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Month: January 2020

Tigers down Dragons to halt G-R skid

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 January 2020 at 10:31 pm

Snapping a three league game losing streak, Lyndonville defeated host Pembroke 64-51 this evening in a Genesee Region contest.

Nathan Hydock scored 19, Nate Dillenbeck 18, Noah Poler 13 and Russell Stephens 11 to lead the balanced attack for Lyndonville which improves to 6-4 in the league and 9-6 overall.

Adam Dulski scored 17 and Noah Godzala 9 to pace Pembroke.

Lyndonville jumped out to a 20-8 first quarter lead as Dillenbeck scored 7 on a three and two twos and Poler added a pair of threes.

The Tigers maintained a 15 point, 36-21, advantage at the half as Hydock scored 9  in the second period and Poler 4.

Dillenbeck then netted 8 and Hydock 4 in the third period to help keep Lyndonville on top by a 16 point, 50-34, margin at the three-quarter mark.

Stephens tallied 7 and Hydock 4 in the final period to help close out the Tigers victory.

Elba 74, Holley 50
Colton Dillon scored 28 and Collin O’Halloran 15 to lead Elba to a 74-50 G-R win over Holley.

The Lancers jumped out to a 29-7 first period lead and were up 39-20 at the half.

Carson Major scored 22 for Holley as Kohl Morgan had 8 and 11 rebounds and Charlie Turpyn 7.

Surging Mustangs avenge loss to Rams

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 January 2020 at 10:13 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jarin Rhim falls back putting up a shot as Roy-Hart defender Tom Ragonese tries to block during the host Mustangs win over the Rams this evening.

Avenging an earlier season loss (71-66), surging Medina downed visiting Roy-Hart 62-49 in a Niagara-Orleans League game this evening.

Making it seven wins in the last eight games after a dismal 2-8 first half of the season, Medina improves to 6-4 in the league and 9-9 overall.

Nate Sherman scored 22, Tyler Chinn 14 and Jarin Rhim 13 to lead the way for Medina as Christian Drisdom added 6, Brian Fry 5 and Ricky Wood 2.

Roy-Hart’s Gavyn Boyle grabs a rebound from Medina’s Christian Drisdom.

Roy-Hart, which slips to 2-7 in the league, had Rhett Goodwin with 13, Tom Ragonese 9, Peyton Rhinehart 8, Aiden Petrie and Gavyn Boyle 7, Canyon Wood 3 and Jamel Johnson Jr. 2.

Rhim hit two threes and Sherman had three baskets to help Medina grab a 14-10 lead at the end of a sea-saw first quarter which saw no less than six lead changes.

The Mustangs doubled their advantage to eight, 29-21, at the half as Sherman scored 7, including a three, and Chinn 6, also including a three, in the second period. Ragonese netted 6 for Roy-Hart during that stretch.

Medina then broke away to a commanding 21 point, 43-22, advantage by opening the third period with a decisive 14-1 run.

Back-to-back threes by Fry and Sherman highlighted that key uprising which also included a jumper and a layup by both Chinn and Drisdom.

Sherman had a total of 6 and Chinn, Rhim and Drisdom 4 each in the period which finished with the Mustangs up by 17, 50-33.

Goodwin scored 10, including a pair of threes, for the Rams in the period.

The Mustangs pulled back out to a 21 point, 58-37, lead midway through the final period after a layup off a steal by Wood and a three by Chinn.

Roy-Hart could get no closer than 14 after that.

The Rams will next face Tonawanda in a non league game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Niagara County Community College.

Click here to see Medina’s Tyler Chinn finish off a Medina possession with a basket.

Click here to see a rebound basket by Roy-Hart’s Gavin Boyle.

Roy-Hart’s Rhett Goodwin looks to block a shot by Medina’s Tyler Chinn.

Lady Rams post win over Mustangs

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 January 2020 at 9:52 pm

Jumping out to a 17-5 first quarter lead, Roy-Hart went on to defeat visiting Medina 38-28 this evening in a Niagara-Orleans League girls basketball game.

Rileigh McCabe scored 9 and Miah Glena 6 to spark that early uprising for the Lady Rams which went on to lead by margins of 21-13 at the half and 28-21 after three quarters.

McCabe finished with a game high 18.

Sarah Sones led Medina with 15.

Roy-Hart is now 4-5 in N-O action and Medina 0-10.

Wilson 51, Albion 18
League leading Wilson improved to 9-0 with a 51-18 win over Albion (6-4).

Skylar Munnikhuysen scored 19 and Izzy Dinse 14 for Wilson which led 23-12 at the half.

Aly Knaak scored 9 and Ryan Olles 5 for Albion.

N-O front-runners Albion and Newfane bow

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 January 2020 at 9:41 pm

The Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball title race tightened up a bit this evening as Wilson trimmed front-running Albion 51-47 and Akron downed runner-up Newfane 58-44.

Despite the road loss Albion, which slips to 8-2, maintains a game and a half lead over Newfane which falls to 6-3. Wilson improves to 5-3 and Akron to 5-4.

Wilson 51, Albion 47
Trailing 23-15 at the half, Wilson used a 23-13 third quarter scoring edge to key the win over Albion.

Mike Miller scored 11 and Luke Bradley 5 to lead that uprising which rallied the Lakemen into a 38-36 lead at the three-quarter mark.

Bradley also scored 5 and Alex Martinez 4 in the final period to help Wilson lock up the win.

Miller finished with 17 as Bradley and Martinez both scored 12.

Deyonci Farley led Albion with 13 as Xavier Cornick and Kevin Hillman each had 7.

Akron 58, Newfane 44
Leading by a narrow 24-23 margin at the half, Akron used a big 19-7 third period scoring burst to key the win over Newfane.

Adam Mietz scored 8 to lead that surge as the Tigers moved out to a 43-30 lead at the three-quarter mark.

Mietz finished with 22, Mitchell Holtz 12 and David Kalinowski 11.

Garrett Srock led Newfane with 14.

Roy-Hart girls win 7 at All-League swim meet

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 January 2020 at 9:14 pm

Undefeated (10-0) regular season champion Roy-Hart took first place honors in 7 of 11 events at the annual Niagara-Orleans League girls individual swim championships held this evening at Akron.

Mandy Hill was a double winner in the 200 Individual Medley (2:18.67) and 100 Butterfly (1:02.71) and Kayla Hagen took both the 100 Freestyle (:54.39) and 100 Backstroke (1:02.23) to set the pace for Roy-Hart which also had Madison Ohol win the 500 Free (5:52.5).

Roy-Hart also captured both the 200 Freestyle Relay in 1:44.15 with the foursome of Hagen, Jordyn Bobzien, Kennedy Lang and Hill and the 400 Freestyle Relay in 3:50.37 with the quartet of Hagen, Ohol, Hill and Anna Rickard.

Medina’s Hannah Heil won the 50 Free (:25.66), Newfane’s Lauren Gaughran the 200 Free (2:06.35) and Akron’s Natalie Baumler the 100 Breaststroke (1:21.07).

Akron also captured the meet opening 200 Medley Relay in 2:05.31 with the foursome of Baumler, CC Morey, Alex Roland and Rachel PeQueen.

Morey also placed second in both the Individual Medley and Backstroke as did PeQueen in the 50 Free and Gaughran in the Butterfly. Akron also got second place finishes from Mindy Doktor (200 Free), Madison Kaczmarek (100 Free) and Marisa Maggiore (500 Free) while Roy-Hart’s Molly Russell took second in the Breaststroke.

Hawley doesn’t want to see more prison closures

Posted 31 January 2020 at 5:09 pm

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s new proposal to close several more unspecified prisons as part of the 2020-21 Executive Budget.

Hawley, backing concerns of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOBA), chastised the governor for continuing to erode public safety by proposing to close more prisons.

“Whether it’s staying mum while bail-less crime laws put violent offenders back on the streets, supporting a pay raise for incarcerated felons, giving tablets to prisoners, voting rights for parolees, granting driver’s licenses to illegals or closing more prisons, this governor is on the wrong side of virtually every public safety issue imaginable and single-handily putting the public at risk,” Hawley said.

“We are going to see more riots and more inmate attacks on corrections officers, as double bunking and overfilled prisons cause more violence. I stand firmly against these prison closures and will advocate against any more prison closures as budget talks move forward,” Hawley continued.

The governor cited a rapid decline in the state prison population and a changing economic development strategy focused less on prisons as the driving economic factor in his proposal. Gov. Cuomo closed Livingston Correctional Facility and Lincoln Correctional Facility last year.

“The members of NYSCOBA are some of the bravest and most resilient law enforcement officers our state has, and increasing inmate populations at maximum security establishments puts them in more danger,” Hawley finished. “Our NYSCOBA officers are crucial to keeping our prisons safe and orderly but also protecting the surrounding community, and I will always stand with them against perilous and misguided proposals like these.”

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Orleans among 43 counties approved for disaster declaration due to wet spring

Photo by Tom Rivers: A farmer plants seeds in late May in Carlton on Waterport-Carlton Road. That sunny day gave farmers a chance to get their big equipment out in the fields.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2020 at 2:17 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Orleans County has been named one of 43 counties in the state approved as a natural disaster designation after suffering heavy rains and severe flooding during the 2019 farming season.

This designation allows communities hurt by extreme weather to access certain federal assistance, such as emergency loans and other aid programs, from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to help recover their losses.

In Orleans, there are usually about 125,000 acres planted each year with corn and soybeans. The wet spring delayed planting with farmers deciding not to plant 23,170 acres, according to the Farm Service Agency in Orleans County. There were about 90,000 acres that went unplanted in Orleans, Genesee, Niagara and Monroe counties, said Larry Meyer, FAS director.

The disaster declaration includes the following counties: Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming and Yates, which were designated primary natural disaster areas and farm operators in these counties are eligible for FSA emergency loans, provided they meet other requirements.

Additionally, farm operators in Broome, Cortland, Dutchess, Orange, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Wayne counties are also eligible for assistance.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the declaration today.

“After weathering a brutal farming season last year, the USDA’s disaster designation will provide much needed assistance to farmers and growers throughout Upstate New York,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “From corner to corner of the state, I have seen firsthand the aftermath of last year’s severe rain and flooding. Thankfully, this disaster declaration means our Upstate farmers and growers will have access to critical emergency loans and more, at a time when they need it the most.”

USDA offers a variety of programs and services to help communities, farmers, ranchers, and businesses recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, and other natural disasters. Click here for more information on the federal disaster programs to assist farmers.

“I’m pleased that the USDA has approved natural disaster designations across Upstate New York for counties that suffered extensive damage due to severe weather during last year’s farming season,” said Senator Gillibrand, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This will allow FSA emergency loans and other assistance to flow to communities that need it. New York has a strong farming tradition, and it is past time for our farmers to get the help they need to recover. I will always do everything I can to ensure that New Yorkers have the resources to rebuild.”

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Four Chaplains service set for Sunday at Holley church

Staff Reports Posted 31 January 2020 at 1:58 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Ron Ayrault salutes the American flag after lighting a candle in honor of George L. Fox during the Four Chaplains service on Feb. 3, 2019.

HOLLEY – Veterans and church members will gather at the First Baptist Church in Holley on Sunday to remember four chaplains who gave up their lives to save civilian and military personnel as the SS Dorchester sank on Feb. 3, 1943.

The four chaplains gave up their life jackets when they were none left for others on the ship. The chaplains sang hymns and prayed together as the ship sank.

The local American Legion wants to keep the story of sacrifice alive. Veterans are asked to meet at the church at 9 a.m. on Sunday with the service to follow soon thereafter. The church is at 25 Geddes St.

John Pera, commander of the American Legion in Orleans County, and Ron Ayrault, chaplain for the Legion, will lead the service with will honor the lives of Methodist minister the Reverend George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode (Ph.D.), Roman Catholic priest the Reverend John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister the Reverend Clark V. Poling. All of the chaplains attained the rank of first lieutenant.

The service will include reading the biographies of each of the chaplain, lighting candles, placing wreaths, and playing taps.

The memorial service for the four chaplains will be part of the regular service at church. The service is open to the community.

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McMurray calls on Jacobs to denounce NRCC, which called Democratic candidate ‘deranged socialist loser’

Staff Reports Posted 31 January 2020 at 1:34 pm

Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate for Congress, blasted the National Republican Congressional Caucus for what he said is a childish smear campaign just hours before he was unanimously endorsed for the upcoming special election.

The National Republican Congressional Caucus, which is supporting Chris Jacobs, issued a statement yesterday calling McMurray a “deranged socialist loser.”

“I know how hard folks here work, and frankly we are all sick and tired of being pawns in a partisan political game that seeks power for the sake of power,” McMurray said in a statement. “These same enablers who supported an indicted criminal just to keep NY-27 red are brazen to believe they have any credibility with the good people here.”

McMurray on Thursday secured the endorsement from the Erie County Democratic Committee, giving him the endorsement from all 8 county committees in the 27th Congressional District. He also is backed by the Working Families Party.

NRCC spokeswoman Natalie Baldassarre sent a news release to the media on Thursday, calling McMurray “ a deranged socialist loser” who is a proud supporter of government-run health care, the “baseless impeachment” of President Trump, open borders and restricting Second Amendment rights.

“Is that the best they can do?” McMurray said. “Immature, mean-spirited insults? Instead of talking about jobs in one of the worst job markets in the country, health care when countless Americans are going bankrupt over medical bills, they have the audacity to perpetuate hateful rhetoric that is representative of the extremely divisive state of politics today.”

McMurray said he wants to debate the issues with Jacobs “like adults” and let the voters of NY-27 pick the best candidate for the job. He urged Jacobs to denounce the comments from the NRCC.

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Yates town supervisor sees $2.5 million from state to enhance park as good investment

Posted 31 January 2020 at 1:14 pm


As the Town of Yates continues to explore how best to take advantage of the $2.531 million dollar grant awarded for the Yates Town Park by the NY State Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Commission, a wide range of suggestions and concerns about the future of the park have been raised.

Why should we enhance the park? According to the National Recreation and Park Association, quality parks are recreational spaces which improve health and wellness, conserve open spaces, ensure social equity by providing free public access to all, increase property values in the community, and are cited as one of the top three reasons people and businesses relocate to an area.

Why not spend the money elsewhere? The REDI Commission has made it clear that the grants are only to be used for lakeside communities negatively affected by Lake Ontario flooding to provide for shoreline resiliency and economic development opportunities. The $2.5 million is money already taken from the taxpayers, and it will not be given back. Presumably, unspent REDI grant funds would be moved to other REDI projects, but it will not be spent in Yates.

Why enhance the park when not enough people use it? What does “not enough people” mean?  I applaud those who had the vision to establish the park in the first place almost two decades ago. Many believe (myself, the town board and the REDI Commission included) that enhancing the park with things like a playground, a pavilion, and a nature path will lead to an increase in usage and will be appreciated by future generations.

What impact will this have on taxpayers? The town spends about $10,000 a year maintaining the park. This includes grass cutting, renting porta-potties, and other facility upkeep tasks. The enhancements from the project would increase costs for facility upkeep and insurance, but current analysis is that the increase would be small.

How will the town pay for the 5 percent local match required by the state? The Town estimates 25 percent of that local match will come from in-kind services (like highway personnel helping with excavating, etc.). The Town is seeking other grant funding for the remainder of the local match, and, short of that, will consider a long-term bond.

What will be the final design of the park? The Yates Town Park Task Force, formed last summer and made up of community members and town personnel, continues to listen to any and all suggestions, and will make its final recommendations to the Town Board next month. Some changes to the original design the task force has made are – among others – an open pavilion rather than an enclosed pavilion, an L-shaped break wall rather than two jetties, and some security enhancements.

The Yates Town Park Task Force meets on Monday, February 10, 5:30 p.m., at the town hall. All are welcome. This meeting is a workshop, so the public may attend but not ask questions. As in the past, task force members will be available after the workshop to talk one-on-one with people.

The Yates Town Board is hosting a public forum followed by a public hearing on February 13 at 7 p.m., at the town hall.  All are welcome.

For the latest updates about the park proposal please go to the town website ( or send me an email at

Jim Simon

Supervisor, Town of Yates