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1 person killed in Barre accident this morning

Staff Reports Posted 23 August 2017 at 11:36 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – One person is dead after a two-vehicle collision in Barre this morning at about 10:15. The top photo shows some pieces of a car that was struck by a tractor trailer at the intersection of Eagle Harbor Road and Route 31A. A Mercy Flight helicopter waits in a field by the intersection.

A passenger in the car, an elderly woman, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver, an elderly man, was taken to a nearby hospital by Mercy Flight.

Both roads are blocked off near the intersection while the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office completes an investigation of the crash.

An officer at the scene said the driver of a car was headed north on Eagle Harbor Road and attempted a left hand turn. The driver failed to yield to a tractor trailer that was eastbound on Route 31A. The truck then hit the car in front, and pushed it across a yard into a tree.

The truck driver wasn’t injured. 

Orleans Hub will have more on the story when details become available.

Mercy Flight takes the driver of the car to a hospital. The driver suffered serious injuries.

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Albion approves first rental assistance recipient

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2017 at 10:18 am

ALBION – The village has approved the first recipient of a new downtown rental assistance program.

Terri Jordan opened a new business at 6 East Bank Street last month. She has been approved for $200 a month in assistance the next six months. The village’s local development corporation will chip in $100 a month and the Orleans Economic Development Agency also will contribute $100 monthly to help promote businesses in the downtown.

Jordan opened Bird & Matilda’s Gift Boutique, which sells organic and non-organic baby clothes, toys and blankets. She also has a small selection of home décor products, and handcrafted skin care products, including soap, lotion and sugar scrub.

The village’s rental assistance program provides a maximum of $300 a month over six months. The program won’t pay the entire rent, but will cover a percentage of the costs.

Village officials will have a 4 p.m. public meeting on Sept. 6 to discuss the rental subsidy program with the downtown business community. The meeting will be at the Village Hall, 35 East Bank St.

For more information on the program, contact Ron Vendetti, the village’s code enforcement officer, at (585) 589-7229, by email at or by mail at 35 E. Bank St., Albion, NY 14411.

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Inspirational rocks have become very popular locally

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lori Laine holds a rock she painted of fairies today with a group of friends at Shay's in Albion. She is thinking of a message to go with the rock. She started the Albion rock-painting effort and “Albion Rocks” Facebook page about a month ago. Many people have posted on the page when they find painted rocks around town.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2017 at 10:43 pm

ALBION – A month ago Lori Laine placed five rocks she painted around town. She left one at the Courthouse, another by Hoag Library. She set one by the mailbox outside the Post Office. They were all in plain sight.

She made whimsical rocks with uplifting messages. On the back she urged the finder to post a picture on a new Facebook page, “Albion Rocks.”

Three of the rocks were found right away and the finders posted pictures on Facebook. Laine put out more rocks, and others did, too.

Evie Meadows of Oakfield painted this rock today with the message to “Shine Your Light,” which she took from Matthew 5:16 in The Bible.

The “Kindness Rocks” phenomenon has spread in many communities, including Albion, Kendall, Lyndonville and other nearby towns. Laine found a painted rock in Brockport a month ago and decided to start a similar effort in Albion.

Many local parents, their children and even Albion business owners have embraced the cause.

“It’s great to see parents and their kids walking around looking for the rocks. They’re having fun with it,” Laine said.

She organized a rock-painting group today from 4 to 7 p.m. at Shay’s. Laine painted the base coat on many rocks so people wouldn’t have to wait for the base to dry.

Patty Coffee paints this rock urging people to adopt a pet.

The “Albion Rocks” Facebook page shows people with rocks at Mount Albion Cemetery, on main Street, at the gas station, in a Wal-Mart shopping cart, on the button at an Albion cross walk, at the school and numerous other spots.

Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop and president of the Albion Merchants Association, said the rock project has more people coming downtown.

She enjoys seeing so many people having fun, looking for the rocks and posting on Facebook.

These rocks are painted (some with stickers) and will be put out in Albion for people to find.

When people find a rock, they are encouraged to take a picture and post on Facebook. They also are urged to re-hide the rock in Albion, although Laine said some of the messages really resonate with the finder and want to keep the rock, and that is OK.

The rock include many upbeat messages, such as “Believe in yourself”, “Keep Life Simple”, and “Be Calm, Be Strong, Be Grateful!”

Evie Meadows came from Oakfield today to join the rock-painting party at Shay’s.

“I thought it was a really neat idea to leave something inspiring,” she said. “Someone might need that message that day.”

She painted a rock with a lighthouse and the message, “Shine your light.”

Kimberly Zambito-Dutton painted this rock with Minion stickers. The Kent resident said painting the rocks is fun, especially with other people.

“It’s a good feeling whether you’re a kid or adult,” she said. “Whoever finds it, it will put a smile on your face.”

She is friends with Laine, and is pleased to see the project develop a following in Albion.

“Lori is a blessing to this community,” Zambito-Dutton said.

Katie Harvey, Lori Laine’s daughter, works on a rock with a beach scene. The rock painters said they have more intricate designs from their first few rocks.

A group gathered at Shay’s to paint rocks from 4 to 7 p.m. today.

Lisa Hickein works on some rocks. She painted one with a message, “Scatter Kindness Like Wildflowers.”

Lori Laine painted the base colors on many rocks so people wouldn’t have to wait for the base to dry before doing their main design.

Laine works on a rock with a house theme.

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Holley school asked to allow tax discounts for commercial solar projects

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: A new playground at the Holley Elementary School nears completion. It is part of the ongoing Capital Project at the district.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 August 2017 at 9:59 am

HOLLEY – The Holley Board of Education was asked on Monday to approve a resolution to allow for PILOT agreements to be established between the district and commercial solar farm energy systems.

Ron Vendetti, the code enforcement officer for the Town of Murray and Village  of Holley, attended the Board of Education meeting.

He said the school district earlier decided to opt out of tax exemptions for commercial solar developments. Without a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes), Vendetti said the commercial solar projects won’t move forward.

Vendetti has attended several conferences around the state and has worked with developers to better understand how municipalities and school districts are trying to regulate commercial solar farms. He said many developers are now look to construct 2 megawatt or less solar farms on 10 to 12 acre parcels due to the shorter review process by the state. The Town of Murray isn’t considered “a high priority area” by solar developers, but Vendetti said there could still be interest in Murray by developers.

Vendetti and school district attorney Jeff Martin noted the solar farms could increase property assessments significantly – as much as $5 million – and that PILOT agreements would mean the district would be receiving at least something in tax revenue.

“Forty percent value on a PILOT is better than 100 percent of nothing,” Vendetti said.

The Town of Murray recently adopted Local Law No. 3 of 2017 which requires developers of commercial solar farm energy systems to enter into a PILOT agreement with the town. The Board of Education needs only to approve a resolution, Jeff Martin said.

There are no commercial solar farms currently in Orleans County, but developers are showing an interest, Martin and Vendetti said.

The Village of Holley might enact the legislation because the former Diaz Chemical site potentially could be used for a commercial solar farm, Vendetti said.

School Board members took no action on Monday.  Board President Brenda Swanger asked Martin to continue to gather information for the board.

School supplies can be costly for parents

In other business, Swanger told Elementary School Principal Karri Schiavone that a parent had expressed concern over the length and expense of items on the school’s supply list for students for the upcoming school year.

“We have pared it down,” Schiavone said. “Teachers get $200 for supplies for the entire school year,” she said, and noted that is not enough to cover student supplies such as pencils, paper and folders.

“We have made (supply lists) consistent across grade levels,” Schiavone said.

Both the Elementary School and Middle School/High School do have supplies available for students who are in need, Schiavone and MS/HS principal Sue Cory said. During the district’s back to school night Sept. 5, tables will be made available for anyone who wishes to donate unused school supplies. Students in need of supplies will be able to take what they need at the same time.

The Holley Rotary Club has donated funds in the past to the district for the purpose of purchasing school supplies and would be donating $300 to $500 again for the coming school year, said Martin, a member of the Rotary Club.

Contractors working to have capital project done by school opening

In his report, District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo re-assured district administrators, teachers and staff that the on-going capital project work would not prevent school from opening on schedule Sept. 6.

“The project has an aggressive schedule,” D’Angelo said, and explained that it is not unusual for school officials to feel anxious when a project nears completion, but, “School will open on time and we will be in good shape.  The campus will be safe for occupation.”

D’Angelo said contractors will continue to be present on campus after the first day of school to complete jobs such as painting tennis courts and replanting grass.

“The end product will be something we can all be proud of,” he said.

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Pink balloons released at race honored memory of Baylee McClary

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 August 2017 at 11:37 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Saturday’s Metro 10 race at Albion included a Micro 10 race for kids in memory of Baylee McClary, a newborn baby who died shortly after birth on March 20.

Her father, Steven McClary of Waterport, handed out pink balloons in Baylee’s memory at the kids’ race.

Community members also created cards in honor of Baylee.

Baylee’s parents, Steven and Jessica McClary, would like to start a chldren’s memory garden at Bullard Park in honor of Baylee and other children in the community who have passed away.

The Village Board is open to the idea and wants to hear input from the Rebuild Bullard Committee, which is working on improvements for the park.

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Kendall’s Home Grown Days provides summer fun for community

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 August 2017 at 2:32 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KENDALL – Addison Schultz, 4, and Charlotte Schultz, 3, both of Kendall, play a fishing game at the St. Mark’s Catholic Church booth.  Their grandparents were visiting from Florida and enjoyed sharing the activity with their granddaughters.

Wet conditions resulting from afternoon rain showers cancelled the family kick ball game and outdoor movie, but Kendall Home Grown Days brought neighbors together Saturday evening for food, games and entertainment at the Kendall Fire Department. The magic show with Amazing Magic Joe was able to go on as scheduled.

The Kendall Food Cupboard had one of the most popular booths with “Kendall Rocks” rock painting.  Kendall Food Cupboard director Marty Goodenbery said the rocks can be hidden anywhere for people to find. Those who find the rocks are asked to post a photo of the rock on the Kendall Rocks Facebook page and then hide it again.

Goodenbery said the activity has been popular in other communities and he feels Kendall Rocks will help people to learn about the Kendall Food Cupboard.  “We want to spread the word that we are here,” Goodenbery said.

The “Kendall Rocks” painted rocks featured many cute and inspirational themes.

Austin Werth, 11, and Colton Werth, 6, both of Kendall, work on their “Kendall Rocks.”

Marty Goodenbery holds his “Kendall Rock.” He said he may place it somewhere outside the Kendall community.

Addison Kludt, 7, works on a project in the booth sponsored by Kludt Farms, which promoted healthy eating. The wording in the upper left-hand corner of the sheet read: “Putting junk in your belly, will turn it to jelly. Where it’s at is veggies and fruits, be strong and healthy says Farmer Kludt.”

Local businesses set up booths in the Kendall Fire Hall for shopping.

Lora Partyka and Zina Goodenbery of Partyka Farms served up the Beef on Weck Dinner.  Hot dogs were also available.

Although wet conditions from earlier rain cancelled the family kick ball game,  there was still outdoor fun including a Hay Maze sponsored by Patt Brothers Farm and games of “Four Square in the Air,”  which featured one server and three players volleying the ball over pipes from square to square.

Kendall Home Grown Days continued today at 10 a.m. with Community Worship at the Gazebo with refreshments afterwards.

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Cobblestone Museum rededicates bell on historic schoolhouse

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2017 at 8:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum celebrated the rededication of the bell on the historic schoolhouse on Ridge Road on Saturday.

The supporting structure on the bell tower had deteriorated, and the bell sunk down and couldn’t be rung. Museum volunteer Russell Bosch did much of the work to fix the structure up high for the bell.

The bell was rededicated in memory of the Honorable William Jenks Babbitt. He gave the bell to the school in 1849. Many years silent,  the bell will now ring once again to remind all who will hear it of the remarkable legacy of a true Orleans’ pioneer.

The bell was rededicated in honor of William Babbitt, who bought the bell and gave it to the school when it opened in 1849. It served the Gaines District #5 Cobblestone Schoolhouse until the school was closed in 1952.

“The gift of the bell served the community well until the closing of the school in 1952,” said Gaines Town Historian Al Capurso. “Over the years, the supporting structure for the bell gave way and the bell dropped down making it unusable.”

Capurso arranged to have the work done, and secured a $200 donation from the Orleans County Historical Association.

Capurso shared some history of Babbitt, who Babbitt arrived in “Genesee Country” in 1810. Following the War of 1812, he moved his family to what would become Gaines.  He became the area’s first blacksmith, established the first brickyard in Gaines, supplying the brick for most area buildings. Babbitt was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1815.  In 1816, he worked to get the Ridge Road designated as “The Post Road” by NYS, and served as the first postmaster of Gaines.

Babbitt pushed hard to get the Town of Gaines to be set apart from Ridgeway and recommended its naming after War of 1812 hero General Edmund Pendleton Gaines.  In 1831, Babbitt became the Town of Gaines Supervisor and then served the district in the NYS Assembly.

Descendants of William Babbitt attended the rededication at the schoolhouse.

Jeffrey Kleiner, a seventh-generation descendant of William Babbitt, rang the bell during Saturday’s program. Kleiner travelled from Albany to attend the event.

The schoolhouse is a short walk east of the Route 98 intersection on Ridge Road. The school was closed in 1952. The building was acquired by the Cobblestone Museum in 1960 – the year the museum formed – and is a National Historic Landmark.

Richard Flanagan, 14, and his brother Nate Flanagan, 10, raise the American flag with help from Jonathan Doherty. They are members of Troop 164 in Albion.

Museum President Jim Bonafini thanks supporters of the bell rededication. County Historian Matt Ballard is in back at left, followed by County Legislator Fred Miller and Gaines Town Historian Al Capurso.

Ballard said the pioneers, after constructing their homes and establishing farms with crops to sustain themselves, built schoolhouses.

“There was no hesitation in providing instruction to young pupils,” Ballard said. “When school was held in the homes of neighbors, or in a local barn, the lack of a permanent structure in which to provide this training was never enough to halt the institution. Education served as a fundamental feature in life, when quality of life was poor and longevity was questionable at best.”

The bell was ringing again on Saturday during the rededication program.

Ballard said Babbitt was instrumental in establishing the Gaines Academy and oversaw the erection of the schoolhouse.

“Just as important as the bell within the belfry of the church, used to call the devout worshiper to Sunday service, so did this bell call many young pupils to class, ending recess, and sending children home for evening chores and dinner,” Ballard said. “Today, the bell sounds once again as a reminder of the important role in which education has always played in producing intelligent and well-rounded citizens.”

The inside of the schoolhouse is largely unchanged since the building closed in the 1950s.

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Bikers raise funds for Jason Johnston memorial scholarship

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2017 at 7:00 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – More than 100 bikers were out today on a ride to raise money for a scholarship in memory of Jason Johnston. The top photo shows the front fender of a motorcycle parked at the Elks Club on West State Street, where 106 bikers gathered after the ride.

Each biker paid $20 to be in the event, with passengers paying $10. The proceeds go towards a scholarship in memory of Specialist Jason Johnston, who was 24 when he was killed in Afghanistan in the War on Terror on Dec. 26, 2009. Johnston was on his second deployment. He was also a paratrooper.

He completed a 13-month-deployment in 2008 and left again for the war-torn country in October 2009. He was killed by a roadside bomb the day after Christmas.

The Elks Club is serving hamburgers and other food as part of the benefit that continues until 11 p.m. tonight with the Who Dats playing at the Elks. There is a $5 cover charge to get into the event.

Many items were available to bid on through a Chinese auction.

The Albion Elks Riders took the lead in organizing the benefit for the Johnston scholarship. Each rider received one of these koozies.

The $1,000 scholarship goes to a graduating senior who exemplifies the “Golden Rule,” of treating others as you want to be treated. Johnston’s family looks for a student who is pursuing a career in a service profession, such as nursing or law enforcement.

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Rochester wins its third straight Metro 10 cup versus Buffalo

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2017 at 1:14 pm

ALBION – Rochester continued to dominant the Metro 10 running race today, taking the third straight title versus runners from Buffalo.

Vickey Beaver, the Rochester team captain, accepts the Metro 10 Cup from race volunteer JT Thomas at Bullard Park today. Marissa Pace, the Buffalo captain, is in blue.

There were 400 runners in the race, the cap for the event, which included 5- or 10-mile options. There were 201 runners for Rochester and 199 for Buffalo.

Members of the Rochester team each got a victory glass after Rochester won nine of the 10 categories to determine which metro was the winner.

Runners watch an awards celebration where the top 3 in age groups were recognized before the Metro 10 Cup was awarded to culminate the event, which has experienced steady growth, about 30 percent each year since 2015.

Each finisher received a medal.

Jim Salmon of WHAM 1180 in Rochester, left, joined race director Thom Jennings in announcing the award winners at the post-race party.

Preach Freedom provided the music during the party at Bullard Park.

Tracy Jennings, center, serves up tacos to the runners. She is married to Thom Jennings.

There was also a “Micro 10” race at Bullard for kids.

Orleans Hub will have more on the race later.

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Which metro has fastest runners? Rochester or Buffalo?

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2017 at 9:04 pm

Third annual race starts 8 a.m. Saturday in Albion

The winning metro, either Rochester or Buffalo, gets bragging rights for the Metro 10 trophy. The trophy was created by welder and metal artist Matt Kistner of Albion. He made a cup that includes famous buildings in the skyline from each city.

ALBION – The running communities in Rochester and Buffalo will each be represented in Albion on Saturday morning during the third annual Matro 10 race.

The start time has been moved up to 8 a.m. and the course covers 5 and 10 miles. Click here to see a map of the course. (The 5-mile race starts at 8:19 a.m.)

Race organizer Thom Jennings urges the community to be out on the course cheering on the runners, including setting up sprinklers near the road, displaying lawn decorations, and giving hearty encouragement.

There will be about 400 runners in the race, with Buffalo and Rochester each having about 200. Rochester has claimed the Metro 10 cup the first two years.

The race committee has simplified the scoring system for determining the fastest metro.

There are 10 possible points with the categories as follows:

• 10 Mile Male Winner

• 10 Mile Female Winner

• 5 Mile Male Winner

• 5 Mile Female Winner

• 10 Mile Male Average

• 10 Mile Female Average

• 5 Mile Male Average

• 5 Mile Female Average

• 5 Mile Walk Winner (Not Gender Specific)*

• 5 Mile Walk Average*

The tiebreakers are as follows:

  1. Most course records broken
  2. Total average of each team

The metro that wins 6 or more categories takes the overall title. Every runner and walker’s time counts towards determining the winner.

Jared Ziegler, Ron Ziegler and Ed Martin.

Rochester has claimed the Metro 10 Cup in 2015 and 2016. Many of the runners pose for photos with the trophy afterwards, including this group from Rochester in 2015, from left: Jared Ziegler, Ron Ziegler and Ed Martin.

The race concludes at Bullard Park. There will be a viewing standing at the finish for the public.

A post-race party also starts at 9 a.m. with music by Preach Freedom and Connect. The general public is welcome to come to the post-race party to listen to the band. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale for the general public.

Course records:

Male 10 mile: Kenny Goodfellow, 56:44 (2016)

Male 5 mile: Kevin Laley, 39:29 (2016)

Female 10 mile: Amy Konopka, 1:10:38 (2016

Female 5 mile: Sherry Czechowski, 39:39 (2016)

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