Albion’s inactive Urban Renewal Agency dissolved by state

Village will instead use LDC to address some sites

Photos by Tom Rivers
The village will use a recently formed LDC, the Albion Housing and Economic Development Corporation, to help with the removal or clean up of run-down sites, including this house at 136 Liberty St. The village agreed to take ownership of this house and a neighboring vacant building with a goal of demolition and reuse of the sites across from the new Hoag Library.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2014
ALBION – A village agency, once tasked with demolition and renewal, is no more. Residents probably never heard of the Albion Urban Renewal Agency. In fact, current village officials weren’t too familiar with it.

The agency hadn’t done anything – accepted or spent any money – in at least two decades. On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will eliminate the Albion agency and 35 other urban renewal agencies or industrial development authorities. The groups existed, but hadn’t been active in years.

There is scant information on the Albion Urban Renewal Agency, according to current village officials. They believe it helped facilitate an apartment complex on West Park Street about 40 years ago.

“We have no purpose for it,” said Ron Vendetti, the village code enforcement officer.


He is thankful the Urban Renewal Agency wasn’t more active in Albion. Some of the urban renewal agencies took down grand mansions and historic downtown buildings in other communities in the 1970s.

“Back then they knocked down buildings and ruined some communities,” he said.

Albion still sees a need for an agency or local development corporation to help with some building demolitions and economic development projects.

Albion would like to see this house at 132 Liberty St. demolished and cleared to make way for a new development.

The village has created the Albion Housing and Economic Development Corporation. One of its first projects will be facilitating the removal of two run-down houses at 132 and 136 Liberty streets. The county has forgiven about $60,000 in back taxes for two houses. The Village Board agreed to have the village take ownership of the sites, accepting liability as well.

The houses are across the street from the new Hoag Library. There is a vacant site next door to the south of the two buildings. Vendetti believes the site has potential for redevelopment for housing because of the close proximity to the library and other businesses.

“We think the LDC is much more forward-thinking than the Urban Renewal Agency,” Vendetti said.


return to top of page


Albion celebrates fall harvest at school

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 20 October 2014
ALBION – Several hundreds elementary students are painting pumpkins, venturing into a corn maze and doing other fall harvest activities today.


In the top photo, Cadence Lujan, a first grader in Mrs. Karen Hobart’s class, paints a pumpkin.

The Albion FFA is putting on the fall harvest celebration today and Tuesday. In this photo, FFA member Katie Mann helps kindergartner Misael write his name on the pumpkin. His teacher, Jennifer Lamont, is pictured in back.

Fourth-grade students in Mr. Bob Epperson’s class learn about a combine from FFA member Aaron Burnside. The combine was on display courtesy of Kenny Haylett, a farmer in Knowlesville.

FFA member Logan London helps fourth-grader Amari Jones make a handprint as part of a craft project today in the fall harvest celebration.


return to top of page


Church sells Krispy Kreme to help send team to Peru

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 18 October 2014
ALBION – Team members from the Albion Free Methodist Church were out selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts today, raising money for the church to send 13 people on a mission trip to Peru in February.

In the top photo, Mike Neidert is pictured with his son Elliott. They will be part of the trip, along with Neidert’s daughter Olivia.

The Rev. Randy LeBaron, pastor of the church, is pictured with his daughter Ashlyn. They will also be going on the trip to Peru.


The Neiderts and LeBarons are pictured outside Walmart. Team members also sold Krispy Kreme at the Ace Hardware stores in Albion and Medina.


return to top of page


Albion church continues Country Fair tradition

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 18 October 2014
ALBION – Members of the First United Methodist Church held their annual Country Fair today from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering baked goods, produce, crafts, children’s games and other activities.

In the top photo, Virginia Cole, center, and Kay Ecker pack up chicken biscuit meals. Virginia’s mother, Laurie Cole, is in the back.

Al Capurso provides musical entertainment during the annual church bazaar.

The church is staying in its historic building for “the forseeable future” but it is looking for an alternative site due to the $1 million-plus costs of fixing the roof and addressing structural concerns with the building.

Kim Pritt sells cookies and other baked goods.

Rachel Morasco, right, is selling produce at the Country Fair.

Leslee Lockwood and her daughter Melanie Norton tend to a table full of chocolate, fudge and other goodies.


return to top of page


Albion Shopping Tour doubles in size

Provided photo
The Vintage Apple Garden on Route 98 in Carlton is participating in the Albion Shopping Tour today. Vintage Apple has a pink theme today with proceeds going to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 26 at Watt Farms.


Staff Reports Posted 18 October 2014
ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association is hosting its Third Annual Shopping Tour today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s tour has nearly doubled in size, up from 14 participating merchants to 26.


The Merchants Association puts on the event to promote local shops and encourage outsiders to come explore Albion area businesses.

Shopping participants are encouraged to visit as many of the shops as possible to earn a raffle entry for each place they stop. One winner will receive a gift certificate shopping spree worth over $500.


return to top of page


Alleged teen burglar stole 2 rifles from Albion home

Staff Reports Posted 17 October 2014
ALBION – An Albion teen has been jailed on $20,000 bail after allegedly breaking into an Albion home on Thursday and stealing two guns with ammunition.

Allan D. Walls, 16, 428 East State St. was charged in connection to the burglary of the firearms, which were recovered, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

Walls has been charged with burglary in the second degree, criminal mischief in the third degree ad grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Walls allegedly broke into a home on East State Street, gaining entry through a rear window. He allegedly threw a rock to break out the glass.

Police say he stole two rifles – an AK-47 and a Ruger 10-22 – with ammunition.
Walls was arraigned in the Town of Albion Court and committed to the Orleans County Jail. He is to return to court at 9 a.m. on Oct. 21.


return to top of page


New memorial on Main Street in Albion honors veterans

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 16 October 2014
ALBION – A new memorial quietly was added to Main Street in Albion about a week ago. Bigger fanfare for the memorial could come on Veterans Day on Nov. 11.


Mary Anne Braunbach pushed for the Blue Star Memorial through the National Garden Clubs. The memorial is just south of the Main Street canal bridge on the west side of the road in front of PathStone. Braunbach owns the building at 140 North Main St., where PathStone is a tenant.

She has noticed traffic will often stop before the bridge when the lift bridge goes up or if vehicles are waiting for farm equipment to pass through.

“This is a perfect place to honor veterans,” Braunbach said. “When the bridge is up, people will stop and see it.”

She hopes the memorial will also encourage pedestrians to get out and explore the downtown.

A state grant paid for the marker, and Braunbach paid for the stone. Brigden Memorial in Albion attached the plaque on the stone. The village Department of Public Works set the concrete pad for the stone.

The Soil, Toil and Thyme Garden Club sponsored the memorial. Braunbach was part of that group for about 20 years. The garden club recently disbanded but laid the groundwork for getting the Blue Star Memorial.


return to top of page


Long-neglected house taken down today in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 15 October 2014
ALBION – A house that has long been vacant and a target of vandals was demolished this morning.

The house at 139 East Bank St. was built in 1851, but nobody lived there in many years. Craig Ernewein of Albion acquired it in June 2013 at the county property tax auction. After having the site evaluated, he determined it was best to knock down the building, Village Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti said.

The site is at the corner of East Bank and Ingersoll streets and backs up to the Erie Canal.


return to top of page


2 injured in off-road vehicle accidents

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess Posted 13 October 2014
ALBION – Orleans County Sheriff’s Deputies have investigated two separate off-road vehicle accidents resulting in injury within a seven-day period.

A 16-year-old old Medina youth sustained a non-life threatening head injury pn Oct. 5 at about 7 p.m. The go-cart he was operating crashed into a tree on private property at a residence in the 3700 block of Bates Road, Town of Ridgeway.

The youth, who was wearing a protective helmet, was treated at Medina Memorial Hospital. The incident was investigated by Deputy T.C. Marano.

On Sunday (Oct. 12) at approximately 2:30 p.m., Tyler J. Kryk, 22, of Irondequoit was operating a motocross dirt bike on a recently constructed course in the 12400 block of Lakeshore Road, Town of Yates.

Kryk, who was wearing a protective helmet and clothing, failed to properly negotiate a jump on the west end of the course. He was thrown from the machine and sustained non-life threatening injuries. He was subsequently flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester by Mercy Flight helicopter. The incident was investigated by Deputy J.W. Halstead.


return to top of page


Presbyterian Church will add Peace Pole in Albion

Community welcome to pick languages for pole

Photo by Tom Rivers
An 8-foot-high Peace Pole will be erected by the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.


Staff Reports Posted 11 October 2014
ALBION – An 8-foot-high Peace Pole will soon be erected by the First Presbyterian Church of Albion. The pole will display the phrase, “May Peace Prevail On Earth,” in eight languages with one in English.

The church is welcoming the community to submit ideas for other languages to share that message on the pole.

People are welcome to drop off short forms with their pick for a language and why it should be included. The church wants to include languages that have historical connections to the community, perhaps the native tongues of different immigrant groups.

A committee that includes a historian will review the submitted recommendations and make the final selections.

The Peace Pole will be erected in the grassy area north of the Presbyterian Church’s sanctuary. The four-sided pole is made of wood and is 8 feet tall and 3 ½ feet per side. The pole will be surrounded by a small garden.


The Peace Pole is a project of the TGIF Tween-Teen Community Outreach Program of the church, CCIA, and the Life Program at Albion Middle and High Schools. The pole is being paid for with a grant from the Genesee Valley Presbytery.


Forms to nominate a language can be obtained and dropped off at the Hoag Library, Bindings Bookstore, Uptown Browsery and Downtown Browsery, or a form can be mailed to TGIF, First Presbyterian Church, 29 E. State Street, Albion, NY 14411.


return to top of page


Albion police chief warns of driveway scam

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2014
ALBION – Orleans County residents are encouraged to be wary of an out-of-town paving company that seems to target elderly residents, paving their driveways and making repairs at grossly inflated prices.

Roland Nenni, Albion police chief, said the company uses different names and approaches senior citizens, trying to confuse them into agreeing to pay costs in far excess of the value of work done. Nenni said Wednesday one elderly man was presented with a $6,000 bill for work that Nenni said should have been about $500.

He said the company is treading a fine line between civil and criminal action. Albion police approached the company on Wednesday and Nenni said he hopes they don’t come back. He said the company is trying to sign up clients in the region, and could target other nearby communities.

The company will make its bid proposals for the work, putting the dollar amounts at square footage rather than the overall cost, which is misleading to many residents, Nenni said.

“They are charging unbelievably high rates,” he said.


return to top of page


Meet the Homecoming Court (and most spirited car) at Albion

Provided photos Posted 7 October 2014
ALBION – Albion capped off Homecoming Week by crowning royalty on Friday during a pep rally. The following were picked as the most spirited members of their class, from left: Garrett Derisley, lord; Natalie DiCureia, lady (freshmen); Kirsten Wroblewski, dutchess; Sam Slick, duke (sophomores); Caitlin Malonowski, princess; Nate Trembley, prince (juniors); and Justice Nauden, queen; and Drake Arnold, King (seniors).

The senior class decorated this car and captured the title as most spirited class. About 60 seniors painted the car Thursday night at the home of Aaron Burnside, the class president. The car is a Ford Taurus donated by Frank Strasburger, owner of Frank’s Auto in Albion.


return to top of page


Albion gallery showcases 2 artists

Photos by Peggy Barringer Posted 5 October 2014
ALBION – The Marti’s on Main Art Gallery is featuring two artists this month, including Medina art teacher Jennifer Scott (top photo) and Arthur Barnes.

Scott, a Lockport resident, teaches eighth grade and high school at Medina. She works in several mediums – paint, photography, mixed media and also has a linoleum block print in the Marti's show. Her exhibit at Marti’s includes some pieces that have a spooky theme in anticipation of Halloween.

One of Scott’s mixed media piece is entitled “Oooh it's a Spider!” It features a decorative skull on glass with spider accents. Several of her pieces are available for purchase, including originals, prints, and note cards. Click here to see her website.

Marti’s is using the second floor gallaey spaceat 229 North Main St. to exhibit sketches by Arthur Barnes of Millville. He created the artwork of Nashville-area musicians during their performances as self-training.

Originals of Barnes work are available for purchase at the gallery. He also hopes to have a closing event at Marti's on Main with live music before the end of the month. Click here to see his website.


For more on Marti’s, click here.


return to top of page


Albion soccer players wear pink to support 2 teachers with cancer

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 4 October 2014
ALBION – Nick Reed kicks the ball during today’s Albion varsity boys soccer game.


The team wore pink socks in a show of support for two Albion teachers – third-grade teacher Dawn Arnold and middle school family and consumer science teacher Kim Toombs. Both were recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Arnold’s son Drake plays for the varsity boys team. He is pictured during warm-ups.

The team takes the field with their pink socks. Dawn Arnold said the gesture was “very sweet” by her son and his teammates. “It takes a bunch of men to wear pink,” said Arnold, who was diagnosed on Sept. 11.

Morgan Seielstad is decked out in pink as goalie for the Albion team for tonight’s homecoming game.

A fence by the soccer field included this poster for the two teachers, and many other signs for players on the boys and girls varsity and JV teams.


return to top of page


Bakery joins vendors in Albion gift shop

S-n-L Sweet Escapes seen as draw to downtown

Photos by Tom Rivers
S-n-L Sweet Escapes owner Sarah Brigham, right, is pictured in front of her baked goods with Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop on Main Street in Albion.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 October 2014
ALBION – In her nearly three years as a downtown Albion merchant, Lisa Stratton has often heard people say the downtown could use a specialty bakery shop.

Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop, says that void is now being filled. She has a new vendor in her store selling cookies, cake pops, whoopee pies and other baked goods.

S-n-L Sweet Escapes opened at the Hazy Jade on Sept. 9. It has made for a great team, said S-n-L owner Sarah Brigham.

She makes the cookies, brownies and other baked goods either late at night or early in the morning. She delivers them to the Hazy Jade at about 10 a.m. after her kids head to school. Brigham is spared the expense of maintaining her own storefront and has more time freed up for her family.

Brigham has cake pops for sale.

“It’s been perfect, pairing this with a local gift shop,” Brigham said this morning at Hazy Jade, 50 North Main St.

Brigham started her business about five years ago, working out of her home. The business was focused on custom orders for weddings, parties and other events.

Working with Stratton gives Brigham a chance to “test the waters” to see the demand for her baked goods.

“This is to try it out before we invest in a storefront,” Brigham said this morning while making a delivery with her husband Tim. They named the business after their children, Sawyer and Lily.

Brigham will change up her selection to match seasons and other special events. These cookies have a fall foliage feel. Later this month, she will have cookies as a breast cancer awareness fund-raiser.

Stratton has 40 vendors selling products at the Hazy Jade. The bakery has generated traffic to the store, with some regulars there soon after the 10 a.m. deliveries.

“This is helping everybody,” she said about S-n-L. “We need specialty shops downtown.”

Stratton said Hazy Jade functions as a “business incubator” for some of her vendors, giving them a chance to establish a clientele before venturing into their own space.

For more on S-n-L, click here.


return to top of page


Main Street Store in final days before move to Legion

Photos by Tom Rivers

The Main Street Store is selling most of its items at 30 to 90 percent off before it opens in about two weeks in the American Legion at 131 South Main St.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2014
ALBION – When it started eight years ago, the Main Street Store was intended as a place to teach job readiness skills for unemployed residents and also provide quality “nearly new” merchandise at low prices.

The store has been a big success, expanding to a neighboring storefront about two years after it first opened. The store outgrew those two storefronts in the downtown, said Angel Slick, the retail operations manager.

“We’ve just grown and grown through the programs that we do,” Slick said at the store today at 49 North Main St.

Elizabeth Daniels checks the inventory at the Main Street Store, which is in its final days in downtown Albion before moving to a bigger site on South Main Street.

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee operates the store and was looking for a bigger site. About a year ago it identified the American Legion as an ideal location for the store. The agency recently closed on the American Legion and has been busy painting the inside, working on the floor and making other improvements.

The Main Street Store expects to open in the Legion site in about two weeks with a grand opening planned from Oct. 22-25.

The agency works with about 100 people a year in the job readiness program. Slick said about 65 usually find jobs with 45 keeping those jobs for at least 90 days. Those job connections are the program’s greatest success, Slick said.

The store offers assistance with resumes, letters and job searches, while providing skills that would be valuable to employers.

Daisy Stroud, left, is the donor program specialist for the Main Street Store, helping to attract merchandise, volunteers and financial donations. She is pictured with Melissa Thompson, who is in the business and office administration program.

While the site serves as a job-training ground, Slick noticed that the community has responded to the merchandize, from clothes, to furniture and other household items. The Main Street Store won’t sell items that aren’t “like new.”

The store has a laundry machine and dryer, and every clothing item is washed before being displayed.

“We launder all of the clothes,” Slick said. “We avoid that thrift store smell.”

The Legion will boost the available retail space by 1 ½ times. There will be more parking and much more accessibility for customers, said Daisy Stroud, donation program specialist for the store. She tries to attract merchandise, volunteers and financial donations.

Community Action staff and volunteers have been busy getting the Legion ready for the store, while also boxing up some of the merchandise from the two downtown storefronts.

“The new location will be so much easier for the customers to meander through the racks,” Stroud said. “We’re striving for an upscale boutique where we can cater to all.”

The Legion is getting a makeover. The main room will have the store merchandise. The dining room will be used as a classroom. The Legion has access to the back bar for 18 months. When that time is up, Community Action could transform that space into the classroom, and use the other classroom space as a more upscale chic section, Slick said. She is grateful for the possibilities.

The new location will be open later on Tuesdays through Fridays until 7 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Monday. Currently, the store closes at 5 p.m.

“We’re trying to be there for the community,” Slick said.


return to top of page


Inmate in county jail found dead

Staff reports Posted 28 September 2014
ALBION – A 40-year-old inmate in the Orleans County Jail was found dead today, Sheriff Scott Hess said.

Juan Muriel-Gonzalez from the Bronx was found dead in his cell by corrections officers after he failed to respond to the lunchtime chow call, Hess said.

There were no immediate signs of foul play. Muriel-Gonzalez was taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester for autopsy. The Sheriff’s Department, Medical Examiner and the New York State Commission of Correction will be investigating the death, Hess said.

Muriel-Gonzalez had been incarcerated since June following his arrest for promoting prison contraband in the first degree. He pleaded guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree during an Aug. 24 court appearance, when he admitted to mailing prescription narcotics to his ex-wife, an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility.


Gonzalez faced a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in state prison. He was to be sentenced on Nov. 17.


return to top of page


Merrill-Grinnell hosts second car show to benefit Hospice

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 28 September 2014
ALBION – A section of East State Street is closed off today for a classic car show. Merrill-Grinnell Funeral Home is hosting the event for the second year. About 50 cars were registered by noon for a car show that runs from 1 to 5 p.m. The top photo shows a 1929 Ford Speedster owned by Randy and Mary Cooper.

Lewis Van Allen of Perry shines his 1983 Chevy Pickup. He goes to about a dozen car shows a year. He has owned the truck for 21 years. It used to be owned by his wife’s uncle. Van Allen had the truck repainted two years ago.

Frank Strasburger gets a 1971 Chevelle Supersport 402 Convertible ready for the car show. Strasburger restored the vehicle five years ago. He also has a 1971 Chevelle SS 454 in today’s car show. He restored that vehicle in 1989.

Becky Karls, director for Merrill-Grinnell, organized today’s car show. The event is a benefit for Hospice of Orleans. The Masons are selling hot dogs and hamburgers with half the proceeds going to Hospice. There is also a DJ playing music.

Glen Busch, a member of the Masonic Lodge, cooks hot dogs and hamburgers at today’s car show.


return to top of page


Ghost Walk celebrates Albion history

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 28 September 2014
ALBION – Zach Shaffer portrays Noah Davis, who grew up poor but was later an esteemed judge. He was elected to Congress in 1869 and appointed US District Attorney by President Grant. David was elected a State Supreme Court justice and presided over the trial of William “Boss” Tweed.

Davis was one of 13 prominent Albion residents highlighted on the sixth annual Ghost Walk on Saturday at Mount Albion Cemetery. There were 66 students involved, serving as “ghosts,” tour guides, singers and on the tech crew.

Shannon Broda portrays Laura Ward, who was married to Judge Alexis Ward, who was instrumental in the development of the Rochester-Lockport-Niagara Falls Railroad. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1854, but died before taking office.

Kyle Thaine portrays Rufus Bullock, who grew up in Albion, was a railroad official in George and was elected that state’s governor in 1868. He was instrumental in the reconstruction of Georgia after the Civil War.

The steps leading up to the Civil War memorial at the cemetery were aglow for the Ghost Walk, which was attended by about 500 people.

William Pecorella portrays Starr Chester, a shoemaker from Gaines. He operated his shoe shop on Ridge Road. That shop was later moved to the Cobblestone Museum, where the building was restored as the John G. Peters Harness Shop.

Evan Steier portrays Judge Arad Thomas who served as county judge from 1860 to 1864. He wrote a book about pioneers in Orleans County. That book published in 1871 – “Pioneer History of Orleans County” – has been a valuable resource for the Ghost Walk.


return to top of page


Smoke but no fire at Saint-Gobain

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 27 September 2014
ALBION – Albion firefighters responded to a call about dark smoke coming from Saint-Gobain Adfors at about 12:30 p.m. today.

The company didn’t have a fire at its manufacturing plant located at 14770 Route 31. It was trying to use old oil for its boiler. When the dark smoke surfaced, the company switched the boiler back to natural gas, an employee said.


return to top of page


Students will again portray prominent residents from Albion’s past

6th Annual Ghost Walk is Saturday at Mount Albion

File photo by Tom Rivers
In this photo from last year’s Ghost Walk, student Chey-Rain Eagle depicts Elizabeth Proctor, the third wife of John Proctor. He is considered the “Paul Revere of Gaines” for riding his horse and alerting residents all the way to Lewiston that the British were coming.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 September 2014
ALBION – Students will again bring famous and not-so-famous Albion residents back to life on Saturday for the sixth annual Ghost Walk at Mount Albion Cemetery.

The event typically is a sell-out, and 400 of the 500 spots have already been claimed. Susan Starkweather Miller, one of the cooridnators of the project, said there are still spots available between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Residents can call up to 11 a.m. on Saturday to RSVP. Call Starkweather Miller at 589-2087 to reserve a spot.

Attendees are encouraged to park at the elementary school, and a bus will shuttle every 15 minutes between the school and cemetery.

“We still have spots open,” Strkweather Miller said this afternoon. “It makes the kids so happy when we fill up.”

Tickets are $5 each and proceeds are used for community projects. The student participants will meet to decide how to spend the money.

Some of the Albionites featured on the Ghost Walk include the following:


• Rufus Brown Bullock, Governor of Georgia after the Civil War;

• Dr. Elizabeth Harriet Denio, University of Rochester professor of Art History and German, who helped establish Memorial Art Gallery, and wrote definitive work on painter Nicholas Poussin;

• Judge Noah Davis, presided at the trial of Boss Tweed and law partner of Sanford Church;

• David Hardie, first to form a volunteer company from Orleans County to fight in Civil War;

• Nehemiah Ingersoll, instrumental in Albion’s development and its selection as county seat;

• Starr Chester, owner of shoe-making building that is part of Cobblestone Museum;

• Dr. Elizabeth Vaile, Orleans County physician who visited soldiers during Civil War;

• James Lewis and Emily Pullman, whose famous son, George, provided funds to build the Pullman Universalist Church in their memory;

• Alexis Ward, Orleans County judge who was instrumental in securing Niagara Falls-Lockport-Rochester Railroad and Niagara Falls Suspension bridge;

• Hiram Curtis, ran a successful foundry and built agricultural implements;

• Jennie Curtis, first woman prisoner of the Civil War, an accused spy;

• Caroline Phipps Achilles, opened the Phipps Union Seminary for girls;

• Judge Arad Thomas, in 1871 published The Pioneer History of Orleans County.


return to top of page


Ag company will leave Albion for new site in Ridgeway

Helena Chemical has operated out of village since 2007

Photo by Tom Rivers
Helena Chemical plans to leave this site on Platt Street in Albion for a new complex on Allis Road in Ridgeway. The Orleans County Planning Board supported the project during its meeting today.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2014
RIDGEWAY – Three years ago Helena Chemical made a push to build a new facility serving the agricultural community on Long Bridge Road in Albion.

Helena first set up shop in Orleans County in 2007 on Platt Street in the village of Albion. The company wanted a site out in the country, closer to its many fruit and vegetable farmers.

The company withdrew its plan for Long Bridge Road after some residents voiced concerns about the added truck traffic. The company believes it has found an ideal location for its expansion. On rural Allis Road off Route 31 in the town of Ridgeway, Helena wants to gradually build a complex of six structures.

The company will use the site as a distribution point for chemicals, seeds and other products for the agricultural industry. Helena won’t manufacture any chemicals there. It mostly sells bags of seeds and bottles of chemicals.

“What we do is distribute products,” Mitch Wilber, Helena branch manager, told the Orleans County Planning Board tonight.

The company would only have one neighbor on Allis Road, the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Helena isn’t open on Sunday when the church has services. The church also has some Wednesday evening programs.

The company has been operating out of the densely populated village the past seven years, and there haven’t been any complaints from residents about noise or odors, said Ron Vendetti, the village’s code enforcement officer.

“We’ve never had any issues with them in the village since 2007,” Vendetti told the Planning Board.

The Allis Road property is zoned industrial and includes access to the railroad, which Helena wants to utilize for some shipments. The company plans to put in a railroad siding. It will also extend a 10-inch waterline from Route 31 to the property.

The six buildings would be about 75,000 square feet collectively. The company is planning a 23,000-square-foot processing plant building, a 20,000-square-foot agri-chemical warehouse, a 20,000-square-foot packaging seed warehouse, a 7,140-square-foot liquid fertilizer building, a 3,260-square-foot office building, and a 2,500-square-foot shop building.

The County Planning Board recommended the Town of Ridgeway Planning Board approve the site plan for the project, while urging there be an “adequate buffer” between the Helena property and the church. The town should also make sure the structures can be readily accessed by larger sized emergency vehicles, county planners said.

Helena opened the Albion site as a satellite of the Geneva office. Albion handles the company’s business west of Route 390 in Monroe County.

“The Albion site is kind of constrained,” Wilber told county planners.

Helena sees more potential in serving the farm community with the expansion, he said.

‘The company has been pleased with our results in Western New York and would like to do more,” he said.


return to top of page


Truck bursts into flames outside Albion grocery store

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 September 2014 6:55 p.m.
ALBION – A Dodge Dakota pickup truck burst into flames at about 5:20 p.m. at the Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot parking lot.

The truck is owned by Timothy Martin, who lives on Hamilton Street near the Save-A-Lot.

Albion firefighters were on scene and doused the fire. This sequence of photos was taken over about three minutes.


return to top of page


Peaceful protest before U.S. launches airstrikes

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 September 2014
ALBION – Before the United States launched air strikes tonight against ISIS in Syria, a few people held a peaceful protest at the edge of the Courthouse Lawn near Main Street this afternoon.

Diana Dudley, top photo, holds up a sign stating her feelings about the military intervention.

Dennis Seekins also held a sign against the military involvement. Lee Richards (right), pastor of the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church and his wife Louise Wu also joined the demonstrators.

The U.S. military launched air strikes against the Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-declared capital. The U.S. was planning to attack as many as 20 Islamic State targets in the operation, according to the Associated Press.


return to top of page


Albion scouts end a long tradition with paper drive

Photos by Sue Cook
Nathan Olmstead takes papers from Cole Spierdowis to put into the truck.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 20 September 2014
ALBION - After 30 years, Albion Boy Scout Troop 164 is ending their monthly paper collection.


Every third Saturday, the Boy Scouts would collect newspapers from businesses and citizens in the Save-A-Lot parking lot, then makie collection stops to get large quantities. A large 18-wheeler would come from Pennsylvania to take their paper and put it to use as insulation for houses and animal bedding.


“It started in 1984," said Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty. "Troop 167 started it, then it was Troop 48, then Troop 60, now 164, but it ends today.”

Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty helps with carts while the boys load the trucks.


The collection has come to an end due to the busy schedule that the Boy Scouts have in their own lives. Many are unable to make time on Saturdays due to commitments to family activities, sports and other functions. The troop of about 40 ranges from age 10 to 18, though most of the scouts are 11 years old.


“We just can't get help on Saturdays," Doherty said. "We can only get a couple to help. It's sad, but what can you do? We're going to do two big fundraisers for the year, so that way there's money for the activities.”


Troop Leader Karen Williams added, “It's sad to see the paper drive go because it's been going on over 30 years. It's a sure sign of the electronic age and people's lives getting busier where they just don't have time to spread themselves out for volunteer work.”

From left: Nathan Olmstead, Cole Spierdowis and Sammy Williams load papers on the last day of the paper drive.


The troop is currently uncertain if they will continue their pop bottle collection. They are considering having an account at a local redemption center to allow the public to drop off bottles any time.


return to top of page