Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 2 December 2013
ALBION – The Village of Albion Department of Public Works and Orleans County Highway Department are putting up a big artificial Christmas tree on the Courthouse lawn in Albion this morning. The tree should be lighted this evening and throughout the holiday season.
The village DPW about two weeks ago put lights on the evergreen tree in front of the former Swan Library building. (You can see it in this photo in the back to the right.) This will be the first season the two trees are both lighted for the holidays.
The artificial tree didn’t go up last year, and the DPW lighted the tree in front of Swan for the first time.
Albion area congregations take turns at community kitchen
Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 29 November 2013
ALBION – The West Barre United Methodist Church prepared a full course meal with turkey that was served to 56 people tonight at Christ Church in Albion.
Christ Church, an Episcopal congregation, has a kitchen and dining hall in Albion, and congregations in the community take turns preparing the meals, serving the food and cleaning up.
The meals are offered on Fridays throughout the year. A tradition has been serving a full course meal the day with turkey after Thanksgiving.
The West Barre church takes a turn the fifth Fridays, about four or five times a year. Today happened to be the fifth Friday of November, and it fell a day after Thanksgiving.
I showed up this evening when the West Barre church was cleaning up. Pictured include, front row, from left: Alice Mathes, Jean Peglow, Karen Dibley, cousins Allison and Lily Mathes, sisters Johanna and Melissa Dibley, and Joy Markle. Back row: Jim Peglow and Dan Shuler.
The church has been volunteering in the community kitchen for two years.
“You know there is a need out in the community,” Mrs. Peglow said.
By Tom Rivers Posted 29 November 2013
ALBION – With Santa working around the clock, Mrs. Claus stopped in Albion today without her very busy husband.
Mrs. Claus was at Knight’s Pride, a custom cabinetry shop, from 1 to 3 p.m. She brought along a scroll and note cards for children to send a message to Santa. She also handed out stickers.
“Behind every great man is a great woman,” she said.
Mrs. Claus bears a striking resemblance to Valerie Rush, who has a full-time job as a teacher’s aid at Albion High School.
“I just wanted something to bring back Christmas that is fun and not commercial,” Mrs. Claus said about her appearance in Albion.
Mrs. Claus said she doesn’t like how expensive Christmas has become, and how the holiday shopping season now encroaches on Thanksgiving.
“I want to help bring the magic of Christmas back,” she said.
By Tom Rivers, editor Posted 29 November 2013
ALBION – After nearly a half century selling Christmas trees, Hugh and Eleni Dudley have retired from the business on West Countyhouse Road.
But the operation will continue down the road, and Mr. Dudley said the business is in good hands. His granddaughter, Katie Klotzbach, has taken it over. She has given it a new name, County House Christmas Trees. She opened today, selling trees from her parents’ property at 13420 Countyhouse Rd. Jim and Kerry Panek have been selling pumpkins and strawberries from the site for years.
“There is more space here and people know the location,” Klotzbach, 28, said this morning.
Klotzbach grew up helping her grandparents sell Christmas trees in Albion. The past five seasons she worked alongside them.
“She’s worked with us and she understands the business,” Mr. Dudley said. “She will do a good job.”
Klotzbach has recruited 20 vendors for the new site, artisans who sell jam, jewelry, stained-glass, pottery and custom masonry products.
She has about 300 trees for sale, including Fraser Fir, Concolor, Douglas Fir and Potted Blue Spruce. She also has hundreds of wreaths, including many made by her grandmother.
Those products are better than artificial ones, Klotzbach said. “They smell really good.”
Klotzbach is a graduate of Morrisville State College and Cornell Unviersity. She has run her own business, Flower Fields Forever, since 2007. She also worked eight years as a program assistant for the Cornell Vegetable Program.
County House Christmas Trees is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
By Tom Rivers, editor Posted 28 November 2013
ALBION – Eight years ago on Thanksgiving, Becky Wolford was recovering from brain surgery. A massive softball-sized tumor had been removed from her brain a couple weeks before the holiday.
Wolford would have a skull piece inserted on her shaven head, and that skull piece would lead to infection and more surgery on Dec. 13, 2005.
She would suffer through deep depression, memory loss and anger in the months and years that followed. But Wolford said the ordeal has made her a better person with battle-tested faith.
“I have more sensitivity,” she said. “I feel things more now for people when they are going through something difficult.”
Wolford, 52, is now a college student with a goal of becoming a crisis counselor. She has written a book about her battle with cancer and her recovery. She will have a book-signing for “Trusted To Go Through” on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bindings Bookstore, 28 West Bank St., Albion.
Wolford and her husband Todd moved to Albion with their four children 14 years ago. They bought a big house in the village on West State Street. They moved to Albion drawn to a house that was cheap with a decent size lawn.
At the time, Todd was pastor of Victory Full Assembly of God church in Akron. Becky was the worship leader, singing contemporary Christian music and praise songs.
Becky has been singing in church since she was a little girl. She has performed at Darien Lake for Kingdom Bound, a Christian festival. She and her husband were a team, with Todd delivering a message from the pulpit and Becky leading congregations in singing.
When the tumor was detected on the left side of her brain, doctors said if she survived, she might not be able to sing again.
“The tumor was the worst size and it was in the worst place,” she said Wednesday at her home.
Doctors feared she wouldn’t be able to see, and her speech, math skills and memory would all be disrupted because of the invasive surgery.
Wolford had the tumor removed at the Cleveland Clinic. Doctors did an experimental surgery, cutting open the back of her head to go in between the halves of her brain. That approach proved a success.
Wolford, about six weeks after the surgery, sang a solo at the Batavia Assembly of God church.
It would be five years, however, until she could sing without looking at notes. Wolford said still struggles with her short-term memory.
But that hasn’t kept her from singing on a stage in public. She is part of the worship band at the Albion Free Methodist Church.
Her husband is now a full-time teacher at Lyndonville Central School, teaching business and technology. He is a pulpit supply preacher, filling in at churches when the regular pastor is on vacation. His wife will often join him at the churches, and sing for the congregations.
Wolford has home-schooled the couple’s four children, ages 17 to 30. She said she finally feels like herself from a decade ago, about two years before she had the tumor removed. Wolford suspects it was growing in her brain for years.
“I had headaches, but I thought it was stress,” she said. “I was tired a lot. I was so exhausted.”
Her energy has returned. She has taken up biking, joining her husband on bike rides on the canal and around Albion.
She is studying crisis counseling through Liberty University, and she hopes her book will encourage people at a crossroads. She titled the book, “Trusted To Go Through,” believing God will not forsake the faithful in a crisis
“We Christians don’t always have it easy,” she said. “This is the real world. It’s not Heaven. There are some things that we’re called to go through.”
For more on the book, click here.
Linda Reed died in crash Saturday near Mobile, Ala.
By Tom Rivers, editor Posted 26 November 2013
ALBION – Linda Reed was known among the downtown Albion merchants for her big heart. She especially took time for needy residents.
“She was a really nice person who looked out for others,” said Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade.
Reed died on Saturday in a car accident in Poarch, Ala., near Mobile. She was down south visiting family, including two new grandsons she met for the first time in Texas, her daughter Lisa LaRose said.
Reed stopped and saw other family and friends in Louisiana. She was on her way home Saturday when her 2003 Ford Explorer left the road and struck a tree at 11:55 a.m. on I-65 in Escambia County. (Click here to see news article from al.com.)
Reed, 65, had been volunteering at The Clothesline, a consignment and gift shop. She became owner of the business in August and took pride in the site, changing the decorations in the front window several times.
“I had just talked with her and was excited about decorating for Christmas,” Stratton said.
Reed, a cancer survivor, may have been best known in the community for her passionate fund-raising for cancer research. She sought donations and participants for a Relay for Life team in Lockport. She put purple ribbons on her home on East Park Street.
She also had purple toilets that she put in people’s front yards and in front of businesses as a fund-raiser for cancer research.
“She was relentless,” Stratton said smiling about Reed and her creative and persistent fund-raising.
Reed closed the store for a couple weeks so she could go see her family. A sign in the front window says she intended to be back at the store on Nov. 29.
She is the second East Bank Street merchant to die in a car accident in less than a week.
Joshua Lunn, 25, owned the Grease Lightning business at 102 East Bank St. He died in a Nov. 20 accident in Kendall. He was traveling westbound on Route 18 when he attempted to pass a westbound vehicle. Lunn lost control of his pickup truck and left the south shoulder striking several trees.
Linda Reed owned The Clothesline on Bank Street
By Tom Rivers, editor Posted 24 November 2013
Linda Reed, owner of a downtown Albion business and a cancer survivor who rallied her neighbors to join her Relay for Life team, died in a car accident on Saturday.
Reed was in the state of Alabama, visiting friends. Orleans Hub doesn’t have the details about the accident.
Reed lived on East Park Street in Albion. She held frequent yard sales to raise money for cancer research. She went door to door, seeking donations for the cause and enlisted neighbors in a Relay for Life walk in Lockport.
Reed in August became owner of The Clothesline, a consignment and gift shop on East Bank Street.
Reed’s Facebook page includes many tributes from family and friends.
By Tom Rivers, editor Posted 22 November 2013
ALBION – Ed Salvatore says his phone has been ringing often in recent days. Several people have asked him to run for mayor in March.
Dean Theodorakos, the current mayor, announced this week that he won’t be running for re-election.
Salvatore served in the position from 1998 to 2006. He lost a very close election to Mike Hadick for mayor in March 2006. Hadick pulled off the upset, 440 to 438. A paperwork filing snafu kept Salvatore from running as a Republican in that election. He was forced to use an independent line, which showed up at the bottom of the ballot.
Salvatore didn’t want to leave village office. He said he had three unfinished initiatives: downtown revitalization, improvements to Bullard Park and the continuation of a sidewalk replacement plan.
The village has worked on those issues, but Salvatore said he would like to see a faster pace of progress. He thinks it could be done with a full-time mayor.
The Kodak retiree and past Albion fire chief put in full-time hours when he was mayor, despite a salary of about $9,000.
“Albion needs a full-time mayor because there are so many problems and things that need to be done,” he said. “It’s not something that can be done a couple hours on the evenings and the weekends.”
Kevin Sheehan, a village trustee for nearly eight years, said he intends to run for mayor.
Sheehan works full-time as a maintenance mechanic at the VA Hospital in Batavia. He said the position offers a flexible schedule.
Salvatore is 83, and he said some people may think he’s too old to be mayor.
“People may say I’m an old man, but I have the energy,” he said. “I’m in good shape. I take care of myself.”
Salvatore is a registered Republican. He said he intends to decide next week if he will run for a four-year term as a mayor. The election is in March and the term starts April 1.
“I got to make some phone calls and talk to people,” he said. “If I do it I will commit to it full-time.”
Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 22 November 2013
ALBION – One of three First Lego League teams goes through a final run-through with its robot on Thursday. The teams head to a regional qualifier on Saturday at Churchville.
The 4-H program in Orleans County started FLL a year ago with one team. The program has grown to 26 children and three teams. Participants are ages 8 to 14.
Some of the members of the KOWZ (Kids Only Work Zone) get ready for a demonstration with their robot on Thursday. The robot is programmed to conquer different obstacles on the table.
The pictured team members include, from left: Jayden Neal, Ben Williams, Deegan Bragg, Zachary Neal and Zach Moore.
Marlene and Erik Seielstad are the mentors for the program. Panek Farms lets the teams use space in an onion packing facility on Route 98. That site, the former Remley Printing Company, is one of several donations that help the teams.
Besides making a robot from Legos, the teams researched a natural disaster and made a product that could be used in an emergency crisis. The children all need to speak to the judges during Saturday’s competition.
Copyright 2013 Albion-Holley Pennysaver, Inc.