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Press Release, FMC in Middleport
MIDDLEPORT – FMC’s Agricultural Sciences Plant in Middleport recently hosted a special “Safety Moment Day” for employees with area first responders that focused on efforts to reduce causes of unintentional injury and death in the workplace, on the road, and in homes and communities.
Among the participants were the Middleport Fire Department, the Middleport Police Department, DiVal Safety Equipment and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, which conducted an interactive simulation for employees of drug and alcohol impaired physical exercises.
“As a company dedicated to our local community, FMC is committed to ongoing safety training that will help keep our employees safe on the job and at home,” said Brent Sensenich, FMC Middleport plant manager. “That commitment has enabled our plant to go more than 18 months as an accident and injury-free workplace without an OSHA recordable incident.”
Among the topics covered were home safety and electrical safety, FMC’s key safety procedures, fork truck safety, office safety, work-related stress, hazard recognition and heat stress.
‘This is the governor’s fault. It’s creating such a terrible thing for people, who just want to see their loved ones, and it’s breaking my heart.’
Friends and relatives who have waited nearly six months to see their loved ones in nursing homes now find themselves faced with another obstacle.
Initally, it looked like Gov. Andrew Cuomo was easing some restrictions, saying visitation would be allowed at nursing homes that went 14 days of being Covid free, down from the requirement of 28 days.
But the governor added a new mandate, requiring visitors to receive a Covid test within seven days of visiting a nursing home.
People attempting to get that test are finding the process is a nightmare.
A Medina senior was told to contact his primary care physician to get an order and then go to Orleans Community Health’s Albion Walk-In Healthcare Center, where the test results sometimes take a week or more. That is past the seven-day limit required by the governor’s new mandate.
When this senior’s doctor said they weren’t issuing orders for Covid tests, the doctor’s office said to go to Batavia, where WellNow Urgent Care on Veteran’s Memorial Drive was accepting walk-ins. The senior got to Batavia, had the test and was charged $275.
“A lot of people are struggling with how to move on and see their loved ones,” said Nola Goodrich Kresse, public health and public education officer at Orleans/Genesee Health Department. “We have asked the state to provide free testing in Orleans and Genesee counties, but it’s not happening.”
A Medina senior, who got her Covid test in Albion last Wednesday, got her results on Tuesday. However, when she went to make her appointment for the next test she was told the price had gone from $50 to $100.
Nicole Helsdon, manager of Albion’s Walk-In Healthcare Center, clarified that by saying they initially only charged the co-pay and planned to submit the rest of the cost to the patient’s insurance company, hoping it would pay the difference. If the insurance company denies the claim, the patient will be responsible for the additional cost.
Orleans Community Health is doing these tests at cost and are not making money on the tests, added Jessica Capurso, director of outreach, education and marketing at Orleans Community Health.
Helsdon said it is important to note that this pricing is only for those seeking testing for screening purposes only. There is no cost for those presenting with symptoms, such as children sent home from school or adults sent home from work. The fee charged by the urgent care center is only what the lab charges them.
“Insurance companies are constantly telling us they won’t cover screening for people who aren’t sick,” Helsdon said. “We are having a meeting this week to discuss insurance companies. This is the governor’s fault. It’s creating such a terrible thing for people, who just want to see their loved ones, and it’s breaking my heart.”
Helsdon also wanted to clarify rumors about the length of time it takes to get test results. She said 98 percent of tests come back within 48 to 72 hours. Once in a while there is a hang-up at the lab, she said.
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley is irate about the mandate.
“It’s price gouging and it’s mandated by the governor,” he said. “Testing ought to be free and available.”
He and other lawmakers have urged the governor when making these decisions to consider the different regionalized criteria, based on current statistics.
“That’s the criteria he used for reopening the economy and it was our idea,” Hawley said. “He ought to be looking at the different criteria for nursing home visits across the state, based on Covid-positive tests in each area.”
Hawley explained the state average of positive tests as of Friday was .98 percent. Orleans County reported .5 percent, far below the state average. It had gone up to .8 on Sunday, but that is still below the state average.
“I appreciate and acknowledge that nursing homes have been a big issue during the pandemic,” Hawley said. “But this new mandate is unworkable, expensive and unnecessary.”
Right now, the nearest free Covid testing is available at Niagara County Community College on Route 31 in Sanborn. It is drive-through, but appointments are required. They can be made by calling 1-888-364-3065.
I write first to thank and commend Mr. Bill Fine for his service to our country while in Vietnam. Second to clarify my stance.
I, and most conservatives, are well used to the left’s very personal attacks when we ask simple questions that they will not – or can not – answer. I have asked liberals in general, and Mr. Fine in particular, how Governor Cuomo and the Democrats that control our state government are not accountable for New York’s long known problems, yet a US Representative in office for two months and a first term U.S President are.
I honestly do not understand that the party that has long dominated New York’s dysfunctional government continues to get a pass on their constituents’ sufferings. It’s all Republicans’ fault all the time. That is not just unfair. It is ludicrous, ridiculous, and extremely far from the truth.
I have asked Mr. Fine this question directly and more than once. “Why is Cuomo not accountable for the ills of ‘his’ state?” Simple question. Yet unanswered.
Mr. Fine wrote on 9/8 that Trump “shows contempt for U.S. Military.” He quotes an article in The Atlantic and “verified” by the NYT, Washington Post, and he included Fox News. This allegation has long been proven false and laughable. I never did find verification on Fox News.
He then blames Trump for an American’s death during an operation in Yemen. If Trump is responsible for that person’s death, how many are Obama/Biden responsible for during their 8 years in office? Thousands? None? Are the standards different for Republicans? One has to wonder if any Democrat has ever made any mistake if that is the case.
Then on 9/17 Mr. Fine wrote that newly elected Chris Jacobs was more concerned with “photo ops” than results in the Glow region’s problems of unemployment and food lines. Again, no mention of the Democrats that actually control this state and are the ones that are ultimately responsible. (Or the Trump induced record-low unemployment rates we enjoyed pre-covid).
Naming a rookie US Representative in office for two months and the President of the United States as the villains in our small community is incomprehensible to me. I again asked Mr. Fine why he chooses to blame these two and not the Democrats. His only response was the personal attack on me published earlier, and to change his previous unrealistic blaming of Jacobs to an overall bashing of Jacobs’ backing of our president.
Mr. Fine, I guess I too am at fault for Covid, food shortages, unemployment, the bad weather Cuomo blames for the state’s population loss, as well as any and all bad things in life. I say this because I too support our duly elected president in no uncertain terms.
I say that knowing that he is human and makes mistakes – unlike Cuomo who apparently does not make mistakes and is therefore never accountable for NY’s numerous failings.
I will close in again thanking Mr. Fine for his service. I have a unique perspective on that. You see Mr. Fine, as I was “puffing out my chest and waving a flag” as you state, at home sat my DD-214 that reflects service in Vietnam as well. Attack Squadron VA-122 W/C 220 attached to CVN 65, The USS Enterprise.
Yes, I’ve heard screams of agony and fear – albeit on the flight deck and not in the jungle. No, Mr. Fine I have not held dying friends – not there. All I did was escort two of my pilots home to their families and felt their loved ones’ indescribable grief while trying to comfort them. I served voluntarily and simply did as my commanders instructed. If that makes me less of a patriot than you in your eyes, so be it.
I will not be responding further. Your personal attacks in lieu of answering direct questions goes with the left’s playbook and is not just unproductive – it used to annoy me – now I just find them boring.
Red Cross blood drives raise scholarship money, offer antibody testing
Schools in Orleans County will still host their fall blood drives with some at community locations as well.
Most high schools host fall and spring blood drives for the students, faculty and staff at their respective schools. Each school earns scholarship money for students with the amount of the scholarship depending on the number of units collected throughout the school year during the blood drives.
This year the students, faculty and staff hope the public comes in to donate blood to boost the scholarship amount and also help fill a critical blood shortage. Each donation helps to save up to three lives.
These schools are hosting blood drives in September and October:
- Kendall High School – Thursday, September 24 at Kendall Town Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Albion High School – Thursday, October 8 at Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Albion High School – Thursday, October 22 at Arnold Gregory Complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Holley High School – Tuesday, October 27 at Holley High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Roy-Hart High School – Wednesday, October 28 at Middleport Fire Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Medina High School – Friday, October 30 at Orleans County YMCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All participating donors will receive a free gift and all donations are tested for the Covid-19 antibody. The antibody test has been extended until January 15, 2021. An antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection, like Covid-19.
An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. The Covid-19 antibody test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms.
Donors who test positive for Covid-19 antibodies may have the unique opportunity to help patients fighting the disease.
Appointments are encouraged. You can make an appointment online at www.redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Kendall, which captured the Genesee Region League Division 2 championship last year with an 8-0 record (15-4 overall), is moving up to Division 1 this fall.
“Moving up to Division 1 will be a challenge but our returning group looks solid so I am very optimistic that we’ll be competitive,” said Coach Pam Barchet. “I am looking forward to the season and I’m really happy for the kids that they are getting the opportunity to play.”
Heading the Lady Eagles veteran group are senior Midfielder/Forwards Brianna Wakefield and Madison Jacob, who were both named G-R All-Stars last fall and junior defender/midfielder T’Mia Kitchings who earned Honorable Mention.
The veteran contingent also includes seniors Kari Harrier (Defender/Midfielder) and Lizzy Woodams (Forward) along with juniors Julie Coble (Defender), Grace Robinson (Midfield/Forward), Kiersten Rodas (Defender/Midfielder), Kailie Regan (Goalie/Forward), Alezya Brown (Defender/Forward) and Grace Levett (Midfielder/Forward).
Brown had 12 goals and 3 assists last fall while Wakefield had 10 goals and 13 assists, Jacob 8 goals and 12 assists, Woodams 7 goals and 5 assists, Levett 6 goals and 3 assists, Regan 4 goals, Robinson 3 goals and Kitchings 2 goals and 2 assists.
The Lady Eagles key graduation losses include Midfielder/Forward Hailee Mitchell and Defender Lzzie Sutphen, who both earned G-R All-Star honors, and Goalie Katie Pearson who received Honorable Mention. Mitchell had a team high 20 goals and added 9 assists.
Kendall is scheduled to begin G-R competition on October 6 at home against Oakfield-Alabama/Elba.
Schedule (games at 7 p.m.)
October: 6 – Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 8 – at Byron-Bergen, 10 – Holley, 13 – at Pembroke, 15 – Wheatland-Chili, 20 – at Holley, 22 – Byron-Bergen, 24 – at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 26 – at Wheatland-Chili, 28 – vs. Lyndonville, at Medina, 30 – Alexander.
November: 3 – Notre Dame, 5 – at Attica.
The power of the vote is the single most important tool in the kit provided by our founding fathers to preserve this fine democracy in which we live.
The voice of each citizen cast boldly in an effort to inject momentum in a direction that may ensure their own benefit and well-being, to voice their concerns, and remind those among us who have assumed (or wish to assume) control of the many positions of power that effect all of our lives, that the primary goal is to serve the people of the township, county, state, or country as a whole for those who believed them worthy of their position of authority.
In effort to provide what is truly required to make an informed decision on November 3rd, Diane L. Shampine crafted an invitation for public debate to Nadine Hanlon, a candidate for the elected position of County Clerk. This was verified to have been received on August 28th.
Although the invitation was delivered, we have received no response to date, and as a consequence many voters may be asked to make an important decision while lacking fundamental information. One of the candidates in a two-person race appears to believe this a trivial ritualistic formality, and in doing so has deprived the voters of Orleans County the opportunity to study the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate presented. One can base their candidacy upon the power of social connections and “glad-handing” or they can stand up and prove themselves knowledgeable and worthy.
One of the people vying for this position has served the public in the County Clerk’s Office for 18 years in varying positions ranging from Index Clerk, to Deputy County Clerk, and now Acting County Clerk (successfully during the most difficult time in modern history).
And one of these candidates isn’t quite certain what the duties of County Clerk actually are, or even what will be required to maintain functionality at the Clerk’s office. This isn’t intended as a hurtful dig but rather a simple statement of fact, which unfortunately must now be made given the lack of opportunity to illustrate facts through debate.
I urge you to show up on November 3rd and exercise your will for the benefit of not only yourself, but for the good of all of Orleans County. Vote for experience, vote for knowledge, vote to ensure the continuity of essential government services utilized by all county residents, provided by the offices of County Clerk – The Office of County Clerk, Pistol Permits, and Department of Motor Vehicles .
Campaign Manager for Diane Shampine
Press Release, Apex Clean Energy, Heritage Wind
BARRE – Heritage Wind and Apex Clean Energy are pleased to announce eight Orleans County-based organizations as the recipients of Heritage Wind Community Grant Program funds from the program’s Summer 2020 grant cycle.
These grants, which ranged from $250 to $3,500, are designed to support community organizations in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“These local organizations are doing amazing work. We are both thankful and proud to support them as they provide important services to the community during these challenging times,” said Carmen O’Keefe, Development Manager with Apex Clean Energy.
Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance received a grant to help improve the health and well-being of their emergency responders and staff through upgrades to the living quarters within their base in Albion.
“On behalf of Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance, we would like to thank Apex Clean Energy for the generous grant funding. This grant will allow COVA to update our ambulance base to a more suitable space for our pre-hospital providers serving this community,” said Brandi Fisher, Finance Manager for COVA EMS.
The Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension received grants to support both the construction of the Orleans County STEM Hub, which will be dedicated to year-round STEM activities for Orleans County youth, as well as ongoing 4-H programming.
“We are extremely grateful for the support,” said Robert Batt, Executive Director of the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension. “This is a tough year for many reasons, and we have some amazing projects that have been years in the making. In a time of unknowns, support from our community is how we can keep our favorite traditional programs strong and grow into new areas.”
Both the Hospice of Orleans and the Medina Central School District received grants to assist with the purchase of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for their front-line staff.
“The MCSD is grateful for the grant from Heritage Wind for the purchase of clear masks to assist our teachers in their challenging role this fall. We value your community support and thank you for your help,” said MCSD Superintendent Mark Kruzynski.
Other grantees include the Barre Volunteer Fire Company for investing in new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) emergency response technology, Christ Church Community Kitchen to help with the purchase of a new freezer and refrigerator to meet increased needs, The Arc of Genesee Orleans to support their Orleans Enterprises vocational program, and the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum to help offset revenue losses due to Covid-19.
One of Heritage Wind’s long-standing priorities is to be a strong community partner, working with local governments, area businesses, and non-profits to improve people’s lives across the region. Our community grant program is one way that we can contribute to pressing community needs and make a meaningful impact at the local level.
Heritage Wind and Apex Clean Energy intend to open an additional round of grant funding this Fall to be awarded before the end of the year. Click here for more information.
RIDGEWAY – The deaths of a married couple in Ridgeway have been determined to be a murder-suicide, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke said today.
James Payne, 60, and his wife, Shari, 56, were discovered Thursday morning at their North Gravel Road home by their son, when he came home from work.
Mr. Payne had stabbed his wife in the chest and then shot her in the abdomen with an AK-47, Bourke said. Payne then shot himself in the chest, the sheriff said.
“It is a tragedy all the way around,” Bourke said. “The family is in disbelief.”
The Sheriff’s Office initially reported the deaths on Thursday from “apparent unnatural causes.” The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office completed the autopsies and confirmed the cause of deaths from a stabbing and gunshot wound for Mrs. Payne and a gunshot wound for Mr. Payne.
Bourke said the family didn’t observe any issues with the couple, who had been married about 40 years.
The son each morning would visit his parents when he came home from work. The door was always unlocked when he stopped to see them except for last Thursday. He entered the house through a window and discovered his parents who were deceased.
Orleans and Genesee each have a new confirmed case of Covid-19 to report today. In Orleans, the new case is an elementary school student at Albion.
The student has been placed on mandatory isolation at home. All close contacts have been notified by the Orleans County Health Department.
“If you were not notified you are not considered a close contact,” the Health Department stated in a news briefing this afternoon.
The student was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
The county has now had 308 people test positive for Covid-19 with five of them in the 0-19 age group.
Genesee County has one new case of Covid-19 and now has had 297 people test positive since March. Of those, 19 are in the 0-19 age group.
The new case confirmed in Genesee County is a Bethany resident in the 50s. The individual was not on quarantine prior to testing positive.
Genesee also is reporting 2 more people are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states, while Orleans has five more on precautionary quarantine due to travel.
To see an online map of confirmed cases in Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties, click here.
• State-wide Data: Of the 83,997 test results reported to New York State yesterday, 754 or 0.89 percent were positive.
The state has now had 451,227 confirmed cases since March. New York also hit a milestone with 10 million Covid tests.
Today’s data from the state includes:
- Patient Hospitalization – 470 (+2)
- Patients Newly Admitted – 43
- Number ICU – 133 (-1)
- Number ICU with Intubation – 67 (+1)
- Deaths – 3 (Total Deaths – 25,432)
I echo Carol Tibbits’ recognition of the fantastic job of our Home Town Heroes banners. It is with so much pride that my Dad’s banner was displayed in the Orleans Hub.
We are so proud of the generation that made Albion great, and am thankful that this Village has recognized our Veterans’ service and dedication to our community.
A heartfelt thanks to all that made this project a reality. This banner recognizes so much pride in our father, family, and the years he dedicated his life to service in this Village and community.
MURRAY – The Town Board said it will look at updating the town ordinance for election signs after one candidate had two signs cited because the code enforcement officer thought they were out too early.
In Murray, town officials have believed the expectation in the town was no campaign signs out 30 days before an election. That was how Fred Case, the code officer, interpreted the code.
Last week, two signs were put up for Dirk Lammes, a candidate for highway superintendent. Case told the land owners the signs were in violation of the Murray code and needed to be removed.
But Case during Monday’s Town Board meeting said he made a mistake. The general election is Nov. 3, but there is now early voting and people can send in absentee ballots. So Case said the question is when does the election officially start?
Case also said the code states no signs should be up within 30 days of a general election campaign. It doesn’t state general election, but “general election campaign.”
The campaign could start many months before the actual election, when candidates are going to party officials, seeking an endorsement and also trying to get residents to sign a petition.
“We need to clarify when the signs can be posted,” Case told the board on Monday.
He also said signs promoting Donald Trump and Joe Biden for U.S. president have been on many lawns for months.
“I apologize,” Case said. “I need clarification from the Town Board on how to enforce this or do we take it out of the zoning code altogether?”
Paul Hendel, a town councilman, said the intent from the town has been to not allow campaign signs until 30 days before people go to the polls.
“I don’t believe residents want to see political signs strewn all over town for more than 30 days,” he said.
The town code also states the signs need to be removed within 48 hours after an election.
Town Supervisor Joe Sidonio said he sees political signs as free speech and shouldn’t be constrained with time frames.
He also said the town shouldn’t “spot enforce” the zoning for campaign signs, citing some but not others.
Town Attorney John Sansone said the code should be changed and made more clear.
“The way that this is written it’s impossible,” Sansone said. “For Fred (code officer) to try to enforce this you put him in a situation where he can’t win because there are good arguments on both sides.”
ALBION — The school district is reporting that an elementary school student has tested positive for Covid-19.
The student was last in school on Friday, Scott Bischoping, interim superintendent, said in a letter to the community.
The Orleans County Health Department will do contact tracing and determine if there is a public health risk. The Health Department will go back 48 hours from the onset of symptoms or from when the student had the Covid test with the contact tracing to determine if anyone needs to be quarantined.
“Our cleaning, social distancing and face covering does a great deal in preventing the spread of any virus on campus,” Bischoping said. “Students and staff have done a wonderful job up to this point of adhering to the protocol that we have put in place.”
The district will work closely with the Health Department on whether any Covid cases rise to the level of closure for students and staff on site. This Covid case doesn’t warrant a closure, Bischoping said.
Photos by Cheryl Wertman
MEDINA – Firefighters from the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company respond to fire with a truck trailer just after noon today at the intersection of Maple Ridge Road and Route 63, across from the entrance of the Dunkin Donuts.
The back of trailer on the truck was smoking and then burst into flames. The truck was hauling a lift and panels.
To see a video of the scene, click here.
MURRAY – A homeless man was charged for allegedly taking money from a cash box at a roadside stand on Monday.
That man identified as Cody Bohn, 22, also has been charged with several other larcenies and in Orleans and Monroe counties, Sheriff Chris Bourke said today.
The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Ogden Road for a report into larceny of a cash box along a roadside stand.
Approximately 5 minutes later deputies were notified of an individual going through vehicles at the Holley Cold Storage. Deputies were at the scene immediately and took Bohn into custody. Further investigation reveals that Bohn is responsible for a burglary and numerous larcenies within Orleans County. Bohn is also responsible for burglaries and larcenies in Monroe County, Bourke said.
Bohn was charged with Burglary 3rd, Criminal Mischief 3rd, Grand Larceny 4th, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th, Criminal Mischief 4th, 3 counts of Petit Larceny and Harassment 2nd. Further charges are pending.
This investigation was handled by Investigator Kevin Colonna, Chief Deputy Jeffrey Gifaldi, Deputy Jeffrey Cole and Deputy Jeffrey Ashberry.
RIDGEWAY – Five people who were target shooting Monday allegedly caused significant damage to a chemical tank at Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC on Allis Road in Ridgeway.
The Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to Helena at 4:45 p.m. for a chemical tank leaking its contents. Upon firefighters’ arrival it was determined that the tanks were punctured by bullets with bullets ricocheting off the tanks and building, Sheriff Chris Bourke said today.
The holding tanks at Helena suffered about $65,000 in damage, according to a preliminary estimate from the company.
The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, NYS DEC, State Police and Medina Police Department all responded to the scene. After a search of the surrounding fields, five individuals were located south of the facility.
The five people admitted of target shooting and disclosed to deputies the location in the woods, Bourke said.
Investigation at the scene revealed that the shooting lane they were using was directly in line with the chemical tank and building.
Two juveniles and three adults were arrested and charged with Reckless Endangerment in the second degree and Criminal Mischief in the fourth degree.
The three adults charged include Jared S. Silva, 41; Stephen J. Jackson, 41; and Joe W. Jackson, 34.
All five were issued appearance tickets and the three adults are to appear in the Town of Ridgeway Court on Oct. 5.