Friday, October 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, American Legion, veterans, VA benefits.

Although the Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system is oftentimes criticized, Western New York (WNY) veterans seem pretty happy with their care.

“Overall, in Western New York there is a 98-percent satisfactory rate,” said Veteran Services Assistant Director Christ Reynolds. “Town Hall meetings such as this one are needed to address any issues. If nobody expresses concerns – nobody is going to hear them.”

About a dozen people attended a recent Town Hall-type meeting at the American Legion Walter Klein Post 532, 89 Liberty St., Warsaw. The meeting offered a chance for veterans to voice their questions and concerns about healthcare or other veteran benefits. Facilitating the event was Veterans Task Force Western Region Vice Chairman Lynda A. Pixley.

“We want to hear from the veterans to make their experience with the VA better and help facilitate their care,” Pixley said.

Although the Community-based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) located at Wyoming County Community Hospital has been closed since 2012, it continues to have a negative impact on veterans. 

Approximately 971 veterans from Wyoming, and Allegany to Livingston counties relied on the services at the CBOC. Although limited in services, areas with CBOCs include Springville, Jamestown, Lackawanna, Rochester, Canandaigua and Bath. Currently, VA hospitals are located in Buffalo, Batavia, Canandaigua and Bath.

For most veterans in Wyoming County, any VA facility is 40 or more miles away, which may qualify the person for the Veterans Choice Program. In addition to distance, if a patient has to wait more than 30 days for an appointment, they may also qualify. Although it is a temporary program, you can find providers by visiting

It is very important for veterans to know that if they are enrolled in VA healthcare but have never been seen by a primary care doctor (PCP) they are not “connected,” Veteran Services officials say. 

“If something drastic happened and they needed the VA, they would not be able to simply walk in,” Reynolds said. “You must be seen at least one time (by a PCP). For example, there was a veteran who retired from the military and then went on to work for the VA and retired from there. You would think that he could go right into a VA facility when he was stricken with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)? Wrong.

“The Veteran was enrolled, but never seen by a primary care doctor. That Veteran died from ALS before being admitted to a VA facility.” 

Reynolds also reminded veterans of the Millennium Act.

“If you are in an emergency situation and need treatment from the nearest hospital, you have 24 hours to notify the VA of the care. Be aware that it has to be from medical personnel to medical personnel.”

Officials recommend veterans make a notation of the VA facility they go to in a cell phone, or as an emergency contact on hospital paperwork. It will help ensure the VA knows a member has been treated for emergency services. Additionally, listing VA information under ICE (In Case of Emergency) in the contacts of a cell phone will let emergency responders know you are eligible for veterans' benefits. Keeping a list of medications on a cell phone or in a wallet is also recommended. 

Other issues veterans were concerned about included:

    • The VA canceling and rescheduling an appointment for two months later. Oftentimes veterans rely on these appointments for monthly prescription refills. Additionally, veterans have often received cancellation letters after the scheduled appointment.

Currently, the Batavia facility is making personnel changes and it is having an impact on services, officials say.

    • Calling a non-local source for referrals to specialists participating in VA healthcare. One veteran was told he would have to call the providers himself to find a participating physician, because they “weren’t familiar with the local doctors.” 

Veterans with computer and WiFi access can get help partnering with their healthcare team by visiting My Healthevet. On the site, there is also a “Blue Button” feature that allows the veteran access to their personal information. 

Registration for the service is free and have a copy of your DD214 handy. If you move, not only will you will have to reregister for online access, you will have to go to the local clinic and change your information.

“Let people know if you are having an issue with care,” said Warsaw Village Mayor Joe Robinson. “The feedback is important to make the necessary changes.”

Pixley recommended veterans look toward their future when looking into VA health benefits.

“See what you may qualify for now and plan as best you can for things you may be eligible for later on," Pixley said. “The VA will be holding more town hall meetings in the near future. There is also the patient advocate; let them know you need help. They will help guide you through the process from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.' ”

“The VA has come a long way. I see lots of older Vets that refuse to go to a VA because how ‘it used to be’ – things have changed,” Reynolds said.

For more information on veterans benefits call Veterans Services at (585) 786-8860 or email Reynolds at

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Warsaw, Genesee Falls, drugs.

Members of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force have recently arrested three people for alleged drug sales in the county.

        Lynda Brown

Lynda Brown, 55, formerly of Warsaw, was charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

She is accused of selling oxycodone on two occasions in the Village of Warsaw in May 2014.

Brown was picked up in Baltimore, Md., and extradited back to New York nearly two years after she had fled the state, officials say. 

She was put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

      Patrick Wheeler

Patrick Wheeler, 27, of Dansville, was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. 

He is accused of selling oxycodone to an undercover officer earlier this year in the Village of Warsaw. 

He is currently free after posting bail.

      Zackery Conklin

Zackery Conklin, 29, of Genesee Falls, was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. 

He is accused of selling Suboxone to an undercover agent in Genesee Falls earlier this year.

He is currently jailed in the Wyoming County Jail from another incident.

The Task Force includes members from the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Arcade, Attica, Perry and Warsaw police departments. 

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 11:34 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, death, military, veteran, Attica, Army.


Photo courtesy of Laura Friend Photography.

A Detail Team from Fort Drum, Jefferson County, provided the “dignified transfer” for Staff Sgt. Thomas P. Seiler at Buffalo Niagara International Airport Thursday (Oct. 20). Seiler died Wednesday in Fort Bragg, NC.

The Attica native was escorted home by Southwest Airlines, and his Sgt. Maj. Conlon. Conlon had requested the duty saying “He was my soldier, and I wanted to be the one to escort him home.”

Seiler was born March 1, 1968 in Buffalo, to Raymond, and the late Marjorie Ann (O’Donnell) Seiler. He graduated from Attica High School and later joined the Army, serving with the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. Additionally, he was a Patriot Launching Station Enhanced Operator with 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

During his career in the Army, Seiler received the Army Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster, the Korea Defense Service Medal, three Overseas Service Medals, and the Army Service Ribbon.

"Staff Sgt. Thomas Seiler was a beloved member of the 1-7 ADA team and will be sorely missed," said Lt. Col. Jason Townsend, commander of 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, in a statement. "Thomas was an exceptional teacher, coach and mentor to our soldiers and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time." 

Calling hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24 and from 9 to 10 a.m. Oct. 25 at Marley Funeral Home, 135 Main St., Attica. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 25 at Immaculate Heart of Mary at Sacred Heart, 1230 Clinton St., Bennington. Burial with full Military Honors will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. 

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 10:18 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Covington, Perry, Arcade, Wyoming County Court.

The following were in Wyoming County Court before Judge Michael Mohun Oct. 20.

Kimberly White, who committed a crime in Covington, pled guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony; and driving while ability impaired by alcohol. White was sentenced to two months of weekends in jail, a three-year conditional discharge, and a $1,000 fine.

Jody Nelligan, who is accused of committing a crime in Arcade, had her case adjourned to Jan. 6 for trial.

Edward Koziel, who committed a crime in Perry, was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge. He was convicted of assault in the third degree.

Alanna Muniak, who committed a crime in Wyoming County, was resentenced to one year in prison and one year post-release supervision. The sentences are to run concurrently. Muniak was convicted of violation of probation.

Jessica Eagan, who committed a crime in Wyoming County, had her case adjourned to Dec. 15 for sentencing.

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 10:12 am
posted by Howard Owens in Dining Deals, advertisements.

Reminders of how the new Dining Deals program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for Wyoming County Free Press.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a two-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 3:09 pm



Just a couple of hundred yards apart on Route 20A between Royce and Snyder/Syler roads, Varysburg, are two New York State Historical Markers. Each marker memorializes the enemy of the other. 

One was placed in the 1930s, it reads: Stony Brook Glen – Refuge of Mary Jemison and the Seneca Tribe during General Sullivan’s Raid 1779. The Senecas were allies of the British.

The other was unveiled Oct. 15 during a ceremony held at the Richards Pioneer Cemetery, Route 20A, and recognizes Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Richards and the Richards Pioneer Cemetery in Orangeville. Richards was fighting for freedom from the British.

Pioneer High School student Elsie Herold opened the ceremony with a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” More than 120 people including Assemblyman David DiPietro, members of Daughters of and Sons of the American Revolution, Hoisington’s New York Rangers in Revolutionary War era uniform, local and county officials, and members of local veterans organizations attended the dedication.

Richards was born May 28, 1757 in Dighton, Mass.. He served in the Vermont Militia during the Revolutionary War under Lt. Charles Richards in Col. William William’s Regiment of Militia. He served from 1777 until 1782 when he was discharged from service. Following his stint in the militia, he returned to Dighton and married Sibbel Paull on Nov. 28, 1784. 

The Richards’ moved to Putney, Vt., after the birth of their first son in 1786. They lived in different areas in Southern Vermont and had nine more children. 

In the early 1800s, the oldest sons James and Peter, headed west on foot. Over time, they purchased seven parcels of land totaling 286 acres – around the area of where the cemetery now sits – from the Holland Land Company. At that time, the parcels were part of Genesee County. 

After his wife died in 1811, Richards moved to Orangeville to live with his sons. On Sept. 11, 1825, he died and was buried in the family cemetery.

James, Peter, and another of Richards' sons, Paul, were active in local government, each serving several terms as supervisor for the Town of Orangeville. Additionally, Paul served as town clerk for several years and was influential with the formation of what is now Wyoming County. He was also appointed as the county’s first judge in 1841.

When Nicholas Fisher and his brother were little boys roaming around on the nearby farm, they came across the “little” cemetery.  

“It (the cemetery) was overgrown and pretty much forgotten,” Fisher said. “It was abandoned really. In 1984, in keeping with a promise to his mother Mabel Spink, Paul Spink, great-great-grandson of Daniel Richards, began taking care of it. Then after I retired from my career in 2000, and moved back home, I began helping him restore it.”

Fisher is a member of American Legion Post 449 out of Michigan, and the Wyoming County Joint Veterans Honor Guard.

The Historical Marker Program in New York began in 1926 as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration. At that time, markers could be acquired from the State Education Department (SED). While funding through a regular state appropriation had run out around 1939, coordination of the program was continued by the Office of State History of the Education Department into the 1960s.

In 1960, responsibility for erecting and maintaining the markers was officially reestablished with the SED.

For more information about the history of the Marker Program click here

For more information on other historic places in Wyoming County click here









Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 12:02 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Attica.

The following are from state correctional facilities in Attica who were in Wyoming County Court before Judge Michael Mohun Oct. 19.

Bail is set for state inmate cases for two reasons:

    • In the event that the inmates current sentence is overturned on appeal or the inmates sentence is about to expire the bail will kick in on the new case and the inmate would be turned over to the Wyoming County jail while the new case is pending; and

    • When bail is placed on an inmate it follows the inmate so when they are moved to different facilities it is one way for them to be found and also the state system knows there is another case still pending.

Angel Cruz pled not guilty to three counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony. The case is adjourned to Dec. 21 for motions. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Adam Stevens pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. Motions are scheduled Dec. 21. Bail was set at $5,000.

Terrance Milton pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, and promoting prison contraband in the second degree, a misdemeanor. Motions are scheduled Dec. 21. Bail was set at $5,000.

Latiff Dudley pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. He was arraigned on indictments for two counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 18. Bail was set at $5,000.

Ronald Montgomery pled not guilty to two counts of assault in the second degree, a Class D felony. Motions are scheduled Dec. 21.

Larry Lopez was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge on the conviction of promoting prison contraband in the second degree, a misdemeanor.

Bruce Battle was in court for a Wade Hearing. The purpose of a Wade Hearing is to determine whether the eyewitness’s identification of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime is correct. The case has been adjourned to March 1.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 11:34 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, accident, Perry.



Photos by Howard Owens

Teresa M. Bosdyk, 54, of Perry, was charged Oct. 18 with driving while intoxicated, speeding, lane violation, and no seat belt. Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies say Bosdyk “appeared” to have had crossed into the oncoming lane on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, and struck a tractor-trailer. She was taken via Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester. She is due in Bethany Town Court at a later date. Additional charges are pending.





Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 6:20 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, addiction, heroin, opiates, Attica, crime, recovery.



Alone in his bedroom, a mere 20 feet away from both his mom and dad, Michael had taken a gun and shot himself. His father “busted through” the door and held his son as he lay dying from the self-inflicted wound.

That was June 4, 2011. 

Monday night, Avi Israel recounted the events preceding Michael’s death at a public forum centering on the heroin and opioid issue facing the county. Approximately 75 people were in attendance at Attica High School, along with Sen. Patrick Gallivan, and officials from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Attica Police Department, and Christy Ratajczak, licensed clinical social worker for Northpointe Council Inc..

The forum was spearheaded by Attica resident Sandy Prusak. While she said she didn’t know much about drugs, she could at least get the “people in the know” together and have a conversation about it.

“We have a real (heroin) problem in our community, state, nation. While we may be limited in what we can do nationally, we can do something about it in our community,” Gallivan said. “There isn’t a family or neighborhood that isn’t touched in some way.

“Thirty-four years ago I was sworn in to be a (New York State) Trooper. I spent some time on the road, undercover in narcotics, served on a parole board, and have been in the Legislature for six years...I’ve seen nothing like this in 34 years.”

According to national statistics, 130 people died every day In 2014 from heroin or opioid overdoses.

“This isn’t just a city problem,” said Captain Edward Till of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force. “Six years ago, we didn’t see it (heroin in Wyoming County) as much. However, this year alone we’ve dealt with it 30 to 35 times. There have been five deaths related to heroin overdoses and 26 overdoses law enforcement knows about that are from opioids.” 

In a study done in 2015 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, drug overdose death rates increased fivefold between 1980 and 2008 nationally. According to the study – The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach – at that time, drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death. 

In 2012, approximately 2.1 million Americans were addicted to opioid pain relievers. Also in 2012, an additional 467,000 were addicted to heroin. The study notes those figures do not include close to 2.5 million who may be suffering from an opioid use disorder. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) excludes those receiving legitimate opioid prescriptions.

“Michael was going to school to study architecture. He wasn’t a junkie. But he was an addict,” Israel said. “Michael suffered from Crohn’s disease. He was prescribed into addiction by three doctors. One prescribed oxycodone for the pain. One prescribed Xanax for his anxiety. And one prescribed him something for his depression.

“This boy was getting pills at the age of 18. He didn’t have to look anywhere. He just had to call the doctor and tell him he was in pain or anxious or depressed.”

Israel didn’t question Michael when he asked him for money to get his prescriptions. He said he didn’t pay attention to when the prescriptions were billed through his health insurance plan. In 2009 it wasn’t unheard of to go to multiple pharmacies to fill multiple prescriptions for opioids.

“When we saw the explosive of prescription drug abuse throughout our state, people stood up and wanted something to be done about it,” Gallivan said. “I-Stop legislation was enacted and electronic prescription mandates were put into effect. But, the unintended consequence is what we are living now. As the price of prescription drugs went up, the cheaper alternative is heroin.” 

“You are prescribed something to manage an issue,” Ratajczak. “We are all born with a threshold about things and some have a higher threshold to be immune to addiction or to make them an addictive person.

“It’s (addiction) influenced by physiological factors, a doctor, a friend. It’s a multifaceted issue coupled with predisposition. Chemically speaking the drug is attaching itself to receptors then it overtakes the receptors and that’s when the need becomes great.”

In addition to I-Stop (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing -- Prescription Monitoring Program) National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held at least twice a year locally and nationally. Additionally, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office installed collection boxes in the lobby of the Public Safety Building, Main Street, Warsaw. 

“If you can start educating people about prescription drugs people are more apt to get rid of their old drugs during the take back days,” said DEA Agent John P. Flickinger. “One hit on crack and people feel like their an addict for life. Some people react like that with prescription drugs.”

Even with all the attention the opioid issue is generating, Flickinger said “lots of kids” still talk about having parties where they trade pills. Fifty-two percent of people are getting it free from a friend or relative. Subsequently, officials say, once they become addicted, they begin to get the drugs from other sources.

“When kids use it (opioids) it will change their brain forever because they still have a developing brain,” Flickinger said. “It’s dangerous because it can set up a cycle of abuse their whole life.”

Along with education and treatment, enforcement is also needed, officials say.

“We needed a multifaceted front to combat this,” Gallivan said. “Enforcement would hold people accountable for their role in an overdose death in the community.”

As it stands right now, it’s only under federal statue that a heroin dealer can be charged for their clients’ overdose death. The Senate is currently working toward creating a similar State statue.

“While we know it's a disease or sickness or addiction, some people don't care and they need to be held accountable,” Gallivan said.

According to Task Force officials, there have been 37 opioid- or heroin-related arrests this year. Of that figure, 21 were male and 17 were female, whereas years ago, males were arrested at a higher rate. Currently, county arrests for drug offenses are getting closer to a 50/50 ratio. 

Jail officials say the influx in arrests has “severely affected” the female portion of the county’s inmate population with 80 to 90 percent being jailed for heroin-related crimes.

“A year ago, our agents ran into a dealer who gave their 3-year-old child to them for collateral during a drug deal,” Till said. “And, more and more drug busts have children in the home.”

“Before last year, people were dying from prescription drug overdoses. Now it’s heroin,” Flickinger said. “We do enforcement to go after the largest traffickers. Less drugs on the street, the less likely someone is to use them. People who start with opioids, often turn to heroin.”

Attica Police Chief Dean Hendershott, who has spent his entire police career in Attica, can pinpoint the year the epidemic reached the village. 

Hendershott says, when a local man came back to home from college in 2003, he brought back more than new knowledge. He also came saddled with a heroin addiction. Three weeks later while at a party with six other people he overdosed and died. Since that time, three of those people have died and the others are still “strung out.” 

“There have been 28 overdoses in the village, and 22 suicides, of which, one third are the result of heroin since 2003,” Hendershott said.

In December 2010, Michael had gone up to his father and told him he was addicted to his pain medication. At that same time, Israel was beginning to hear about people getting addicted to their pain medication – his son was one of the those affected.

Israel took Michael to the doctor to see what could be done about Michael’s addiction.

“We told the doctor he was addicted and the doctor said he ‘knew’ what he was doing and kept prescribing the medication. They (the doctors) didn’t get educated about addiction, they just prescribed the drugs.”

The Israel’s got educated, talked to people, tried to get their son into rehab. And... they watched their son. They saw his skin graying, his eyes begin to sink in. He wasn’t eating and he was “turning in, in himself.”

On the morning of June 4, Michael tried asking for help, but his father was frustrated and had yelled at him.

“I had said to him, ‘I can’t put up with this anymore. Tell me where you want to go and I’ll pay for the ticket because I don’t know anything about addiction.’ I had a fight with my son before he died. Those were not good words. Those were the words I last said to him.”

Signs and symptoms of opiate abuse include:

    • “Lost” or stolen medications;

    • Sedation;

    • Respiratory depression;

    • Small pupils;

    • Itching;

    • Nausea/vomiting;

    • Slurred speech;

    • Confusion/poor judgement;

    • Unusual sleepiness, declining activity, sleep disturbances;

    • Increased activity/alertness;

    • Decreased appetite; and

    • Slowed gait/movement.

Withdrawal is noted by severe flu-like symptoms.

“Educate yourself on the symptoms,” Ratajczak said. “Be aware. Ask questions. Check your kids' phones and other electronic devices. Have a conversation about it. There are places to turn to. We are all in this together.”

Along with the School Resource Officer in Attica and Letchworth schools, the Guidance Office also has resources.

“Check the phone. Not just text messaging, all social medias out there, all apps and the like. The answers are there,” Rudolph said.

Tony, who grew up in a city, moved to the rural area to get away from drugs. It wasn’t quite the barrier he needed for his daughter to remain unscathed from the heroin epidemic. He hadn’t banked on his daughter becoming an addict. 

“My daughter has an addiction. Unfortunately, she had to take the route of the law enforcement way to get the help. That always isn't the best way. It’s frustrating as a parent, the road is not easy, we begged for help. But it wasn't until she got arrested before she got some help.”

Israel says he kind of blames himself in the death of his son because he didn’t know much about addiction. But he does now. While he said the knowledge it doesn’t help his son, he can tell his son’s story so other parents can recognize the symptoms.

“Not only did my son die. It affected our family. You not only lose a member, it destroys a family. It takes over and becomes an instigator. It gets everyone fighting and no one is understanding that it is a disease. It takes over your brain; it's not going to let you go.

“This is a disease that our society refuses to acknowledge exists. You are told to go home if you don't look stressed enough. It's a disease that you are trying to hide. It is not a choice. Nobody. Nobody makes a choice to be addicted. It happens. 

“I used to tell my son ‘Come on Mike just stop it.’ I didn't understand how bad opioids take over your brain. Talk to your kids. Talk to your kids about addiction. But first learn.”

An overall sense of agreement was palpable in the auditorium: The conversation needs to continue. We have to start somewhere. This affects everyone.

“If you think it’s not happening in your house... Start taking a look at the behavior of your kid. Even if you’re wrong...You’ll be alright. But if you’re right...You can be saving your kid's life,” Israel said. “We can stop more people from falling into this hole called addiction.

For more information about Michael’s story go to Save the Michaels of the World.

For more information on addiction and recovery visit or Spectrum Human Services or Smart Recovery of Warsaw.

See related: Community forum on heroin and opiates to be held in Attica





Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Press release:

New and existing tax credits provide farmers with additional resources to reinvest in their business by improving or expanding operations. 

“These tax credits have been put in place to support farms big and small,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “I encourage all farmers throughout the state to learn more about these programs and to take advantage of the savings they offer.”

Tax credits available to New York farmers include:

    • Beginning next year, farm employers will benefit from the newly introduced Farm Workforce Retention Credit. The credit is equal to a fixed-dollar amount for each eligible farm employee. The credit will be phased in to include annual increases through 2021. 

    • Historic barns that are reconstructed or rehabilitated and meet certain other requirements may qualify for a property tax exemption for 10 years. The exemption, which localities have the option to offer, is worth 100 percent of any increase in assessed value that results from the revitalization. Historic barn owners are encouraged to check with their local property assessor to ensure that the exemption is available in their community. 

    • Farmers might also be eligible for property tax relief with an agricultural assessment. In addition, property tax exemptions for agricultural buildings, temporary or permanent, can help reduce the cost of owning agricultural land. Farm buildings include agricultural and horticultural buildings, historic barns, greenhouses, solar or wind energy systems, farm waste energy systems, and more.

    • Individuals and businesses might also be eligible for the conservation easement credit. The land must be subject to a conservation easement that is held by a public or private conservation agency to qualify. The credit is worth 25 percent of the school district, county, and town real property taxes paid during the tax year. The maximum value of the credit is $5,000 each tax year.

    • The recently expanded Alcoholic Beverage Production Credit now covers the production of cider, wine, and liquor, in addition to beer. This credit will help craft beverage manufacturers, including farm-based wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries, save money and expand their operations.

In addition to credits, farmers are eligible for a sales tax break when they purchase items such as machinery, equipment, and supplies used predominantly in farm production. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 11:23 am



The Harding family's home is 100 years old now, and the family has owned it for half that time.

On Saturday, the Attica Landmark Preservation Society marked the occasion by presenting the homeowner, Sarah (Sally) Harding, with a commemorative plaque. 

Sarah and her late husband Gordon (Gub) bought the home in 1961. Since that time they have raised seven children there, and opened a few businesses – Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring, Bloomz Florist, and Parson’s Place, all in Attica.

“This is very exciting,” Sarah said. “I appreciate everyone who came.”

The late-Victorian structure retains original architectural features such as the leaded-glass windows, a clover leaf window facing south, and a half-moon window facing west above the main entrance.

“An interesting thing about this house is the inscription under a removable top of the staircase newel post,” said Attica Landmark Association Co-president Bill Meisner. 

The inscription reads: J.R. Ogden 1887 est.











Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 10:32 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica Lions Club, exercise, Attica, walking.


File photo of walking path prior to resurfacing.


The walking path now after the resurfacing this past summer.

When the walking path was put in about 15 years ago, it measured 10 feet wide by approximately 3,000 linear feet from point to point. But time and nature took its toll on the surface, creating cracks and heaving in the blacktop, along with grass overgrowth, which narrowed the path on both sides.

The Attica Lions Club spearheaded the restoration of the Attica walking path, at the Village park on Exchange Street, by holding several fundraisers throughout the year. On Saturday, Lions Club members Mayor Bill Lepsch, Assemblyman David DiPietro, and community members gathered to officially open the walking path with a ribbon cutting.

The new surface was put in by Robinson Paving out of East Aurora. The company laid two-and-one-half inches of blacktop throughout the entire path. Because of the dry weather conditions this summer, the company was also able to seal the surface.

“It’s thicker and heavier now,” said Lions Club First Vice President Nate Eck. “It’s going to last awhile.”

See related: Attica Lions Club to hold fundraisers for resurfacing of the park's walking path











Monday, October 17, 2016 at 2:46 pm
posted by Billie Owens in Wyoming County, Warsaw, weather.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued at wind advisory, in effect from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. It specifically cites Northern Wyoming County and Warsaw.

Winds are predicted to be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph.

Strong winds may cause minor property damage and power outages. Remember to secure any loose objects that can easily be blown around by wind.

A wind advisory is issued when sustained winds are forecasted to be 31 to 39 mph or gusts ranging between 46 and 57 mph. Winds of these magnitudes may cause minor property damages unless extra precautions are taken.

Motorists in high profile vehicles should use caution until the winds subside.

Monday, October 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, history, announcements, Warsaw, contest.

Press release:

The editors of Historical Wyoming have long realized that there are several untold stories throughout the county. These stories – about people, events, buildings and the everyday happenings of rural people – enrich the folklore and heritage of the county. Subsequently, they decided to “reboot an essay contest from 30 years ago.” 

The contest is open to all current and former Wyoming County residents 50 years old and older. The entries must be submitted by Oct. 31.

Because our own lives have been spent largely in one area of the county, many of the stories have escaped our attention, say the editors. It is their opinion that every person has a story that is dear to them and when circumstances allow, they like to tell it.

“We are especially interested in our citizens in the 50-plus age group as their memories are more likely to reach further back into the past and it is from this past that traditions, folklore and our heritage are created,” said Wyoming County Historian Cindy Amrhein. “To encourage the 50-plus folks of our county to write down these stories, the editors of Historical Wyoming are sponsoring an essay contest.”

With the permission of each author, all prize-winning essays will be published in the magazine. Additionally, a chosen number of non-winning essays may also be published in the future with the writers' permission. All essays will be judged by a select committee. 

The contest is divided into three age groups:

    • 50 to 60 years old;

    • 61 to 70 years old; and

    • 71 years old and older.

All winning entries will be printed in the Historical Wyoming during 2017, which marks its 70th year. Winning writers are only required to grant first-time print rights for both the hard copy and digital editions. Four months after publication of your story, it story can be submitted elsewhere for reprint, crediting “First appeared in Historical Wyoming, Vol. XX No. XX, Month XX 2017.”

In each of the three age groups the following additional prizes will be awarded:

    • First Prize – a three-year subscription to Historical Wyoming, 1870 Wyoming County Directory (reprint), and a copy of “Letchworth State Park” by Thomas A. Breslin, Thomas S. Cook, Russell A. Judkins, and Thomas C. Richens (Arcadia, 2008);

    • Second Prize – a two-year subscription to Historical Wyoming, and the 1870 Wyoming County Directory (reprint); and

    • Third Prize – a one-year subscription to Historical Wyoming.

The rules:

    1. Who may enter: This contest is open to all present and former residents of Wyoming County who are 50 years old and older.

    2. Closing date: Contest entries must be postmarked on or before Oct. 31

    3. What to write: The topic of each essay submitted must deal directly with Wyoming County.

    4. Length of essay: The length of each essay submitted must be 750 to 3,000 words. The essays must be legible. Illegible manuscripts will not be accepted. If chosen, slight editing of punctuation or grammar may be done prior to publication.

    5. Subject: Use only one subject per essay. You may enter more than one essay. Please number pages and write the title on top of each page.

    6. Cover page: Each essay entered must have a cover. In the center of the cover page please type or print the title of the essay and underneath, your age or birth year.

    7. Compile: Staple the corner of your essay together with cover page, and a small envelope in back with a slip of paper inside with your name, address, zip code, and telephone number (email address optional) on it. Do not put your name on the essay or cover page. You will be assigned a number. This will ensure that the entries are anonymous and the judges critique solely by the merits of the story.

    8. Where to send entries: Send all entries – one essay per envelope – to:

Senior Citizen Essay Contest, Office of Wyoming County Historian, 26 Linwood Ave., Warsaw,14569.

Theme ideas: 

    • Farm life – planting crops, maple syruping, livestock care, milk industry;

    • Nature and landscape – wildlife, hunting, parks, businesses, buildings no longer standing;

    • School days – memories as a student, scouting, 4-H, and other forms of education;

    • Experiences – during the Great Depression, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War;

    • Influential people – family doctor, ministers, lawyers, teachers;

    • Natural events – floods, tornadoes, snowstorms, drought;

    • Cultural events –circus performances, traveling shows, plays; and

    • Recreational – fairs, swimming, boating, camping.

Essays are not limited to any of the above topics.

The judges will select winning essays according to the following criteria:

    1. Human interest – of interest to people outside your family and acquaintances;

    2. Focus – must center specifically on some aspect of Wyoming County life and history;

    3. Historical relevance – about Wyoming County and its people and history;

    4. Conciseness – not long-winded;

    5. Clarity – easily understood;

    6. Narrative quality – a good story, well told; and

    7. Accuracy – true and correct.

Keep a copy for your records. Essays will not be returned. If possible type all essays or print in legible handwriting.

Entrants will be notified by mail of the winning entries prior to Dec. 31. Winners will be announced in the January 2017 issue of Historical Wyoming.

For more information call the Wyoming County Historian’s Office at (585) 786-8818 during weekdays 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or email at

Monday, October 17, 2016 at 10:33 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Perry, Warsaw, Wyoming, Castile.
      Sarah J. Ingalls

Sarah J. Ingalls, 21, of Perry, was charged Oct. 14 with: attempted unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree; disorderly conduct; creating a hazardous condition; public appearance under the influence of drugs and or narcotics. Perry Police responded to Lake Street for a call of a suspicious person entering vehicles. After interviewing Ingalls, officers say she admitted to trying to steal a vehicle and leave the area. She was put in Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. She is due in Perry Village Court Nov. 8.

      Ivan Carney

Ivan Carney, 41, of Perry, was charged Oct. 14 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Perry Police say Carney was stopped on Church Street in the village for driving with a suspended New York State driver's license. He is due in Perry Village Court at a later date.

Brittney Ellis, no age provided, of Hunt, was charged Oct. 10 with unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle and aggravated unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Perry Police say Ellis was driving on North Main Street in the village with a suspended license. She wasput in Wyoming County Jail on $1,000 cash bail. 

Connie D. Kilfoyle, 71, of Warsaw, was arrested Oct. 12 on a bench warrant out of Perry Village Court. Officers say the warrant was issued after she missed her scheduled court appearance for the charge of issuing a bad check. She was jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond. She is due in Perry Village Court Nov. 8.

      Alex Drake

Alex Drake, 22, of Castile, was charged Oct. 14 with unlicensed operation in the third degree. Perry Police officers say he was arrested for driving a car in the village while his New York State driver's license is suspended. He is due in Perry Village Court Nov. 8.

Cathy J. Tarey, 61, of Wyoming, was charged Oct. 12 with petit larceny. Tarey is accused of stealing merchandise from Marshalls in the Town of Batavia. She is due in Batavia Town Court at 1 p.m. Oct. 24.

Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 9:12 am
posted by Robert Henry Jr. in letchworth, Warsaw, Perry, Mount Morris, football, Varsity, Undefeated, Homecoming, 10/14.


The undefeated season of the Letchworth/Warsaw football team concludes at homecoming with a 28–6 victory of the Perry/Mount Morris.

On a night where temperatures reached down close to 40 degrees, Letch-Saw dominated the game with 300 yards of offense, led by an imposing and diverse running game. The Tigers rushing attack saw 10 players touch the ball, including four individuals scoring touchdowns.

While possessing the ball for more than 30 minutes of the game, the team stifled the Hornets on defense as well. Jake Ziegler led the defensive effort with five tackles and two interceptions, as well as two other interceptions from the team.

Perry/Mt. Morris' lone score on the night came from a fumble recovery by Chase Prickett, which was returned 43 yards.

The Tigers complete their regular season undefeated at 7–0, and take their streak into Sectionals. Perry/Mount Morris is 1–6 on the season.







Friday, October 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, fire, emergency responders, announcements.

Press release:

Benefits volunteer emergency responders receive as a reward for their service is no longer subject to federal income tax, withholding, and reporting. On Sept. 21 the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation exempting these nominal benefits. 

Language from the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA), which excludes property tax benefits and up to $600 of other types of benefits for the 2017 tax year, was added to the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act. The Committee approved the benefit by a voice vote. The amendment was sought by senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the sponsors of VRIPA (S. 609/H.R. 2752).

“On behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) I’d like to thank senators Schumer and Collins for their work on this important legislation, which will help local emergency response agencies recruit and retain volunteer personnel,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn.

“On average a volunteer firefighter in the United States donates services worth more than $18,000 to the community that he or she serves. It is common sense to clarify that the nominal incentives that volunteers receive as a reward for their service should not be taxed by the federal government.”

The NVFC will continue to work to identify opportunities to pass VRIPA before the end of the year and will provide updates if and when votes take place on the House or Senate floor. In the meantime, you can use the NVFC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your U.S. Representative and senators to ask them to support VRIPA.

Friday, October 14, 2016 at 4:25 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, drugs, crime, events, Attica, heroin.

While Sandy Prusak may not have known that much about heroin, she figured she didn’t have to, she just had to get the people that did know together and start a conversation.

“I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. But, people I know have had their children overdose and not make it and you see how it affects them,” said the Attica resident. “A cousin’s stepdaughter died of an overdose and you go to the funeral and you see the sadness. It’s everywhere. It’s affecting everyone.”

That’s when she had the idea of initiating a Community Forum on Heroin and Opiates. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Attica High School, Attica. 

“I know nothing about the drugs. I want to know everything from the beginning,” Prusak said. “Most of all, I want parents to know what to look for in their children to see if they are on drugs.

"Has there been a theft of items or change? I want to know that if you look at your kid you will be able to recognize the signs of use and maybe you can stop it. Nobody wants their kid to have that urge for the rest of their life.”

She wanted to keep the program simple. She merely wanted to get people together and talk about it. She would like to see this program help erase the negativity of opening up if your child is a drug addict or are a functioning drug addict. 

“It affects all people, everyone you talk to. People are willing to talk about it and it needs to be addressed. You can have pot laced with heroin and not know it then all of the sudden you're hooked. If the kids have the information, maybe it will be a deterrent.

“I'm just sick of watching it happen. I don't like to see kids overdose and die. I want to be able to do something to make more people aware and this is what I can do without me having prior experience with drugs. I don't want anyone to lose their kid, as a mom that's devastating.”

The program will include personal experiences, facts and statistics, and the law. Additionally, it's to give the public a better understanding of what addicts are up against as well.

“If this meeting can stop just one kid from trying it... I want people to talk about it. Start the conversation. Learn the dangers. Get people talking.”

Friday, October 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm


While the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism Department works or collaborates with the Industrial Development Agency, and Economic Development and Business Center, they are an entity of their own within county government. 

But, it wasn’t until 2010 when the Chamber and Tourism departments merged. 

“Each division can do things the other can't and by working together we can get more accomplished to better serve the community and keep the money local,” said Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner. “It grows a stronger infrastructure to elevate the tax base.

“If you don't tell your story, you’ll lose the customers. That's the point of marketing. With all the types of businesses and stuff to do here it's all about marketing and promoting the area. We give them the ‘why’ to want to be here.”

Part of the department’s collaboration includes working with the Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative. The initiative will fund start-up and expansion expenses, entrepreneurial training, live/work space, marketing support, and opportunities to share equipment and supplies. Artists in all media were able to apply for the grant as long as they “will work at their craft in Wyoming County.”

The Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative is a project endorsed by the Wyoming Board of Supervisors and is in collaboration with the Wyoming County Department of Planning and Development, Arts Council of Wyoming County, Wyoming County Chamber and Tourism, Wyoming County IDA, and the NYS Council on the Arts.

“It’s going to be good for our downtown and Main Street. While the (Arts) initiative is working with getting the businesses here, we are looking at how we can promote it. It’s all about getting people here and getting them to locate here.”

Each department has its own website, a travel guide or business directory, and a plethora of networking opportunities.

“The travel guide is sort of the outside piece to get people in. The business directory shows the retail side (of the county), so combined they show the full inventory of Wyoming County assets.

“We (the chamber) also service our members. First is the members, then the community, then the tourist. But it’s working toward all those things put together.”

Approximately 75,000 travel guides are printed and distributed all over the country, as is 20,000 business directories – and that's the collective advantage, Gardner says. Your reach becomes greater when listed with several other business. You can always add an ad as well. Additionally, Chamber members will typically “rise to the top” in a Google search.

Say you want to move into the county, or merely want to know more about it, the Chamber offers a relocation welcome package. In it is the travel guide and business directory along with information about several businesses and the like throughout the county.

In addition to the welcome package, Chamber & Tourism hosts a job fair and is the primary sponsor for Agripalooza.

“We do a job fair to serve our members first but, it also promotes the opportunity in the county. A job fair exposes the employer with potential workers and a resource for those members to promote the jobs available. If the business needs help with searching for employees, we have the resources to aid in their search.

“We are also an Ag community. Agripalooza not only promotes the agriculture in the county, it also highlights the local businesses surrounding the industry.”

According to Gardner, everything is interconnected. To help businesses become larger fixtures in the community, awareness and attention needs to be on business to keep the buying strong in the county. 

“Because we support the businesses, they are more likely to come into the downtown areas which will build a strong commercial sector.

“We spend a lot of time to get people to shop local. People are 63 percent more likely to shop from a chamber member because there is a trust. We survive together, we can't do it alone. We are stronger together.”

In addition to promotions like the Shop Local initiative, the Chamber is also an advocate, speaking with officials and writing letters on the business’s behalf. 

But how does a business connect with its community?

“Join the chamber and work with the effort to grow. The overall impact helps overall. You are allowing us to work with you to help the business grow. We are always exploring and looking for ways to promote the businesses. My goal is to serve all the businesses in the county.”

While every chamber has their purpose – Arcade Area, Attica Area, Perry, and Warsaw chambers of commerce – the Chamber & Tourism Department serves the whole county.

“We work with local chambers and would like to work with them more to the extent that we are able to. It's important for them to keep their own identity, but if it's an opportunity countywide we want to work with them. It's a mutual thing. Each has their strong points.”

The department also serves the people by promoting its business members. According to Gardner, there are a lot of moving parts.

“We function at so many points, we have to be broad to be able to grow and develop. It's a type of controlled chaos. You have to be organizationally flexible. We have to be open and broad to do everything we can within the context of what we can.”

And with initiatives such as Shop Local, Wyoming County Approved, and their assistance with Arcade and Warsaw’s Main & More events, Gardner says the department is a perfect combination to promote the county.




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