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Month: September 2015

Orleans coroner gives eulogy at funeral for Bergen EMT

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

Photos courtesy of Howard Owens/The Batavian – Bergen firefighters arrive outside Pearce Memorial Church with the late Barry Miller, a volunteer emergency medical technician who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 23.

NORTH CHILI – Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday to mourn the loss of Bergen EMT Barry Miller, who died in the line of duty on Sept. 23. Orleans County Coroner Scott Schmidt was among the speakers to eulogize the volunteer firefighter during a funeral service at Pearce Memorial Church.

Schmidt is president of the New York State Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners. He knew Miller the past three years when the two attended training sessions together.

“He was a great guy and a valued member of the NY State Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners, and a great colleague and friend,” Schmidt said in an email message.

Miller “was an active and enthusiastic member” of the coroners’ group, which Schmidt said is like a family.

“He instantly became a fixture at conference weekends because of his friendly demeanor and his willingness to not only learn, but to help out in any way,” Schmidt said.

He spoke at the funeral as president of NYSACCME. Schmidt wanted to let the community know another side of Miller in his dedication in the role as a coroner.

Here is the text of Schmidt’s address during Miller’s funeral:

“Mr. and Mrs. Miller, Pam and David, Rebekah, Rachal, Shannan and all of Barry’s family, brothers and sisters in EMS and the Fire Service, his professional colleagues and friends. My name is Scott Schmidt and I am the Chief Coroner in Orleans County, a Funeral Director having worked with Barry helping several families from Genesee County, a 25-plus year member of the Albion Fire Department, a 10-plus year Chaplain of the WNYVFA and President of the New York State Association of Coroners and Medical Examinersotherwise known as NYSACCME.

Barry Miller

“NYSACCME is a NY State Association of 130-plus Coroners, ME’s, EMS, Law Enforcement, Firefighters and Organ Procurement Organizations from around the State and beyond. We are dedicated to providing continuing education in the field of Medicolegal Death Investigation and are advocates for the advancement of Forensic Science. On behalf of our membership, Board of Directors and Officers, allow me to extend our heart-felt sympathies to all of youalong with OUR sadness and countless thoughts and prayers following the death of Barry.

“John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, for as long as you can.”

“Having first met Barry 3 years ago at NYSACCME’s last Coroner 101 class in Cooperstown, that statement is the true personification of Barry. He introduced himself as my neighbor to the South and said that he was, “pretty excited to be here!”

“There was a presence surrounding him which exuded confidence but also an eagerness to absorb and learn as much as he could by attending the 8 hour training class.

“Our class began … and halfway through the first presentation we encountered a computer freeze-up. The presenter vocalized through the microphone that there was a problem and as I looked around for the usual person who helps out when we have AV snafus, he was no where to be found.

“So this prompted me to walk up to the podium and start ‘looking like’ I knew what I was doing. As I was scrolling around the screen with the cursor, Barry quietly approached and said, “Maybe I can help!

“He made one or two key strokes, moved thismoved that and VIOLA! We were back in business. He was instantly commissioned NYSACCME’s I-T Technician. As recently as last weekend in Fairport at our Fall Educational Conference, Barry had purchased a “Techno-Bag” for us {which included any and every cable, device, or product we would ever need for presentations}to help alleviate any further AV issues.

“At that same conference and during a presentation following dinner, Barry vaulted from his chair to adjust the sound system accordingly because it had horrendous feedback and echo.

“Always a person who was giving back, he had numerous times donated a weekend get-away to his family’s resort propertyBeaver River Lodge so that it might be included in our Sunshine Fund Raffle. (NYSACCME has a special fund which we use as needed to pay for flowers, fruit baskets, memorial donations or anything we can offer, to help any of our members through difficult times.) Barry’s donation was always the most coveted prize in the raffle!

“Having known him for just a few short years, being a professional colleague, being a brother firefighter and being his friend, it came as no surprise to hear that Bergen Town Supervisor Don Cunningham said this about Barry.

“Beyond the Fire Department, beyond the community, we’re all going to miss Barry. He will be missed for his ZEAL FOR LIFE.” Whether that zeal was exhibited by his woodworking, or piloting his powered parachute, or serving on the Town Board, or serving as Genesee County Coroner or by having been a 31-year member of the Bergen Fire Department and Chief of Emergency Medical Servicesone thing is clear.

Firefighters from throughout the state attended Miller’s funeral on Tuesday.

“The words over the last few days which have been used to describe him are more than accurate. Generous, Giving, Supportive, Passionate, Energetic, Eager, Patient..and so on, and so on, and so on. Quoting Supervisor Cunningham once again, ” If there’s one positive take away from this, it’s that Barry died doing what he loved. Barry loved helping people, and that is what he was doing the day he died.

“With that knowledge, listen to these words penned by Norman Vincent Peale, “Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it to yourself. In giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.

“In closing, NYSACCME mourns with all of you as one of OUR family has left our midst. We pray WITH you, we pray FOR you and we REJOICE that we had our time with him as part of OUR family.

“Finally, allow me to echo the words of William Restler, “How rare and wonderful is that flash of a momentwhen we realize that we have discovered a friend.

“May God bless you and may God bless the wonderful soul whom we have known as Barry Miller.”

For more on Miller’s funeral, see coverage in The Batavian by clicking here and clicking here.

Attica spikers down Lyndonville

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

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Brooklynn Riley spikes the ball over the net during the host Lady Tigers loss to Attica.

Improving to 4-2, Attica posted a 25-10, 25-20, 25-18 victory over host Lyndonville this evening in a Genesee Region League volleyball match.

Back-to-back service runs of seven straight points (7-13) and five points (15-19) sparked Attica to the 25-10 win in the opening set.

Battling back, Lyndonville grabbed a 10-7 lead midway through the second set after back-to-back service aces by Kennedy Clark.

The Lady Tigers upped the advantage to 20-16 after a three point run of service points by Jenna Doran.

Jennifer Wetherbee bump sets for Lyndonville as Cierra Riley backs up the play.

However, Attica answered back with a big run of eight straight service points, including three aces, to rally into a 25-20 win and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

Attica then closed out the match as bursts of six straight service points (3-8) and five in a row (17-21) keyed a 25-18 win in the third set.

Clark had 2 aces and 1 kill, Skyler Lear 2 aces, Jessica Harling 1 kill and 1 ace and Savannah Tackley 1 kill for Lyndonville, which is now 2-5 in league action.

Medina golfers post win over Barker

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

Medina closed out the Niagara-Orleans golf league regular season with a 12-2 record by downing Barker 218-258 this afternoon at Shelridge.

Ian Wagner took medalist honors for Medina with a 41 as Melanie Green, Mike Cardone and Trevor Luthart all carded rounds of 44.

Brad Wilson also shot 44 to lead Barker which finishes at 6-8.

Medina will now defend its N-O Tournament title on Thursday at Willowbrook.

Final regular season standings: Wilson 14-0, Medina 12-2, Newfane 10-4, Roy-Hart 7-6, Barker 6-8, Albion 3-11, CSAT 2-11, Akron 1-13.

Field Hockey

Roy-Hart 4, Buffalo Seminary 1
Delaney Draper scored 2 goals and Angelina Ciarfella and Alexis Lovewell each netted 1 to lead Roy-Hart to a 4-1 non league field hockey victory over Buffalo Seminary.

Holley, Kendall score road victories

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

Holley and Kendall both scored road victories today in Genesee Region League boys soccer action.

Holley rallied with a pair of goals in the second half to nip host Attica 3-2 this evening.

Trailing 2-1 at the half, Holley tied the game at 2-2 as Andrew Cary scored his sixth goal of the season off an assist from Tyler Hill.

The Hawks then scored the game winner on a goal by Derek McArthur, his second, with just 3:20 remaining as Justin Parker earned the assist.

Gabe Mendoza scored his 12th goal of the season in the first half for Holley which improves to 3-2 in the league and 6-3 overall.

Holley next hosts Byron-Bergen at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Making it five wins in a row, Kendall defeated host Pembroke 2-0 this afternoon.

Nathan Warters scored his fifth goal of the season in the first half, off an assist from Jake Adams, for what proved to be the game winner.

Adams then netted an insurance goal in the second half, his 11th of the season, as Brayde Moyer earned the assist.

Cameron Zinsmeister registered the shutout in goal for the Eagles.

Kendall, which is now 4-1 in the league and 6-3 overall, hosts Wheatland-Chili at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a G-R game and Albion at 6 p.m. Saturday in a non league contest.

Mustangs to visit division leading Bulldogs in key B East contest

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

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina/Lyndonville running backs Jake Cotter, left, and Eric Neace and their Mustang teammates will visit division leading Alden Friday.

Facing the biggest challenge to date, Medina/Lyndonville visits undefeated division leading Alden at 7 p.m. Friday in a key B East game.

Alden improved to 3-0 in the division and 4-0 overall last week by handing Depew (2-1) its first B East loss by a 26-6 margin as running back Lyle Grant sparked the Bulldogs with 179 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.

Medina/Lyndonville, which is 1-1 in the division and 3-1 overall, needs victory in order to stay in both the B East title chase and in the hunt for a sectional playoff berth.

Looking to keep the momentum from two straight victories, the Mustangs have been sparked offensively on the ground by the 1-2 junior running back duo of Jake Cotter (717 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns) and Eric Neace (328 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. The air attack also is led by the 1-2 combination of sophomore Jalin Cooper (9 catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns) and senior Dylan Lewis (8 catches for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns).

Alden holds a 9-5 lead in the series with the Mustangs which began in 1924. The Bulldogs have won the last five encounters including a 25-0 win in their last meeting in 2013.

Albion at Pioneer

In a matchup of 1-3 teams, Albion visits Pioneer at 7 p.m. Friday in an interdivisional game as the Purple Eagles look to snap a three game losing streak.

Plagued by a rash of turnovers in each outing, Albion has dropped three straight decisions to the B East Division’s top three teams losing 20-7 to Alden, 28-13 to Depew and 14-12 to East Aurora/Holland last Friday.

It will be the first ever gridiron meeting between Albion and Pioneer.

Barker/Roy-Hart vs. East High, Erie, Pa.

Barker/Roy-Hart will face a Pennsylvania foe for the first time hosting East High of Erie at 2 p.m. Saturday at Middleport.

East, like Barker/Roy-Hart is 0-4 on the season, however the Warriors face a challenging schedule which includes Erie, Pa. foes Cathedral Prep, Strong Vincent and McDowell.

Holley at Pembroke

Both teams will be looking to snap season long four game losing streaks as Holley visits Pembroke at 7 p.m. Friday in a Genesee Region League contest.

Pembroke, which is coached by former long-time Albion mentor Dick Diminuco, holds a 7-4 lead in the series though Holley won last year’s meeting 37-19.


B East Division – Alden 3-0, 4-0, East Aurora/Holland 2-0, 3-1, Depew 2-1, 2-2, Medina/Lyndonville 1-1, 3-1, Albion 0-3, 1-3, Barker/Roy-Hart 0-3, 0-4.

G-R League – Notre Dame 4-0, 4-0, Attica 3-0, 3-1, Elba/Byron-Bergen 3-1, 3-1, Alexander 1-2, 2-2, Oakfield-Alabama 1-3, 2-2, Holley 0-3, 0-4, Pembroke 0-4, 0-4.

Medina FD will seek grant to replace 4 defibrillators

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

Fire Department welcomes public to open house on Sunday

MEDINA – The Fire Department has the Village Board’s permission to seek a federal grant for about $150,000 to replace four defibrillators.

Captain Jonathan Higgins said the department has four defibrillators that are nearly a decade old, and cost $5,000 annually to be checked and maintained.

The Medina FD last month was awarded a $77,837 grant for new fire hoses, nozzles and a thermal imaging camera. That grant is through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Higgins said many departments receive the AFG awards year after year. He urged the Village Board to try for another grant through the program.

The board agreed to pay Grantmaster Inc. $2,400 to prepare the application for the Fire Department. Higgins said that is less than the $5,000 the department has in its budget for grant writing services.

Higgins also invited the Village Board and public to attend the Fire Department’s annual open house on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (A special firefighter memorial service will be conducted at 10 a.m. in front of City Hall at 600 Main St.)

The open house is part of National Fire Safety Week, and allows local residents and business owners a chance to interact with their firefighters and learn fire safety information.

This free event is open to all ages, with special family activities planned throughout the day. There will be a Fire Safety House where people can practice home escape plans and learn about home fire safety. There will also be opportunities to learn proper fire extinguisher techniques, practice calling 911, and to receive information about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The community can also see fire trucks (including antique ones) and tour the fire station at 600 Main St.

Special guests and demonstrations include the Medina Police Department K9 Unit, Orleans County SWAT Team, and the New York State Police “seat belt convincer,” an interactive ride allows people to experience a simulated vehicle crash and gain an appreciation for why seat belts matter.

Also present will be the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office “Safe Child” program, where children can be finger printed, and have their child safety seats checked for proper installation.

The department will also have a bounce house for kids to enjoy, as well as food available for purchase.

Nearly 1,000 have attended Patriot Trip tours with Assemblyman Hawley

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

Photo by Tom Rivers – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley shared highlights of Patriot Trip tours on Monday with the Medina Historical Society. Hawley and his staff have taken about 1,000 people to see war memorials in Washington, D.C., and other notable sites, including Gettysburg.

MEDINA – Steve Hawley wanted to give his father, former Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley, a gift about a decade ago. The younger Hawley took his dad to Washington, D.C. to see the war memorials, including the recently opened one for World War II veterans.

The elder Hawley served in World War II in Burma with the famed Merrill’s Marauders. The World War II memorial opened in 2004 in honor of more than 400,000 American soldiers who died in the war.

Another local World War II veteran, Michael Paduchak of Kendall, heard about Hawley’s trip to Washington and asked the younger Hawley, now the local assemblyman, if he would organize a similar trip for local veterans.

As a state legislator, Hawley thought it might be more appropriate for a federal official to organize the effort. He reached out to Tom Reynolds, the former local congressman, who urged Hawley to lead the effort. Hawley is a veteran and serves on the State Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Photos courtesy of Assemblyman Steve Hawley’s Office

The bronze statue depicts Gen. Kemble Warren, the Union general who fought off the Confederates during the Battle of Gettysburg. He is known as the “Hero of Little Round Top.” The Patriot Trip includes a stop at Gettysburg.

Hawley and his staff have now led veterans on eight Patriot Trips. That’s nearly 1,000 people in all. The early trips had many World War II veterans. The most recent one, which departed Batavia about two weeks ago, only had two WWII vets. There were more than 20 veterans from the Korean War, 36 who served in Vietnam, and others who served in Desert Storm, and more recently in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This memorial includes the name of Lyndonville native, Forrest L. Vosler, a technical sergeant who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is a Medal of Honor recipient.

The eighth Patriot Trip included 104 people in all and they were able to see the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Iwo Jima – The Marine Corps Memorial, American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial, Air Force Memorial, 911 Memorial at the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery including the Changing of the Guard, Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns – Vietnam Veterans, Gettysburg Battlefields and Mt. Vernon.

Albion spikers romp past CSAT

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Defending champion Albion romped to a 25-11, 25-13, 25-15 victory over host CSAT (0-7) this evening to stay undefeated at 7-0 in Niagara-Orleans League volleyball action.

In the other N-O matches, Roy-Hart (4-2) outlasted Wilson (2-4) in five set 23-25 25-18, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20 and Akron (5-1) bested visiting Medina (3-3) 25-21, 25-14, 25-13.

Kassidy Hastings had 5 service aces for Albion as Sierra Newton and Caitlyn Snook had 3 and Emilie Barleben and Kelsee Soule 2. Kaitlyn VanSkiver and Soule both had 3 spiking kills and Aleah Foos 2.

Olivia Vorholzer had 13 service points and 3 kills, Savoy Laubacker 11 points and 3 kills and Bea Bacon 6 kills to lead the way for Roy-Hart.

Molley Gross had 7 kills , Carly Schultz 4 kills and Emily Kams 13 assists for Medina.

Albion, Medina, Roy-Hart harriers post wins in N-O season openers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Meredith Patterson in action during the host Purple Eagles Niagara-Orleans League opening meet this afternoon.

The Albion boys cross-country team earned a split in this afternoon’s Niagara-Orleans League home opener defeating CSAT 15-45 and losing by one point to Akron 28-29. Akron topped CSAT 15-50 in the other portion of the meet.

Albion’s Evan Pappalardo won the race in 18:20 as Akron’s Mike Swinarski was second. The Purple Eagles also had Brady Meakin and Evan Steier place third and fourth.

The Albion girls also earned a split defeating CSAT 15-50 and losing to Akron 19-38. Akron also topped CSAT 15-50.

Akron’s Margo Henley won the race in 20:51 as her teammates Emma Chubb and Kaylee Schultz placed second and third. Albion’s Meredith Patterson took fourth.

The Medina girls defeated host Barker 25-30 as Holly Heil’s second place finish led the way. Barker’s Gabby Baker won the race in 21:07 as Emma Jenks took third for the Lady Raiders.

Barker defeated Medina 15-50 in the boys race as a 2-3 finish by Jack Hopkins and Brent Bachman led the Raiders.

Medina’s Daniel Heil won the race in 17:46.

The Roy-Hart boys swept to a pair of wins defeating Newfane 27-28 and Wilson 20-35. Newfane also downed Wilson 22-33.

Newfane’s Sam Auernhamer won the race in 17:28 as Roy-Hart’s Avery Green placed second and Wilson’s Nathaniel Johnson third.

The Newfane girls likewise scored a sweep defeating Roy-Hart 17-44 and Wilson 15-49. Roy-Hart also downed Wilson 20-36.

Newfane was led by the 1-2-3 finish of Kim Goerss, Nina Burkard and Vanessa Burkhard.

Photo by Tom Rivers – Evan Pappalardo is way out in front in the boys race today at Albion