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Month: November 2017

Niagara sheriff identifies hunter who died in Royalton on Wednesday

Staff Reports Posted 30 November 2017 at 10:22 pm

ROYALTON – Niagara County Sheriff James Vountour has released the name of the hunter who died on Wednesday.

Stephen C. Harrington, 69, from the Town of Royalton is the man who died from an apparent medical emergency.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call at 9:20 on Wednesday morning reporting that a hunter had fallen from a tree stand in the woods behind 4562 Royalton Center Rd.

Unsuccessful life-saving treatment was given Harrington.

The investigation is continuing by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Bureau.

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Kendall girls down Holley in season opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2017 at 9:33 pm

Building up leads of 9-0 after one quarter and 16-5 at the half, Kendall went on to defeat visiting Holley 37-15 this evening in the girls basketball season opener for both teams.

Taylor ReQua had a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals to lead the way for Kendall.

Jenna Regan added 7 points, Lizzie Sutphen 6, Lyndsay Wright 5 and Kaitlyn Gregory 4 for the Lady Eagles.  Wright also grabbed off 10 rebounds.

Olivia Radford scored 7, Madison Marsh 3, Julia Smith and Abigail Willims 2 and Madison Day 1 for Holley.

Third period surge powers LeRoy past Albion; Roy-Hart rallies past Tonawanda

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2017 at 9:16 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Demetrius Gardner drives to the basket against LeRoy defender Ryan Kettle during the Purple Eagles home court season opening loss this evening.

A huge third period scoring explosion powered LeRoy to a 72-45 victory over host Albion this evening in a season opening non league boys basketball game.

Leading by a slender two point, 33-31, margin at the half, LeRoy put together a 23-4 scoring burst to pull away to a commanding 21 point, 56-35, advantage at the three-quarter mark.

Coryon Roster scored 12 of his game high 30 points and Luke Stella 11 of his 17 to spearhead that LeRoy uprising.

Albion’s Kevin Hillman drives around LeRoy defender William Beswick.

Liam Ward led Albion on the night with 15 as Demetrius Gardner added 8, Bryce Pritchard 7, Dylan Fox 5, Shyheim Jakes and Hunter Webster 4 and Deyonci Farley 2.

Ward had the hot hand at the outset scoring 11 points in the first period, including a trio of threes and a pair of free throws at the buzzer, to spark Albion out to an 18-16 lead. Fox also had a three during that stretch which also included baskets by Gardner and Webster.

A layup by Pritchard kept the Purple Eagles even at 20-20 early in the second period.

However, LeRoy answered with a 9-2 run, including 6 by Roster, to take the lead for good at 29-24.

Albion did rally back to within two, 33-31, at the half after a three by Pritchard, a jumper by Webster and a pair jumpers by Jakes.

However, the Purple Eagles could not regain the lead as LeRoy, which dominated on the boards, pulled away for good with the whopping 23-4 third period scoring burst.

Albion next visits Lyndonville at 7 p.m. Friday in another non league contest.

Roy-Hart 58, Tonawanda 35
Trailing 17-10 after one quarter, Roy-Hart rallied to outscore host Tonawanda 38-12 over the middle two periods to earn a 58-35 non league victory.

Roy-Hart outscored Tonawanda 15-2 in the second period to take a 25-19 lead at the half. Keeping the momentum, the Rams then outpointed the Warriors 23-10 in the third to extend the advantage to 48-29.

Jake Bruning and Noah Kindron both scored 13 and Charlie Bruning 12 to set the pace for Roy-Hart which is now 2-0 on the young season.

Albion’s Austin Dugan drives by LeRoy’s Kristian Dewald for a layup.

WNY Energy marks 10 years of production on Dec. 1

Posted 30 November 2017 at 3:51 pm

Ethanol output is up 30 percent from start decade ago

File photo by Tom Rivers: Western New York Energy’s ethanol plant is located at the corner of Bates Road and Maple Ridge Road in Medina.

Press Release, WNY Energy

MEDINA – On December 1, 2007, Western New York Energy (WNYE) completed construction and began producing clean burning, homegrown ethanol at its $90 million facility originally designed to produce 50 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per year.

Ten years later, the company has added additional capacity through further investment, implemented new production technologies, and improved production efficiencies to be an industry leader.

Also in the first ten years, WNYE formed a transportation subsidiary, Shelby Transportation, LLC, to fill a logistics need for smaller farmers and WNY feed mills.

Today, the plant is capable of producing 30 percent over its original nameplate design while running more efficiently. Since the beginning, Western New York Energy has partnered with NY corn growers to purchase as much corn locally as possible. WNYE is projected to grind almost 21 million bushels of corn in 2018.

Ethanol is a high octane, low emission fuel that is generally blended at a 10% or 15% rate in gasoline today (E10/E15). A recent USDA study shows that blending 10% ethanol in our gasoline today reduces harmful, cancer-causing emissions by 43%. The ethanol produced by Western New York Energy from grain grown by local farmers is the cheapest octane available and saves money for families and consumers at the pump every day.

The zero-waste ethanol production process produces several high-quality co-products in addition to fuel ethanol. No part of the corn kernel goes to waste. New York State prides itself on being a leader in the production of clean renewable energy and WNYE is proud to be doing its part towards that effort.

Western New York Energy began from John Sawyer, Jr’s vision of creating a business that would improve farming and agriculture in WNY. Following that vision, John and Michael Sawyer worked with a local ownership group and community leaders to build the first ethanol plant in NY resulting in an improved local corn market and agricultural economy.

Western New York Energy would like to thank all of our investors and employees for their faith, hard work and commitment over the past 10 years. As a proud and active supporter of our local community, we look forward to continuing our operations here in Shelby and Orleans County for years to come.

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Albion students compete in Legion’s oratorical contest

Posted 30 November 2017 at 3:32 pm

Provided photo: Pictured front rowfrom left include: Sara Hillman, Melissa Barnosky, Ashlyn LeBaron and Molly Wadhams. Back row: Wally Skrypnik (Post Commander), Phil Warne (Finance Officer), Joe Gehl (Board Member) and Gary Befus (Adjutant).

Press Release, Albion Central School

ALBION – The Albion High School Oratorical Contest was held today in the LGI at the high school. Four students participated in this annual event sponsored by the American Legion Sheret Post 35.

The purpose of the program is to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution. Each student prepared and presented a written speech based on the U.S. Constitution.

Sara Hillman’s speech was entitled “More than Words on Paper,” Melissa Barnosky’s speech was entitled “Significance of Suffrage,” Ashlyn LeBaron’s speech was entitled “Rights and Obligations,” and Molly Wadhams’ speech was entitled “Rights and Beliefs.”

Melissa Barnosky placed first and won $100. Molly Wadhams placed second and won $50.  Both students will progress to the Orleans County Oratorical Contest on Dec. 9 at Medina High School.

Sara Hillman, third place, and Ashlyn LeBaron, fourth place, each were awarded $25.

Rich Gannon, an Albion social studies teacher, is advisor for the competition in Albion.

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Genesee Chorale will perform Monday in Medina

Staff Reports Posted 30 November 2017 at 11:01 am

Photos courtesy of Howard Owens/The Batavian: Ric Jones, director of the Genesee Chorale, leads the group during a rehearsal on Monday at the St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia.

MEDINA – The Genesee Chorale, a group of 70 singers, will be performing “Christmas Memories” this Saturday in Batavia and Monday in Medina.

The program includes some new songs, some classics and some old favorites with a new twist. Ric Jones of Medina directs the Chorale with accompaniment by Doug Hanson.

The concerts are at 7 p.m. on Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia, and at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at First Presbyterian Church, 522 S. Main St., Medina.

For information about tickets, click here.

Stories of favorite Christmas memories and traditions will be shared throughout the concert. These holiday tales will be paired with old Christmas favorites like White Christmas or fresh, new takes on a familiar text like Silent Night, by local composer and teacher, Stephen Shewan of Shelby. He is the director of bands at Williamsville East High School.

Ric Jones of Medina directs the group of 70 singers.

“I think it will be a magical walk down memory lane,” said Heather Lovelace, the Chorale president. “Nothing triggers old holiday feelings like Christmas carols, except perhaps the smell of those favorite Christmas cookies.”

While there won’t be Christmas cookies, there will certainly be music for all to enjoy. Let the Genesee Chorale jump start your holiday season.

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SAFE Act should be enforced even when violators are veterans

Posted 30 November 2017 at 10:32 am


A local man was recently convicted of criminal possession of 3 high capacity magazines complete with 17 rounds of ammunition in each. The conviction was foreseeable under the laws of the state of NY.

After conviction the defendant was leniently sentenced to a conditional discharge by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy III. The judge noted that the sentence was not a commentary on the state law but rather recognition of the defendant’s exemplary military service. The defendant was supported by many like-minded gun owners who had been urged to attend his sentencing via social media.

It’s great that so many citizens showed up or wrote to support the veteran at his sentencing; however, true advocates would advise family and friends that there are foreseeable consequences to engaging in unlawful conduct. The right to bear arms comes with a concomitant obligation and responsibility to do so in a lawful manner, no matter your personal opinion of the SAFE Act or other such laws.

I applaud County Court Judge Murphy for showing compassion and leniency to the veteran and gratitude for his service. This should not, however, be seen as a free pass for others. The fact of the matter is that the SAFE Act has now been in effect for almost 5 years and has been upheld by every court that has heard it; further the US Supreme Court has refused to hear challenges to similar cases.

It is disingenuous to think that because one served in the military or that certain county sheriffs say that they will not enforce it – that it is OK to flagrantly violate the law. We thank you for your service in protecting our country which is founded on the rule of law, however that service does not entitle you to violate our laws with impunity.

Paul McQuillen

Upstate Coordinator

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Lighthouse Wind offers little benefit at too much cost to the community

Posted 30 November 2017 at 10:22 am


As a supporter of Save Ontario Shores (SOS), I took special note of recent accusations about SOS information gathering and dissemination tactics, relating to Virginia based Apex Clean Energy’s Project Lighthouse Wind.

This project was proposed over 4 years ago, and will involve the installation of approximately 70 giant 600-foot Industrial Wind Turbines along a 12-mile stretch of Lake Ontario Shore in the towns of Somerset and Yates.

Apparently, the information being disseminated is having an effect not to the liking of Apex and their supporters. Rather than respond, SOS is labeled as “aggressive and the spreader of misinformation.” Trash the messenger and ignore the message is the response. SOS is accomplishing its stated goals by addressing the health, safety and welfare of those being affected by Apex. SOS is to be congratulated. They are doing an excellent job. All the facts are getting out!

A wealth of information is now available due to the good graces of SOS and others, relating to the physical and environmental impacts of industrial wind turbines. The noise, visual pollution, shadow flicker, degradation of property values, infrasound effects, bird and bat kill, disruption of normal farming operations, loss of property rights and construction damage are all well documented. The effects are real. People who are living among industrial wind turbines are speaking out. Clearly our quality of life is at issue!

Three independent surveys show public opposition by a factor of more than two to one. A recent online survey by Business First also reflects, by a similar margin, the negative attitude of the public toward industrial wind turbines. It is clear, our community does not want the noise, our community does not want the visual pollution, our community does not want to experience shadow flicker, our community does not want property values to drop, our community understands the negative health effects of infrasound, our community does not want indiscriminate bird and bat slaughter. The list goes on and on.

Supporters point to economic benefits. So far, much talk and very little in the way of specifics. Apex has generously volunteered to pay $1.6 million in local property taxes. How can it be that they decide how they shall be taxed? Do any of us have that opportunity? No!! This figure is to be divided among 6 taxing jurisdictions diminishing its impact.

Further, an estimate of the taxes that should be paid based on the full value of the investment in Lighthouse Wind shows this figure to low by a factor of 5 or more. So from the outset, we get short changed.

In addition, the hidden tax breaks such as feed in tariffs, production tax credits, power purchase agreements, accelerated write offs, and grants continue to quietly drain the public purse, thus erasing any financial gain that might have occurred.

Permanent employment by Apex’s own admission will only be a handful of individuals.

The construction period will employ transient personnel from outside our area. The majority of equipment will come from outside the area and even outside the country. Much physical and environmental impact will take place as these monstrous structures are brought in and assembled. There is no way this project will replace the tax base that has been lost by State energy policies that are forcing Somerset Station to close by 2020. Somerset Station was at one time, one of the largest taxpayers in the area. This facility should be converted to clean burning natural gas.

We hear about a Host Community Agreement with no inkling of what this might be or of what benefit it will be to our area. The lack of anything specific on this matter says much.

In summary, after four years in our community, what Apex Clean Energy is offering our community is not buying, and the opposition has grown. The issues are well understood.

The environmental and physical impacts are detrimental. The economic benefits are nil. The power is not needed. The power is not clean. The power is not reliable. There are other ways to save our planet. Project Lighthouse Wind is the wrong project in the wrong place. Apex should go home!!

James Hoffman


County looks to extend exemption for Cold War vets

Photo by Tom Rivers: David Kusmiersczak of Medina speaks in favor of keeping a tax exemption for Cold War veterans during a public hearing on Wednesday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2017 at 9:58 am

ALBION – Orleans County plans to keep a tax exemption for Cold War veterans. The exemption is due to expire on March 31, 2018.

The county enacted the exemption 10 years ago and it is due to sunset. The exemption is good for up to 10 percent or a maximum of $4,000 off the assessed value of a property.

With a county tax rate of about $10 per $1,000 of assessed property, the maximum exemption would save a Cold War veteran about $40 in county taxes.

There are about 100 veterans in the county currently receiving the exemption, said Dawn Allen, the county’s director of Real Property Tax Services Department.

Earl Schmidt, the director of the county’s Veterans Service Agency, has been pushing county officials to renew the exemption. During a public hearing on Wednesday, Schmidt said some counties may have a gap in the exemption due to it expiring. He doesn’t want that to happen in Orleans County.

“We are ahead of the game,” Schmidt said.

The exemption is good for eligible veterans who served in the military from Sept. 2, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991.

The exemption also includes up to $20,000 off the assessment value for property owned by disabled veterans.

David Kusmiersczak of Medina urged the Legislature to continue the exemption.

“This will help all of us,” Kusmiersczak said during the public hearing.

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RBM hockey team drops two road games

Contributed Story Posted 30 November 2017 at 9:53 am

The fledgling RoyHart- Barker -Medina club hockey team dropped a pair of road games  over the past two evenings in Western New York High School Club Hockey League action.

On Tuesday, the RBM team traveled to East Aurora for an outdoor game against East Aurora- Holland losing 4-1.

After a scoreless first period, EA scored three straight goals before RBM finally tallied on a goal by Michael Kuchey (Roy-Hart) assisted by his brother, Jason.

EA outshot RBM 33 to 17.

On Wednesday, RBM was hosted by Depew and was defeated 10-1.

Now 1-3 in the league and 0-2 in their division, the RBM team next travels to division opponent Olean on Sunday.