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KNOWLESVILLE — Audrey Pask reclaimed the the title as grand master showman of the small animals today at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.
Audrey, 16, of Barre previously won the title in 2018. It features the top two showmen in poultry, rabbits, dogs and miniature horses.
Audrey said she was grateful to be in the event, especially after last year’s fair was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions and concerns. She qualified for today’s event after winning the poultry showmanship title.
“This week has just been a blast seeing all the people,” she said.
Judges ranked the seven participants today in how they did showing a dog, rabbit, chicken and miniature horse. The dog and miniature horse tested their showmanship skills, while the rabbit and chicken were more knowledge based.
“You just give it your all — you can’t win unless you have confidence in yourself,” Audrey said.
Kaitlin Johnson shows a miniature horse and is judged by Nicole Dabney. Kaitlin was the reserve grand master showman. She qualified after winning the dog showmanship competition earlier int he week.
Carissa Klossner keeps her eyes on the judge and smiles while showing a miniature horse. She qualified for the event after winning the miniature horse showmanship event.
Zack Albright shows this Border Collie during the competition. He qualified for the event as the reserve master showman for rabbits.
Amber Kiefer shows this miniature horse. She was the reserve master showman for dogs.
Jacques Gregoire puts this chicken back in a cage after answering questions from judge David Gerling. Jacques qualified for today’s grand master showmanship after earning master showman for rabbits and reserve showman for poultry.
Grace Goodrich leads the Border Collie around the ring. She qualified after earning reserve showman for miniature horses.
Making it two wins in as many days, the Niagara Orleans American Legion baseball team posted a 9-3 victory over host Lakeview today.
Brian Fry had a home run, AJ Seefeldt a double, Andrew Stillinger 4 hits including a double and Vinny Mauro 3 hits including a pair of doubles to spearhead the N-O attack.
Now at 6-2, the N-O squad will continue a busy weekend by hosting Iroquois at Vets Park at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Photos by Tom Rivers
KNOWLESVILLE – Kaylee Nesbitt, 17, of Lyndonville is presented with the grand master showman trophy after winning the competition on Friday evening.
The grand master showman title is one of the most prestigious at the fair. The competition features the master showman in nine different animals: horse Western, horse English, dairy goat, meat goat, sheep, swine, llama, dairy cattle and beef cattle.
Kaylee qualified for beef. This was her third time in the competition. She also shows horses in the Western events.
Kaylee said the grand master showmen is a difficult test, with each master showman having to show all the animals. The master showmen learn from each other and other 4-Hers with experience in the animals.
“You ask a lot of questions of people who have done it before,” she said.
Kaylee is planning to major in animal sciences this fall at SUNY Cobleskill. She would like to eventually be a large animal veterinarian.
These master showmen lead dairy goats in the show ring in front of judge Alecia Spoth. The front three from left include Kaitlin Bennett, Kaylee Nesbitt and Meganne Moore.
Spoth, the judge, said Kaylee Nesbitt maintained an overall composure with all of the animals, keeping eye contact with the judge and was in control of the livestock.
Spoth said she was impressed with all the master showmen, who demonstrated an expansive knowledge of the animals.
The master showmen included:
- Kaitlin Bennett, 12, of Barre, representing dairy cows
- Kaylee Nesbitt, 17, of Lyndonville, representing beef cattle
- Meganne Moore, 15, of Albion, representing English horse
- Olivia Kroening, 16, of Medina, representing Western horse
- Brilyn Rebisz, 16, of Bergen, representing dairy goats
- Carter Kuipers, 13, of Byron, representing pigs
- Celes Paratore, 13, of Corfu, representing meat goats
- Danielle Schmidt, 16, of Medina, representing llamas
Carter Kuipers was the reserve master showman. Here he is guiding a pig in the show ring.
Brilyn Rebisz leads a llama in the ring. Some of the animals were led by halter or with bare hands.
Olivia Kroening keeps a sheep under control. The master showmen needed to be nimble in the ring and respond to sudden movements from the animals.
Kaylee Nesbitt, left, and Meganne Moore keep tabs on the pigs they were showing in the grand master showmen competition, which lasted more than two hours and featured nine different types of animals. Judge Alicia Spoth is at right.
Celes Paratore walks a steer around the show ring. The beef animal gave her some fits with unpredictable jumps and uncooperativeness.
Daily Feature: United States National Guard and US Air Force interactive exhibits.
Party Animals Exotic Animal Petting Zoo – All Day
Click here to see a short video of the fireworks finale on Friday night.
9 a.m. – Senior Council Stand Opens
9 a.m. – Gymkhana Horse Show at Carlos Marcello Arena
10:30 a.m. – Cat Show at Show Arena
11:10 a.m. – “Iron Chef” 4-H Youth Cooking Contest Startsat Orleans Hub Stage
10 a.m. – Paid admission begins and free public parking opens at Wood and Taylor Hill Road Parking Lots; Buildings open to the public
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Synchronistic Psychic Services with Free Rune Readings at Lartz Building
12 p.m. – Leader’s Pie Stand Opens at Davis Building
12 p.m. – Small Animal Grandmaster Showman at Wachob Building area
12:10 p.m. – “Iron Chef” 4-H Youth Contest Judgingat Orleans Hub Stage
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. – OCALS children’s book give-away and free activity at Lartz Building
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. – WNY PRISM, invasive species experts at Lartz Building
1 p.m. – Registration Ends for Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull at Fair Office
1 to 5 p.m. – Main Event Amusements $20 Unlimited Ride Wristband (Tickets purchased this block good 1 to 5 p.m. only) at Midway
1:30 p.m. – Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull near JCH of Buffalo Tent
4 p.m. – Awards Ceremony and Crowning of the Fair Royalty at Curtis Pavilion
4:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carving at Log Cabin Lawn
5 p.m. – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Ag stories with Orleans County Libraries (Community Free Library) at Cattle Barn
6 to 10 p.m. – Main Event Amusements $20 Unlimited Ride Wristband (Tickets purchased this block good 6 to 10 p.m. only) at Midway
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Live Music: Highway 31 at Orleans Hub Stage
6:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carvingat Log Cabin Lawn
6:30 p.m. – Market Auction Preview and Receptionat Show Plex
7 p.m. – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn
7 p.m. – Orleans County 4-H Market Auction at Show Plex
8:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carvingat Log Cabin Lawn
9 p.m. – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn
9:30 p.m. – Hay Bale Rolling Contest – Teams of 1-2, ages 16 and up. Register at the fair office by 9:20 p.m. – Adjacent the Carlos Marcello Horse Arena
10 p.m. – Hay Bale Rolling Contest – Winners only championship round. Adjacent the Carlos Marcello Horse Arena
10 p.m. – Buildings Close
The team of Ian Wagner and Jake Harris took top honors at the annual Shelridge Open Golf Tournament last weekend.
Wagner and Harris captured the tournament title by winning on the third hole of a shootout involving the four flight leaders.
Wagner and Harris led the 34 team tournament field after the first day with a round of 63 one better than the teams of Dave Bellucci /Tom Morien and Dave Wayne/Mark Rydza.
The winners in each of the four flights were as follows:
Tee Flight – Charlie Kudel/Ryan Winchip (130), Alex Misiti/Bruce Foley (131), Jeff Moran/Jim Strumpf (134).
Decker Flight – Tim Parker/Randy Parker (133), Dennis Higgins/Lynn Evans (134), Mark Gortzig/John Pietrobini (134).
Misiti Flight – Rick Eberhart/Rick Rodgers (132), Dave Bellucci/Tom Morien (134), Butch Stupnick/David Stupnick (134).
Neuman Flight – Ken Haak/Tim Kowalski (132), Mike Krupa/Tim Fox (135), Conrad Walters/Conrad Walters (136), Josh Bennett/Scott Budde (136).
Erupting for five quick runs in the first inning, the Niagara-Orleans American Legion team went on to defeat the Griffs from Buffalo 10-3 this evening at Vets Park.
Two-run doubles by AJ Seefeldt and Vinny Mauro highlighted the decisive opening inning uprising.
The N-O boosted its advantage to 7-0 in the third inning on a two-run single by Liam McMurray.
The Griffs did cut the deficit to 7-3 by scoring twice in the fifth on three hits and a sacrifice fly and once in the sixth on a walk and a fielder choice play, but would get no closer.
The N-O got those runs right back by scoring three times in the home half of the sixth on RBI singles by Mauro and David Belsito and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Stillinger.
Chris Goyette picked up the win on the mound scattering 6 hits and striking out 8 in six innings of work.
Improving to 5-2, the N-O squad next faces Lakview on Saturday and will then host Iroquois at 10 a.m. Sunday at Vets Park,
Medina will apply again for $10 million for series of projects
MEDINA – The Village of Medina has a better chance of landing a $10 million grant as part of state Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
That’s because the state has doubled the funding, from $100 to $200 million for 10 regions in the state. In the first four DRI rounds, the state picked one winner from each of the 10 regions for $100 total.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will be allocating $20 million for each region, with either two $10 million winners or one $20 million recipient.
The communities have until Sept. 15 to submit an application. Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said the village will be trying again for the $10 million and is working with Bergmann, a Rochester engineering and architectural firm, and a local committee to identify projects.
Sidari said he expects there will be some changes from the previous application, including some new projects that may be added. The village’s application also should be strengthened by several recent additions to the downtown, including the completion of the Bent’s Opera House, an expansion at the Zambistro restaurant, several new murals and other projects in the downtown. The state wants to direct the $10 million to villages or cities with momentum in their downtowns.
“We’re marking the Downtown Revitalization Initiative’s fifth year by doubling down on our commitment to help reimagine communities across the state, especially as we prepare for a post-pandemic future,” Cuomo said in a recent announcement. “The DRI is a cornerstone of New York’s comprehensive economic development strategy to drive investment and job creation in downtowns across the state. Our investments will support new and existing businesses, drive new mixed-use developments and bolster the arts and cultural venues to help attract residents and visitors for years to come.”
Medina was one of five finalists in 2019. That makes Sidari think the community already has a strong case for the funding.
Medina missed out to Seneca Falls in the Finger Lakes Region two years ago. The DRI wasn;t offered last year. Previous $10 million grant winners in the Finger Lakes region include the City of Geneva in 2016, the City of Batavia in 2017, the Village of Penn Yan in 2018 and Seneca Falls in 2019.
Applications for DRI Round 5 are available on the DRI website (click here). All applications should be submitted with a $10 million award in mind but may indicate that they would also like to be considered for a $20 million award, Cuomo said in a news release.
As with past DRI rounds, each selected community needs to develop a strategic plan with a vision for the revitalization of its downtown and identifies a list of signature projects that have the potential to transform the downtown. DRI funds will then be awarded for selected projects that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community’s vision for the downtown, Cuomo said.
Medina’s application from 2019 listed the following projects to be considered for DRI funding:
- Streetscape Improvements at an estimated $1 million in DRI funding.
- Rail with Trail, a multi-use trail along the Medina Railroad from the museum to Main Street, at an estimated DRI funding request of $200,000.
- The Canal Village Farmer’s Market would become a year-round market with a community kitchen, distillery and event space as part of a $3 million project, with $2.8 million in DRI funding.
- Canal Basin Park – Improved waterfront access and amenities at the Canal Basin Park for $2 million, to be funded with the DRI.
- State Street Park – enhanced programming to make the park a year-round recreational destination, with an ice skating rink, enhanced lighting, boat tie-ups, benches and bicycle racks, and a construction of a nature trail at a $600,000 cost, with the DRI funding $500,000.
- Lions Park Boater Access – The village seeks $250,000 for the DRI to install boat tie-ups and docking facilities at the Lions Park near the Route 63 lift bridge.
- Medina Falls Overlook – The village wants to better utilize the Medina waterfalls by adding a viewing platform and overlook off the Erie Canalway Trail, near the Horan Road Bridge. The project would cost an estimated $1.9 million with the DRI funding $1.5 million.
- Wayfinding Signage – Install a cohesive and well-branded system of wayfinding and directional signs at a cost of $200,000 with the DRI funding $150,000.
- Small Grant Fund – This fund will support economic-development related activities through the distribution of small grants to local businesses and investors. Medina would like a $900,000 fund with the DRI paying $600,000.
- Mustang City: Adaptive Reuse of the old Medina High School – A $9 million project with the DRI request at $3 million.
- Snappy’s Mixed-Use Development: This project at $1.8 million includes a $1 million DRI request. It would redevelop the Snappy facility on Commercial Street by the Erie Canal into a mixed-use commercial and residential space. The property could be redeveloped with the first floor for commercial uses and the second floor for residential.
ALBION – Luci Welch, director of the Orleans County Probation Department, has been elected by her peers that lead probation departments around the state to serve as president of the New York State Council of Probation Administrators (COPA).
Welch was presented with a “special recognition award” on Wednesday by the County Legislature for her leadership in the state-wide association.
“You have added great value to the New York State Probation Council and the Orleans County Probation Department through your endeavor assisting justice-involved individuals,” the citation reads from the Legislature. “Your continued dedication to the Public Safety of the people of Orleans County will forever be widespread, long lasting and extremely appreciated. The Orleans County Legislature does hereby commend you for your passion and dedication to our Orleans County residents.”
The County Legislature also presented Welch and two probation officers with a proclamation recognizing July 18-24 as “Pre-Trial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week.”
Legislators said the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the services provided by these essential workers at probation.
“During these times of uncertainty, change, and unrest, Probation Professionals provide essential public services that our communities depend on,” legislators said in the proclamation. “Even as their roles expand and change, Probation Professionals help offenders rehabilitate and keep the public safe.”
Probation workers connect individuals on probation to drug and alcohol counseling, mental health assistance, job training, and other services.
The probation staff perform “an array of law enforcement work, including the supervision of a wide range of offenses involving both adults and juvenile offenders, from DWI cases to sex offenses to domestic abuse,” legislators said.
The probation workers “continue to perform this public service even as the Covid¬19 pandemic has added many complications for probation officers to supervise and made their jobs more difficult,” legislators stated in the proclamation.
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will administer nearly $1.1 billion in federal funding directly to child care providers to help stabilize the industry and enable more parents to return to the workplace fulltime.
The funding – available through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act – represents the largest single investment in child care in New York State history. It will provide direct support to child care programs and help replenish losses experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services will manage the grant funding. Funding applications will open Wednesday, August 4. Today’s announcement gives child care providers time to prepare and gather relevant materials needed for their application.
“Stabilizing the child care industry is critical to New York’s economic rebirth,” Governor Cuomo said. “Many child care providers struggled to stay open throughout the pandemic as parents stayed home with their children. This monumental investment – the largest single investment in child care in our state’s history – will allow these programs to continue providing essential services and enable more parents to return to the workplace full time.”
Lt. Governor and Child Care Availability Task Force Co-Chair Kathy Hochul said, “We can’t have a full economic recovery without boosting affordable and quality child care services for New York families, particularly working women who have been disproportionately set back by the pandemic. This funding provides critical support for child care providers who have suffered during the pandemic. Child care workers have courageously showed up to allow frontline workers to go to work, and we need to have their back now more than ever.”
Eligible providers include OCFS-licensed or registered programs, permitted New York City day care centers and legally exempt group programs that are enrolled with an enrollment agency. To be eligible, the programs must have been open and serving children in person as of March 11, 2021 and open and available to provide in-person services on the date they apply for the grant.
This includes child care providers that are open and staffed to provide in-person care even if there are no children currently enrolled. Programs that are not providing services on the date of application may also be eligible for this grant if the program closed temporarily due to public health, financial hardship, or other reasons relating to the Covid-19, and attest that they will begin serving children within a specified timeframe.
OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, “The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the critical role child care plays in supporting children, families and businesses. Throughout the pandemic, some child care programs remained open to serve the families of essential workers who could not stay home. As more people return to work, child care is foundational to reopening our state’s economy.”
OCFS will award more than $10 million in technical assistance funds to 35 child care resource and referral agencies and other key stakeholders to support child care providers in accessing and implementing the stabilization grants.
Now that it’s here, the CDC has established that the new Covid variant spreads rapidly and vaccinated people can spread it and it more lethal.
What we now know is that the failure to vaccinate increases the odds of the development of vaccine resistant strains.
If you look at maps of the country about Covid, Orleans stands out in Western New York as a danger zone due to a lower vaccination rate.
Friends, it is time to mask up again.
Conrad F. Cropsey
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5363/A.5156) designating baseball as the official sport of the state of New York. This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport.
“Growing up a Queens boy, a love of baseball was instilled at an early age. From the ’69 and ’86 Amazin’ Mets to 27 world championships by the Yankees and even having been the home of the Dodgers with Jackie Robinson and the Giants, New York is steeped in an expansive and diverse past with our great national past time,” Governor Cuomo said. “The fervor of the sport is as reflective of our great state as a sport can be, bringing together diverse crowds for the love of the game. New York is the birthplace of baseball and I’m proud to finally make it our official state sport.”
Not only is New York home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown where Abner Doubleday is said to have created the sport, it has been home to four of the most popular franchises in the sport – the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, as well as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers which moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, in 1957.
Despite the loss of the Giants and Dodgers, no other state has been home to more World Series titles than New York, with the Yankees winning 27 (1923, ’27, ’28, ’32, ’36, ’37, ’38, ’39, ’41, ’43, ’47, ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’56, ’58, ’61, ’62, ’77, ’78, ’96, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’09), and the Mets winning two (1969, ’86), along with the Giants winning five (1905, ’21, ’22, ’33, ’54) and the Dodgers winning one (1955) prior to their moves to the west coast. The Yankees were also ranked by Forbes in 2021 as being the world’s second-most valuable professional sports franchise, with an estimated value of $5.25 billion.
These teams also have a large presence in the Hall of Fame itself – 59 of the 333 Hall of Famers all primarily played for New York teams. Additionally, while they did not necessarily play for New York-based teams, 33 of the 333 inductees were born in the Empire State.
As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.
Senator Peter Oberacker said, “Baseball is known as our national past time, but the game has deep roots and a rich history here in New York State. Fans from around the globe flock to Cooperstown, in my senate district, to celebrate the game at the storied National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and we have teams of all levels – the Mets and Yankees, countless college, high school, and Little League teams – proving that New York State’s connection to baseball is undeniable. My special thanks to Anne Reis and her students at Cooperstown Elementary who researched the impact of baseball on our state and developed the idea for this legislation. As a former high school and college player, I learned great life lessons on the baseball diamond and those same messages of teamwork, tradition, and dedication are still being taught today. Formally recognizing baseball as New York’s official state sport is a homerun.”
Assembly Member Michael Benedetto said, “Baseball is the perfect sport to represent New York. It emphasizes teamwork and sacrifice, two principle concepts that are important during a child’s development. Everyone pulling together for the team, in essence, is a metaphor for real life – everyone working together as one, for the betterment of the community.”
KNOWLESVILLE – The karaoke finals again proved a big crowd magnet at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. There were about 300 to 400 people who watched the event, plus many more who stayed for portions of the competition.
The top five singers from qualifying rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday advanced to Thursday’s finale.
Tyler Thomas, 28, of Medina won first prize and $500 for his performance of “Blue Suede Shoes.” Thomas, a professional deejay, entertained the crowd with his dancing, singing and exuberance to the famous song by Elvis Presley. Thomas even performed a back flip during his routine.
Thomas said he grew up an Elvis fan, listening to the music with his grandfather. On Monday, Thomas sang karaoke for the first time in public.
“I just wanted to make people smile,” he said. “At this time in my life, the point is not to judge a book by its cover. We should live, laugh and love.”
Samuel Robinson, left, of Albion was a crowd favorite with his performance of “Rock The Dance Floor.” He was fifth and won $50. William Grimble of Albion was fourth overall and won $75 for his performance of “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” which was made famous by Billy Joel.
Susan Kehal of Batavia sings “Me And Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. Kehal works as a nurse during her professional career. She also enjoys singing. She has been performing since she was 13.
“Anywhere there is music, I want to be there,” she said. “Music it heals just like with nursing.”
She liked the vibe among the performers and the crowd at the karaoke competition. She said it was very supportive and encouraging.
“I love to see people up on stage,” Kehal said. “They’re so brave to get up there.”
Melissa Shiels (left), a Hilton native who now lives in Ireland, performs “Satisfied” from the Hamilton musical. Layna Viloria, 19, of Medina sings “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.
Viloria has been performing karaoke at the fair since she was 9. “It brings everybody together,” she said about the event.
Rich Nolan, who has twice won the karaoke competition in the past, provided a warmup for the crowd, singing Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”
Tiffany Poynter (left), 21, of Medina sings “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Brilyn Rebisz, 16, of Bergen sings “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Brilyn also is a 4-Her showing animals in the livestock events.
The Lyndonville Lions Club held its 46th Annual Independence Day Celebration on Sunday, July 4th. The fireworks display, which culminated the festivities, has become one of the largest shows in all of Western New York.
This display each year is by far the greatest expense for the Lions Club on this day. It is only due to the response and support of area businesses, organizations and the general public that a show of this magnitude is possible.
I would like to extend a sincere thank you to each of the over 40 businesses and organizations that made donations toward this year’s show. In addition, thanks to all those people who gave donations, who placed money in our Independence Day Firecracker Cans and who dropped money in the firecracker barrels on the school grounds.
After having to cancel last year’s celebration, this year’s celebration/display was a huge step in returning to “normal.”
Again, without the tremendous community-minded support of each and every one of you, a display such as this would not be possible. With your continued support, I hope that displays like this may continue for many years to come.
Lyndonville Lions Club
4th of July Fireworks Fundraising Chairman
Press Release, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
WATERFORD – Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is calling for entries for its 15th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest.
Images should convey the unique character of New York’s canals and canal communities. Entries must be postmarked by August 27, 2021. Winning photos will be featured in the 2022 Erie Canalway calendar.
Images will be judged in four contest categories: On the Water, Along the Trail, Canal Communities, and Classic Canal. Judges will select first, second, and third place winning images in each category, as well as 12 honorable mentions. Images must be landscape (horizontal) format.
Submitted images must be taken within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, which spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York. It encompasses the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities.
Download official contest rules and an entry form by clicking here.