Medina parade will include fireworks, grand marshal for first time

File photo by Tom Rivers
Some of the floats, including one by Habitat for Humanity, work their way down Main Street during last year’s Parade of Lights. The sixth annual parade with be at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Staff Reports Posted 26 November 2014
MEDINA – The 6th annual Parade of Lights will return Saturday at 6 p.m. in downtown Medina. The event for the first time will include fireworks at 5:45 p.m.

The parade committee also has picked a grand marshal for the parade. Randy Bushover will serve in the role.

“Randy is a local guy who promotes his beloved community of Medina,” said Jim Hancock, parade chairman. “He is an ambassador for Medina and is well liked and known to most of Medinans.”

Bushover will lead a tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at Rotary Park in the downtown.


“This is a honorary position and we are happy to acknowledge Randy and for all that he has done to support our community,” Hancock said about the grand marshal.

For more on the parade and the schedule of events on Saturday, click here.


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Medina man arrested for burglary and grand larceny

Gerardo Quiros


Staff Reports Posted 26 November 2014
ROYALTON – A Medina resident who allegedly caused a standoff with police in September, forcing Ridge Road to be blocked off for several hours, faces new charges after an alleged incident on Tuesday in the Town of Royalton in Niagara County.


State Police in Lockport arrested Gerardo Quiros, 28, of Ridge Road in Medina for burglary in the second degree, a class C felony; grand larceny in the fourth degree; criminal mischief in the third degree and criminal contempt in the first degree, class E felonies.


Troopers responded to a report of a violation of an order of protection in Royalton. The investigation revealed that Quiros enter the protected person’s residence and caused damage to personal property and stole property from the residence.


Quiros was arrested and then arraigned before a Town of Lockport judge who remanded him to the Niagara County Jail on $30,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear before the Town of Royalton Court on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.


Quiros faces charges of menacing and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree for the Sept. 24 incident in Ridgeway.


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Medina village among most tax oppressed in state

Photo by Tom Rivers
Property owners in the village of Medina pay one of the highest combined tax rates – village, town, county and school taxes – of any community in the state.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 November 2014
MEDINA – A new report from the Empire Center lists the combined tax rates of 3,663 jurisdictions across the state. Medina is near the top for the highest tax rates.

Village residents in the Town of Shelby paid a $54.13 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property in 2012. That was the 13th highest in the state. Village residents in the Town of Ridgeway paid a $53.82 rate, the 16th highest in the state.

Several jurisdictions in Orleans County were in the top 100 for highest tax rates, but none were higher than the Village of Medina.

The Village of Wellsville in Allegany County was the highest overall with a combined rate of $67.78. Several Allegany communities – Alfred, Friendship, Andover and Bolivar-Richberg – topped Medina.

The high tax rates have a negative impact on real estate values, depressing prices. Allegany is the only county with lower real estate values than Orleans. The median value in Allegany was $73,000 in 2012, with Orleans at $77,000.

Medina Mayor Andrew Meier said the real estate prices are more devalued in the villages, where property owners pay far more in taxes than residents outside the village borders.


That is one reason why he is pushing for a dissolution of the village government in Medina, to try to reduce the gap between the tax rates for village and outside-village property owners. Village residents will vote on that issue on Jan. 20.

Medina’s rate is the highest in the Finger Lakes region. Meier looked at the state-wide numbers and concluded 99.64 percent of jurisdictions have lower rates than Medina.


“That is wretched,” he said. “It doesn’t help draw people and investment to our community.”

To achieve such a high tax rate in 2012, Medina did it with a $25.63 rate for the school district, $15.52 for the village, $9.63 for county and either $3.35 for Town of Shelby or $3.01 for Town of Ridgeway.

The average village rate in Upstate NY is $34.28, according to the Empire Center report that came out on Monday. That’s nearly $20 less than in Medina.

Other Orleans County jurisdictions aren’t too far behind Medina.

• The Village of Holley is 50th at $49.98 – $24.94 for school, $12.99 for village, $9.65 for county and $2.40 for town of Murray.

• The Village of Albion in Gaines is 77th at $47.77 – $18.06 for school, $15.92 for village, $9.60 for county and $4.19 for town.

• The Town of Barre in Medina school district is 95th at $46.81 – $25.63 for school, $9.61 for county, $9.34 for town and $2.23 for special districts.

• The Village of Albion in the town of Albion is 101st at $46.43 – $18.06 for school, $15.92 for village, $9.60 for county and $2.85 for town.

• The Town of Barre in the Holley school district is 108th at $46.12 – $24.94 for school, $9.61 for county, $9.34 for town and $2.23 for special districts.

Even without the village rate, Shelby and Ridgeway show up in the top 200 overall in the state. The Town of Shelby came in at $43.67 for 154th, with the Town of Ridgeway at 161st with a combined rate of $43.52.

The lowest overall rate in state goes to Sagaponack on Suffolk County at $1.19.

For more on the Empire Center report, click here.


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NY residents have new way to dispose of electronics

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley Posted 25 November 2014
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) is advising his constituents about the new way consumers are required to dispose of electronic equipment. Starting Jan. 1, the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act will require that consumers dispose of electronic equipment by either returning it to either the manufacturer or a designated New York State Waste Collection Site.

“There is now a new way that consumers are required to dispose of their electronic equipment. I want to make sure that my constituents are aware of this change to the law so they are in compliance,” said Hawley. “The new way electronics must be disposed of is simple and easy to understand and costs the consumer nothing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office and we will be happy to help.”

Under this law, there are two ways to dispose of your electronics. The first way is the use the newly required product manufacturer’s take-back program. A listing of manufacturers and how to contact them about the take-back program can be found by clicking here.


The second way you can drop off your electronics is at a designated New York State Waste Collection Site. A list of collection sites can be found by clicking here. Call ahead to make sure the specific collection site is able to take back your specific piece of electronic equipment.

For more information about the new take-back program, click here. This includes a listing of electronic equipment that is covered by the program. If you have any questions or encounter any problems, call the DEC at 518-402-8706.


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Medina Rotary adopts a family for Thanksgiving dinner

Provided Photo from Medina Rotary Club Posted 25 November 2014
MEDINA – The Medina Rotary Club provided a family with a basket of fresh vegetables, a gift card for the turkey and pies, bags full of canned goods, along with fresh rolls and butter – all the fixins for a Thanksgiving dinner.

The Rotary Club of Medina traditionally adopts a family and provides Thanksgiving dinner. It is a practice long in tradition and full of great feelings for all. Rotarians personally contribute items for this food basket.

The club is also raising money for its youth programs. This year The Medina Rotary Club is sponsoring a Medina High School student to study in Mexico while also hosting a student from France who is attending Medina High School for this 2014-15 school year.

Rotarians are particularly thankful at this time of year for the opportunity to give back to our community.


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Fischer’s Newsstand for sale

Gary and Denise Withey have owned business in downtown Albion for 20 years

Photo by Tom Rivers
Gary Withey is pictured at Fischer’s Newsstand, which has been a fixture in downtown Albion for more than a century.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 November 2014
ALBION – A fixture on Albion’s Main Street for more than a century, Fischer’s Newsstand, is on the market.

Gary and Denise Withey became owners of the business in January 1995. The couple had a goal of owning the business for 20 years. They are now ready to sell.

“This place needs somebody younger with fresher ideas,” Mr. Withey said at the store this morning. “It’s been a good business and it’s been here forever. Albion needs a business like this in the downtown.”

Withey said sales have declined with magazines and newspapers from two decades ago, but he still has many customers who buy printed periodicals, including about 40 who reserve a daily newspaper.

The Lottery remains popular, and many customers come in for candy and coffee.
The store hasn’t changed much in decades, and Withey believes that is part of the Fischer’s appeal.

“It is still great to watch people who moved away come back and step inside here,” he said. “They have a smile on their face. As much as Albion has changed over the years, the one constant has been Fischer’s News.”

Withey and his wife have operated the store seven days a week for nearly 20 years. “You have to put your heart and soul into it,” he said.

The family is ready to step back from the store. Mrs. Withey in early October suffered catastrophic kidney failure and now is on dialysis. She is hoping to receive at-home dialysis and return to work at The Arc of Orleans County while awaiting a kidney transplant.

Her husband, who will turn 54 next week, wants a less demanding work schedule so he can be more available for his wife.

They remain thankful for the 20 years with the store. They were able to put their two daughters through college and pay off their house, while making tons of friends.

Withey first started going to Fischer’s when he was a kid, looking to buy hockey cards at the store. He was a customer as a teen-ager and as an adult before acquiring the store.

“It’s been great and we’re going to miss it,” he said. “It’s been a part of my life since I was a kid.”

For more information about the business, contact Withey at (585) 589-7283.


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Albion native tapped for key White House post

Staff Reports Posted 25 November 2014
An Albion native has been picked for a key post in the White House, Rep. Louise Slaughter announced.

Don Sisson, 35, has worked for Slaughter the past 10 years. Slaughter is the ranking member of the Rules Committee in the House of Representatives. Sisson has worked for the Rules Committee since 2004 for both the Democratic and Republican sides, and most recently served as the committee’s Democratic deputy staff director.


In his new job he will be Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.
Sisson hails from Albion. After graduating from SUNY Brockport, which is located in Congresswoman Slaughter’s congressional district, Sisson worked as a clerk for the Rules Committee and moved up in the ranks to chief clerk, director of legislative operations, legislative director, and now the deputy staff director.


He has been responsible for overseeing all the functions of the Rules Committee, including managing committee meetings for Democrats, coordinating vote recommendations for the congresswoman, and serving as the Democratic Floor Director.

“As someone who could always be counted on as a friend, as someone with extraordinarily gifted intelligence, as being able to work his way through the most dangerous Gordian knot, Don Sisson is a man for all seasons,” Rep. Slaughter said on the House Floor. “I wish him the very best of everything, but say to you without a doubt that the loss for our side, for our office, for our friends, is profound. But nonetheless, he’s going to go. I just want the White House to understand what a jewel they are getting.”


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Albion home damaged by fire

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 25 November 2014 12:40 p.m.
ALBION – A fire damaged a home at 216 Caroline St. in Albion today. The house is owned by Ashley and Ernie Woodrich.

The fire call went out at 11:42 a.m. Firefighters climbed onto the roof, and used chain saws and axes to vent the smoke from the upstairs. (Carlton firefighter Matt Olles is pictured in the top photo.)

No one was injured in the fire, which was largely under control by noon. Firefighters responded from Albion, Barre, Carlton and Medina fire departments.


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Medina students take home awards at oratorical contest

Provided photo
Four Medina students participated in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, including from left: Dylan Metz, John Kelly, Chris Keller, Jon Calo Gonzalez. They are pictured with Steve Johnson and Frederick Heschke from the Legion.


Press Release, Medina Central School Posted 25 November 2014
MEDINA – Medina students participated in the American Legion Oratorical Contest last Thursday, speaking about “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

Chris Keller won first place for his speech and Jon Carlo Gonzalez came in second. Both students will compete in the Orleans County competition on Dec. 13 at Albion Middle School along with their Medina classmates John Kelly and Dylan Metz.

“I was very impressed,” said Todd Bensley, social studies teacher at Medina High School. “All the students did an excellent job expressing their passion for the Constitution.”


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Students pick up roadside litter in 1969

By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian Posted 25 November 2014
HOLLEY – The Holley Sketa-Feeders chapter of National Campers and Hikers Association met in April 1969 to pick up litter along the Holley Road and Hindsburg Road area in the Town of Murray. Here some of the group posed with full trash bags and their signage.


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Batavia man gets prison sentence for Walmart burglary

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 November 2014
ALBION – A Batavia man with a heroin addiction was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison today.

Jason Lang, 33, of Liberty Street in Batavia pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in the third degree during an August court appearance. He faced a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison. Orleans County Court Judge James Punch gave Lang 1 to 3 years.

Lang admitted to stealing two coffee machines and a blender from the Albion store on Nov. 20, 2013. Because he was banned from Wal-Mart, he was charged with burglary.

His attorney, Nathan Pace, said Lang was a law-abiding citizen with only a misdemeanor until he became addicted to heroin in 2012. Since then he has been arrested 19 times.

“Obviously for the future of his life he has to get this dealt with,” Pace said about the heroin addiction.

Lang faces additional charges in Genesee County. Judge Punch didn’t give him the maximum sentence because he said Lang is not a second felony offender.

The judge urged Lang to battle the drug addiction.

“You have to get a backbone and fight this or else you’ll spend the rest of your life in jail,” Punch said.

In other cases:

• Freddie Taylor, 45, of Mount Read Boulevard in Rochester was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison, with a chance for attending the Willard Drug Treatment Center in Romulus. That center is a specialized state prison in Seneca County that treats drug-addicted convicts.

Taylor pleaded guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance in the fifth degree. He was arrested on April 1 on several drug charges. He admitted he had cocaine in Albion on Feb. 3.

Taylor has been receiving mental health and drug addiction services.

“You’ve been in a lot of programs but nothing has really worked to keep you from this stuff,” Punch said. “I hope you can get this straightened out because I think you have some potential.”

• An Albion man pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and could be sentenced to up to a year in the county jail on March 2.

James J. Bartosik, 46, of Albion was charged with felony DWI on Sept. 12 in the village. He has a prior DWI.


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Big winds hit Orleans, WNY

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 November 5:31 p.m.
Fierce winds are whipping across Orleans County and Western New York, including by the Orleans County Courthouse and County Clerks Building (pictured above). The National Weather Service said WNY can expect strong winds between 5 and 8 p.m.

“As winds increase the potential for damage will also increase with some trees and powerlines likely coming down,” the Weather Service said in a statement at 4:53 p.m. “Power outages may result in slow travel through this evening as traffic signals are knocked out.”

The Weather Service said motorists should treat traffic signals that are not functioning as a 4-way stop. That is the law, the Weather Service said.

This photo is looking from the courthouse lawn in Albion towards Christ Episcopal Church, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the First Baptist Church.


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Double rainbow lights up Lyndonville

Staff Reports Posted 24 November 2014
LYNDONVILLE – The sun came out at about 4 p.m. after a rain and a giant double rainbow soon followed.

Several Orleans Hub readers sent us photos of the rainbow, including the top photo by Jason Smith, Lyndonville Central School superintendent. That picture shows the flag pole by the school district.

Smith also took this photo of the rainbow stretched high over the community, including the church steeples.

Ralph Smith was by the Lake Ontario shoreline in Yates when he took this picture of the double rainbow at about 4:10 p.m.

Dena Bradshaw-Scribner sent in this photo of the rainbow, arcing over the DPW garage in Lyndonville.

Village Clerk Teri Woodworth sent in this photo taken outside the Village Hall.

George Snell was out in the country in Waterport and took this photo of a rainbow over a fruit orchard.


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Local government websites get failing grades

Photo by Tom Rivers

Orleans County's government website was given a failing grade for posting public information and ease of navigation. The picture shows the Orleans County Courthouse.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 November 2014
Local government websites that were evaluated for their effectiveness in posting and sharing public information were all given failing grades by the Empire Center.

The organization reviewed 500 government websites in the state for village, town, county and school districts and gave failing marks to 427 of them, including Orleans County and the villages of Albion and Medina.

None of the Orleans County towns and school districts were in the report (Click here). However, nearly every town and district in the study was given an F.

Orleans County’s government site was given an F grade for its score of 74 out of 146, according to the ranking system by the Empire Center. Orleans was ahead of 21 other counties, including neighboring Genesee, which got a 60, according to the study.

The Empire Center ranked the websites for ease of navigation, conspicuous posting of public meetings, contact information for elected officials, information on services, and financial information, including budgets, taxes and fees, expenditures and contracts.

Most sites at least post meetings, but only five out of 500 reviewed achieved a passing grade for posting information on contracts, including agreements with employee unions.

The Village of Albion (click here) was ranked slightly higher than the county with an 80, while the Village of Medina (click here) was given an overall score of 53. Both villages were given an F.

The Empire Center evaluated the websites of all of New York’s 62 cities, the 57 counties outside of New York City and the state’s most populous 103 towns, 98 villages, and 180 school districts.

“By implementing changes based on the results of this assessment—most, if not all of which can be achieved at little or no cost—local governments of all sizes can greatly increase the usefulness of their own websites and better connect taxpayers to the range of information to which they are entitled,” Tim Hoefer, study leader, said in the report on the Empire Center website.

He noted some sites with failing grades were far worse than others. For example, two villages in the Hudson – Ballston Spa and New Square – were given 0 scores because they don’t have websites.

The following were recognized for the best government websites: Southern Tier’s Schuyler County, New York City, the town of Wilton in the Capital Region, the town of Penfield in the Finger Lakes and the Clarkstown Central School District in the Mid-Hudson valley.


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Our Sandstone Heritage

Stunning stonework at Batavia’s Richmond Memorial Library

Photos by Tom Rivers
The Richmond Memorial Library opened in April 1889 on Ross Street in Batavia. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

The building features outstanding stone carvings, including this face.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 November 2014
BATAVIA – The initial design for the Richmond Memorial Library wasn’t good enough for Mary Richmond, wife of the late Dean Richmond. In 1887, she announced a plan to pay for a new public library in Batavia as a memorial to her son, Dean Richmond Jr.

She offered to pay $9,000 for the project. After seeing the design, she wanted more for the community and upped the contribution to $24,000. The new library opened in April 1889. Richmond spared no expense in what many consider one of Batavia’s finest public buildings.

The site utilizes gray Medina sandstone and red sandstone from Albion. It was built in a Richardson Romanesque style, with rounded windows and arches.

Dean Richmond made a fortune in the railroad industry. When he died his estate was valued at $1.5 million. His wife, known for her charity and business acumen, expanded the value of the Richmond estate to $6 million.

Her husband was an advocate for the public education system. The new library was donated to the school district and utilized leading architects and the finest building materials around.

The stone workers created this elaborate and ornamental sign out of stone. The library name is entwined in a leafy vine.


Henry H. Richardson designed several libraries in the Boston area. The Batavia library emulates the style of many of the Richardson libraries. Richardson also was a big fan of Medina sandstone, using it in the State Capitol building in Albany and the Richardson Olmsted Complex, originally the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.


For more on the history of the Batavia library, click here.

The faces carved in stone have endured 125 years since the library opened in 1889.


Orleans Hub in June featured another public library made of Medina sandstone. The James Prendergast Library has been an iconic structure in the city of Jamestown since it opened in 1891, two years after the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia.

Here is a picture of the Jamestown library, which also has many Romanesque features with arches and rounded windows.


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High wind warning in effect this afternoon

Staff Reports Posted 24 November 2014
A high wind warning is in effect from 1 to 4 p.m. this afternoon for Orleans and other counties, including Niagara, Monroe, Genesee, Wyoming and northern Erie.

The National Weather Service says there will be southwest winds from 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 mph.

“Winds of this magnitude could bring down some trees and power lines, resulting in scattered power outages,” the Weather Service said.

The melting snow in the Buffalo area has saturated the ground, making easier for trees to topple, the Weather Service said.

A power outage in areas with heavy snow melts could result in flooded basements because sump pumps wouldn’t otherwise work unless there is an emergency generator power supply.


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Public health ‘heroes’ aim to keep community healthy

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator for the Orleans County Health Department Posted 24 November 2014

The Orleans County Health Department today is asking residents to give special thanks to their state and local “public health heroes” who protect the nation’s health throughout the year.


The Health Department is joining Research!America and its partners, which include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Society for Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Cancer Society and others for “Public Health Thank You Day 2014.”

The day honors all those unsung heroes whose duties although vastly spread in focus, have the same overarching goal of protecting the health of the public. Public health is all around us. Take the time to appreciate some examples including the clean water you drink, the street signs, signals and lights, access to health care, emergency response, and recycling and trash removal services.

These unsung heroes who protect the nation's health throughout the year include our health inspectors, environmental health scientists, public health researchers, sanitation workers, medical investigators, outreach workers, doctors, nurses, emergency responders, public health administration and support staff and many, many more.

File photo by Tom Rivers
Sanitation workers are unsung heroes who help protect the community’s health.

Recent outbreaks have shown us that in spite of the challenges and risks, public health professionals continue to dedicate their time and energy to combat disease and maintain a healthy environment for Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various institutions within our public health infrastructure have come together to address recent outbreaks, and public health professionals are tackling these threats head-on as they do with other health challenges on a daily basis.

We also want to take the time to wish you and your families a very healthy and Happy Thanksgiving season. We appreciate all the good things you do for our community.

The Orleans County Health Department will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday, Nov. 28. We will re-open on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, at 8 am. Have a great holiday!


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Tops will provide Thanksgiving dinner at Hospice residence

Provided photo
Rick Wartinger, manager of the Tops in Albion, agreed to have the store donate a fully prepared Thanksgiving dinner to residents at the Hospice of Orleans Martin-Linsen Residence.

Press Release, Hospice of Orleans Posted 24 November 2014
ALBION – Tops ran out of their 49-cents-a-pound sale turkeys this past week due to the storm closing the NYS Thruway, but that didn’t stop Rick Wartinger, manager of the Albion store, from committing a Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner to terminally ill patients at the Hospice of Orleans Martin-Linsen Residence.

For the second year in a row, Tops will donate a complete Thanksgiving Dinner so that residents at the Martin-Linsen Residence can celebrate Thanksgiving dinner in their “home away from home.”

Last year’s Thanksgiving dinner at the Residence was such a success that Hospice decided to once again ask Tops to contribute a heat-and-eat Thanksgiving Dinner. While patients enjoy nutritious meals prepared daily at the nearby Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center, the meals are not cooked on site but warmed before serving.

Last year residents reported that the smell of freshly cooked turkey made it seem like a real traditional Thanksgiving even though they weren’t at home. When approached with the idea of providing that same Thanksgiving Day experience to current residents, Wartinger was enthusiastic in his support.

The fresh turkey dinner features a fully cooked Butterball bird, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberry orange relish and, of course, a pumpkin pie.

Hospice personnel will pick up the complimentary meal, valued at $74.99, around 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, warm it up for the recommended two hours, and serve the grateful residents. The smell of roasted turkey warming in the oven is sure to bring back happy memories and brighten the day of the residents and staff alike.

Thank you to Tops for making Thanksgiving possible for patients at the Martin-Linsen Residence so that they and their families can “live” Thanksgiving and not just “cook” it.


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Thruway and all exits are open

I-190 also reopened as snow removal continues

Press Release, NY Thruway Authority Posted 23 November 2014
The New York State Thruway Authority has announced that the Thruway (I-90) from exit 46 (near Rochester) to exit 61 (Ripley – Pennsylvania state line) is open for all motorists.


All exits, entrances and service areas are open. Motorists should proceed with caution when leaving the roadway, and heed any local road closures or restrictions.

I-190 (Niagara Thruway) is open with access to all exits.

Motorists are reminded to proceed with caution as snow removal operations continue.

Passenger vehicles removed from the Thruway have been transported to several safe and secure locations. View a list of vehicle information (make, model, license plate, location) by clicking here.


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Former tavern being transformed to high-end apartments, restaurant

Holley site gets new life with extensive renovations

Photos by Tom Rivers
This building used to have wooden exterior when it was Tagg’s Tavern. The wood was removed to reveal cast iron columns in front. Dan and Monica Seeler needed to rebuild walls, paint them and make numerous other improvements for one of the most prominent buildings in Holley.
The site will have an awning when it is expected to open as a restaurant and bar in the spring.

The Holley Falls Bar and Grill is awaiting cosmetic work inside. Otherwise, the extensive remodeling is mostly complete. The restaurant will have room to seat 60 people with another 20 spots in the bar.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 November 2014
HOLLEY – Dan and Monica Seeler have been asked if they are crazy for taking on perhaps the most ambitious renovation and transformation project in Holley’s recent history.

The couple moved from Hamlin to Holley seven years ago. They see a lot of potential in Holley, a close-knit small town with a collection of historic commercial and public buildings around the Public Square.

The former Tagg’s Tavern had been vacant for several years when the Seelers bought it four years ago. They envisioned the Holley Falls Bar and Grill in the tavern, with high-end apartments upstairs and in a neighboring site, a former barbershop. (The Holley Falls are located down Frisbee Terrace, a short walk from the restaurant.)

The restaurant gives a view of the Public Square, including a former church that is now a residential site. “We have given it new life,” Dan Seeler said about the building.

It would take a major transformation to pull off the transformation. The Seelers have three of the apartments ready with two more to go. The bar and grill is down to the cosmetics. That business should open in the spring.

The Seelers have won the respect from many in the community for their commitment to excellence, and for what people see as a draw to the community, a business that could pull in customers for other merchants.

“It will be an asset to the village,” said Jonathan Ross, owner of Jonathan’s Pastry at 23 Public Square, two storefronts down from the Seelers. “It will build up the value of Holley.”

Dan Seeler stands in one of the apartments above the Holley Falls Bar and Grill. There are three apartments, ranging from 900 to 1,100 square feet, above the restaurant.


Ross said the village has benefitted from another recent major remodel: the Save-A-Lot in the former Jubilee. The Seelers’ project adds to that movement in the business district.

“It’s all about the traffic flow,” Ross said about the business district. “(The new restaurant) should bring other people from outside Holley.”

The Seelers have been working on the transformation at Tagg’s for three years. It hasn’t been easy. They were approved for $130,000 in matching grant through the NY Main Street program. They won’t get that money until the project is done.

They actually were approved for two grants with $80,000 towards the former Tagg’s and $50,000 for the extensive remodeling of the former barbershop building. They needed to wait for state approvals before doing most of the work.

The Seelers put up this new building, which includes their office, two apartments and the kitchen for the restaurant. The previous structure collapsed following the brutal winter.

Last winter’s punishing cold proved the final blow for the barbershop building. When the Seelers prepared to work on the site early this summer, the building collapsed.


They removed the debris and have built a new structure. However, instead of $50,000 in grant money for the project they will only get $17,000 because the historic building is gone. They had intended to just do interior renovations of the building, not construct a new site.

The Seelers were out $33,000 in grant funds and also had to spend more on the project with a new building. Mr. Seeler was sad to see the old structure go. He prides himself in bringing back sites that have been long neglected. But the building proved too far gone.

Dan Seeler heads into one of the new apartments above the future Holley Falls Bar and Grill. The entrance to the apartments is in an elevated courtyard.

Tagg’s was nearly at the point of no return, he said.

“This building was on its last legs,” he said.

He has repaired masonry walls, replaced floors and strengthened the structure. When he took off the wooden exterior, he discovered the orginal cast iron columns for the façade. They have been spiffed up and now are proudly part of the building’s look.

Seeler, 57, has worked in the commercial construction business for 40 years. A carpenter by trade, he has led the renovation effort at the Tagg’s site with help from his two sons, Jesse and Sean. Mrs. Seeler will run the steak and seafood restaurant.

The Seelers have worked on four other projects in the community in addition to the Tagg’s transformation.


"We like the small-town atmosphere here," Seeler said. "We could have a mini Brockport here."

The Seelers are grateful to be in the home stretch of the project. Three of the apartments should be available next month. Seeler created a courtyard for the three upper apartments. Tagg’s and the barbershop building used to have roofs that touched. But Seeler left some room between the roofs, allowing for the courtyard up high as well as the entrances to the apartments.

The interior of the Seeler apartments features lots of woodwork and existing light.

Seeler put in many windows to utilize natural light. The apartments give a birds eye view of the Public Square. Seeler has been spending his Saturday mornings giving tours of the apartments and restaurant space to interested community members. He loves their reaction to the apartments.


"Everybody I talk to has the hubbubs about it," Seeler said. "People are excited."

Most Holley residents remember the site as a notorious bar and rooming house. Now, Seeler believes the site has a urban apartment feel with a bar and grill that will be a major positive for Holley and Orleans County.


“I’ve tried to use my knowledge from the years and years of building with this project,” Seeler said. “We’ve given it new life.”

Seeler has two more apartments under construction, including this one which will be 1,300 square feet on the second floor. "It has a great view and a personality of its own."


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Holiday Home Show proves popular in rural Ridgeway

Between the Vines adds a day due to Buffalo storm

Photos by Peggy Barringer Posted 23 November 2014
MEDINA – Julie Fenton, center, is again hosting her Between the Vines Home Show. She has organized the event for 17 years, including the past 10 years on Porter Road.

She is pictured with helpers, her son Lawson Fenton and Ally Uberty, in the new cash-out center added this year. There are more than 40 vendors at this year’s show and each one also arranges to work a day at the show.

Julie Fenton’s garage on Porter Road is transformed each year for the Between the Vines Home Show. The event continues today from noon to 4 p.m. Fenton also added Monday to the schedule from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to the snowstorm keeping some of her regular out-of-area customers away (some from as far away as Pennsylvania), Fenton said she is staying open the additional day.

Holiday decor items are for sale at Between the Vines.

Abigail Wilkinson, front, is pictured with her mom Jennifer Wilkinson (who is also a vendor) in back from Attica. They are joined by Laura Witkowski and baby Ryan of Batavia and Kimberly Fasano of Elba.

Lots of holiday decor is available at the show.

When these ladies came through the door of the cash-out area, they said, "It's like coming off a ride at Disney" because there were many more items for sale to look through. "It just goes on and on," they laughed. Pictured are Stacey Pollack, left, and Kim Miller from Newfane.

You can even purchase reindeer antlers (handmade , of course!).

After December 25, we hope!


Between the Vines is also supporting "Boxes for Troops." Donations of personal items or cash towards shipping the boxes are being accepted at the home show. All donations are entered into a drawing for a light up wooden reindeer. Names and addresses of soldiers are requested. Please message Julie on her Facebook page (click here).


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Dickens’ performance draws big crowd to Albion church

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 November 2014
ALBION – About 300 people attended a solo performance starring Mike Randall, the Buffalo weatherman, tonight at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

Randall portrayed Charles Dickens in telling his classic story, “A Christmas Carol.” Randall was impressive in the performance, mixing many different voices to tell the story.

Randall has performed the Dickens’ show about 100 times since 2007. He also portrays Mark Twain and has done that show about 2,000 times. Before he started a career in television, Randall worked as an actor.

He became intrigued about Dickens, who was a Twain contemporary, in his research about Twain. Randall read about Dickens and his American Reading Tour from 1867-1868, which included a stop in Buffalo. Dickens drew big crowds to his events.


Dickens didn’t merely read the stories. He acted out the parts, Randall said.

“Charles Dickens was like a rock star,” Randall said after the performance in Albion tonight.

The performance served as a fund-raiser for the church, benefitting its youth programs and other outreach efforts.

Charlie Nesbitt, a member of the church and event chairman, welcomes a big crowd to the event featuring Mike Randall.


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Firefighters staying in Buffalo area until at least Sunday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2014

About two dozen firefighters from Orleans County are committed to assisting the Buffalo area until at least 6 p.m. Sunday, with local volunteers expected to be needed after when the massive snow piles start melting when temperatures hit 60 degrees on Monday.


The melting snow is expected to cause flooding problems. Resources are pouring into Erie County in preparation for the flooding. The Buffalo News reports that dozens of light towers, swift water rescue boats, water pumps, power generators and more than 176,000 sand bags have been brought in from across the state.

Right now, firefighters from Orleans County are in Hamburg, Elma, Lackawanna and perhaps other locations responding to “miscellaneous calls,” said Dale Banker, Orleans County’s emergency management director.

Barre, Carlton, Clarendon, East Shelby, Holley and Kendall all have firefighters in Erie County until Sunday at 6 p.m. They have a pumper fire engine, pickup trucks and off-road vehicles.


Banker also contributed to the effort in Erie County. He worked out of the Erie County Operations Center from 6 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. today. At the command center, emergency response leaders prioritized the incoming calls and planned for the upcoming days.

The flooding issues could keep firefighters and first responders busy until Thanksgiving, Banker said.


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In grip of early winter, some hopeful signs

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 22 November 2014
HOLLEY – A giant snowman stands along Route 31 next to the Presbyterian Church in Holley. The snowman creators made the best of the few inches of snow that fell in recent days and today’s slight warmup above freezing.

It could reach 51 on Sunday and 62 on Monday, meaning the snowman won’t be around too long.

Sherry Marciszewski of Kendall Road in Kendall sent us this photo of the sunrise this morning.


“After all of the terrible weather our neighbors have had to endure this past week, and all of the prayers that have gone out to them, when I looked out my front window and saw this sunrise I knew we were heard,” she said.


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Orleans Hub wins photo award from NYSARC

Self Advocates in Arc were featured in March

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2014
ALBION – They were pictured in a group, holding T-shirts that say, “SELF ADVOCATE All Stars.” The group planned to raise their profile this year, marching in parades and doing car washes.

Orleans Hub featured the Self Advocates on March 13, 2014. That photo was entered by The Arc of Orleans County in a state-wide contest and it won third place.


NYSARC, Inc., the state-wide association of member ARC organizations, recognizes news organizations each year for articles and photos about people with disabilities.

Jonathan Doherty, the Self Advocate’s fund-raising chairman, arranged for the Orleans Hub to come take the photo last March. He was one of the founding members of the Advocates in 2006, when the group launched a mission to eliminate the “R-word.”

The Self Advocates were able to convince county legislators to take a stand in May 2010. The Legislature passed an official county resolution, telling local, state and federal governments to no longer use the word “retarded” in describing people with developmental disabilities. The R-word is a “vicious slang” that is insulting and hurtful to people with developmental disabilities and their families, legislators said in their resolution four years ago.

The honor from NYSARC is the first journalism award won by Orleans Hub since we started on April 2, 2013. We won the Entrepreneurial Excellence award from the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

Darlene Golson, community relations manager for The Arc, is pictured with Tom Rivers, editor of Orleans Hub.


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Firefighters put out attic fire in Holley

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 November 1:47 a.m.
HOLLEY – Firefighters cut a hole in the roof at 34 Orchard St. and were able to put out a fire in the attic.

It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to get the fire under control, said Kevin Dann, deputy chief for the Holley Fire Department. The initial call went out at 11:50 p.m. on Friday.

Shari Brooks lives at the house with her husband and daughter, and their dog. Everyone got out of the house.

Clarendon, Holley, Hamlin, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray, and Morton all responded to the fire, which is under investigation.


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Students perform ‘Christmas Carol’ with a touch of Seuss

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 November 2014
ALBION – The Albion Middle School performed its fall show tonight. “A Seussified Christmas Carol” will return to the stage at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

In the top photo, Connor McQuillan is Thing 1 from "The Cat In The Hat" and Kate Krieger is Thing 2. Those characters served as narraters for the musical.

Abbyneezer Scrooge (Molly Wadhams) confronts her clerk Bob Cratchitt (Evan Allen), who takes a brief break from work to warm his hands.


The show highlights the story by Charles Dickens with a Dr. Seuss flavor. That results in a lot of rhyming. The Albion production is directed by Carrie Kozody.

A caroler (Hannah VanEpps) is rebuffed by Scrooge when the caroler stops by the shop to spread some Christmas cheer.

Sophia Zambito plays the Ghost of Christmas Past and leads Scrooge to see scenes from when she was a girl and a young woman.

April Henchen is the Ghost of Christmas Present. She shows Scrooge how her lack of generosity and fairness creates a hardship for many people in her life.

The priates include, from left: Arella Ives, Kate Krieger and Sophia Zambito.


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Temperatures will warm up next few days

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 November 2014
BARRE – These transmission lines cut across a frozen landscape in Barre in this photo taken at about 5:15 p.m. today on Oak Orchard Road in Barre.


After a several days in the cold with temperatures in the 20s, the area will get a warm up on Saturday with a high forecast at 41 degrees by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service is forecasting a high of 51 on Sunday and 62 on Monday.


The warm weather will likely result in flooding in parts of Western New York that were pummeled with several feet of snow this week.

This barn stands out along Oak Orchard Road in Barre.

This picture was taken on Thursday around 5 p.m. during squalls in Carlton along Route 279.


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2 Sheriff’s employees recognized for 20 years of service

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office Posted 21 November 2014
ALBION – Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess, center, recognized two members of his staff today for 20 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Jim Halstead, left, joined the Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 11, 1994, under then Sheriff David Green. Some of Jim’s career highlights include being a DARE Instructor for many years, a member of the Sheriff’s Marine Unit and a boating safety instructor, a member of the SCUBA team, and a member of the Motorcycle Unit. Jim has announced his plans to retire next month.

Investigator Corey Black, right, was sworn into the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy on Nov. 28, 1994, also under Sheriff Green. Black was promoted to sergeant in March 1999 and promoted to investigator in February 2000.

Corey is the senior member of the Criminal Investigation Division and has been involved in numerous high-profile investigations during his career. In addition to his duties as an investigator, he is also a Police Instructor, Range Officer, SWAT Leader, and he is a member of the New York Tactical Officers Association.

Halstead and Black each received a congratulatory letter this afternoon from the sheriff and a Certificate of Achievement for “20 Years of Dedicated & Faithful Service to the Sheriff’s Office & the County of Orleans.”


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New 3-county ‘Tale’ wrestles with tough issues

Author will visit area in March to talk about book

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2014
LYNDONVILLE – The new book for the community reading project has been announced, and readers can expect to face many contemporary issues in the novel.

“The Tale for Three Counties” announced on Thursday the 13th book in the community reading effort will be “We Are Called To Rise,” by Laura McBride. The story focuses on an immigrant boy whose family struggles to assimilate. A woman wrestles with an imploding marriage and troubled son. A wounded soldier recovers from an injury.

These are some of the themes and characters in the book, which is available at local libraries and bookstores. The libraries will host discussion groups beginning in January in preparation for McBride’s visit from March 26-28.

She will visit locations in Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties, including Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina on March 27.

“It’s very current and addresses contemporary topics,” said Catherine Cooper, Lee-Whedon director and a member of the Tail committee. “It’s very heartfelt and very warm.”

Yates Community Library hosted a book unveiling program on Thursday, when the latest Tale was announced.


For more on the Tale program, click here.


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Kendall Choir will perform tonight in benefit for food pantry

Provided photo
The Kendall Community Choir will do its fifth annual benefit concert for the local food pantry at 7 p.m. today at the David J. Doyle Junior-Senior High School.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2014
KENDALL – The Kendall Community Choir will perform in one of its biggest events of the year tonight. The 41-member choir will perform Christmas music and Broadway tunes in a concert to benefit the local food pantry.

The audience is encouraged to bring in canned and other nonperishable food for the food pantry at the Kendall United Methodist Church. A goodwill offering for cash donations will also be taken for the food pantry.

“This will help them a great deal for both Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Mary Campbell, the choir director.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the David J. Doyle Junior-Senior High School.

The choir started seven years ago and for the past five years has performed the benefit concert for the food pantry. The choir has used past performances to raise money for the Kendall Park Gazebo Fund, the 2012 Kendall Bicentennial, and the Kendall Fire Department Ambulance Fund.


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Holley library will ‘Raise the Roof’ at historic buildings

Provided photo
The Community Free Library uses two buildings in the Public Square in the Village of Holley. The library wants to replace the roofs on both buildings.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2014
HOLLEY – The Community Free Library is working to replace roofs on two historic buildings in the downtown, a project that is estimated to cost $40,000.

The library has $25,000 set aside for the project at 86 Public Square. It is trying to raise the funds for the remainder. Both roofs have been leaking, said Sandra Shaw, library director.

The library put out bids for the project and its board of directors will meet Monday to pick a contractor for the project, she said.

Holley Elementary School students are trying to help the library meet the $15,000 shortfall for the project. The Student Council created coin collectors to place in local businesses for the project.

Provided photo
Elementary Student Council members are pictured with coin collectors to be placed in local businesses. The group includes, from left: Rachael Howard, Allyson Skehan, Makayla Famoly, Skyla Milazzo, Elise Quincey and Storm Boyce.

Larry Dabney, a retired Holley teacher, also serves on the library board. He helped the students create the containers. His grandson, Thomas Dobri, is also on the Student Council.

Shaw said she appreciates the efforts from the students and the community support.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she said this morning. “We have a great community here.”

The containers have been placed in the following locations: Community Free Library, Village of Holley offices, Dr. Schiavone’s practice, First Niagara, Sam’s Diner, Heath & Martin, Nationwide office, Dr. Thompson’s office, Kurtz’s Car Care, Wiley’s Ark Animal Care, Save-A-Lot, Holley Pharmacy, and the Holley Post Office. Donations can be made at the library and collection containers can also be found at Holley Elementary.

Shaw said she is pursuing grants and other funding for the project. She had hoped the county budget would include an increase for libraries, but the proposed budget again calls for $10,000 to be shared by the four public libraries in the county.

Provided photo
The ‘Raise the Roof’ containers are in several Holley businesses.


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Planners back B & B in Kendall

Zoning change approved for Jet Ski business in Shelby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2014
ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board supported a bed and breakfast in Kendall and also a zoning change in Shelby to allow for a Jet Ski business.

Planners met on Thursday and recommended the Town of Kendall approve the site plan and variance for the bed and breakfast at 2038 Peter Smith Rd.

Ron Bierstine, owner of Orleans Outdoor in Carlton, wants to establish the bed and breakfast at the corner of Route 18 and Peter Smith Road. The site would utilize about 750 square feet in a ranch home. There is room for a maximum of eight occupants in three rooms for the B & B.

Planning Board members noted the site is in an isolated location near farmland and woodland. There shouldn’t be any adverse impacts to neighbors, planners said.

The town ordinance requires a 90-foot setback for off-street parking. Bierstine is proposing a 38-foot setback. Planners recommend he receive the 52-foot variance. Planners said the variance would not result in an undesirable change to neighborhood character.

Bierstine expects the bed and breakfast will be largely seasonal with peak business during the September to December tributary fishing season.

Planners also supported a zoning change in the Town of Shelby. Eric and Margaret Hill want to change four parcels at 10812 Maple Ridge Rd. (next to the Orleans-Niagara BOCES) from Agricultural/Residential to General Business. That change would allow them to operate a business selling and repairing Jet Skis at the southeast corner of Maple Ridge Road and Shelby Basin Road.

The zoning change fits in with the area, planners noted. The north side of Maple Ridge Road near the site includes about 2,100 feet of property that is zoned General Commercial.


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Hospice welcomes new director of development

Nyla Gaylord


Press Release, Hospice of Orleans Posted 21 November 2014

ALBION – Hospice of Orleans is pleased to announce that Nyla Gaylord has joined the team as Director of Development and Community Relations.


An Orleans County native, Gaylord has extensive experience in grant writing, fundraising, program development and not-for-profit leadership. She graduated from Holley High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Writing from Houghton College in Houghton. She then earned a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport.


After a number of years working for organizations that provide services to people with disabilities, she returned to school and completed a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Disability Studies at Syracuse University.


Gaylord has been an active member of the Orleans County community. She was a foster parent for many years and is currently a member of the Clarendon Historical Society, assisting with grant writing efforts.

After commuting to jobs in Rochester for more than 30 years, Gaylord is delighted to be working locally for such an important cause.


“I’m very committed to rallying community support to ensure that Hospice of Orleans continues to be an independent local organization, not part of a large health system,” she said. “Hospice services were there for my loved ones to help them reclaim control over their life and remain surrounded by family, friends and community as they faced an incurable illness. I look forward to helping ensure that Hospice services continue to be available locally for anyone who requests them.”


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33 firefighters heed call to help Buffalo area

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2014
ALBION – A total of 33 volunteer firefighters from six fire departments in Orleans County left Albion at about 4 p.m. for assignments in the Buffalo area.

Orleans Hub reported earlier this afternoon that 24 to 30 firefighters were expected to go. Dale Banker, the emergency management coordinator for the county, confirmed 33 firefighters answered the call.


Banker reached out to the local fire departments after getting a request from the Erie County Fire Coordinator’s office and the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

The firefighters will be in Erie County until 8 p.m. on Friday. Banker said another wave of firefighters are expected Friday night and over the weekend.

Firefighters left today from Albion, Barre, Clarendon, Holley, Lyndonville, Shelby and Ridgeway.


Barre, Holley and Shelby also sent fire engines, and Albion, Clarendon and Lyndonville took off-road vehicles with tracks to maneuver in the high snow.


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Erie Canal closes 190th season

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 November 2014
ALBION – The Erie Canal completed its 190th season on Wednesday. Many tugboats, tenders, barges and other canal equipment will spend the winter in Albion between the two lift bridges on Main Street and Ingersoll Street.

The top photo was taken on Tuesday and shows two of the tenders in Albion.

This photo was taken this morning looking west towards the Allen’s Bridge Road canal bridge in Albion.


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Orleans Hub gets its first deer

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 20 November 2014
GAINES – Orleans Hub shot its first deer today at about 4:45 p.m. The deer season kicked off at the break of dawn on Saturday and continues until Dec. 7.

I’ve had my Nikon camera next to me in the passenger seat in case I encountered any deer in my travels. These two were close to the road on the west side of Route 279 in Gaines, just south of Route 104. They held still for a few seconds before scampering away in the field and heading into the woods.


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Albion man faces numerous drug charges



Staff Reports Posted 20 November 2014

ALBION – An Albion man faces numerous drug charges after being arrested on Wednesday following an investigation into cocaine trafficking in the village, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force reported.

Martin Eusebio, 20, of 201 Washington St., Apt. 1, was charged with four counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a Class B felony); four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a Class B felony); four counts of criminal nuisance in the first degree; and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, the Task Force reported.

Eusebio was arraigned by Albion Town Justice Kevin Howard and jailed on $50,000 bail. Eusebio also is being held on an immigration detainer filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Eusebio is to return to Town Court at 9 a.m. on Nov. 25.


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With Thruway closed, lots of trucks on 104 and 31

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 20 November 2014
GAINES – There is a noticeable increase in truck traffic on routes 31 and 104 in Orleans County today. With the NY Thruway closed from Rochester to the Pennsylvania line, many of the trucks are using the state roads in Orleans County to head east or west.

In the photo above, a caravan of truckers head down Route 104 at about 1:30 today. I was at The Village Inn for lunch today and it seemed for every car on 104 there was a tractor trailer.


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Another group of firefighters from Orleans heading to Buffalo area

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2014
ALBION – Orleans County is assembling teams of firefighters to head to the Buffalo area to check on residents and respond to other fire and emergency calls.

Firefighters will gather at the Civil Defense Center at 3:30 p.m. today to get their instructions. Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director, expects 24 to 30 firefighters to be sent to Erie County. They are expected to arrive around 5 p.m. and stay until 8 p.m. on Friday.

They will take three off-road vehicles and three fire engines. Firefighters are going from Albion, Barre, Clarendon, Holley, Shelby and Ridgeway.

Additional firefighters from the county may be sent Friday night and over the weekend, Banker said. The weekend duty could include pumping basements because temperatures are forecast to be well above freezing, leading to big snow melts.

Fourteen firefighters from the county have already been to Lackawanna. They checked on stranded motorists and transported them to a shelter. Three firefighters – Albion Fire Chief Rocky Sidari, Calrton Fire Chief Andrew Niederhofer and Albion firefighter Stan Farone – nearly delivered a baby in the Albion fire chief’s truck. They were able to get the mother to Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo just in time before the birth, Sidari said.

Some Erie County communities received 5 to 6 feet of snow on Tuesday, with another 2 feet falling today. Sidari said he was shocked to see the big walls of snow.

“The pictures don’t do it justice,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m just dumbfounded.”


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Truck backs into ditch on 98

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 November 2014

GAINES – A truck driver was attempting to turn around on Route 98 when the vehicle slipped into a ditch in the Town Gaines, just north of Watt Farms.


Albion firefighters, James Fisher (right) and David Nayman, were out directing traffic around the truck today at about 1:30 p.m. Firefighters were called to the scene at about 11:45 a.m. A tow truck was on scene to pull out the truck.


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Canal Culvert reopens after most huge icicles knocked down

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 November 2014
RIDGEWAY – The Canal Culvert was closed to motorists last night and early this morning while crews used sledgehammers to knock down most of the huge icicles inside the tunnel under the Erie Canal.

Highway workers also spread lots of salt inside the culvert overnight and it did its job, loosening up the ice and making the section of the road passable, Ridgeway Highway Superintendent Mark Goheen said.

The Culvert was reopened at about 9:30 a.m. Goheen said he has contacted the Canal Authority, which owns the Culvert, about removing the ice inside.

The canal closed for the season on Wednesday. It is currently full of water but the waterway will soon be drained. Once most of the water is out, Goheen said “the leaking should be down to a minimum.”


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