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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.

Maple producers welcome public to taste and see

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Warm winter has zapped some of sap crop

RIDGEWAY – Bob Schumacher of Schumacher Farm gives a tour of his sugar shack on Mill Road today.

Schumacher Farm in Ridgeway is one of 160 maple farms in New York participating in Maple Weekend. The event continues tomorrow (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on April 2-3. (Click here for more on Maple Weekend.)

Terry Wagner, Schumacher’s brother-in-law, feeds wood into the stove to heat up the evaporator and boil sap. Schumacher said it takes 40 pounds of sap to produce a gallon of maple syrup.

The warm winter has diminished the maple syrup crop this year. Sap flows best when temperatures are about 40 degrees during the daylight and then drop below freezing at night.

Visitors check out the Schumacher sugar shack this afternoon. The maple farm usually produces about 150 gallons of syrup a year, but that is down to 36 gallons this year because of the warm winter.

Kathy and Bob Schumacher have run Schumacher Farm since 1999 on Mill Road, just off Countyline Road. They tap 600 trees near Carmen Road in Niagara County.

Mr. Schumacher is retired from Kodak after 28 years. He and his wife were also both truck drivers.

Although the syrup crop is down this year, Schumacher still has syrup and other maple products for sale.

New York is the country’s second-leading maple producing state at about 300,000 gallons annually, behind only Vermont.

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.

Canal Culvert is popular spot with snowmobilers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Site in Ridgeway part of inaugural ‘Covered Bridge Challenge’

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Rich Kilger of Clarence rides his snowmobile into the Canal Culvert on Sunday as part of the “Covered Bridge Challenge,” which includes 10 spots in six counties.

Snowmobilers are encouraged to visit each site and take a photo or “selfie.” Kilger has visited nine of the 10 spots so far this winter, and hopes to complete the challenge with a visit soon to Oswego.

“We’ve been trying to ride the trails and see new places,” Kilger said.

There was a ribbon-cutting by the Canal Culvert to celebrate the “Covered Bridge Challenge.” Pictured from left include: Lynne Menz, tourism coordinator for Orleans County; Cathy Light, director of sales and marketing for Mohawk Valley GIS, which developed the Covered Bridge Challenge; Josh Narburgh, president of the Orleans County Snowdrifters; and Bruce Phillips, a member of the Snowdrifters.

The Mohawk Valley GIS developed the challenge with 10 sites after soliciting feedback from snowmobilers for covered bridges. Although the Culvert isn’t a covered bridge, many snowmobilers pushed for it to be on the challenge.

Kilger, the Clarence snowmobiler, said the challenge is really “nine covered bridges and one really cool tunnel.”

This group gathered at the Culvert after the Snowdrifters put on their annual pancake breakfast at the Carlton Rec Hall.

Narburgh said the warm winter has been tough on snowmobilers. The Snowdrifters will usually have about 300 members for winters with lots of snow, but only have about 100 who have paid the annual dues so far this year.

Narbrugh said he is still optimistic there will be enough snow for later in February and March. There needs to be at least 4 to 6 inches of snow for a hard base for snowmobilers, Narburgh said.

Kilger said he has been able to get out on his snowmobile a few times. He has driven it to some of the spots for the Covered Bridge Challenge to get a photo at the site.

Light said the challenge has brought attention to the 11,000 miles of snowmobile trails in th state and helped riders meet each other.

“Even though there hasn’t been a lot of snow there has been a lot of new friendships,” she said.

Rich Kilger rides into the Culvert, the only spot where motorists can ride under the historic Erie Canal.

She said the Covered Bridge Challenge should become an annual event with different locations each year.

Some of the spots, like the culvert, may not technically be a covered bridge.

“You need to stretch the definition of a covered bridge,” Light said. “This is just intended to be fun.”

For more on the Covered Bridge Challenge, click here.

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.

Firefighters enjoy helping Santa in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Valerie Childs, a Ridgeway firefighter, carries a box full of toys this morning. She was one of about 30 firefighters who volunteered to deliver toys to about 150 children in the annual toy drive by the Medina Area Association of Churches.

Firefighters delivered boxes of toys, food and clothes to more than 100 Medina families and senior citizens this morning. The delivery was the last step in annual toy and gift effort coordinated by MAAC, an annual initiative going back more than four decades.

Ridgeway firefighters fill a truck up with boxes of toys. Rick Tuohey is in the truck. He has been helping with the toy delivery the past 18 years.

Don Marchner, Ridgeway fire chief, is in front at right. He has helped deliver the toys for about 40 years.

“It’s for a good cause,” Marchner said. “When you see the kids’ faces light up, it means a lot and makes you feel warm inside.”

Firefighters from Medina, Ridgeway, Shelby and East Shelby delivered toys to Medina families this morning. Paul Wengrzycki, a Medina firefighter, is in front at left.

The Medina United Methodist Church at the former Apple Grove Inn served as the staging area for the MAAC holiday effort.

Brothers Vinny Viterna, left, and Dominic Viterna help load up a truck with toys. Vinny just joined the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company and his brother is a junior firefighter.

Medina firefighter Jacob Crooks gets one of the last boxes ready for delivery.

Medina firefighters also placed 29 red barrels in the community in November and residents filled them up with toys and donations.

Medina firefighters head out to deliver some of the toys and food.

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