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Medina celebrates opening visitor center at Rotary Park

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Officials cut the ribbon today dedicating a new Visitor’s Center in Medina. The Tourism Committee has taken over the Santa Claus house in Rotary Park, which will be open through Labor Day. From left are Dave Miller, volunteer; Kelly Kiebala, a member of the Tourism Committee; Linda Hansler, volunteer; Alfred Nixon, volunteer; Mayor Mike Sidari; Orleans County Tourism coordinator Dawn Borchert; Jim Hancock, head of the Medina Tourism Committee; and Maureen Sanderson, Pat Bellucci, Bob Farman, Gail Miller and Barb Filipiak , volunteers.

Posted 29 May 2018 at 10:06 pm

Santa Claus House now has a dual purpose

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

MEDINA – The Medina Tourism Committee just may have found the perfect location with the move Tuesday into the Santa Claus House at Rotary Park.

The move was celebrated with a dedication and ribbon cutting by Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, Tourism Committee Chair Jim Hancock, Tourism Committee member Kelly Kiebala, Orleans County Tourism Coordinator Dawn Borchert and a handful of volunteers.

The first Visitor’s Center in the village was located about 10 years ago in the Chamber of Commerce Office on North Main Street. When that office closed, a Visitor’s Center was set up in City Hall on the south end of Main Street by the police station.

“That was not easily accessible with steep stairs, nor was it convenient for c anal travelers,” Hancock said.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, left, and Medina Tourism Committee Chairman Jim Hancock show off the inside of the Santa Claus House in Rotary Park, which will now also double as a Visitor’s Center.

This spring a volunteer asked if it was possible to use the Santa House, which is on the four corners and much closer to the canal basin.

“We went to the village and they enthusiastically agreed,” Hancock said. “We hope we will get more traffic here. In fact, we already had our first visitor this morning – from Reykjavik , Iceland.”

Hancock thanked the village officials for their cooperation in making the move possible. The Fire Department helped with the move and the Department of Public Works erected new signs.

The Visitor’s Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but Hancock would like to see it open on Saturdays if more volunteers stepped forward.

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Medina floral business moves into bigger historic building on Main Street

Posted 29 May 2018 at 12:06 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Mary Lewis, owner of Creekside Floral in Medina, arranges a bouquet in her store at 509 Main St. Creekside recently had a grand opening to celebrate its move to the historic building Lewis and her husband Jerry purchased.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

MEDINA – Mary Lewis started in the florist business almost 12 years ago when she purchased Muchow’s Flower Shop. While it was her first venture as a store owner, she was not new to the world of flowers.

Lewis is a daughter of Donna Goldhawk of Lyndonville, who is a member of the Schwab family who have operated Schwab’s Farm Market near Gasport for years. Lewis grew up working on the family farm.

Muchow’s had originally been started decades ago by Luther Muchow on East Center Street. When Lewis purchased the shop, it was located in the former Moose building on West Avenue.

Lewis had taken courses in floral design in college and had worked at Muchow’s. When she purchased the business, she named it Creekside and moved into a building near the creek on Maple Ridge Road .

Her next move was to 422 North Main St., where the business grew. This spring, an opportunity arose for Lewis and her husband Jerry to further invest in Medina and purchase a historic building at 509 Main St., a location which 50 years ago was occupied by Goodwin’s Pharmacy.

With four small children at home, Mary has her hands full, but she is committed to the business she loves. She has a full staff of floral designers, all of whom she has trained to do what she does, said Jamie Wagner, a floral designer.

“We are all fortunate she has shared her talents with us,” said Wagner, who credits Lewis’s reputation for making the business successful.

The new location has an upstairs, where Lewis plans to have classes, such as fairy gardens and wreath-making at Christmas time.

Creekside Floral is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Lewis is always available by phone when needed.

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Medina community turns out for Memorial Day parade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2018 at 9:24 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The Honor Guard, which includes several local veterans, carries the flags during today’s Memorial Day parade in Medina. There was a big turnout in the downtown and along East Center Street.

Guy Eaton and other members of the Sons of American legion handed out 2,000 American flags to people along the parade route. This group includes, from left, in red, Jennifer Fisher, Morgan Chambers, Angie Jacobs, and Emily Chambers. Jacobs is Morgan and Emily’s mother.

Cpl. Pete Amos served with the US Army in World War II.

Lillie Strickland of Lyndonville is given a ride in the parade. She is one of two Girls State representatives from Orleans County. Carly-Grace Woodworth of Lyndonville is the other.

Kody Leno, left, and Ray Paull ride in the parade as Boys State representatives.

The Medina Mustang Marching Band played for the home crowd.

The band heads down Main Street and is headed for State Street Park.

The youth baseball teams joined the parade procession.

TJ Champaney, right, a member of the Pirates youth baseball team reaches back to toss candy to some of the spectators.

Medina police officer Christian Navas tries to stay cool on a hot Memorial Day. He was directing traffic near State Street Park.

Boy Scouts in Troop 28 walk in the parade. Johnathan Thomas is carrying the American flag.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company was a part of the patriotic display.

Medina Village Board members Tim Elliott, right, and Owen Toale pass out candy to children along the parade route.

These cars are decked out in American flags.

John Dieter, Cub Master of Pack 35, collects the flags after the parade.

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Medina vets send powerful Memorial Day message

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2018 at 6:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Members of the American Legion and VFW posts in Medina worked together to have a flag-draped casket in today’s Memorial Day parade and also for the ceremony at State Street Park.

Veterans wanted to send a message about what the holiday is truly about – the sacrifice of soldiers’ lives.

Dave Kusmierczak is at left, with Emerson “Tinker” Young, center, and Adam Johnson behind him.

Adam Johnson, right, said many Americans just see Memorial Day as a care-free day for having a barbecue. The Medina veterans are hopeful people will pause and reflect on the meaning behind Memorial Day.

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Medina vets made sure flags were at veterans’ graves for Memorial Day

Posted 28 May 2018 at 2:55 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf

MEDINA – Veterans from the American Legion and VFW in Medina met at the VFW Saturday morning before leaving to place flags on the graves of veterans in five local cemeteries. Kneeling are, from left, Tony Vicknair, Veterans’ Service Director Earl Schmidt, E.L. “Tinker” Young, Ken Schaal and Jim Allport. Standing are Tom Walders, Dave Kusmierczak, Dave Barhite, Glenn Whitmore, Jim Freas, Johann Anderson, Dan Anderson, Mark Traxler and Steve Johnson.

Dave Kusmierczak, Jim Freas and Tony Vicknair place flags on the grave of veterans at Millville Cemetery on Saturday morning. This has been an annual tradition over Memorial Day weekend for many years. They also visited West Shelby, Shelby Basin, West Ridgeway and Bates Road cemeteries, as well as several smaller plots.

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Aaron Miller earns his Eagle with Troop 28 in Medina

Staff Reports Posted 27 May 2018 at 8:22 am

Provided photos: Aaron Miller, center, is pictured Friday during his Court of Honor ceremony on Friday during a celebration for earning his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts. Aaron, a senior at Roy-Hart, is a member of Troop 28 in Medina. He is pictured with his father Tim Miller, who is the scoutmaster; uncle Steve Miller; and cousin Christian Hahn, who are all Eagle Scouts in Troop 28.

Aaron made many memories on his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout. He enjoyed attending Philmont Scout Ranch, a high-adventure site in New Mexico, the camping trips and becoming a camp counselor at Camp Dittmer.

For his Eagle project, Aaron and his fellow scouts refurbished a stage for the Village of Medina, replacing the side rails and stairs as well as many rotted boards, sanding and repainting it and redoing the frame. That stage is used for the Memorial Day observance at State Street Park and other village events.

Aaron plans to enlist in the Marines and would eventually like to attend school for a law or medical degree.

Aaron does a “trust fall” exercise. He did one when he first entered Troop 28 and wanted to do another one at his Court of Honor.

Aaron Miller and his cousin Christian Hahn are flag bearers during the ceremony. Christian earned his rank of Eagle of March 31.

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Jack Hill of Medina earns his Eagle Scout rank

Staff Reports Posted 21 May 2018 at 8:01 am

Provided photos: Jack Hill is joined by his parents, Mindy and Mike Hill, during a celebration Sunday when Jack became an Eagle Scout. Mike Hill is the Scoutmaster of Troop 35 in Medina.

MEDINA – Medina High School senior Jack Hill of Troop 35 has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.  His Court of Honor was held on Sunday at the Scout Cabin at Blackburn’s Pond.

Special guests in attendance included Frank Berger, representing Orleans District of the Iroquois Trail Council and the American Legion Post of Medina and Ross Annable, Hartland Town Supervisor. Pack 35 Cubmaster, John Dieter, was the emcee for the ceremony, along with Scoutmaster Mike Hill.

Hill, the son of Mike and Mindy Hill, completed an Eagle Scout project by building a GaGa ball pit for the Town of Hartland park. GaGa ball is played in an octagon enclosure known as “the pit” using a lightweight bouncy ball. The game is believed to have originated in Israel and is similar to dodgeball. Hill played the game at many Scout camps and was excited to build a pit in this area for local children to enjoy.

Hill’s project was completed with the generous support of the Town of Hartland, Donald Payne, Pat and Duane Payne, Dr. Kaplansky, Randy and Diane Hill, Niagara Implement, Janice Hill, Ridge Animal Hospital, Darrell’s Place, Seaman Norris Attorneys, Ross Annable, Wayne Rhinehart, Marc Silsby Insurance, Jack and Carolyn Hill, Drum Oil, Cornerstone Community Credit Union, Harris Farms, Pony’s, Sigma Motors, and his parents.

Hill joined Scouting in first grade. As a Boy Scout, Hill has participated in many local camping and service activities. He has also traveled to the mountains of West Virginia for the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree and to Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada for a 65-mile canoe trip.

In addition to required merit badges, Hill earned elective merit badges in engineering, wilderness survival, electricity, small boat sailing, canoeing, swimming, cooking, fishing, chess and rifle.

Hill will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall as a Mechanical Engineering Major and member of the Honors Program.

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Thomas the Tank Engine is back in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2018 at 5:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Thomas the Train Engine departs for a 25-minute train ride this afternoon. The Medina Railroad Museum is hosting Thomas for the 14th time this weekend and also next weekend. About 8,000 people are expected to the ride the train.

Thomas has been a big success for the Railroad Museum, said Dawn Winkler, the chief operating officer.

“Thomas put this place on the map,” she said.

There are about 40 Thomas events in the United States and Canada this year. Medina is the one in New York hosting the attraction.

Lynn Heintz, a conductor for the museum, checks on passengers before the ride.

Ginny Kropf, an Orleans Hub correspondent, is volunteering at the museum during the busy weekends with Thomas.

Pete Kaiser, a member of the Medina Lions Club, cooks hot dogs and hamburgers at the food booth run by the Lions Club.

Conductors and passengers wave as the train departs and heads west.

Sir Topham Hatt is director of the Sodor Railway. He is one of many characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s book series created more than 70 years ago by the Rev. W. Awdry. Thomas has been developed into a television series and feature-length films.

A young rider waves to the crowd as the train returns to Medina.

The Railroad Museum hosts other popular events during the year, including a Blues and Booze ride in October, Fall Foliage rides in October, and the Polar Express train ride in November and December.

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Geraldo Rivera, traveling canal, gets warm welcome in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 May 2018 at 6:13 pm

Photos courtesy of Chris Busch

MEDINA – The Medina community has given famed journalist and Fox News regular Geraldo Rivera a big welcome this evening when Rivera and his brother Craig stopped at the Canal Basin.

Rivera and his brother are traveling the canal by boat, and ultimately are headed to Cleveland. They were among the first boats in Waterford near Albany on Tuesday, when the canal opened to boaters for the season.

Rivera is pictured at top with Kathy Blackburn, left, and other customers at Fitzgibbons Public House.

He also stopped at Mile 303, a new restaurant on Main Street.

Chris Busch, chairman of Medina’s Tree Board and also the Planning Board, was among the welcomers. Rivera told Busch the downtown is “incredible. This is like ‘It’s A Wonderful Life!’”

Busch knew Rivera and his brother were headed west on the canal from Albany after seeing news report. Rivera also posted about the trip on Twitter. Busch worked with Ken Daluisio, owner of The Print Shop, to have a sign made in the Basin, urging Rivera to stop by.

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