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January 10, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame, oakfield-alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame on the Fighting Irish home court on Thursday night 68-56.

For the Hornets, Travis Wiedrich scored 25 points and Joey Burdick scored 18. They each hit three three-pointers.

Gabe Macdonald scored 18 for ND and Cody Henry scored 10.

Photos by Kristen Smith, click here. For JV photos, click here.

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January 10, 2020 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alpine Ski Team, sports, batavia.

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Write up and photo submitted by Coach Matt Holman.

SWAIN -- The Batavia Alpine Ski Team competed in a two-run slalom race on Wednesday. This changed from a previously scheduled giant slalom race because conditions were prime for snowmaking on the headwall of Wheels Run due to the high temperatures and rain forecasted for the weekend.

Heavy snow in the early afternoon, wind and cold; ski racing conditions were near perfect at the 5:30 p.m. start. The course wore well, but still testing each athlete's skiing ability and the importance of a freshly tuned pair of skis.

Eighth-grader Lily Wagner successfully passed the advanced placement test early this week and will now participate as a varsity racer for the rest of the season. This gives Batavia a full girls varsity team, which finished in fourth place. 

Senior Aubrey Towner was the team's top individual finisher in sixth place. Junior Lily Whiting was 14th and Lily Wagner was 15th.

Zack Wagner finished in 14th place on the boys' side.

Eighth-grader Ethan Bradley placed 10th, the first modified top-10 finish in his young career. Elijah Abdella (eighth grade) was 20th, and seventh-grader Abby Bestine was 23rd.

A big thank you to the BHS Ski Club and advisor Mr. Metler along with the Ski Team parents and alumni for helping host the race.

The Batavia Ski Team will next race at Swain on Saturday, Jan. 12th.

Photo: First-year Modified Skiers Abby Bestine, Brody Swinehart, and Elijah Abdella after receiving their team jackets.

January 10, 2020 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, news, Route 77.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has introduced a bill (S.7012) that will designate State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke, County of Genesee, as the "Specialist Four Clarence 'C. Jay' Hall Memorial Highway.”

“I am pleased to introduce this bill that will honor Specialist Four Clarence ‘C. Jay,’ Hall,” said Senator Ranzenhofer. “Specialist Hall served our country most honorably, giving the ultimate sacrifice. His bravery, dedication, and commitment to our nation is a wonderful example to all.”

Specialist Four Clarence "C. Jay" Hall served as a rifleman in the Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. He was mortally wounded on Oct. 7, 1969, during an intense attack by enemy forces.

Specialist Hall earned the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Silver Star, which is the nation's third-highest award for valor. 

The Veteran’s Outreach Club and the Government classes of the Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School requested this legislation.

The bill was introduced on Jan. 8th and is in the Senate Committee on Transportation for consideration.

**********************************

Assemblyman Steve Hawley sent the following press release about the proposed legislation:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has introduced legislation in the State Assembly that designates State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the town of Pembroke as the "Specialist Four Clarence 'C. Jay' Hall Memorial Highway."

Specialist Four Clarence ‘C. Jay’ Hall served as a rifleman in the United States Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. On Oct. 7, 1969, he was on a reconnaissance patrol in an area of known enemy activity. He and his group were suddenly subjected to an intense attack from enemy forces. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Specialist Hall exposed himself to hostile fire while his comrades were able to obtain cover.

During this action, he was mortally wounded. Specialist Hall earned the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star, the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Silver Star, which is the nation's third highest award for valor.

“I am honored to introduce this legislation posthumously on behalf of one of our state’s most heroic veterans who gave up his life during the Vietnam War in order to save others,” Hawley said. “It is inspiring stories like these that we must cherish and recognize so that they are not forgotten throughout history.

"Clarence Hall is a hero in every sense of the word and I am confident that this bill will pass this year, forever enshrining him in glory as part of State Route 77.”

Hawley is a member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and himself a veteran, serving in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves.

January 10, 2020 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

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January 9, 2020 - 10:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, news.

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The Genesee County Legislature held its organizational meeting Wednesday evening and Shelly Stein was sworn in as the new chairwoman.

Christian Yunker was sworn in as the newest member of the legislature.

Top photo: Legislator Andrew Young places the nameplate for Shelly Stein in front of the chair's seat in the Old Courthouse, where the full Legislature meets.

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Marianne Clattenburg being sworn in as vice-chair.

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Andrew Young taking the oath of office as second vice-chair.

 

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Genesee County Legislature and Staff 2020: Front row, Andrew Young, Shelly Stein, Marianne Clattenburg; Back row, Pam LaGrou, clerk, Matt Landers, assistant county manager, John Hilchey, Christian Yunker, Gordon Dibble, Gregg Torrey, John Deleo, Gary Maha, and Jay Gsell, county manager.

January 9, 2020 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Melissa Cianfrini, news, notify, District Attorney's Office.

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District Attorney Lawrence Friedman issued a memo to members of the local legal community today announcing the immediate resignation of First District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini.

The Batavian obtained a copy of the memo this evening. It reads:

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini announced today that she has made the difficult decision to resign her position with the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office effective immediately and that she has other opportunities that she would like to pursue. I thank Melissa for her years of service and wish her well in the future.

Reached via text message, Friedman declined further comment.

We've attempted to make contact with Cianfrini and have yet to reach her.

Cianfrini, an Oakfield resident and wife of County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, joined the DA's office in 2009. She was promoted to first district attorney in 2017. With Friedman planning to retire at the end of his current term, she appeared, before today's resignation, to be his likely heir apparent.

Her resignation comes at a time when the DA's office is adjusting to an increased caseload, with additional staff, because of new, more rigorous, discovery rules in New York. The new rules require the office to turn over more evidence to defense attorneys in a more timely manner.

Photo: File photo.

January 9, 2020 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, Notre Dame, video.
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The #1 ranked Class D team in the state, the Elba Lady Lancers, didn't get to play at home until their eighth game this season, making it a big one against archrival Notre Dame, and they walked off the court with a 56-44 win to remain undefeated.

Taylor Augello scored 14 points for Elba. Maddie Muehlig scored 11. Leah Bezon and Brynn Walczak had 10 each.

For Notre Dame, Amelia McCulley led all scorers with 26 points. Morgan Rhodes scored six. Lindsey Weidman scored seven and had 10 rebounds.

January 9, 2020 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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.
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  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
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January 8, 2020 - 10:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in girl scouts, batavia, news.

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It's Girl Scout cookie season and locally, Girl Scouts kicked off cookie event at the Scout headquarters on Jackson Street.  Pembroke student Hannah Beach was on hand to greet visitors and hand out the new Lemonades cookie. Scouts who participated also received a cookie slide bracelet and engaged in hands-on activities.

Press release:

Girl Scout Cookie lovers across Western New York are currently able to purchase their favorite cookies from a girl for $5 per box via order taking starting Jan. 11 – Feb. 8, directly at cookie booths during March 1 – 29, and online through direct shipping now throughout the sale until March 29, 2020. For more information visit gswny.org.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program® teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they have fun learning essential skills like money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success. Nine in 10 Girl Scouts say the cookie program has built their entrepreneurship skills and their interest in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path—so every cookie purchase is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow. What’s more, each and every purchase stays local to power amazing experiences and leadership opportunities for girls in communities across the United States.

GSUSA’s refreshed cookie packaging (with the same great taste!) continues to emphasize what the cookie program is all about, and the updated images feature current Girl Scouts taking part in a diverse range of experiences available to members — from adventure-packed camping and canoeing, to exploring space science and designing robots, to taking action to improve their communities. Every purchase of Girl Scout Cookies makes experiences like these possible for girls in your local community.

And with one of two lemon cookies available nationwide this year, Girl Scouts of Western New York is celebrating the Lemonades cookie, a tasty way to support young female entrepreneurs. Lemonades, alongside classics such as the Thin Mints®, Caramel deLites®, and Peanut Butter Patties® varieties, are savory slices of shortbread with lemon-flavored icing. The variety is offered in select council markets for as long as supplies last.

“We are committed to positioning girls for success both now and in the future through our comprehensive, year-round program experience for girls,” said Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “As the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie Program® provides girls with an unparalleled experience to hone their entrepreneurial skills and build a lifetime of leadership. We also welcome adult volunteers and girls to join Girl Scouts.”

January 8, 2020 - 10:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, elba, Notre Dame, video.
Video Sponsor

It took two overtimes but in the end, Notre Dame prevailed over Elba in a fiercely contested match on Tuesday night.

The Fighting Irish came out on top 58-53.

Gabe Macdonald led the Fighting Irish with 18 points. Mark Sanders scored 12. Cody Henry and  Keith Szczepanski had 10 each, and Colin McCulley
scored eight.

For the Lancers, Colton Dillion led Elba with 23 points. Zach Marsceill hit four three-pointers and had 15 total points. Jaden Hughes scored seven.

Help The Batavian grow. Please become a supporter.

January 8, 2020 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running in the Special Election in NY-27 to fill the vacancy left by the disgraced felon Chris Collins, has called for ethics reforms in light of multiple members of Congress resigning after guilty pleas and Chris Collins repaying himself over $100,000 from a decades-old campaign loan.

McMurray is calling for Congressional pensions to be forfeited if the member resigns after a felony guilty plea. He first called for pension forfeiture in an October letter to the judge overseeing Collins’ case after Collins pled guilty. Now, McMurray plans to introduce legislation to codify pension forfeiture for members of Congress who break the public’s trust.

“Taxpayer-funded pensions should not go to corrupt Members of Congress who abuse the public’s trust. Americans from California to Western New York deserve better,” McMurray said. “No felon former Congressmember should continue to profit off of their crimes.

"We will send a clear message to every dirty politician -- Chris Collins, Duncan Hunter, and anybody else, Democrat or Republican that they will pay when they break our trust.”

Collins, a multimillionaire, also paid himself back over $140,000 for a personal loan he gave to his 1998 campaign. McMurray also announced plans to introduce legislation to stop this corrupt practice by requiring the repayment of personal loans within two years of the election

“Political campaigns should not be personal piggybanks, and we must close loopholes that allow someone like Collins to raise money and put it into his own pocket twenty years later,” McMurray said.

McMurray also criticized Collins’ efforts to seek a light sentence for his crimes.

“Chris Collins must pay his debt to society and to the voters he lied to and cheated. The rich and powerful should not dictate the terms of our criminal justice system and the U.S. Probation Office should not be recommending a slap on the wrist to one of the president’s cronies after he committed multiple felonies,” McMurray said.

January 8, 2020 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kim Smith, 61st senate district, batavia, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Kim Smith is a candidate for the 61st State Senate District. Yesterday she stopped in Batavia at the Richmond Memorial Library as part of what she calls a "listening tour," a chance for her to hear from residents of the district about what is important to them. This video is a quick introduction to the candidate.

Mobile app users, click here to view the video

We do the work of gathering local news so you don't have to. Help us do it better. Click the supporter button below.

January 8, 2020 - 9:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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 four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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January 7, 2020 - 10:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Rob Ortt.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, is calling for the State Legislature to take action on Senate Bill 5156, which would amend and strengthen the 2012 passage of the state’s Iran Divestment Act. This legislation would amend the current language of the Iran Divestment Act, conforming current definitions to fit state law.

"New York shouldn't be investing in a country in the business of killing American citizens and military personnel or support a fundamentalist regime committed to wiping Israel off the map,” Ortt said. “Rather than condemning the legitimate use of force in killing one of the leading architects of terrorism across the Middle East (Qasem Soleimani), Senate Democrats should send an unequivocal message that Iran's disturbing past and current aggression is wholly unacceptable.

"Senate Republicans prioritized and passed this important legislation for several years and it is time for Democrats to get on board and condemn this terror-sponsoring, American-killing, the anti-Semitic Iranian regime."

Ortt believes that Iran’s mounting aggression and recent threats necessitate immediate action by New York lawmakers. Senate Republicans successfully passed this bill from 2015-2018, but Senate Democrats have yet to take it up for a vote. The bill memo and justification notes that Iranian leaders have repeatedly sought to target New York City should they acquire a nuclear weapon, putting at risk the health and safety of New Yorkers.

Ortt also contrasted the inaction on Iran with state and national Democrat calls to divest from Israel.

January 7, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressional Candidate (NY-27) and State Senator Chris Jacobs announced if elected to Congress he will reintroduce legislation sponsored by former Congressman Chris Collins. The legislation would eliminate New York’s Scaffold Law for federally funded projects in the State and protect taxpayers.

“New York is the last state in the country that still has the outdated Scaffold Law, which was enacted in the 1800s when there were very little regulations on the construction industry," Jacobs said. "The law imposes absolute liability on the owner or contractor if a worker is injured in a fall, no matter how irresponsible the worker’s actions.

"For instance, a worker could be completely drunk and if he fell off even a stepladder, the owner would be completely liable in a lawsuit.”

Due to the Scaffold Law, New York State is home to many more frivolous lawsuits at construction sites and workplaces, and consequently, New York has some of the highest insurance costs.

In New York State a typical single-family home can cost up to $10,000 more as a result of the Scaffold Law. The taxpayer-funded new Tappan Zee Bridge project paid $200 million more in insurance costs due to New York’s Scaffold Law.

“This all translates into construction projects costing more and inevitably taxpayers paying more,” Jacobs said. He continued, “in a state that already has a $6.1 billion budget deficit, we can not afford to put more wasteful costs on the backs of taxpayers.”

The legislation Jacobs will reintroduce –called the Infrastructure Expansion Act— requires that states receiving federal money for projects will not be able to use the Scaffold Law absolute liability standard due to the unnecessary increases it causes in project costs.

“We are no longer going to waste taxpayer money on an outdated law that every other state except New York has eliminated long ago,” Jacobs said. "Hopefully passage of this legislation and the risk of losing federal money will cause state leaders to finally eliminate the Scaffold Law, saving New York taxpayers millions.”

January 6, 2020 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Congressional Candidate (NY-27) and State Senator Chris Jacobs announced a congressional endorsement from the New York Young Republican Club. The club made the decision to endorse Jacobs recently after Jacobs delivered the keynote address at their annual holiday gathering.

“This endorsement is a large honor for me as I continue to build my Congressional Campaign to represent the State of New York," Jacobs said. "Young Republicans are the future of this party and their support makes me confident that we can work together to build a party that is strong and vibrant for future generations.

"In a time where Republicans, especially younger ones, are vilified it is inspiring to see so many individuals confident and energized to stand up for their beliefs. I look forward to working with The New York Young Republican Club, and other organizations alike, in Congress to bring our message of solutions, innovation, and conservative values to the nation.”

The New York Young Republican Club was established in 1911. They are the oldest and largest Young Republican club in the United States. The Club is affiliated with and officially recognized by the New York State Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation, as well as the county, state and national Republican committees.

NYYRC President Gavin Wax said, “I am proud to announce that our organization has endorsed Chris Jacobs in his Congressional Campaign. Our Club represents the future of the Republican Party and we believe that Chris Jacobs is the best candidate to go down to Washington to represent the conservative values that both the people of Western New York and the youth movement within our party holds dear.”

January 6, 2020 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economics, economy, news, notify.

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At $821, the average weekly earnings of a Genesee County resident is on the lower end of wages paid in New York and well below the national average of $1,095 and the New York State average of $1,347.

It's also lower than the other GLOW counties: Livingston, $859; Orleans, $891; Wyoming, $885.

Downstate counties and Albany are where the state's highest wage earners are, of course, with New York City workers earning $2,109 per week on average.

Erie County's average is $986. Monroe County is $1,009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a federal agency), "Forty-two of New York’s 44 counties with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,095. Steuben ($1,127) and Schenectady ($1,115) were the exceptions. Yates and Hamilton counties reported the lowest average weekly wages at $690 and $691, respectively."

January 6, 2020 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Bethany, Stafford, byron, news.

Statement from David Bertola, spokesman for National Grid in WNY, about yesterday's power outage:

A faulty piece of equipment that caused a Le Roy area substation to fail yesterday at around 9:08 a.m.
As a result, around 5,500 customers lost power. Around 5,000 of those customers had power restored by 2 p.m.

The remaining were restored by around midnight.

January 6, 2020 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.58, no change since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.24. The New York State average is $2.72 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.59. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.66 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.65 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.70 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.69 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.69 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.64 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.71 (up 3 cents since last week)

Gas prices were expected to be lower at the start of the new year, but with oil prices on the rise, motorists are still awaiting a drop at the pump.

Oil prices continue to rise and that directly impacts pump prices. Analysts are keeping a close eye on escalating tensions in the Middle East. The death of the Iranian leader in a U.S. airstrike could eventually lead to higher gas prices.

However, the U.S. has increased domestic production in recent years, so the country is in a better position than in the past.

From GasBuddy:

"To start the first week of a new decade, the national average has seen little change, but with the U.S. targeting and Iranian general in an attack last week, there is a distinct possibility that escalations in tensions may have an affect on gas prices moving forward," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"For now, there's been no physical disruption or retribution from Iran, but it has been promised. Oil markets have risen on the rising risk of Iran retaliating, but until it happens, don't expect gas prices to see much of a jump.

"For now, I could see a small 5-10 cent per gallon increase over the next couple of weeks, but the real potential for fireworks at the pump will be contingent on retaliation, and whether that retaliation targets oil infrastructure like Iran struck last year. For now we're in limbo, but typically gas prices decline slightly in January and February thanks to seasonally weak gasoline demand."

January 6, 2020 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ski, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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Photos and information submitted by Coach Matt Holman.

SWAIN -- The Batavia Ski Team and Southern Tier Race League began their race season Saturday at Swain Resort with a double race.

Two runs of Giant Slalom in the morning, followed by a single run of slalom in the afternoon.

It was an above-average temperature day for ski racing, spring-like conditions and morning mist turned to sleet and back to rain that making the top layer of snow soft and lumpy like mashed potatoes and also exposed the hard-packed ice base in spots of Wheels Run at Swain.

The Batavia Alpine Ski Team had a successful day, senior Aubrey Towner had the best finish of her career and led the way in fourth place in the giant slalom, and sixth in slalom. Junior Lily Whiting came in ninth in giant slalom and 13th in the slolam. Junior Zack Wagner finished in 11th in giant slalom and 12th in the slalom on the boys' side.

Modified skiers Lily Wagner (11th/13th), Ethan Bradley (12th/12th), Ben Stone (16th/18th), Elijah Abdella (18th/15th), Brody Swinehart (23rd/20th) and Abby Bestine (24th/23rd) all had strong first races.

The ski team will next compete at Swain on Wednesday, in a two-run Giant Slalom race at 5:30 p.m.

Team photo: Aubrey Towner, Lily Wagner, Lily Whiting, Elijah Abdella, Abby Bestine, Zack Wagner, Ben Stone, Ethan Bradley, and Brody Swinehart.

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Zack Wagner

Aubrey Towner

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