Orleans Hub turns 3 today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Grains bins are pictured on Friday night during a blazing sunset. The grain bins are by Beals Road. This photo was taken in the corn field behind Faith Covenant Fellowship along Route 31.

ALBION – Orleans Hub went live three years ago as an online news site focused on Orleans County news.

We’re pleased the site has gained a devoted following in the county, and beyond. We average about 7,000 unique visitors each day. We’re fortunate local businesses backed us from day 1 as advertisers. Many more have joined us – about 100 advertisers now.

The Hub is run through the Lake Country Pennysaver. Karen Sawicz serves as publisher of the Pennysaver and also the Orleans Hub.

We have dedicated people working on the site, including many of the staff at the Pennysaver. Mike Wertman covers local high school and youth sports and his wife Cheryl takes great action shots at many of the games. Kristina Gabalski also has been dedicated as a correspondent covering eastern Orleans County.

I left The Daily News in Batavia on March 1, 2013, after 16 years to help start the Orleans Hub. I thought the county would benefit from a locally focused site that was also locally owned and operated. I also wanted to live and work in Orleans County.

We’re trying to make Orleans Hub better. We’re working on a mobile platform for people who get their news through Smart Phones. That should roll out this year.

In thinking about the long-term sustainability of the site, we may reach out to Orleans Hub readers for contributions to bolster staff. Although we cover many stories in the county, we don’t get nearly to everything and more staff would help us expand the news coverage. We have no plans to go to paid subscriptions to access the site, but we may make a push for contributions.

We have been able to shine a light on many of the positive attributes in the community, especially the local residents. We started the Hub partly because we felt the out-of-town media too often focused on crime stories in Orleans County, without featuring much else.

We have tried to highlight some of our challenges, from paltry state aid for villages to crumbling infrastructure.

We’re grateful so many people have been supportive of the Orleans Hub, especially in an era when many newspapers are going out of business or significantly downsizing. We seem to have found a winning formula for the Orleans Hub by sharing resources with the Pennysaver. Thanks again for helping make us a part of the Orleans County community.

Many people say they like the photos on the Orleans Hub, including the local landscape images. Here are three trees by Faith Covenant Fellowship during last night’s spectacular sunset.