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Month: March 2018

Medina Scout, Christian Hahn, earns his Eagle

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2018 at 6:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Christian Hahn is pictured with one of the 16 bookshelves he made that will be placed at businesses and organizations around the community for the Orleans County Adult Learning Services. Hahn received his Eagle Scout rank today.

MEDINA – Christian Hahn completed a 12-year journey in the Boy Scouts of America today, earning his Eagle Scout rank.

Christian, 18, started Cub Scouts when he was 6 in the first grade, and went on numerous camping and hiking trips, including the National Jamboree in Virginia and the Philmont Scout Ranch in the rugged New Mexico wilderness. At Philmont, Christian and other Scouts needed to hike 50-60 miles over hills.

“It’s a family tradition and it’s taught me valuable things in life,” Christian said today at the Medina United Methodist Church, which hosted his Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony.

His grandfather, Don Miller, was a Scoutmaster of Troop 28 in Medina, and Christian’s uncle, Tim Miller, now leads the troop as Scoutmaster.

Christian counts numerous friends through Scouting, as well as learning tons of skills, from building fires, cleaning water to cooking with a Dutch oven.

For his Eagle project, he made 16 bookshelves that are painted light blue for the Orleans County Adult Learning Services. OCALS is using the shelves as part of the “Little Blue Bookshelf Project,” which promotes literacy by placing the shelves in local businesses and organizations, and stocking the shelves with books for families and young children.

Christian made the shelves and gave them three coats of paint. He worked on the project from August until November. He thanked the following businesses for donating to the project: Medina Lumber and Lockport Lumber gave wood; Evans Ace Hardware gave eight cans of paint and paintbrushes; Valu donated nails; Tractor Supply contributed paint rollers and drywalls screws.

Christian Hahn is pictured when he competed in the Pinewood Derby in January 2011, back when he was 11. He never won the event, “but I had a lot of fun.”

Christian will head to Wells College in the Finger Lakes this fall to major in computer science, and then he plans to go to Med School. He wants to works as a doctor in an emergency room.

In school he competed in track, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer and swimming. He also was in the musicals with Medina and Lyndonville students, including having the lead role of Gomez Addams in last weekend’s show of The Addams Family.

Although he has completed Scouts, Christian isn’t ending his Scouting career. He wants to stay active with the troop as a volunteer.

A cake celebrating Christian Hahn’s Scouting accomplishments was served after the ceremony today.

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NY passes legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers

Posted 31 March 2018 at 4:46 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the passage of legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers. The legislation closes a loophole in state law in order to ensure domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns. The policy is part of the Governor’s 2018 Women’s Agenda.

“The recent wave of mass shootings is horrifying, and the federal government’s failure to act on any form of meaningful gun safety laws is unconscionable,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is once again leading the way to prevent gun violence, and with this common sense reform, break the inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence. This legislation builds on our gun laws – already the strongest in the nation – to make New York safer and stronger.”

Previously, New York law prohibited the possession of firearms for individuals convicted of a felony or for a limited number of misdemeanor “serious” offenses. However, this excluded many misdemeanor offenses which nobody could deny are in fact serious. To ensure no domestic abuser retains the ability to possess a firearm despite being convicted of a disturbing crime, the legislation rightly bolsters the list of “serious” crimes, which, upon conviction, require the loss of a gun license and the surrender of all firearms.

This legislation will also ensure individuals wanted for a felony or other serious offense are not able to obtain or renew a firearm license. Previously, despite being subject to an arrest warrant, an individual could still legally obtain a firearm license, all while being sought by the police. This change will make certain that the general public as well as the law enforcement who are actively seeking to arrest a wanted individual are not needlessly endangered by that individual obtaining new firearms.

Under Governor Cuomo, New York has passed the strongest gun control laws in the nation. However, New York previously did not have sufficient laws in place to ensure all types of firearms are removed from individuals involved in domestic violence-an issue closely tied to gun violence and gun violence deaths. In nine of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, the shooter had an existing record of committing violence against women, threatening violence against women, or harassing or disparaging women. In addition, when an abusive partner is permitted to access firearms, the risk that the other partner will be killed increases fivefold. In 2016, firearms were used in 35 domestic homicides in New York.

The legislation built on bills previously advanced by Assemblymember Amy Paulin, Senator Diane Savino and other members of the legislature.

Last month, Governor Cuomo spearheaded the creation of the “States for Gun Safety” coalition to combat the gun violence epidemic. Together with New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, New York State entered into an agreement to trace and intercept illegal guns, better share information on individuals prohibited from buying or owning firearms, and create the first-in-the-nation regional gun violence research consortium. In the face of continued federal inaction, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Puerto Rico have already joined the coalition which now represents over 35 million Americans.

Sen. Ortt votes against the legislation: ‘I cannot, in good conscience, pat myself on the back and pretend we’re making our state safer.’

State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, issued this statement:

“Federal law already covers gun ownership for violent offenders. This loose language will do nothing to further protect victims of domestic violence but will unconstitutionally target law-abiding gun-owners as a weapons confiscation tool. This is a stand-alone, non-fiscal measure that was lumped in as part of the budget process, passed unnecessarily with a message of necessity, in the dead of the night of a Holy Weekend.

“And sadly, we continue to see nothing on protecting our children through security upgrades or school resource officers and children’s mental health services remain woefully underfunded. I cannot, in good conscience, pat myself on the back and pretend we’re making our state safer. Our children are sitting ducks in our schools – all because progressive Democrats cannot stomach the reality that police, law enforcement, and security actually protect us.”

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State grant will help Extension get new digital sign to promote events

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2018 at 11:30 am

File photo: This photo from July 2013 shows Extension Director Robert Batt, who was then the president of the Fair Board, and Kerri Richardson, who was then community educator for the Cornell Cooperative Extension, gearing up for 4-H Fair in Knowlesville. The Extension will soon get a new digital sign allowing the organization to list more events.

KNOWLESVILLE – The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County has been awarded a $4,535.75  to purchase and install a multicolor LED sign on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. The new sign will allow the Extension to better promote agriculture education and events.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced the funding on Friday. It was part of nearly $600,000 for research, promotion, and development projects to strengthen New York State’s diverse agricultural industry and spur economic growth across the state.

The funding for the Extension was approved by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority.

Other grants approved by the GVRMA include $300,000 to the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva with $260,000 going to malting barley research in New York State and $40,000 dedicated to enhance the location of the Institute for Food Safety.

The Board also awarded $200,000 to the New York Wine & Grape Foundation to support its successful NY Drinks NY program, a promotional effort showcasing New York’s wine and grape industries.

In addition, the GVRMA Board awarded the following projects that will boost the promotion and marketing of New York’s agricultural industry:

• NYS Wine & Culinary Center – $15,000 for the promotion of its annual craft beer festival, a public awareness campaign to promote beer production and hops growers.

• Finger Lakes Wine Alliance – $15,000 for the promotion of NYS Rieslings in the Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany markets.

• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County – $15,000 to support Monroe County farmers in their efforts to create and promote agritourism on their farms.

• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County – $4,535.75 to purchase and install a multicolor LED sign on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

• Irondequoit Farmers’ Market – $5,736.12 to develop a “Nutritional Fact Book” and promotional materials that will promote the value of fresh fruits, vegetables and plants available at the market.

• Bishop Kearney High School – $15,000 to build a vegetable garden greenhouse where students will learn the importance of sustainable agriculture and develop a deeper understanding of the food that they consume.

• City of Geneva – $11,842 to purchase an open burners range and two dry storage cages, which will be used in the City of Geneva’s KitGen, a shared culinary incubator production space for tenants.

• Homesteads for Hope – $15,000 for a construction and cost feasibility study for an Agri-Enterprise Center, which would be used as a general store, farm café, community classroom and rentable event space on Homesteads for Hope’s 55-acre farm property for young adults with autism.

“These investments in research, promotion, and business development are critical to sustaining and growing a wide range of projects that benefit the agricultural community,” Commissioner Ball said. “I thank GVRMA for their  partnership, which has allowed for resources to be targeted to assisting the industry across the Genesee Valley and New York State.”

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Tigers have youthful track squads

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 March 2018 at 9:04 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the Lyndonville track teams include, in front, Evan Horn, Jacob Golding and Joyce Stamp. In back are Trey VerCruysse, Jon Slingrland and Savannah Poler. Missing from the photo are Angela Wachob and Ethan Bowie.

The accent is on youth for the Lyndonville track teams as the Tigers prep for the Genesee Region League openers at Holley on April 10 and at Kendall on April 13.

Underclassmen dominate the lineup for the Tigers 15 member boys squad which includes senior Brandon Baun (Throws); juniors Nate Poler (Sprints/Jumps), Jon Schroth (Throws/Sprints) and Seth Warner (Throws/Sprints); sophomores Jacob Barry (Hurdles/Sprints), Ethan Bowie (Sprints/Jumps), Jacob Golding (400/Relays), Evan Horn (Jumps/Sprints), Jon Slingerland (Distance) and Trey VerCruysse (Sprints); freshmen Isaac Becker (400/Hurdles), Ethan Craig (Distance) and Joseph Stamp (Sprints/Jumps/Relays) and eighth graders Connor Bell (Distance) and Noah Poler (Distance).

“We’ve got some depth this season” said Coach Jim O’Connor.

However, depth is lacking on Lyndonville’s small nine member girls team which includes seniors Bridget Barry (Sprints/Throws), Angela Wachob (400/Hurdles) and Iva Warriner (Throws); juniors Grace Hayes (Sprints/High Jump), Joyce Stamp (Sprints/Throws) and Carly Woodworth (High Jump/Sprints/Hurdles); sophomore Savannah Poler (Hurdles/Distance) and freshmen Erin Kiefer (Sprints/Hurdles) and Reese Raduns (Sprints/Hurdles).

Poler placed sixth in the 1500 at last year’s Section V Class D championships.

April: 10 at Holley,  4:30 p.m.;13 – at Kendall, 4:30 p.m.;18 – at Oakfield-Alabama, 4:30 p.m.; 25 – at Byron-Bergen, 4:30 p.m.; 28 – at Warsaw Invit.
May: 4 – at Pembroke Invit., 9 – at Wheatland-Chili, 4:30 p.m. 19 – at G-R All-League meet at Pembroke.

$168 billion state budget passes after midnight

Staff Reports Posted 31 March 2018 at 8:56 am

State legislators approved a $168.4 billion state budget early last night that boosts education funding by $1 billion and also rejects some of the tax increases proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The budget was passed just before a March 31 deadline.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, issued this statement.

“Although the budget process was rife with secrecy and failed to include much-needed ethics reform, we did secure funding for many programs crucial to Western New York.

“I am pleased we were able to restore Gov. Cuomo’s proposed cuts to Library Aid – providing millions in additional funding. We secured hundreds of millions in CHIPS to repair local infrastructure, programs to support up and coming farmers, a record amount of education aid and ensured protections for our valiant veterans.

“I am concerned that we once again increased spending, failed to curb our bloated Medicaid program and must absorb tax increases handed down by New York City politicians.

“Going forward with the rest of session I am confident we can work toward making New York more affordable for all and protecting upstate values from radical special interests.”

State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, voted for the spending plan.

“There is much to be proud of in this year’s budget, namely, the ability of my colleagues and I in the Senate to block over one billion dollars in new taxes and fees proposed by Gov. Cuomo and even higher taxes proposed by Assembly Democrats.

“The Senate continues to fight for our most vulnerable as evidenced by new disability funding and substantial funding to address mental illness – specifically prioritizing children’s mental health. In addition, a record $247 million in funding will help further combat the heroin and opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

“I successfully fought for the inclusion of $40 million for flood relief so we can continue to assist the residents along Lake Ontario, and ensure government makes good on the promises made when the waters first ravaged our shores. Finally, thanks to new reforms, New York’s taxpayers will no longer be forced to foot the bill for perpetrators in workplace sexual harassment cases.

“Unfortunately, I am disappointed that Assembly Democrats rejected the Senate’s proposal to provide schools with necessary funding for resource officers. Instead of choosing to help protect our children, they opted to continue their anti-gun political posturing.”

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Medina’s ‘First Lady’ became an instant celebrity when she married President Cleveland when she was 21

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 31 March 2018 at 8:16 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 13

“I am waiting for my wife to grow up.” – Grover Cleveland

As a young bachelor in Buffalo, Cleveland was said to have muttered these very words to his sisters who frequently asked him about his intentions to marry. His statement, although witty, held a certain degree of truth and it is with that truth that the story of Frances Folsom is told.

In 1996 an historic roadside marker was installed at the corner of Main and Eagle Streets in Medina, denoting the structure that Folsom called home for a brief moment in her life during the 1870s. The marker reads:

“Frances Folsom lived here in the mid-1870s with her grandmother and attended Medina High School. In 1886 at age 21 she wed Pres. Grover Cleveland.”

The daughter of Oscar and Emma Harmon Folsom, Frances was born July 21, 1864 at Buffalo, New York where her father practiced law with Grover Cleveland in a firm known as Lanning, Cleveland and Folsom. Folsom and Cleveland became close friends after a failed run for the office of Erie County District Attorney left Cleveland with a sense of defeat. It was said that Cleveland doted on the young girl, purchasing the first baby carriage for Frances.

On July 23, 1875, Oscar Folsom was tragically killed when he was thrown from his carriage in Buffalo’s Black Rock district. Cleveland was made administrator of Folsom’s will, but sources vary on whether Cleveland was, in fact, made the legal guardian of Frances. Oscar’s widow and eleven-year-old daughter relocated to Medina to live with Ruth Harmon, the grandmother of Frances, while Cleveland settled the estate. During the approximately three years that she lived in Medina, “Frankie” as she was later known (a nickname much to her disliking), became a popular pupil among fellow students and teachers at the Medina high school. It was after Cleveland finalized his business partner’s estate that Emma and Frances returned to Buffalo.

Frances continued her studies at Central High School in Buffalo and eventually entered the sophomore class at Wells College where she was attending when Cleveland was inaugurated for his first term. Despite her best efforts to attend the prestigious event, she was not permitted to miss classes.

After her graduation in 1885, Frances was whisked off to Europe by her mother at the urging of Cleveland so that she could experience the culture of the old world. At this time it was suspected by the public that Emma was visiting Europe to purchase her wedding dress under the assumption that Cleveland was courting the elder Folsom. Upon their return to New York on May 27, 1886, an announcement was made the following day noting Cleveland’s engagement to Frances and not Emma as previously thought.

On June 2, 1886 Grover and Frances were wed in the Blue Room, the stately parlor on the first floor of the White House, becoming the only couple to celebrate their wedding in the executive mansion. Frances became an instant celebrity, the press following her every move. As a fashionable young woman, she frequently wore gowns that were edgy for the time.

Photo by Tom Rivers: There is a historic marker for Frances Folsom at the corner of Main and Eagle streets in Medina, near Hartway Motors.

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was floored by her frequent wearing of gowns that revealed bare shoulders, claiming it negatively influenced young women. She quickly became a marketing tool for companies that used her likeness to sell goods. Others marketed goods on claims that she either purchased or used the goods herself, suggesting that Mrs. Cleveland was endorsing the products. Harper’s Magazine went as far as to feature her as a frequent cover subject, which undoubtedly assisted the periodical with the sale of issues.

While companies benefited from the marketability of the President’s wife, one Democratic Congressman attempted to pass a bill that would stop the widespread use of any woman’s image for commercial purposes without her written permission. Although the piece of legislation did not specifically address her by name, the bill was clearly aimed at alleviating the external pressures felt by the Clevelands at the hands of the corporate world. Suffering a heart attack at the age of 71, Grover Cleveland passed away on June 24, 1908; his widow 27 years younger than he, remained at Princeton, New Jersey where she would remarry to Thomas Preston nearly five years later. She died in her sleep on October 29, 1947 and was laid to rest next to her first husband in Princeton Cemetery.

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Orleans, WNY will see powerful gusts this weekend

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 March 2018 at 7:26 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Some snowdrop flowers by the towpath along the Erie Canal were spotted today around 6 p.m. just east of the Ingersoll Street bridge in Albion.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a high wind warning from 5 p.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday for Orleans and several other WNY counties, including Niagara, Monroe, Wayne, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming and Chautauqua.

The high winds will be mainly between the Thruway and lakeshore along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, with the winds the strongest overnight, the Weather Service said.

There will be southwest winds from 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 mph. The winds could bring down trees and power lines, resulting in scattered power outages. Homeowners are urged to secure loose objects.

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Medina carries cross at annual pilgrimage on Good Friday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 March 2018 at 4:27 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Joseph Brueckner, front, and Will Roush carry the cross along the sidewalk in front of City Hall during the annual “Cross Walk” by the Medina Area Association of Churches and the Medina Clergy Fellowship. The two boys attend the United Methodist Church in Medina.

The churches have been doing the annual “Pilgrimage to Golgotha” for at least two decades on Good Friday. They go to eight stops in the village, reading scripture and singing hymns.

Michael Stephenson (left), pastor of the First Baptist Church in Medina, gives an opening prayer for the group of about 30 people, who gathered with temperatures in the 30s.

Joseph Bruckner carries the cross next to Tony Hipes, pastor of the United Methodist Church. For the second year in a row, Neil Samborski dressed as a centurion.

The group stops at Rotary Park to read scripture, John 18:15-27, and sing a hymn, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”

Paul Wengrzycki, a member of the First Baptist Church in Medina, is in front carrying the cross down East Center Street as the group heads to the Canal Basin.

There will be a Good Friday service 6 p.m. today at Alabama Full Gospel and at 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church.

There will be a sunrise worship service on Easter at 6:30 a.m. at Boxwood Cemetery.

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County Legislature urges state to fund school resource officers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 March 2018 at 10:28 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature passed a formal resolution on Wednesday asking the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve funds to hire a school resource officer for every elementary and secondary school in the state.

“This would protect our most vital resource: our children,” said County Legislator Don Allport, R-Gaines.

The county’s resolution follows a push by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association to have a school resource officer in every school in the state. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley also supports the measure.

“We are, unfortunately, in an era where children in schools have too often become a target for evil persons wishing to cause mayhem and terror,” according to the County Legislature’s resolution. “Among the things that can be done quickly to increase the safety of our children and their schools is to provide an armed police presence in the schools.”

Hawley has urged Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for $50,000 in state funding for each school in the state to hire an armed school resource officer.

There are about 4,750 public schools and nearly 2,000 private schools educating students in grades K through 12 in the state, according to the Sheriffs’ Association.

If the state approves the measure, it would cost $237.5 million to pay for 4,750 school resource officers at $50,000 a year for the public schools. Including 2,000 officers for private schools would cost another $100 million.

County legislators say the state is better able to fund the officers rather than the county which faces budget constraints, tax caps and limited sources of revenue.

“The current threat to the safety of our children in their schools is a public safety emergency requiring a statewide response by our state government, with its multiple revenue sources, to address this emergency,” the resolution states.

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Lyndonville inducts 23 into Honor Society

Staff Reports Posted 30 March 2018 at 10:08 am

Provided photo

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville inducted 23 students into the Honor Society on Wednesday for their academic success and service to the school.

There were 12 students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, including Morgan Austin, Connor Bell, Ethan Gardner, Amanda Garza, Shawna Grabowski, Alexis Hughes, Aasiya Huzair, Ella Lewis, Drayven Oakes, Kate O’Brien, Karlee Rounds and Jack Whipple.

There were 11 students inducted into the National Honor Society for high schoolers, including Madison Austin, Angelina Black, Mason Boyd, Faith Chaffee, Allyson Deslatte, Oskar Heinsler, Tamara Huzair, Emilee Kassey, Sage Moore, Jonathan Slingerland and Sawyer Wilson.

Alisha Schwarzott is the advisor of the National Junior Honor Society at Lyndonville, and Paula Bachman is the advisor for the NHS.

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