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Albion Scouts place 1,000-plus flags at veterans’ graves

Staff Reports Posted 13 May 2017 at 4:00 pm

Provided photos
ALBION — Scouts from Pack 164 in Albion gathered at Mt Albion Cemetery this morning for their annual outing to place American flags at the graves of veterans. This is always one of their favorite community service projects of the year, done each May before Memorial Day.

Alakai Colmenero places a flag at Mt Albion.

Zack Baron finds another marker that needs a flag.

Jonny Soule scouts the scene for markers.

CubMaster Mike Beach points out a few markers to see eager followers.

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2 dogwood trees planted in front of former Swan Library

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2017 at 7:25 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Two flowering dogwoods were recently planted on the front lawn of the former Swan Library, at 4 North Main St.

The Albion Betterment Committee and the Orleans County Historical Association split the costs for the new trees. The site used to have a tall pine tree, but that was removed last year because the tree’s roots were pushing out the stone retaining wall.

Pictured include, from left: Gary Kent, director for the Betterment Committee; Chad Fabry, owner of the former Swan; Gary Derwick, director for the Betterment Committee; and Al Capurso, president for the Historical Association.

The Betterment Committee has had many dogwood trees planted along Main Street and in other prominent parts of Albion in recent years.

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Albion teacher wins state-wide award from VFW

Photos by Tom Rivers: Tim Archer is pictured with one of his service learning classes on Tuesday after member of the VFW presented him with his teaching award. Archer said the students are committed to the many service projects.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2017 at 1:17 pm

Tim Archer praised for honoring veterans, promoting citizenship

ALBION – An Albion teacher has won a state-wide teaching award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars for his work promoting citizenship and connecting his seventh-grade students with projects honoring veterans.

Tim Archer is now under consideration for the national VFW award for a middle school teacher. The VFW each year honors an elementary, middle and high school teacher.

“I’m impressed with everything he’s done,” said Earl Schmidt, the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency director, and a member of the VFW. “He goes above and beyond.”

Archer and his class have worked on several projects honoring veterans. Their next effort will be rededicating a World War I bronze plaque on the Orleans County Courthouse.

The memorial was given by the American Legion, which asked Archer to help find a suitable place to display it. That marker will be rededicated at 3 p.m. on June 9, going back to its original spot on the Courthouse.

Tim Archer, right, received surprise visitors on Tuesday afternoon at his seventh grade service learning class. Three members of the VFW stopped by to present him with the New York “teacher of the year” award from the VFW.  The VFW representatives include, from left: Earl Schmidt, the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency director; Jim Freas, Medina VFW post commander; and Rebecca Hucknall, a senior master sergeant and VFW post adjutant.

Dan Monacelli, the middle school principal, said Archer has been “an amazing mentor” to his students, inspiring them in them service projects, while promoting citizenship and flag etiquette.

“This is a big deal,” Monacelli told one of Archer’s classes on Tuesday. “It’s big because of his hard work and because you kids buy into it.”

Students secured a proper cemetery marker for one Civil War veteran at the old St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Albion. Hey painted 160 Civil War markers (Grand Army of the Republic) that were rusting at Mount Albion Cemetery. They dedicated a historical marker for the lone Orleans County veteran who died at Gettysburg.

“He brings the curriculum to life,” Monacelli said. “You can reach out and touch it.”

Archer, in addition to the community projects honoring veterans, has many veterans come and and speak to his classes.

Some of the recent projects Archer has led with his students include:

Historical marker unveiled for local soldier who died at Gettysburg

On Oct. 8, 2016, a new historical marker for Herbert Charles Taylor, the only Orleans County resident believed to have been killed in the Battle at Gettysburg, was unveiled at Hillside Cemetery.

The local Honor Guard is pictured in the background of this photo. Taylor is buried in the older section of Hillside Cemetery, a historic site in the Town of Clarendon, just south of the Village of Holley.

Gettysburg was the Civil War’s deadliest battle with about 23,000 Union casualties and about 28,000 killed from the Confederacy. Taylor,  a member of the 140th N.Y. Infantry, was with his regiment at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 and repulsed the attack on Little Round Top.

Marker added at Civil War section of Mount Albion, and GAR markers repainted

Albion students on May 26, 2016 died a new marker at the Civl War section of historic Mount Albion Cemetery. Students researched local Civil War soldiers. Archer and the students also repainted about 160 GAR grave markers for soldiers who fought for the Union in the Civil War.

Seventh-grader Emily Merger wore a period dress for the ceremony last May. She said women also made many sacrifices during the Civil War, keeping houses, farms and businesses running while caring for children while their husbands were at war or killed in battle. Tim Archer, the Service Learning teacher, is in back.

Civil War soldier gets headstone 101 years after death

A new headstone was unveiled on April 30, 2016 for John Frost, a principal musician (chief bugler) for the 33rd New York Infantry and also the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of 6th Corps. Frost was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Brown Road in 1915.

Frost raised five children in Orleans County and sold coal for a living. In 2015, the Holy Family Parish was going through records at the cemetery and realized that John Frost never had a headstone. County Historian Matt Ballard, a member of the parish and also the Knights of Columbus, shared the story with Archer,who then told his students about Frost.

The students wanted Frost to have a headstone. They worked with the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans and Niagara counties to secure a headstone for Frost. The marble stone was unveiled about a year ago.

Bronze memorial for World War I vets headed back to Courthouse

Provided photo: American Legion Sheret Post #35 Commander Wally Skrypnik is pictured with a large bronze plaque memorializing 24 area soldiers who died during World War I. Skrypnik is pictured with Albion seventh graders Leah Pritchard, center, and Emily Harling. The seventh grade service learning class is working on having the memorial placed at the Orleans County Courthouse.

The latest project for Archer and the students includes finding a fitting home for the bronze marker that lists the names of 24 local residents from the school district (towns of Albion, Barre, Carlton and Gaines) who died in World War I.

The American Legion Sheret Post #35 donated the large 3-by-5-foot bronze plaque memorializing 24 local WWI soldiers. The plaque has been displayed in various indoor locations, but was most recently in storage, not visible to the public.

After being impressed by the students work last year on area Civil War soldiers, the local American Legion Post felt it fitting to donate the plaque to the hard-working students on the 100th anniversary of the United States entrance into WWI.

Archer was willing to accept the challenge to have the memorial placed back in the community.

“Our kids will learn a great deal about courage, integrity, and self-sacrifice,” Archer said in September. “There is no greater example of ‘loving thy neighbor’ than laying down your life for another. We all need role models like this.”

Those listed on the plaque include: John D. Arnett, Albert Beary, Jesse S. Brooks, John A. Butler, Leo. F. Christopher, Oliver E. Clement, Ronald F. Corey, Robert B. Densmore, Harry H. Dibley, Frederick Green, John Kurzawski, Martin Larwood, Louis Monacelli, Dewey Mott, Benjamin A. Needles, Leonard Osborne, Adolfo Passarelli, Stanley Rutkowski, James A. Sheret, Egbert Sheret, John H. Stevens, Alexander Wilson and Stanley P. Zyglarski.

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Bank of America closing Albion branch

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 May 2017 at 9:15 am

ALBION – Bank of America has notified customers it is closing its Albion branch on Aug. 15.

“While your account will stay the same, we’re sorry for the inconvenience this closing causes,” the bank said in a letter to customers dated May 5.  “To minimize the inconvenience, we have many others ways you can continue to bank with us.”

The Albion branch is located at 156 South Main St. Bank of America also recently opened a drive-through ATM by Dunkin Donuts in Albion.

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Persistent rain this spring has been hard on marching bands, too

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 May 2017 at 8:00 am

Photo courtesy of Mike Thaine

ALBION – The Albion Marching Band braved the constant rain on Saturday and practiced for four hours. Andrew Moore looked like he was dressed to go duck hunting.

The marching band normally starts outside practices in early to mid April, but had been confined to using the gym and halls. The band tried going outside once before this spring, but that only lasted 10 minutes before fleeing from the rain.

But the band and its 75 students make their season debut this Saturday at the Lilac Festival in Rochester. Yesterday was the last chance for a long drill practice before the Lilac Festival.

Mike Thaine, the band director, said the students stayed positive despite the rain and 45-degree weather.

“There were very few complaints,” he said.

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A century ago, Albion Fire Department was among best equipped to fight fires

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 6 May 2017 at 8:06 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 3, Issue 19

ALBION – On November 19, 1913, the Ever-Ready Manufacturing Company of Buffalo delivered a six cylinder, 90 horsepower Thomas flyer hose, chemical, and ladder truck for the Active Hose No. 2 Fire Company in Albion.

At a cost of approximately $6,000, the fully-loaded vehicle was said to max out at 75 miles per hour. A year and a half prior to this delivery, Dye Hose No. 5 Fire Company purchased a similar machine, making Albion’s fire service one of the best in the United States.

This photograph shows Chief Engineer C. Royce Sawyer, right, seated in his recently purchased 1913 Buick Model 30 Roadster, which was designated as the chief’s car for the Dye Hose Company. The vehicle was equipped with a carbonated gas fire extinguisher, visible on the car’s driver-side running board.

Around the time this photograph was taken, two of Albion’s volunteer companies took out incorporation papers following village approval to do so. The process of incorporation allowed both companies to move their automated fire apparatus to the municipal building shown in this photo. Sawyer was an incorporator of the Dye Hose Company, while J. Wallace Eggleston, seated left, was an incorporator of the Active Hose Company.

At the time of his retirement, Eggleston had responded to over 2,000 fire alarms with the Active Hose Co. No. 2, becoming an inactive fireman in 1966 after more than 50 years of service. When the Orleans County mutual-aid system was established in 1949, he served as its first coordinator.

He worked with Sawyer to motorize Albion’s fire apparatus, encouraging village officials to invest in the machine purchased by Dye Hose. Eggleston was also an advocate for the creation of fire districts, convincing nearby towns to enter into contracts with the village to provide fire protection. This effectively spread the cost of the fire department across the tax rolls and reduced fire insurance rates for rural residents.

In the far bay with closed doors, you can see the Dye Hose fire apparatus parked inside. Active Hose housed their vehicles in bays located along Platt Street. This building was later converted into offices for the Village of Albion and the Albion Police Department.

Gotta Dance by Miss Amy celebrates 20th anniversary with special recital

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2017 at 12:40 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Amy Sidari, center, is pictured with some of the current and past teachers at the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio in Albion.

Sidari opened the business 20 years ago. This year’s recital includes a special celebration for the 20 years. The dance instructors will do a 15-minute dance together.

Sidari worked as the lone dance instructor the first two years before adding additional teachers. Crystal Hollenbeck, front right in the photo, has been a dance instructor for Miss Amy for 16 years. Hollenbeck pushed for the teachers to do a dance together as part of the recital.

There will be recitals today and Saturday at 6 p.m., as well as a noon recital for the younger students. The recitals are at the Albion Middle School Auditorium.

Amy Sidari will also do a dance with many of her family members at this evening’s recital. They will be performing for the crowd, which will include a front row seat for her three aunts, from left in chairs: Jane Sidari, Santa Calles and Louise Felso. The Sidaris and their extended family will performing, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.

The family has been rehearsing the dance since March. They are pictured during a rehearsal on Wednesday evening. Steve Coville and his wife Annette, left, joined the three aunts in getting a close seat to the action.

Sidari opened the dance studio at 28 West Bank St. She has expanded from a one-room studio to two dance rooms, with one serving as a larger performing arts center with frequent guests in “The Cabaret at Studio B.” Gotta Dance also offers voice and piano lessons.

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Canal Corp. works to fix leak near Keitel Road in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2017 at 2:42 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The State Canal Corp. has made a temporary fix to a leak in the canal between the Keitel Road and Densmore Road bridges. The leak was on the southside bank by the Albion Sportsmen’s Club (the former Peck’s Quarry).

The state used concrete blocks and a fabric covered with pea gravel to make a short-term fix, according to an Orleans County official.

The Canal Corp. is digging down to see if additional action is needed.

Orleans Hub left a message with the Canal Corp. on Tuesday but hasn’t received a call back.

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Senior citizens enjoy fun-filled day at Albion High School

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2017 at 1:11 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Ann Batt moves a block up high during a game of Jenga this morning at Charles D’Amico High School in Albion. Laurencé Walker (left), a senior at Albion, is in position in case the tower tumbles. Batt was joined by her daughter, Sue Reed.

Senior citizens played many games with students, and also were treated to breakfast and lunch, and a concert by the jazz band and some of the chorus groups.

Jane Sidari rolls oversized dice during a game of Yahtzee. Katie Rustay, a senior, helped run the game.

Kay DiLaura looks over some of the student artwork on display.

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4 elected as Hoag Library trustees

Photos by Tom Rivers: These four were elected trustees to Hoag Library on Monday. They include, from left: Anitrice Bennett, Gloria Nauden, Terry Wilbert and Rose English. English is new to the board, while the other three were already serving in the volunteer positions.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 May 2017 at 7:58 am

ALBION – Four residents were elected trustees to Hoag Library on Monday. There were 90 voters on Monday, and Gloria Nauden received the most votes, 77, in being elected to a four-year term.

Anitrice Bennett received 50 votes and was elected to a three-year term. Rose English was elected to a two-year term with 46 votes, and Terry Wilbert secured the final open seat, a one-year term, with 41 votes. Two other candidates also were on the ballot. Debbie DiBacco received 26 votes and Angel Slick, 25.

The trustees met after the library’s annual meeting on Monday and backed Kevin Doherty for another term as president, with Wilbert picked to serve as vice president.

Doherty went over recent highlights for the library, including refinancing the mortgage on the building, switching from Farm Credit to Steuben Trust. The library was able to reduce the mortgage from $1.4 million to $1 million and now has a fixed rate for financing over 20 years at 5 percent interest.

Doherty said the monthly mortgage payment will drop from about $10,000 a month to $6,600. That savings, as well as with electricity cost reductions from the solar array on the library roof, is allowing the library to not seek more funds from residents with property taxes.

Betty Sue Miller, director of Hoag Library, goes over highlights for the library during its annual meeting on Monday.

The budget vote on May 16 will ask the public to approve $682,211 for the library, the same as last year. That proposition is part of the school budget vote from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school.

The library has benefitted from recent donations, including $100,000 from Maurice “Mo” Hoag and his wife Courtenay, $75,000 from Dale Blissett in honor of his mother Helen Rice Blissett, and $50,000 from the estate of the late Elio D’Andrea.

Library Director Betty Sue Miller said the donations make Hoag the envy of many libraries in the three-county Nioga library system. Many of the libraries are struggling financially.

“We’re really, really fortunate,” Miller said.

Hoag also has dedicated volunteers. She noted that Bill Lattin comes in weekly to water plants and wind the clocks. Don Trapiss, a library neighbor, watered the lawn last year, helping the grass and trees survive the drought.

Ken Mart, Debbie Barlow, Carol Mayer, Louise Henderson and Joyce Riley all are active volunteers.

The Friends of Library are important contributors as well, Miller said. They sell used books and raise money for Hoag, allowing the library to pay for programs and supplies. The Friends are raising money for a sign outside the library that would advertise programs and events. That stone sign would be computerized with electronic messages. Miller is hopeful it will be in place by next year.

Miller went over some statistics from 2016:

• 90,774 total circulation

• 10,239 number of patrons

• 10,011 items borrowed from other libraries

• 5,921 items loaned to other libraries

• 1,167 items downloaded from overdrive

Hoag Library is a popular meeting place for many organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, a Breast Cancer support group, AARP for a driver’s course, and many other community groups, Miller said.

She and the staff are gearing up for the summer reading program, which kicks off June 24 with a theme: “Build a Better World.” The programming will include a reading challenge, but there will also be activities for building and creating, as well as a program on ecology and sustainability. Miller said she will also be promoting “kindness” in building a better world.

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