Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 July 2016
MURRAY – Faron Reding Sr. of Lawtons in Erie County competes in the light pro stock class during today's Murray Tractor Pull. There were about 50 competitors in the tractor pulls, which started on Saturday.
Lloyd Christ developed the track and grounds on Groth Road, which has been hosting the "Fury in Murray" for more than 20 years.
These young fans watch Kirsten Voelpel of Newfane get ready to go in a light super stock tractor she calls "Farmer's Daughter." Voelpel, 24, has been pulling for five years. She was second in the light super stock with a pull of 345.9 feet.
The tractors have to pull a 40,000-pound sled along a dirt track.
The Farmer's Daughter emits dark smoke as it heads down the track.
Stan Farone was among the volunteers in the concession stand. Proceeds from the Murray Tractor Pull are shared with the St. Mary's Catholic Parish, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Company, and Holley Fire Department.
Skip Bartz cuts open a new bag of French fries at the concession stand.
About 600 fans watched the tractor pulling, including this group with close seats to the track.
Chris Jeffres of Wyoming, NY, competed in the semi division and had the biggest pull of the day at 380.4 feet.
Matt Darling of Strykersville drives "Forever Red," a super farm tractor, as an exhibition pull this afternoon.
Adam Foss of Clarendon watches the action with his son Cian, 2, who covers his ears due to the noise.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 July 2016
ALBION – Kasey, a Keeshound owned by Don Warren of Rochester, completes a jump this afternoon during an agility challenge at Bullard Park in Albion.
About 100 dogs have competed the past three days at Bullard in the Double Q Agility Club of Western New York's competition.
Dogs were tested on the their ability to quickly go over jumps, pass through tunnels and weave through poles.
Swayze, a Shetland Sheepdog, clears a hurdle. He is led by his handler and owner, Della Sliker of Eagle Harbor.
Shelly Gordon of Cheektowaga celebrates with Diesel, a Basset Hound, after the dog made it through the course of obstacles and challenges on a 90-degree day.
Jeanine Lampkin of Sanborn leads Cosmo, a pug, through a series of jumps.
Kelsey Hilburger, 16, of Elba is next to Ollie, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, while the dog weaves through poles.
Before the competition this afternoon, handlers walk the course together. The drought has taken a toll on Bullard Park, with the grass fried and the ground hard. Handlers said the ground, without lush grass, caused many dogs to slip.
Dogs that quickly made it through the course without mistakes were in the running for ribbons.
Photos Provided photo Posted 24 July 2016
MEDINA – Six windows on historic train cars were smashed with rocks about a week ago. The train cars are from 1946-47 and are owned by The WNY Railway Historical Society.
That group leases the train cars to the Medina Railroad Museum for excursion rides, including the popular Day Out with Thomas in May, wine tours during the summer, fall foliage rides in the fall and the Polar Express during the holiday season.
The rides bring tens of thousands of people into the Medina community.
Historical Society volunteers said the windows were smashed on either July 14 or July 15. The trains are parked on a secondary track down from the Railroad Museum behind the Olde Pickle Factory.
Cody Catlin, 17, of Carlton is one of the volunteers with the The WNY Railway Historical Society. He and others are working to put in new windows after six were broken recently.
Catlin urged the Medina community to report suspicious people near the trains and on the tracks to the police.
Volunteers will replace the broken glass with polycarbonate sheets that need to be cut to size. One polycarbonite window held up from being hit by a big rock about a week ago, but the frame of the window was bent and needs to be fixed.
"It's upsetting because they are vandalizing other people's property," Catlin said.
These windows in the doors to the train cars were shattered by vandals throwing rocks.
Some kids wave out the windows during the Thomas the Train event in May. Nearly 10,000 people rode the train for the event.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 July 2016
ALBION – Angela Tarricone sings "All I Ask" by Adele during Saturday's Variety Show at the Cabaret at Studio B. Angela will be a senior at Albion High School this year. Gary Simboli, Angela's high school vocal teacher, is in back on piano.
A cast from the community performed for about two hours in a show that included singing, comedy, dancing and skits.
David Sidari lip syncs to "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. Sidari won the lip sync competition during the Variety Show. His wife, Amy, owns the Cabaret, which is part of her business, Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.
Wayne Litchfield is dressed as the Gingerbread Man during his lip sync performance of "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White.
Michayla Kovaleski and other Cabaret dancers perform for a packed house during Saturday's show in downtown Albion.
Marcy Downey portrays Ella Fitzgerald during the show. The Cabaret has hosted a Variety Show with community members the past three summers.
Amy Sidari, host of the Variety show, welcomes the crowd to the Cabaret at Studio B. She also was a performer in the show.
Wendy Pettit, Amy Sidari's sister, is dressed as a bee during one skit that included her father, Ace Caldwell, dressed as a flower.
Elijah Van Epps, who just graduated from Albion and is headed to Fredonia State College to study performing arts, sings "Moondance" by Van Morrison.
Editor's Note: Tom Rivers played a fictitious newscaster, Gilbert Thunderburk, in the show.
Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES Posted 23 July 2016
MEDINA – As one of their last acts before the school year ended, SkillsUSA officers at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center collected money for the Gotta Kiss Cancer Goodbye organization.
The organization was formed to raise awareness about cancer, fund life-saving research and assist those battling the disease.
Many of the students at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center are involved in SkillsUSA, and since it emphasizes community involvement they wanted to find something to support with a fundraiser.
Student Noelle Fay was tasked with finding a charity and while doing some research, discovered the organization. (Click here for more on Gotta Kiss Cancer Goodbye.)
“I was drawn to the website because it advertised providing not only financial help, but emotional support for persons dealing with cancer,” she said.
After getting in touch with the director, Kathleen O’Neil, she presented the idea to other members of SkillsUSA and they agreed to raise money for it.
The SkillsUSA officers sold emblems that had ribbons, hearts and kisses to staff and students for $1, $5 or $10 in hopes of raising $500. The officers went door to door at the BOCES site several times a week and posted the emblems they sold on the main office window. They offered an ice cream party to the class that raised the most money and Steve Browning’s Security and Law Enforcement class took that prize.
Within three weeks, the students had surpassed their goal and raised $800. They added some money from another fundraiser and were proud to be able to present a check for $1,000 to Gotta Kiss Cancer Goodbye.
Director Kathleen O’Neil said she was overwhelmed and couldn’t believe the students had raised that kind of money in such a short time when she arrived at end of the year ceremonies to collect the check.
“She was very grateful,” said SkillsUSA advisor Kara Kirk. “She spoke to the senior class about her personal experience with cancer as a young adult and how it profoundly affected her life. Thankfully, she is cancer free and now is trying to help other cancer patients with everything from treatment costs, copays, to parking fees. She was thrilled with our students’ efforts and the donation.”
William Coniber, Jr.
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 23 July 2016
Volume 2, Issue 30
The history of Orleans County is littered with the stories of cold-blooded murder, perhaps some cases more infamous than others.
Of course, capturing wanted criminals connected to these cases was a far more difficult process over a century ago, but local officials did the best they could in apprehending suspects. In one particular case occurring at the turn of the 20th century, several years would pass before a suspect was arrested in one of the most grievous murder cases in local history.
One Thursday morning, September 14th to be exact, back in 1899 Horace Halpin left the family homestead at Rich’s Corners. John Halpin, Horace’s father, was a local grocer and had sent his son to make the daily deliveries at approximately 11 a.m.
While traveling towards the “Lattin Swamp,” Horace encountered a tramp walking north. The man told Horace he was seeking employment with Oscar Brown’s merry-go-round outfit in Albion and that he had walked some distance from Batavia to do so.
Halpin’s last stop for the day was at the home of William Thorpe, just south of the swamp. The tramp watched the young deliveryman make change and the pair continued north towards Albion. It was nearing 1 o’clock in the afternoon and Thorpe decided to take a trip into town. As he traveled through the swamp, he encountered Halpin’s wagon along the side of the road. As he approached the wagon, he gazed upon Halpin’s body lurched over on his side as if he were sick; his new travelling companion was nowhere to be found.
Thorpe led the cart back to Rich’s Corners where John Halpin discovered a bullet wound in his son’s chest. Dr. Cochrane and Coroner John Sutton were summoned and the .32 caliber bullet wound was confirmed; the bullet entered Halpin’s chest and lodged in his heart, causing death instantly. It was understood that Halpin traveled unarmed, assuming that he would rather surrender his money rather than fight in the case of robbery. The $12.00 he was carrying at the start of the day was missing.
Sheriff Richardson and District Attorney Thomas Kirby set plans to catch the unknown man, releasing a detailed description gathered from Thorpe. He was described as a male, 5 feet, 6 or 7 inches tall, stout with light to medium dark hair, light complexion, blue eyes, not sunburned with a mole or pimple on his face, a prominent Roman nose, smooth face, and not having the appearance of having performed hard labor.
As information circulated and interviews were conducted, it was determined that William Coniber, Jr. of Genesee County was the killer. He was regarded as a problem child, spending time in a Rochester reformatory before he was accused of robbing a farmer at Elba in 1893. When Sheriff Rice was elected, he intensified the search for Coniber in 1902; nearly 3 years after the murder took place. Posters were circulated and a $500 reward was offered which, in turn, resulted in Coniber’s capture at Meadville, Pennsylvania in July of 1902.
In preparation for the trial, 147 jurors were examined before the final 12 were selected. During the trial, Coniber changed his plea of not guilty on a charge of first degree murder to guilty of murder in the second degree. This came as a surprise to all but likely saved Coniber’s life as he most assuredly would have went to the electric chair for his crime. November 12, 1902, Coniber was transferred to Auburn Prison to live out the remainder of his natural life and Thomas Sherry, the man who provided the information leading to his arrest, was provided with his $500 reward.
Coniber was eventually transferred from Auburn to Great Meadow Prison at Comstock, NY. While working on the prison farm outside of the confines of the penitentiary walls, he escaped on October 3, 1916. This unfortunate occurrence led the Superintendent of Prisons at Albany to enact a policy preventing all “lifers” from performing duty outside of the prison walls.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2016
LYNDONVILLE – The village has been able to replenish the water supply at its water tank on West Avenue and at its water treatment plant, after both were at very low levels due to residents using too much water during a drought, Mayor John Belson said today.
The village, however, is continuing a water restriction advisory that was first issued on July 13.
Water customers were using about 420,000 gallons of water a day before the water restriction advisory was issued. The village has a capacity to treat 400,000 gallons of water a day. The excess use left the village with a low level of water in the tower.
Since the advisory was issued last week, the daily usage has averaged 380,000 gallons a day. That 20,000-gallon difference from the maximum capacity allowed the village to rebuild its water reserves, Belson said today.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Belson said. “We’re still monitoring it on a daily basis.”
The village water restriction policy, passed by a local law in 2003, says no public water can be used to wash vehicles, and watering lawns or gardens is limited to between 4 and 5 a.m., and 9 and 10 p.m.
Here is the advisory issued by the village:
Due to extreme drought conditions the Village of Lyndonville declares that a water shortage condition now exists throughout the area served by the Village of Lyndonville.
The Village of Lyndonville and the Town of Yates (District 4) are implementing Stage 1 of the Water Conservation and Water Use Restriction policy. These restrictions shall remain in effect until the supply of water available for distribution is replenished.
The following restrictions apply to all customers: Stage 1
A. No Person or entity shall cause, permit or allow:
1. The continuing of a leak or waste from any water pipe, valve, faucet, conduit equipment facility, or device connected to the water system, or which utilizes water, on or in any premises owned, leased, managed, operated or controlled by such person or entity.
2. The washing of any vehicle by means of a hose, fire hydrant, or other active source connected to the water system.
3. The washing of any street, sidewalk, driveway, outdoor areaway, outdoor steps, building exterior or other structure by means of a hose, fire hydrant or other active source connected to the water system.
4. The use of water from the water system for any ornamental purpose, including but not limited to use in fountains, artificial waterfalls, reflecting pools, lakes and ponds.
5. The use of water from the water system to water any lawn, ornamental shrub, plant or tree, except that:
a. Water maybe used to water any lawn, tree, shrub, or garden from 4:00 am. to 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
b. Water may be used at any time to irrigate from a hand held container, vegetables or fruits grown for human consumption.
6. The opening or use of any fire hydrant or of the water there from, for any purpose other than fire protection except in accordance with a permit obtained from the DPW Department and only for the period of and the purpose authorized by such permit and in strict adherence to all terms and conditions set forth therein.
7. The operation of any air conditioning system utilizing water from the water system in a cooling tower, unless within 30 days from the effective date of this regulation a separate meter is installed to continuously measure the flow of water to the cooling tower.
8. Operate any air condition system in excess of two tons of rated capacity or greater or any refrigeration unit rated at 10 horsepower or greater using water from the Village water system, unless such air condition system or refrigeration unit is equipped with a water re-circulating device approved by the Department of Public Works.
9. The use of water from the water system to fill or maintain the water level in any swimming pool, except that, provided the pool is operated with re-circulating equipment water may be used to fill the pool once during each calendar year, and thereafter may be used as necessary to maintain the water level in such pool.
For more information, contact the Village Office at (585) 765-9385.
Belson said village officials talked with the State Canal Corp. to allow more canal water to be released in Johnson Creek, which flows through Lyndonville. The Canal Corp. approved the request for more water in Johnson Creek, which is helping farmers irrigate crops, Belson said.
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 July 2016
ALBION – Albion police officers are giving out tickets to children. These tickets are actually coupons for a free ice cream cone. The Albion Betterment Committee is paying for the coupons to be given out by police officers. The coupons are redeemable for an ice cream cone at The Frosty Bucket on Main Street.
Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said officers were given coupons to hand out at their discretion. The coupons aren't for children who are informants or who help police in some way, Nenni said.
"This are for kids who are just being good," Nenni said. "They aren't being rewarded for helping police. They are being recognized for an act of human kindness."
Nenni said many children may not trust police officers or view them with suspicion. Nenni said the coupons for ice cream can be a way for officers to establish positive connections with Albion kids.
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office Posted 22 July 2016
Governor Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday that expands New York State’s “Move-Over” Law to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.
The measure (S.7938/A.8702-A) requires drivers to slow down and move over a lane when approaching a vehicle with flashing blue or green lights that are operated by volunteer firefighters or ambulance workers involved in a roadside emergency.
"Our first responders risk their lives day in and day out, often putting their own safety and wellbeing in jeopardy, in order to protect their communities and their fellow New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said, “This new law will help ensure that first responders are protected from avoidable hazards when responding to a roadside emergency.”
Previously, the “Move-Over” law only applied to drivers approaching stopped police, emergency or hazard vehicles with flashing red and white or amber lights.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2016
Lynne Johnson said she was able to witness history at the Republican National Convention, especially when the New York delegation put Trump over the top to secure the nomination as Republican candidate for president.
Johnson, an Orleans County legislator from Lyndonville, admitted she wasn’t totally sold on the Trump before the convention.
“I wasn’t on the Trump bandwagon but I have definitely left with a different opinion,” Johnson said by phone Thursday.
She saw a different side of Trump, and not the caricature of a self-promoter and entertainer.
Johnson was impressed with the Trump children, their poise and the respect they displayed for their father. Johnson was also invited to watch Trump fly into Cleveland, the host city for the convention. She stood next to the pilot’s wife, who told Johnson her husband had worked for Trump for 30 years. Trump was held in very high regard by the pilot and his family, Johnson said.
“She said he was a great boss and there is no one else her husband would want to fly for,” Johnson said.
Johnson's said Trump's wife Melania also was "poised and elegant" on the national stage.
Johnson attended a Republican National Convention for the first time. She and her husband Jeff were guests of Ed Morgan, an official delegate and also the chairman of the Orleans County Republican Party. Morgan was an early backer of Trump for president. The Orleans County Republican Party Committee also endorsed Trump unanimously on Feb. 27, one of the first county committees to back Trump. A day earlier Chris Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump.
Collins, the local Congressman from Clarence, addressed the convention, delivering a nominating speech for Trump. Collins spoke of Western New York values of hard work, and said the Trump campaign has become a “movement.”
Johnson said Western New York came out early for Trump. While other local Republicans, including her husband Jeff, have been outspoken Trump supporters for several months, Johnson wasn’t completely sold on Trump before the convention. It wasn’t a speech by the candidate himself, but the testimonials from his children and people close to him that swayed Johnson that Trump is a serious candidate with a good heart.
“We were able to see the human side of him,” Johnson said. "I’m very, very impressed. He is incredibly well respected by the people who know him well from the inside.”
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 21 July 2016
MEDINA – Jaxon Phillips of Medina, right, and Andrew Uderitz of Albion play the timpani during a concert at Medina this evening that included 145 students from three school districts: Albion, Lyndonville and Medina. The students are pictured during the concert finale of "America the Beautiful."
The students spent four days working together to learn instrumental and vocal music for the concert this evening. This is the third summer music camp and concert by the three districts.
John Bailey, Lyndonville's instrumental teacher, leads the band in a performance of "Epic" to kick off today's concert. Medina students are wearing blue, while Lyndonville is in orange and Albion students have on purple.
The chorus sang four songs, including "Amani Utupe," "Do-Re-Mi," "Oh Shenandoah," and "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Sing, Sing Sing."
Anna Atwater, the vocal teacher from Albion, leads the chorus when they sang, "Do-Re-Mi."
A tuba player, Dylan Roath of Medina, waits for the next selection of music.
Jeanette Sheliga, Medina's instrumental teacher, conducts the combined band for "Koala Rock."
Of the 145 students in the summer music fest, 50 were in both band and chorus. The music teachers said they wanted to keep the students' music skills sharp over the summer and encourage them to make friends with students in other neighboring districts.
Bathhouse gets $1.5 million in upgrades, $750,000 more in park improvements coming
Staff Reports Posted 21 July 2016
HAMLIN – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the $1.5 million initiative to modernize and preserve the Depression-era bathhouse at Hamlin Beach State Park is complete.
Construction has also begun on a $750,000 project to expand educational and recreational activities within the Park’s Yanty Marsh – an ecologically unique area, popular for birdwatching, fishing, paddling and nature observation. The enhancements will feature a new boardwalk nature trail and observation tower.
The projects are funded by Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 program, a multi-year commitment of $900 million in private and public funding to revitalize State Parks.
Hamlin Beach is just east of Orleans County. The park includes many structures made of Medina sandstone. When the country was in the grips of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservations Corps was established. About 2 million people were put to work, including about 1,200 people at Hamlin from June 1935 to August 1941.
“New York’s parks are gateways to the unique natural beauty that exists in every corner of the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “Beyond their unrivaled aesthetics and array of recreational opportunity, our parks are places of solace for millions of New Yorkers and visitors alike. The improvements at Hamlin Beach State Park are essential to its long-term viability and preservation, and with new scenic trails and modern facilities, will continue to attract visitors and inject more tourism dollars into the Finger Lakes' economy.”
Modernization of Depression-Era Bathhouse
The bathhouse, built of Medina sandstone in 1939-40 by members of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, underwent a complete renovation to protect the building’s historic integrity and modernize public spaces. The project included:
• Repurposing the front lobby area to allow for a new food services and public programs.
• Renovating both the Men’s and Women’s Locker and Bathrooms to fully meet current codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Repairing the historic masonry and replacing the roof with material to reestablish the building’s historic appearance.
• Renovating the exterior area of the facility, including new stamped concrete walkways, an ADA compliant ramp, new landscaping, and outdoor shower towers.
• Rehabilitating the lifeguard/first aid area.
• Replacing the water, sewer and electrical systems of the building.
Yanty Marsh Nature Trail Rehabilitation and Improvements
State Parks has also begun a $750,000 project to enhance educational and recreational activities in the Yanty Marsh, an ecologically unique area of the park.
The project calls for the construction of a new boardwalk over Yanty Marsh with a large turnaround, providing visitors a 360-degree view of the marsh. The boardwalk will enhance both recreational and educational opportunities within the Yanty Marsh area, providing visitors a closer view of the flora and fauna found within the marsh.
An existing observation platform, located northwest of the proposed boardwalk near the edge of the marsh, will be replaced with a new ADA-compliant platform at a higher elevation at the same location, offering visitors, such as bird watchers, an expansive view of the Yanty Marsh area.
Additional improvements include:
• Rehabilitating and resurfacing the park’s existing the self-guided Yanty Marsh Nature Trail;
• Creating two “potholes” or open water pockets, one on either side of the proposed boardwalk, to provide new habitat for aquatic flora and fauna, increasing the diversity of species present within the Yanty Marsh area;
• Constructing a new shelter within the picnic and parking area to enhance public use of this portion of the park;
• Modernizing the area’s outdated car-top boat launch to encourage public access to the park and Lake Ontario.
Visitors should be aware the Yanty Marsh area will be closed to the public during construction activities.
“Hamlin Beach State Park has hosted memorable gatherings of friends and family for generations, and the historic bathhouse renovations and Yanty Marsh improvements will ensure these happy traditions continue,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “I’m grateful that Governor Cuomo understands the importance of protecting and enhancing what is special about Hamlin Beach and all of our State Parks across New York.”
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 21 July 2016
KNOWLESVILLE – The 2016 Orleans County 4-H Fair is less than a week away and the fairgrounds was abuzz with activity Wednesday evening as 4-H’ers, their families and scores of volunteers descended on the fairgrounds for the annual pre-fair workbee.
Fairground barns, buildings and gardens were cleaned up, spruced up and set up for the fair, which will run from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30.
Gates will open at 2 p.m. on Monday and paid per car admission begins at 4 p.m. with the special opening day price of $2. Opening ceremonies are planned at 6 p.m. with presentation of colors by Orleans County veterans. This year the midway will open on Tuesday.
Even the youngest 4-H’ers and volunteers helped out. Here, Cierra Biaselli, Brionnah Biaselli and Gracie Batt make sure the Pie Stand is clean and ready to serve fresh baked pies and brownie sundaes to fairgoers.
Fair T-shirts are rolled-up and ready for pick-up by 4-H’ers.
Kyleigh Wilcox, facing camera, and her mom, Kellie, clear the horse arena of weeds.
The Wachob Building is prepped for the 4-H Rabbit and Poultry Shows. This year, poultry will return to the fair. In 2015, poultry were banned from county fairs and the state fair due to avian flu.
4-H Dog Club members work to clean equipment which will be used for dog agility competitions.
Melissa Robinson of Barre paints inside the Dairy/Beef barn.
Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 21 July 2016
KNOWLESVILLE – A farmer works a field behind of the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds on Tuesday by Wood Road.
Today is forecast to be sunny and hot with a high of 90 degrees. Friday will also be hot with a high near 91, and a chance for showers and thunderstorms after 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
The high temperatures are then forecast for 89 on Saturday, 87 on Sunday and 86 on Monday, which is the start of the 4-H Fair.
Provided photo, Orleans/Niagara BOCES Posted 20 July 2016
Medina High School Principal Michael Cavanagh congratulates Rachel Monagan on her diploma. Rachel earned her degree while taking classes at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’s Niagara Academy.
She joined other graduates during a ceremony on June 22. Thirty-five students graduated from the Niagara Academy. They came from Lewiston Porter, Medina, Newfane, Niagara Falls, Niagara Wheatfield, North Tonawanda, Royalton Hartland, Starpoint and Wilson.
Before they came to the Academy many of the students were struggling to make it through their own districts. The students then went to Niagara Academy under the care of Principal Amanda Bennett, Assistant Principal Michelle Kulbago and the dedicated teachers and support staff.
Some of the students had been at the alternative school since middle school and some had more recently enrolled. Along with getting their diplomas, many also studied a career and technical education program at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center and came away with technical endorsements and employable skills as well.
It was with a lot of pride that family and friends listened as Mrs. Bennett talked about each graduate’s journey as they came up to accept their diploma from their home district’s representatives.
Chamber is launching ‘Solarize Orleans’ program today
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 July 2016
KENDALL – The new director of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce has a track record of promoting the community and businesses in Kendall.
Rebecca Charland organizes Kendall’s annual Scarecrow Festival. She was one of the first to have a painted quilt block on her property in the Country Barn Quilt Trail in the Kendall area. She also has been the leader of the Kendall Garden Club, which beautifies the Town Hall property, town signs and planter boxes in the downtown.
Chamber officials see Charland as a community dynamo, who is organized and knows the challenges facing a small business.
She started as the new Chamber director on May 23. The organization closed its Albion office in late March. Charland is running the Chamber from her home on Norway Road in Kendall.
She is working to increase membership from the current total of about 150. She is planning events to promote businesses, as well as an overhaul of the Chamber website.
“One of my goals is to boost membership,” she said. “I want to help businesses network and grow.”
A new event for the Chamber will be a wine garden walk on Aug. 18 at the Robin Hall Nature Preserve on Platten Road in Lyndonville.
The Chamber today is also launching a “Solarize Orleans” initiative.
The Chamber last year applied for a grant from the NYSERDA Community Solar program for funding and technical assistance to run a “solarize” campaign in Orleans County. The campaign is a targeted effort to educate the business community and the public about the benefits of solar energy, and to link interested parties with a preferred solar installer for discounted rates.
The Solarize Orleans Campaign will kick off today at the Hoag Library in Albion with two informational sessions – from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Homeowners and businesses can learn about options for using the technology. (Hoag Library is the beneficiary of large roof-mounted solar panel array.)
People are welcome to “walk in” for the sessions, or they can RSVP to the Chamber at (585) 301-8464 or email@example.com.
The launch events will feature representatives from CIR, the Solarize Orleans campaign’s preferred solar installer. CIR was selected from among several area firms through an RFP process. CIR representatives are also expected to join the Chamber at its booth during the upcoming Orleans County Fair. Additional public information workshops will be planned.
The Solarize Orleans campaign will continue through the summer and early fall. Any business or homeowners looking to inquire about solar opportunities, discuss a project feasibility, learn about savings and financing, or get questions answered is encouraged to participate.
Charland said the solar initiative is a way the Chamber wants to help residents and businesses save money on their energy costs.
For more information, or for assistance in going solar at your home or business, please visit www.solarizeorleans.com.
Copyright Albion-Holley Pennysaver, Inc.