Find us on Facebook
Chamber honors businesses, community leaders for efforts to better Orleans

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce presented nine awards on Thursday during the Chamber’s 20th annual awards dinner. The following were recognized, front row, from left: Gail Miller, Business Person of the Year; Katie Misiti (Sourced Market & Eatery), New Business of the Year; Wayne Litchfield, Community Service Award; Darlene Partway, Sourced Market & Eatery; Jaye Sullivan, Lifetime Achievement; and Iva Mckenna (Country Lane Veterinary Services), Business of the Year. Back row: Wendy Wilson (LynOaken Farms), Agricultural Business of the Year; Chris Oakes (LynOaken Farms); Jeff Oakes (LynOaken Farms); Jessica Tobin (Penasack Contract Manufacturer), Employer of the Year; Adam Johnson (39 Problems), Phoenix Award; Aaron and Jim Preston (Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping), Small Business of the Year; and George McKenna (Country Lane Veterinary Services).

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2018 at 11:47 am

LYNDONVILLE – The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses and community leaders on Thursday during its 20th annual awards dinner at the White Birch Golf Club.

The business owners were praised for providing jobs, maintaining buildings and injecting optimism into the community.

The award winners also received citations from State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assebmlyman Steve Hawley.

The following were recognized by the Chamber:

• Business the Year – Country Lane Veterinary Services in Barre

George McKenna, owner of Country Lane Veterinary Services, was recognized as Business of the Year. He is congratulated by, from left: State Sen. Robert Ortt, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Becky Charland, director of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

George and Ivan McKenna started the business 28 years ago on East Barre Road in Barre. They have nine employees. They have hosted many interns over the years and George McKenna said five or six have gone on to become veterinarians and many others are veterinary technicians.

“They teach compassion and a work ethic,” said Leonel Rosario, co-owner of last year’s Business of the Year, Mariachi De Oro.

George and Iva are parents to four grown daughters. Kerri Richardson, one of their children, is the business manager at Country Lane.

George said the business may add an associate veterinarian and expand.

He praised his excellent employees through the years and the dedication and understanding of his family.

“It’s a lot like farming,” he told a crowd of 135 at the Chamber dinner. “Emergencies happen.”

• Agricultural Business of the Year – LynOaken Farms in Lyndonville

Wendy Wilson, president of LynOaken Farms and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, accepts the Agricultural Business of the Year award with Chris Oakes (left), production manager; and Jeff Oakes, storage manager, for LynOaken.

The Oakes family has been farming in Lyndonville since Leonard Oakes started the farm in 1919. His successors have stayed dedicated to growing apples, but they have also expanded into grapes, wine, a retail market and their own delivery business, taking apples and peaches to 90 locations in Western and Central NY.

LynOaken has 34 full-time employees at the farm and with its winery and wine-tasting site on Ridge Road in Medina.

The family was praised for diversifying the business and becoming a destination site in Orleans County. LynOaken has a U-pick orchard that includes heirloom varieties.

The winery is named for the farm’s founder, Leonard Oakes. It hosts a Steampunk Festival in late August each year that draws about 1,000 people.

The farm is expanding and adding a new packing line and eco-friendly refrigeration.

Next year LynOaken will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

• Lifetime Achievement Award – Jaye Sullivan, owner of Blissett’s Specialty Shop in Medina

Jaye Sullivan, honored for lifetime achievement, gets a hug from Bruce Landis, who was last year’s winner.

Jaye Sullivan grew up working at Blissett’s Specialty Shop in Medina. She is the third generation owner of the business, which was started in 1941 by Sullivan’s grandparents, Chester and Beatrice Blissett, who opened their first store in Albion. They opened a second store in Medina, Blissett’s Children’s Shop, in about 1950. After experiencing a serious accident, the Blissetts closed the Albion store.

Jaye Sullivan has adapted the business from a children’s store to include bridal wear and specialty items, such as christening and prom dresses.

Sullivan has served her community, as a member of the Medina Board of Education, and an officer in the Medina Business Association. She also is a member of the Decorate Medina Committee.

She said she is grateful to have grown up in her family and is determined to keep the store going.

• Small Business of the Year – Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping in Albion

Molly Preston is joined by her husband Jim, left, and brother-in-law Aaron Preston. Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping was named Small Business of the Year.

Jim Preston started the business in 2015 and his brother Aaron joined him as a partner in 2016. They have five employees.

The Preston brothers had a business as teen-agers, mowing lawns in the Kendall area. They worked other jobs after high school, but came back to working together with lawns and landscaping.

Their business has grown to five seasonal workers, along with the two brothers and other family. They do lawncare and landscaping from cutting grass to the increasingly popular hardscape – patio pavers, fireplaces, walkways and retaining walls. They also trim bushes, put in mulch and tackle over lawncare and landscaping issues.

The business is based at Zig Zag Road where the brothers have greenhouses and grow nursery stock.

They praised their father, the late James Preston Sr., for getting them involved in the business. The elder Preston was 56 when he died on Sept. 23, 2015, following a career at Kodak.

The Prestons’ mother, Marie, also opened her own business, Preston’s Country Market, this year on Ridge Road in Gaines. She sells some of the apples grown by her son, Jim.

The Prestons said they are grateful for the support of their customers, who are almost all Orleans County residents.

• New Business of the Year – Sourced Market & Eatery in Medina

Katie Misiti, co-owner of Sourced Market & Eatery in Medina, accepts the award for New Business of the Year.

The Hartway family was honored for opening a business with a focus on local and natural foods. Sourced Market and Eatery already has expanded its interior and outdoor seating to accommodate the public to the site on Maple Ridge Road in Millville.

The family is looking to add greenhouses so it can grow year-round organic produce and herbs.

Darlene Hartway runs the business with her children. Katie Misiti manages the kitchen and plans the menu every week, while handling the majority of work in the kitchen and coordinating catering events.

“I’m excited for the next year,” Misiti said. “We have some big plans.”

Her brother Travis Hartway is a baker for Sourced and is often at the counter serving customers.

Three of their sons run Hartway Brothers Farm near Millville, land once owned by their grandfather. The boys, Nathaniel, Justin and Franklin, grow squash and pumpkins for the market.

Phoenix Award – 39 Problems Bar & Grill in Albion

Adam and Tina Johnson were recognized with the Phoenix Award for their effort in opening the 39 Problems restaurant and bar in a historic downtown Albion location.

Adam and Tina Johnson transformed a vacant building on Albion’s Main Street into a bar and restaurant. The dining area and bar for 39 Problems opened on March 1, following more than two years of hard work.

The site has added energy and foot traffic to downtown Albion.

The Johnsons were praised for perseverance and vision in opening the bar and restaurant in a building from 1866 that has been the home to many businesses, starting with a coffin and furniture company and more recently to a hair salon.

The couple purchased the building, which includes three storefronts, in 2015. They have been working diligently to renovate the site, while preserving its historic charm. In June 2016 they opened 39 Problems, selling pizza, grilled foods and “chill desserts.” The site didn’t have a dine-in option.

Now 39 Problems has a dine-in restaurant. The Johnsons have two of three storefronts done, and they would eventually like to expand the dining area to the remaining storefront.

The Johnsons have done a major upgrade at the site, adding a new kitchen, two new bathrooms, wiring, gas lines, structural and roof repairs, masonry work and lots of other attention.

The storefront has been changed. The windows are now aluminum framed with insulated glass. Johnson kept the cast iron columns and removed paint on the Medina sandstone at the storefronts. Some of the wood from the storefront was repurposed above the bar.

Mr. Johnson named the business 39 Problems because of the challenges in renovating the site at 39 North Main St. That is the unfinished storefront and the largest of the three.

• Business Person of the Year – Gail Miller of Medina

Gail Miller accepts congratulations for Business Person of the Year.

Gail Miller has been the volunteer coordinator for Medina ’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market since it opened in 2015. The market has grown from 8 to 20 vendors and now has a year-round presence.

The site on West Center Street across from the Post Office brings together farms, wineries, artists, musicians and families on Saturdays. The site has proven popular for bringing the community together, the Chamber said.

Miller retired in 2013 as a business analyst for IBM. She has been heavily committed to growing the market, securing vendors and promoting local agriculture.

She thanked the vendors for being so reliable and for providing quality produce and products at the market.

The vendors offer a variety of products, such as sausage, pork, chemical free and heirloom produce, dehydrated mixes, vegan food, baked goods, poultry, flour and maple syrup.

There are also vendors with children’s books, and wineries that rotate every Saturday. A Canal Kids’ Tent provides games, puzzles, chalk art and free books to children.

• Employer of the Year (presented by Orleans County Job Development Agency) – Penasack Machine Co. in Albion

Jessica Tobin is vice president for Penasack Contract Manufacturer in Albion, which was honored as Employer of the Year.

The Chamber presented a new award for the first time as part of a collaboration with the Orleans County Job Development Agency.

The Chamber and Job Development want to recognize a local business that demonstrates a commitment to its workforce, and in turn a workforce that is committed to the business, said Kelly Kiebala, the Job Development Agency leader.

Penasack Contract Manufacturer on Sanford Street is a sheet metal fabricator. It has 43 employees, with many referred by Job Development.

The company was recognized as Employer of the Year “for consistently providing quality, well-paying jobs in Orleans County,” Kiebala said. “Individuals working for Penasack are provided training and opportunities for advancement.”

Employees referred to Penasack provide feedback that the business has “a welcoming company culture and encouragement to increase skills. Penasack has been quietly and dependably providing these job opportunities in Orleans County for decades, and we are honored to be able to recognize them as Employer of the Year for 2018,” Kiebala said.

Jessica Tobin, Penasack vice president, said the business if fortunate to many so many dedicated employees.

• Community Service Award – Wayne Litchfield of Medina

Wayne Litchfield of Medina was honored with a Community Service Award for his volunteer efforts with many local organization.

Since he retired as an Orleans County dispatcher in 2013, following a 28-year career, Wayne Litchfield has been an active community volunteer, helping many organizations.

“He is anything that is needed in this community,” said Jacki Mowers-Sciarabba, last year’s winner. “He will offer any help he can give.”

He is a direct care volunteer at Hospice of Orleans, a leader in the Orleans-Recovery Hope Begins Here organization, which offers assistance to people fighting addictions. He is a member of the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force, and a member of the Orleans United Drug-Free Coalition.

Litchfield, 67, is a member of the VALOR Medical Reserve Corps for the Orleans County Health Department. He is the director of media and technology at the Albion Free Methodist Church. He also is a mentor in the Just Friends program through the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern.

He is on the planning committee for the Metro 10 race, and helps with the organization, set up and manning of water stations, and will spring into action when needed.

He also is a consistent volunteer at the Community Kitchen in Albion and the Hands 4 Hope Ministry on Saturdays.

He also helps at Care Net of Greater Orleans, Gotta Dance at Miss Amy and the Ride 4 Life.

He grew up in Holley and was an active volunteer firefighter and member of the rescue squad before becoming a dispatcher.

He was hospitalized in July with congestive heart failure. He has rebounded and said he welcomes the chance to serve the community.

“I always say just give me one more volunteer,” he said. “Just give me one more.”

Return to top


Orleans Correctional Facility employees donate to Rainbow Preschool
Staff Reports Posted 19 October 2018 at 10:53 am

Provided photo

ALBION – Members of the Orleans Correctional Facility’s Make A Difference Committee presented a check for $300 to Keri Pratt (patterned shirt) of Rainbow Preschool this morning.

Rainbow Preschool is located at the Arnold Gregory Complex, 243 South Main St., Albion. Th staff teach children from ages 2½ to 5 years old who have developmental and intellectual disabilities, as well as children without disabilities.

“We strive to offer children stimulating activities that help them grow and develop,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director of the Arc of Genesee Orleans. “This donation supports our efforts to provide creative projects and learning opportunities to young minds. We greatly appreciate this support.”

Return to top


Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame adds 3 more sites

Photos by Tom Rivers: Three buildings were inducted into the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame on Thursday. Representing the James Prendergast Free Library in Jamestown includes Tina Scott, library director, and Ned Lindstrom, a member of the library’s board of trustees; Representing St. John’s Episcopal Church in Clifton Springs is Andrew VanBuren, the church's rector; Representing Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church/Lafayette Lofts in Buffalo are Paul Meyer, a member of the Session, and Diane Poleon, a member of the church.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2018 at 7:35 am

Buildings inducted from Jamestown, Buffalo and Clifton Springs

MEDINA – Three buildings that were built in the late 1800s from local Medina Sandstone were inducted Thursday afternoon into the Medina Sandstone Society’s Hall of Fame.

The new inductees include the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church/Lafayette Lofts in Buffalo, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Clifton Springs and the James Prendergast Free Library in Jamestown.

The Medina Sandstone Society started the Hall of Fame in 2013 and has now inducted 27 structures into the exclusive club. There are plaques for the inductees inside City Hall at the main meeting room.

The Sandstone Society accepts nominations each year. So far, 54 places have been nominated. Don Colquhoun, one of the Hall of Fame Committee members, said many other prominent sites worthy of induction have yet to be nominated.

Colquhoun and Jim Hancock, president of the Sandstone Society and chairman of the HOF Committee, said there will be new inductees for many years to come.

“We’re not even close,” Colquhoun said about honoring all of the awesome Medina Sandstone sites.

The Sandstone Society wants to recognize well-maintained buildings and other sandstone sites that are unique and architecturally significant. The society has inducted churches, public buildings, private buildings and ornamental buildings/structures.

“We have truly been amazed at the multitude of buildings from this seemingly indestructible building material,” Hancock said.

The new inductees include:

• Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church/Lafayette Lofts in Buffalo

Paul Meyer, left, is a member of the Session at Lafayette. He listens to the citation from Don Colquhoun about the church and its loft apartments.

The Lafayette Presbyterian Church had the building constructed at the corner of Lafayette and Elmwood avenues in 1894.

The church is a sterling example of the use of Medina Sandstone in the Romanesque Revival style with a large cruciform floor plan and an attached rear chapel. Lafayette was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

More recently, the rear of this historic church building was repurposed into the Lafayette Lofts, offering a number of modern living spaces, culinary center, the office and meeting spaces without compromising the original architectural design and beauty.

“It is a great example of historic preservation at its best,” said Don Colquhoun, a member of the Hall of Fame Committee.

 

• St. John’s Episcopal Church in Clifton Springs

Andrew VanBuren, rector at St. John’s, said the congregation takes great pride in the church building.

Construction of this church on Main Street in this Ontario County village was completed in 1883, after the cornerstone was laid in 1879.

The church’s Belgian Gothic style makes this edifice remarkably unique. The Medina sandstone was brought by barge from Medina along the Erie Canal to Port Gibson and transported by wagon or sleds to the build site.

“If you visit Clifton Springs and drive down Main Street, heading east and look up, you’ll see this beautiful Medina Sandstone church silhouetted on the horizon, welcoming you to this historic village,” Hancock said.

Andrew VanBuren, the rector at St. John’s the past 3 ½ years, said the church of 35-40 attendees faced a $50,000 project to repoint stones. The congregation raised the funds and is determined to not let the building fall into disrepair.

“It’s important for us to have a structure that welcomes people,” he said.

He praised the generations before him that have worked so hard with the building.

• James Prendergast Free Library, Jamestown

The Prendergast family donated the money to build a library in Jamestown in memory of James Prendergast, son of this Chautauqua County city’s founder. Architect A.J. Warner of Rochester was given $65,000 to design and build a 127-foot by 100-foot structure that was completed in 1891 after 11 years of effort.

Tina Scott, Prendergast library director, accepts the award.

This sturdy-looking building was built of rock-faced Medina sandstone in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

The use of contrasting gray and red sandstone, curved arches over the entrance and a lovely turret on the southeast corner give the library a uniquely enchanting appearance.

In the 1960s, an expansion and modernization project added 16,500 square feet to the library, but the Medina Sandstone south side entrance and interior rooms remained largely unchanged and still retain all the charm that the Prendergast family would have appreciated.

Tina Scott, Prendergast library director the past 10 years, said the sandstone building is so sound it was once used as a bomb shelter. She loves the marble floors inside and the alternating sandstone colors, the red and gray.

The building is a source of pride in the Jamestown community, she said.

“It was built to last,” she said. “You don’t see them built like that these days.”

Scott said she didn’t known there has a Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame until recently when she was notified the Jamestown library would be inducted. She praised the organizers for their local pride and for recognizing the outstanding sites.

“It’s awesome because you’re keeping the history of your town alive,” she said.

Jim Hancock, president of the Medina Sandstone Society, gives the welcome message during the Hall of Fame program. He stands in front of a revamped display of all the inductees since 2013.

Takeform Architectural Graphics in Medina has donated all of the plaques in the Hall of Fame. The local company also did a redesign of the display, which was running out of room for new inductees. The new display has room for another four or five years, Hancock said.

Bill Hungerford, president of Takeform, has been a Sandstone Society supporter and member since the group started in 2004.

For more on the Hall of Fame, click here.


You’re here checking the site, so you know: Orleans Hub is a vital resource for our community. Day in and day out, we share information and insights that matter to those who live and work in the towns, villages and hamlets of our county. Local advertisers help make the Hub possible, and so can you.

Donate today to keep Orleans Hub healthy and accessible to all. Thank you!



Albion native comes home for concert Friday at Main Street restaurant
Staff Reports Posted 18 October 2018 at 5:10 pm

Provided photos: Trevor Jennings, second from left, is a member of the Rust Belt Brigade which performs Friday at 39 Problems.

ALBION – Originally an acoustic duo frequently found busking on the streets of Buffalo, Rust Belt Brigade, founded by Victor Castillo and Albion native Trevor Jennings, has since become a 4-piece Americana outfit carving a sound all their own self described as “Rhythm & Roll.”

The Rust Belt Brigade will have their first performance in Albion at 8 p.m. Friday at 39 Problems in Albion. It will be a homecoming for Albion graduate and cajon wizard Trevor Jennings.

“It’s nice to have a place like 39 Problems where we can perform,” Jennings, 25, said. “I am really excited to finally have a chance to bring this project to Albion, as it’s had a major role in this projects sound.”

For those unfamiliar with a cajon (pronounced cah-hone), it is a box-shaped percussion instrument that has become popular with street performers and acoustic acts. Jennings started out on drum set and was given a cajon as a Christmas gift during his senior year at Albion High School.

“I opened up this box and there was this…wooden box inside,” he recalled. “I really didn’t know what the thing was at first, but after a few days playing around with it and watching videos on YouTube I truly fell in love with it.”

The instrument has become a centerpiece of the band’s live show, which features an array of acoustic apparatuses.

The band primarily performs in Buffalo and Rochester and welcomes the chance to perform in Albion on Friday.

Over the last few years, The Rust Belt Brigade has established themselves in the Buffalo music scene by performing mostly original music. Castillo handles the majority of the lead vocal and guitar duties and is the group’s primary songwriter.

Not long after their inception, the duo added Medina native Jeremiah Franco on banjo, and later Brandon Mueckl on acoustic bass. The group’s four-piece sound is now a unique combination of FolkGrass and Americana, reminiscent of The Devil Makes Three and The Avett Brothers.

They released a self-titled EP in late 2016, and late last year released their first full-length album called Rhythm & Roll. They celebrated the album release by performing to packed house at Nietzsche’s in Buffalo.

In a few short years The Rust Belt Brigade has landed some prestigious gigs, performing at Ani DiFranco’s Babeville in Buffalo and earning an extended residency at Buffalo’s Mr. Goodbar. This summer they performed on the Main Stage at Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac’s Music is Art Festival, and this year they landed a spot performing at The Steampunk Festival. The group has appeared on WLKK FM, better known as Alternative Buffalo, and their version of “The Erie Canal Song” is featured as the theme song for a popular regional podcast.

They have also made regular stops at 810 Meadworks in Medina, with each performance bringing in larger crowds.

“810 Meadworks has opened a lot of doors for us, it was one of the first venues that gave us a shot when we didn’t really have much to show at the time and has most recently helped us to land the spot at Steampunk,” Jennings noted. “We spend the majority of our time performing in Buffalo and Rochester, but it’s always great to come back to our roots so our family and friends get a chance to see us close to home.”

The group’s calendar is filling up and this will be a rare opportunity to catch them at 39 Problems.

“We know it’s going to be a fun night, Albion is lucky to have a venue owner that is willing to support original music,” Jennings said. “We hope to see some old friends and make a few new ones. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by our unique original sound as well as our old school and new school tributes.”

Return to top


Hawley hosts Molinaro, GOP candidate for governor, on local tour on Friday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2018 at 4:11 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor, is pictured on May 3 in Batavia with State Assemblyman Steve Hawley when Molinaro discussed the “thinkDIFFERENTLY” campaign to better accommodate people with disabilities.

ELBA – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley will host Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor, a tour of businesses on Friday.

Hawley will take Molinaro, the current Dutchess County executive, to see Oliver’s Candies’ new site in Elba on Main Street, Post Dairy Farm on Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Chapin Manufacturing on Ellicott Street in Batavia and then a tour of small businesses in downtown Batavia.

Molinaro joined Hawley on May 3 in a stop at the Genesee Orleans Arc in Batavia to discuss the “thinkDIFFERENTLY” campaign he has led in Dutchess County. That initiative focuses on making parks, public buildings and businesses more accommodating to people with disabilities.

Molinaro said better accommodating and embracing people with disabilities is good for businesses, which will see more customers. That wide-ranging effort includes making parks more accessible for children in wheelchairs and walkers (no wood chips to pass through) and training police officers to respond to people in crisis who have autism.

Molinaro is scheduled to be the keynote speaker next Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Orleans County Fall Republican Rally at Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Holley.

Return to top


2 sentenced to year in jail for stabbing in Medina
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2018 at 11:51 am

ALBION – Two Medina men were each sentenced to a year in Orleans County Jail after a fight last year with another man, who was stabbed three times.

Shane Harmer, 26, and Bobbie Lindsey Jr., 35, were sentenced today by Judge Charles Zambito.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said Lindsey “instigated the violence with his aggressive behavior toward the victim.”

It was Harmer, however, who allegedly stabbed the victim three times late in the night of Sept. 30 in the 500 block of West Avenue.

The trio had been in a bar and the altercation moved outside. Judge Zambito said the incident could have resulted in a fatality. The victim has recovered from his injuries.

Attorneys for Harmer and Lindsey asked for probation and no jail time, but Zambito gave them a year in jail.

“I look at this case and it amazes me how things can end up like this because of a perceived insult,” Zambito said.

The judge said Lindsey started the altercation with an aggressive confrontation in the bathroom of a bar.

“You didn’t do the stabbing but you are the reason this all happened,” Zambito told Lindsey. “This could have been much more serious.”

The judge also issued an order of protection, saying the two defendants shall have no contact or communication with the victim for the next year.

In other cases:

• A Rochester woman who admitted to a drug charge but was free in a diversion program was sentenced to five years of probation after failing in diversion.

Jessica L. Hart, 28,  was living in Brockport when she was arrested last October for selling drugs in Orleans County.

She didn’t succeed in the diversion program in Orleans County. If she had been successful, felony charges would have been dismissed.

“I want to apologize for everything I have caused in this county,” she told Judge Zambito. “I want you to know it will never happen again.”

• An inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband in the second degree. Amy Hulsander, 35, admitted she worked with others to try to bring a prescription narcotic into the prison.

The judge sentenced her to six months of incarceration with the time to be served as part of her state prison sentence.

Return to top


Purple Eagles to host Steelers Friday in Class B sectional quarterfinal
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 October 2018 at 11:12 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion Placekicker Alex Rustay and holder Matt Kovaleski and their Purple Eagles teammates will host Lackawanna Friday evening in the quarterfinal round of the Section VI Class B playoffs.

Top seeded Albion will begin its quest for a Section VI Class B football title when the Purple Eagles host No. 8 Lackawanna in a quarterfinal round contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The other quarterfinal match-ups will have No. 7 Maryvale at No. 2 Fredonia, No. 6 Olean at No. 3 Pioneer and No. 5 Dunkirk at No. 4 Cheektowaga.

The match-up will be a repeat of an early season B2 Division game which saw Albion romp to a 43-8 victory over the Steelers. Albion went on to claim the B2 title at 5-0 and brings a 7-0 record into the sectionals while Lackawanna is 4-3.

It marks the seventh time that Albion and Lackawanna have met in the postseason. The Steelers hold a 4-2 edge in the previous meetings though the Purple Eagles won the most recent encounter 14-6 in the 2009 quarterfinals.

Quarterback Bryce Pritchard, who has passed for 1,025 yards and 5 touchdowns leads Albion’s balanced attack. Pritchard and Brilliance Johnson have both scored 7 touchdowns, Nate Moore and Ugene Harrison 6, Isaiah Callicutt 4 and Deyonci Farley 3. Matt Kovaleski has a team leading 20 pass receptions for 354 yards while Moore leads in TD receptions with 5. Place kicker Alex Rustay has made good on 30 of 37 extra point tries and has booted two field goals.

Harrison ran for three touchdowns while Pritchard ran for one and passed for another in that earlier win over Lackawanna.

On defense, Ben Restivo leads the Purple Eagles with 55 tackles while Deyonci Farley has 38, Jessy Cruz 37, Harrison 36 and Moore and Donamic Farley 30. Moore also leads the Purple Eagles in interceptions with 3 while Jonathan DePuy has 6 sacks and Brennan Hughes 5.

The Purple Eagles defense really sparkled in that earlier meeting with the Steelers registering a total of 7 turnovers including 5 interceptions (2 by Kovaleski and 1 each by Harrison, Johnson and Kevin Hillman) and two fumble recoveries, by Restivo and DePuy.

Quarterback Jeremiah Caviness has sparked the Lackawanna offense with 1,277 passing yards and 12 touchdowns and 231 rushing yards. His favorite targets have been Juan Rodriguez (27 catches for 420 yards and 6 touchdowns) and Alex Rodriguez (27 catches for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns).

Consolation Bowl
Medina/Lyndonville/Barker will face Burgard at Riverside High in Buffalo at 6 p.m. this evening in the semifinals of the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Consolation Bowl. Newfane will host Iroquois at 2 p.m. Saturday in the other semifinal.

8 Man contest
Holley will close out the regular season if its first 8 man football campaign by visiting Oakfield-Alabama/Elba at 7 p.m. Friday.


You’re here checking the site, so you know: Orleans Hub is a vital resource for our community. Day in and day out, we share information and insights that matter to those who live and work in the towns, villages and hamlets of our county. Local advertisers help make the Hub possible, and so can you.

Donate today to keep Orleans Hub healthy and accessible to all. Thank you!



Albion students sign petition to ‘Save the Urger’

Photo courtesy of Albion Central School: Seventh-graders Jack Kinter and Lucy Rivers sign a petition to save Tug Urger.

Posted 18 October 2018 at 9:07 am

Courtesy of Albion Central School

ALBION – As part of a bicentennial celebration of the Erie Canal, Albion students in 6th grade Citizenship classes and 7th grade Service Learning classes have been learning about the canal and its important role in New York State history.

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Urger is pictured in Albion in October 2015.

Students also learned about Tug Urger. Built in 1901, it is the oldest tug on the Erie Canal and one of the oldest in the Country. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since 1991 the Urger has been a floating museum making its way along the Erie Canal. lt would stop in villages, cities and towns welcoming thousands of school children to come aboard and learn more about the Canal’s history.

In 2017, the Urger was removed from active service. Plans are being discussed to make it a dry land exhibit on the NYS Thruway.

The Preservation League of NYS is spearheading a campaign to #SaveTheUrger.

The students read about the campaign. They signed and sent petitions to the New York State Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority.

This is a way for students to explore the many roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

Return to top


Collins, McMurray tout latest campaign endorsements
Staff Reports Posted 18 October 2018 at 8:30 am

Chris Collins and Nate McMurray are touting the latest endorsements in their campaigns for the 27th Congressional District.

McMurray, the Democrat and Working Families Party candidate, on Wednesday announced that he has been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program which recognizes top-tier candidates who are running strong campaigns.

McMurray said his addition to the DCCC Red to Blue program is further proof of his momentum. A Sienna poll shows the strongly Repubulican district is a dead heat.

“It’s gratifying to have earned this support of the DCCC,” McMurray said in a statement. “It’s clear that they see what we see: our grassroots support is real and that we’re building momentum by talking to neighbors, getting small dollar donations, and standing up for what’s right. We’re sticking to our values of economic fairness and integrity, and voters are putting country before party because nobody wants a Congressman out on bail. People are tired of a system that’s rigged against them and know that we need real change to make it happen.”

Red to Blue is a highly competitive and battle-tested DCCC program that arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns. Additionally, the DCCC provides strategic guidance, staff resources, candidate trainings, and other resources, McMurray’s campaign said.

“As Town Supervisor of Grand Island, Nate is a proven leader who has a record of working for Western New York,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan. “Nate’s emphasis on putting people first has helped him build a strong grassroots campaign that is highly competitive and prepared to bring ethical representation to New York’s 27th Congressional District.”

Collins has stepped up his campaigning after initially saying he was suspended his campaign following his indictment on insider trading charges.

On Wednesday the Collins For Congress campaign announced that Collins, a Republican from Clarence, earned the endorsement of the New York State Right To Life Committee.

“I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the New York State Right To Life Committee,” Collins said in a statement. “The unborn, elderly, and disabled are under constant attack by self-serving radical politicians at all levels of our government. Advocating for the basic human rights of these individuals will always be one of my top priorities.”

The New York State Right To Life Committee’s endorsement comes after Congressman Collins received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.

“I’m proud of my 100 percent pro-life voting record and my work to protect the most vulnerable and innocent members of our society,” he said.

Return to top


Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping earns ‘Small Business of the Year’

Photos by Tom Rivers: Aaron and Jim Preston, brothers and co-owners of Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping, have built a growing business since it started in 2015. They are pictured today at Zig Zag Road in Albion, where the business is based by Jim Preston's home.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2018 at 6:29 pm

ALBION – Two brothers who were mowing lawns together as teen-agers decided to form a new business, Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping, three years ago.

The two spent about 15 years doing other jobs before coming back to a business they enjoyed as children.

Jim Preston, 38, and his brother Aaron, 35, are the winners of the “Small Business of the Year,” given by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

Their business has grown to five seasonal workers, along with the two brothers and other family. They do lawncare and landscaping from cutting grass to the increasingly popular hardscape – patio pavers, fireplaces, walkways and retaining walls. They also trim bushes, put in mulch and tackle over lawncare and landscaping issues.

“We’re able to work in Orleans County and meet great people,” said Jim Preston.

The two Prestons are Kendall graduates who spent many hours of their youth pushing mowers to Countyline Road to take care of customers. They also worked with their father, the late James Preston Sr. on many lawncare jobs.

The elder Preston was 56 when he died on Sept. 23, 2015, following a career at Kodak. He helped get the lawncare and landscaping business off the ground for his sons.

The Preston brothers put in this memorial to their father, James Preston Sr., who encouraged them to mow lawns when they were teen-agers in Kendall. Their father also was an active force in the startup of the business in 2015.

Jim and Aaron are both grateful to have returned to their roots, doing a career that gives them both a great sense of accomplishment.

Jim previously worked as a truck driver, electrician and was in sales.

“The office work wasn’t my thing,” he said today in a greenhouse at Preston’s, where he and his brother grown nursery stock.

Growing their own plants and buying some from wholesale helps them give their customers a better deal, the brothers said.

Jim asked his brother if he would be interested in joining the operation in 2015. Aaron had been working nine years as an electrician.

Jim Preston gives a tour of one of the hoop greenhouses where there are blackberries and other nursery stock.

Aaron welcomed the chance to work with his brother, while being closer to home. (Both of them live in Albion.)

They are so busy with their Orleans County customers they seldom leave the county for a job. When they started the business they assumed they would be on the road, outside Orleans for jobs.

“It’s a great feeling because we rarely have to go outside Orleans County,” Aaron said.

Preston’s Lawncare & Landscaping won “most original” in the June 2015 Strawberry Festival parade for creating a lush landscape on a float.

He said he is grateful to have met so many people locally, especially after several years of driving into Rochester and outside the area for his work as an electrician, and a warehouse manager prior to that.

Many of their customers are older people, and the Prestons say their work maintaining the lawns and property has given those customers peace of mind and helped them to stay in their homes.

“We meet a lot of wonderful people in this town,” Aaron said.

His brother followed that by saying, “They are friends. We’ve built great relationships.”

The Prestons don’t want the business to get too big. They want to have at least one Preston at each job site. They also like to physically do the work, and plan the beautification projects for the customers.

They will be presented with their award on Thursday during the Chamber of Commerce dinner at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville.

Return to top


Albion village asked to add sidewalk on Orchard Street, assist with trees in downtown
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2018 at 1:56 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo shows Orchard Street in the Village of Albion including part of the back parking area for the Lake Country Pennysaver. A property owner next door would like to see sidewalks on the street.

ALBION – A property owner working to establish a wedding venue and also a store that sells candy and ice cream has asked the Albion Village Board to add sidewalks on Orchard Street to make the street safer for pedestrians.

Natasha Wasuck of Spencerport next spring expects to open “The Lockstone” at 160 North Main St. The building was the longtime site of Burgio Tire and then a carpet store.

Natasha and her husband John Wasuck bought a site on Orchard Street as an overflow parking lot. They would like to have a sidewalk on the street.

Sidewalks are generally the responsibility of the property owner, Village Attorney John Gavenda told Wasuck during last week’s board meeting.

The village has received grants before to add sidewalks and there is some money in the village budget for sidewalk work.

Gavenda questioned if Orchard Street was the best place for the village to spend public money for a sidewalk. He said Orchard is a low-volume street, and there are other streets with more foot and car traffic in need of sidewalks and sidewalk repairs.

He noted Linwood Avenue, and sections of Ingersoll and East State streets, for example.

Wasuck said she was bringing up the issue to see if there was interest from the village with the project.

The board didn’t take any action, but praised Wasuck for working on the buiding just north of the Erie Canal.

Village officials will see what funds are set aside for sidewalks in the budget and determine a priority system for spending the money.

In other action at last week’s meeting:

• The board approved closing a section of West Bank Street, from Liberty to Main streets on Saturday, Nov. 24. It will be closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to noon. so Gotta Dance by Miss Amy can shoot a dance video that studio owner Amy Sidari said will be a celebration of Albion.

“The community is welcome to be part of the visual,” she said. “Let’s let Albion be happy.”

• The following were accepted as members of the Albion Fire Department: Christine Bloom, Paul Urquhart and Scott Warney.

• Adam Johnson, owner of 39 Problems on Main Street, asked the board for help in getting state approval to allow new trees to be planted in front of his store. Johnson said he would pay for the trees and install them.

But he said he needs help doing the paperwork to get the state Department of Transportation permission. The board said it would assist with the effort. If the DOT allows the trees, Johnson needs to work with Jay Pahura, the DPW superintendent, in picking the types of trees.

• The board approved spending up to $100 for ads on the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver to promote Beggars’ Night on Oct. 26. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the fire hall. Last year there were 687 kids in costume for the event, going to merchants in the downtown for candy and treats, said Lisa Stratton, president of the Albion Merchants Association.

Return to top


Local Marine Corps League donates to Toys for Tots
Staff Reports Posted 17 October 2018 at 11:47 am

Provided photos

HOLLEY – The Marine Corps League /Holley Hellhounds in Holley donated two pallet jacks to the Toys for Tots warehouse located on Buffalo Road in Rochester. Pictured, from left, include Urb Bennett and Tom Sietmann, members of the Holley Hellhounds.

Sharon Berkeley, the Toys for Tots volunteer coordinator, is pictured with the pallet jacks.

The warehouse distributes toys to surrounding counties during the Christmas Holiday.

Return to top


Libraries make funding request from county legislators
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2018 at 8:40 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Emily Cebula, director of the Yates Community Library, joined other library directors in asking for a funding increase from the Orleans County Legislature.

ALBION – Directors from the four public libraries in Orleans County made their annual pitch for more funding from the County Legislature recently.

The county currently provides $10,087 to the four libraries – Albion (Hoag Library), Holley (Community Free Library), Lyndonville (Yates Community Library) and Medina (Lee-Whedon Memorial Library).

The libraries would like to receive $1 per resident or $42,883.

The county was giving $29,914 to be shared among the four libraries as recently as 2002, but that dropped to $7,480 in 2003. Since then, the amount was raised to $12,587 in 2007, $13,617 in 2010, and then was cut to $10,087 in 2011. It hasn’t changed since then.

During a budget presentation on Sept. 26, the library leaders’ presentation focused on the services the four sites provide for seniors, from large print books, to concerts and entertainment, to expertise in using computers and technology. In previous years, library directors touted their children’s programming.

Emily Cebula, director of the Yates Community Library, said the libraries are committed to serving everyone in the community, regardless of their backgrounds and circumstances.

“We love our jobs,” Cebula said. “We want you to know we are doing our best for new people in our county and people who have been here forever.”

A funding boost from the county would allow the libraries to maintain a current collection, acquire new books and other materials, and lessen pressure to raise their taxes.

The local libraries will be part of an upcoming community engagement initiative through the Nioga Library System, looking for more ways to engage the community.

The Nioga study will also look at changes in the local communities, including a rising percentage of senior citizens.

Return to top


Jason Smith will stay as Lyndonville school leader
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2018 at 7:15 am

Jason Smith

LYNDONVILLE — Lyndonville school district won’t need to look for another superintendent. Jason Smith, the district’s leader the past seven years, is staying.

Smith was one of three finalists for the superintendent’s job at Elba. That district is a closer commute from his home in Batavia. The other finalists include Ned Dale, principal of Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport, and Matt Stroud, principal of Alexander Elementary School.

Elba today announced that Dale will serve as the new superintendent, following the retirement of Keith Palmer next month.

Smith posted a message on the Lyndonville website on Tuesday, saying he didn’t get the Elba job. He wished the best for the new superintendent and Elba school district.

Smith said he remains deeply committed to the Lyndonville school district.

He posted this message to the Lyndonville community:

“As many of you are aware, I was recently named a finalist for the position of Superintendent of Schools at the Elba Central School District. This was a special opportunity I felt drawn to consider primarily for personal reasons, as I continue to find great professional joy serving as your Superintendent here in Lyndonville.

“That being said, the Elba Board of Education has selected another candidate to fill this position. I sincerely wish both him and the Elba Central School District well as they pursue this new beginning together.

“I am and remain proud of our school, proud of our students, proud of our staff, proud of the community, and proud of my administrative team and support staff.

“As I shared with my staff and Board of Education earlier today, I remain fully committed to serving the students and families of Lyndonville, and I sincerely look forward to our continued growth together as a District and community.”

Return to top


Snow showers likely Thursday morning
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 October 2018 at 10:45 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The flag is blowing hard late Monday afternoon in Albion with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, left, and the First Baptist Church in the background.

There will likely be snow showers Thursday morning in Orleans County, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

The snow showers will possibly be mixed with rain before 10 a.m. The temperatures are forecast to reach a high of 45 on Thursday.

On Wednesday showers are likely after 3 p.m. with a high of 47. The low will drop to 35 on Wednesday night, according to the Weather Service.

Thursday night the temperature will fall to 38 before a high of 58 on Friday, when the forecast will be sunny.

Return to top