Press release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Posted 15 September 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the National Park Service to place the Barge Canal on the National Register of Historic Places.
Including the Erie Canal, Oswego Canal, Champlain Canal and Cayuga-Seneca Canal, this designation would expand opportunities for federal historic tax credits and other resources, to support economic development initiatives near the Barge Canal.
“The Barge Canal is a historic treasure in New York State and includes some of America’s most recognized waterways,” Gillibrand said. “Spanning across the state, the New York State Barge Canal is home to many recreational activities and commercial developments. I will continue to work hard to ensure the National Park Service recognizes how important the Barge Canal is to New Yorkers and to ensure this much-deserved designation is granted.”
The Barge Canal spans more than 500 miles and includes the Erie Canal, the Oswego Canal, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, and the Champlain Canal. The Erie Canal was established in 1825 and development of other canals soon followed.
The New York State Board of Historic Preservation nominated the canal as “The Barge Canal Historic District” for the state and national registers. The nomination notes many of the historical artifacts from the widening and deepening of the canal from 1905 to 1918. Orleans County has many of those features: lift bridges, single-truss bridges, guard gates, terminals and waste weirs.
According to a report by the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canal’s non-tourism economic impact is more than $6.2 billion annually, supporting over 8,800 direct and 26,400 indirect jobs. The canal systems have shaped history in upstate New York, and created opportunities for economic developments throughout the state.
In her letter to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “Listing the NYS Barge Canal in the National Register of Historic Places would be an exciting and appropriate action, further establishing the waterways’ stature and creating additional economic development opportunities for NYS residents and business owners. The NYS Barge Canal has had a great impact on the northeastern region since its construction. To this day, the canal remains widely visited by tourists and school groups who go to learn of the rich history associated with the waterway. National recognition of the Canal on the Register of Historic Places is important to the preservation and celebration of this national treasure.”
Staff reports Posted 15 September 2014
BATAVIA – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and about 100 veterans and their family members will leave Thursday morning for a trip to the nation’s capital.
Hawley is leading the seventh annual Patriot Trip, where veterans visit monuments, museums and memorials.
“As a man that comes from a military family and a former member of the National Guard and Army Reserves, I will always be looking out for veterans,” Hawley said. “Their example of public service is one I do my best to emulate as a public official. The Patriot Trip is a token of my appreciation for the men and women who have served our country with courage and honor. I look forward to this year’s trip.”
Hawley has led about 750 people on the Patriot Trips. The trip departs from Batavia Downs parking lot at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. The Patriot Trip is an annual event sponsored by Hawley for veterans to visit Washington D.C. and the war memorials in the city. It is one way that Hawley, the ranking member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, said he shows his appreciation for Western New York’s veterans.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 September 2014
ALBION – A former Medina resident was sentenced to three years in state prison today for attempted sexual abuse in the first degree.
Patrick E. Sewar, 23, is a former resident on Knowlesville Road. He most recently has been living at the Holley Hotel.
He admitted in court to inappropriate touching with a 7-year-old girl. He did not have sex with the girl, according to court officials.
He also faces charges in Genesee County for allegedly molesting another child at Darien Lake on June 24, 2013.
Orleans County Court Judge James Punch sentenced Sewar to three years in state prison, plus another 10 years of post-release supervision.
Two other people were sentenced today in court.
Brigitte Lutsch, 20, of Brockport was sentenced to a year in state prison after violating the terms of Drug Court.
Lutsch admitted in a previous court appearance that she helped sell cocaine in Albion on Oct. 6. She allegedly drove a drug dealer to Albion. She said she was aware cocaine was in her vehicle and that the drug was to be sold.
She faced a maximum of 2 ½ years in state prison for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. However, she was allowed to enter Drug Court. If she successfully completed Drug Court the charge would have been reduced to a misdemeanor, but she didn’t meet the terms of the program.
A Hamlin woman was sentenced to six months in county jail for attempted burglary in the second degree after she allegedly stole about $1,400 from a Kendall residence last Oct. 23.
Melissa Thomas, a resident of Orleans-Monroe County Line Road, also was sentenced to five years Probation after she is released from jail.
Precision Packaging Products will receive ‘Entrepreneurial Excellence’ award from Chamber of Commerce
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 September 2014
HOLLEY – It was about a decade ago when Precision Packaging Products opened a new manufacturing plant in the Holley Business Park.
The company had about 30-35 employees working out of a 62,000-square-foot building when it opened in 2003.
Three expansions later and the company has 115 employees in Holley, working out of 125,000 square feet of space. Precision has more room to grow in the future.
The company makes plastic packaging for baked goods, other food products, medical packaging, and retail/industrial customers.
Precision enjoyed steady growth at Holley after it moved from Greece to Orleans County in 2003. But sales really took off about six years ago when Precision introduced Tamper-Evident, packaging with a tear-strip that maximizes food safety.
That innovation has fueled a doubling in the company’s sales in the past five years, said Andrew Moreau, the site controller.
Precision’s growth caught the attention of the Waddington Group in Kentucky. That multi-national company purchased Precision in March, and sees potential in the Holley site, Moreau said.
“We were very much alone before,” he said. “Now we have more connections in the industry. We gained a whole lot of resources for future growth opportunities and expansions.”
Holley has proven a great fit for Precision. The village offers lower-cost municipal electricity with room to grow in the business park. The community also has been able to meet Precision’s employment needs.
The company formed in 1981 and used to rely on Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and other big manufacturers for much of its business. But the company’s focus has shifted more to the food business with the packaging for bakery items and other food products.
One of the company’s founders, Kerry Kyle, stressed innovation at Precision, which has its own engineering team and makes custom-made products for its customers. Kyle wanted a resealable package that could be offered to customers at a similar cost.
The Precision team came up with the zip-strip package and it has been wildly popular. (Precision has a patent pending for the development.)
Kyle has stepped back from a daily presence at the business, but remains as a consultant. His son, Brendan Kyle, is the site manager.
“This is a business driven by innovation,” Brendan Kyle said.
Precision is the largest private employer in Holley. The company strives for more innovations, looking for ways to better package products.
“It’s always been about, ‘How can we make this better?’” Moreau said. “It’s a constant daily activity where we ask, ‘What about this?’”
Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator for Orleans County Health Department Posted 15 September 2014
Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but is especially harmful to pregnant women, infants and small children who are growing rapidly.
Lead poisoning can cause miscarriages and stillbirths, high blood pressure (hypertension), nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain. In children it can lower IQ, cause growth problems, kidney damage, behavior problems, anemia and hearing loss.
If lead poisoning is not taken care of it can also cause permanent damage to organs in both children and adults. You may or may not experience any signs or symptoms of lead poisoning. State law requires all children be tested at age 1 and again at age 2.
Before you start your fall clean-up consider the age of your home and whether or not you may have a lead hazard. If you have questions about lead poisoning talk with your doctor or call your Health Department for information on lead, safe removal of lead paint and dust or for testing information. Also visit the New York State Department of Health Web site by clicking here.
Federal law requires landlords and contractors who are hired for renovations, repair and painting in homes, childcare centers and schools built before 1978 that disturb painted surfaces, to be certified and follow specific practices to prevent lead contamination. Lead-based paint may be hazardous on surfaces that children can chew on such as windowsills, doors and doorframes, stairs, railings, banisters, porches and fences. Lead can also be found in drinking water in homes that have plumbing with lead or lead solder.
If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, here are some important things you can do to protect your family:
• If you rent, call the landlord immediately to report peeling or chipping paint.
• Damp mop and damp dust often. Clean up paint chips right away and clean all other surfaces with general all-purpose cleaner.
• Let your cold water run for a minute before using it for making baby formula, drinking, brushing your teeth and cooking to flush lead picked up from pipes. Do NOT use warm tap water to make baby formula.
• Wash children’s hands and toys often to wash off any lead dust. Keep them way from chipping paint and prevent destructive behaviors like chewing on painted surfaces.
• Always hire certified contractors for work that will disrupt paint in housing or child occupied buildings before 1978 or get properly trained and certified yourself. For a certified firm, click here.
For more information about renovating right and about the dangers of lead exposure to children and adults, call the Orleans County Health Department at 589-3278.
For more information about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) visit the Environmental Protection Agency by clicking here or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.
First woman to serve as Medina mayor and Legislature chairwoman, Tuohey also ran several businesses
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 September 2014
MEDINA – When Fisher-Price left Medina about two decades ago, eliminating 700 jobs, Marcia Tuohey led the push for the community’s rebound.
She worked to establish a business park that would welcome new companies, including Trek, BMP America and American Sigma. She would later push to welcome Western New York Energy and its ethanol plant.
“When Fisher-Price closed she knew people had to step up for other industries,” said her son Craig Tuohey, a former director of the industrial development agency in Orleans County. “She was tireless.”
Tuohey was a trailblazing local leader. She was the first woman elected to serve as mayor of Medina, the first woman elected county legislator and the Legislature’s longest-serving chairwoman with 10 years as the county’s highest-ranking elected official.
She was 84 when she died at home on Aug. 7. The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce is recognizing her with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” on Saturday during the Chamber’s annual awards dinner.
Before she ran for public office, Tuohey ran many several business ventures, including a construction company and a mobile home park. She teamed with her twin sister Barbara Waters in some of the enterprises, including buying run-down homes, fixing them up and then reselling them.
They were active entrepreneurs beginning about 50 years ago, when it was very much a man’s world.
“She was fearless,” Craig said about his mother.
She doled out duties for her young sons, including mowing lawns and pulling weeds. When she operated the Colonial Inn, insisting on no baseball caps for staff and customers, Craig was assigned the manager.
“If you look sloppy, you act sloppy, and if you act sloppy, you think sloppy,” was one of her adages. Tuohey loved to sprinkle in sayings for the staff and her family.
“Don’t ever ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,” Craig said, quoting his mother.
Tuohey often brought up her days working summer jobs on the muck farms with her sister.
“No matter what you do, even if it’s pulling a weed, do the best job you can do,” was another saying.
Tuohey was the daughter of Frank J. Balcerzak, a respected building contractor who built hundreds of public buildings in WNY. Marcia, her sister and brother Bob would form a spinoff of the family construction business, Balcerzak Incorporated. They would use their company for several business ventures, including Orchard Manor Nursing Home.
Tuohey married a mechanical engineer, Carl “Gus” Tuohey.
“He was proud of mom and didn’t stand in her way,” said their son Carl.
His mother enjoyed business, but she reveled in politics, mainly because of the relationships and the satisfaction of completing projects.
She didn’t like “phony” people. She preferred people who could get the job done and stayed true to their word.
When women interested in running for elected office would ask her for advice, Tuohey often told them to never offer to make the coffee at a meeting. The women shouldn’t go about deferential roles, catering to the men, her son Carl said.
Tuohey shattered local stereotypes about what women can and should do for much of her adult life, whether running a construction company, serving as Medina mayor and then County Legislature chairwoman.
Even after she retired as Legislature leader eight years ago, Tuohey stayed a force in local affairs. She served on Medina’s Planning Board, and attended many village meetings, urging the Village Board to trim expenses. She also was the county’s representative on the board of directors for Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.
“It wasn’t about being in charge,” Craig said. “It was about doing things right.”
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 September 2014
Several key soccer games will highlight the upcoming week of area high school sports action.
The defending champion Kendall girls soccer squad, which leads the Genesee Region League Division 1 standings with a 3-0 record, will host Alexander on Monday and Lyndonville Wednesday. The Lady Eagles will also visit Albion on Saturday for a non league contest.
The defending champion Kendall boys soccer squad, which is currently 2-0 in the league and 5-0 overall, visits Byron-Bergen in a key G-R Div. 1 contest Tuesday.
The Medina/Lyndonville boys soccer team, which currently holds a half game lead in the tight Niagara-Orleans League title chase, will host Akron on Wedensday. The Mustangs are 3-1 in the league while Akron, Newfane and Wilson are all close behind at 2-1.
The upcoming weekend's football schedule will have Medina hosting Lake Shore in an interdivisional game on Frdiay night while Albion visits Newfane and Barker/Roy-Hart faces Bennett at All High Stadium in B North Division games on Saturday afternoon. Holley will also host CG Finney Saturday in a non league contest.
Golf - Newfane at Barker, Wilson at Akron, Albion at Medina, Roy-Hart at CSAT, 4 p.m.
Boys Soccer - Holley at Univerity Prep, 4 p.m.; CSAT at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer - Albion at Akron, Roy-Hart at Newfane, Barker at CSAT, Lyndonville at Notre Dame, Holley at Pembroke, 4:30 p.m.; Wilson at Medina, Alexander at Kendall, 6:30 p.m.
Volleyball - Oakfield-Alabama at Lyndonville, 6:30 p.m.
Field Hockey - Roy-Hart at Buffalo Seminary, 4:30 p.m.
Field Hockey - Roy-Hart at Medina, Wilson at Barker, Akron at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
Boys Scocer - CSAT at Albion, 4:30 p.m.; Holley at Pembroke, Kendall at Byron-Bergen, 6:30 p.m.
Volleyball - Roy-Hart at Medina, Albion at Akron, CSAT at Newfane, Lyndonville at Kendall, Notre Dame at Holley, 6:30 p.m.
Golf - CSAT at Albion, Roy-Hart at Medina, Newfane at Wilson, Akron at Barker, 4 p.m.
Boys Soccer - Akron at Medina, 4:30 p.m.; Wilson at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer - Lyndonville at Kendall, Elba at Holley, 6:30 p.m.
Field Hockey - Barker at Newfane, Wilson at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; Kenmore at Akron ,5 p.m.
Boys Soccer - Newfane at Albion, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer - Albion at CSAT, Barker at Medina, Roy-Hart at Akron, Newfane at Wilson, Byron-Bergen at Lyndonville, 4:30 p.m.
Volleyball - Medina at CSAT, Akron at Wilson, Holley at Byron-Bergen, RCMC at Kendall, 6:30 p.m.
Football - Lake Shore at Medina, 7:30 p.m.
Golf - Medina at Wilson, CSAT at Barker, Akron at Roy-Hart, Albion at Newfane ,4 p.m.
Boys Soccer - Medina vs. Byron-Bergen, 4:30 p.m. at Lyndonville
Volleyball - Newfane at Albion, Wheatland-Chili at Lyndonville, 6:30 p.m.
Football - CG Finney at Holley, 1:30 p.m.; Albion at Newfane, 2 p.m.; Barker/Roy-Hart at Bennett, 3 p.m. at All High Stadium
Boys Soccer - Albion at Wilson, CSAT at Newfane, Roy-Hart at Akron, 10 a.m.; Wheatland-Chili at Holley, 6:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer - Kendall at Albion, 10 a.m. ; Pembroke at Holley, 2:30 p.m.
Volleyball - Lyndonville at Holley, 11 a.m.
Field Hockey - Barker 2-0, Akron 2-0, Wilson 2-0, Newfane 1-0, Kenmore 1-2, Medina 0-3, Roy-Hart 0-3
Golf - Wilson 7-0, Medina 6-1, Barker 4-2-1, Akron 3-2-1, Newfane 2-4, Roy-Hart 2-5, CSAT 1-4, Albion 0-7
Boys Soccer - Medina/Lyndonville 3-1, Newfane 2-1, Wilson 2-1, Akron 2-1, Roy-Hart 1-1, CSAT 0-2, Albion 0-3
Girls Soccer - Newfane 4-0, Wilson 4-0, Akron 2-1, Albion 2-2, Medina 2-2, Roy-Hart 1-3, CSAT 0-3, Barker 0-4
Volleyball - Albion 2-0, Newfane 2-0, Medina 1-1, Roy-Hart 1-1, Akron 0-1, CSAT 0-1, Wilson 0-2
Football - Attica 2-0, 2-0; Elba/Byron-Bergen 2-0, 2-0; Alexander 1-0, 1-1; Oakfield-Alabama 1-0, 1-1; Holley 0-2, 2-0; Notre Dame 0-2, 0-2; Pembroke 0-2, 0-2
Boys Soccer - Kendall 2-0-0, Byron-Bergen/Elba 2-0-1, Holley 1-0-1, Attica 0-1-0, Wheatland-Chili 0-1-0, Pembroke 0-2-0
Girls Soccer Division 1 - Kendall 3-0, Attica 3-1, Byron-Bergen 3-1, Alexander 2-2, Holley 0-3, Pembroke 0-4
Girls Soccer Division 2 - Wheatland-Chili 3-0, Lyndonville 2-1, Notre Dame 1-1, Oakfield-Alabama 1-2, Elba 0-3
Section VI Football Federation
B North Division - Lew-Port 2-0, 2-0; Bennett 1-0, 2-0; Burgard 1-0, 2-0; Albion 1-1, 1-1; Medina 1-1, 1-1; Barker/Roy-Hart 0-2, 0-2; Newfane 0-2, 0-2
By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian Posted 14 September 2014
ALBION – County personnel met at Marti’s Restaurant on Nov. 6, 1947 for a banquet when this photo was taken. Celia Keeler, clerk for the Board of Supervisors, is pictured second from left. She died on June 5 at age 106. She is the last known living person in this photograph.
Pictured, left to right around the table, include: Herb Holt, clerk of the highway department; Celia Keeler, clerk for the Board of Supervisors; Justin Robert, Shelby town supervisor; Katherin Mathews, secretary to child welfare agent; unidentified, machine agent; J.J. Beach, Ridgeway town supervisor; Ole Orsland, Kendall town supervisor; Earl Strickland, Carlton town supervisor; Henry De Lano, Barre town supervisor;
Ross N. Wilson, Albion town supervisor; Harold Farnsworth, secretary for civil service; Mark Heath, county attorney; John Kast, Gaines town supervisor; Mrs. R. Beebe, Murray town supervisor; Henry Hannan, highway superintendent; M. Harris, custodian; Geraldine Barry, deputy county treasurer; Manley Morrison, Yates town supervisor; unidentified, machine agent; and Cassius Webster, Clarendon town supervisor.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 September 2014
MEDINA – The arts scene just found a new venue in Orleans County with the opening of Wide Angle Art Gallery at 525 Main St.
Kim Keil and Noelle Wiedemer opened the gallery on Saturday to an enthusiastic crowd. The gallery displayed works from four artists and promoted upcoming workshops, including one for children ages 10 to 14 on acrylic painting. That class will be Oct. 4.
Keil teaches chemistry at University of Buffalo and Wiedemer teaches in the museum studies program at Buffalo State. They are accustomed to the art scene in bigger cities. But they see potential in a gallery and art-related workshop in small-town Medina.
“We’ve watched all the new stores pop up and the ones that are established,” Wiedemer said. “It’s fantastic.”
Medina is drawing media attention from outside the area for its downtown business revival in a historic district, Wiedemer said.
“People know where Medina is and they are willing to make the trek out here,” she said.
While Medina has added new businesses in recent years, an art gallery seemed to be missing from Main Street, Wiedemer said.
The two-story location includes an upstairs workshop that could be used for one-day classes or sessions that lasts several weeks. Wiedemer said visiting artists will lead some of the programs.
“We have the space and it won’t just be limited to Medina,” she said. “We want to be a Western New York hub.”
Wiedemer and Keil both said Medina is nestled in a beautiful area that will draw artists and students to see the water, orchards and other lush landscapes.
“The seasons are gorgeous,” Wiedemer said. “We’re very lucky out here.”
For more on the gallery, click here.
By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 14 September 2014
MEDINA – Last year, two members of the Memories of Medina Facebook page passed away leading the group to create a memorial garden in their honor.
At the Glenwood Lake boat launch site just north of Boxwood Cemetery, the garden is already nearing completion and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
“I came down here to my thinking spot,” said Dayton Hausman, one of the garden organizers. “I looked around and said there’s no color down here. It’s just green by the water.”
The garden was created originally in honor of Michelle Stanton Jones who lost her battle with cancer on July 29, 2013. She was an early member of the Memories of Medina Facebook page. Its original purpose was to share news, memories and other tidbits of Medina, while also offering a way for members to network and make new friends. Stanton Jones organized meet-and-greet events through the page for the people of Medina to meet each other.
The garden site coincided with being the location of the very first meet-and-greet that Stanton Jones headed. The group met under the pavilion, which is only about a hundred feet from the garden.
“Michelle lived out by Lake Ontario, so she loved the water,” Hausman said. “Just about anyone who grew up in Medina says Glenwood is our little secret.”
“It's always just quiet and peaceful,” said Tim Bensley. “If you were to put a place where you'd go sit and think, this would be it.”
“Behind this was idea of reflection and to add color,” added Hausman.
The garden also honors Linda Froman, a prominent business woman and active community member. She was also a big player in the Memories of Medina page and passed away two days after Stanton Jones.
“There was a loose committee of individuals in the group that agreed to give it a shot,” Hausman said. “We went to the town of Ridgeway and presented our ideas and they backed us. They gave us permission and we met with Mark Goheen from the highway department and got the rules and regulations of what we could and couldn’t do. They were very supportive.”
The garden is funded by donations. Many monetary donations have been made by local businesses and Medina residents. Collection jars were also left at many businesses. Almost all of the features of the garden, such as the angel and birdhouse, were donated by community members.
Hannah Pollard of Grant-Pollard Insurance also organized a basket raffle that brought in about $10,000 in donations. This is what prompted the garden to be upgraded from a little 6' by 9' space designed to look like a smiley face to 100' by 37' series of rings and hearts. Some of the money will be left over after the garden is completed for any ongoing maintenance of the site.
Tim Bensley, owner of Bensley's Home Services, used his construction experience and the volunteer support of high-schoolers to create the space. About 12 Medina High School grads and students, mostly young women, assisted in making the space with six of them showing up regularly.
“It been truly an emotional experience to come down here and work,” Bensley said. “There's so many things that happen when you're down here. There were these two geese. As soon as I would get here, these geese would arrive. They'd land in the lake, we'd work, we'd leave, they'd fly off. I was calling them Linda and Michelle, like they were checking up on me.”
Local businesses also helped in other ways. JC Signs lettered the sign that stands over the entry path. Art Hill Excavating and Shelby Stone contributed materials and Medina Lumber and White Pines Nursery gave discounts toward their purchases.
“It's a community project that came out of a lot of sadness, but it's a source of pride,” said Hausman.
Besides two plaques being created for Stanton Jones and Froman, memorial plaques are also available for purchase to remember others. So far about 30 plaques have been purchased. They are available for $75 and can be purchased at Grant-Pollard Insurance in Medina from Hannah or Libby Pollard.
The plaques will be used to line the top edge of the center ring in the garden at first. There is space for 127 on there. If more space is needed as time goes on, further concentric rings will be constructed expanding outward.
“It's far more than any of us ever imagined,” Bensley said. “It's kind of grown over the year.”
The remaining construction at the site includes the installation of six stone benches, a large centerpiece of a stone circle with a heart in the center, the installation of the plaques and the addition of solar lights. The dedication ceremony will take place in the spring when the plants in the garden are colorful.
By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 13 September 2014
ALBION – In the last few months, people worldwide have been doing the Ice Bucket Challenge and today Community Action in Orleans County got in on the action.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral marketing campaign for the ALS Association to raise awareness of ALS, a lethal neurodegenerative disorder also called Lou Gehrig's disease. The challenge involves a person filling up a bucket with ice water, they get someone to film them, then they challenge other people to do it followed by dumping the water over their head. A person can opt out by donating money.
It's become very popular to make a video of the challenge and still donate money to the cause. Several celebrities have joined in the challenge including Liam Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. As of Friday, the ALS Association has raised $112.4 million dollars which will go toward patient care and research.
“We had this brainstorm that we would gather as many staff together as possible to do this Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Annette Finch, director of community services for Community Action. “We felt that being in the community and being community-minded, we should do something for another charity.”
On a chilly Saturday morning 10 employees from Community Action in Albion took the challenge together. (Click here to see the video.) The group challenged all other Orleans County transportation services to do do it, too, and lined up in front of a Community Action bus during the challenge to drive the point home.
“This is just to show awareness of ALS and how severe it can be,” said Theresa Price, a Head Start employee. “A couple years ago I didn't know what it was until I did a walk with my niece. She explained it to me and what it is. This is to show awareness and get it out there how serious this is.”
Community Action will be making a donation to ALS through the Community Action Angels in Action fund in the near future, though they have not determined an amount yet. Many of the participants will also donate on their own as well.
“I'm very proud of the staff for coming out on a cold, rainy Saturday to do this for charity,” Finch said. “That's what we're all about here.”
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 13 September 2014
ALBION – Hoag Library hosted its first health fair today with about 25 vendors attending the three-hour event.
In the top photo, Dr. Ahmet Guler, a cardiologist for Medina Memorial Hospital and Orleans Community Heath, talks with Cindy Perry, director of health education, wellness and outreach for the hospital and OCH.
Dr. Guler was hired as a local cardiologist in July. He promoted the hospital’s new vein center at today's health fair. The Albion Urgent Care Center also offers vein screening services. Guler said Medina has the only vein center between Rochester and Buffalo.
The Care Net Pregnancy and Family Center in Albion also attended the health fair, trying to promote its services, which include pregnancy tests, ultrasound, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and other family services. In this photo, Sara Moore, left, is pictured with center director Gloria Lear. Moore is the nurse manager for Care Net, which is located across from McDonalds. The center has its annual “Walk/Run for Life” next Saturday at Mount Albion Cemetery beginning at 10 a.m.
Wayne Litchfield, the coordinator for VALOR, talks about the program with Leanne Serrato, a registered nurse with Medina Memorial Hospital. VALOR stands for
Volunteer Alliance Linking Orleans Resources. The group provides volunteer support for public health preparedness.
"Unless it affects you personally, you don't know the services that are out there," said Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public health educator for Orleans County. She helped plan the health fair with Hoag Library staff.
She expects the health fair will become an annual event at the library.
"By coming here you now have names and faces to connect with organizations," Goodrich-Kresse said.
Lyndonville Central School will host a health fair on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of its homecoming weekend.
By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 13 September 2014
MEDINA – Lee-Whedon Memorial Library wanted to offer something new to patrons and decided the release of the new Captain America movie on Friday was a great day to celebrate with Comic Con.
The most famous examples of the convention are the San Diego and New York Comic Cons. They are conventions held around the world for people to get together and celebrate the pop culture of comic books, video games, movies and general science fiction.
This is the first year the library has held the event, but Kristine Mostyn, the assistant library director, said that the library wants to make it an annual event.
“There’s comic book movies coming out for like the next five years or so,” Mostyn said. “I’m planning on continuing it as long as it’s popular. I was trying to think of a program that people of all ages would enjoy, but also had the fun aspect that you could dress up and be a kid again.”
The event took place after hours throughout the main area of the library.
“We wanted it to be a loud, boisterous and fun program, but we didn't want it while we were open where we'd disturb other people,” she said. “Plus, having the lights off for the film limits the ability for others to use the library.”
Library staff that are fans of the con genres helped out during the event and some even got into the spirit by dressing up. Mostyn dressed as Elphaba from Wicked and Children's Librarian Suzanne McAllister came as Darth Vader from Star Wars. Staff also brought some props from their personal collections, such as light sabers, for con-goers to use in photographs.
“It was fun because the staff was enthusiastic about it, too,” Mostyn added.
The kids participated in several events to win prizes throughout the evening.
Because dressing in costumes is traditional for Comic Cons, the library held a costume contest. Aaron Lama won the event dressed as Iron Patriot from the third Iron Man film. He was awarded a life-sized cardboard stand-up of the character Loki from Thor.
Kristen Helton brought her son, Trent Ingerson, dressed as a Sith Lord from Star Wars. “It's just a fun event. I hope they do this every year,” she said.
The children also participated in a superhero scavenger hunt. They had to seek out the symbols of superheros from all over the library. Those who completed it were entered into a raffle. Mason Moreland and Andrew Schmidli won faux vintage metal signs of Spiderman and Wonder Woman.
During the trivia contest, the kids were asked questions about the most popular heroes, such as how Superman got his powers or who Batman's sidekick is. Timmy Vasquez won a Justice League poster.
The kids also took a 30-minute drawing lesson from local art hobbyist Jeffrey Leigh. He taught the children how to draw several popular characters.
To wrap up the evening, everyone gathered around the projector screen for a viewing of the movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
“I picked the day to coincide with the day the movie coming out on DVD. It’s still new and people that haven't seen it in theater haven't seen it on DVD yet,” Mostyn said.
She is hoping to draw older kids next year to participate with the younger kids. The average age of kids at the event was between 6 and 10, although a couple of 18-year-olds joined the fun. She is hoping that older siblings might attend with younger ones next year and that they might even choose to dress up as well.
Mostyn also plans to try and get a real comic artist to come in next year. She knows of a successful comic book artist in Lockport that she is hoping to invite to talk about how comic creation can be a worthwhile aspiration.
“I tried to get all aspects of being a comic book lover, or just sci-fi and fantasy in general,” Mostyn said. “I thought this was a good way to embrace this for our community. There is nothing like this. I'm hoping it will grow.”
Photo by Al Scalzo Posted 13 September 2014
Al Scalzo of Medina sent in two photos from the Monday night “Supermoon.” It was the third time this season we had a Supermoon, when the moon is full and at its closest orbit to the earth.
The Supermoon on Monday also was known as a Harvest Moon because it is near the autumn equinox.
Chris Busch of Medina was stepping out of the Post office on Wednesday afternoon when the Sun appeared to cast a heavenly halo over the top of the First Baptist Church. Busch said this photo doesn’t do justice to the scene.
“The actual sight was beautiful!” Busch said.
Dog saved, home spared thanks to quick thinking
By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 13 September 2014
LYNDONVILLE – Three Lyndonville girls were recognized by the Lyndonville Fire Department for acting quickly to prevent a house fire.
Mya Heideman, 9, Alia Childs, 10, and Emily Brown, 11, were out last Monday evening when they saw a dog in a home on Maple Avenue with foggy looking windows. They could hear the smoke detectors inside going off. The girls raced home to Alia’s house on adjacent Lynwood Drive and had her mother, Holly Childs, call 9-1-1.
The fire department sent two trucks to investigate. Upon opening the front door, the dog trapped inside ran out. The entire first floor was engulfed in smoke. Their investigation revealed food burning on the stove had accidentally been left cooking by the homeowner. The dog was retrieved later that night, suffering no apparent ill effects from the smoke.
Fire Chief Jason Gerety said the home was very near catching fire and that the girls’ fast response saved the life of the dog, as well as the house. He presented them with framed awards on Friday evening, saying, “Your community thanks you. It could have been a lot worse than it was.”
“You did the right thing,” he continued. “Never hesitate to call 9-1-1 or tell a grown up. If that had gone a little bit longer, that dog wouldn’t have made it out of the house and the homeowner would have been burying her pet. You guys recognized it and did the right thing and I’m proud of you.”
Chief Gerety then suggested that the girls do one more step next time if they ever need to call 9-1-1 again.
“There’s only one thing you might have done different,” he said. “If you think of it, try and grab the house number next time.”
The girls hadn’t thought to get the house number and had described which street the home was on and said it was the “house with the gnomes.” Immediately, the Chief knew which home they were talking about and they went straight there.
Holly Childs, Alia’s mother, said, “I'm really proud of the girls. They acted really fast.”
Homeowner Rose Carter was in attendance at the award ceremony. She shares the home with her fiance, Eric Morton, who was not home at the time of the incident.
“I left chicken on the stove and forgot about it and went to Lockport,” Carter said. “When I came back the fire company was there. They said these girls, heroes of mine, rescued the dog. They called 9-1-1. These are my heroes right here. I can’t thank them enough.”
The girls all agreed that it felt really good to be called heroes. Their advice to anyone that ever thinks there might be a problem like a fire is to just call 9-1-1.
Art Buongiorne has book-signing at CRFS, where he works with 600 others
By Tom Rivers Posted 12 September 2014
ALBION – Art Buongiorne has accumulated a life-time of wisdom and experiences, and he is sharing some of those lessons and stories in two new books.
Buongiorne, 87, self-published a book about Holley entrepreneurs and public servants who descended from Italian immigrants. He celebrated the publication of “The Italians and Why They Came” with a book-signing at CRFS this afternoon.
Buongiorne has worked in security at CRFS and also with administrative tasks. He is a beloved co-worker for the staff of 600 at CRFS, said Jodi Gaines, the company president and CEO.
“He is a great employee,” Gaines said. “We know he’s worked really hard.”
Gaines is one of the Holley natives featured in Buongiorne's book.
Buongiorne is a Holley native and a World War II veteran. He also wrote a book, “Faith Builders,” that offers insight into the Christian life. He was joined at his book-signing today by his wife of 65 years, Mary.
Buongiorne, a former carpenter, was working in security for a Rochester bank until he was 83. He was laid off. He wanted to keep working and was hired by G4S, a company contracted for security by CRFS.
He works during the week for CRFS doing administrative tasks such as printing copies, sorting and collating.
“He’s our caretaker around here,” said Donna Beadle, a co-worker who bought one of Buongiorne’s books. “He’s a sweet guy to have around.”
Buongiorne keeps the coffee pot fresh, and also sends inspirational cards to many of the CRFS staff.
He has three other books in the works, with “The Magnificent Journey,” his Christian testimony, expected to be released in November.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2014
YATES – The state Department of Environmental Conservation is testing wells on Ward Road after residents complained cow manure contaminated their water supply, Town Supervisor John Belson said this afternoon.
Residents attended Thursday’s Town Board meeting to voice their concerns about the manure. A dairy farm spread on Ward Road and then a downpour hit in late August, causing significant manure runoff, Belson said.
The manure washed into ditches and Johnson Creek, and residents fear some of the manure got into their wells, Belson said.
There are five houses on Ward Road, which is located off Alps and Platten roads. They have shallow wells, Belson said. The town does not have a public waterline along the road.
Belson said samples have been taken of the well water. The DEC and the Orleans County Department of Health are both investigating, he said.
Town will apply excess to reducing debt for districts
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2014
GAINES – The Town of Gaines overcharged residents in water districts by about $175,000, the Town Board announced on Wednesday after audits by two accounting firms.
The Town Board decided it will take money from the water district reserves to pay down debt in the districts. That will shorten the life of the loans and also reduce the annual payments to residents in eight water districts.
One district, No. 8, actually wasn’t paying enough and residents in that district will need to pay “a little more” to cover the district’s full expenses for debt and maintenance, said Town Supervisor Carol Culhane.
Water District No. 4 overpaid by $52,000 and that will be enough to wipe out the remaining principal, eliminating debt payments in the future for that district.
Other districts overpaid by the following amounts, according to the town:
Water District 2: $29,567
Water District 3: $29,633
Water District 5: $20,269
Water District 6: $2,617
Water District 7: $39,522
Water District 9: $2,788
Water District 10: $2,014
Culhane said she has been working with auditors for about 18 months, trying to determine if there was an overcharge and how to best solve the problem. The town also consulted the State Comptroller’s Office and reviewed New York Finance Law, she said.
She couldn’t say why the town overcharged residents. She said it goes back to at least 2006.
A resident complained about a high tax bill for water and that got Culhane, the town supervisor for about three years, to look into the issue.
The changing numbers in the districts makes it difficult to craft a solution for the excess charges. Some residents who overpaid their water district bills have sold their homes and moved out of the district.
The water districts often add users as new houses are constructed. Sometimes lots are split up, changing the numbers of users from when the districts were first formed and started collecting annual debt payments to pay off the loan for the construction.
Using the excess funds from the water district reserves will provide relief to water users in 2015 with smaller debt service charges, except for District No. 8.
“The most important thing is we came up with a fair fix,” Culhane said. “I don’t see another viable plan.”
Culhane said the Town Board is united in wanting to address the problem.
“It’s the board decision to go forward and straighten this out,” she said.
Staff reports Posted 12 September 2014
ALBION – Merrill-Grinnell Funeral Home in Albion is moving the date of its car show scheduled for this Saturday to Sun., Sept. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., said Becky Karls, site manager and coordinator of the car show.
Saturday is forecast for 58 degrees with the threat of rain.
Karls wants to have a good weather day for the event, which includes food and a DJ. The show at 12 Ingersoll St. is also a benefit for Hospice of Orleans.
For more information, call the funeral home at 589-4466.
Japanese Knotweed will be sprayed to prevent spread
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2014
ALBION – There is a new challenge for removing the Clarendon Street Bridge in Albion: an invasive plant known as Japanese Knotweed.
The project can’t go forward until the plant is under control, Mayor Dean London said.
The village will team with the Orleans County Highway Department to spray the plant, limiting its growth and hopefully killing it. The plant, which resembles bamboo, crowds out native species.
If the village didn’t spray the plant, it would have to bury it six feet under ground at a cost of $150,000, London said, citing a report prepared for the village and state Department of Transportation.
The village will spray the plant before construction starts, and needs to commit to spraying the Japanese Knotweed for two years. The village will be reimbursed by DOT for its time and expense in fighting the invasive plant, London said.
The bridge removal will likely happen next year. The village opted against replacing the bridge after construction costs jumped by $600,000. The street will be blocked off near the railroad once the bridge is removed. Village officials say they will pursue an at-grade crossing in the future so the street can be open.
Four C’s was sold in August to Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2014
CHILDS – For 30 years the Christopher family made charter boat captains and other customers feel at home along the Oak Orchard River.
Gene and Judy Christopher and their sons David and Darrick operated Four C’s Marina. They did it with class, said Sharon Narburgh, owner of Narby’s Superette and Tackle for nearly 50 years.
“They did a service and the people don’t forget that,” Narburgh said.
She attended a dinner on Wednesday at the Village Inn, when the Christophers treated 130 friends and customers to an appreciation dinner. The Christophers sold their marina last month to Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina and Rod Farrow.
Bud and Peggy Fischer of Spencerport were long-time customers at Four C’s. The Christophers won the admiration of the Point Breeze community, the Fischers said.
“They were always concerned about our welfare,” Mr. Fischer said. “Gene and his wife are very special people. They’re very accommodating.”
Mrs. Fischer said the Christophers were always “above the table” in dealing with the public.
“He always told you like it was,” she said.
Besides the marina, the Christophers expanded the operation to lodging and a next-door café. The marina was the first job for the boys, Darrick and David.
Judy Christopher was a strong presence at the marina for its first 29 years. She died from cancer at age 70 last Aug. 3. Gene credited his wife for doing so much for Four C’s, especially when he was juggling his full-time job before he retired about 15 years ago.
Robin Boyle worked as a cook and waitress at the café, and also helped detail boats and work in the office. She said the Christophers treated people with respect and class.
“They were always honest and they were very good role models,” Boyle said. “Their customers kept coming back. They developed a very good rapport with everybody.”
Gene and David worked the room on Wednesday at the Village Inn, exchanging hand shakes and hugs with many of the attendees.
“This is just a thank you from us to them,” Gene said.
Ray and Linda Burke bring a grand old house back to life
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2014
GAINES – Ray Burke says he was looking for a “project.” About two years ago he and his wife Linda bought a stately old house at the corner of routes 98 and 104 in the heart of the Cobblestone Historic District.
The house has been vacant for five years and needed significant renovations. Burke and a team of volunteers went to work. The site was given a new life as “Fair Haven Treasures,” a business featuring crafters and artisans. Fair Haven now has nine vendors with room for more.
The Chamber of Commerce has picked Fair Haven for its “Phoenix Award,” recognition given to a significant restoration effort. The award will be presented on Sept. 20.
“It’s a lovely old home and I’m glad we did it,” Mr. Burke said. “It’s been a lot of work and there’s more to do.”
Gaines Town Supervisor Carol Culhane watched the old brick house decline in recent years before the Burkes bought it. She served on the Zoning Board of Appeals with Mr. Burke a few years ago and the two became friends. Culhane suggested the Burkes buy the building and she envisioned it as a site for high-end artisans, live music and other special events.
Culhane and her husband Gerry helped bring the building back to life. They teamed with the Burkes and other volunteers to remove plywood and linoleum from the floors, and discovered hardwood floors underneath. They took out one wall to make a bigger room that can be used for performances, book-signings and public events.
“You could see the house was declining,” Culhane said. “It’s so tragic to see these beautiful stately homes decline.”
She grew up in the “Dutchtown” neighborhood in Rochester. That area in Jay, Childs and Ames streets has been overwhelmed with crime, and so many of the houses, even her old high school, have been torn down, Culhane said.
When she saw the brick house deteriorating, she worried it would meet the same fate as some of the beloved buildings of her youth.
The 3,040-square-foot brick house was built in 1834, the same year the Cobblestone Universalist Church was erected across the street. Burke said the house is a prominent location and should be a showcase for the community.
“It’s the crossroads of the county and the crossroads of our town,” he said. “It’s a stately building that sits up on a hill.”
Burke is retired from DuPont in Rochester. The former machine shop foreman also has renovated smaller houses as rental properties. He has built his own plane and driven a Harley. He was looking for something else, a new challenge with the brick house.
“I’ve had all the toys and I’ve always been busy,” he said. “I can’t stand to sit still. This house will probably never be done. The list is on and on.”
Burke put in a new driveway and parking lot for the house, which required 1,300 tons of stone. He just added three flag poles out front and in the spring, there will be an International Peace Garden by the flags. It will be the second peace garden in Orleans County. Brown’s Berry Patch has the first.
To be a peace garden, the site needs to have a historic connection to the War of 1812. The site was once owned by John Proctor, who is considered the Paul Revere of Ridge Road. He warned residents the British were coming during the War of 1812. Proctor also gave the hamlet the name Fair Haven.
Culhane helps manage the site, lining up vendors and planning events. Fair Haven will begin offering “paint and sip” classes every two weeks beginning on Sept. 17. Participants can sip wine and paint in classes led by Culhane.
Fair Haven also is working with two other businesses, Tillman’s Village Inn and The Cabaret at Studio B, for an “Evening in Orleans” this Sunday. Fair Haven will host a wine-tasting from 3 to 4 p.m. before the activity shifts to the Village Inn and then the Cabaret.
Burke said he has been encouraged by the business partnerships in the community and other new business ventures. Tillman’s is expanding its dining facilities, and Ridge Road in Gaines also is home to other recently opened ventures including the Old Goat antique store, Cobble-Ridge Co-Op and the Rocking R Ranch.
He sees the Ridge Road corridor as a draw for culture and history enthusiasts.
“Things are happening in the town,” Burke said.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 11 September 2014
ALBION – Crews have been busy the past few weeks removing towering maple trees in the village of Albion. National Grid identified the trees as a hazard.
Many trees have been taken down, including this one at the corner of West Academy and West Bank streets by the former Albion Grammar School.
A crew takes down big branches on another tree by the former school.
Here is a close-up of another tree that was taken down in front of the former school, which is now used for senior apartments and also for services for senior citizens and developmentally disabled residents.
Press release, Holley Central School Posted 11 September 2014
HOLLEY – A new fitness center will soon be opening at Holley Elementary School for use by the students, staff and community. The creation of the fitness center is due to the Carol White Physical Education Program, a multi-year $441,000 federal grant for Holley.
Lisa Campbell, the district’s Director of Physical Education, was instrumental in securing this grant for the district. Holley has used the grant money to purchase state-of-the-art fitness equipment to outfit the center.
Initially, the fitness center will be open two nights per week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., starting in late fall/early winter. The center will be supervised by a Holley staff member and Holley Security Officers will be on duty during the community use hours.
During the evening hours, children under the age of 10 will not be permitted to use the equipment. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver form in order to use the equipment.
“I invite you to use the fitness center as your schedule permits, as it is just one more service that the school district provides the community, and we are very proud to do so,” said Robert D’Angelo, Holley school district superintendent.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 11 September 2014
Tammy Yaskulski, the branch manager for Five Star Bank in Medina, paints the dining hall at Christ Church in Albion. The church hosts the community kitchen every Friday, providing hundreds of meals.
Yaskulski was one of nine members of the Albion Rotary Club doing service projects in the United Way's Day of Caring. Rotarians were also doing yard work and projects at Community Action and Head Start.
“I want to help the community,” Yaskulski said.
Employees at Baxter Healthcare in Medina and CRFS in Albion also helped paint the dining hall and kitchen at Christ Church. Sandra Walter, a CRFS employee, paints a wall in the dining hall.
“It is Sept. 11 and I can’t think of a better way to honor those people, the firefighters and police officers, than to come out and give back,” Walter said.
In this photo, Missy Gibbs, right, from CRFS and Sherry Quazi from Baxter paint inside the dining hall at Christ Church.
Lisa Tombari and Madhusharee Gnanasambandan, both employees at Baxter Healthcare, work on a landscaping project outside the Marshall Road residence for the Arc of Orleans County.
About 50 volunteers were out doing service projects through the “Day of Caring” by the Orleans County United Way. This is the second annual Day of Caring with the event scheduled on Sept. 11.
Volunteers also worked on projects at Camp Rainbow in Ridgeway, the Hamilton Street residence for The Arc, the Stork Street residence for The Arc, the day hab site for The Arc at the former Grammar School in Albion, Hospice of Orleans in Albion, a Habitat home in Medina, and the Cooperative Extension fairgrounds.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 11 September 2014
ALBION – This 9-11 flag was raised outside the Elks Lodge on West State Street after a memorial service this morning in Albion.
Orleans County Legislator Don Allport, left, teams with State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Larry Montello, a leader with the American Legion, in raising the 9-11 flag. Montello organized the memorial service today.
Jodi Genno of the Albion Fire Department carries a helmet to represent the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
During the service, the group observed a moment of silence for Rochester police officer Daryl Pierson, who was fatally shot last week.
Jason Spencer, COVA director of operations, lights a candle in memory of the first responders who perished in the terrorist attacks 13 years ago today.
David Rearick, a member of the American Legion Riders, lights a memorial candle during the service.
County Legislator Don Allport tells a crowd of about 50 people at a 9-11 memorial service that world remains an unsafe place and the United States is vulnerable to attack.
“I don’t feel safer today,” Allport said. “Our borders are open. The terrorists don’t need a fake ID. They can just walk across the border.”
Allport said the country needs to be united in the fight against terrorists.
State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, left, also addressed the group. He said the terrorist attacks drew the country together and strengthened Americans’ resolve. Today, the 13th anniversary of the attack, should be a day to honor firefighters, police officers and other first responders, Hawley said.
Larry Montello, coordinator of the memorial service, displays mementos from 9-11, including badges for the 343 firefighters who died and 23 New York City police officers who perished.
The honor guard fires during a 21-gun salute to conclude a memorial service today on the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
There will be a 6 p.m. vigil today outside the Orleans County Courthouse in memory of the nearly 3,000 victims of the terrorist attacks.
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