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Governor urges people to get flu vaccination
Posted 16 October 2018 at 8:05 am

23,377 were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses last flu season

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is reminding all New Yorkers to get a flu shot during the upcoming flu season, which generally begins in October and runs through May.

During last year’s flu season, there were 23,377 flu-related hospitalizations and 6 pediatric deaths in New York. Over the last four years, there have been a total of 25 pediatric flu deaths in New York State.

“Getting a flu shot still remains the best way to stay healthy during this season,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is critical for all New Yorkers, especially older adults, young children and pregnant women, to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to take other necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus in New York.”

In January 2018, Governor Cuomo signed an emergency executive order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18 during the 2018 flu season. Following the signing of the emergency executive order, pharmacists vaccinated approximately 9,000 individuals ages 2 to 18 against the flu. Subsequently, the governor passed legislation codifying this order into law. Cuomo urges New Yorkers to take advantage of the expanded access and get vaccinated.

A statewide public service advertising campaign launched this week to further remind New Yorkers to get vaccinated. The Department of Health, Office of Children and Family Services, State Office for the Aging and State Education Department will coordinate efforts to target educational materials to those most at risk, including children, pregnant woman and older adults. Additionally, the State Department of Health is providing access to flu educational materials that can be printed and posted to help raise awareness.

The Office of Children and Family Services makes education materials available to all State-licensed child care providers and all State-funded after-school providers about the importance of the flu vaccine. As required by law, all schools and child care programs must have information about the vaccination clearly posted.

To receive a flu shot, people should contact their local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting their local health department.

The flu can cause severe illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with the flu may have respiratory symptoms without a fever. CDC recommends that people who are very sick or people who are sick and at high risk of serious flu complications be treated early with flu antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs work best when started within two days of symptoms first appearing. There are currently no shortages of antiviral drugs, and manufacturers report they expect to meet projected seasonal demands.

“Prevention remains the most effective method to stop the spread of the flu,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, NYS Department of Health commissioner. “Even people who are healthy, if unvaccinated, can easily spread the flu virus to family members, friends or co-workers.”

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Lots of creativity with scarecrows on Main Street in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 10:22 pm

ALBION – There are about 40 scarecrows on Main Street this month, including this one of Pennywise, a character in the horror movie It. Pennywise has been moving to different spots on Main Street.

Energize Albion organized the scarecrow event, with many constructed on Oct. 6 during a fall festival in downtown Albion.

There are prizes for scariest, funniest and most original scarecrows. Ballots to vote are available at Krantz Furniture and the Uptown and Downtown Browsery. Winners will be announced during Beggars’ Night on Friday, Oct. 26

Here is sampling of some of the scarecrows:

Felonius Gru and a Minion from Despicable Me

Cousin Itt and Thing

Mayor Sparkles

Lady Justice


Darth Vader

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4 state legislators raise health concerns over turbine project
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 7:14 pm

‘I’m glad to see some state representatives are going into the state mix and are willing to fight for us.’ – Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon

YATES – Four state legislators have sent a letter to members of the Siting Board that will review Lighthouse Wind and determine if the 47-turbine project is approved in Yates and Somerset.

Apex Wind Energy is proposing the nearly 200 megawatt project with the power to be generated by turbines that are almost 600 feet tall.

“We all support green energy, but making sure all public health issues are thoroughly investigated and vetted by the appropriate agencies needs to be a critical component of the permitting process,” according to the Oct. 2 letter signed by State Sen. Robert Ortt of North Tonawanda, and State Assembly members Steve Hawley of Batavia, Angelo Morinello of Niagara Falls and Michael Norris of Lockport.

Ortt’s, Hawley’s and Norris’s districts all include part of the project area for Lighthouse Wind with Morello’s district close by.

The legislators say the project hasn’t been embraced by many in the community.

“The local opposition to this is intense,” they wrote to the board members.

In addition to the County Legislature in both Niagara and Orleans counties opposing the project (as well as the Erie County Legislature for concerns the turbines could jeopardize the future of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station), the state legislators note the POWER Coalition has formed with the goal of Protecting (Lake) Ontario’s Waterfront, Environment and Resources. The legislators say the group is made up of 13 environmental, tourism, economic development, hunting, fishing and birding groups.

“Recently, new concerns relating to public have emerged,” the legislators wrote in their letter.

They cited the push from the Western New York Health Alliance to have a baseline health study done before there are any permits issued for the project. The WNYHA includes the health commissioners from the eight WNY counties.

“The issue of primary concern to these public health agencies revolves around the detrimental health impacts from ‘infrasound’ that emanates from large-scale industrial turbines.”

Infrasound is low-frequency noise that often is inaudible

Th new Article 10 process gives the decision-making in approving a project to a seven-member state siting board, with two local representatives and five state officials.

“Since the Article 10 law is still in its infancy, the Lighthouse Wind project gives the Board an opportunity to set an important precedent: that the health impact of any proposed generation station will be thoroughly studied before a project is approved,” the legislators wrote. “Setting this precedent benefits not only the residents of Niagara and Orleans counties, but also residents across the state who might be impacted by a future Article 10 project.”

Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon said he appreciated the legislators going on the record with their letter, and raising the issues for a baseline study and the concern about infrasound.

“I’m glad to see some state representatives are going into the state mix and are willing to fight for us,” Simon said at last Thursday’s Town Board meeting.

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Canal closes for the boating season
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 3:56 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The canal bridge on Gaines Basin Road in Albion is pictured on Sunday. The canal closed to boaters last Wednesday.

This was the 194th season on the canal. The Canal Corporation waived tolls again this year for recreational vessels as the state continues to commemorate 200 years of Erie Canal history. The Erie Canal was under construction from 1817 to 1825.

The Canal Corp. also waived the tolls last year. Those tolls are normally $25 to $100 for a season pass, depending on the size of the vessel.

This year also marked the 100th anniversary of the Barge Canal, when the expansion of the Erie Canal was complete in 1918.

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59 get shots at ‘Boo to the Flu!’
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 1:14 pm

Photos courtesy of Orleans Community Health

ALBION – Orleans Community Health held a flu shot clinic on Oct. 8 at the Albion healthcare center at the corner of Route 31 and Butts Road. There were 59 children vaccinated. These four are pictured with Jessica Downey, a health educator with Community Partners at Orleans Community Health.

Orleans Community Health teamed with the Albion Rotary Club for the clinic – “Say Boo to the Flu!”

The Rotary Club donated to Leon’s Fund, which was established as a non-profit organization in memory of Leon Sidari (pictured above), who was 4 ½ when he died on Christmas 2017, two days after getting the flu. Leon is the son of Albion natives Laura (Lyman) Sidari and Tony Sidari. They are both medical doctors who were based in San Antonio for six years before recently moving to Dayton, Ohio.

Leon is the grandson of Nathan Lyman, a long-time Albion Rotarian who now lives in Ithaca.

This youngster was one of the 59 to be vaccinated.

Orleans Community Health is planning more outreach and education events about the importance of getting flu shots.

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Medina elementary students explore fire safety trailer
Posted 15 October 2018 at 11:45 am

Provided photo: Oak Orchard Elementary School Principal Julie Webber and Mrs. Lehman’s third grade class are pictured with Medina firefighters Steve Miller, Joe Simmons and Matt Jackson.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department recently spent some time at Oak Orchard Elementary School talking to students about fire safety and allowing them to explore the Orleans County’s Emergency Management Office’s fire safety training trailer.

The 35-foot-long trailer is available to all 12 fire departments in the county and was paid for with a $75,000 state grant from State Sen. Robert Ortt. The trailer is used to help children and families develop a fire escape plan.

“We were lucky enough to have the trailer for the whole week,” says Oak Orchard Principal Julie Webber. “We like to get the community into the school as much as possible and this lets the children know that the fire department is here to help them. Our students, grades first, second and third got to visit the trailer. Pre-K and kindergarten had a traditional fire safety talk in the classroom. It was very cool. They practiced crawling on the floor to exit the trailer. It’s a real-life experience for them. They also got to practice calling 911.”

The trailer is set up with a kitchen area, hallway and a bedroom. The firefighters talked about how to handle pots and pans on the stove and kitchen fires. They also discussed the importance of touching the doors to see if they are warm before opening them.

“We had the trailer the week before Fire Prevention Week to showcase this to the school,” said firefighter and paramedic Steve Miller. “We pumped fog into the trailer to simulate smoke and we talked to the students about having two ways out of their home. We also talked about the importance of changing your batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year and overall fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency.”

One of the features of the trailer is that the doors can be controlled to get warm to the touch from built-in heating elements. There is a window at the back of the trailer with a ladder that the students practiced getting out of.

“We tell them when there is smoke you want to get nice and low because smoke rises,” Miller said. “We explained the importance of when they get outside to have a meeting place for their family so everyone can be accounted for. Our purpose is to provide fire safety tips to the children and make it fun for them. It’s a great tool for us to use.”

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Soccer sectionals begin on busy Tuesday
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 October 2018 at 10:54 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Paige McDonald (7) and her Lyndonville/Medina teammates will open Section V Class B1 playoff competition against Geneva at Kendall at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Nine area teams will be in action as sectional soccer competition begins on Tuesday.

The first year merged Lyndonville/Medina girls team will make its Section V Class B1 debut as the No. 8 seed Lady Tigers (5-11) face No. 9 Geneva (1-15) at Kendall lat 6 p.m. The victor will then take on top seeded Hornell in the quarterfinals on Friday.

In a Section V Class C1 opener No. 4 Holley (8-5-3) will face No. 13 Cuba-Rushford (1-14) at Caledonia-Mumford at 5 p.m.

In boys Section VI Class B1 openers No. 6 Albion will host No. 11 Dunkirk at 6 p.m., No. 10 Medina/Lyndonville will visit No. 7 City Honors at 3:30 p.m. and No. 8 Newfane will host No. 9 Alden also at 3:30 p.m.

The local boys Section VI Class B2 openers will have No. 7 Roy-Hart hosting No. 10 Eden at 6:30 p.m., No. 9 Akron visiting No. 8 DaVinci at 3:30 p.m. and No. 4 Wilson traveling to No. 13 Burgard also at 3:30 p.m.

In a Section V Class D1 boys opener No. 10 Kendall will face No. 7 Alfred-Almond at Perry at 6:30 p.m.

The Niagara-Orleans League field hockey champion will be decided on Tuesday as the co-leaders clash in the regular season finale when Barker (10-1) hosts Roy-Hart (10-1) at 4:45 p.m.

Likewise the N-O volleyball title will be decided on Tuesday with a clash of co-leaders as Roy-Hart (8-1) hosts defending champion Akron (8-1) at 6:30 p.m.

The N-O cross-country regular season will conclude Tuesday with a big tri-meet as Akron and Wilson visit Newfane. The Wilson and Newfane boys are both 4-0 as are both the Akron and Newfane girls.

Postseason football action gets underway this week as Albion hosts Lackawanna in a Section VI Class B quarterfinal game at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Medina/Lyndonville/Barker takes on Burgard in a Class B Consolation Bowl semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday at Riverside.

Weekly Schedule
Volleyball: Kendall at RAC, 4:30 p.m.; Lyndonville at Northstar, 5 p.m.
Field Hockey: Buffalo Seminary at Medina, 5 p.m.

Boys Soccer: Medina,Lyndonville at City Honors, Alden at Newfane, Akron at DaVinci, Burgard at Wilson, 3:30 p.m. Kendall vs. Alfred-Almond at Perry, Dunkirk at Abion, Eden at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer: Holley vs. Cuba-Rushford, 5 p.m. at Cal-Mum; Lyndonville/Medina vs. Geneva, 6 p.m. at Kendall
Field Hockey: Roy-Hart at Barker, Medina at Wilson, Newfane at Kenmore, 4:45 p.m.
Cross-Country: Medina and Roy-Hart at Barker, Akron and Wilson at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
Girls Volleyball: Medina at Albion, Akron at Roy-Hart, Wilson at Newfane, Lyndonville at Oakfield/Alabama/Elba, Holley at Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer: North Rose-Wolcott at Holley, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer: Barker at Holland, Wilson at Akron, Newfane at Tonawanda, 3:30 p.m.; Eden at Roy-Hart, 6 p.m.
Field Hockey: Buffalo Seminary at Roy-hart, 5 p.m.
Girls Volleyball: Rochester Prep at Kendall, 5 p.m.; Tapestry at Medina, Pavilion at Holley, 6:30 p.m.

Football: Medina vs. Burgard, 6 p.m. at Riverside
Girls Volleyball: RAC at Holley, 4:30 .m.; Alexander at Kendall, Lyndonville at Wilson, 6:30 p.m.

Football: Holley at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 7 p.m.; Lackawanna at Albion, 7:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer: Springville at Albion, 5:30 p.m.
Girls Volleyball: Northstar at Kendall, 5 p.m.; Wilson at Medina, Albion at Pembroke, 6:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer: Alfred-Almond at Kendall, 6 p.m.

N-O Standings
Field Hockey: Barker 10-1, Roy-Hart 10-1, Akron 8-4, Medina 6-5, Wilson 4-7, Kenmore 1-10, Newfane 0-11
Volleyball: Akron 8-1, Roy-Hart 8-1, Wilson 4-4, Medina 3-5, Albion 2-7, Newfane 1-8
Boys Cross-Country: Newfane 4-0, Wilson 4-0, Akron 3-1, Barker 2-2, Medina 1-3, Roy-Hart 1-3, Albion 0-6
Girls Cross-Country: Akron 4-0, Newfane 4-0, Albion 3-3, Barker 2-2, Medina 1-3, Roy-Hart 1-3, Wilson 0-4

LynOaken, Chamber’s Agricultural Business of the Year, continues to diversify and make upgrades

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Wendy Oakes Wilson and her brother Darrel Oakes stand next to the tractor which takes wagons full of visitors through the orchards and vineyard at LynOaken on the Ridge. The family farm will be honored by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce as Agricultural Business of the Year at the annual awards dinner Thursday night at White Birch Golf Club.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 15 October 2018 at 10:21 am

MEDINA – Darrel Oakes and his sister Wendy Oakes Wilson are the third generation to operate the family farm started by their grandfather Leonard Oakes in 1919.

On Thursday evening, LynOaken Farms will be honored as the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business of the Year.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Chris Oakes, orchard manager at LynOaken Farms and the fourth generation to work on the farm, holds a Redfield apple, a variety that was developed in 1938. The apple has a red flesh and pink seeds. It’s one of the heirloom varieties in a U-Pick orchard at the farm.

The award is not only a tremendous honor, but a perfect preview of the events leading up to celebration of LynOaken Farms 100th anniversary next year, Wilson said.

“We don’t know who nominated us for the award, but we were pleasantly shocked and honored,” Wilson said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Leonard Oakes had just gotten certified in poultry service from Cornell when he purchased land at the corner of Alps and Platten roads in the town of Yates.

“There were apple trees on it, but he wanted to raise chickens,” Wilson said. “He also had row crops, tart cherries and cucumbers.”

When Leonard died in 1951, his son James and new wife Wanda came back from Purdue to run the farm.

“Wanda was just pregnant with Darrel at the time,” Wilson said. “Our father was not into raising livestock and poultry, but was more interested in fruit, so he started planting cherries, apples and peaches.”

James ran the farm until the early 1980s, when Darrel took over.

Wilson at the time was still a teenager. She graduated from high school and went to the University of Michigan, intending to pursue a career in international business. She spent a year in Brazil and a year in Spain as an exchange student.

When Darrel offered her a position on the farm as treasurer and head of sales, she accepted.

Wendy Oakes Wilson pours a glass of wine in the wine tasting room at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, 10609 Ridge Rd., Medina. LynOaken Farms, run by the Oakes family, has been named Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business of the Year.

She is to first to admit she does not have a green thumb and the only thing she has been able to nourish is her husband and son.

“I’m the first employee who is not responsible for anything in the orchards,” she said. “But what I brought to the table was experience in business and accounting, and the ability to sell.”

In addition to the home farm in Lyndonville, the Oakes branched out to Ridge Road, Medina, where they opened a market and gift shop. Since Wilson joined her brother, they have a presence in 90 different locations in Western and Central New York where they sell apples and peaches.

File photo: Jonathan Oakes, the wine maker at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, serves up some Steampunk Cider from the tasting room in August 2014 during the annual Steampunk Festival at the winery. Oakes dressed up for the festival.

In 2004, they built a controlled atmosphere storage; in 2008 they planted a heritage U-pick orchard with 300 varieties and started a winery; in 2013, they began picking in the heritage orchard and added a pavilion to the property.

This year they have built a new packing facility, which will be up and running in a few weeks and will allow Oakes to do six times more what they currently do, Wilson said. It will also allow them to facilitate the promotion of private label to retailers and to sort peaches on that line as well.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery will also be operating a new tasting room, called Bar Cultivar, at the Barrel Factory in Buffalo’s Old First Ward.

The Oakes are not content to rest on their laurels, and are talking about expanding the U-pick orchards and remodeling, expanding and repurposing the existing retail building to take advantage of new opportunities, Wilson said.

From Leonard Oakes’ one-main operation in 1919, the family operation grew to seven full-time employees in 2001 and 28 full-time year-round now. Eighty-nine are currently employed during the peak harvest.

The fourth generation of Oakes are heavily involved in the business.

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Sheriff donates $1,000 towards transportation for Arc self advocates
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 9:39 am

Provided photo

Sheriff Randy Bower donated $1,000 on Sunday to the Self Advocate All Stars in Orleans County. The group includes people served by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.

Bower held a fundraiser on Aug. 22 at Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Holley. Several musicians performed for the Sheriff’s Posse All-Star Band, incuding The Who Dats & Triple Play Band, Trellis Cooper, Kevin Colonna, Gary Withey, Gary & Ronda Smith, Russ Peters, John Braun, Gwen Ferchen and Greg Martillotta.

Bower said transportation has been a challenge for the Self Advocate All Stars, especially on weekends and on off hours outside the regular schedule of RTS Orleans. The $1,000 can be used to hire a local taxi or other transportation providers.

Bower made the donation on Sunday to the Self Advocate All Stars and was joined by many of the musicians at 16 E. Bank St., the former grammar school now used as senior apartments and for Meals on Wheels/Nutrifare,

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Blissett’s owner in Medina honored for lifetime achievement by Chamber

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Blissett’s has expanded under the ownership of Jaye Sullivan, who will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 15 October 2018 at 9:08 am

‘That’s how a small business survives – by adapting to changing times. The biggest challenge has been competing with the big box stores.’ – Jaye Sullivan

MEDINA – Jaye Sullivan can’t remember in her lifetime when there was ever nothing to do.

Sullivan is the third generation of her family to own Blissett’s Specialty Shop in Medina.

On Thursday night, Sullivan will be honored by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce as recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Blissett’s was started in 1941 by Sullivan’s grandparents, Chester and Beatrice Blissett, who opened their first store in Albion.

Around 1950, they opened a second store in Medina, Blissett’s Children’s Shop, in space they rented in the S.A. Cook Building.

After experiencing a serious accident, the Blissetts closed the Albion store.

Their daughter Glenyce Stilwell bought the business in the 1970s, and the family all worked there, Sullivan said.

“From the time we were little – even as young as 3, we were in the store,” Sullivan said. “We also had a working farm. There was never not anything to do.”

Bridal wear for the entire party can be found at Blissett’s in Medina, in addition to First Communion dresses. Owner Jaye Sullivan, shown here with a selection of children’s gowns, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce at its awards dinner Thursday night. The store was started by her grandparents 77 years ago.

She grew up in a three-generation house, where she helped hoe acres and acres of cabbage and helped to tend 200 pigs.

“We would come to the store every day after school,” Sullivan said. “I count myself lucky being able to work and play with my family.”

“When a grandmother comes in to buy a gift for her grandchild in California, I realize how lucky I was to grow up with my grandparents,” she said.

Sullivan’s sisters, Jackie and Jan, worked in the store while growing up, but chose other careers.

Jan was involved in the store until their mother purchased the building at the corner of Main and East Center Street in 1996 and moved Blissett’s there.

After Sullivan graduated from high school in 1971, she moved to California, then returned to Rochester to work at Sibley’s for a year and a half. In 1983, she married Tim Sullivan, and they have a daughter Mackenzie Smith and grandson Jack, 3.

“If Jack ends up helping me here, he will be the fifth generation,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan took over the store in 2004. She said she gradually had to adapt the business from a children’s store, starting 30 years ago with a small selection of bridal wear. She began added more specialty items, such as christening and prom dresses.

“That’s how a small business survives – by adapting to changing times,” Sullivan said. “The biggest challenge has been competing with the big box stores.”

Sullivan is thrilled to be honored by the Chamber, because she said her grandparents would be so proud.

“My mother also loved this store more than life itself,” she said, a little of which may have just rubbed off on her.

Sullivan has served her community, as a member of the school board and an officer in the Medina Business Association for years and years. She is still a member of the Decorate Medina Committee.

“I’m very grateful to this community and the customers we’ve had through the years – from Buffalo, Syracuse and even Ohio,” Sullivan said. “I’m honored to be chosen for this award, and I will accept it for my grandmother and my mother.”

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Hochul feels Democratic wave on Nov. 6

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul meets with Orleans County Democrats on Saturday evening during their fall rally at the Elks Club. About 60 people attended the event. She is shown visiting Jim Renfrew and his wife, Robin Dunnington, who hosted one of the first candidate parties in their Clarendon home for Hochul in 2011. Those grass roots events helped her to get elected, despite a strong Republican advantage in the district.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2018 at 10:03 pm

ALBION – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said Nov. 6 will be a big day for Democrats in the state, and locally a candidate for Congress may do what many thought was impossible only a few months ago.

Nate McMurray may topple Chris Collins in the 27th Congressional District, which is the most Republican-leaning district in the state.

“Lightning will strike twice and we’ll send another Democrat to Washington,” Hochul said Saturday during the Orleans County Fall Democrat Rally.

Hochul pulled off an upset when she was elected to Congress for the District in 2011. But redistricting added more Republicans and she lost a close re-election to Chris Collins in 2012.

Orleans County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jeanne Crane touts the candidacies of Joyce Riley, left, for Gaines Town Board and Kathy Hochul for lieutenant governor. Crane called Hochul, “a Western New York gal.”

Now McMurray, the Grand Island town supervisor, is in a neck-and-neck battle with Collins, according to polling data.

Hochul said more Democrats are energized this election, and more Republicans are reluctant to support Collins, who is under federal indictment for insider trading.

Kathy Hochul said support from Upstate New York was critical in her winning a Democratic Primary last month.

There was a bigger turnout statewide in the primary last month, compared to four years ago when many of the statewide offices were on the ballot. In Orleans County, for example, Hochul received 605 votes for lieutenant governor on Sept. 13 versus the 197 for Jumane Williams.

Four years earlier, when she first ran for lieutenant governor, the turnout was much smaller. She received 297 votes to Timothy Wu’s 103.

This election Democrats are more engaged, and more determined to vote, Hochul said.

“I expect a Democratic surge,” she said. “You can see it and feel it, and I’m embracing it.”

She praised the Democrats state-wide candidates, which include Andrew Cuomo for governor, Tom DiNapoli for comptroller, Letitia James for attorney general and Kirsten Gellibrand for U.S. senator.

The Democrats’ top priorities are investments in jobs, healthcare and education, Hochul said.

She praised the 60 people at the Democrats Fally Rally. She said it isn’t easy to be a Democrat and in Republican-dominated county.

“These are the Democrats I admire the most,” she said. “These are the ones who are most passionate about Democratic values. I admire you for having the courage to step up and say, ‘I’m a Democrat.’”

Joe DiPasquale of Lockport also addressed the crowd on Saturday. DiPasquale is challenging Michael Norris in the 144th Assembly District, which includes Shelby in Orleans County and parts of Erie and Niagara counties.

Joe DiPasquale wants the state to invest more in public education and protecting the environment.

DiPasquale said he will make the environment and more resources in public education his priorities. He worries about high cancer rates locally, and wants Niagara County to stop accepting toxic trash from outside the area.

He sees tourism as an economic driver, especially with the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, which opened in 1825.

“The Erie Canal turns 200 in seven years,” he said. “Are we ready?”

Jeannette Riley also asked for support in her campaign for the Gaines Town Board against Corey Black.

Riley said she looks forward to being part of a team to bring down taxes and make homes more affordable.

“Nothing is going to get done by one person alone,” she said. “We need each other. This is my community, and I want to make it a safer place. I want to make it a more welcoming place.”

Riley acknowledged it’s difficult for local Democrats to feel part of the local political process.

“Right now many of us feel unheard and unattended,” she said. “They only way to change that is to get out and vote.”

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Another 1st place for Medina band, with state competition 2 weeks away
Posted 14 October 2018 at 1:44 pm

Courtesy of Medina Marching Band

The Victor Marching Band hosted a competition on Saturday with 11 bands performing on a chilly but dry night.

In SS1 Medina earned 1st place with a score of 84.45 followed by East Irondequoit in second with 81.50.

Other winners were Marcus Whitman in SS3 with 68.50; Hilton in LS3 with 74.50; Webster in LS2 with 79.85 and Cicero-North Syracuse in the National class with 89.50.

Medina will next perform on Oct. 20 at Orchard Park.

The state championships at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse will be on Sunday, Oct. 28. There is still time to get a seat on the spectator bus by contacting Jim Steele at 585-317-9389.

For true marching band enthusiasts there will be 53 bands performing in 6 divisions starting at 8 a.m. Medina performs in SS1 at 6:54 p.m.

The other divisions are SS3 starting at 8 a.m., SS2 at 10:15 a.m., LS3 at 1 p.m., LS2 at 2:50 p.m., SS1 at 6:15 p.m. and National at 8:10 p.m. As an added treat the University of Buffalo performs in exhibition at 5 p.m. and the Syracuse University at 9:54 p.m.

Tickets for the Dome are available at the door for $19 for adults and $13 for Seniors and children 12 years and under. Parking is $10. There is a new Dome policy which prohibits backpacks or purses. Only allowed bags are clear plastic vinyl and cannot exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ or you can use a gallon plastic bag. Additional info can be obtained at

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Albion is No. 1 seed for Class B sectionals
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 October 2018 at 12:50 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion running back Ugene Harrison and his Purple Eagle teammates have earned the No.1 seed for the upcoming Section VI Class B playoffs.

Emerging on top in a tight three-way battle between undefeated division champions, Albion has earned the No. 1 seed for the Section VI Class B football playoffs which begins next weekend.

Albion, which captured the B2 title with a 5-0 record (7-0 overall) took the top spot by earning an average of 18.8 power points in division games (out of a maximum 20 points per game) to edge out  B3 champion Fredonia (6-0, 7-0) which averaged 18.1 and B1 champ Pioneer (6-0, 7-0)  which averaged 17.8.

Albion will host No. 8 Lackawanna (4-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals. The contest will be a rematch of an early season B2 contest which saw the Purple Eagles down the Steelers 43-8.

Friday’s other quarterfinals will have No. 7 Maryvale at No. 2 Fredonia, No. 6 Olean at No. 3 Pioneer and No. 5 Dunkirk at No. 4 Cheektowaga.

In the semifinals of the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Consolation Bowl No. 11 Medina/Lyndonville/Barker will face No. 10 Burgard at 6 p.m. Thursday at Riverside Field in Buffalo. The other semi will have No. 12 Iroquois at No. 9 Newfane at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Walk raises about $20K to end Alzheimer’s
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2018 at 9:56 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – More than 100 people walked 2 miles on Saturday, including a stretch along the Erie Canal, to raise funds to support people battling Alzheimer’s.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s returned to Medina on Saturday. Last year the walk was in Lewiston. The event was expected to raise $20,000 for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, said Lynn Westcott, the director of development for the Western New York Chapter.

The money funds programs in Orleans County, including support groups, care consultations, educational programs and a help line (1-800-272-3900).

For more on the WNY chapter, click here.

Some of the walkers pass the canal bridge by State Street Park and head to the towpath by the Erie Canal.

Signs at the park offer stark statistics about the disease.

Randy Bushover, right, served as emcee of the kickoff rally at State Street Park.

This group heads up Route 31 to State Street Park to conclude the walk.

Sienna Garcia Mathewson of Albion carries a purple flower which signifies she has a lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s.

The different colors of the flowers have different meanings. Blue flowers represent a person battling the disease. Purple is for a person who lost their battle with the disease. Yellow signifies a caregiver. Orange is for a general supporter of the cause. Personal messages were written on the flowers.

Mary Lou Tuohey hugs her daughter Nicole after Nicole cut the ribbon to kick off the walk. Nicole sold about 1,500 paper links at $1 each to create a chain for the starting line. Nicole raised money through her mother Mary Lou’s business, Case-Nic Cookies in Medina. They sold elephant cookies that added a new link to the chain. Nicole raised the money in memory of her grandma and grandpa.

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Medina Lions Club, Forrestel Farms team up for scarecrow festival
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2018 at 8:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Isabel Casewell, 12, of Medina makes a scarecrow on Saturday at Forrestel Farms, which hosted the scarecrow festival. The Medina Lions Club organized the event. For the first time in 10 years, the event was hosted by Forrestel.

The new venue allowed the Lions to offer more activities and games, and for participants to also tour the horse farm and see other animals.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company served chicken barbecue dinners. Other agencies were part of the event, including the United Methodist Church at the food booth, Boy Scouts, the Sheriff’s Department offering child IDs, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and GCASA.

Chance Sochia, 11, of Medina works on his scarecrow.

Pete Kaiser of the Lions Club helped with the assembly of many of the scarecrows.

Many of the clothes come from the MAAC Thrift Shop.

Students in Medina High School art classes painted the faces on the scarecrow heads. Iroquois Job Corps students made the stakes for the bodies, with the wood for the stakes is donated by Matt Mundion.

A scarecrow is put together on one of the operating tables.

Skye Rotoli, 15, of Medina welcomed the public to meet this llama named Peaches.

Kim Smith of Barre had many baked goods available at the festival. She has a commercial kitchen out of her home on Eagle Harbor Road.

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