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Jackson Hewitt opens office in downtown Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2018 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce and the owners of a Jackson Hewitt franchise in Albion celebrated the grand opening of the tax preparer’s office on Main Street.

Jackson Hewitt is at 33 North Main St., the site most recently used by the former U-Need-O Burrito in Albion.

Pictured from left include Kelly Tardera, tax preparer; David Gagne, board member for Chamber of Commerce; Adam Johnson, Chamber vice president; Cyrus Chubineh, co-owner of Jackson Hewitt in Albion; Diane Goodier, tax preparer and office manager; Kathy Blackburn, Chamber president; Albion Mayor Eileen Banker; and Becky Charland, executive director of Chamber.

The Jackson Hewitt in Albion is owned by Cyrus Chubineh and his mother Farideh Chubineh. They also run Jackson Hewitt sites in Batavia, Lockport and Newark.

They owned the site in Albion when it was in Wal-Mart. There they only had room for one tax preparer. The site in downtown Albion has room for three tax preparers.

The Main Street site will be open full-time from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24, and from Jan. 4 to April 15. After that it will be only one day a week and by appointment. Call the Albion office at (585) 283-5082.

The inside of 33 North Main St. has been changed from a kitchen and dining room into an office for the tax preparation business. Pictured from left include: Diane Goodier, tax preparer and office manager; Cyrus Chubineh, co-owner of Jackson Hewitt in Albion; and Kelly Tardera, tax preparer.

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Mr. Scribbles, Santa add star power to Albion’s Hometown Holiday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2018 at 8:14 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – “Mr. Scribbles” – Michael Sparling of Perry – was a popular person Saturday during the Hometown Holiday celebration in downtown Albion. Sparling lets kids scribble on a paper and then he adds cartoons of animals with a friendly message.

He is making a picture for Carsyn Mogle, 7, of Holley at the Village Office.

Oliver Carter, 5, Albion gets his picture taken with four members of the Albion Police Department, including from left: officer Daryl Robb, Lt. David Mogle, officer Nathaniel Staines and Police Chief Roland Nenni.

The Police Department served coffee and doughnuts in the morning and pizza for lunch. They were one of the stations at the Village Hall.

The Albion merchants Association organized the seventh annual Hometown Holiday, which included many activities at downtown businesses and a raffle.

Al Capurso helps children with a craft. He also led the group in singing Christmas carols.

Albion police officer Karol Hughes chats with Santa at the Village Office.

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Many activities in Albion downtown for Hometown Holiday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2018 at 10:37 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association is hosting its seventh annual Hometown Holiday in the downtown today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Debbie Grimm, left, and Grace Kent are getting crafts ready for children in the Village Office at 35-37 East Bank St.

The Village Office also will have Mr. Scribbles, coffee with a cop and a coloring contest. There is free coffee and doughnuts this morning and free pizza at noon while supplies last at the Village Office.

Other businesses are also hosting activities, including cookie decorating, a sing-a-long, letter writing to Santa, crafts with Mrs. Claus, Christmas trivia and a reindeer raffle with 28 items up for raffle.

Anita Finley is ready for people to enter the coloring contests. There will be prizes for children 5 and under, ages 6 to 9, and ages 10 to 12. Finley’s husband Todd is owner of the Oak Orchard Canoe. They are members of the Albion Merchants Association.

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Contractors begin $1.5 million canal rehab project in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 December 2018 at 4:40 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Contractors this week started construction on the Albion waste weir. This is a spot behind Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. A waste weir is used to drain the Erie Canal. This waste weir was built in 1910.

The project costs $1.46 million and is scheduled for completion in July 2019, said Steven Gosset, spokesman for the State Canal Corp. and New York Power Authority.

Cold Spring Construction of Akron has been hired to do the work.

Cold Spring Construction had an excavator in the canal to work on the project on Wednesday.

This file photo shows the waste weir located off State Street behind Community Action, west of Brown Street in Albion.

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Tasty Treats at Hoag Library help raise money for new sign

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 December 2018 at 8:52 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mary Anne Braunbach, president of the Friends of Hoag Library, serves chips in a spinach artichoke dip on Thursday evening during the Tasty Treats event at Hoag Library.

The popular fundraiser supports the library, including a new sign and flagpole that will be installed over the winter. That sign will have electronic messages to promote programs at the library. A state library construction grant for $47,000 will cover half of the cost.

Corinne Johnson, assistant manager at 39 Problems in Albion, serves some of the tasty treats prepared by the Albion restaurant, which is owned by her parents, Adam and Tina Johnson. 39 Problems prepared the spinach artichoke dip, sliders with smoked prime rib, and peanut butter pie.

Johnson, left, is joined by Gloria Nauden, Eileen Allen and Mary Anne Braunbach in serving the food.

The event included several raffles with many of the items and gift certificates donated by local businesses.

Gloria Nauden and Mary Anne Braunbach get the chips and dip ready for the crowd.

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Village of Albion replacing 2,500 water meters for $300K

Photo by Tom Rivers: Marty Zwifka, a Village of Albion Department of Public Works employee, holds one of the new water meters. Zwifka is about halfway through replacing 2,500 meters in the village.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2018 at 10:22 am

ALBION – The Village of Albion is replacing about 2,500 water meters that will give an accurate account of use by village water customers.

The new water meters replace ones that are about 20 years old. Many of those older meters lose their precision as the years go by, leading to water use measurements that aren’t accurate, village officials said.

Albion borrowed $300,000 to buy the new meters, with the money to be paid back by water customers through the water fund.

“We want to ensure to the people that we’re giving them the best product possible,” said Marty Zwifka of the Department of Public Works. “We want to ensure people are getting what they pay for.”

Zwifka has replaced just over half of the meters. It takes about 15 minutes for him to swap out the old ones with a new Zenner meter which has an automatic Internet reader.

The DPW gets a daily report from the meters and any big uses are highlighted. That can help alert the DPW and a village water customer if there is a leak.

The village had more than one water meter manufacturer before. The new meters are all standardized.

The village is saving about $140,000 by having Zwifka, an in-house employee, replace the meters, rather than contracting out the service.

Zwifka replaced a few meters in late 2017, and has been doing about 15 a day since March.

Village water customers who haven’t changed meters yet are encouraged to call the Village Office at (585) 589-9176 and schedule an appointment with the village clerk’s office.

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DOT reduces weight limit on Presbyterian Road canal bridge

Posted 4 December 2018 at 3:06 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

ALBION – The New York State Department of Transportation is advising motorists about new weight restrictions on the bridge carrying Presbyterian Road over the Erie Canal in the Town of Albion, Orleans County.

The structure, which was previously posted for 14 tons, will be temporarily posted for a 10-ton weight restriction.

NYSDOT bridge maintenance crews are in the process of scheduling a project for next summer to strengthen the bridge and bring it back to a minimum posting of 14 tons.

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Albion school and village finalizing contract for resource officer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2018 at 1:17 pm

ALBION – The Board of Education and the Village of Albion are working on the contract for a school resource officer who is expected to start in early 2019 at the school district.

The officer would be a member of the Albion Police Department and would work full-time at the district during the school year. The officer would be available during the summer for road patrols and other duties outside the school district.

The Board of Education on Monday approved paying $81,250 annually towards the officer. That will be pro-rated depending on the start date this school year.

The Board of Education and Village Board need to sign an agreement and then the position can be posted. An interview committee will include representatives from the school – administrators and teachers – and the Albion police command staff.

The Board of Education was unanimous in giving the village a commitment of $81,250 towards the officer. That vote will now allow the Police Department to begin the search process.

“I look forward to a positive working relationship,” said Margy Brown, the Board of Education president. “It’s good for the district.”

Albion was the first school in Orleans County to have an school resource officer about 15 years ago.

“Great benefits were seen during the program and it was lost due to funding,” Police Chief Roland Nenni said today. “To have the program back will mean that the partnership and all the benefits that came with it will be once again be achieved.”

Nenni doesn’t have a solid start date for the school resource officer.

“It will all depend on the signing of the agreement and scheduling of the interviews,” he said.

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Chain gang honored for work at Albion football games

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2018 at 8:14 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The chain gang was presented a “Friend of Education” award on Monday at the Albion Board of Education meeting. Pictured from left includes Adam Krenning, head football coach; chain gang members Scott Kaniecki and Garrett Knaak; and Margy Brown, Board of Education president. Missing from photo: chain gang members Jeff Denson and Gary Westlund.

The chain gang volunteers at Albion football games. Two members are on each sideline holding sticks that are separated by the 10-yard chain. One person holds the down marker at the line of scrimmage.

The four chain gang members have nearly 50 years of service, with Westlund accounting for 27 seasons. They are there regardless of weather.

Krenning said the chain gang members are among the many volunteers who contribute to the football program.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Krenning said.

The Board of Education also recognized two middle school students on Monday.

Kelsey Froman received the Leadership Award. She recently starred in the middle school musical of Pinkalicious and played on the modified soccer team. She also is on the high honor roll.

“She is a person of high effort and high character,” said Brad Pritchard, the school principal. “She is an amazing role model for all of our students at Albion Central School.”

Makayla Klatt was presented with the Character Award. Pritchard said she has a strong work ethic and shows grit and the growth mindset.

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Albion Elementary told it doesn’t have high rate of breast cancer for staff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2018 at 10:16 pm

ALBION — School officials wondered if there was a higher-than-normal rate of breast cancer among staff at the elementary school after several teachers have fought the disease in recent years.

Albion asked WorkFit Medical for its assessment. WorkFit provides medical services to the school district and other districts and businesses in Western New York.

In a Nov. 27 letter to Michael Bonnewell, the Albion school superintendent, WorkFit officials say the rate of breast cancer occurrence at the elementary school is actually lower than the national average.

At Albion Elementary it’s one in 19 women compared to the national average of one out of eight women getting breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the letter from C. Jay Ellie, MD, general director of WorkFit Medical, and Heather Hosking, director of occupational and comprehensive school health for WorkFit Medical.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women other than skin cancer.

WorkFit cited many factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer, such as alcohol use, being overweight and physical inactivity.

But none of the risk factors are environmental exposures. WorkFit quoted from the American Cancer Society which says research hasn’t shown a correlation between breast cancer and substances found in some plastics, certain cosmetics and personal care products, pesticides and PCBs.

Early detection is very important with breast cancer, WorkFit said.

After several incidents of breast cancer among staff in recent years, Bonnewell asked WorkFit for its opinion.

The school complex wouldn’t be a factor because environmental exposures haven’t been a culprit in contracting the disease.

Margy Brown, the Board of Education president, thanked Bonnewell for his inquiry to WorkFit.

“It’s something we continue to monitor at the district and take very seriously,” she said at this evening’s Board of Education meeting.

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