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Volunteers celebrate finishing Circle of Love Memorial Garden

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 July 2016 at 12:00 am

Vince Iorio, pastor of the Calvary Tabernacle Church in Medina, shares a prayer during a dedication event this morning for the Circle of Love Memorial Garden.

There are 32 memorial plaques on this stone garden wall. The plaques are $75 each and there is room for many more.

One of five benches at the garden is a memorial for Michelle Stanton Jones.

After work on the garden slowed last year, these three women pushed to finish the project. They include, from left: Carol Bellack, Andrea Walton and Jenn Thom.

They have also formed The Medina Memorial Garden 501c3, a non-profit group to manage the site, and accept funds and spend money for improvements.

The women credited Dayton Hausman for coming up with the idea of the garden, and praised many of the early volunteers who did a lot of work in creating the space.

Jenn Thom, right, thanks volunteers for their work on the garden. The angel was donated by Lynn Stanley in honor of her son. Thom said the garden will need perpetual care, pulling weeds and watering flowers, among many tasks.

Besides the birdhouse, the perimeter of the garden includes solar-powered lights. The centerpiece of a stone circle has a heart in the center.

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1,000-plus attend motorcycle races in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2016 at 11:00 am

Crusaders Motorcycle Club ‘Day at the Races’ honors the late Les Washbon and Pat Blount

RIDGEWAY – Jeremy Higgins is congratulated for winning the $500 grand prize in the “Dash for Cash” today at the Crusaders Motorcycle Club on Culvert Road in Ridgeway.

Higgins of Bergen is the reigning track champion. He is pictured with friends and family of Pat Blount and Les Washbon. Today’s race day served as a memorial for the two men who were mainstays at the track.

Blount helped many riders in the pits. He was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to work in April 1998. Washbon was a nationally ranked dirt track race. He worked at Dunlap as a racing tire technician. He died last Oct. 30, 2015, at age 54. He raced at the Crusaders track for many years.

Jeremy Higgins is a blur as he speeds around the dirt track.

This pack of racers in the 50 cc class competes in the finals. The trio includes, from left: Kyle Brett, No. 4, of Albion, age 8; Alexis Van Ameron, No. 16, of Holley, age 8; and Brody Hazel, No. 41, of Lyndonville, age 6.

Jackson McGrath of Medina races on the top straightaway of the track next to a cornfield. The Crusaders have been racing at the site since 1957. Next Sunday is the last race of the year with a rain date scheduled for July 31. Today was the biggest racing event of the season, drawing more than 1,000 spectators.

These racing buddies chat during intermission in the pits before the finals start this afternoon. The group includes, from left: Landen Kawczak from near Albany, Josh Shear from near Albany and Kyle Lonnen of Albion.

The Van Ameron brothers, Evan (left), 16; and Kyle, 11, pose for a quick picture before the finals started. The brothers from Albion have been racing since they were 5.

These racers are lined for the start of the finals in the 85 cc class. They include, from left: Kyle Van Ameron of Albion, age 11; Christian Silversmith of Medina, age 14; and Theo Storrs of Penfield, age 12.

Andy Morrison waves the checkered flag as a racer crosses the finish line.

Some young racers take their positions in one of the finals today.

Spencer Burley of Spencerport, age 9, takes first place in the 65 cc class.

Jeff Hartrich from Harley-Davidson in North Tonawanda addresses the crowd during intermission today. Harley-Davidson was one of Les Washbon’s sponsors when he raced.

“He got my boys involved in dirt track racing,” Hartrich said. “He was a wonderful, wonderful guy. We all miss him.”

Les Washbon’s racing bike was parked in the field by the track during today’s races. Washbon was a long-time competitor at the Crusaders.

For more on the Crusaders, click here.

Crusaders give young riders safety tips

Staff Reports Posted 6 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Provided photos

RIDGEWAY – The Crusaders Motorcycle Club held a free training session on Saturday for riders, ages 4 to 8. Brad Hazel and Austin Luczak, two local professional riders, joined volunteers from the Crusaders and riders’ family members in the training session at the Crusaders’ course on Culvert Road.

This class provided young riders with basic riding/racing skills. The 10 participants were taught what all the different colored flags represent, how to watch for the green race light and to practice their starting skills. They learned how to maneuver around the corners. By the end of the day all the riders were picking up their speed and increasing their riding skills.

Assemblyman plans 4 Town Hall meetings Saturday in Orleans

Posted 12 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release
State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

ALBION – Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) announced the locations and times of his upcoming Town Hall meetings in Orleans County on Saturday.

“I am excited by the opportunity to listen to the questions and concerns of my constituents in Orleans County,” Hawley said. “Positive feedback and constructive criticism keep me motivated to fight for better public policy each day. I use the concerns and ideas of my constituents to shape my initiatives, legislative votes and the programs I fight for during budget negotiations.”

The schedule for Saturday includes:

Village of Medina/Town of Ridgeway, 9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., Medina Fire Hall, 600 Main St.
Town of Barre, 10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m., Barre Fire Hall, 4709 Oak Orchard Rd.
Village of Albion/Town of Albion, 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Albion Fire Hall, 108 N. Platt St.
Village of Holley/Town of Murray, noon to 12:30 p.m., Holley Fire Hall, 7 Thomas St.

County approves bids to replace bridges in Kendall, Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2016 at 10:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County officials have approved bids to replace deteriorated bridges on Carton Road in Kendall and over Fish Creek on East Scott Road in Ridgeway.

The County Legislature last week approved the low bid from Union Concrete and Construction Corporation in West Seneca to replace the East Scott Road Bridge for $724,346. The new bridge will replace one from 1936.

The Legislature also accepted the low bid from Crane-Hogan Structural Systems in Spencerport to replace the Carton Road Bridge for $793,729. It will replace a bridge from 1959.

The work will be paid for as part of an $8 million bond the county took out in 2014 for a series of infrastructure projects over three years.

Construction on the two bridges is scheduled to start at the end of this month.

Man escapes fiery crash in Ridgeway without serious injury

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2016 at 9:00 am

RIDGEWAY – The driver of this Chevrolet S-10 pickup escaped serious injury after an accident on Marshall Road, just north of the Erie Canal, today at about 1 p.m.

A state trooper at the scene said the driver, a man about age 25, was travelling south on Marshall Road when he fell asleep, drove off the shoulder of the road and struck a tree stump.

The truck overturned and caught on fire.

Ridgeway firefighters, including Don Marchner (back to camera), put out fire with the truck. The driver was able to crawl out of the vehicle and get a safe distance from the wreck.

The driver had injuries to both feet and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester by the Medina Fire Department.

The driver hit the stump in the lower right and then overturned the pickup. Lyons Collision in Medina removed the vehicle.

Route 104 expected to be closed several hours after accident in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2016 at 3:05 pm

Provided photos
RIDGEWAY – No one was injured at about 12:30 p.m. in an accident on Route 104 involving a tractor trailer and a pickup truck.

The accident left debris and the tractor trailer in the road. An Orleans County dispatcher said at about 2:45 p.m. the road could be closed for several hours due to the cleanup.

The accident occurred on Route 104 between Murdock and Marshall roads, near the Millers Bulk Food Bakery, a popular Amish-owned business.

First responders said it was a miracle no one was injured in the accident.

EDA approves sales tax abatement, saving Helena nearly $300K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 April 2016 at 8:00 am

Company plans to spend $5M on new facility in Ridgeway

RIDGEWAY – Helena Chemical Company plans to break ground this year on a new $5 million complex at 3956 Allis Rd., a site along the railroad in Ridgeway, just off of Route 31.

The company will be spared paying sales tax for equipment and materials for the project. That move, approved today by the board for the Orleans Economic Development Agency, will save Helena $283,910 in sales tax.

The EDA sales tax exemption goes towards up to $3.6 million in taxable purchases for the new construction.

The company didn’t seek a property tax break for the project, which includes a 50,000-square-foot building this year, with plans for a railroad spur and mixing facility in 2017. Helena is planning to add six positions as part of the expansion, jobs that will pay an average of $57,100, according to EDA records.

Helena currently operates out of 10,000 square feet on Platt Street in Albion. It sells fertilizer, seeds and chemicals to farmers. The company will relocate to Ridgeway where it plans a six-building complex with 75,000 square feet. Helena will continue to work out of Albion this year while it settles into the new space.

“The move to Ridgeway will allow us to offer more products and services,” Mitch Wilber, Helena branch manager, previously stated. “The quality of the agriculture is what brought us here. There are good farmers growing good crops.”

Helena has headquarters just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, with 450 branch locations across the United States.

Fire causes heavy damage to Ridgeway home on Marshall Road

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Several fire companies were on scene this afternoon at a fire on Marshall Road.

The fire caused significant damage to a home owned by William and Jennifer Ribbeck at 3245 Marshall Rd.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 12:46 p.m. No one was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters use the Medina ladder truck to get high and aim water down on the fire.

Shelby firefighters head inside the house.

Ridgeway honors dedicated firefighters, installs officers for 2016

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Glen Busch II and Valerie Childs, who got engaged to each other on Wednesday, both were honored for their service to the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday.

Busch received the President’s Award from outgoing president Mike Kelly. He cited Busch’s work as treasurer, and for attending many fire calls as well as training courses.

“He puts a lot of time and effort into this place,” Kelly said.

Childs received the Chief’s Award from Don Marchner, the outgoing fire chief.

“Anything you ask of her, she’s there,” Marchner said.

Childs last year took an inventory of all the equipment – turnout gear, helmets, radios and pagers – and now does an annual inspection of all the equipment.

Childs, 31, also is the new president of the Fire Company, the first woman in that role in the Fire Company’s 63-year history. She joined in July 2013, four months after she and Busch started dating. She went to a few calls with Busch, waiting in his truck before she became a member. She decided to join, “rather than just sitting there twiddling my thumbs.”

Busch assumed she wanted to be a social member. But Childs took classes for scene support. She has a goal this year to take the class so she can drive fire trucks, including the big pumper-tanker.

“If you told me five years ago I would be president of a fire company and winning an award I would have laughed at you,” Childs said.

Busch, 32, joined the Fire Company in 2011. He was volunteering with Cub Scouts, and three of the Scouts were sons of Kristin McAdoo, the EMS captain.

“She inspired me,” Busch said about McAdoo. “I saw what they do.”

He also wanted to be a firefighter in memory of his brother, who died at age 10 from leukemia. Jeffrey Busch wanted to be a firefighter and when he was battling leukemia was made an honorary fire chief by the Warsaw Fire Department in Wyoming County, where Busch grew up.

Busch has worked the past 15 years as a campus safety officer for Hilbert College in Hamburg. Childs works as a technician at Baxter Healthcare in Medina.

Ridgeway Fire Company officers take the oath of office, including Francis Woodward in white. Others pictured include, from left: Guy Scribner, first assistant chief; James Marciszewski, deputy chief; Valerie Childs, president; and Melissa Hansler, vice president.

Other officers include: Rick Tuohey, second assistant chief; Patrick Kelly, captain; Jason Bessel, lieutenant; Mike Kelly, fire police captain; and Kristin McAdoo, EMS captain.

Other executive committee members include: Glen Busch II, treasurer; Laurie Marchner, secretary; Stacey Seefeldt, Kristin McAdoo and Katie Tuohey as directors; and Todd Hansler, sergeant at arms.

Ladies Auxiliary Officers are sworn in, including, from left: Tracey Hendrick, president; Melissa Hansler, vice president; and Donna Lockwood, treasurer. Other officers include Effie McAdoo, secretary; Harriett Petrie, chaplain; and Michelle Lechner, flag bearer.

Fire Chief Francis Woodward holds an axe while firefighter Charles Smith announces names of members who died in 2015. Valerie Childs would ring the bell three times in their memory.

The Fire Company’s memorial service, recognized two charter members: Gary Ehrenreich as a firefighter and Marjorie Canham in the Ladies Auxiliary. They were the last living members from when the Fire Company formed 63 years ago.

Jack McCarthy, the former fire coordinator in the county, also was remembered during the memorial service.

Charles Smith and Valerie Childs hold new axes given to the Fire Company by Harriett Petrie, right, in memory of her husband, Larry Petrie. Those axes will be used by the honor guard at funerals, parades and other events.

Rob and Rachel Kaiser, owners of Wildwood Lake KOA Campground in Medina, were given an award for helping raise money for the Fire Company and for giving firefighters a discount to use the campground. Francis Woodward, the fire chief in back, is a regular at Wildwood.

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