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Month: December 2016

Outstanding Citizens worked for a better community in 2016

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2016 at 10:32 pm

Orleans Hub is pleased to recognize several “Outstanding Citizens” who contribute to making a better community. Many of these residents have been volunteering or serving in community causes for many years.

They do their good deeds for little to no pay, driven by a love for their community and neighbors.

Here are our picks for Outstanding Citizens for 2016:

Medina woman is prolific fundraiser for Alzheimer’s

Nicole Tuohey cuts a chain with “elephant links” representing donations to fight Alzheimer’s Disease. Tuohey typically raises about $1,000 each year for the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.”

Photos by Tom Rivers: Nicole Tuohey cuts a chain with “elephant links” representing donations to fight Alzheimer’s. Tuohey typically raises about $1,000 each year for the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.”

A Medina woman has proven a dedicated fundraiser in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease. Nicole Tuohey, 26, each year sells about 1,000 paper “elephant links” and creates a chain that is used to kick off the annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.”

Nicole has Triple X Syndrome. She hasn’t let that disability prevent her from being a tireless advocate against a disease that took the lives of her grandparents, Don and Jane Bradley.

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating, debilitating the mind and body.

Nicole sells many of the links from her mother’s cookie shop in Medina. Mary Lou Tuohey owns Case-Nic Cookies.

Mary Lou’s father, a former engineer, withered away over 13 years to the point where he couldn’t recognize his four children. Her father died at age 65 from Alzheimer’s. Her mother also fought the disease.

Nicole worries her mother, too, may someday face Alzheimer’s. That is why Nicole pushes so hard to raise money for research.

Leader of East Shelby church dedicated to outreach

Erik Olsen leads a town meeting at West Jackson Corners during a recent “Old Tyme Day.”

Erik Olsen leads a town meeting at West Jackson Corners during a recent “Old Tyme Day.”

Every July for the past 25 years the East Shelby Community Bible Church hosts an “Old Tyme Day” celebration at their church, serving pie, lemonade and hot dogs for a penny. There are horse-drawn rides, candle-making, and other activities with an emphasis on fun – and old-fashioned technology.

About 2,000 to 3,000 people attend Old Tyme Day, a huge crowd for the tiny hamlet in East Shelby once known as West Jackson Corners. Church members have created a mini-village across from the church. That village also draws about 500 to 1,000 people for an old-time Christmas celebration.

The church has been growing ever since Olsen and an initial group of 40 people started the church at a former Methodist Episcopal building in 1989. That church building had been empty for 30 years. The East Shelby Community Bible Church has grown so much – about 275 members – it has put an addition on the building.

Olsen puts an emphasis on the Gospel message, and providing wholesome and fun activities for the community.

“The church has to do more than just have services,” Olsen said. “It has to reach out to the community.”

Kendall principal makes numerous community connections

Carol D’Agostino is pictured in the new lobby of the Kendall Junior-Senior High School, following an extensive capital project this year.

Carol D’Agostino is pictured in the new lobby of the Kendall Junior-Senior High School, following an extensive capital project this year.

Carol D’Agostino is principal of her hometown school, the Kendall Junior-Senior High School. She led the school through a major capital project the past two years and is committed to many community organizations, serving on the boards for the Orleans Economic Development Agency, the Orleans County United Way and the Human Services Council of Orleans County.

D’Agostino serves on the boards, often looking for ideas to bring back to Kendall to improve opportunities for students and the community.

Through the Human Services Council, she met Marc O’Brien, the county’s mental health director. D’Agostino and the school district welcomed a mental health counselor from O’Brien’s staff to have a satellite office at the school district. That way students don’t have to make the trip to the county Mental Health Department building in Albion. D’Agostino said transportation is an issue for many students and their families. Having the satellite site in Kendall also means less time out of classes.

D’Agostino helped start the Kendall Innovations Committee, which brings

D'Agostino is a member of the Lawnchair Ladies.

D’Agostino is a member of the Lawnchair Ladies.

together leaders from the school district, town government and county to brainstorm ways to promote Kendall.

D’Agostino said her position on the EDA showed her the municipal cooperation for the Pride Pak project in medina this past year. The county, Village of Medina, Town of Shelby and state all chipped in to bring in needed infrastructure for the new vegetable processing plant.

In Kendall, the student enrollment is dropping. But D’Agostino said opening up more building lots with infrastructure could draw more families to the town.

“How can we look at opportunities in Kendall to grow Kendall?” she said.

D’Agostino is visible at many community events, and also participates in the Kendall Lawnchair Ladies and the Kendall Corcordia Lutheran Church. Her husband Phil is also a member of the Lions Club and chairman of the Kendall Firemen’s Carnival.

ESL teacher helps students build a better life

Linda Redfield is pictured on July 16 during a surprise party for her by many of her students at the World Life Institute in Waterport.

Linda Redfield is pictured on July 16 during a surprise party for her by many of her students at the World Life Institute in Waterport.

In the past 20-plus years, Linda Redfield has helped about 400 farmworkers learn English. Redfield started going to labor camps in 1994, before a school built by the World Life Institute became the base for classes in 1999.

The school on Stillwater Road offers evening courses in English, as well as computer literacy, pottery and other programs.

Redfield is the driving force behind the educational program. Her students have improved their English, allowing many to get promotions at work and be more active in the community.

Many of her students have earned GEDs. Ten of the students have earned their U.S. citizenship.

“She always encouraged me and said, ‘You can do it,’” said of her students, Gloria Jasso, who planned a surprise party for Redfield on July 16. “She is so special and is just wonderful not only to me but to everybody.”

Redfield is well regarded around the state as an ESL teacher. In 2013, she was honored in Albany as “Teacher of the Year” by the New York State Association of Adult Continuing Education Programs. Five of her students have won “Student of the year” by the association.

Jose Iniguez was one of Redfield’s first English as a Second Language students in 1994, when Redfield went to a labor cap on Densmore Road to teach English to farmworkers.

Iniguez only spoke Spanish at the time. After a long day of work in the fields, Iniguez would study English. Redfield was always patient, always encouraging, Iniguez said. She was also flexible. Farmworkers might not get to the camp until 8 p.m., and Redfield would be ready to help them learn.

Iniguez said learning English helped him to get promoted at the LaMont farm. Today, he is co-owner of Lamont Fruit Farm, a 500-acre farm based down the road from the WLI school.

“She has changed a lot of lives,” Iniguez said at the party for Redfield. “She is the type of person who will almost always never say no. She will extend a hand to anyone.”

Fireworks chairman likes to enliven Lyndonville

Wes Bradley, right, serves as emcee of Lyndonville’s Christmas celebration in early December when Santa arrived and 61 Christmas trees were light up at Veterans’ Park.

Wes Bradley, right, serves as emcee of Lyndonville’s Christmas celebration on Dec. 3 when Santa arrived and 61 Christmas trees were lighted up at Veterans’ Park.

Lyndonville is the place to be on July Fourth with thousands of people flocking to Orleans County tiniest village for one of the biggest fireworks shows in Western New York.

Wes Bradley is chairman of the annual fireworks show and he spends all year raising money on the big show, which tops $20,000. He starts raising money for the fireworks on July 5 and is collecting funds on July 4th during the Independence Day festival in Lyndonville.

Bradley deserves credit for his diligence with the annual spectacle. He also is popular with Young Explosives, the fireworks company, because he brings the crew water and a chicken barbecue. He also stays with them until 2 or 3 in the morning with the cleanup from the fireworks.

Bradley, a retired teacher, is active in the community in many ways, from serving on the Yates Town Board, to 37 years with the Fire Department and serving as finance chairman for the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

He also serves on the Lyndonville Area Foundation Board of Directors, which distributes more than $100,000 a year to community causes.

Bradley also helped start Lyndonville’s annual Christmas celebration in 2013, where residents, businesses or organizations decorate Christmas trees in Veterans’ Park. That has now grown to 61 trees with the community welcoming Santa and singing Christmas carols.

Bradley said many people help pull off the events in Lyndonville. He said he’s happy to be part of all the projects.

“I’m retired and I enjoy being active and helping to make things happen for the community,” he said.

Leader of new ministry shares message of hope

Jack Burris is pictured with the Hands 4 Hope vehicle, “Clifford,” which goes out four Saturdays each month.

Jack Burris is pictured with the Hands 4 Hope vehicle, “Clifford,” which goes out four Saturdays each month.

Jack Burris and a team of volunteers debuted “Clifford” on Jan. 30. The former red delivery truck was transformed into a place for prayers. Burris and the new ministry, Hands 4 Hope, also distribute bags of groceries, about $20 worth per person.

Burris, owner of a cleaning business, felt a calling to start the ministry, which is modelled after the Care-A-Van ministry in  Batavia, which has been operating for 17 years.

Burris and the volunteers are out every Saturday, except the fifth Saturday each month. They are in Holley and Medina once each month, and twice a month in Albion, locating in what Burris said are neighborhoods considered “tough spots.”

They give out about 30 “shares” or bags of food. An anonymous donor has covered most of the cost of the food this year.

Burris and the Hands 4 Hope team welcome people to share prayer requests, and the group is willing to pray – right in the truck. Burris writes down the requests and keeps the people in his prayers.

Burris said the past year has been an eye-opener while also strengthening his faith.

“Unfortunately in Orleans County there is a lot more heartache out there than I thought there was,” Burris said. “There are a lot of people in tough circumstances.”

He estimates Hands 4 Hope has given out about 1,500 shares of food, many coats and other supplies. Hands 4 Hope isn’t a mobile food distribution program.

“We are focused on the ministry and giving hope,” he said. “Many are coming for prayers as much as anything else.”

Renaissance chairman worked to bring famed tenor to Medina

Provided photo: Chris Busch, right, is pictured with Ronan Tynan on Sept. 17. Tynan, one of the biggest names to perform in Orleans County in many years, sang to a capacity crowd at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Provided photo: Chris Busch, right, is pictured with Ronan Tynan on Sept. 17. Tynan, one of the biggest names to perform in Orleans County in many years, sang to a capacity crowd at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Chris Busch isn’t afraid to aim high and reach for the stars. Busch has been an active Medina community member for many years, leading the Tree Board that has helped Medina plant about 1,000 trees in recent years.

Busch is chairman of the Medina Planning Board, insisting on design standards in the historic district that have preserved Main Street’s look as if it was a Norman Rockwell painting. Those standards have attracted investment in the downtown from numerous businesses.

Busch also leads the Orleans Renaissance Group, which strives to bring high-quality entertainment to the county. (The Renaissance Group also runs the farmers’ market in the downtown and is working to restore the Bent’s Opera House.)

The Renaissance Group on Sept. 17 welcomed famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan for a capacity concert of 650 people at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Busch was the point man for Tynan, ensuring the sound and accommodations met Tynan’s standards.

Tynan’s powerful voice filled the church, and he had the audience laughing with some of his stories.

Busch, who works full time as a teacher in Lockport, is an enthusiastic booster of the Medina community. He recently designed the interpretive panels in Medina’s downtown and also pushed for a historical marker in honor of Frederick Douglass’s speeches in Medina in the mid-1800s.

Busch also helped spearhead the first-time Farm-to-Table Dinner event in Medina on Aug. 4 that attracted 137 people for a fine dining experience on a closed off section of Main Street.

These types of dinners are more typical in trendy urban areas, but Medina proved an ideal setting with a vibrant downtown with well-maintained buildings.

Carlton woman compiles mammoth book on local farmers

Holly Ricci-Canham holds a copy of “Mom & Pop Farming in Orleans County, New York – The past brought to life.” She worked two years on the 300-page book, interviewing 150 farmers.

Holly Ricci-Canham holds a copy of “Mom & Pop Farming in Orleans County, New York – The past brought to life.” She worked two years on the 300-page book, interviewing 150 farmers.

Holly Ricci-Canham worked two years on one of the most ambitious local history books in many years. Ricci-Canham interviewed 150 farmers for a 300-page book about “mom and pop” farms. The book includes about 400 photographs and includes reminisces about simple days with lots of hard work.

The farms were part of a close-knit community with neighborhood schools and churches. Ricci-Canham grew up on a “mom and pop” farm in Kenyonville run by her parents, Pete and “Mike” Ricci. They would relocate the fruit and vegetable farm to West Avenue in Albion. Her upbringing on the farm made her want to tell the stories of local farms.

“You see the gigantic farming tractors now, which is so different from the farming I grew up with,” she said earlier this month when the book came out.

The book covers farm operations throughout county with sections about muck farmers, dairies, fruit and vegetable farms, canning companies, migrant labor camps, “ladies accounts,” technology changes as well as country schools, “kids play” and fairs and celebrations.

“Farm people are a deep, kind, loving people,” Ricci-Canham said. “They have an unconditional love of helping each other.”

Bill Lattin, the retired Orleans County historian, wrote the forward of the book, and praised Ricci-Canham for an “invaluable” book of local history.

“These are first-hand accounts relating to a lifestyle which has all but vanished,” Lattin wrote.

Monumental effort nears finish in Medina

Bill Menz has been instrumental in the monument to the soldiers who trained at the former Medina Armory. Menz also led a fund-raising effort for a bronze statue of a solider to go on top of the monument's base.

Bill Menz has been instrumental in the monument to the soldiers who trained at the former Medina Armory. Menz also led a fund-raising effort for a bronze statue of a solider to go on top of the monument’s base.

Bill Menz has been determined the past decade to have a fitting tribute for the Company F men who trained at the Medina Armory. Menz was instrumental in getting a monument erected in 2008.

That stone monument base includes the names of 550 local soldiers who fought in wars on behalf of the United States. The soldiers enlisted and trained at the Medina Armory for conflicts from 1898 to 1945 including the Spanish-American War, Mexican-American, World War I and World War II.

When the monument was dedicated on Oct. 14, 2008, some of the widows and family members of World War II soldiers and other veterans in Company F attended and expressed their appreciation.

Menz didn’t feel the monument was complete. He wanted a bronze statue on top of the base, a statue resembling a young soldier, someone who looks between 18 and 21. That was typical of Company F.

For the past few years Menz has been leading the fund-raising efforts for a 7-foot-high statue.

The Company F Memorial Committee met its $65,000 goal this year, with Menz sending out letters, knocking on doors and making numerous phone calls.

“It just started adding up,” Menz said. “It snowballed and got bigger and bigger.”

There were numerous donations with $10,000 from the VFW in Medina the largest.

The committee is working with artist Brian Porter. Menz is hopeful the statue could be in place in the next year to 18 months. It will be the first bronze statue in Orleans County.

“We put a lot of dedication into it,” said Menz, who trained at the Armory. “Once you get into it, you can’t quit. Things kept falling into place.”

The Outstanding Citizens will be recognized at a reception in early 2017.

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2016: A big year for local triple threat athletes

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 December 2016 at 6:05 pm
123116_cw_powell

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion senior Chanyce Powell not only placed in the top five at the state track championships in both the triple and long jumps but also set school scoring records in basketball and earned All-WNY honors in volleyball in 2016.

Several area high school triple-threat athletes had big years in 2016 including Albion senior Chanyce Powell whose year was highlighted by placing fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump at the state track and field championships.

Powell won both the triple and long jumps at both the N-O All-League meet and the Section VI Division 2 (small schools) championships. She set a new school record of 37-7 in the triple jump at the sectionals.

On the basketball court Powell, who is a four year varsity starter, broke the 1,000 point career scoring total in a season opening 37-36 win over Brockport. She also set a school single game record with 37 points in a 70-67 double overtime win over Batavia.

On the volleyball court, Powell earned a third straight N-O first team All-League honor and was also named to the second team of the All-Western New York squad.

Medina High junior Jalin Cooper likewise had big year highlighted on the track as he captured both the Section VI Division 2 100 and 200 meter sprint titles. He went on to place sixth in the 100 at the state championships.

On the football field, Cooper helped lead Medina/Lyndonville to the B East Division title earning first team B East and second team  All-WNY honors. Cooper, who scored 16 touchdowns and had over 1,200 all-purpose yards was also named the B East Division offensive MVP.

On the basketball court, Cooper helped Medina capture the N-O title with a 13-1 record. He earned first team N-O All-League honors and received Honorable Mention on the All-WNY and All-State Class B teams having scored 340 points and grabbed off 225 rebounds on the season.

Medina senior Kristian Snyder had a big season on the soccer field setting a new Mustangs single season record with 27 goals. He also earned a third straight first team N-O All-League tennis honor as he helped lead the Mustangs to the championship for the fourth time in the last five years. He is also a versatile member of the Seahorses swim team.

Roy-Hart senior Andy Xapsos topped the 1,000 point career scoring mark in basketball and helped lead the Rams to their first N-O baseball championship since 1953. He was also the two year starting quarterback for the Barker/Roy-Hart football squad.

However, the most unusual competition for a local triple threat athlete was Lyndonville native Scott Bradley competing in his second season as a professional triathlete. His very ambitious year in this grueling sport for which a full triathlon includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, included competitions in Panama, Puerto Rico and Cozumel, Mexico, and was highlighted by the earning of his initial first place finish at the Finger Lakes Triathlon.

123116_cw_cooper

Medina junior Jalin Cooper not only won both the 100 and 200 meter sprints at the sectional championships but also helped lead Medina to league titles in both football and basketball.

Top story of 2016: Opioid crisis fuels crime, human misery in Orleans, region

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2016 at 1:45 pm
Photos by Tom Rivers: Sherri Bensley, assistant director of prevention for GCASA, discusses commonly used opioids during a presentation on July 13. She said addicts get the drugs often from friends or relatives, “not the street corner drug dealer.”

Photos by Tom Rivers: Sherri Bensley, assistant director of prevention for GCASA, discusses commonly used opioids during a presentation on July 13. She said addicts get the drugs often from friends or relatives, “not the street corner drug dealer.”

In considering the top news story of the year, Orleans Hub was leaning towards Donald Trump and his meteoric rise in politics, winning the U.S. presidency.

That story dominated the headlines and the talk at local diners and on Facebook, but no issue locally has affected more families, causing untold human misery, than the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the country.

The addictions fuel many larcenies, burglaries and other crimes in Orleans County, said Sheriff Randy Bower.

“It’s a nationwide epidemic and we’re not immune to it,” Bower said on Friday. “It needs to be a top priority for us.”

Many people with no prior criminal history have appeared in the local courts after committing crimes driven by the pull of heroin and other opioids.

Many others have overdosed, with some dying.

“The reality is it is here and it is an issue,” Paul Pettit, public health director in Orleans and Genesee counties, said on Friday. “We have seen an increase in deaths to heroin and opioids. We are seeing many more overdoses. It’s very devastating with a systemic impact on loved ones and friends.”

It’s a public health crisis, Pettit said, and many county agencies are planning an aggressive strategy to combat the addictions in 2017.

Sheriff Randy Bower receives training in using Narcan from Diana Fulcomer of GCASA. About 20 people received the training on July 13. Narcan can help someone suffering an overdose.

Sheriff Randy Bower receives training in using Narcan from Diana Fulcomer of GCASA. About 20 people received the training on July 13. Narcan can help someone suffering an overdose.

Public health, law enforcement and mental health agencies will be part of multi-agency task force working on the issue in 2017.

The county will also be adding more drop-off boxes for residents to dispose of unused medications and sharps.

GCASA has been trying to educate the community about opioid epidemic. The agency has trained residents to give Narcan, which can take someone out of an addicted state. The people trained received a Narcan kit to use in case of an opioid overdose.

Kathy Hodgins, director of treatment services for GCASA in Orleans County, said during a July 13 community meeting that the opioid epidemic is biggest community drug crisis she has seen in her 20-year career, affecting people from all walks of life.

“This is the first time in my 20 years that one drug has caused such an impact in our community,” Hodgins said during the meeting.

GCASA officials said crisis has grown partly due to painkiller abuse. Many people become hooked on painkillers and then their prescription expires. Some will turn to heroin to get their fix. The heroin can be deadly, especially when mixed with fentanyl and other drugs, Hodgins said.

Christina Ashton

Christina Ashton

Tamara Ashton lost her daughter, Christina Ashton, to a drug overdose on June 27. Christina had been clean for 19 days. Her mother left the house for a 40-minute errand. When she came back her daughter was found dead in the backyard after someone dropped off heroin and her daughter took a fatal overdose. Christina was 34.

“I want people to know it can be anybody,” Tamara Ashton said during the July 13 meeting.

Her daughter started using drugs about two years ago. She lost too much weight, stole from loved ones to buy drugs, and would be gone unaccounted for often for two or three days.

She went from drinking alcohol to crack cocaine to heroin.

“She just wasn’t the same girl,” her mother said.

Orleans County started a program in the county jail to help addicts transition from the jail to the community. That includes connections to addiction counselors and shots of Vivitrol, a treatment that blocks the effects of opioid addiction.

“Every person that gets clean is less crime in the community,” Sheriff Randy Bower said.

The addicts also need to be connected to the community, finding a strong purpose through perhaps work, volunteerism, church or service clubs, Bower said.

Bower said the Sheriff’s Office wants to go to schools in Orleans County, giving presentations to students about the dangers of using painkillers without a prescription, and how they can lead to more dangerous and fatal drugs.

The issue has been in the news throughout the region, state and country due to the increase in overdose deaths.

In nearby Erie County, the community was on pace to have 357 confirmed or suspected opioid-related deaths for 2016, a significant increase over the 256 deaths in 2015 and 128 in 2014, the Buffalo News reported this week.

Orleans County isn’t at that rate, but Pettit said there have been several deaths and many overdoses this year.

No 2. Trump finds lots of support in Orleans County

Donald Trump shocked the political establishment in winning the U.S. presidency.

Donald Trump shocked the political establishment in winning the U.S. presidency.

Donald Trump pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent political history when he was elected U.S. president. Trump was popular in Orleans County, receiving 67.4 percent of the vote, the third highest of the 62 counties in New York.

It was an intense election season, with Trump first winning the Republican nomination after vanquishing a field of 16 other rivals, including U.S. senators and governors. Hillary Clinton held off Bernie Sanders to secure the Democratic nomination.

Clinton was favored to win the presidency, but Trump rode populist fervor to victory. He will be the country’s first celebrity president, entering the highest office without serving as a general or in elected office.

The Orleans County Republican Party Committee was an early backer of Trump on Feb. 27, when about 60 Republican Party leaders gave unanimous support for Trump, then in the midst of a bitter Republican primary.

Richard Coleman of Eagle Harbor Road in Barre made this sign with his grandson. “Your putting your stamp out there, rather than somebody else’s,” Coleman said on Nov. 8 about the home-made sign. Coleman said he supports Donald Trump for his push to strengthen the military and boost the economy.

Richard Coleman of Eagle Harbor Road in Barre made this sign with his grandson. “Your putting your stamp out there, rather than somebody else’s,” Coleman said on Nov. 8 about the home-made sign. Coleman said he supports Donald Trump for his push to strengthen the military and boost the economy.

“He’s a businessman who has been very successful,” GOP Chairman Ed Morgan said on Feb. 27. “Government should be run as a business and not political.”

Morgan said Trump in person and on the phone is different from the bombastic persona on television.

“Yes, he’s a little radical and he pulls no punches,” Morgan said. “But in person he’s a totally different person to talk to.”

Chris Collins also made national news when the local congressman was the first in the House of Representatives to endorse Trump on Feb. 24.

“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Collins said on Feb. 24. “That is why I am proud to endorse him as the next President of the United States.”

Collins has been working as part of Trump’s transition team.

No. 3 Historic drought hurt crops, withered lawns

Photo by Tom Rivers: ALBION – This photo in late June shows a soccer field at Albion with yellowed grass. Many of the lawns, crops and vegetation suffered from a shortage of water during the summer.

Photo by Tom Rivers: ALBION – This photo in late June shows a soccer field at Albion with yellowed grass. Many of the lawns, crops and vegetation suffered from a shortage of water during the summer.

Lawns turned yellow, and crops withered when too little rain fell this summer. Orleans County suffered some of its worst drought conditions in a half century.

All wasn’t lost because there was some rain late in the growing season, and some farmers were able to irrigate crops.

“It was a bad year, but not terrible,” said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Orleans County.

The yields did suffer from the drought. In 2015, the average corn yield per acre were 170 bushels in Orleans County. That fell to 130 in 2016, with some acres as low as 50, Meyer said. Farmers who could irrigate were able to have yields at about 200 bushels per acre.

Meyer said Orleans County typically gets 19 inches of rain during the growing season, from April 15 to Oct. 15. That was down to 9 inches this year.

The county needs at least average rainfall in 2017 to replenish the groundwater levels.

Meyer said he never has seen the local landscape in such rough shape as in 2016, with lawns and fields turned yellow from the punishing drought.

Lyndonville in July had to issue a water restriction advisory, limiting water to wash vehicles, and water for lawns or gardens between 4 and 5 a.m., and 9 and 10 p.m.

No. 4 Bank, grocery store close in Holley

First Niagara, which was acquired by Key Bank, closed in Holley on Oct. 7.

First Niagara, which was acquired by Key Bank, closed in Holley on Oct. 7.

Holley suffered a double blow in 2016 when Save-A-Lot closed on Sept. 17 and then First Niagara shut down the banking site in the Public Square on Oct. 7.

Both losses left community leaders scrambling to fill the void.

Holley had been home to a bank for at least 150 years, but that changed when First Niagara shut down the site at 51 Public Square.

The news of the Holley closure disappointed many in the community, including former Mayor John Kenney, who said it will leave a big vacant building in the heart of downtown, and also be inconvenient to residents, businesses and the village government officials, who have the added burden of traveling to sites in Brockport or Albion if they stay with First Niagara/Key Bank.

The Save-A-Lot store on Geddes Street closed on Sept. 17. The Pawlak family opened the store in Holley on Feb. 15, 2012.

The Save-A-Lot store on Geddes Street closed on Sept. 17. The Pawlak family opened the store in Holley on Feb. 15, 2012.

“The staff in Holley they have a rapport with their customers,” Kenney said. “We’re an older community and change like this isn’t easy for people to deal with.”

Save-A-Lot was the only grocery store in Holley.

“We recognize that retail business is changing,” Jerome Pawlak and the Pawlak family said in a news release, announcing the closure. “Competitive realities, a slow economy, and cost deflation the past two years in the food industry have forced us to make the decision to close the Holley Save-A-Lot Food Store. Unable to compete with these trends, we recognize the closing of our Holley location is the necessary course of action for us to take.”

The Pawlak family has been operating the Save-A-Lot in Albion for more than a decade. Some of the employees at the Holley store have taken jobs in Albion.

Holley did receive some good news in 2016. Home Leasing of Rochester announced plans for the old Holley High School, a restoration/renovation that will turn the site, which has been vacant for two decades, into senior housing and space for Village of Holley offices.

5. Apex pushes wind turbines projects by lakeshore and in Barre

Photo by Tom Rivers – Ben Yazman, Heritage Wind project developer, is pictured by the Barre water tower on Route 98 behind the firehall in this photo in early May.

Photo by Tom Rivers – Ben Yazman, Heritage Wind project developer, is pictured by the Barre water tower on Route 98 behind the firehall in this photo in early May.

Orleans County is eyed for two large-scale wind turbine projects. Lighthouse Wind, proposed for Yates and Somerset, has been bitterly opposed since the project was announced in 2015 by Apex Clean Energy.

Apex in May also announced plans for another wind energy project, this time in Barre. That project has faced little opposition so far.

Apex is working on the application for Lighthouse Wind in Yates and Somerset. That project has been opposed by a citizens group, Save Ontario Shores, and also official opposition from the county Legislatures in Orleans, Niagara and Erie counties, which fear the project, with turbines reaching over 600 feet high, could jeopardize the future of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Congressman Chris Collins has introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine

Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon speaks against the proposed Lighthouse Wind project during a rally in the pouring rain on Aug. 25 in Somerset at Golden Hill State Park. About 200 people attended the rally in a downpour.

Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon speaks against the proposed Lighthouse Wind project during a rally in the pouring rain on Aug. 25 in Somerset at Golden Hill State Park. About 200 people attended the rally in a downpour.

Encroachment Act” – an effort to ensure that any new wind turbines located within a 40-mile radius of a military installation will be deemed ineligible for renewable energy tax credits.

The Yates Town Board revised its ordinance for wind turbines by requiring bigger setbacks. The board also stated its opposition to the project.

Jim Simon, the town supervisor, spoke at an Aug. 25 rally against the project. There were about 200 people at the event, standing in the pouring rain.

“I am in this fight for you,” Simon told the soaked crowd. “I will remember this day and everyone of you who stood in the rain. God bless you.”

Apex is in the early stages for “Heritage Wind,” a project planned for The of Barre. The company has submitted a public involvement plan and intends to open an office in February for the Barre project.

6. Medina reels from death of school superintendent, and ethanol plant leader

Jeff Evoy

Jeff Evoy

The Medina community was death two devastating blows in 2016 with the deaths of community leaders in their prime.

Jeff Evoy, the school district superintendent for nearly five years, died on June 23, a day before graduation. Evoy, 50, had been battling a serious illness for a month.

Evoy started as Medina district superintendent on Nov. 1, 2011 after working as principal of Pembroke Primary School. He started his career at Albion as a social studies teacher and was a finalist for the New York State Teacher of the Year in 2003.

He welcomed the chance to lead Medina Central School, his home district where two of his children graduated. He helped push student achievement while the district reduced taxes, and also partnered with Lyndonville Central School on several athletic and extracurricular programs, including the musical.

Wendi Pencille, Medina’s Board of Education president, said Evoy was loved by students and staff.

“He completely embraced every aspect of the district,” Pencille said. “Under his leadership the graduation rate went up, test scores improved. His goal was to improve education for the kids and he did it with integrity and hard work.”

Joe Byrne, a Medina teacher and president of the Medina Teachers’ Association, said Evoy was well respected by teachers.

Michael Sawyer was instrumental in Western New York Energy coming to Medina.

Michael Sawyer was instrumental in Western New York Energy coming to Medina.

“He was truly a dream superintendent, who cared genuinely about people,” Byrne said. “Not every school gets the privilege of having a superintendent like ours.”

Michael Sawyer also was a key leader in Medina, running Western New York Energy. Mike and his father John were instrumental in bringing the ethanol plant to Medina. The $90 million project remains the biggest economic development effort in recent Orleans County history. The plant opened in November 2007.

Mike Sawyer was hiking with his wife on a remote trail on Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks when he collapsed and died at age 43 due a medical condition on Aug. 18.

Mike succeeded his father as company CEO and president after John Sawyer died from leukemia at age 72 on Oct. 13, 2013. Mike followed his father’s example of contributing to many community causes.

“Mike Sawyer brought an abundance of energy and solid business fundamentals to his role as CEO of Western New York Energy that was evident when I first met him during the initial development stages of the project,” said Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency. “I recall how he had the timely knack of bringing the right balance of humor into a conversation just when it was needed. We are indebted to both John and Mike Sawyer – they had the rare ability to see a potential and bring that to fruition to benefit the agricultural economy of Western New York and beyond.”

7. Pride Pak builds new 68,000-square-foot vegetable processing plant in Medina

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Pride Pak completed a $15 million construction project this year.

For much of 2016, a 280-foot-long building took shape on Maple Ridge Road in Medina, one of the biggest new builds in Orleans County in several years.

Pride Pak opened the new 68,000-square-foot facility in November, and it is staffed with 40 employees trimming lettuce and packaging it for salads for Wegmans.

The new building opened on a site that was vacant in January. The site has a new road, water and sewer infrastructure, and other utilities.

Medina gives Pride Pak a site in the United States. The company is based in Canada and also has facilities in

Mississaugua and Newfoundland. It is the largest vegetable processor in Canada, and 35 percent of its produce comes to the U.S.

Pride Pak is eyeing two expansions in Medina, with similar-size buildings. It expects to have 200 workers in Medina when the expansions are complete.

Pride Pak currently gets its lettuce, baby spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, carrots and other vegetables from Yuma in Arizona, California and Oregon. Steve Karr, company CEO, said the company wants to work with local growers in WNY.

8. Kendall school completes major capital project

Kendall Jr./Sr. High School was given a big makeover as part of a $25 million capitol project.

Kendall Jr./Sr. High School was given a big makeover as part of a $25 million capitol project.

The Kendall school campus received a major makeover with a $25 million capital project. The work started in 2015 and was completed this past year.

Students, teachers and the community gave the renovated school buildings enthusiastic reviews during an open house just before the start of the school year.

“I think the students will be excited by the new spaces,” Kendall Jr./Sr. High Special Ed teacher Len Pizzi said on Sept. 1 as he stood in a newly renovated classroom in the science wing of the school.

Most rooms in the science wing now have vaulted ceilings and exposed beams which give a modern, clean, industrial feel to the space.

Pizzi noted the vaulted ceilings are similar in design to those in other parts of the building, including the Commons area and the new cafeteria, which was completed in Phase I of the project.

The science rooms are also equipped with smart boards which, Pizzi said, make it easy for him to go right from lecture/note taking to an audio visual presentation of the subject being discussed.

9. Shrinking schools, governments share staff, programs

Photo By Mike Wertman – Coach John Grillo meets here with veteran Holley and Kendall wrestlers in the newly merged squad. In front are Jeremy Browe, Nate Schoonmaker, Coach Grillo, Tristyn Moyer and Branden Gardner. In back are Braxton Leary-Hart, Erik Balys, Zach Day, Dalton Moyer, Dawson Cutter, Brandon Stewart and Dylan Spellan.

Photo By Mike Wertman – Coach John Grillo meets here with veteran Holley and Kendall wrestlers in the newly merged squad. In front are Jeremy Browe, Nate Schoonmaker, Coach Grillo, Tristyn Moyer and Branden Gardner. In back are Braxton Leary-Hart, Erik Balys, Zach Day, Dalton Moyer, Dawson Cutter, Brandon Stewart and Dylan Spellan.

School districts in Orleans County continue to share more programs and services from extracurricular programs and sports.

Holley and Kendall linked up this past year for the first time with baseball and wrestling. The schools have also had a joint marching band.

Medina and Lyndonville reaffirmed their support for a shared football and boys soccer team in Medina, while Lyndonville hosts a musical with Medina students. The local districts say they are looking at more ways of sharing resources, even with some academic programs.

The cooperation also exists with some local governments. Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni also leads the Holley Police Department, and Albion village personnel work with Holley and Elba’s sewer plants.

Orleans County also is taking the lead in a new study looking at law enforcement services, with a possible push for a county-wide police force. That study continues into 2017.

10. Volunteers work hard to promote community

Volunteers from the Orleans Renaissance Group planned a first ever Farm-to-Table Dinner event in Medina on Aug. 4 that proved popular with 137 people enjoying the fine dining experience on a closed off section of Main Street. The event was a fund-raiser for Medina’s farmers market.

Volunteers from the Orleans Renaissance Group planned a first ever Farm-to-Table Dinner event in Medina on Aug. 4 that proved popular with 137 people enjoying the fine dining experience on a closed off section of Main Street. The event was a fund-raiser for Medina’s farmers market.

As local governments face diminishing resources for staff and programs, volunteers are continuing to step forward to run community festivals, and tackle other public projects including the painstaking preservation of important public buildings, such as the chapel at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon and the Bent’s Opera House in Medina.

Volunteers also take the lead in organizing concert series and community festivals for the benefit of the the entire community. The Orleans County 4-H Fair, which draws nearly 30,000 people each year, is a nearly all-volunteer effort.

Volunteers coach youth sports teams, serve as firefighters and first responders, and contribute in numerous other ways through churches, service organizations or on their own.

Volunteers are filling many of the gaps, fighting to preserve the quality of life in the our county.

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2016 in review: Mustangs have triple title year

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 December 2016 at 9:07 am
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – In action during Medina’s Niagara-Orleans League tennis and basketball championship seasons are Kristian Snyder, left, and Tyler Ames.

Celebrating a championship in each season, Medina High had a big 2016 high school sports year as the Mustangs claimed the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball and tennis titles as well as the B East Division football crown.

After finishing in the runner-up spot the previous two years, Medina claimed the N-O basketball title for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign by compiling a near perfect 13-1 record. Starting the season with a 10-0 mark, the Mustangs title quest was keyed by a pair of victories over runner-up Roy-Hart (12-2) by scores of 50-34 and 73-62.

In the spring, Medina captured the N-O tennis championship for the fourth time in the last five years by posting an 11-1 record. The Mustangs were led by the first and second singles combination of Kristian Snyder and Tristan Sanders who both earned first team All-League honors.

This past fall, the Mustangs claimed a division football title outright for the first time since 1988 by compiling a 5-0 record to claim the B East championship. A 42-28 victory over runner-up Alden (4-1) keyed that Medina/Lyndonville title quest which was capped off by a championship clinching 48-6 win over rival Albion.

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Jake Cotter and his Medina/Lyndonville teammates captured the B East Division football title.

Roy-Hart captured the N-O baseball title for the first time since 1953 by compiling a 12-2 record. R-H also claimed a 10th straight N-O boys swimming championship by going 10-0. The Channel Cats are 99-0 during that title run.

Barker captured the N-O boys cross-country championship for the fourth straight year and the eighth time in the last nine years. The Lady Raiders also won the Section VI Class C field hockey title by nipping N-O champion Akron 1-0 in the championship game to avenge a pair of regular season losses.

In addition to the field hockey title, the Akron girls also claimed both the N-O volleyball, softball and track championships.

Wilson also had a three N-O title year winning the N-O girls basketball, golf and boys track championships.

However, Newfane led the N-O with five championships including the boys soccer, girls soccer, wrestling, girls cross-country and girls swim titles. The swim title was the seventh straight for the Lady Panthers.

The recent trend of merged school teams also continued as rivals Holley and Kendall joined forces to field merged teams in both wrestling and varsity baseball. The Holley-Kendall diamond squad captured the Genesee Region League Division 1 title.

Lyndonville has a very successful spring season as the Tigers baseball and softball teams both captured G-R League Division 2 championships. However, both teams were eliminated from the sectional playoffs by G-R rival Notre Dame as the baseball squad lost 8-3 in the semifinals and the softball squad 7-6 in the finals.

On the links, Kendall senior Evan Gaesser captured both the G-R League and Section V Class C titles for the third time. Gaesser, who earned a golf scholarship to LaSalle University, also was co-medalist at the Suprsectionals and qualified for the state meet for the fourth time.

Medina freshman Ian Wagner earned medalist honors at the N-O All-League golf tournament. He earned All-League honors for the third time.

In youth baseball, Barre successfully repeated as Albion Midget League playoff champions by downing Sandstone 11-5 in a repeat of the 2015 title matchup. In the semifinals, Barre defeated Rotary 6-4 and Sandstone downed St. Marys 14-6.

The Roy-Hart/Medina/Lyndonville league playoff title games saw the Twins blank the Yankees 2-0 in the Minor Division and the Lyndonville Tigers down the Somerset Dodgers 3-2 in the Major Division.

At Shelridge Country Club, Brett Decker captured the club championship while Brian Branka and Tom Bova teamed up to win the Shelridge Open. Two Shelridge junior golfers, Ian Wagner and Melanie Green, both had winning seasons on the Western New York Junior PGA Tour.

The 27th annual Mr. Ed’s 5K sun on Super Bowl Sunday saw Roy-Hart graduate Vince Donner cross the finish line first for the second year in a row.

Minimum wage goes up today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2016 at 9:02 am

The minimum wage goes up today, which will give a pay boost to about 2 million workers in the state.

In Orleans County and most of Upstate New York, the minimum wage goes from $9 to $9.70 an hour. It’s the start of a phase-in as the minimum goes to $12.50 per hour beginning Dec. 31, 2020.

(The minimum wage locally goes to $10.40 on Dec. 31, 2017, then $11.10 on Dec. 31, 2018, to $11.80 on Dec. 31, 2019 and then $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020.)

In New York City and in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the state is phasing in the minimum wage to $15.

“No one who works full-time should be condemned to a life of poverty and that’s why New York took action to raise the wage and provide the opportunity of a decent life to millions of hard working New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we reach this milestone for a more fair and a more just New York, we are reminding workers they are owed a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and this administration will work to ensure they receive the wage increase to which they are entitled.”

The state is launching a new public awareness campaign to remind New Yorkers about the higher minimum wage. The ads will run in both English and Spanish and be featured on television stations across the state. Minimum wage workers who do not receive their raise by December 31, 2016 should call 1-888-4-NYSDOL to report their employers.

The Business Council of New York State said the higher minimum wage will be costly to businesses in a high-cost state.

“We are disappointed with the multi-billion dollar increase in the minimum wage. This increase – at $8000 per job upstate and $13,000 downstate when fully implemented – is still too much for many businesses,” Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, said on March 31 when higher minimum wage was approved as part of budget agreement. “The last thing employers need is higher state-imposed costs.”

For more on the minimum wage, click here.

Saloonkeeper had knack for being in wrong place at wrong time

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 31 December 2016 at 8:29 am
Frank Loveland

Frank Loveland

“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 3, Issue 1

The history of Orleans County is filled with stories surrounding the smuggling of illegal liquor and contraband into the United States from Canada during the Prohibition era. Yet prior to the enactment of the 18th Amendment there was ongoing concern about travelers bringing untaxed goods into the United States, just as there is today. One local saloonkeeper had a similar run in with customs agents at the Canadian border in the late 1870s.

Frank Loveland was respected businessman, working as a clerk in the Albion House located on Clinton Street in Albion. He served with Company D of the 151st New York Infantry during the Civil War and was respected in that right throughout the community as well. Loveland was considered to be a bit of a prankster and enjoyed a good laugh, sometimes at his own expense; it is no surprise that he would have a laugh at the expense of a couple customs agents.

Loveland was returning from a trip to Canada in the spring of 1878 when he was stopped at the border by customs agents. As was the norm, Loveland and his baggage were inspected for contraband items and upon finding nothing out of the ordinary he was allowed to pass through. It was around noon so Frank stopped into a nearby restaurant for lunch. As he wrestled with the $.75 meal two men approached and asked him to step outside.

“Well, just wait till I pay for my dinner,” Loveland answered. “Oh, that’s alright,” responded one of the agents, “I’ll settle the bill.” The two men escorted Frank to a beautifully furnished room and before he could realize what was going on, one agent locked the door and “invited him to strip.” Thoroughly confused by the invitation, Loveland vehemently refused to comply and told them that if they planned to strip him that they had better “sail in.”

Annoyed by the resistance, the two agents explained the situation and informed him that they suspected he was carrying a quantity of silk under his vest and shirt. Such a suspicion would not be unwarranted for Loveland was quite the portly gentleman, but he quickly realized the situation and with great gusto popped open his vest. He patted himself contentedly and said, “Now, fellows, that’s all I’ve got.” The customs agents had fooled themselves and in doing so, provided Loveland with a free lunch.

Loveland seemed to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That same year while preparing to leave the Albion House, he stumbled upon Mrs. Mary McAdams and John Gage, a local police officer, engaging in an altercation about McAdams’ son. Gage had arrived to place the McAdams boy under arrest when Mrs. McAdams began to pummel him about the head with a parasol. With pressing business to attend to, Loveland thought it best to just avoid the situation and continue on with his personal matters.

Frank Loveland served as a Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Spaulding and worked as a clerk in the Orleans House later in his career. He died on February 20, 1892 of paralysis at the age of 48.

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Ramparts earn Silver at Buffalo Tournament

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 December 2016 at 10:59 pm
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Contributed Photo – Batavia Ramparts players and coaches display their runner-up trophy at the Buffalo Stars Tournament.

Contributed Story
The Batavia Ramparts Bantam A hockey team, which is 14-0 in their league, earned second place honors today at the Buffalo Stars AA Christmas Tournament.

The Ramparts faced the Wheatfield Blades, a team they had lost a scrimmage to earlier in the year, in the tourney opener on Tuesday.

Falling behind 1-0 after just 14 seconds, and 2-0 halfway through the second period, the Batavia team rallied for two goals in that period to knot the game at 2-2.  The goals were scored by Max Hutchins and Alex Totten.  After that scoring, neither team could add any goals and the game ended in a tie.

On Wednesday, Batavia faced the home team Buffalo Stars AA Major team, and came away an 8-1 winner. Seven Ramparts scored goals including Vinnie DiRisio (2), Jed Reese, Nick Call, Zach Geitner, Totten, Dominic Peracciny and Sean Pies.

Thursday was the last game of the prelims and the Ramparts faced Hamburg in the morning and came away a 5-1 winner locking up the first seed for the semifinals.  Scoring were Totten, Derrick Fedus (2), Hutchins and Pies.

Later in the day in the semifinals against the same Hamburg team, the Ramparts played their way into the finals with an 11-4 victory.  Goals by Totten (3), Hutchins (2), DiRisio (2) , Reese (2), Pies and Nate Ryan accounted for the scoring.

Today’s championship game was a rematch with the Wheatfield Blades.

The Ramparts had leads of 1-0, and 2-1 on goals by Reese and Hutchins, but fell behind in the third period 3-2.  Midway through the period, however, Fedus scored to tie the game.  However, Wheatfield added the final goal with 5:08 remaining the win the gold, while Batavia settled for the silver.

Medina cagers nipped by Cardinal O’Hara

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 December 2016 at 10:39 pm

Medina dropped a narrow 66-63 decision to Cardinal O’Hara this evening in the I-90 Tournament at Villa Maria College.

Justin Hemphill poured in a game high 29 points, including 20 in the second half, to spearhead the O’Hara offense.

Jalin Cooper scored 23, Johnny Salone 11, Izaiah Rhim and Tyrellis Atkins 10 and Vincent Montague 9 for Medina.

Trailing 22-17 after one period, Medina rallied into a 34-32 lead at the half as Rhim tallied 6 in the second quarter. Salone netted 6 in the opening period.

Seven third period points by Cooper helped keep the Mustangs deadlocked with the Hawks at 45-45 at the three-quarter mark.

Late threes by Cooper and Montague pulled Medina back to within 1 but the Mustangs could not pull even.

Pembroke 71, Barker 40
Roaring out to a 20-0 first quarter lead, Pembroke went on to defeat visiting Barker 71-40 this afternoon in a non league game.

Reid Miano scored 19 to pace Pembroke which held a comminding 42-13 half-time advantage.

Ryan Voss scored 9 and Eddie Wasnock and Nate Luckman both had 7 for Barker.

Girls Basketball
Elba 69, Roy-Hart 49
Emily Reynolds scored 18, Madison Howard 16 and Tatiana Draper 14 to spark Elba to a 69-49 non league win over Roy-Hart.

Meghan Washington led Roy-Hart with 17 as Ellie Todd added 10, Skyer Christopher 6 and Maddy Glena 5.

Geneseo tops Lyndonville for tourney title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 December 2016 at 10:22 pm
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Eric Neace puts up a shot between Geneseo defenders Sean LaGrou (10) and Matt Robinson (24) during the Tigers loss to the Blue Devils this evening in the championship game of the Holley Tournament.

A third quarter scoring burst keyed Geneseo to a 60-52 victory over Lyndonville this evening in the championship game of the Holley Tournament.

Leading by a narrow 32-28 margin, Geenseo erupted for a 16-5 scoring burst to close the period and Lyndonville would get no closer than the final margin of 8 down the stretch.

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Lyndonville’s Corey Hydock drives around Geneseo’s Matt Robinson.

Matt Robinson scored 9 to lead that decisive uprising which vaulted the Blue Devils out to a 13 point, 46-33, lead at the three-quarter mark.

Five more points by Robinson, along with a three by Daniel Kaye, in the final period then helped close out the win as Geneseo open up as much as a 16 point, 60-44 lead late.

Robinson finished with 21, Kyle Rollins 17 and Jack Ryan 10 to lead the Geneseo attack. Rollins was named the tourney’s MVP while Robinson and Kaye were both selected to the All-Tournament team.

Jacob Hoffee, who scored 19, and Eric Neace, who netted 16, to lead Lyndonville were also both named to the All-Tournament team. Zach Johnson and Corey Hydock both added 7 and Nathan Poler 3 for the Tigers.

Geneseo grabbed a narrow 15-14 lead at the end of the first period as Robinson tallied 7 and Rollins 6. Threes by Johnson, Hydock and Poler, along with a pair of baskets by Hoffee, kept Lyndonville close.

The Blue Devils upped the lead a bit to five, 30-25, at the half as Rollins scored 5 and Ryan 4 in the second period. Neace had 8 during that stretch for the Tgiers.

A three by Hoffee at the outset of the third period pulled Lyndonville to within four, 32-28, but the Tigers would get no closer as the Blue Devils answered with the decisive 16-5 run to close the period and pull away for good.

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Lyndonville’s Jacob Hoffee goes in for a layup by Geneseo defender Jack Ryan.

Kendall nips rival Holley in sea-saw contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 December 2016 at 9:58 pm
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall’s Brandon Miller battles for a rebound with Holley’s Dalton Major during the Eagles tournament win over the host Hawks this evening.

Surviving a tight sea-saw fourth quarter battle, Kendall emerged with a narrow 62-59 victory over the host rival Hawks this evening in the consolation game of the Holley Tournament.

The lead changed hands no less than six times in the wild fourth quarter as Kendall finally regained the lead for good at 58-57 on a jumper by Mickey Gardner. Brandon Miller followed up with a layup giving the Eagles a 60-57 lead with 3:10 remaining.

Each team could then manage only one more field goal over the final three minutes. A jumper by Patrick Bower pulled Holley back to within one at 60-59 with 57 seconds remaining but Collin Lewis answered right back with a layup at the 48 second mark giving the Eagles a 62-59 lead and the narrow win.

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Kendall’s Mickey Gardner puts up a shot over Holley defender Isaiah Flow.

Miller had 6 and Lewis 4 in the final stanza while Dylan Hillabush erupted for 10 to keep Holley in the thick of the contest.

Miller, who was named to the All-Tournament team, finished with a game high 24 points while Lewis had 17, Nate Waters 10, Gardner and James Longrod 4 and John Rath 3.

Hillabush, who was also selected to the All-Tournament team, led Holley with 23 as Bower added 13, Isaiah Flow 9, Derek McArthur 8, Andrew Moseman 5 and Ryan Andrews 1.

Kendall jumped out to an early 7 point lead at 16-9 as Lewis hit two threes and Warters one.

Holley though closed the gap to 16-14 at the end of the period after a three by Moseman and a layup by Hillabush.

Keeping the momentum, the Hawks then opened the second period with a 15-3 run to rally into a 29-19 lead. Bower had a three and a layup, Hillabush a jumper and a layup, Flow a rebound bucket and a layup off a steal and McArthur a layup off a steal to key that Hawks uprising.

A late five point scoring burst by Miller though helped keep Kendall within 7, 33-26, at the half.

The Eagles then put together a big 22-14 third period scoring surge to rally into a 48-47 lead at the three-quarter mark. Miller poured in 10 points to lead that surge which also included a pair of baskets by Warters along with threes by Rath and Lewis.

Three quick buckets by Hillabush at the outset of the final period put Holley back on top at 53-52 and the sea-saw battle was on.

Miller, Gardner and Lewis then traded tallies with Hillabush and Bower down the stretch to help Kendall claim the narrow win.

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Holley’s Isaiah Flow goes up for a shot between Kendall defenders James Longrod (24) and Brandon Miller (23).

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Holley’s Dylan Hillabush puts up a shot as Nate Warters defends for Kendall.