Hawley faults Cuomo on fracking decision

Staff Reports Posted 22 December 2014
ALBION – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, is critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week that New York will not allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to access natural gas.

“Gov. Cuomo’s decision to defer to the New York State Health Department’s opinion on hydraulic fracturing allows him to wash his hands of the situation while virtually guaranteeing that fracking will not happen in New York,” Hawley said.

“While I understand the potential economic benefits of allowing fracking in New York State, I believe we must take into account the preservation of our environment when making such an important decision,” Hawley said in a statement issued today.


“While dozens of other states, including our neighbor Pennsylvania, have allowed their natural gas deposits to be safely fracked, it is crucial to examine how hydraulic fracturing will affect such as vital natural resource as our drinking water. In this case, Gov. Cuomo clearly favored environmental concerns over the potential for new jobs, lower taxes and more abundant natural resources.”


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2 from Brockport face drug charges following investigation in Orleans

Staff Reports Posted 22 December 2014
BROCKPORT – Two Brockport residents face multiple drug charges following a three-month-investigation into the sale and distribution of cocaine and marijuana in Orleans County and the Village of Brockport, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force reported today.

The Task Force and the Brockport Police Department on Friday executed a search warrant at 18 North Main St., Apt. 111 – The Villager Apartments – and arrested two individuals on drug charges.

Police seized more than two ounces of cocaine, three pounds of marijuana, more than $5,000 in cash, and scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia.

The following were arrested:


• Jesus M. Vargas, 35, of 18 North Main St., Apt. 111. He was charged with five counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a Class B felony).

Jesus M. Vargas


Vargas was arraigned in the Town of Murray Court by the Judge Gary Passarell. Vargas was committed to Orleans County Jail without bail due to his previous criminal history, the Task Force reported. Vargas is to return to Murray court on Dec. 24 at 4 p.m.


He faces further charges regarding criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana in Monroe County, the Task Force said.

• Tabitha L. Drager, 21, of 18 North Main St., Apt. 111. She was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a Class B felony) and one count of criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree.


Drager was arraigned in the Town of Sweden Court and committed to the Monroe County Jail. She is to return to Sweden court on Dec. 23 at 3 p.m.


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Another $200K round of grants available for Medina façade projects

File photo by Tom Rivers
This home at 204 West Center St., Medina, was one of the houses in the village to receive matching funds for improvements through a grant administered by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber will soon accept applications for a third round of $200,000 grants.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2014
MEDINA – A third round of grants for new coats of paint and other beautification improvements will soon be available to Medina home and business owners.

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce is administering the program. The funds are provided by an anonymous donor.

This will be the third year for the program, which has provided $200,000 annually for building improvements. About 50 homes and 15 businesses have received money through the project, said Kathy Blackburn, the Chamber executive director.

“It’s having an impact,” she said. “Some of the homes just look fantastic.”

The matching grants provide up to $10,000 per project within the Village of Medina. The applications are expected to soon be available on the Chamber website. Blackburn said there will be an informational meeting in mid January with applications due in February.

The projects are all reviewed by the Chamber’s Façade Grant Review Committee, which is expected to approve the grants in March.

Eligible projects include exterior painting; woodwork and architectural metal repair, cleaning, restoration, painting or replacement; masonry repairs and tuck pointing; window and door repairs or replacement; cornice or parapet projects; awning work; and exterior lighting fixtures.


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County planners support plan for new Family Dollar in Medina

C.L. Helt, Architect, Inc. in Charlotte, NC
The proposed new Family Dollar in Medina would be on Maple Ridge Road across from Tim Hortons in Medina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2014
MEDINA – A proposal for a new Family Dollar store on Maple Ridge Road has the support of the Orleans County Planning Board, although the board expressed some concern about traffic congestion in that area of the proposed store.

Planners met on Thursday and recommended the Village of Medina Planning Board approve the site plan for the 8,320 square foot structure. Family Dollar wants to move out of the Tops Plaza about ½ mile away to the next site across from Tim Hortons.

Planners suggested the driveway for the store line up with the driveway for Tim Hortons or to maximize the space between them. The Village Planning Board and state Department of Transportation will have a say in that issue.

The Durban Group, which is based in North Carolina, is proposing the new building at 11300 Maple Ridge Rd. The company anticipates construction from April to September 2014.

It is requesting 28 parking spaces, which is 14 less than the village code for a 8,320 square foot building. The County Planning Board supported the variance request.
The project includes a pylon sign and connection into the village’s sewer system.

In other action, the Planning Board:

• Supported a proposal for a gift shop at 10446 Ridge Rd., about ½ mile east of the Jeddo hamlet in the Town of Ridgeway.

Terry and David Ronson want to open Plum Creek Gift Shop in the General Business District. The site also is used for Ronsons Auction Center.

• Recommended the Town of Clarendon approve a special use permit for Nathaniel Lorenz to have roll-off containers at the corner of Mansfield and Hindsburg roads.

Planners say the neighborhood at 15663 Mansfield Rd. is remote, with the nearest house about 700 feet to the west. Lorenz plans to call the business, ARG Roll Off Containers. He will store the containers at the site and rent them out.

• Supported Kim Rowe’s proposal to expand the parking lot at the Cobble-Ridge Co-Op, 14462 Ridge Rd.


Rowe wants to add a 100-foot wide by 66-foot deep parking to the northeast of the building. That parking area will serve a flea market, garage sale and farmers market that operate on a seasonal basis from April 1 to Oct. 31.


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Hub calendar makes a nice Christmas gift

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2014
ALBION – An Orleans Hub calendar for 2015 makes a fine Christmas gift. They are for sale for $10 and include 25 local images (two for each month plus the cover image).

The calendar showcases the four seasons in Orleans County. The cover photo shows Marisa Hanlon of Kendall riding her horse at the 4-H Fairgrounds while the sun was setting during the fair this past July.


The are available at the Lake Country Pennysaver, 170 North Main St., Albion, and at Main Street TV & Appliance Sales at 430 Main St. in Medina.


Orleans Hub can mail these as well with an additional charge for shipping. For more information on that, call the office at 585-589-5641.


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After serious car accident, Shelby firefighter returns to action

John L. Miller thanks firefighter friends for support

Photo by Tom Rivers
John L. Miller returned as a Shelby volunteer firefighter on Dec. 11 and also returned to work last Monday as an emergency medical technician with Mercy EMS in Batavia.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2014
SHELBY – John L. Miller has made a life and career out of helping other people, volunteering as a firefighter with the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company and working as an EMT with Mercy EMS in Batavia.

He has proven his dedication. In 2012, he led all firefighters in Orleans County by taking 10 training classes and accumulating 176 hours of training. He is the EMS captain for Shelby.

The roles were reversed on Aug. 1 for Miller. The man used to helping others needed emergency assistance after his 2000 Chevy Suburban was in an accident with a dump truck just before 8 a.m. on Maple Ridge Road in Medina.

Miller, 36, was badly injured. He flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC. His right femur was fractured. So was his right hip, and his neck. His aorta was torn.

Photos by Cheryl Wertman
John L. Miller suffered multiple broken bones and a tear in his aorta in a Aug. 1 accident. Miller was driving a 2000 Chevy Suburban in an accident with a dump truck on Maple Ridge Road in Medina.

It looked like it would be a long road to recovery. Last week Miller returned to work at Mercy EMS. He was given his medical clearance on Dec. 11 to return as a volunteer firefighter and responded to two calls in his frst week back as a volunteer.

“It meant a lot to me to be on that first call back when I could get back out there and do what I love to do, helping my community,” Miller said.

He has pushed himself with physical therapy, and he said he has benefitted from the support of his firefighting friends. Many cooked meals for his family, visited him at the hospital and watched his children during the early stages of his recovery so his wife, Miranda Miller, could be with him at ECMC and help with his recovery. Mrs. Miller is an LPN and helped take care of some of his wounds when he came home.

“As far as being a fire company, we’re a family at Shelby,” Miller said. “I knew I had a long road ahead of me, but I had a great group of friends with me along the way.”

Miller has titanium rods and six sets of screws in his leg and hip. He started his recovery with a walker, and then graduated to crutches and cane. He still has a slight limp. Miller said he has more physical therapy to do. But he is thankful for his progress so far. Doctors told after the August accident it might be a year before he was able to walk again.

“I had to be a couch potato for a little while,” he said. “That was the hardest. I’m not one to sit around.”

Miller looks back on the accident with an attitude of thanks. He knows it could have been worse. He said the firefighters and ambulance crew were soon on the scene to help him, and Mercy Flight transported him quickly to ECMC.

He’s grateful the dump truck driver wasn’t hurt.

“If it hadn’t been a dump truck, someone in a smaller vehicle could have been hurt,” he said. “For the events, I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario and outcome.”

Miller also thinks it has made him a better EMT and firefighter. He has more empathy for victims in serious car accidents.

“Now I know what it’s like on both sides,” he said. “This will help me in the long run to relate to people with traumatic injuries.”


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Albion cheerleaders in 1960 were spirited bunch

By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian Posted 21 December 2014
ALBION – These six girls from Albion High School posed for this varsity cheerleader picture in the fall of 1960.


From left: Duann Juliana, Marilyn Mack, Sharon Pawlaczyk, Sandra Lascell, Ivylene Phillips (note the number 61 on her jacket), and Judy Nesbitt.


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Medina church hosts ecumenical gathering

‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ celebrated

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 December 2014
MEDINA – Readers and a choir with members from several churches in Albion, Lyndonville and Medina joined together on Saturday night for “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.”

In the top photo, The Rev. Dean Willich reads one of the nine lessons. Willich is pastor of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina.

About 200 people attended the ecumenical service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Medina.

Aaron Grabowski directs the choir in the balcony at St. Mary’s. About 20 people from several churches joined for the festival choir.

Robert Waters, a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Medina, serves as one of the readers at Saturday’s service.

Provided photo
The Rev. Daniel Fawls, pastor of the Holy Family Roman Catholic Parish in Medina, joins the procession at the beginning of the service. There was a free will offering to benefit the charitable works at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina.

Photo by Tom Rivers
St. Mary’s hosted the service. The church has many stained-glass windows.


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Albion names winners in storefront decorating contest

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 December 2014
ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association has named Burgio Salon the winner of the Hometown Holiday window decorating contest. The shop is owned by Colleen Albright at 117 North Main St.

A panel of seven judges picked the winner. Knight’s Pride Custom Woodworking at 120 North Main St. received an honorable mention award.


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2 sent to hospital after Holley car accident

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 December 2014
HOLLEY – A two-car accident on Route 237 resulted in two people going to the hospital for minor injuries, Holley fire officials said at the scene.

The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. One motorist appears to have driven through the stop sign at Telegraph Road, crossing into North Main Street, where the car was struck. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department is expected to issue a news release on the accident later.

A driver in one of the vehicles was trapped inside after her vehicle was T-boned. Holley firefighters were able to extricate her from the vehicle.

The Holley Fire Department and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company were both at the scene. Monroe Ambulance transported one of the drivers with the Brockport Fire Department taking the other.

Past Holley Fire Chief Dave Knapp said the intersection has been the scene for many accidents over the years, including a fatal crash in March 2008.

Holley firefighter John Totter surveys the scene on North Main Street.


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