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Month: November 2019

Parade of Lights and fireworks dazzle in downtown Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2019 at 11:15 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Fireworks burst in the sky in downtown Medina just before the 11thannual Parade of Lights.

Young Explosives set off the fireworks beginning at 5:45. It was part of  an action-packed day in Medina, which celebrated its Olde Tyme Christmas.

Samantha Pawlak, 5, of Albion hugs Olaf, a character from Frozen, during the Parade of Lights. There were 45 floats in the 11thannual parade.

Park Avenue Physical Therapy danced to “Let’s Get Physical” as part of its float during the parade. The cold temperatures – in the upper 20s with some wind – didn’t snuff out the excitement for the parade.

A Mercy EMS ambulance from Batavia was part of the emergency response vehicles that were decorated with lights for the parade. This photo was taken in the parking lot at the Olde Pickle Factory on Park Avenue, which served as a staging area for the floats.

The Medina Fire Department had a Santa sitting its the Fire Department’s rescue boat.

The Little Bits 4-H Club created this float.

The praise band from One Church Medina performed from this float.

The 4-H Heelers Dog Club has been a regular in the parade.

The Orleans County Christian School’s float was led by Pastor Russ Peters of the Alabama Full Gospel Church and his wife Jodi, who is a principal at the school.

The Cobblestone Unit of the Girl Scouts had many children in their float.

The Roy-Hart FFA had a pirate-themed float.

Velocitii was among several local businesses to join the holiday celebration in Medina.

The Medina Lions Club had giant lion cutouts for its float.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company did a tribute to the firefighters who responded to the Sept. 11 terroist attacks in 2001.

The Medina FFA works on its Charlie Brown float just before the parade.

To see two videos from the parade taken by Cheryl Wertman of the Orleans Hub, click here and click here.

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Lady Rams bow in season opening tourney

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2019 at 8:35 pm

Roy-Hart dropped a pair of games this weekend at the season opening Alden girls basketball tournament.

Roy-Hart lost 50-26 to Alden in the opening round on Friday.  Rileigh McCabe scored 12 and Shelby Wolf 9 for the Lady Rams.

Akron then bested Roy-Hart 26-18 in the consolation game this afternoon. Wolf scored 8 and McCabe 5 for the Lady Rams

Santa, elves arrive in downtown Medina for Christmas celebration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2019 at 1:29 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way to the Medina Theatre after a parade through the downtown. They rode in an old Medina fire truck.

The parade included some of the winners of a “Littlest Elf” contest. Crystal Elliott leads two of the littlest elf participants, Lanie Feder, left, and Rayna Balaban, both of Medina. Elliott was in charge of the contest.

Laine Harvey, 1, won the ‘Littlest Elf” contest. She is held by her mother, Katie Harvey of Albion.

Chris Goyette, a Medina High School senior, wears the Olaf costume and waves to people along the parade route.

The Medina Marching Band played many holiday favorites.

The color guard added some pizzazz to the parade.

Pets in costume were welcome to join in the parade.

Roxie was dressed up for the parade. She was led by Madeline Bilicki of Medina.

AJ’s Play Date indoor play center was part of the spectacle.

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Medina’s big holiday celebration starts with a 5k

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2019 at 11:04 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A runner, Ryan Czaja of Middleport, dressed as Santa in this morning’s 7thannual Home for the Holidays 5K in Medina. There were 120 participants during the race, which started in the Canal Basin before heading down Route 31. Santa finished the race in 37:49.

The course shifted to the canal towpath and ended on North Main Street in front of the American Legion.

Many of the runners wore Santa hats, Christmas lights, crazy socks and other decorations to celebrate the holidays.

Proceeds from the race will go to the Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund, which assists Orleans County residents fighting cancer.

Anna Rickard, 17, of Middleport was the first female to cross the finish line, with a time of 19:54. Anna also won the race last year.

Brennan Root, 24, was first overall in a time of 16:08. He also has won the race before.

Alden Cayea, 19, of Medina was second overall for the men in time of 18:02.

Lindon Morici, 35, of Albion was the second female overall in a time of 20:51.

Jack Cecchini, 13, of Medina is congratulated after coming in 15th overall in a time of 22:29. He is congratulated by Steve Karas in the Santa hat and Tina Drum. Jack’s mother Julie also ran the race.

Olivia Sweet, 11, of Lancaster heads for the finish line.

Medina will be busy today bringing in the holiday season. The events are capped by a Parade of Lights at 6 p.m.

Click here to see the full schedule.

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Winter weather advisory in effect for Sunday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2019 at 8:02 am

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Sunday from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Orleans County and Western New York.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo said 1 to 3 inches of snow and 1 to 2 tenths of an inch of ice is expected for Orleans, Niagara, northern Erie, Genesee and Livingston counties.

Drivers should plan for slippery road conditions and limited visibilities. Slow down and use caution while driving, the Weather Service advises.

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Albionite fled community after speculating bank’s wealth on Wall Street

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 30 November 2019 at 7:26 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 5, No. 44

ALBION – One of the most infamous stories to occupy the annals of Orleans County history is that of Albion resident Albert S. Warner. Regarded as one of the most “flamboyant” citizens in the area, Warner was a prominent and respected member of local society who participated heavily in Democratic politics, serving as County Treasurer in 1869 and president of the Albion Board of Education in 1881.

Orleans County Department of History: Albert S. Warner

In 1863, Roswell and Lorenzo Burrows reorganized the Bank of Albion into the First National Bank of Albion, placing Roswell at the helm of the institution as bank president. An extremely wealthy man, Burrows invested heavily in mid-west real estate, coal mining in Virginia, railroad bonds, stock in the Suspension Bridge Company at Niagara Falls, and countless other securities. One day, the young Albert Warner ventured into the bank in search of a job; Burrows took a liking to “Allie” and hired him immediately.

Burrows died in 1879, leaving a short line of successors to the bank presidency and his $6,000,000 estate. The next logical president was William Burrows, the son of Roswell, but his habitual drunkenness removed him from contention. Next in line was Alexander Stewart, the son-in-law of Roswell, who took control of the bank until his sudden and unexpected death in 1881. Waiting patiently was Warner who stepped into the position as bank president and assumed control of the Burrows estate.

Three years later, suspicion arose regarding Warner’s handling of the wealth left behind by Burrows and Warner was served with a court order requiring him to file an inventory of the estate on August 18, 1884. In hindsight, perhaps, it is no surprise that when the 18th of August arrived, Warner was nowhere to be found and no written inventory of the estate was provided to Judge Signor. Nearly two days passed before the trustees of the bank disposed of Warner as president.

The trustees of the First National Bank of Albion then faced one overwhelming issue; Warner was missing, yet he was the only person with the combination to the bank vault. An expert was summoned to break into the vault and upon opening the door, the trustees were appalled to find an empty room; no depositors’ bonds, no securities, and no cash. Local authorities supposed that Warner had speculated the bank’s wealth, well over $40,000, on Wall Street.

Fleeing to Canada, Warner left his wife Jennie in Albion to sustain herself by boarding people at their home. The Orleans Republican wrote that the handsome young man would not be able to disguise himself, as it was a known fact that Warner was incapable of growing a mustache or beard.

It is this piece of information that local lore is centered upon. When Lewis Warner passed away in 1887, the fugitive Warner purportedly returned to Albion disguised as a woman to say one last goodbye to his beloved father.

New York City newspapers published countless stories about Warner’s numerous visits to the city, one waiter remarking, “He never spent a cent for anything that he did not get full value for if  he could help it…he was constantly growling about the manner in which his meats were cooked and the time required to prepare his meals, until, finally, it became such a disagreeable duty to wait upon him that he might have sat at a table all day before one of us would willingly take his order…”

Fact or fiction, the story remains a staple anecdote that always solicits a chuckle from a heeding crowd.

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Roy-Hart/Barker/Medina icers go to 3-0

Contributed Story Posted 30 November 2019 at 6:52 am

In a game between the undeafeateds in the WNY Club Hockey League, Roy-Hart/Barker/Medina beat Wilson/Newfane  4-2 Friday at Harbor Center.

As in the previous two games, RBM fell behind in the first two minutes as W/N notched a goal at 15:24.

However, just as in the first two games, Jason Kuchey (R-H) tied the game at 6:50 of the first period unassisted on a power play.

W/N regained the lead in the second period and another nail- biter seemed awaiting the third period.

In that stanza, Kuchey scored again to tie the game with assists from Nick Wood (Akron) and Andrew Downey (R-H).

Later in the third period, Nick Wood scored the game winner at  5:59 with assists from Dominic Peracciny (RH) and Ryan Mettler (RH).

Trevor Crawford (Akron)  iced the contest with an empty-net goal with 8.3 seconds to go.

Andrew Warner (Tonawanda)  played a spectacular game in goal stopping 34 of 36 shots.

RBM’s next contest is against league leading City Honors/ Cardinal O’Hara at Riverside Rink on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Barker cagers eye bounce back season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2019 at 6:39 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Leading Barker into the upcoming basketball season will be this trio of Josh Weakland, Joey Brandt and Hunter Callen.

Looking to snap a two year long league losing streak, Barker will tune up for the Niagara-Orleans basketball campaign with a string of four straight season opening non league road games beginning at Kendall on Tuesday.

The trio of senior Hunter Callen and juniors Josh Weakland and Joey Brandt will lead the way for Barker which will begin N-O competition at home on December 13 against defending champion Medina.

“The key for us will be to play good defense,” said Coach Michael Brooks. “We have to make the other team take tough shots.”

The Raiders graduation losses included Preston Harris, Nick Brandt and Dan Ober.

December: 3 – at Kendall, 7 p.m.; 5 – at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.; 7 – at Pembroke, 7 p.m.; 10 – at Tonawanda, 6:30 p.m.; 13 – Medina, 6 p.m.; 17 – Akron, 7 p.m.; 20 – at Wilson, 6 p.m.
January: 3 – at Lyndonville, 1:30 p.m.; 7 – Albion, 7 p.m.; 10 – at Newfane, 6:30 p.m.; 14 – at Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.; 16 – at Medina, 6:30 p.m.; 21 – at Byron-Bergen, 7 p.m.; 24 – at Akron, 6:30 p.m.; 28 – Wilson, 7 p.m.
February: 3 – Holley, 6:30 p.m.; 6 – at Albion, 7 p.m.; 11 – Newfane, 7 p.m.; 13 – Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.; 17 – Lyndonville, 6 p.m.

Mustang grapplers have youthful squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 November 2019 at 6:36 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for the Medina wrestling squad is this veteran group. In front are Robert Morehouse and Riley Black. In back are Zack Oliver, Miles Hartway, Noah Skinner and RaShawn Bloom.

Youth and inexperience dot the Medina wrestling team’s roster as the Mustangs prep for Wednesday’s Niagara-Orleans League home opener against Akron.

Senior Riley Black,  juniors Robert Morehouse and Miles Hartway along with sophomores RaShawn Bloom and Zach Oliver and freshman Noah Skinner provides the veteran experience for the Mustangs. Bloom won the 106 lb. title at last year’s N-O All-League Tournament and compiled a 16-9 record.

“We’re very inexperienced in terms of varsity competition,” said Coach Eric Gross. “Overall I like what I see in the younger guys.”

In all the Mustangs have 6 seniors, 4 juniors, 4 sophomores, 3 freshmen and 5 eighth graders listed on their early season 22 member roster.

December: 4 – Akron, 6 p.m.; 11 – at Roy-Hart/Barker, 6 p.m.; 18 – Newfane, 6 p.m.
January: 8 – at Wilson, 6 p.m.; 15 vs. Albion at Akron, 6 p.m.; 18 – N-O All-League Tournament at Albion; 25 – Medina’s Gary Gross Memorial Tournament.

Clear Skies didn’t send controversial postcard in Barre

Posted 29 November 2019 at 10:55 am


On November 6 at Clear Skies Above Barre, Inc. monthly public meeting, Larry Gaylard, a standing Town Board member, said that a postcard previously sent out to at least one family in our community was sent by Clear Skies Above Barre, Inc.

This postcard contained malicious innuendo pertaining to leaseholders in the proposed industrial wind project. Having been shared on social media by the family that received it, rumors and now accusations about who sent the unaddressed postcard are circulating.

Clear Skies Above Barre did not send out this postcard nor do we have any further knowledge as to where it came from or who may have received it. We will not condone such malice in our community. Our mission is to protect the community of Barre while valuing a sense of community and neighborhood relations. Many members have expressed disgust of the postcard and heavy hearted sadness that our organization would be accused of sending it.

Clear Skies Above Barre will continue to uphold our integrity; all postcards sent will contain our emblem. Since some community members are using the term “opposition” or “anti” groups interchangeably with our organization and other groups/ individuals in the community – Clear Skies Above Barre would like to make clear our organization is separate from other groups forming in our community that are also in opposition to this proposed wind project.

As always we urge our neighbors to seek out the proper authorities if they are being threatened.


Barbara J. Verburg

Acting President – Clear Skies Above Barre