Orleans Hub breaks record again for traffic

February had highest average for unique visitors, daily pageviews

Photo by Tom Rivers
Jeremy Graham uses a snowblower on Feb. 2 to clear out his driveway on East State Street in Albion when a snowstorm hit the area, shutting down local schools for the day. February was a month of punishing winter weather.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2015
Orleans Hub set a new record in February with highest daily average for unique visitors and daily pageviews.

The site was coming off a big month in January when we crushed our record for average daily unique visitors. The 6,650 average for unique daily visitors in January topped the December record of 5,650 by 17.7 percent or 1,000 “uniques.”

I was hoping we could stay above 6,000 for February, which is usually a slow news month. A lot of our January traffic was driven by interest in the Medina village dissolution issue. Village residents voted down that referendum on Jan. 20.

But we topped January’s numbers with a 6,780 daily average for unique visitors in February. We had 615,029 total pageviews over 28 days for a 21,965 daily average, which tops the 21,317 daily average in January, when we had 660,825 pageviews over 31 days.

Photo by JC Photography (Jesse Colmenero)

A story about the life of Brian Bellan and his 12 children was the most popular story of the month in February on the Orleans Hub. The Bellan family is pictured last fall at Mount Albion Cemetery. The group includes, front row, from left: EmmaLee and Karina; Second row: MiKayla, Richie, Da'Ron, Austin and Elizabeth; Back row: Briana, Porter, William, Kyson, Bryce, Kim and Brian.

In February, brutally cold weather was often in the news. The temperatures set a new record for coldest month ever for Buffalo and Rochester.

We frequently posted winter weather advisories, wind chill warnings and hazardous cold outlooks from the National Weather Service. Orleans Hub frequently wrote about the brutal weather and school closings, which are always a draw for readers.

But we didn’t just write about the weather. Nor did readers of the Orleans Hub. We’ve been receiving lots of letters to the editor, and one by Dr. David Stahl of Medina was the second most popular story of the month in terms of “clicks,” or how many times the story was clicked on.

Here are the top five stories for the month:


1. Father of 12 leaves legacy of love in Medina


2. Doctor says billing irregularities at Medina hospital

3. County sells former Apollo Restaurant in Albion


4. Injunction seeks to stop ‘Squirrel Slam’


5. Community will rally for Rustay family

Mike and Cheryl Wertman have also been busy covering the local sports scene. Mike’s story on Feb. 9 was the first story about Roosevelt Bouie being inducted in the Syracuse University Hall of Fame.


Bouie, a former Kendall High School star, had his No. 50 retired by Syracuse. He is pictured here with several of Kendall's senior players. They include, from left, Mookie Nauden, Will Condo, Taylor Kingsbury and Tania Arellano. They are in front of the case that displays Bouie’s retired Kendall jersey.


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Icy roads make for difficult travel

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 3 March 2015
CARLTON – Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a two-car accident at the corner of Route 18 and Harris Road in the Town of Carlton a little after 5 p.m. today.

There were no injuries in the accident. The ice and slush on many of the roads in the county is making for difficult travel.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. tonight due to the freezing rain.


Medina and Lyndonville both cancelled after-school activities today due to the hazardous weather.


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Albion girls in B1 semifinals Thursday

Photo by Cheryl Wertman
Albion's Chanyce Powell and her Purple Eagle teammates will face Tonawanda in the Section VI Class B1 semifinals Thursday at Sweet Home.

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 3 March 2015

No. 6 seed Albion will face No. 7 Tonawanda in the Section VI Class B1 semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Sweet Home.

The victor will take on the winner of the No. 5 Eden vs. No. 1 East Aurora semi the title contest on Sunday at Buffalo State.

Albion, which is 12-9, advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2012 by defeating Depew 52-38 in the opening round and No. 3 Burgard 59-51 in the quarterfinals.

Toawanda bested Alden 43-17 in the first round and No. 2 Newfane 51-36 in the semifinals.

Albion's offense has been sparked this season by sophomore Chanyce Powell, who is averaging 16.1 points per outing, and senior Justice Nauden, who is averaging 12.6 points.

In Class B2, Niagara-Orleans League champion No. 1 seed Wilson will face No. 4 Fredonia in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo State. The other semi matches No. 2 Cleveland Hill vs. No 6 Southwestern. The winners will meet in the title contest on Sunday at Buffalo State.

In Class C1, No. 5 Barker will face top seeded Chautauqua Lake in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at Jamestown Community College. The other semi will have No. 3 Salamanca vs. No. 2 Allegany/Limestone.


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U.S. ‘must remain united’ with Israel, Collins says

Staff Reports Posted 3 March 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a joint meeting of Congress today, speaking against a deal the U.S. and its allies are pursuing with Iran over its nuclear program.

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, issued this statement following Netanyahu’s remarks.

“The importance of America’s relationship with Israel transcends politics,” said Congressman Collins. “Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated how essential a strong partnership is between our two nations. As growing threats emerge from the Middle East, now more than ever, Israel and the United States must remain united. I am honored to have had the opportunity to hear the prime minister speak and will continue to be a strong advocate on behalf of Israel.”

Congressman Collins was accompanied to today’s address by Chris Jacobs, Erie County Clerk.

“I am honored to have heard one of the world’s leaders, Prime Minister Netanyahu, speak today,” said Chris Jacobs, Erie County Clerk. “Israel and the United States have a relationship that goes beyond just allied countries and it was a tremendous opportunity to see that on display at today’s address.”


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Lyndonville, Medina cancel after-school activities due to weather

Staff Reports Posted 3 March 2015 2:09 p.m.
Lyndonville and Medina school districts won’t have after-school activities today due to hazardous weather.

Lyndonville students will be dismissed at 2:35 p.m., and all athletic, music, and youth activities are cancelled, including the wellness center.


UPDATE at 3:25 p.m.: Suicide Coalition Meeting cancelled that was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Hoag Library.


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Ag is a big business in NY with nearly $40B impact

File photos by Tom Rivers
An operator at Root Brothers Farm works the ground at the corner of Long Bridge Road and Route 31 in the Town of Albion in this photo from last May.

Staff Reports Posted 3 March 2015
Agricultural is a very big business in New York State – nearly a $40 billion impact in the state’s economy, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

The comptroller’s report counted agriculture’s impact at $37.6 billion to New York’s economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent from 2007, according to DiNapoli.

The $37.6 billion is far more than the $5.5 billion in direct farm revenue counted in the 2012 Agriculture Census. (Orleans County ranks 13th out of 62 counties at $150.3 million in direct farm sales, according to the Ag Census in 2012. Click here to see “Ag revenues soar in latest census.”)

The state ranks in the top 10 nationwide for milk and other dairy production, as well as wine, apples, maple syrup and other products. New York is the second-leading apple producer behind only Washington State and Orleans County is NY’s second-leading apple producer behind Wayne County.

Orleans County is a big grain producer, with a lot of the crop going to the ethanol plant in Medina. This picture shows a grain facility in Shelby.

“New York’s economy is still fueled by agricultural activity and the production of food,” DiNapoli said in a news release. “Farms in New York are 98 percent family-owned, yet compete on a national level, diversifying our economy and keeping our local communities strong. It makes economic sense for the state to retain and promote our farms to feed our residents and preserve our land.”

Milk is the state’s largest commodity, with $2.4 billion in sales, followed by grains, peas and beans at $856 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 census.


New York also ranked first nationwide in the production of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream, and was the second-largest wine producer in 2013, with 34 million gallons. The state also ranked second nationally in maple syrup production.

“Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report calls attention to the significant economic impact agriculture has in New York state,” said Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau. “This in-depth look highlights the dedication of farmers, the diversity of products and the unmistakable conclusion that agriculture is a cornerstone of our rural economy both upstate and on Long Island. New York Farm Bureau thanks the Comptroller for the report and his continued interest in our state’s agricultural strength.”

A cow bellows at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds in Knowlesville in this photo from July 2013. Dairy is the biggest sector of agriculture in NY.

As of 2012, roughly 56,000 New Yorkers operated farms, with an additional 61,000 people hired as farm laborers. Both the total value of agricultural commodity sales and farm acreage increased from 2007 to 2012, while the number of New York farms and farmers declined modestly.


With an average farmer’s age of 55 years old – reflecting the national average – fewer younger adults are entering the farming profession. In 2012, more than half of New York farms had sales below $10,000.

New York state has established a number of policy initiatives to promote its agricultural sector, including:

• The Farmland Protection Program, which can pay 75 percent of purchase costs for conservation easements to municipalities;

• The New Farmers Grant Fund to encourage young people to take up farming with grants for equipment purchases, supplies or construction;

• The Fresh Connect and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs, which bring farm food to communities and fund school purchases of fresh produce; and

• The Food Metrics Law, which encourages state agencies to purchase food produced by New York farmers.

As farmers continue to address the challenges driven by factors at the local, national and even international levels, close attention to the most effective mix of state policies to support agriculture will remain essential, DiNapoli said.

In addition to providing a big economic benefit, the comptroller said agriculture has other quality of life contributions, including preservation of open spaces.

To see DiNapoli's report, click here.


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Several arraigned in county court for drug crimes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2015
ALBION – Several people were arraigned in Orleans County Court on Monday for alleged drug crimes.

Andre D. Shine, 31, of Medina faces several counts and the highest bail of those arraigned. Shine and Amanda L. Major, 24, of Medina were both arrested on Jan. 22, 2015 following a 2-month-investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine in the Village of Medina.

Shine was arraigned on three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch set bail at $150,000 for Shine, who has been in jail since the day of his arrest. He was living at 125 Starr St., lower apartment.

Major, also of 125 Starr St., lower apartment, was arraigned on Monday on one count each of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Her bail was set at $10,000.

Two Rochester residents who were arrested on Jan. 27 for allegedly selling crack cocaine in the Village of Medina were arraigned in county court on Monday.

Keith A. Toney, 36, of 51 Mead St., Upper Apt., was arraigned on nine counts of CSCS in the third degree. The judge set bail at $20,000.

Lakusha McMorris, 35, of the same address, was arraigned on three counts of CSCS in the third degree. She remains free on $2,500 bail.

In other cases, Jacob Haundenshield, 23, of Holley was arraigned on third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a house on Gaines Basin Road in Albion in December 2012.

Gregory Farewell of Albion was arraigned for violating his conditional discharge by driving without an interlock ignition device, which measures Blood Alcohol Content.


Farewell has two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, according to the District Attorney's Office. He is in jail on $2,500 bail.


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Brown’s Berry Patch will close retail operation

Photos by Tom Rivers
Brown’s Berry Patch has been a popular site along Route 18 in Carlton for about three decades.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2015
WATERPORT – A popular agri-tourism retail site that drew outsiders to Orleans County and also employed about 50 people during the peak of the fall season will close.

Brown’s Berry Patch owners said the site, which started in 1984 as a small fruit stand, is closing. The Brown’s Berry Patch fruit and wholesale businesses will remain in operation.

Bob Brown and his wife Deborah say the business has been profitable, but they are ready to retire. They worked together to make it an agri-tourism destination.

Bob’s brother Eric is the farm’s orchard manager and Bob and Deborah’s son Bobby is in charge of the berry operation, as well as handling other responsibilities for the farm. Eric and Bobby want to continue focusing on growing fruit and working with the wholesale customers – not the retail operation.

“We’ve been blessed with a lot of great customers,” Bob Brown said. “I’m going to miss all of those customers.”

Bob Brown stands next his wife Deborah during the dedication of a Peace Garden on Oct. 5, 2013. Brown's ancestors helped fight the British during the War of 1812. Paula Savage, the Peace Garden Foundation president, is at right.

The Brown family will continue the 300-acre farm through Orchard Dale Fruit Company. The family has a long lineage in Carlton, dating back to 1804.

Bob Brown pushed to start the retail operation about three decades ago, selling fruit from a roadside stand. He said the farm needed to diversify and not just rely on wholesale buyers.

The farm added its first structure in 1984 for Brown’s Berry Patch. It kept growing in the years that followed, adding a playground that kept expanding. It had a petting zoo with farm animals. The retail side grew to ice cream, gifts, desserts and sandwiches.


Brown’s Berry Patch was popular for wagon rides and birthday parties. “Farmer Brown” – Bob Brown – was the leader of many of those tours, which included many school groups.

Eric Brown looks over a field of strawberries in this photo from May 2013. The Brown family will focus on growing fruit for its wholesale customers.

Gayle Ashbery, the Carlton town supervisor, said she was sad to hear the news this morning about the closing of the retail operation.

"They had a wonderful business that drew a lot of people from a lot of different areas," Ashbery said."It was definitely a draw."

Brown’s attracted many repeat customers from Monroe, Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties. The farm market became a destination. In 2004, it was recognized with an I Love New York Governor’s Agri-Tourism Award.

Brown’s Berry Patch also has been recognized for excellence by the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association, Orleans County Chamber of Commerce, New York Agricultural Society and Genesee Valley Parent Magazine.

Bob Brown said the family strove to run a clean operation that was family friendly, and also gave customers a taste of farm life.

Pedal cars, a Bouncy Pillow, and the Goat Walk (where goats walk on a track on top of a grain bin and barn) have been popular.

The family would consider leasing the space to another retailer.

“We’re open to ideas,” Brown said.


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Public health nurses are key part of Health Department mission

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public health educator for Orleans County Health Department Posted 3 March 2015

When the Health Department is mentioned many people may think about when they put in a new septic system, took their pets to a free anti-rabies vaccination clinic or even went to get much needed preventative vaccinations for themselves and their children.


One of the services public health nurses provide at many health departments is maternal and child health visits. These visits are voluntary and are for all parents of newborns.


Each time there is a pregnancy and a new baby introduced to your family there are many adjustments to be made. Each child is different and new issues may arise that a public health nurse may be able to provide information to assist in your adjustment.


Services may include the following:


• Prenatal Services by Referral: Your healthcare provider may refer you to the public health nursing team to provide home visits to provide support and education during pregnancy and childbirth education classes. These services are generally provided by a certified childbirth educator.


• Postpartum/Newborn Services: Our nurses will provide health education and guidance for newborns, new moms and their support systems. They can assist with in-home breastfeeding support and help with monitoring the baby’s growth at home. They will also provide materials to community resources.

• Lead Poisoning Prevention: Lead poisons people, especially children. Once inside their bodies it can cause all sorts of health problems with little or no symptoms. Lead can be found in paint, dust, soil and water.


Having your child tested at ages one and two is highly recommended and New York State regulations require medical providers to test children for lead at age one year and again at age two years. They must also assess children for lead risk at each well-child visit, and test children up to age six years if a risk for lead poisoning is found. Your health department may be able to assist with testing and can provide more information about the importance of lead testing.

• Immunizations: The Health Department participates in the Vaccine for Children program providing childhood vaccinations to all children under 19 who currently do not have a healthcare provider. The nursing staff can answer questions about the schedules and what vaccinations are right for you and your family.


Congratulations on your new baby! Our nurses enjoy meeting the families and new babies. Working with your health care provider, public health nurses can provide ongoing pregnancy, postpartum and parenting support to parents of newborns.


Whether this is your first child or you are expanding your family the public health nursing staff is here to help with information and support. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact the Orleans County Health Department by calling (585) 589-3278 or by clicking here.


This Sunday, March 8, Daylight Savings Time begins … remember to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour either before going to bed on Saturday or first thing Sunday morning. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries too!


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More snow/sleet on the way

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 3 March 2015
The sign for Carlton Station on Route 98 is pictured on Monday afternoon when the wind was blowing snow across the north-south road, causing whiteout conditions in some spots.

More snow is coming today, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a winter weather advisory from noon today until 1 a.m. tonight.

Snow will turn into a wintry mix, resulting in slippery conditions. There will be 1 to 2 inches plus up to a tenth of an inch of ice.


“Roads may be very slushy and slippery for the Tuesday evening commute,” the Weather Service said.


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Albion wants to reduce school taxes

District already has lowest tax rate in county

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2015
ALBION – The school district with the lowest tax rate in Orleans County may be able to reduce the rate even more in 2015-16.

Albion Central School will see about $200,000 in retirement savings next school year plus about $100,000 less in debt service. Those savings have district leaders optimistic the tax levy can be cut by 1 percent or about $84,000 from the $8,439,939.

The Board of Education and school administrators also intend to keep all existing programs offered by the district, superintendent Michael Bonnewell said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

The district is working to fine-tune a proposed budget for 2015-16. State aid is a big wild card. The governor’s budget released in January did not include aid projections for Albion or other school districts.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said districts can expect 1.7 percent more state-wide on the low end, and that’s if the governor’s reforms in education, including changes in teacher evaluations, are not approved by the State Legislature. If the reforms are passed, Cuomo said he would support 4.8 percent more in aid for districts state-wide.

Albion is budgeting for a 0 percent change in state aid at this point in the process. With the goal of preserving existing programs and still cutting taxes by 1 percent, Albion faces a $235,000 budget gap.

That’s if the district doesn’t see an increase in state aid. School officials expect there will be more state aid for Albion, but the number is uncertain given the differences between the governor and State Legislature.

The $235,000 gap isn’t too big of a hurdle at this stage of the budget process, said Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

“That is a very workable number as a first draft,” Liddle said.

The draft of the budget for 2015-16 calls for $33,252,000 in spending, which is down more than $300,000 from the $33,551,051 budget for 2014-15.

School administrators are continuing to look at enrollment and student schedules for next year to see if any efficiencies in staffing that can be achieved.

Albion taxpayers paid a $16.78 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property in 2014-15. That compares with the following rates in Orleans County: Holley, $22.43; Kendall, $17.44; Lyndonville, $18.34; and Medina, $23.31.


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Batavia man, 35, sentenced to state prison for sex with girl, 14

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2015
ALBION – A Batavia man was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison today for attempted rape in the second-degree.

Christopher Bucci, 35, of Batavia admitted he had sex with a 14-year-old girl on Dec. 28, 2013. He faced a maximum of 1 ½ to 4 years in state prison.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch gave Bucci, who had no prior criminal record, 1 ½ years in prison. The judge said the crime could have a long-term impact on the victim, who was given an order of protection.

“The damage is rarely apparent right away,” Punch said during sentencing.

Bucci apologized to the victim.

“I am very remorseful for what I did,” Bucci said at sentencing. “I wish I could take it back but I know I can’t.”

Bucci’s attorney Nathan Pace asked for weekends in jail for Bucci, who has shown “complete remorse,” Pace said, more than any other client he’s worked with in 22 years with similar charges.

Punch said a weekend sentence “diminishes” the crime and long-term impact on the victim.

In another case, an Albion man was sentenced to a year in jail for driving while intoxicated.

James J. Bartosik, 46, of Albion was charged with felony DWI on Sept. 12 in the village. He has three prior convictions for DWI or driving while ability impaired, District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

Bartosik’s attorney Thomas Calandra asked that Bartosik be sentenced to weekends in jail so he could keep his job and be active with his son.

“He is a very good worker,” Calandra said. “But he has a very bad drinking problem.”

Bartosik apologized to the court and his friends and family for the DWI.

“I know I have a drinking problem,” he said at sentencing. “I’m trying to understand how to cope with things in the right way.”

Punch said Bartosik has been on Probation three times. The judge said he couldn’t in good conscience give Bartosik Probation and weekends in jail with a chance for a fifth DWI or DWAI.

Bartosik’s sentence also includes a three-year conditional discharge after jail. Bartosik also must use an interlock ignition device that measures his BAC.


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Holley man with lengthy record sentenced to prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2015
ALBION – A Holley man with a criminal record dating back to 1976 was sentenced to state prison today after a June 18 car accident. That day William O. Kuyal drove through a stop sign while going westbound on Powerline Road, crossing into Route 237. Kuyal and three other people were injured in the crash.

Kuyal received a 1 1/3 to 4 year sentence in state prison for second-degree vehicular assault and a 1-year sentence for driving while ability impaired. The sentences will be served concurrently.

“You have a remarkably bad record,” Orleans County Court Judge James Punch told Kuyal during sentencing.

Kuyal has 25 prior arrests and 13 convictions. His attorney Kevin McKain agreed that Kuyal has a lengthy criminal history. However, McKain said Kuyal has no felony crimes since 1994, served as his mother’s caregiver and also bought a house.

“He was rehabilitating his life,” McKain said at sentencing.

Kuyal was driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .06 percent. McKain said Kuyal likely fell asleep while driving and didn’t mean to cause any harm.

Kuyal apologized to the three victims injured in the accident, including his brother Dudley who nearly lost his life. Dudley C. Kuyal suffered multiple fractures and extensive injuries to his abdomen.

In the accident, Kuyal struck a vehicle driven by Julie M. Smith with passenger Sofia M. Smith. Julie M. Smith suffered a broken left wrist and Sofia M. Smith suffered a broken left ankle.

Kuyal is suffering from throat cancer. McKain read a statement written by Kuyal where he apologized to the three victims.

“I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me,” Kuyal wrote.

In addition to the sentence to state prison, Kuyal will serve a three-year conditional discharge and must use an interlock ignition device when he drives. That device will measure his BAC.


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Minor injuries after 3-vehicle accident on Route 31

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 2 March 2015 4:42 p.m.
ALBION – Three vehicles were involved in an accident on Route 31 at the Eagle Harbor Road intersection, a scene of many accidents over the years including one with no injuries on Sunday night.

“This has always been a dangerous intersection,” Albion Fire Chief Rocky Sidari said at the scene at about 3:30 p.m.

None of the people involved in the accident had serious injuries, Sidari said.

Albion firefighters were there sweeping shattered glass and debris off the road. Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance transported two very young children as a precautionary measure.

State Police and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department were also at the scene.

A state trooper carries a Teddy bear to a small child involved in a three-car accident this afternoon in Albion.


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Vehicle flips, driver OK in Albion accident

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 2 March 2015 2:15 p.m.
ALBION – An Albion High School senior was driving on Crandall Road at about 1:35 p.m. when she lost control of her vehicle and it flipped.

Logan London was able to climb out of the vehicle without injuries after her seat belt was cut. She was trapped inside the vehicle.


The wind has blown snow from tall snow embankments into the road, a problem on many north-south roads in Orleans County.

State Police and the Albion Fire Department responded to the scene.

Logan is pictured hugging her mother Vicki London after Logan climbed out of the upside-down vehicle.


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Gillibrand, Hochul lead effort to combat sexual assaults on college campuses

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Posted 2 March 2015
BUFFALO – At a round table meeting at University at Buffalo today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul were joined by students and officials from UB and other Western New York area colleges, as well as survivors, advocates, and law enforcement and discussed bolstering efforts to combat sexual violence on college campuses.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses in New York reported 388 forcible sex offenses and over 5,000 offenses nationwide in 2013.

Last week Gillibrand reintroduced a strengthened version of her bipartisan bill The Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S.590) after receiving input from survivors, students, colleges and universities, law enforcement, and advocates.

Gillibrand’s legislation would flip the current incentives of a broken system to provide real accountability and transparency from higher education institutions. The legislation would professionalize the response to and reporting of sexual assaults that occur on campuses to better protect and empower survivors of campus sexual violence, while also protecting the rights of accused students.

The legislation would secure landmark reforms for how colleges and universities address and report incidents of sexual assault that occur on their campuses. It incorporates feedback from key stakeholders to strengthen how student surveys are conducted and strengthens newly required training standards.


The provisions safeguard both survivors and accused students. It extends the amount of time survivors have to file a case with the Department of Education, and sets new notification requirements for both survivors and accused students involved in the campus disciplinary process.

“Right now, some colleges and universities are more inclined to expel a student for cheating on an exam than for committing sexual assault,” Gillibrand said. “We know this problem is pervasive and too often swept under the rug. This bipartisan bill is a new path forward to protect students by flipping the incentives and holding schools accountable. I am grateful to the survivors and advocates whose work inspired this legislation. Our work isn’t done, and now we need to work together to spotlight this problem, raise awareness, and organize around getting this bill passed so we can make our colleges safer and more transparent.”

Key provisions of the legislation include:

• Establishes New Campus Resources and Support Services for Student Survivors: Colleges and universities will be required to designate Confidential Advisors to assist survivors of sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Confidential Advisors will coordinate support services and accommodations for survivors, provide information about options for reporting, and provide guidance or assistance—at the direction of the survivor—in reporting the crime to campus authorities and/or local law enforcement. Schools will no longer be allowed to sanction students who report sexual violence but reveal a non-violent student conduct violation in good faith, like underage drinking.

• Requires Fairness in Campus Disciplinary Process: All schools will now be required to use one uniform process for campus student disciplinary proceedings and may no longer allow athletic departments or other subgroups to handle complaints. Schools must now provide written notification to the accused as well as the victim of any decision to move forward with a campus disciplinary proceeding within 24 hours of that decision. The notice must include details of complaint, a summary of the disciplinary proceeding and the rights and due process protections available to both parties.

• Ensures Minimum Training Standards for On-Campus Personnel: This legislation ensures that everyone from the Confidential Advisors to those responsible for investigating and participating in disciplinary proceedings will receive specialized training so that they have a firm understanding of the nature of these crimes and their effect on survivors.

• Creates New Transparency Requirements: For the first time, students at every university in America will be surveyed about their experience with sexual violence to get an accurate picture of this problem. This new biannual survey will be standardized and anonymous, with the results published online so that parents and high school students can make an informed choice when comparing universities. The Department of Education will also be required to publish the names of all schools with pending investigations, final resolutions, and voluntary resolution agreements related to Title IX with respect to sexual violence.

• Campus Accountability and Coordination with Law Enforcement: This legislation will require colleges and universities to enter into memoranda of understanding with each local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction to report to a campus as a first responder to clearly delineate responsibilities and share information so that when a crime occurs, both campus authorities and local authorities can focus on solving the crime rather than debating jurisdiction.

• Enforceable Title IX Penalties and Stiffer Penalties for Clery Act Violations: Schools that do not comply with certain requirements under the bill may face a penalty of up to 1 percent of the institution’s operating budget. Previously, the only allowable penalty was the loss of all federal student aid which is not practical and has never been done.


The bill increases penalties for Clery Act violations to up to $150,000 per violation from the current penalty of $35,000. Financial penalties collected from universities in violation will be distributed back to campuses through a new competitive grant program, administrated by the Secretary of Education, for which colleges and universities can apply for the purpose of researching best practices for preventing and responding to sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on college campuses and sharing such research with peer institutions and the Department of Education.

“Sexual assault is all too prevalent on college campuses, which is why here in New York we've said "Enough is Enough" and we are committed to doing something about it,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. “Now is our defining moment to ensure that every college and university -- both public and private -- abides by the same set of standards so that victims have confidence to come forward without fear of retribution. Along with Senator Gillibrand’s leadership in Washington and Governor Cuomo’s actions at home, we are ready to bring fundamental change to a system in dire need of reform."

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, colleges and universities have a legal obligation to provide an environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.

Gillibrand introduced the bipartisan legislation Thursday along with Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Gary Peters (D-MI.).

“We all have a responsibility to help combat the culture of sexual assault and rape on college campuses,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Sen. Gillibrand has been a leader in this fight in Washington, and I commend her for the important work she has done and continues to do on this critically important issue. In New York, we’re fighting to enact the toughest and most comprehensive law in the nation to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Enough is Enough, and this year I urge all New Yorker’s to join our fight in combatting sexual assault on college campuses.”


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Students are pictured in Yellow Schoolhouse in 1935

By Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County Historian Posted 2 March 2015
ALBION – In this photo from 1935 we see the students and their teacher from District No. 9, which served both parts of Albion and Murray.


The schoolhouse, known as The Yellow Schoolhouse, was located on the west side of Transit Road just south of Route 31. It was always painted a bright yellow and served as a landmark for many years.


The students which are numbered here are identified as follows: 1. Catherine Christopher; 2. Betty Lou Lewis; 3. Alfred Christopher; 4. Angelo Christopher; 5. Carmel Christopher; 6. Frank Christopher; 7. Lloyd Kuhn Jr. and 8. Mary Jane Kuhn.


The teacher standing behind the pupils is believed to be Ella Bacon.


(Editor's Note: We have a few more Vintage Orleans photos that Bill Lattin shared with us before he retired on Dec. 31.)


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Weather Service warns of snow and extreme cold

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 2 March 2015

These barns are pictured on Friday on Tuthill Road in Albion, near Route 31.


We have moved into March and out of the coldest month in recorded history, when February averaged 10.9 degrees in Buffalo, breaking the record of 11.6 degrees from February 1934. (Rochester also set a new record for cold with the 12.2-average temperature below the previous record of 12.6 degrees set in February 1934.)

The National Weather Service is warning of extreme cold again today when the wind chill could fall to minus 3. The high is forecast for 24 degrees today with a low of 5.

On Tuesday, the Weather Service is warning of snow, but there shouldn’t be significant accumulation. It should reach 32 on Tuesday with a low of 29.


It is forecast to reach 33 on Wednesday and then fall to a high of 17 on Thursday with a low of 6 that day.


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Medina French students immerse themselves in Quebec culture

Provided photos
These students are on a toboggan ride, including from left: Hayley Cogovan, Krista Nellist, Coby Albone, Jakob Cotter and Powell Stephens. Waiting to sled are Hallie Seaman and Kati Young.

Press Release, Medina Central School Posted 2 March 2015
MEDINA – Students from the Medina High School French Language Program recently spent several days in Quebec City with teacher Julie Webber and some school administrators.


Not only did they get to experience the language and the culture of the predominantly French-speaking province, they got to partake in a lot of activities.


“The students toured the city of Old Quebec, a walled-in city dating back to the 1600s,” says Mrs. Webber. “They also enjoyed tobogganing on historic Dufferin Terrace, a 3- mile dog sledding adventure, observing views of the frozen Montmorency waterfalls, a visit to the winter sports park and enjoyed a traditional meal and dancing at the Sugar Shack.”

Medina students visited Quebec City recently.

Quebec City is the cradle of French-Canadian culture. For the French students it was the perfect place to combine their language skills with cultural activities.


“It was an awesome opportunity for students to use their language skills firsthand,” Mrs. Weber said. “All that they have been studying truly comes to life.”


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Medina Winterguard boosts score in latest performance

Provided photo
The Medina Winterguard performs on Saturday at Marcus Whitman. Medina will host its own Winterguard competition on March 14.


Press Release, Kathy Dreyfus, publicity chairwoman for Medina Band Posted 1 March 2015
RUSHVILLE – Medina’s Winterguard competed on Saturday at the Marcus Whitman High School in Rushville. The Mustangs were uncontested in the Scholastic A class where they scored 69.19, a 6-point increase from the previous week.

The Medina show “From Cocoons to Wings" depicts the stages of development from a caterpillar to a cocoon and finally into a beautiful butterfly. This metamorphosis is accomplished through some creative costuming.

The community has opportunities to see the show as the Winterguard will compete this Saturday in Lancaster, March 14 in Medina and March 21 in Holley. The championships are April 12 in Brockport.


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Kendall to honor Bouie on Wednesday

Contributed Photo
Roosevelt Bouie, shown here during his scholastic days at Kendall, will be honored by his alma mater this coming Wednesday following the recent retirement of his uniform number by Syracuse University.


By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 March 2015

Kendall High basketball legend Roosevelt Bouie was recently honored by Syracuse University with the retirement of his uniform number (No. 50) and now his hometown community and alma mater are set to add their congratulations to him for receiving this special honor.

Bouie will be honored at the high school this coming Wednesday evening in ceremonies being held in conjunction with the annual Kendall vs. Holley faculty basketball game.

Scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. the ceremony will include a video tribute to Bouie who will address the crowd. The faculty game is slated to follow at 6:45 p.m. with proceeds going to the Kendall and Holley community food pantries.

Bouie helped key a run of what turned out to be five straight sectional titles for Kendall during the mid 1970's and then starred for four years at Syracuse.

During his scholastic days at Kendall his Eagle squads compiled a overall record of 65-1 during his sophomore, junior and senior years, including registering 55 straight wins during one stretch.

The Eagles went 21-1 his sophomore year of 1974 and then 22-0 during both his junior (1975) and senior (1976) years capturing the Section V Class C title each time.

Bouie in fact was named the Class C tournament MVP each of those three years.

Kendall capped off the perfect back-to-back 22-0 seasons by defeating Mt. Morris 64-51 in the 1975 title contest and by downing H-A-C 73-55 in the 1976 finale.

In all, the Eagles ended up capturing the Section V Class C title five straight years from 1973-1977.

Bouie went on to Syracuse University where he teamed up with Louis Orr (who also had his number 55 retired) to form what became known as the "Louie and Bouie Show." They led Syracuse to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1977-80), the inaugural Big East Conference championship in 1980 and the first 100 wins of Syracuse legendary Coach Jim Boeheim's career.

Bouie, who scored 1,560 points for the Orange, still ranks No. 2 on the Syracuse all-time list in blocks with 327 and is 7th in rebounds with 987.


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February goes in record books for coldest month ever

Photos by Tom Rivers
This tractor is pictured in a field of snow along Holley Road in Albion on Friday when temperatures were in the single digits for most of the day. There is at least 2 feet of snow still on the ground.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 March 2015
It’s never been colder in Western New York for an entire month than February 2015, according to National Weather Service.

Buffalo averaged a temperature of 10.9 degrees and never once went above freezing. That average temperature broke the previous record-low of 11.6 degrees in February 1934, according to the National Weather Service.

Rochester was a little it warmer but the 12.2-average temperature was below the previous record of 12.6 degrees also set in February 1934.

Watertown also broke its record for coldest month ever. It averaged 6.1 degrees for February, colder than the 6.4 degree-average in December 1989.

The first day of March should hit a high of 28 today with 22 degrees tonight, according to the Weather Service.

Monday is forecast for a high of 25 and a low of 4, followed by a high of 30 on Tuesday and a high of 34 on Wednesday.

However, the Weather Service warns of hazardous weather for Orleans and western and central New York due to a wintry mix of sleet and feeezing rain expected Tuesday.

“The period of rain Tuesday night ay result in minor flooding of low lying and poor drainage areas, especially where snow has blocked storm drains,” according to the Weather Service.

The canal bridge on Telegraph Road in Murray is pictured at dusk on Saturday.


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Clarendon fire chief praised for courage amidst fight with cancer

Jon DeYoung thanks community for support

Photos by Tom Rivers
Clarendon Fire Chief Jon DeYoung holds up a photo of his son Jon DeYoung Jr. from a few years ago while introducing members of a firefighting youth group. DeYoung has fought colon cancer the past two years. He was installed as the fire company’s fire chief on Saturday night.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 March 2015
CLARENDON – In October an ambulance was sent to Jon DeYoung’s home. DeYoung is a long-time Clarendon firefighter and the ambulance squad knew him.

It didn’t look good for DeYoung. He just had a second surgery for colon cancer and an infection was threatening his life. His brother Jim DeYoung said the family worried if Jon DeYoung would survive that night.

DeYoung fought through the infection and he has made it through radiation, chemotherapy and surgeries the past two years. The 49-year-old had a scan about two weeks ago and he said doctors didn’t see any signs of cancer.

On Saturday, DeYoung was installed as the fire company’s chief, replacing Bob Freida who served in the role the past eight years. DeYoung previously served as chief about 20 years ago.

“I’m feeling good,” DeYoung said after Saturday’s installation dinner. “You got to keep a positive attitude.”

DeYoung was awarded the President’s Award from Danny Campbell, the outgoing president. Campbell has served in the role for eight years. Freida is the Fire Company’s new president.

Campbell served as emcee of the installation dinner, and he mixed in many jokes during the event. However, he was overcome with emotion and wasn’t able to get the words out when he wanted to give the President’s Award to DeYoung. Campbell said afterward he is thankful his long-time friend is back to good health.

Campbell wanted to recognize DeYoung “for never giving up and for showing exceptional courage.”

DeYoung is the son of a former fire chief. DeYoung’s son Jon Jr. also is active with the Fire Company, serving on the board of directors and as a captain.

“I’ve had a lot of support from the fire departments and people in general,” DeYoung said.

Campbell also was honored during the installation dinner for 40 years of service to the Clarendon Fire Company. He was presented with a plaque from the Fire Company and citations from the offices of State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Congressman Chris Collins.

Outgoing Fire Chief Bob Freida (pictured at podium) presented a Chief’s Award to active volunteer Karl Biedlingmaier, a lieutenant with the Fire Company.


"This individual has really stood out," Freida said in recognizing Biedlingmaier.

Freida also was praised for bringing new programs into the Fire Company, including a youth group for Holley students. Clarendon teams with Holley and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray firefighters with a program that is the only one of its kind in the state.

Freida said the initiative should develop firefighters of the future for the departments in eastern Orleans County.

Cassie Mohney, left, and Dalton Major serve as captains in the firefighting youth group. Cassie thanked the Clarendon, Holley and FHM fire companies for supporting the program and for the many mentors who dedicate time in working with the youths.
There are 13 Holley students who participate in the program, learning basic firefighting skills.


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Fire police captain named Clarendon’s ‘Firefighter of the Year’

Photo by Tom Rivers
John Harvey (left), the fire police captain for the Clarendon Fire Company, is congratulated by Marc Major, a captain with the fire company, after Harvey was named winner of the Everett and Letha Campbell Award which is the “Firefighter of the Year.”


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 March 2015
CLARENDON – John Harvey can be counted on to show up for nearly every fire and EMS call in Clarendon. Harvey is one of the dedicated members of the Clarendon Fire Company’s fire police.

He is often out directing traffic, keeping motorists from dangerous scenes and also protecting firefighters from traffic. Harvey, 78, also drums up business for Fire Company raffles and fund-raisers.

On Saturday, he was named Clarendon’s “Firefighter of the Year” – winner of the Everett and Letha Campbell Award.

“He is at every call,” said Danny Campbell, the outgoing Fire Company president and son of Everett and Letha. “He is very, very dedicated.”

Harvey is fire police captain, a group that includes eight volunteers, and he is also secretary for the Fire Company. He has volunteered with the Clarendon Fire Company the past 14 years.

He previously joined the Rochester Protectives in 1973 and was a past president of the group that worked with salvage, setting up and operating fans and lighting at incidents, and also pumping out flooded basements.

Harvey said he has made many friends through the fire service and is grateful for the chance to support the local fire company and community.

Often he and the other fire police will be at a scene for several hours, sometimes in the freezing cold. Harvey said some motorists are rude and don’t like to be redirected away from an emergency scene.

“You want to protect the public so they don’t get in a dangerous situation,” Harvey said. “And we want to keep the firefighters safe because they have enough to worry about.”

Harvey said the raffles and other fund-raisers are also important for the Fire Company, helping to outfit firefighters with safe and current gear, as well as paying towards other equipment.

“Without that funding a majority of the equipment that is not mandated we might not have,” Harvey said.

He expects to keep busy with the Fire Company for years to come.

“I enjoy it immensely,” Harvey said. “I just love it.”


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