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Albion Rotary Club awards 3 scholarships

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2018 at 3:15 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion Rotary Club awarded $3,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors today. Pictured, from left, include Hailey Bader, Rotary Club President Mike Bonnewell (who is also the school district superintendent), Justin Robinson, Bonnie Malakie (Scholarship Committee chairwoman) and Riley Seielstad.

Hailey Bader won the Dick Eddy “Service Above Self” Scholarship, a $1,250 award that is given to a student committed to community service and leadership, and who displays high potential for future accomplishment. Hailey has been active in chorus, band, drama, Rotary Interact, as a class officer and on the varsity tennis team. She has a passion for dance. She will study marketing and dance at The College at Brockport and would like to run her own dance studio after college.

Riley Seielstad won the $1,250 Edward Archbald Memorial Scholarship, given to a senior who shares Archbald’s love of sports, recreational activities, community service and work experience. Riley has been a class officer all four years of high school, and has been active in the theater program and band, including serving as a drum major for the marching band. She also has been active with the 4-H program and in horseback riding. She will major in allied health at Otterbein University in Ohio with a goal for a career in occupational therapy.

Justin Robinson was awarded the $500 Rotary Career Advancement Prize for a senior committed to community service, school activities and work experience. Justin has played soccer and football for Albion, while being active in the FFA and band. He works part-time at his family dairy farm in Albion during the school year, and full-time during the summer. He will attend Cobleskill University to major in agriculture business with an emphasis on dairy management. He plans to work at the family farm after college.

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Carlton, Barre fire companies are tops in county for training hours

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 May 2018 at 12:08 pm

Provided photos: Andrew Niederhofer, Carlton fire chief, accepts the award on behalf of Carlton for the most fire training hours. He receives the award from Dale Banker (left), the county’s emergency management coordinator; Kathy Way from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control; and Jerry Bentley, a deputy emergency management coordinator for the county (central battalion).

ALBION – The fire companies and firefighters with the most training hours in 2017-18 were recognized during Monday night’s joint meeting of the Orleans County Fire Advisory Board and Orleans County Fire Chiefs Association.

The Orleans County Office of Emergency Management along with state Office of Fire Prevention and Control presented the training awards for 2017- 2018 for Fire and EMS. The Barre Volunteer Fire Company led all of the departments with 831 EMS training hours. Carlton was tops in fire training hours with 559.

“I would like to personally congratulate all the award winners for their hard work and dedication to the emergency services and their home fire and EMS agencies,” said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management coordinator. “They truly make our county a much better and safer place to live and work.”

The breakdown for training hours for each fire department includes: Albion, 177 fire and 103 EMS; Barre, 195 fire and 831 EMS; Carlton, 538 fire and 303.5 EMS; East Shelby, 57 fire and 368 EMS; Fancher-Hulberton-Murray, 159 fire and 29.5 EMS; Holley, 368 fire and 349.5 EMS; Kendall, 420 fire and 59 EMS; Lyndonville, 387 fire and 40 EMS; Medina, 173 fire and 10 EMS; Ridgeway, 266 fire and 604.5 EMS; Shelby, 369 fire and 44 EMS; and COVA, 223.5 EMS.

The following had 200 or more combined training hours in fire/EMS: Chantelle Kidney and Zachary Blackburn, both 276 with the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company; Kara Bentley, 252 with Barre; and Andrew Cary, 211 with the Holley Fire Company.

Pictured from left include Dale Banker, Andrew Cary, Chantelle Kidney, Zachary Blackburn and Kara Bentley.

Wallace Snyder of the Lyndonville Fire Department accepts the award for leading the county with 147 fire training hours.

Kara Bentley of Barre led all firefighters with 223 EMS training hours.

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Jonathan Doherty receives disABILITY advocacy award

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 May 2018 at 10:16 am

Provided photo: Jonathan Doherty accepts an award on Saturday from Angela christoforos of Channel 4 in Buffalo. She was emcee of a 20th anniversary celebration for People Inc.’s DisABILITY Museum in Buffalo.

ALBION – An Albion man who has pushed for more opportunities for people with disabilities was recognized on Saturday for his years of advocacy.

Jonathan Doherty was presented with the Chris Burke Award for Excellence in disABILITY Advocacy on Saturday during a 20th anniversary celebration for People Inc.’s DisABILITY Museum in Buffalo.

Doherty led the effort in 2010 to ban the R-word in Orleans County. The County Legislature formally passed a resolution in May 2010, telling local, state and federal governments to no longer use the word “retarded” in describing people with developmental disabilities.

The R-word is a “vicious slang” that is insulting and hurtful to people with developmental disabilities and their families, legislators said in their resolution in 2010.

Doherty was a founding member of Self Advocate All Stars in 2006. One of its early goals was to rail against official government use of the “R-word.”

Doherty and the Self Advocate All Stars march in parades, wash cars, present at County Legislature meetings and make other efforts to reach out to the community.

Doherty said the community and state have a long way to go to making the communities more accessible for people with disabilities. He is on a transportation committee and he said a goal is later public bus runs so people with disabilities could go shopping, go to the movies or attend other events after the bus runs typically end by dinner right now.

“The transportation issue we need to continue to work on,” he said today. “We want buses after 6 p.m. or else it’s $40 to $50 for a taxi.”

Doherty, 35, said he will continue to be an advocate.

“With self advocacy there are issues across New York State where they cut things and they don’t recognize that people with disabilities matter, too,” he said.

Doherty is an active community member, volunteering with the Strawberry Festival Committee, Boy Scout Troop 164, the Albion Alumni Foundation, the Eastman at Albion Concert Series, and numerous events for The Arc of Orleans County. He also recently started dancing with Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.

He earned his Eagle Scout rank when he was 21 and is an assistant Scoutmaster. He wants to see more local Scouts earn their Eagle rank.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jonathan Doherty is active in the Albion community, volunteering with many causes. He also performed during the May 5 dance recital for Gotta Dance by Miss Amy in Albion.

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Region’s top spellers competed in Lyndonville

Provided photos: Fourth grade winners from Saturday’s spelling bee include, from left: Preston Pickard of William Kaegebein Elementary (Grand Island), third place; Jacob Moore of Fletcher Elementary (Tonawanda), second place; and Colton Smith of Lyndonville Elementary, first place.

Staff Reports Posted 21 May 2018 at 1:51 pm

Colton Smith of Lyndonville wins 1st for 4th graders

LYNDONVILLE – The 2018 Niagara Region PTA Spelling Bee for 4th and 5th graders was hosted at Lyndonville Central School on Saturday with 13 schools sending their top spellers in fourth and fifth grades.

Lyndonville will be the host in 2019. The previous two years it was at Huth Road Elementary in Grand Island.

The event took place at 10 a.m. for 4th graders and 12:45 p.m. for 5th graders. Rounds of spellers worked through novice, master and challenge words.

Dr. Elissa G. Smith, PreK through 6 principal at Lyndonville, welcomes the region’s top spellers to a competition on Saturday at Lyndonville.

There were spellers from 13 schools, including Albion, Medina and Lyndonville in Orleans County. Each school was able to send their top 3 spellers from their individual school bees to the regional bee. The participants included 39 fourth-graders and 30 fifth-graders.

Examples of words spelled: grieved, opaque, handkerchief, kinetic, lieutenant, maneuver, extraterrestrial, subterranean, explanatory.

The Bee was filmed by LCTV (Lockport Local Station), and it can be viewed online at

First through third place winners received a trophy and cash prizes ($75 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd).

5th grade winners include, from left: Giana Caruana, Huth Road Elementary (Grand Island), first; Madison Harris, Starpoint Elementary, second; and Brandon Aldridge, Newfane Elementary, third.

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Adam Hoot named to Dean’s List at Marietta College

Staff Reports Posted 17 May 2018 at 8:21 am

MARIETTA, OHIO – Marietta College’s Adam Hoot of Medina, New York, has been named to the Spring 2018 Dean’s List.

Any full-time Marietta College student completing at least 15 credit hours with a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.74 is recognized as a Dean’s List student for that semester.

Hoot is a member of the Class of 2018, and is majoring in Petroleum Engineering. Hoot is also a graduate of Medina High School.

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!”

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

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Josephine Seitz celebrates 100th birthday at Orchard Manor

Provided photos: Josephine Seitz, front center, is pictured with family and friends during a 100th birthday party today at Orchard Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Medina. Front row includes Josephine Seitz and Arlene Winters. Back row, from left, includes Pat Wechter, Diane Mazur, John Fearby, Maryann Fearby, Stephen Mazur, Marian Fry, Steve Seitz, Judy Preston, Ann Rook, Corey Winters, Alisha Foss, Bob Rook, Al Preston and Dennis Winters. Missing from the photo: Christina O’Donnell, Francis & Diane Domoy.

Posted 15 May 2018 at 11:15 am

Courtesy of Orchard Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Josephine blows out her candles with a little help from her daughter, Liz Winters. Josephine’s son Steve Seitz is in back.

MEDINA – Josephine Seitz celebrated her 100th birthday today at Orchard Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Center surrounded by family, friends, residents, and staff.

Born in Buffalo, Josephine (Mazur) Seitz was raised on a farm in Shelby. She came from a large family with seven siblings. Josephine raised two children and now has three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

According to her daughter Liz, Josephine was a good cook, making the best vegetable soup around.  “Jo” loved spending time in her vegetable and flower gardens and other hobbies included canning and cooking.  She was very family oriented.

Josephine was always a friendly neighbor. Josephine’s daughter Liz found out years later through old neighbors that “Jo” would tie bags of vegetables to their doors. To this day, Jo makes her daughter bring in potatoes, zucchini and summer squash for Orchard Manor staff, to continue the tradition. Josephine’s son Steve is known as the “Candy Man” for providing candy for Josephine to have in her room to share with the staff and her visitors.

When asked about reaching 100 years old, Josephine said she attributes it all to working hard her whole life.

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Sarah Boyle of Kent to graduate from SUNY Potsdam

Staff Reports Posted 15 May 2018 at 10:22 am

POTSDAM – The State University of New York at Potsdam will recognize nearly 900 candidates for graduation during the College’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony on May 19.

Sarah Boyle of Kent is set to graduate magna cum laude from SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges – and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students.

2 sisters from Medina earn top honor in Girl Scouts

Posted 14 May 2018 at 12:29 pm

Press Release, Girl Scouts of Western New York

MEDINA – Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce sisters Jessica, 17, and Sarah Grancelli, 19, of Medina as 2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts. They will be recognized on June 2 during the Gold Award Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Rochester.

Jessica Grancelli

Jessica’s project, Playing with STEM, consisted of adding puppets, books, games, and storage materials to the new interactive play space at Oak Orchard Elementary School. These materials will enhance the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) experience of children who use the interactive playroom twice a week. Jessica also made the current science literature library more accessible for teachers and students by organizing hundreds of books and producing a list with all of the titles and subjects.

STEM was also a focus for Sarah’s project, Space for STEM. Sarah organized and created science activities and games for a science night at Oak Orchard Elementary School. There were more than 350 people in attendance. The students used these games and activities to learn about space science. Sarah also created and published a book relating space and geography that will help students understand their place in the world. The materials she created were saved and are available as part of the science materials available to classroom teachers from Kindergarten to third grade at the school.

Sarah Grancelli

Sarah stated, “I love science and believe in the importance of STEM education. Girl Scouts taught me to be a leader. I learned to help others before myself and to make the world a better place. I developed courage and confidence as I learned to pursue my goals.”

Jessica commented, “Girl Scouts has taught me independence and to give back to the community.”

The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts. The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills.

The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities.

To learn more, visit

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Albion, Lyndonville-Medina musicals both are big winners at Stars of Tomorrow

Photos by Tom Rivers: Qasim Huzair plays the role of Uncle Fester in Lyndonville-Medina’s production of The Addams Family in March. Qasim won a “best supporting actor” award from the Stars of Tomorrow. The “Dancesters” in back also received a “Tip of the Hat” award.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2018 at 11:01 am

Both named outstanding musicals, among many awards

ROCHESTER – Two high school musical productions in Orleans County were big winners Thursday night at the Stars of Tomorrow competition in Rochester, which recognizes the top school musicals in the Rochester area.

Albion and Lyndonville-Medina both won the top award for outstanding musical. Albion, which competes with many large suburban schools in Division B, performed Godspell on March 23-24 and Lyndonville-Medina, in Division D, performed The Addams Family from March 23-25.

Enoch Martin (Judas), Victor Benjovsky (Jesus) and Laiken Ricker (disciple) perform a high-energy song in Godspell, Albion’s musical in March.

Both programs won many other awards and five students from the two programs also advanced in an individual competition where the winner goes to the Jimmy Awards program in New York City in June.

Lyndonville-Medina won the following awards for The Addams Family:

• Outstanding musical

• Outstanding Dance Ensemble

• Outstanding Acting Ensemble

• Outstanding Orchestra

• Outstanding supporting actor for Brian Cunningham, Qasim Huzair and Jacob Corser

Christian Hahn, center, portrays Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the family. He is shown with Brian Cunningham, left, who portrayed Pugsley Addams and Cora Payne, who portrayed Gomez’s wife Morticia. The three all received awards for their performances.

• Outstanding leading actor for Christian Hahn

• Outstanding leading actress for Cora Payne and Layna Viloria.

• Future Stars – Meagan Hardner

• Special Recognition – Grace Masse and Miranda Lembcke

• Tip of the Hat – Ethan Bowie, Sarah Cochrane, Zayda Moyle and the Dancesters.

(Hahn, Huzair, Payne and Viloria advance to round 2 of the Stars on May 24.)

Albion won the following awards for Godspell:

• Outstanding Musical

• Outstanding Dance Ensemble

• Outstanding Singing Ensemble

• Outstanding Acting Ensemble

• Outstanding Orchestra

• Outstanding supporting actor for Enoch Martin

• “Tip of the Hat” recognitions from the adjudicators for Nate Grammatico, Riley Seielstad, Emma Tower, Sophia Zambito, Matt Kovaleski, Richard Flanagan, Miranda Smith and the Albion HS Special Olympics Club

(Enoch Martin advances to round 2 of the Stars on May 24.)

Sophia Zambito, left, and Riley Seielstad, center, both were recognized by judges.

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