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Holley Rotary honors 2 members as Paul Harris Fellows

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 January 2020 at 3:04 pm

Photo courtesy of John Heise

HOLLEY – The Holley Rotary Club on Saturday honored two of its members as Paul Harris Fellows, the highest recognition given by a Rotary Club.

Josh Mitchell, left, is a past president of the Holley Rotary Club. He works as a funeral director at Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes.

Brian McKeon is in his second term as the club’s president. He works at TI-BA Enterprises in Rochester.

The Holley club’s members decide who will be honored as Paul Harris Fellows. The club will make $1,000 contributions in each of their names to The Rotary Foundation.

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Firefighters rescue dog in icy water at quarry by canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2020 at 6:11 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MURRAY – Justin Niederhofer, a Carlton firefighter, holds a dog named Lily that fell down an embankment by the Erie Canal and was stranded in a quarry.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene along Canal Road at about 4 p.m. Jules Hoepting of Albion was out for a walk with her dog by the canal. The dog walked too close to a steep embankment and fell. Lily was by a ledge in the quarry in the icy water.

Jules Hoepting needed to be helped up the embankment by firefighters from Holley and Clarendon.

Ray Keffer of the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company is on shore while three firefighters head out into the icy water to go after the dog.

The firefighters include Joe Morlino of FHM, and brothers Andrew and Justin Niederhofer of Carlton. They are in a rescue boat owned by the FHM Fire Company.

The dog was located and corralled at about 4:40 p.m. Justin Niederhofer is in the water holding the dog, while the boat is pulled ashore.

Firefighters had to break through ice and paddle the boat across the quarry to get to the dog. Justin Niederhofer, right, is wearing an ice suit and the two other firefighters have on cold water rescue suits.

Joe Morlino, center, helps Justin Niederhofer bring the dog closer to the shore.

Matt Hughson of the Carlton Fire Company carries the dog to a rescue vehicle where it could be warmed up.

Firefighters said the dog was doing well and was going to be checked by a veterinarian.

Jules Hoepting posted on the Orleans Hub Facebook page, thanking the firefighters and a man on a bike, Chad Beach, who called 911. Jules said Lily is doing well, and the dog promptly ate a bowl of dog food and then took a nap when it got home.

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Murray praises Jeff Martin for his 34 years as town attorney

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2019 at 3:05 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Murray Town Supervisor Robert Miller, left, congratulates Jeff Martin for his 34 years of service as town attorney. Today is Martin’s last day in the role. Miller also is ending a two-year term as town supervisor. He will be joining the board of commissioners for the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire District.

MURRAY – The Town of Murray praised Jeff Martin today for his 34 years of service as the town’s attorney.

Martin is stepping down from the position. He is the longest-tenured town attorney in the county.

Martin said his law practice has become busier. He wants to devote more time to his private practice and also be freed up from the monthly Town Board meetings which are the second Tuesday evenings. Over the years, he also has attended numerous other special meetings for the town.

Martin wants to have more time with his family, including his wife Clara, who has retired as the secretary for Sheriff Randy Bower. She previously worked as the deputy elections commissioner for the county.

“It’s been a long run,” Martin told the Town Board during a year-end meeting at noon today. “I’ve worked with a lot of great people on various boards over the years.”

Martin was 30 when he was appointed to the position. He was asked by James Piedimonte, the late town supervisor, to consider the job.

“I appreciated his vote of confidence,” Martin said. “There was a lot of learning on the job.”

Martin helped the town construct about 15 water districts during his tenure. They all needed to be legally formed and constructed with a financial plan in place for covering the debt service of the districts.

For many years, Martin served as the town attorney while his father was on the Town Board. The late Richard “Pep” Martin was a town councilman from 1965 to 2000. He was a Holley science teacher and driver training educator.

Martin said he wanted to be an attorney since he was 10. He said the late Robert Heath was an inspiration for how to serve in the position in a small town. Heath would give Martin his first job as an attorney.

“I had a lot of respect and admiration for him,” Martin said.

Murray Town Clerk Cindy Oliver reads the oath of office today to Lloyd Christ, left, and Neal Valentine, who were elected to new four-year terms in November. Those new terms start on Jan. 1. Town Board members Mike Mele, far left, and Paul Hendel, right, also attended the town’s year-end meeting. Jeff Martin is seated next to Oliver.

Paul Hendel, a Murray town councilman for 10 years, said Martin has been very dedicated to Murray, at a low cost. Martin charges a $3,300 annual retainer, which includes attending the town meetings. Any work outside the meetings is at an hourly rate.

“He’s never charged close to what he should have,” Hendel said. “He has a legacy here that will be hard to replace. Whoever comes in doesn’t have the history that Jeff has. He has the history of the town that he can draw upon to help make the future better.”

Martin previously worked as the town attorney for Gaines and Clarendon. He said he expects he will continue as the school attorney for Holley. He has been Holley’s school attorney for 37 years.

Robert Miller, the town supervisor, thanked Martin for his many years of service to Murray.

“I appreciate the guidance and assistance Jeff has offered us over the years,” Miller said. “And he did it at an almost pro bono rate.”

Miller was also commended by the Town Board for his service to the town. Miller was town supervisor the past two years. He lost a close election to Joe Sidonio, who starts in the job on Jan. 1.

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Holley cheerleaders bring gifts, pep to nursing home

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2019 at 7:16 pm

Photos courtesy of Penny Cole

ALBION – The Holley varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders visited the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Facility in Albion last Friday.

The cheerleaders have been coming to the nursing home each year near Christmas for the past decade.

“We take them a gift and a Christmas card, and just spend time with them letting them know that someone cares about them,” said Penny Cole, who coaches the varsity team with her daughter, Heather Kelley. Melanie Richards is the JV coach.

Three of the Holley cheerleaders and Cameron Kelley, son of coach Heather Kelley, meet one of the residents.

“Heather and I always teach them it’s important to be a good cheerleader, but it’s much more important to be a great person,” Cole said. “They give with their whole heart.”

Heather Kelley and Penny Cole, the varsity coaches, were happy to greet one of the residents who is a grandmother to some of Holley’s former cheerleaders. The resident is like of a member of the extended family for the cheerleaders.

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Holley students kick off Christmas break with day of caring

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2019 at 10:51 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Kohl Morgan, a member of the Holley Interact Club, is among 35 students spending today with a day of caring. He is unloading food for animals at the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion.

The food was donated by Dr. Krista Wiley of Wiley’s Animal Ark in Holley. Wiley is a member of the Holley Rotary Club which sponsors the Interact Club at the school.

Craig Lane, a member of the Holley Rotary Club, delivered the dog and cat food. He also provided doughnuts for the students this morning.

Besides doing projects at PAWS this morning, the students will be visiting the Elderwood of Lakeside nursing home at Brockport and then volunteering at the Eastern Orleans Community Center in Holley.

Ally Lyndacker, left, and Rachael Howard walk one of the dogs at PAWS.

Shawn McAllister, left, Mackenzie Fiorito and Chloe Crossett play with one of the dogs.

Madelyn St. John cleans out one of the dog pens. “I love helping,” she said.

Holley Interact members asked to do a day of caring. They worked with advisor Samantha Zelent to set up the locations for the service projects.

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Eastern Battalion spending Wednesday in firehouse to get to calls quicker

Photos by Tom Rivers: These firefighters are spending several hours today at the Holley fire hall so a crew can quickly respond to an emergency. They are all past fire chiefs. They include, from left: Dave Smith of Holley (Past chief of Fancher-Hulberton-Murray), Fran Gaylord of Holley, Bob Freida of Clarendon, Kevin Dann of Holley, and Bob Beisang of Holley.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 December 2019 at 2:43 pm

Holley, Clarendon, FHM and Kendall improve response to day-time calls

HOLLEY – An emergency call during the workday hours often is difficult for volunteer fire departments locally and nationally to quickly have a crew on duty.

Leaders of fire departments in the Eastern Battalion of Orleans County – Clarendon, Holley, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray, and Kendall – have picked what is typically the busiest day of the week for calls and now have a dedicated crew on duty at the Holley fire hall. They will respond to any call on the east side of the county – the towns of Clarendon, Murray and Kendall.

“The volunteer fire service is hurting across the country,” said Kevin Dann, a captain with the Holley Fire Department. “This is what we can to solve the problem – for one day.”

Dave Smith, front, and Kevin Dann check a Stokes basket, which they would attach to a rope on the new Holley ladder truck.

The departments started to staff the fire hall on Wednesdays for the first time on Aug. 7. Department leaders looked back on calls the previous two years to find the busiest day for call volume on a weekday. They found Wednesdays had the most calls.

Since August, there have been firefighters at the Holley fire hall from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Initially their territory was the Clarendon, Holley and FHM fire districts, but it expanded to include Kendall in October. Clarendon and Holley firefighters provide most of the manpower so far, but FHM and Kendall also have been on duty.

The first 17 weeks of the program have shown much faster response times, said Bob Freida, Clarendon’s assistant fire chief.

Before August, it would take 7 to 9 minutes from when a call was dispatched to have a crew at the fire hall and a truck out the door. Now, a truck is out of the firehall in an average of 1 minute, 34 seconds from when a call is dispatched, Freida said.

It was taking about 12 minutes to have fireifghters on the scene of a call, from when it was dispatched. Now, it’s taking an average if 4 ½ minutes from when a call is dispatched to when firefighters are on scene with a truck.

“I truly believe this is making a difference,” Freida said today.

Bob Beisang, on ladder, and Fran Gaylord are testing the pick device on Holley’s new fire truck.

Freida cited an Oct. 7 call for a structure fire on Groth Road in Murray, in the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray fire district. A grouo of firefighters were already in the Holley fire hall when the call came through dispatch. They were on scene at Groth Road in 7 minutes. They quickly put out the fire. The residents in the house were able to go back in to stay after two days.

“On an average day that probably would have been a full-blown working fire,” Freida said. “But we were able to keep it to a minimal fire.”

The Eastern Battalion learned from a cooperative effort in Broome County and Onondaga County, where fire departments have volunteers in the fire hall on what are usually busy days.

Most of the calls are for EMS, and the firefighters want to be able to help people as quickly as possible.

“This is what we have to do to protect the community,” Dann said. “Being a small town in a small community, we have to work together or else the job won’t get done.”

Dann works full-time as an emergency medical technician for the Ridge Road Fire District. He will spend several hours on duty in Holley when his schedule allows. Other firefighters move around vacation days to be available on Wednesdays.

Dann and Freida said the eastern battalion may try to expand having a dedicated crew in the firehall on other days. Besides the Wednesdays, the fire department leaders will mobilize firefighters to be at the firehall if there is bad weather that will likely result in many calls for service, especially during high wind events.

Fran Gaylord, right, and the firefighters practice lifting a Stokes basket, which is like a stretcher.  In back from left are Kevin Dann, Dave Smith, Bob Beisang and Bob Freida. When they aren’t responding to a call, the firefighters to training drills, fire safety checks and clean equipment.

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Holley celebrates holiday season with lighted parade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2019 at 9:14 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – The village celebrated the holiday and Christmas season with a lighted parade and other community events on Saturday.

The Village of Holley DPW carries an inflatable Frosty the Snowman in this float, heading through the Public Square.

This fire truck was decorated in lights, with a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on top.

Girl Scouts from Troop 82204 put  a lot of effort in this float.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company paid tribute to the first responders who died in the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.

Santa enthusiastically greeted the crowd. He rode in Holley’s bucket truck.

People lined up along North Main Street, Route 31 and the Public Square to watch the floats, including one that brought in Santa.

There were many other activities in the downtown, including children’s programs in the Community Free Library, wine-tasting, food and games at the eastern Orleans Community Center, and holiday music.

There also was a tree-lighting to cap the events.

Paul Strom serves chili at the Eastern Orleans Community Center.

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Holley honors Dan Mawn as Citizen of the Year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2019 at 8:55 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Dan Mawn, left, was recognized by Holley’s Deputy Mayor Kevin Lynch as the 2019 Citizen of the Year during Saturday’s “Night of Lights.”

Mawn, a life-long Holley resident, worked 36 years for the Holley water and electric departments, retiring in 2005.

“Even after retirement to say he is an active member of our community is an understatement,” Lynch said.

Mawn is active with the Holley Fire Department, the American Legion, the VFW, and the Murray-Holley Historical Society. In 2003, he received a lifetime membership for the Historical Society for his many years of dedication, including serving as president.

“This year’s recipient exemplifies the award for all of his time he selflessly donates to organizations,” Lynch said. “He is a fixture at just about every community event — spaghetti dinners, Flag Day celebrations, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the list goes on.”

Holley also turned on the lights for its community Christmas tree in the Public Square. The tree has blue lights again this year in honor of the emergency services and law enforcement personnel.

Many community members purchased memory bulbs in honor of local loved ones. Deputy Mayor Lynch read those names for the crowd gathered at the tree lighting.

The tree was donated by Mike Bower of Erie Way Tree Farm in memory of his late brother, Edwin Bower.

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Holley will celebrate ‘Night of Lights,’ Citizen of the Year on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2019 at 9:09 am

Photo courtesy of Mike Bower: Matt Campbell and Mike Church from the Village of Holley Department of Public Works came out to Erie Way Tree Farm on Tuesday to bring back a Christmas tree to be displayed in Holley’s Public Square this holiday season. The tree was donated by Erie Way owner Mike Bower in memory of his late brother, Edwin Bower.

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley will continue its “Night of Lights” celebration Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.

“There will be many activities for children and adults in our village square including the Holley Community Library, Community Center, and at the Legion,” said Brian Sorochty, Holley’s mayor. “Holiday music will be played in the square by Northern Lights DJ and by our Holley Elementary and Highschool Chorus and Bands.”

The event includes a holiday parade at 6:30 p.m., which will be followed immediately by the “Citizen of the Year” award, memory bulb recitation, and tree-lighting ceremony.

There will also be eight wineries and multiple vendors set up in village business storefronts. Wine-tasting tickets will be available for purchase that day at the Village Office for $10.

“We are also continuing our tradition of lighting the tree in all blue lights in honor of our brave emergency services and law enforcement personnel,” Sorochty said. “We have had increasing turnout for this event over the last few years and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back again. Please join us for a fun evening celebrating the joys of the season.”

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Holley grad writes book about finding financial freedom through owning small business

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 November 2019 at 7:51 am

Provided photo: Ariana and Tom Sylvester have co-authored, Lifestyle Builders: Build Your Business, Quit Your Job, and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.

HOLLEY – A Holley graduate and her husband have co-authored a book, Lifestyle Builders: Build Your Business, Quit Your Job, and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.

The book, published by Morgan James, is a practical and entertaining guide to living a better life and building a business to support it.

Ariana and Tom Sylvester overcame the obstacles of building three businesses with one spouse still in a 9 to 5 job and working together as a married couple while raising two young kids. They say they have cracked the code and developed a framework on how to successfully do business and life together.

The family lives in Gates. Ariana and Tom Sylvester have run a real estate, a small wine and liquor store, and an online coaching and training for entrepreneurs.

“We are helping people to figure out their business,” Ariana Sylvester said. “There is a lot of noise, people telling you how to live your lives. It’s really your choice.”

The former Ariana Cuadrado graduated from Holley in 2006. She is in the school’s athletic hall of fame. She played three sports for Holley – soccer, basketball and track, and qualified for the state meet in the long jump.

She went to Oswego State College to play soccer. That’s where she met her future husband, a Perry native who also played soccer.

They graduated together from Oswego in 2006, with Tom earning bachelor’s in computer science and Ariana with bachelor’s in zoology. They married in 2008. They now have two young children.

They have run a real estate company, Sylvester Enterprises, the past 12 years. They have owned Warsaw Wine and Spirits for 7 years. Since 2015, they have been helping entrepreneurs. The past two years they have been Lifestyle Builders, helping people find careers they are passionate about, while maintaining a life balance.

The 285-page book has six sections: Plan With a Purpose, Find Your Freedom, Concept to Cash, Setup & Scale Your Systems, Quit Your Cubicle, and Stop Self Sabotage.

Lifestyle Builders incorporates the often-missed aspect of entrepreneur books: how to prepare your personal life for entrepreneurship. Tom and Ariana show adults seeking a career change how to create their ideal life through entrepreneurship.

“What is needed is having more open conservations with young people that there are a lot of path to what you’re passionate about,” Mrs. Sylvester, 34, said in an interview. “It doesn’t have to be a straight and narrow path.”

The Sylvesters provide a systematic approach to creating a successful business which includes visualizing personal goals, mapping out business financial details, and planning out daily expectations and realities of running a business.

Co-written to provide perspectives from both spouses on building a business while raising a family, Lifestyle Builders shares the Sylvesters’ personal experiences as a model for those seeking the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Tom and Ariana teach fledgling entrepreneurs how to organize and run their business by providing steps that men and women seeking financial freedom can implement immediately. They explain how to unlock the secrets to making the ideal life a reality, even for those who are busy and seriously lacking time and money.

For more information on the Sylvesters and their book, click here.

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