Find us on Facebook


State will spend $1.9 million to repave part of 31A, from 98 to Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2020 at 5:46 pm

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated to state the repaving will be on Route 31A and not Route 98.)

The state Department of Transportation plans to spend $1.9 million to repave Route 31A from Route 98 to Route 31 in Medina, about a 10-mile stretch of the road.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the project today as part of $151 million in paving work for 95 projects in the state. The governor said the projects are in response to extreme weather events.

This new funding, provided through the PAVE NY Initiative, complements $743 million in direct State aid provided for local road and bridge projects that helped renew approximately 3,700 lane miles of road across New York State.

“New York continues to make nation-leading investments in the renewal and modernization of the State’s roads, bridges, transit systems and airports,” Governor Cuomo said. “These investments are laying the foundation to ensure sustained growth throughout the 21st century in tourism, business and workforce development, and economic opportunities.”

This sustained infrastructure investment will enhance the safety of the State’s highways and reduce roadway roughness, making these pavements more fuel efficient. The projects announced today will begin this spring and will be completed during the winter of 2020.

“The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather has had devastating impacts on the State’s transportation network,” said State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “Through the renewal and hardening of our State’s infrastructure, New York continues to support the rejuvenation of our local communities and regional economic growth.”

Return to top

Saint-Gobain ADFORS employees, company donate $9K to United Way

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 January 2020 at 4:27 pm

Provided photo: Saint-Gobain ADFORS in Albion recently presented a check for $9,215 to United Way. From left are facilities manager Dave Fink, senior staff accountant Melanie Adams and United Way director Dean Bellack.

ALBION – A local company has come forward for the first time to support United Way of Orleans County. United Way got a big boost to its 2020 campaign with a generous donation from Saint-Gobain ADFORS.

Dave Fink, facilities manager, and senior staff accountant Melanie Adams recently presented United Way’s director Dean Bellack with a check for $9,215.

The check represents employee pledges of $6,715 and a corporate donation of $2,500.

For their support, Saint-Gobain ADFORS received an award at United Way’s event in November at White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville, featuring guest speaker and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia.

Fink said he has long been a supporter of United Way and was eager to become involved when he was contacted by Bellack last fall. The company took advantage of their annual safety celebration in October to also make it a day for United Way.

Saint-Gobain ADFORS sponsored a chicken barbecue for employees and invited Bellack to come and make presentations to employees. All in all, Bellack said he did six different presentations.

To encourage employees to pledge to United Way, Saint-Gobain ADFORS purchased a 55-inch television, and anyone who made a pledge got a chance in a drawing for the TV. The winner was Ryan Uderitz.

Saint-Gobain ADFORS employs more than 200 people at the Albion plant, which opened in 1975. The company makes reinforcements for sails for America’s Cup, dry wall tape, cement board reinforcements, fiberglass reinforcement material, laid scrim and geotextile for road repairs.

Fink said there are two reasons why Saint-Gobain ADFORS supports the local community.

“First, our corporation encourages community involvement, and second, it requires community involvement,” Fink said. “They give us money for investment in our community.”

Even though the money comes from the corporate level, it is local management which decides how it will be used, Fink said.

“It’s a great philosophy,” Bellack said. “It not only benefits the community, it benefits your company.”

Return to top

Hometown Heroes banners coming to Albion, with second group in Medina

Photo by Tom Rivers: A banner for Frank Berger hangs in the gymnasium at the Orleans County YMCA on May 19, during a reception before the banners were put out in Medina before Memorial Day. Banners for Bruce Burns, left, and Kenneth Edward Baehr are next to the one for Berger. Medina displayed 38 banners last year of veterans, with 63 more to be added this year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 12:24 pm

ALBION –  The village is working to add Hometown Heroes banners this year in the downtown with a goal to have up to 40 in place by July. The banners would stay up until after Veterans’ Day in November.

Albion is following the example of Holley, Medina and Brockport in honoring veterans from the community. Albion is working to finalize the details for the program. The banners would be a maximum of $200, to be paid for by family or friends of a veteran. The cost may be less if the village can use existing hardware to secure the banners. That expense may drop to $150, said Mayor Eileen Banker, who is managing the program for Albion.

She has seen the banners in Holley, Medina and Brockport and said the display of portraits sends a powerful message.

“We should honor our veterans, the ones who are serving now and who come before us,” she said. “They made this country.”

Banker wants to know if there is interest from thr Albion community in honoring veterans with the banners. People interested could send her an email at or call or text her at (585) 356-0686. She is aiming for late February to early March to submit an order for the banners. They would by 2 ½ feet by 5 feet, the same size as the ones in Medina.

Albion is capped at 40 spots for the banners on Main Street between Beaver Street to just past the Erie Canal, as well as on Bank Street, between Platt and Liberty streets.

There will be a form at the Village Office beginning on Jan. 22 for people interested in the program. Banker said they will go to people “on a first come, first served basis.”

In Medina, the banners go up just before Memorial Day. Albion has banners up promoting the Strawberry Festival until after that event the second Friday and Saturday in June. After the Strawberry Festival, the banners of veterans will be displayed. This year it likely won’t be until July.

Medina will add 63 more banners this year

The banners have been very popular in Medina. Last year, there were 38 displayed in the first year, with 63 more coming in May. The program is organized by Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman.

The banners last year included current and previous soldiers from the community, with some going back to World War II.

The new group of banners this year includes one veteran from the Civil War. The banners will continue in the downtown on Main Street, and East and West Center streets, and on Park Avenue. New locations will be added this year farther down on East and West Center streets, Park Avenue, Pearl Street, West Avenue and South Main Street.

Woodruff said there likely will be a reception in May at the YMCA with the banners hung in the gymnasium.

Return to top

Republicans and Democrats in Albion both have caucus on Jan. 28

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 7:56 am

Parties will pick candidates for March 18 election

ALBION – The Republican and Democratic parties will both have their caucuses at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 to pick trustee candidates for the March 18 election.

There are two four-year terms for trustee up for election. They are currently filled by Peter Sidari and Mattea Navarra-Molisani.

The Democrats will have their caucus at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church at 10 East Park St. Only registered Democrats who live in the village can participate and vote at the caucus.

Republicans will have their caucus in the LGI room at the Charles D’Amico High School, 302 East Ave. Only registered Republicans can participate in the caucus.

Return to top

Revitalization group meets Jan. 21 and seeks feedback to better utilize canal in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 January 2020 at 8:18 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: A boater makes a stop in Albion near the Ingersoll Street lift bridge this past July.

ALBION – The second community meeting to gather public input on the Orleans County Canal Corridor Waterfront Revitalization Plan will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 at Hoag Library.

Those in attendance will be provided with updated information on the Canal Corridor Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Plan followed by an open house to review potential projects along the Canal Corridor.

Participants will be able to provide their input on the potential projects that will be provided to the Waterfront Advisory Committee for consideration for inclusion in the final LWRP Plan.

The committee members are representatives from the villages of Albion and Holley, and the towns of Albion, Murray, Gaines, Ridgeway and Shelby. The Village of Medina has developed its own waterfront plan. (The county received a state grant for $62,000 to develop the plan and hired LaBella Associates as a consultant for the project.)

The Jan. 21 meeting at the library on South Main Street is another opportunity for residents and businesses in the community to provide feedback and help plan the future of the Canal Corridor.

About 40 people attended the first open house on Oct. 29, seeking ideas to capitalize on the canal. During that open house, LaBella handed out stickers and asked people to rank their highest priorities along the canal. Red-colored stickers signified the highest priority, with green the second highest, yellow the third highest and blue the fourth highest priority.

Many of the red stickers went by economic development, with a goal to boost investment and job opportunities in the canal communities. That includes a better environment for small businesses in the downtowns, as well as commercial, industrial and agriculture growth.

The farming sector would benefit from continued use of siphoning canal water for irrigation. The canal bridges also need to be strong enough to handle farm equipment, the group said.

Top priorities also went to more programs – community events, concerts, races, competitions and historical event celebrations – along the canal.

Some people wanted to see an improved streetscape, with more trees in the downtown, safer cross walks, and signage directing people to services and attractions. The canal towns should also have interpretive panels to better explain local history and the canal’s role in developing the towns.

The group also favors having distance markers on the towpath, to inform cyclists, boaters and other users how close they are to a town.

Adam Johnson, owner of 39 Problems in Albion, sees opportunities to use the canal in the winter, because there is some water that remains. Johnson said it could be used for ice skating and other winter sports. There also should be more launches along the canal for people with kayaks, he said.

The committee members are trying to prioritize projects and develop an action plan.

Return to top

3rd boy pleads guilty to conspiracy in threat against Albion school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 January 2020 at 3:31 pm

ALBION – A third boy in an alleged plot against the Albion Middle School pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the sixth degree in Orleans County Family Court on Tuesday.

His guilty plea came a week after two other boys pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the second degree. One of those boys also pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment for sending a “disturbing image” to a female classmate, said Joe Cardone, the district attorney.

The three were charged on Nov. 7 after an alleged plot to bring weapons to the middle school and harm classmates.

The boys will be sentenced next month by Judge Sanford Church. There are no sentencing promises as part of the plea agreements. The judge could decide the boys need to be detained at a juvenile detention facility, or he could give them a lesser punishment of perhaps probation.

The boys are currently not allowed back in school. They are being tutored off site.

Because the three boys are all juveniles age 13 their names aren’t to be publicized by the media.

Cardone said the boys remain suspended from school and are under adult supervision. They also need to continue their mental health appointments, and are not to communicate with each other or use electronic media devices.

The students allegedly used Discord, a social media platform for gamers, to make grave physical threats to at least one other student. The threats spread to other social media platforms as the threads were shared, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said during a Nov. 8 press conference.

The school district this evening will host a social media and safe networking program for parents and community. That session begins at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium.

New York State Trooper John Campanella will be the guest speaker. He is the Troop A (Batavia) School and Community Outreach Coordinator and a former School Resource Officer.

He will discuss various social media sites often used by teens; how businesses target teens through social media; how metadata and geo coding are used and misused; and will discuss the legalities and consequences of sexting and cyber bullying.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated from an earlier version that said the third boy pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the sixth degree, which is a misdemeanor.)

Return to top

Albion approves $740K bid for waterline project in village

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 January 2020 at 3:17 pm

ALBION – The Village Board last week approved a construction bid for $739,931 to replace 8-inch waterlines on South Clinton and West Academy streets.

The project will replace 4,200 feet of waterlines on the two streets between Route 31 and Allen Road and should resolve issues with low water pressure, village officials said.

The low bid for the project was submitted by 716 Site Contracting from North Boston, NY.

Albion didn’t receive a grant to help pay for the project. The Village Board last week approved a $975,000 bond to cover the full costs of the project, including engineering and legal fees.

In addition to the waterlines, the project includes hydrants, gate valves and and service connections. The contractor also needs to do pressure testing and disinfection of new main, and surface restoration work.

Return to top

Albion school will host community session on social media safety

Staff Reports Posted 13 January 2020 at 11:14 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Albion Middle School is pictured last month after some snow. The school will host a session on social media and safe networking safety this Wednesday at 7 p.m.

ALBION – The school district will host a social media and safe networking program for parents and community on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium, 254 East Ave.

New York State Trooper John Campanella will be the guest speaker. He is the Troop A (Batavia) School and Community Outreach Coordinator and a former School Resource Officer.

All are invited to attend this informative and free program.

The presentation will include:

• Learn about various social media sites often used by teens

• Find out about how businesses target teens through social media

• Learn how metadata and geo coding are used and misused

• Discuss the legalities and consequences of sexting and cyber bullying

Return to top

Albion canal bridge is covered in canvas during construction project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2020 at 8:54 am

Photos courtesy of Jules Hoepting

ALBION –  This photo looks under the giant canvas over the Transit Road bridge in Albion, one of seven canal bridges in Orleans County receiving extensive upgrades.

The Transit Road bridge was closed to traffic in August. The state Department of Transportation also closed the Telegraph Road canal bridge in August for construction work.

The state is spending $10.7 million on the seven bridges in the county. The DOT said the work on these bridges will include installing high-strength galvanized steel to replace steel floor systems, low chords, gusset plates, and truss elements.

Bridge railing and guide rail on the bridge approaches also will be improved and each bridge will be repainted. The alignments and profiles of the bridges will not change.

The  seven single-lane truss bridges were constructed between 1909 and 1914. They will all be repainted from green to black.

The DOT has completed work on the Densmore Road bridge in Albion and Bennetts Corners Road bridge in Murray.

As part of the $10.7 million bridge initiative in Orleans, the DOT also will work on three more bridges – Gaines Basin Road in the Town of Gaines, Bates Road in the Village of Medina, and Marshall Road in the Town of Ridgeway.

Return to top

Albion school will keep clay target shooting team

Provided photo: The Albion High School Clay Target Club is shown last year competing for the first time in the New York State Clay Target League. Pictured from left include: Gina Fox, Chris Rice (coach), Cole London, Ryan Uderitz (coach), Zac Albright, Drew Caldwell, Mike Donahue (coach), Austin Aman, Shane Hastings, Jordan Boccacci-Phillips, Ryan Krenning (kneeling), Sawyer Braley, Ben Hickman, Austin Furness, Patrick Brien, Alex Rustay, Jacob Fuller, Nick Sacco, Jeff Atwell (coach) Tim Brien (coach). Missing from photo: Jessica Fox, James Hapeman, Max Hapeman and Will Trembley.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 January 2020 at 4:25 pm

ALBION – The Albion Board of Education voted on Monday to continue a clay target shooting team at Albion High School.

The team, the Clay Crushers, debuted last year and finished 9th out of 65 teams at state meet. Patrick Brien and Alex Rustay both received All-State honors last year.

Three of the team members – Brien, Rustay and Shane Hastings – competed at the USA High School Clay Target League National Championship at Mason, Mich.

The Board of Education approved the team for the 2020 season, which starts in March. However, the board declined a request to expand the participation eligibility to students as young as 12. The board opted to keep participation at the high school level for this year, wanting to get at least another year of experience for the team.

The Albion team members participate at the Barre Sportsmen’s Club. The Albion team competes against other schools that do their trap shooting on their home trap fields. They compare their scores online. Shooters try to hit 50 targets, which are sent out of a machine at 43 miles per hour.

Although students younger than the high school level can’t be on the school team they can still participate in clay target shooting through the Barre Sportsmen’s Club beginning at age 12.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Andrew Uderitz of Albion takes a shot at the trap target last April. The ammunition is donated by local sportsmen’s clubs and the Friends of the NRA.

Return to top