as friends and laugh,” Kirby said.

Justine Daniels graduated in the Class of 2010 with Justin. He made lots of friends because he was always so positive, she said.

“He was a great guy,” Justine said. “He was a people-person. He touched everyone with his smile. It didn’t matter what happened to him, he was always smiling.”

Justin liked to help friends with projects, whether landscaping or other work.

“He was a helping hand for anyone who needed it,” Justine said.

Justin is survived by his mother, Paula Canne, and his sister, Alyssa Swanger. For information about calling hours and his funeral, click here.

Vote with your wallet to build a stronger community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 November 2014 at 12:00 am


File photo by Tom Rivers – Downtown Albion, shown in this picture from a year ago, has many independent merchants offering products and services.

For many of our local merchants, the next month is a make or break time for their businesses. I hope for their sake, and for our community’s, they succeed. But they can’t do it own their own. They need local residents to spend some of their money at these establishments.

It’s harder and harder for the small town merchants to make it. Customers seem entranced by the malls and mega-retailers with their massive marketing budgets. Dollars spent there don’t stay in our community and trickle back to other local businesses.

There is a perception of savings with the giant chains, and I suppose a trip to the mall is a chance for a little adventure. But I would encourage you to give the local downtown business districts a try. There are more businesses in our local downtowns than many people realize. Dollars spent there stay in our community.

The “mom and pop” businesses spend it with other local businesses. They employ local people. They try to keep up historic buildings that are part of our community identity.

Today is Small Business Saturday, a national initiative that seeks to direct some of the holiday shopping dollars with the local merchants.

Medina and Albion have events today as an added incentive to shop downtown. Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas is a jam-packed schedule from 9 a.m. to the evening, a schedule highlighted by a Parade of Lights at 6 p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.

The Albion Merchants Association is offering a raffle with $100 of gift certificates from local businesses.

The Orleans Hub is possible because of the many advertisers in our community. We won’t survive without these small businesses. These are the business owners who support other local efforts. They are the ones who sponsor 5K races, who take out ads in the school yearbooks, who give baskets of items for benefit fund-raisers.

These are the businesses that build a strong community. They are deserving of your support.

Gophers top Tigers for tourney title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 November 2014 at 12:00 am

A big edge at the free throw line and some sharp three-point shooting combined to power Pavilion to a 79-65 victory over Lyndonville this evening in the championship game of the Warsaw Tournament.

Pavilion made 22 of 38 free throw attempts compared to 6 of 9 for Lyndonville. The Gophers also clicked on 11 threes compared to 5 for the Tigers.

“They shot the ball very well and they got to the line a lot,” said Lyndonville Coach Lee Dillenbeck. “Foul trouble really hurt us starting in the second quarter.”

Hayden Ewell took game high scoring honors with 26 points, including three threes, and Caleb Milligan netted 20, including six threes, to spearhead the attack for Pavilion.

Eric Neace scored 21, Nick Hinkson 18, AJ Buckland 16, Eddie Schildt 5, Corey Hydock 3 and Brandon Schoolcraft 2 for Lyndonville.

Pavilion jumped out to a 25-16 first quarter lead as Milligan hit three threes and Ewell two.

Hinkson scored 7 and Buckland 5 in the opening period to help keep Lyndonville close.

However, the Gophers extended their advantage to 40-27 at the half and to 57-39 at the three-quarter mark .

Lyndonville did outscore Pavilion 26-22 in the final period but the Tigers could get no closer than nine. Neace led that Tigers comeback bid with 13 points.

Lyndonville next hosts Alexander on Friday in the Genesee Region League opener.