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Medina says phones expected to be out 2 more weeks at village offices

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2020 at 4:05 pm

MEDINA – The phone system is expected to be down for two more weeks after it was damaged by a lightning strike on June 23.

The lightning hit the City Hall and Fire Department annex, and took out phone lines, computer servers, two computers and damaged the HVAC system. Fifteen phones were “fried” from the lightning.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said it may cost about $30,000 to fix or replace the damaged items. The village’s insurance company will cover all of the costs except Medina’s $1,000 deductible.

The Village Board met today to discuss the situation. Sidari said it won’t be a simple fix and could take another two weeks.

The drive-through window remains open at the Village Office on Park Avenue. For all emergency calls for the fire department and police department, dial 911, Sidari said.

For non-emergency calls for fire and police, call (585) 589-5527, which goes to the dispatch center at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

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Medina PD announces name for new K-9: Phoenix

Provided photo: Medina police officer Jacob Reeves does a drill with the department’s new K-9, Phoenix.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2020 at 11:01 am

MEDINA – The votes are in and Medina’s new K-9 will be named Phoenix.

The department welcomed community feedback for the dog’s name. The options included Bandit, Erie, Phoenix, Gunner, Apollo and Raider.

Phoenix and Jacob Reeves, the department’s K-9 handler, have started a 14-week training program.

Phoenix is a Belgian Malinois. The K-9 team will train in patrols and drug detection.

Phoenix will replace Kye as the department’s K-9 in the fall after the training is complete. Kye has been the Medina PD’s K-9 for eight years.

Reeves also will replace Lt. Todd Draper as the department’s K-9 handler.

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Medina splash pad debuts during heat wave

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2020 at 7:28 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Nevaeh Moss, 13, of Medina has fun on Medina’s new splash pad that opened for the first time today.

The splash pad is at the Pine Street Park off Park Avenue.

The new splash pad is among $200,000 in upgrades to the neighborhood park. A group of residents raised the money for the park improvements, which also includes new playground equipment and pathway that will include flowers and butterfly gardens.

The committee that raised the money and pushed for the project includes Nicole Goyette, Tom Hungerford, Bob Sanderson and Maureen Sanderson.

Cadence Livingston, 5, of Medina is thrilled with the splash pad. She was there at about 5:30 p.m., when the temperature outside was 90 degrees.

The splash pad is the first to open in Orleans County. The Village of Albion is close to opening a larger splash pad at Bullard Park.

Jaiden Livingston, 8, of Medina enjoys the new water attraction in Medina. She is holding on to the pole with a button. When that button is pushed, the water comes out of five ground spray elements.

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Classic car cruise-ins return to Medina on Friday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2020 at 2:42 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: David Green is pictured on Aug. 23, 2017 during the Super Cruise on Main Street. There won’t be a Super Cruise this year, but there will be car shows on Fridays in the Canal Basin.

MEDINA – The classic car cruise-ins will return to Medina this Friday.

The Canal Basin will host the cars from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the next eight weeks. People are encouraged to set up in chairs behind their cars. If they want to walk around and look at other vehicles, they should wear a mask, said David Green, the event organizer.

Medina has been hosting the car shows on Fridays for more than 20 years. Green held off on them in June, but now feels comfortable with the events as long as people adhere to social distancing and wear a mask.

The car shows are typically capped with a “Super Cruise” in late August when a section of Main Street in closed to traffic. That event can bring in 200 to 300 cars and usually includes a performance by Terry Buchwald, an Elvis impersonator.

This year there won’t be a Super Cruise or entertainment by Elvis due to the large crowd that event draws to Medina.

The shows in the Canal Basin usually bring about 80-100 cars to the village.

These classic cars are parked for the cruise-in at the Canal Basin in Medina.

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Medina area municipal leaders say cuts from county, state would strain already tight budgets

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2020 at 4:59 pm

File photo: Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said delayed payments and reduced funding the village could have “devastating effects.”

MEDINA – The mayor of Medina and the town supervisors of Shelby and Ridgeway have sent a joint letter to the leaders of the county, state and federal governments, saying cuts to local municipalities would hit the village and towns that are already stressed to provide local services with tight budgets.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian and Shelby Town Supervisor Jeff Smith sent the letter, along with Scott Robinson, president of the Medina Area Partnership.

They sent their joint letters on July 1 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson and a letter to Congressional leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The Medina area officials say in their letter they are writing on behalf of business owners, community leaders and 10,000 residents in the Medina area.

“Our Upstate New York communities have been part of a vibrant renaissance in recent years, one we hope can continue during these challenging times,” according to the letter. “However, we need your assistance to make sure this can continue.”

In the letter to Cuomo, the four local leaders urge the governor to continue pressing Congress for a stimulus package that would bring needed funding to local governments,

“The failure to approve needed aid to local governments could result in loss of funding to core services our residents rely on, while leaving some of our most vulnerable residents behind,” according to the letter from Sidari, Napoli, Smith and Robinson. “With no guarantee of federal funding, we encourage you to not slow or defer any funding to local governments, even those that were largely spared from the devastating numbers other portions of our state saw. As you’ve noted, all lost lives are significant, and we too lost neighbors.”

The four local leaders sent the letter on July 1, a few days after the County Legislature announced it would be delaying the July 1 quarterly sales tax payment to the four villages and 10 towns in the county. The 14 municipalities collectively receive about $1.3 million of the local sales tax in the county, which is usually about $17 a million a year.

If the towns and villages face funding cuts, there could be “devastating effects,” according to letter. Those impacts could include:

  • Decreased funding for first responders
  • Reduced funding for education and our teachers
  • Reduction in allocated tourism funding
  • A continuation of furloughed workers and eventually layoffs, which will also result in less spending in our business communities
  • Delayed or the elimination of sales tax dollars from county governments
  • Stalled projects that were in place to help boost our communities

“There is still a long road ahead and none of us know what the coming months will hold,” according to the letter to Cuomo. “We are imploring you to use the tools at your disposal to help mitigate the potential long standing negative effects we’ll face as a result of the pandemic.

We greatly appreciate your continued leadership and thank you for your consideration during these challenging times.”

In the letter to the Congressional leaders, the four Medina area leaders thank Pelosi, McCarthy, McConnell and Schumer for their prompt, bipartisan support for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the CARES Act.

“Now, we encourage you to once again act swiftly and support legislation to supply a much needed stimulus to help local governments,” according to letter.

In the letter to Johnson, chairwoman of the County Legislature, she is asked to not delay sales tax payments to the towns and villages.

“We understand the strain COVID-19 has had on all of our budgets, and we are encouraging both our state and federal governments to approve relief to address these challenges,” Sidari, Napoli, Smith and Robinson write in their letter. “Without additional funding, first responders, education, health care workers, businesses, and infrastructure may all suffer. While we wait on relief for local governments ravaged by the current pandemic, we must focus our attention on what we can do today. Any future delays in these funds may continue to pause our ability to progress in an expeditious manner.”

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Medina school bus driver retires after 41 years

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2020 at 9:10 am

‘I loved my kids. All of these kids become like nieces and nephews to me.’

Provided photo: Susan Brabon drove a school bus for Medina for the past four decades.

MEDINA – Susan Brabon never liked working in an office. She preferred to be outside and on the go.

For 41 years she drove a bus for Medina Central School. She has retired from the job.

“People say, ‘How can you stand that job with the screaming kids?’” Brabon said. “I loved my kids. All of these kids become like nieces and nephews to me.”

Brabon majored in business in high school. She was 18 and working a 9-to-5 job in an office when the mother of one of her co-workers would stop in between bus runs. Brabon liked to drive and the schedule appealed to her. The breaks between runs would give her a chance to do errands.

She went to the Medina bus garage at 18 to inquire about being a bus driver. She was told to come back at 21.

She returned and started a career that lasted more than four decades.

She also met her husband through the job.

Wayne Brabon worked as a mechanic in the bus garage and also did a bus run for Medina students to the Orleans-Niagara BOCES. He is retired after 31 years.

He sent in this note of celebration on his wife’s retirement:

“Congratulations to Susan Brabon

June 30, 2020 she retired after 41 years of service as a bus driver with Medina Central School.

She started in October of 1979. She never had an accident or a driving violation in all of those years.

She had had perfect attendance for over 30 of those years.

She will truly miss her kids the most, having been on the same run for over 35 years.

In some cases she was taking the grandchildren of the kids she started with to school.

She loved her job and her kids. That’s what kept her there for so long.

Finally, with the amount of time served (and the impact of the virus), it’s time to stay home.

She says goodbye to her friends and many beloved kids.

From her proud husband, Wayne Brabon”

Mrs. Brabon for 35 years had the same bus run on Maple Ridge Road (Route 31A) going to Millville and the Albion town line. She also did a prekindergarten bus run, and drove numerous Medina sports teams to their games and also took the marching band to many competitions. The marching band trips were often a 15-hour day for the bus driver.

She said there are more rules and regulations these days for bus drivers. She said it is a great job with a chance to connect with many children.

“On my bus there weren’t any discipline problems, we all got along,” she said. “I wasn’t too strict or too easy.”

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Medina welcomes new K-9 team, and gives public a chance to pick dog’s name

Photo from Medina Police Department: Medina police officer Jacob Reeves and the department’s new K-9 are shown today when the dog was picked up and joined the Medina PD. The two will train together for 14 weeks before the dog goes into service for the department.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2020 at 4:48 pm

MEDINA – The Medina Police Department welcomed a new K-9 today. The department also announced the dog’s handler, police officer Jacob Reeves.

The dog, a Belgian Malinois, will train for 14 weeks with Reeves before going into service for the community. They will train in patrols and drug detection.

Medina PD is giving the public a chance to vote for the dog’s name. The options include: Bandit, Erie, Phoenix, Gunner, Apollo and Raider. Click here to cast a vote on the Medina PD Facebook page.

Reeves joined the Medina PD in May 2016. He will replace Lt. Todd Draper as the department’s K-9 handler. The new dog also will replace Kye, who has worked with Draper the past eight years. When the new dog completes its training, Kye will retire, likely in late fall.

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United Way golf tournament a go for August

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 June 2020 at 8:13 am

Provided photo: This team from Drum Oil in Gasport is shown at last year’s United Way golf tournament. After postponing this year’s event originally scheduled in June, United Way has decided to go ahead with the tournament on Aug. 14 at Shelridge Country Club.

MEDINA – It is a decision made with a lot of consideration, but United Way of Orleans County is going ahead with its annual golf tournament.

Originally scheduled in early June, the event was postponed due to the pandemic, but has been rescheduled for Aug. 14 at Shelridge Country Club.

The golf tournament is a major fundraiser for United Way, and with its partner agencies all experiencing increased requests for assistance due to the coronavirus, United Way’s board felt it was imperative to try and have the tournament.

Initial response to the tournament has been very strong, said executive director Dean Bellack. As far as he knows, this is one of the few local charity outings still taking place scheduled this summer.

“I am an optimist and I’m confident we can safely pull it off,” Bellack said.

The county is in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening. This means the tournament will be able to have a buffet, and two people will be allowed to share a cart if they both agree. Country club manager Brett Decker will rent extra carts if necessary.

Bellack said he expects a record number of golfers to sign up for this year’s tournament. He said if there is a foursome, two can walk but will be able to put their clubs on the cart.

Bellack has been a member of Shelridge Country Club and he said it is in the best shape he’s ever seen it.

The tournament will begin with registration at 7:30 p.m., followed by a 9 a.m. tee-off. The day will include a light breakfast, lunch at the turn and dinner about 2:30 p.m. with suitable accommodations for social distancing. Anyone who feels safer alone will also be accommodated. The tournament is a traditional scramble with prizes for closest to the pin, long drives and men’s, women’s and mixed teams.

“We are in need of baskets to raffle, prizes to raffle and giveaways,” Bellack said.

“We hope everyone is anxious to get out and do something for themselves and the community we serve,” Bellack said.  “Most of all, we need golfers.”

Early bird registration by July 1 is $90 or $360 for a foursome. Regular registration will be $100 per individual or $400 for a foursome. For a dinner guest only, the cost will be $30.

Opportunities are available for sponsorships, ads in the program or donations.

Registration forms are available on the United Way website, or by contacting Bellack at Director@OrleansUnitedWay.org. Information is available by calling (585) 283-4224.

Rain date is Aug. 28.

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Phones could be out at least another week for Medina village offices

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2020 at 9:58 pm

MEDINA – The lightning strike that hit City Hall last Tuesday could keep the phones for Medina’s village offices off line for at least another week, Mayor Mike Sidari said.

The lightning hit the City Hall and Fire Department annex, and took out phone lines, computer servers, two computers and damaged the HVAC system. Sidari said it might have been two lightning strikes.

“We’re not in a  good spot,” Sidari said today. “We’re getting estimates.”

Many of the phone lines and ethernet wires “are fried beyond repair,” the mayor said.

A contractor will need to trace the lines to determine the full extent of the repairs needed.

Sidari expects the village is looking at about $10,000 in damages. The village has a $1,000 deductible and the insurance company has agreed to cover the rest of the costs.

The drive-through window remains open at the Village Office on Park Avenue. For all emergency calls for the fire department and police department, please dial 911, Sidari said.

For non-emergency calls for fire and police, call (585) 589-5527, which goes to the dispatch center at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

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Lee-Whedon director retires after 33 years at Medina library

Provided photo: Catherine Cooper, left, and Kristine Mostyn are pictured in front of the entrance to the children’s section. That public art project resembles a giant book and was completed in 2014 by artist Judith Villavisanis. It was one of many projects Cooper led to make Lee-Whedon Memorial Library more inviting to the community.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2020 at 8:56 pm

Kristine Mostyn, assistant director the past 10 years, is the library’s new leader

MEDINA – Catherine Cooper has retired after 33 years of service to Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

Cooper worked 23 years as assistant director and the past decade as the director. She led a renovation of the library, and pushed for public art projects, concerts and other events to bring in the community.

Lee-Whedon hired Kristine Mostyn as the new director. Mostyn has worked at the library for 10 years as the assistant director. Her vision for the future aligns with Mrs. Cooper’s, the library said in a statement.

“Kristine will continue to expand programming and hopefully expand the building for more community space,” according to the statement from the library today.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Catherine Cooper is shown in November 2013, sitting in one of the reupholstered chairs. She said the remodeled library added “warmth” and technology.

Cooper led several ambitious projects at Lee-Whedon. During a renovation completed in 2013, the library was emptied for a major overhaul.

The library closed for five weeks for the renovations. The library used to feel and look like a big long room all painted in the same color, a beige-yellow. The carpet was also one solid color.

“It was kind of blah,” Cooper said during a previous interview with the Orleans Hub.

The project left the library full of color – on the walls and on the floor. The walls were painted green, blue and yellow. The carpet has circles and other designs to help delineate spaces in the library. The library also added many pedant lights that hang from the ceiling.

The project also replaced the ceiling, and added many new high-speed Internet access points and upgraded computer technology.

The renovation created a teen area with a divider with a big circle cutout for people to walk through into the teen space. That helps give teens the feeling of their own spot in the library.

Lee-Whedon opened the 11,000-square-foot library in 1966. The inside of the building didn’t change too much for nearly a half century until the five-week construction project from Sept. 28 to Nov. 1, 2013. Cooper said that project, with internet connections in power chairs, brought Lee-Whedon into the 21stCentury.

Cooper wasn’t done with making the site more appealing to the public. She pushed for art projects in the children’s section, include an entrance that resembles a giant children’s book. That book features many characters from children’s books, such as Wilbur, the pig from Charlotte’s Web.

Judith Villavisanis, an artist, created the giant book entrance in 2014.

Villavisanis returned to Lee-Whedon to paint a new “Worlds of Wonder” mural in the children’s section, finishing that project on the south wall in 2018.

Cooper for the past 19 years also coordinated the concert series, Finally Fridays! Those events typically brought in about 200 people on Friday evenings during the winter for live music performances.

Cooper, in her retirement, will stay active in the community as Ridgeway town historian. She also is an active member with the Tuesday Club and the Medina Historical Society.

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Hometown Hero banners in Medina for first time include a Civil War soldier

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Patty Blackburn stands in Rotary Park holding a picture of her great-grandfather Henry Waters, a Civil War veteran whose banner hangs on East Center Street at the four corners in Medina.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 29 June 2020 at 10:07 am

Henry Waters Jr., after serving under General Grant, returned to Medina and became a community leader

MEDINA – Patty Blackburn is very proud of her ancestry, especially her great-grandfather who served in the Civil War. Last year she was looking at the banners which had been hung throughout Medina paying tribute to veterans from Medina who have served their country, and realized there were no veterans from the Civil War.

Patty Blackburn of Medina holds a pin which belonged to her great-grandfather Henry Waters, who served in the Civil War. He is the first Civil War soldier to be honored on a banner in downtown Medina.

Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman, coordinated the effort to get the banners in Medina. There are 107 banners of veterans so far, with more expected next year.

“I thought it was such an honorable thing for Mary Woodruff to do,” Blackburn said. “When I realized there were no soldiers from the Civil War I asked if she would like one. I had been looking at this picture of Henry on my wall all my life. He had it made for his wife when he went to war.”

Blackburn took down the picture of her great-grandfather Henry Waters Jr., gathered up his memorabilia and called Woodruff.

Blackburn said Henry was 25 when he bought a $40 Sharps rifle and went to war. He served with the 151st New York Volunteers under General Grant and the Grand Army of the Republic. Henry was in the honor guard when General Lee left the court house at Appomattox after surrendering.

“The men were told to be 100 percent respectful to Lee,” Blackburn said. “Lee had gone to the court house alone, because he didn’t want his men to be humiliated.”

Henry served at many battles of the Civil War, including Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Third Winchester and Appomattox. He was separated from Federal service in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 1865.

Henry was born on April 11, 1837 in Palmyra, one year after the Alamo, Blackburn explained. His parents were one of the early settlers of Ridge Road. His father Henry first went to Batavia in 1828 and after looking about the section for a week, he returned home where he decided to remain, as land in the Holland tract was too expensive considering the amount of work which would have to be done to prepare it for cultivation.

Then in the fall of 1829, Henry was attracted to a group of pioneers traveling from Connecticut and he joined them, traveling with them to Batavia. At this point he learned of a former acquaintance who had taken up land northwest of what is now Albion, and Henry decided to pay him a visit and look at land there.

He set forth upon his horse and made good time until he reached the Alabama swamp, where he became confused and decided to return to Batavia. His next attempt was in the company of Uri Moore, who at the time was in Batavia conducting business at the Holland Land Office. Henry rode with Moore as far as his hotel in Medina, where he stayed the night, continuing to Ridgeway the next day.

Henry returned to Palmyra to get his family, sending them on the canal. He and his son Henry Jr. then rode on horses and drove a team of oxen hitched to a wagon loaded with essentials. Their new home was the large cobblestone house at the corner of Ridge Road and Oak Orchard River Road. Blackburn said there was a general store on the first floor.

This cobblestone house at the corner of Ridge Road and Oak Orchard River Road at Oak Orchard on the Ridge is the ancestral home of Patty Blackburn of Medina. Her great-grandfather Henry Waters Jr., who lived there, is the first Civil War soldier to be memorialized on one of the banners hanging throughout downtown Medina.

Henry Jr. went to school at Oak Orchard on the Ridge and was very attentive, except for several days one spring when high water washed out the log bridge on Oak Orchard Creek. His father was one of the settlers who went to Rochester and insisted upon an improved road through the flats, and succeeded in getting a log bottom road, which was a vast improvement.

Provided photos: Alonzo Waters is a great-uncle of Patty Blackburn of Medina. He served in the 308th Field Artillery 78th Division during World War I. Blackburn’s great-grandfather was in the Civil War, and she has had his picture put on one of the banners paying tribute to veterans, which line the streets downtown.

Gilbert Howell, a colonel who served in the War of 1812 in the local area, took up the land on the corner of Ridge Road, south of the Waters’ property. Howell did considerable work for Henry in exchange for help in building his first buildings.

Henry Jr. married Triphene Achilles, daughter of Alfred Achilles, who took up 149 acres adjoining Henry in 1837. Henry purchased land adjoining his parents, where he lived all his life. He died Oct. 30, 1903.

Henry Jr. had a son Frank, who served the town of Ridgeway as supervisor from 1908 to 1911, and was chosen chairman of the board in 1910. He was elected to the Assembly in 1910 and re-elected in 1911. Information provided by Blackburn states Frank purchased the 20-room brick home on Ridge Road near his boyhood home, which he named “Riverside.” Blackburn said she thought his boyhood home was the large cobblestone home on the corner of Ridge Road and Oak Orchard River Road, but she had never heard it referred to as “Riverside.”

No one can confirm there was a brick home, and it is believed it is a reference to the cobblestone home, as there is no information available about a second 20-room home in the area. However, William Mesler, who has lived across the road for 70 years, said the back of the cobblestone home was partly brick.

Mesler also provided information about having talked to Jennie Beals, who lived in the hollow near the creek and told him there used to be a tunnel running from her house to the cobblestone house which was part of the Underground Railroad. Mesler then said a member of the Waters family years ago lived in a big house on Oak Orchard Creek Road, north of the cobblestone house, but he didn’t know which Waters.

Patty Blackburn’s cousin Robert Waters also served his county as a member of the Army during World War II.

Former Orleans County historian Bill Lattin checked an 1813 atlas in his possession and came up with the following information.

The Honorable Frank Waters (Frank Jr.’s father) purchased 26 acres at Oak Orchard Village on Ridge Road. It consisted of 10 acres of apple trees, five acres of peach trees and 2 acres of pear trees. Crops raised were wheat, corn and potatoes, which thrived because of a good well and the creek nearby.

It also describes a “commodious farm mansion of 20 rooms built of stone,” (obviously referring to Riverside) and a grain barn, storage house, tenant house and cooper shop.

Henry Waters Jr. isn’t the only veteran in Blackburn’s past who served his country. Her parents were Lewis and Dorothy Waters. Lewis was a brother of Alonzo Waters,  noted publisher of the Medina Journal Register, Harold Waters and Viola Waters. Alonzo served with the 308th Field Artillery 78th Division during World War I. Alonzo’s son was the late Robert Waters, pillar of the Medina community who also became publisher of the Medina Journal Register. Robert served with U.S. Army during World War II.

Blackburn thinks it would be appropriate for the next round of banners to include Alonzo and Robert.

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Medina Village Office phones still out after lightning strike last week

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2020 at 9:19 am

MEDINA – The phone lines have been down for nearly a week at the Medina Village Office after a lightning strike last Tuesday.

The lightning hit the City Hall and Fire Department annex, and took out the phone lines..

“We have several phone and computer lines that were ‘fried’ from the strike,” Medina Mayor Mike Sidari posted on Facebook this morning. “Hopefully within the next couple of days they will be up and working properly. If you have any questions you can use the drive-up window (at the Village Office).”

For all emergency calls for the fire department and police department, please dial 911, Sidari said.

For non-emergency calls for fire and police, call (585) 589-5527, which goes to the dispatch center.

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Medina grads thankful for chance to gather in outdoor commencement

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2020 at 8:53 am

District has 3 ceremonies to stay within state threshold of 150 people

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Graduates walk across the turf at Vets Park in front of the scoreboard on Friday afternoon during the first of three outdoor graduation ceremonies. The district split graduation into three services because the maximum size allowed for the programs is 150 people due the Covid-19 pandemic.

Caleb Boyce stands with his classmates after they moved their tassels to symbolize their graduation from Medina. Caleb and his classmates all wore masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The district held services at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. There are 110 members of the Class of 2020. There were about 37 graduates at each service. They were allowed three tickets for family members. That allowed for about 150 people to be at the service.

Class Valedictorian Nate Sherman leads the first group to their seats at Vets Park. There was a giant American flag held up by the ladder trucks from Medina Fire Department and the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company. Tim Petry, president of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company, said the fire departments wanted to add to a special day for the graduates.

“We want to show our support for the graduates,” Petry said. “They’ve had a rough year.”

Nate Sherman prerecorded his speech to his classmates. Sherman, who will play baseball and major in biochemistry at Canisius, said his fellow graduates have risen above adversity.

“We’re still here and I think we are stronger than ever,” he said.

Sherman said the senior class missed out on spring sports, the musical, many other activities and seeing their friends and teachers in person since school buildings were closed after March 13. The class adapted to on-line learning. Sherman urged the graduates to be brave in the next chapter of their lives.

“My advice for you is to go try,” he said. “Go see what you’re capable of.”

He ended his speech my jumping into a swimming pool, while wearing his cap and gown.

Banners of all the graduates were displayed on the fence at Vets Park. Many Medina businesses displayed those banners earlier in the week.

Michael Cavanagh

Principal Michael Cavanagh said the banners were another way the district wanted to celebrate the students.

The principal praised the class for its resilience during the pandemic, for seeing the school year to the end.

“Once again you rose up to meet life’s challenge,” he said.

Many of the seniors have been essential workers during the pandemic, working at grocery stores, nursing homes and other businesses that never closed.

Cavanagh said the community has showed its appreciation for health care workers and other frontline staff during the pandemic.

“How awesome would it be if we continued to show appreciation for others instead of finding fault and criticizing,” he said.

Margaret Klotzbach, the class salutatorian, accepts her diploma during commencement. The district superintendent and Board of Education president weren’t able to give handshakes or hugs for the graduates. They were following guidelines from the state in a pandemic.

Klotzbach, who is headed to Niagara University this fall, said the pandemic has showed students and the community “we shouldn’t take things for granted. Every little moment matters.”

Klotzbach said the sudden closure of the school after March 13 didn’t give students a chance to say goodbye to teachers, staff and each other. That has been the hardest part of the pandemic.

The separation since mid-March has made the graduation more special, she said, with the class able to see many of their friends.

She thanked the community for adopting students – showering the graduates with gifts. And she thanked the district administrators for working out the details for an outdoor graduation.

“The wonderful support of the community has not gone unnoticed,” she said.

Chloe Nashwenter listens to one of the speeches during commencement. Chloe is one of Medina’s top 10 graduates. She will be attending Niagara University in the fall.

She said the hardest part of the pandemic has been the time away from her friends. She appreciated the outdoor graduation, even though it was limited to a third of the class for each service.

“I’m glad we got to do something,” she said.

She likes the outdoor service over the school auditorium, where graduation is typically held.

“It was outside and there was a nice breeze,” she said.

The seniors wait in chairs, spaced six feet apart, for the ceremony to start. Once “Pomp and Circumstance” started, the graduates walked to the center of the field in front of their families who were in the bleachers.

Layna Viloria smiles for her portrait with her diploma.

The daisy chain tradition continued. The 16 girls with the highest GPAs in the junior class and two boys with the highest grade averages made the daisy chain and served as escorts for the senior class at commencement.

The graduates and their family members stand for the national anthem at the second service at 5:30 p.m. Only 150 people were allowed for the service.

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Hawley: 2 canal bridges will reopen to traffic on Saturday

Posted 26 June 2020 at 11:57 am

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining the New York State Department of Transportation in celebrating the re-opening of two local canal bridges that have been closed off to traffic for the better part of a year: the Telegraph Road Bridge in Murray and the Bates Road Bridge in Medina.

While there will still be some work to be done on both bridges, the DOT has assured it will not affect traffic. Both bridges will be open to vehicular traffic by the end of the day on Saturday.

“The coordination and dedication of those workers to restore the bridges for modern traffic is both commendable and admirable,” Hawley said. “I am just as excited as the next person to finally have this construction done and have these roadways open to us again.”

The Telegraph Road Bridge has been closed since Aug. 5, 2019 for steel repairs. The Bates Road Bridge has been closed since Nov. 8, 2019 for the same reason. The Telegraph bridge will have minor final touches being completed by the construction crew but traffic will be able to flow through. The Bates bridge will have open traffic flow, but continue to have a construction crew presence in order to install sidewalk grating.

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Fire contained to bedroom on South Main Street in Medina

Posted 25 June 2020 at 8:10 am

Photos by Rebecca Cooley: Medina firefighters respond to smoke coming from the roof of a house at 1100 South Main St.

Press Release, Medina Fire Department

MEDINA – At 5:10 pm on Wednesday evening while on routine patrol, police officers from the Medina Police Department noticed smoke coming from the roof at 1100 South Main St.

Orleans County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers quickly alerted the Village of Medina Fire Department along with firefighters from the Shelby and Lyndonville. Crews from the 3rd and 4th Platoons arrived to find smoke coming from the second floor of a 2-story single family residence.

All five occupants were out of the house on arrival of firefighters. The family was alerted by several smoke detectors that activated as the Police Department spotted the smoke.

Fire Chief Matt Jackson arrived and was in command of the scene as crews made entry and discovered high heat and low visibility on the second floor. Crews found and extinguished the fire in a bedroom and were able to keep the fire damage contained to the room of origin. There is smoke damage throughout the second floor as well as water damage to the first story. The family is currently being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Also assisting at the scene were members from the East Shelby Fire Department along with Coordinators and Investigators from the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

The Ridgeway Fire Department stood by at the Medina Fire house and handled a fire alarm at Medina Memorial Hospital while the units were still on scene at the South Main Street fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time. One village firefighter received a lower body injury He was treated and released from Medina Memorial Hospital and remains off duty at this time.

We would like to thank all our Public Safety partners for their assistance and we would also like to remind everyone to please check your smoke detectors monthly to ensure they are in working order. Smoke detectors save lives!

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