Albion seventh graders help clean up former POW Camp in Hamlin

Photo courtesy of Albion Central School Posted 27 May 2015
HAMLIN – Seventh graders in the Service Learning class at Albion Middle School recently spent the morning helping to clear brush at the old CCC/POW Camp at Hamlin Beach State Park. WWII prisoners of war were housed here in the 1940s.

Pictured, from left, are Kolin Vangorder, Conner Hollenbeck, camp expert Ed Evans, Patrick Ricker, teacher Tim Archer, Cody Wilson, and Brooklynn Reed.

For more on the CCC/POW camp and Hamlin Beach State Park, click here.


return to top of page


Albion students visit East High in Rochester

Provided photo from Albion Central School Posted 27 May 2015
ALBION – Several Rotary Interact members recently visited East High School in Rochester as part of an “urban/rural cultural exchange.” The Albion students visited classes, toured the school, and discussed life in an urban setting.

The students all agreed that despite the many outward differences, they were alike in many ways. East High students will visit Albion next fall. Albion students included Kyle Smith, Dom Dicureia, Emily Blanchard, Mariah Elsenheimer, Desiree Barber, Matilda Erakare, Ally Graham, Clara Stilwell, Makenzie Donahue and MacKenzie Luft.


return to top of page


Man, 27, who impregnated teen deemed Level 2 sex offender

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 May 2015
ALBION – A 27-year-old man, who had sex with a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant, will be listed as a Level 2 sex offender in a public registry, Orleans County Judge James Punch ruled.

Jairo Chavez, 27, was in Orleans County as a migrant farm worker when he had sex with the 15-year-old girl. He was convicted of two counts of third-degree rape and sentenced to two years in state prison, plus 15 years of post-release supervision.

Chavez was 26 at the time of the crime. He also is a prior felon, the District Attorney’s Office reported.

He had a hearing in Albion at county court last week to determine his risk level as a sex offender. Judge Punch deemed Chavez a Level 2 offender, considered a moderate risk for a repeat offense.

Chavez is currently an inmate at Gouverneur Correctional Facility in St. Lawrence County. He is eligible for release as early as July 6.


return to top of page


Students learn about conservation at fairgrounds

Cooking with the sun, erosion control, conserving electricity among the learning stations at 47th annual event

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

Orleans County Deputy Sheriff Erin Fuller discusses staying safe this summer in and around water with local 6th graders at the "Water, boats and being safe" station at this year's Annual Orleans County Conservation Field Days.


By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 27 May 2015
KNOWLESVILLE – Hundreds of sixth-graders from Orleans County this week are learning about environmental, wildlife, safety and conservation issues during the 47th Annual Orleans County Conservation Field Days at the 4-H Fairgrounds.


The program ran on Tuesday and continues today. It is hosted by Orleans County 4-H youth development. Robert Batt, 4-H youth development educator, says about 450 students from Albion, Kendall, Holley, Medina and Lyndonville Central School Districts are taking part.

Orleans County 4-Her Andrew Dreschel of Holley shares information about his heritage breed Hog Island lamb, Hurley, with 6th graders from Albion on Tuesday morning during the Annual Conservation Field Days at the 4-H Fairgrounds. Andrew and his family raise heritage sheep and he discussed with participants the importance of preserving heritage breeds.


Batt works to organize the event which includes more than a dozen learning/activity “stations” set up around the fairgrounds and which cover such topics as erosion control tillage, composting, wildlife habitat walk, cooking with the sun, rabies, and “conserve electricity – turn off Xbox and play with a dog.”


“We are so thankful for the diversity of wonderful instructors who come to share their knowledge with the students,” Batt says.


Various professionals and volunteers, including Orleans County 4-Hers, take part in presenting topics and also highlight potential career opportunities in the areas discussed. The event additionally gives students a chance to see some of the programming that is available to them through the local 4-H program.

Nola Goodrich-Kreese of the Orleans County Health Department discusses rabies, including its symptoms and how to keep safe, with 6th graders in Mr. Englert's class at Albion Central School on Tuesday, the first day of the Annual Conservation Field Days which continues today.

Local 6th graders prepare to test their knowledge of conservation during the "Conservation Trivia Contest" Tuesday afternoon.

Kate, a Lincoln Longwool sheep (left), and a Navajo-Churro lamb are owned by the Dreschel family of Holley. The animals are part of the Heritage Sheep station at this year's Conservation Field Days.

Local 6th graders take part in "Conservation Relays" during the 47th Annual Orleans County Conservation Field Days. Two classes at a time faced-off in a competition that tested their knowledge of wildlife, including animal tracks.


return to top of page


NY has $30M for summer youth employment, including $64K for Orleans

Staff Reports Posted 27 May 2015

New York State is making $30 million in funding for the Summer Youth Employment program which supports communities across the state in creating summer jobs for youth from low-income families.


With this funding, approximately 18,000 young New Yorkers will gain new skills this summer, resulting in improved academic performance and increasing future job prospects.

The funding includes $64,019 for Orleans County. The initiative places qualified participants in private and government positions for summer work experience.


More than 30 local businesses and government agencies are partners in the employment program in Orleans County, including The Arc of Orleans, Arnold’s Auto Parts, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Olde Dogge Inn, Kendall Highway Department, Shelridge Country Club, Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, Orleans County Chamber of Commerce, Saint-Gobain ADFORS, Cobblestone Country FCU, and many others.


“Landing that first summer job has a positive effect on young people that spans well into adulthood,” Governor Cuomo said. “By funding these positions we are giving businesses the summer help they need, as well as creating the opportunity for youth to both earn a paycheck and learn valuable skills that will last a lifetime. I encourage those interested to contact their local social services office and find out what opportunities are available.”


To be eligible, young people must have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (or $39,850 for a family of three). Employers can use the funds to subsidize wages, support education and training activities, as well as offer counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work. Young people interested in participating can contact their local department of social services.


An additional $20 million annually is available to businesses in tax credits through the Urban Youth Jobs Program. The program, formerly called New York Youth Works, encourages businesses to hire unemployed, disadvantaged young people who are age 16 to 24, and who live in Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Utica, White Plains, Yonkers and the towns of Brookhaven and Hempstead.


Since 2012, the program has connected more than 18,000 at-risk young people to jobs with more than 2,000 New York businesses across the 13 target areas in New York State. The $20 million is available annually through 2018.


The summer youth work program has been offered in Orleans County the past 40 years and is open to people ages 16 to 24. Click here to see the application for the program in Orleans County.


return to top of page


Canal is calm before the storm

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 May 2015
ALBION – It’s tranquil on the Erie Canal this evening, but the National Weather Service warns of thunderstorms that could hit around 5 this morning with more thunderstorms on Wednesday night between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for western and central New York due to a chance of flooding from the storms.

“Showers and thunderstorms during the morning and midday will have the potential to produce very heavy slow moving downpours that could result in localized flooding,” the Weather Service stated. “A second round of thunderstorms Wednesday evening could contain the risk of strong to damaging wind gusts.”

Wednesday is forecast for a high of 85, followed by a high of 75 on Thursday and a high of 82 on Friday.

These photos show the canal in Albion looking west towards the Gaines Basin Road bridge. This photo was taken from a bridge on Albion-Eagle Harbor Road.


return to top of page


Advice for protecting yourself and pets from rabies

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse and Kristine Voos, Genesee-Orleans Public Health Education Team Posted 26 May 2015
Springtime is a perfect time to remind everyone about how dangerous rabies can be and what you can do to prevent infection to you, your family and your pets.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Infected mammals can spread rabies virus to humans and other mammals. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. The good news is only a few human cases are reported each year in the United States.

Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection. Among domestic animals, cats are most often diagnosed with rabies in New York State.

People usually get exposed to the rabies virus when an infected animal bites them. Exposure may also occur if saliva (spit) from a rabid animal enters an open cut or mucous membrane (eyes, nose or mouth).

If you are bitten or get saliva on you from an unknown animal, it is important to wash the area carefully with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Report all animal bites to your county health department, even if they seem minor.

Exposure to a rabid animal does not always result in rabies. If treatment is initiated promptly following a rabies exposure, rabies can be prevented. If a rabies exposure is not treated and a person develops clinical signs of rabies, the disease almost always results in death.

If a bat is found in a room where there are unattended children, someone sleeping or someone who cannot speak for him/herself or your family pet, do not let the bat out of the house. Call your local health department for instructions; you may be able to safely capture it yourself.

The best way to keep pets safe from rabies is to vaccinate them and keep their shots up-to-date. If your pet has been injured by a rabid animal, call your local health department and contact your veterinarian to get medical care.

If your pet has saliva on it from a sick animal, don’t touch it…let it dry or give your pet a bath while wearing gloves and protecting your eyes, nose and mouth from splashing water. Even though your pet has been vaccinated, a booster dose of rabies vaccine may be needed within five days of the incident. Contact your county health department to find out what additional follow-up may be needed and check when the next anti-rabies vaccination clinic will be held in your county.

Here are some more ways to protect your family and your animals from rabies:

• Don't feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats, including the babies.

• Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and valuable livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation. Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

• Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens. Bats can get in spaces as small as the width of a pencil.

• If nuisance wild animals are living in parts of your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts, who work on a fee-for-service basis, in your telephone directory under pest control.

• Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.

• If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control expert who will remove the animal for a fee.

For more information about rabies check out the NYS Department of Health web site by clicking here.


return to top of page


County, Albion village seek state remedy for TV recycling

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 May 2015
ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature and Albion Village Board are both pressing state officials to update a law for recycling TVs and other electronic waste.


The state on Jan. 1 began banning curbside disposal of older TVs with cathode-ray technology. Many residents have upgraded from those televisions, switching to popular flat screens. Many of the older TVs have been dumped in ditches along rural roads, local officials said.


Municipalities would like to help residents properly get rid of the older televisions without it being an expensive burden. The state said manufacturers were supposed to take back older TVs, but the state capped the amount of discarded material companies have to accept each year.


Manufacturers have been hitting that cap midway through the year, Orleans County legislators said. Once the cap is hit, “cash-strapped” local governments are left to bear the burden, county legislators said.

“The issue is exacerbated by the fact that electronics currently sold today are much lighter than the obsolete CRT devices that make up about 70 percent of the weight of e-scrap generated, which are cost intensive to responsibly manage,” according to a resolution passed by the County Legislature and also the Albion Village Board.

“As a result, may local governments across the state have grappled with the burden to fund or cease e-scrap collection, which has been particularly difficult in rural communities that do not benefit from retail collectors or economies of scale,” according to the resolution.


The County Legislature and Village Board are asking Gov. Cuomo, the State Legislature and State Department of Environmental Conservation to work towards a long-term solution for electronic waste recycling for both urban and rural areas.


return to top of page


Orchard Manor celebrates National Nursing Home Week

Provided photos Posted 26 May 2015
MEDINA – Cassidy Oliver sees how low she can go at the limbo competition, one of the events at the Orchard Manor Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Medina during National Nursing Home Week.


This year’s theme for the event from May 10-16 at Orchard Manor was “Bring on the Fiesta!”

Leonel and Lola Rosario, co-owners of Mariachi De Oro, a Mexican restaurant in Medina, performed Mexican dances with audience participation. The Rosarios also brought refried beans for sampling.

Other events included music, a book fair, ice cream social and a line dancing performance by the Hot Country Liners

Service awards were also presented to staff members for years of service. Dave Denny, administrator, presented the awards. The following are pictured, front row, from left: Vicki Boyd and Roxanne Rhodes. Middle row: Carolyn Dix, Lynn Goodrich, LuAnn Thompson, Jackie Wheatley, Sarah Drier and Laura Bruton. Back row: Administrator Dave Denny and Jim Young.


return to top of page


Holley school adds exercise equipment, grant renewed for second year

Provided photos
Holley has a variety of exercise equipment in the Family Fitness Center.

Staff Reports Posted 26 May 2015
HOLLEY – The school district has been notified that the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant has been approved for a second year for $214,601.


Holley received this continuance of the grant because they have “good performance of the grant’s goals and objectives and have improved on all three Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures,” the school district announced.

Those measures Holley must meet include:

1. Students completing 60 minutes of daily physical activity, measured with pedometers and activity logs;

2. Students meeting the standard of a healthy fitness zone in at least five of the six fitness areas of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program;

3. Students consuming two fruits and three vegetables per day, measured with surveys.

Holley students wore movable bands to record their physical activity, participated in fitness and nutrition activities through physical education classes and FIT4U! sessions throughout the year, and were provided with fruits and vegetables through the cafeteria services program during and after school.

Holley received $438,430 in the first year of the PEP grant, which made the creation of the Family Fitness Center in the Elementary School possible, along with the programs mentioned above.

Physical Education teacher Lisa Campbell has been the administrator of the grant.

“I wish to commend Lisa Campbell on her efforts to help secure the grant,” said District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo. “I also commend her for her hard work with the Family Fitness Center and all of the activities associated with educating students, staff, parents and the community about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. I look forward to the second year of this grant and the good things to come from it.”

If Holley shows further improvement in the GPRA measures in its second year, the district can receive a continuance award of $128,612.

“Our physical education staff has worked diligently to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed, the standards of the grant requirements,” Campbell said. “Their support and fine efforts are sincerely appreciated.”

Cora Bennage, a Holley fifth grader, is pictured on the elliptical machine in the Holley Family Fitness Center.


Holley recently added more state-of-the-art equipment to its Family Fitness Center. An abdominal machine, leg press, rowing machine and lateral elliptical machine have been added.

This is in addition to the treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, iDance system, cross trainer, upper body ergometer, adaptive motion trainer, weight bench and free weights that the center currently has. Some pieces of equipment are youth-sized to enable children ages 10 and older to exercise alongside their family members.

The Family Fitness Center is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. when school is in session. The Family Fitness Center is available for use by residents of the Holley Central School District free of charge. Children age 10 and older may use the center with their families in the evening.

The Family Fitness Center is available for use by classes during the school day and by staff when not in use by classes. Trained supervisors are on duty during family fitness times to assist participants and to promote a safe and orderly environment in which to work out.

Nicole Rose, a Holley graduate, has been coming to the Family Fitness Center for the last couple of months.

“It saves me on gym membership if I come here,” said Rose.

Scott Allen, who lives nearby, also echoes that sentiment. “I like being able to come here four nights a week and it’s easy to get here,” said Allen.

Holley parent Kevin McGuire agrees. “I can work out here when I drop off my kids to play a sport – it’s really convenient,” said McGuire. “It’s never crowded and they have brand new equipment.”

The district qualified for almost $800,000 of federal funding to promote good nutrition and physical exercise among the students, staff and district families.


return to top of page


Firefighters respond to falling glass from Fischer’s

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 May 2015 9:46 a.m.
ALBION – Firefighters were called to Fischer’s News Stand this morning after glass shattered from one of the second-floor windows and fell on the sidewalk.

The building was inspected for electrical problems, but none were found.

Firefighters are pictured at about 9 a.m. this morning at Fischer's.

After speculation the building may have shifted, causing the window to break and fall out, Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti said the building may need to be inspected by an engineer to make sure it is structurally sound.

Vendetti said it may just have been a tight window or a bird could have caused the problem.

Fischer’s owner Gary Withey had a new roof and other building repairs made in 2009. The building at 105-107 North Main St. was built in 1828 and is one of the oldest on Main Street.


return to top of page


Family rides canal from Albany to Buffalo to promote foster parenting

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 May 2015
ALBION – The Capuano family, which is riding the entire Erie Canal to promote foster parenting, passed through Orleans County on Monday. They are pictured in Albion.


Renee and John Capuano and their two oldest children – Paul and Priscilla – want to encourage families to give foster parenting a try.

“Even if a child spends one night in your home and they are safe, you’ve made a difference in their life,” Mrs. Capuano said.


Paul Capuano, 16, came up with the idea of riding the canal length, hoping to inspire more people to try adoption and foster care. His family has recently adopted five children they were fostering: Edgar, 5; Vinny, 5; Nico, 6; Emilio, 6; and Franny, 8.

Paul has been pedaling a cargo bike with room for the four youngest to ride together. His sister Priscilla, 14, is riding a tandem bike with room for a sibling.

Priscilla leads the pack coming into Albion on Monday followed by her brother Paul and mother Renee.

There are 2,000 children in need of foster homes throughout the state, including 35 in Orleans County.

“We need foster homes desperately,” said Holli Nenni, deputy commissioner of Department of Social Services in Orleans County.

She met with the Capuanos in Albion on Monday. The family kept going to Lockport on Monday and today will complete the trip to Buffalo.

They are wearing bright orange shirts that urge people to try foster care.

“If we can do it, so can you,” reads the shirts.

Mrs. Capuano said the family considered adopting a child from another country before they pursued becoming foster parents.

“It seemed monumental but the county works with you,” Mrs. Capuano said.

Her oldest children have been welcoming to the adopted kids.

“Our message is give it a try,” Mr. Capuano said.

For more on the foster care program in Orleans County, call DSS at (585) 589-7000.

Paul Capuano crosses the Main Street lift bridge with four of his young siblings in tow on a cargo bike.


return to top of page


Long-time band enthusiast gets chance to lead Mustangs

Mike Dreyfus ‘made his commands very sharp’

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 May 2015
MEDINA – Mike Dreyfus, a Medina Mustang Band booster for nearly 20 years, leads the band while it plays patriotic songs on Memorial Day at State Street Park. Dreyfus also led the band on the parade route from the Olde Pickle Factory on Park Avenue to the park on East Center Street.

He won a contest to be guest conductor for the parade. People paid $1 to vote for one of five guest conductors and Dreyfus was the winner.

“They march real fast,” Dreyfus said after the parade.

Dreyfus joined drum major Chris Keller (pictured at right) in keeping the band on pace.

“He did a good job,” sophomore Kristian Snyder said about Dreyfus. “He kept in time very well and he made his commands very clear.”

Snyder said Dreyfus is popular among the 130-plus kids in the band. He is a vocal supporter at their many parades and events, and works hard to raise money for the Mustangs.

“He’s been one of the biggest boosters,” Snyder said. “He’s a very nice man.”

Chris Keller, left, and Mike Dreyfus lead the band while it plays the National Anthem and other patriotic songs at State Street Park.

Dreyfus became active with the band when his son Kip, Class of 2003, joined as an eighth-grader. Dreyfus has been impressed by the band members’ dedication and accomplishment, and the pride they bring to the community.

He worked 20 years in probation and then 20 years as a substance abuse counselor. He said the band is a great prevention program, helping the kids to connect to the community, learn discipline and resist temptations with drugs and alcohol.

Dreyfus, 68, said he doesn’t have too much musical ability. But it was a thrill to join the band on Memorial Day, with an enthusiastic crowd along the way.

“This is something I can cross off my bucket list,” he said.


return to top of page