Find us on Facebook


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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.”

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

Outstanding students named at Orleans Career and Technical Education Center

Posted 7 August 2018 at 1:00 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Fifteen students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center were recognized at the end of the year ceremony for being the best in their programs.

One student from each of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES career and tech classes was named the Outstanding Student of the Year.

Congratulations go to:

Automotive Technology: Evan Spearance (Albion)

Building Trades: Malik Abdulghani (Lockport)

Computer Technology: Johann Anderson (Medina)

Cosmetology: Deseree Holland (Albion)

Cosmetology: Heaven Flood (Lyndonville)

Culinary Arts: Alisha Scroger (Medina)

Diesel Technology: Matthew Borel (Royalton-Hartland)

Early Childhood Education: Catherine Fleischhut (Royalton-Hartland)

Electricity/Electronics: Daniel Eakes (Royalton-Hartland)

Graphic Communications: Hanna Butcher (Albion)

Health Occupations Technician: Renee Tobin (Newfane)

Personal Trainer: Aaron Curry (Royalton-Hartland)

Precision Machine Technology: Jacob Kuhmann (Medina)

Security and Law Enforcement: Deseree Brewer (Lockport)

Welding: Madalynn Heschke (Royalton-Hartland)

Return to top

6 Scouts from Clarendon earn their Eagle

Photos by Tom Rivers: These six Boy Scouts are pictured with Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann at a Court of Honor celebration on Wednesday evening at the Disciples United Methodist Church in Clarendon. Pictured from left include: Xander Apicella, Matt DeSimone, Dalton Thurley, Jak Kohmann, William Harrington, Jake DeSimone and Ben Downey.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2018 at 8:07 am

32 have now earned Scouting’s top rank from Troop 59 in past 16 years

Ron Boyd, a mentor and volunteer in Troop 59, puts the Eagle kerchief on Xander Apicella. Jake Thurley, not in photo, put the kerchief on his brother Dalton Thurley, right.

CLARENDON – Six Boy Scouts from Troop 59 in Clarendon are the latest to earn their Eagle rank, bringing the number of Eagle Scouts to 32 in the past 16 years from the troop.

Xander Apicella, Matt DeSimone, Dalton Thurley, William Harrington, Jake DeSimone and Ben Downey held their Court of Honor celebration on Wednesday at the Disciples United Methodist Church, where the troop meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann praised the scouts for their dedication. They pushed themselves to earn merit badges and complete projects in the community.

“They do the work,” Kohmann told the group gathered at the church for the Court of Honor. “They have a true commitment. Without that dedication these six wouldn’t be up here today.”

Eagle Scouts need to earn at least 21 merit badges, but many of the scouts in Clarendon go well beyond that. They have completed projects at Hillside Cemetery, the Clarendon Historical Society, Clarendon Fire Hall and the town park. The projects need to take at least 100 hours, but Kohmann said the Clarendon Scouts put in at least 150, with some taking 400 hours to complete.

“They turn into young men and they get jobs,” Kohmann said about the Eagle Scouts. “We stay in touch and I see these people out in the community and they are pillars of the community.”

Jak Kohmann speaks during the Court of Honor on Wednesday evening. He said the Eagle Scouts are self motivated. Behind him include Ben Downey, Matt DeSimone and Jake DeSimone.

The six new Eagles all presented Kohmann with a mentor pin during the Court of Honor. They also recognized John Crandall, the assistant scoutmaster, and others who have supported their Scouting journey.

Xander Apicella began as a Webelos in the fifth grade. He created a firemen’s memorial at the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company for his Eagle Scout project. He is entering his junior year at University of California at Santa Barbara, where he is majoring in physics and minoring in writing.

Jake DeSimone started as a Tiger in the first grade. For his Eagle project, he constructed and landscaped a flower bed at the Clarendon Fire Hall. He is pursuing a business degree at Monroe Community College.

Matthew DeSimone, Jake’s younger brother, also started scouts in the first grade as a Tiger. He renovated the park pavilion in Clarendon for his Eagle project. He is pursuing a degree in business/pre-law at Geneseo State College.

Ben Downey started scouts in the second grade as a Wolf. For his Eagle project, he installed a fence at the memorial at Hillside Cemetery. He is currently doing commercial and electrical work for Edwards Electric and Communications in Rochester.

These new Eagle Scouts recite the Scout Oath. They include Will Harrington, Xander Apicella and Dalton Thurley.

William Harrington started as a Tiger Scout in the first grade. He constructed a display wall with lighting in the Clarendon Historical Society for his Eagle project. He is majoring in biology, chemistry and music in a pre-vet program at Elmira College.

Dalton Thurley joined scouts in the first grade as a Tiger. He cleaned and repaired the veterans’ section of Hillside Cemetery for his Eagle project. He will be studying mechanical electrical engineering technology at Alfred State beginning this fall.

Kohmann has served as Scoutmaster for 16 years, including several years after his son aged out of the program. Derek Kohmann, now 27, was the third of the 32 scouts to earn his Eagle under Kohmann.

Kohmann worked 30 years at Kodak and then another eight years at the Holley Pharmacy until he retired in April. He found scouting to be a needed break from the stresses of his job.

“This was a nice release from that,” he said. “I have a good time here.”

The Clarendon troop also has many engaged parents and several active volunteers. Kohmann does the paperwork after the scouts earn their badges and ranks.

He intends to stay active in the troop “as long as the kids keep coming.”

Will Harrington hugs Melissa Ierlan after presenting her with a mentor pin. Irelan helped many of the Eagle Scouts identify their projects in the community.

John Crandall, the assistant Scoutmaster the past nine years, says the many Eagle Scouts in the troop show others that the coveted rank is attainable.

“Once they see their peers get an Eagle, it inspires them,” Crandall said.

His son Jacob, 20, earned his Eagle. Another son, Jeremy, needs three more merit badges and has to complete his project to become an Eagle. Jeremy, 17, expects to become an Eagle next year.

Crandall also praised Melissa Ierlan for connecting many of the Eagle Scouts to their projects. Ierlan is president of the Historical Society and the town’s code enforcement officer.

“She helps with the logistics,” Crandall said. “She has tons of contacts.”

Ultimately, Crandall said Kohmann sets the tone in the troop, and keeps the scouts engaged.

“Jak is very regimented and available for the boys,” Crandall said. “You won’t find someone more dedicated to Boy Scouts. He makes it attainable to the boys.”

Kohmann said the troop welcomes more scouts. They can stop by the Disciples United Methodist Church on a Thursday evening for more information.

Return to top