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World War I cannon heads to Pennsylvania for restoration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 March 2018 at 11:54 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A cannon from World War I that has been a fixture at State Street Park for about 80 years is leaving Medina for several months. A group of local veterans gathered at the park this morning to watch it be loaded on a flatbed owned by Automotive Solutions.

The cannon, manufactured in 1916, was fired during World War I. The cannon was moved from the front of State Street Park on Friday by the Medina DPW to back of the park so it could more easily be loaded up for a five-hour trip to Altoona, Pa. That is the location of Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration.

“It’s a piece of history,” said Jim Freas, commander of the VFW in Medina.

Steve Johnson is commander of the American Legion in Medina. His grandfather also served in World War I a century ago.

“This cannon is part of our heritage,” Johnson said. “We have to preserve our history.”

George Bidleman, owner of Orleans Ford, is paying $40,000 to have the cannon restored. Bidleman started at Orleans Ford as general manager in 1987. In 2002, he became the owner. He said the cannon is a prominent memorial, a reminder of the sacrifices of veterans.

“They all risked their lives,” he said about veterans.

Bidleman, center, is pictured with local veterans and Eileen Banker, chief of staff for State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

The cannon was manufactured in 1916 and was fired during World War I. Every Memorial Day for about 80 years, the Medina community has gathered by the cannon for the solemn ceremony.

The cannon, however, has become badly deteriorated and will be restored for $40,000. George Bidleman of Orleans Ford is raising the funds for the project.

The cannon will be stripped down. The parts will be repaired and re-manufactured if necessary. The gun will be primed and painted with epoxy primer and finished to match the original WWI paint scheme.

The Orleans Renaissance Group first pushed for saving the cannon about two years ago. The VFW and American Legion both supported the effort. The ORG raised $12,000 that will be used for site improvements for when the cannon comes back, which could be in time for Veterans’ Day in November.

Local veterans including David Kusmiersczak and Glenn Whitmore watched the cannon be pulled to the road in the park, so it could be put on the truck.

The cannon is a British Heavy Field Gun known as a B.L. 60 Pounder, manufactured in 1916 by Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

It weighs 6 tons, is a 5 inch/127mm caliber, 21 feet in length and 6 feet in width. The gun was originally issued to battery in France, April 1917 and fired 2,871 rounds during its first tour. It was returned to England in 1917 for repairs and reissued to battery in France, September 1918, firing an additional 1,471 rounds.

Chris Seefeldt, left, of Automotive Solutions works with owner Shawn Callard, right, to secure the cannon on the truck for the trip to Pennsylvania.

The cannon is strapped down for the trip.

Automotive Solutions heads down State Street with the cannon.

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Medina’s WWI cannon at State Street Park heading to Pa. for restoration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 February 2018 at 9:45 pm

Provided photos: A cannon that was used in World War I about a century ago will be removed from State Street Park in Medina on March 12 and taken for restoration work in Altoona, Pa.

MEDINA – A cannon used in World War I that has been a prominent memorial at State Street Park will get much-needed restoration work beginning next month.

The cannon, manufactured in 1916, was fired during World War I. Every Memorial Day for about 80 years, the Medina community has gathered by the cannon for the solemn ceremony.

The cannon, however, has become badly deteriorated and will be restored for $40,000. George Bidleman of Orleans Ford is raising the funds for the project.

The Orleans Renaissance Group first pushed for saving the cannon about two years ago. The VFW and American Legion both supported the effort.

“She is in dire need of being restored – not just the paint but the whole body,” said David Kusmiersczak, a member of the Legion.

The cannon has become badly deteriorated. It will be refurbished and should last another century.

The cannon will be moved on March 12 and taken to Altoona, Pa. That is the location of Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration.

The cannon will be stripped down. The parts will be repaired and re-manufactured if necessary. The gun will be primed and painted with epoxy primer and finished to match the original WWI paint scheme.

Seed Artillery will try to have the project done in time to be back in Medina for Veterans Day in November, said Steve Johnson, American Legion commander in Medina.

The cannon will return to a concrete base and landscape improvements. The Orleans Renaissance Group also is working to add new flagpoles and an interpretive sign at the site.

The cannon is a British Heavy Field Gun known as a B.L. 60 Pounder, manufactured in 1916 by Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

It weighs 6 tons, is a 5 inch/127mm caliber, 21 feet in length and 6 feet in width. The gun was originally issued to battery in France, April 1917 and fired 2,871 rounds during its first tour. It was returned to England in 1917 for repairs and reissued to battery in France, September 1918, firing an additional 1,471 rounds.

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Public welcome to bring worn flags to ceremony Thursday at Lyndonville

Staff Reports Posted 13 June 2018 at 7:55 am

LYNDONVILLE – The Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 in Lyndonville will be holding a flag retirement ceremony Thursday at 6 p.m. at Lynhaven Cemetery, located behind the Presbyterian Church at 107 Main St. The location will be near the cannon next to the flagpole.

Anyone who has a worn or tattered flag is welcome to bring it to the ceremony where we will ensure it receives a dignified disposal, said Steve Goodrich, commander of the Houseman-Tanner Post. Thursday is also Flag Day.

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Kendall community honors the sacrifice of soldiers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 May 2018 at 10:28 pm

Town holds its Memorial Day observance on May 30, which was the official date of the holiday from 1868 to 1970

Photos by Tom Rivers: Boy Scouts and veterans hold a large American flag during a Memorial Day observance at Greenwood Cemetery this evening. The flag would then be folded 13 times, with the meaning of each fold read by Marietta Schuth. Brian Shaw, a Boy Scout in Troop 94, is in back center, holding the flag.

John Patt of Troop 94 carries the American flag on Route 18. The processional started at Kendall Elementary School and ended at Greenwood Cemetery.

Sarah Kelly plays the flute in the combined Holley and Kendall marching band.

Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata said Memorial Day should be a time to reflect on the sacrifice of soldiers. “If it wasn’t for these brave individuals, our lives and our way of life would definitely have been different,” he said.

Kendall holds its Memorial Day observance on May 30, which was the official day for the holiday until it was changed to be the last Monday in May. Kendall has decided to continue to hold its Memorial Day ceremony on May 30. Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day. The holiday was celebrated on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

A Civil War cannon is at Greenwood Cemetery on Route 18, across from the new Dollar General store. Kendall rotates the Memorial Day service at three cemeteries.

Daniel Lauritzson, director of the chorus at Kendall, leads the group which sang, “Anthem.”

Kendall High School students Michela Hanlon and Allen Tonas read names from the “Roll of Honored Dead,” local veterans who are buried in Kendall cemeteries.

Members of the Kendall Fire Department salute the flag while the Kendall school band played the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

This is the same scene with the salute during the national anthem except the focus is on the flute player.

David Warren, a member of the Kendall Community Band, plays “Taps” with his trumpet near the end of the Memorial Day service at Greenwood Cemetery. The Community Band also played, “God Bless America” and “Armed Forces Salute.”

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16 graduate from LPN program at BOCES

Provided photo: The following graduated from the LPN program at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES: front row, from left: Keiona Cannon, Gabrielle Smith, Kelli Tubinis, Sonja Vasiliou, Amy Lagace, Kassidy McFall, Patricia Rinehart and Mary-Lyn Adkins. Back row: Robert Seyler, Hannah Kinkaid, Alexandra Mante, Sarah Matthews, Brittany Falcone, Renne Leonarczyk, Shannah Bosley and Brittany Bennett.

Posted 16 May 2018 at 1:45 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – A huge congratulations to the 16 students who graduated from the Orleans/Niagara BOCES Practical Nursing Program. Successful completion of the program entitles the graduates to apply to take the New York State Licensing Exam.

Mary-Lyn Adkins, Brittany Bennett, Shannah Bosley, Keiona Cannon, Brittany Falcone, Hanna Kinkaid, Amy Lagace,  Renee Leonarczyk, Alexandra Mante, Sarah Matthews, Kassidy McFall, Patricia Rinehart, Robert Seyler, Gabrielle Smith, Kelli Tubinis, Sonja Vasiliou were recognized at a ceremony and received their nursing pins to commemorate their journey to become a nurse.

Karen Kwandrans, Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Health Occupations coordinator, said she is very proud of the graduates and the program.

“We recently received word that we were ranked the number six program out of 61 by Annual PracticalNursing.org!”

The Practical Nursing Program is currently testing for the next class beginning July 2018. Go to www.onboces.org for more information.

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400 lace up sneakers for Mr. Ed’s Super Bowl run

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 February 2018 at 5:35 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MIDDLEPORT – Runners take off at the start of the 29th annual Mr. Ed’s Super Bowl Warm-Up, which attracted about 400 participants today in Middleport. The race draws devoted runners from Western New York and Canada.

The race starts and finishes near the lift bridge.

Don Heschke, center, is the race organizer. He waits for the signal to fire the small cannon which lets out a big boom. The cannon has been featured on race shirts and is one of the unique parts of the Mr. Ed’s race.

Many runners showed their football allegiances, including an Eagles fan at left.

This paved section of the towpath provided a break from the mud.

Jason Smith, center, rounds a bend in the race. Smith, the superintendent of Lyndonville Central School, has been a regular at Mr. Ed’s in recent years.

After the 5-kilometer race, runners enjoy chili and a party at the Middleport Fire Hall. Valerie Wood serves the chili. She was among the many volunteers who put on today’s race.

Proceeds from the race go towards scholarships for Roy-Hart grads pursuing careers in law enforcement or emergency medical services (firefighting or EMTs). Race organizers this past June were able to award five scholarships for $1,500 each.

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Veterans speak of love for ‘military family’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2017 at 12:54 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – David Kusmierczak of Medina stands with the color guard during the Veterans Day observance at the County Veterans Service Agency, 13996 Route 31 West. Veterans and community members stood in the freezing cold to remember and honor the sacrifices of veterans.

The program today included short speeches by veterans who have served in wars since World War II. This photo shows Vietnam War veteran Ray Smeal at the podium.

The 105 mm howitzer in front of the Veterans Service Agency office was used in the Korean War. That cannon was dedicated at the site on July 27, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Nancy Traxler of Waterport served 27 years in the Air Force, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She said she enjoyed working with other soldiers on missions.  She works as a veterans service officer in Orleans County. Trailer said her current role keeps her active with veterans and connected to the “military family.”

Steve Goodrich, commander of the American Legion Post in Lyndonville, also served 10 years with the U.S. Navy as a corpsman. During Desert Storm he worked out of a Naval Hospital in South Carolina, and collected and sent 2,400 units of blood to the battlefield.

Joshua Fleck of Holley served 20 years in the military including a tour in Iraq. He said soldiers and veterans look out for each other.

“I miss it everyday,” he said about his time in the military.

Matt Passarell, right, and Mike Donahue were part of the Honor Guard at today’s ceremony in Albion.

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New pavilion/bandstand headed to State Street Park in Medina

Posted 19 June 2017 at 7:40 pm

Press Release, Medina Waterfront Development Committee

MEDINA – When conjuring up a nostalgic “Norman Rockwell” picture of small-town America, one of the most iconic images that come to mind is the picturesque village park and the old bandstand.

They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Often nestled under stately trees on the village green or central park, they are gathering places for the community; a place where memories are made.

Citizens assemble to hear musical performances and public speeches or stop by for a shaded place to rest and watch the world go by.

State Street Park – “City Park” as it was once known – has long been that gathering place for the Medina community with one exception – no bandstand.

But that’s about to change.

As part of its ongoing review of Medina’s waterfront, the village Waterfront Development Committee has taken a keen interest in a short-list of “doable” projects that can be readily accomplished in the short term.

On that “short list” are projects in State Street Park. In addition to their efforts to rehabilitate the World War I Memorial cannon, the committee has been cultivating plans to develop the north end of the park, adjacent to the canal. Working with the Orleans Renaissance Group, the Mayor & Village Board of Trustees, Village Tree Board, Village DPW & Building Dept., Iroquois Job Corps and others, those plans are now coming to fruition.

“The north end of the park is really a beautiful and spacious area,” said Kathy Blackburn, chairperson of the committee. “It is an idyllic setting to develop as a community gathering space on the Erie Canal.”

Sugar maple, elm and cherry trees were planted at the site in 2016 in anticipation of adding a bandstand. Other site improvements will be made as funds become available.

“Once the site has been fully developed, it will be beautiful- something Medina is going to be very proud of,” said Blackburn. “The bandstand will be a multi-purpose venue, able to be used for a variety of events.”

Two years ago, The Orleans Renaissance Group began exploring the possibility of erecting a bandstand structure in State Street Park that could be used as a summer music venue and as a place to host outdoor movies. With the formation of the Waterfront Development Committee, the project has gained some steam.

“The structure will actually be much more than a traditional bandstand,” said Blackburn. “It will be a 20′ x 24′ timber frame pavilion with a raised concrete floor; a one-of-a-kind custom made in Ellington, Connecticut. With authentic post and beam construction, and timbers connected using mortise and tenon joinery, it will have a very historic look. It will definitely make a statement.”

One group that is very excited about the possibilities that come with such a structure is ORG.

“One of the things missing in terms of our ability to offer a wider variety of music events is a suitable summer venue for a blues concert series or film series,” said Cindy Robinson, secretary of ORG and president of the Medina Business Association. “We’ve been able to host many great concert events of a more classic style, but this will open up many new possibilities for us.”

According to Robinson, one of those possibilities is a family-friendly film series of kid-classics.

“We envision family movie nights in the park with some great classic kid films. We’re very excited about that.” Other possibilities being explored by ORG are summer concert series.

“We’ve been looking at the model used in Lewiston for some time,” said Chris Busch, president of ORG. “‘Blue Mondays’ in Lewiston’s Hennepin Park have been a community staple for years. They are very popular and are very successful. We’ve wanted to host a similar series for sometime now, but without a suitable venue we’ve been stymied. This new site will change that.”

Blue Mondays are sponsored by the Lewiston Council on the Arts and occur every Monday in July from 7-9 p.m. in Lewiston’s Hennipen Park and are free to the public.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari added some “big picture” perspective to the park improvements.

“We’re seeing a great deal of positive resurgence across several areas of the village – within the business district, home sales in our neighborhoods and with industry expressing interest in either locating here or expanding current operations,” said Sidari. “The addition of these kind of amenities to our parks are part of that positive resurgence that improves the quality of life for all residents and makes Medina an attractive place to live and invest.”

According to Blackburn, the lion’s share of the funding for this project is in place, but additional community support is both welcome and needed.

“As the mayor said, there are many great things are happening in Medina,” said Kathy Blackburn. “But none of them have just ‘happened’- they happen because good people who care about their community make them happen. The projects we are working on need your support!”

Blackburn states the timeline for construction is late summer of this year.

Anyone wishing to support the construction of the bandstand may do so by sending a donation to the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc., PO Box 543, Medina, NY with the notation “bandstand project”.

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Citizens seek to restore historic memorial in Medina

Provided photos: A "cannon" at State Street Park is actually British Heavy Field Gun. It is in need of rehabilitation.

Posted 21 May 2017 at 9:49 pm

Rare British artillery piece in need of rehabilitation

Press Release, Village of Medina Waterfront Development Committee

MEDINA – The day was October 3, 1935. About 300 persons gathered in what was then known as City Park to remember friends and family who served in the Great War. A cold rain fell on the crowd that day as an airplane dropped roses on the ceremony from above.

A monument had been erected through the efforts of local veterans and businessmen – a British artillery piece with a distinguished history of service on the Western Front had been procured and was prominently placed at the corner of the park.

A bronze tablet at the site bears the inscription: Erected by the James P. Clark Post of the American Legion in memory of those who lost their lives in the World War.

Every Memorial Day for over 80 years, citizens and veterans gather by the dozens at the World War I Memorial in State Street Park to remember in solemn ceremony.

Today, 80 years later, the centerpiece of this memorial is in dire need of rehabilitation and a local committee is spearheading that project.

Recently, the Village Board authorized the Village of Medina Waterfront Development Committee. The group has been meeting regularly to assess community assets along Medina’s considerable waterfront, and establish a comprehensive plan for development along the entire length within the village. The committee is chaired by Kathy Blackburn and draws its members from the village Planning Board, local businesses and organizations.

State Street Park, along with the World War I memorial, is included in that waterfront area.

“This site is one of the most hallowed, historic and important sites in our community,” said Chris Busch, member of the committee.

According to local archives, the “cannon” is a British Heavy Field Gun known as a B.L. 60 Pounder, manufactured in 1916 by Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

It weighs 6 tons, is a 5 inch/127mm caliber, 21 feet in length and 6 feet in width.

The gun was originally issued to battery in France, April 1917 and fired 2,871 rounds during its first tour. It was returned to England in 1917 for repairs and reissued to battery in France, September 1918, firing an additional 1,471 rounds.

The cannon is deteriorating at State Street Park.

“The United States procured a number of these batteries from Great Britain for use with American troops when the we entered the war,” said Busch. “This gun is likely part of those ceded to the U.S. and came back with the troops as war materiel.”

There are ten known possible surviving examples: five in museums, two in the U.S., and five parks or cemeteries in the U.S., including the memorial in Medina.

“There may be others, but we’re not aware of them. This piece is reasonably rare,” said Busch.

Through the years it has come to be know by all as “the cannon in State Street Park.” It has been the backdrop of thousands of photographs and memories. More importantly, it is a place of solemn remembrance.

During a review of waterfront assets by the committee, the question of the “cannon” came up. There had been reports that is was deteriorating despite having had some repairs made nearly two decades ago.

The committee decided that expert assessment was needed. After some research, the committee reached out to Dave Seedenberg of Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration in Altoona, PA.

Seedenberg is an expert in the field of restoring and reproducing functioning historic artillery pieces and has been practicing his craft for over eighteen years. His work is used in reenactments as well as at historic sites such as Fort Pulaski, GA. Seed Artillery has gained a national reputation as the “go to place for those who expect perfection.”

“In this day and age, people don’t realize how significant these war memorials are,” said Seedenberg. “The BL-60 was a very important piece to the Allies and we owe it to future generations to preserve it. We cannot afford to forget our history.”

Seedenberg traveled to Medina in February with two military historians. They were keenly interested in what they found.

“It was a great pleasure to have visited this monument- this cannon is rare in our country.” Seedenberg said. “Once I saw it, I was very concerned with the corrosion and structural damage we found. This is a very heavy artillery piece and corrosion has taken its toll. There are holes in some of the structural members.”

The rehabilitation process will require the gun to be transported to Altoona and stripped down. Parts will be repaired and actually re-manufactured if necessary. The gun will be primed and painted with epoxy primer and finished to match the original WWI paint scheme. The goal is to restore the piece to withstand exposure for another one hundred years or more. The entire process will take five to six months.

The gun will then be transported back to Medina and returned to the site where improvements will be made to the concrete base and landscape. New flagpoles and an interpretive sign will be added with the possible addition of benches.

Total cost for restoration and site improvements: $40,000.

Is it worth the cost? The committee, the Mayor and the Village Board think so.

This rendering shows how the memorial site could look with about $40,000 in improvements.

“This historic and rare cannon that has been used to memorialize those who served our community and nation over the last 80 years. Its preservation will safeguard the solemn ceremony at future Memorial Day observances for generations,” said Mayor Sidari. “I urge everyone to support the Medina Waterfront Development Committee in their effort to restore the cannon at State Street Park.”

Waterfront Development Committee Chairwoman Kathy Blackburn echoed those sentiments.

“This cannon has been in the park for as long as I can remember. It’s part of Medina’s past and future,” said Blackburn.

“We owe it to future generations to keep history alive; to be able to take our children and their children to see this piece of history and learn its lessons. If we don’t care for the artifacts of our history, they will turn to dust and our heritage along with it.”

“The piece is worthy of preservation for many reasons,” said Chris Busch, Planning Board Chair and Waterfront Committee member. “It is a rare and significant piece of military history. It is of interest to tourists, history enthusiasts, military buffs and is a well-known local landmark.”

According to Busch, every Memorial Day observance has been held at this site since the memorial was erected over 80 years ago. He calls it,”a hallowed part of the fabric of our community.” As part of the elaborate annual observance, the names of those who served and passed away that year are read aloud to a silent gathering of citizens.

“We neglect our history at our own peril,” said Busch “Life becomes easy. We forget the price that has been paid by generations before us on our behalf. Memorials like this one were erected to allow generations past to speak to us of the sacrifices that have secured our future.”

Blackburn said the project will not commence until enough funds have been raised to complete it . The committee has been quietly reaching out to community members to gauge support and have found enthusiasm for the project.

“We have several incredibly generous commitments for donations from community members and organizations at this point,” Blackburn said. “Now we’re appealing to the public at large. As soon as sufficient funds have been raised, the committee will begin the restoration.”

A little over one year away will mark a significant date for the memorial: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when the guns fell silent.

“The one-hundredth anniversary of the World War I is coming up on November 11, 2018,” said Blackburn. “We are hoping that we can have the restoration completely finished in time for Memorial Day 2018 and for Veteran’s Day 2018.”

The Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc. is facilitating collection of donations for the committee’s efforts. Donations can be mailed to: Orleans Renaissance Group, PO Box 543, Medina, NY 14103 with the notation “Memorial Restoration Project”.

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200 from Medina school spend afternoon doing service projects

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2017 at 5:26 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Kathy Allen, a Medina math and English teacher, and eighth-grader Bobbie Evers paint over graffiti under the Glenwood Avenue canal bridge in the village this afternoon.

There were 145 students and 55 teachers/staff members doing service projects in the community and at the school campus this afternoon. The district had an early release day, and the students tackled the projects as volunteers in “Mustangs Make An Impact Day.” This is the third year the school has run the community service projects. The supplies were donated by local businesses and community members.

Students and teachers also worked at village parks, Boxwood Cemetery, the Medina Historical Society and at the school grounds.

The group from the school covers up some of the graffiti under the canal bridge.

Sebastian Jackson didn’t mind spending the afternoon making the bridge look more appealing.

Jody Sargent, a high school business teacher, uses a roller to paint underneath the Glenwood Avenue bridge.

Anya Bloom picks up some of the many sticks and branches at Boxwood Cemetery.

These students are giving the Civil War Cannon a fresh coat of black paint. The cannon has been at Boxwood since 1903. It came from the Brooklyn Navy Yards, Village Historian Todd Bensley said. He is also a Medina teacher who helped with some of the service projects today. These students include, from left: Avery VanDerWerf, Laura Washak, Allysen Snook and Dillon Snook.

Allysen Snook works on painting the cannon at Boxwood.

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Fog rolled in today on a warm Jan. 21

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2017 at 6:09 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – This photo shows the Civil War section at Mount Albion Cemetery this afternoon when fog descended on the area.

Temperatures today reached the mid-50s. The temperatures are forecast to fall to 42 tonight with more patchy fog on Sunday and a high near 46.

Other highs for the upcoming week include 39 on Monday, 34 on Tuesday, 35 on Wednesday, 36 on Thursday, 34 on Friday and 30 on Saturday.

This photo shows Riches Corners Road in Albion, looking north from near the County House Road intersection.

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Temperatures on the upswing, but freezing rain could pose a hazard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 January 2017 at 8:20 am

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Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The cannon at State Street Park in Medina is pictured on Friday evening when it was snowing. The park is across East Center Street (Route 31) from the Ace Hardware.

The area will avoid a deep freeze the next week, but there will be some light snow and freezing rain on Monday night and into Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Buffalo said in issuing a hazardous weather outlook.

The forecast includes partly sunny with a high of 31 today, followed by a high near 31 on Sunday, and a high of 38 on Monday – Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

On Tuesday, the temperature will reach 38, followed by a high near 44 on Wednesday, 45 on Thursday and a high of 51 on Friday, according to the Weather Service.

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Veterans gather to recognize 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 December 2016 at 9:54 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jim Baron of Albion plays Taps today at the conclusion of a 75th anniversary memorial service in honor of the 2,403 Americans killed in the attacks at Pearl Harbor.

Veterans and some elected officials gathered just before 1 p.m. today at the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency on Route 31 for the service.

The surprise Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor brought the country into World War II. In addition to 2,403 Americans being killed at Pearl Harbor, another 1,178 were injured.

It was the deadliest attack on American soil until the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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The American flag is at half-staff on the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks. The flag is at the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, 13996 Route 31 West.

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David Morien of Medina was part of the Honor Guard during today’s service.

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Jim Freas (left), commander of the VFW in Medina, and Steve Johnson, commander of the American Legion in Medina, carry a memorial wreath that they placed on the 105 mm howitzer which was used in the Korean War. That cannon was dedicated at the Veterans Service Agency on July 27, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

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State Assemblyman Steve Hawley speaks during the service. He issued this statement about the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

“The surprise attacks on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in what is now Hawaii represent a crucial time in U.S. military and world history. More than 2,000 brave men and women lost their lives defending our sovereignty and freedom and their service will never be forgotten. Despite the shameless attack on the American stance of isolationism, our military quickly mobilized and defeated the forces of Nazism and Fascism during World War II.

“As the son of a veteran and veteran myself, I have always championed taking care of our servicemen and servicewomen as one of my top priorities in Albany. I have pushed for legislation to exempt veterans from admission to state parks and facilities, held events to teach local veterans about business ownership, and helped usher in the Veterans Buy-Back bill.

“It is paramount that we remain vigilant in our war against evil in today’s world, and the attacks on Pearl Harbor serve as a lesson that there will always be challenges to our democracy but through strength and determination, our way of life will prevail.

“I would like to thank and commend any surviving World War II veterans and their families and commemorate this special day in American history. Please take a moment on Pearl Harbor Day to remember those who perished in this tragedy and thank a veteran close to you in your life.”

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This replica of the Honolulu newspaper from Dec. 7, 1941 reacts to the attacks at Pearl Harbor. David Kusmierczak of Medina picked up the newspaper on a visit to Honolulu in 1988 and shared it at today’s service.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued this statement today about Pearl Harbor:

“Today, we mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In commemoration of the courage and valor shown by those who answered the call to protect our nation, we acknowledge and honor the more than 2,400 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“On this day of infamy we are all reminded that ‘freedom is not free.’ Yet, it provides us with an opportunity here in New York to ensure those who have fought and continue to fight for the values this state and nation were founded upon are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. That’s why New York remains committed to providing full access to quality services and supports for all our U.S. Service members and Veterans.

“This day weighs heavy on the hearts of all Americans. While we can never repay those who gave their lives in defense of liberty, justice and democracy, we can honor their sacrifice by working together to ensure the ideals and freedoms we cherish always ring true.”

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Service on Wednesday will mark 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2016 at 6:43 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County veterans’ community will gather at 12:48 p.m. on Wednesday to observe the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, where 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 injured.

It was the deadliest attack on American soil until the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

There remembrance service on Wednesday will be at the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, 13996 Route 31 West (by the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center). Veterans will present a wreath by a cannon, and there will be a gun salute. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley also will read a proclamation.

The American Legion in Medina pushed for the memorial service, and other veterans groups backed it. Having it in Albion is a centralized location in the county, said Earl Schmidt, the county’s veterans service director.

He said there were 4,905 people from Orleans County who served in World War II, and 447 are alive today.

The public is welcome to attend the service on Wednesday.

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Runners don’t mind a little cold in Medina 5K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2016 at 4:23 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Medina hosted its fourth annual ‘Home for the Holidays” 5K this morning with about 100 runners completing the 3.1 mile course. The race started in the canal district.

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Jose Quiros of Medina, left, and Joey Robinson, No. 47, are out in front early in the race.

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Michael Irish, No. 93, and Olivia Sweet, 8 years old of Medina, head up Route 31 in today’s race.

Runners pass by State Street Park and the war memorial.

Runners pass by State Street Park and the war memorial.

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Daniel Heil, 16, of Medina is out in front in the homestretch of the race. He was the overall winner with a time of 19:12. Lindon Morici of Albion was the fastest woman with a time of 21:09.

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A pack of runners keep a good pace along the Erie Canal.

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These runners are on the towpath by the canal.

The race was co-sponsored by Beta Sigma Phi-Kappa lota Chapter, Medina LOYAL Baseball, Medina Veterinary Clinic and The English Rose Tea Shoppe. Proceeds from the race are being donated to the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in support of their children’s reading program and Medina LOYAL Baseball.

To see the race results, click here.