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Month: November 2016

Fredonia matmen down Barker/Roy-Hart

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2016 at 10:26 pm

Perennial Section VI wrestling power Fredonia downed visiting Barker/Roy-Hart 48-30 this evening in a season opening non league match.

Tyler Choate (152), Murphy Lang (170), Karson Grover (195) and Nick Fazzolari (220) all registered pin victories for Barker/Roy-Hart.

Barker/Roy-Hart next competes in the Sweet Home Duals this weekend.

Kendall girls top Holley in tourney semi

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2016 at 10:19 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall’s Lyndsay Wright comes up with a rebound in a crowd which includes the Holley duo of Kayla Wilson (34) and Madison Day (12) and Kendall’s Emily Mattle (21). The action took place during the host Lady Eagles tournament win over the Lady Hawks this evening.


Taylor ReQua puts up a shot for Kendall.

Jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead at the outset, the host Lady Eagles went on to defeat rival Holley 52-19 this evening in the opening round of the Kendall Tournament.

Lyndsay Wright had two baskets, Lizze Rath a bucket and two free throws and Taylor ReQua a basket to spark Kendall out to the early lead.

Up 10-4 after one period, Kendall extended its lead to 25-7 at the half as six players contributed baskets in the second quarter.

The Lady Eagles advantage soared to 40-9 after three quarters as ReQua had two threes, Daniele Volkmar one and Rath two baskets in the third period.

ReQua finished with a game high 15 poitns as Rath netted 12, Volkmar 9, Wright 6, Lizzie Sutphen 4 and Kacey Menge, Rachael Bukutis and Emily Mattle 2 each.

Angela Weaver had 6, Kassandra Norman 4, Delilah Grathouse 3 and Madison Day, Kayla Wilson and Hayley Rowley 2 each for Holley.

Kendall will now face Medina in the championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday while Holley will take on Northeast of Rochester at 2 p.m. in the consolation game. Medina bested Northeast 45-27 in the other semi.


Holley’s Madison Marsh looks to drive against Kendall’s Lyndsay Wright.

Mustangs romp in tournament opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2016 at 10:12 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Molley Gross puts up a shot over Northeast defender Gabrielle Lucas during the Mustangs Kendall Tournament semifinal round win this evening.


Medina’s Maddie Williams drives by Northeast’s Regina Harley-Hazzard.

Leading from wire to wire, Medina romped to a 45-27 victory over Northeast High of Rochester this evening in the season opening semifinal round of the Kendall Tournament.

Je’ne Brown took game high scoring honors for the Mustangs with 18 points as Maddie Williams added 9, Kayla Cuadra 5, Maddie Winters and Molley Gross 4, Emily Kams 3 and Faith Hennings 2.

Gabrielle Lucas led Northeast with 13.

A three and a jumper by Williams ignited a 9-0 scoring run at the outset for the Mustangs which also included two free throws by Brown and a jumper by Gross.

Medina maintained a 16-8 lead at the end of the period as Brown had a layup and a jumper and Williams another three to close the stanza.

Medina went on to hold leads of 20-8 at the half and 38-15 at the three-quarter mark as Brown scored 11 in the third period. The Mustangs advantage soared to as many as 28, 43-15, early in the final period.

Medina next faces Kendall , which downed Holley 52-19 in the other semi, in the championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Collins sees many positives for WNY with new federal medical innovation legislation

Posted 30 November 2016 at 9:26 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) today is hailing the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, landmark medical innovation legislation that will directly benefit the lives of Western New Yorkers.

The legislation includes $6.3 billion to help accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments and provides new funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Health Subcommittee, Congressman Collins was able to play a direct role in the creation of the legislation. He weighed in on key elements of the bill including the inclusion of measures to fight the opioid crisis, which has devastated Western New York, and helped to secure additional funding for the NIH, which will help fund research at places like Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

“This bipartisan legislation incentivizes innovation to defeat disease, and most importantly gets cures to the patients who need them most,” said Congressman Collins. “The 21st Century Cures Act provides the health care industry with the ability to help the thousands of Western New Yorkers impacted by deadly diseases by creating the life-saving cures those patients need.”

Congressman Collins specifically authored the following provisions included in the legislation:

• Section 3021, which encourages the broader application of innovative clinical trial designs, including the use of Bayesian statistics and adaptive trials, to enhance and accelerate effective clinical trials. These changes to the way the FDA approves clinical trial designs will help unleash new, groundbreaking therapies by allowing researchers to efficiently change their trials to meet the individual responses of their participants.

• Section 3071 will expedite and improve the drug approval process by increasing the number of senior biomedical researchers the FDA is allowed to hire and also making the salary of those individuals more competitive with private industry. This will help ensure that our best and brightest scientists will remain with the FDA to review and approve drug applications, and get cures to patients more quickly.

• Section 9023, in collaboration with Congressman Joe Courtney, which allows child and adolescent psychiatrists to participate in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. This will incentivize these subspecialists to begin their practices in underserved areas, like those in rural Western New York.

• Section 5006, in collaboration with Congressman Paul Tonko, which includes the House-passed Medicaid DOC Act, which requires states operating a fee-for-service or primary care case-management system of Medicaid to publish an online directory of those physicians who have billed Medicaid in the past year and whether those physicians are accepting new patients.

“I am proud to have had a role in crafting this landmark legislation,” continued Congressman Collins. “Ensuring medical innovators have the funding and ability to do their jobs is crucial to helping the millions of Americans struggling with incurable diseases. This legislation has the ability to change people’s lives, and I could not be more excited about its passage.”

The 21st Century Cures Act will:

• Provide $1 billion in grants to states to address the opioid crisis, which is critical to Western New York.

• Addresses the country’s mental health crisis and help the one out of five adult Americans suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders receive the care they need.

• Provide $4.8 billion to National Institutes of Health, including: $1.4 billion for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into the genetic, lifestyle and environmental variations of disease; $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” to speed research; and $1.6 billion for the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s and speed diagnosis and treatment.

• Help bring drugs and devices to market more quickly and at less cost by making needed reforms to the FDA, including: expedited review for breakthrough devices, increased patient involvement in the drug approval process, a streamlined review process for combination products that are both a drug and device, and freedom from red tape for software like fitbit or calorie counting apps.

• Provide $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration.

The legislation will now move to the Senate, where it will need to pass before heading to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law. It’s expected to be brought to the Senate for a vote before the end of the year.

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Pride Pak celebrates opening of new facility in Medina

Photos by Tom Rivers: Members of the Karr family cut the ribbon this afternoon for Pride Pak’s new 68,000-square-foot vegetable processing and packaging plant in Medina. Steve Karr, fourth from left, is the company president and founder. He is pictured with his children, from left: Jennifer Pappas, quality director; Angelo Karr, vice president; Steve Karr’s wife Elsie (in back); Steve Karr; Greg Karr, vice president of procurement; and State Sen. Robert Ortt.

Posted 30 November 2016 at 8:36 pm

Press Release, Empire State Development

MEDINA – Empire State Development announced today that Pride Pak, Inc. has opened the doors on its new 68,000 square-foot facility on 13 acres in the Medina Business Park.

Pride Pak, Canada’s largest fresh fruit and vegetable processor, will ultimately invest up to $30 million on the state-of-the-art complex in Orleans County in order to be closer to its U.S. customers. The company has committed to creating 200 new jobs at the site. The Governor announced Pride Pak’s plan to build in the Finger Lakes region last November.

The new Pride Pak is pictured in the evening last month. The site currently has 40 workers and could reach 200 when the the company is at full build-out with two more buildings.

The new Pride Pak is pictured in the evening last month. The site currently has 40 workers and could reach 200 when the the company is at full build-out with two more buildings.

In 1984, CEO Steven Karr started Pride Pak Canada, Ltd. in an effort to service what he saw as Canada’s growing demand for high quality, easy to use fresh food. Expansion in to Newfoundland in 2006 established Pride Pak as the industry leader in the value-added produce industry. The company’s long-standing relationship with Wegmans Food Markets was the stimulus for Pride Pak’s move to the U.S.

Pride Pak CEO Steven Karr said, “We are very much looking forward to this next chapter with our partners at Wegmans. The cooperation we have received from the state has been tremendous and I cannot emphasize enough the value of doing business in Orleans County and the Finger Lakes where they are very welcoming to new business.”

As the industry leader in organic and conventional value-added produce processing, Pride Pak Canada currently exports 35 percent of its product to the U.S. All of Pride Pak’s produce is packed fresh, not frozen. They provide fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and specialty salad blends to food service operations and retail establishments, including Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman said, “Wegmans is completely committed to supporting agriculture and food production partnerships like this one in an effort to grow jobs. The agriculture and food production industry is a key driver of our regional economy. The new Pride Pak facility will help create opportunities for farmers, and will create food production jobs in our region, thus helping to shape the food industry here and helping to ensure its vitality for years to come.”

Phase One of Pride Pak’s Medina operation will be dedicated to the production of organic baby salad green blends, expressly for Wegmans. Karr says Phases Two and Three will include the addition of conventional fruit and vegetable processing, with the company sourcing carrots and other root vegetables from local farm operations.

When fully operational, Pride Pak expects about 45 truckloads of produce each month. The organic vegetable by- product, about 220 tons monthly, will be delivered to local livestock farms and used as animal feed and fertilizer.

Steven Carr, company founder and CEO, addresses about 300 people who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and then celebration inside.

Steven Karr, company founder and CEO, addresses about 300 people who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and then celebration inside.

Canada’s largest fruit and vegetable processor chose to locate their U.S. headquarters in the Finger Lakes region thanks to Governor Cuomo’s emphasis on Upstate revitalization through the Finger Lakes Forward strategic plan and through other local support efforts. Empire State Development, provided up to $2 million in Excelsior tax credits in return for job commitments to move the project forward.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Pride Pak is a highly successful international company and their decision to grow its operations in New York State is a tribute to the concrete economic opportunities available here for companies looking to take their business to the next level. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has significantly improved the business climate, resulting in job creation in turn which fuels economic opportunities.”

The New York Power Authority also provided an allocation of low-cost hydropower to Pride Pak in return for job and capital investment commitments. The Town of Shelby also received a $750,000 award from the New York State Office of Community Renewal to assist Pride Pak.

James S. Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “HCR’s award of Community Development Block Grant funds will be used for machinery and equipment, and will create 80 jobs for working families. This is another example of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and encourage innovative businesses like Pride Pak to expand operations in New York.”

State Senator Rob Ortt said, “The new Pride Pak facility is an impressive addition to Orleans County and the entire region. Pride Pak has been making a positive impact on communities, employees and consumers in Canada for over 20 years and we are happy they chose to make Medina and Orleans County their home in the U.S.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “I am passionate about local economic development and ushering in new businesses to our area, and it is exciting to see such a large company that directly supports Western New York’s agriculture industry begin operation here in my Assembly District. Pride Pak is an amazing company with a great reputation and its development aims to bring hundreds of jobs, fresh produce to support our local retail industry, and recycled material for our farmers. I am proud to have worked with New York State Economic Development and local leaders to see this project through, and I have faith that investments like these will attract other businesses to set up and expand in our state.”

Dave Callard, Chairman of the Orleans County Legislature said, “All of us here in Orleans County are so very excited about the commitment being made by Pride Pak and their beautiful newly constructed facility.  Our team continues to work very hard to develop the kind of business friendly environment needed to attract great companies like Pride Pak to our community.  This is an excellent opportunity for a wonderful long term partnership with Mr. Karr and his team.”

Mike Sidari, Mayor of the Village of Medina said, “Pride Pak has already become an extraordinary corporate citizen and valued member of our community. We take pride in the fact that the Village of Medina is always welcoming to new businesses and that Pride Pak has chosen Medina for its new corporate headquarters in the United States.”

Pride Pak is currently accepting job applications and those interested can apply directly at Pride Pak or through the Orleans Center for Workforce Development in Orleans County.

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Farmers’ Market in Medina will go into winter

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2016 at 2:13 pm


Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Ken and Rose Baker from Baker Farms in Medina, right, are pictured on Saturday with Kari Kasmier, a  beekeeper who sells honey.

The Canal Village Farmers’ Market expected to call it a season at the end of October. But many vendors still have vegetables, beef, honey and other products from the farm.

So the farmers’ market is staying open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for the vendors who appreciate the extended season.

“This is the only one that I know of that is staying open in the winter,” said vendor Jo Marie Human of Human Farms and Greenhouses in Appleton.

She was selling wreaths, potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and other vegetables n Saturday.

“We’ll keep coming until it freezes,” she said.


Jo Marie Human has wreaths and vegetables for sale at the farmers’ market.

The farmers’ market is at the old Bank of America drive-thru and parking lot, across from the Post Office on West Center Street. SK Herefords is selling beef products inside the former bank building.

Dawn Keppler of SK said the farm will be at the market every Saturday during the winter except for the month of January.

The market had at least five vendors each Saturday in November. This Saturday will include one new one: Nice Farms from Knowlesville.

Ken Baker of Medina is happy the market is staying open.

“We want to keep up our customer base,” said Baker, who had bacon, eggs, garlic, garlic powder and other products for sale on Saturday.

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Former Medina assistant principal cites many positives at district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2016 at 11:41 am
Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Michael Weyrauch, principal at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES in Medina, speaks with community members during a forum on Tuesday evening where residents could ask questions to the finalist for district superintendent.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Michael Weyrauch, principal at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES in Medina, speaks with community members during a forum on Tuesday evening where residents could ask questions to the finalist for district superintendent.

MEDINA – Dr. Michael Weyrauch said kids always come first when running a school district.

He would have a visible presence, greeting students in the morning and afternoon, and keeping student opportunities at the forefront of decision making.

Weyrauch is currently principal at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES in Medina. He works with 640 students from seven school districts. He oversees about 40 staff members and a $5 million budget.

Weyrauch started his career in Medina as a technology teacher 13 years ago.

He moved to administration because he said he wanted to work with more students, and was welcomed by the district to serve as assistant principal at the middle school. He was principal there for four years before going to BOCES to be principal of the education center in Medina.

Not only has Weyrauch been accountable to 2 bosses at BOCES, but he also has worked closely with the superintendents at the seven districts.

“I have a ton of experience at BOCES that I never would have had in a traditional school setting,” he said on Tuesday when he was interviewed as one of three finalists for Medina’s school superintendent.

Weyrauch earned his administration certification from Brockport State College before earning his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Rochester.

Weyrauch met with teachers, administrators, students and other district stakeholders on Tuesday. He was impressed by the level of commitment by everyone towards the district’s success.

“The students are extremely proud and push themselves to meet the expectations of their teachers,” Weyrauch said at an evening community forum.

He believes in the pursuit of excellence, and preparing students for life after high school, whether in trades, college, the military – whatever the next step may be.

At BOCES, he has brought in numerous career professionals to connect with students, and has pushed for the latest in technology for students and teachers to meet or exceed industry standards.

Weyrauch said a district can’t “give everyone what they want,” but he said with long-term planning a district can stay at the forefront of technology and resources without overburdening the taxpayers.

The superintendent candidate praised the district for recent gains in student achievement, especially with high school Regents. The scores in grades 3 through 8 seem to be at a plateau, Weyrauch said. However, the opt-out movement for standardized tests has left the district without a full sample for a student assessment. He wants to see more data to determine student progress, and then plan for how the district can help students who are struggling to meet standards.

Weyrauch told community members that he would work in collaboration with the Board of Education, teachers, staff and parents.

“You need that supportive mindset that it’s a family with a lot of children,” he said.

He favors the shared services arrangement with Lyndonville, where Lyndonville students play on Medina football and boys soccer teams as well as other shared athletics, and Medina students are part of Lyndonville’s school musical.

Weyrauch also said he would push for improved communication from the district to the community, through social media, the district website and local media, including the Orleans Hub and The Daily News in Batavia.

The district is meeting with the three superintendent finalists this week.

Stephen Lunden, the assistant superintendent at Maryvale, met with school stakeholders on Monday. Dr. Aaron Slack, principal of Lyndonville High School, will meet with several district groups today, including a community forum at 6 p.m. at the district office.

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Kendall Elementary students perform ‘Aladdin Kids’

Provided photo: Kendall Elementary students perform a dance during their production of “Aladdin Kids.”

Posted 30 November 2016 at 11:03 am
Chris Nettles (Aladdin) and Megan Gates (Jasmine) sing a song together.

Chris Nettles (Aladdin) and Megan Gates (Jasmine) sing a song together.

Press Release, Kendall Central School

KENDALL – The week of Nov. 14 was full of music and dancing in the Kendall Elementary Auditorium as the Kendall Elementary Chorus put on their production of “Aladdin Kids” for their peers and families.

Three performances occurred that week, with students filling the roles of actors, dancers, chorus, stage hands, sound engineers and lighting crew.

The musical was based on the 1992 Disney film “Aladdin” and adapted for a student production on stage.

The Kendall production was directed by Kendall Elementary Music Teacher Jeremy Rath, and many Kendall faculty and staff members and parents helped create the sets, props and costumes.

The students were successful in entertaining their audiences all week. Congratulations to everyone involved on a job well done!


From left, Megan Gates (Jasmine), Seth Pray (Royal Guard), Johnathan Plucknette (Sultan), Jimmie Swift (Royal Guard), Louie Conte (Jafar) and Casey Gardner (Iago) act out a scene from “Aladdin Kids.”


From left, Jimmie Swift (Royal Guard), Casey Gardner (Iago), Louie Conte (Jafar) and Leigha Zugehoer (Genie) act out a scene from “Aladdin Kids.”

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Mustangs have youthful wrestling squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2016 at 7:46 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Leading the Medina wrestling squad into the upcoming season iare these veterans. In front are Cody Crane and Da’John Brown. In back are Colby Petrie, Elijah Sones, Austin Cox and Joe Gates.

Youth and inexperience dot the lineup for the Medina wrestling squad heading into Saturday’s season opening Byron-Bergen Tournament.

Freshman Colby Petrie, who placed first at last year’s Niagara-Orleans League Tournament, and Da’John Brown, the team’s only senior who took a second at the All-League, head the Medina squad which has 9 juniors, 3 sophomore, 6 freshmen and a seventh grader.

“We’re very young and we have very little varsity mat experience,” said Coach Eric Gross. “And again this year our numbers are low.”

The Mustangs roster also includes juniors Da’Ron Bellan, Jacob Bensley, Austin Cox, Alden Cayea, Cody Crane, Joe Gates, Spencer Rotoli, Elijah Sones and Jeremiah Wiseman; sophomores Joel Cruz-Robb, Javier Gomez and Travis Stornelli; freshmen Riley Black, Terry Gauthier, Eric Levan, Lincoln Pace and Travis Wiseman and seventh grader Rashawn Bloom.

The Mustangs will open the N-O season at home on December 7 against Akron.

Medina’s Schedule
Dec. 3 – at Byron-Bergen Tournament
Dec. 7 – Akron, 6 p.m.
Dec. 8 – North Tonawanda, 6 p.m.
Dec. 10 – at Batavia Tournament
Dec. 14 – at Wilson, 6 p.m.
Dec. 19 – at McQuaid, 6 p.m.
Jan. 4 – at Barker/Roy-Hart, 6 p.m.
Jan. 6 ad 7 – at NCCCTournament
Jan. 11 – Albion, 6 p.m.
Jan. 13 and 14 – at Lockport Tournament
Jan. 18 – at Newfane, 6 p.m.
Jan. 21 – N-O All-League Tournament
Jan. 28 – Gary Gross Memorial Tournament

Kendall named to 2016 list of best high schools by U.S. News & World Report

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Kendall Jr./Sr. High School recently received a significant change to its exterior, as well as many interior upgrades.

Posted 29 November 2016 at 10:35 pm

Press Release, Kendall Central School

KENDALL – Kendall Junior/Senior High School was named on the 2016 list of America’s Best High Schools as determined by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the publication’s website, the “2016 Best High Schools rankings awards the top 6,517 public high schools with gold, silver and bronze medals, indicating their level of college readiness.” Schools received these medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. All results were based on data from the 2013-14 school year.

Kendall received a bronze medal for student performance on state exams. Kendall students performed better than the state average on state reading and math proficiency tests, with Kendall’s disadvantaged students also performing better than the state average.

In this evaluation, disadvantaged students were defined as black, Hispanic and low-income. With a total enrollment of 366 students, 12 percent of Kendall students were classified as minorities and 39 percent of all students were classified as economically disadvantaged (eligible for free or reduced-price meals).

Based on state test results, 78 percent of Kendall students were proficient in math and 94 percent were proficient in English. Seventy-seven percent of disadvantaged students were proficient on these exams compared to 83 percent of non-disadvantaged students who were also proficient on these exams.

Kendall graduation rates met or exceeded the national standard. The graduation rate at Kendall was 92 percent. U.S. News & World Report calculated a “College Readiness Index,” based on Kendall students’ participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams. Twenty-three percent of Kendall students participated in an AP course, with most students taking, on average, one AP exam.

For more information on Kendall’s ranking on the U.S. News & World Report list, visit

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