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'The Captain' gets his wish

John Francis, of Whitehall, became an honorary WWE Champion on Friday night when star Enzo Amore (standing next to John Francis) visited his Whitehall home. Also pictured are organizers Shane Alden, right, and Kelly Slingerland. 

WHITEHALL — John Francis “The Captain” Hoague-Rivette prepared all day to meet his idol, World Wrestling Entertainment star Enzo Amore, who stopped by his Whitehall home to visit.

“His mother reached out to me, telling me how much he enjoys WWE wrestling and how she wishes she could bring him to our event tomorrow to meet WWE star Enzo Amore,” said organizer Shane Alden, who owns a pro-wrestling company WAC Presents WOH Wrestling. “After talking to her, I researched John’s story about the community supporting every step ... I was so touched by the story and support of the community, I wanted to see what we could do to help, as we have so many kids from the area that attend our matches.”

With a bit of work, Alden arranged Amore’s visit, where he presented him a honorary championship belt prior to appearing at the wrestling event at the Whitehall Athletic Club on Friday night.

“We are thrilled to be able to give back to John what we can, as he was such a fan of wrestling,” said Alden. “We are excited that Enzo was willing and able to make the special appearance.”

Community paddle and fishing clinic

Hollingsworth & Vose Company and the Battenkill Conservancy are hosting a community paddle, fishing clinic and barbecue, beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Paddlers will put in at Battenkill Conservancy Schmidt Meadow Preserve in Jackson and paddle downriver to the H&V Center Falls access site overlooking H&V’s Greenwich facility.

At the same time, there’s a beginning angler fishing clinic for those who want to try their luck on the Battenkill.

The event wraps up with a free barbecue lunch for all participants.

Families interested in the fishing clinic should meet at the Center Falls site at 10 a.m.

For more information, email bkc@battenkillconservancy.org or call 518-677-2545.

Opening Reception for Upcoming Exhibit

Artist Don Wynn has been chosen for a solo exhibition, “Seeing Things: Evolution within Realism,” at the Historic Salem Courthouse Community Center in Salem.

The public is invited to a free opening reception with the artist from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.

“Since my earliest years, I have been obsessed with making images of people, places, things and ideas that I have a strong response to,” said Wynn. “Although my style has changed and evolved over the years, the reason I paint has not.”

The exhibit will be on display in the center’s Great Hall from Aug. 23 to Sept. 27.

This show is the fourth of five installments in the 2019 Great Hall Art Exhibit series presented by the Historic Salem Courthouse Community Center.

This year’s art series is focused on expanding the genres of art represented and showcasing local food vendors at the opening receptions.

The Historic Courthouse is located at 58 East Broadway, Salem, and is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

To see Wynn’s work, https://donwynn.com/paintings.

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Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli covers Washington County government and other county news and events.

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