It is going to be hot on Friday, with temperatures forecast to hit 87 in Orleans County. The heat index will be at 91.
The temperature takes a big drop to highs of 60 on Saturday and 65 on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
The Weather Service says gusty southwest winds will develop Friday ahead of a strong cold front. Winds may gust to over 50 miles per hour northeast of Lake Erie and across Niagara and Orleans counties.
These gusty winds will also increase wave heights on Lake Ontario such that a beach hazard statement for dangerous rip currents developing is likely for Friday and then possibly again for Saturday, the Weather Service said.
ROCHESTER – The caretakers of the Erie Canal will announce the winners of a $2.5 million global competition to transform the canal system for a new generation.
The State Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority, which oversees the canal system, on Oct. 3 will announce the winners of the “Reimagine the Canals” competition. The unveiling will be at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.
There were 145 entries in the competition, which was narrowed to seven finalists in April. The competition sought new approaches for how to both use the canals as an engine for economic development and also to become a hub for tourism and recreation.
Each of the seven finalists received up to $50,000 to further develop their entries for the next stage.
The winners will receive between $250,000 and $1.5 million to plan and implement their projects.
The programs and initiatives are intended to promote the Canal System and its trails as a tourist destination and recreational asset for New York residents and visitors; sustainable economic development along the Canal System; the Canal System’s heritage; and the long-term financial sustainability of the Canal Corporation.
Additionally, the competition sought entries on two separate tracks, one for infrastructure; the other for programs that have the potential to increase recreation use and tourism.
The finalists are:
• Go the Distance: this initiative will look to develop overnight accommodations for recreational users of the canal system. The team includes the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor from Waterford, NY; Gray Slate Partners from Troy, NY; 2K Design from Clifton Park, NY and Dorgan Architecture & Planning from Storrs, Conn.
• Canal Winterlocks: seeks to develop winter-time uses for the Erie Canal, potentially including skating, hockey, winter festivals and cross-country skiing. The team includes Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture and John Ronan Architects, both from Chicago and Urban Engineers from Philadelphia.
• Great Erie Canal Race: a multi-day race for many types of watercraft, with a component for bikers and hikers. The team, led by Parks and Trails New York, includes Joe Gustainis from Caledonia, NY and Karthik Namasivayam from Pittsford, NY, as advisors.
• Intra-Works: installations of art and sculpture to forge a cultural identity that links up the Canal System. The team includes the architecture and planning firms Collective Studio from New York City and WRT and Interface, both from Philadelphia.
• Pocket Neighborhoods: a model for canal-side neighborhoods that have the Erie Canal as the core of their identity. The team includes the Madison County Planning Department and Stream Collaborative, an architecture firm in Ithaca.
• Western New York Irrigation: this plan will build off the canal’s water infrastructure to expand its irrigation capabilities. The team includes SUNY ESF Professor Stephen Shaw, C&S Companies of Syracuse and the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
• Upstate Archipelago: this team is developing designs for resilient water landscapes that also provide public recreation space and wildlife habitat. The team includes Cornell Design, Ithaca; Cornell Cooperative Extension and H+N+S, a landscape architecture firm based in the Netherlands.
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Officials cut the ribbon on a new transportation facility for RTS Orleans on Wednesday afternoon. The new 13,000-square-foot building is behind the Orleans County Highway Department at 225 West Academy St.
Pictured from left include: Chuck Nesbitt, Orleans County chief administrative officer; Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Geoff Astles, Board Chairman of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority; Bill Carpenter, Regional Transit Service chief executive officer; Henry Smith Jr., RGRTA commissioner from Orleans County; Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature; Eileen Banker, Albion Mayor; John LeFrois, vice president of LeFrois Builders; and Justin Vollenweider, architect with Passarell Associates.
About 50 people attended a ribbon-cutting celebration for the building.
The facility has eight indoor bus bays, three bus maintenance bays, a vehicle wash bay, storage for parts and materials, administrative office space, a break room with kitchenette, and designated parking.
The new facility cost about $4 million. Federal aid funneled to the state is covering 80 percent or about $3.2 million of the cost, while the state pays 10 percent and RTS pays the other 10 percent. It took about 15 months to construct the building.
Henry Smith Jr., center, shakes hands with Bill Carpenter, CEO of the Regional Transit Service through RGRTA. Smith, a former county legislator, has been the county’s representative on the RGRTA board for about a decade. He is stepping down from the unpaid position on Dec. 31.
He praised the RGRTA for providing public transportation in Orleans County since 2003. RTS Orleans serves about 40,000 riders a year. (Before it was RTS Orleans, the local agency was originally called Orleans Transit Service or OTS.)
Smith said the agency has tweaked bus routes and added bus shelters. The new $4 million facility shows RGRTA’s commitment to public transportation in the county, Smith said.
Lynne Johnson, right, also praised the partnership between RGRTA and the county. She is hopeful the agency will expand ride options to include Saturday service and more connections with neighboring counties.
The county will provide mechanics to work on RTS Orleans buses. The agency is in a 50-year lease for the county to have the transportation facility on county-owned land.
A tour of the site followed Wednesday’s ribbon cutting. RTS Orleans previously kept its buses outside by the county highway garage. Now the buses can be stored inside. RTS bus drivers previously had to arrive to work 20-30 minutes ahead of bus runs to clear off buses in the winter. Keeping the buses inside keeps them more secure and will get them on the road sooner in the mornings during inclimate weather.
RTS Orleans currently has six buses in the county. The transportation facility was built with eight bays to accommodate future growth for the service if it expands to eight buses.
The site includes new offices, bathrooms and a conference room.
Dave Belaskas, director of engineering and facilities management for RTS, gives a tour of the building. He is shown in the maintenance area, which includes lifts and three bays.
The facility has a wash bay to keep the buses clean after they have been out on their daily runs.
RTS Orleans staff started moving into the building Wednesday evening. RTS Orleans should have the operations fully shifted over by Monday.
An Albion graduate and her mother were stabbed to death last night in Lester, Alabama.
Rosa Lee Maldonado, 19, graduated from Albion in 2017. She was allegedly killed by her 15-year-old sister.
The sister also allegedly fatally stabbed their mother, 44-year-old Rosa Aminta Maldonado. The family had recently moved to Alabama.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office responded to the family’s home at about 1 a.m. and found the two victims dead, Alabama news organizations are reporting.
The 15-year-old girl also had stabbed herself in the neck and head area. She was taken to Huntsville Hospital to be treated for her injuries.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office told reporters deputies had been called to the home in the very recent past and had prior interactions with the suspect in the case.
Many of Rosa Lee Maldonado’s classmates and friends from Albion this evening have posted their condolences and shock through social media.
Company plans Oct. 2 forum at Lyndonville school auditorium
LYNDONVILLE – Apex Clean Energy will present plans for the locations of proposed turbines in Lighthouse Wind, a 200-megawatt wind energy project planned for Yates and Somerset.
The project has been in the works for about four years – and has faced some stiff opposition from the town towns.
Many residents and town officials have been asking for the specific locations for the turbines.
Apex will present those sites during a community forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2. The session will be Lyndonville’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave.
Apex also says it will have experts at the meeting and will respond to questions from the community.
Congressman Chris Collins, who last month suspended his re-election campaign for Congress following insider trading charges, today sent a message to his supporters that he will be actively campaigning to win the seat.
And, if he’s re-elected, Collins said he would serve the two-year term in Congress.
“The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress,” Collins said in an email message to supporters. “Their agenda is clear. They want to reverse the recently enacted tax cuts, impose Canadian style healthcare, inflict new job-killing regulations and impeach President Trump. We cannot stand by and let that happen.”
Collins, a Clarence Republican, has been in Congress for nearly six years.
“I will fight on two fronts,” Collins said. “I will work to ensure the 27th Congressional District remains in Republican hands, while I fight to clear my good name in the courts.”
Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for the 27th District, issued a statement about Collins:
“I’m curious to know what Mr. Collins means by ‘actively campaign’ because he hasn’t talked to his constituents, hasn’t held town halls, and has been hiding in his penthouse since the FBI arrested him. Now he thinks that the voters of this district who are getting hurt by a trade war, are struggling to make ends meet, and know that Washington is more corrupt than ever, he thinks they’re going to trust him? Give me a break. He looks out for himself. And maybe his donors.”
HOLLEY – A contractor is expected to start work later this week on Route 237, from the canal north to Route 104, the state Department of Transportation said.
The 2-mile stretch will get about 1.5 inches of new asphalt over the current pavement, which will make the roadway smoother.
There will be flaggers in the work zone guiding alternating one-way traffic during the paving operation. No official detour will be posted, so drivers may want to plan ahead and find an alternate route, the DOT said.
ALBION – Albion seventh-graders Finn McCue, left, and Jett Conn are pictured on the Erie Canal towpath by the Gaines Basin Road bridge. A new path from the towpath to the road was recently created by the State Canal Corporation.
Students in the seventh grade service learning class urged the canal to create the path. Panek Farms allowed the Canal Corp. to clear the path so people could more easily get on the towpath.
The area nearby has some tourism potential. A historic marker noting the northernmost point on the canal is on the towpath, just west of the bridge. A historic cobblestone schoolhouse also is near the canal on Gaines Basin Road.
Finn McCue, left, and Jett Conn repainted the letters on the sign for Tanner Cemetery, a burial site for many pioneer and early residents. The cemetery is on Route 31, across from Mount Albion. The Town of Albion maintains the cemetery and donated supplies for the students to work on the sign.
ALBION – About a month after the Village of Albion closed the bathrooms at Bullard Park and Veterans Park due to vandalism, a Porta-Potty was hit, likely on Monday.
Albion decided to bring in a Porta-Potty to Bullard and close the regular bathrooms after the toilet had been broken and detached, and feces was smeared on the walls on several occasions.
On Tuesday morning, the Albion Department of Public Works found the urinal was plugged in the Porta-Potty and feces was on the floor and had been spread around.
The incident is infuriating to village officials, including Mayor Eileen Banker.
“What are these people thinking?” she said about the vandals. “Maybe we shouldn’t have any bathrooms at the park.”
The incidents divert the DPW from other pressing tasks because the village then has to respond to situation at the bathroom.
“It’s not fair to our guys who have to clean that up,” Banker said.
GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum is the owner and caretaker of a schoolhouse from 1849 that is one of three cobblestone buildings on Ridge Road designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The schoolhouse will soon get a new roof, repaired masonry and fresh paint on the window trim and soffits near the roof.
The Rochester Area Community Foundation approved a $21,000 grant for the work at the schoolhouse through the Lloyd E. Klos Historical Fund. The Elizabeth Dye Curtis Foundation in Orleans County will contribute $8,800 towards the schoolhouse, with the funds targeted for the roof replacement.
The upcoming projects are the latest attention in preserving the historic building. Last year the bell tower was repaired and the bell rededicated.
This year, the wooden windows were removed and restored through a seminar with the Landmark Society of Western New York. The windows were repaired as part of a workshop teaching others how to fix and preserve wooden sills and frames that are about a century old.
A window specialist taught how to evaluate old windows, removing sashes from the window opening, removing putty and paint, installing new sash cords, weather-stripping old windows and other skills for preserving windows.
The window project made the museum aware of additional needs at the schoolhouse, including a deteriorating foundation, especially in the northeastern corner.
Museum Director Doug Farley and Erin Anheier, a trustee for the museum, applied for a grant through the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The organization approved $21,000 for the foundation work. The northeastern corner may have to be taken out and rebuilt.
The grant will also pay for exterior repointing of mortar. There are several gaps and cracks that need attention, Farley said.
The Rochester Area Community Foundation also provided a $23,000 grant about two years ago for work on the Cobblestone Universalist Church and the next-door Ward House. The grant covered the costs of painting the exterior of windows and the bell tower at the church, replacing rotted window sills and repairing a retaining wall in front of the church. The Ward House also had some of its masonry repointed, the front steps repaired and downspouts fixed to improve drainage.
The school – the Gaines District #5 Cobblestone Schoolhouse – is a short walk east of the Route 98 intersection on Ridge Road. The school was closed in 1952. The building was acquired by the Cobblestone Museum in 1960 – the year the museum formed.
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Interior named the school, the Ward House and Cobblestone Universalist Church as a National Historic Landmark, the highest historic designation from the federal government.
Cases confirmed in Steuben, Suffolk, Cattaraugus and Livingston counties
Press Release, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball is encouraging horse owners in New York State to vaccinate their horses to reduce the risk of West Nile virus.
There have been four confirmed equine cases of the mosquito-borne infection in the state this year. Samples tested by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine confirmed that horses in Steuben, Suffolk, Cattaraugus and Livingston counties were infected.
“This is the time of year when the risk of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases goes up significantly,” Ball said. “Taking simple, proactive steps to protect yourself and your animals can be extremely effective in reducing the chance of getting ill.”
Infected mosquitoes can pass West Nile virus to humans, horses and other animals, but infected horses cannot spread the disease to other animals or people.
Symptoms can resemble the flu, with horses appearing mildly anorexic and depressed. Horses can also experience fine and coarse muscle and skin twitching, fever, hypersensitivity to touch and sound, and mental changes. Other signs can include drowsiness, weakness on one side, an unsteady gait, an inability to rise and a loss of control of body movements.
Horses exhibiting signs of West Nile virus should be immediately examined by a veterinarian and reported to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the local health department. Horse owners should also consult their veterinarians about vaccinations against West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, as well as other easily prevented horse diseases. If the horse travels to warmer parts of the country, the Department’s veterinarians recommend that horse owners discuss whether their animals may need two vaccinations a year to provide ample coverage.
Horse owners should also remove stagnant water sources to reduce mosquito populations and breeding areas. If possible, animals should be kept inside early in the morning and evening, when mosquitoes feed.
Twelve cases of West Nile virus have been reported in humans this year. Most people do not experience signs or symptoms but some develop flu-like symptoms, swollen glands and a rash. Less than 1 in 150 experience serious symptoms, which are usually sudden and can include a high fever, stiff neck, altered mental status, convulsions, tremors, paralysis, inflammation of the brain or membranes of the brain and spinal cord or coma.
There is no vaccine for humans. People can take precautions by using repellants and larvicides, eliminating standing water, installing window and door screens, removing debris and vegetation near ponds and keeping pools and hot tubs clean and chlorinated.
“The most effective way to reduce the spread of West Nile Virus in our state is for all New Yorkers to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their animals from mosquito bites,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker. “Earlier this summer, the Governor directed the Department of Health to launch an aggressive mosquito-borne disease plan, and we continue to work with our local partners to reduce public health risks.”
Orleans County was approved for about $275,000 to bolster efforts to fight terrorism and respond to natural disasters.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced nearly $224 million in federal funding to support counterterrorism and emergency preparedness efforts in counties across New York. The funding, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its Homeland Security Grant Program, supports regional preparedness efforts, including planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise activities that are critical to sustaining and improving community prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities. The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services manages these programs in close coordination with local stakeholders.
“The safety and security of all New Yorkers is our number one priority, and we will continue to ensure those on the front lines have access to the very best training and resources to protect our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding we will continue to bolster efforts to keep everyone who lives, works and visits the Empire State safe and secure.”
State Homeland Security Program – $52.5 million
Orleans County will receive $104,970. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services awards this grant funding to every county in the state, along with New York City.
The State Homeland Security Program will provide more than $52 million in funding to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic disasters. Federal guidelines require that 25 percent of each county’s total award be directed toward law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
DHSES has identified a series of priorities for this funding in New York State, including advancement of regional partnerships, maturation of citizen preparedness efforts, development of effective cyber security programs and policies, enhancement of law enforcement information-sharing capabilities, continued coordination of emergency management planning efforts, and sustainment of effective programs and existing capabilities.
Other GLOW counties received the following: Genesee County, $114,967; Livingston County, $149,956; and Wyoming County, $69,980.
Emergency Management Performance Grant – $7.4 million
Orleans County is approved for $20,925. This grant provides federal funds to states to assist state, local, territorial and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards.
These critical funds support salaries for Emergency Management professionals at the state and local level; support training and exercises to develop and test the ability of state and local governments to respond to disasters and other emergencies; and provide essential technology to manage emergency response.
Other GLOW counties received the following: Genesee, $27,311; Livingston, $29,284; and Wyoming, $20,655.
Operation Stonegarden Grant Program – $2.9 million
Orleans County will receive $150,000. This grant provides critical funding to enhance cooperation and coordination between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies through the support of joint operations that are conducted along the northern border.
“These grant funds provide essential funding to ensure that our municipalities and first responders have the tools and training they need to safeguard our communities and the resources they need to improve preparedness efforts statewide,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr.
MEDINA – The Orleans County Chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) is sponsoring a motorcycle ride to benefit Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.
The ride will be on Sunday and starts at Tractor Supply on Route 31 in Medina. Riders will assemble between 11 a.m. and noon in the parking lot in front of the store.
ABATE will accept cash donations or an unwrapped toy for the Community Action holiday program before going on a police-escorted ride around Orleans County. A representative from the Community Action Angels will be on-hand following the ride to accept the donations.
For over 30 years, ABATE has collected toys and cash donations to support holiday programs in the area. Community Action of Orleans & Genesee is a non-profit organization that has served low-income and disadvantaged families for over 40 years.
ABATE is proud to sponsor the annual toy run to support the Community Action’s mission of “helping people, changing lives.”
ABATE of New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rights of all motorcyclists and promoting safety and goodwill among riders.
Press Release, Orleans County Health Department
There are many reasons to prepare for an emergency, such as a natural disaster, a power outage or another crisis.
Most Americans do not have supplies set aside or plans in place to protect their own or their family’s health and safety. National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year.
Albert Cheverie, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of Genesee and Orleans Counties, encourages all residents to take the time to prepare for an emergency now. “Disasters can strike at any time,” Cheverie said. “One of the most important tools every individual and family can have to protect themselves in possible emergencies is a plan of action.”
Make and Practice Your Plan
Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful. As you plan ahead about what to do during an emergency, be sure to take into account any members of your family with special needs, specific preparations for children, and what you will do with your pets.
Here are a few simple things you can do to start your Emergency Action Plan:
Create a Communication Plan
Make a plan as a family for communicating in the event that you are separated during an emergency. Use a sheet or card with all the phone numbers and information every individual in the family may need, and make sure every member of the family has a copy of the communication plan. Make sure to regularly review and update the contact list as needed.
Make an Evacuation Plan
As a family, discuss where you will go in the event of an emergency. Discuss where your children will go if they are in school or daycare at the time of the emergency, and make sure they understand where you will be. Your plan should also include how to safely shut off all utilities.
Practice Your Plan
Set up practice drills at least twice a year for your family to ensure everyone knows what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. Update your plan according to any issues that arise. Make sure everyone knows where the plan is located.
Learn Life Saving Skills
If something happens where people are injured, act quickly and with a purpose. Remember to call 911 as soon as possible. Move the injured away from any remaining danger and do anything within your ability to keep the person alive. This may include: applying pressure to stop bleeding, repositioning the injured person to help them breath, or by simply talking to them and providing comfort if they are conscious.
Check Your Coverage
Your home and personal belongings are meaningful and valuable assets. If a disaster strikes, having insurance for your home is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged. Yet, more than half of all homeowners in the United States do not carry adequate homeowners insurance to replace their home and its contents should a catastrophic loss occur. Now, before a disaster strikes, take the time to:
1. Document Your Property: Store paper copies in a waterproof and fireproof box, safe, or bank deposit box. Leave copies with trusted relatives or friends. Secure electronic copies with strong passwords and save them on a flash or external hard drive in your waterproof box or safe.
2. Understand Your Options for Coverage: An insurance professional can help you customize your home insurance policy based on your particular needs.
3. Ensure You Have Appropriate Insurance for Relevant Hazards: Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage from earthquakes and floods. Talk with your insurance professional if you reside in a flood zone or are at risk for flooding or mudflows.
Save For an Emergency
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.
In addition to financially saving for an emergency, it is also important to stock up on essential items you may need, but might not have access to in the event of an emergency. A large-scale disaster or unexpected emergency can limit your access to food, safe water, and medical supplies for days or weeks.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends you have a basic emergency supply kit that includes enough food and water for each of your family members for at least 72 hours — that’s 1 gallon of water per day per person and canned (nonperishable) food for three days. Other supplies on their list includes flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, a basic first-aid kit, trash bags for safe sanitary waste disposal, a week supply of prescription medications, pet supplies (if needed), as well as entertainment such as books, magazines, playing cards, and coloring books with crayons. It is also important to keep your emergency kit up to date, replacing water and perishables periodically.
Though National Preparedness Month concludes at the end of September, the conversation about emergency preparedness should not. Cheverie encourages residents to take action now by enrolling in a skills class such as CPR or Stop the Bleed, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders.
“The good news is that it is never too late to prepare for a public health emergency,” he said. “You can create plans, make healthy choices, and download free resources, such as the Ready Genesee and Orleans Aware Mobile Apps to stay informed and up-to-date on what is happening in your local community.”