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Month: July 2015

Karaoke brings out singing sensations at fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Thursday was the finals for karaoke at the Orleans County 4-H Fair and Ayman Huzair, 21, captured first place and a $500 prize for his performance.

Huzair sang a medley of songs from Michael Montgomery, Bruno Mars and Cupid.

Huzair welcomed the crowd to join him on stage for the “Cupid Shuffle.” He just graduated from Brockport State College with a biochemistry degree and is applying to med school. His sisters Salma, 16, and Tamara, 13, both performed, and so did their brother Qasim, 11. The siblings took three of the top 5 spots.

Salma Huzair won second place and $250 for singing “Broken Hearted Girl.”

Rich Nolan, a past champion, was third with “Eight Second Ride.” Nolan, 25, of Medina said the contest, featuring 16 singers who qualified from Monday through Thursday, was a showcase of the singing talent in Orleans County.

“I just love performing for people,” Nolan said. “It’s just fun to have fun with the crowd.”

Olivia Redick of Kendall was fourth with “Girl Crush.”

Qasim Huzair proved a crowd favorite with his performance of “Sugar.” Qasim sang in public for the first time on Wednesday and transformed from a quiet kid into a high-energy singer.

Dawn Hoffmeister of Ridgeway sings “Still Got The Blues.” Hoffmeister, 54, said she has been singing karaoke for more than 20 years.

“I just love to sing,” she said. “It’s my passion.”

Lindsay Thurber sings “Gunpowder and Lead.”

Liz Osborn sings “Girl Crush” during the karaoke finals.

White Birch caps 12-0 title season

Contributed Story Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Contributed Photo

White Birch completed a perfect 12-0 regular season by defeating Hojacks in a doubleheader this week to clinch the Medina Women’s Softball League ‘B’ Division championship. In front are Emily Nenni, Jen Watts ,Jen Molisani, Cheyenne Button and Madison Gardepe. In back are Coach Joe Molisani Sr., Sarah Martin, Stormi Kruger, Tiff Cree, Nakisha Jones, Debbie Fuller, Katt Battaglia ,Ike Watts and Coach Joey Molisani Jr. Missing from the photo are Alex Harling and Heather Pask.

Flowers, rabbits and butter keep fair participants hopping

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KNOWLESVILLE – There is a lot going on at the fair this week, and the annual event includes some new additions, including a flower show sponsored by Orleans County Master Gardeners.

Fairy Gardens (pictured above) are popular entries in the flower show, which is being held in the Lartz Building at the fairgrounds.

Orleans County 4-Her Rachel Gregoire, left, and Kate Hardner participated in the first-ever Master Gardener Floral Design Contest on Wednesday evening. The two were awarded trophies for their efforts. The contest was part of the flower show.

This clever and colorful container garden entry by Paula Bensley is part of the flower show. Paula used an old enamelware container to hold dishes and flower “soapsuds.” The flower show continues through Saturday.

Rebecca Semmel (standing, far left) headed to the Trolley Building on the 4-H Fairgrounds with her family to help churn and sample homemade butter and fresh, homemade rolls made by Jane Read (seated, far right). Also in the photo are Abigal Schrieber and Grace VanSlyke (seated).

Jane Read demonstrates butter making with a circa 1920-1930’s glass butter churn in the Trolley Building at the Orleans County 4-H Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

Lucky fairgoers had the chance to work the antique churn and sample the results on warm, fresh-baked rolls Jane had made in the Trolley Building kitchen. Here Jane is using a wooden paddle to gently press buttermilk out of the solid butter.

Orleans County 4-H Rabbit Raisers await while their entries are judged for Best of Show at the conclusion of the Rabbit Show at the Fair Tuesday evening while Mike Ross judges. Ross, a former Orleans County 4-H Rabbit Raiser, thanked show organizers for, “bringing me home” to judge the show. He said it was great to see the Rabbit Raiser program continue to flourish in Orleans County.

Orleans County 4-H Rabbit Raisers celebrate their Best of Show entries for the 2015 Rabbit Show at the Fair. On the right is Zach Albright who won Best of Show with his Satin Rabbit. On the left is John Gabalski who won Reserve of Show with his Californian rabbit. Looking on is Grace Gregoire who won Best of Show for cavies (guinea pig).

Grease pole proves a slippery challenge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Only 2 of 4 teams can make it to the top

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Alex Graff is up on Nic Elliott’s shoulders as the team, Rough N Ready, tries to climb the grease pole on Thursday night at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

The team wasn’t able to pull off the challenge. Four teams tried it, but only two made it.

“It’s slippery up there,” Graff said.

Brad Driesel of Rough N Ready gets close to the top. Before he could get there, the bottom of the team started to give out. A nearly full moon shows in this photo.

The A Team makes it to the top of the pole as a crowd of several hundred people gather at 10 p.m. to close out the fair. The A Team completed the challenge in 1 minute, 1 second. That was good for second place on Thursday.

Lusciously Lube was the fastest team on Thursday. They climbed the pole in 38.32 seconds.

Devan Freeman of Medina is on top of the grease pole for Lusciously Lube with Ben Martin second from the top, and Mike Murphy third from the top.

Many of the team members are from Medina. Some of them tried it last year and couldn’t get to the top.

“We didn’t make it last year so this was a redemption thing,” Ben Martin said.

Lusciously Lube advances to the finals on Saturday night.

Today’s Fair Schedule (July 31, 2015)

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Sara Winter, a member of the Chainsaw Chix, creates a frog on a lily pad during the Orleans County 4-H Fair on Thursday. Winter has been a featured attraction at the fair the past six years.

Special Event Orleans County 4-H Fair Car Show, located in the Buzz
Hill Education Center lot.

Daily Feature: Orleans County Flower Show sponsored by Orleans County Master Gardeners. Display located in the Lartz Exhibit Building with daily presentations at 6 p.m.

Daily Feature: Meet Michael Keene, author of five books on hidden
history in New York, in the Lartz Building from 3-9 p.m.

8 a.m. Senior Council Stand Opens

9:30 a.m. Youth Ag Olympics Fun Activitie – South Lawn

9 a.m. Miniature Horse Show & Driving Competition – Carlos Marcello Arena

10 a.m. $5 Admission per car starts

10 a.m. All Buildings Open

10 a.m. Grand Master Showman Workshop – Starting in Show Arena

10:30 a.m. Tractor Driving Contest – South Parking Lot

Chantelle Kidney of Medina is pictured with a sheep that won best in show on Thursday.

12 p.m. Leaders’ Pie Stand Opens

12 to 2 p.m. Pottery by Megan Demonstrations with pottery wheel – Trolley Building

12:30 p.m. Dog Show, Agility Competition (Classes 23-30) – Show Arena

1 p.m. Story Time by Lee-Whedon Memorial Library of Medina – Trolley Building

1 to 3 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with face painting, crafts and art projects – Trolley Building

2 p.m. Story Time by Lee-Whedon Memorial Library of Medina – Trolley Building

3 to 10 p.m. Midway Rides of Utica $20 Unlimited Ride wristband – Midway

3 p.m. Horse Judging Contest – Carlos Marcello Arena

4 p.m. Royalty questionnaires due – Fair Office

Lillian Mathes, 10, of Barre tries to control her sheep during a livestock show on Thursday.

4 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links – Log Cabin

4 to 7 p.m. Pottery by Megan Demonstrations with pottery wheel – Trolley Building

4:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun. Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile – Lawn South of the Knights Building

5 p.m. Friday Night Fish Fry: Sponsored by Renovation Lodge #97. Cost: $9 Adult (Half portion $7) – Curtis Pavilion

5:30 p.m. Classic Car Cruise-In – Education Center Lot

Jane Kelly sings “At Last” during the karaoke finals on Thursday.

5:30 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi – West end of Lartz Building

6 p.m. Set Up for Band – Stage

6 p.m. Registration Ends for Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull – Fair Office

6 p.m. Grand Master Showman – Livestock Areas

6 to 8 p.m. Pie Eating Contest: Sponsored by Brown’s Berry Patch (Register at Fair Office during the week) – Curtis Pavilion

6 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links – Log Cabin

6 p.m. Master Gardener Presentation: Everything Lavender – Lartz Building

6 to 8 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with face painting, crafts and art projects – Trolley Building

6:30 p.m. Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull. Pedal Tractor Course – Fair Office

These trained pigs are dressed up for the Pork Chop Review.

6:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun
Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile – Lawn South of the Knights Building

7 p.m. “The Who Dats” Classic rock of all eras, alternative and blues – Stage

7 p.m. Quadrille Horse Demonstration – Carlos Marcello Arena

7 p.m. Spanish/English Story Time by Agribusiness Child Development – Trolley Building

7:30 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi – West end of Lartz Building

8 p.m. Chainsaw Chix sponsored by HealthE Links – Log Cabin

The sun sets Thursday in this photo showing the Carlos Marcello Arena for horses and the west end parking lot.

8:30 p.m. Pork Chop Review- Performing pigs and family fun. Sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile – Lawn South of the Knights Building

9 p.m. The Magic of Lee Germain and Judi – West end of Lartz Building

10 p.m. Buildings Close

10 p.m. Fireworks (Rain Date Saturday @ 10:00pm)

10:30 p.m. Greased Pole Climbing Contest (Teams must pre-register at Fair Office). At Greased Pole

Collins wants to block funds for college programs for inmates

Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3327, the Kids Before Cons Act, which will block the Obama administration’s plans to use Pell grants to fund college programs for prisoners.

“The Obama administration’s plan to put the cost of a free college education for criminals on the backs of the taxpayers is consistent with their policy of rewarding lawbreakers while penalizing hardworking Americans,” said Congressman Collins. “The Kids Before Cons Act closes the loophole the Obama administration is trying to exploit, and protects taxpayers from footing the bill for criminals’ educations. This legislation ensures that Pell grants will be used for their intended purpose of assisting financially disadvantaged students struggling to attain a college education.”

H.R. 3327 does the following:

Upholds the 1994 law that prohibits prisoners from receiving federal Pell grants by forbidding the Department of Education from using its experimental authority to provide funding for higher education for prisoners.

Instructs the Department of Education to conduct a study on whether students enrolled in a charter school or in private schools as a result of participation in a voucher program run a higher or lower risk of incarceration than students who attend public school.

Full text of the legislation can be read by clicking here.

Nationals romp in tourney opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

The Niagara Nationals romped to a 16-1 victory over the Rochester Cougars Thursday evening in the opening round of the Lancer Classic Tournament at Lewiston.

Trailing 1-0 after leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, the Nationals took the lead for good by scoring five times in the second on a two-run double by Sam Murphy, an RBI single by Joe Dell’oso and a two-run single by Brian Fry. A walk and a double by Chris Goyette ignited that uprising which also included a double by Matt Lyskawa.

The Nationals then put a lock on the victory by exploding for 11 runs in the third inning as 14 batters came to the plate. Goyette, Murphy, Hunter Briggs, Dell’oso, Fry and Nate Sherman all banged out singles and Mitchell Holtz and Dominic Cassata both doubled in the marathon frame.

Lyskawa pitched the three innings of the mercy rule contest giving up 3 hits and striking out 2 on only 33 pitches.

The Nationals next face the Pittsford Panthers at noon today in the tourney which will conclude on Sunday.

FastFitness expands, hailed as small business success

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Kim Lockwood, owner of FastFitness in Medina, recently added a tanning business, FasTan. Lockwood, right, is pictured with FasTan manager Danielle Waters at the site, which was a garage and has been renovated with five tanning booths.

MEDINA – In 2004, Kim Lockwood wanted to start a women’s-only gym. She was working as an occupational therapist for the VA in Batavia at the time.

But Lockwood believed there was potential in a business that catered to women with their own gym.

She brought passion and lots of energy to her goal. But she didn’t have a business background. She took a 10-week class through the Orleans Economic Development Agency, a class that helped her develop a business plan and also included insights on taxes, marketing, legal issues, computer skills and other issues.

Lockwood also used a low-interest loan through the EDA’s revolving loan fund to open FastFitness in 2004. She started the business in Albion and added a FastFitness in Medina in 2010. (She sold the Albion location which is now XPress Fitness.)

In 2013, with the Medina site on Main Street crammed for space, Lockwood moved to 627 West Ave., in a former hardware store. She tripled the space for the gym, and six months later opened a fitness room next to the gym for women to take Zumba and other exercise classes. During her winter peak, Lockwood has more than 400 members at FastFitness.

Kim Lockwood, left, gave up a job as an occupational therapist with the VA in Batavia to start FastFitness, a gym for women only. Lockwood credited assistance and ongoing expertise from her business advisor through the Small Business Development Center. Lockwood is pictured with her advisor Sam Campanella, third from left, and another business advisor Dick Pettine, left. Both serve as instructors with the Microenterprise Assistance Program, which is directed by Diane Blanchard, second from left. Lockwood graduated from that 10-week program in 2004 and continues to get advice from her business advisor.

When she was in the MAP program in 2004, she worked with Sam Campanella, one of the class instructors and a small business advisor with the NYS Small Business Development Center.

Campanella has been a frequent resource for Lockwood, connecting her with consultants for marketing, legal issues and accounting. He pitched an idea to Lockwood. He thought a tanning business would complement FastFitness.

Lockwood researched the issue and crunched the numbers with Campanella. She opened FasTan in March at 627 West Ave., in the same building with FastFitness. She already has more than 200 tanning clients using five tanning booths, including a stand-up booth, a 10-minute tanning booth and a 12-minute tanning booth.

The quick tanning sessions give people a chance to swing by on a lunch break, Lockwood said.

Lockwood is considered one of the biggest success stories in the small business training and assistance program through the EDA, said Diane Blanchard, MAP coordinator.

Lockwood said the small business assistance has been invaluable, and critical for her to grow her business.

Campanella said Lockwood has the key qualities for a successul entrepreneur.

“You need the ability to work hard and work smart,” he said today while visiting Lockwood at FastFitness and FasTan. “You need to have vision and determination and a don’t-give-up attitude. You need to understand the business you’re in.”

Kim Lockwood has a stand-up tanning booth at FasTan, which has five tanning booths at 627 West Ave.

Campanella and Pettine are both part-time certified business advisors. Campanella works out of GCC in Batavia and has 48 clients while Pettine works out of Brockport State College and has 58 clients.

Diane Blanchard, the Microenterprise Assistance Program coordinator, said the two are great resources for business owners. They can help get a business off to a good start and help as business owners grapple with other issues later on.

“They are an advisor forever,” Blanchard said.

Lockwood has grown from using 1,200 square feet on Main Street in Medina to 7,500 square feet at the current location, a former hardware store and garage.

She said the success of the business has her thinking about adding more locations. She has applied to be on the Shark Tank show for a big capital investment to turn FastFitness into franchises. She is waiting to hear from the show.

In the meantime, she may add another location nearby. She said she is grateful she made the decision in 2004 to start the business, and see the hundreds of people who have improved their health and confidence through FastFitness.

The EDA is starting another MAP class on Sept. 8. The program runs through Nov. 17. For more information about MAP, call Blanchard at (585) 589-7060 ext. 101.

Grease pole returns as fair favorite

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

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Andrew Jones of the Troll Diggers makes it to the top of the grease-slathered pole on Wednesday night at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

The Troll Diggers completed the climb in 26.2 seconds, the fastest of two teams on Wednesday. That qualified the Troll Diggers for Saturday’s championship, which will feature the fastest teams from qualifying rounds on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The grease pole caps off the fair at 10 p.m. each night from Wednesday through Saturday, and draws crowds of several hundred people.

The Troll Diggers were runner-ups in 2014. The team includes members mostly from Hamlin and Brockport.

“It’s a hoot,” said Sam Pak, one of the team members.

The Troll Diggers pose for a photo after conquering the grease pole. The team includes, front row, from left: Andrew Agent and Sam Pak. Back row: Nate Jenks, Andrew Jones, Neal Kruger, Jeff Ebel, Isaiah Jenks and Jonah Pak.

Taylor Soule (in white) makes her way up the grease pole. Cady Messmer is the second person up from the base. They are members of the BB Queens, a team of eight women and one man. The BB Queens debuted last year and advanced to the finals. This time they finished in 1:04 for second place.

Ricky Messmer makes it to the top of the grease pole. Taylor Soule, who recently got home from boot camp in the Air Force, was the third person up for the BB Queens.

Soule of Albion said she wanted to compete again because of the tight friendships on the team.

Messmer, 23, said he has played many sports and nothing compares to the thrill and sense of camraderie of climbing the grease pole.

The BB Queens include, front row: Brianna Dixon, Cady Messmer and Taylor Soule. Back row: Eboni Taylor, Hannah Hapeman, Ricky Messmer, Brooke Bensley, Halle Jurs, and Jessica Grimes.

Nationals score win over Bombers

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

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Niagara Nationals third baseman Liam Ward puts the tag on Carson Tatro of the Anjo Bombers during Wednesday evening’s game at Vets Park.

Tuning up for a busy tournament weekend, the Niagara Nationals defeated the Anjo Bombers from Lockport 11-2 at Vets Park Wedneday evening.

The teams exchanged solo home runs in the second inning as Liam Ward went deep for the Nationals as did Frank Pellicano for the Bombers.

The Nationals then took the lead for good by scoring twice in the third inning on singles by Mitchell Holtz, Joe Dell’oso and Matt Lyskawa.

The lead increased to 5-1 in the sixth on a fielders choice play off the bat of Nate Sherman and a passed ball as two walks set up the threat.

Trevor Luthart delivers a pitch for the Nationals.

The Nationals finally broke the contest open with 6 runs in the seventh capped off by a two-run homer by Brian Fry. The uprising was started by an infield single by Trevor Luthart and also included 2 walks, a double by Holtz and a single by Lyskawa.

Luthart pitched the first 5 innings giving up 3 hits and striking out 8. Dell’oso hurled the final two frames giving up 2 hits and striking out 4.

The Nationals next compete in the Lancer Classic Tournament at Lewiston with games today, Friday and Saturday with the championship round on Sunday.