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Month: November 2015

Attica swimmers sweep Seahorses

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

Albion splits; Roy-Hart and Barker score sweeps

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Olivia Carter in action for Medina in the 100 Backstroke during this afternoon’s home pool loss to Attica.

Attica swept to a doubleheader victory over host Medina this afternoon in a season opening non league swim meet.

The Blue Devils downed the Seahorses 100-66 in the boys meet and 104-66 in the girls’ competition.

Dan Heil won the 100 Backstroke and Kristian Snyder the 100 Breaststroke for the Medina boys squad. Heil and Snyder also teamed up with Mason Pecoraro and Damien Norrish to win the 200 Medley Relay.

The Medina girls also won the 200 Medley Relay with the foursome of Olivia Carter, Haylee Cogovan, Emma Gardner and Alyssa Beyer. Gardner also posted a win in the 100 Butterfly.

Kristian Snyder in route to a win for Medina in the 100 breaststroke.

Albion splits with Alexander

Albion split with visiting Alexander as the Purple Eagles won the boys’ meet 53-41 but lost the girls’ competition 55-38.

Matt Kovaleski won the 100 Breaststroke for the Albion boys.

The Albion girls squad had a pair of double winners as Elizabeth Furmanski took the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Freestyle and Michaela Pantano the 50 Free and 100 Butterfly.

Roy-Hart sweeps Oakfield-Alabama

Roy-Hart swept past visiting Oakfield-Alabama winning the boys’ meet 113-97 and the girls’ competition 98-60.

Tanner Rees doubled in the Butterfly and Individual Medley and Ellott Spitzer in the 100 Free and Backstroke to lead the Roy-Hart boys.

Maddie Ohol doubled for the R-H girls in the 200 and 500 Freestyle events.

Barker bests Pembroke

Barker likewise swept past visiting Pembroke winning the boys’ meet 90-74 and the girls’ 92-77.

The Barker boys were sparked by a trio of double winners as Collin Webb took the 50 and 100 Free, Collin Stevener the Butterfly and Backstroke and Andrew Jenks the Individual Medley and 500 Free.

The Barker girls likewise had three double winners including Chloe Goodlander (Butterfly, Backstroke), Sara Gendrue (100 Free, Breastroke) and Christiana Carestia (Individual Medley, 500 Free).

Two cage tournaments to highlight the upcoming week

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

Two girls basketball tournaments, at Kendall and Roy-Hart, will highlight this first full week of the area high school winter sports season.

The semifinals of the Kendall Tournament will see the Lady Eagles hosting rival Holley at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Barker taking on Rochester School of the Arts at 7 p.m. Thursday. The consolation and championship games will be held at 2 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The semifinals of the Roy-Hart Tournament will be held on Friday with Tonawanda facing Oakfield-Alabama at 5 p.m. followed by Lyndonville vs. Roy-Hart at 6:30 p.m. The consolation and championship games will be held on Saturday at 3 and 5 p.m.

The Lyndonville boys basketball team will host Kendall on Friday to open the Genesee Region League season.

The Week’s Schedule


Girls Basketball – Elba at Medina, 7 p.m.
Swimming – Alexander at Albion, Pembroke at Barker, Attica at Medina, Oakfield-Alabama at Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Barker at Kendall, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Lyndonville at Barker, 6:30 p.m.
Wrestling – Fredonia at Barker/Roy-Hart, 6 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Webster Christian at Lyndonville, 6 p.m.; Emerson at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Holley vs. Kendall at Kendall Tournament, Cleve Hill at Albion, 7 p.m.
Swimming – Albion at Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m., Barker at Wheatland-Chili, Medina at Alexander, Roy-Hart at Attica, 5:30 p.m.
Wrestling – Albion at Lyndonville, 6 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Elba at Barker, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Barker vs. Rochester School of the Arts at Kendall Tournament, 7 p.m.


Boys Basketball – Rochester Career Mentoring at Medina, 6:30 p.m.; Kendall at Lyndonville, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Lyndonville vs. Roy-Hart at Roy-Hart Tournament, 6:30 p.m.; Notre Dame at Albion, 7 p.m.
Swimming – Wheatland-Chili at Albion, Byron-Bergen at Barker, Notre Dame at Medina, Alexander at Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.


Girls Basketball – Kendall Tournament (2 and 3:30 p.m.); Roy-Hart Tournament (3 and 5 p.m.).
Wrestling – Albion at Depew Tournament, Lyndonville at Tonawanda Tournament

Elba girls surge past Medina

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

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Je’ne Brown (1) drives past Elba’s Alex Reigle during the Mustangs loss to the visiting Lady Lancers this evening.

A lengthy turnover plagued second half scoring drought proved costly as Medina dropped a 33-28 decision to visiting Elba this evening in the Mustangs non league season opening girls basketball game.

Medina built up a 10 point, 23-13, advantage two and a half minutes into the third quarter after a rebound basket by Molley Gross and a layup off a steal by Emily Kams.

However, the Mustangs could not score from the field again for the next 10 minutes.

Elba capitalized on the drought by putting together a decisive 15-2 turnover aided scoring burst over the final five minutes of the third quarter to turn the 10 point deficit into a three point, 28-25, lead at the three-quarter mark.

Titiana Draper scored 6 of her game high 13 points and Alex Reigle 4 of her 8 to key that Lady Lancers uprising.

A basket by Gross with 4:15 to go in the fourth quarter finally ended Medina’s lengthy drought and kept the Mustangs within three at 31-28. However, the Mustangs could not score again.

Maddie Winters (00) rebounds for Medina as Leah Bezon defends for Elba.

Medina had jumped out to a 9-3 first period lead as Je’ne Brown led the way with 7 points including a pair of rebound buckets and a layup.

The Mustangs maintained a six point, 19-13, advantage as the half as Gross, Brown, Kams and Maddie Winters all contributed second quarter baskets.

Gross and Brown both finished with 9 points for Medina as Winters had 6 and Kams 4.

Emily Reynolds added 9 points and Leah Bezon 3 for Elba.

Medina next visits Kendall on December 7.

Santa brings cheer to kids at Hoag Library

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

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Sophie Kozody, 4, of Medina shares her Christmas wish with Santa Claus this evening at Hoag Library when Santa visited with children for two hours.

Santa sang songs with the kids and also read them the story, Olaf’s Night Before Christmas. Santa encouraged the children to leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve.

Santa was happy to meet the kids. He gave them candy canes.

Adam Burlison of Albion has a red nose on while the group sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Santa made antlers for Adam in this photo.

Santa and Adam get the crowd involved in singing the song about Rudolph.

Holley man sentenced to prison for assault

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

Judge decides against prison for man recovering from serious injuries

ALBION – A Holley man was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison today for attempted assault in the second degree.

William Nichols, 22, admitted to the crime during a September appearance in Orleans County Court. He said he hit another man with a BB Gun during a fight at the Public Square in Holley on May 8. The incident left the other man with a gash to the head and check, and head aches, forcing him to miss work, Assistant District Attorney Susan Howard told Judge James Punch in September.

Nichols also admitted to punching another man with his fists during a fight on June 13.

Nichols apologized for the incidents in court today.

“There’s no excuse for what I did, your honor,” Nichols told Judge Punch. “I let the drugs get the best of me.”

Nichols was represented in court by attorney Dominic Saraceno, who said Nichols gets into trouble when he uses illegal drugs.

The judge issued orders of protection for the victims in the crimes. He said Nichols has a long and serious criminal history. He has been in jail since May.

In another sentencing, James Herring III, 25, of Albion was spared prison and probation. He was given a conditional discharge and can avoid prison as long as he doesn’t break any laws over the next three years.

Herring has had his sentencing adjourned several times due to serious injuries he sustained about a year ago. The judge wanted to see if Herring would regain cognitive function, but that hasn’t happened enough for Herring to be sentenced to either prison or probation.

Herring is accused of selling cocaine on May 22, 2013. He faced up to 2 ½ years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

“There are profound cognitive disturbances here,” Punch said in court today. “State prison is not going to work here given the current condition of the defendant.”

Punch said Herring is unlikely to reoffend. If he does, he will be sent to prison, Punch said.

Herring will need to appear before Punch every two months in the next year with Feb. 8 the first compliance visit.

“I expect you to follow the law,” Punch told Herring, who responded, “Yes, sir.”

Rochester man pleads guilty for role in death of Medina man

Posted 30 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Press release, U.S. Attorney William Hochul

BUFFALO – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Albert Parsons, 46, of Rochester pleaded guilty to committing a violent crime, an assault resulting in serious bodily injury, in aid of a racketeering enterprise, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

“Similar to operations of old, the defendants in this case employed various street level criminals to steal,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.

“Unlike past criminal organizations, however, Rico Vendetti and his cohorts used the power and anonymity of the Internet to thereafter dispose of their ill-gotten gains, in effect creating a high-tech fencing operation in which unwitting purchasers could be located anywhere in the world. As this case – the first of its kind in the District – demonstrates, the federal racketeering laws are more than capable of dismantling both old fashioned, and modern day criminal operations.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Anthony M. Bruce and Scott S. Allen, Jr., who are handling the case, said that in the early morning hours of July 5, 2010 the defendant and co-defendants Donald Griffin and Juan Javier burglarized the Medina home of 78-year-old Homer Marciniak.

The three men were hired by Rico Vendetti and Arlene Combs to steal Marciniak’s valuable comic book collection. During the course of the burglary, Marciniak, who had a serious heart condition, awoke and confronted the burglars. Griffin struck Marciniak and then, along with Javier, tied him up. Marciniak was also repeatedly threatened by Javier. Parsons, Griffin and Javier ultimately located the comic book collection along with several strong boxes containing cash, coins and other valuables.

After Parsons, Griffin and Javier fled the scene, Marciniak freed himself and was taken to Medina Memorial Hospital for treatment of the facial injuries he suffered when struck by Griffin. However, after Marciniak was treated and released, he suffered a heart attack and died shortly after being re-admitted to the hospital.

Medical evidence that the government was prepared to offer at trial demonstrated that the blow Griffin struck, as well as the emotional trauma caused by the burglary, directly contributed to Marciniak’s cardiac arrest and resulting death.

Parsons, Griffin and Javier gave the comic books to Combs who, along with another co-defendant, Terry Stewart, took the comic books to Vendetti later in the day on July 5. However, once Vendetti learned that the burglary resulted in Marciniak’s death, Vendetti disposed of the comic books.

The burglary grew out of an organized shoplifting ring that stole millions of dollars in merchandise from big box stores such as Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Tops and Wegmans. The merchandise was sold to Rico Vendetti for 25¢ on the dollar. The merchandise was then sold by Vendetti on eBay for about half of its retail value, primarily to out-of-state customers.

Parsons is the last of seven defendants to be convicted federally in this case. He will be sentenced on April 1, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Donald Griffin will be sentenced on Feb. 3, 2016. Juan Javier, who was 17 at the time of the burglary of Marciniak’s home, was prosecuted as an adult in Orleans County and sentenced to seven years in state prison.

Also convicted in connection with this case:

Rico Vendetti was convicted of racketeering and will be sentenced on Jan. 22, 2016.

Brandon Meade was convicted of conspiring to traffic in stolen goods across state lines and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 21, 2016.

Terry Stewart was convicted of racketeering and was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison.

Dayon Shaver was convicted of conspiring to traffic in stolen goods across state lines and will be sentenced on March 21, 2016.

Arlene Combs was convicted of racketeering and will be sentenced on February 24, 2016.

Today’s plea is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Craig Hanesworth, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Scott Hess, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, the Medina Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jose Avila and Officers from the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Special assistance was provided by Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone.

Personal income dropped in Orleans County last year

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

While the rest of the region and most of the country saw personal income grow from 2013 to 2014, the income dropped per household in Orleans County, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In Orleans, the per capita household income went from $31,967 in 2013 to $31,720 the following year, a 0.7 percent drop.

The federal government said only 14 percent or 438 of the 3,100 counties saw per capita household income decline.

Nationally, it grew by 2 percent from $45,159 to $46,049 in 2014. The eight counties in Western New York all grew except for Orleans. Allegany saw the biggest growth at 3.7 percent, up from $31,946 to $33,128, according to a report from the Buffalo News.

Orleans County has a significantly smaller per capita household income than the other counties. Here are the per capita personal incomes of the eight WNY counties in 2014 with the percent growth in parentheses:

Allegany, $33,128 (3.7 %); Cattaraugus, $35,395 (1.2 %); Chautauqua, $34,296 (2.0 %); Erie, $44,740 (1.4 %); Genesee, $39,064 (1.5 %); Niagara, $39,077 (1.2 %); Orleans, $31,720 (-0.7 %); and Wyoming, $37,091 (2.0%).

Volunteers decorate Medina park for holiday season

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Carol Bellack was among the volunteers working Saturday to set up the lights and decorations at the State Street Park in Medina.

The Medina Lions Club and other volunteers decorate Christmas trees and set up a Nativity scene and other signs of the upcoming holiday season.

Lions Club members Dave Denny, left, and Dave Bellucci, right, work with Ben Kaiser, a volunteer, to set up one of the animals. Kaiser’s father Pete supervises the set up and tear down of the display.

Pete Kaiser installs a star at one of the displays. The decorated park is on Route 31 on the east side of the village.

Diane Mazur, right, strings lights on some of the Christmas trees. Her sister Robin Dubai, left, also helped with the task.

Founding Fathers didn’t want citizens arms race

Posted 29 November 2015 at 12:00 am


A Constitutional Sheriff: one that upholds the duly enacted laws of the U.S. and the State of New York. This sounds good on its face; as long as the sheriff or his department doesn’t cherry pick the laws to enforce based on some popularity contest. AKA THE SAFE ACT.

As a citizen voter, gun owner, property owner and family man, I seriously expect the new sheriff to enforce the SAFE Act and turn over to the District Attorney all incidences of violations for prosecution.

The answer to gun violence is not more guns in the hands of more people. It is a ban on certain weapons from the procession of certain people, maybe you.

The Constitutional Founders of the Second Amendment did not unleash a citizens’ arms race. Their intent was the right for the citizen’s State Militia to take up arms to fight an enemy.

Good luck Randy, you have a sacred task before you.

Al Capurso

Numbers are thin for Kendall matmen

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

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the Kendall wrestling squad include Creagan MacLaren, in front, Mike Raschke, Brandon Patten, Jeremy Browe and Paul Urquhart.

A quintet of veterans anchors the lineup the Kendall wrestling squad which is prepping for the December 8 Genesee Region League opener at rival Holley.

Coached by Jim Sauberan, the Eagles, whose lineup is thin on numbers, is led by seniors Paul Urquhart, Brandon Patten, Mike Raschke, Creagan MacLaren and sophomore Jeremy Browe. Urquhart went 28-14 last season.

Kendall’s Schedule:
Dec. 8 – at Holley, 6 p.m.
Dec. 11 – at Albion, 6 p.m.
Dec. 16 – at Byron-Bergen, 6 p.m.
Dec. 19 – at Pavilion Tournament
Dec. 30 – at Geneseo Tournament
Jan. 5 – Lyndonville, 6 p.m.
Jan. 9 – at Cal-Mum Tournament
Jan. 12 – Attica, 6 p.m.
Jan. 14 – Wilson Magnet, 6 p.m.
Jan. 20 – at Alexander, 6 p.m.
Jan. 23 – at Perry Tournament