Find us on Facebook


Medina takes two 1st places and a 2nd at Batavia Winter Guard competition

Staff Reports Posted 4 February 2019 at 8:15 am

Photos courtesy of Medina Marching Band

BATAVIA – Medina’s Varsity Winter Guard is shown performing Saturday in Batavia. Medina took first place in Scholastic A with 61.10. followed by Corning in 2nd with 60.73, and Orchard Park in 3rd with 54.60.

In other classes Victor took 1st place in Cadets with 52.15; in A1  Batavia was 1st with 57.63; in Independent A the Ventures wth63.09. In Scholastic Open Orchard Park was the only competitor and Lancaster was the sole competitor in Independent Open.  Scores were not available for either of these two guards.

In the RA class Medina’s Jr. Varsity took 2nd place with a score of 56.99, bested by Lancaster with 58.02.

In the Novice class Medina took 1st place, with Hinsdale in second. There are no numeral scores in this class.

Medina took all three of the school guards to this show in Batavia, which included guard units from Western NY and Canada.

The winter guard program is a component of the Marching Band Program under the direction of Jim Steele. Diana Baker is the director for all three guard units and is assisted by Anna Oakes, both Medina alumni. There is camaraderie among the students in all three guards, helping each other with props, costumes, techniques and moral support.

Medina will compete in Victor this Saturday. Medina’s home show is March 9.

Return to top

Medina Scouts celebrate ‘Scout Sunday,’ keep Pinewood Derby tradition alive

Staff Reports Posted 3 February 2019 at 5:51 pm

Provided photos courtesy of John Dieter, Cubmaster of Pack 35

MEDINA – Scouts from Troop & Pack 35 celebrated Scout Sunday at Holy Trinity Church this morning at the 11 a.m. Mass. Scout Sunday’s purpose is to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. The Scouts are sitting listening to Father Dan Fawls give a homily.

After Mass the Scouts from Pack 35 held their annual pinewood derby at Holy Trinity’s Parish Hall. Each den held race heats to decide fastest car in each den, then the winners went on to race for the fastest car in the Pack.

Sam Gray took 4th, Joe Reese placed 3rd, Anthony Reese placed 2nd, and Stephen Gobeli took 1st place for the entire Pack.

Return to top

850 attend wine-tasting event in downtown Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 February 2019 at 8:18 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf

MEDINA – The Wine About Winter event in downtown Medina on Saturday was a sellout with 850 participants, including Dorothy Casey, Robin Wehling and Carol Bellack of Medina and Tami Siffringer of Lyndonville, who enjoy a sample of wine in The Book Shoppe in Medina.

They not only enjoy the wine tasting, but do a little shopping along the way, while taking a chance to win prizes at many of the 28 participating businesses.

Sue Phillips, owner of The Book Shoppe, holds a tray of peanuts which she offered participants at Wine About Winter. At left is clerk Erica Caldwell. Phillips said the event gets people into the stores and is good for business.

Heather and Bob Brockman of Wilson, right, buy their Chinese auction tickets from volunteers at Wine About Winter. This is the couple’s first time at the event. They learned about it while shopping in Medina during the Christmas season.

Scott Barber hands out maps of the stores participating in Wine About Winter to Kelly Stahl of Medina and Laurie Kurdziel. This is Stahl’s fifth year attending the event, which she said is always a good time.

Joey Robinson passes out wine glasses to Melissa Hansler and Tracey Hendrick. They like everything about Wine About Winter, especially because it gives them the chance to walk around Medina.

Sarah Fisher hands out wrist bands to participants in Medina’s 11th Wine in Winter on Saturday. At right, Cindy Robinson, president of the Medina Business Association, and Kathy Blackburn, president of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce, register the 850 who bought tickets.

Lines stretched down half a block in Medina during VIP registration at Wine in Winter on Saturday.

Return to top

All-County Music Fest shines light on student musicians from 5 districts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 February 2019 at 9:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Katelyn Spierdowis of Albion plays the clarinet with the senior high band during this afternoon’s All-County Music Festival at Medina High School.

There were about 75 students in the band from Albion, Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina. The band wasn’t able to have a rehearsal on Friday when Medina closed school, but the students and conductor Bill Tiberio still performed four songs today.

The junior high chorus and elementary band also performed. There were nearly 300 students involved in the All-County Music Festival, which is organized by the Orleans County Music Educators’ Association.

The band is pictured from back stage during the performance today at a packed Medina High School Auditorium.

Bill Tiberio led the high school band as guest conductor. He has worked as a music teacher for 35 years, including 31 years at Fairport High School. The band played “Concert Variations” by Claude Smith, “Rest” by Frank Ticheli, “On the Banks” by Matt Conaway, and “Undertow” by John Mackey.

The boys in the junior high chorus sing a “South African Suite” by Henry H. Leck. The group was directed by Christina Reisdorf, a music teacher at Transit Middle School in the Williamsville Central School District.

The chorus also sang “Seize the Day,” “Nine Hundred Miles, Traditional American Folk Song” and “Rhythm of Life.”

Kelly Follman, an Orleans County resident and Rochester City School District teacher, conducted the elementary band. They performed “Bugs” by David Shaffer, “Celtic Air and Dance No. 2” by Michael Sweeney, and “Thunder” by Paul Murtha.

The elementary band started practice at 8:30 and worked diligently to be ready for the 2 p.m. concert.

Kelly Follman served as guest conductor of the elementary band with about 80 students at the All-County Music Festival.

Isaac Coppini, a tuba player from Albion, performs with the senior high band.

Return to top

Petitions are out for candidates in Lyndonville, Medina village elections

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 February 2019 at 3:16 pm

Two villages in Orleans County will have elections for village trustees on March 19.

Medina has two positions for two years on the ballot. The spots are currently filled by Todd Bensley and Owen Toale. They have both taken out petitions to seek re-election. A village resident 18 and older can submit petitions to run for the board. The petitions need to be signed by at least 100 registered voters in the village.

The petitions are due at the village office by Feb. 13.

Voting for the March 19 election will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Senior Center, the former railroad depot on West Avenue.

Lyndonville also has two trustee positions for four-year terms on the ballot. The spots are currently filled by Darren Wilson and Mary Kage. They have both taken out petitions to run for the board again.

Candidates need to submit petitions signed by at least 25 registered voters in the village. The petitions are due by Feb. 13.

Voting will be from noon to 9 a.m. on March 19 at the Village Hall on Main Street.

The two other villages in the county don’t have elections this March. Albion is in an off election year and Holley has its elections in June.

Return to top

Medina schools will close Friday for 3rd straight day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2019 at 8:19 pm

MEDINA – The Medina school district will be closed on Friday for the third straight day as bitter cold persists.

Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, said Medina will close “due to the wind chill advisory and the amount of walkers that we have.”

The forecast calls for the temperature to only be 3 degrees at 8 a.m., 6 degrees at 10 a.m. and 10 degrees at noon.

The All County Festival will go on as scheduled for Saturday at Medina. All students participating will need to report to the high school at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Return to top

Medina approves 2% room tax, awaits state approval to implement

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2019 at 8:40 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: One of the rooms in the Hart House Hotel includes a picture of Bob Hope, one of the prominent customers of the former Newell company. The room is one of four hotel rooms and two extended stay loft apartments in the former Robert H. Newell Building at 113 West Center St., which for 86 years was home to the Robert H. Newell Shirt Factory. That company manufactured custom-made shirts, including for many famous customers, including Hope and Winston Churchill.

MEDINA – The Village Board has approved a 2 percent occupancy tax and will use the funds to promote economic development and tourism in the village.

Medina needs the State Legislature to approve the new tax, and Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, has offered to take the lead in getting the legislation through Albany.

The village’s new 2 percent tax is on top of the 4 percent occupancy tax imposed by the county. The 4 percent occupancy tax generates about $35,000 a year and is used solely by the county for its tourism promotion efforts.

Medina has been looking for ways to boost revenue for the village without relying on property taxes. Mayor Mike Sidari isn’t sure how much the 2 percent tax will generate for the village.

It will be applied to hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and other lodging establishments within the village.

Medina will see an increase in rooms with the renovation of the Bent’s Opera House to be partly used as a hotel. A new chain hotel, Cobblestone Inn & Suites, also is expected to be built on Maple Ridge Road.

In passing the occupancy tax, the Village Board stated in a resolution there would be the following advantages for Medina:

• Promote economic development throughout the Village of Medina and its historic Business District;

• Increase promotion and use of the Erie Barge Canal for economic growth to locally owned businesses;

• Help promote a stable property tax base.

The board said many events and businesses draw people to the community throughout the year, including the wine and beer tasting events, Thomas the Train at the Medina Railroad Museum, Farm-to-Table dinner, fishing derbies, the Parade of Lights, and the many businesses in a vibrant downtown.

The Village Board wants to help promote those businesses and attractions. It also wants to have more resources to promote economic development at the business parks in Medina.

The village can use the money from the bed tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed wiping out the village’s AIM funding of $45,523, which hadn’t been increased in many years. The Aid and Incentives to Municipalities for Medina has been a tiny fraction of what the state gives a city.

Medina also has seen its shares of the local sales tax fall because of a formula tied to assessed value. As the assessed value in Ridgeway and Shelby has increased faster than the rate of growth in the village, the two towns have taken some of the village’s sales tax under the county formula.

The board couldn’t say when it expects the State Legislature will approve the new tax in Medina.

Return to top

Medina police officers will soon be wearing body cameras

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 January 2019 at 4:04 pm

File photo: This picture shows a body camera on an Albion police officer. Albion started using the cameras on Oct. 1, 2016.

MEDINA – The Police Department will be adding body cameras to the 13 members of the department, likely in March, Police Chief Chad Kenward said.

The department has purchased 13 body cameras for about $12,000. State funding from Sen. Robert Ortt and money from a state forfeiture program from a drug arrest in medina are covering 76 percent of the cost, Kenward told the Village Board on Monday.

The remainder of the cost, about $3,000, is from the Police Department budget.

“Each officer has been assigned a body cam and will be wearing it when on duty,” Kenward said today. “We are still in the initial stages of the project. The cameras just came in the other day.  We are currently working on installing the software into the system and I am working on the policies and procedures for the camera program for the department.”

Albion started using body cams on officers on Oct. 1, 2016 and the Holley Police Department added four body cameras in October 2017. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have body cams.

Kenward said the cameras have reduced personnel complaints for other departments, and also provide evidence during an arrest or incident.

Kenward also notified the board a new vehicle for the K9 and Lt. Todd Draper, the dog’s handler, is now in service.

Return to top

Banners for Hometown Heroes coming to Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2019 at 6:13 pm

Photo courtesy of Mary Woodruff: The late Willis Burr Woodruff, a former Medina resident, is honored on one of the banners in Alfred in Allegany County.

MEDINA – Portraits of Medina residents who served in the military will be displayed on utility poles in Medina by Memorial Day. The banners of “Hometown Heroes” are expected to be up until past Veterans Day in November.

The Medina Village Board approved the program on Monday. Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman, is leading the effort. She pushed for it after her late father-in-law Willis Burr Woodruff was featured on a banner in his hometown of Alfred.

That banner was unveiled in the spring through a project that also including neighboring Almond in Allegany County. Woodruff served in World War II. He later ran the local Agway plants in Knowlesville and Batavia.

His daughter-in-law liked the patriotic display and wanted to see a similar effort in Medina. The towns of Ridgeway and Shelby also have endorsed the “Hometown Heroes” with their highway crews offering to help the Medina DPW put up the banners and the hardware to hold them in place.

Woodruff said the first group of 35-50 banners should be up by Memorial Day. The banners have red and blue borders with a portrait of the featured veteran, as well as the vet’s name, time of service, branch of military, and honors.

“Can you see the effect when the Medina Marching Band comes through on Memorial Day?” Woodruff told the Village Board. “There won’t be a dry eye.”

Anyone from Medina who served in the military, past or present, is eligible to be featured on a banner. There is a $200 charge to be honor someone with a banner. The vinyl banners are double-sided and 5 feet tall by 2 ½ feet wide.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Mary Woodruff addresses the Medina Village Board on Monday. Jada Burgess, deputy village clerk, is in background.

Woodruff said she wants the program to be ongoing, with more veterans added each year.

“Let the world see we are proud of our men and women who have served and fought for our country’s freedoms,” she said.

There is a Feb. 15 deadline to order a banner to be up in time for this Memorial Day. The banners will go on Main Street including in the downtown, East Center Street, West Center Street, Pearl Street and Park Avenue.

The banners are expected to last about three years. Woodruff would like to see the banners moved around each year so the same veteran isn’t in the same spot.

She plans to keep the banner program going “for as long as people are interested in honoring their family or friend veterans.”

Application forms are available at the Medina Village Office, Ridgeway Town Hall, Shelby Town Hall and English Rose Tea Shoppe.

For more information, send Woodruff an email at

Return to top

Medina will put in pedestrian bridge on busy spot of Maple Ridge

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from September 2016 shows Maple Ridge Road, just east of Route 63. The Village of Medina is adding a pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek, near where the signs for routes 31 and 63 are shown in photo.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2019 at 2:36 pm

MEDINA – The Village of Medina will add a pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek on a busy and dangerous section of Maple Ridge Road.

The Village Board on Monday approved accepting funds from the Town of Shelby for the project. The money comes from a revolving loan fund from the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

The EDA is giving money to municipalities from a fund that needs to be discontinued. The state is requiring economic development agencies to shut down the revolving loans funds.

The state is allowing the funds to go back to the municipalities where there were projects that borrowed funds and then paid them back.

Shelby is due to receive $130,000 of the money from the revolving loan fund. The Town Board agreed to give those funds to village to go towards the bridge. Medina also will contribute some of its own money from a fund that has been dormant for several years.

The projects need to be considered by the state as a benefit to low-to-moderate income residents. Any project that improves handicapped accessibility automatically qualifies from the state, Whipple said.

The pedestrian bridge has been sought by the village for several years but Medina hasn’t received grants which would have also added sidewalks to Maple Ridge, which has become more popular for pedestrians with new businesses and also the presence of a GCC campus center.

Mayor Mike Sidari said area by the creek is narrow and seems to funnel pedestrians close to the road. It has been identified as a safety concern for several years.

The EDA has other money from the revolving loan fund to give to local municipalities. The towns or villages need to approve a project that meets state guidelines by March 31 or else the money goes back to the state Office of Community Renewal.

• Orleans County is due to receive about $200,000. The county has several projects it is considering but hasn’t settled on one yet, Whipple said.

• The Town of Yates will receive about $9,000 and will use that to improve handicapped accessibility at the town hall and parking lot.

• The Town of Albion has about $40,000 coming and has agreed to give the money to village to make Bullard Park more handicapped accessible.

• The Village of Holley is due about $115,000 and hasn’t determined how it use the funds yet, Whipple said.

Return to top