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Orleans Hub turns 2 today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion head coach Brennan Meakin is hugged by assistant coach Tim Archer as the players run out on to the court to celebrate a 65-57 win over Maryvale on March 7, giving the Albion boys basketball team its first Sectional title in 43 years. Orleans Hub has been busy covering the community since the site went live on April 2, 2013.

ALBION – Two years ago Orleans Hub started as an on-line news site, committed to covering Orleans County, highlighting successes and challenges in the community.

The site continues to grow, adding readers and advertisers. (We set a new record in March with a daily average of 7,000 unique visitors, up from the 6,780-average in February.)

Last year, we had 6.1 million pageviews, up from the 2.8 million in the first year. We posted 2,265 news articles between April 2, 2014 and April 1, 2015, and 1,135 sports articles during that time frame.

We also posted 6,400 photos, 90 letters to the editor, and lots of other community news, including obituaries, police blotter and local achievers. We have 7,800 followers on social media.

The Orleans Hub operates under Lake Country Media, which also owns the Lake Country Pennysaver. Karen Sawicz is the publisher of the Pennysaver and Orleans Hub.

The following were named Orleans Hub’s Outstanding Citizens for 2014. The group includes, front row, from left: Melissa Ierlan of Clarendon, president of the Clarendon Historical Society; State Assemblyman Steve Hawley; and Jim Hancock, Parade of Lights organizer in Medina. Back row: Erik and Marlene Seielstad, leaders of the 4-H Robotics and Legos program; Kim Corcoran, leader of the Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies; Al Capurso, pioneer enthusiast; and Bilal Huzair, leader of a food dispersal program in Medina.

We’ve tried to report the news and offer some commentary on local issues. We are pleased one of the Hub editorials – pressing local governments to seek more Aid and Incentives to Municipalities – has been formally endorsed by many of the local villages, towns and the County Legislature. They have passed resolutions for the state to provide a fair funding formula for AIM.

Hub readers can expect this site to continue to push that issue and many others in a county where residents pay some of the highest taxes in the country as a percentage of home values. We also continue to rank near the bottom in the state in visitor spending and sales tax per capita (We need to shop locally). Our health statistics are among the worst in the state, and we have high concentrations of poverty, especially in the villages.

We will continue to highlight these challenges, and also feature the many positives of the community, mainly the residents who are committed to solving some of these problems and who contribute in other ways to building a stronger community.

It was an honor to have a recognition ceremony on Feb. 4 when we presented “Person of the Year” awards to local volunteer firefighters. We also honored “Outstanding Citizens,” a tradition we hope to continue for years to come.