Jaynie Ellis

Jaynie Ellis

MILTON — Fred Dreher is celebrating his 80th birthday. Dreher is in his 57th year of much appreciated service to the community throughout his careers and has been on the job as the Court Officer at the Milton Town Court since the late 90s. 

Born on Nov. 26, 1941, Dreher is a lifelong resident of Ballston Spa. He graduated from Ballston Spa High School in 1959 and enlisted in the Marine Corps. From the Marine Corps to Court Officer, all of Dreher’s roles show his dedication to serving the community. 

In 1965, he began working as a Patrolman with the Ballston Spa Police Department, while simultaneously being employed full-time by General Foods in Saratoga, and helping his wife, April, raise four children. 

Part of the duties of a Patrolman were providing security when court was in session. Dreher grew to enjoy work in the court and continued to sign up for the duty, becoming a “regular” there. 

When Dreher retired from General Foods, he maintained his part-time position as a patrolman and doing court sessions until 1995. Dreher, always a hard worker, also added another role as a Code Enforcement Officer for the Town of Milton.

It was in the fall of 1998, that Village Justice Timothy Thomas was elected to Milton Town Justice. Thomas naturally asked Dreher to continue in the Milton Town Court as his Court Officer, and he has been there ever since. 

FredDreher BSPD

Fred during his patrol days with the Ballston Spa Police Department. Photo provided by Timothy Brown.

Milton Town Justice, Timothy Brown, planned a small birthday party for family, close friends, and coworkers to recognize Dreher and highlight all the milestones he has achieved. Dreher will also soon be celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife in April of next year.

“As one of the Town Judges here in Milton, I could not ask for a better man on the job,” said Brown. “He is excellent with people, treats everyone with dignity and respect, and has also become a dear friend.” 

Brown has personally known Fred and his family for most of his life. Brown vividly recalls waving to Dreher as a child when he drove by in his police car. In addition to the police force, Dreher also served the Ballston Spa Fire Department at the Eagle Matt Lee Fire Company #1 for over 50 years. 

“He is a dedicated community servant and has made Ballston Spa a better place by his efforts. He coached all of his children in sports and life. His friendship extends well beyond the town court,” added Brown. “Fred is a remarkable person and I join my co-judge John Cromie in the sentiment that we feel fortunate to have him as court officer.” 

When asked what advice he has upon turning 80, Dreher says to “always stay busy”. Sound advice that he lives by himself, as he still enjoys getting outside and doing his own yard work. 

We wish you a Happy 80th Birthday Fred! 

Thursday, 02 December 2021 12:39

Bids Open Next Month for HVCC North Expansion

MALTA — Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) will start the bidding process for contractors to expand its Malta campus starting next month. 

In august, HVCC announced that they will be constructing a new training and apprenticeship center at the college’s North extension center in Malta following a $500,000 philanthropic gift from GlobalFoundries. The center is part of the college’s $12.5 million expansions project aimed at boosting workforces training efforts in high demand areas. 

HVCC President, Roger A. Ramsammy, explained that the college receives many applications for their selective programs. The expansion of the Malta campus will both facilitate travel for students who live more north of the Rensselaer campus and will allow for more openings in those programs. 

The project, designed by Mosaic Associates Architects of Troy, is a new two-story, 17,500 sq. ft. STEM Education Center, which will include brand new, state-of-the-art labs for microbiology, anatomy, and physiology, chemistry and biology, and new classrooms, student support spaces, and offices. 

Bids will be opened on Jan. 19. Construction is expected to take at least one year and is scheduled to start in April and be finished before the fall 2023 semester. 

MOREAU — Cerrone Builders has submitted a proposal to build a cannabis growing and processing facility in the Moreau Industrial Park. 

According to documents filed with the Town of Moreau Planning Board, the facility will be a single story, 30,000 sq. ft. light manufacturing building on an undeveloped 2.7 acres of land at 2-6 Corporate Place within the Moreau Industrial Park. 

Construction is estimated to take 8-12 months if approved, and the estimated value of the project upon completion is $4 million. 

Moreau Industrial Park was not the first choice. Back in August, Cerrone Builders presented a proposal to the Planning Board to build the cannabis facility across from their headquarters at 1589 Route 9 in South Glens Falls. The Planning Board raised concerns regarding that location, and the proposal was tabled until now that they have picked a new site. 

Joseph Dannible, a senior Landscape Architect and partner with Environmental Design Partnership who has been overseeing the project, told the Planning Board in August that a Massachusetts-based cannabis company is the potential tenant, but the company’s name has not been released. 

Saratoga TODAY reached out to Cerrone Builders and the Town of Moreau for a comment but didn’t receive a response. 

BALLSTON SPA — Labels To Last celebrated their launch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 17 at the Name Bubbles headquarters in Ballston Spa.

Name Bubbles is an award-winning brand specializing in custom waterproof children’s labels. On Nov. 17 they celebrated the launch of a new division in their company specializing in custom, everyday labels for older adults – Labels To Last.

Senator Jim Tedisco was in attendance to award Michelle Brandriss, Founder and President, with a citation for business achievement, along with Milton Town Supervisor, Benny L. Zlotnick, Jr., who thanked her for contributing to the town’s economy with her business. 

Brandriss started the company in 2009, and when the pandemic hit she began searching for ways she could diversify the business, and Labels To Last was born. 

Labels to Last was created to provide a high-quality label solution for those in retirement homes/communities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior care. Labeling apparel and other belongings can help seniors keep track of their items and avoid lost or stolen goods. 

The company’s sales are nationwide, and Brandriss announced that Name Bubbles/Labels To Last will be expanding to Colorado for easier and faster shipping to states in the Midwest and on the West Coast, hopefully by the spring of 2022. Roughly 10% of Name Bubbles sales are local. 

To purchase the durable, waterproof press-and-stick or iron-on labels from Labels To Last or Name Bubbles, visit their websites at labelstolast.com or namebubbles.com. 

Black Horses Head to Semi-Finals

The Black Horses Varsity Football Team had another shutout win in post-season play – a 52-0 defeat against Ogdensburg Free Academy in the Class C State Quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 20. 

In the first quarter, R. Dow got the scoring started with a 1 yd. TD run, followed by a pass from O. Sherman to Z. Bowen for the 2 pt. conversion. 

O. Sherman threw five TDs to Dow – a 46 yd. pass and 34 yd. pass in the first quarter, a 34 yd. pass (2 pt. conversion completed by L. Sherman) and a 14 yd. pass in the second quarter (2 pt. conversion completed by O. Sherman to L. Cumm), and a 30 yd. pass in the third quarter (2 pt. conversion completed by Cumm). 

N. Abruscato rounded off their scoring in the fourth quarter with a 2 yd. TD run. 

Schuylerville had 434 total yds. (244 rushing). Top rushers for the Black Horses were: Cumm had 9 carries for 67 yds., M. Flanders had 14 carries for 55 yds., L. Sherman had 9 carries for 50 yds., and O. Sherman had 4 carries for 33 yds. Dow and Abruscato both rushed for TDs also. 

Quarterback O. Sherman was 8 for 9 for 190 yds. with 5 TDs. Lead receiver was Dow, with 7 receptions for 187 yds. and 5 TDs. 

On defense, Abruscato and C. Nastacie had fumble recoveries. 

Ogdensburg had 139 total yds. (65 rushing). Top rushers were A. Calton who rushed for 26 yds. on 3 carries, and K. England who rushed for 14 yds. on 2 carries. 

QB T. Lovely was 5 for 17 for 74 yds. 

D. Costello had 2 receptions for 39 yds., Calton had 1 reception for 20 yds., and J. McIntyre had 2 receptions for 15 yds. 

Schuylerville advances to the Class C State Semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 27 at noon at Middletown High School. They will face Dobbs Ferry, who beat James I. O’Neill 56-28. 

Burnt Hills Falls to Somers 

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Varsity Football Team fell to Somers in the Class A State Quarterfinals. Final score: 48-14. 

D. Marcus scored the first TD of the game in the first quarter on a 4 yd. run. Marcus also opened up the scoring in the second quarter for the Tuskers with a 32 yd. TD run. M. Kapica added a 1 yd. TD run, and M. Fitzsimons also scored on a 1 yd. TD run to make the score 28-0 at halftime. 

In the second half R. Dass scored on a 36 yd. TD run and a 52 yd. punt return. S. Swee scored on a 44 yd. TD run to round off the scoring for Somers in the fourth quarter. L. Savino was 6 for 7 on extra point attempts.

Somers kept BH-BL off the board until the fourth quarter, when R. Mareno scored the first TD for the Spartans on 25 yd. fumble recovery. J. Joseph followed up with a 38 yd. TD run with less than three minutes remaining in the game. 

Tuskers QB Fitzsimons was 11 for 12 in the first half alone and ended the game 14 for 19 for 164 yds. and 1 TD. RB Marcus had 8 carries for 51 yds. and 2 TDs. 

BH-BL’s Head Coach Shell was on the sidelines for the game after his ejection during the Section 2 Class A Superbowl against Queensbury was rescinded; officials determined that Shell was not the individual who provoked the 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalty flags. 

Somers advances to the Class A State Semifinals, a rematch against Rye. 

Thursday, 18 November 2021 14:38

Saratoga Peak Performance Changes Ownership

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Peak Performance, a premier gym among local athletes, has changed ownership. 

Dr. Bryan Briddell who is widely regarded as one of the top certified personal trainers and fitness experts in the Capital Region, has sold his gym Saratoga Peak Performance to long-time trainer JR Michael. Michael has been helping Briddell grow the business for the past ten years as the head trainer. 

“Bryan has been a mentor to me,” said Michael. “I started with him in my early 20s and he has helped me through a lot of life lessons, including teaching me how to maintain a business.” 

Saratoga Peak Performance offers training to athletes of all ages, including sport-specific training and injury-reduction programs, to help all clients reach their individual fitness goals. Peak Performance has trained many successful athletes such as Kristi Wagner, Olympic rower from Saratoga Springs who competed for Team USA in Tokyo; Kelsey Bridell, Saratoga Springs graduate and daughter of Bryan, and Carrie Hanks, Niskayuna graduate, who were both named to the 2021-2022 U.S. National Women’s Field Hockey Team; and Joe Girard III, Glens Falls native and guard for the Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Team. 

Michael has plans to give the gym a “face-lift” with some new equipment, as well as more modern marketing tactics. The good reviews about Peak Performance usually spread by “word of mouth”, but Michael has more tech-savvy ideas, such as an app for the gym. The app, which will be powered by Mindbody, will make the training experience at Peak Performance more streamlined, allowing clients to book classes, pay for classes, view openings, and more. Peak Performance will continue to stay open during the renovations. 

For more information about Saratoga Peak Performance, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/togapeakperformance. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs Girls Cross Country Team brought home their 15th State Championship. The New York State Cross Country Championships were held at Chenango State Park on Nov. 13. 

Saratoga outran Fayetteville-Manlius by 20 points to capture the Class A Team Championship, with five runners placing in the top 11 led by sophomore Emily Bush (17:50.2) in second place behind Fayetteville-Manlius freshman Izzie Sullivan (17:40.8). 

Sophomore Alycia Hart came in fourth (18:02.4) and senior Mackenzie Hart came in fifth (18:03.6), with junior Sheridan Wheeler crossing the line in 10th (18:15.6) and senior Ella Kurto following in 11th (18:21.8). 

To round out the top 30, Anya Belisle (18:34.8) and Claire Cuneo (19:24.3) also scored for Saratoga. 

Team results: Saratoga Springs 26, Fayetteville-Manlius 46, Northport 117, Cornwall 130, Corning 139, Churchville-Chili 150, Clarence 159, Suffern 205, Syosset 221.

Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:54

SSCSD Board of Education Updates as of Sept. 21

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs City School District held a Board of Education meeting on Sept. 21 to discuss a new COVID screening testing partnership with Saratoga County, “Stay Open Plan” updates, as well as updates on the capital Legacy project

New COVID Screening Testing Partnership

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Patton has announced a COVID screening testing partnership with the Saratoga County Department of Health, working closely with the County Director of Health. Saratoga Springs City School District is a couple of weeks away from implementing weekly screening and diagnostic tests, with the opportunity for those who ae vaccinated to opt out. As of Sept. 21, 79% of eligible people in the county ages 12 and up are vaccinated, and based on staff reports, 83% of staff members in the Saratoga Springs City School District are vaccinated.

“Saratoga is leading the way when it comes to having both screening and diagnostic testing available to school districts,” said Dr. Patton. 

Federal funding is available for the district to run this program and is available to all districts in the area. Saratoga will begin with the staff, having them provide proof of vaccination or their Excelsior Pass to get an accurate count on the unvaccinated and the logistics of how many need to be tested on a weekly basis. Once the district is comfortable with the testing process, information and parental consent forms will be shared with parents. School nurses will also have PCR tests for symptomatic students, also requiring parental consent; within 24 hours students will be notified of their PCR test results. 

“Stay Open Plan” Updates 

Updates to the districts “Stay Open Plan” were also announced at the most recent Board of Education meeting. 

Approximately 6,000 students are attending classes in-person again throughout the district. Since the first day of school, there have been 21 confirmed positive COVID cases between students and adults; 9 in elementary, 11 in middle school, and 1 in the high school. Currently, 101 students are on mandatory quarantine by Saratoga County. The school is required to report the following key indicators to the county for contract tracing: consistency of mask use, social distancing and time of association, and vaccination status of those 12 years and older. The county, not the school district, determines who quarantines and for what length of time. 

The academic plan in place is PIVOT. PIVOT is for classes, grade levels, or the entire school to transition to temporary online learning. Students will Zoom in daily for live instruction, following their normal daily schedule. Teachers should have already shared procedures with grades K-12, with additional information regarding study halls and flex to be announced. Attendance will be taken and Zoom links can be found on Seesaw for grades K-5 and Canvas for grades 6-12. 

Looking ahead, an enhanced quarantine support plan will also be implemented beginning the week of Sept. 20 for 6th graders and in October for everyone else. This enhanced online support is for individual students under a longer quarantine period; a longer quarantine consists of three or more days. This is the information available as of Sept. 21: 

Students and parents will access work and communicate with teachers using Seesaw and Canvas. Teachers will do live check-ins with students under these longer quarantines. Additionally, their online classes will be structured on a set schedule 1-2 hours per class depending on grade level band with a New York State Certified Educator approved by NYSED for live instructional online support. All of which is coordinated by the school district. If a student needs a device, please contact the school’s main office. Students should access their teachers during daily flex time upon returning from quarantine for additional help. 

“Since March of 2020, we learned that students need more live instruction, access to technology, and also alternatives, set schedules and expectations, relationships with peers and adults are even more important, and that we need to do a better job as a district communicating and using communication tools,” said Lisa Cutting, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment.

Capital Project Updates 

Phase 1 of the Legacy Project is complete, and the district is now looking to move on to Phase 2. The Legacy Project includes enhancing security with a new visitor management system, security cameras, etc., as well as other building improvements and energy efficiencies. The bid was this fall (Fall 2021), and estimated completion is Sept. 2023. 

The specific Dorothy Nolan/Greenfield/ Transportation projects include a secure entrance vestibule, cafeteria upgrades, and replacements in the transportation building. The bid for these projects is Fall 2022 with an estimated completion by Summer 2023/2024. 

The bid for projects in the high school will also be in Fall 2022 with an estimated completion in Summer 2025. This includes a renovated dining hall, upgrading from a serving line to scattered food court stations with a variety of counter, group, and booth seating, as well as a renovated fitness center, with the current weight room being converted to a wellness center. 

Now that the district is coming out of Phase 1, the bidding process, they will proceed into the design review and construction phases. Members of the district will be updated on the progress of Phases 2 and 3 in future board meetings.

Thursday, 05 August 2021 16:45

Team USA Lax Visits Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Team USA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse geared up in their red, white, and blue to practice in Saratoga this past week. 

The Saratoga Youth Lacrosse Association hosted the teams at their lacrosse complex for practices on Aug. 2, 3, and 4 in preparation for their exhibition games in Lake Placid on Aug. 3. 

These practices and exhibition games, as Skip Lichtfuss, Director of National Teams & High Performance for USA Lacrosse, explained, also served as an “exploration tryout camp” for the national team. The United States will field both a men’s and women’s national team at the 2022 World Games, a multi-sport Olympic-style event, in Birmingham, AL next summer. 

These practices in Saratoga were the first co-training sessions with both the men’s and women’s teams on the same field at the same time, as they are adapting to the new “sixes” style of play. 

“Sixes” is fast-paced version of lacrosse played with fewer players (6 v. 6) on a smaller field (70 x 36 meters), and a condensed game length (four 8-minute quarters). This is the style of lacrosse that will be played at the 2022 World Games. Lichtfuss compared the adoption of the new style of lacrosse to the addition of 3 v. 3 basketball in the Olympics and rugby 7’s; it will keep the rules of the game consistent across the men’s and women’s teams and the style of lacrosse consistent across countries. 

“It will allow for a better showing of the sport,” said Lichtfuss. Adding that the new style and these practices are a “great way to expose younger players to lacrosse.”

Some players on the team are collegiate-level athletes and some are pros in the PLL (Premier Lacrosse League). They come from across the United States to play on the teams, but one player in particular got the chance to return to her hometown. 

Amy Moreau, who sported #43, is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated from Schuylerville High School in 2018. She grew up playing on the fields at the Saratoga Youth Lacrosse Association complex and has now come full circle to practice there as a part of Team USA. 

“Coming back here to play with USA across my chest has been a surreal experience,” said Moreau.

The Saratoga Youth Lacrosse Association is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Saratoga’s youth with an opportunity to play one of the fastest growing sports – lacrosse. To learn more about USA Lacrosse visit usalacrosse.org.

Thursday, 05 August 2021 16:43

Cub Scouts Bike Rodeo

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Cub Scout packs held a bike rodeo this past weekend, where the kids learned about bike safety from local law enforcement. 

On Saturday, July 31 Cub Scout Packs 12 and 16 held a joint bike rodeo at the American Legion on West Avenue. Kids completed a bike safety course, and then received a bike safety talk from officers with the Saratoga Springs Police Department. It was also a recruiting event for aspiring girl and boy scouts. 

The course consisted of weaving and maneuvering, short radius turning, speed control, changing direction, changing lanes, mounting and dismounting, and more, with the older Boy Scouts in attendance as the designated pit crew. 

“If they grow up knowing how to be safe on a bicycle, then they will know to be safe when driving a car,” said John E. Koch, Cub Scouts Unit Commissioner, about what the kids were learning during bike safety day. 

In the bike safety talk the scouts and aspiring scouts learned important tips on how to wear a helmet properly, how to adjust their bike, and more. Sergeant Evan Fort and Officer Glenn Barrett with the Saratoga Springs Police Department and Deputies Jared Gardner and Nick Hess with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office spent some time riding around on their bikes with the kids afterwards.

 “We use bikes for public relations, getting out into the community more,” said Officer Barrett. “Patrolling on bikes and on bike paths lets us interact on a different level. If you ever see us out, stop and say hello.”

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