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Apex will unveil sites for proposed turbines in Yates, Somerset

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 September 2018 at 8:22 pm

Company plans Oct. 2 forum at Lyndonville school auditorium

LYNDONVILLE – Apex Clean Energy will present plans for the locations of proposed turbines in Lighthouse Wind, a 200-megawatt wind energy project planned for Yates and Somerset.

The project has been in the works for about four years – and has faced some stiff opposition from the town towns.

Many residents and town officials have been asking for the specific locations for the turbines.

Apex will present those sites during a community forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2. The session will be Lyndonville’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave.

Apex also says it will have experts at the meeting and will respond to questions from the community.

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Lyndonville Girl Scouts donate 300 boxes of cookies to soldiers

Staff Reports Posted 10 September 2018 at 5:43 pm

Provided photo: Army Sergeant First Class Greg Nowicki, left, brought the cookies from Troop 82040 in Lyndonville to the distribution center for military members overseas.

LYNDONVILLE – Girl Scouts in Troop 82040 in Lyndonville sent 300 boxes of cookies to military personnel stationed overseas. The troop has made this an annual project to show their support. Last year they were able to send 56 boxes of cookies and set a goal for this year of 100, which they easily surpassed. Sister Troop 82124 also contributed 24 boxes of cookies and wrote letters to soldiers to contribute to the project as well.

The cookies went to the 444th Human Resources Company, a military company in Pittsburgh, PA, to be deployed with a postal unit and distributed to various United States military locations in Middle East for the servicemen and servicewomen. By distributing the cookies using 444th, this alleviated the shipping cost.

Army Sergeant First Class Greg Nowicki, husband of Troop 82040 co-leader Amanda Nowicki, drove the donation down to Pennsylvania.

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School resource officers named for Kendall, Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2018 at 10:55 am

ALBION –  The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has named the school resource officers who will be working full-time this school year at two school districts in Orleans County.

Deputy Alex Breuilly will be working in Kendall and Deputy Jason Barnum will be at Lyndonville. Both districts are paying the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office $100,000 annually to have a deputy work full-time in the school districts from Sept. 1 to June 30 each school year. The districts and the county have approved agreements for three years.

Breuilly and Barnum both met with community members during open houses this week at the school districts.

“I’m very excited,” said Sheriff Randy Bower. “It’s awesome news.”

The Sheriff’s Office will fill the two positions that are now vacant on road patrol. During the summers, Breuilly and Barnum will also be available for road patrol for the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office has wanted an expanded presence in Lyndonville and Kendall, the two schools in the northern part of the county that do not have a full-time police presence in their communities.

The contracts with the school resource officers will include 125 hours of overtime so the officers can attend some after-school activities, athletic events and the prom, Bower said.

The officers will provide security for the schools, and also educate students with anti-bullying programs, anti-drug education and also guide them in using a new STOP DWI Driving Simulator, where students and other users can see the effects of driving while texting, drowsy or if they are impaired or intoxicated.

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Lyndonville church offers group to help people coping from a divorce

Photos by Ginny Kropf: This home-like setting is the ambiance Lyndonville United Methodist Church was looking to create for its sessions of a divorce therapy program called DivorceCare. The 13-week sessions begin Sept. 17.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 28 August 2018 at 6:59 am

Sharon Allen holds one of the personal notebooks which is provided to those who take part in the 13-week divorce therapy group sponsored by the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

LYNDONVILLE – If anyone knows the pain of divorce, it’s Sharon Allen.

She had just turned 60 in 2005 and was attending the Free Methodist Church in Brockport when she was faced with a divorce.

“The church had just started to offer a healing group for people going through divorce,” she said. “I supported it, but I never expected to need it.”

Allen said she took the first week of the 13-week DivorceCare session, but got nothing out of because she was so angry.

“By the second week, God had spoken to me enough that I was ready to be receptive to help from the group,” Allen said.

After moving to Lyndonville and attending the Lyndonville United Methodist Church, Allen suggested they offer the program there. It has been so successful, the church has run 20 of the 13-week sessions, two a year, with the latest one scheduled to begin Sept. 17.

The program features videos and group discussions. Each week explores a different part of the healing process, Allen said.

DivorceCare is Bible-based, but being affiliated with a church is not a requirement, she said.

Topics addressed include “What’s happening to me,” “Facing my anger,” “Facing my loneliness,” “The road to healing,” “New relationships,” “Financial survival” and “Moving On, Growing Closer to God,” among others.

There are usually five or more in a class, and people may begin attending at any point during the 13 weeks. Some take it more than once, like Allen did.

“Journaling is something I found very helpful,” Allen said.

DivorceCare is an internationally accredited course developed by Steve Grissom, president of Church Initiative.

Anyone who is going through or has been through a divorce or who is just separated is welcome to attend.

“We like advance registration, but people can just come,” Allen said.

The groups run from 7 to 9 p.m. weekly. To register in advance, call (585) 765-9313.

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Many bands performing today to create scholarship in memory of Bill Carpenter

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 August 2018 at 6:31 pm

ALBION – A cutout of Bill Carpenter playing his guitar is near the stage at the Elks Club as part of a 10-hour jam session today in his memory. Jonesie and the Cruisers (with help from Who Dats members John Borello and Ed Hilfiker) are performing. Carpenter at one time was a member of Jonesie.

Carpenter’s wife took the photo of Carpenter playing in their garage a little over a year ago.

Carpenter was 60 when he was killed in a motorcycle accident on Aug. 27, 2017. He hit a deer at about 6:30 in the morning on Route 279 while on his way to work at the Albion Correctional Facility.

He worked 26 years for Kodak, then four years for Lyndonville Central School as a custodian before becoming as corrections officer. He did that latter job for almost 10 years.

He was a member of the Albion Elks Club and the Elks Riders, a group of motorcyclists.

Carpenter loved music and performed in many local bands. These photos show him and some of the bands over several decades.

He also had a DJ business and loved to get people dancing a wedding receptions and other events.

“He was always entertaining,” said his wife, Elizabeth. “He loved to make people smile.”

Many local bands are playing in the benefit today to raise funds for  scholarship in Carpenter’s name. It will go to a student from Orleans County majoring in music.

The Who Dats were the first to perform today followed by Jonesie and the Cruisers, “A” Blues Band, 42 Nickels, Triple Play and band with Trellis Cooper. (Cooper worked with Carpenter and was one of the main organizers of the event.)

Carpenter was a lifelong Lyndonville resident. When his job became uncertain at Kodak, he started working as a custodian at Lyndonville Central School. It was at that job he got to know his wife Elizabeth, who would walk the hallways after school with friends.

The couple had been married for 12 years. Mr. Carpenter became a corrections officer at age 50, trying to boost his income. He carried a small Bible in his shirt pocket on his shifts.

Some of the inmates sent him Father’s Day cards because they appreciated his kindness and compassion, his wife said.

After his death, some of the inmates at the Albion Correctional Facility, a prison for women, sent Mrs. Carpenter a card, saying her husband treated the inmates with respect and would be missed.

Numerous co-workers also attended his funeral, and they said Carpenter was a father figure for many of the young corrections officers. He started his corrections career at Fishkill outside New York City for 3 ½ years and then a year at Five Points, a maximum security prison at Romulus. He would work four straight 16-hour days and then would get eight days off.

Carpenter was well regarded by local musicians, and they all volunteered to play today at the scholarship benefit.

Lonnie Froman, lead singer for The Who Dats, was recruited by Carpenter to sing in the band Flashback about 25 years ago. Carpenter’s friend heard Froman sing at karaoke and Carpenter reached out to the singer.

“He was just a likable guy,” Froman said. “It was a plus that he knew how to play the guitar.”

Carpenter was a mainstay in the local music scene. Froman looked at the cutout several times and knew Carpenter would have loved to have been playing with the bands today.

“He would have been up there in a heartbeat,” Froman said. “He played in so many bands over the years.”

The local bands share a kinship, Froman said.

“Everybody knows everybody,” he said about the members of the different bands. “It’s like a fraternity.”

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Lyndonville church welcomes new pastor

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 August 2018 at 12:13 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Olga Gonzalez recently assumed duties as new pastor of the Lyndonville United Methodist Church. She sits in her office working on a sermon.

LYNDONVILLE – The congregation of Lyndonville United Methodist Church has welcomed a new pastor after the Rev. Beth Malone was transferred to a new church.

Olga Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico, assumed her duties the first week in July.

She said coming to the area and becoming a minister was God’s plan.

Gonzalez and her husband Alexis first came to the Upstate New York in 2002, arriving in Syracuse to visit his family.

After receiving a bachelor of arts degree as an administrative assistant and a master’s in social work in Puerto Rico, Gonzalez took a job as a mental health counselor at a community health center in Syracuse.

In December 2011, she was praying and asking for a job where she could use the gifts and talents God had given her.

“In January 2012, I received an e-mail from a friend in Syracuse who knew a pastor who was looking for a missions worker,” Gonzalez said. “She said she knew I had a heart for missions and thought of me. I looked to the Lord and said, ‘You work fast.’”

She got in touch with the pastor of Brown Memorial Methodist Church in Syracuse and began the process to come to the area, working with Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.

She and her husband arrived in Syracuse in June 2012. She worked there four years, where they helped start a new Hispanic Methodist Church, the first and only one in Syracuse, and in 2016, she began studies to become a pastor. She is currently working to get her master’s of divinity at Northeast Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College.

In January 2015, Gonzalez was appointed assistant pastor of the Cicero United Methodist Church.

Her husband had said he would go wherever God sent them. She had never heard of Lyndonville when she was appointed here, she said.

“But after six years in the city, I said, ‘Hallelujah.’ I’ve already fallen in love with Lyndonville.”

The Fourth of July was the first time in her life Gonzalez had seen fireworks, she said.

“What a Fourth,” she said.

She said she is touched by how friendly people are in Lyndonville.

“People are calling to ask if I needed anything,” she said. “I know how hard it is for a congregation to face this kind of change, but they have been very welcoming.”

Living in the country is closer to God’s creation, the pastor said.

In October, she is planning to go on a mission trip to Cuba. The church in Cicero is collecting money and school supplies to be delivered there.

“I’m ready for this journey,” she added.

Church member Ruth Hedges said, as much as they loved the Rev. Malone, the congregation is very impressed with Gonzalez.

“She is so full of energy,” Hedges said. “I think she is going to be just great.”

The church is having Family Fun Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays and recently started “Unplugged for Kids,” featuring organized play time for families, with refreshments, prayer and games.

Summer worship hour is 10 a.m. on Sundays and beginning Aug. 5, they started a garden service at 8:15 a.m. at Robin Hill Estate on Platten Road.

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Shakespeare returns to Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 August 2018 at 8:47 am

Shake on the Lake gives Richard III a punk rock twist

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Shake on the Lake performers from Wyoming County were back in Orleans County on Tuesday for performances of Richard III. Josh Rice, co-founder of Shake on the Lake, played the lead role of Richard.

He is shown on the lawn behind the Yates Community Library. A cast and crew of about a dozen people put on the show on Tuesday evening. They will be back in Orleans County today at 6:30 p.m. for a performance at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse in Point Breeze.

There are several sword fights in Richard III.

This is Shake on the Lake’s seventh season. The first three seasons were limited to Silver Lake. The group has now expanded to eight counties in Western New York.

“We work really hard to put on the arts in a rural community,” said Pilar McKay, managing director and cofounder of Shake on the Lake.

Chad Bradford is director of Richard III. He gives the story a punk rock theme, mixing in lyrics from the Sex Pistols band. The play tells the story of a ruthless man plotting to be king.

Malcolm Tucker sings and plays the accordion in his role as Buckingham.

Some of the cast members sing before the show starts. Admission is free for the performances. The Orleans County performances include sponsorship from the Lyndonville Area Foundation, Albion Rotary Club, Emily Cebula and Darren Wilson.

Richard III (Josh Rice, at right) is determined to get the crown of England from his brother King Edward IV (Curtiss Johns). There is a lot of scheming from Richard III to get the crown.

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Lyndonville ranked safest school in NY

Posted 7 August 2018 at 3:21 pm

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville Central School District prides itself on making the district a safe environment for students and staff. The efforts have been noticed and the district has received top billing by and created the Top 50 safest schools in Upstate New York and placed Lyndonville in the No. 1 spot. Lyndonville was the only district in Orleans County to make the top 50 list.

The data for the list came from The 2019 safety rankings were determined based on multiple factors including parent/student surveys, expenses per student, student absenteeism, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, law enforcement referrals and school-related arrests. According to, it uses “data available from dozens of public data sources including the Department of Education, U.S. Census, and FBI” to compile its scores, along with parent, student and resident surveys.

Lyndonville received an A+ ranking from The district has 636 students, a 12:1 student/teacher ratio, and only 18 suspensions or 3 percent of students. is managed by About Advance Media New York, a company comprised of approximately “100 marketers in the heart of Upstate New York” who “manage local, statewide, national and global campaigns for hundreds of companies scattered across Upstate,” according to the company’s website. is a “place to research U.S. colleges, schools, neighborhoods, and companies” and “rigorous cleaning and analysis on large data sets, and combines them with feedback from our community for nuanced insight,” according to the website.

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Barker Community Band plays on after death of founder

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 August 2018 at 8:05 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Cindy Schmitt directs the Barker Community Band during a concert Monday evening at Veterans Park behind the Yates Community Library.

Amrom Chodos

Schmitt, a Newfane resident and music teacher at Cleveland Hill in Cheektowaga, is leading the band following the death of the group’s founder and long-time director, Amrom Chodos. He succumbed to cancer on July 28. Chodos was retired as Barker High School’s music teacher.

He developed a respected concert band at Barker High School. He realized many of those students didn’t keep playing after they graduated. He formed the community band in 1984 partly so former students could continue performing.

“He had an incredible influence,” said Patty Targus Riexinger, a 1975 Barker graduate who has played in the community band for about 20 years. “We had some wonderful times together.”

Chodos was dedicated to the group for more than 30 years. He especially enjoyed Christmas music, Targus Riexinger said. He also wrote the Barker Centennial March for the group to play.

The community band meets on most Mondays for practice.

“With that music and camaraderie, all the stresses would just melt away,” Targus Riexinger said.

The trombone section was featured in one of the songs. The band played in Lyndonville for the summer concert series at Yates Community Library. The series concludes Aug. 13 with a 6:30 p.m. concert by the Stoll Brothers, playing blues and rock.

Many of the spectators brought their own lawn chairs for the concert.

Ginny and Mark Hughes get ice cream sundaes ready for intermission.

Emily Cebula, director of the Yates Community Library, also plays in the Barker Community Band. She is second from left in this photo.

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Brush fire needs dousing at Yates farm

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2018 at 3:36 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – Firefighters from three departments responded to a brush fire that spread to trees this afternoon at 12118 East Yates Center Rd.

Firefighters were dispatched at about 2:15 p.m. with requests for mutual aid.

The farm is owned by Jeff Johnson. Embers from a burn pile were likely carried by wind to a row of trees not far away on an embankment, said Ben Bane, the Lyndonville fire chief.

Firefighters from Lyndonville, Shelby and Carlton responded to the scene. With temperatures in the low 90s, Bane said firefighters were frequently rotated at the scene.

This firefighter puts water on the burn pile.

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