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Month: February 2020

State podium finishes for local wrestlers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 February 2020 at 10:31 pm

Contributed Photos – Albion’s Cody Wilson, second from left, placed sixth at 285 lbs. at the state Division 2 (small schools) wrestling championships held this weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany. Newfane’s Jaden Heers took top honors. The podium finishers at 285 included, from left, Jake Skinner (Fredonia) 8th, Wilson, Tyler Rice (Norwich) 4th, Mike Leibl (Canastota) 2nd, Heers, George Lebberes (Ardsley) 3rd, Isaiah Trago (Mt. Markham) 5th and Spencer Dickinson (White Hall/Fort Ann) 7th.

Lyndonville’s Mario Fidanza, left, placed eighth at 220 lbs. The other podium finishers at 220 included, from left, Conner Walsh (Olean) 6th, Colby Suglia (Mattituck) 4th, Karl Bouyer (Clarke) 2nd, Jeff Crooks (Cobleskill-Richmondville) 1st, James Oosterom (Port Jervis) 3rd, Sam Sorsenson (Homer) 5th and Tyler Smith (Bolivar-Richburg) 7th.

With their state championship tournament place finisher medals around their necks, Lyndonville’s Mario Fidanza and Albion’s Cody Wilson meet after the closing ceremonies.

Tri County icers upended in playoff semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 February 2020 at 8:48 pm

Avenging a pair of regular season losses, Perinton Jasie upended top seeded Tri County Yellow 5-3 today in the semifinals of the Empire Amateur Hockey League Midget Division playoffs at Webster.

Zack Geitner scored for Tri County in the first period to knot the contest at 1-1.

Perinton took a 3-1 lead in the second period but Tri County came battling back in the final period.

James Hapeman scored to cut the deficit to 3-2 and then Patrick Ricker tallied with five minutes remaining to pull Tri Conty even at 3-3.

However, Perinton answered with what proved to be the game winning goal a minute later and tacked on an empty net goal in the final seconds.

Perinton Jasie will next face Perinton Stantz, a 3-2 winner offer Batavia, in the championship game on Sunday.

Tri County, which is now 23-3-2, will next host the David Bigelow Memorial Tournament next weekend at Brockport where the tournament field will also include Corning, west Seneca and Tri County Green.

Albion hosting big soccer tourney this weekend with about 70 teams

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 February 2020 at 8:29 pm

Event with several hundred players is in memory of Ben Kirby

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Connor McQuillan, formerly of Albion, watches action at today’s Ben Kirby Memorial Indoor Soccer Tournament. Connor’s dad Sean played goalie for one of the teams. Sean organized the tournament for several years.

About 30 teams played today at the high school and elementary school gyms. The tournament continues on Sunday with about 40 teams competing.

Each team has a minimum of five players. Several hundred players will be in Albion for the tournament.

Dennis and Wendy Kirby, right, are Ben’s parents. They are pictured with Cole Schmitt, the main organizer for the tournament, and his girlfriend, Katlynne Tubo, who also is a key organizer.

Ben Kirby was a long-time Albion soccer player whose family has been dedicated to the program at Albion.

Kirby was a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology when he died in a car accident on Nov. 6, 2017, on Route 531 in the Town of Gates. He was 21 at the time, in his senior year majoring in software development.

“We’re so thankful and appreciative that they remember our son,” Mrs. Kirby said.

The family works with the Albion Alumni Foundation to give two $500 scholarships each year in Ben Kirby’s name. The scholarship is to be given to a student nominated by one or more of the teachers in the Albion High School. It is intended for someone who is a “good kid” who may not be a Scout, but best exemplifies the characteristics of the Scout Law that Ben lived by: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Aaron Kirby, Ben’s older brother, was among the players in today’s open division games. Aaron lives in Buffalo.

Most of today’s players were girls at the junior varsity and varsity. An open division also was available to adults – men and women – later in the day.

On Sunday, most of the teams will be boys at the elementary, junior high, JV and varsity levels.

Kendyll Hadick and his Albion teammates warm up before their game in the open division.

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Little owl seen on wheel of truck parked at Hartway’s

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 February 2020 at 7:21 pm

Photos courtesy of Lionel Rhim

MEDINA – Lionel Rhim took these photos of a small owl this morning sitting on the tire of a Chevy Silverado 2500HD. The vehicle is for sale at Hartway Motors on North Main Street in Medina.

Several people have commented on the Orleans Hub Facebook page that this looks like a screech owl.

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Wilson, Fidanza place at state tourney

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 February 2020 at 5:50 pm

Cody Wilson, left, and Mario Fidanza

Albion’s Cody Wilson (285) has placed sixth and Lyndonville’s Mario Fidanza (220) eighth at the state Division II (small schools) wrestling championships which concluded today at the Times Union Center in Albany.

Wilson went 1-2 today in the consolation bracket competition. He defeated Spencer Dickinson (Whitehall/Fort Ann) 6-0 but then lost 2-0 to Tyler Rice (Norwich) and 5-1 in overtime to Isaiah Trage (Mt. Markham) in the bout for fifth and sixth place.

Fidanza went 0-2 on the day in consolation bracket competition as he was pinned by Tyler Smith (Bolivar-Richburg) in 2:38 in the bout for seventh and eight place.

Top seeded Bennett downs Medina

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 February 2020 at 5:28 pm

A big fourth quarter scoring edge earned top seeded Bennett a 68-55 win over visiting No. 8 Medina this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class B1 boys basketball playoffs.

Leading by a narrow 48-44 margin at the three-quarter mark, Bennett outscored Medina 20-11 in the decisive final stanza to advance to the B1 semifinals.

Brian Fry scored 20, Tyler Chinn 17, Joe Cecchini 11 and Jarin Rhim 6 for Medina which trailed by six, 30-24, at the half. Fry scored 9, Chinn 7 and Cecchini 6 over the first two periods.

Fredonia 85, Roy-Hart 43
Third seed Fredonia roared out to a 48-19 half-time advantage in route to posting an 85-43 Section VI Class B2 quarterfinal win over  visiting No. 11 Roy-Hart this afternoon.

Tom Ragonese scored 13 and Reed Albee 8 for Roy-Hart.

In other Class B2 quarterfinals, Newfane defeated WNY Maritime 67-61 and Wilson dropped a narrow 45-41 decision to top seeded Olmsted.

Section VI Girls Basketball Playoffs
Top seeded City Honors downed No. 8 Albion 58-26 and No. 5 Dunkirk defeated visiting No. 13 Medina 115-28 this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class B1 girls basketball playoffs.

Honesty Little scored 13 and Ryan Olles 8 for Albion which trailed 25-5 at the half after City Honors put together a 15-0 second quarter scoring surge.

Anya Bloom and Sarah Sones each scored 6 and Janiyah Holloway 5 for Medina which trailed by margins of 35-12 after one period, 70-20 at the half and 98-25 at the three-quarter mark.

In a Class B2 quarterfinal top seeded Wilson downed Niagara-Orleans League foe Akron 64-42.

Late Wildcats surge ousts Purple Eagles

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 February 2020 at 4:58 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Kevin Hillman puts up a shot over Depew defender Max Snuszka during the Purple Eagles sectional loss to the host Wildcats this afternoon.

A late turnover aided scoring burst earned No. 3 seed Depew a narrow 52-48 win over visiting No. 6 Albion this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class B1 boys basketball playoffs.

Trailing 46-44 with less than a minute and a half to go, Depew used a decisive 8-0 run to claim the win and a berth in the B1 semifinals

A jumper by Davion March pulled Depew even at 46-46 with 1:20 remaining and Max Snuszka followed up with a huge three to put the Wildcats back on top to stay at 49-46 with 47 seconds to go.

A rash of three costly turnovers over the final 45 seconds then proved fatal to Albion’s comeback bid.

Depew took advantage of those turnovers to up the lead to 52-46 with just 10 seconds remaining after two free throws by March and one by Christian Pagano.

Albion’s Deyonci Farley goes high to block a Depew shot as Bailey Blanchard moves in to support.

March finished with 18 and Pagano 13 to lead the Wildcats.

Kevin Hillman shared game high honors with 18 and Deyonci Farley had 16 to pace the Purple Eagles as Liam Ward added 5, Chris Shabazz 4, Anthony Freeman 3 and Bailey Blanchard 2.

Sparked by an effective, aggressive defense, Albion jumped out to a 12-2 lead at the outset  on threes by Ward and Freeman, layups by Hillman and Farley and a jumper by Ward.

However, Depew answered right back with an 11-0 run to close the period highlighted by consecutive threes by Nathan Kulesz, Pagano and Snuszka to rally into a 13-12 lead.

Albion moved back out to a seven point, 22-15, lead midway through the second period as back-to-back threes by Farley highlighted a 10-0 run.

Late layups by Hillman, off a turnover, and Farley helped keep the Purple Eagles up by six, 26-20, at the half.

Depew pulled even twice in the third period, at 26-26 and 35-35, but Albion regained a 38-35 lead at the three-quarter mark on a late three by Hillman, his second of the period.

A jumper by Hillman and a layup by Shabazz upped the Purple Eagles lead by to seven, 42-35, at the outset of the final period but again Depew came rallying back.

The Wildcats put together a 9-2 run highlighted by a three and a layup off a steal by March, to pull even at 44-44 with 3:05 remaining.

Farley answered with a rebound basket to give Albion what proved to be its last lead at 46-44 with 2:20 to go but the Purple Eagles could not score again until Hillman tallied on a layup with just 1.2 seconds remaining.

In between Depew used the big turnover aided 8-0 run, including four by March and three by Pagano, to rally for the win.

Albion finishes the season at 16-6.

Click here for highlights from the game.

Notebook detailing life of Medina woman comes home from Australia

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 29 February 2020 at 9:35 am

Dorothy Cox, a teacher who later married a jeweler, wrote of her adventures

This is an early picture of Dorothy Roberts Cox, whose life story was shared in a presentation Monday by Catherine Cooper at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

MEDINA – The Medina Historical Society has planned a season of programs designed to create interest in the organization, but the one Monday night at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library will not soon be forgotten.

Historical Society president Reinhard Rogowski welcomed the crowd which gathered at Lee-Whedon to hear library director Catherine Cooper give a presentation on the life of former Medina resident Dorothy Roberts Cox. While her life had its exciting moments, it is the circumstances under which a notebook from her family literally “fell into our laps,” which are truly intriguing, Cooper said.

“Each of us leaves a paper trail of documents that attest to our existence,” Cooper said. “We have photos, newspaper clippings, wills, birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates, some all neatly organized and others in envelopes or boxes at the back of the closet. But what if we had no close relatives? What are the chances some kind person would come in and gather your papers? And what are the chances this person will parcel them up and arrange for them to be sent to your second cousin in Australia? Then what are the chances, 35 years later, the child of that second cousin will feel compelled to save your records, arrange them, decipher them, figure out the relatives, digitize them and then reach out to your home town because he believed they belonged back where you spent your life?”

Cooper explained what happened in March 2017, when she was made aware of an e-mail on the Medina Historical Society’s website from Australia. She made contact with the person, the son of Vera Colley, Dorothy Cox’s second cousin, who lives in Western Australia. He wrote that he had this giant notebook full of pictures, newspaper clippings and other information on the life of Dorothy Roberts Cox. They had been sent to Vera after Dorothy died in 1982. Vera had visited Dorothy in Medina several times.

The fires in Australia were just becoming a worry and Vera’s son Brad decided to ship Cox’s belongings to Medina, where they would be safe and could be viewed by people who knew her.

Dorothy was born in 1896 in Rome, a daughter of Robert and Catherine Jones Roberts. Both her parents were Welsh and her father came to Medina as a quarryman. He worked as an engraver with Thomas Platt and bought the business. His shop was on East Center Street, which later was a monument business and a lawyer’s office. It was just recently purchased and remodeled by Alex and Pat Greene as an artist’s studio and space to do psychic readings.

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Catherine Cooper talks about the extraordinary circumstances in the life of the late Dorothy Cox and how a notebook chronicling her life history came from Australia to Medina, during a presentation Monday at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

In a picture from one of the slides from Dorothy’s cousin, there is the engraver’s shop next to the brick building on the corner of Main and East Center Street, on which can be seen the words “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco,” and “EAT,” referring to the diner which operated there until the mid 1900s’.

The Roberts bought a house at 119 Maple Ave. in 1894, and also bought two lots on Roseland Avenue, where they built a home in 1911.

Dorothy attended Medina High School, where she graduated in 1914. Graduation was held at Bent’s Opera House. At a time when many stopped going to school at grade eight, her mother insisted Dorothy continue and get an education. One year at Brockport State Teacher’s College qualified her as a teacher, and she taught in several different schools.

Her reminisces in the notebook recall World War I, war bonds and dating officers.

In 1918, she was in bed a month with the flu when armistice was declared.

Dorothy went on to complete additional training at Harvard Summer School in 1922 and 1923, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Columbia in 1937. Her first teaching job was on Long Island.

In 1923, she spent five weeks in Mount Vernon Hospital with a perforated appendix. Two nurses working 12 hour shifts attended to her at a salary of $50 per week. Her total hospital bill was $975. She came home to Medina on a sleeper car.

During the 1920s, Dorothy was involved with Camp Nundawaga at Thirty Mile Point on Lake Ontario. She was depressed when it was sold during the Depression.

Before her hospitalization, Dorothy had been saving her money to take a trip to Wales. When her doctor told her she was susceptible to tuberculosis and should go to a warmer climate, she moved to Florida.

After her mother died in 1938, she finally went on the trip she had saved for. She traveled to Toronto to catch her ship, the SS Montrose, to Liverpool. She wrote there were whales blowing quite a way to the north of the ship, then suddenly a big one appeared on the other side, about as far as Ensign Avenue was from their back window.

“Right after that, we saw a good sized iceberg,” Dorothy wrote. “I always thought they were the color of ice and hard to see, but they are the whitest things I have ever seen.”

Dorothy was in Wales when war was declared and the ship she came home on was also used for soldiers. The ship Athenia was the first English ship torpedoed by the Germans on Sept. 3, 1929, and several passengers from that ship were onboard the ship SS Importer bringing her back to America. There were 211 passengers, 28 of them Americans, on the ship with a capacity of 80. Husbands and wives were separated and the men were stuffed anywhere, Dorothy wrote in a letter home.

Lee-Whedon Memorial Library director Catherine Cooper holds a notebook she received from Australia on the late Dorothy Cox, wife of Medina jeweler Harry Cox.

“There are 18 in the barroom,” she wrote. “They have to put up their own cots after the passengers are shooed out at 10 p.m. and they have to get out early in the morning.”

They described the lifeboat drill as very realistic. There were four lifeboats for 200 passengers. Four survivors of the Athenia group were making comparisons. They said when the whistle was blown on the Athenia, the boat lurched violently and two lifeboats were slowly lowered over the side and swung out.

In the disaster, they said the boats were lowered by passengers, who bungled things. The boat just nicely swung out when the ropes supporting one end broke and dropped 30 feet, tossing all onto one end of the boat. Two members of the crew received broken arms, leaving only one able-bodied man to row. The boat was overloaded and water was up to their knees. Woman bailed with toeless, heelless shoes.

Dorothy’s father, who died in 1942, had been a friend of Lloyd George, one-time prime minister of England. Lloyd George once visited Niagara Falls and Robert Jones traveled up to see him.

Dorothy worked at Curry’s Dress Shop on Main Street at one time. She married Medina jeweler Harry Cox on Sept. 3, 1944 at the First Presbyterian Church, after his first wife had died.

Harry and his first wife had an interesting connection to the Orphan Train. They had adopted two sisters from the train. One girl, Barbara, married Armand Bacon, who owned parts stores in Medina and Lockport.

Dorothy loved to golf at Shelridge Country Club. She took many trips with the Senior Center in Medina.

Another interesting connection to Medina was that with the Tony and Rose Napoli family.

Tony was born in Italy. He served in the Navy during World War II and his ship was in Australia during the war. As there were not enough sleeping quarters for all the men, some of them were billotted out to homes in town. Tony ended up in the home of Vera Colley. Vera and her husband had a son named Brian.

Brad Colley indicated to Catherine that it was Tony who had arranged for Dorothy’s papers to be sent to Vera in Australia.

The story of Dorothy Cox’s notebook brought many comments from the audience.

Jack Wasnock remembers Dorothy was a member of the Medina Historical Society. He said he bought his class ring at Cox’s Jewelry, which was later Limina’s Jewelry Store and now houses Della’s Chocolates.

Cooper commented that the wooden chairs in the library would have been there when Dorothy used to visit.

Lynn Ambrose, who lives on Ensign Avenue, said the Cox’s back yard backed up to her front yard.

“I used to see her all the time,” she said.

Monday’s program was one of several events which the Historical Society hopes will help increase its membership.

“We have been trying for several years to raise our membership, with a goal of 100 members,” Rogowski said. “We are now at 75.”

Upcoming programs include a members’ tea in May, led by Georgia Thomas; an old-time bridal show in June; and a program by sculptor Brian Porter of Pendleton on creation of the Company F monument.

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At Leap Year parties in yesteryear, men paid by the pound

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 29 February 2020 at 8:20 am

‘Weight Socials’ provided fundraising opportunity for local organizations

 “Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 6, No. 9

With one extra day this year, I thought it would be interesting to dive into some early newspapers to extract a handful of interesting “February 29th” events. Lo and behold, the leap year provided few notable deviations from everyday life. That is, of course, aside from the prevalence of “Leap Year Parties” scattered throughout the calendar.

However, one particular paragraph published in the February 28, 1884 edition of the Holley Standard caught my eye. Lyman Preston was scheduled to host a “Weight Social” at his home in Clarendon on Friday, the 29th of February. A rather foreign occasion to readers today, the Standard was kind enough to provide some brief insight into this unique gathering. The social event paired men and women together based on luck, with the occasional dire consequence for the unsuspecting gentleman. Each guest received a card as they arrived and on that card was a number; lucky couples would identify themselves by matching numbers.

Then the real fun began. As in the case of Mr. Preston’s party, each man paid one cent for every ten pounds that the lady “he may draw” will weigh. After confirming the lady’s weight on a scale, the gentleman paid his debt. The couple would then eat supper together, usually a meal that the woman prepared. The Holley Standard provided some additional, yet perhaps snarky, context to the story. “Gentleman will please remember and carry sufficient of the “needful” to meet any emergency that may arise. Clarendon has been noted for stout women…”

The ”emergency” referenced here came by way of female attendants who tied rocks, horseshoes, or other objects to their hoop skirts in order to increase their weight on the scale. These socials served the purpose of raising funds for charitable and religious organizations in the community. Often organized and hosted by ladies’ societies, it was in their best interest to tip the scales when possible to increase contributions.

Lyman Preston’s weight social was not the only gathering of its kind held that year. On December 11th of the same year, an ad in the Holley Standard read, “Pick out a good heavy girl and attend the Good Templars weight social at McCargo’s Hall tomorrow night. A jolly time is anticipated.” In fact, it appears that the International Organization of Good Templars in Holley frequently hosted these events in the 1880s.

Another social in December of 1884 received considerable attention. The papers wrote, “Now let every young man who feels an interest in the organization display his generosity by taking to supper the heaviest young lady he can find…he may equalize matters by taking two smaller ones.” Hoping to raise money to support the organization’s temperance activities, women were weighed as they arrived, given a number, and the corresponding number placed in a bag. Men pulled numbers from the bag and paid the price per pound before sitting down to eat. The Standard included a follow-up article noting, “one girl, with an eye to the shekels, hung some heavy clock weights from her waist under her dress and made herself weigh 209 pounds! Her partner had cold shivers when he saw the beam balance.”

On March 1, 1888 (another leap year), Henry Brown held a weight social at his home to raise funds for the Good Templars. “It was amusing in the extreme to notice the contrast in some of the couples who sat down to a sumptuous supper, the largest man present escorted a little dot weighing less than 80 lbs.” Of course, the odd pairings of attendees became the most entertaining feature of these fundraising events.

The weight social represented just one of many interesting social gatherings. The Box Social placed additional emphasis on the prepared supper, where women wrote their name on a card and placed it inside of a box with a meal they prepared. Men bid on each box, paid the fee, and enjoyed supper with the woman who prepared it.

A local “Old Folks Social” encouraged attendees to bust open their old trunks and dress in pioneer attire for a party; what an antiquated sight! Conundrum Socials or Quiz Socials paired men and women together based on questions and answers. The occasional Sock Social required guests to fill old socks with pennies, which were then deposited in a large sock hung at the party venue.

Then, of course, was the very rare and mysterious “Handsome Social,” once hosted by Mrs. Minerva Pratt of Clarendon. Although it attracted considerable attention from local papers, they never provided a detailed explanation of the event. It is surmised that the social included an activity similar to a “Bachelor Auction.”

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Photos from Albion teachers vs. state troopers benefit basketball game

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2020 at 9:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lincoln Voorhees, 5, of Albion gets a lift from state trooper Greg Narburgh, an Albion native, during a break in this evening’s basketball game between the state troopers and the Albion faculty.

It was a high-scoring game with the faculty winning, 104-103. Some of the long-range shots were worth 10 points.

Albion teacher Rich Gannon served as the announcer in the game, which was a benefit for the Albion varsity softball team, which is coached by Cathy Schmitt.

Retired Lt. Kurt Schmitt goes over the ground rules for the game – lots of offense and not much defense. His wife is the varsity softball coach at Albion and one of the players for the Albion faculty this evening.

Jamison King, a first-grader, gets lifted up by state trooper Greg Narburgh for a close shot at the basket.

Mike Jones, one of the top players for the Albion faculty, is introduced just before the game.

Albion teacher Josh Green warms up with his 3-year-old son, Hollis, before the game at the high school gym.

State trooper Randy Shenefiel, left, did a demonstration with Arry, an explosive detection dog. Shawn Gourdine, right, also is a state trooper and K9 handler.

Arry is named for Sgt. Harry Adams, a member of the State Police who was killed on Sept. 1, 1951 on Sawyer Road near Albion. He was directing traffic at an accident scene when he was struck by a car.

All of the K9 dogs at the State Police are named for troopers who were killed in the line of duty.

State trooper Randy Shenefiel introduces Arry to the crowd during halftime at the game. They are based out of Niagara. Arry is a Dutch Shepard that specializes in explosives, patrol and tracking.

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