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Month: April 2017

Golden Hill State Park battered by waves

Staff Reports Posted 30 April 2017 at 10:31 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman

BARKER – Golden Hill State Park, just west of the Orleans County line in Barker, took plenty of hits today from the big waves on Lake Ontario.

Cheryl Wertman was at the park and took these photos of waves slamming into the shoreline.

The water sprays at the boat launch at the state park.

The big waves send water over the path at the boat launch.

This pair of swans try to seek refuge at the boat launch.

This photo is looking west from the Drake Ruins site. There used to be a beach there that went out several feet.

The pier by the lighthouse is nearly submerged with water.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Orleans, Niagara and western Monroe counties from 6 a.m today until 11 p.m.

The lake is about 20 inches above normal before more rain hit today.

Orleans County and the towns of Carlton, Kendall and Yates remain under a state of emergency due to the high lake levels.

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Jeremy Babcock named Albion firefighter of the year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2017 at 9:34 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jeremy Babcock is pictured with the Albion Fire Department ladder truck, which he drove to Carlton today for an open house as part of a Recruit NY effort to attract more volunteers to fire departments. Babcock on Saturday was named Albion’s “Firefighter of the Year.”

ALBION – The Albion Fire Department presented its annual awards during a banquet on Saturday at Batavia Downs.

Jeremy Babcock was named “Firefighter of the Year.” The department responded to 485 calls last year (from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017). Babcock led the department by going to 377 calls, despite working full-time at Rochester Institute of Technology as executive director of housing.

Babcock is a key driver for the fire department, and handles the reporting for the state and the village for the department’s calls, as well as the training records.

“Jeremy has become one of our ace number one drivers,” said Fire Chief Harry Papponetti. “He is in charge of one of the most important things, the fire reporting system.”

Babcock will use his vacation days to help the fire department if it needs a fire truck picked up or if other department business needs attention, Papponetti said.

“If I need anything, I give him a call and he does it,” Papponetti said. “He is a hard worker.”

Babcock said he enjoys volunteering with the fire department. He was born with birth defects in both arms but that hasn’t stopped him from be a reliable and important member of the fire department.

The AFD also presented other awards on Saturday.

• Officer of the Year – Jim Perruzzini, a first lieutenant, was awarded the honor. He is in charge of maintenance for the department’s 34 air packs.

“They need to be kept in tip-top shape,” Papponetti said.

Perruzzini  makes sure the batteries in the air packs get weekly and monthly checks. Each quarter, about 200 batteries are replaced in the air packs. Perruzzini also makes sure the masks fit properly.

“It takes a lot of work,” Papponetti said.

Perruzzini also keeps fire hall clean by hosing the floor. He also provides leadership on fire and emergency calls.

• Chief’s Award – Steven Papponetti. The award goes to a firefighter “who does extraordinary things throughout the year,” the fire chief said.

Steven Papponetti stayed active with the Fire Department despite spending six months in Albany in the Police Academy. When he was home on weekends, he went to many fire calls, time that could have been spent resting or studying.

When Steven was hired as a state trooper, working out of Auburn, he also continued to volunteer with the Albion Fire Department when he was home.

Harry is Steven’s father. The elder Papponetti said his son has used his skills as a firefighter in some calls as a state trooper, including when a child was choking from a toy and when another child was shot. “At many motor vehicle accidents he is the first one on the scene and he does first aid,” Harry said.

• Driver of the Year – Marty Stirk. Papponetti said Stirk is a committed driver who will stay on the scene for many hours and then clean up the trucks after a fire call. He will also relieve other drivers on the scene if they have to go to work.

• Fire Police Award – James Skaggs, who started in the Fire Police about a year ago and has been very dedicated, Papponetti said.

• President’s Award – Fred Piano, who is chairman of the EMS, Family Life Committee, Fire Safety Prevention Program and also heads the department’s annual memorial service.

“And he’s one of the top responders,” said Al Cheverie, the AFD president. “He is a very active member.”

• Special 60-Year Award – Ron Armstrong, a past fire chief, continues to be an active member of the Fire Department. He gave up driving the fire trucks last year, but continues to operate trucks at the scene and help in other ways.

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Key N-O softball games on tap this week

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 April 2017 at 5:08 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart faces key softball tests against Medina and Newfane this coming week. Here Roy-Hart’s Delany Draper tries to put the tag on Medina’s Lexi Neuman during an earlier season meeting between the teams.

The Niagara-Orleans League softball title race was thrown into a tight four-way battle this past Friday when Medina (4-2) handed defending champion Akron (5-1) its first loss 8-2 and Roy-Hart (6-1) knocked Newfane (4-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten by a 4-2 margin.

That logjam will likely be broken up a bit this coming week as three key games are slated among the front-runners including Newfane at Medina on Wednesday, Roy-Hart at Medina won Thursday and Newfane at Roy-Hart on Friday.

The N-O baseball race will feature a key clash of unbeatens on Monday when 6-0 Wilson hosts 5-0 Roy-Hart.

Lyndonville (5-1, 9-1) faces a trio of key Genesee Region League home baseball games against Attica Monday, Oakfield-Alabama Tuesday and Notre Dame Friday.

The Lady Tigers (5-1, 5-2) likewise have three G-R games on tap at home against Holley Monday and Notre Dame on Friday and at Oakfield-Alabama on Thursday.

Week Schedule
Baseball – Attica at Lyndonville, 4:30 p.m.; Medina at Barker, Newfane at Allbion, Roy-Hart at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; Holley vs. Alexander, 7 p.m. at Frontier Field
Softball Holley at Lyndonville, Kendall at Attica, 4:30 p.m.; Medina at Barker, Albion at Newfane, Wilson at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
Tennis – Akron at Barker, Newfane at Albion, Wilson at Roy-Hart, Kendall at Pembroke, Holley at Wheatland-Chili, 4 p.m.
Golf – Notre Dame at Kendall, Pembroke at Holley, 4 p.m.
Track – Holley at Byron-Bergen, 4:30 p.m.
Lacrosse – Medina at Brockport, 7 p.m.

Baseball – Oakfield-Alabama at Lyndonville, Attica at Holley, 4:30 p.m.; Barker at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; Akron at Medina, 5 p.m.
Softball – Kendall at Oakfield-Alabama, Holley at Pembroke, 4:30 p.m.; Barker at Albion, 4:45 p.m.
Tennis – Albion at Akron, Wilson at Barker, Kendall at Notre Dame, Holley at Oakfield-Alabama, 4 p.m.
Track – Akron at Barker, Wilson at Medina, Roy-Hart at Newfane, 4:15 p.m.; Kendall at Pembroke, 4:30 p.m.

Baseball – Medina at Newfane, Albion at Roy-Hart, Wilson at Akron, 4:45 p.m.
Softball – Notre Dame at Kendall, Oakfield-Alabama at Holley, 4:30 p.m.; Newfane at Medina, Roy-Hart at Albion, Akron at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
Tennis – Barker at Wilson, Roy-Hart at Medina, Albion at Akron, 4 p.m.
Golf – Aquinas at Kendall, Notre Dame at Holley, 4 p.m.
Track – Lyndonville at Holley, 4:30 p.m.

Baseball – Byron-Bergen at Holley, 4:30 p.m.
Softball – Lyndonville at Oakfield, Northstar at Kendall, 4:30 p.m.; Roy-Hart at Medina, 4:45 p.m.
Tennis – Albion at Medina, Byron-Bergen at Holley, 4 p.m.
Track – Roy-Hart at Medina, Albion at Wilson, Newfane at Akron, 4:15 p.m.

Baseball – Notre Dame at Lyndonville, Holley at Alexander, 4:30 p.m.; Medina at Roy-Hart, Barker at Akron, Albion at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
Softball – Wheatland-Chili at Lyndonville, Byron-Bergen at Holley, 4:30 p.m.; Akron at Barker, Wilson at Albion, 4:45 p.m.
Tennis – Barker at Newfane, Medina at Wilson, Albion at Roy-Hart, 4 p.m.
Golf – Kendall at Elba, 4 p.m.
Lacrosse – Medina at Wilson, 5 p.m.

Baseball – Newfane at Akron, 3 p.m.
Softball – Lyndonville at Newfane, 3 p.m.

N-O Standings
Baseball – Wilson 6-0, Roy-Hart 5-0, Albion 5-3, Barker 3-4, Akron 2-4, Medina 1-5, Newfane 0-6
Softball – Roy-Hart 6-1, Akron 5-1, Newfane 4-1, Medina 4-2, Albion 1-5, Wilson 1-5, Barker 0-6
Tennis – Medina 5-0, Akron 4-1, Wilson 3-3, Albion 2-2, Roy-Hart 2-2, Barker 1-3, Newfane 0-6
Boys Track – Barker 2-0, Newfane 2-0, Albion 1-1, Roy-Hart 1-1, Akron 0-1, Medina 0-1, Wilson 0-2
Girls Track – Barker 2-0, Newfane 2-0, Akron 1-0, Medina 1-0, Albion 0-2, Roy-Hart 0-2, Wilson 0-2

Kendall-Hilton wins Unified basketball opener

Contributed Story Posted 30 April 2017 at 4:58 pm

 Contributed Photo – The Kendall-Hilton team in action at Brockport in the Unified basketball season opener.

The Kendall-Hilton Unified basketball team won their season opener at Brockport 36-20 this past week.

The scoring duo of Clancy Frearson and Jason Miller combined for a total of 12 points (6 each).  Additional points were scored by Tyler Basile (2), AJ Dibble (4), Alex Dutchak (2), Sienna Friedman (2), Austin Hertel (2), Abbi Jenks (2), Justin Lewis (2), Troy Parker (2), Justin Ryan (4) and Shawn VanGraafeiland (2).

Team leaders with assists were John Fichter and Nick Walsh.  Strong rebounding action came from Matt DePerna, Fichtner, Hertel, and Walsh.  Leading the charge of defense were Miller, Dutchak, Jessica Kyte, and Walsh.

The Kendets next home games will be Wednesday in Hilton against Churchville-Chili and Thursday,  in Kendall against Brockport at 4:30 p.m..

“In my 11 years in athletics, this is the truest form of a sport that I have come across on multiple levels,” said Kendall Athletic Director Kevin Watson of the Unified basketball program.

Fire departments have open houses to recruit new members

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2017 at 4:36 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Several Carlton firefighters were part of an open house today for Recruit NY, a state-wide effort to attract more volunteers to serve in the fire department. Barre and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray also had recruitment open houses today.

Carlton firefighter Justin Niederhofer takes a picture of David Bertsch, the EMS coordinator, and his 12-year-old daughter, Natalie.

Carlton firefighter Randy Harrier shows a thermal imaging camera to his daughters, Amber, 10; and Kari, 13.

Carlton firefighter Seth Dumrese is pictured with his family, Emma Dumrese, Alivia Conlon and Logan Conlon.

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Big waves pound the shoreline

Photos by Tom Rivers: This photo shows the eastern pier at Oak Orchard Harbor getting walloped with waves this morning.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2017 at 12:53 pm

‘There’s some serious erosion going on.’ – Dale Banker, Emergency Management Office coordinator

CARLTON – Waves are pounding the shoreline in Orleans County today along Lake Ontario. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Orleans and Niagara counties until 11 p.m.

The lake was already 18 inches above normal before more rain hit today. Northeast winds are creating waves that could top 6 to 7 feet high on the western end of the lake.

All roads in the county are currently open except for Park Road in Carlton, which is pictured here. That road is off Lakeside Park Road near Kuckville.

“There’s some serious erosion going on,” said Dale Banker, Orleans County’s Emergency Management Office coordinator.

Orleans County and the towns of Yates, Carlton and Kendall have all declared a state of emergency due to the rising lake level. The declaration goes back to April 20 and remains in effect.

Banker said some of the shoreline is protected with break walls, but there are gaps and the vulnerable areas are shedding soil.

The towns of Carlton, Yates and Kendall all had about 10,000 sandbags to help residents protect their houses. Banker said Kendall has distributed about 7,500 of those sandbags, and Yates and Carlton also have many in place to help protect foundations and property.

Inmates from the Orleans Correctional Facility, Wyoming Correctional Facility and the county jail have all helped fill sandbags.

The waves are hitting the shore hard along Park Road in Carlton. The road is currently off limits to motorists.

Even this Canada goose doesn’t like the turbulence down at Point Breeze this morning from the crashing waves.

This section of the shoreline by the Carlton-Yates townline is vulnerable from the waves.

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4-Hers put sewing and textile skills to the test in annual clothing revue

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: These five participants were selected to move on to the District level Clothing/Fashion Revue, from left: Emma Mathes, Allison Mathes, Lillian Mathes, Naomi Mathes (wearing her pink and red sundress) and Peggy Jo Gabalski, who hand felted a floral design on a purchased tote bag.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 30 April 2017 at 8:36 am

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County 4-Hers showed off their sewing, textile and fiber art skills Saturday during the 2017 Orleans County 4-H Clothing Revue.

Participants gathered in the Education Building on the fairgrounds Saturday morning to have their projects evaluated, practice walking the runway, and to have their hair done by students from Orleans/Niagara BOCES. Saturday evening featured the revue with 23 participants modeling their projects for family and friends.

Shania Ireland and Adele Mathes – both members of the Adventurers 4-H Club (and Cloverbuds) sewed twirly skirts for the Revue. The girls are both students at Albion Central Schools. Adele said she was very excited to finally be able to take part in her first Clothing Revue.

Allison Mathes, Emma Mathes and Lillian Mathes – all members of the Adventurers 4-H Club based in Barre – are well experienced participants in the Clothing Revue. Allison sewed her own “little black dress” for special occasions. Emma, who modeled two outfits, sewed a coral blouse, a skirt and slacks, and Lillian sewed a versatile swing top with fringe at the hem. All three girls were selected to move on to District Clothing/Fashion Revue.

The Saturday evening Revue event was held in the Education Center on the fairgrounds this year. First time participant, Mia Slick of the Abundant Harvest 4-H Club based in Shelby, models her apron, which she said she will enjoy wearing when she bakes.

Makenzie McGrath of the Abundant Harvest 4-H Club, models the sundress she sewed.  The dress features a butterfly print in pastel spring shades. Makenzie says she loves butterflies and enjoys incorporating them as a design element in her sewing creations.

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Orleans County hosts powerful horse-pulling teams

Photos by Tom Rivers: This horse-pulling team, Sproat and Howard from Acme, Pa., pushes to pull the dynamometer in today's competition at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. The team pulled the dynamometer, which was weighed down with an additional 4,200 pounds, a distance of 21 feet, 2 inches. These horses competed in the lightweight division, where both when less than 3,425 pounds combined.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2017 at 7:18 pm

Horses from several states and Canada vie in ‘Pull of Champions’

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County hosted some of the top horse-pulling teams in the country today, including a leading competitor from Canada, in the “Pull of Champions.”

This is the fourth straight year the Fairgrounds has hosted the event for New York State Horse Pullers Association. There were 20 teams in the competition with 12 in the lightweight division (two horses that weigh up to 3,425 pounds together) and the heavyweights that exceed 3,425 pounds.

Nick Nesbitt of Waterport is pictured with his son, Jack, 11. Nesbitt competed with two teams in the lightweight division. Nesbitt, 33, has competed in horse-pulling events for 15 years. He has been instrumental in bringing the “Pull of Champions” to Orleans County.

Nick Nesbitt is the driver as his team of horses pulls the dynamometer which was weighed down with 4,200 pounds. The pull was the equivalent of the two horses pulling nine plows. This team of horses came in fifth overall in the lightweight division.

Nesbitt is a co-owner of the horses with Donny Middough and Tom Soloman. They call their stable, New York Connection.

Brian Armison of Centerville in Allegany County gets his team of horses ready to compete in the heavyweight division.

Before coming to Knowlesville, the “Pull of Champions” was held at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. It was moved to Knowlesville in 2014 through the efforts of horse pull competitor Nick Nesbitt as well as the support of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.

The horse pullers say Knowlesville has proven a good fit providing a more central location for horse pulling teams, as well as a supportive host. The competitors and the crowd of about 400 appreciate 4-Hers for selling food and the Extension staff for maintaining a nice dirt track.

Dennis Weinberger of Cochrane, Alberta, checks on his horses before the heavyweight division. He entered today’s competition as the two-time defending champ.

Ira Kessler of Orangeville, Pa. competes with his horses, Barney and Mike, in the lightweight division. The horses are pulling the equivalent of about 160,000 pounds.

Gerry Skiver of Portland, NY, in Chautauqua County tends to horses after they competed this afternoon.

The horses are lined up, waiting for their turn to pull.

Tom Bowman of Bloomburg, Pa. leads his team of horses. They won the lightweight division. Bowman also won an award named in honor of the late Gordon Bentley, an Orleans County resident who was active in horse pulling. The Nesbitt family gives out the award in honor of Bentley.

Tom Bowman and his team are pictured after winning the lightweight division.

One of the horse-pulling teams heads back to their trailer after today’s competition at the Fairgrounds.

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Police cancel shelter in place for Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2017 at 6:28 pm

Police pursuing leads to find suspect

RIDGEWAY – A shelter in place for Ridgeway residents has been cancelled by law enforcement who are comfortable the suspect is no longer in the area, according to an NY-Alert message sent by the Orleans County Emergency Management Office at 5:51 p.m.

Sheriff Randy Bower said at 6:45 p.m. that the suspect remains at large, and police are pursuing leads to find him.

Police have been looking for a man considered armed and dangerous, who ran into woods after a physical domestic dispute in the Town of Ridgeway near Route 104 and Route 63.

After an extensive ground and air search, police believe the suspect is no longer in the area. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department has canceled the shelter in place and residents can return to normal activity, according to the NY-Alert.

Police were searching for a Hispanic male about 30 years old wearing a gray T-shirt, shorts and sneakers. Police say he may be armed with up to three handguns.

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Police searching for man considered armed and dangerous in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2017 at 4:15 pm

RIDGEWAY – Police are looking for a man considered armed and dangerous, who ran into woods after a physical domestic dispute in the Town of Ridgeway near Ridge Road (Route 104) and North Gravel Road (Route 63).

Police describe the man as a Hispanic male about 30 years old wearing a gray T-shirt, shorts and sneakers. Police say he may be armed with up to three handguns.

All residents in the area between Ridge Road/Slade Road/Horan Road and North Gravel Road should remain in their homes with doors locked.

Numerous law enforcement officers are in area searching for the suspect.  If residents observe male matching this description call 911. Do not attempt to approach the subject.

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