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No snow, still lots of fun at Bullard winter event

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2017 at 8:44 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Christmas trees are burned in a bonfire at Bullard Park this evening in an event put on by Energize Albion.

The Albion DPW collected the trees that were discarded at the curb after the holidays.

The bonfire was part of what was intended to be a winter celebration at Bullard today, with snow-related challenges, such as a sledding distance and snowboarding contest. The snow didn’t last long when the temperatures hit 60.

Energize Albion was able to switch to spring-weather events, with basketball, kite-flying and other challenges.

Isaac Sugar, 8, tries to throw a tennis ball through one of the holes in the snowman. Skip Stratton made the snowman cut-outs.

Isaac Sugar, left, and his cousin Aaron Sugar had fun trying to throw the tennis balls through the snowman targets.

Crystal Hand, left, and Jessica Downey serve hot cocoa, which proved popular even on a warm day.

A food truck served hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and other food.

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‘Hope and Love’ at Albion community concert in honor of Elaina Webb

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2017 at 4:51 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – This ballet quartet – Michayla Kovaleski, front left, and Lauren Thomas, and Laiken Ricker, back left, and Rylie Lear – perform Landslide during a community concert this afternoon at the First Baptist Church in Albion. The dancers are part of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.

The concert is a benefit for Elaina Webb’s family. Elaina, 2 ½, passed away from cancer on Feb. 7. Her mother, Beth Webb, worked several years as a dance instructor at Gotta Dance.

Aleka Schmidt, pastor at First Baptist, welcomes about 150 people for the concert, “Hope and Love are in the Air.”

Amy Sidari, the Gotta Dance owner, shares an inspirational message she called, “Greatness.”

Zachary Neal played three solos on the piano.

The High School Men’s Select Chorus sang two songs, “Blue Skies” and “Catch a Falling Star.”

Gary Simboli directs the Men’s Select Chorus. Simboli also sang two solos, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Make You Feel My Love.” He also directed at the High School Women’s Select Choir.

Albion High School senior Angela Tarricone sang, “Let It Be” and “My Heart Will Go On.”

There were 18 different performing acts altogether in the concert.

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Kendall Lions sell nearly 1,000 chicken dinners to benefit woman fighting cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2017 at 6:56 am

Photos courtesy of Helen Unterborn

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club held its annual chicken barbecue on Feb. 4 and sold 864 dinners, with proceeds to go to Paula Mattison-Prince, who is fighting cancer.

This photo shows Lions Club members in the serving line, including Gayle Ashbury, Dan Peckham, Steve Cliff, Tony Cammarata and Bob Furness.

The Lions Club does the fund-raiser every year, and picks someone from the community as the beneficiary of the funds. The Lions Club next month expects to present a check to Mattison-Prince, with the money to help her with her medical expenses.

Phil Haight, Blaine Young and Cary Wright work in the barbecue pit.

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Dollar General proposed for Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2017 at 2:21 pm

KENDALL – A Dollar General store is proposed in Kendall for Route 18, near the Kendall Road intersection. The new 9,100-square-foot store would be across the road from Greenwood Cemetery.

The Orleans County Planning Board will review the site plan for the project on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. The board meets in Conference Room C of the County Administration Building on Route 31 in Albion.

The store is planned for a site in Kendall’s General Business District.

The board will also consider the following referrals:

• Request for a six-month moratorium on installation of freestanding or ground-mounted solar energy systems in Murray.

• Request for amendment of the Shelby zoning map, reclassifying Hamlet District at Maple Ridge Rd., West Avenue Extension, and South Gravel Road to General Business District.

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Resident says town’s listing of elected officials’ salaries is misleading

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2017 at 1:57 pm

MURRAY – Town officials were asked why the official postings for elected officials’ salaries often don’t reflect their entire compensation, including stipends that are often several thousand dollars or more.

At least three elected officials at Murray receive additional pay from what is publicized as their salaries.

For example, Town Supervisor John Morriss is paid $8,500 as town supervisor. He also receives $1,500 as budget manager. The official town notice lists the pay for town supervisor as $8,500.

Ed Morgan serves as highway superintendent and the pay is listed as $63,305. However, he also will be paid $21,462 as water superintendent in 2017.

Town Clerk Cindy Oliver is paid $30,152 as town clerk, according to the town notice listing the salary. She also will receive $10,243 in 2017 as water collection clerk and $600 as registrar of vital statistics.

Kerri Neale, a town resident, asked the board on Tuesday why the official notices of the positions don’t list the entire pay for the three elected officials.

Jeff Martin, the town attorney, said the town is following the legal requirement in posting the salaries for the elected positions. The additional duties reflect pay for that additional work.

Town Councilman Paul Hendel said the town notes the stipends for the other work in January during the organizational meeting.

“Why not list everyone’s pay for clarity in one spot?” Neale asked the board. “For a simple person like me, I wouldn’t have to dig around.”

Murray isn’t unusual in listing the the salaries of the elected positions at lower numbers than the total compensation for the highway superintendent, town clerk and town supervisor. That’s how most of the towns list them, putting the salary for the elected position in a legal notice.

But Neale said it’s misleading to the public when the total compensation is often much higher.

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‘Breakfast with Superintendent’ gives Holley students a chance to make suggestions

Provided photos: Superintendent Robert D’Angelo (standing) addresses students as Board of Education members Brenda Swanger and Sal DeLuca listen.

Posted 17 February 2017 at 10:14 am

Student Jerry Kennedy (lower left) addresses the room as Principal Susan Cory (upper right), Superintendent Robert D’Angelo and Board of Education President Brenda Swanger listen.

Press Release, Holley Central School

HOLLEY – Ten students in grades 9-12 had breakfast with Superintendent Robert D’Angelo and discussed their experience at Holley Central School District.

Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory selected the students to be invited to the breakfast on Feb. 10. Another breakfast will be held in April. Holley Board of Education members Sal DeLuca and Brenda Swanger were also present to listen to the students. The breakfast was prepared by HCSD Food Service Director Vickie Scroger and her staff.

D’Angelo stressed that the breakfast is a relaxed conversation between administration and students. Students were asked to talk about things they thought worked well in their school and they would like to see continue, as well as areas that can be improved upon.

Students said they appreciated the Makerspace events that occur on Fridays in the MS/HS Library; courses that overlapped and aligned subject areas together; and the opportunity to take online courses through Genesee Community College. Students offered up ideas for electives, requested more availability of popular lunch items, and asked for more organized spectator participation at sporting events.

“We’re a professional high school since the renovations,” said senior Kayla Thrower. “We have teachers who really care. We have more opportunities because we’re a smaller district. For instance, we rotate roles in the musical so more students can participate. My involvement in Interact Club helped me gain a better sense of myself and a bigger sense of the world.”

Cory, the school principal, agreed, saying, “We’re providing students with opportunities to become global citizens.”

Senior Jerry Kennedy appreciates the environment at Holley.

“We’re allowed to have our own opinions,” he said. “We’re taught to form our own opinions and stand by them,” said Thrower.

“Holley is a small, tight-knit community that’s fun to be a part of,” said Morgan Cary.

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Medina ranked one of most affordable housing markets in NY

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2017 at 9:40 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in Medina is pictured in May 2015 with a banner, American flag and hanging basket.

Medina is among the top 10 in New York State for being the most affordable housing in New York.

SmartAsset looked at closing costs, taxes, insurance premiums, mortgage payments and median incomes in making its list of most affordable communities for housing. Medina is ranked ninth in New York.

The housing costs in Medina are all well below the state average including Medina’s average closing cost of $3,408, annual property tax of $2,786, annual homeowner’s insurance of $308, and average annual mortgage payment of $3,289.

SmartAsset determined affordability by adding those four costs as a percentage of the median household income.

The $41,538 median income in Medina is well below the state average and also is the third lowest of the 10 communities in NY with the most affordable housing. Hornell, which is ranked No. 3 as most affordable, has a median income $38,598, and Dunkirk, which is ranked No. 4, has a median income of $38,937.

SmartAsset ranked communities with populations of at least 5,000. The most affordable communities had the smallest proportion of median income devoted to total housing costs.

To see the report from SmartAsset, click here.

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Big crowd comes out for basket auction to benefit Albion Middle School musical

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2017 at 9:45 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Sydney Mulka plays Glinda the Good Witch in the Albion Middle School production of The Wizard of Oz. Aubrey Boyer, front right, is playing Dorothy.

The cast gave a preview of the show tonight during a benefit at The Pillars. The show is more expensive than most middle school shows and tonight’s basket auction will help cover the costs for costumes, backdrops, sets, licensing, etc.

Carrie Kozody, the middle school musical director, addresses about 175 people at the event. The show will be March 17-18 at the Middle School Auditorium.

Community members and businesses donated 80 baskets for the raffle. The event was organized by parents of students in the middle school cast and crew.

Aubrey Boyer sings as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

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Extension will use state funds for performance stage at fairgrounds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2017 at 7:40 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: Rich Nolan performs “Eight Second Ride” during the karaoke finals on July 30, 2015. The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County wants to have a permanent stage at the fairgrounds, with the stage also available as an outdoor classroom for master gardeners and agricultural specialists.

KNOWLESVILLE – The Cornell Cooperative Extension has decided on the main project for a $96,000 state grant to be used to boost the fairgrounds.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month announced each county fair would receive an $89,285 grant for a capital project. That grant increased to $96,000 once the paperwork arrived, said Robert Batt, a 4-H educator.

A committee at the Extension wants to put most of the money into upgrading a performance stage at the Curtis Pavilion.

That stage could be used during the week-long 4-H Fair for dancers, bands and other activities. It also could serve as an outdoor classroom for the master gardeners and agricultural specialists at other times of the year, Batt said today.

The Extension would like to have a 40-foot-wide stage that is 30 feet deep. The project would also include a separate area that could be used as a changing room or a spot to prep materials for educational presentations, Batt said.

The new performance stage would spare the Extension from having to pay $2,000 each fair for a temporary stage with a large tent. That $2,000 could instead be put towards programming at the fair, he said.

The Extension also would like to install a sound system for the Curtis Pavilion if there is enough money in the grant.

If there is additional money left after the stage project, Batt said the Extension would also like to install a new wash rack for horses. Right now, 4-H kids wash their horses in the grass, which becomes muddy as fair week stretches on. Ideally, the horses would have a wash rack like the new one with a concrete base that was installed for cattle last year. That cost about $15,000, Batt said.

The state is making the grants available to all the county fairs in the state, hoping the capital improvements can help the local fairs better showcase local agriculture.

The performance stage met the criteria by the state because the stage will also serve as an outdoor classroom for agriculture specialists and master gardeners, Batt said.

“These investments will help these fairs attract more visitors, raise the profile of local vendors and businesses, and help spur economic growth across New York,” Cuomo said last month when he announced the grants.

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New 4-H road signs coming to Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2017 at 6:03 pm

Provided photo

KNOWLESVILLE – Joe Sidonio of Murray holds one of the new 4-H signs he paid for and donated to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County.

Sidonio donated seven road signs. Five will replace existing signs – one of Route 98, and two each on Route 31 and Route 104. The Extension would like to have two signs installed on Route 31A at the entrance of Orleans County by the Monroe County line and the Niagara County line.

“Several of the signs are rusted to the point where they are barely legible,” said Robert Batt, 4-H educator.

Sidonio donated the the signs to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 4-H program. His wife Amy Machamer is a former board member for the local Extension and their daughter, Amelia, has been a 4-H member for several years.

Batt said the new signs should go up in the spring. The five that will replace existing signs should be an easy swap, but the two planned for 31A will require a permit from the state Department of Transportation. If that permit is difficult to obtain, Batt said the signs planned for 31A may be installed at the 4-H Fairgrounds at Knowlesville.

“We just think it’s a good way to showcase that there is a strong and vibrant 4-H program in Orleans County, and the signs will also give people a reason to smile,” Batt said.

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