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Sorochty re-elected Holley mayor
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2018 at 11:09 pm

Nenni and Lynch also will be back on Village Board

Brian Sorochty

HOLLEY – Village residents re-elected Brian Sorochty as mayor and two incumbents as trustees during the village election today.

Sorochty received 219 votes to 132 for Shawn O’Mara. Current trustees Connie Nenni, 231 votes, and Kevin Lynch, 202, were also re-elected to two-year terms over Alexa Downey, 135, and Robyn Schubmehl, 113.

There were 351 voters out of 967 eligible – a 36.3 percent turnout. The village used paper ballots. The results weren’t announced until 10:15 p.m., 75 minutes after the polls closed. A crowd of about 40 people waited outside the Village Office on the sidewalk for more than an hour until the results were announced.

Sorochty, who works as Vice President of Engineering for an engineering/construction company, was elected to a second two-year term. He is thankful he can keep working on village projects, including upcoming initiatives for new sidewalks and water infrastructure that are largely covered by grants. Holley also has received a planning grant for redeveloping vacant buildings in the downtown, finding uses for brownfield sites, including the former Diaz Chemical property, and boosting the village’s housing stock.

Sorochty is also excited for the start of construction on the renovation of the old Holley High School. This fall Home Leasing LLC of Rochester will start on the $17 million project, creating 41 senior apartments and the village offices in the building.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome and the turnout,” he said. “It was a very important election with the projects we have going on. I’m also pleased my fellow trustees were re-elected and we can continue our team.”

O’Mara, a Gates police officer, wants to see more progress in paving village streets, fixing sidewalks and upgrading village parks. He also wants to see the village push harder to have a new bank and grocery store come into the community since Holley lost its bank and a former Save-A-Lot store.

The new terms for the mayor and trustees start July 1.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Holley Village Clerk-Treasurer Deborah Schiavone reads off the election results outside the Village Office at about 10:15 p.m.

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Sheriff Bower honored at national conference
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2018 at 4:43 pm

Provided photo: Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower was presented with a MAGNUS Leadership Award in New Orleans on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS – Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower received a leadership award from a national organization on Sunday for his work to implement several new initiatives in the county, including expanded substance abuse and mental health services for inmates in the Orleans County Jail.

The sheriff also has reached out to the faith community and several local pastors agreed to be mentors for people battling addictions who are transitioning from the jail. That initiative is called the Sheriff’s CARE program for Community Addiction Rehabilitation Education.

Bower says the county can’t solve the opioid crisis solely through arrests and using Narcan. The mentors act as recovery coaches, who help people fighting addiction make their appointments and also provide a listening ear.

Bower has been at the National Sheriffs’ Association Conference in New Orleans this week. On Sunday he was presented with a MAGNUS Leadership Award “in recognition of your tireless work implementing bold initiatives that have created synergy and trust between the citizens of your community and your agency,” according to a letter from Mitch Javidi, chancellor of National Command & Staff College and CEO and president of International Academy of Public Safety.

Bower’s award comes from the National Command & Staff College which stresses a strong moral compass for law enforcement officers and that they are all leaders within their communities.

Bower received the MAGNUS Leadership Award “in recognition of your tireless work implementing bold initiatives that have created synergy and trust between the citizens of your community and your agency.”

The Sheriff’s Office has led a number of outreach and public safety events in the county, including several at local schools. Bower said he is pleased deputies are taking the initiative in organizing the events, including a new one on Sunday at the Albion Walmart from noon to 2 p.m.

That event includes a child restraint check, DWI/Distracted Driving Simulator, Marine Safety, K9 demonstration with “Otto,” hot dog cookout and Operation Safe Child.

“We’re trying to do right by the people and give them everything we can,” Bower said by phone this afternoon.

He praised the deputies and other members of the Sheriff’s Office for embracing the outreach efforts and a more compassionate approach to criminal justice services, including the added programs to help inmates in the jail.

Other agencies and local pastors have all stepped forward to assist people, especially those with addictions.

“Everybody is helping,” Bower said. “If you reach out, they’ll help. They just need to be asked.”

Bower has been active with Orleans Hope, a multi-pronged effort by the community to fight the opioid crisis. Churches have stepped up their efforts, welcoming addicts instead of shunning them. Several churches have Celebrate Recovery programs.

Orleans Hope also welcomed Scott Caraboolad and a group of stunt bike riders for a few days in October. The Ride4Life visited local schools and had community events, including at the Fairgrounds. The lead rider, Caraboolad, is a recovering addict. He shared how he overcame his drug addiction.

The sheriff was one of the early supporters for the Ride4Life, which brought Scott Caraboolad and other stunt riders to Orleans County in October. Caraboolad does a stunt on Oct. 5 in front of the student body at Lyndonville Central School.

Bower embraced Caraboolad’s presentations, wanting to connect with people battling addictions and urge them to seek help. Bower also wanted students to hear a Caraboolad’s message, to not seek comfort from drugs and alcohol, and how drug use can escalate and take over – and end – lives.

Bower has welcomed addiction services for inmates in the county jail, connecting them to treatment programs, health insurance and Vivitrol, a shot that helps stave off drug urges. The county has pushed to have a transition from the jail to GCASA or another treatment program.

Bower in his 2 1/2 years as sheriff has expanded mental health and substance abuse services for inmates in the Orleans County jail in Albion.

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Bridge on County House Road gets preventive maintenance
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2018 at 3:08 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – A section of West County House Road in Albion, just east of Eagle Harbor Road, is going to be closed for about a month while Orleans County does preventive maintenance on a bridge, one of six bridges that will get preventive maintenance this year.

The blacktop is being removed so a new waterproofing membrane can be added with a fresh coat of blacktop to follow. The maintenance includes new wing walls and guard rails.

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Hawley faults NYC state legislators for blocking bills to help vets, homeowners
Posted 19 June 2018 at 11:44 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) today criticized New York City politicians on the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for blocking a number of bills that would ease the tax burden on veterans and small businesses and increase the amount of funding that smaller municipalities receive.

“It is truly disappointing that some of our downstate colleagues do not share our priorities of making life easier for our nation’s heroes, our veterans, and starting to change the narrative of New York state as the tax capital of the country,” Hawley said. “These are common-sense bills, many of which have bipartisan support, which New York City politicians will not even allow to reach the floor for a debate and discussion. In the waning days of session, I will continue to fight for our veterans, homeowners, small-businesses and seniors against misguided priorities coming from Assembly leadership.”

A complete list of bills that were blocked is as follows:

• A.6558: Extends the period during which Genesee County is authorized to impose a county recording tax on certain mortgage obligations until November 1, 2019.

• A.8040: Relates to enhanced aid and incentives for municipalities.

• A.1740: Relates to exempting cranes from the petroleum business tax.

• A.1783: Provides a tax credit in the amount of certain fees charged in connection with loans under the federal home loan guarantee program to National Guard and reserve veterans.

• A.1559: Creates a tax exemption for leasing of certain aircraft used for flight schools.

• A.1682: Relates to creating a local food and products sourcing tax credit.

• A.1693-a: Creates a wage tax credit for employers who employ New York National Guard men and women, reservists, volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel.

• A.1561: Prohibits the transfer of unexpended moneys from funds receiving moneys from a dedicated fee into any other fund.

• A.1565: Exempts veterans 85 years of age and older from the obligation to pay New York state income tax.

• A.1616: Exempts compensation for active military service from inclusion in a resident’s adjusted gross income under certain circumstances.

• A.1617: Prohibits the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance from charging a fee for applications for a certificate of registration pursuant to a re-registration program.

• A.1645: Relates to compensation of certain district attorneys; requires the state to reimburse the counties for the entire cost of any increase in the annual salary of a district attorney due to an increase in the annual salary of a justice of the Supreme Court or a county judge; appropriates $1,600,000.

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Boaters Against Cancer has expanded event with fireworks in Kendall

Photo courtesy of Dave Bentley: Dave Bentley, right, is pictured with two of his close friends who died of cancer, Scott Harris at left, and Phil Lance. Bentley is part of the Boaters Against Cancer group that has organized a three-day fundraising event from June 29 to July 1 at the Bald Eagle Marina in Kendall.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2018 at 10:17 am

3-day party includes flotilla, debut of restaurant at marina

KENDALL – There will be fireworks, a large flotilla, live music, a wine- and beer-tasting and the soft opening of a new restaurant.

Those activities – and more – are part of the third annual Boaters Against Cancer fundraising event at Bald Eagle Marina In Kendall from June 29 to July 1.

The marina is the host of the biggest fundraiser for Boaters Against Cancer. The effort started in memory of two long-time boaters at the marina – Scott Harris and Phil Lance – who died about a month apart from cancer.

Dave Bentley was close friends with both of the boaters. Bentley is on the organizing committee for the upcoming three-day event.

“They were two of my best friends,” said Bentley, owner of Bentley Brothers, a Kubota dealership in Albion and Brockport. “We boated together. We travelled together.”

The first two Boaters Against Cancer events raised $30,000 with up to $2,000 available for a boater battling cancer. Those boaters don’t have to be connected to the Bald Eagle Marina.

The lineup of activities for the third annual Boaters Against Cancer events has been expanded. Non-boaters are welcome for many of the activities, including barbecue ribs on Friday, June 29, at the new Lures restaurant at the marina, and a chicken barbecue at Lures on Saturday, June 30. The restaurant won’t officially open until mid-July, said Susan Oschmann, the general manger. It has a special permit for a soft opening to serve food during the Boaters Against Cancer event.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

June 29

• 4 to 7 p.m. – wine- and beer-tasting on the porch

• 4:30 to 6:30 – music with Travis Fitch

• 7 to 10 p.m. – karaoke with Greg and Deb

• 10 p.m. – lantern send off

June 30

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – arts and crafts vendors

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – massages

• 5 p.m. – flotilla

• 7 to 10 p.m. – music with the Kinne Family Band

• 10 p.m. – fireworks

July 1

• 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – breakfast with Chef Don

• 11 a.m. – duck race

• 11 a.m. – raffle and silent auction ends with the winners announced

Oschmann said she is hopeful other marinas will start Boaters Against Cancer chapters and the events can be coordinated, especially with the flotillas happening at the same time.

“It would be awesome if we could do more,” she said. “We try to do our part and hope others will follow. We want to see a giant flotilla.”

Some of the boaters will take people out in their boats for the flotilla, with a suggested donation that will go towards Boaters Against Cancer.

Oschmann said many boating families have been impacted by cancer. Her father Jim has fought the disease. Jim Oschmann ran the marina for about 20 years. He was also the first to have fireworks at Bald Eagle Marina in the early 1990s. The fireworks on June 30 will be set off from one of the jetties at the marina.

“Boaters are a very close-knit family,” Susan Oschmann said. “When they are affected, they step up and help out.”

For more information on Boaters Against Cancer, click here.

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Holley village election today from noon to 9 p.m.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2018 at 8:19 am

HOLLEY – Village residents who are eligible voters, 18 and older, will elect a mayor and two trustees for the Village Board today.

The election is from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Office, 72 Public Square.

There are two candidates running for a two-year term as mayor: incumbent Brian Sorochty and Shawn O’Mara.

Four candidates are running for two trustee positions that are also for two-year terms. Incumbents Kevin Lynch and Connie Nenni are challenged by Robyn Schubmehl and Alexa Downey.

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Canalway Corridor seeks submissions for 13th annual photo contest
Staff Reports Posted 19 June 2018 at 7:48 am

This photo by Dave Ellingson shows a kayak along the Erie Canal in Gasport.

WATERFORD – Amateur and professional photographers are invited submit images for the 13th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Images should convey the wealth of things to do and see along the waterway and express the unique character of the canal and canal communities. Winning photos will be featured in the 2019 Erie Canalway calendar.

Images will be judged in four contest categories: On the Water, Along the Trail, Canal Communities, and Classic Canal. Judges will select first, second, and third place winning images in each category, as well as 12 honorable mentions.

• “On the Water” should show activities on the water and boats of all stripes

• “Along the Trail” could include cyclists, walkers, strollers, and activities or scenes along the Erie Canalway Trail.

• “Canal Communities” include historic downtowns, distinctive architecture, farmers markets, events, and scenes taken in canal communities.

• “Classic Canal” – Photos that could be taken only on the canal, and could include on-water activities, engineering marvels, canal structures, nature, or other scenes that show the distinctive sense of place of the Erie Canalway.

Images must be taken within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, which spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York. It encompasses the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities.

Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2018. For more information on the official contest rules and an entry form, click here.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns to Medina on Oct. 13
Staff Reports Posted 18 June 2018 at 8:16 pm

File photo: Nicole Tuohey cuts the paper chain to start the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in September 2014. She raised money through her mother Mary Lou’s business, Case-Nic Cookies in Medina, by selling elephant cookies that added a new link to the chain. Nicole raised the money in memory of her grandma and grandpa.

MEDINA – The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be back in Medina on Oct. 13. The Walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

On Oct. 13 family members, caregivers, employers, friends and persons with dementia will gather at State Street Park in Medina to honor all impacted by dementia and to fight for a world without Alzheimer’s. Fundraising dollars ensure the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide supportive services and education at no cost.

While there is no fee to register, the Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York encourages participants to fundraise to contribute to the cause and help ensure a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

The park in Medina offers plenty of parking, space to enjoy snacks and refreshments, visit with vendors, and buy basket and 50/50 raffle tickets. The roughly 2-mile walk offers a pleasant stroll along the Erie Canal. Incentives for fundraising include the 2018 purple Walk T-shirt.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., with a ceremony at 10 and the walk to start at 10:15.

For more information, click here.

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Long-time reference librarian has last day at Albion library
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2018 at 3:47 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Cheryl Mowatt has been a steady presence at Albion’s public library for 33 years. Today is her last day in her job as reference librarian. She is wearing a card that says, “Keep calm and ask someone else I’m retiring.”

Mowatt and her late husband Bob moved to Albion in 1979 when Mr. Mowatt was appointed to be pastor of the First Baptist Church in Albion. He led the church until his retirement in 1999. Mowatt and her husband have two grown sons, Ian and Andrew, and four grandchildren.

Mrs. Mowatt started work at the former Swan Library in January 1985. In July 2012 the new Hoag Library opened.

“I love the new library,” she said. “It’s beautiful. It’s airy. It’s bright, and it has a lot of parking. The people of Albion are very proud of this building.”

Mowatt has typically been at the front desk, ready to answer a question or help people track down answers. Library patrons had lots of questions over the years, many were health related or about genealogy. She remembers one question that stood out over the years: someone wanted to know if there was a book or materials that explained how to make moonshine.

“I’ve met many interesting people in the 33 years,” Mowatt said this afternoon. “I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s kind of like being a detective. I like the challenge.”

The reference librarians are “jack of all trades,” Mowatt said. They help in circulation and assist the public in using computers and the printer.

The Friends of the Library had a cake made for Mowatt, who serves up a piece to Linda Redfield, right, and Gloria Nauden. Those ladies brought flowers for Mowatt. Dee Robinson, another reference librarian, is next to Mowatt.

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Hoag Library kicks off summer reading challenge
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2018 at 3:03 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Hoag Library celebrated the start of a six-week summer reading challenge on Saturday. There were two bounce houses, children’s games and free hot dogs served by the Albion Lions Club to kick off the program.

Mary Janet Sahukar and her granddaughter Kiran Lennox were part of the Albion Lions Club team preparing hot dogs. Children and adults who signed up for the summer reading challenge were able to get a free hot dog.

The theme of this year’s summer reading challenge is “Libraries Rock!” Last year there were 1,550 participants in the program.

The library will have numerous events during the six-week program. The challenge continues until Aug. 4 with a 3 p.m. ice cream social at the library. There are almost daily events at the library during the program, including many with music and dance.

For more information, click here or stop by the library at 134 South Main St.

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Gillibrand announces passage of resolution designating ‘Juneteenth Independence Day’
Posted 18 June 2018 at 2:45 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today announced the passage of their resolution designating June 19, 2018, as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day slavery legally came to an end in the United States.

“Every year on Juneteenth we celebrate Emancipation, recognize the work left to do, and continue our commitment to a more equal future for all. Juneteenth is a holiday for all of us to observe the end of slavery, and to joyfully celebrate freedom with a shared sense of responsibility, inspiration, and encouragement,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am proud to have worked in the Senate with over 45 of my colleagues to pass my resolution commemorating ‘Juneteenth Independence Day’.”

“Juneteenth is a landmark occasion in our nation’s history – when the remaining slaves in this country were emancipated,” said Senator Wicker. “It is a day to remember our nation’s past and a day to commemorate the work that has been done over the past 150 years toward ensuring freedom, equality, and justice for every American. I am proud to have introduced this resolution in the Senate, working with my colleagues to give this holiday the national recognition it deserves.”

The full text of the resolution is below and can be found by clicking here.

Resolution 547: Designating June 19, 2018, as ‘‘Juneteenth Independence Day’’ in recognition of June 19, 1865, the date on which slavery legally came to an end in the United States.

• Whereas news of the end of slavery did not reach the frontier areas of the United States, in particular the State of Texas and the other Southwestern States, until months after the conclusion of the Civil War, more than 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863;

• Whereas, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free;

• Whereas African-Americans who had been slaves in the Southwest celebrated June 19, commonly known as ‘‘Juneteenth Independence Day’’, as inspiration and encouragement for future generations;

• Whereas African-Americans from the Southwest have continued the tradition of observing Juneteenth Independence Day for over 150 years;

• Whereas 45 States and the District of Columbia have designated Juneteenth Independence Day as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States;

• Whereas Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures;

• Whereas the faith and strength of character demonstrated by former slaves and the descendants of former slaves remain an example for all people of the United States, regardless of background, religion, or race;

• Whereas slavery was not officially abolished until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in December 1865; and

• Whereas, over the course of its history, the United States has grown into a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world:

• Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Senate designates June 19, 2018, as ‘‘Juneteenth Independence Day’’; recognizes the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the United States; supports the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States; and recognizes that the observance of the end of slavery is part of the history and heritage of the United States.

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Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Orleans, several other counties
Staff Reports Posted 18 June 2018 at 2:26 pm

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch from 1:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. today for Orleans and the following counties: Cayuga, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.

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Farm Credit presents scholarship to student from Albion
Staff Reports Posted 18 June 2018 at 1:21 pm

Provided photo

BATAVIA – Clara Stilwell, left, from Albion was awarded a $1,500 scholarship from Farm Credit East, ACA. Clara was one of two scholarship winners selected from the Batavia branch which serves seven Western New York Counties.

The scholarships are awarded to students which have post high school career paths focusing in agricultural. An associates, bachelors or graduate degree as well as technical school attendance qualifies as post high school education. Clara is pictured with Anna Smith who serves as a Farm Credit East  loan officer in the Albion area.

Clara just finished her freshman year at Cortland State and is transferring to Cornell University this fall.

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810 Meadworks to host songwriter’s competition
Staff Reports Posted 18 June 2018 at 11:50 am

MEDINA – 810 Meadworks is proud to announce it will be hosting a songwriter’s competition in Orleans County at Meadworks’ unique and intimate outdoor performance space known as The Beegarten.

On July 21, Orleans County songwriters will compete for a choice of a $200 cash prize or professional studio recording time at Watchmen Studios in Lockport. The event will be hosted by a well-known champion of Orleans County’s music scene, Zack Burgess of Albion.

In its fourth season, The Beegarten’s summer music series has hosted some of Western New York’s most talented musicians, including former and current members of national recording artists such as Rusted Root, Modern English, Cheater, Klear and Captain Beyond. In addition, they have hosted two Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame inductees and winners of regional songwriting contests.

“We have brought in a lot of regional talent with an emphasis on bands that perform original music, or covers in an original way,” notes 810 Meadworks owner Bryan DeGraw. “We know how hard it is for original musicians to find a place to perform, or for them to afford to record a quality demo, so this competition provides an opportunity for both.”

In order to be eligible for the contest, the songwriter must either be an Orleans County resident or have significant ties to Orleans County, including long-term employment in the county or a graduate of an Orleans County school. They, or a designated performer, will perform a short set of three or four songs, with one being submitted for the contest, which will be scored by a panel of local judges.

The event is hosted by Zack Burgess, a member of two prominent Orleans County based bands, Zero and Archres. Burgess is one of the organizers of Rock the Park, an annual music festival held in Albion, now in its fifth year.

“Zack was the logical choice to host the event, and he graciously agreed to take himself out of the competition in order to host it,” DeGraw said. “Burgess will be performing some of his own songs as part of the evening’s program.”

Contact thom@caroniamediagroup.com or stop in to 810 Meadworks for information on how to enter the contest.

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Heat advisory in effect today with heat index in mid- to upper-90s
Staff Reports Posted 18 June 2018 at 7:59 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: A life preserver is placed by the lift bridge in Knowlesville. The bridge, which had been closed since November for repairs, reopened last week.

New banners were recently put up in Lyndonville, promoting the upcoming Fourth of July celebration.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Orleans and several other counties today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. when heat index values will be in the mid- to upper-90s.

The advisory includes Orleans, Niagara, Monroe. Wayne, northern Cayuga, Oswego, Genesee, Livingston and Ontario counties.

“The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity levels will result in a potential for heat-related illnesses if proper precautions are not taken,” The Weather Service said.

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

The Weather Service urges people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room., stay out of the sun and check in on relatives and neighbors.

People should take extra precautions if working or spending time outside. If possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.

The Weather Service also urges people to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People should also wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. “Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location,” the Weather Service said. “Heat stroke is an emergency – call 911.”

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