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Senior Center in Medina welcomes more people for games, activities
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2020 at 3:28 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: A new group of card players gets into a game of euchre on a recent Friday afternoon at the Medina Senior Center. Clockwise from left are Isabelle Cotter and Dorothy Casey of Medina, Fred Brimmer of Lockport, Bill and Cindy Koepsel of Middleport, Sylvia Williams of Barker and Bev Woodward of Medina. Euchre and pinochle are also played on Wednesdays and Thursdays and new members are welcome to join.

MEDINA – Seniors looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon are being encouraged to join the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans.

Located in the historic New York Central Railroad depot, the Center is gaining in popularity as a meeting place for card players. They have sponsored euchre and pinochle games on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for many years, but recently some seniors were looking for something to do on Friday afternoons.

That’s when Lee Smith of Lyndonville stepped up and offered to lead a euchre game on Fridays. Games each day are from 1 to 4 p.m. and each cost $2 to play for an afternoon. Players can also get into a loaner pot for $1.

Kelly Shaw of Gasport, formerly of Eagle Harbor, is director of the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, and at the January luncheon meeting, she announced how important a role the card players play in the Center. Each week, half of the money collected from card players is put into a special fund and the other half provides prize money for the players. Last year, their $2 fee to play cards and donations in a special jug resulted in $2,530, enough to pay the fuel bill for the entire year.

The second Monday of each month is the dinner meeting at 11:30 a.m., sometimes featuring potluck and other times a prepared meal. Anyone who brings a guest to a prepared meal gets their meal and the guest’s at half price of $4. Often there is a program or speaker at the lunches.

Lady Dispatchers meet the last Tuesday of each month, with the Jan. 28 meeting featuring pizza, chips and ice cream. New members are always welcome.

It costs just $10 a year to become a member of the Senior Center, and anyone 50 or older is eligible to join.

Members are then eligible to take part in exercise classes for $1 each Wednesday. Leader is Michele Sargent from the Orleans County Office for the Aging.

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Finally Fridays concerts draw big crowd to Medina library
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2020 at 10:58 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Crikwater, a band from South Buffalo, performed on Friday evening at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina for the Finally Fridays concert series during the winter. Finally Fridays is in its 19th season.

Crikwater made its debut in the series on Friday with about 200 people in the crowd. For its final song of the night, the band weaved through the crowd. Crikwater performs many Irish American traditional folk songs.

Band members include from left: Peter Zalocha, Liam Caulfield, Charles Coughlin and Matthew Sperber.

This year’s Finally Fridays series started on Jan. 3 with Creek Bend Bluegrass followed by “A” Blues Band on Jan. 10.

The schedule for the rest of the season includes:

Jan. 24: A Moment in Time

Jan. 31: Outofar Trio Jug Band

Feb. 7: Serendipity Swings

Feb. 14: Mr. Mustard

Feb. 21: Lyin’ Eyes Unplugged

Feb. 28: Hot Club of Buffalo

March 6: Dark Horse Run

The concerts all start at 7 p.m. and free to the public. The concerts are made possible through funding by Friends of the Library and state Council on the Arts funding through the Decentralization Program, which is administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Liam Caulfield, left, and Charlie Coughlin perform with Crikwater on Friday.

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Tops in Medina celebrates 25 years, opens time capsule
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2020 at 9:47 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: John Leible, the manager when Tops opened its store in Medina on Jan. 17, 1995, holds a copy of The Journal-Register which ran a story on the event. The newspaper was one of the items in a time capsule which was opened in ceremonies Friday.

MEDINA – Friday was a day for celebration at Tops Friendly Market in Medina.

The day marked the 25th anniversary of the day the store opened on Jan. 17, 1995.

In honor of the date, current employees, former managers and local officials gathered to watch a time capsule unsealed and opened by John Leible, the original store manager.

“John was here during the ground breaking and he was here when the store opened,” said Darlene Bowman, customer service manager, one of a handful of employees who has been with the store all 25 years.

This time capsule was sealed in the wall of Tops Friendly Market when the store was built 25 years ago. It was opened Friday in an observance of the store’s quarter century in Medina.

Leible spent 15 years with Tops and retired from the store which he opened.

Others who have been with the Medina Tops since it opened are Cheryl Gavenda, deli manager; Patti Farewell, overnight bakery associate; Jeff Farewell, grocery clerk; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen manager; and Peter Huth, fuel associate.

“This store is like my home,” Bowman said.

John Leible, left, manager of Tops Friendly Market in Medina when it opened Jan. 17, 1995, removes a time capsule from the wall, after Don Barnard removed the cover block. Barnard, dairy/frozen manager, has worked at the store all 25 years.

The anniversary celebration began with the small crowd gathering outside the front entrance, where Leible and Barnard unsealed and removed the time capsule in a block near the corner of the building, as current store manager Scott Fumanti welcomed the group.

“Special events like this allow us to reflect on past accomplishments, good times, bad times and moments that brought Tops workers together as a family,” Fumanti said. “Every journey becomes a milestone, and those milestones are an occasion for our celebration. This time capsule is now a piece of our history and a reason to reflect today.”

From left, John Leible, the original store manager of Tops in Medina; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen manager who has been with the store since it opened; and current store manager Scott Fumanti pose with the time capsule which was removed and opened on Friday.

Fumanti told the crowd to remember that a milestone is less of a date and more of a definition.

“What defines Tops in Medina is that the community of Medina 25 years ago welcomed Tops, and we in turn became the true definition of community, loyalty and especially family,” Fumanti said. “Our accomplishments at Tops for more than 25 years was measured by the community of Medina. And for that, we thank you.”

Items which were placed in a time capsule when Tops in Medina opened 25 years ago are pictured during the store’s 25th anniversary celebration on Friday. The items include a copy of The Journal-Register announcing the grand opening, pictures from the ground breaking until the opening, a copy of the grand opening ad, a coffee mug with Tops logo and a video tape of events leading up to the opening.

The celebration then moved inside the store, where Leible began removing items from the time capsule. There was a copy of The Journal-Register featuring a front page story on Tops opening. Leible pointed out the closing of Fisher-Price in Medina was announced in a smaller article in the corner of the paper. Other items in the time capsule included a coffee mug with Tops’ name, pictures, a copy of the opening ad and a video tape of the grand opening.

Local officials who were invited to witness the historic event included Medina Mayor Mike Sidari; police chief Chad Kenward; Kathy Blackburn, representing Medina Area Partnership; Michael Robinson, president of MAP; and Marguerite Sherman of the Medina Village Board.

Employees who worked at Tops in Medina when it opened on Jan. 17, 1995 posed for a picture after a time capsule was opened Friday commemorating the 25th anniversary of the store. From left are Cheryl Gavenda, deli manager; Sue Green, cake decorator; Jeff Farewell, grocery clerk; Patti Farewell, overnight baker; Don Barnard, dairy/frozen food manager; Darlene Bowman, customer service manager; and John Leible, store manager when Tops opened. He retired from there after 15 years with the grocery chain.

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Architecture Destroyed: Holley house that burned once owned by leading sheep shipper, banker

Photo courtesy of Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub: The Stoddard-Downs House at 1 S. Main St. in Holley was destroyed in a fire the night of Jan. 5.

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 18 January 2020 at 8:45 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 6, No. 3

HOLLEY – In November of 1984, County Historian and Cobblestone Museum Director C. W. Lattin published a book entitled Architecture Destroyed in Orleans County, New York. The focus of this work was to call attention to the numerous homes, civic buildings, and houses of worship lost to “progress” throughout the history of our county.

Over the 35 years since that book was published, our community has lost countless other structures due to accidents, neglect, or other reasons beyond our control. After the recent unfortunate loss of a beautiful Italianate house on South Main Street in Holley, I thought it would be fitting to highlight the history of past owners of the home while calling attention to a very important role of local historians; the role of documenting current events.

The origins of the home date back to Moses N. Stoddard, whose personal biographical information is drawn from his obituary appearing in the Holley Standard on June 3, 1886. Born in Connecticut, Stoddard worked in a woolen mill as a young man ultimately earning the position of superintendent of the mill. He ventured westward to New York and purchased a parcel of land from the State of Connecticut as part of the 100,000 Acre Tract in the Town of Murray.

Although he expected to remain in the area, he was coaxed back to Connecticut to resume oversight of the same mill he had left earlier. After spending nearly two years in Connecticut he once again returned to Murray where he purchased a parcel of 100 acres.

An 1860 map of Orleans and Niagara counties shows the Village of Holley and a house situated on Main Street in vicinity of the present St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. The house, labeled as “M. N. Stoddard,” no longer exists and the parcel of land on the southwest corner of Main and Albion streets sat vacant. A later map, published in 1875, shows the large stately house situated on the corner, which indicates that the house was likely constructed in the mid to late 1860s.

The house remained in the Stoddard family until the death of Moses in 1886. Although Moses relocated to Walden, NY to live with his son after the death of his wife Sarah in 1881, the house was leased to several local families including Alfred Millard and Burton Keyes in 1882 and later to John Downs in March of 1885. In early September of 1886, John Downs purchased all the property owned by Moses Stoddard located within the boundaries of Holley. This included interest in the Stoddard & Hurd Block on the east side of Public Square, a small house on Albion Street, and the mansion on Main Street, all for the sum of $12,000.

John Downs was born in Clarendon on January 22, 1846 to Irish immigrants. His father, William Downs, was a livestock dealer in Clarendon. Educated in the district schools of Clarendon, John learned the necessary skills associated with the livestock and wool businesses, engaging with markets on the east coast, and expanding his local operations until he became one of the premier shippers of sheep in New York.

In 1875, Downs entered the partnership of Hallwell & Willis, dealers of wool in Rochester, where he remained for approximately eight years. According to his biography recorded within Landmarks of Orleans County by Isaac Signor, Downs relocated to Walden, NY where he organized a private banking business. It is likely no coincidence that Moses Stoddard’s son, George Wells Stoddard, engaged in the same business venture at the same location.

After severing ties with the Walden National Bank, John Downs returned to Holley and purchased an interest in the bank of George Bowman and Luther Hurd. Established in 1868, the bank was first operated by C. W. Gibson and Bowman until George W. Stoddard bought out Gibson’s interest.

At the time of Downs’ purchase in 1882, the bank was operated by Orange Eddy and George Bowman. When the bank was incorporated as the State Exchange Bank, Downs was elected as president until his death in 1901, at which point Michael Kennedy assumed control. After John’s untimely passing, his widow, Eva Glidden Downs, remarried to Edward Vincent. Her son, John, remained in the house for a number of years after as he continued to work as a bookkeeper and assistant cashier in the Exchange Bank.

The tragic and unfortunate loss of this stately home is a reminder of the important role historians play in documenting the physical landmarks in our area.

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McMurray says Collins’ crimes and lies cause lingering damage
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 9:12 pm

Chris Collins was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison today for participating in a scheme to commit insider trading and for making false statements to federal law enforcement agents when interviewed about his conduct. He also was fined $200,000.

Collins, who resigned from Congress on Sept. 30, insisted he was innocent during a re-election campaign. He won a very close race against Nate McMurray, a Democrat, in November 2018.

McMurray is seeking the position again. He issued this statement after Collins was sentenced:

“Years of lies by Collins and those who justified his crimes ends like this. Tears. An empty seat. It’s a sad moment. No sentence can heal the damage caused. The sting will linger.

“Remember this. Who brought us here. So when we look back, we will see how far we’ve come. I’m heading to my son’s basketball game, watching a movie with my family, going to sleep, and waking up tomorrow to continue the fight to restore integrity to NY-27 and Washington.”

State Sen. Rob Ortt also is running to fill the vacant seat in Congress. Ortt issued this statement:

“The constituents of NY-27 deserve better, and today provides us the opportunity to close this disappointing chapter and start fresh. This district deserves a faithful and hardworking conservative representing them in Congress, putting the needs of Western New York and America first. I believe I am the candidate best qualified to do so and it is my sincere hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to once again serve my country.”

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Chris Collins, former congressman, sentenced to 2-plus years in prison, fined $200K
Posted 17 January 2020 at 8:38 pm

‘Collins’s hubris is a stark reminder that the people of New York can and should demand more from their elected officials, and that no matter how powerful, no lawmaker is above the law.’

Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, who represented the 27th District of New York as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was sentenced to 26 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick for participating in a scheme to commit insider trading and for making false statements to federal law enforcement agents when interviewed about his conduct.

Chris Collins

“Former New York Congressman and Innate board member Christopher Collins received confidential, nonpublic information that one of Innate’s drugs in development had just failed a clinical trial,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “Moments later, from the White House lawn, Collins notified his son Cameron, so that he could trade the stock ahead of the public announcement and avoid taking a substantial loss on the stock. He then lied to the FBI when asked about his conduct. Collins’s greed and disregard for the law have now led to a criminal conviction for insider trading and lying to the FBI, his resignation from Congress, and over two years in federal prison. Lawmakers bear the profound privilege and responsibility of writing and passing laws, but equally as important, the absolute obligation of following them. Collins’s hubris is a stark reminder that the people of New York can and should demand more from their elected officials, and that no matter how powerful, no lawmaker is above the law.”

The following facts are based on the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

The Insider Trading Scheme

In or about June 2017, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, who, in addition to serving on the board of directors of Innate Immunotherapeutics (“Innate”), an Australian biotechnology company, was also one of Innate’s largest shareholders, participated in a scheme to commit insider trading.  Specifically, on or about June 22, 2017, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS learned that MIS416 – a multiple sclerosis drug that Innate was developing – had failed a critical drug trial that was meant to determine the drug’s clinical efficacy (the “Drug Trial”).

The negative Drug Trial results were highly confidential, and, as an insider who owed duties of trust and confidence to Innate, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS was obligated to keep the Drug Trial results secret until Innate publicly released them. Instead, in breach of those duties, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS tipped his son, Cameron Collins, who was also a substantial Innate shareholder, so that Cameron Collins could make timely trades and tip others before Innate publicly released the Drug Trial results.

Cameron Collins traded on the inside information and passed it to Stephen Zarsky, the father of his fiancée, as well as to three individuals not named in the Superseding Indictment (“Individual-1,” “Individual-2,” and “Individual-6”), so that they could utilize the information for the same purpose.

Zarsky, in turn, traded on the information and used it to tip three more individuals not named in the Superseding Indictment (“Individual-3,” “Individual-4,” and “Individual-5,”) so that they too could engage in timely trades in Innate stock.  All of the trades preceded the public release of the negative Drug Trial results.

In total, these trades allowed Cameron Collins and Zarsky, and Individual-1 through Individual-6, to avoid over $768,000 in losses that they would have otherwise incurred if they had sold their stock in Innate after the Drug Trial results became public.

The Drug Trial Results

In or about October 2014, Innate initiated a Phase 2B clinical trial of its primary drug, MIS416. Successful completion of the Drug Trial was a necessary prerequisite to the commercialization of MIS416.  Because Innate had no other significant products in development, its stock price was tied to the success of MIS416.

The Drug Trial was widely expected to be completed around the summer of 2017.  For example, on or about June 9, 2017, Innate’s chief executive officer (“CEO”) sent various individuals, including CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, an email stating that “the delivery date for [the] review and ‘verdict’” of the Drug Trial “will [] occur at COB on US Thursday June 22nd.”  As the summer progressed, individuals within Innate remained optimistic that MIS416’s Drug Trial results would be positive.

The initial Drug Trial results were made available by trial administrators to Innate’s CEO on June 22, 2017.  These results established that MIS416 lacked therapeutic value in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.  The results were not publicly released at that time.  Instead, they were released publicly on June 26, 2017, after the U.S. markets had closed (the “Public Announcement”).  Innate’s stock price subsequently crashed, dropping 92% on the first trading day following the Public Announcement.

Dissemination of the Drug Trial Results

On or about June 22, 2017, at approximately 6:55 p.m., Innate’s CEO sent an email describing the Drug Trial results to the company’s board of directors, including CHRISTOPHER COLLINS.  The email explained to Innate’s board of directors for the first time that the Drug Trial had been a failure.

The email began, in part, “I have bad news to report,” and continued to explain that “the top line analysis of the ‘intent to treat’ patient population (ie every subject who was successfully enrolled in the study) would pretty clearly indicate[s] ‘clinical failure.’”  The email continued, “Top-line 12-month data . . . show no clinically meaningful or statistically significant differences in [outcomes] between MIS416 and placebo,” and concluded by stating, “No doubt we will want to consider this extremely bad news . . . .”

At the time CHRISTOPHER COLLINS received this email, he was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House.  At 7:10 p.m., CHRISTOPHER COLLINS replied to the email, stating, in part, “Wow. Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???”  After responding to the Innate CEO’s email, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS called his son, Cameron Collins. They traded six missed calls between 7:11 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.  At 7:16 p.m., CHRISTOPHER COLLINS and Cameron Collins spoke for more than six minutes.  During that six-minute phone call, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS told Cameron Collins, in sum and substance, that MIS416 had failed the Drug Trial.

Trading and Tipping by CAMERON COLLINS and ZARSKY

Cameron Collins began placing orders to sell his Innate shares the morning after he received inside information from CHRISTOPHER COLLINS.  Between the morning of Friday, June 23, 2017, and the close of the market on Monday, June 26, 2017, Cameron Collins sold approximately 1,391,500 shares of Innate stock.  These sales allowed Cameron Collins to avoid approximately $570,900 in losses.

Furthermore, after learning the Drug Trial results from CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, on or about the night of June 22, 2017, Cameron Collins provided the Drug Trial results to at least the following three sets of individuals so that they could trade in advance of the Public Announcement:  (1) his fiancée, Individual-1; (2) Zarsky and Zarsky’s wife, Individual-2; and (3) Cameron Collins’s friend, Individual-6. Collectively, these individuals avoided approximately $186,620 in losses as a result of their trading on inside information.

On or about the morning of June 23, 2017, Zarsky provided the negative Drug Trial results that he had learned from Cameron Collins and Individual-1 to at least the following individuals, among others, or otherwise caused them to trade or attempt to trade in advance of the Public Announcement: (1) his brother, Individual-3; (2) his sister, Individual-4; and (3) his longstanding friend, Individual-5. Collectively, these individuals avoided approximately $10,900 in losses as a result of their trading on inside information.

False Statements to the FBI

On or about April 25, 2018, special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) separately interviewed CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, Cameron Collins and Zarsky.  During these interviews, and as detailed in the Superseding Indictment, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, Cameron Collins and Zarsky made false statements to the FBI to cover up their participation in the insider trading scheme.

• • •

In addition to the prison term, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS was sentenced to one year of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $200,000.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the FBI and thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance.

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Winter weather advisory with 2 to 4 inches of snow expected
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 3:35 pm

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Orleans County and Western New York from 8 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo said Orleans County will get 2 to 4 inches of snow. Winds could gust as high as 50 miles per hour on Saturday.

“Plan on snow-covered and slippery road conditions with reduced visibility,” the Weather Service said. “Gusty winds could bring down tree branches and result in isolated power outages.”

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Apex to submit application to state for 33 turbines in Barre
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 2:40 pm

This map from Apex Clean Energy shows proposed locations for wind turbines, access roads, substations and met towers in Barre.

BARRE – Apex Clean Energy said it will be submitting an application to the state to build 33 wind turbines with a capacity to generate up to 184.8 megawatts.

The company announced a notice of submission of application today, saying it expects to file its application on or about Jan. 31 to authorize construction and operation of Heritage Wind, the project in Barre.

Apex will seek approval for the project from the New York State Board on Electric Generating Siting and the Environment. The state will review the project through the Article 10 process, where local laws are considered but the state has the final say in whether the project moves forward or not.

Heritage Wind will include wind turbines, access roads, electrical collection lines, substations, permanent meteorological towers, an operations and maintenance building, and staging/laydown areas to be used during construction, which may include a potential temporary concrete batch plant, Apex said.

A point of interconnection substation will be placed in Barre, along the existing National Grid Lockport-Mortimer 115 kV power line, to deliver electricity generated by the facility to the New York State electric grid, Apex states in the Notice of Submission Application.

The application will include:

• an analysis of the environmental setting of the facility (33 turbines), a description of the facility, including preliminary design drawings and related information; copies of reports, studies and plans submitted in support of the application

• an assessment of impacts of construction and operation of the facility relating to land use; consistency with state energy planning objectives, including climate change and renewable energy goals; public health and safety;

• terrestrial ecology, water resources and aquatic ecology, including avian and bat species and wetlands; communications, transportation and utilities; cultural, historical and recreational resources; visual, including shadow flicker; sound; electric magnetic fields; and impacts on the statewide electrical system.

If the state Siting Board deems the application to be complete, the Siting Board will schedule a public statement hearing on the application, to be held in the Barre area.

The Siting Board will also issue a notice of availability of $184,800 in intervenor funds to municipalities and other local parties to help pay expenses, including attorneys and consultants, associated with participating in the Article 10 process during the application review phase. By law, at least 50 percent of these intervenor funds are reserved for municipalities.

(During the Preliminary Scoping Statement, Apex needed to provide $350 per megawatt or $70,000 in intervenor funds for the local community to hire experts to review the Apex proposal, back when it was projected as a 200-megawatt project. A judge determined in 2018 the Town of Barre would be allocated $40,000 in those funds and Clear Skies Above Barre would get $30,000.)

Click here to be directed to the NYS Department of Public Service website that details information and submission about Heritage Wind.

Local officials have been meeting to discuss a PILOT arrangement with Apex, where $1.2 million to $1.8 million in annual revenue is expected to shared the next 25 years among the Town of Barre, Orleans County and Albion Central School. (Oakfield-Alabama also would get some funding because one turbine is proposed to be in the O-A school district.)

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Sponsored Post
Posted 17 January 2020 at 2:00 pm

Link to Lake Country Pennysaver online edition

Hometown Heroes banners coming to Albion, with second group in Medina

Photo by Tom Rivers: A banner for Frank Berger hangs in the gymnasium at the Orleans County YMCA on May 19, during a reception before the banners were put out in Medina before Memorial Day. Banners for Bruce Burns, left, and Kenneth Edward Baehr are next to the one for Berger. Medina displayed 38 banners last year of veterans, with 63 more to be added this year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 12:24 pm

ALBION –  The village is working to add Hometown Heroes banners this year in the downtown with a goal to have up to 40 in place by July. The banners would stay up until after Veterans’ Day in November.

Albion is following the example of Holley, Medina and Brockport in honoring veterans from the community. Albion is working to finalize the details for the program. The banners would be a maximum of $200, to be paid for by family or friends of a veteran. The cost may be less if the village can use existing hardware to secure the banners. That expense may drop to $150, said Mayor Eileen Banker, who is managing the program for Albion.

She has seen the banners in Holley, Medina and Brockport and said the display of portraits sends a powerful message.

“We should honor our veterans, the ones who are serving now and who come before us,” she said. “They made this country.”

Banker wants to know if there is interest from thr Albion community in honoring veterans with the banners. People interested could send her an email at or call or text her at (585) 356-0686. She is aiming for late February to early March to submit an order for the banners. They would by 2 ½ feet by 5 feet, the same size as the ones in Medina.

Albion is capped at 40 spots for the banners on Main Street between Beaver Street to just past the Erie Canal, as well as on Bank Street, between Platt and Liberty streets.

There will be a form at the Village Office beginning on Jan. 22 for people interested in the program. Banker said they will go to people “on a first come, first served basis.”

In Medina, the banners go up just before Memorial Day. Albion has banners up promoting the Strawberry Festival until after that event the second Friday and Saturday in June. After the Strawberry Festival, the banners of veterans will be displayed. This year it likely won’t be until July.

Medina will add 63 more banners this year

The banners have been very popular in Medina. Last year, there were 38 displayed in the first year, with 63 more coming in May. The program is organized by Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman.

The banners last year included current and previous soldiers from the community, with some going back to World War II.

The new group of banners this year includes one veteran from the Civil War. The banners will continue in the downtown on Main Street, and East and West Center streets, and on Park Avenue. New locations will be added this year farther down on East and West Center streets, Park Avenue, Pearl Street, West Avenue and South Main Street.

Woodruff said there likely will be a reception in May at the YMCA with the banners hung in the gymnasium.

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Orleans GOP makes local endorsements, including Cardone for DA
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 10:07 am

No candidate endorsed for county clerk

Photo by Tom Rivers: Joe Cardone has served as Orleans County’s district attorney since March 1992. He is seeking re-election to four more years in the position.

ALBION – Joe Cardone has the backing of the Orleans County Republican Committee for another four-year term as district attorney. Cardone has served as the county’s top prosecutor since 1992.

He met with the Republican Committee on Thursday night at Tillman’s Village Inn and received the group’s endorsement.

Three incumbent county coroners – Scott Schmidt of Medina, Charles Smith of Ridgeway and Rocco Sidari of Albion – also were endorsed for four-year terms.

In the other county-wide position up for election this year, the committee didn’t meet its two-thirds threshold for endorsing a candidate for county clerk.

Karen Lake-Maynard is retiring on Jan. 30. Two Republicans want to succeed her. Diane Shampine is the deputy county clerk and Nadine Hanlon is the clerk of the County Legislature.

With no committee endorsement, both have the option of securing petitions by registered Republicans to be on the ballot and perhaps face off in a June 23 primary.

The Orleans County Republican Committee also endorsed the two incumbent State Assembly members who are seeking re-election. Steve Hawley of Batavia has been in the Assembly since he was elected in a special election on Feb. 28, 2006 for the 139th District, which includes most of Orleans, all of Genesee and part of western Monroe.

Michael Norris of Lockport is seeking a third two-year term in the 144th District, which includes the Town of Shelby in Orleans, and parts of Niagara and Erie counties.

State Sen. Robert Ortt currently is pursuing the 27th Congressional District. A special election likely will be on April 28 to fill the vacant 27th seat. Ortt made it clear to the Orleans County Republican Committee he wants to be the area’s next congressman, said Skip Draper, the Orleans GOP chairman.

Ortt has been the state senator for about five years. The local Republicans didn’t hear from a candidate for the Senate seat. Ortt still has time to pursue the Senate seat if Republican leaders go with another candidate for the 27th.

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Orleans GOP Committee hears from 4 candidates for 27th, but doesn’t endorse
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 9:30 am

GAINES – Four candidates seeking Republican support for the vacant 27th Congressional seat met with the Orleans County Republican Committee on Thursday night.

State Sen. Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda, State Sen. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and former Darien town justice Beth Parlato all met with the committee.

The Orleans Republican leaders didn’t make an endorsement because the chairmen from the eight counties in the Republican district will pick the candidate for a special election that likely will be April 28.

“We have to wait and see who our candidate is,” said Skip Draper, chairman of the Orleans County Republican Party.

Draper said the county chairmen are expected to meet next week to pick a candidate for the special election. Draper hasn’t decided yet who he will be backing.

“I’m going to meet with other chairman and decide what’s best for the district,” he said.

Whoever wins the special election will finish the remaining eight months of a term. The seat was vacated in September when Chris Collins resigned. He has pleaded guilty to insider trading and lying to the FBI. He will be sentenced in federal court this afternoon.

Democrats have backed Nate McMurray, who lost a very close race to Collins in November 2018. The district is heavily Republican.

The Republicans could see a primary on June 23 to determine who will be the Republican candidate on Nov. 3, when there is a general election for a full two-year term for the 27th Congressional seat.

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Republicans and Democrats in Albion both have caucus on Jan. 28
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 7:56 am

Parties will pick candidates for March 18 election

ALBION – The Republican and Democratic parties will both have their caucuses at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 to pick trustee candidates for the March 18 election.

There are two four-year terms for trustee up for election. They are currently filled by Peter Sidari and Mattea Navarra-Molisani.

The Democrats will have their caucus at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church at 10 East Park St. Only registered Democrats who live in the village can participate and vote at the caucus.

Republicans will have their caucus in the LGI room at the Charles D’Amico High School, 302 East Ave. Only registered Republicans can participate in the caucus.

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Chamber’s Legislative Luncheon on Jan. 24 will include state, county officials
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 January 2020 at 4:19 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce will have its annual Legislative Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Tillman’s Village Inn on Ridge Road.

State Sen. Robert Ortt, and Assembly members Michael Norris and Steve Hawley will discuss state issues while Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, gives an update on the county. Other speakers could be added as panelists.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to ask about things that are directly affecting your business,” said Darlene Hartway, Chamber executive director.

The event will be moderated by Nathan Pace, an attorney from Medina.

The elected officials will be asked questions, which could be about public policy, health insurance, tax breaks, regulations and other issues. Questions to be asked can be sent to Hartway’s email:

The luncheon is open to the community, with tickets at $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non members.

The deadline to RSVP will be Monday. For information call 585-301-8464 or email

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Hawley won’t pursue 27th Congressional seat
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 January 2020 at 3:30 pm

Assemblyman Steve Hawley won’t be running for the open 27th Congressional seat, which was vacated with the resignation of Chris Collins on Sept. 30.

Steve Hawley

Hawley of Batavia was elected to the State Assembly about 14 years ago on Feb. 28, 2006.

He issued this statement today:

“After much consideration with my friends and family, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for the open 27th Congressional Seat in Congress at this time.

“Serving the residents of the 139th District in the State Assembly has been one of the highest honors of my life and our state faces a host of pressing challenges that cannot be ignored. Thus, my friends and neighbors deserve a full-time Assemblyman and someone who is laser-focused on meeting those challenges and moving our state forward.

“While it would be an extreme honor to serve as a member of the House of Representatives and serve with honesty and integrity as exemplified by our family’s close friend, former Congressman Barber B. Conable, Jr., I am confident that whoever is chosen to run will exhibit these attributes.

“It is crucial for the fate of our state and our country that this Congressional Seat remains in Republican hands and I am confident that whoever should be elected this April will do a tremendous job representing us in Washington.”

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