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29-pound salmon takes $4K grand prize in annual fishing derby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2019 at 9:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Julie Schaeffer and her husband Mike hold Julie’s 29-pound, 6-ounce Chinook salmon which won the $4,000 grand prize in 2019 Rotary Fishing Derby.

The Schaeffers are from Sligo, Pa., and have been fishing in the derby since the 1980s. Mrs. Schaeffer also won the grand prize in 2017 with a salmon weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces.

The couple are both retired from a glass plant near their home. They bring a camper and their own boat to fish in Orleans County, timing their trip with the annual Rotary Fishing Derby, which lasts 16 days.

Mrs. Schaeffer said she caught the big fish on Friday with a 2-faced spinner, with one side having green spots and the other black spots, with a fly behind it.

Her husband has never won the grand prize, but did have a first place in the salmon division in a past derby, which was good for $500.

Larry Duckworth of Corfu won the salmon division and $500 for a 27-pound, 8-ounce salmon. His wife, Mary Duckworth, holds the third place rainbow trout at 13 pounds, 3 ounces.

There were about 325 participants in the derby, with fish eligible from the Niagara River to the Genesee River.

There was $8,800 in total cash prizes in four divisions – salmon, rainbow trout/steelhead, brown trout, and lake trout.

Besides $4,000 for the biggest fish, the four division leaders each get $500, followed by $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.

There is also a $200 prize to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish. (Jeff Newman of Lyndonville won with a salmon weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces.)

Laurie Janikowski of Sloan won the rainbow trout division with 17-pound, 15-ounce steelhead.

Keith Tessier of Hilton holds the first place lake trout at 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Tessier also had third place in rainbow trout.

Brian Gambell of Hilton holds a 15-pound, 7-ounce lake trout which was good for second place. He also has the second place brown trout at 13 pounds, 1 ounce – behind a 13-pound, 3-ounce brown trout caught by Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa.

















Brayden Gambell, 9, of Hilton (left) holds the third place lake trout at 15 pounds, 3 ounces, while Mason Tessier, 8, of Hilton holds the fifth place lake trout at 14 pounds, 6 ounces.

Click here to see the full leaderboard.

Marlee Diehl addresses about 100 fishermen at the awards celebration at the Carlton Rec Hall. Diehl served as chairwoman of the committee that ran the derby, an event by the Albion Rotary Club. Richard Remley, club president, is at right. Mike Waterhouse, retired Orleans County sportsfishing coordinator, is in back left with Ed Fancher, treasurer of the derby.

Becky Karls sells raffle tickets at the event, which a fundraiser for the Rotary Club to do community projects, while also serving to help promote the fishery in Orleans County.

Cindy Perry and Bonnie Malackie, both Rotary Club members, sell 50/50 raffle tickets at the Carlton Rec Hall, which hosted the awards celebration.

Many local businesses also donated prizes for the event, including this fishing reel.

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Holley has scheduled power outage Tuesday for 6 hours

Staff Reports Posted 18 August 2019 at 7:09 pm

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley will have a scheduled power outage on Tuesday starting at 3 p.m. and will last for approximately 6 hours.

The outage is related to a major utility pole replacement work that needs to be completed in the village.

The following streets will be effected: South Main from the under pass to the red light, North Main/ School Fireman’s field, West Albion/ Woodside Court/ Holley Grove, Jackson, West Avenue, High Street, Day Street, Orchard Street, West Union, Ray, Franklin, East Albion, Park, Morgan, Perry, Van Buren, Geddes from West Albion to the Public Square, and the Public Square from Thomas to Wright.

For questions contact the Water/Electric Department at (585) 638-6367.

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Peebles in Albion will change over to a Gordmans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 August 2019 at 7:13 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: A sign says the Peebles in Albion is closing but the store is actually changing over to a Gordmans, which is expected in early 2020.

ALBION – The Peebles store at the Route 31 plaza in Albion will be changing over to a Gordmans, another retailer with designer name brand apparel, home decor, gifts, fragrances, clothing and other items.

Gordmans and Peebles are both owned by Stage Stores. Stage bought Gordmans in April 2017.

The Albion store has a big banner announcing the store is closing. It is actually going to switch over to a Gordmans, which might not happen until January or February, employees said.

Peebles uses 16,240 square feet of the Route 31 plaza, which also includes Save-A-Lot and the Dollar Tree.

Peebles has been a mainstay in the Albion plaza since 2007.

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Storm knocks down many trees, power for about 500 in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 August 2019 at 8:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – A utility pole was knocked down in Carlton in Winding Road, near Lake Ontario, just north of Kuckville today when a severe thunderstorm hit the area at about 6:30 p.m.

There are 473 National Grid customers without electricity in Orleans County, with 225 in Carlton in the Lakeside community just west of Lakeside Beach State Park.

A tree fell down near two houses on Lakeside Park Road, bringing down numerous wires.

National Grid also reported the following outages in Orleans: 93 on Ridge Road in western Gaines, Ridgeway near Oak Orchard Creek; 18 in Knowlesville; 75 in Millville; 36 in Ridgeway on 31; and 25 in Barre.

National Grid said the power is expected to be back on by midnight.

This tree fell by a house at the corner of Lakeside Road and Lakeview Drive in Carlton.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Smith: A tree snapped on Knowlesville Road in Ridgeway.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Robinson: This maple tree fell in Cindy Robinson’s yard on Portage Road in Ridgeway.

Allison Schoolcraft sent in this photo of limbs and leaves covering a yard on Portage Road in Ridgeway, between Knowlesville Road and Culvert Road.

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Long-time Albion pastor expands ministry

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Rev. Randy LeBaron has launched a Go Scatter Ministries after serving the past 15 years as pastor of the Albion Free Methodist Church. The Albion church is the first church in the Free Methodist denomination. LeBaron had the longest-serving tenure of any pastor in the church’s history.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 August 2019 at 3:44 pm

‘Refill with Randy’ podcast will explore many spiritual topics

ALBION – In his 23 years as a pastor in Western New York, the Rev. Randy LeBaron notices people often feel the most comfortable with him outside the church walls, during encounters at the grocery store or Tim Hortons.

That is when they will often ask questions and share many of their deepest worries.

Randy LeBaron has coffee and checks his phone on Tuesday at Tim Hortons in Albion. He expects to launch the “Refill with Randy” podcast in October, which will take a conversational tone in discussing the Christian faith.

LeBaron, 45, wants to reach people where they are, and will soon launch a podcast, “Refill with Randy” to discuss spiritual issues and highlight Christian ministries in the community. He will have guests on the podcast to discuss how they live their faith.

“I want to take the stigma away from evangelism,” he said over coffee Tuesday at Tim Hortons in Albion, where he is a frequent customer and known by the owner, staff and many patrons. “It’s not standing at the street corner with a sign or hitting people over the head with the Bible. It’s sharing Christ’s love in a tangible way and sharing how Christ changed you.”

LeBaron served as pastor of the Albion Free Methodist for 15 years until June 30. He has started Go Scatter Ministries and is now a conference evangelist for the Free Methodist Church, providing pulpit supply and being available for conferences, retreats, funerals, weddings, baptisms and other services.

Since July 1 he has preached at the Eagle Harbor United Methodist Church, Albion First Baptist, First Presbyterian of Albion, and the Colonial Heights Free Methodist Church in Niagara Falls, where he was pastor before coming to Albion.

LeBaron and his wife Sheryl, a third grade teacher at Albion, have four children, ages 17, 15, 12 and 9.

LeBaron is the longest-serving pastor at the Albion Free Methodist Church. When it opened in 1860, it was the first church in the denomination, which now has more than 1 million members in 82 countries.

During his tenure at the Albion church, LeBaron estimates he preached 1,400 sermons. He also baptized 112 people and performed numerous weddings. He spoke at baccalaureate services, Lenten lunches, and served in ministries in the Orleans County Jail and the local nursing home.

He joined his church on mission trips to Chile, Peru and Bulgaria, and also went to Israel. Last month he attended a Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C.

Randy LeBaron baptizes his daughter Ashlyn during an outside service at the Albion Free Methodist Church in 2017. Rick Holz, left, assisted with the baptism.

He feels committed to Orleans County. That’s why he is developing the podcast, “Refill with Randy,” and staying active with Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation. He was a founding member of PACT, a group of pastors in Orleans County that has tackled several community issues, including the opioid crisis. He also has been a chaplain the past two years for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

LeBaron said he wants to help equip people to know Jesus Christ and then live out that relationship and impact their families and communities.

During his tenure at Albion, 10 people from the congregation became ministerial candidates in the Free Methodist church, taking on ministry roles in their careers.

The Albion church also modified its sanctuary, trading pews for comfortable chairs and reorienting the sanctuary to accommodate 60 more people. The church uses a contemporary music team with a keyboardist, lead guitarist, drummer and bass guitarist.

“Our goal was to bring the building up to date,” he said.

The church typically averaged 200 to 250 for Sunday services.

One of LeBaron’s goals is to help people discover their SHAPE – spiritual gifts, heart (passion for God and compassion for others), abilities and talents, personality, and education and expertise.

“I expect AFMC to thrive,” LeBaron said about the church. “I am excited about being outside the church walls. I have more flexibility.”

He has social media accounts for Go Scatter Ministries and is crossing denominational lines for preaching.

LeBaron, who calls himself a “people person,” is excited about the upcoming podcasts. He thinks it will be an opportunity to reach many more people.

He wants to go on location and highlight the efforts of Hands 4 Hope, Care Net, PACT, the Community Kitchen and other ministries in the community. He also wants to have conversations on the podcast with Christians in the community, hearing how they live out their faith.

“I want to highlight the ways people are being the hands and feet of Jesus,” he said. “I want to help people put feet on their faith. This will be in a conversational tone just like you would over coffee.”

For more on Go Scatter Ministries, click here.

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Medina unveils 4th ‘We Read’ book kiosk, which is headed to State Street Park

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Members of Medina Lions, Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and Medina High School’s English Department gathered around a new little library for the We Read Program, which Lion Chris Keller built and the Lions donated Friday morning. From left are Julie and Chris Keller, library director Catherine Cooper, Lion Jim Hancock, and teachers Todd Bensley, Elizabeth Dickhut, Karen Jones and Nicole Goyette. This will be the fourth little book kiosk in the village, as part of the We Read Program.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 August 2019 at 1:38 pm

MEDINA – A program launched in the fall of 2018 to promote reading in the community got some support from Medina Lions with a unique donation this morning.

When the Lions heard Medina’s We Read Program was in need of another little library, Lion Chris Keller volunteered to build one.

The We Read Program, with a goal is to promote reading in the community, was an idea of Medina High School’s English Department, led by Elizabeth Dickhut. With support from Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, We Read was launched in the fall of 2018.

Chris Keller, rear, watches as Catherine Cooper, director of Lee Whedon Memorial Library, and Jim Hancock, a member of Medina Lions Club, unveil a reading library Keller made on behalf of the Lions for the We Read Program.

The newest little library is a bit different from the other three, which are placed in strategic locations around Medina, such as Pine Street Park, Rotary Park and the Canal Village Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.

Keller, who teaches at Albion Central School and is a talented woodcrafter, built this library with a cedar roof and then his wife Julie suggested he paint it in the Lions’ colors of yellow and blue. This library will be filled with books and placed in State Street Park.

The idea of We Read is to place books throughout the town where adults and children can take a book and keep it or return it or leave another book.

Goyette said she has noticed increased activity in the library at Pine Street Park, where the children’s books have been very popular.

“More adults are also starting to use the little library, and that’s great,” she said.

Dickhut said she loved that more people, such as the Lions Club, were getting involved.

“That was the whole idea of We Read – to promote reading to the community,” Dickhut said.

Hancock said people are also using the library in Rotary Park as a drop-off for people wanting to leave non-perishable food items.

Anyone is welcome and encouraged to leave books on any subject in the We Read libraries, or take a book to read.

Hancock said the Lions hope their donation of the little library will be a lasting tribute to the We Read Program.

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Chamber’s wine walk attracts 100 to nature preserve in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 August 2019 at 12:20 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – David Bittner and his wife Krys McCarthy of Lyndonville were among 100 people who attended a wine walk on Thursday evening at the Robin Hill Nature Preserve in Lyndonville. Tricia Daluisio of 810 Meadworks gives them a sample of mead.

810 Meadworks was one of three wineries or meaderies at the event organized by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

Bittner and McCarthy have lived in Lyndonville for 9 years and welcomed the chance to see the 45-acre nature preserve which includes 250 varieties of trees on Platten Road.

The Chuck Wagon, a food truck operated by 39 Problems in Albion, served food at the wine walk.

Valerie Pratt offered tours of the 45-acre nature preserve. She lives at the site with her father, Doug Pratt. She is pictured with a dawn redwood and metasequoia.

William and Mary Smith, Doug’s grandparents, built a Medina sandstone house from 1948 to 1952 at the property, and developed the nature preserve.

A group gathers at the wine-tasting stop by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, where Kelly Kiebala, left, offered tastings from the winery on Ridge Road in Medina.

Paul Schwenk of Schwenk Wine Cellars in Kent serves wine at the Chamber event.

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Notable Neighbor: Kusmierczak of Medina has been active supporter for veterans for many years

Photo by Ginny Kropf: David Kusmierczak is active with the American Legion, VFW, the Honor Guard and the Orleans County Joint Veterans’ Council.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 August 2019 at 9:13 am

Provided photos: Congressman Chris Collins reads a proclamation honoring David Kusmierczak of Medina as Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District. The ceremony took place Wednesday at the VFW in Medina.

MEDINA – David Kusmierczak didn’t think twice about joining the military as soon as he graduated from Medina High School in 1967.

He also didn’t hesitate to join the VFW (and later the American Legion) shortly after he finished his tour of duty and returned home in 1971.

It was this same dedication to veterans which has prompted him to step up and volunteer for any activity involving veterans in his community – a commitment which hasn’t gone unnoticed by his peers.

On Wednesday at the VFW in Medina, Congressman Chris Collins announced Kusmierczak as the Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District.

The presentation was a complete surprise to Kusmierczak, who was told by Steve Johnson and Jim Freas there was going to be a veteran honored and they wanted all veterans to be there.

Kusmierczak wasn’t even suspicious when his wife Barbara and children Dan Taramasco and Jeanette Voelker showed up for the event. Another son, Matthew, had to work and couldn’t attend.

Barbara had been in on the award and provided Collins’ aide Alexandra Gould with his biography, which she read to the group gathered there.

Kusmierczak entered the United States Air Force in November 1967, because he didn’t want to be drafted into the Army. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, then became a security policeman, serving at many Air Force bases throughout the United States.

Then came his orders to go to Vietnam, and he was sent to Bien Hoa Air Force Base near Saigon. He was there two years, where he was in security at the bomb dump.

He arrived home in August 1971, and returned to his job at General Electric in Brockport, where he had worked the afternoon shift while still a junior in high school. After a year, he left and went to Harrison Radiator in Lockport, retiring from there after 33 years of employment.

A question about his life insurance policy led to a chance meeting with the woman who would become his wife.

Barbara sold insurance and he was put in contact with her when he had questions about his policy.

“She looked nice to me,” Kusmierczak said. “I used to call her up and pretend I needed to know how to cook something, when I really did know how to do it.”

They dated for two years before they were married in 2005. At one point, Barbara suggested maybe they should split and date other people, to make sure their relationship was going to work.

David Kusmierczak poses with his family after a surprise announcement by Congressman Chris Collins Wednesday, naming him Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District. From left are Collins, Barbara Kusmierczak, David and their children Dan Taramasco of Rochester and Jeanette Voelker of Hamlin.

“I said, ‘No way.’ I threw down a calendar and told her to pick a date and that is when we would get married,” Kusmierczak said.

That was the fall of 2004 and the date she picked was June 25, 2005.

There were married by a justice of the peace at the Cobblestone Church in Childs, followed by a reception at the Village Inn.

After Kusmierczak retired from General Motors he stepped up his involvement in veterans’ activities.

“Frank Berger got me into the Honor Guard for a veteran’s funeral,” he said. “When their chaplain took ill, Dell Stork asked me to be chaplain. I still do that.”

He has been a member of the American Legion for 28 years and a chaplain at the VFW.

Then Berger introduced Kusmierczak to the Orleans County Joint Veterans’ Council, where he became their chaplain and has been president for four years. He has also been chaplain for the Orleans County American Legion for two years and for the Orleans County Legislature for three years. Whenever the Legion and VFW are placing flags on veterans’ graves, firing gun salutes at veterans’ memorial sites or marching in local parades, Kusmierczak is sure to be there.

He is actively involved in fundraising for the Butts-Clark American Legion and supports the Healing Presence Program, which gathers and distributes Christmas presents to homebound and nursing home veterans. Last year Kusmierczak distributed 69 packages to veterans.

He also participates in Wreaths Across America at Boxwood Cemetery and in any fundraisers for the VFW and American Legion.

He said when Gould started reading his biography, he soon realized she was talking about him.

He said it is a real honor and he has a spot all picked out on top of their curio cabinet to display the framed American flag which Collins presented him. The flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in Kusmierczak’s honor on July 17.

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Albion village asked to pursue charging stations for electric cars

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2019 at 1:10 pm

ALBION – Charging stations for electric cars in the downtown business district could draw visitors to Albion, project an image of a progressive community, and also would be good for the environment, the Albion Village Board was told on Wednesday.

Representatives from the Albion Betterment Community said they want to put a dual-port charging station at the village-owned parking lot just north of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street.

The station would be mounted on a pedestal and could charge two vehicles at a time.

The state is offering incentives up to $4,000 per port tor $8,000 for a dual station. That should be enough for the full cost of acquiring the station, Betterment Committee co-directors Joe Gehl and Gary Derwick told the Village Board.

The Albion Betterment is willing to front the money and wait for the reimbursement through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Gehl and Derwick asked the Village Board for assistance in installing the station, with the DPW putting in a concrete pad for the station and the village then assuming the ongoing electric bills.

The ABC met with Brockport village officials recently, where there are four charging stations that result in a $140 monthly bill, Gehl said.

The stations help local merchants because electric car owners will visit businesses and local sites while their cars are being charged.

“Business owners are looking for help on bringing people in,” Derwick told the board. “While they are getting their cars charged, they are looking for things to do.”

The Betterment Committee also urged the Albion Village Board to pursue a second charging station through the NYSERDA program. That would result in four stations total in the downtown, with two ports on each site.

That village station could be near the canal or another location to be determined.

The state has $5 million in incentives through NYSERDA for the stations and about half the money remains available, Gehl said.

Mayor Eileen Banker said she wanted to check with Brockport officials first about the ongoing cost of the electric stations and if they have been an asset to the business district.

Banker and other village trustees were open to the electric stations. Banker said it might be better to do one first at the village-owned lot by the church and then pursue a second dual-port station.

Trustee Stan Farone said it might be better to pursue two locations while the state is offering the incentives. He said electric cars are an emerging technology that isn’t going away.

Banker said she would check with the village’s grant writer, Jean O’Connell and Associates, about preparing an application.

“If the money is available through NYSERDA, why not go for it?” she said.

Two village trustees, Stan Farone and Gary Katsanis, will work with the Betterment Committee to work on the issue.

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Holley church will be filming location for documentary on reformers who changed the world

Photo by Tom Rivers: The sanctuary at the First Presbyterian Church of Holley is shown July 14 during a special service for the 200th anniversary of the congregation.

Staff Reports Posted 15 August 2019 at 8:54 am

HOLLEY – The documentary, “I Am Rochester,” will film the climactic scene at First Presbyterian of Holley on Saturday.

This scene features a prominent historical figure of Rochester’s history, abolitionist preacher Charles G. Finney. The filming also includes a surprise historical celebrity whose identity will be revealed when the film is released.

“I Am Rochester” highlights the spiritual history and revival fires that burned in our region, once known as the “Burned-Over District,” an area made up of the six counties of the Greater Rochester Metropolitan Area of the Genesee River Valley.

The film presents rarely shown perspectives of local people who became global change agents of freedom and justice, such as Charles G. Finney, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Saturday’s filming will include more than 40 extras in costume, including local Civil War re-enactors. The story being filmed occurred on Sunday, Aug. 14, 1853, and tells the true story of a dire situation which ends in supernatural renewal.

The public is welcome to peek behind the scenes and attend a short prayer at 11:30 a.m. Major filming is a closed set and scheduled from noon to 6 p.m.

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