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Month: June 2014

Our Sandstone Heritage – Jamestown Library is enduring Medina sandstone story

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 11:06 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The James Prendergast Library in Jamestown was built with Medina sandstone in 1891.

Photo by Tom Rivers

JAMESTOWN – For nearly 125 years the James Prendergast Library has been an iconic structure in the city of Jamestown, a well used public library and a rugged structure.

The site is also a showcase of Medina sandstone, a building that consumes an entire city block on Cherry Street. The library, built in 1891, has rounded arches, a turret on the southeast corner and stone steps that were cut from a single stone to help the steps weather the harsh winter climate.

Orleans Hub profiled many great Medina sandstone structures last year, and we’ll feature more of these grand buildings made from the local stone.

This postcard from the early 1900s shows the James Prendergast Library before it had two additions and the trees grew big on the property. The property is lined with sandstone walls.

The Jamestown Library was built in a Richardsonian Romanesque style, the same style as the famed the Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo. The site was an inaugural member of the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame in December. (Click here for more on the Hall of Fame.)

The Jamestown library bears the name of the city’s founder, although the library was actually built as a memorial to Prendergast’s grandson, James. His parents, Alexander and Mary Prendergast, pushed to build the library as memorial for their son, who died in 1879 at age 31.

The library includes some fine detail work from the stone masons of the era.

The library was completed at a cost of $60,000 and was furnished with an art gallery at a cost of $45,000. When it opened on Dec. 1, 1891, the library contained 8,666 volumes. Two additions were completed in 1968 and 1978.

The elder James Prendergast founded Jamestown in 1811. He built a log house and then a dam and then a mill. He lived until 1836.

His son and his wife Mary honored their son by building the library. They chose to honor their daughter Catherine with a memorial by building a new Episcopal church.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a dominant structure in Jamestown made from Medina sandstone.

The Prendergasts paid to build the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church from 1892-1894 at 410 North Main St. This church complex, which includes a sandstone chapel and office building, is one of the most impressive Medina sandstone structures I’ve seen. The church has a four-sided clock tower that looms high. The tower holds the city’s only chime bells.

The Prendergasts have put an enduring stamp on Jamestown. Their choice of Medina sandstone for a building material has given their gifts a lasting life.

The chapel at the Episcopal church in Jamestown has stood the test of time.

KofC nips Slack Ins. for Powder Puff Minor Division playoff title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Building up as much as a 10-5 lead, Knights of Columbus held on to nip Slack Insurance 10-9 in the Medina Powder Puff League Minor Division playoff championship game Saturday at Butts Park.

Bailey Jackson had three hits for KofC as Aubrey Schoolcraft, winning pitcher Faith Oberther and Tessa Pecoraro each added two. Oberther struck out three in the sixth inning to preserve the narrow win.

Chloe Stinson had three hits while Haley Schaffer and Saithann Vanderwalker each had two for Slack Insurance.

KofC advanced to the finals by defeating the Roy-Hart Angels while Slack Insurance scored wins over Medina Savings and Loan (9-8) and the Roy-Hart Wildcats (16-1).

Slack Insurance nipped Medina S&L on last inning RBI singles by Vanderwalker and Carina Kingsbury. Stinson and Kingsbury then both had three hits and Lexoni Russo two in the win over the Wildcats

Medina 14 U Fillies

The Medina 14U Fillies dropped a 14-9 league decision to Cambria this past week in extra innings. Alexi Neuman had a two-run home run to help the Fillies build up as much as a 7-2 league. However, Cambria rallied and earned the win by scoring seven runs in the eighth inning.

Over the weekend the Fillies competed in a tournament at Lockport.

In round robin action on Saturday, the Fillies lost 11-5 to Clarence, 3-2 to Sandlot and 12-2 to the Amherst Thunder. Marissa Grimes and Kaydi Barker both had two hits for the Fillies against Clarence.

On Sunday, the Fillies were eliminated by a 12-0 loss to the Clarence Devils.

Twins edge Yankees for Medina Youth Baseball League playoff championship

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Pitchers Chris Goyette, left, and AJ Seefeldt led the Twins to a 2-0 victory over the Yankees this evening in the Medina Youth Baeball League playoff championship.

Pitching dominated the action as the Tops Twins edged past the Medina Teachers Association Yankees 2-0 this evening in the Medina Youth Baseball League playoff championship game at Butts Park.

Twins pitchers AJ Seefeldt and Chris Goyette combined for a total of 15 strikeouts over the six innings.

Seefeldt fanned nine over the first three innings. Goyette then struck out eight over the last three frames including a huge strikeout to end the fourth inning as the Yankees stranded runners at second and third.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Yankees pitcher Nate Sherman puts the tag on Twins base runner Wes Hughes at home plate.

The Twins scored what proved to be the game winning run in the first inning on a hit by Hunter Kruger. The Twins added an insurance run in the third on a hit by Seefeldt after a walk and singles by Wes Hughes and Goyette had loaded the bases.

The Yankees though got out of further trouble in the third as Nate Sherman registered a clutch inning ending strikeout with the bases loaded. Sherman had six strikeouts in three innings.

Yankees starting pitcher Ben Beam had four strikeouts in two innings.

The Yankees best scoring chance came in the fourth on a walk and a single by Brian Fry. However, they were left stranded at second and third as Goyette notched the clutch strikeout.

Orleans-Niagara see strength in 2-county ‘marriage’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Niagara County Legislature Chairman William Ross addresses the Orleans County Legislature last week with Niagara County Legislature David Godfrey.

ALBION – Initially, leaders from the Orleans and Niagara counties formed an alliance about two years ago to try to get Broadband Internet into rural pockets of the two lakeshore counties.

But the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance has become much more than that. The group has fought a binational plan for regulating levels of Lake Ontario, joined forces to pressure the federal government to dredge harbors in the two counties, and now is looking to share services with purchasing.

“It’s been a tremendous marriage and I only see it getting better in the future,” William Ross, Niagara County Legislature chairman, told the Orleans legislators during their meeting last week.

Niagara had an alliance with Erie County, but Ross said that fell apart. Orleans officials have been far more receptive and the two counties seem to have more in common as southshore Lake Ontario counties with lots of rural landscape.

“This is just the beginning of NORA,” Ross said about the alliance. “It’s been successful and it will be successful because of the people involved in it.”

The two counties are close to releasing a request for proposals for companies to provide high-speed Internet to “unserved rural access points,” said David Godfrey, a legislator from Niagara County.

The two counties see Internet service as “absolutely essential” for their residents to run businesses, fill out job applications, do homework and have a 21st Century quality of life.

Godfrey and Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson of Lyndonville represented NORA during a June 16 public hearing at the University of Buffalo about the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner.

“We are here today as a unified voice of our two counties who are desperately in need of high-speed internet service at every address point in our rural towns,” Godfrey and Johnson told the Public Service Commission. “Today’s agricultural enterprises leverage cutting edge bio-technology, renewable energy, and hi-tech heavy equipment which depend on the Internet.”

Godfrey and Johnson said a bigger “Comcast plus Time Warner” will be less responsive to rural areas. They said the merged company should include a board member representing customers and another seat representing “the voice of the government.”

They noted the companies are highly profitable and could spend some of those profits to expand their network in rural counties.

“Instead, you apply for federal and state grant funds and expand only into areas where there is ‘low hanging fruit’ of higher population densities leaving our rural residents, recreational areas and agri-businesses behind,” they said. “This further damages our rural economies.”

Godfrey and Johnson plan to go to Washington, D.C. next week to speak out against a lake level regulation plan that could cause significant erosion damage to the south shore. That plan was approved by the binational International Joint Commission and needs approval from the federal governments in the U.S. and Canada.

The two counties also will continue to speak out against unfunded mandates, programs approved by the state but paid for at the local level.

“Both of our counties have developed a new synergy that can only help us move forward,” said David Callard, Orleans County Legislature chairman.

Judge sets $200K bail for 2 Albion men

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Two men from Albion, facing numerous drug-related charges, were arraigned in Orleans County Court last week and sent to jail on $200,000 bail.

Both Lee Tisdale and Dennis Calkins pleaded not guilty to their alleged crimes.

Tisdale, 43, of 2822 Lattin Rd. was arrested in March following a six-month investigation into the sale and distribution of cocaine, ecstasy and methylone “bath salts” in Orleans County.

He was arraigned in County Court last week on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third and fifth degrees, and criminal sale of controlled substance in the third and fifth degrees.

County Court Judge James Punch also arraigned an Albion man last week after he was arrested on Feb. 13 following a vehicle stop on Route 31 near the Save-A-Lot grocery store.

Dennis Calkins, 34, of Hamilton Street and his wife Tammy A. Kuhns-Calkins, 44, of Elba were both arraigned.

Mr. Calkins on Feb. 13 allegedly jumped from the car while it was in motion and fled to a wooded area behind the grocery store. The Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit helped to track down Calkins.

He and his wife were arraigned on charges of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, unlawful fleeing of a police officer in the third degree, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and reckless driving.

Mr. Calkins also faces charges of resisting arrest.

The judge set bail at $200,000 for Mr. Calkins and $10,000 for his wife.

Heat advisory issued for Tuesday

Staff Reports Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from 1 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday for several western and central NY counties, including Orleans.

The temperature is forecast to peak at 93 degrees and the heat index values will range from 100 to 104.

“If proper precautions are not taken, heat exhaustion or other heat-related symptoms could develop in those exposed to the hot and humid conditions,” the Weather Service advised.

Very young children and the elderly are most at risk. Residents are urged to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and out of the sun.

Residents are also urged to avoid strenuous activity in the afternoon. Those outside should wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing.

County sells 50-plus properties that were in limbo with back taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The former Bernie’s Laundromat and a neighboring building were sold for $14,000 last week to Ken Daluisio, who plans to expand his print business to the property.

MEDINA – Orleans County sold more than 50 properties last week that had been in limbo due to years of unpaid taxes.

Two of the properties – 128 East Center St. and 132-134 East Center St. – were sold to Ken Daluisio in a negotiated transaction. Daluisio will pay $14,000 for the two commercial properties. They are next door to his business, The Print Shop.

The properties, which includes the former Bernie’s Laundromat, accumulated $50,406 in back taxes and interest, according to the County Treasurer’s Office.

Daluisio wants to expand his print business next door, and renovate the sites for additional retail and business space. Daluisio is planning to add four awnings to the store fronts.

The County Legislature approved the sale on Wednesday, when the body also approved the sale of 51 lots at the annual tax foreclosure sale. The 51 properties sold for a combined $343,050. That was $43,151 short of the $386,201 owed in back taxes and interest.

Some of the properties sold well above the amount due in taxes, and others sold for far less.

The tax auctions usually are money losers for the county. Last year, the county took in about $140,000 for 43 properties with about $375,000 in unpaid taxes.

“It’s in the negative, but it’s not as bad as in the past,” County Treasurer Susan Heard told legislators last week.

Some of the property owners paid the taxes just before the auction to take them out of the sale.

The county is happy to see the properties return to the tax rolls. Heard said the owners may improve the sites, boosting the tax base.

3 from Orleans sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County Court Judge James Punch sentenced three Orleans County residents to state prison today.

Brenton Poole, 28, faced the stiffest sentence, five years in state prison. He pleaded guilty on April 7 to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. He faced a maximum of 1 1/3 to 8 years in state prison, but his plea deal set the maximum punishment at five years.

During sentencing this afternoon, Poole accepted responsibility for having crack cocaine and marijuana in his closet at his home on 746 Church St.

He was arrested on Feb. 12 along with two other Medina residents after a year-long investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine and marijuana in the villages of Medina and Albion, according to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Poole is a second felony offender. His attorney, Robert Fogg, said Poole quickly took responsibility in the case without any delays. Fogg asked for a sentence less than the maximum, and noted that Poole has struggled with a substance abuse problem.

Judge Punch insisted on the maximum of five years.

“You profited from the chaos you’ve been spreading,” the judge told Poole. “You’ve been a drug dealer and I think you have been for a long time.”

The judge also sentenced an Albion man to four years in state prison. Kyle Depoty, 23, of Albion faced charges of third-degree robbery and petit larceny for allegedly taking items from the Albion Wal-Mart on Dec. 8 and then threatening to harm a store employee.

Depoty also has been charged with second-degree burglary and petit larceny for allegedly stealing a camera, camcorder and cigarettes from an Eagle Harbor home on Dec. 4. He also faced probation violation charges.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted burglary, petty larceny and violation of probation, which could have resulted in a maximum sentence of 3 to 7 years in state prison. The judge gave him four years.

A 19-year-old from Holley was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in state prison for disseminating indecent material to a minor.

Damien Jost of Ridge Road was called “a very dangerous individual” by the judge.

Jost was charged in September with endangering the welfare of a child, use of a child in a sexual performance and disseminating indecent material to a minor. An investigation showed he was allegedly sending and receiving photos of a victim who was 13 years old that he was messaging on-line. Jost also allegedly sent the 13-year-old images of him having sex with his girlfriend.

“I learned from this,” Jost said during sentencing. “I learned from this whole ordeal.”

The judge was asked to consider Youthful Offender status for Jost, but Punch refused, “based on your history and predatory nature of your conduct.”

Hawley: Brockport store won’t be used to house migrant children

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2014 at 12:00 am

BROCKPORT – A former Walmart store on Route 19 is no longer under consideration as a temporary shelter for migrant children who crossed the southern border illegally, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley said.

“The decision to not have the facility in our community is ultimately the right one,” Hawley said in a statement. “Brockport residents and upstate New York taxpayers can’t afford to be paying for the housing, healthcare and education of illegal immigrant children. It’s important that we do everything to help these children, but Brockport is ill equipped for such an undertaking long term.”

Hawley, State Sen. George Maziarz and U.S. Rep. Chris Collins also spoke against the proposal last week when the Department of Health and Human Services said the site was under consideration.

Brockport came under consideration after the Lexington Commerce Center in the town of Greece was ruled out as a possible housing site, Hawley said. Other locations under consideration have not yet been announced, he said.

Collins said Health and Human Resources also is considering a former convent in Clifton Park for some of the children.

The U.S. border has been overwhelmed with minors coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, children fleeing gang violence and poverty.

Medina dentist plans new building on 31E

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – A dentist is proposing to build a new 3,325-square-foot building at 11065 West Center St.

Dr. Peter Igoe currently works out of 511 West Ave. He is proposing to build a new office with a studio and five examination rooms on the north side of Route 31E. Salt Works Road is the closest intersection.

The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday voted to support the project, which needs final approval from the Town of Ridgeway.

The site is located in a Light Industrial District. Planners said the project fits in with the character of the neighborhood, a mix of residential and commercial uses.

In other referrals, the County Planning Board:

• Recommended the Village of Albion support amended regulations for signs in the Residential/Commercial District. The amendments would allow monument signs to stand a maximum of 5 feet high, with a maximum of 32 square feet or 16 square feet per side if it’s a two-sided sign. The signs also must be a minimum of 15 feet from the curb.

Planners said the amendments are more restrictive than existing regulations for General Commercial, Light Industrial and some other districts. That makes sense, planners said, because the R-C District needs to strike more of a balance between residential and commercial uses.

• Recommended the Town of Kendall reclassify four adjoining parcels at 1750 Kendall Rd. from Residential/Agricultural and General Business to Light Industrial.

The parcels are part of the former Ho-Jack railroad right-of-way on the northern edge of the Kendall hamlet.

The land is owned by the same owner, Michael Crupi, and comprises 14.7 acres. The land runs from Kendall Road to Center Road, about 5,200 feet. The rezoning would help facilitate a woodworking operation, county planners said.