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Month: August 2017

Medina approved for $530K federal grant to add firefighters

Posted 31 August 2017 at 10:00 pm
Tom Lupo

Fire Chief Tom Lupo

Staff Reports

MEDINA – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $530,661 in federal funding for the Village of Medina Fire Department in Orleans County.

The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

This funding will allow the Medina Fire Department to hire 4 new firefighters, and support the department’s “Fast Team,” who are responsible not only for fires in Medina but also address fires outside of their district within Orleans County. The funding will also help Medina staff engines with more than two people.

The Fire Department has 14 full-time firefighters as well as some call men who respond to about 3,000 calls a year. Medina is the primary ambulance provider for western Orleans (Shelby, Ridgeway, Yates, Medina and Lyndonville) but is seeing more mutual aid calls outside that area.

“The addition of these positions will add to our operational readiness, enhancing our ability to provide Fire and Emergency medical response to the Village of Medina and the Greater Orleans County area,” said Fire Chief Tom Lupo. “The SAFER grant program has a direct effect on public safety and is the kind of bi-partisan program that reach everyday people on a personal level.”

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.

“Whether it’s a fire, flood, car accident, or when disaster strikes, we depend on these local heroes to keep us safe, and they depend on us to give them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will allow the Village of Medina Fire Department to grow its ranks and will help ensure that the Village of Medina Fire Department can respond to any situation quickly and efficiently. I’m proud to announce this grant and will continue working to make sure New York’s first responders have what they need.”

The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“These federal funds will allow the Village of Medina Fire Department to hire additional firefighters, which will improve response time and help keep our communities safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every day our first responders risk their lives to protect us, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure our local fire departments have the support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

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Lady Hawks bow in tourney opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2017 at 8:54 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Holley’s Olivia Radford kicks the ball upfield during this evening’s semifinal round game of the Lady Hawks season opening tournament which was won 2-0 by Greece Olympia. Breaking away from a 0-0 deadlock, Olympia scored in the opening minute of the second half to key the win.

Rachel Killian advances the ball up field for Holley. The Lady Hawks will now face Addison in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday while Olympia takes on Batavia at 6:30 for the title. Batavia downed Addison 8-2 in the other semifinal.

Medina, R-H, Akron win field hockey openers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2017 at 7:54 pm

A goal in each half earned Medina a 2-1 victory over host Newfane this afternoon in a season opening Niagara-Orleans League girls field hockey game.

Libby Cook scored in the first half for Medina off an assist from Madison Kenward. Guin Schalck then tallied the game winner in the second half.

Alissa Blount had a strong game in goal for Medina as did Lydia Battaglia on defense.

In the other N-O openers, Roy-Hart blanked Kenmore 4-0 and defending champion Akron shutout Wilson 3-0.

Ashley Hill scored the three goal hat-trick to lead the way for Roy-Hart which also got a goal from Samantha Choate.

Jamie Bower earned the shutout in goal for the Lady Rams as RayLynn Chraston and Jenna Heiser anchored the defense.

Olivia Diebel, Alexis Bell and Abby Stone each scored a goal for Akron as Adriana Militello earned the shutout in goal.

Medina/Lyndonville wins N-O opener in OT

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2017 at 7:52 pm

Medina/Lyndonville opened the Niagara-Orleans League boys soccer season on a high note this afternoon by nipping host Akron 1-0 in overtime.

Evan Horn scored the game’s lone goal eight minutes into the overtime period off an assist from Ethan Leonard.

Ray Paull earned the shutout in goal for the Mustangs which also got strong defensive efforts from the quartet of Noah Heinsler, Jon Pietrafesa, Jay Silversmith and Matt Hess.

The Mustangs next host Oracle in a non league game at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Lyndonville.

Megan Dix celebrated at funeral for her love of family

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2017 at 5:42 pm

‘What an outpouring. It’s awesome. It’s therapeutic to see how many lives one person can touch.’– Rev. Dan Thurber tells 400 mourners at Megan Dix’s funeral

Megan Dix

MEDINA – The mourners started descending upon Oak Orchard Assembly of God at 10:30 a.m. today, a half hour before calling hours for Megan Dix.

The line never ended before her funeral at 2 p.m. In fact, the large group of grieving community members had to be urged to take a seat in the church so the funeral could start on time.

About 400 people filled the Oak Orchard Assembly of God. Cars were lined along Ridge Road and Oregon Road by the church.

“Wow. Wow, Chris,” the Rev. Dan Thurber, pastor of the church, told Megan’s husband at the start of the funeral. “This is for Megan. What an outpouring. It’s awesome. It’s therapeutic to see how many lives one person can touch.”

Dix was shot in a random act of violence on Friday while taking a lunch break in Brockport. She was at a small parking lot on South Avenue, near Lowe’s, where she worked a credit coordinator.

Dix, 33, is the youngest of her eight siblings. She and her husband have an 8-year-old son, CJ.

She loved the outdoors, bowling, Amerks hockey games, Pinterest and most of all, her family.

“She was loved by everyone she touched,” Thurber told the crowd, many wiping away tears. “She was a very caring and unselfish person whose family meant the world to her.”

The service started with the playing of “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line. “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam was then played.

Several people spoke about Dix’s friendliness and her infectious “giggle.”

Photos were displayed of Megan Dix as a young girl and as an adult, with her husband Chris and their son, CJ.

Megan’s aunt, Joni Dix, recalled Megan going to her older brothers’ wrestling matches when she was a young girl. When she was 2 or 3, she debuted at the matches wearing an orange and black cheerleading costume – Lyndonville’s colors.

“Everyone adored this little girl who came to support her brothers,” Joni Dix said.

She watched Megan and Chris fall in love. The couple stayed in love, making time for each other and maintaining a good sense of humor at each other’s expense, Dix said.

Megan showered her family with affection, and could always be counted on at family events.

“Megan knew that giving hugs and saying, ‘I love you,’ mattered,” her aunt said.

She challenged the mourners to follow Megan’s example. “Please live a life that matters,” Dix said.

Megan’s brothers, Don and Bill Duncanson, both spoke during the service. Bill addressed Megan’s son.

“CJ, there will always be a special angel in Heaven for you,” he said.

Megan’s father, David Duncanson, also spoke during the service, thanking the community for their support. But, he said, “The hurt is incredible.”

Megan’s husband Chris spoke to the group, saying Friday “was the worst day of my life.”

He tried to reach his wife by text at 3 p.m. When he didn’t hear from here at 6:30 p.m., he and a friend went to find her. She was discovered at 8 p.m.

Chris said he couldn’t stop his body from a feeling of freezing for about a day. He couldn’t eat.

Chris was in the back seat of a police car on Friday night, and the officer cranked up the heat. The radio came on with, “God, Your Mama, and Me” by the Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line. Chris never liked the song, and he told Megan that many times. But she would sing along enthusiastically.

In his grief, he felt that was a sign she was there.

When he went home Saturday night, his golden retriever, “Teddy,” climbed up in the bed. The dog normally wouldn’t do that. Teddy took a spot on Megan’s side of the bed. Megan always insisted Chris hold her for 5 minutes before they went to sleep. That night, the dog wouldn’t leave until Chris held it. Chris took that as a sign from Megan.

With his wife the victim of a homicide and with Megan’s killer on the loose for several days, Chris said he was angry with God. Tuesday, the Brockport police chief and Monroe County sheriff announced an arrest in the murder.

Chris said he could finally cry with that news. He also felt his faith had been restored.

“In that moment I knew there was a God and He was watching,” Chris told the mourners. “I may never understand, but there is a God and He is watching and He is there for us.”

The funeral closed with “If You Get There Before I Do” by Collin Raye and “Wrapped Up In You” by Garth Brooks.

Thurber also had the group sing, “Amazing Grace.” The pastor said they would see Megan again because of their faith in God.

“She is alive now more alive than she has ever been,” Thurber said.

Megan is shown when she was a kid, growing up as the youngest of eight siblings.

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Lyndonville wins best-tasting tap water for NY at State Fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2017 at 4:15 pm

SYRACUSE – The Village of Lyndonville’s public water supply was named the best-tasting tap water in New York after winning the contest at the State Fair today.

Lyndonville won the Orleans County contest during the Strawberry Festival in June and on Aug. 12 won the western regional competition at the Rochester Public Market.

Lyndonville, which uses water from Lake Ontario, squared off against other regional winners at the State Fair today, including the Village of Canton from the northern region, City of Albany from the capital region, New York City Department of Environmental Protection from the metro, and Bolton Point from the central region.

This is the 31st year that the Tap Water Taste Contest has been held in New York State. The contest goal is to inform the general public about the value and quality of public drinking water through a fun, non-scientific competition, according to the Water and Wastewater Education and Outreach Committee, which manages the event.

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Work continues on infrastructure projects in western Orleans

Photo by Tom Rivers: Keeler Construction is shown on July 10, working on replacing a small bridge over Fish Creek in Culvert Road in Ridgeway. The project should be complete in November when a new precast bridge is in place.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2017 at 12:30 pm

RIDGEWAY – Motorists will have to wait a little longer for two culverts to be complete on Platten Road in the town of Yates.

Keeler Construction has been working on the culverts this summer.

The road won’t be open to traffic in time for the start of school next week, county officials said.

The rainy weather this summer has pushed back the completion of that project, but it could be ready in mid to late September, said Jerry Gray, the county’s highway superintendent.

The culverts need some additional paving and guard rails.

Keeler Construction, which is based in Barre, has been working on the project after submitting the low construction bid of $817,643.

Keeler also has been working to replace a small bridge on Culvert Road in Ridgeway. That new bridge, just north of the Culvert on the Erie Canal, should be ready in November, Gray said. Keeler is doing the project for $466,030.

Keeler also is the low bidder at $947,335 to replace the Marshall Road Bridge over Johnson Creek in Yates. That project is expected to be complete in December.

These projects are being funded with an $8 million bond the county took out in 2014 for a series of infrastructure projects over three years. This is the last year for those projects as part of the bond.

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Church, bank team to provide Medina students with backpacks, school supplies

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2017 at 11:45 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God has provided 48 backpacks for Medina students for the second year in a row. KeyBank in Medina is filling the backpacks with school supplies.

School leaders are pictured this morning with representatives from the bank and church. From left include: Dan Doctor, community outreach liaison for the school district; Julie Webber, Oak Orchard Elementary School principal; Jacky Organisciak, personal banker at KeyBank; Leanna Ohol, KeyBank manager in Medina; and Vince Iorio, Calvary’s pastor.

Doctor said the school will reach out to families who need the backpacks with supplies.

The first day of school for Medina is Wednesday.

“It’s very helpful,” Webber said about the donations. “There are a lot of students and families in need.”

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Kaiser has shown dedication to clerk’s job in Ridgeway

Posted 31 August 2017 at 10:57 am


As the Town Clerk for Tupper Lake, my Deputy Clerk and I have attended the NYS Town Clerks Association conferences and were fortunate to meet Karen Kaiser, who we can say is a friend and we look forward to seeing her at these conferences.

What we noticed about Karen Kaiser is that she is very dedicated to her job as the Deputy Town Clerk for Ridgeway, as well as the people of Ridgeway. Her motivation to learn and better herself for her town is admirable. She makes every effort to attend the classes that will benefit her town and is always making sure she is on top of all the laws and requirements.

We totally support Karen Kaiser because she is very dedicated to her town and her heart is to serve her community the best way she can.

Laurie J Fuller, Town Clerk, Town of Tupper Lake

Donna Maliszewski, Deputy Town Clerk, Town of Tupper Lake

Culhane praised for reducing taxes, tackling tough projects in Gaines

Posted 31 August 2017 at 10:54 am


There have been so many positive changes in the Town of Gaines since Carol Culhane became Supervisor. She has worked tirelessly to benefit the people of the Town of Gaines.

• Town taxes have been consistently reduced, without loss of services.  This requires significant skills when planning the annual budget.

• Significant improvements, many of which are required by state regulations, have been made to the Town Hall. Further improvements to the exterior of the building are next to be undertaken. These projects have largely been paid for by grants which Carol has secured.

• The water district over-levying was discovered and ended.  People now pay only what is owed in their water district.

• Procedures have been streamlined to make Town operations more efficient and accountable.

• New businesses have been encouraged to locate in Gaines.

• All information regarding Town services, minutes, audits, and other items is always available on the Town of Gaines website.

Councilwoman Sue Smith, as a member of the Town Board, has also supported all these positive changes over the years.

• So why change what is working ?? *

Please Vote for Carol Culhane for Town Supervisor and Sue Smith for Town Councilwoman on September 12.

John and Constance Mosher