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Waterport woman to be honored as outstanding educator in Rochester

Staff Reports Posted 16 October 2018 at 8:28 pm

Kelly Follman

ROCHESTER – A Waterport woman who is a music teacher in the Rochester City School District will be honored on Wednesday as one of two outstanding educators for the district.

Kelly Follman is a music teacher at the Rise Community School No. 106. Follman has served students at several Rochester city schools, including Nathaniel Rochester Community School No. 3, George Mather Forbes School No. 4, Roberto Clemente School No. 8, Francis Parker School No. 23, Pinnacle School No. 35, and Kodak Park School No. 41.

Two of her former colleagues at School No. 23 nominated her for the Outstanding Educator Award. A graduate of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, with a Master’s degree from SUNY Brockport, Follman has produced musicals at her home school as well as helping direct the district-wide musical.

She also serves as a liaison between the Eastman Pathways program and the District. Outside of her time in the classroom, Follman keeps busy as a semi-professional musician in local orchestras.

The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes Rochester educators who are strong partners of Rochester students, making a positive impact on their lives.

The Rochester Education Foundation will recognize staff and students on Wednesday at the Annual Partnership Awards Event. That event is at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s in Rochester.

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Albion native wins writing awards for articles in Western Horseman

Staff Reports Posted 2 October 2018 at 10:54 am

Provided photo: Albion native Katie Navarra recently won two writing awards for article in a magazine about the horse industry and lifestyle.

MECHANICVILLE – Equestrian journalist Kathryn “Katie” Navarra and her award-winning portrayals of East Coast families choosing American Western lifestyles are rewriting expectations about regions, riders and rodeos.

Two articles published in Western Horseman magazine, “Green Mountain Grown,” published in April 2018, and “Where the Pavement Ends,” published in July 2017, have both earned Navarra first-place recognition as a journalist from judges who praise her work as “masterful,” “informative,” and “reflecting skilled interviewing.” Navarra is a 1999 Albion graduate and daughter of Jim and Barb Navarra of Albion. She now lives in the Albany area.

“Green Mountain Grown,” about a multi-generation Vermont family whose 900 horses and weekly summer rodeos have made them the largest ranch east of the Mississippi, placed first in Human Interest at the AAEA-Ag Communicators Network Awards.

“Where the Pavement Ends” profiled a northeast family’s rodeo and stock company, its nationally-renowned livestock, and series of East Coast and twice-weekly summer rodeos, placed first among Farm/Ranch/Producer Profiles in the Livestock Publications Council Awards and third in the Freelance category of the American Horse Publications (AHP) Conference and Excellence in Media Awards, where Navarra also earned Honorable Mention in Single-Instructional Article for “The Creaky Performance Horse,” published in 2017 in The Horse.

In June, Navarra – who sits on the AHP board, chairs AHP membership development committee and contributes to the AHP marketing committee – completed the Empire State Association for Association Executives (ESSAE) Leadership Academy (ALA).

Navarra is a professional writer and photographer working in the equine industry since 2001. For more on her work, click here.

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Lyndonville native named Air Force flying group superintendent

Posted 1 October 2018 at 10:22 am

Press Release, 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Goetze

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Goetze has been selected as the group superintendent for the 340th Flying Training Group. As the superintendent, he will advise the commander on all issues pertaining to the group enlisted force, including health, morale, welfare and personal and professional development.

The 340th Flying Training Group supports Air Education and Training Command’s specialized undergraduate pilot training, joint primary pilot training, pilot instructor training, introduction to fighter fundamentals, Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training, basic military training and the United States Air Force Academy airmanship programs.

The 340th is the largest flying group in the Air Force, consisting of 425 instructor pilots and 125 enlisted members assigned to six squadrons at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and JBSA-Lackland, Texas; Columbus AFB, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB and Sheppard AFB, Texas; and USAF Academy in Colorado.

Goetze is a native of Lyndonville, New York. He entered the Air Force in July 1986, serving as an aircraft technician on the F-4 Phantom, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-117 Nighthawk, C-141B Starlifter, C-17 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules aircraft.

He separated from active duty in June 1997, transferring to the Air Force Reserve, serving as a traditional Reserve, while working as a NASA product support engineer in Seattle, Washington. He accepted an Air Reserve Technician program position in 2004.

He has served in various operational and strategic level leadership roles, and deployed multiple times to Al Udeid AB, Qatar, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Djibouti, Africa, in support of the war on terrorism. Previous assignments include bases in Germany, Korea, Nevada, Washington, New York and Texas. Most recently, the chief was the Reserve Military Training Leader Liaison Superintendent at Sheppard AFB.

Goetze and his wife, Jeanne (also from Lyndonville), have two sons: Justin, employed by Mid-Western State University, and Thomas, a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

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Chuck Nesbitt is new president of state-wide county association

Staff Reports Posted 25 September 2018 at 1:25 pm

NYSAC will have ‘Mandate Monitor’ to track impact of state mandates on county taxes

Chuck Nesbitt

ROCHESTER – Charles “Chuck” Nesbitt Jr., chief administrative officer of Orleans County, was elected today to serve as president of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

NYSAC is a bipartisan municipal association serving all 62 counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate, advocate for, and serve member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

“I look forward to serving as NYSAC’s president and advocating for our counties in both Albany and Washington,” said Nesbitt, an Albion resident. “Our Association provides a strong platform for us to come together to voice our needs as the local governments closest to our communities.”

Since 2005, Nesbitt has served as the chief administrative officer of Orleans County. Prior to that he was an economic development specialist for Empire State Development in Rochester. He has also served as president of the New York State Association of County Administrators and Managers since 2008.

Nesbitt announced that during his presidency, he will focus on tracking the impact of existing and new state mandates on counties and county taxpayers. Under this initiative, a “Mandate Monitor” will examine the impact of implementing the Raise the Age law and the ongoing impact of other state mandates that consume most or all of the property taxes collected at the county level.

“Mr. Nesbitt is an experienced and respected county leader, and he will be a tremendous asset to NYSAC during a time when the county voice must be included in state and federal policy decisions,” said NYSAC Immediate Past President and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

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Alfred State welcomes several freshmen from Orleans County

Staff Reports Posted 18 September 2018 at 12:05 pm

ALFRED – Alfred State College welcomed a new class of freshmen this fall. The college offers educational opportunities in 49 associate degree programs, 27 baccalaureate degree programs, and two certificate programs in the schools of Arts and Sciences, Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology, and Applied Technology.

The college is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Among the new faces at Alfred State this semester are the following students from Orleans County:

Demetrius Gardner Albion Criminal Justice
Madison Papaj Albion Health Sciences
Brandon Dillenbeck Holley Mechanical Engineering Tech
Michael Passarell Holley Surveying Engineering Tech
Melody Purtell Holley Radiologic Technology
Jessica Sedore Holley Nursing (AAS/BSN)
Dalton Thurley Holley Mechanical Engineering Tech
Jacob Vania Holley Veterinary Technology
Hanna Waterman Holley Nursing (AAS/BSN)
Kyle Hodge Kendall Heavy Equipment Operations
John Ramsdell Kent Bldg Trades-Building Construct
Michael Kibbe Lyndonville Motorcycle & Power Sports Tech
Brody Brown Medina Mechanical Engineering Tech
Ethan Kujawa Medina Accounting
Andrew Sipple Medina Elec Cons & Maintenance Electrician
Mariah Grabowski Waterport Mechanical Engineering Tech

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OCALS recognizes students, teachers and supporters of literacy program

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Margie Easton, right, Limited English Proficiency coordinator at the Iroquois Job Corps, presented a certificate of appreciation to Mary Lee Knights, outgoing president of OCALS, during their annual meeting Thursday night. Knights then presented a certificate to the Job Corps for its cooperation with OCALS programming.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 14 September 2018 at 8:28 am

MILLVILLE – Orleans County Adult Learning Services celebrated another successful year during its annual dinner meeting Thursday night at Millville United Methodist Church.

Barry Flansburg, speaking on behalf of Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, summed it all up when he congratulated OCALS on its 12 years and all the positive things reported at the meeting.

Mitzi Fredericks, left, who helped organize the after-school reading program at Lyndonville Central School, and reading teacher Susan Hutter receive certificates of appreciation from Mary Lee Knights, outgoing president of OCALS, during their annual meeting Thursday night.

“It’s a great night when I can attend a meeting and not hear one complaint,” Flansburg said. “You’re growing and doing more all the time.”

Outgoing president Mary Lee Knights said it was a record year, with tutors spending 575 hours with 25 people. More than 400 hours were spent helping students in Medina, Albion and Lyndonville school districts.

During the official board meeting, officers elected for next year were president, Nicole Goodrich; vice president, Don Colquhoun; secretary, Pam Foss; and treasurer, Keith Ward.

Goodrich and Georgia Thomas were re-elected to a second term on the board, and new member Carolyn Wagner was elected for a three-year term.

In the absence of Keith Ward, Colquhoun gave a financial report, saying their main source of income was from United Way of Orleans County. He also acknowledged support of $4,500 a year from the Lyndonville Foundation for the past two years, and the invitation to apply for a third year of funding.

Volunteer Barb Dunham said OCALS is beginning to get referrals from more organizations in the community, including Pathstone, the Arc of Genesee Orleans, Iroquois Job Corps, social workers and teachers.

“The community is realizing we are out there,” Dunham said.

Knights said while the organization is keeping up with the needs of the community, OCALS still needs tutors, especially in Albion.

Don Colquhoun of Medina received a special award from Mary Lee Knights at OCALS’ annual dinner meeting Thursday night, in recognition of his contributions to the organization.

Cindy Blosenhauer, who developed the Little Blue Book Shelf reading libraries, has been out in the community spreading awareness of OCALS. She attended the annual birthday party at ABCD Daycare in Holley and would like to expand to ABCD Newfane next year.

Childrens’ books and books in Spanish are needed for the Little Blue (Community) Book Shelves, which are placed in a dozen strategic locations throughout Orleans County.

She also said OCALS has been involved for three years in the Farmworkers’ Coalition, which works with the migrant population.

“This was an eye opener,” Blosenhauer said. “The families are those known as ‘dreamers,’ whose children, 5 and 6 years old, were the ones who had to walk to the country store because their parents were in fear of being spotted.”

She also said she has tutors about to start in Newfane and has another at the Holley Community Center.

Colquhoun reported on the Workplace Literacy Program, which he has been trying to market to local businesses for the last three years. Its purpose is to help people who are in danger of losing their jobs learn the skills they need to keep their job. The program has been slow to interest local businessmen, so Colquhoun said they are going to offer it free for one year.

He also said Lyndonville churches are making a serious effort to identify people in that area who might need help with literacy issues. Blosenhauer has attended a Parents’ Night at Lyndonville School and will go again the spring, Colquhoun said.

Peggy Dollinger of Albion, planted a kiss on the cheek of Mary Lee Knights after being named OCALS’ Student of the Year Thursday night at the Millville Methodist Church. At right is Dollinger’s tutor Adrienne Daniels.

Knights said OCALS has only one major fundraiser a year – a bake sale during the fall at her pumpkin farm on Knowlesville Road. She said they sell baked goods, some for just pennies, and yet they make more than $1,000.

Recognition was given to Peggy Dollinger, who was named Student of the Year; Neeven Boulos and Jan Meland, Tutors of the Year; Jackie Keller, Employee of the Year; and Don Colquhoun, Volunteer of the Year.

Special Key Contributor awards were presented to Terry and Kevin Novak of Byron and Donna and Shane Seyler of Corning. The women are both daughters of Don and Rose Ruck of Byron, and it was their donation to the Hoag Library’s building fund which has assured OCALS a permanent reading room in the Albion library.

“They gave us money when we were down and out and didn’t know if we could keep going,” Knights said.

She also thanked Joe Gehl, a former tutor, whose family in Texas sends a donation every year.

Mary Lee Knights gave recognition to Terry Novak of Byron for her support of OCALS since it was founded by Novak’s mother Rose Ruck nearly a decade and a half ago.

Dollinger was ecstatic with her award, kissing Knights and saying “I love you.”

The student spent more hours studying than Knights could ever imagine, she said.

Dollinger was tutored by Adrienne Daniels of Albion.

In another presentation, Margie Eason, Limited English Proficiency coordinator and instructor at Iroquois Job Corps, gave a plaque to OCALS, and received a certificate of appreciation from Knights for cooperating with OCALS.

Boulos and Meland are the first to teach English as a Second Language as a team, Knights said. Boulos, who speaks a foreign language, was able to figure out what the people needed most, in terms of doctors, prescriptions or goods at the store. Then he would tell Meland, who could get what they needed.

The Employee of the Year award is not given every year, but Knights said Keller was more than deserving.

“I have dealt with Jackie every year I’ve been involved with OCALS, and she never fails to go above and beyond in anything I ask her to do,” Knights said.

In naming Colquhoun as Volunteer of the Year, Knights said he was the missing key OCALS didn’t have.

“His guidance has brought us to the top,” she said about the retired director of the Arc.

A dozen organizations and individuals received certificates of appreciation, including Hoag Library; Lee-Whedon Memorial Library; United Way of Orleans County; Lyndonville Foundation; Albion, Lyndonville and Medina school districts; Millville United Methodist Church; Virginia Kropf; Farmworkers’ Coalition; Iroquois Job Corps; and Community Bookshelf business owners.

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National Guard soldier from Lyndonville is promoted

Staff Reports Posted 10 September 2018 at 1:34 pm

Major General Anthony P. German, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces the recent promotion of a member of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of her capability for additional responsibility and leadership.

Kelsie Laspada from Lyndonville, assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-258th Field Artillery, has received a promotion to the rank of Private First Class.

Army National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability, and development potential. These promotions additionally recognize the best qualified soldiers and attract and retain the highest caliber citizen soldiers for a career in the New York Army National Guard.

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Holley dancers take 4th at State Fair

Staff Reports Posted 10 September 2018 at 8:37 am

6 numbers from Lisa’s Dance Boutique advance to semifinals

This group from Lisa’s Dance Boutique in Holley came in fourth at the State Fair with its tap performance of “Sing  “Sing, Sing, Sing.” They performed in the finals on Labor Day. The dancers include, front row, from left: Allison Amoroso, Charley London, Julia Frederick, Leah Kania and Savanna Isenberg. Back row: Olivia Amoroso, Madigan Neumann, Olivia Miller, Miss Heather Kelley, Deanna Schubmehl, Kylie Towne and Hannah Coolbaugh.

Part of the group, including Charley London (center) is shown performing during the talent show at the Orleans County 4-H Fair on July 23.

Lisa’s Dance Boutique sent eight groups of dancers to compete at the State Fair, which one of the groups coming in fourth overall.

Six of the eight numbers from Lisa’s advanced to the semifinals, which include the top 80 acts. Seven of the groups performed in the maxi division, which is ages 13 and older, with one number in the mini division, 12 and younger.

Lisa’s, a past state champion, qualified after doing well at the Orleans County 4-H Fair talent show.

This group – Hannah Coolbaugh, Olivia Miller, Deanna Schubmehl, Abby Connelly and Kamryn Berner  – performed Jazz Dance to Summertime Sadness.

Allison Amoroso did a Jazz Solo, “Havana.”

This group did a jazz dance, “The Beautiful People.” Front row: Allison Amoroso, Savanna Isenberg and Julia Frederick. Back Row: Olivia Amoroso, Leah Weinbeck, Kylie Towne and Tori Allen.

Kamryn Berner, Abby Connelly and Morgan Davis performed a tap dance, “Heart Cry.”

Morgan Davis, Abby Connelly and Kamryn Berner performed a tap dance to “Tap Dat.”

This group did a lyrical dance to “Don’t Let Me Down.” Front row: Deanna Schubmehl, Savanna Isenberg and Julia Frederick. Back row: Olivia Miller, Leah Weinbeck, Olivia Amoroso, Tori Allen, Kylie Towne and Emilie Weinbeck.

Bailey Amoroso did a jazz solo, “Every Girl’s A Super Girl.”

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Orleans Chamber announces award winners

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2018 at 9:32 am

Country Lane Veterinary Services named ‘Business of the Year’

Photo by Tom Rivers: Iva McKenna, front left, joins daughters Jenny and Kerri (and Kerri’s daughter) on the float for Country Lane Veterinary Services during the Barre Bicentennial Parade on June 30. Country Lane has been named the Chamber’s Business of the Year for 2018.

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce has announced its award winners for 2018. They will be recognized at the Chamber’s 20th annual awards dinner on Oct. 18 at the White Birch Country Club in Lyndonville.

The honorees include:

• Business the Year – Country Lane Veterinary Services in Barre

• Lifetime Achievement Award – Jaye Sullivan, owner of Blissett’s Specialty Shop in Medina

• New Business of the Year – Sourced Market & Eatery in Medina

• Small Business of the Year – Preston’s Lawn Care in Albion

• Agricultural Business of the Year – LynOaken Farms in Lyndonville

• Phoenix Award – 39 Problems Bar & Grill in Albion

• Business Person of the Year – Gail Miller of Medina

• Community Service Award – Wayne Litchfield of Medina

• Employer of the Year (presented by Orleans County Job Development Agency) – Penasack Machine Co. in Albion.

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Medina dancers win national honors at Lake George competition

Provided photos: The Junior/Senior Team at Dance Theater in Medina performed “Knocking on Heaven's Door” and won the national title during a competition at Lake George. The group includes, front row, from left: Lydia Fox, Aubrey Schoolcraft, Olivia Eaton, Carly Voelker, Marli Thrash and Izabella Murphy. Back row: LiLiana Goebel, Rachel Hill, Devin Griffin, Alexandria Strong, Paige Dix, Andrea Benz, Lexi Hare and Brandon Johnson.

Staff Reports Posted 21 August 2018 at 2:02 pm

MEDINA – Dance Theater competition teams recently Dance Xplosion National Talent Competition East Coast Summer Nationals in Lake George and won national titles in two categories.

Competing against 21 studios from across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts over the course of the week and against 900-plus numbers, the group from Medina won the 12-Under and 13-Over National Championship Titles with the highest scores of the whole competition.

Dance Theater is led by Brandon Johnson. The teams walked away Double National Champions.

Johnson has been leading Dance Theater for 15 years. This is the first time his dancers have won the national award. They have finished in the top 5 previously.

The Mini Team at Dance Theater performed “Ghostbusters” and won first place at Dance Eplosion. Pictured include: Hailey Walker, Hailey Moore, Kileigh Hastings, Arabella White and Gwynivere Fuller. Back row: Makenzie McGrath, Alysa Murray, Elaina Bruce, Natalie Rath and Brandon Johnson.

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