Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 2:06 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, racing, Sports.

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Information sourced from a press release, photo credit Rob Micoli

Wyoming County International Speedway will honor Jim Pierce with the naming of the Oct. 14 Shootout at the Bullring SST 100 to the Jim Pierce Memorial SST 100. Pierce, 47, a racer who competed at WCIS, passed away suddenly Aug. 5.

In his #26 SST Modified, Pierce captured multiple feature wins at the Speedway as well as a 2007 SST Modified Championship. He also took home feature wins at Lancaster National, Holland, and Lake Erie speedways and competed at other local tracks throughout Western New York.  Additionally, Pierce was his son’s crew chief when he, Jim Pierce Jr., raced his 4-cylinder at WCIS to multiple wins and a second place points finish in the 2016 season.

“We are truly honored to be able to show tribute to not only a fellow racer but a friend by running the Shootout SST 100 as the Jim Pierce Memorial,” said racetrack owner Jim Majchrzak. “Jim was a respected competitor at WCIS who was not only a great racer but one of the ‘good guys’ in racing.”

A “Lucky 15” Lap Money program for the drivers will be taking place for the Jim Pierce Memorial SST 100. Laps are a minimum of $26 per lap in honor of Pierce’s racing number and are now available for purchase. Specialty awards such as Hard Charger, Hard Luck, and more are available for sponsorship as well. 

In addition to the lap money, a custom trophy is being designed by Dennis Murphy and RNE Precision. Additional bonuses for participating drivers are also in development, track officials say.

The Shootout at the Bullring, slated for October 14 and 15, will feature some of the best racers from the East Coast, all vying for the checkered flag. Saturday’s events will feature the Jim Pierce Memorial SST 100, NYSS 51 Championship, 6-cylinders, 4-cylinders, and Vintage Late Models. Sunday’s events will feature the American Racer 100 for tour-type Modifieds, WCIS Super Stocks, Legends, and C.A.M.S. Mods.  

All of the lap money raised will go towards the drivers participating in the memorial race. To purchase a lap, please contact Lori Overdorf at LOverdorf@hotmail.com or (716) 207-2824.

For a full schedule of events visit www.thebullringwcis.com.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw.

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Photo from Valley Chapel Free Methodist Church website

Valley Chapel Free Methodist Church is celebrating 20 years of ministry at its current location at 3415 Route 19 in Warsaw.

Events begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 with refreshments, followed by a worship service with guest speaker Doug Newton. At noon there will be a picnic lunch, a bounce house for kids, as well as other entertainment.

Newton is a co-founder of the National Prayer Ministry of the FMC-USA and former senior pastor of Greenville (Ill.) Free Methodist Church. Additionally, he served as editor of Light & Life magazine for 15 years, which won the Evangelical Press Association’s “Award of Excellence” for denominational magazines in 2000 and 2002.

Valley Chapel’s roots in Warsaw began on Center Street in the Village. In 1997 its new building was erected, and dedicated in August of the same year.

The church hosts programs such as Master’s Hands, Foodlink, Bread of Life Community Dinner, Caring Hands & Hearts, and many other programs to serve the community.

For more information about the church visit www.valleychapel.org

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Warsaw, Pike, Perry, Wyoming.
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   Richard F. Gargula

Richard F. Gargula, 34, of Pike, was charged Aug. 17 with one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Gargula is accused of selling heroin to an agent of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force in May while in the Village of Warsaw. He was arraigned in Warsaw Village Court and returned to the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail on this new charge. He was already in jail on an unrelated charge. The Task Force includes members from the Sheriff’s Office as well as the Arcade, Attica, Perry, and Warsaw Police departments. Task Force members remind residents that suspected illegal drug activity can be reported to the confidential drug tip line, (585) 786-8965.

Jeffrey Rigerman, 33, of Jamestown, was arrested Aug. 10 on a Family Court warrant for failure to obey a support order. Rigerman was found at his residence by the Jamestown Police Department and then turned over to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office. He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Franklin Cook, 35, of Wyoming, was arrested Aug. 16 on a Wyoming County Superior Court violation of probation warrant. Cook was found at his home in the Town of Middlebury and taken into custody without incident. He was put in Wyoming County Jail where he will be held until the next available Superior Court date.

Matthew Wendt, 31, of Angelica, was arrested on a Failure to Pay Fine warrant issued by the Village of Warsaw Court. Wendt was taken into custody at a home on Water Street in the Village of Perry without incident. He was then taken to the Village of Warsaw Court where he was arraigned and released after paying the remaining balance on his fines.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 9:38 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Warsaw, health.

Press release:

Oak Orchard provides primary, dental and vision care for more than 21,000 adults and children in rural areas and small communities across Western New York and the Finger Lakes. It started in 1966 as a small health project serving migrant workers and has grown into an integrated, federally funded health center with locations in Albion and Lyndonville, Orleans County; Brockport, Monroe County; Hornell, Steuben County; and Main Street in Warsaw.

Oak Orchard Health has worked closely with UR Medicine physicians and hospitals for a number of years. A new agreement formalizes their institutional collaboration, and is expected to make it easier for Oak Orchard’s adult and pediatric patients to receive care from UR Medicine professionals — including telemedicine consultations for specialty care services such as behavioral and mental health.

“As we look to reduce barriers and address other critical gaps in rural health care, collaborations such as this make good sense,” said James J. Cummings, chief executive officer of Oak Orchard Health. “This is not just great news for our patients; it is great news for our communities at large, especially during this time of concern and uncertainty regarding health care. This relationship enhances the high-quality primary care, dental care and vision services for which Oak Orchard has become known.”

Mark B. Taubman, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and UR Medicine, said the Oak Orchard agreement supports URMC’s strategy for increasing access to high-quality UR Medicine care for families across Upstate New York. Along with Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals in Monroe County, URMC’s affiliates include F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, and Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville. UR Medicine professionals also provide care to patients at the Strong West medical campus in Brockport, St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell and Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw.

“UR Medicine has outstanding providers in a full range of specialties,” Taubman said. “The goal of our regional strategy is to make these services as accessible as possible to patients throughout the region. We have great regard for the Oak Orchard Health organization and look forward to expanding the range of services available to Oak Orchard patients as part of this agreement.”

Oak Orchard Health will continue to maintain previously established relationships with other area health care providers and social service agencies.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, accident, Attica.

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Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies say the driver of a small sedan swerved to avoid hitting a woodchuck and ended up hitting a cow barn. A woman traveling north on Exchange Street allegedly lost control of her vehicle attempting to avoid the rodent and crossed the roadway, went through an electric fence and hit the barn.

While neither the driver nor any cows were injured in the mishap, the building did sustain damages. However, deputies say, according to the Wyoming County Building Inspector the damages to the barn do not pose a safety hazard.

The Attica Fire Department assisted police at the scene.

No charges were filed at this time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins’ response to the Union-Sun & Journal's recent editorial (Aug. 11):

My bill would restore New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights and doesn’t supersede states’ rights.

I do believe in States' rights, the need for local control and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing state rights. However, I want your readers to know my steadfast belief that states like New York should not have the ability to take away the Constitutional rights of their citizens. Under no circumstances should these basic rights be denied, and federal action is warranted in a situation where a state is infringing on the rights of any American.

The Constitution is the law of the land, and the Founding Fathers produced a document with a clear vision regarding Second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment can only be interpreted one way, and that is it guarantees that Americans have the right to own a firearm.

My proposed legislation, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), has sparked a needed conversation about the Second Amendment rights granted to Americans in the Constitution. In 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act infringed upon the rights of law-abiding New Yorkers by instituting strict rifle and shotgun regulations. As you pointed out, these regulations were put in place purely for political purposes.

SAGA focuses specifically on protecting Second Amendment rights, and in no way is taking away the rights of states. When a state crosses the line and starts to implement regulations that are in stark contrast to the basic rights given to Americans, action needs to be taken. That is exactly why I am proposing my law to rein in the unconstitutional policies that Cuomo forced into law.

Cuomo overstepped with the SAFE Act, and my proposal to repeal much of the law has had a great deal of support. SAGA isn’t hypocritical; it is a sincere effort to bring back the freedoms given to New Yorkers by our Constitution when it comes to owning a firearm. Law abiding citizens should not be punished because of onerous and unconstitutional state regulations.

It is my duty as an elected representative to make sure my constituents are protected, and that includes protecting the basic rights granted to them in the Constitution. The SAFE Act only curbed the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding New Yorkers, instead of providing them with a safer place to live as promised by the governor.

The SAFE Act has done nothing to help our communities and has only taken away our freedoms. It is time we end this disastrous law for all New Yorkers and revert back to what the Founding Fathers intended for our nation.

See related: Collins proposes new measures for protecting Second Amendment rights

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, government, education.

Press release:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signed legislation putting into place additional protections for students and expanding anti-tampering laws. The legislation prohibits unlawful alteration of any official student record in any primary, intermediate, high school or college in the state.

"These records can set the course for a student's entire future and New York must make every effort to protect their integrity and privacy," Cuomo said. "With this law, we are ensuring protections under the law keep pace with our evolving education system and authorities have the tools they need to protect New Yorkers."

The prior law prohibited the unlawful altering of grades, credits and awards on a student's record. However, other records that are now commonplace – including test results, disciplinary proceedings, and disability determinations – are not covered. This bill, (S.5273-A/A. 2093-B), makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly alter any official student record. Additionally, those certified or licensed by the State Education Department who are found to be in violation of this new law would be subject to further disciplinary action.

"This new law will help preserve the private nature of a student's official record, allowing young New Yorkers and their families to rest assured that their information and records are protected,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan. “I’m proud to have sponsored this bill, and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation into law."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Pike, heroin.

Richard Gargula, 34, of Pike, was charged Aug. 11 with: tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor; and driving while ability impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, both as misdemeanors. Following a traffic stop on Shearing Road, Gainesville, Gargula is accused of driving with a suspended license. During the stop he was asked to perform field sobriety testing, which he allegedly failed. Additionally, deputies say he was found to be in possession of suspected cocaine and heroin. After being evaluated by a drug recognition expert, who determined him to be impaired by multiple drug categories. Also during the stop, Gargula allegedly attempted to conceal evidence by getting out of his car and tossing suspected cocaine inside a nearby residence. He was arraigned in the Village of Warsaw Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. He is due in court at a later date.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, accident, Genesee Falls.

Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of a car-versus-motorcycle accident on Route 19A at Denton Corners Road, Genesee Falls, Sunday evening.

According to reports, Royal E. Bailey, 77, was stopped at a stop sign on Denton Corners Road and turned his vehicle right onto Route 19A into the lane of an oncoming motorcycle.

The bike, driven by 32-year-old Jeremy M. Mellin, of Hume, was forced off the road after colliding with Bailey’s car.

While Bailey nor Mellin was injured in the accident, Mellin’s passenger was ejected from the motorcycle. The victim was taken to Wyoming County Community Hospital, then transferred to ECMC, Buffalo, via Mercy Flight for a back injury.

Bailey was ticketed with failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign. He is due in the Town of Genesee Falls Court Aug. 23.

During the investigation, deputies say Mellin was driving without a motorcycle license. Additionally, he was asked to perform field sobriety testing, which he allegedly failed. 

Mellin also refused to submit to a breath test at the scene.

He was taken into custody and charged with driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle, and refusal of a breath test -- roadside prescreen device.

He was arraigned in the Town of Genesee Falls Court where his license was suspended for refusal to submit to a chemical test.

He is due in the Town of Genesee Falls Court Sept. 12. Mullin is also scheduled for a Department of Motor Vehicle Refusal hearing at the Batavia Town Hall Sept. 15.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing and further charges are possible.

Assisting at the scene were the New York State Police, New York State Park Police, Pike and Nunda fire departments, Medic 80, Mercy Flight, and Barber’s Automotive.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Pike Fair, Pike, firefighters.

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A couple hundred firefighters from 38 fire departments from Wyoming and surrounding counties, of which 19 hail from Wyoming County, showed off their finest at the annual Fireman's Parade Tuesday night at the Pike Fair. 

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Pike Fair, Pike, Wyoming County Fair.

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A throng of spectators lined Main and Water streets Monday night for the Wyoming County Fair Grand Parade. 

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Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Perry.

Burke M. Hawkins, 53, of Perry, was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Hawkins was arrested Aug. 10 following an investigation into allegations of him picking up prescriptions for his wife after she had passed away. Perry Police say he picked up hydromorphone, diazepam, and alprazolam from the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Perry. He was arraigned in the Village of Perry Court and sentenced to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 cash bail until his court date Sept. 12.

Joey M. Safford, 48, of Perry, was charged Aug. 10 with displaying a forged inspection sticker. Safford was arrested after Perry Police allegedly found him driving a vehicle with an alleged forged inspection sticker. He is due in the Village of Perry Court Sept. 5.

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, arts, ACWC, announcements.

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Information sourced from a press release, photo submitted

The Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) is hosting a homecoming of its 2017 poet-in-residence, writer and poet Luke Daly. The poet-in-residence program includes readings, workshops, writing of new works, and a poem trail to debut next April.

Daly is deeply rooted in Wyoming County, having grown up in the Silver Lake area and graduating from Perry High School.

The 2017 ACWC theme, “Close to Home” inspired Pilar McKay, associate director of the organization, to reach out to Daly, as they both attended Perry Central School together before they went into the arts.

“Writing helps to clarify thoughts, work through emotions positive and negative, and writing connects us through the sharing of stories,” McKay said. “In order to cultivate literary skills in our area, I thought bringing Luke back home would be a great opportunity for us to learn from someone from here.”

After High School, Daly went to college at SUNY Fredonia for both English and Psychology and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato. While at Minnesota State, he studied Creative Writing and Poetry.

In addition to being a published writer, he teaches at Daemon College, SUNY Fredonia, and has been an artist-teacher at the Just Buffalo Literary Center.

This four-part program will include readings of Daly’s work, hosting workshops, commissioning Daly to write poetry inspired by Wyoming County, and creating a place-based poem trail that will publish a poem on landscapes.

Daly, along with the ACWC, is also looking for artists interested in collaborating in creating large outdoor art works that incorporate a word or phrase from one of the Wyoming County inspired poems. Additionally, they are also looking for places throughout the county to host these pieces of art – about a dozen in all – for the poem trail, which launches in April for National Poetry Month.

Scheduled workshops include:

    • Aug. 21: Expression 101 at the Warsaw Public Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.;

    • Aug. 23: Botanical Rhythms at Creekside Fabrics, Quilts, and Yarns, Main Street, Arcade from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.;

    • Aug. 26: Atomic Metaphors at ACWC, Main Street, Perry, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and

    • Aug. 26 with “Wyoming County: Works in Progress,” including works inspired by people and places in the county, at the ACWC from 7 to 8 p.m.

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Press release:

In the aftermath of the violent and deadly events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation allowing prosecutors to increase penalties against those who make bomb threats against community centers.

This legislation was in direct response to the significant number of bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers in New York and across the country.

"These despicable acts spread fear and terror across entire communities, and by signing this measure, we will give law enforcement more tools to prosecute hate-mongers and treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve," Cuomo said. "The horrific events in Charlottesville this weekend demonstrate that now, more than ever, we must stand united against bias and hate in all of its forms and this new law is one more step toward a more just and more equal New York for all."

Although, according to Sheriff Greg Rudolph, there have not been any threats made against community centers in Wyoming County, this legislation will make it clear that individuals that falsely make bomb threats to a community center can be charged with a public order offense which is, at a minimum, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Previously, this charge pertained to offenses that took place on highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds, and hallways, lobbies and other portions of, apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence. This bill (A.7198A/S.5512) expands that list to include community centers.

"We should not tolerate acts of racism or hatred or those cowards who make unfounded threats on community spaces,” said Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “This legislation clarifies and extends the penalties for these appalling actions. Cracking down on threats to public spaces will create a greater sense of security and safety for our children and our families. I am pleased that Gov. Cuomo took swift action in signing this bill into law."

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:40 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Pike Fair, agriculture, events.

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It was a pleasant start to the Wyoming County Fair this weekend.

Before getting ready for the Grand Parade at 7 p.m. check out the midway, vendors and animal displays.

For more information and a listing of events visit http://www.wyomingcountyfair.org/

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Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:02 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.
Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, arts.

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Tommy Tinker was a scoundrel. He hadn’t started out that way but fast-paced city living changed the small-town country boy and he died a scoundrel.

Or so they thought.

This is the opening of the musical performance of “A Tinker’s Tale” during the second annual Silver Lake Experience in Perry.

Written by local authors Jim and Jeanne Morey, the story is based loosely on the life of Robert LeRoy Ripley. The musical was produced by Josh Rice and directed by Chad Bradford, both founding members of the theater company Shake on the Lake in Perry.

“We were looking for a place to stay in March to get away from the snowflakes,” Jim said. “We went to a few places in Florida and Georgia and we ended up in St. Augustine (Fla.) and went to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. When we came out of there we thought what a quirky, interesting guy he was and wondered why no one had written a musical based on his life. He had such an interesting life and so we said, ‘All right. Let’s do it.’ “

That was about seven years ago.

However, after learning that it would cost a couple of million to buy the rights from the Ripley estate, “A Tinker’s Tale” was born.

Jim and Jeanne are no strangers to the theater. Jim, a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Modern Drama, had been in the advertising business, writing and producing commercial music for radio and television. One such jingle was even written for Batavia Downs “years and years ago.”

Jeanne was in theater in high school and college and after she had retired, decided to try out for a role in Genesee Community College’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I got the role of Nurse Ratched and I had the time of my life,” Jeanne said.

Her role in the production put her in contact with Maryanne Arena, a Theater professor at the college. In turn, she had asked if she would be interested in reading the play and working with them to refine the work. The couple worked with both Arena and Rice. After looking over their notes, Rice had asked the Moreys if they could put together an hour-long production of the play.

“I think one of the exciting things is having half the cast being professionals,” Jeanne said. “Because when Jim and I were writing -- this is a full-length play -- he said we didn’t have enough jokes, but because I have done theater work, I told him we needed to depend on the actors to bring themselves into the part and see what they do with it.

“That was the fun part, to see the life they breathed into them.”

Tommy Tinker, a cartoonist from a small town in Ohio, made his way to New York City. As the story unfolds, Tinker finds himself developing and growing in his career and he decides he wants to do something different with his life so he creates Tink’s Incredible Kingdom – a show of misfits and incredible oddities. Over time, he gets sort of cocky and begins to exploit the people who are making him successful.

His montage of misfits got tired of being exploited and band together to go against him. However, on the way to start a career in television Tinker has a “heart attack” in his car and “dies.”

Thursday’s performance featured just 16 of the 36 songs in the musical. Jim was even able to work with the composer he had worked with in the ’60s and ‘70s. Although they had worked on the play sporadically for the past seven years, they completed composing and recording all 36 songs in one year.

“We needed a composer and I wanted to work with the guy I had in the past,” Jim said. “He is living in South Carolina so it was all done long distance.”

“It was interesting to see the progression of the characters,” Jeanne said. “What an empty spot we will have because where the characters were just figments of our imagination in our head, they are now flesh and blood before us and now they are gone. Seeing it live brings a reality to it.”

In the end, the play is about a boy who rides a wave of good, to exploiting the people who have helped him along the way, to his untimely “demise.” Those who he’s exploited end up missing him and become relieved when they find out he isn’t dead.

“The boy makes good but leaves some corpses along the way,” Jim said. “In the end, it’s about reconciliation.”

And the underlying theme is about diversity – accepting people for who they are, Jeanne says.

However, the production in Silver Lake was just a sampling of the play. A full performance is anticipated at GCC next April, tying it into the college’s 50th anniversary.

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Friday, August 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

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In September a fundraising committee was formed. By March they had raised close to $63,000. And in May, the Stevens Memorial Library in Attica was awarded $303,233 in funding for construction projects and upgrades to the building.

With construction looming on the horizon, Library Director Nancy Burns, members of the fundraising committee, local dignitaries, and community members gathered for a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday at the facility.

See related: Big changes in store at Stevens Memorial Library in Attica

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, agriculture, 4-H, announcements.

Press release:

Legislation is currently being debated in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that would lower the tax burden for students involved in 4-H programs and provide them with an opportunity to invest their earnings in future projects, college funds, or savings accounts. Congressman Chris Collins released the following statement, in which he highlighted his support for the bipartisan legislation titled the Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017.

“4-H programs offer constructive ways for students to expand their knowledge of agriculture and animal sciences,” Collins said. “With agriculture being the largest industry in New York’s 27th Congressional District, those who participate in local 4-H programs will soon be amongst the primary contributors to Western New York’s economy. For this reason alone, it’s critically important that incentives are set in place that will drive up participation and spread awareness of 4-H programs.”

If signed into law, the Act would create a tax exemption for the first $5,000 of revenue earned by students 18 years old or younger from either the sale of livestock or agriculture projects completed through 4-H or Future Farmers of America programs. In effect, it will eliminate the tax-filing burden for eligible students and allow them to invest their earnings in future projects or college funds.

“Plain and simple, the Student Agriculture Protection Act is an investment in the next generation of American farmers. This bill will have a direct and positive impact on New York’s 27th Congressional District and will ensure the U.S. remains the world leader in agriculture. As a proud cosponsor, I will continue my advocacy in support of this legislation to ensure it is put up for a vote on the House Floor.”

For more information on H.R. 1626, the Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017, click here.

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