About 1,000 turn out for breast cancer walk at Watt Farms

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 26 October 2014
ALBION – The 10th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Watt Farms drew about 1,000 people this morning at the farm on Route 98.

In the top photo, Melinda Maedl, business and community liaison for the Iroquois Job Corps Center in Medina, waves and leads a group at the beginning of the walk.

Karen Watt, a breast cancer survivor, addresses the crowd before the walk. Gene Christopher is pictured in lower right. His wife Judy fought breast cancer. She died at age 70 on Aug. 3, 2013.

Organizers of the walk set a $55,000 goal for today’s event. Watt said some of that money will go to advance cancer research. She said Orleans County is fortunate to be between major cancer research facilities in Buffalo and Rochester.

Karen Watt is pictured with two of her employees who are both breast cancer survivors. Melanie Vanacore, center, was diagnosed in July and Elizabeth “Perk” Banker was diagnosed five years ago. Watt is a 10-year survivor.

Watt said 70 Orleans County residents are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. In the 10 years of the walk at the Watt Farms, about 700 people in the county have been diagnosed with breast cancer, Watt said.

About 1,000 people were out walking in the orchards at Watt Farms for the breast cancer walk this morning.

There were 23 students from the Iroquois Job Corps in Medina on the walk today. Students sold ribbons and competed in a dorm vs. dorm event to raise $350 for the cause.

Participants ventured past the pond in the orchard on the 5-kilometer route.

Members of the CSEA employee union in Orleans County are pictured before the walk. County employees raised about $1,000 for the walk. Pictured, in back from left include: Debbie Sherk, Paula Bensely, Linette Kropp, union president Cindy Troy, and Alexis Montes and Johanna Cuadra whose mother Diana Kephart works for the county.


The two girls in front, Gracelynn and Isabelle Perkins, are Troy’s granddaughters.

Robbi Hess of Albion, center, is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed 2 years, 3 months and 11 days ago. She had a mammogram just before her 50th birthday, and had surgery and radiation. She is pictured with her sister Cheryl Sipple of Medina, left, and cousin Pam Gray of Medina. The three raised $400 for today’s walk.

Hess volunteers as a mentor with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, connecting with women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She also is active on the Cancer Survivors Facebook page, arranging for people with cancer to receive cards in the mail.

Members of the Elba football and soccer teams gather for a picture before today’s walk at Watt Farms.


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Albion school makes big effort for breast cancer walk today

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 25 October 2014
ALBION – The Albion School District made a big effort to promote today’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Watt Farms in Albion.


Before the walk at 10 a.m., about 150 students and staff gathered next to the football stadium for a picture. The group is arranged in the shape of the breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Some of the group is pictured walking on East Bacon Road as part of the 5-kilometer course at the farm. Students and staff raised about $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. Nancy Moore, a teacher’s aide, and Jennifer Blanchard, a teacher, pushed the cause throughout the district.

Two teachers have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and several others also were diagnosed with cancer in recent years.


“We’ve had so many people affected by cancer and other tragedies,” Moore said this morning.


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Beggar’s Night draws big crowds to Medina and Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 25 October 2014
Princesses, ghosts, clowns and other creatures walked downtown Albion and Medina on Friday for the annual Beggar’s Night events.

Merchants at both downtowns handed out candy. In the top photo, cousins Maria Bregy, a princess, and Anthony Love, a Power Ranger, walk up East Center Street by Rotary Park. About 700 children participated in Beggar’s Night in Medina.

Eric Kryzdorfer, 12, of Barker dresses as a clown for Beggar’s Night in Medina.

Medina Police Chief Jose Avila directs traffic while the costumed crowd crosses the street.

Dr. Clark Bryant is Batman, handing out treats for Beggar’s Night. Bryant and his wife Donna Bryant last month opened Tea & Couture Atelier at 547 Main St.

Cindy Robinson, owner of The English Rose Tea Shoppe, hands out treats to Brody Hazel (race car driver) and his little brother Bryson Hazel (tiger). They are pictured with their mother, Amy Johnson of Lyndonville. Several of the merchants were in costume for the annual event, where children are invited into the downtown for candy.

Cousins Carson Bader and Leah Pritchard pass out candy for their aunt Laura Gardner, owner of a lily and a sparrow in Medina.

Carrie Ribbeck of Avanti Pizza is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood while passing out candy.

The Albion Merchants Association also put on Beggar’s Night. Karen Appleman, a vendor with the Uptown Browsery, has a bowl of candy for Jack Finley, a robot, to choose from.

Ryan Smith is dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland while his girlfriend Krysondra Esposito is Alice. They are outside Krantz Furniture and served apple cider and snacks to the kids in costume and their parents.


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Thrift store opens in former Legion building on Main Street in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers
Community Action of Orleans & Genesee celebrated the opening of the Main Street Thrift Store this morning at the former American Legion at 131 South Main St. Pictured, cutting the ribbon, include from left: Brooke Pontillo, president of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce; Ed Fancher, executive director of Community Action; State Assemblyman Steve Hawley; and Bill Privett, chairman of the board for Community Action.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2014
ALBION – Two years ago Community Action began looking for a new site for its thrift store and job training site. The agency used two downtown storefronts, but they were crowded with merchandise.

Today the agency celebrated the new home for its store. Local officials and many agency leaders in the community turned out for the ribbon-cutting at the former American Legion site at 131 South Main St.

The site boosts the available retail space by 1 ½ times. There is much more parking and improved accessibility for customers.

Community Action worked hard in recent months on the former Legion building, turning the site into a thrift store and donation center.

The site feels more professional, offering a better training ground for residents to learn skills that can transfer to other employers, Community Action officials said.

“Our very mission is to assist low-income people to achieve their potential,” said Bill Privett, chairman of the board for Community Action.

Ed Fancher, agency executive director, said about 50 people complete job training programs annually through the program and find employment.

“The program has been working so let’s do more of it and expand on our success,” Privett said.

Christy Lopez is the cashier at the new Main Street Thrift Store, and Phyllis Conn is the customer.

Proceeds from the sales of the clothing, furniture and other items in the store go back into the program, benefitting residents who are learning job skills, Fancher said.


“People come here to seize the opportunity to change the direction in their lives,” he said about the people running the cash register, cleaning and organizing the merchandise and doing other tasks.

Community Action used 20 gallons of paint to give the interior a fresh new look. The lighting is all new as well.

The Legion will continue to have use of the back bar for another 16 months. After the Legion finds a new location, the bar area may be used by Community Action for receiving and processing donations, Fancher said.

The store has clothing, collectibles, furniture and other items for sale.

Phyllis Conn is a frequent customer at the thrift store. She said the agency puts out good merchandise.

“The other site was lovely, but this is marvelous,” she said in the remodeled location. “This is a class act. It’s more of what you’d find in a city area.”

Conn donates items to the store. She is happy to see the store move to a bigger site.

“This is a great organization and they do so much for the community,” she said.

The store will have later hours at the new location. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Saturday, and from 10:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Community Action worked on the building, improving a prominent site in Albion. The photo shows people gathered for a ribbon cutting this morning.


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Low-key local races in Albion, Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2014

The races for governor and State Senate are getting lots of attention before the Nov. 4 election. There are also positions on the ballot in two local towns.

Albion will elect two justices on Nov. 4, and two candidates are unopposed.


Incumbent Gary Moore, a retired police officer, is seeking re-election to a four-year term. Kevin Howard has opted against re-election. Joe Fuller, a recently retired Albion police officer, has been cross-endorsed by the Democrats and Republicans for justice. Fuller is also a county coroner. Moore also has the Democratic and Republican Party endorsement.

In Kendall, two candidates are running unopposed. David Gaudioso has the Republican endorsement for town justice. Incumbent Stephen Cliff chose not to run for re-election.

Wayne M. Martin, Jr. also has the GOP endorsement for the Town Board. Martin is running to fill the remainder of a term from Patrick Snook, who resigned last January.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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