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Month: February 2019

County approves contract to design $6 million upgrade to emergency radio system

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2019 at 4:49 pm

ALBION – Orleans County legislators on Wednesday approved a contract for up to $393,000 to design and provide technical support for a $6 million improvement project with the county’s emergency communications system.

The Legislature hired Tim Warth from Radio Technologies in Rochester to provide project management and technical services for the design and installation of the system.

Orleans County on Nov. 28 was awarded a state grant for $5,897,141 for new 180-foot-tall radio towers in Albion, Lyndonville and Kendall, as well as technology to connect separate radio systems and new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.

The project will also add radio equipment to the Holley water tower to improve coverage in the Holley area.

The project will fund software and other upgrades for the system, which serves firefighters, law enforcement, highway employees, probation and some other municipal workers in the county.

The system currently has poor coverage in the Holley area, along Lake Ontario and some other isolated locations in the county, especially in buildings with thick walls.

The county in August submitted a grant application through the 2018 Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant through the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office. The state is allowing a maximum of $6 million per county for the grants.

Warth, a consultant for the county with Radio Technologies, said in August that Orleans is one of 10 counties in the state identified as “in need.”

The project will also improve interoperability with neighboring Monroe and Niagara counties, allowing personnel to cross county boundaries and still have a radio signal.

The new tower in Albion will be at the Public Safety Building on Route 31. The site in Kendall hasn’t been determined for the new tower, county officials said. The Lyndonville tower will likely be on West Avenue.

The two new 180-foot-high towers in Lyndonville and Kendall would enhance coverage by the lake, and allow a lower strength signal so Orleans isn’t interfering with Canada’s system.

The county currently has towers in Shelby on Maple Ridge Road by the Medina water tank, on Countyhouse Road in Albion by the Emergency Management Office and on Route 31A by the Clarendon Highway garage.

When the upgrades are complete with the grant, the county may pursue another grant to add a tower in Carlton by the town highway building on Route 98.

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RBM to open hockey state tourney Friday

Contributed Story Posted 28 February 2019 at 4:17 pm

The Roy-Hart/Barker/Medina/Akron Club Hockey team will begin their quest for the New York State  Championship Friday at the Homewell Ice Arena in Long Island.

RBM will face Eden/Lake Shore/Pioneer/Springville (ELPS) in the opening game at 3 p.m. Ironically, it was ELPS that beat RBM for the Western New York title last weekend.

This year, instead of three divisions, the State Championship has only a Large School Division and a Small School Division.  RBM is in the latter with ELPS, Manhasset and the No. 1 rated club team in the state, Long Beach.

The schedule beyond Friday has RBM playing Manhasset on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Long Beach 9:30 p.m.

After pool play, the top two in each group  will play a semi- final round Sunday with the title game at 6 p.m. The other group contains East Aurora/Holland, City Honors/Cardinal O’Hara, Locust Valley/North Shore and Port Washington.

Last season, RBM took second place.

GCASA again named one of the best small companies to work for in NY

Posted 28 February 2019 at 3:59 pm

Press Release, GCASA

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is very pleased to announce that it has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State for 2019 for the second year in a row. Best Companies Group analyzes employee survey data to determine what companies are selected and how they are ranked.

“We decided to participate again this year because the feedback we received last year was really helpful,” said John Bennett, GCASA’s executive director. “We continue to look for opportunities to enhance employees’ day to day job satisfaction in meaningful ways.”

GCASA will be honored at a public awards dinner to be held at the Albany Marriott on Wednesday, April 24. During the event, GCASA will learn its rank among the 26 companies in the category for small employers with 15-99 U.S. employees.

“This honor is because of our amazing employees and board of directors,” said Shannon Ford, director of Communications and Development for GCASA.

GCASA has been serving Genesee and Orleans Counties for over 40 years. Services include prevention education and outpatient and residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders; and an employee assistance program.

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Albion man faces federal child pornography charges

Posted 28 February 2019 at 2:48 pm

Press Release, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Western District of NY

Andrew Campbell

BUFFALO – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Andrew Campbell, 32, of Albion has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in July 2018, an individual (witness) contacted the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office after discovering a disturbing video on a desktop computer that belonged to the defendant.

The witness and Campbell lived together on and off and Campbell left the computer at the residence when he was made to vacate the residence by the witness in June 2018. The video depicted a 14-year-old girl going to the bathroom. In addition to the desktop computer, Witness 1 also turned over a laptop computer and hard drive.

A forensic analysis of the desktop, laptop, and hard drive revealed 100 image files and 20 video files that contained child pornography.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and is being held pending a detention hearing on March 1, 2019.

The complaint is a result of an investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Randy Bower, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Editor’s Note: Campbell in November was arrested by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office for the unlawful videotaping of minor children. He was charged with two counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree (felony) and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. That arrest was the result of a three-month investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and the Albion Police Department.

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Culinary students prepare 3-course meals for WNY competition

Photo courtesy of Orleans-Niagara BOCES: Marie Reynolds (Albion), Courtney Lang (Medina) and Zach Richbart (Barker) are pictured with their dishes.

Posted 28 February 2019 at 1:53 pm

Press Release, Orleans-Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Students at the Orleans and Niagara Career and Technical Education Centers are getting ready for the Regional SkillsUSA Competition.

The competition will be held at Alfred State University in March and students from the Western New York area will be competing against one another in their fields of study at their BOCES and high schools.

Students in James Atzrott’s Culinary Arts program, at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, have been perfecting the three-course meals that they will be creating for their competition.

Courtney Lang of Medina, Marie Reynolds of Albion and Zach Richbart of Barker each created a plate for the presentation: appetizer, main dish and dessert.

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Republicans in Assembly list their budget priorities

Posted 28 February 2019 at 11:34 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), along with his Assembly Minority colleagues, is introducing the “Budget Blueprint for a Better NY,” a tax relief and funding package that will provide aid to students, homeowners, infrastructure needs, direct care workers, local governments and middle-class families. The enacted state budget is due April 1.

“I believe in a New York that focuses on middle-class taxpayers, students struggling to afford college, repairing our unsafe roads and bridges and giving direct care workers a living wage – not fringe political issues coming out of New York City,” Hawley said. “We have a serious exodus problem in this state of people and businesses and we should be putting every resource into making our state a place people want live and work, rather than grow up and move from. This is a comprehensive list of bipartisan priorities, and I am hopeful legislative leaders and Gov. Cuomo will join us in making these part of the enacted budget.”

Assembly GOP “Budget Blueprint for a Better NY” includes:

• Make the 2 percent property tax cap permanent

• Provide a living wage for direct care workers

• Keep the middle class tax cuts on track

• Increase funding for CHIPS

• Increase library aid

• Provide unfunded mandate relief

• Give help to small businesses

• Improve the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and offer student loan relief

• Call for a hearing on prison closure proposals

• Keep AIM funding levels and processes intact

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Queens man admits stealing nearly $8k in merchandise from Albion Walmart

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2019 at 11:21 am

ALBION – A man from Queens admitted in Orleans County Court today to taking $7,778 in merchandise from the Albion Walmart on Oct. 4, 2017.

Ralph Saintilus, 45, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a stolen property in the third degree. He faces a minimum of a year in state prison and maximum of 3 years when he is sentenced in May 23.

In another case in county court today, a Churchville woman was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison, including six months of shock treatment which will include drug addiction treatment.

Vanessa Trouerbach, 27, already has been in the county jail for about a year. She pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary for entering a garage on Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road on June 21, 2017. She and a co-defendant took tools. She will pay $1,000 in restitution at $50 a month, beginning two months after she is released from prison.

Trouerbach was in a diversion program but didn’t complete the program successfully.

Judge Charles Zambito said he wanted his sentence to include help for Trouerbach and her drug addiction.

Trouerbach apologized in court to the family that was victimized in the crime. She said she is committed to being a better person and would like to be a nurse.

“I’ve learned how to cope with life’s challenges,” she told the judge at sentencing.

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Local duo on GCC softball squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 February 2019 at 9:28 am

Contributed Photos – Bella Prest, left, and Emily Kams

Two Orleans County players, Albion High graduate  Bella Prest and Medina grad Emily Kams, are freshmen members of the Genesee Community College softball squad.

Kams is a pitcher/first baseman and Prest a utility player.

Both players earned first team Niagara-Orleans All-League honors during their senior year.

The G-R squad also has five former Genesee Region League players including sophomore pitcher/outfielder Sam Tatarski from Pembroke, freshman catcher Carli Marino from Alexander, sophomore second baseman/outfielder Jaclyn Guzdek from Oakfield-Alabama, freshman third baseman/first baseman Anna Kobel from Notre Dame and freshman outfielder Nicole Boldt from Elba.

GCC will open its season with a series of games at Myrtle Beach beginning on March 8.

Another Medina grad, Alisha Scroger, is a freshman shortstop on the Niagara County Community College softball squad. She was also a first team N-O All-League honoree her senior year.

Nurse will work with DSS to assist families with addiction issues

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2019 at 9:14 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Department of Social Services will soon have a registered nurse available to help families with addiction issues, including babies born as addicts.

The county has a received a $50,000 state grant to fund a part-time RN. The nurse will be based out of the Public Health Department but will accompany DSS caseworkers on home visits.

Caseworkers are seeing more families affected by substance abuse, withdrawals issues and babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Those babies have mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy.

“Our caseworkers are finding serious drug issues right before their eyes,” Tom Kuryla, commissioner of the DSS in Orleans County, told county legislators on Wednesday. “Every other day now there’s a baby born in the hospital that is an addict.”

The caseworkers aren’t qualified to assist families with addiction issues, he said. Kuryla estimated about 25 percent of the caseloads involve families with drug issues.

Orleans and other counties have been pressing the state for help with the problem the past five years. Kuryla would like to see a longer funding commitment from the state on the issue. The $50,000 grant is for one year.

The RN will work with families to develop plans to treat the addictions, including for the babies.

The RN also can educate families on other important issues, including immunizations, lead safety and how to fight chronic health issues, said Brendan Bedard, director of community health services for the Public Health Department.

Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, praised DSS and Public Health for working together on the issue.

“What a great tool for Orleans County in our tool belt against the opiate crisis,” she said.

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Constitutional sheriffs make sure laws don’t infringe on rights

Posted 28 February 2019 at 8:08 am


I’m not sure what letter Al Capurso thought referenced Joe Arpaio, but if it was mine, he was mistaken. However if he needs to know who some of the Constitutional Sheriffs are, he might look up Richard Mack, the sheriffs in Washington and New Mexico who are refusing to enforce oppressive gun control laws, Darryl Wheeler of Bonner County, Marty Gleave of Piute County, and those on this list (click here).

Even though Joe Arpaio supports CSPOA (Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association) and claims to be Constitutional, it does not follow that every other member of the organization is like him. Nor does it follow that he actually is a Constitutional Sheriff.

This is a statement from CSPOA about vetting your sheriff: The Sheriff is identified as the CLEO, or chief law enforcement officer of his/her county. As an elected official he/she is the ultimate protector of the people providing a check and balance locally for any state or federal agency that may infringe the constitutional rights of the people.

The sheriff is a citizen first. Elected by citizens (the people). And answers only to the people.

Our goal is to educate citizens and elected officials, from sheriffs to commissioners to judges on their Constitutional rights and responsibilities. With this knowledge we become empowered to walk in our inalienable rights that have endowed upon us by our creator.

Perhaps Joe Arpaio was not such a Constitutional thinker and that is why he lost his race.

Judy Larkin