Month: June 2019

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Posted 7 November 2020 at 7:00 am

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Posted 21 September 2020 at 7:00 am

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Kitchen fire damages Barre home, dog perishes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2021 at 10:02 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – Firefighters cut through the roof of a house at Rice Homes off Route 98, to ventilate the structure. The house is next to this camper.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 8:48 p.m. for reports of a structure fire. The occupant of the house was cooking bacon and the fire started in the kitchen. Orleans County fire investigators are at the scene to officially determine the cause.

The man in house was able to safely get outside but Barre Fire Chief James Neal said a dog died in the fire.

The house suffered water and smoke damage, and Neal said it appears the contents are all ruined.

The man who lives at the house has a burn on his hand, and some minor injuries with cuts and scrapes.

Albion, Barre and Medina firefighters responded to the scene, as well as the Orleans County Emergency Management Office, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police.

Albion Storm earns first home field victory

Contributed Story Posted 15 May 2021 at 6:52 pm

Contributed Photo – Anna Grillo delivers a pitch for the Albion Storm

The Albion Storm scored their first at home win 19-8 against Warsaw Summit today.

On the mound to start was Kaitlin Bennett who had 6 strikeouts throughout the first four innings.

Anna Grillo came in to close the game with 5 strikeouts over the last two innings. She allowed no hits and had a close out 1,2,3 strikeout inning in the top of the sixth to end the game.

The Storm put up 5 solid hits with Loralei Gailie leading the team going 2-3 with 2 singles. Kaitlin Bennett, Gia Howard and Meadow Smith all singled as well.

The Storm ran wild on the bases with 27 stolen bases!

Next the Storm takes on Tri Town at home on Thursday.

Sectional title victory caps special season for senior members of the Mustangs squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 May 2021 at 6:42 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina Coach Eric Valley meets here with senior members of the squad after the Mustangs captured the Section VI Class C championship with a 21-13 victory over Southwestern at Vets Park Friday night. In front are Michael Bitsas, Robert Morehouse and Mitchell Silversmith. In back are Tyler Chinn, Miles Hartway, Brian Fry, Valley, Lennon Meacham, Donte Rhim and Corey Saj.

Cancelled last fall due to Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions, high school football across New York State got a reprieve when restrictions were eased enough to allow for a shorter “Fall 2” season sandwiched between the winter and spring sorts seasons.

It was a reprieve that probably meant the most to the senior members of the football squads who finally got that opportunity to play one more time.

And for the Medina seniors it proved to be a season to truly be remembered as the Mustangs went undefeated (6-0) capturing  the C North Division title and then the Section VI Class C championship. That sectional title, which was eared by positing a hard fought 21-13 victory over Southwestern Friday night, ended a long 33 year long playoff championship drought for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs senior group included Tyler Chinn, Corey Saj, Brian Fry, Donte Rhim, Miles Hartway, Lennon Meacham, Mitchell Silversmith, Robert Morehouse and Michael Bitsas.

“I’m just so proud of these kids. They really work hard and it was so nice for them to get the title,” said Coach Eric Valley. “It’s just very impressive what they have achieved.”

And for the second time in four months the Mustangs also proved what the value of earning a high seed for the playoffs means this year.

Due to the Pandemic situation there are no neutral sites for the sectionals this school year meaning the higher seeded team gets home field (or home court) advantage throughout the playoffs including the finals.

And Medina has fully taken advantage of that first in basketball and now in football.

The Medina boys basketball team captured the Niagara-Orleans League title and earned the No. 1 seed for the Section VI Class B2 playoffs. The Mustangs took full advantage of that top seed by scoring three straight home court victories to capture the sectional championship, the school’s first since 1971.

Interestingly Chinn, Rhim and Fry were also all regulars on the Mustangs championship basketball team.

And on the football field Medina earned the No. 2 seed for the Class C football playoffs.

Again capitalizing on the opportunity, the Mustangs first defeated No. 3 Eden/North Collins in the semifinals and then No. 4 Southwestern in the title contest to earn their first sectional title since 1988.

To be sure the Mustangs are no doubt thanking the Trojans for that home field advantage in the finals as Southwestern bested No. 1 seed Clymer/Sherman/Panama  (CSP) 24-21  in the other semifinal. A CSP win would have sent Medina deep into the Southern Tier to Clymer for the title contest.

Rams top Hornets in non league opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 May 2021 at 6:35 pm

Roy-Hart defeated Oakfield-Alabama 5-1 today in the Rams non league season opening baseball game.

Thomas Russo III had a big day for the Rams as he hurled a one hitter with 17 strikeouts on the mound and also banged out three hits at the plate.

John Conley and Jay Heideman each added a pair of hits for the Rams which also got key RBI hits from Gavyn Boyle and Brayden Hy.

R-H Track

Roy-Hart’s Nadia White won the Triple Jump and placed second in the 400 and Jay Heideman took second in the 3200 at the Pembroke Invitational Friday night.

R-H Volleyball

No. 3 seed Eden defeated visiting No. 4 Roy-Hart in straight sets 25-11, 25-10, 25-15 in the Section VI Class C1 volleyball championship match this afternoon.

Residents displaced by fire on Main Street in Barker

Staff Reports Posted 15 May 2021 at 4:26 pm

BARKER – Several residents have been displaced after a fire on Main Street in Barker today, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office is reporting.

The Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received multiple 911 calls at about 2 p.m. reporting smoke and fire coming from the top floor from a multi-dwelling complex at 8703 Main St.

All parties were safely evacuated. One person was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The fire was subsequently extinguished by members of the Barker VFD, assisted by Hartland, Lyndonville, Olcott, Wrights Corners, and Miller Hose Fire Departments.

An investigation into the cause of the fire by the Niagara County Origin and Cause Team is underway. All parties living in the complex have been displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is assisting those families.

Historic Childs: Photos from the Town of Gaines 175th Anniversary Parade in 1984

Posted 15 May 2021 at 4:13 pm

By Doug Farley, Director of Cobblestone Museum

GAINES – The expression, “Everyone Loves a Parade,” was certainly true in the Hamlet of Childs with the throng of onlookers and parade participants for the Historic Gaines Jubilee Parade in July 1984, celebrating the Town’s 175th Anniversary.

Linda Snyder and friend wave to onlookers with smiling faces all around at Harbor Crafts. The H&A Superette and Liquor store are seen in the background.

Elizabeth Vick (Church Historian), Arnold Vick, Alice & Earl Cole and Nancy Good celebrate 200 Years of Methodism.

American Legion Auxiliary, Albion

Lois Reid sets the pace for the members of the NYS Award winning Night Watch Drum and Bugle Corp. Scott Parker was the drum instructor.

More members of the Firemen’s Parade Champions, Knight Watch.

What’s a birthday celebration without cake? Gaines Congregational Church Float.  These little tikes are probably 40 years old now.

The Cobblestone Universalist Church is decorated for the patriotic observance.

Even the horses got dressed up for the occasion.

Hey somebody has to do it! With all the horses, the pooper scooper is a necessity.

Ridge Equipment is ready to give Ol’ Betsy a boost.

Legionnaires help celebrate.

Thank you for your service! We salute our Vietnam vets, Genesee Valley Chapter!

Mary Ann Pixley is riding high in this equestrian unit.

Ingrid LaMont is all smiles, and husband Roger is keeping a watchful eye.

Dig those white sidewall tires!

Queen for a day!

Uncle Sam gets a lift.

We honor and respect our firemen. Richard Tibbitts marching in line.

Where’s your pants, Pete?

Clowns and more.

Frenchy’s Appliance: Entertainment: Then and Now.  (Looks like “Now” is a little outdated today.) But, Everett “Frenchy” Downey is still going strong.

Lamont Storage, Densmore Road, Albion.

Ruth and Robert Brown riding their historic John Deere tractor.

Tigers score diamond sweep over Bees

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 May 2021 at 3:42 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Roman Heinsler delivers a pitch for Lyndonville during the Tigers home field win today over Byron-Bergen.

Lyndonville scored a baseball-softball sweep over Byron-Bergen today in Genesee Region League action.

On the baseball diamond, Lyndonville downed Byron-Bergen 9-4 as Nathan Dillenbeck had 3 hits and 2 RBIs and Rolland Balcerzak 2 hits and 2 RBIs.

Roman Heinsler went the distance on the mound for the Tgiers scattering 5 hits and striking out 11.

Lyndonville is now 5-1.

The Lyndonville softball squad avenged a loss last weekend by besting Byron-Bergen 10-3 highlighted by a three-run homer by Chloe Stinson and a two-run double by Ella Lewis.

Winning pitcher Haley Shaffer and Brynn Howell both had 3 hits and Brianna Krisher 2 for the Lady Tigers which improve to 6-1.

In the circle Shaffer allowed 7 hits and struck out 11.

Youth baseball season gets underway

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 May 2021 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Local youth baseball action got underway today including the Lyndonville Fire Dept. vs. Medina A’s game at Butts Park. Shown here on the mound are Medina’s Jack Buondonno and Lyndonville’s Xander Groves.

Travel Thoughts By Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 15 May 2021 at 3:00 pm

Muir Woods National Monument, 12 miles north of San Francisco, is a dense forest of massive old growth coastal redwoods.

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Napa Valley and Muir Woods, California!

We visited San Francisco last time, so let’s stay in that area of the west coast. Today, I’ll take you to Muir Woods, Sausalito, Napa Valley, and Sonoma. I spent two wonderful, sunny California days touring these four locations. Getting to visit Napa Valley was the main reason I decided to extend my time in the San Francisco area – the whole week there was amazing, but I especially enjoyed the two days I spent on these tours.

I used Gray Line and chose two full day tours – the first took me to Muir Woods and Sausalito and the next day focused on Napa Valley and Sonoma. Both tours were awesome! So relaxing and so much natural beauty to enjoy along the ride and at each stop. And, it is always a pleasure to sit back and let someone else do the driving and provide interesting information along the way.

Muir Woods is designated a National Monument. It is 12 miles north of San Francisco and covers 554 acres with 240 acres of old growth coastal redwood forest. We were dropped off and told we had a couple hours to walk the trails and enjoy the park. And, I did just that. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, dense woods, and streams, it tends to always feel damp and cool within the park, which was welcome on that hot, sunny day California day. It was very difficult to get any really good photos of the trees because they are so tall, but I did the best I could and got some really nice shots along the trails as I walked and sat on benches along the way and just gazed in awe at the massive trees and God’s splendor. It really was incredible.

Sausalito, California – a quaint harbor town directly across the bay from San Francisco.

After we left Muir Woods, we were dropped off at Sausalito – a lovely little harbor town located directly across the bay from San Francisco and loaded with high end shops and restaurants. I wasn’t really interested in shopping – I much preferred to spend my time sitting on a bench overlooking the harbor and watch the boats and birds! I wandered around the town a bit and was so happy for the breeze off the bay and the beautiful scenery.

The next day was spent in Napa Valley and Sonoma. WOW! What a treat to gaze upon the beautiful country views throughout these valleys. Of course, it was a wine tasting tour, but even if you don’t partake in the wine, these tours are so interesting, relaxing, and full of spectacular sights – rolling hills, farm land, and vineyards as far as the eye could see.

Sutter Homes Winery is famous for their White Zinfandel wine and interesting story with stunning gardens and Victorian Inn.

We stopped at two small family owned estate wineries: Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma and Madonna Estates in Napa Valley. Both were stunning wineries and the hosts were amazing with their stories and information. And the wine was pretty spectacular, too. Nicholson Ranch is known for its Pinot Noir and, I must say, it was really quite good.

After the morning stops, we drove to Yountville for lunch. Yountville is a wonderfully quaint little town. We had a couple hours to spend having lunch on our own and enjoying the town. I chose to eat at a very nice restaurant called Pacific Blues and then strolled the streets to explore and get some photos. I found a bakery that is part of one of the four Michelin Star restaurants located in the small town. They had an assortment of goodies that made me melt just looking at them in the showcase. I bought an assortment of French Macarons to take back to my hotel for later in the evening – WOW – they really hit the spot after a long day of touring.

Nicholson Ranch Estate Winery seen from the road. One of many beautiful landscapes, farm lands, and vineyards in the Napa Valley and Sonoma areas near San Francisco, CA.

After lunch, we stopped at the Sutter Homes Winery – I had hoped we’d stick with smaller, family owned estate wineries, but this large, internationally known winery was pretty amazing. They have gorgeous gardens and an impressive Victorian Inn that I had a field day photographing. But, it was their cool story that I was most intrigued by. They started out as a small family run farm vineyard. The current family used all their savings (their last $20,000) to purchase the vineyard and winery from the original owners. They were so broke as they worked to get started that they didn’t even have enough money to pay to have the name legally changed – so they just left it as Sutter Home. Then, they “accidentally” developed the first ever White Zinfandel wine – they were working on a red zinfandel and it came out looking more like a rose’ and had a very unique taste. They decided to market it and America fell in love with it. It made them millionaires literally overnight. They served us tastings of a higher end version of that White Zinfandel that they only sell at the winery and some other signature wines that are not sold commercially and they were all excellent.

On the way back to the hotel, we drove by several beautiful wineries, including the Robert Mondavi Winery and other well-known brands. I also saw several pastures with a type of cow I’ve never seen before – Belted Galloway Cattle – a.k.a Oreo Cows. They originate from the west side of southern Scotland and are mostly black with a large white “belt” around their middle section. So, lots of cool things to see and do in and around that area of California.

Visit my blog for all the photos from this gorgeous area of our amazing country: 

Muir Woods / Sausalito:
Napa Valley / Sonoma:

Happy Adventuring!

Albion firefighters out for boot drive

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2021 at 1:15 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Sarah Papponetti and her mother Sue are out with the Albion Fire Department today, collecting money for the boot drive at the intersection of routes 98 and 31. The Papponettis were on Route 31, just west of the intersection. Many of the AFD fundraisers have been cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sheriff’s Office recognizes Deputy Whittier on National Peace Officers Memorial Day

Posted 15 May 2021 at 9:20 am

Deputy David H. Whittier – End of Watch, September 8, 1989. Whittier was on routine road patrol when he came upon an unoccupied pickup truck on Gaines Basin Road on Jan. 19, 1989. While Whittier was inspecting the truck, he was hit by a drunk driver and then dragged about 100 feet. He survived the accident and remained in the hospital until April 1989. After being home for a few months, his condition did not improve. He had contracted cancer, which doctors said was trauma induced. Doctors said his immune system was too compromised due to injuries sustained from the accident. Whittier was 41 when he died on Sept. 8, 1989. About 700 people, including police officers around the state, attended his funeral in Clarendon at the Disciples United Methodist Church.

Press Release, Sheriff Chris Bourke

In 1989 Deputy David H. Whittier had succumbed to injuries sustained earlier in the year when he was struck by a drunk driver while on duty. During the collision, Deputy Whittier was pinned between an abandoned vehicle and the suspect’s vehicle.

Deputy Whittier will always be remembered for his sacrifice, diligence, dedication and service to our community.

He was survived by his wife Connie, and two children, Kellie and Thad. The Whittier family continues to remain in our thought and prayers.

Badge # 144 will always be remembered.

Bunch has served Medina well on Board of Education

Posted 15 May 2021 at 8:55 am


I am writing to encourage voters to write in Ann Bunch as a candidate for the Medina Board of Education.

Dr. Bunch has served on the Board for almost nine years. She was instrumental in preventing a proposed tax increase to the upcoming budget. She polled members of the community for their views on a tax increase and found that residents were opposed.

Considering that state and federal revenue coming in will exceed $6 million, education for students will not be impacted. She was sensitive to the financial hardships so many have suffered due to Covid, and she realized that it was not in the best interest of the community to raise taxes while alternative sources of revenue are available.

I believe Ann Bunch is a valuable asset to the village and to the Board of Education. Please consider writing in her name next Tuesday for the Board of Education.

Cynthia Servé


Highlights from Medina’s sectional title win

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 May 2021 at 11:39 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Escorted by fire trucks, Medina players are shown here during their pre game walk to Vets Park where the Mustangs trimmed Southwestern 21-13 this evening to capture the Section VI Class C championship. Click here to view the video of the parade. from the Middle school to Vets Park.

Medina defenders Dominic Larabee (7) and Chase Weese (71) sack Southwestern quarterback Aidan Kennedy.

Mustangs quarterback Xander Payne delivers a pass.

Medina’s Joe Cecchini tackles Trojans quarterback Aidan Kennedy.

Medina’s Corey Saj drags Southwestern tackler Matt Pannes as he tries for additional yardage.

Medina’s Tyler Chinn looks to evade Trojans defender Matt Pannes.

Mustangs defender Brian Fry hauls in one of his two pass interceptions.

Though it was the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic caused first ever Spring football season a large crowd had Vets Park rocking this evening as if it was a warm Autumn Friday night. The crowd and players here stand at attention during the playing of the national anthem.

Kendall downs rival Holley in JV baseball

Contributed Story Posted 14 May 2021 at 11:19 pm

Contributed Photo – Freshman James Fox delivers a pitch for the Kendall Eagles JV baeball team.

Due to a shortage of players in the upper grades, Kendall does not have a varsity baseball team this spring as the Eagles have merged with rival Holley.

However, the rivals did meet today in JV baseball action as Kendall emerged with a 23-0 win over Holley.

James Fox hurled a one hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks for the Kendall JV’s.

Nate Shaw collected four hits in five at bats to lead the Kendall attack. Shaw singled in the first inning, singled in the second, hit a grand slam home run in the fourth, and singled in the fifth. Austin Werth also had multiple hits.

Kendall notched seven runs in the fourth inning highlighted by Shaw’s grand slam.

Holley’s hit came on a single by Trowbridge in the fourth inning.

On defense,  Kendall  didn’t commit an error in the field. Jimmie Swift had  11 chances in the field, the most on the team.

Tigers best Lancers in G-R diamond contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 May 2021 at 11:07 pm

Pulling away in the late innings, Lyndonville defeated Elba 16-3 this afternoon to improve to 4-1 in Genesee Region League baseball competition.

The Tigers scored 5 runs in the sixth inning and 6 more in the seventh to lock up the win.

Winning pitcher Nathan Dillenbeck had three hits, inuding a two-run home run, Jack Whipple 4 hits with 5 RBIs, Alex Barry 3 hits and Casey Winiecki and Rolland Balcerzak 2 hits each.

On the mound, Dillenbeck gave up 5 hits and struck out 3.