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Month: June 2016

CGR hired to help with law enforcement study in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A steering committee studying law enforcement services in Orleans County picked the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester as a consultant on the project.

CGR will be be paid about $74,000 for its work over the next year, presenting options for how law enforcement could best be provided in the future, whether with the current model of three village police department plus the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office or perhaps a full takeover with the county providing the service without the village police.

“We will be looking at multiple options,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.

Transitioning from village police departments to a county-only model would require several public referendums. Nesbitt said the committee may consider a phased in approach.

The committee wants to keep the public aware of the initiative, and get feedback from the community, Nesbitt said.

There has already been efforts by law enforcement agencies to share, including Albion and Holley using the same police chief with Roland Nenni.

There may be opportunities for joint training, shared equipment and other projects. CGR will work with the local law enforcement agencies collecting data on services, and will analyze ways for the service to best be provided in the future. The firm has a May 2017 to complete the report.

CGR has done many studies for shared services and consolidation of government agencies, including the report that looked how the Village of Medina could be dissolved.

The steering committee for the law enforcement study includes four village mayors – Dean London of Albion, Brian Sorochty of Holley, John Belson of Lyndonville and Michael Sidari of Medina; Orleans County legislators John Defilipps, Lynne Johnson and David Callard, who are members of the county’s Public Safety Committee; Police chiefs Roland Nenni of Albion and Holley, and Chad Kenward of Medina (represented during Wednesday’s meeting by Lt. Todd Draper); Sheriff Randy Bower; County Chief Administrative Officer Chuck Nesbitt; union representatives including Jeff Gifaldi of the OC Deputies’ Association, Dave Mogle for the Albion police, and Brian Marsceill of the Medina police; and community members, Cindy Robinson (president of the Medina Business Association) and Dan Monacelli (principal of the Albion Middle School).

A state grant for $36,000 was approved for the law enforcement shared service and efficiency study. The county is paying the other $38,000.

Lyndonville ‘9’ tops Lockport 1

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am
Improving to 3-2, Lyndonville posted a 9-4 victory over host Lockport 1 this evening in a Lockport Midget ‘A’ League game.Jacob Hoffee and Evan Pappalardo both had 3 hits and AJ Buckland 2 to lead the Lyndonville offense.

Eddie Schildt and Justin Heschke shared in the pitching chores combining for 6 strikeouts.

Lyndonville scored 3 quick runs in the first inning as Hoffee had an RBI single.

Hoffee and Michael Wells then both singled in a run in the second inning as hits by Trevor Bentley, Buckland and Pappalardo set up the threat.

Buckland, Pappalardo and Hoffee later all had hits to key a three-run fifth inning uprising.

Lyndonville next hosts Lockport 2 on July 7.

Teaching Kitchen opens at Fairgrounds

Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County

KNOWLESVILLE – In 2013, the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors set a goal of transforming the 40-year old Trolley Building kitchen into a modern, commercial grade teaching kitchen.

Three years and $60,000 later, the kitchen is ready for food and nutrition education, small batch food processing, and large scale cooking for events that can be held in the adjacent 50′ by 70′ space.

The kitchen features stainless steel countertop table units with an ample 3-bay sink, hand wash sink, and two prep sinks – each in one of the large stainless steel work islands.

It includes a commercial dishwasher, 54″ two-door refrigerator and freezer units, a chest freezer, and four floor to ceiling stainless storage cabinets. Additional items include a 10-burner range with two 36″ ovens, a fire suppression hood, and the honorary butcher block table refinished by Albion dairy farmer, Jeremy Neal.

New flooring, RFP board along the south wall, and a stainless steel serving window were installed as well.

A majority of the upgrades were funded through grants from local foundations and a recent award of $25,675 from the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority. Private donations, including support from the Fern Blackburn Memorial and Mrs. Ann Preston, along with funds raised by the Orleans County 4-H Fair Committee and Leaders’ Association helped as well.

As funds were raised, work was completed.  The hardest part was closing the kitchen for new plumbing and electrical installed in the concrete floor to the island units.

Extension staff and volunteers were ready for the new kitchen and have already held food preservation workshops and pie-making workshops to prepare for the annual 4-H Fair to be held July 25-30 this year. They are also planning for 4-H Cooking Camp, July 18 & 19, along with using the kitchen to host concessions and dinners for 4-H activities. The nutrition program uses the kitchen as well to prepare foods for workshops held throughout Orleans County.

While the kitchen supports Extension work, it is intended to achieve a greater goal of increasing the consumption of local fruit and vegetable products.  Growers or food entrepreneurs are encouraged to consider the kitchen for processing foods into ready-to-eat products or hosting workshops for consumers.

The kitchen rents at $125/day and meets all food and safety codes. Information about using the kitchen can be found on Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension’s website under Facility Use at or requested at 585-798-4265.

Hall of Fame Santa was proud to serve at Christmas Park in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo courtesy of Fred Cond  – This photo from the late 1950s shows Santa Claus portrayed by the George Cond of Holley with his three sons, Fred Cond, bottom; George Cond III, middle; and Roger Boyce, top.

ALBION – George Cond delighted in making children happy, spending the Christmas holiday season portraying Santa Claus.

“He really liked kids,” his son Fred Cond said. “He prided himself on being Santa Claus.”

The Holley resident in the mid-1950s enrolled in the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Albion. At the time, Cond was working three jobs, but he gave up two of the part-time positions to become Santa. (He quit his job as a cook at a restaurant and a position at Sears, but continued to work as a setup man for the punch press machines at Delco in Rochester.)

Cond was so good at portraying Santa that Charles Howard embraced Cond as the Santa at Christmas Park in Albion, Howard’s entertainment venue at Route 31 on Phipps Road. Christmas Park included a Santa School, toy shop, reindeer, train, motorized swans and other activities.

Charles Howard is pictured as Santa in this program promoting the Santa Claus School, which he started in 1937 in Albion.

Howard is one of the most respected Santas in the world by the men who portray Santa today, even 50 years after Howard’s death. His Santa Claus School was moved from Albion after Howard died in 1966, but the school continues today in Midland, Mich., and still bears Howard’s name.

George Cond also is held in high regard by the Santa community. Next week, Cond will be inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame during the Santa Convention in Branson, Missouri.

“A student of Howard’s Santa Claus School, Cond assumed the role of Santa at Christmas Park in late 1950s and continued until the close of the park in 1966,” according to the Hall of Fame. “With Howard busy as the Executive Director and away on business during the Christmas Season, Cond handled most of the day-to-day Santa appearances throughout the park. He appeared in and around the Western New York State region on behalf of Christmas Park.”

Fred Cond keeps one of his father’s business cards, noting his service as Santa Claus.

Cond worked as the Santa at Christmas Park for about a decade and many of the photos from that time, showing kids with a Santa at Christmas Park, actually are more likely to show Cond as Santa than Howard. Fred can tell the photos of his father.

George Cond injured his right hand and two of his fingers seemed to be permanently “frozen” in a bent position. Many of the photos from Christmas Park show a Santa waving, with middle and ring fingers in that bent position. That’s a giveaway that Cond is wearing the red suit, not Howard.

Cond wasn’t the only family member to work for Howard at Christmas Park. Cond’s wife Elaine also worked there and Fred would help as an elf.

Fred, now 63, remembers when as a boy he was asked to bring lunch to Santa. Fred carried the meal over to Santa, who was on break. Fred discovered his father in the Santa suit without the beard and wig. It was the first time Fred realized his father portrayed Santa.

“My father told me that Santa can’t be there all the time,” Fred recalled at his home in Brockport. “He said, ‘I’m helping Santa out. I’m helping him take some of the orders.'”

Fred Cond holds his father’s Santa suit, which was originally worn by Charles Howard. The suit, No. 191, bears Howard’s initials. Fred now wears the suit when he portrays Santa. (All of the suits made at Christmas Park were individually numbered.)

When Howard died, the fate of Christmas Park was uncertain. George Cond wanted to buy it and keep it viable for years. But he was outbid by an out-of-town buyer. Christmas Park didn’t last long without Howard.

Fred Cond wishes Christmas Park could have continued.

“If it was still around today, it would be bigger than Darien,” Cond said. “Charlie Howard was a very clever man.”

After Christmas Park closed, Cond continued to portray Santa for local families, schools, churches, and other venues. He was the Santa for Kodak.

He was asked to follow Howard as the Santa in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but Cond declined out of respect for Howard.

“In his mind, Charles Howard was always Santa Claus,” Fred Cond said.

His father died in 1996. He was an active Santa until the late 1980s. The Santa Claus Hall of Fame induction is a pleasant surprise for his family, Fred Cond said.

The Santa suit used by George Cond was originally Charles Howard’s suit. It bears Howard’s initials. The wing and beard are made of yak hair.

Fred Cond continues the Santa legacy in the family. Fred first portrayed Santa as an 18-year-old at the former Ames in Albion. He continues to be Santa every Christmas season, mostly wearing the suit for friend and family.

His wife Debbie said Fred is changed every year when he brings out the Santa suit.

“Once he puts on that suit, the Christmas spirit invades him,” Debbie said.

Fred said Howard’s family has asked if he would be willing to give up the suit, but Cond said it is too important to him and the Cond family.

“There are very few things I have of my dad,” Fred said. “This was part of my life, growing up with my dad. He was a big part of Christmas Park. He was hand-picked by Charles Howard to play Santa, and my dad did it because of his love for the kids.”

This document shows Cond’s enrollment papers for the Charles Howard Santa Claus School in Albion in October 1958.

Charles Howard signed the enrollment papers for Cond in red ink.

Each student at the school received a red folder from the “Santa Claus School” in Albion, NY. Fred Cond has many of his father’s papers from when he attended the school.

Albion U14 diamond squad romps

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – James Denoncourt delivers a pitch for Albion which bested visiting Chili 2 this evening.

Rebounding from an early three run deficit, Albion rallied to roll past Chili 2 16-4 in a Brockport U14 League game this evening at Barre Town Park.

Trailing 3-0, Albion quickly knotted the contest in the home half of the first as Bryce Kelly had a two-run single.

Up 4-3, Albion began to pull away from scoring three times in the third inning highlighted by a two-run double by James Denoncourt.

Albion, which pounded out ta total of 16 hits, then broke the contest wide open by erupting for six runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. Nick Sacco had a two-run single to highlight the big fourth inning uprising and Drew Caldwell had a two-run double in the fifth.

Kelly finished with a total of 3 hits as Denoncourt, Sacco, Ryan Krenning and Patrick Ricker each had 2.

Denoncourt, Ricker and Bailey Blanchard shared in the pitching duties combining for a 5 hitter with 10 strikeouts.

Improving to 4-1, Albion next hosts Sweden-Clarkson on July 9.

Medina U12 booters tie

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Samuel Kingsbury looks to move the ball up field during Wednesday’s U12 Division tie with visiting Pembroke.

All of the scoring came in the first half as Medina and visiting Pembroke battled to a 3-3 tie Wednesday in a Buffalo and Western New York District Soccer League U12 Division game.

Zaric Boyce, Jackson Moreland and Wyatt Zelazny took turns scoring the first half goals for Medina.

Medina is now 5-3-2.

Medina’s Jackaon Moreland heads for the Pembroke goal as Zaric Boyce follows.

GCC, volunteers working on Heritage Festival Sept. 9-11 in Orleans County

Staff Reports Posted 30 June 2016 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers – David Kreutz, an Abraham Lincoln presenter from Depew, shows over-sized pennies to people at the Civil War encampment in Medina in April 2013. GCC is no longer hosting the Civil War encampment, but is taking the lead in organizing the first Orleans County Heritage Festival.

MEDINA – Plans for a county-wide celebration of Orleans County history and heritage are progressing for the first annual Orleans County Heritage Festival September 9-11.

Over the course of the weekend participants will be invited to grab the free “heritage passport” at any participating organization and visit a minimum of six historic sites. The passport can then be redeemed for an attractive collectable pin and their names will be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Meant to shine a spotlight on the fantastic historic assets of Orleans County, visitors to the heritage festival will have many choices available to them. Encompassing four main themes: Agriculture, Transportation, Historic Cemeteries and Historic gems, visitors might visit a family farm, walk along the Eric Canal, go on a ghost walk or visit the historic district of Medina or Albion.

In addition, Genesee Community College is participating in the Heritage Festival with its own contributions located at GCC’s two Orleans County campuses. The Medina Campus Center invites visitors to “Epochs in Orleans” – a timeline festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., featuring re-enactors and impressionists from all eras of history, from the French and Indian War to World War II and beyond.

Folks might encounter President James and Dolly Madison, Abraham Lincoln and other historic personalities. There will be artisan demonstrations, antique autos, Civil War firing demonstrations and much more. Organizers believe that visitors will feel like they are walking through time.

GCC hosted a Civil War Encampment in Medina for three years. This photo shows re-enactors mounting a charge during a mock battle in April 2015. Some re-enactors may be back for a heritage Festival this September.

Meanwhile, GCC’s Albion Campus Center will focus on “Death, Mourning and Justice in Orleans County History” also on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a recreated Victorian wake in the family parlor.

The exhibit will be accompanied by two public lectures. The first of these will focus on famous crimes and murders with Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone at 10 a.m. Retired Orleans County historian Bill Lattin will give a talk on Victorian hair jewelry at 12 p.m.

The overall event is free and open to the public, however contributions to GCC’s Veteran’s Scholarship Fund will be encouraged. To keep tabs on the newest developments for the heritage festival, click here, or check the festival’s Facebook page by clicking here.

You can also contact Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history at or Jim Simon, GCC associate dean of the Orleans County Campus Centers, at

Committee studying law enforcement services in Orleans meets today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2016 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A steering committee that will study law enforcement services in Orleans County will meet today at 7 p.m. and is expected to pick a vendor to assist with the project.

The committee will meet in Conference Room C of the County Administration Building on Route 31, and will interview two consultants interested in working on the study.

The county received a $36,000 matching state grant for the law enforcement shared service and efficiency study. The county is paying the other $36,000.

The committee will include police chiefs and elected officials from the four villages and Orleans County, which all provide police services. The steering committee and a consultant will explore the efficiency of current local law enforcement operations and compare them with alternative policing models, including the potential consolidation of all local departments into one.

County officials have set May 2017 for completion of the report with recommendations and alternatives for the community.

The study will look at the operations at the Sheriff’s Office, and the Albion, Medina and Holley police departments. Lyndonville also has a part-time officer.

There may be opportunities for shared administration, joint purchasing and other initiatives that would keep the existing village police departments. Or the committee may suggest the village departments be dissolved with a county-wide force taking the lead.

If the villages dissolved their police departments, it would provide significant tax relief for villages. However, county taxes would likely then go up.

Holley has talked before of dissolving its police department and Medina, as part of a failed dissolution proposal last year, said a town-wide force in Shelby and Ridgeway could be created.

County Legislature Chairman David Callard has said he wants to be proactive in looking at policing services and not be caught off guard by a village that dissolves its force, expecting the Sheriff’s Office to assume village road patrols and calls.

The study will look at alignment of current compensation and benefits agreements, determining the costs of a combined police force. The committee will look at potential obstacles to consolidation and provide guidance to overcome those obstacles, according to the county’s Request For Proposals for the study.

County will spend up to $70K for design of addition on administration building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2016 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The Orleans County Legislature approved hiring the Wendel firm to design an addition on the County Administration Building on Route 31, behind The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has approved an agreement with the Wendel firm to design an addition on the County Administration Building, new space that could be used for relocated county offices and perhaps as a meeting room and offices for the Legislature itself.

The Legislature on April 27 announced that is was considering new construction on the County Administration Building at 14106 Route 31 West.

The Legislature on April 27 authorized paying Wendel $30,000 for a feasibility study for an addition to the County Administration Building.

The county may shift several offices to the addition, including the Board of Elections and Public Health Department, which is leasing space from Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services.

Comprehensive purchased the former county nursing home for $7.8 million in January 2014. The county has been leasing space from Comprehensive for Elections and Public Health because those offices are part of the nursing home complex.

The county could also shift information technology (currently in Treasurer’s Office), the legislative chambers (in County Clerk’s Building), the county’s administrative office (also in Clerk’s Building) and create large multi-use rooms to accommodate training for large groups, conference rooms and offices.

The Legislature last week approved paying Wendel up to $70,000 to design the addition to the Administration Building. That scope of work not only includes designing the building, but determining parking and circulation needs, site access, utility service requirements, energy efficiency and sustainability requirements, and other analysis of the site.

David Callard, the County Legislature chairman, said in April that moving Elections and Public Health from leased space will free up money that could go towards the addition, perhaps making the project cost neutral to county taxpayers.

Callard said he and county officials have looked at existing buildings, including sites in Albion’s historic downtown, but those sites wouldn’t improve efficiency of the county government operations.

N-W tops Medina U17 booters

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo By Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Chase McAdoo works to gain control of the ball during this evening’s loss to Niagara-Wheatfield at Vets Park.

Jumping out to a 3-1 half-time advantage, Niagara-Wheatfield went on to defeat Medina 5-3 this evening in a Buffalo and Western New York District Soccer League U17 Division game at Vets Park.Medina did cut the deficit to 3-2 early in the second half on a goal by Elian Gonzalez but would get no closer as N-W countered with two goals to regain control at 5-2.

Medina which slips to 2-4, also got a first half goal by Trenton Jones and a late second half tally by Ethan Leonard.

N-W is now 1-4.

U19 – Newfane 6, Medina 1

Medina scored the first goal on a tally by Max Owens but the rest of the U19 contest belonged to host Newfane which answered back with six goals to clam a 6-1 win.