Find us on Facebook

Month: February 2015

Food and theater prove good combo at West Barre Church

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
WEST BARRE – The rural church in West Barre was packed on Friday night for the church’s annual dinner theater. A cast of eight put on “Big Bucks” and many church members prepared and served dinner and dessert.

In the top photo, George McKenna plays Myron Fever and tries to beat his grandmother, Jann Davis, in arm wrestling. Myron lost every match with Gramma Fever.

The event was a sell-out with about 100 people coming for the dinner theater. Dinner was served in the fellowship hall, with the lights muted, before the play.

Tonight is also a sell-out. There is one more show on Sunday at 6 p.m., but that event doesn’t include dinner.

A team of servers load up trays with salads.

The event is a fund-raiser for the church, and also a chance to serve and entertain the community, especially in the grip of winter.

Jim Peglow plays the role of “Big Buck Fever,” the family patriarch of an estate in Mississippi. Buck wrestles with back taxes and the threat of the government taking the property for a new freeway.

“I don’t mind progress as long as they don’t change nothing,” Buck said.

The event has been going on for about 25 years. The West Barre Players initially performed out of the Grange Hall but moved the show to the church at 5337 Eagle Harbor Rd.

David Snyder plays IRS agent Marvin Kreshler who likes Buck’s daughter Nancy Fever, played by Iva McKenna.

Buck tricks the IRS agent to put on swim clothes as a form of blackmail. Alice Mathes, in back, plays Hillary Keith, who works as a representative of the freeway. Buck also duped her into going swimming, trying get photographs of her and the IRS agent slacking on the job.

Buck reviews a letter from the IRS while trying not to worry his wife, played by Cheryl Maxon.

After the performance, the audience was treated to dessert. Jean Peglow, right, serves a slice of lemon pie to Jesse Farwell.

Notre Dame cagers oust Lyndonville

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Eric Neace (23) goes up for a shot as Caleb Nellis (23) of Notre Dame tries to block during the Tigers sectional loss to the host Fighting Irish this evening.

Moving on top to stay with a big first period scoring burst, No. 2 seed Notre Dame went on to defeat visiting No. 7 Lyndonville 77-55 this evening in a Section V Class D1 quarterfinal round game.

Josh Johnson poured in a game high 31 points, including 13 in the first period, to spearhead the attack for Notre Dame as Luca Zambito added 14 and Caleb Nellis 10.

Eric Neace scored 23, Nick Hinkson 16, AJ Buckland 9, Eddie Schildt 5 and Corey Hydock 2 for Lyndonville.

Lyndonville did score the first basket of the game, on a layup by Neace, but Notre Dame answered with a key 14-0 run, to take the lead for good. Johnson sparked that uprising with 12 quick points including four layups, a jumper and a pair of free throws.

The Fighting Irish maintained a nine point, 18-9, lead at the end of the period.

Lyndonville’s Nick Hinkson (12) grabs a rebound from Notre Dame’s John Sutherland (32).

A three-point play by Nellis upped the Irish lead to 15, 24-9, early in the second period but Lyndonville answered with an 8-0 run, including a three and a layup by Hinkson, to cut the deficit to seven at 24-17.

But, as would be the case the rest of the game, when challenged Notre Dame answered right back, this time with a 10-2 run to close the period, and regain a 15 point, 34-19, advantage at the half. Two layups by Zambito keyed that uprising.

Lyndonville again closed to within eight, 36-28, early in the third period after a 7-0 run on a three by Hinkson followed by back-to-back layups by Buckland, but the Tigers could get no closer.

Lyndonville’s Eddie Schildt (24) tries to block a shot by Caleb Nellis (23) of Notre Dame.

Once again Notre Dame answered the challenge, this time with a 19-10 run to close the period. Zambito hit two threes and Dylan Fix one to highlight that uprising which also included 6 points by Johnson and 4 by Nellis upping the Irish advantage to 17, 55-38, at the three-quarter mark.

The Irish quickly upped the lead to 20, 61-41, early in the final period and the Tigers could get no clot than 14 down the stretch.

Notre Dame now takes a 13-7 record into the D1 semifinals while Lyndonville finishes the season at 8-13.

The Irish also scored a 81-61 win over the Tigers during the Genesee Region League season.

Lyndonville’s Brandon Schoolcraft (5) drives by Notre Dame defender John Sutherland (32).

NCCC bows in regional semifinals

Contributed Story Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

The No. 4 seed Niagara County Community College women’s basketball team dropped a 85-52 decision to host top seeded Monroe Community College this afternoon in the semifinals of the Region III playoffs.

Albion High graduate Tanisha Moyer had 28 points and 8 rebounds and Roy-Hart grad Jesse DeWaters 9 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds for NCCC.

NCCC, which trailed 38-22 at the half, finishes the season at 22-10.

Albion photographer honored at annual convention

Staff Reports Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Photo North East has released the results of its annual photo competition and reported that Bruce Landis of Photos by Bruce and Associates is a multiple winner with “Future Farmer” and “Blue Eyed Mikko.”

A high school senior portrait of Albion Senior Class President Aaron Burnside, titled “Future Farmer,” was Landis’s highest scoring image. The setting for the portrait is the Poverty Hill Farm of County House Road in Albion. Operated by the Neal family, the farm milks 490 cows.

Burnside, a four-year member and vice president of the Albion FFA, was photographed in the one of the barns wearing his FFA jacket with several cattle in the background. Burnside aspires to obtain a doctorate in Agriculture Business. He credits his high school teacher Adam Krenning and farm co-owner Jody Neal for the opportunity to work at the dairy farm, putting his FFA education to practical use.

Landis also won first place honors for a portrait of a Siberian Husky owned by Nick Causyn. “Blue Eyed Mikko” is a photograph taken outdoors on a snowy day, with snow covered evergreens as the background at Bruce’s Ridge Road studio.

Photo North East is the annual convention, trade show and photo competition hosted by the Professional Photographers of New York State, the Professional Photographers Association of New Jersey, and the Professional Photographers of America.

Recco places sixth at states

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Lyndonville High senior Tony Recco went 1-2 today to place sixth in the Division 2 (small schools) state wrestling champions at Albany.

Recco, who rebounded from an opening round loss to score a pair of consolation round victories on Friday, kept the momentum to begin today’s competition.

Recco opened the day by pinning Roland Lapoint of Northern Adirondack (Section 7) in 4:49 but then dropped a 5-0 decision to Matteo DeVincenzo of Port Jefferson (Section 1). Finally, he dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to Hunter Dusold of Locust Valley (Section 8) in the match for fifth place.

Recco, who won the states his freshman year and placed third a year ago, finishes the tournament at 3-3.

Hunters enjoy camaraderie with squirrel hunt

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – About 350 people gather inside the Holley fire hall on Saturday following the Squirrel Slam competition. Most of the people who bought tickets actually didn’t hunt, but they enjoy a dinner, prizes and conversation inside the fire hall.

Steve Parkhurst of Kendall said it was a tough day to go hunting. He needed to trudge snow 2 to 3 feet deep in his backyard to try to hunt squirrels. Parkhurst was able to get one, far less than the limit of six for the day.

“Even if I didn’t get a squirrel it would have been a good day,” Parkhurst said inside the Holley firehall following the “9th Annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam.”

Teams were given prizes for the heaviest squirrels. The biggest one weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces.

Parkhurst was out hunting earlier in the day with a friend. They were one of 58 teams to compete in today’s Squirrel Slam hunting contest through the Holley Fire Department, which was down from 136 two-person teams a year ago. The deep snow and cold reduced the hunting teams, although the Fire Department still sold the maximum of 600 tickets for the contest.

“This is a good thing to get together with your friends and family,” Parkhurst said. “It also helps the community and the Fire Department.”

The event has drawn national and international attention the past three years after being highlighted by animal rights’ activists.

These T-shirts sell for $12 each and are very popular. Last year event organizer Dennis Bauer donated $700 from the T-shirt proceeds to Orleans County SCOPE.

One activist even tried to take the Fire Department to court over the environmental impacts of the hunt, but the case was dismissed last week.

Parkhurst said he was one of the originals who has been at all nine Squirrel Slams. He credited Holley for continuing the event despite some of the pushback from animal rights’ groups. If Holley backed out, Parkhurst said he would ask Kendall to sponsor the event.

Holley Fire Department leaders said the event clears about $4,000 in profit, making it a strong fund-raiser. Fran Gaylord, president of the Fire Department, said many hunters and community members thank the department for keeping on the event, despite the pressure to cancel it.

“There have been no issues today and everybody is having a good time,” Gaylord said at the firehall after the hunt. “People are glad we stood our ground and won’t be bullied.”

Frank Balys, a past Holley fire chief, sold 50-50 raffle tickets at the fire hall.

Saturday there were only four protesters near the fire hall by the Holley Hotel, including Richard Brummel, an environmental activist from Long Island. He is pushing the legal challenge to the hunting contest, saying it has a negative environmental impact because many squirrels are killed near Holley.

“I feel the squirrels and all the supporters of our efforts to halt the hunt this year deserve to be represented in Holley today,” Brummel said in a statement to the media. “Perhaps this will be the last year we have to do this, but I am expecting a continuing battle over this and other senseless animals killing contests.”

Dennis Bauer of Hamlin has organized all nine of the Squirrel Slams. He thanked the Holley Fire Department for continuing to support the event.

Bauer was out hunting with his son Jeremy earlier in the day and they didn’t shoot any squirrels.

Bauer pushed for the Squirrel Slam as a motivation to get friends and family out together on the last day of the hunting season.

“My thought was it was one more time to get buddies and families out together,” Bauer said.

Jeff Lavender, a past Holley fire chief, calls out the winning raffle numbers.

Bauer said the protesters of the event are “misinformed.” They assume all of the squirrels are shot in Holley, when participants hunt in several Western New York counties and bring their squirrels to Holley to be weighed. The name “Slam” may also have people thinking the squirrels meet a tortuous death, when Bauer said they are all shot legally during the hunting season.

“If I thought we were hurting the squirrel the population, I wouldn’t do it because I’m a hunter and I don’t want my game gone,” Bauer said. “The DEC has the squirrel season open this time of the year for a reason.”

Bauer said he is encouraged by the big crowd of people that come to the fire hall for food and conversation.

“This isn’t about going out and killing squirrels,” he said. “It’s about bringing people together.”

Medina tops Tonawanda to gain semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jalin Cooper (1) puts up a shot as Tonawanda’s Larenz Jefferson (55) tries for a block during the Mustangs sectional win over the visiting Warriors this evening.

Advancing to the semifinals for the first time in six years, No. 3 seed Medina downed visiting No. 6 Tonawanda 52-39 this evening in a Section VI Class B1 quarterfinal contest.

Justin Morgan scored a game high 19 points, Jason Hellwig netted 14 and Jalin Cooper 11 to spark the attack for Medina which earns a spot in the semifinals for the first time since 2009. Dylan Lewis, Brennan Zinkievich, Tyler Ames and Tyler Howard each chipped in with 2 points for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs will face No. 10 Maryvale, which upset No. 2 Depew 49-47, in the semis at Buffalo State at 6:45 p.m. March 4.

Medina jumped out to a 12-4 first quarter lead as Morgan had a three and a two and Cooper a bucket and a three-point play.

The Mustangs maintained a 23-17 lead at the half as Hellwig had a three and a three-point play in the second quarter.

Medina’s Jason Hellwig (2) puts up a shot.

Medina upped the lead a bit to nine, 31-22, at the three-quarter mark as Cooper and Zinkievich both hit jumpers and Hellwig added a rebound bucket in the low scoring third period.

Tonawanda did close the gap a bit to six, 32-26, early in the fourth quarter but the Warriors could get no closer.

Morgan answered back for Medina with a big burst of 11 points on three threes, two of which came back-to-back, and a layup to help vault the Mustangs out to a 15 point, 47-32, advantage with less than two minutes to go. Lewis also had a layup and Cooper a pair of free throws for the Mustangs during that decisive 15-6 run.

Medina’s Brennan Zinkievich (20) brings the ball up court against Tonawanda defender Collin Smith (33).

Albion cagers advance to B1 semifinals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Des Blackmon (21) puts up a shot as Joe Montgomery (33) defends for East Aurora during the host Purple Eagles sectional win over the visiting Blue Devils this evening.

Getting balanced scoring in every quarter, No. 4 seed Albion posted a 78-62 victory over visiting No. 5 East Aurora this evening in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class B1 boys basketball playoffs.

The victory propels Albion into the semifinals for the first time in 11 years. The Purple Eagles, whose last semi appearance was in 2004, will face top seeded Burgard, a 65-53 victor over rival Burgard, in the semifinals at Buffalo State at 5:15 p.m. March 4.

Austin Loyd took game high scoring honors with 19, including 5 threes, Des Blackmon added 18 and Clayton Stanton 11 to lead the offense for Albion. Tommy Mattison and Alex Bison both chipped in with 9, Manny Thompson 6 and Gary Moore and Corey Reynolds 3 each for the Purple Eagles.

“We had real good balance in every quarter,” said Albion Coach Brennan Meakin. “We’ve got ton of guys who can score.”

Albion’s Alex Bison (23) drives by Josh Denz (13) of East Aurora.

Albion jumped out to a 17-12 first period lead as Loyd, Moore and Blackmon all hit threes.

The Purple Eagles then used a 23-13 second quarter scoring edge to boost the advantage to 15, 40-25, at the half. Loyd led that uprising with 8 as Blackmon had 5 and Thompson 4.

Albion maintained a 15 point, 58-43, advantage at the three-quarter mark. Stanton and Blackmon both netted 5 in the third.

The Purple Eagles capped off the victory with a 20 point fourth quarter including 5 each by Mattison, Loyd and Blackmon.

Albion’s Austin Loyd (2) shots over East Aurora’s Nick Montgomery (21).

Class B2

Wilson 58, Emerson 49
No. 2 seed Wilson bested visiting No. 7 Emerson 58-49 this evening in the Class B2 quarterfinals.

Kyle Bradley scored 22 and Evan Shank 16 to spark the Niagara-Orleans League champion Lakemen.

Class C1

Tapestry 81, Barker 39
Jumping out to leads of 22-8 after one quarter and 44-21 at the half, No. 2 seed Tapestry rolled to a 81-39 victory over visiting No. 7 Barker in a Section VI Class C1 quarterfinal.

Nate Lucklman scored 11, Thomas Callaghan 9 and Christopher Sweeney and Tristan Payne 6 each for Barker.

Proposed concrete plant in Albion needs to provide more information

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board wants to support a concrete batch plant in Albion but planners said they need to see more information before casting a final vote.

David Hill of Gasport wants to put a small concrete plant at the southwest corner of West Countyhouse Road and Route 98 in Albion. Hill would have a storage hopper and gravity-fed discharge truck loading tower with an 85-foot antenna.

His site plan includes entrances on West Countyhouse Road and Route 98, as well as 12 parking spaces for employees and a 4,200-square-foot wood framed building.

Planners said they support the concept of the project, but they wanted to see a stormwater management plan before a final vote.

Dan Strong, the Albion code enforcement officer, said that issue could be resolved with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the project review shouldn’t be held up by planners. Hill said he didn’t want to spend $10,000 for an engineer to work on the plan if the Planning Board wouldn’t support the project.

Joe Sidonio of Murray and other planners said the board likes the overall concept and plan for the project. However, the board wouldn’t be doing its due diligence if it voted to support the project without the stormwater management plan, said Marty Busch, a board member from Medina.

The board voted that the application was incomplete because there wasn’t a stormwater management plan.

Hill owns a construction business that uses concrete. He expects his company will be the main user of the concrete. He intends to make the product available to other contractors and customers.

The proposed Transit Concrete would develop about 2 acres of a 14.7-acre site. Most of the property would keep the existing vegetation.

Hill estimated about 12 trucks would go back and forth to the site each day, which would be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week, except for Sunday.

Ron Vendetti of Holley, a Planning Board member, thought it would be better to eliminate the driveway for Route 98 and have trucks enter and leave a single driveway on West Countyhouse Road.

Strong didn’t see a problem with another entrance on Route 98, which Strong said already is a main truck route to and from Albion.

Holley wrestles with frozen water pipes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Village advises residents to keep trickle of water flowing until thaw

Photos by Tom Rivers – Matt Campbell, superintendent of Holley’s water and electric departments, operates an excavator to dig down to a frozen water line on East Albion Street this afternoon.

HOLLEY – It started last Tuesday amidst a punishingly cold February: water lines became clogged with ice.

About 15 Holley residents have since called the Village Office to report no water was coming out of their faucets.

Village water crews have been busy for the past 10 days, sometimes working late into the night to thaw out frozen pipes.

“People can’t be without water,” said Don Wharram, a technician with the electric and water departments.

The village is advising residents to maintain a trickle of water at all times until the deep freeze is over and the spring thaw arrives. Matt Campbell, Water and Electric superintendent, said the steady stream of water can help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Don Wharram, a Holley electric and water technician, attaches a chain to a sign post that would have to be removed to heat up a frozen water line about 4 feet below ground.

That steady trickle may save the water department from digging 4 feet down into the frozen ground. Workers have to dig into a hard ground, and then pump boiling water into the service line to get a water flow back into the line.

The village is responsible for the service lines which are under the street and sidewalk. Some residents have also had their water lines freeze because of unheated basements. If those cases, residents have to hire a plumber or solve the problem themselves.

The Holley crews have responded to about 15 frozen lines so far, working at times in sub 0 temperatures.