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Fundraiser established to help with funeral costs for boy who drowned
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 3:50 pm

Photo from GoFundMe: Hudson Leroy Sanders

BARRE – An online fundraiser on GoFundMe has been established to help the family of a boy who drowned in a swimming pool accident on Wednesday in Barre.

Hudson Leroy Sanders was 16 months old. First responders attempted to save him with CPR.

“This terrible accident has left the family devastated and absolutely heartbroken,” Lacey Johnson and Anna Flugel write on GoFundMe. “As you can expect the family is in complete shock and are grieving the loss of their beautiful blue eyed, blonde hair little boy.”

People are welcome to donate to help cover the funeral expenses for the boy and to help support the family during this tragic time.

Click here for more information.

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GCASA again named among best places to work in NY
Posted 6 August 2020 at 3:22 pm

Press Release, GCASA

BATAVIA – For the third consecutive year, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has been named one of the “2020 Best Companies to Work for in New York State.”

GCASA was selected as the 11th best company to work for in the state in the medium employers’ category (100-249 employees).

The agency was honored on Wednesday afternoon during a virtual celebration conducted by The Rochester Business Journal, Best Companies Group and the New York State Society for Human Resource Management.

All told, 75 companies earned places on the 13th annual Best Companies to Work for in New York list, including 21 in the medium employers’ division. The other 54 honorees were in the small and large employers’ categories.

“Being honored for three years in a row – and now moving up to 11th place in the medium size category – is a testament to our employees and the contributions they make each and every day to make GCASA a great place to work,” Executive Director John Bennett said, noting that the agency was in the small employers’ group the first two years.

Bennett was quick to point out that the results are determined by employee opinions.

“The best part about this honor is that it is driven by all of you – GCASA employees,” he said. “The 80-plus question surveys you completed in the fall were the driving force behind us making the list of best companies.”

Created in 2007, these awards are part of a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment. This statewide survey/awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor businesses whose practices benefit the state’s businesses, economy and workforce.

To be considered for participation, organizations had to fulfill specific registration eligibility requirements, then participate in a two-part survey of employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies.

Best Companies Group, an independent firm that manages Best Places to Work programs on state, regional and national levels around the world, conducted the survey, then evaluated the results and determined the winners.

A special publication will profile all 75 winning organizations and their unique employment perks. It will be distributed at the event and sent to higher education institutions and thousands of human resources professionals and organizations across New York State.

GCASA Human Resources Director Kim Corcoran applauded the staff for going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a great, talented staff that always endures stressful times during our nation’s opioid epidemic – and then even more so specifically during this unprecedented period,” she said. “It’s a testament to how our staff can pull together and continue to provide necessary services in our community. It’s just what they do!”

GCASA, located at 430 East Main St., Batavia, and 249 East Ave., Albion, has been serving Genesee and Orleans Counties for more than 40 years. Services include prevention education and outpatient and residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders; and an employee assistance program.

For more information about the Best Companies to Work for in New York program, or to find out about participating in the 2021 program, visit

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Maison Albion donates $1K to Hospital Foundation
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 11:59 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Cole and Kerri Glover, right, donated $1,000 to the Orleans Community Health Foundation on Wednesday. They are social distancing while presenting a check to Jeanne Crane (left) who is president of Foundation and Heather Smith, who is the executive director.

The Glovers are the new owners of the former Pillars on West Countyhouse Road in Albion. They are turning the property into Maison Albion, which will be decorated in a French theme and will host weddings and other events.

They had an estate sale at the property on Saturday. One large elephant figure, which was a prop in a film, was auctioned off with proceeds going to the Hospital Foundation.

The Whitehall Mansion in Brockport bought the elephant for $700. The Glovers added $300 to make the donation $1,000.

The $1,000 will go towards the “Say Boo to the Flu” program run by Jessica Capurso, out of the Community Partners department at Orleans Community Health.  Community Partners collaborates with Albion Rotary and Leon’s Gift in Memory of Leon Sidari to educate the community on the importance of flu vaccinations for youth. This year they are focused on expanding the program and these funds will greatly help facilitate any additional needs they will have for another successful year.

The Glovers said they plan to make Maison Albion available for free for 10 community fundraisers each year. Mrs. Glover urged people to reach out to her at for more information.

This elephant sold as a fundraiser for the Orleans Community Health Foundation.

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Holley schools will again offer free breakfasts, lunches to all students
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 10:53 am

HOLLEY – The school will again offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students in the elementary school and at the middle/high school.

The meals will be available to students in school and also those doing remote learning. Holley is currently looking to have two cohorts with students in school for classes on either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. The three other days will be for remote learning.

For remote learning days, there will be designated locations to pick up free meals.

This is the second school year Holley is offering the meals for free to all students. The program is available through the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program.

The CEP program provides the opportunity for schools in high poverty areas to provide two nutritious meals every school day, while eliminating the stigma for those students previously identified as “low income.”

For additional information please contact:

Holley Elementary & Middle/High School

Attention: Sharon Zacher, Assistant Superintendent for Business

3800 North Main Street

Holley, NY  14470

(585) 638-6316 Ext 2001

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McMurray: no more delays with Collins’ sentencing
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 10:39 am

Chris Collins is asking for a fourth delay in his sentencing on insider trading. The former congressman from Clarence pleaded guilty on Oct. 1 to scheme to commit insider trading and to making false statements to federal law enforcement agents when interviewed about his conduct.

In January a federal judge sentenced Collins to 26 months in a federal prison. But Collins hasn’t been imprisoned yet. His lawyers have argued that he has a high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“I have always believed that justice must be balanced with mercy, but Chris Collins has seen more mercy than most. Justice delayed is justice denied—he needs to go to jail now,” said Nate McMurray, who lost a close election to Collins in November 2018.

McMurray is seeking the position again. He lost another close election on June 23, this time to Chris Jacobs. That was to fill out the remainder of Collins’ term. The two will be on the ballot against each other again in November for a full two-year term.

The former congressman now lives in Florida. He also was sentenced to one year supervised release and a $200,000 fine. He resigned from his 27th Congressional District seat on Sept. 30, 2019.

“We have been here before. Hundreds of us wrote letters to implore the judge in Collins’ case to administer a fair sentence,” said Nate McMurray, who lost a close election to Collins in November 2018. “We watched his tearful pleas; the hammer of justice raised, but not brought down. Chris Collins now unapologetically claims the pandemic threatens this life and should prevent him from serving his prison sentence—it’s a twisted irony that he was the first supporter of President Trump in Congress, the man who so horribly mishandled the pandemic, which led to so many avoidable deaths across our country and especially in New York State.”

McMurray, in a statement to the media today, said Trump is pushing to reopen schools around the country, despite Covid-19 on the rise in many states.

“Trump and his ilk are also demanding that our schools open immediately, but that elections be delayed, and now that justice be delayed too,” McMurray said. “If our kids can go back to school, Chris Collins can pay his debt to society. He denied this region representation, and he lied to secure power and privilege. Politicians like Trump yell ‘law and order,’ but when it comes to their buddies, it’s a different story: Manafort, Stone, Flynn, and yes, Collins.”

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Cuomo picked to serve as chairman of National Governors Association
Posted 6 August 2020 at 10:10 am

‘State governments are now in the forefront, and it is a new chapter in the governance of this country. This coming year, states are not only laboratories of democracy – we will also be the engines of economic renewal and the innovators of a new public health system.’ – Andrew Cuomo

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

File photo from Governor’s Office: Andrew Cuomo speaks in New York City on May 9. On Wednesday he became the chairman of the National Governors Association, a position that rotates from Republican to a Democrat. He takes over for Larry Hogan, the Maryland governor.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday was unanimously voted to serve as chairman of the National Governors Association during the virtual 2020 Summer Meeting

Governor Cuomo, who will become the longest-serving governor in the country next year, is also the first governor from New York to become NGA’s chair and he is the first big state governor to take the gavel in nearly 50 years.

In his remarks, the Governor laid out his agenda for the NGA – America’s Recovery and Revival – focused on tackling COVID-19 and the economic recovery from it.

A copy of the Governor’s remarks as prepared are below:

Let’s give another big thank you to Governor Hogan. We give you a virtual round of applause. Governor Hogan has been a friend to all of us over this impossible past year and I look forward to relying on him for his continued counsel as I take the gavel. I also look forward to working with our Vice Chairman Governor Asa Hutchinson. We all thank you Governor Hutchinson for agreeing to serve.

What should the NGA agenda be for the next year?  It should adopt the agenda most relevant to the Governors, and I think we all know what that is. Frankly my friends I don’t think we have that many options. Next year’s agenda is not really a question of discretion, but rather the dictation of reality. Our agenda is: America’s Recovery and Revival.

First, we must manage the COVID virus until a vaccine is developed and we need the Federal Government to work with us in that effort.

Second, we will need to deal with the undeniable consequences and effects of COVID.  The economic damage it has done as well as the critical public health care needs that it exposed and highlighted.

And third, all this in the context of a new chapter in the Federal/State relationship. While I’m sure none of us wanted to be in this position of dealing with COVID, the last six months have highlighted the importance and capacity of state governments and the need for a reformulated, redefined Federal partnership especially in this coming year where not only do we need historic pandemic related relief funding but we also have several critical legislative reauthorizations expiring.

As we gather today, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that COVID is a problem that affects every state in this nation. This is a battle for all of us. And we know that we must resolve this virus together.

That unless COVID is defeated everywhere, it won’t be defeated anywhere.

COVID will ricochet across this country, bouncing from state to state, and the only course forward – in both our state’s self-interest and our collective interest – is to lock arms and to leave this virus no place to spread.

We all know the weapons needed for the war we must wage.

We need unprecedented testing capacity and the supply chain to support it.

We need contact tracing, we need stockpiles of PPE, medicines, supplies and we need an emergency surge capacity.  We need financial support for our beleaguered hospital systems. This nation has seen MERS, SARS, Ebola, Swine Flu and now COVID.

No one can tell us the name of the next virus or bacteria to attack us. But everyone tells us that it’s just a matter of time. Let’s institutionalize what we have learned so we are better prepared for the next invasion and let us design and implement a new public health system for this nation, because we just cannot go through this again.

The COVID challenge goes even further. As we just heard from our Vice Chairman Governor Asa Hutchinson, our schools are facing unprecedented challenges. They must now educate our students and keep them safe from this deadly virus.  It is an entirely new undertaking and they need Federal support. None of this is easy, but all of it is achievable.

At the same time, we must deal with the secondary effects of COVID. It has wreaked havoc on this nation’s economy and you can quantify the damage by adding together the jobs lost, and the deficits, of all of our states.

All major economists agree that without providing financial assistance for state and local governments, the economy will not rebound as quickly as it would otherwise. Fed Chairman Powell, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, economists from all persuasions agree. The NGA is united in telling our Washington colleagues that they must include $500 Billion in unrestricted state funding in the upcoming COVID response legislation.  It is a top NGA priority.

This is also the moment to implement the agenda the NGA developed last year under Governor Hogan’s leadership. This is the moment to invest in infrastructure. We need to reinvigorate the economy and we need to replace aging infrastructure. We have all talked about it for decades. This is the moment to do it. The Federal Government should provide the funds and the states will build it.

And finally, the Federal/State relationship has always been a dynamic tension since it was first embodied in our Constitution by our founding fathers. There are checks and balances and that is as it should be.  But there has never been a moment where state governments have been more instrumental in the lives of the people of this country. State governments are now in the forefront, and it is a new chapter in the governance of this country.

This coming year, states are not only laboratories of democracy – we will also be the engines of economic renewal and the innovators of a new public health system.

There is tremendous possibility in the nation’s recognition of the full potential of state governments. And we are committed to achieving progress, that is the essence of our role as Governors.

As Governors we all know there is no red and blue. All our states are both. We understand that we govern for the red white and blue.

This next year will be challenging for sure, but all battles are hard and ours could not have a more noble or righteous purpose. I’m honored to be standing beside all of you as we lead this nation forward. With that, I conclude the 112th NGA Annual Meeting.

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Rochester man charged after fatal drug overdose in Orleans
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 9:22 am

A Rochester man has been charged after a lengthy investigation into a fatal drug overdose in November 2019, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force is reporting today.

Kashbi C. Sanders

Kashbi C. Sanders, 28, of Charlotte Street in Rochester allegedly sold a lethal combination of heroin and fentanyl in Orleans County.

On Wednesday he was arraigned in Orleans County Court by Judge Sanford Church on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, which are Class B felonies.

Sanders was released on his own recognizance due to the new bail reform laws. He is to appear next in County Court on Aug. 12.

He is currently being held in Monroe County Jail after being charged by the Rochester Police Department on numerous felony weapons charges, including first-degree robbery and second-degree assault in April 2020, the Task Force reported today.

The investigation is the fatal drug overdose is ongoing.

Investigators with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest on Wednesday. The Rochester PD and Monroe County Heroin Task Force assisted in the investigation.

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Orleans Community Health employee tests positive for Covid-19
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 5 August 2020 at 10:09 pm

Worker in Medina didn’t have contact with patients

MEDINA – Personnel at Orleans Community Health have announced a hospital employee has tested positive for Covid-19.

CEO/Administrator Marc Shurtz, North Wing Administrator Sarah Hallifax Bateman and Risk Manager Joanna Miller made the announcement in a press release today, stating the employee was sent home and is currently on mandatory quarantine. The employee was asymptomatic and is the first positive Covid-19 employee case the hospital has had.

Per the Department of Health guidelines, this puts our North Wing residence visitations on hold for 28 days, the press release said.

“At this time we hope to re-open the North Wing to visitors by the end of August,” hospital officials said.

It is noted that the North Wing just recently opened little more than a week ago for visitation, allowing up to two family members to visit a resident for one hour, while wearing a mask and practicing safe distancing.

The hospital added it is important to note that the hospital employee who tested positive did not enter the North Wing  unit, nor did the worker have contact with residents.

When the North Wing unit is reopened for visitors, hospital staff said they expect to follow the same guidelines and schedule that was previously in place, and they will re-share that information as the time approaches.

The hospital’s visitor policy, which became effective March 13, is still in place, and no visitors will be allowed at Medina Hospital or Lake Plains Dialysis centers in Medina and Batavia. Patients will continue to be treated and will complete a health screening upon their arrival. All staff also completes a health screening daily upon their arrival.

“As we have from the start, we continue to be diligent in the safety of Orleans Community Health’s staff, patients and residents,” Shurtz, Bateman and Miller said. “We are proud to have remained Covid-free on the North Wing and will continue to do everything possible to keep our residents safe.”

Anyone wishing to have communication regarding their care or the care of a loved one can contact Shurtz at 798-8101, Bateman at 301-1151 or Miller at 798-8210.

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Orleans and Genesee each report 1 new case of Covid-19
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2020 at 4:23 pm

No one from Orleans currently hospitalized with coronavirus

Orleans and Genesee counties are each reporting one new case of Covid-19 today.

The new case in Orleans is a person in the 50s from Murray. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported. Orleans has now had 280 people test positive for Covid-19.

The county is also reporting one new recovery bringing that total to 122, which doesn’t include residents of nursing homes or other facilities not regulated by the local health department.

Orleans also has 18 new individuals on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

No one from the county is currently hospitalized with Covid-19.

In Genesee, the new case is a person in the 20s from Batavia. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive. Genesee has now had 263 people test positive for Covid-19.

The county also added 16 new individuals to precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One Genesee resident is hospitalized with Covid-19.

• State-wide update: Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said there are 636 new cases of Covid-19 in the state, out of 72,668 tests, a 0.87 percent positive rate.

The state also had four new confirmed deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 25,179.

There are also 564 hospitalizations from Covid-19, which is down by four, and 134 people in ICU, which is down by five.

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16-month-old boy drowns in pool in Barre
Posted 5 August 2020 at 3:51 pm

Press Release, Undersheriff Michael Mele of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office

BARRE – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the tragic death of a 16-month-old child in the Town of Barre.

The Orleans County 911 Center received a call at 11:48 a.m. for the report of a child who had fallen in a pool and was drowning.

The Sheriff’s Office, COVA Ambulance, Barre EMS, and Orleans County Emergency Management Office responded to the scene. Immediately CPR was administered and the boy was transported to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia and CPR was continued for approximately an hour.

The child was unable to be resuscitated. The Sheriff’s Office Investigators unit, Kevin Colonna and Shannon Brett, are handling this investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the New York State Police and Genesee County Coroner’s Office. This incident is still under investigation and at this time no foul play is suspected.

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2 Scouts in Kendall earn their Eagle
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2020 at 2:42 pm

Noah Rath, Brian Shaw helped create the Kendall War Memorial

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Jess Markel, senior district executive for the Iroquois Trail Council, gives two new Eagles Scouts – Noah Rath (left) and Brian Shaw – the Eagle charge after the two earned Scouting’s highest rank. Merkel urged Rath and Shaw to continue to serve others.

Rath and Shaw both just graduated from Kendall. Rath heads to Alfred State College in mid-August to major in business and marketing. Shaw will be joining the U.S. Air Force.

They are members of Troop 94. For their Eagle Scout project, they teamed with two other Eagle Scouts, Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett, to build a war memorial for Kendall. That memorial was dedicated on Sept. 29, 2019.

The Scouts needed to earn at least 20 merit badges as part of the path to become an Eagle. This photo shows some of the 35 badges earned by Noah Rath.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, left, is presented with two framed photos of the memorial, one for his district office in Albion and the other for his office in Albany. Hawley paid for the flag pole at the memorial for the New York State flag.

The scouts include from left: Noah Rath, Brian Shaw, Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett.

Hawley also presented citations and a Boy Scout challenge coin to the two new Eagle Scouts for their work on the project.

“You should be very proud of what’s going on in Scouting here in Kendall,” Hawley said. “This is really what America is all about.”

Rath headed up phase three of the memorial which included the medallions for each five branches of military. Rath also had the electricity set up so the memorial and sidewalk can be lighted up at night, and organized the memorial bricks along the sidewalk.

Brian Shaw coordinated phase four which included final grading and planting of 14 cedar trees behind the memorial, which provides a buffer for the neighbors and also enhances the site. Shaw also led the work for the six plaques on the memorial for the different wars where Kendall soldiers served.

Nadine Hanlon, former president of the Board of Education, is presented with a framed photo. She was a big cheerleader of the project during its early days. The Scouts made their first public presentation about the memorial to the Board of Education, which backed the project. Hanlon was helpful in lining up other support in the community for the memorial.

“She helped drive this project through the town,” said Scoutmaster Ken Spohr, pictured in back.

She attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony on Monday evening at the Kendall Fire Hall in her role as clerk of the Orleans County Legislature. She presented the two new Eagle Scouts with citations from Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, congratulating them on their achievement.

Hanlon said the memorial exceeded her expectations.

“You really gave us a great gift in our community,” Hanlon said.

Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett put the Eagle Scout neckerchief on Brian Shaw.

Noah Rath hugs his mother Katie Spohr, after presenting her with a mentor pin. Shaw presented a mentor pin to his father, Nate Shaw.

Katie Spohr received this surprise from her sons Noah and John Rath. Katie has three sons who became Eagle Scouts. Luke Rath also earned Scouting’s highest rank. He was working at Wegmans on Monday evening.

She is the second mother to have three sons earn Eagle Scout in Kendall. Cathy Schuth’s sons Michael, Nicholas and Matt Schuth also earned their Eagles.

Katie Spohr has been active in the Scouting program for 16 years. She is currently the Troop Committee chairwoman.

“It is just a joy, especially when you see the lightbulbs turn on when they are younger,” she said. “I am so proud of my boys, all of my boys (all of the Scouts in the Troop).”

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Surprise, 600 boxes of produce delivered at fairgrounds
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2020 at 11:56 am

KNOWLESVILLE — A delivery truck showed up this morning with 600 boxes of produce at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. It was a scheduling error.

The truck wasn’t supposed to be there until next Wednesday. The boxes were unloaded and have been up for grabs. There were about 190 boxes left at 11:45 a.m.

Each box has about 25 pounds of vegetables.

The food distribution scheduled for next Wednesday will still go on as planned, beginning at 10 a.m. until the food is gone. There will be 1,200 boxes of produce, and 450 boxes each of meats and dairy.

The fairgrounds also will host a food distribution on Aug. 26.

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Medina will decide on public art in historic district after hearing from public

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Canalligator mural was finished last month by artist Tim Meyers on a building in an alley between Main Street and Proctor Place. The Form Foundation didn’t pursue a certificate of appropriateness for the project until after it was complete.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2020 at 10:11 am

Planning Board acknowledges current regs are ‘vague’ for public art in historic downtown

MEDINA – The Medina Village Board said the current village code for public art is “vague” and makes it difficult to determine whether public art should or shouldn’t be allowed in a historic district.

The board is facing the issue after the Form Foundation, led by local resident Tim Hungerford and his wife Teresa Misiti, applied for certificates of appropriateness for three murals in the historic district. They are also planning for another mural by Julian Montague outside the historic district. That project at the corner of Pearl Street and West Avenue doesn’t need Planning Board approval and is expected to start in about a month. Montague has a following of about 70,000 people on Instagram.

Tim Hungerford presents three murals to the Village Planning Board on Tuesday evening. Hungerford said modern art could turn blighted sections of Medina into assets for the community.

One of the murals in the historic district is already done. Artist Tim Meyers last month completed the “Canalligator” that stretches more than 50 feet. It is mostly on the back of the Celebrity Day Spa, owned by Edee and Bernie Hoffmeister, and also stretches onto property owned by Tom Fenton.

Hungerford and Misiti live almost next door to the mural. They didn’t believe the alley and the cinder-block building were in the historic district and that the mural would require Planning Board approval.

“I apologize for not following the procedures the way we should have,” he told the board.

He said the mural has been popular in the community and among art enthusiasts in Western New York. Many stop by to get photos of themselves with the mural that they post on their social media.

Hungerford and Misiti also put a petition on, urging the Planning Board to support the projects. That petition has more than 1,100 supporters, and about 75 percent are from Medina and other communities nearby.

John Dieter, acting chairman of the Planning Board for Tuesday’s meeting, said the current village zoning doesn’t clearly address how to handle modern art. The Planning Board said Medina needs to update its zoning to address the issue. That could include designating areas for modern art, perhaps the section near the Canalligator on Proctor Place. The zoning could specify no historic building materials be painted on, such as the original Medina sandstone or brick.

“The zoning regulations really don’t have enough meat in it for approval or denial,” Dieter said.

The Form Foundation is proposing this mural behind 428-436 Main Street on the opposite wall of the Canalligator. Chris Piontkowski has proposed this design using local, native species of pollinator flowers.

Here is how the wall looks right now.

The board wants to hear from the community about public art in the historic district. The board will be accepting comments in writing by Aug. 17. There will be a public hearing and special meeting of the Planning Board on Aug. 18 to discuss the issue.

Planning Board member Mary Lewis, owner of a downtown floral business, said she wants the community to have a chance to voice any concerns about the public art. She doesn’t want to rely only on the online petition or “Facebook comments.”

Her floral business used to have its backdoor in the alley with the Canalligator and where some of the murals are proposed. She said added traffic in the alley from visitors could make it difficult for those businesses.

Part of the projects could be promoting where to park and encouraging people to walk to the sites.

John Dieter of the Planning Board said the current regulations don’t address modern art in a historic district.

Dieter said the Planning Board needs to consider what is acceptable in the district based on the zoning and if the project has an impact to other businesses. He said the board doesn’t feel qualified to judge the quality of the art.

That’s why he is in favor of Medina having a Public Arts Commission to review the projects. It would function in a similar way as the Medina Tree Board, where people with that expertise helped plan the village’s urban forest.

For now, the pressing issue is whether the public art can be allowed in the district.

Larissa DeGraw, one of the Planning Board members, said she is in favor of the projects in the alley.

“This is an acceptable place where it doesn’t impede on the architectural features,” she said.

Now of the murals are proposed on a front façade.

“This is out of the way in a blighted place,” she said. “These aren’t historic features that we’re tasked with protecting.”

She thinks the murals are ideally located to get people out exploring another part of Medina near Main Street.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” she said.

Chuck Tingley has proposed this mural – “Fake It Til You Make It” – on the back of 410 Main Street. The mural would go from the floor to the top of the cinder block wall. The mural sends a message of the importance of self-confidence in relation to the pursuit of one’s dreams.

Dieter agreed the concept of public art is good for Medina and will bring a new energy and group of people to the community. However, the board will be setting a standard with how it reviews the three murals proposed in the district.

“We’re not denying there is work to be done,” he said.

The Planning Board voted to ask the Village Board to “vigorously pursue changes to the local law, removing the obligation of the Planning Board to review and render decisions on matters of public art.”

The Planning Board favors the creation of a Public Arts Commission with members having credentials to review public art projects.

Hungerford said the three projects are all paid for and the artists could get started right away. He said the three new murals and the Canalligator would likely stay up for two years before being replaced with new ones.

He urged the board to approve the projects and embrace modern art. He cited a village slogan on signs, “Roots in the Past, Eyes on the Future.” He believes the art doesn’t compromise the historic district at all, and will be a big benefit to the community.

“The question is do we want to clean up banality?” he said. “The point is to brighten up the town in an interesting way that is modern.”

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Nurse retires after nearly 50 years, including past 15 years with GCASA
Posted 5 August 2020 at 8:51 am

Cheryle McCann, who is also an ordained Presbyterian minister, focused on patients’ wellness whether at hospital or addiction clinic

By Mike Pettinella, GCASA Publicist

Guided by an inner conviction greater than herself, Cheryle McCann poured her heart and soul into a career spanning five decades as a registered nurse, with the last 15 of those years serving those with substance use disorders at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Cheryle McCann

McCann, an ordained Presbyterian minister, retired in May, but not before sowing seeds of compassion and care to hundreds of people caught in the anguish of addiction.

“When working with the patients, I figured it was all ministry,” she said. “The 12 steps (to recovery) talks about the spiritual aspect – not religion – along with the emotional and physical. That’s how I looked at it.”

Her kind-hearted manner was not lost on her co-workers.

“It was truly a pleasure to work alongside of Cheryle over the years and I know that she is and will be missed by staff and patients,” said Shannon Murphy, director of outpatient treatment services. “She is quite the force to be reckoned with – small but mighty and incredibly spiritual with a wonderful sense of humor.”

Dr. Bruce Baker, medical consultant at GCASA, said McCann’s contributions were invaluable.

“When I was asked to be the employee physician at St Jerome Hospital, I accepted it without a clue as to what I was supposed to do but, no problem, with Cheryle’s guidance I muddled through,” he said. “When St. Jerome opened the inpatient substance abuse (program), I was asked to replace the original medical director who had reassigned after the unit ‘s first year. Once again, Cheryle was there to mentor me. And when I was asked to come on board at GCASA there was no hesitation, I knew Cheryle was there to mentor me.”

Baker said he learned many lessons from his relationship with McCann, with a team approach at the top of the list.

“What was the most important part of our relationship?” he asked, rhetorically. “I had learned very early in my life the importance of teamwork in any endeavor. Cheryle helped me hone that concept.”

An Attica native, McCann arrived at GCASA in 2005, working out of the Genesee County Department of Social Services doing intakes and health assessments there and also at the clinic on East Main Street.

She later worked in medication-assisted treatment with Dr. Charles King in both the Batavia and Albion clinics, and was GCASA’s opioid treatment coordinator for several years.

“That’s where I would triage people and explain to them what the suboxone program was all about, providing counseling and informing them of the guidelines,” she said. “When New York State instituted a health care coordinator, I did that job and continued with that until last fall. But, no matter what role I was in, the happiness at GCASA remained.”

While employed at GCASA, McCann also worked at St. Jerome Hospital in several capacities over a 36-year career there, including pediatrics, intensive care, emergency room, infection control and in-patient chemical dependency, and performed pastoral work at four churches.

She was pastor of the Holley Presbyterian Church from 2000-2006, and still is an ordained minister.

“For about 20 years, I worked two or three part-time jobs, often working seven days a week,” said McCann, who resides in Stafford with her husband, Ronald. “This allowed me to serve churches that could not afford a full-time minister, and allowed me to continue working in nursing and counseling capacities while doing church ministry.”

McCann worked up to four days a week at GCASA in both in-patient and out-patient treatment.

“I certainly have worked with every drug of choice,” she said. “The one thing that I always thought with the patients who sought care for opiate treatment was ‘your biggest hurdle was crossed; you didn’t have to convince them that they had a problem.’ They came to you saying, ‘I have a problem.’ I really felt that a large percentage of people were there because they really wanted the help.”

She helped with insurance piece, and, worked with Dr. Matthew Fernaays, GCASA medical director, and nursing colleague Barb Worthington to administer vivitrol and suboxone to her patients. She said that most of them were “people who basically were pretty stable – getting stable in their recovery – and we’re starting to make headway.”

She did, however, acknowledge the distressing side of addiction.

“It’s always very painful. In those particular settings there is a lot of death and suffering,” she said. “It’s very difficult to watch that … you lose people to the disease, and that is true with alcohol as well.”

McCann had high praise for Murphy, her supervisor, as well as her co-workers and GCASA, in general.

“Shannon, well I just love her,” she said. “We worked together for a long time and she is wonderful. I can honestly say it was always a pleasure to work in this environment. GCASA is a wonderful organization.”

She said patients at GCASA “are treated with respect and dignity, and the staff is professional and work together as a team.”

“You didn’t have back-biting and you didn’t have gossiping about one another that you may see in other places at times. It was a really positive environment – and all of that starts right at the top. The senior leadership sets the tone for the expectation and how people are to be treated,” she offered.

McCann’s nursing career began in 1973 as a part-time supervisor in the obstetrics unit at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. She was there for four years and then moved to Iowa, working two years in the labor and delivery units at the University of Iowa hospitals and clinics before returning to this area.

She holds an associate’s degree in Nursing from Trocaire College, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Brockport State College and a master’s of Divinity form Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

McCann said she realized it was time to call it a day when Covid-19 hit, and the work schedule of her daughter, Amanda Whitbeck, an employee of Finger Lakes Community College, was disrupted.

“Amanda needed help with child care and with the Covid, we weren’t sure if the college would be open,” she said. “So, when she did have to report, I could watch her two children.”

The McCanns have two other grown daughters – Rachel Obrokta of Williamsville and Kristen Maskell of Manassas, Va. – and five grandchildren, ranging from 14 months to 10 years old.

As she nears her 70th birthday, McCann said she won’t have any problems remaining active. Her hobbies include needle work, Tai Chi, reading, gardening, cooking, travel and language study, and, of course, spending time with the family.

“I’ve studied Spanish, French and Italian, depending on where we are planning to travel next,” she said. “I gave up on Dutch.”

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Hospice, American Legion honor vet in Carlton
Staff Reports Posted 4 August 2020 at 5:22 pm

Photos courtesy of Jeanne Crane

CARLTON – Roy John Follman of Carlton was presented with certificates last week in appreciation for his military service in 1953 and 1954.

The top photo shows George Way, a social worker for Hospice of Orleans, presenting Follman with a framed certificate.

“We pay special tribute to you for you military service to America and for advancing the universal hope of freedom and liberty for all,” the certificate states.

Follman, who is currently under hospice care at his home, attended Alfred State in 1952 and in 1953 entered Basic Training with the U.S. Army and was sent to Fort Drum. After his training he was sent to Iceland and then to guard the Russian border. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and then graduated from Cornell in 1958.

Nancy Traxler, director of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, presents a Certificate of Commendation to Follman from the American Legion. It acknowledges that Roy J. Follman served in the United States Armed Forces “in the name of Freedom and Democracy, and for courageously protecting our Liberty and Independence.”

John spent most of his life working for farmers and retired in the early 2000s to tend to his own garden, especially his rhubarb. Close to 800 pounds of rhubarb were harvested this year with help from his family.

John and Dorothy were married at Thanksgiving time in 1954 and raised four boys. Many of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren live close to home.

Roy John Follman is pictured in 2016 with some of his rhubarb.

Follman was presented with these certificates from the American Legion and Hospice of Orleans.

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