Year 2004 on Grand Island, N.Y.
By Teddy Linenfelser


A two-car accident on Baseline Road near Fix Road resulted in the death of Kathryn Cady, 79, of West River Road and seriously injured her husband, George Cady, 78.

Newly elected Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel (center) made appointments for her clerk positions. They are (left) Sally Kaiser, Michelle Wing, Diane Darmofalski and Betty Lantz.

Grand Island's first baby of 2004 was a boy born to Fix Road residents Ken and Eileen Lippert. The Island's second baby was Sophia Louise McShane, also born on January 1, 2004 to Isle resident Kathleen McShane and Alex Georgiadis of Buffalo.

Town Justice Hon. Randall D. White officially installed Grand Island's supervisor, two councilmen, town justice and town clerk on January 1, 2004 in the Charlotte Sidway School dining room. Former Town Justice, Hon. Eric L. Reimann was Master of Ceremonies for the noon event attended by well over 100 residents and friends.

182 Grand Island families pledged their support for SafeHomes.

Nicholas M. Pelosi, a retired Grand Island businessman, died Sunday, January 11, 2004 in his Grand Island home.

All Grand Island schools were closed Thursday, January 15, 2004 due to severe cold and estimated wind chills from 20 to 30 degrees below 0.

A retirement party for Nancy J. Samrany was held Friday, January 16, 2004 at the Classics Banquet & Conference Center, Amherst.

When SPC Michael Shanley entered the Charles N. DeGlopper Post 9249 on Monday, January 26, 2004 where he and his wife, Melissa, planned to meet his family and then go out to dinner, he was pleasantly surprised to see upwards of 80 friends and relatives there to give him a surprise homecoming from Iraq.

Eric H. Lloyd of West River Road was seriously injured in a shooting in Niagara Falls on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 and later died from his injuries.

Grand Island School District students were dismissed at the end of the regular school day Wednesday, January 28, 2004 and after school activities were cancelled due to blowing, drifting snow throughout the day.

Members of the Democratic Women's Club, formed in 1972 with the purpose of supporting the Island's Democratic candidates for town office, voted to disband.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Charles N. DeGlopper Post 9249 presented V.A. Hospital with 140 fleece lap robes.

Residents were reminded by the Fire Company that they can be of invaluable assistance if they clear snow from nearby hydrants so they are fully accessible during a fire emergency.

Taylor Firth, 12, a Grand Island figure skater, placed first in her division in the Kempen Trophy in Belgium in January 2004.


A Grand Opening at the new Wendy's and Tim Hortons, at 1685 Grand Island Blvd. took place Sunday, February 8, 2004.

Steve Morgan established his new firm, Contour Financial Planning, L.L.C. on Whitehaven Road.

A Connections meeting addressing the problems the town faces with youthful alcohol and substance abuse was held February 10, 2004 in the Grand Island Memorial Library Community Room and deemed a great success.

Jamie Dougherty, a freshman at Monroe Community College and Region III Soccer Player of the Year, earned Junior College All-American honors.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's stage hit, "Oklahoma!" was produced by St. Stephen's Parish Players at St. Stephen School on February 13-15, 2004.

St. Stephen's Parish Players youth production, "Hounds of Clackervilles" took place at St. Stephen School on February 20-22, 2004.

G. Granson Geis, 70, a retired land surveyor, died Monday, February 23, 2004.

Substantial benefits were realized when the Grand Island Fire Company's Engine #5 was re-outfitted with a new chassis and cab, after 20 years of dependable service.

Mentholatum at 345 Lang Blvd. on Grand Island, moved to a Cheektowaga location for several reasons including a closer proximity to the Mentholatum headquarters in Orchard Park.


An estimated audience of 200 gathered at the High School Monday night, March 1, 2004, to advise the Board of Education about how to proceed with the 2004-05 budget. Board President David Goris told the audience that the board had “no preconceived notions” about the budget, and wanted to hear from the public concerning their priorities.

Grand Island High School freshman Ian O'Rourke placed second out of 39 divers at the New York State High School Swimming and Diving Championships at the Nassau County Aquatics Center in East Meadow, NY (Long Island) on Saturday, March 6, 2004.

The Grand Island Lady Vikings Basketball Team, coached by Jenepher Banker, beat the Olean Huskies 61-41, to win the Section VI Class A Title on Saturday, March 6, 2004.

Robert Goris, a junior at Grand Island High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 254, has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Grand Island Lady Vikings won their second championship at the Third Annual Fredonia State Indoor Soccer Tournament on Sunday, March 7th.

American Legion Post #1346 Commander Robert Soluri (left) and Adjutant Richard Vanthoff (right) presented Love Road resident Robert Meyer, a World War II veteran who served in the Philippines with the United States Army for four years, with a 50-year service award on Monday, March 8, 2004.

This year's Connor Middle School musical, "Bye Bye Birdie" was performed by the students on Tuesday evening, March 9, 2004 in the Grand Island High School auditorium.

Mike Feathers, a senior at Grand Island High School, won the Nike Indoor Championship Pentathlon event held over the March 12-13, 2004 weekend in Landover, Maryland.

Shirley J. Martin and Gladys Benzing were recognized for their many years of dedicated service to the Republican Party and the Town during a cocktail party Wednesday, March 17, 2004.

The 2004 Corporate Bowl final competition on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 in the Grand Island High School auditorium was won by the Midnight Funk Express team of Rebecka Schaber, Brian Lipp, Doug Ingraham and Andy Boron.


It was brought to the attention of the community that Meaghan Ann Grotz was in need of a double lung transplant and that financial assistance was needed.

Grand Island resident Mike Johnson won the New York State Masters championship at the Rapids Bowling Center in Niagara Falls April 2, 2004.

Robbie J. Toth was involved in a Friday, April 9, 2004 auto accident on Fix Road east of Alt Blvd. when his vehicle left the road and landed upside down. He was extricated and transported by Mercy Flight to the Erie County Medical Center Trauma Unit.

United States President George W. Bush, speaking from the stage in Kleinhan's Music Hall Tuesday, April 20, 2004, publicly thanked Frank Brusino of East River Road for the leadership role he has taken with the Citizens Corp on Grand Island and noted that Frank is a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserves.

Timothy Szczykutowicz of Boy Scout Troop 254 achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank achievable in scouting.

Island resident Al Salamone and his team competed in the Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Sweden and came home with a Silver Medal and a spot on the 2006 Olympic Team.

The Grand Island High School Concert Band, Orchestra and Wind Ensemble traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee April 21–26 to compete in the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational, considered one of the most prestigious music festivals in the country. All Grand Island groups were given the highest marks.

Town of Grand Island Animal Control Officer Gregory Butcher was elected president of the Western New York Animal Control Officers Association on April 25, 2004.


Nina C. Hurley, 48, of Grand Island lost her life in a motor vehicle/cycle collision Wednesday, May 5, 2004 on East River Road in Buckhorn State Park.

Veronica Connor Middle School Music Department's The Singcopations received a Gold Rating in a Level 3 competition in NYSSMA during the first week in May 2004.

Longtime Isle resident Elinore Swain was the first customer to come to the check outs during the grand opening day at the Dollar Tree on Saturday, May 8, 2004.

Grand Island Little League received $1,000 from Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick which was used to buy 300 batting helmets.

Supervisor Peter McMahon announced Monday, May 17, 2004, the formation of a Public Safety Advisory Board that will consist of six members at large from the community.

Grand Island School District residents passed the district budget of $40,612,262 in a 1109 to 966 vote on Tuesday, May 18, 2004. Winners of the school board trustee race were Mike Dallessandro, George Casey and incumbent Jeri Lynn Schopp.

The Grand Island Varsity Tennis Team tied for the Niagara Frontier League championship.

Michael M. Siegel and Joseph M. Fusco, III received their Eagle Scout award, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

Memorial Day Services Monday, May 31, 2004 were moved to the DeGlopper VFW #9249 Post Pavilion due to heavy rain. A large crowd of residents attended despite the inclement weather.

Courtney Collignon, 8, dove into the Holiday Inn pool and rescued her 4-year-old brother, Cameron, who had wandered over to the edge of the pool and suddenly fallen in the deep end.

The Grand Island E-News at broke another record in hits (unique visitors) to the site during May 2004, just as it has done in March and April 2004. The old record of 10,483 was surpassed by a wide margin when the count reached 11,556 at the end of the day, May 31, 2004.


An inflatable raft overloaded with nine illegal immigrants crossed the Niagara River from Canada, landed on Grand Island in the early morning darkness Saturday, June 5, 2004 and were promptly arrested by federal agents.

Grand Island Senior Mike Feathers capped his four-year athletic career with an impressive win at the State Track Championship at Cicero-North Syracuse.

Grand Island's participation in the Relay For Life June 11, 2004 behind Grand Island High School was outstanding with a total of 64 teams taking part, and money raised ($45,000 unofficial) for the American Cancer Society's local patient services and programs, advocacy, community education, and cancer research was phenomenal.

Members of the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249 provided friends and family of Charles N. DeGlopper a fitting remembrance on the 60th anniversary of his death in France during World War II. The Memorial Service took place Saturday, June 12, 2004 at Maple Grove Cemetery where Charles was buried in June 1948.

Grand Island High School Diver Ian O'Rourke was named to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) All-America Diving Team. A 9th grader, Ian is ranked 15th in the nation among Public High School Boys.

Candidates who used questionable pre-election activities prior to the 2003 election will not be prosecuted according to District Attorney Frank Clark in a letter to Grand Island Independence Party Chairman Mike Sendlbeck and dated June 15, 2004.

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce' 8th annual KidBiz Sale was a huge success with over 100 kids setting up shop on the grounds of TOPS Friendly Market on June 26, 2004.

The "Meaghan's Miracle" fundraiser, run by family and friends of Meaghan Grotz at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club on Sunday, June 27, 2004, was deemed a financial success thanks to the hard work of many and the huge crowd from the community who came out to support this worthy cause. Meaghan is a 17-year-old Grand Island High School honor student was suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.

Complaints from Grand Island residents whose autos had been spray-painted with orange paint brought about the arrest of three juveniles, ages 11, 12 and 14 at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 29, 2004 by the Erie County Sheriff's Department.

The Grand Island Foundation has approved grant requests for a total $6,300.13 to assist Grand Island students. According to Director Myrna Blair, the foundation approved grants from 14 teachers.


Edward McCutcheon was appointed assistant pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church July 1, 2004.

Grand Island, New York's Independence Day Parade down Grand Island Blvd. on Saturday, July 3rd was watched by a estimated crowd of 3500 under sunny skies and beautiful weather. The annual event was comprised of 64 units.

Longtime Island residents Norm and Mary Parisi closed their Grand Island Quality Cleaners, a business on Staley Road near Baseline that they have been operating for 40+ years.

Fairly nice weather prevailed for the HUGEccillo Golf Tournament on Friday, July 15, 2004 at River Oaks Golf Club. Participants were presented with River Oaks windbreakers, a dozen golf balls and gift certificates. Lunch, dinner, refreshments, beverages and a live band playing until 11 p.m. were in the Billy Fuccillo style - HUGE.

Fifty-two youths and adults from Trinity UM Church participated in the Reach Niagara Falls Workcamp during the week of July 18-24, 2004.

The new Town of Grand Island Zoning Code, a 141-page document, was adopted and officially went into effect Monday, July 19, 2004.

The Grand Island Rod & Gun Club's Grand Old Days tractor pulls were held Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, 2004.


Grand Island Little League's 8-year-old All Star team was victorious in the 2004 Lewiston and Porter baseball championships held the first weekend in August.

Many former Isle residents wrote of their experiences with Hurricane Charley in August 2004

This year's U12 All-Star Team defeated the Mel-Ott All Stars from Tonawanda to become District 1 champions.

The Phillies won the Grand Island Little League Major Division league title and playoff Championship for 2004.

The new Brennan's Restaurant at Love and Baseline roads was opened by Lisa Dauchscherer and Chefs Jon Brennan and Rene Gerber.


All Grand Island schools opened on Wednesday, September 3.

Grand Island schools opened on a rainy Wednesday morning, September 8, 2004. Shown above taking the big step on her first day of school is Mikayla Ann Claus, daughter of Kelly and Fred Claus of Marilyn Drive who is now a kindergarten student at Charlotte Sidway School.

The Federal Court of Appeals, on Thursday, September 9, 2004, upheld U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara's June 2002 decisions to deny the claims of the Seneca Nation of Indians to Grand Island and several other Islands in the Niagara River.

Close to four inches of rain fell Thursday morning, September 9, 2004 causing flooded roads especially in the Colonial/Driftwood Drive area.

The Rose Liquor Store began opening on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

Grand Island Citizens Corps Council Asked "Are You Ready?" The Council was emphasizing Disaster Readiness.

Grand Island School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ramming announced the Board of Education’s appointment of Joanne Kud as the District’s Communication Consultant.

"The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, a 4 1/2-hour drive from Buffalo, was honoring the man and his vision with "Stan Hill: An Inspiration." The late Stan Hill was a long-time Island resident.

The BBC benefit concert held Saturday, September 11, 2004 at the Town Common drew an estimated crowd of at least 650.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Grand Island Fire Company celebrated its 65th anniversary September 11, 2004. Elsie Fleischmann was in attendance and received recognition as a charter member of the organization, formed in September 1939.

The "Niagara Frontier Antique & Classic Boat Show" and Raceboat Reunion was held under sunny skies on Saturday, September 11, 2004 at the Buffalo Launch Club.

An early Sunday morning, September 12, 2004 garage fire on Alt Blvd. caused approximately $75,000 damage to the structure and contents.

The new Public Safety Advisory Board met Wednesday, September 15, 2004 for the first time and completed a Hazard Analysis for the Town of Grand Island.

Tenth grade Grand Island High School social studies teacher Kevin Murray challenged his regents class last spring. His offer was that if 95% of the students passed the regents exam, they could cut his hair any way they wanted. Friday, September 17 was pay back time.

Oprah Winfrey did her show at Fort Campbell on Monday, September 20, 2004 as the "World's Largest Baby Shower" and Dana Anello White was there.

Angry Bishops Gate residents voiced their opinion at a school board meeting, regarding the delay of an egress from their neighborhood to the Grand Island High School.

The 97 Rock Labatt Blue Friday Office Party won by the office staff and friends and held in the deSignet Jewelry Store was attended by over 40 people on Friday, September 24, 2004.

Two distinguished Chinese teachers, Ms. Jai Han and Ms Lijia Shan, received a warm welcome upon their arrival to the Grand Island School District.

The Islettes Elite annual awards banquet and celebration was held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 25, 2004 when each member of the Islettes including twirlers, guard members and volunteers, was honored for their participation and achievements throughout the season.


Coach David Bowman had his 100th JV Girls Soccer win on October 1, 2004 against Lew-Port with a score of 6-0.

Town Supervisor Peter McMahon assisted Chief Greg Butcher in conducting the annual inspection of Grand Island Fire Company members at Fire Headquarters on Saturday, October 2, 2004. Chief Butcher also singled out GIFC Paramedics for their steadfast participation in "a program which has spanned twenty-five years of (ALS) lifesaving service to town residents."

Randolph Osvath of The Commons on Grand Island, was killed Thursday, October 7, 2004 when the motorcycle he was driving struck a guardrail on the eastbound LaSalle Expressway.

A Cardinal Lane resident gave a guilty plea in the embezzlement of nearly $40,000 from St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church where she was previously employed.

The team of Jacquelene Sondel and Blythwood Vermont Topic finished up the year as Reserve Champion.

It was announced at an October Town Board Meeting that Leisure Living (R&P Pools), formerly known as Island Pools, requested to shift their operations into an Empire Zone in Buffalo.

Proprietors of the Viking Plaza businesses - Gifts-N-More, Met Life, Priority Computer Services, Scrap It Up, and Hizair - held ribbon cuttings and a grand opening at each business on Saturday, October 15, 2004.

Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick provided $3000 to the Grand Island School District for the purchase of a portable electronic scoreboard for the athletic department.

The Lady Vikings finished their regular soccer season going undefeated in the Niagara Frontier League with a 13-0-1 record.

The Grand Island E-News kicked off its fifth year with the October 28, 2004 issue.

The Grand Island Fuccillo Chevrolet dealership on Alvin Road reached the rank of #1 Chevrolet dealer in the United States for the month of October.

Mary Lou Lunsford headed up a pirate banquet theme party at the school district's bus garage on Friday, October 29, 2004 when many wore costumes and decorated eye patches.


Seventeen-year-old Meaghan Ann Grotz came through her November 3, 2004 double lung transplant surgery with flying colors.

The school board voted in favor of a proposition to allow construction of an easement connecting the Bishops Gate neighborhood to the Grand Island middle and high school parking lot.

After winning the semifinal and sectional final the Grand Island High School Girls Soccer Team played and lost to Aquinas in the Far West Regional Class A contest Saturday, November 13, 2004 at Albion.

The new Fuccillo Toyota-Scion dealership on Alvin Road opened November 15, 2004

Airing what they said were "process irregularities" and hinting at improprieties during the November 15, 2004 town board meeting were three Island residents who spoke against the Upstate Cellular tower constructed on Councilman Dan Robillard's Ransom Road property.

An apartment complex fire at Center Court South dislodged 18 families on Wednesday, November 17, 2004.

The Grand Island High School Spotlighters presented the production, "Go Ask Alice," on Friday and Saturday, November 19-20 in the high school auditorium.

An alcohol related, serious injury accident at 1:15 a.m. Friday, November 26, 2004 took place when a vehicle traveling eastbound on Ransom Road at a high rate of speed passed through the stop sign at East River Road and crashed through a guardrail coming to rest 100 feet from the roadway in the east branch of the Niagara River.

A probationary bus driver with the Grand Island School District was given the opportunity to continue working if she did not make political statements in the future. The driver quit after refusing to abide by directives to not make personal statements on controversial topics to elementary children on a school bus.

The landmark Old St. Stephen's Church, built in 1890 on Baseline Road, was given a nice new look with siding completed and color added.

For his Boy Scout Eagle Scout requirement, Ron Warner Jr. organized a food drive at two Grand Island schools.

Members of the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249 recently donated a laptop computer and LCD Projector to the Grand Island Citizen Corps Council.


Flu shots were provided at the Golden Age Center on Friday, December 3, 2004 to persons over 65 or those with high health risks.

Santa Claus visited at Town Hall on Saturday, December 4, 2004.

Casey Dahlstrom, a member of Boy Scout Troop #510 achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Island Consignment on Grand Island Blvd. opened for business in December 2004.

At least three Grand Island residents were among 30 people arrested Wednesday, December 15, 2004 on felony charges of drug conspiracy.

The Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island, following its 28-year tradition, provided food items, gifts, toys and all sorts of goodies to 60 needy families on Grand Island. advertisers numbered 78 in December 2004, up from 54 in 2003.

Thank You Contributors

   Thanks to everyone who contributed news and pictures to's E-News this year, especially Jodi Hayes Robinson, Joelle Logue, Kelly Gast, Ray Pauley, Ruth Stahl, Fred Claus, Barbi Lare, Dan McMahon and Detective Fred C. Vincent. Thanks also to the teachers, coaches and parents who submitted school and sports news, and to those who added organization news, church events, photos, viewpoints and news of interest to anyone with a connection to Grand Island, NY. We have enjoyed a great year and look forward to serving you in 2005. Teddy Linenfelser, Editor