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Month: April 2015

Albion nets key win over Medina

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Dyer Benjovsky in action at first singles for Albion during the Purple Eagles home court win over Medina this afternoon.

Albion trimmed visiting three-time defending champion Medina 3 1/2-2 this afternoon to move into a tie with the Mustangs for the Niagara-Orleans League tennis lead at 6-1.

A three set come-from-behind 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win by Josh Metzler over Tristan Sanders at second singles proved to be the deciding match for Albion which also took the third singles as Dan Beam downed Brian Bogan 6-2, 6-2.

“It was a very well played hard fought match,” said Albion Coach Jay Kovaleski “It was two equal teams in a match that could have gone either way.”

The Purple Eagles also took the second doubles match in three sets as Cristal Quintana and Michael Stilwell downed Xion Baes and Carson Zgoda 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

Albion also scored a win at third doubles as Dylan Bader and Kellie O’Hearn downed Tom Horgan and Addy Zavitz 6-1, 6-1.

Medina took the first singles match as Kristian Snyder downed Dyer Benjovsky 6-1, 6-2 and the first doubles as Nick Dieter and Michael Cardone bested Kyler McQuillan and Monica Benjovsky 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Akron 3 1/2, Roy-Hart 2

Akron boosted its N-O record to 3-4 with a 3 1/2-2 victory over Roy-Hart which slips to 0-5.

Ryan Meeks won at second singles and Nathan Chubb at third singles for Akron.

The Tigers also got wins from the second doubles team of Cierra Janis – Jacob Meyer and from the third doubles duo of Morgan Wagner – Erica Papke.

Valeria Sillar won at first singles for Roy-Hart which also got a win by the first doubles team of Jarod Shepard – Patrick Sheelar.

Dan Beam makes a return for Albion at third singles.

Wilson 3 1/2, Barker 2

Wilson evened its N-O record at 3-3 with a 3 1/2-2 win over Barker which is also at 3-3.

Dominic Curicone rallied past Sean Benoit 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 at first singles for Wilson which also swept the three doubles matches.

Kallie Olear and Joe Hecko defeated Nick Fazzolari and Emma Duffy 6-3, 6-1 at first doubles. Kyle Lyon and Michael Pazik downed Erik Herian and Lucy Bautista 6-4, 7-6 at second doubles. Kierson Skobjak and Marlowe Recht bested Patrick Bautista and Casey A’Hearn 6-2, 6-1 at third doubles.

Barker took the second singles as Tristan Payne defeated Gabriel Curicone 6-4, 6-2 and the third singles as Brian Hefferon downed Alex Keil 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

Holley 5, Pembroke 0

Taking all five matches in straight sets, Holley blanked Pembroke 5-0 this afternoon to improve to 5-3 in Genesee Region League tennis action.

Brady Smith, Ian Penders and Jon Rusin all scored singles victories for Holley.

The Hawks also wins by the doubles teams of Hunter DeFelice – Ben Scott and Andy Spychaski – Diana Yaroshuhuk.

Medina approves village budget with 4.2 percent increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Village plans to eliminate 3 positions through attrition

MEDINA – On Monday the Village Board presented a budget to the public that called for an 11.7 percent increase in the tax rate. The public and board members agreed that was too high.

The board met Tuesday, Wednesday and this evening to continue working on the spending plan. The final budget was approved unanimously tonight that will raise the tax rate by 4.2 percent from $16.43 to $17.13 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The rate was at $18.36 before the board decided to make more cuts and put some equipment purchases in a bond.

The board expects a new ambulance for $143,000 and a new police car for $26,000 will be purchased in the next budget year that starts June 1. The village will likely borrow funds for those vehicles rather than pay for the full costs in the 2015-16 budget.

Mayor Andrew Meier said if additional revenue streams come through, the village may be able to pay for the ambulance and police car without borrowing. That would save the village interest costs. He also doesn’t want to see Medina get in the habit of borrowing for ambulances and police vehicles.

But he doesn’t want to see the tax rate continue the upward trajectory.

“Borrowing the money doesn’t solve our problems,” Meier said. “It kicks the can down the road.”

The budget also includes three eliminated positions through attrition, positions that haven’t been identified. The board wants to discuss the issue first with employees and department heads.

The overall $5,037,089 budget increases spending by 1.6 percent or $79,575. The village will take in $2,848,608 in taxes, a 4.1 percent increase or an additional $111,006 from 2014-15.

Meier said Medina is challenged with a shrinking tax base and stagnant revenues outside of property taxes.

The board worked diligently all month to bring the tax increase down to about 4 percent.

“It’s still bad,” Meier said about the increase. “None of us should feel good about a 4 percent tax increase. We should be going in the other direction.”

Collins says he’s fighting President Obama’s anti-gun agenda

Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Column submitted by Congressman Chris Collins.

As a gun owner, I believe in our Second Amendment right to bear arms. As your Congressman, I swore an oath to protect that right.

Whether it has been the implementation of the SAFE Act in New York or the Obama Administration’s attempts to ban ammunition used in the popular AR-15, recent headlines have been dominated by government led infringements on our right to bear arms.

In response to these overreaching government actions, I have focused on maintaining and protecting Western New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.

I am a firm believer in responsible gun ownership. My father taught me how to safely handle a firearm, and I was fortunate to teach my son the same. However, I cannot stand behind initiatives that hurt law-abiding gun owners, while failing to achieve the intended goal of reducing gun-related crimes.

In February, I helped reintroduce the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. This legislation, endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), ensures that valid concealed carry permits issued in one state are valid for carrying concealed handguns in any other state that recognizes its residents’ right to carry a concealed firearm.

Responsible gun owners who are certified to carry concealed firearms should not have their right to protect themselves stripped away when they travel across state lines.

In March, numerous news sources reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was attempting to ban the sale of M855 and SS109 ammunition. This strategy was adopted by the Obama Administration with the intention of eliminating the popular AR-15 rifle by banning its most commonly used ammunition.

To stop this overreach, I sent a letter to the ATF demanding they remove this request immediately.

Due to the public pressure generated by the American people and my colleagues in Congress, the ATF withdrew their proposed rule. This was a huge win for personal liberties and the protection of our Second Amendment rights.

Recently, I reintroduced the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act. This bill, also endorsed by the NRA, amends the federal definition of protected “household goods” to ensure that firearms cannot be confiscated by creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Families and individuals across the nation are doing their best to make ends meet. But bankruptcy filings continue to prevail in the United States. Currently, only 13 states provide protection for our nation’s gun owners by having some form of explicit exemption for firearms. This means 37 states in our nation force gun owners facing bankruptcy to cede protection provided to them under the U.S. Constitution. This legislation will ensure citizens’ Second Amendment rights remain intact, despite any financial troubles they encounter.

While activist legislators in Washington and Albany seek to curtail our rights, I have remained a staunch advocate for Western New Yorkers’ constitutional freedoms. I will continue to support legislation that protects legal gun owners by establishing common-sense reforms and protections.

We have the power to combat President Obama’s anti-gun agenda.

Congressman Chris Collins
Representative for the 27th District in New York

Planting season cometh

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
A tractor driver is pictured this afternoon with a planter at Roberts Farm in Shelby at the corner of Salt Works Road and Maple Ridge Road.

After a miserable last week, with so much rain and cold and wind, local farmers have been out in force the past few days with sunshine and temperatures in the 60s. Farmers have been plowing fields and planting seeds.

This photo shows a farmer with tillage equipment, getting a field ready for planting on West County House Road in Albion by Hu-Lane Farm.

Holley ‘9’ posts win over Barker

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Improving to 7-2, Holley posted a 9-2 victory over visiting Barker this afternoon in a non league baseball game.

Josh Porter and Jon Bower combined to hurl a two hitter for the Hawks. Porter struck out 7 over 5 innings and Bower 4 in 2 innings.

Joe DeFelice led Holley at the plate banging out 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, and driving in 2 runs.

Alexander 8, Kendall 2

A four-run third inning scoring burst keyed Alexander to a 8-2 victory over host Kendall this afternoon in a Genesee Region League contest.

Kendall did tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Justin Barrett and Colton Breslawski but the Eagles were blanked the rest of the way. A double by Mookie Nauden triggered that rally.

Barrett had 2 hits on the day.

CSAT 12, Akron 2

CSAT improved to 5-3 by scoring a 12-2 win over Akron (4-4) in a Niagara-Orleans League make-up game.

Building memorial proved monumental effort

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Heritage Hero: William Menz

Photos by Tom Rivers – William Menz stands next to a monument that was dedicated in October 2008 to soldiers in Company F that trained at the Medina Armory. There are 550 names included on the monument for local soldiers who fought in wars on behalf of the United States. Menz is trying to raise funds for a bronze statue of a soldier to be on top of the monument.

MEDINA – In 1977, the National Guard left the Medina Armory, a site on Pearl Street in Medina that had been used to train soldiers since the building opened in 1901.

(Company F, which formed in 1891, trained at a different location prior to the Armory.)

Bill Menz was one of the soldiers to train in the Armory. That was for 18 months when he was in the National Guard in the 1950s. He served on active duty in Greenland. He attained the rank of a corporal E-4.

Courtesy of Bill Menz – Bill Menz is pictured with his wife Elizabeth in the mid-1950s. The couple, now married for 62 years, raised four children in Medina.

Menz loved the 90,000-square-foot Armory building, a striking location built of local Medina sandstone. Menz used to work in the plaster business and some of his work had him inside YMCAs.

When the Guard left the building, Menz was on the Armory Action Committee looking for a new use for the site. Menz pitched the plan to have a YMCA go in there. The organization has used the Armory since the early 1980s, and just spent about $600,000 in a capital improvement project.

Menz is grateful the Y has proven a good fit for the building.

“In 1977, the town was wondering what to do with the building,” Menz said. “Bringing in the Y was a no-brainer. Everything you did to train guys for war you could train them for peace.”

Courtesy Medina Sandstone Society – Company F prepares to leave Medina Oct. 24, 1940 for training at Fort McClellan and active duty in WWII.

While Menz is pleased the Y has put the building to good use, he started to worry about a decade ago that the community was forgetting the original purpose of the Armory and the many local men who trained there, who fought for the country – with many losing their lives in war.

In 2006, he launched a push for a monument in front of the building. The five-sided monument would take two years to get built, raising money, lining up in-kind donations, and researching the names of those who served in five wars.

Provided photo – Bill Menz, left, and John Fuller work on the monument’s construction. They cut and grinded the stone for the project, using a shop owned by John’s son Dave at Gulf Street and Ryan Road for most of the work.

Menz would serve as chairman of the effort, and teamed with his friend John Fuller to cut the stone for the monument. It lists the names of the 550 soldiers who fought in five wars – the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War period from 1947 to 1977.

The monument notes if soldiers were killed in action, missing in action, and if they received Purple Heart, Medal of Honor and other recognition.

“Over the past 37 years he has worked harder than most any other Medinan to preserve the history of our community in helping fight the nation’s wars,” Robert Waters, president of the Medina Sandstone Society, said in a letter nominating Menz for a “Heritage Hero.”

Menz and three others were presented with their Heritage Hero awards last Friday during a reception at GCC in Medina during the first day of the Civil War Encampment.

Photos by Tom Rivers – John Butts is among the names of local soldiers on the monument at the Armory. Butts was killed in Normany during World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and the American Legion post in Medina is named in his memory.

Waters said Menz was tenacious in seeing the monument through to completion, including taking on the task of grinding and milling stone segments for the project.

“He was, in fact, like a bulldog and never once considered giving up his dream,” Waters said. “There seemed to be no end to the effort. The days were busy.”

When the monument was dedicated on Oct. 14, 2008, some of the widows and family members of World War II soldiers and other veterans in Company F attended and expressed their appreciation.

Bill Menz looks over some of the names of local soldiers listed on the monument outside the Medina Armory.

Menz said many community members contributed to the effort and continue to help in maintaining the grounds, especially a local garden club.

The community gave $18,000 in money towards the project, and others donated materials and labor to get the monument built. Menz estimates the combined value of all those donations at about $80,000.

The monument isn’t quite done.

Menz has wanted a bronze statue of a soldier, someone who looks between 18 and 21, to be on top of the monument.

He is leading the effort to solicit bids for the bronze statue. It will be 5 foot, 9 inches from head to toe.

“The life-sized statue will provide a meaningful depiction of those deployed men whose names are engraved on the monument plaques,” Menz said.

He thinks about the 120 men who left Medina in 1940, boarding a train down the street. They were gone for five years during World War II, with some not returning home alive.

He wants that sacrifice to be recognized by the community.

This depiction shows how a bronze statue of a soldier would look on top of the monument by the Medina Armory. The soldier would be holding a rifle, campaign hat, World War I-era backpack and mess kit.

Menz said the bronze statue can be a reality “for the price of a new pickup truck.”

The Company F Memorial Committee is working with the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council and Lincoln Post No. 1483 VFW on the project. For more information about the statue and monument, click here.

Any donations for the statue can be mailed to Company F Monument, P.O. Box 522, Medina NY, 14103.

Bill Menz said the statue of the soldier would be a perfect compliment to the monument by the Armory.

FHM Fire Company does live demos, welcomes Mercy Flight

Staff Reports Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Shana Smith
HULBERTON – The Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company hosted an open house this past Saturday and Sunday, part of the fifth annual Recruit NY effort to attract more members to fire departments.

The fire company based in Hulberton did live car fire demonstrations and vehicle extrication demonstrations.

There was also a bounce house both days and a Future Firefighters of Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company station for the kids with many activities for all ages.

The EMS team gave free glucose testing, blood pressure checks and gave out free First Aid kits.

The event resulted in eight new social members and three new active members, with several people saying they were interested in applying in the near future, said Gary Sicurella, FHM president.

Mercy Flight flew in on Sunday and gave the public a chance to see the helicopter up close.

Firefighters from Fancher-Hulberton-Murray are pictured with the crew from Mercy Flight.

Albion sweeps Roy-Hart in track

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Medina/Lyndonville splits with Akron; Barker sweeps Newfane

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Nick Reed leads Roy-Hart’s Eugene Bush to the finish line in the 400 meter race during the Purple Eagles victory over the host Rams this afternoon.

Albion swept to a doubleheader victory over host Roy-Hart this afternoon in a Niagara-Orleans League track meet.

The Purple Eagles won the boys meet 79.5-61.5 and the girls competition 106-34.

Jacob Squicciarini doubled in the 100 (:11.4) and 200 ( :24.1) and Nate Trembley in the shot-put (43-2) and discus (97-4 1/2) to lead the way for the Albion boys squad.

The Purple Eagles also had Nick Reed win the 400 (:56.6), Lamar Chambers the 400 hurdles (1:05.6), Aaron Chen the 800 (2:12.9) and Manwell Taylor the triple jump (37-5 1/2).

John Stoddard doubled in the 110 hurdles (:17.4) and long jump (16-8 3/4) for Roy-hart which also got wins from Avery Green in the 1600 (5:00.8), Nelson Andrade in the high jump (5-2), Austin Dodge in the pole vault (9-0) and Tanner Bulmer in the 3200 (11:53.1).

Chanyce Powell doubled in the long jump (15-2 1/2) and triple jump (33-5 1/2) for the Albion girls.

The Purple Eagles also had Aleah Foos win the 100 hurdles (:16.7), Mariah Elsenheimer the 100 (:13.0), Madison Coville the 1500 (5:33), Karisa Stark the pole vault (7-7), Emily Blanchard the 400 (1:07.1), Hannah Wehling the 400 hurdles (1:17.2), Mahogany Taylor the high jump (4-10), Sara Millspaugh the 800 (2:49), Sarah Metzler the shot-put (28-7) and Adryan Cheeseboro the discus (82-5 1/2).

Tori King won the 200 (:31.0) and Ayleen Brewer the 3000 (13:06) for Roy-Hart.

Both Albion teams are now 2-1 while the Roy-Hart boys squad is 1-3 and the girls team 0-4.

 Albion’s Emily Blanchard, right, came from behind to defeat Roy-Hart’s Ava Bligh, left in the 400.

Medina/Lyndonville, Akron split

The Medina/Lyndonville boys team downed host Akron 94-43 to improve to 3-1.

Chase Pecoraro was a quadruple winner for Medina/Lyndonville in the 110 hurdles (:17.7), 400 hurdles (1:04.3), long jump (17-0) and pole vault (9-6).

The Mustangs also had Jalin Cooper double in the 100 (:11.8) and 200 (:24.2) and Matt Cochrane in the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (36-3).

Medina/Lyndonville also had Austin Heil win the 1600 (5:06.9), Dan Heil the 3200 (11:40.9) and Ryan Leffler the 800 (2:20.9).

The Akron girls bested Medina/Lyndonville 111-30 as Hannah Cummings tripled in the 100 hurdles (:18.3), 400 hurdles (1:13.6) and triple jump (30-11), Leah Czechowski in the 100 (:13.3), 200 (:27.8) and long jump (4-10) and Henry Jones double in the shot-put (33-4) and discus (78-6).

Martha Gardner doubled in the 1500 (5:01.5) and 3000 (11:37) and Emma Gardner took the high jump (4-4) for Medina/Lyndonville which slips to 1-3.

The Akron girls team is now 3-1 and the boys squad 0-4.

Barker sweeps Newfane

The defending champion Barker boys squad improved to 3-0 with an 86-54 win over Newfane.

Casey Webb was a quadruple winner for Barker in the 110 hurdles (:17.9), 400 hurdles (1:04.1), long jump (18-5) and high jump (4-10).

The Barker girls also stayed unbeaten at 3-0 with an 81-59 win over Newfane as Gabriella Clare tripled in the 100 hurdles (:18.0), 400 hurdles (1:11.6) and high jump (4-6) and Caitlyn Mason in the long jump (16-9 1/2), triple jump (33-3) and 400 (1:06.8).

Roy-Hart girls down Albion

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Lyndonville romps past Byron-Bergen; Kendall tops W-C

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Taylor Fry delivers a pitch for Roy-Hart during this afternoon’s win over visiting Albion.

Breaking away from a scoreless deadlock, Roy-Hart used a big seven-run third inning scoring burst to key a 14-2 victory over visiting Albion this afternoon to remain unbeaten at 7-0 in Niagara-Orleans League softball competition.

A three-run triple by Kayla Brown highlighted the decisive third inning for Roy-Hart.

Brown had three triples on the day including another three-run shot in the sixth inning which keyed a four-run uprising.

Maddy Glena also had 3 hits for the Lady Rams.

Taylor Fry pitched the first six innings for the Lady Rams and Lexie Lovewell hurled the seventh as they combined for a two hitter.

Albion’s Kassidy Hastings just beats a tag by Roy-Hart third baseman Madi Hiddie.

Lyndonville 23, Byron-Bergen 6

Leading 3-0, Lyndonville exploded for 12 runs in the third inning to key a 23-6 victory over host Byron-Bergen in a Genesee Region League softball game.

A triple by Haley Wetherbee highlighted the marathon inning for Lyndonville which improves to 6-1 in the league and 8-1 overall.

Miranda Lembke and Rebekah Hoffee both had 5 hits and Jessie Harling a double for Lyndonville which pounded out a total of 23 hits.

Hoffee and Wetherbee both drove in a total of 4 runs and Lembke 3.

Kendall 8, W-C 1

Chelsea Wright hurled a 3 hitter with 4 strikeouts to lead Kendall to an 8-1 G-R win over visiting Wheatland-Chili.

Kacey Menge had two hits, including a double, and 3 RBIs for Kendall which also got a triple by Wright and singles by Madison Rath, Taylor Kingsbury and Carley Lester.

On Wednesday, Wright had 4 hits and 2 RBIs and Kingsbury an RBI double in Kendall’s 5-3 loss to Pembroke.

Hospital employees to voice displeasure with contract proposal

Staff Reports Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – After four months of negotiations and over 30 meetings, union contract talks remain deadlocked between employees and management at Orleans Community Health, according to the employees’ union, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

In spite of a variety of positive developments for OCH’s Medina Memorial Hospital, management is still proposing major cuts in pay for nearly 300 nurses, technicians, and other staff, the union said.

Hospital employees plan to bring their message to the public on Friday and Saturday in downtown Medina at the corner of Main Street and West Center Street. Employees will be out from noon to 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; and noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The employees will be passing out a leaflet to local citizens and holding signs for passing cars.