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Month: August 2015

Lady Raiders eye rebound season

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

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the Barker girls varsity soccer team include, in front, Taylor Morris and Lindsey Williams. In the middle row are Sara Gendrue, Heather Potter and Alice Buzzard. In back are Abby Bachman and Maya Gooding.

Looking to improve upon last fall’s 1-12-1 league record, Barker is prepping for the upcoming Niagara-Orleans soccer campaign led by a good nucleus of seven returnees.

The Lady Raiders veteran contingent includes seniors Lindsey Williams, Alice Buzzard and Heather Potter, juniors Abby Bachman, Maya Gooding and Taylor Morris along with sophomore Sara Gendrue.

“We’ve got a good group back and they are working hard,” said Coach Brooke Beatty whose Lady Raiders open the season Tuesday at home against Albion.


Sept. 1 – Albion, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 – Roy-Hart 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 – at Akron, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 14 – CSAT, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 17 – Medina, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 – CCA, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – at Wilson, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 26 – at Albion, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 2 – Newfane, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Lyndonville, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 – Akron, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at CSAT, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 -at Medina, 10 a.m.
Oct. 14 – Wilson, 4:30 p.m.

Medina spikers boast veteran squad

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

Photo by Mike Wertman – Providing plenty of experience the Medina varsity volleyball team returns this large group of veterans. In front are Alyssa Beyer, Abigail Maines, Meg O’Keefe, Liz Newman and Emily Kams. In back are Lexie Sargent, Cassie Sargent, Jene Brown, Molley Gross and Carley Schultz.

Looking to keep the momentum from last year’s second place finish Medina boasts a large contingent of returnees with which to challenge for Niagara-Orleans League volleyball honors this season.

Junior Emily Kams, who earned second team N-O All-League honors, and junior Molley Gross, who received All-League honorable mention, head that veteran group which also includes seniors Abigail Maines, Meg O’Keefe, Liz Newman, Cassie Sargent and Abi Smith along with juniors Lexie Sargent and Carley Schultz, sophomore Alyssa Beyer and freshman Jene Brown.

“We’re excited,” said Coach Tim Lincoln whose Mustangs went 8-4 in the league and 13-6 overall last season. “We’ve got plenty of kids with experience and they played in the summer league so we’re looking for them to come into their own and have a good season.”

The Mustangs are scheduled to open the season with non league matches at Byron-Bergen Tuesday and at Kendall Friday before beginning N-O competition at two-time defending champion Albion on September 9.


Sept. 1 – at Byron-Bergen, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 4 – at Kendall, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 9 – at Albion, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 12 – at Albion Tournament, 8 a.m.
Sept. 15 – at Wilson, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 17 – at Roy-Hart, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 19 – at Starpoint Tournament, 8 a.m.
Sept. 21 – CSAT, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 23 – Newfane, 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Akron, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 1 – Albion, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 7 – Wilson, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 9 – Roy-Hart, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 10 – BNCC Tournament at West Seneca, 8 a.m.
Oct. 13 – Lyndonville, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 14 – at CSAT, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 16 – at Newfane, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 22 – at Tapestry, 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 23 – Akron, 6:15 p.m.

Retired chief deputy backs Drennan for sheriff

Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am


I was just reading a letter to the editor from Orleans County Corrections Officer Caufield and was I wondering if people should now vote for Undersheriff rather than Sheriff.

Chris Bourke is a dedicated, well-seasoned veteran of law enforcement and well qualified to run for Sheriff. But he is not running for Sheriff. He is on the ticket with Randy Bower, who has no law enforcement experience of any kind.

I know Tom Drennan has many qualified prospects for Undersheriff and whomever he or she is will be a like-thinking individual who will advise wisely and not have to tell him what to do or how to do it.

Only two names on the ballot for the Sept. 10 Republican Primary: Randy Bower and Chief Deputy Tom Drennan.

I choose to support and urge others to vote for the experienced and the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate: Tom Drennan.

Ray Emerson
Retired chief deputy for Orleans County Sheriff’s Department

Woman gets 6 months in jail for grand larceny

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

ALBION – A Medina woman was sentenced today to six months in jail and five years probation for fourth-degree grand larceny.

Carly S. Wells, 25, allegedly racked up $28,000 in fraudulent purchases and/or cash withdrawals on someone else’s credit card.

Special prosecutor Kevin McKain, Orleans County Court Judge James Punch and the victim in the crime agreed to $26,091 in restitution. Wells paid a $2,500 down payment by sentencing today.

“This has been a tremendous ordeal, not only financially,” McKain said about the impact on the victim from the crime. “She has been affected emotionally by this scheme.”

Wells did not speak during sentencing. Her attorney Kirk Okay said she has taken responsibility for the crime. He asked that she not be sentenced to jail.

“The sooner Carly can get back to work, the sooner restitution can commence and all concerned can move on from this episode,” the attorney said at sentencing.

Punch said Wells used “a series of deceptions” in obtaining the trust of the victim and then defrauding her of her money.

The judge said some jail time was necessary.

“You are completely self-centered and a user of people and a breacher of trust from people who have put their faith in you,” Punch said.

Wells will be required to pay back the money in 48 installments once she is out of jail.

In other cases in court today:

A Medina resident was given a conditional discharge and sentenced to time served in jail, a $200 surcharge and 6-month suspension of his driver’s license.

Jason Fidanza, 41, of Slade Road allegedly sold hydrocodone and another prescription narcotic in Ridgeway on June 18.

Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone said he was dismissing charges of third-degree welfare fraud and first-degree offering a false instrument against a Ridgeway woman.

Kathy Mungenast allegedly accepted $5,267 in welfare benefits she was not entitled to from July 1, 2012 to Nov. 30, 2013. She allegedly filed false paperwork to access those benefits, according to the District Attorney’s office.

However, the case proved difficult to establish how often Mungenast wasn’t home and visiting a boyfriend, Cardone said.

The judge arraigned an Albion man on third-degree grand larceny. Reilly D. Climenhaga, 28, of Gaines-Waterport Road allegedly stole $6,000 worth of jewelry and money from a house on Allen Road. The judge kept bail at $500.

The judge assigned Wesley Askew, formerly of Orleans County, as a level 3 sex offender, the highest possible risk for re-offending.

Askew, 47, has been in prison since May 2009 for second-degree rape. He is currently an inmate at Great Meadow Correctional Facility. He could be released as soon as Oct. 24.

Highway superintendent candidate’s neighbor says he is hard-working

Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am


Neighbors can be a blessing or a curse. Neighbor-relationships have provided rich fodder for TV comedy from Gladys Kravitz on “Bewitched” to Wilson Wilson Jr. on “Home Improvement.” I know a guy who got stuck with a nosy neighbor next-door: me!

For 13 years, I have observed when he goes to work, when he comes home, what he does on his days off, who comes over to his house, and so on. This has afforded me an unprecedented opportunity to draw certain conclusions about this person. It just so happens that this neighbor has decided to run for Albion highway superintendent, which now has turned this neighbor into someone whom I, as a tax-payer, will essentially be hiring to work for me.

While I think he’s a very nice guy and I would consider him and his family more than just our neighbors, it does not always follow that I would be willing to pay certain friends (or even family members) to work for me. I work hard to earn the money I make, and I pay a great deal in taxes with the understanding that the people who have been elected into office will provide as honest a return for my money as my employer demands of me.

I am subject to semi-annual job evaluations and as an employee, I must adhere to the rules and standards which have been set forth by the company, including showing up to work on time, staying for the duration and being productive during that time.

I work in a professional environment where there are strict rules about appropriate employee conduct, including demeanor, dress, and language; a place where my personal opinions about our customers, my colleagues and superiors have no place. I have been hired to serve the interests of the company and in return I am compensated accordingly.

Our elected officials and public servants are no different. They have been hired by the tax-payers to serve the interests of the public. Elections are the only opportunity we have to conduct our own job evaluation of the incumbents and candidates.

Voting is the equivalent of choosing whose pockets are most deserving of our mandated tax dollars. I have friends who are great fun to socialize with but whom I would never consider hiring to manage my financial affairs or provide childcare. And no matter how much I may like them as a person or how desperately they may plead their case for needing to be hired because they need the money, it would be tantamount to idiocy to entrust them with such a responsibility on such irrelevant grounds. They (and I) would be better served were I to help them find a job for which they were better suited.

Sadly, such rationale seems to be in short supply when it comes to political elections. For some, it’s a popularity contest, for others it’s an opportunity to perpetuate cronyism and repay dubious favors. But hope always springs eternal that there are enough astute and reasonable voters who recognize that the elected candidate will not only be benefitting the voter personally but will have the interests and demands of the entire community at heart.

Thus, we return to my neighbor. I have to decide whether he has exhibited the qualities of a person who will be diligent, honest, ethical, hard-working, impartial, sober, professional, and qualified to assume the role of Highway Superintendent.

Can I trust him to put in a full 40-hour week of work (and more when necessary)? Will he endeavor to create a positive and productive work environment through leading by example? Will he conduct himself professionally and privately in a manner that will honor the office to which he has been elected? Will he treat (and serve!) everyone with respect and impartiality, refusing to allow his personal opinions and feelings to determine his conduct.

Bottom line: Will I be getting my money’s worth from this neighbor? After 13 years of nosiness, I can say with all confidence, “Yes, Mike Neidert will deliver all of that and then some!”

On Sept. 10, please join me in putting our hard-earned dollars to best use by choosing Mike Neidert for Highway Superintendent.

Maarit Vaga
“Nosy Neighbor”

Fulcomer will retire in November as director of Veterans Service Agency

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

Photo by Tom Rivers – Paul Fulcomer accepts a check for $6,000 from the Albion Rotary Club last week. Becky Karls, right, helped plan the Rotary Golf Tournament that raised the money to go towards a van to transport veterans to medical appointments.

ALBION – The director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County will retire on Nov. 28 after 13 years of helping veterans and their families receive benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Paul Fulcomer works to bring money to veterans from the VA, but also is active in planning services to honor veterans and also leads a volunteer-run van transportation service that takes vets to medical appointments.

Fulcomer is proud of the van transportation service that operates with five used vans. He thinks Orleans County is the only county offering such a volunteer-run service.

Last year, volunteers took 1,743 veterans to medical appointments with the vans. There are 33 volunteers in the van service, either driving or helping to arrange appointments.

“The people of Orleans County step up and help the veterans out,” Fulcomer told the County Legislature last week.

Donations help pay for the vans. Last week the Albion Rotary Club presented a check for $6,000 to go towards replacing one of the five vans. The Rotary Club also donated $5,000 in 2014 for the van service. This year’s golf tournament was able to raise more for the van service.

Fulcomer and his office helped return $20.3 million to the veteran community in Orleans County last year, he told county legislators in a report last week. That includes $11,467,000 for compensation and pension, $7,961,000 for medical care, $755,000 for rehabilitation and vocational services, and $178,000 for insurance and indemnities.

In addition, Fulcomer acts as the veterans’ burial officer in the county and was responsible for nine veterans’ burials last year.

The county cost for the Veterans Service Agency is $87,592. Fulcomer said his office returns $232.45 to the community for every $1 spent by the county for the Veterans Service Agency.

There are 3,239 veterans in the county and about 2,500 widows. Fulcomer’s office made 13,825 contacts last year with veterans, widows and children of veterans.

Retired deputy backs Bower for sheriff, says Drennan micromanages staff

Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am


We, the voters, have a rare opportunity to choose our next sheriff and not just settle for whoever “the party” tells us is their guy.

Our county has an approximately 2:1 Republican over Democrat voter registration rate. That being the case, pretty much whichever candidate the Republican Party endorses will go on to take that office with many unopposed.

We have very little say in this process. This, along with all of the rules and regulations involved with the board of elections, make it nearly impossible for the average person to compete with “the system.”

Sometimes the party overlooks the better candidate. This necessitates a Primary Election.

I retired from the Sheriff’s Department after working there just over 20 years. I have worked with both candidates: Bower and Drennan.

The Republican Party has endorsed Drennan as their candidate. I feel they have made a grave mistake.

Drennan’s buy line is “experience matters,” implying he is more qualified than Bower. While it is true he has more police experience working the road than Bower, Bower (as a dispatcher) has more experience directing calls to the people who need to handle them.

The Sheriff position is an administrative job. During my career at the Sheriff’s Department, I worked for four sheriffs and six undersheriffs. None of them regularly worked a road shift, taking calls or making arrests while I was there. That is just not what they do.

The sheriff needs to coordinate and lead his men and women to get the job done. Managerial and people skills are needed far more than road experience. These are the areas in which Bower excels. Bower deals with people (some in distress) all day long as a dispatcher.

He also owns and manages his own printing business. He has the tools and ability to get the job done. He also has the confidence and respect of the employees at the department.

It has always been the policy of the two Sheriff’s Department unions to stay out of political elections as the employees still have to work with whoever wins. In an unprecedented move both the union that represents the criminal division and the union that represents the correctional division have endorsed Bower.

All of these people know and work with both candidates. I have to ask myself why would all those men and women risk retaliation from Drennan if he wins? From my experience , the only answer I can come up with is, he is so bad to work for now, it could not get any worse.

It has been my experience (while I worked there) that he has no compassion for his subordinates, and unnecessarily micromanages them. It seems this trend has continued on today. An example of this was recently brought to my attention. It involves the shooting of Deputy DeFilipps on the night of March 21, 2015 – a reality that every deputy faces each time they put their uniform on and hit the streets.

Deputy DeFilipps was shot center mass by a suspect while responding to a call for help. Luckily, he was wearing his ballistic vest. It saved his life that night. After he was loaded aboard the ambulance, he was well en route to the hospital, and without regard for DeFilipps wellbeing, Drennan ordered the ambulance to turn around, and return to the scene in Clarendon.

Reportedly, Drennan did this so he could “take pictures” of the ballistic vest DeFilipps had been wearing and who knows what else. Investigators usually take evidence pictures.

Why was DeFilipps not accompanied in the ambulance by an investigator or even another deputy? And what could possibly be so exigent that it could not wait until after DeFilipps was transported to the hospital to receive the medical care he so badly needed? This mentality, of disregard for the employee, and then not trusting his investigators to properly do their job, is a perfect example why both of the unions have endorsed Bower.

Bower’s choice for undersheriff is Lt. Christopher Bourke, (whom I also worked with for 20 years). The undersheriff runs more of the day-to-day police operations of the department, and fills in for the sheriff in his absence.

Lt. Bourke has worked there longer than Drennan, has more experience, and has earned the respect of his fellow employees. Together, they make a team that will take the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department in the right direction.

I urge everyone to come out and Vote for Randy on both Sept. 10 and Nov. 3.

James W. Halstead
Retired Deputy Sheriff

Retired undersheriff says Drennan has proven himself, should be next sheriff

Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am


As we rapidly approach the Republican primary for the next Sheriff of Orleans County, we all have seen the many signs for Tom Drennan and Randy Bower. The signs are nice, I suppose, but this election is about more than signs.

I agree with Drennan’s slogan, “Experience Matters.” I prefer a sheriff who knows what the job is and Drennan has, in many aspects, already “done it.”

I worked at the Sheriff’s Office for almost 28 years and was there when Randy (Bower), Tom (Drennan) and Chris (Bourke) started their careers. All three of them are my friends, and I hope all three remain so, after this election is over.

Randy is a great dispatcher and, should I ever need to call “911” in an emergency, I would hope he is the one that answers my call. Likewise, Chris has had a great career as a Road Patrol deputy and supervisor. He, too, is good at what he does. I do not mean to minimize their respective accomplishments.

I have, however, witnessed much more with Tom Drennan and what he has accomplished in his career. Tom’s commitment, over the years, to expand his law enforcement expertise is impressive, as reflected in his resume.

Tom was assigned to Road Patrol, promoted to lieutenant, promoted to investigator and eight years ago, promoted to chief deputy. Tom was not given those promotions, he earned them.

As chief deputy, Tom is the Department’s 3rd in command. In the absence of the sheriff and undersheriff, the chief deputy is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. That includes Road Patrol, Corrections, Investigators, Civil, Dispatch and overall budgetary oversight. Tom has not only performed these functions, but he has performed these functions very well.

With reference to the suggestion that Drennan is not naming his undersheriff, is some sort of a political ploy, a lack of decision-making skills, or that his undersheriff may not be as qualified, is absurd.

Drennan has made a career of making good decisions. I have no doubt his undersheriff will be more than qualified.

I know who I would like to see as my next sheriff. That man is Tom Drennan.

Richard Smith
Retired Orleans County undersheriff

N-O League soccer, field hockey competition is set to begin

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

Niagara-Orleans League girls soccer competition begins this evening as Roy-Hart hosts Medina at 6:30 p.m. at Gasport.

The other three league openers will be on Tuesday including Albion at Barker, Newfane at CSAT and Akron at defending champion Wilson, all at 4:30 p.m.

Wilson captured its third straight N-O title last fall with a 14-0 record as Akron finished in the runner-up spot at 11-2-1.

Wilson is led by a pair of returning first team All-League honorees in junior forward Emily Patterson (14 goals, 9 assists) and senior defender Zipporah Barrett. Junior midfielder Kayla Neumann (13 goals, 4 assists), a second team All-League pick, also returns along with midfielders Jen Darlak, a junior, and Leah Herman, a senior, who both received All-League honorable mention.

Akron is led by senior defender Ashley Mietz, who earned first team All-League honors, and senior midfielder Erica Papke (10 goals, 13 assists), a second team honoree.

Newfane, which finished in third place at 9-5, is led by senior midfielder Kaylee Heschke (12 goals, 18 assists), a first team All-League selection, and sophomore forward Kayleigh Daniels (16 goals, 6 assists), a second team honoree.

Albion, which finished in fourth place at 8-6, returns a pair of first team All-League selections in senior forward Mariah Elsenheimer (19 goals, 10 assists) and junior midfielder Emily Blanchard (17 goals, 11 assists).

Roy-Hart is paced by returning second team All-League honorees, senior forwards Emma Lindke (29 goals, 11 assists) and Amber Villella (17 goals, 8 assists).

Medina likewise returns two second team All-League selections in senior Emma Gardner and junior Kyla Leno (9 goals, 7 assists). The Mustangs also return honorable mention picks junior Martha Gardner and sophomore Destiny Satkowski.

N-O boys soccer action begins on Wednesday with defending champion Medina/Lyndonville hosting CSAT, Albion at Newfane and Akron at Wilson, all at 4:30 p.m. Roy-Hart, which draws the bye in league competition, will face host Holley in the opening round of the Hawks Tournament at 6:30 p.m.

Medina/Lyndonville, which went 9-2-1 last fall, to edge out Wilson (9-3), Newfane (8-3-1) and Akron (7-5) for the title, is led by a trio of returning first team All-League honorees including senior forward Brian Anderson (16 goals, 6 assists), senior midfielder Colm Cooper and junior midfielder Kristien Snyder. Senior midfielder Greg Husung and senior goalie Justin Morgan, who both earned second team All-League honors, also return as does senior defender Josh Klotzbach, an honorable mention pick.

Wilson is led by returning first team All-League honoree sophomore forward Cesar Carlin (20 goals) along with junior midfielder Joshua VanBuren and junior defender Josh LiPume, who were both second team honorees.

Setting the pace for Newfane are returning first team All-League honorees senior forward Chad Gilson (15 goals, 4 assists) and sophomore midfielder Trevor Moreland (9 goals, 13 assists).

First team All-League senior midfielder Bryan Whitbeck (9 goals) and second team senior forward Tristan Olszewski set the pace for Akron.

N-O field hockey competition also begins on Tuesday with Kenmore at defending champion Barker, Wilson at Medina and Roy-Hart at Newfane, all at 4:45 p.m., as Akron draws the bye.

Barker, which captured a ninth straight N-O title last fall with a 12-0 record, is led by returning first team All-League honoree senior goalie/midfielder Caitlyn Mason along with second team selections senior forward Erin Greenwald and senior midfielder Madison Greenwald as well as honorable mention picks midfielders Emma Duffy and Kelsie Engert and forward Rebecca Stoloski, all seniors.

Akron, which finished in the runner-up spot at 9-3, is led by returning first team All-League honorees sophomore forward Abby Stone and junior sweeper Cierra Janis. The Lady Tigers also return senior forward Saah Schultz, a second team honoree.

Wilson, which finished in third place at 8-4, returns a solid nucleus of first team All-League honorees forward Rachael Cobo and midfielder Courtney Wheeler, both seniors, along with second team selections senior defender Erin Boyle and junior midfielder Johanna Turvey.

Roy-Hart returns a first team All-League honoree in midfielder/defender Rielly Albee, a junior, as does Medina in senior midfielder Stella Russo.

Safe and well-maintained roads should be a bigger priority for County Legislature

Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am


This is my third letter of which I believe is a very critical and important issue for this county: our roads and bridges.

More important than Rural broadband, more important than many projects that the county is doing, is our road and bridge infrastructure.

You can’t transport goods and services or get big heavy farm equipment through an Internet cable. You can’t move heavy trucks, farm equipment and your family on crumbling substandard roads.

While I give the county credit for the bridge repairs and replacements it has done and what it will be doing to keep some of the bridges from getting red flagged over the next three years, there are still bridges that have been closed for decades.

If I am elected I will use the money I am paid to make trips to Albany to try get these lift bridges repaired and these closed bridges replaced. Albany steals our tax dollars. I will go and try to steal some of it back – for us and our county. I will try and cut some sort of deal to get the Parkway fixed.

The county is pouring your tax dollars into the Marine Park. The gate way to that park is the Lake Ontario Parkway. That parkway looks and rides like the series “Life after People.” It’s a disgrace.

No one from out of town using that to come here will ever want to come back, especially if they are towing a boat or trailer. Those of us that live here that use it deserve better. I said we deserve better for our tax dollars. I will work with the Legislature and they will want to work with me to try get this done. Our farmers, our businesses, our families and our visitors all depend on this.

In November I hope those of you in Yates, Ridgeway and part of Shelby will consider me when you go to the polls to cast your vote. I will serve my district but work for the betterment of all of Orleans County.

Paul Lauricella Jr.