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Posted 13 July 2020 at 7:00 am

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

Posted 13 July 2020 at 7:00 am

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Forecast this week gives a break from 90-degree days

Photo by Tom Rivers: Medina has colorful flowers out on Main Street for the summer.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2020 at 6:10 pm

Orleans County, which endured six straight 90-day degree days last week, will get a break from the intense heat this week.

The high temperatures this week include 78 and sunny on Monday, 82 and sunny on Tuesday, 86 and mostly sunny on Wednesday, and 87 and mostly cloudy on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Friday is forecast for a high of 86 and mostly sunny, followed by 89 and mostly sunny on Saturday.

The 90-degree temperatures return next Sunday with a high of 92.

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Spray park is close to opening in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2020 at 11:22 am

‘It’s going to be real nice. It’s going to be beautiful.’ – Jay Pahura, Albion DPW superintendent

Photos by Tom Rivers: Jay Pahura, Albion’s Department of Public Works superintendent, checks on the spray park at Bullard Park on Thursday. The perimeter around the spray park needs to change from dirt to grass before the site opens. Otherwise, Pahura said mud would clog up the drains.

ALBION – Albion’s spray park is close to opening. A certain date for the debut of the water attraction isn’t set.

One missing piece in the project may seem like the simplest part of undertaking: grass. The village Department of Public Works brought in topsoil, seeded and fertilized it and has been steadily watering about an acre of land around the spray park, trying to get the grass to grow. The DPW brings tanker of 3,500 gallons of water to the site each day.

The punishing heat in recent weeks with little rain has made grass growing a challenge.

“We’ve been trying to grow an acre of grass during a drought,” said Jay Pahura, Albion’s DPW superintendent.

The spray park has 18 spray elements. It is much larger than the splash pad that opened in Medina on Thursday. That splash pad at Pine Street Park has five spray elements.

The grass is starting to sprout up so it might not be too much longer. Pahura said the grass is needed or else spray park users will bring in mud, which could clog the drains.

There is also some electrical work, and some sidewalks will be added to make the spray park handicapped accessible.

“We’re almost there,” Pahura said on Thursday. “When it’s done, it’s going to be real nice. It’s going to be beautiful.”

The spray park has been long anticipated by the community. It is part of about $800,000 in upgrades to Bullard, Albion’s most popular park on Route 31.

The new splash pad is next to the amphitheater. Construction started last year on the project.

The $800,000 upgrade at Bullard also includes an amphitheater, utility building with bathrooms and a pavilion.

The village in December 2016 was awarded a $499,605 state grant for the Bullard projects. The village also received $97,500 from the county and $45,000 from the town of Albion, money that was through a revolving-loan fund by the Orleans Economic Economic Agency.

The state made the EDA and other economic development agencies end their revolving-loan funds. They either had to give the money to the state or use it in the community with some stipulations. One option allowed for improving handicapped accessibility at parks.

Albion will use that EDA money for sidewalks to the amphitheater and splash pad, to make them accessible to people in a wheelchair.

The park has a new utility building with bathrooms. The building will get a log wash, two coats of stain and clear coat. The Albion DPW also is putting a new 400 amp electrical panel next to the building.

The Albion DPW is providing $166,370 of in-kind services as part of Albion’s local share for the state grant. The DPW took down a pavilion and storage building last fall to make way for the new utility building. The DPW also ran a new sewer line across Route 31 near the Bullard entrance. That sewer line will service the park.

The DPW also ran 600 feet of waterline for the splash pad and utility building, several feet of sewer line, and will be doing the electric service for the amphitheater.

Pahura said the infrastructure was put in with future expansion in mind.

A touch pad will activate the water at the splash park.

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed back the schedule on the spring construction at the park. The village needed to reduce the work crews at the DPW by 50 percent for about six weeks.

The DPW only has nine employees at full strength, and they have the other tasks with street maintenance, water line work, picking up brush and numerous other responsibilities.

“Covid-19 slowed everything down, but we’re almost there,” Pahura said.

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New courts on the way for Ram netters

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 July 2020 at 10:54 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – When the Roy-Hart tennis team opens its next season the Rams will be playing on these six new courts which have been constructed just east of the Middle School in Middleport as part of the district’s building project. In recent years the Rams have played at Gasport where major changes have also taken place.

The former site of the tennis courts and playground at Roy-Hart’s Gasport Elementary is under going some major changes. The old courts and playground have been removed to make room for a new playground, a pickle ball court and two tennis courts. This work is also part of the district’s building project.

Leagues, tourneys keep Hickory Ridge busy

Contributed Story Posted 12 July 2020 at 10:48 am

It has been a busy week of golf at Hickory Ridge with four leagues reporting in and two member tournaments.  It has been hot and humid as every where has been but it hasn’t stopped the golfers.

The Monday Night Bar Guys are reporting information for the first time this season. Leading the pack is the team of Mark Condolucci and Dave Petta who have 59 points.  AJ Gifaldi and Darryl Szklany are in second with 54.5 points.  Chris Smith and Dave Quaranto are in third with 50 points and the team of Rod Finnefrock and Bernie Ruggeri are close behind with 49 points.  Geoff Christian and Paul Gifaldi round out the top five with 47.50 points.  AJ Gifaldi shot low gross with a 40 followed closely by Christian’s 41.

Monday has two leagues and the Monday Night League also reported this week.  In first place in the standings is the team of Ryan Keller and Todd Cappotelli with 117 points.  Gerald Furness and Ron Hering are in second with 102 points followed by Frank Heinlein and Jim Carlson with 92 points.  Don Young and Rod Heinlein are in the number four slot with 86.5 points and Butch Barber and Scott Brooks round out the top five with 85 points.  Young had low gross with 42 and Wayne Schiavone had a 29 for low net.  Young and Brooks both recorded birdies.

Dona Hazen shot a low gross of 38 to lead the Tuesday Night Ladies League.  Marcia Zambito had low net with a 27 followed closely by Carol Lowell and Hazen who each had net 29.  Hazen and Diane Abel both recorded birdies.  Standing this week show Deb Birkins and Patty Pfister  leading 36 points.  Right behind are Judy Schuth and Diane Hennecky with 35 points.  Cheryl Ferguson and Vicki Brawn hold down third with 30 points.

Thursday Night league shows the team of Dresser and Flansburg still leading with 116 points.  Bennett and Budde hold second with 112 points.  Foos and Stedman are in third with 108 points followed closely by Drury and Nagy with 104.  The Millers are tied with Cotter and Knaak for fifth with 102 points each.  Wes Bedford shot low gross with a 41 and Randy Knaak had low net of 30.  Lots of birdies this past week with Gary Marciszewski, Cedrik Soria, Chris Barry, Josh Bennett and Patrick Drury each recording one.

The final league reporting is this year’s newest league, the Friday Night Mixed Couples League.   Dave and Melissa Cotter lead the league with 183 points followed by Jim and Marcia Zambito with 187.  Bill Fitzgerald and Faye McNeil are in third with 193 points with four other teams within four points of third.

There were two member tournaments sponsored by the Hickory Ridge Golf Association in the past week.

The July 4th Flag Tournament, a popular event every year, had Linda Chrzan and Werner Stumpf taking the top prize.

Dodging the rain on Saturday July 11 the Two Man Best Ball Tournament was held.  In the mixed/women’s division the winners were Chrzan and Laurie Freeman with a net 59 besting Dave and Melissa Cotter who recorded a net 62.  Winning the men’s division with a net 61 was the team of Owen Toale and Gary Wood.  They beat the team of Bob (Socks) Butler and Jerry Seaman who recorded a net 63.

Home-based childcare providers in Orleans, Genesee eligible for $2,000 grants

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2020 at 9:05 am

ALBION – Home-based child care providers are eligible for $2,000 grants, made possible by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

The grants include about 20 home-based childcare sites in Orleans and Genesee counties. Community Action of Orleans & Genesee is distributing the grants.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful opportunity for the home-based providers,” said Bonnie Malakie, director of children and youth services for Community Action.

Home-based childcare providers should receive an application for the funding from Community Action through the Child Care Resource & Referral program. Currently there are 20 certified group family daycares or home-based child care providers in the two counties, Malakie said.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation awarded the grant to Rochester Area Community Foundation to help about 200 small, home-based child care providers in Orleans, Genesee and Monroe counties.

“Child care is essential now more than ever,” said Amber Slichta, vice president of programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Small, home-based child care providers rarely qualify for support and, in turn, do not view themselves as small businesses. It’s important that we continue to fill these gaps and uplift these providers, as they are often the only option for working families in rural areas and urban neighborhoods.”

During the pandemic, these smaller child care sites are seeing more demand with families looking for smaller settings with fewer children and adults. The grants of up to $2,000 each will be given to providers to use how they see fit — to help them open or continue operations.

“In-home child care has always been in demand. But the pandemic has more families looking at home-based options as a way to minimize their children’s exposure to large numbers of other children and adults,” says Jennifer Leonard, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “This sudden need by families during an already difficult time has placed a great deal of strain on home care providers who want to help.”

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Sunday Morning Positive Perks from your Sassy Small Town Missus

Posted 12 July 2020 at 8:00 am

Trees of Soles and their unheard stories

Crazy thing: A Sneaker Tree.

Sounds unusual but actually there are several Sneaker Trees sprinkled throughout the U.S.

Many of you know this particular row of trees. I found them right in our own county. This area of amusement, with no cost for admission, can be found at the intersection of Foss and Lakeshore Roads in Yates.

The story began in 1986 when Earl Baum was helping his girlfriend clean out her closet and they decided to fling up several pairs of her shoes into these trees. The next 30 years many people have added their own footwear.

Some have names written on them and others have random messages. Some appear to have been worn by children and others by adults. With one upward spin of motion anyone can leave their “footprint” to be seen by all, for as long as the tree survives.

In total there are four ash trees. The method of attachment varies from a good old shoe toss into the branches to a more secure nailing down onto the tree trunk.

It is an interesting concept of using a tree to hold the stories of individual items. With shoes, I am certain that if they could talk they would have some awesome tales of the feet that used to walk within them. No doubt they have traveled some miles and have many secrets within their soles. Much like the trees that harbor them.

Perhaps some evening I will sit under the trees, look through the branches up to the stars, close my eyes and listen as the wind blows through the soles and branches. The lessons the wind could provide in its whisper of words might bring inspiration for future adventures.

Fun fact is that not only are there Shoe Trees across the nation, but unique trees like an Underwear Tree in California, a Flip-flop Pole in Hawaii, a Hula Hoop Tree that once stood in Iowa, and my favorite…a Cowboy Boot Tree in Texas. History tells us, many times these trees were not readily accepted within the areas they began. But as each tree began to grow and more people added their own “personalities”, the amusement of it all continued and has brought grins and giggles to all that joined.

One thing really caught my eye on one of the four trees. Hanging from a branch was a mask and written on it was “COVID-19 United We Stand 2020”. I have said that after COVID is a memory, I want to have a mask burning party, similar to the old bra burning parties of the ’60s and ’70s. Yes kids, that was a thing.

After visiting this tree, I wonder if it could be an inspiration for a Mask Tree. Have you ever heard the saying “The higher the hair, the closer to Jesus?” Wonder if that applies to personal items in trees. Maybe that is the motivation.

Whatever has inspired a themed tree with unique individual elements, know this: it is sure to entertain and delight all those who come upon it.

To see all four trees and share your tree-themed ideas, visit my blog live online at https://www.positiveperksposts.com and catch up on weekly photo perks and past Sunday posts. Like and share your comments.

Deborah London

MAP class for small businesses to return in fall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2020 at 9:20 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers – Diane Blanchard, director of the Microenterprise Assistance Program, is pictured in downtown Albion. She leads a program that has had 518 graduates.

ALBION – A class that gives pointers to entrepreneurs and helps them develop their business plans will be back this fall after the spring class was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency has been offering the program since 1999, with classes in the spring and fall.

The EDA is expecting to hold the weekly class sessions at the Arnold Gregory Office Complex on South Main Street, and could always hold sessions through the Zoom video conferencing or a Google meet, said Diane Blanchard, manager of the program.

“We’re moving forward,” she said during Friday’s Orleans EDA board meeting. “We’re ready.”

Blanchard said a dozen people are already committed to the class. Other people interested in MAP can reach Blanchard at (585) 589-7060 (ext. 1) or by email, dblanchard@orleansdevelopment.org.

The 10-week class includes insights on taxes, marketing, legal issues, computer skills and overcoming pitfalls in launching a business. A main goal is developing a business plan.

Sam Campanella, an advisor with the Small Business Development Center, has been with the class for many years. He has retired from the SBDC.

Dorothy Daniels of Albion is taking Campanella’s place as a class advisor and instructor. the class. Daniels graduated from MAP in 2019. She started On Point Bookkeeper on West Avenue in Albion. She also works for the SBDC.

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Police are asked to do too much, need more services in mental health, CPS, housing

Posted 11 July 2020 at 5:04 pm

Editor:

False, nasty, demeaning, wildly inaccurate political trash used to mark the last few months before an election. In the last couple of decades rabid politics has become a year-round blood sport. The least informed become outspoken experts with the “final” word.

Currently “Defunding” the police is a politically nonsensical term and the attacks on it equally foolish. Calling reorganization “defunding” is as crazy political double speak as the political nonsense which says “tax cuts pay themselves.”

We are in the middle of rethinking police strategy, public services, and community improvement. I write simply to flesh out  some background (and a bit of opinion) for consideration.

With the federal budget cuts of the ’80s costs got pushed down stream and onto states, property taxes went up to cover the federal share while services were cut back.

As a result we have been looking for 40 years to the police to solve more problems which exceed their training.

Many of the better police concepts go back to the ’60s with formalized  ideas “distributed specialization” and “community policing.” “Stop and frisk” police theory is a military-type theory that is cheaper. That is because the stop in part depends on suspicion and on someone looking “suspicious.” It proved to be ripe for racists and for racist justifications.

Stop and frisk theory came along in the ’80s at the same time as those budget cuts and quickly became popular.  But it reversed gains in race relations and in retrospect made matters worse.

You get what you pay for. The recent failures of departments trained to be rough and ready really demonstrated the difference.

There are increasingly good examples of how well rethinks can work. In New York, Child Protective Services or Probation are often called first. If the police need CPS it’s there 24-7. And you certainly have seen that in other areas where police have crisis management, mental health, emergency housing, domestic violence experts, community health centers in support roles – and all sometimes in lead roles.

Right now police go into schools to help keep kids straight but, frankly, there is a huge national shortage of school psychologists who are better trained to address juvenile problems. I hope you get the point. It’s not a put down. It’s about being the best at what you are trained for.

Frankly it will cost more.

This rethink will be hard fought – particularly by those with the least knowledge or the most to lose. In Camden NJ, for example, the union was so dirty/criminal/ (there will always some in any group) that the department had to dismantle to void the union contracts and start over. In the end it worked extremely well.

As to the merits and types of things to talk about I already mentioned a few but also we know better mental health access correlates with less crime. Almost any increase in income correlates with reduced crime – education, sex education, vocational training, public work projects, and higher police wages and training all make for safer, better, communities. All should be talked through.

Catching up to where we were will not be simple, quick, or cheap. It’s just needed.

The biggest impediment is, I think, that tax increases on multi-millionaires will be needed to reclaim our communities. I could be wrong but with the low mean and medium income here in Orleans County if we go back to the old federal funding model, the income tax effect here may be minimal and our property tax could go down. It does require the federal government to step up and once again to make it work. (That is not to say that Congress must do better at floating the economy as red states Covid drags the economy down. It has to!)

I just heard a great example of a rethink from Korea. During demonstrations – very frequent there like France – the police shoot looters with indelible paint balls. Then they take a week or two picking them up and convict them on the body cam footage. There are a wealth of ideas to talk through.

Conrad F. Cropsey

Albion

School districts seek feedback for reopening

Photos by Tom Rivers: Junior high students in Orleans County sing on March 7 at Kendall during the All-County Music Festival. The auditorium at the Kendall Junior-Senior High School was packed for the concert. A week later, the school districts in Orleans County announced their buildings would be closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Reopening plans for schools will likely include social distancing, wearing masks and reducing the capacity in the buildings for large crowds.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2020 at 3:37 pm

Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina have online surveys

School districts want to hear from the community about possible scenarios for reopening schools this fall.

Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina all have online surveys, asking for feedback about on-line learning and returning to school in classrooms.

Albion also has formed a committee that is meeting to develop a plan for reopening schools this fall.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday said New York will finalize guidance to reopen schools by July 13. School districts need to submit reopening plans by July 31, with the state to make a decision on reopening during week of Aug. 1-7.

The state won’t have a blanket policy for all 700 districts in the state because different regions of the state have different levels of infection from Covid-19, Cuomo said.

The governor said student safety, as well as the health of teachers and staff, remains the priority on how schools will operate in the fall.

“We know we have a lot of work to do, and we need input from our families,” Brian Bartalo, the Holley school district superintendent, said in a message to the community. “It’s important to note that although we need your input, the final decision about schools reopening and how schools will operate this fall will be determined by the Governor and the State Education Department.”

The districts in the surveys ask parents if they will send their children to school if the state allows in-person classes.

The districts ask parents their level of concern with having their children ride a school bus, sit in classrooms and participate in sports and other activities.

“We need to be ready for an opening of school with safety considerations (masks, sanitizing, distancing, etc.) for all students and staff, a ‘hybrid’ model where students attend school in person on a rotational basis and do some ‘distance learning,’ and a model where students are again learning remotely, like we ended this past school year,” Bartalo said. “It goes without saying that all of us at Holley CSD are hoping and planning for as much in-person learning as is allowed by the State, the CDC and our Health Department officials.”

To see Holley’s survey, click here.

To see Kendall’s survey, click here.

To see Lyndonville’s survey, click here.

To see Medina’s survey, click here.

Kayli Miller of Albion kicks the soccer ball during a modified game last September against Barker. The sports programs could be different this year due to precautions against the spread of Covid-19.

Medina asks how the pandemic impacted your family with the following responses: no impact/no change; some impact, does not change daily behavior; noticeable impact; significant daily disruption; and severe daily disruption, immediate needs unmet.

Medina asks if the disrupted school had an emotional or mental impact on children. Medina and the other local districts had their last day of in-person classes on March 13.

Parents are also asked whether they are satisfied with the way distance learning was implemented during the pandemic.

Parents are asked if their homes are set up for distance learning, and what could be done to make that work better, whether it be WiFi access at home, a device for the student to do school work, more support with instruction and childcare.

Parents are asked if they would feel more comfortable sending their children to school if the buses and classrooms were at half capacity, rather than full capacity.

Mark Kruzynski, Medina’s school superintendent, said the parent responses will help the district as it considers its reopening plan.

“Because we will always follow all directives from the health department, local, state and federal government, many decisions about what school will look like in the fall may be ‘out of our hands,’” he said in a message to the community. “However, for those things that the district may be able to control, we want to make the best decisions possible for our students and families.”

In one of Medina’s questions, parents are asked if students/staff return to school in September, which measures are most important at school? They are also to check all that apply.

  • Wearing masks at all times
  • Wearing masks only in situations when you cannot be 6 feet apart
  • Hand sanitizer in each classroom and common area
  • COVID-19 testing for staff and students before re-entry in the fall
  • Daily testing of student/staff temperature
  • No lunchroom use for students
  • No playground use for students
  • Limited hallway travel and changing of classes
  • No sharing of any classroom resources or materials such as books, games, supplies
  • Staggered start and end times to the day

Among the questions asked by Kendall, was there too little or too much communication from the district/administrators during the shutdown, or was it just enough.

Lyndonville asks parents what is their expectation regarding student athletics, performing arts, and extra-curricular activities if students return to school in the September? The responses include:

  • I FULLY expect these events to be provided for student participation in a traditional format with reasonable safety measures.
  • I am CONCERNED about students participating in these events because of social distancing challenges while participating.
  • I would NOT allow my student(s) to participate in these events at this time.

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2 Albion teens injured in early-morning accident in Bergen

Posted 11 July 2020 at 2:16 pm

Courtesy of Howard Owens, The Batavian

BERGEN – Two teenagers were seriously injured in a 5 a.m. accident on West Bergen Road, Bergen, after the 17-year-old driver reportedly fell asleep, according to a Genesee County Sheriff’s Office accident report.

Sierra Kast, of Albion, was driving a 2008 Ford sedan southbound on West Bergen Road when the car veered off the south shoulder and ran over the top of a cement culvert before heading further into the embankment.

Kast was apparently able to steer the car back onto the pavement but overcorrected, according to Sgt. Jason Saile, of the Crash Management Team, causing the car to exit the roadway on the south shoulder again, where it overturned, struck a tree that spun it around, before it struck another tree and came to rest on its roof.

Driver-side back seat passenger Arianna N. McGurn, 17, was ejected from the vehicle and was trapped in the drainage ditch under the trunk portion of the car.

Bergen volunteer firefighters used airbags to life the car off of McGurn so she could be extricated. She was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight with a leg injury. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening.

(UPDATED by Orleans Hub at 8:16 p.m.: Nicole Bellnier, McGurn’s mother, posted on Facebook this evening that her daughter doesn’t have any broken bones or serious injuries. “She is truly our miracle! Please, keep her in your prayers,” Bellnier posted on Facebook.)

Kast was also injured in the crash and transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

The other two passengers were Cory Wallace, 15, and Alonso Storey, 17.

Only Kast, the driver, was wearing a seatbelt, Saile said.

No citations have been issued.

Click here to see a Batavian video at the accident scene. Click here to see the full report in The Batavian.

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Medina Visitor’s Center will reopen for season on Monday

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Medina Visitor’s Center at Rotary Park is pictured last September. The site will reopen on Monday with volunteers.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2020 at 1:02 pm

MEDINA – The Medina Visitor’s Center will reopen on Monday with volunteers at Rotary Park available to answer questions about the community and point visitors to local attractions and services.

The site, the Santa house at Rotary Park, is usually staffed with volunteers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This year the Covid-19 pandemic pushed back the start.

This is the 11th year the Medina Tourism Committee will have the Visitor’s Center. It will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also has added Saturday morning this year.

Jim Hancock, the Tourism Committee chairman, said the committee plans to staff the site until late September this year.

“Last year we had 230 registered visitors who came from 32 different states and three foreign countries,” he said.

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NY has lowest Covid-19 hospitalizations since March 18

Posted 11 July 2020 at 12:44 pm

With 730 new cases, state passes 400K infections of Covid-19

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitalizations dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18, and the three-day average death toll—7—is the lowest since March 16.

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve made progress by recognizing that state and local governments can’t fight the virus on their own—the efforts of everyday New Yorkers to socially distance, wear masks and wash their hands are central to our ability to slow the spread and save lives,” Governor Cuomo said.

Today’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization: 799 (-27)
  • Patients Newly Admitted: 75 (-12)
  • Number ICU: 177 (-1)
  • Number ICU with Intubation: 100 (+8)
  • Total Discharges: 71,477 (+106)
  • Deaths: 6
  • Total Deaths: 24,974

“As we allow ourselves to celebrate some good news—that hospitalizations have dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18 and the three-day average death toll is at its lowest since March 16—I urge residents to stay New York Tough and not give up the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain together, particularly in the face of rising cases throughout the country and compliance issues here at home,” Cuomo said.

Of the 69,203 tests conducted in New York State yesterday, 730, or 1.05 percent, were positive.

The Governor also confirmed 730 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 401,029 confirmed cases in New York State.

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Village Green shined in the fast pitch era

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 July 2020 at 8:49 am

Contributed Photo – Co-managers Louie Foreman, left, and Bill Board Jr., right, are shown here with ace pitcher Joe Morien during the Village Green’s big 1961 fast pitch softball season.

In recent decades slo-pitch softball has proved very popular but in the 1950’s and 60’s fast-pitch softball was the name of the game and one of the memorable teams was the 1961 Village Green squad.

Co-managed by Louie Foreman and Bill Board Jr., the Village Green team posted a near perfect 12-1 record while playing an independent schedule against teams from all around Western New York.

Joe Morien, a long time local pitching ace, headlined the Village Green lineup. Inducted into the WNY Softball Hall of Fame in 1970 and the New York State Softball Hall of Fame in 1991, Morien had been a fireballing pitching whiz since the early 1930’s.

Board and Bill Lynch also shared in the pitching duties with either Foreman or John Eppolito behind the plate.

The Village Green lineup also included Bill Smith at first base, Jim Cotter or John Hydock at second, Jim Taylor at third, either George Hotchkiss or Chuck Tuohey at shortstop with Dean Allport, Glenn Stalker, Dick VanAuker, Bob Kiebala and Archie Blake sharing the picket duty in the outfield.

Village Green enjoyed a most successful season opener edging GE of Brockport 5-4 at Vets Park on a two-run fourth inning single by Hotchkiss which followed singles by Board and Cotter. The Green’s other runs came in he first inning on a two-run homer by Taylor and an RBI single by Cotter. Morien went the distance scattering six hits and striking out five.

The season was highlighted by a lengthy 10 game winning streak which was finally ended in a 6-2 loss to Third Ward of Tonawnada. Eleven stranded base runners and five errors proved costly in that setback.

In putting together that long win streak Village Green defeated teams such as Navy-Marine Club of Lockport (16-3), Colonial Inn of Brockport (12-3), Batavia All-Stars (7-1), Getzville (5-1), Wagners of Lockport (8-3), the Batavia Polish Falcons (10-5) and the Tonawanda Pirates Inn (6-5).

In the narrow win over the Pirates Morien had a clutch game winning bunt to cap a three-run sixth inning.

Morien registered a season high 14 strikeouts while giving up only three hits in a win over Niagara Sporting Goods for Village Green’s 10th straight win.

Village Green  bounced back strong from that streak ending loss to Third Ward by downing Niagara Falls Volkswagen 8-6 in the next game on a three-run home by Stalker.

In capping off a very successful inaugural campaign, Village Green bested Lewiston Restaurant 6-3. A two-run fourth inning single by Foreman proved to be the game winner as Allport tacked on a solo home run in the fifth. Morien struck out 11 and allowed only four hits.