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2 teens charged with murder of Medina woman, 20, in Lockport

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2020 at 1:40 pm

Cheyenne Farewell

LOCKPORT – Two teen-agers, ages 16 and 17, have been arrested and charged with murder in the second degree for the death of Cheyenne Farewell, 20, of Medina. She was shot and killed on Saturday at about 12:20 a.m., at a Halloween party on Niagara Street.

Five other people, ages 15 to 21, also were shot. Those victims are from Medina, Lockport and Corfu.

The two juveniles were arrested at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. They were arraigned in Youth Court in Niagara Falls today. Because of their ages their names aren’t being released publicly.

They have also been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. They are being held on $500,000 cash bail and $1 million bond. They are due to next appear in court on Oct. 26.

Caroline Wojtaszek, Niagara County district attorney, spoke at a 1 p.m. news conference in Lockport today. She said the two juveniles likely will face additional charges including murder with a depraved indifference to human life for firing a gun into a closed garage door knowing there are people behind the door.

Wojtaszek said Farewell and the other victims weren’t targeted. The two juveniles were acting on a grudge that didn’t include the people who were shot.

“Cheyenne Farewell was not part of this dispute,” Wojtaszek said. “She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Lockport Police Chief Steven Abbott said multiple law enforcement agencies worked around the clock since the shooting on Saturday to make the arrests early this morning.

Abbott and Wojtaszek said law enforcement has more work to do. They welcome more assistance from the public, including people who attended the party. Law enforcement wants to know what people saw at the party and what was shared on social media, including Snapchat.

Wojtaszek said assistance from the public is “essential” in building the case and getting a conviction.

“We need your courage to come forward with any information to help us,” the district attorney said. “This is a tragedy beyond words.”

Farewell, a 2018 Medina graduate, was a student at Brockport State College. Her family had calling hours on Tuesday at Cooper Funeral Home in Medina.

“Cheyenne deserves justice,” Wojtaszek said. “Her family deserves justice. This community deserves justice.”

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Medina community mourns loss of Cheyenne Farewell in ‘senseless tragedy’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2020 at 9:40 pm

‘People just loved her. She had the most joyous laugh.’

MEDINA – Rochelle Horner hugs Destiny Satkowski during a candelight vigil this evening at State Street Park in honor of Cheyenne Farewell, who is Horner’s daughter and a close friend of Satkowski.

Cheyenne was shot and killed at about 12:20 a.m. Saturday during a Halloween party on Niagara Street in Lockport. Five others were wounded by gun shots including two current Medina High School students.

“People just loved her,” said Satkowski, who graduated with Farewell in 2018. “She didn’t care what color you were, who you liked or where you were from. She treated everyone the same. She was a friend you could caught on. She had the most joyous laugh.”

More than 300 people gathered for the vigil at the park beginning at 6:30 p.m. The vigil lasted until after 8 p.m.

Satkowski played soccer with Farewell, and said Cheyenne was a big reason when Destiny started playing. Destiny continues to play soccer at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Horner in the top photo is wearing her daughter’s red soccer jacket from Medina.

Horner and Cheyenne’s father, Jeff Farewell, both thanked the community for the support and for all the love they showed Cheyenne over the years.

Horner said her daughter connected her to so many of her friends, making her feel like she has many daughters and sons in Medina.

This is looking at the other side of the crowd that was gathered next to the bandstand.

Lockport police are looking for information in the crime, where two people approached a metal door of a garage and one of them opened fire on the closed door. They two they took off running and haven’t been apprehended. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lockport police detectives at (716) 433-7700, or the confidential tip line (716) 439-6707.

Mark Sanders, pastor of the Refuge Temple in Lockport, said the crime was an act of cowardice. He asked God to bring justice for the family. He urged anyone with information about the crime to reach out to the police.

Sanders said he has spoken with teens at the party and they are devastated by the loss of Cheyenne and the carnage they witnessed.

“These kids have experienced something no kid should ever have to experience,” he told the group at the vigil. “They have experienced something no adult should ever experience.”

This woman holds a candle during the vigil at the park in Medina.


‘These weren’t troubled kids or bad kids – they were just kids having a good time. Right now they are broken over nonsense, ignorance and cowardice.’


Sanders urged the Medina community to continue to support Cheyenne’s family in the years ahead.

The kids at the party don’t bear fault for what happened, Sanders said.

“These weren’t troubled kids or bad kids – they were just kids having a good time,” he said. “Right now they are broken over nonsense, ignorance and cowardice.”

Cheyenne was a student at Brockport State College, where she was studying to become a therapist and writer. She was open about her mental health struggles in the past.

She wanted to break down those barriers and urged more people to talk about mental health and get help, Satkowski said.

Anastasia Smith, another 2018 Medina graduate, said Cheyenne shared about fighting depression and was a strong advocate for wellness.

She was very accepting of others, and if they made mistakes she didn’t cast judgement on them.

“Cheyenne was a completely radiant person,” said Smith, 19, an English major at Saint Bonaventure University. “She lit up every room she went into. She loved everybody and wanted the best for everyone.”

Mourners place candles on a sidewalk at the park in memory of Cheyenne Farewell.

Smith said she Farewell stayed in touch through Snapchat and text messages. She was very encouraging to others and would find time for everyone.

“When she smiled at you it was like the Sun,” Smith said.

She wants to see the perpetrators brought to justice very soon.

“It was a totally senseless crime,” Smith said. “There was no motivation. They just went there to hurt people.”

Mark Kruzynski, the Medina district superintendent, said grief counselors will be at the school district on Monday, including counselors from other districts and BOCES to support students and recent graduates.

He was grateful to see the big turnout at the vigil.

“This is where they can connect with each other and lean on each other,” Kruzynski said. “That’s why something like this is so important.”

These balloons were released near the end of the vigil. “We love you, Cheyenne,” one of the mourners said as she let go of the balloon.

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5K on Nov. 14 will benefit veterans in Orleans County

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 October 2020 at 3:53 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Jenn Thom is planning the third annual Operation Honor 5K on Nov. 14 to support local veterans. Behind her, the screensaver on her computer is a painting of a flag and dog tags done by Albion artist Carol Culhane.

MEDINA – It was several years ago Jenn Thom realized there weren’t a lot of resources available for veterans in Orleans County, and she wanted to do something to help.

That prompted her to organize the first Operation Honor 5K. The first year, proceeds of $3,000 went to the Warrior House near West Shelby, and last year she donated $4,000 to the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council in Albion for a new van.

Thom is still deciding on where to donate the proceeds of this year’s race, scheduled Nov. 14 in Medina, with the start at Junior Wilson Club on Bates Road. Thom said the VFW and American Legion can always use money and she may use the proceeds to help them.

Albion artist Carol Culhane will be selling her ornaments, paying tribute to all branches of the military. They are $10 and she will autograph them free of charge. Her Gold Star Mother and Purple Heart ornaments she gives away free.

Thom’s vision is to grow the event and create a fund to help veterans and their families, similar to what the Knights-Kaderli Fund does for cancer patients. Thom said if anyone knows of a veteran or his family who needs financial help, they can call her.

Thom’s desire to help veterans comes from the fact her friend Sarah Surdell’s husband is a veteran and Thom’s boyfriend is a veteran.

Information on signing up for the race can be found on the event’s Facebook page, or anyone can call Thom at her office at (585) 532-6900 to register for the race or make a donation.

Registration the day of the race will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Junior Wilson’s, followed by the race at 11 a.m.

There have been between 40 and 50 runners in the past, and 20 have already signed up for this year. Thom said she knows there might not be as many participants this year with the Covid pandemic.

“I also know donations from businesses will probably be less because they just don’t have it, and I understand that,” Thom said.

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Beggars’ Night in Medina will be one stop at Rotary Park

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 14 October 2020 at 9:16 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Kathy Bogan, an attorney, dressed as the scary clown from It during Beggars’ Night in Medina on Oct. 27, 2017. Her husband Kevin Bogan, a local funeral director, wore a shirt that declared him the undertaker. This year Beggars’ Night won’t include stops at local businesses.

MEDINA – The village of Medina will have Beggars’ Night activities from 2 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in Rotary Park.

This time, children and their families won’t be going door to door to the businesses in the downtown.

Instead, candy will be given out at Rotary Park. The Medina Area Partnership’s Event Committee is organizing the event and will have candy for approximately 600 kids.

Candy will be distributed in a take-home box or in a goodie bag if they run out of boxes. Kids will also have the opportunity to take a picture next to one of the Halloween-themed boards in the park.

Scott Robinson, president of MAP, said the group thought it was important to hold the event to allow for a small piece of normality during a difficult time.

Robinson said there is often confusion between Beggars’ Night and trick or treating. Beggars’ Night is an annual business event, which allows business owners to dress up and hand out candy.

“When it came to the decision of whether or not to have Beggars’ Night, I have to commend the Events Committee on being so creative so we could,” Robinson said.

Robinson said businesses have contributed to the event, just as they always have.

“Our business owners are more than just the occupants of shops,” he said. “They’re members of the community. This is an easy way to excite the younger members of the community as they celebrate Halloween.”

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Medina RR Museum helps make dream come true for 3-year-old boy with life-threatening illness

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Matteo Vandelinder of Ontario in Wayne County is all smiles as he checks out his new train layout, which was made for him by Dan Koneski and Jerry Kwiatkowski, volunteers at Medina Railroad Museum. He was at the Museum today in a visit arranged through the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 October 2020 at 5:32 pm

Matteo Vandelinder of Wayne County is battling tumor in spine

MEDINA – A 3-year-old little boy named Matteo had his wish come true this morning, when he visited the Medina Railroad Museum. The trip was made possible by the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Buffalo.

Matteo, a son of Jeff and Alba Vandelinder of Ontario in Wayne County, suffers from a terminal spinal cord tumor, said his mother Alba.

He loves trains and the family first brought him to the museum when they brought his then 3-year-old sister Gilda to ride Polar Express.

“His dad spent hours in the museum looking at the layout, and Matteo was with him the entire time,” Alba said.

Medina firefighter/paramedic Adam Fisher, right, this morning shows the Vanderlinder family of Ontario in Wayne County a Medina firetruck at Dunkin’ Donuts, where they met before Fisher escorted them to Medina Railroad Museum. Mom Alba is holding her 3-year-old son Matteo, who suffers from a terminal spine tumor. With them is his sister Gilda, 6, and dad Jeff.

Matteo was only 7 months old when he was diagnosed with the inoperable tumor. His mother explained this is the same type of tumor that caused the death of U.S. Senator John McCain. However, it is very rare for it to occur in the spine, rather than the brain.

Matteo has gone through 20 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 rounds of radiation, three stem cell transplants and two clinical trials.

His prognosis is unknown, his mother said. Originally, Matteo was given only three months to live, but he achieved three years on Sept. 6.

The Medina firetruck turns from West Avenue into the parking lot for the Medina Railroad Museum this morning with 3-year-old Matteo Vanderlinder and his mom Alba in the front seat. Firefighter/paramedic Adam Fisher escorted them from Dunkin Donuts to the museum by way of Main Street, West Center and West Avenue.

When Make-a-Wish contacted the Medina Railroad Museum to set up Matteo’s visit, museum personnel jumped into high gear.

“We got an e-mail that a little boy wanted a model railroad layout and to see the museum,” said Caitlyn Klotzbach, event coordinator and staff supervisor at the museum. “His family said he was strong enough to make the trip.”

Klotzbach and volunteer coordinator Grace Stewart said this is the first time the museum has received a request from Make-a-Wish.

“You don’t know how much it means to me to be able to do this for this little boy,” Stewart said.

Matteo is all eyes as he and his mom get out of the fire truck after a ride to Medina Railroad Museum.

Volunteers Dan Koneski and Jerry Kwiatkowski started building a train layout for Matteo, complete with buildings, scenery, vehicles and an operating train. Make-a-Wish will deliver it to the Vandelinder home in Ontario, along with a Thomas the Train play table.

The community stepped up to help. Case-Nic Cookies made train cut-out cookies, Dollar Tree donated dozens of inflatable balloons and Douglas Island of Medina made T-shirts with a star on the front and Matteo’s name on the back. Medina Fire Department agreed to meet the family at the edge of town and escort them to the museum.

Adam Fisher, left, firefighter/paramedic with the Medina Fire Department, presents 3-year-old Matteo Vandelinder with a fire truck and helmet as he arrives at Medina Railroad Museum on Monday morning. Holding Matteo is his mom Alba. His sister Gilda, 6, is partially hidden, and dad Jeff is at right.

This morning firefighter/paramedic Adam Fisher and a police escort met the Vanderlinder family and a dozen friends at Dunkin’ Donuts. Instead of just an escort, Matteo and his mom were allowed to ride in the front seat of the fire truck.

“This was the best ride ever,” Alba said. “He was screaming with joy and I cried and cried.”

At the museum, Fisher presented Matteo with a toy fire truck and fireman’s helmet.

Matteo looks over the train layout at Medina Railroad Museum, as he is held by a former nanny.

Inside a table was loaded with toy trains and gifts which had been donated by members and employees of the museum.

After an hour and a half of exploring the museum, the staff and family gathered outside for pictures.

“They couldn’t thank us enough,” said Rick Henn, president of the Railroad Museum Board, who was dressed in his conductor’s uniform. “Matteo’s mom was absolutely thrilled.”

Caitlyn Klotzbach and Rick Henn, president of the Medina Railroad Museum board and a conductor on train excursions, display a collection of balloons as they wait for the arrival of 3-year-old Matteo Vandelinder, whose visit was made possible through Make-a-Wish Foundation. Klotzbach wears a T-shirt with a star on the front and Matteo’s name on the back.

Provided photo: Caitlyn Klotzbach and Rick Henn join Matteo and his family for a photo. The Medina Railroad Museum was happy to welcome the family today as part of a visit coordinated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Fourth new mural gets started in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2020 at 9:21 am

Artists also close to finishing other murals in Albion, Medina

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Chris Piontkowski of Cheektowaga spent the weekend in Medina working on this mural on Proctor Place. The address is listed as 428-436 Main St. It is on a cinder block building behind Main Street.

Piontkowski the previously weekend applied the gray primer. He will be painting local, native species of pollinator flowers as well as geometric patterns. He is shown putting on the stenciling for the large painting to follow.

Piontkowski, 34, said he appreciated the opportunity to bring his own design to the wall.

“This is purely from my soul,” he said. “I want people to look at this as a piece of fine art on a grand scale.”

This mural is on the opposite side of the Canalligator” mural which was finished in July and is the first of four murals in the Proctor Place area. The Form Foundation spearheaded the effort.

Piontkowski said he will be back the next four weekends to work on the project.

Provided photo: Piontkowski is close to finishing this mural in Williamsville on the Village Hall. He said the Medina mural will be a little different but will have a lot of flowers.

Piontkowski said he has received an overwhelmingly reaction to the project in Williamsville.

“The response has been tremendously awesome,” he said.

Chuck Tingley continues to work on his “Fake It Til You Make It!” mural on the back of 410 Main St. He painted the back cinder block wall of a building in bright colors. The mural sends a message of the importance of self-confidence in relation to the pursuit of one’s dreams.

Tingley’s traveler is joined by dog and a cat on the journey.

Tingley has been up high working in a lift.

There is also a new mural nearly complete in Albion on the north side of 170 North Main St., the Lake Country Pennysaver building.

The mural celebrates Charles W. Howard Santa School. Justin Suarez has included wildlife in the mural, including a snowy owl.

Suarez painted Santa’s outstretched hand in a white glove near the loading dock of the building. Suarez also painted a reindeer, trees and snowflakes as part of the scene that will greet motorists heading south into Albion near the Erie Canal.

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810 Meadworks wins 2 big honors in international mead competition

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 October 2020 at 3:53 pm

Photo courtesy of Thom Jennings: Bryan DeGraw is shown with winning meads produced by 810 Meadworks in Medina.

MEDINA – A Medina meadery has won two international awards for its mead, including the top honor for Scarlett A.

810 Meadworks made that fermented mead with cranberries, blueberries and cider. It won the gold medal, beating out 13 other entries in the cyzer category which include mead made with apples.

Bryan DeGraw, co-owner and meadmaker, also was awarded a bronze medal for Sweet Devotion. It was third out of 36 entries in the fruit/vegetable melomel – semi-sweet category. That mead from 810 Meadworks features currants.

DeGraw and his wife LaRissa opened 810 Meadworks in downtown Medina about six years ago. This is the first time the business has been recognized with a gold medal at the Mazer Cup International, a contest held annually in Denver.

Normally the results are announced in March, but the judging was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The winners were announced on Oct. 2.

“I completely forgot about it,” DeGraw said about the competition.

He said a post about the results on the group’s Facebook page and felt humbled to be recognized by the industry.

“the beauty of it is the judges are primarily mead makers,” DeGraw said. “It’s an award of your peers. So I’m very proud of it.”

810 Meadworks has seen an uptick in orders for the winning meads and others since the results were announced.

He acknowledged mead is niche in the alcohol industry, but is on the rise. When 810 Meadworks opened six years ago, there were about 150 meaderies in the United States. Now there are about 600. In New York, it has grown from five to more than 20 during that time.

810 Meadworks has a tasting room/mead bar open Friday through Sunday at 113 West Center St. It has partnered with Sourced Market & Eatery to have sandwiches available to meet guidelines from the state for consuming alcohol.

For more of the Mazer Cup, click here.

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BOMET buys 10 acres of Medina Business Park for new recycling operation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2020 at 10:07 am

Company expected to add about 25 employees at new site

MEDINA – The Orleans Economic Development Agency approved a deal this morning, selling 10 acres of vacant land at the Medina Business Park to a Canadian company for $200,000 or $20,000 an acre.

The company plans a new 37,000-square foot facility at 100 Marcia Tuohey Way, the northside of the road facing Bates Road.

The company, BOMET Recovery, already operates BOMET Recycling in Albion. The site in Albion at 152 McKinstry St. handles electronics recycling and will stay open focused on that business.

The Medina operation will be different with single-use recycling or a “remanufacturing” of plastics.

Jim Whipple, the Orleans EDA chief executive officer, said BOMET is expected to start construction within a year.

“They’re excited,” he said. “They want to start.”

The company is expected to have 25 employees when it opens the Medina site.

The Canadian company is led by Zhan “Bo” Zhang and is based in Cambridge, Ontario. Whipple said has proven to be a good employer in the county. The company in 2013 bought a warehouse on McKinstry Street in Albion for $176,000. That building had been vacant for about a decade.

BOMET did significant renovations including a new roof at the property, where electronics are recycled.

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Medina Lions now managing a medical loan closet

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 8 October 2020 at 12:08 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jim Punch, who has agreed to oversee the medical equipment loan closet for Medina Lions, points out the many hospital beds which are available for loan. The Medina Lions have been given free storage space for the equipment at the Pickle Factory on Park Avenue.

MEDINA – The first actual meeting of Medina Lions since the Covid pandemic was packed with special announcements.

The Club met Tuesday night at Shelridge Country Club, where several special projects were unveiled and Lion’s District Governor Mike Donnor was introduced as guest speaker.

A highlight of the meeting was ja presentation by Jim Punch, who has agreed to head the Medical Equipment Loan Program which Medina Lions have taken over from Lyndonville Lions. Twenty other Medina Lions have volunteered to help with the program.

The program has been run by Lyndonville Lions for decades, with Russ Martino heading it there. Martino this year decided it was getting to be too much and he wanted to step down from his position. The program was offered to Medina Lions, who met to discuss it and decided it was something they could in keeping with their mission, “We serve.” A small portion of the program will remain in Lyndonville, with a student group from Lyndonville High School overseeing it.

The Medina Lions have been given free storage space by Roger Hungerford in the Pickle Factory on Park Avenue. The Lions spent a recent day moving in all the equipment from Martino’s barn and his parents’ home and organizing it at the Pickle Factory. The equipment includes hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, canes, crutches, commodes, shower chairs and other medical items.

In its first days of running the program, Punch said they had already loaned out two hospital beds.

“Our reward is the gratitude of the families we help,” Punch said. “It costs thousands to buy a hospital bed.”

“This program saves the community thousands of dollars,” said Medina Lions president Billy Roman.

Anyone in Orleans and Eastern Niagara County may borrow equipment from the loan closet by calling (585) 205-3502. In Lyndonville, calls may be made to (585) 281-4126.

Other Lion business included announcement of this year’s Parade of Lights by Jim Hancock, and acknowledgement of members who worked at the Albion soup kitchen. In addition, five new members have been inducted into the club: Frank Messore, Kelly Uderitz, Tom Beach, Annette Oakes and Tim Winters.

Jim Punch addresses the Medina Lions Club during a meeting Tuesday night at Shelridge Country Club, where he explained the medical loan closet they have taken over from Lyndonville Lions. Seated is guest speaker Lion’s District governor Mike Donnor, left, and Medina Lion’s president Billy Roman.

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Medina working on details for reverse parade, tree lighting in late November

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 8 October 2020 at 9:47 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Jim Hancock, a member of Medina Lions Club, announces plans for the Parade of Lights this holiday season to the Lions at their first dinner meeting since the pandemic on Tuesday night at Shelridge Country Club.

MEDINA – One of the most successful events to take place in Medina during the past decade is the Parade of Lights, held each year for 11 years the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Jim Hancock, who has chaired every event said, in spite of the pandemic, they are planning a Parade of Lights this year on Nov. 28, although it will have a different format.

To assure social distancing, this year’s parade will be in a reverse format. That is, the floats will be lined up along a route, probably the Medina Central School Campus, while cars will drive by to view them. Initial planning has cars entering at Oak Orchard School, going through the school grounds and exiting onto Maple Ridge Road.

“This parade has become a tradition, and we didn’t want to let a year go by without doing something,” Hancock said. “This has been a strange year, but we felt it was easier to keep the tradition going rather than try to start it up next year.”

Hancock said they have a lot of things to work out logistically, such as spacing entries the right distance apart. He said they have already sent surveys to all entrants from last year and 60 percent said they would come back this year.

Two new entries have already been received from groups, Hancock said.

The parade committee has already started fundraising for the parade, and further details will be forthcoming as soon as they are figured out, he said. They plan to meet with the village and Medina Police Department for traffic control.

The parade is self-supporting, due to donations from corporations, businesses, organizations and individuals, Hancock said.

There will be no fireworks prior to the parade this year, but the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place as usual at Rotary Park, however, the time has yet to be set.

Hancock said they have a work in progress to make Medina a Village of Lights. They want to urge village residents to decorate their homes and “light up Medina.”

This year’s parade will offer the same prizes as usual. Entry forms or sponsorship forms can be found on the Christmasinmedina.com website. A video is also available on the site.

Hancock urges every group or business to consider entering a float in the parade. The most entries in one year were 50, but other years have averaged between 35 and 40

Hancock said with so many events canceled or postponed this year, they felt the parade would be a nice diversion for people.

“We are doing everything to make it safe and enjoyable,” he said.

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Third new mural being painted in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 October 2020 at 9:26 pm

Chuck Tingley shows a traveler with a message, ‘Fake It Til You Make It!’

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Chuck Tingley of Buffalo works a mural today on the back of 410 Main St. This is the third new mural in Medina to be painted since July near Proctor Place, a one-way street a block from Main Street.

Tingley painted the back cinder block wall of a building in bright colors. The mural – “Fake It Til You Make It!” – sends a message of the importance of self-confidence in relation to the pursuit of one’s dreams.

Tingley was up high in a lift working on the mural today. He was hired by the Form Foundation, which coordinated the new murals.

A fourth mural also has started with floral patterns. Right now the primer is on for a design with local, native species of pollinator flowers. That one by Chris Piontkowski will be at 428-436 Main Street on the opposite wall of the “Canalligator” mural. Chris Piontkowski has proposed this design using local, native species of pollinator flowers.

Tingley adds details to the cat’s face. This is looking up from the ground to Tingley, who was in a lift.

Tim Hungerford, one of the leaders of the Form Foundation, said he is pleased to see the murals become a reality and how the public has been so receptive.

“It has been incredibly rewarding and fun watching it all come to fruition,” he said today.

This is the sketch Tingley made for the mural and the this is how the wall looked before it was painted.

Julian Montague, an artist from Buffalo, has completed this mural on two walls of a building at the corner of Pearl Street and West Avenue. The site is being used as a gym.

Montague added these geometric characters to the two walls that are 14 feet high and 80 feet long.

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Medina library won’t offer concert series this winter

Photo by Tom Rivers: Crikwater, a band from South Buffalo, performed on Jan. 17 at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina as part of the Finally Fridays concert series. The library has offered the series the past 19 years. Crikwater performed Irish-American traditional folk songs for about 200 people.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 October 2020 at 2:50 pm

MEDINA – Lee-Whedon Memorial Library won’t be offering its Finally Fridays concert series this winter.

The library made the announcement today, citing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. The concerts are Friday evenings from early January to early March. The events typically attract about 200 people to the library.

The library was looking forward to offering the series for the 20th year.

“We waited as long as we could, hoping for months, that we would not have to make this sad announcement,” Lee-Whedon posted on its Facebook page. “Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to offer our Finally Fridays concert series next year. We will wait until 2022 when we can hopefully come together as a community and enjoy our local musicians once more.”

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Medina trustees, mayor take the oath, make appointments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2020 at 12:38 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, center, holds the Bible while Village Trustees Marguerite Sherman and Tim Elliott takes their oaths of office on Monday evening at the Medina Senior Center.

MEDINA – The village’s newly elected officials took the oaths of office on Monday – about six months later than planned.

Mayor Mike Sidari and Trustees Marguerite Sherman and Tim Elliott were all re-elected on Sept. 15. The village election was pushed back from March 18 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new terms will last about 18 months instead of the usual 2 years.

Mayor Mike Sidari is sworn in as mayor while his wife Brenda holds the Bible.

Sidari is an active member of the Medina Fire Department. He is retired as the food service administrator for the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion.

Sherman is a special education teacher at Medina. Elliott is co-owner of Brushstrokes Studios in Medina and other small businesses.

Sidari said the village is fortunate to have several active committees and volunteers spearheading projects, from a new dog park, upgraded skate park, overhaul to Pine Street Park, and many significant private investments.

On Monday the Boxwood Commission shared ideas to improve the cemetery, possibly with a pet cemetery section and also a columbarium, a structure with niches to hold funeral urns.

Sidari said the Commission is another group of citizens committed to making Medina a better place. The Commission’s proposal will be considered by the board in the coming months.

The mayor said some village committees need to reorganized. The board approved the following appointments:

• Parks Committee: Jessica Marciano, Kimberly Kennedy and Chris Goyette.

• Tree Board: Jacob Hebdon, Bob Sanderson, Nick Mroz, Lisa Tombari and Kathy Blackburn, who will be a temporary member of the Board while it gets restarted.

• Zoning Board of Appeals (terms through March 31, 2023): David Berry and Reinhard Rogowski.

• Planning Board (terms through March 31, 2025): John Dieter and Kathy Blackburn.

• Boxwood Cemetery Commission (terms through March 31, 2023): Gabrielle Barone and Jacob Hebdon.

• Tourism Committee (term through March 31, 2022): James Hancock.

Mayor Sidari also assigned trustee to different committees and urged them to be in contact with department heads at least once a week.

Trustees Owen Toale, Tim Elliott, Todd Bensley and Marguerite Sherman were assigned the following committees: Fire/Code, Toale and Elliott; Police/DPW, Sherman and Bensley; Employee Relations, Toale and Bensley; Clerk-Treasurer, Sidari; Town of Ridgeway, Bensley; Medina Area Partnership, Elliott; Boxwood Cemetery, Bensley; Tourism Committee, Sherman; Town of Shelby, Sherman; Orleans County, Toale; Joint Recreation, Toale and Elliott; and Waterfront Development Committee, Elliott.

Other appointments included:

• Deputy Mayor: Owen Toale

• Fair Housing Officer: Marguerite Sherman

• Village Historian: Todd Bensley

• Clerk-Treasurer: Deborah Padoleski

• Deputy Clerk-Treasurer: Jada Burgess

• Registrar: Deborah Padoleski

• Deputy Registrar: Jada Burgess

• Village Attorney: Matthew Brooks

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Heart Association approves $3,500 towards fitness trail at Medina school

Posted 30 September 2020 at 9:04 am

Press Release, American Heart Association

MEDINA — The American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge has awarded $3,500 to Oak Orchard Elementary School in Medina for a socially distant fitness trail.

Awarded to schools across the country, the grants continue the American Heart Association’s commitment to help educators make whole-body wellness a priority.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Julie Webber, principal at Oak Orchard Elementary. “Our hope is to install a fitness trail that can be used by the students during the day and also the community after school hours.”

The American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge  and American Heart Challenge awarded more than $400,000 to more than 180 elementary, middle and high schools who participated in either the in-school or digital programs for the 2019-2020 school year.

Kids Heart Challenge offers physical activations to get elementary students’ hearts pumping such as hoops or jumping rope paired with digital missions to learn life-saving skills like Hands-Only CPR.

The American Heart Challenge is a service-learning program for middle and high school students. The program helps boost heart health and self-esteem, while reducing stress and anxiety through programs feature dance and obstacle courses. Both program curriculums help prepare kids for success by supporting physical and emotional well-being, while offering new learning resources and physical activities to meet the needs of today’s youth and educators.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans only 20% of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations. Both the Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge are rooted in proven science which has shown that kids who are regularly active have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.

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Medina, after saving snail at playground, agrees to have it painted

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2020 at 9:17 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The snail, a popular part of the playground at Pine Street Park for decades, remains at the park after recent upgrades, including new playground equipment and a spray park.

Other older equipment was removed as part of the improvements but the community spoke in favor of keeping the snail.

Volunteers on the village’s Parks Committee have offered to paint the snail in colors matching the new equipment.

The Village Board gave its blessing on Monday evening during its board meeting.

“First we saved the snail, and now we’re going to paint the snail,” said Medina Mayor Mike Sidari.

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