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New tugboat named in honor of women’s rights pioneer getting a workout in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 August 2020 at 9:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – A new tugboat (second from left) named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a famed leader of the women’s suffrage movement, moves a barge in Albion on Monday, just east of the Ingersoll lift bridge.

The State Canal Corp. was trimming vegetation along the canal banks. The other tugboat at far left also is a new model of a tugboat on the canal.

The new tugboat was dedicated on May 17, 2019 in Rochester to start the canal’s navigational season.

Coline Jenkins, Stanton’s great-great granddaughter, was on hand to dedicate the 26-foot vessel, which is stationed at the Canal maintenance facility in Albion.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton is shown Friday on the Erie Canal in Albion, between the lift bridges on Main Street and Ingersoll Street.

The Erie Canal, which opened for its 196th season this year, played a significant role in the women’s rights movement. In the 1800s, the canal was like an interstate highway. It was frequently traveled between Seneca Falls and Rochester as Cady Stanton and her fellow suffragists coordinated their campaign for women’s rights.

Seneca Falls, which is part of the state’s canal system, hosted the first women’s rights convention on July 19-20, 1848.

Cady Stanton was one of the key leaders of the convention and the movement. She was the primary author of the Declaration of Sentiments, a manifesto that called on women to fight for their Constitutionally guaranteed right to equality as U.S. citizens.

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Kendall says state wrongly lists district among those that didn’t submit reopening plans
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 August 2020 at 7:56 am

District sets 3 public sessions to discuss new school year

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday listed Kendall as being among 107 school districts that haven’t submitted a reopening plan to the State Education Department and the State Department of Health. The plans needed to be filed no later than July 31.

Julie Christensen, the Kendall district superintendent, said the state list isn’t correct because Kendall submitted its reopening plan to Department of Health on July 30 and with SED on July 31.

The plan was also posted on the school district website on July 30.

“The district has contacted the state regarding the discrepancy,” the school district said in a statement on Monday.

Cuomo said the districts identified as not submitting their plans have until Friday to submit the reopening document or else they can’t reopen for in-person schooling this fall.

The governor on Monday also reminded districts they must complete the three to five public sessions with parents and teachers and post their plans for remote learning, testing and tracing on their website by Aug. 21 to be in compliance with standards established by the State.

Kendall has three community forums set for this month. They will be conducted through Zoom video conferencing.

The dates and times of the forums are:

  • August 14 at 10 a.m.
  • August 19 at 4 p.m.
  • August 20 at 6 p.m.

Please email Superintendent Julie Christensen ( with any questions you have in advance of the forums so she can research the answers and present this information during the forums.

For more information, click here.

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GCASA awarded $1 million grant to help people with long-term recovery
Posted 11 August 2020 at 7:16 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

BATAVIA – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing a $1 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded to the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA).

“I am pleased to announce that this great local organization is receiving a grant to further combat alcohol and drug addiction, and the opioid crisis in our community,” Jacobs said. “While our nation has focused on fighting another public health battle, substance abuse has continued to hurt our communities. That is why the work the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is critical to our region. I am proud to see this funding go to an organization working to make our communities safer for all members, and I am committed to continuing our efforts to end the substance abuse and opioid epidemic.”

The grant was awarded through a $101 million grant program through the Department of Health and Human Services to combat substance abuse disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD). This grant program supports 116 organizations in over 42 states – the grant is intended to expand and enhance service delivery for SUD and OUD in rural communities.

“This grant will allow GCASA to continue a multi-fold aim of removing barriers to recovery and improved quality of life for people suffering from alcohol and other drug problems,” said GCASA Executive Director John Bennett. “Far too long, we have treated addiction only as an acute disease when, in fact, it is a chronic long-term health condition.

“While treatment is a guiding force to assist individuals in establishing abstinence and getting them on the path to recovery, it does not address how to sustain individuals and families in recovery over long periods,” Bennett said. “Grants like this will help build the recovery supports and address the social determinants of health to overcome the long-term effects of addiction. It is designed to break down the barriers to long-term recovery so people can manage their own conditions over time and build on the resources needed for sustained recovery.”

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Orleans reports 2 new Covid-19 cases, 4 more recoveries
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2020 at 4:23 pm

Orleans County is reporting two new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the county’s total to 282 people who have tested positive.

The new confirmed cases includes residents of Carlton and Ridgeway, with one in the 40s and the other in the 50s.

The county also is reporting four more recoveries in the community, bringing that total to 126, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported this afternoon.

Orleans also have 7 new individuals on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

In Genesee County, there are no new confirmed and three more people have recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 205.

Genesee also has 40 new individuals on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

One person in Genesee is hospitalized with Covid-19.

Click here to view the online map of confirmed cases in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

Statewide: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 476 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 421,336 confirmed cases. The 476 new cases are out of 54,002 test results reported to New York State yesterday, for a 0.88 percent positive rate.

Statewide there are 535 hospitalized with Covid-19 (down by 13), 127 in ICU (down by 4), 62 in ICY with intubation (down by 4) and two more deaths from Covid-19, bringing the state total to 25,204.

“Our numbers reflect the work of everyone in this state, and the number of ICU patients and hospitalizations have reached new lows again,” Cuomo said. “That is extraordinary given where we were just a few months ago.”

• New Mask PSA: The Governor also released a new Public Service Announcement, reminding their neighbors to wear a mask and help stop the spread of coronavirus. Click here to see it.

The new highlights the effective use of masks during the 1918 deadly Influenza Pandemic that infected 500 million people – a third of the world’s population. The advertisement features archival photos of the use of masks during the 1918 outbreak, which was crucial to preventing the spread of the deadly virus, to inspire Americans to wear masks today. This new PSA is one in a series launched by the governor to inform the public on the importance of wearing masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“All the data and science show that masks work, and it is essential that everyone wear a mask to protect one another and further prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Cuomo said. “Our message is simple: I wear a mask to protect you and you wear a mask to protect me.”

From the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• Travel Advisory: Travelers from the following states with high coronavirus rates will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Those violating could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine and potential fines.

• Traveler Health Form: For all out-of-state travelers from NYS restricted states, whether arriving by land or air, must self-identify by completing a traveler health form or be subject to a $2,000 fine. Click here for the traveler health form.

• Waiting for Testing Results:  If you are being tested for Covid-19 it is important that you self-quarantine until you get your test results whether you have symptoms or not.  If you are symptomatic, meaning you are coughing, have a fever or other symptoms, self-quarantine even if you are an essential worker until you get your results back, if you have Covid-19 you may be spreading it!  That means to stay home and limit contact with other people, even in your household.

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Barre survey results have nearly 70% ‘totally opposed’ to turbines
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2020 at 1:38 pm

Supporters of project expect turbine revenue will reduce town taxes significantly

BARRE — A survey of Barre households paid for by George McKenna, a local veterinarian, shows nearly 70 percent of the respondents are “totally opposed” to turbines in the town.

McKenna sent surveys last month to 735 households in Barre. He received 258 responses. (Five were returned by Postal Service because no one lives at house.)

That is a 35 percent response rate for the 735 surveys. McKenna has been vocal in his opposition to the turbine project proposed by Apex Clean Energy. The company wants to build 33 turbines in Barre that would top 650 feet.

McKenna had a group of local residents, including a lease holder for a turbine, open the surveys and compile the results.

“I was expecting 40 to 50 percent to be opposed,” McKenna said. “But they are overwhelmingly opposed at 70 percent.”

In the survey, residents are asked to consider 11 scenarios and to check only one box that they most strongly agree with.

The first option — “We don’t want the wind turbines” — was the most popular answer, by far. It was checked by 176 of the 258 surveys or 68 percent.

Other responses asked if residents would support turbines, with responses varying on whether the turbines are not more than 500 feet high or not more than 700 feet tall.

Other responses varied whether the setbacks were from property lines at a distance in compliance with World Health Organization recommendations or another response was a distance of 1,500 feet from property lines.

The survey also offered responses for residents to state their support for turbines whether the revenue from the project would wipe out town taxes fully, at 50 percent or at 25 percent.

McKenna acknowledged in a letter accompanying the survey that the turbines could lower the town’s property taxes.

“Who doesn’t like lower taxes?” he wrote in the letter. “If your family views this as an opportunity that can sustain you for the foreseeable future, I respect that decision, and no one can fault you for making it as long as the neighbors are protected from any loss, being health and property value.”

Among the surveys that showed support for turbines, 35 of the 78 (45 percent) said they would support the project only in town taxes were completely offset by the wind energy project.

Those surveys in support also showed that 58 percent or 45 of the 78 want the town to require setbacks at the WHO length, which is more than 1,500 feet from property lines.

One response on the survey allowed people to check, “We want them no matter the consequences.” That was checked by 22 people or 9 percent of the responses, which represents 28 percent of the people who said they would support the project.

Another 4 respondents said they were “undecided” about the project.

McKenna is on the Town Board’s agenda for the meeting this Wednesday at 7 p.m. where he will present the survey results to town officials.

“I want the Town Board to know how people really feel about this,” McKenna said. “The Town Board assumes most people are for it.”

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Lyndonville man sentenced on federal firearms charges
Posted 10 August 2020 at 12:56 pm

Press Release, United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Western District of New York

BUFFALO – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Nolan Donald, 21, of Lyndonville, who was convicted of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition, and possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing marijuana, was sentenced to serve three years home confinement by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who handled the case, stated that between February 2018 and April 18, 2018, the defendant was addicted to, or was an unlawful user of, marijuana. On April 18, 2018, Donald was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his residence on North Lyndonville Road. Inside the residence, investigators recovered a 9mm, semi-automatic pistol, loaded with eight rounds of ammunition; a 12-gauge shotgun; 79 rounds of ammunition; a small quantity of marijuana; edible marijuana cookies; and plastic baggies.

Following his arrest, the defendant admitted that he sold marijuana for approximately two years preceding his arrest and continued to sell marijuana and other marijuana products up until the time of his arrest. Donald also stated that he had used marijuana every day for the past year and a half.

Between February 17, 2018, and April 18, 2018, the defendant posted videos and photos to the social media application “Snapchat” in which he appeared to be in possession of a pistol and large quantities of marijuana, and using what appeared to be marijuana and prescription medicine.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

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FMC names new plant manager in Middleport
Posted 10 August 2020 at 10:31 am

Press Release, FMC in Middleport

Brent Sensenich

MIDDLEPORT – Brent Sensenich has been named manager of FMC’s Agricultural Sciences plant in Middleport. The local Agricultural Sciences plant formulates and packages a number of key FMC product lines to protect over 100 crops in more than 75 countries worldwide.

Sensenich has been with FMC since 2015, having most recently served as operations manager at the Middleport plant and as FMC’s North America Technical Center Manger – Formulations and Packaging.

“Throughout my career I have enjoyed working across different roles in quality, engineering, and operations management,” he said. “I am excited to continue as part of the FMC Middleport team and Middleport community as we look toward a future of continued safe operation and growth.”

A native of the Kansas City area in the Midwest, Sensenich and his wife and two sons have lived in Western New York for more than three years.

“My family and I love living in Western NY, participating in many of the local traditions and we even enjoy all aspects of the winter season,” he said.

Sensenich holds a bachelor’s degree in Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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Schumer gives endorsement to McMurray in NY-27th
Posted 10 August 2020 at 10:07 am

Press Release, Nate McMurray for Congress

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer enthusiastically renewed his support for Nate McMurray in the November 3rd election for Congress in NY-27.

“I am eager to see Nate McMurray win this election so we can get to work on a shared agenda to expand access to affordable healthcare, strengthen the middle class, protect union rights, and preserve our farms,” Schumer said. “Nate is a fighter who will take on the damaging and dangerous Trump agenda and always champion the interests of the people of Western New York.”

McMurray added: “I am proud to have Senator Schumer’s endorsement going into the most important election of our lifetimes. He and I are committed to defeating the Trump agenda and its supporters, like Chris Jacobs, in November. Not only has Chris Jacobs aligned himself with a failed President, but he has condemned Black Lives Matter, voted against a pay raise for our armed forces, and voted to kill the Affordable Care Act at the height of a pandemic that has killed 150,000 Americans.

“Senator Schumer and I share many core values, like a Washington that delivers for working-class Americans, expanding healthcare, and protecting Social Security. I’m eager to get to work with him on behalf of NY-27 and all of Western New York.”

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Trump’s executive order would have states chipping in with weekly unemployment bonus
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2020 at 9:54 am

Cuomo says cash-strapped states don’t have funds

With Congress at an apparent impasse on renewing a weekly unemployment bonus during the Covid-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to give unemployed Americans an extra $400 a week.

That is down from the $600 they were receiving as an unemployment bonus that expired on July 31. Trump’s order would have the federal government paying $300 a week and the states contributing $100.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Trump’s order for the states to pay towards the program won’t work because the states are facing steep revenue losses and mounting costs to fight Covid-19.

“It’s just an impossibility,” Cuomo told reporters on Sunday.

The Trump order would cost the state $4 billion, Cuomo said. He said the Trump order is “laughable” in light of the fiscal distress with state budgets.

Congressman Chris Jacobs, NY-27, released a statement praising the president for pushing to provide relief to Americans.

“The negotiation process for a new stimulus package has been bogged down with partisan politics and far-left democratic wish lists that do not benefit the American people,” Jacobs said. “I applaud President Trump’s decisive action to make the health and financial well-being of Americans a priority and sign executive orders that will boost our economy, protect unemployed Americans, and aid Americans suffering from the effects of COVID-19. Conquering this enemy and rebuilding our economy is an effort we need to be united on, and the President is setting the example of what it means to put all Americans first.” – Congressman Chris Jacobs said.

Jacobs said Trump’s executive orders also protect against evictions for renters, extend student loan relief, and provide a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year.

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Medina will take comments on murals in historic district
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2020 at 8:54 am

MEDINA — The Village of Medina Planning Board is taking public comments about having murals in the historic district.

There will be a public hearing at 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the City Hall, 600 Main St. Capacity is limited in the main meeting room for the hearing due to Covid-19 concerns.

The public can also email comments to with the subject line “historic district.”

Comments also can be mailed to Public Hearing, C/O Village Clerk, 119 Park Ave., Medina, NY 14103.

The Planning Board is considering a certificate of appropriateness for three murals in the historic district. These murals would be near Proctor Place on the back sides of one building, with two murals on the sides on a cinder block structure. One of the murals of a “Canalligator” is already done.

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Oak Orchard Health celebrates National Health Center Week
Posted 10 August 2020 at 8:20 am

Provided photo: Nancy Ciavarri, MD, serves as chief medical officer for Oak Orchard Health.

Press Release, Oak Orchard Health

BROCKPORT – National Health Center Week (August 9 – 15) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. This year is extra special for Oak Orchard Health as they recognize this special week for the first time with their three new locations that were formerly part of Pembroke Family Medicine.

The mission of Community Health Centers remains vital today because access to basic care remains a challenge in parts of the United States including our community. Many people live in remote and underserved communities where there is a shortage of providers and, in many cases, the nearest doctor or hospital can be as far as a 50-mile drive – if transportation is available.

While COVID-19 continues to impair social and medical inequities across the country, Community Health Centers have stretched themselves to reconfigure services for those in need. As unemployment rates rise and more people lose their employee-sponsored health insurance, Community Health Centers have remained open to provide care for all, regardless of insurance status.

“Community Health Centers are here to support the community. Our presence is even more important as people face high unemployment and employer-based healthcare decreases. Oak Orchard Health is able to serve all who need medical, dental, vision, or behavioral health services,” said Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO, Oak Orchard Health

This year’s mission for Health Center Week is to thank our providers and staff along with our patients. Given we’re practicing social distancing, we’ll be using social media to communicate with patients on staying healthy during this time.

Oak Orchard Health

Originally founded in 1966, Oak Orchard has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services for everyone located in the communities we serve. Currently serving over 30,000 patients at nine locations, Oak Orchard Health is a recognized patient-centered medical home and 501(c) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in the towns of Albion, Alexander, Batavia, Brockport, Corfu, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

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Kendall Scout adds sign, sidewalks to community park for Eagle project
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 1:11 pm

Provided photos

KENDALL – Nicholas Wolf completed his Eagle Scout project last month, and added a sign with pillars to the Kendall Community Park. Nicholas also put in a garden area by the sign.

This is the fifth Eagle Scout project at the park. Last year Ryan Barrett, Brian Shaw, Noah Rath and Jayden Pieniaszek worked together and each took a phase of a war memorial at the park, which is on Kendall Road (Route 237) across from the Kendall Elementary School.

Nicholas Wolf also led a team of Scouts in putting in a 100-foot-long sidewalk that is 5 feet wide. Nicholas is a member of Troop 94 in Kendall.

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NY sees lowest positive rate for Covid-19 tests
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 12:59 pm

State has fewest people in ICU from Covid-19 since March 16

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said the state has lowest percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic gripped the state in March.

New York on Saturday reported 515 new cases of Covid-19 out of 65,812 tests, a 0.78 percent positive rate.

The state also had 131 people in intensive care due to Covid-19, which is the lowest since March 16, the governor said.

“Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region – and we had the lowest one-day positive rate since we started. That’s an incredible achievement, all thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “New York’s progress shows that a data-driven, phased reopening works. We have followed the data since day one, and now we are an example for the rest of the country to follow. But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance.”

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Hot week in store for Orleans County
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 12:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARKER – A boat heads east across Lake Ontario last evening while the sun was setting off the shore of Barker.

It’s going to be a hot week in Orleans County. The National Weather Service in Buffalo is forecasting a high of 84 today followed by highs of 89 on Monday, 88 on Tuesday, and 84 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Norm Atwater, a dairy farmer in Barker, checks on his draft horse Sarah at Lighthouse Christian Camp, which is just down the road from Atwater Farms. Norm and his wife Emily were out for a carriage ride on Saturday evening.

Sarah, the Atwaters’ horse, is pictured with the sunset in the background.

These sunflowers are silhouetted during Saturday’s sunset.

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Chicken barbecue sells out at Holy Family in Albion, 50 baskets up for auction
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 11:52 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mike Grabowski makes the cole slaw in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge this morning in preparation for the chicken barbecue and “Un-Lawn Fete” for the Holy Family Parish in Albion.

The church had 540 dinners available and they all sold ahead of time. They meals will be served by drive-through only in takeouts from 11:30 to 3:30 at the Elks Lodge on West State Street, drive-through only for takeouts.

“This is the 26th straight year for this wonderful opportunity to get friends and parishioners together—be it with a distance-required aspect,” Father Richard Csizmar, the parish priest, said in a message to parishioners. “This will help us meet the financial needs of our parish, especially our annual insurance obligations. Thanks to all those who have prepared so much for this day and those who will attend.”

The event also includes 50 baskets will also be up for raffle at the church grounds at 106 S. Main St. The basket raffle starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. The cash prize raffle includes two prizes of $500 and five prizes of $100.

This group preps the plastic bags for the takeouts. They include from left: Joan Adduci, Jean Shervin (in back), Lorriane Dibley and Michelle Grabowski.

Tony Navarra cooks the salt potatoes in the kitchen.

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