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Lyndonville appoints first student rep to Board of Education

Posted 7 November 2019 at 10:45 am

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

Photo courtesy of LCS: Jason Smith, superintendent of Lyndonville Central School, welcomes Sawyer Wilson as the student representative on the Board of Education. Lyndonville voters last May approved having a student as an ex officio member of the BOE.

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Board of Education approved the appointment of Sawyer Wilson, a senior at Lyndonville, to serve as its first student ex officio member during the October BOE meeting.

The voters approved a referendum in May authorizing the Board of Education to appoint a student to serve as an ex officio member. To be eligible for appointment, a student member must be a senior who has attended the district’s high school for at least two years prior to the selection. In addition, the student must have student government experience and be approved by the superintendent.

Sawyer Wilson, a life-long resident of Lyndonville, has attended the school district since kindergarten. He has been a member of the student council for a few years and was elected president this fall.

“I have known Sawyer for eight years. He is a conscientious, hard-working student,” said Jason Smith, the district superintendent. “I am confident he will be an asset to our Board of Education and will provide a true student perspective.”

Wilson’s first board meeting as an ex officio member is Nov. 12. Wilson will sit with the board members at all public meetings, will participate in all board hearings/meetings and will provide monthly reports.

As an ex officio member, he will not be allowed to attend executive sessions or receive any compensation. Wilson will serve as a non-voting member through June 2020.

The senior is excited about being the first student to sit on the LCSD Board of Education.

“The Board does a lot that we (the students) don’t see but we feel,” Sawyer said. “I hope to help students appreciate and understand this. I would like to provide the student perspective to decisions that are being made.”

Sawyer is the son of Darren and Wendy Wilson. He plans to apply to Geneseo and Nazareth Colleges and majoring in childhood education with a minor in political science or theatre.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Sawyer Wilson has been active in the Lyndonville-Medina school musicals. He is shown last March during Sister Act. He played the role of a dancing custodian.

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Lions Club does eye screenings for Lyndonville students

Posted 31 October 2019 at 9:24 am

Provided photos from Lyndonville Lions Club

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville and Medina Lions Clubs did eye screenings on Tuesday for 140 students at Lyndonville in grades kindergarten through 7. The top photo shows Lions Club members from left: Bruce Schmidt, Jim Hancock, Don Colquhoun and Lynne Johnson.

Jim Hancock screens one of the 140 students who had their vision checked on Tuesday.

The Lions Club members were assisted by several Lyndonville Leo Club members. The Leo Club members, under the direction of Adviser Aimee Chaffee, escorted students to and from the screenings.

This was the fourth year in a row that the vision screening has taken place in Lyndonville. Some vision issues have been discovered over the years.

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Orleans REDI projects total $17 million, with $9M sewer project in Kendall the biggest

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Town of Yates Park on Morrison Road has picnic tables, grills and a pavilion close to the shoreline. The state approved spending $2.5 million to expand the park and help protect it from flooding. This photo was taken this afternoon.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2019 at 7:14 pm

Yates Town Park approved for $2.5 million in improvements, expansion

The $49 million announced by Gov. Cuomo today for 20 lakeshore projects in Orleans and Niagara counties includes $17 million in Orleans County.

The projects will improve public land and infrastructure, including roads, a new sewer system in Kendall and Hamlin, and an improved Yates Town Park.

The money announced today is part of the first round of funding under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. There is also $20 million available for homeowners and $30 million for businesses that will be allocated later.

Governor Cuomo launched the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative in May to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.

He said today it was necessary as part of “a new normal” with high lake levels. The governor wants projects that will protect important public land and infrastructure from future flooding.

The governor was at Fort Niagara in Youngstown to announce the funding for Niagara and Orleans. The state is paying 95 percent of the costs, with the local governments chipping in percent.

Those projects include:

Orleans County

Wastewater Infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000

This project will disconnect homes from the septic systems and connect them to a wastewater system. A privately owned facility (located at Troutburg in the Town of Kendall) will be turned over to the Town of Kendall, and approximately 125 residences in the towns of Hamlin and Kendall will be connected to the facility.

The project will solve the problems for lakeside residences with septic issues west of West Kendall Drive, including along Lomond Shore West, Edrose Shore, Knapp Shore, Thompson Drive, and near Lakeland Beach Road and Bald Eagle Drive in the Town of Kendall, plus residences near Beachwood Park Road in the Town of Hamlin. This project will connect these areas to a sanitary sewer and convey wastewater to a treatment facility.

Yates Town Park and Expansion in Yates, $2,531,000

The Yates Town Park is located off Morrison Road, northeast of the Village of Lyndonville.

The Town of Yates proposes to expand the town park with enhanced recreational and water access opportunities. This project seeks to further enhance the park’s environmental resiliency, protect and expand its natural and nature-based features, and increase public access to the area’s recreational resources.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing shoreline stabilization measures to protect the park shoreline and associated features

• Evaluating opportunities to enhance recreation and water access through a new kayak launch and playground

• Installing upgrades to the park’s amenities, including an upgraded parking lot area, enclosed pavilion and bathrooms, and a 10 foot wide nature trail

Lakeshore Road (Route 97) in Carlton, east of Point Breeze, $2,062,000

Lakeshore Road is eroding rapidly and creating a hazardous situation for the roadway infrastructure and the waterline adjacent to the road. This project seeks to address the erosion of the bluff, as well as the existing failed shoreline protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization measures

• Stabilizing the bluff through grading and fill (where possible)

• Vegetation along the embankment

The project assumes 1,500 foot long by 40 foot wide shore stabilization with fill and new vegetation for 10 to 20 foot of the width. During the engineering process, the project should also evaluate potential of shore protection measures.

Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000

Culverts adjacent to Ed Rose Shore, Knapp Shore, and Thompson Drive are impacted by high water levels resulting in culvert ends being clogged with debris. This project will install a more resilient box culvert concept. A culvert located at Lakeland Beach Road needs fortification, and riprap will be placed at the outlet of the culvert to provide protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Replacing end of culverts with box design systems at four locations (Edrose, Knapp Shores, and Thompson Dr.)

• Upgrade stabilization measures at the Lakeland Beach Road end of culvert

Point Breeze Boat Launch in Carlton, $751,000

The docks and boating slips at the Orleans County Marine Park will see upgrades.

The 72-slip boat launch is owned by the county at the Orleans County Marine Park.

Proposed mitigation measures for the project consists of:

• Replacement of fixed elevation docks with floating docks and slips, inclusive of anchorage and posts to permit only vertical dock movement

• Modification and upgrades to impaired boat launches to increase resiliency

Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000

The bluff  on which the eastern portion of Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing erosional impacts, creating a 30 to 40 foot drop that has become a hazardous condition for the road and public water line in the area. This project aims to stabilize the bluff  to protect these assets.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization; stabilizing the bluff with embankment vegetation

• Where space allows, the bluff will be graded back to a more stable slope

Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000

The Town of Carlton Highway Department uses a payloader to carry pallets of sandbags across a washed out section of Lakeside Park Road West on June 2. A chunk of road washed out in May. Residents at three houses have to walk through the washed out road to reach their houses. The road will protected with riprap in one of the REDI projects.

The shoreline on which Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing flooding impacts from both Johnson Creek and Lake Ontario, including the loss of an access road/lane, land protecting homes, and public water lines. West of the intersection with Lakeside Road there is approximately 300 feet of public water line at risk of being exposed and compromised.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Constructing an access road to place protective materials along the shoreline

• Placement of riprap stone to protect the public water line during future high water level(s)

Thompson Drive turnaround to become beach access in Kendall, $131,000

A section of Thompson Drive at the western end of Kendall was eaten up by Lake Ontario in the spring 2017. This photo was taken on May 7, 2017.

The former Thompson Drive turnaround provides beach access to the Lake Ontario shoreline. There is an opportunity to turn the former turnaround into beach access, coupled with nature-based shoreline protection.

The proposed project would reduce shoreline erosion, protecting local infrastructure and maintaining access along the route.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing natural or nature-based shoreline protection addressing the erosion of the turnaround, which is nearing the shoreline edge

• Ensuring and enhancing access to the shoreline

Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000

The shoreline/waterfront area along the Route 237 right-of-way is experiencing significant erosion as a result of high water levels, flooding, and wave intensity. A project is currently ongoing to install riprap along the waterfront to protect the eroding shoreline associated with the right-of-way, abutting the riprap of two neighboring private properties.

Proposed additional mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Construction of a berm to further stabilize the shoreline and protect the area from future flooding

• Filling the gap between existing shoreline protection features with additional shoreline protection

• A protective barrier to provide public safety, and limit access from hazardous conditions at the end of the Route 237 right-of-way

Installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000

In-lake structures throughout Niagara and Orleans counties, when underwater, may result in hazardous boating conditions. Installing temporary safety markers is a proactive approach to protect public safety.

This project will install safety markers on submerged structures (piers). The structures will be clearly marked by installing temporary warning buoys.

For more on the projects, including the $32 million for those in Niagara County, click here.

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Woman identified in fatal fire this morning in Yates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2019 at 12:02 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Firefighters respond to the scene of a fatal fire this morning on Route 18, east of Route 63.

YATES – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victim in this morning’s fatal fire in Yates. Minnie Holt, 80, was killed at about 5 a.m. in a fire at 11848 Roosevelt Highway (Route 18).

Firefighters and Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene to find a house on fire in the rear and the inside full of thick black smoke.

Holt likely died from smoke inhalation. She was on the phone with an Orleans County public safety dispatcher as she tried to get out of the house. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is doing an autopsy.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call from Lyndonville, Carlton, Ridgeway, Shelby, Middleport and Medina.

Orleans County and state fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire. The road remains closed to traffic as of noon today.

The Town of Yates and Orleans County highway departments will help take down the house today.

First responders are shown at the scene at about 7:30 this morning.

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Woman, 80, dies in fire in Yates this morning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2019 at 8:57 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – A woman, 80, died this morning in a fire at her home on Route 18, Orleans County Undersheriff Chris Bourke said at the scene.

Firefighters and deputies were dispatched to the house at 4:54 a.m. The house was full of thick black smoke. The fire appears to have started in the rear of the house.

The woman likely died of smoke inhalation. She was on the phone with an Orleans County dispatcher, trying to get out of the house, when she likely passed away.

The woman’s name isn’t being released, pending family notifications.

Deputies arrived to the scene on Route 18, just west of Breeze and Foss roads, nine minutes after the 911 call. The doors were locked. One deputy injured his hand, breaking the glass on a  door to gain entry. That isn’t a serious injury, Bourke said.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call from Lyndonville, Carlton, Ridgeway, Shelby, Middleport and Medina.

Orleans County and state fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire. Dale Banker, the Emergency Management Office coordinator for the county, said he expects the Yates highway department will be on the scene later today to help tear down the house.

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250 attend candlelight walk in honor of Brooke Allen, Ricky Forder

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2019 at 9:23 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A mourner holds a candle outside Bill’s Sub Shop while a procession passes on Main Street at about 7:30 this evening.

About 250 people attended the candlelight walk in honor of Brooke Allen, 21, and Ricky Forder, 20, two recent Lyndonville graduates who were killed in a car accident on Oct. 10 on their way to work at Lake Ridge Fruit, an apple packing facility on Route 104 in Gaines.

The group walks down Main Street. They had an escort in a sheriff’s patrol car driven by Deputy John Doyle.

The walk began at the school on Housel Avenue and then proceeded to the baseball field on Lake Ave. Many brought their own candles and balloons.

“It ripples through the whole community,” one of the mourners said of the tragic deaths.

Amanda Howell, second from right in front, is Brooke’s mother. Howell thanked the community for its support since the car accident.

“I don’t have the words to express,” she said. “Thank you. Thank you.”

Brooke graduated from Lyndonville in 2016. Among her survivors is a 1-year-old son, River.

“She was one of the sweetest people you ever knew,” said her friend, Meghan Gapa, 28, of Lyndonville. “She could also be sassy and tell it like it is.”

Forder graduated from Lyndonville in 2018. He played on the school’s basketball and baseball teams. He enjoyed making his friends and family happy, going fishing and dancing to music.

This candle is outside Bill’s Sub Shop on Main Street.

Wes Bradley, a member of the Lyndonville Fire Department, helped direct traffic. He removed his hat and stood at attention out of respect when the mourners walked by.

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Services this week for 2 Lyndonville grads killed in car accident on Thursday

Staff Reports Posted 14 October 2019 at 6:12 pm

Brooke Allen

Calling hours and funeral services are set for two Lyndonville graduates who were killed in a car accident last Thursday on their way to work at Lake Ridge Fruit, an apple packing facility on Route 104.

Brooke Allen, 21, was driving when she struck a deer at 6:49 a.m. on Route 104. The car swerved, hit a guardrail and landed upside down in Beardsley Creek in about 5-foot-deep water.

Allen and her passenger, Richard “Ricky” Forder, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Allen graduated from Lyndonville in 2016. Among her survivors is a 1-year-old son, River.

Richard Forder

Relatives and friends may call on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at Oak Orchard Assembly of God Church, 12111 Ridge Rd., Medina, where her funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the Rev. Andy Sass officiating. Burial will follow immediately at Lynhaven Cemetery.

Memorials for Brooke may be made to the family for the loving care and support of her son.

Ricky Forder graduated from Lyndonville in 2018. He played on the school’s basketball and baseball teams. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family, going fishing, and dancing to music.

Ricky’s relatives and friends may call from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Christopher Mitchell Funeral Home, 21 West Ave., Albion. His funeral service will be from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday at the funeral home.

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Lyndonville church will host Autumn Festival this Saturday

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 October 2019 at 8:56 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Lyndonville United Methodist Church Pastor Olga Gonzalez and member Ruth Hedges display some of the items which will be available during the church’s fourth annual Harvest Festival on Oct. 12.

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville United Methodist Church’s pastor, Olga Gonzalez, is anxiously awaiting the church’s fourth annual Autumn Festival this Saturday.

Gonzalez began serving as pastor at the Lyndonville church July 1, 2018. She had heard such nice things last year about the festival and was looking forward to it, when she realized she would be in Cuba on a mission trip.

“Now I want to invite all the people this year to come and shop,” she said.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature homemade baked goods, a room full of craft items and fresh produce on the lawn, said organizer Ruth Hedges.

Many donated gift certificates and baskets will be up for bids during a silent auction, which will end at 1:30 p.m.

Hedges urges everyone who attends to “think Christmas presents, while helping the church as well.”

Lunch will be available, consisting of beef on weck or Salen’s hot dogs with macaroni salad, baked beans and a beverage. There will also be cups of chili.

Other activities include face painting for children and shopping in the church’s thrift store.

Resales Thrift Store opened on March 31 and will be open during the Autumn Festival. The store has had an outpouring of support from the surrounding community, both with donations and customers, Hedges said.

The store could always use more volunteers. It is open 15 hours a week, she said, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Anyone interested in helping can call Hedges at (585) 866-9133 or by e-mail at

The Harvest Festival is just one of many activities and programs which the church is sponsoring.

The church this past Monday began a six-week study of Adam Hamilton’s book Creed: What Christians Believe and Why. Used in conjunction with a six-session DVD, the book explores the Apostles’ Creed and Foundational Christian truths, such as the purpose of life. The group meets from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Wesley Lounge upstairs, led by Anne Hyndman. The study is open to anyone. Those planning to attend are asked to contact the church office to make sure they have enough books.

Darcy Brabon has organized Lyndonville Youth Serving Seniors, a group of youngsters who want to help seniors in the Lyndonville area. In September, the group went to the Lyndonville cemetery and cleaned the headstones of veterans. Each month they will work on a new project, such as raking leaves for people or taking paper products to those who might need help making cards. This group is looking for new ideas on who or how to help seniors. It is open to any young person who would like to participate.

The church will still continue to have its Mini Mall for children during the Lyndonville Christmas celebration on Dec. 7. Festivities will be relocated to the Fellowship Hall this year, so Hope Resales may remain open in the basement.

Divorce Care meetings led by Sharon Allen continue to run periodically throughout the year, when interest is shown. Help, hope and healing are offered through this support group which meets weekly.

Anyone interested in any of the church’s projects may contact the church office at (585) 765-9313.

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Lyndonville showed lots of school spirit during homecoming

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 October 2019 at 4:01 pm

Photos courtesy of Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville school district celebrated homecoming last week. The homecoming court was recognized during a pep rally on Friday afternoon. Pictured from left include: Ethan Bowie, Evan Horn, Mario Fidanza (king), Faith Chaffee, Kaci Wittmeyer, Megan Krisher (queen), Kaylee Nesbitt, Prezli Silversmith, Tessa Heideman (princess), Nathan Dillenbeck (prince), Jacob Corser and Russel Stephens.

The junior-senior high school had a float parade on Friday. The seventh- and eighth-graders had an orange and black theme.

High schoolers decorated their floats to different movie themes.

Ninth-graders had a “Grease” theme for their float.

Sophomores decorated to the “Up” movie.

Juniors decorated a float to “Toy Story.”

Seniors had a theme of “Finding Dory.”

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Library displays story walk in Lyndonville park

Posted 3 October 2019 at 3:12 pm

Photos courtesy of Yates Community Library: Lyndonville first-graders on Monday check out the new story walk at Veterans Memorial Park.

Press Release, Yates Community Library

LYNDONVILLE – The Yates Community Library has found a way to reinforce and promote literacy outdoors at the scenic Veterans Memorial Park, which is right beside the library in downtown Lyndonville.

A reproduced children’s story has its pages spaced out along the park’s pathway. The story that was chosen is a great interactive sing-along and dance story. There are instructions at the beginning of the walk to show how to play the story and music on a cell phone, to enjoy as the children walk along.

This week, the first-graders at Lyndonville Central School took a mini field trip to the park to enjoy the story, and were then welcomed inside the library for seasonal stories and music with librarian, Emily Cebula.

The story walk will be on display until mid-October, and then in the spring and summer months ahead for families to enjoy. The library is grateful to the Lyndonville Department of Public Works crew for its assistance in setting up the story walk.

Emily Cebula, director of Yates Community Library, reads a story to first-graders after they saw the story walk.

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