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Month: October 2019

32 students at Orleans center inducted into National Technical Honor Society

Posted 31 October 2019 at 10:22 pm

Photos and article courtesy of Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Congratulations to the 32 students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center who were recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

Out of all the high school students in the United States, the National Technical Honor Society students who receive this honor comprise 1.6 percent of that population. For staff at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES center, they represent the four pillars of the National Technical Honor Society: scholarship, leadership, service and character.

The students were honored at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ technical education center in front of their teachers, families and school district representatives.

The students had to maintain an 89.5 grade average in their career and technical education programs and an 84.5 average at their high schools, have superior attendance, exemplary behavior, be a member in good standing with SkillsUSA and have a recommendation from a faculty member.

The following students were recognized:

• Albion – Damian Wilson (Graphic Communications).

• Barker – Lauren Sparrer (Cosmetology).

• Medina – Elizabeth Bellan (Culinary Arts), Regan Doel (Early Childhood Education) and Miya Troidl (Allied Health).

• Lockport – Tyneka Benton (Cosmetology), Madeline Brick (Cosmetology), Eliza Church (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Ryan Eberhardt (Security and Law Enforcement), Elkins Figueroa (Security and Law Enforcement), Caroline Overton (Culinary Arts), Luke Smeal (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Kathyryn Yurek (Early Childhood Education) and Aliyah Zastrow (Cosmetology).

• Lyndonville – Faith Chaffee (Allied Health), Emilee Kassay (Graphic Communications), Skyler Munn (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering), Riley Schmitt (Security and Law Enforcement) and Cal L. Stinson, Jr. (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering).

• Newfane – Dalton Harlach (Electricity/Electronics) and Madison Klumpp (Cosmetology).

• Roy-Hart – Reed Albee (Electricity/Electronics), Abigail Ander (Allied Health), Shayna Bulmer (Cosmetology), Noah Draper (Welding), Logan Edwards (Culinary Arts), Jenna Gioeli (Early Childhood Education), Timothy Hertel (Electricity/Electronics), Michael Huntington (Building Trades), Kennedy Lang (Allied Health), Bailey Newton (Welding) and Jamie Seib (Building Trades).

Medina Principal Michael Cavanagh is pictured with Medina honorees, Elizabeth Bellan, Regan Doel and Miya Troidl.

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Nursing home gets praise for hosting trick-or-treating

Posted 31 October 2019 at 9:14 pm


I would like to thank the Villages of Orleans Nursing Home for hosting trick and treating for the children.

My grandsons loved visiting and seeing the residents. The residents all had smiles on their faces as they greeted each child. It was a win-win for the children and the residents.

Marie Snyder


Students get rides in fire trucks to Albion school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2019 at 8:25 pm

Fire Safety winners get picked up in the big red trucks

Photos courtesy of Sue Starkweather Miller

ALBION – Firefighters from Albion, Barre and Carlton have been picking up elementary students since last week and giving them a ride to school. First-grader Leo Gotte is shown with his teacher, Miss Samantha Seaman, and Carlton firefighter Ryan Woolston.

One student in each grade level – prekindergarten to grade 5 – won a ride in the fire truck. The winning student had the top poster or project to promote fire safety.

PreKindergarten winner Adysyn Lamb is joined by her teacher, Mrs. Deanna Moore.

Kenneth Whitcfoft from Mrs. Debra Perry’s room won for the kindergarteners. His classmates joined him for a group photo with the Albion fire truck.

Kindergarten winner Kenneth Whitcfoft and Mrs. Debra Perry wave to the class when they arrive at school.

Second grade winner Caleb Wolfe was joined on the ride his his teacher, Mrs. Kim Merger.

Third grade winner Annabelle Harper from Mrs. Sheryl LeBaron’s room is helped off the bus by Albion firefighter Rob Connor.

Makenzie Cook is the fourth grade winner from Mrs. Cheryl Rightmyer’s class. They rode in a Barre fire truck.

Melodee Sager, a fifth-grader in Mr. Mark Skurzewski’s class, got to ride a Barre fire truck.

Another student, Rilee Tranello, is scheduled to get a ride on an Albion fire truck on Friday morning.

The fire safety week program and contest is organized by teacher Angie Wolfe.

Some of the winning posters and projects are in display in the lobby at the elementary school, including this one by first-grader Leo Gotte.

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Strong winds later tonight through Friday could cause widespread power outages

Photos by Cheryl Wertman: A park by the Erie Canal in Medina is shown this afternoon with the Glenwood Avenue bridge in back.

Staff Reports Posted 31 October 2019 at 5:29 pm

The National Weather Service is warning of powerful winds in Orleans County and much of Western New York from 8 tonight through 1 p.m. on Friday.

The Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a high wind warning with southwest to west winds at 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts of 60 to 65 mph expected.

The damaging winds will bring down numerous trees and power lines, with widespread power outages expected, the Weather Service said.

National Grid has 2,100 workers ready to respond to power outages

In preparation for forecasted gale-force winds moving west to east across portions of upstate New York beginning later tonight, National Grid has increased staffing to more than 2,100 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers, including line contractor support from as far away as South Carolina and Tennessee.

Crews are being prepositioned, particularly in western and central New York, where wind gusts off of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are forecasted to be in excess of 70 mph.

In anticipation of the storm, the company also provides customers with the following safety reminders:

Electricity & Generator Safety

• If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.

• Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed

lines should immediately be reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.

• Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.

• Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642- 4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 911.)

• Keep a number of working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.

• Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.

• Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

A reminder on estimated restoration times

Immediately after a storm, restoration times on National Grid’s Outage Central site may be listed as “assessing conditions.” That’s because safety hazards, such as trees, tree limbs, and downed wires must be cleared away so that infrastructure damage can be assessed and restoration plans can be executed.

It’s normal for outage numbers and ETRs to fluctuate. The numbers can go up and down as an ongoing storm causes new outages and/or as we de-energize lines to make conditions safe for repairs and restoration. Additionally, there could be new outages that occur that are separate from storm-related outages.

Outage Central Reminder: Our Outage Central page shows the estimated time of restoration for entire communities and reflects the estimated time for the last customer in that community to have power restored. The most accurate way for customers to check on the power restoration estimate for their specific address is to log into the National Grid’s Report or Check an Outage page.

This photo shows fog on the canal in Medina near the Horan Road bridge.

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Fuller says he’s worked with Shelby officials to improve the town on many projects

Posted 31 October 2019 at 4:56 pm


This letter is being written in response to Mr. Root’s Letter to the Editor dated October 29, 2019, accusing me of having a “fractured relationship” with the Shelby Town Board.

I have done everything the Town Board has asked of me (and then some) as the Town of Shelby Highway Superintendent for the last 14 years. In addition, I have accomplished the following:

• Oversaw the multi-agency Shelby, Ridgeway and Medina $2.5 million Bates Road Reconstruction Project, working daily with engineers, approving changes, modifications and signing off on all pay estimate paperwork. This project was successful, as evident by the current growth of our Medina Business Park.

• Worked with the Town Board and DEC on the remediation of the contaminated soil at the old town property on Maple Ridge Road by making a bio-cell, saving taxpayers $90,000-plus, so that Aldi’s could acquire the property.

• Worked with the Town Board and employees as we assumed the responsibilities of operating two private cemeteries (Millville and Mount Pleasant), saving the taxpayers $50,000 per year.

• At the request of the Town Board, I personally oversee the storage, packaging and shipping of the Orleans County e-waste site, located at the Town of Shelby building.

• Along with the Town Board, I have utilized students from the Iroquois Job Corps trade school to paint the Clerk’s offices and the masonry students to repair the stone head wall at the Shelby Center cemetery.

• Along with the Town Board, I have utilized personnel from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department Alternatives to Incarceration Program to paint fire hydrants and pick up roadside debris, several times in the past 14 years.

• Along with the Town Board, I acquired the help of the New York State Department of Corrections inmates to paint the entire outside of the Town of Shelby building, and the inside of the truck bay area.

There are facts that the taxpayers need to know about me, that go above and beyond what my opponent is can do:

• I have established working relationships with other municipalities to foster shared services within our county. My opponent does not have these relationships.

• I have over 40 years of experience handling rural snowplowing operations, including the Blizzard of ’77 and several other major snowstorms. It has been my goal to keep our residents safe, especially during the winter months.

• I have knowledge and expertise on rural road building and repair that I have acquired from years of service working with the former Superintendent and by attending Cornell Local Road Schools.

• I am currently certified as a Class C and D New York State Department of Health Water Systems Operator, which is mandated in order to provide water to our residents.

I take my job very seriously and work within a tight budget to maintain our roads and cemeteries. Our roads are safe. Our cemeteries are well maintained. Our municipalities have a great working relationship with each other.

If you would like this to continue, I would appreciate your vote for re-election on Nov. 5.


Michael O. Fuller

Town of Shelby Highway Superintendent

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Town supervisor candidate says he would bring new approach to government in Ridgeway

Posted 31 October 2019 at 4:49 pm


My name is Michael Maak and I writing to inform voters in the Town of Ridgeway and Village of Medina why I am running for Town Supervisor.

A little bit about who I am for those who may not know me. I am a life-long, 50-year resident of the Village of Medina in the Town of Ridgeway side. For some that may not be aware the Village of Medina is split between two townships. I have lived in the village on the Ridgeway side since I was born.

I worked as a Village of Medina Fire Department employee, retiring in January 2016 as Captain. I served 27 years as a paid employee having served two years prior from 1987 to 1989 as a callmen firefighter. I continue today to work in the emergency services as a Paramedic.

I am running for Supervisor to represent all residents of the Town of Ridgeway including the taxpayers that live in the village. I feel that for as long as I have been an adult, the village taxpayer is only acknowledged when one runs for office or more recently when the Village of Medina held a dissolution vote. Only then were the taxpayers given any attention from the Town Supervisor.

As a taxpayer in the of the village in the Town of Ridgeway, I feel that we have taxation without representation. We pay taxes and receive nothing in return with the exception of the campaign put on by the town to scare village residents with a misleading narrative for not dissolving the village in 2015.

I am running to advocate a better equality for all taxpayers and not just those in the town. In 2015 it was pushed for more discussion for shared services with the Town of Ridgeway, Shelby and Village of Medina that has been lost in the years following with no real discussion or resolution to share or consolidate. I have a plan if elected.

First of all, I want to look at a merger of the Town Highway Department with the Town of Shelby. It is an opportunity that was missed this year to consolidate the Highway Superintendent position with the retirement of the Ridgeway Highway Superintendent.

An endorsed candidate in the Town of Shelby has campaigned on the issue that the position can be changed. It is my opinion that, just like the Town Court, we could combine the two Superintendent’s position into one and form a Shel-Ridge Highway Department that eventually could be merged with the Village of Medina DPW with one superintendent for the three municipalities. This would allow for money already in the budget to go from salary to having another employee to clean ditches or maintain roadsides that have been neglected.

Another area is the Emergency Services of which I am very familiar with. I would like to see more funding to the Ridgeway Fire Department as I feel that they are currently underfunded. This has lead to a decline in recruiting and maintaining volunteer firefighters and EMT’s. I know firsthand that many do not stay in the fire service because of the continued need to fund raise for the Fire Company.

When I first got involved there were many members and always enough responders. Today numbers would astonish people that less than five people respond to calls on average. My proposal is to look into creating a Fire District of which a Board of Commissioners chart their course for funding and how they survive for the future as volunteerism is dying in our country.

This is not a new concept. This already occurs in the county in the Towns of Barre, Murray and Kendall and with a Joint Fire District with Holley Fire Department. This could potentially lead to another merger of the fire departments in the Western Battalion that is composed of Ridgeway, Yates and Shelby.

A recent Hub article about the Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy bringing the attention to the decline of the volunteer fire department. My proposal for a Fire District removes Town of Ridgeway Council from negotiating a contract with the Fire Department and allows for the Board of Commissioners setting the annual fire tax with the town taxpayers voting on this annually as is the case in Fire Districts.

Thirdly, I want to look at the budget and see where we can put money that village taxpayers contribute that goes back into assisting the Medina Village Board with road and sidewalk upkeep, tree maintenance, and potential tax relief with a share of sales tax revenue that currently goes to the Town of Ridgeway with the Village of Medina seeing nothing for this.

My fourth plan is to promote and advocate for more renewable energy projects with in the Town of Ridgeway.

In closing, I say this that if you are happy with the way the Town of Ridgeway government is working for you then I accept that. If you are unhappy with how the Town Board and Supervisor have worked for you as a taxpayer in recent years then I am asking you give me your vote and I will work diligently to find ways to change things and potentially provide more for the tax dollars spent, with the hope of maintaining and containing costs. With some changes we could lower the tax burden.

I have worked and retired on the taxpayer dime and I am very aware of cost containment and very fortunate that my career allowed me to retire with a pension.

I hope you give me your vote on Nov. 5.


Michael Maak


Democrat-endorsed candidate for Town of Ridgeway Supervisor

Sidonio has grit and passion to lead Murray

Posted 31 October 2019 at 4:23 pm


I’m writing in support of Joe Sidonio for Murray Supervisor. My family has had the pleasure over the past 6 years to develop a wonderful relationship with him, his family and their farm.

Joe is honest, hardworking and matter of fact. He works tirelessly. His work ethic, integrity and business management skills are exactly what this town needs. Who else has shown the dedication to wanting to help our Town as much as Joe?

Over the years Joe has shown nothing but kindness and generosity to my family. My kids love him and his dog Gus. Joe constantly makes himself available to help, especially in winter by doing us the favor of plowing us out on the Ridge. Not because we ask him to, but because he knows how much it helps us with our busy work schedule and that’s what good neighbors do. We have never had an unkind word spoken. We couldn’t ask for a better neighbor and friend.

Joe has a real passion for our town and wants to see it move forward in a positive direction for us all. In the June primary election, town residents showed up in support of Joe by electing him across the board as the Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate for Murray Supervisor.

However, the current administration and against their own Republican Party bylaws are trying to run a backdoor campaign attempting to steal the election against the will of the people. Do they have what is best for the town in mind or what’s best for themselves in mind?

I’m voting for Joe because he has shown the grit, determination and intelligence to bring our town back on track. He will bring accountability and restore much needed confidence to government. Don’t be misled, the tax rate remained flat however with the increased town-wide assessments and the increase in budget spending our out-of-pocket tax bills will increase.

If you would like to see Murray thrive and be more inclusive to all residents then it’s crucial that you get out and vote on Nov. 5.

Adam Moore


Albion man pleads guilty to unlawful surveillance

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2019 at 4:15 pm

ALBION – An Albion man facing up to 20 years in prison on federal child pornography charges pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court this morning to unlawful surveillance in the second degree.

Andrew Campbell, 33, faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for the crime when he is sentenced on Jan. 16. That time will be served concurrently with the federal charge, where there will likely be a much longer sentence.

Campbell on Oct. 8 pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of child pornography. In that case, law enforcement did a forensic analysis of a desktop, laptop, and hard drive of Campbell’s that revealed more than 65 image files and more than 20 videos containing child pornography. Some of the images depicted the sexual abuse or exploitation of an infant or toddler, and other depictions of violence.

In the local case in County Court, Campbell admitted today to using an iPhone to record two girls without their consent.

He could also face a fine of up to $5,000 and $375 in court surcharges and fees.

• In another case, Dennis S. Biaselli, 45, of Albion was arraigned on felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

He was charged after a car accident on Sept. 17, when he struck a utility pole on Zig Zag Road in Albion. He allegedly fled the scene but then returned to get his car.

Biaselli has two prior felonies and 11 prior misdemeanors, said District Attorney Joe Cardone.

He has been in jail since Sept. 19 with bail at $5,000. After Public Defender Joanne Best requested a reduction in bail, County Court Judge Sanford Church agreed to lower it to $3,000 cash or bond.

• A Medina man appeared in court for a bail hearing. Michael Harrison faces charges of grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree. Harrison alleged stole someone’s wallet.

Judge Church agreed to release Harrison on his own recognizance.

• A former inmate in the Albion Correctional facility was arraigned on promoting prison contraband in the second degree. Stacey Haley of Massena in St. Lawrence County allegedly introduced Suboxone into the prison in August 2018. She has since been released from the women’s prison in Albion.

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Youth football coaching honors for Callicutt

Contributed Story Posted 31 October 2019 at 2:59 pm

Contributed Photo – Albion youth football Coach Shawn Callicutt, second from left, who this past weekend was honored as Niagara Orleans Football Association (NPOFA) Coach of the Year, is shown here with his brothers, from left, Ronald, Rayford and Joe.

Anyone that has been around football in Albion over the past 30 years has probably seen Shawn Callicutt on the field or the sidelines first as a  ball boy then as a high school All-State wide receiver and most recently as a youth football coach.

This past Saturday he was rewarded for his hard work and dedication to Youth Football in Albion by being named the 2019 Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) Coach of the Year.

A well deserved honor for him but in addition he was also selected for the first ever Project Play of Western New York Coaches Honor Roll. He will be recognized Sunday at New Era Field when the Buffalo Bills take on the Washington Redskins.

“Shawn has had a great impact on our youth program for over 10 years,” said Albion Youth Football Commissioner Geno Allport. “He really gives his all to these kids.  He creates a bond with them and is a true role model.”

Kendall girls face rematch in D1 soccer final

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2019 at 12:42 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall’s Madison Jacob (7) and her No. 2 seeded Lady Eagles teammates will face No. 1 Fillmore for the Section V Class D1 tittle at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Warsaw.

It will be a rematch of last year’s final as No. 2 seed Kendall faces top seeded Fillmore in the Section V Class D1 girls soccer championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Warsaw.

Defending Class D1 champion Kendall, which brings a 15-3 record into the title contest, defeated No. 3 Alfred-Almond 4-0 in the semifinals.

Hailee Mitchell has led the Kendall offense with 20 goals as Alezya Brown has 12, Brianna Wakefield 10, Madison Jacob 8, Lizzy Woodams 7 and Grace Levett 6. Wakefield also has a team leading 13 assists, Jacob 12 and Mitchell 9.

Fillmore, which is 17-0-1, downed No. 4 Arkport/Canaseraga 1-0 in the other semi.

Offensively, Fillmore has shown balanced scoring with seven players who have between 5 and 8 goals. Defensively, the Eagles have allowed only 5 goals and have registered 13 shutouts including the last 8 games in a row.

Kendall edged Fillmore 2-1 in last year’s D1 title contest at Perry.

In the Section VI Class B2 title game, No. 6 Wilson will take on top seeded Allegany-Limestone at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Williamsville East.