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New tugboat named in honor of women’s rights pioneer getting a workout in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 August 2020 at 9:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – A new tugboat (second from left) named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a famed leader of the women’s suffrage movement, moves a barge in Albion on Monday, just east of the Ingersoll lift bridge.

The State Canal Corp. was trimming vegetation along the canal banks. The other tugboat at far left also is a new model of a tugboat on the canal.

The new tugboat was dedicated on May 17, 2019 in Rochester to start the canal’s navigational season.

Coline Jenkins, Stanton’s great-great granddaughter, was on hand to dedicate the 26-foot vessel, which is stationed at the Canal maintenance facility in Albion.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton is shown Friday on the Erie Canal in Albion, between the lift bridges on Main Street and Ingersoll Street.

The Erie Canal, which opened for its 196th season this year, played a significant role in the women’s rights movement. In the 1800s, the canal was like an interstate highway. It was frequently traveled between Seneca Falls and Rochester as Cady Stanton and her fellow suffragists coordinated their campaign for women’s rights.

Seneca Falls, which is part of the state’s canal system, hosted the first women’s rights convention on July 19-20, 1848.

Cady Stanton was one of the key leaders of the convention and the movement. She was the primary author of the Declaration of Sentiments, a manifesto that called on women to fight for their Constitutionally guaranteed right to equality as U.S. citizens.

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Chicken barbecue sells out at Holy Family in Albion, 50 baskets up for auction

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 11:52 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mike Grabowski makes the cole slaw in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge this morning in preparation for the chicken barbecue and “Un-Lawn Fete” for the Holy Family Parish in Albion.

The church had 540 dinners available and they all sold ahead of time. They meals will be served by drive-through only in takeouts from 11:30 to 3:30 at the Elks Lodge on West State Street, drive-through only for takeouts.

“This is the 26th straight year for this wonderful opportunity to get friends and parishioners together—be it with a distance-required aspect,” Father Richard Csizmar, the parish priest, said in a message to parishioners. “This will help us meet the financial needs of our parish, especially our annual insurance obligations. Thanks to all those who have prepared so much for this day and those who will attend.”

The event also includes 50 baskets will also be up for raffle at the church grounds at 106 S. Main St. The basket raffle starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. The cash prize raffle includes two prizes of $500 and five prizes of $100.

This group preps the plastic bags for the takeouts. They include from left: Joan Adduci, Jean Shervin (in back), Lorriane Dibley and Michelle Grabowski.

Tony Navarra cooks the salt potatoes in the kitchen.

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Russian vessel on epic journey along canal draws onlookers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 August 2020 at 7:30 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – A crew from Russia reached Orleans County today as part of an epic journey in an 18th century replica boat named Pilgrim. The Densmore Road bridge is in the background.

They are shown approaching the Keitel Road canal bridge in Albion at about 2:30 p.m. They left Spencerport this morning and reached Medina later in the afternoon.

Click here to see a video of the boat approaching and passing underneath the Keitel Road bridge.

According to media reports, including Rochester journalist John Kucko, the boat has already traveled 11,000 miles nautical miles in the past two years.

Sergey Sinelnik is the captain and has long dreamed of sailing around the world. He is leading the crew to Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth is the sister city of his Russian hometown.

The boat passes by the Keitel Road bridge and heads west by farmland in Albion.

The group will push to reach Alaska after being in Minnesota. Then the boat will be taken to Seattle where it will then continue the trip by water. Kucko said the crew has about another year of travelling as part of the journey.

The boat reaches Albion and is between the two lift bridges, with the Ingersoll lift bridge in the upright position. The crew was friendly, waving to the many onlookers getting a glimpse of the boat, which is 42 foot long, 14 tons with three masts.

The Main Street lift bridge goes up for the boat.

Click here to see a video of the bridge and the boat.

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Maison Albion donates $1K to Hospital Foundation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2020 at 11:59 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Cole and Kerri Glover, right, donated $1,000 to the Orleans Community Health Foundation on Wednesday. They are social distancing while presenting a check to Jeanne Crane (left) who is president of Foundation and Heather Smith, who is the executive director.

The Glovers are the new owners of the former Pillars on West Countyhouse Road in Albion. They are turning the property into Maison Albion, which will be decorated in a French theme and will host weddings and other events.

They had an estate sale at the property on Saturday. One large elephant figure, which was a prop in a film, was auctioned off with proceeds going to the Hospital Foundation.

The Whitehall Mansion in Brockport bought the elephant for $700. The Glovers added $300 to make the donation $1,000.

The $1,000 will go towards the “Say Boo to the Flu” program run by Jessica Capurso, out of the Community Partners department at Orleans Community Health.  Community Partners collaborates with Albion Rotary and Leon’s Gift in Memory of Leon Sidari to educate the community on the importance of flu vaccinations for youth. This year they are focused on expanding the program and these funds will greatly help facilitate any additional needs they will have for another successful year.

The Glovers said they plan to make Maison Albion available for free for 10 community fundraisers each year. Mrs. Glover urged people to reach out to her at for more information.

This elephant sold as a fundraiser for the Orleans Community Health Foundation.

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Albion seeks parent input on reopening

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2020 at 11:36 am

District plans for Pre-K to Grade 6 for in-person Monday through Friday; Grades 7-12 would alternate between in-person and remote learning

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Albion Middle School will see more cleaning if students are approved for in-person learning this school year.

ALBION – The school district wants to hear from parents if they plan to have their children return for in-person schooling in 2020-21 and if they will have their children be bussed in the mornings and afternoons.

Albion in the survey also is asking families about their internet access at home.

Albion is asking families to complete the survey by Aug. 7 to help the district as it prepares for a new school year. Click here to see the survey.

“I thank you for your patience and understanding as we proceed through the process of determining how best to meet the needs of your child(ren) over the next several months, while maintaining the health and safety expectations that are required,” interim superintendent Scott Bishoping said in a message to the community.

Albion also completed a 48-page reopening plan on Friday that was submitted to the State Education Department. The plan was also posted on the district website.

Albion’s first option for reopening would be in-person schooling Monday through Friday for grades prekindergarten through 6.

In grades 7-12, there would be an A Group and B Group that would alternate between in-person and remote learning. Wednesday would be remote learning for everyone in grades 7-12. The students would be in-person at school two days a week.

In option 2, would have Pre-K to grades 6 doing in-person everyday but Wednesday, which would be remote learning. Grades 7-12 would alternate between in-person and remote on Monday and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday remote for all students in 7-12.

Option 3 would have PreK to grade 6 doing remote learning three days a week and in-person two days a week. For grades 7 to 12, the A group would do in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday and then remote learning Wednesday through Friday. The B Group would do remote learning from Monday through Wednesday and then in-person learning on Thursday and Friday.

Students will need to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet as much as possible and wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible.

Minimize student movement: This potentially means having students eating lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities, the district states in the reopening plan.

Special area subjects – art, music, physical education – may be pushed into the classroom. “Whenever possible, students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction,” the plan states. “We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity and music rehearsals.”

Social Emotional Learning team: The district will have a team with certified teachers, certified school counselors, a licensed mental health professional/community partner through Orleans County Mental Health, school psychologists, school social worker, school resource officer (SRO) and school administrators.

This task force team will develop a cohesive and strategic plan, regardless of the re-entry phase, to support students and staff upon for the 2020-2021 school year. This includes a means to identify and actively support student and staff well-being and mental health concerns.

The district will have a “Helpdesk” for parents/students/teachers to report technical issues that might be experienced during remote learning.

The school district will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple formats, wherever possible.

In the event students do not have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, the district will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction by picking up materials at school or dropping off materials to students’ homes.

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Arc announces Rainbow Preschool will close

Posted 31 July 2020 at 11:52 am

Press Release, Arc of Genesee Orleans

ALBION – After decades of service, Rainbow Preschool, operated by Arc of Genesee Orleans, will permanently close on Aug. 14.

Rainbow Preschool, located in Batavia and Albion, serves children from 2½ to 5 years old with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The preschool provided special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology, counseling, parent training, music therapy, and speech/language therapy to help students achieve kindergarten readiness.

Preschool staff are New York state certified teachers, with teacher assistants and aides in the classroom.

The decision was made after careful consideration by Arc of Genesee Orleans’ board of directors.

“This decision was made with heavy hearts,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director. “For any children who are enrolled with Rainbow for the 2020-21 school year, we will work directly with parents and with school district representatives to secure appropriate placements and ensure continuity of services.”

Rainbow Preschool provided critical services to generations of children with and without disabilities and they have a proud history of service for children with special needs. The current environment of the pandemic, uncertain funding and declining enrollment all played a role in this difficult decision. While no return to class date was set due to NY State COVID-19 restrictions, enrollment to date included 26 children.

The school in Albion was located at the Arnold Gregory Complex at 243 S. Main St. In Batavia, Rainbow Preschool was at the former Robert Morris school on Union Street.

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Albion looking to have students be in school every day at elementary level

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 July 2020 at 9:23 am

Middle and high school students may go alternate days in hybrid model

File photo by Tom Rivers: Students are quick to get off the bus on the first day of school at Albion in this photo from Sept. 7, 2016.

ALBION – The school district on Wednesday updated the community about a reopening plan that needs to be filed with the state on Friday.

Albion and the 700 other school districts have until Friday to submit the plans to the state Education Department. Districts need to develop plans for in-person learning, a hybrid model with both in-person and remote learning, and a plan for on-line only.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will review the plans and make an announcement by Aug. 7 whether school districts will be allowed for in-person instruction.

School districts were forced to go to on-line only beginning on March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school buildings didn’t open again to students for the rest of the school year.

In a Q & A posted on the district website, Albion said the reopening plan will be posted on the school website on Friday.

The district said it is pushing to have students in prekindergarten through grade 6 to be able to attend in-person classes each day.

“By converting some rooms used for special areas and supports into classroom space, we may be able to have all of the students attend and still be able to use social distancing in classrooms,” the district said. “That is likely not going to be the case at the 7-12 level.”

At the 7-12 level, Albion is planning a hybrid manner of instruction with a group of students attending one day, and another group the next day.

“We are still working out the format that best fits for all of the needs of our students,” the district stated.

Families will have the option to keep their children home from school for remote instruction, even if in-person schooling is offered.

“We understand that there are reasons why a family would want to keep their child home and so, we will offer the opportunity for remote or virtual learning whether we can bring students in or not,” the district stated.

Albion will be surveying parents to determine the preference for in-person learning or remote.

The district said the school schedule will be a similar format as last year. However, Albion plans to stagger arrival and dismissal times to avoid students entering and leaving the building in a group.

“More specific information will be shared with families later in August after we get word from the governor regarding the format that we will be able to plan on to start the school year,” the district said.

The big difference for the 2020-21 school year will be the social aspect for students, with social distancing and mask wearing.

“The same requirements will prevent students from gathering in hallways between classes or having close conversation at lunch time,” the district said. “We are looking at other ways to allow students to socialize with one another, but whatever we come up with will look different than what they are used to.”

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State Assembly approves naming Rt. 31 in Albion for Santa School founder

Photo by Tom Rivers: This 24-foot-long mural of Charles Howard as Santa in a sleigh over downtown Albion was installed in June 2018. It was painted by Albion native Stacey Kirby Steward. The mural honors Albion’s history as home to the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School from 1937 to 1966. Howard also ran Christmas Park in Albion. Mr. Howard passed away in 1966. The Santa School continues in his name in Midland, Michigan.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2020 at 12:57 pm

ALBION – The State Assembly has approved naming a portion of Route 31 in Albion in honor of Charles Howard, who founded a Santa Claus School in 1937 and ran it until his death in 1966. The school still bears Howard’s name but is now operated in Midland, Mich.

The state road officially will still be known as Route 31, and East and West Avenue in the village. But there will be signs at each end of the Town of Albion on Route 31, noting the stretch of Route 31 is the “Charles W. Howard Memorial Highway.” The section in Albion goes from Transit Road to Wood Road.

The State Senate also has approved the “Charles W. Howard Memorial Highway.” The legislation needs the governor’s signature before it’s a done deal.

Mr. Howard, in addition to founding a Santa Claus School, established Christmas Park in Albion on Phipps Road near Route 31. He portrayed Santa in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City for 18 years.

This photo shows Charles W. Howard with a Santa at Christmas Park in Albion. Howard operated the Park and a Santa Claus School in Albion until his death on May 1, 1966.

He developed the Santa School after noticing many Santas didn’t have training, and didn’t always interact with children well or meet a standard for dress. He established decorum for Santas and his Santa Claus suits became popular.

Howard remains a revered figure among the Santa portrayers world-wide. They have an annual conference, which twice in the past decade has been in Albion.

“Mr. Howard brought national acclaim to himself and his home town by establishing the world’s first Santa Claus School,” according to a resolution from the Orleans County Legislature last August in support of naming a section of the state road for Howard.

Jane Holland, Charles Howard’s granddaughter, sent an email on July 31, 2019 to Joe Gehl, one of the directors of the Albion Betterment Committee. The Betterment Committee has stepped up efforts to recognize Howard’s role in the community. The Betterment Committee has put up a gateway sign on Route 98, declaring Albion as Howard’s hometown. The group also has “BELIEVE” signs in the community and is working on a memorial bronze statue of Howard in downtown Albion.

The Betterment Committee has sought support for the road naming from local, county and state officials.

Holland said the family endorses having Route 31 be dedicated for Howard, who was a farmer and active in the community as a volunteer, in addition to running Christmas Park and training Santas at the school.

“Grampa was a humble man of little means but a big heart and a giving, caring soul,” she said in her email. “To see him honored on his beloved trail to and from the town – the family still today cherishes and welcomes its comfort when we visit – would be a great privilege.”

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced the Assembly approved the road naming. The Assembly also approved designating Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke in honor of a local soldier killed in the Vietnam War.

That section of 77 in Pembroke will be known as the “SP4 C. Jay Hall Memorial Highway.” Hall served as a rifleman in the United States Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. On October 7, 1969, he was on a reconnaissance patrol in an area of known enemy activity. He and his group were suddenly subjected to an intense attack from enemy forces.

With complete disregard for his personal safety, Specialist Hall exposed himself to hostile fire while his comrades were able to obtain cover. During this action, he was mortally wounded.

“I’m proud that the Assembly passed these bills to help us recognize the men of our community so they will be remembered now and forevermore,” Hawley said about naming the portions of the state roads for Howard and Hall.

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Canal adds new kiosk, rest area on towpath in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2020 at 11:43 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The State Canal Corporation has added a new kiosk and rest area with a bench and two loop-style bike racks.

The rest area is just west of the Ingersoll Street lift bridge. The new rest area is one of a dozen being installed across the trail system.

“The intent is for it to be a gateway into the trail,” said Shane Mahar, Canal spokesman. “The kiosk provides an overview of the system and some local history and information.”

The Ralph C. Wilson Foundation provided funding for the new sign, bench and the loop style bike racks.

The kiosk promotes the 750-mile Empire State Trail, which includes trails on the Erie Canal towpath, the Hudson Valley and Champlain Valley.

The sign notes the closest services after Albion are in Medina, 11 miles to the west, and Holley, 10 miles to the east.

“The Trail promotes heathy lifestyles and provides a place for friends and families to experience the Empire State’s special places and rich diversity – connecting urban centers, village main streets, and rural communities from New York City through the Hudson River Valley, west to Buffalo along the historic Erie Canal, and north to the Champlain Valley and Adirondacks,” the sign states, urging people to explore the trails.

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Many show up very early for food at weekly distributions

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 July 2020 at 10:36 am

‘I get here early or else it could all be gone’ – Mother of 5

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Tim Hollenbaugh of Bentley Brothers helps with the food distribution this morning in Albion in the Main Street Store parking lot.

There was a long line of cars down Chamberlain Street, McKinstry Street, East Park Street and then spilling out on Main Street when the distribution started at 8:45 a.m.

This box of dairy includes smaller containers of chocolate milk, a half gallon of milk, and containers of cottage cheese and yogurt.

One of three delivery trucks hadn’t arrived yet but organizers decided to get the line moving due to the traffic backup. The trucks delivering meats and dairy arrived, but the group was waiting on the produce truck. Each vehicle gets three boxes.

Orleans Hub talked with three people who were near the front of the line. They showed up very early.

An Albion woman, 62, was first in line. She arrived at 5:05 a.m. after getting a hot chocolate at Tim Hortons. She works part-time and shares the food with her mother and son.

“It’s hard to buy food today because the prices have gone up so much,” she said.

The woman estimated the value of the three boxes at about $80. She comes to a distribution about every two weeks and tries to be there early.

“Sometimes I get here at 6:30 and the line is already way down the street,” she said.

Today there was a new addition: a couple for a free gallon of milk.

“They keep adding things,” the appreciative woman said.

Nathan Poler of Bentley Brothers carries a box to one of the vehicles.

A 33-year-old mother of five from Albion pulled up on Chamberlain Street at 6:15 this morning. She was the sixth vehicle in line.

The woman her family has dropped from two incomes to one during the Covid-19 pandemic. The food distributions have been “extremely helpful” in feeding her family.

This meat box includes chicken patties, chicken nuggets and frozen meat balls.

The woman spends the time waiting in her car by “extreme couponing.” She checks local stores online for coupons. Those savings have also helped her family during a budget crunch.

She notices more people are showing up early for the food distributions.

“The lines are getting longer and longer,” she said. “I get here early or else it could all be gone.”

The distributions on Fridays have food for about 300 vehicles. There are also distributions the second and fourth Wednesdays at the 4-H Fairgrounds with 1,200 boxes of produce, with one per vehicle.

A 70-year-old retired woman from Albion said the food distributions have been very helpful. They ensure she has quality food.

“My medical bills pile up and you have to decide between them and food,” she said.

The woman said she shares some of the food with her son and neighbors.

She called herself an “early riser” and arrives for the food distributions at about 6:15 in the morning.

“It’s worth it,” she said.

Kim Hazel of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County helped with the distribution today. She has been a part of the efforts at the Fairgrounds. “You get a system down and then you can work well with it,” she said.

Annette Finch, community service director at Community Action, said she worries about having enough volunteers  for the weekly efforts.

She welcomed members of local sports teams to volunteer and earn some community service hours.

Volunteers are still needed for all Fridays in August. For more information on volunteering, call Melissa Blanar at the Orleans County Office for the Aging at 589-3191.

The line of vehicles stretched down Chamberlain Street this morning.

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Albion trustees, mayor apply stain to new utility building at Bullard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 July 2020 at 4:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Gary Katsanis, a trustee on the Albion Village Board, applies stain on Albion’s new utility building at Bullard Park.

He joined Mayor Eileen Banker and Trustee Stan Farone in putting the first coat of stain on the cedar siding and wood on the building, which has bathrooms, storage, equipment and infrastructure for the spray park.

Mayor Eileen Banker spent most of Wednesday and part of today applying the stain. She said the village is doing everything it can to get the park open.

The trustees volunteered with the first coat, and will be applying another coat of stain and then polyurethane.

Banker said the Department of Public Works is busy with other projects in the village. The DPW has worked on the site last year and many months of 2020. The DPW had to work at 50 percent capacity for six weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic which put the DPW behind schedule.

There is electrical work that needs to be done before the spray park can open, and the village would like to see more grass grow by the site so mud is less likely to clog the drains. Next year sidewalks will be added leading to the spray park.

Village Trustee Stan Farone, 71, has spent several hours the past two days putting stain on the wood.

Once the utility building is done, the trustees and mayor will put the stain on the new amphitheater.

Katsanis said volunteers can’t be accepted for the projects due to liability. The board members can do it because they are covered in the village’s insurance.

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Big response so far for Albion superintendent survey

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2020 at 10:10 am

Consultant says pool of superintendent candidates has been shrinking the past 20 years

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dr. Teresa Lawrence and her husband Dr. Thomas Ramming are both serving as consultants for the Albion school district in a superintendent’s search. They are shown leading a community forum on Tuesday in the Albion Middle School gym.

ALBION – The consultants assisting the Albion Board of Education in the search for a new district superintendent said they are impressed with the community engagement in the process.

So far 408 people have filled out a survey about the district and what they want in the next superintendent. Dr. Teresa Lawrence and Dr. Thomas Ramming, the consultants in the search, said that is the biggest response they have seen in the past five superintendent searches they’ve led, which were at districts larger and smaller than Albion.

Participants in 10 forums the past two days have been asked to list opportunities and challenges in the district, and traits they want in the next superintendent.

“That is outstanding,” said Ramming, a Gasport native and Roy-Hart graduate. “This is a very interested community in what goes on in the schools.”

Ramming and Lawrence are married. They led 10 focus groups and a community forum this week, asking students, parents, teachers and other community members to identify opportunities and challenges in the district, and the most desired characteristics they want in the district’s top administrator.

Albion wants to have the new superintendent in place by Jan. 1. Scott Bischoping is serving as Albion’s interim superintendent. Bischoping most recently served as interim superintendent at North Rose-Wolcott Central School. Previously, Bischoping was an interim superintendent at Batavia City School District. He also was the district superintendent for Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES.

Ramming and Lawrence both worked as school superintendents. Ramming said the pool of candidates has been steadily shrinking the past 20 years.

“If you are a family person, the 24-7 demands can negatively impact your family life,” he said.

Ramming said superintendents are often married and their spouse has a job, and they may have kids in school.

“That makes it harder to get up and go,” he said.

Superintendents also don’t have tenure in most districts. They can be vulnerable in the job if the Board of Education doesn’t like the job performance or wants a different leader.

Ramming said superintendents can’t be successful on their own. They need to work as a team with the Board of Education and need the support of the community.

“Good leadership is essential,” Ramming said. “Criticism comes with the job but it is important to let them know when they’re doing a good job, too.”

The district’s on-line survey will close on July 24. The survey lists about 30 qualities and skills for a superintendent. Respondents are asked to rank their five most critical skills for a superintendent to be effective at Albion. Click here to see the survey.

There were about 10 people in this community forum in the middle school gym. Other focus groups included teachers, staff, students, community leaders, alumni and Board of Education members.

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Police chief: Face coverings are becoming big area of misunderstanding and resistance

Posted 21 July 2020 at 3:27 pm

‘We ask that if you feel strongly about an issue on either side that at the minimum you respect others and avoid conflict by not testing these issues by intentionally going against an order or guideline.’ – Roland Nenni, Albion and Holley Police Chief

Press Release, Albion and Holley Police Chief Roland Nenni

ALBION – Recently there have been many questions asked and posts placed on social media in regards to the wearing of masks/face coverings and other executive orders from the governor issued during the Covid-19 pandemic and how law enforcement is handling them.

Roland Nenni

As you are aware the New York State Governor has issued in excess of 50 executive orders in response to the Covid19 pandemic. Many of these orders are issued with little to no guidance on how they are to be enforced and to whom they are to be enforced by.

While many of the orders are issued with the intent to help save lives and protect citizens, they are contradictory to previous orders and confusing at best. We in law enforcement believe strongly in the protection of rights to all citizens regardless of race, color or ethnicity. We work hard to protect constitutional rights and in the same fashion protect citizen’s lives and property.

Many in our community see the Executive Orders issued during the Covid-19 pandemic as unconstitutional and illegal. We in law enforcement also see many of these orders as lacking the due process necessary to begin any type of enforcement action when we receive complaints of executive orders being violated. This places us in a very difficult position that we must navigate through each time we receive a complaint that a Covid-19 order is being violated.

As I have said, we believe strongly in due process. That process is done when the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government work together to create laws and test the constitutionality of these laws and orders. This test is done using due process over time. Constitutionality of an order issued is not determined in a parking lot during a dispute between citizens days after the order was placed into effect.

‘We as a community need to respect the fact that everyone’s actions have a bearing on the spread of the virus. Covid-19 can range from no symptoms in some people and can result in death in others.’

Every day we receive 911 calls and anonyms NY Pause Complaints from citizens that are reporting other citizens that are not wearing face masks or social distancing. We respond to these complaints with the intent to mitigate, educate and resolve any dispute that is occurring or about to occur. Locally we have seen citizens getting into physical altercations over the wearing or not wearing face coverings. Nationally these disputes have turned deadly and we hope to prevent violence at each of these calls for service.

There has been information released at the state level that if employees of a business or patrons of a business are not wearing a mask, a fine in excess of $1,000 can be levied against the violator. Many take this as a threat from government. This potential action is not coming from the police or our local government. This is being done at the state level and they are pushing the responsibility of this enforcement onto local law enforcement and health officials in the form of Health Law Violations.

I cannot speak for law enforcement agencies that are not under my control, but I can for the Albion and Holley Police Departments which operate under the same Orders. There have recently been posts on social media that have detailed police responses to face covering incidents that are inaccurate. I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding police response. We do not keep a “list” or “registry” of mask or social distancing violators.

We do collect information from everyone an officer speaks to on every call for service we respond to, regardless of the type of incident. This is done so the officer can complete a detailed report of the response. The purpose of the report is so that police supervisors and myself can review each call for service to make sure everything is complete.

We also record this information so that the Police Command Staff can respond to complaints or inquires days and sometimes years after the call for service. I have reviewed the body camera footage from a recent police call for service regarding a “Face Covering Violation.” The officer conducted himself professionally and respectfully and simply pointed out the Executive Order and that fines can be levied for the violation.

‘We hope that all patrons will wear masks while inside a business to reduce the conflict that will undoubtedly occur because of the lack of a mask. By wearing a mask, you reduce the chance of the business owner from facing potential fines that could cause the business to close.’

The “face covering” issue is one of the biggest areas of resistance and misunderstanding. The executive orders state that a “face covering” must be worn when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. The Executive Order further states that a business must make all employees wear face coverings at all times and that patrons of the business must wear a mask when they cannot maintain the 6-foot social distance. If a business patron is found to be inside a business without a face covering and is within 6 feet of someone else, no matter what the circumstance, the business is susceptible to thousands of dollars in fines.

We all must realize that social distancing of 6 feet is difficult inside a building that is inhabited by others. We hope that all patrons will wear masks while inside a business to reduce the conflict that will undoubtedly occur because of the lack of a mask. By wearing a mask, you reduce the chance of the business owner from facing potential fines that could cause the business to close.

Please understand that law enforcement did not choose to be placed in these situations and the last thing we want is to be involved in a political and constitutional debate, which we have no control over. There are opinions on both sides of these issues that we in law enforcement cannot resolve. We ask that if you feel strongly about an issue on either side that at the minimum you respect others and avoid conflict by not testing these issues by intentionally going against an order or guideline.

Regardless of political views or the acceptance of scientific data, Covid-19 can and does affect everyone differently. We as a community need to respect the fact that everyone’s actions have a bearing on the spread of the virus. Covid-19 can range from no symptoms in some people and can result in death in others.

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Pillars in Albion has new owners who plan to turn it into wedding destination

Photos by Tom Rivers: Cole and Kerri Glover are the new owners of The Pillars on West Countyhouse Road in Albion. They plan to turn the site into Maison Albion, a wedding and events venue with a French theme. Mrs. Glover has worked 22 years in the wedding industry and been part of building 13 other venues, including sites in Hawaii, Colorado, California, Texas and Montana.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 July 2020 at 5:41 pm

Site on Countyhouse Road will be known as Maison Albion, with French design

Cole and Kerri Glover – including daughter Evelyn, 1, and son Benjamin, 12 – believe the Albion location will be a draw for couples from Buffalo to Rochester.

ALBION – The Pillars on West Countyhouse Road in Albion has new owners who plan a major redesign of the site.

Cole and Kerri Glover want to develop the property into a wedding and events venue with a French design from the turn of the century.

Mrs. Glover, a native of Maui in Hawaii, has worked 22 years in the wedding industry and has been a key leader in developing 13 other wedding venues in Hawaii, Colorado, California, Texas and Montana. Her brother, Michael Bolster, also is a part owner in the Albion site.

Mr. Glover, a seventh-generation Texan, was scouting the country for a site the couple could develop into a wedding venue. They narrowed it to 10 locations, and saw the most potential with the property in Albion, which they said can draw from the Buffalo and Rochester markets.

“We feel confident this will be successful,” Mr. Glover, 36, said during an interview at the site.

There are about 3,000 counties in the United States. Glover initially looked at top 400 counties for weddings where there are at least 1,000 weddings annually. In Rochester and Buffalo, there are about 13,000 weddings each year.

The location in Albion, between the two metro areas, was a big plus for the couple. Then they saw the property and the Albion community. They were convinced the site would appeal to couples celebrating their big day.

“The property itself is gorgeous,” Mrs. Glover said. “I feel like I’m living in the Gilmore Girls.”

Albion also has a wow effect with the many historic homes in good condition, the Courthouse Square, the downtown business district and the cavernous churches. The Glovers believe the community will impress couples and others looking to celebrate a special event.

Besides a redesign of the property, the Glovers are working to connect with local vendors, florists, restaurants and other small businesses.

The ballroom currently is full of furniture, antiques, restaurant equipment and other décor that will be sold on Aug. 1 at an estate sale.

They need skilled tradespeople to help with the work on the house and the property. Mrs. Glover urged tradespeople, artists, landscapers and vendors to reach out to her if they are willing to be part of the effort. Some of the projects are less daunting like removing wallpaper and fixing furniture. Other work will be a significant effort, such as replacing the four columns in the front of the house. Mrs. Glover can be reached at

The Glovers have high praise for the previous owners, Scott Root and Tony McMurtie. They turned the site into an events center after major renovations. McMurtie in particular loved to put on an annual Titantic Ball in April.

Tony McMurtie, one of the previous owners of The Pillars, welcomes guests during the Titanic Ball in April 2015. McMurtie started the Titanic Ball on the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s fateful voyage in April 2012. The inaugural gala also launched the opening of the grand ballroom at the Pillars.

“She’s really beautiful,” Mrs. Glover, 41, said about the house. “We’re just putting our polish on.”

The Glovers won’t be running an on-location food business. They will have all the meals catered. They are selling the restaurant equipment and other furniture, antiques and décor in an estate sale on Aug. 1.

They officially closed on the property on July 6. They need to work with the town to get the needed permits for hosting weddings and events.

Mrs. Glover, who has helped plan more than 1,000 weddings, said there will also be significant landscaping at the site and she wants to expand the parking lot.

The site has a capacity for 299 inside, but the Glovers will market it for about 150 to 160 people. There is also plenty of room for tents and food trucks.

The Glovers want to make the property available for free 10 times a year to the community to host events. They would like to welcome the public in December for Albion’s annual Hometown Holiday event. The Albion Merchants Association organizes that celebration, which includes stops at many local businesses. They Glovers would like to host a Victorian themed celebration on Dec. 12.

They also would like to host an annual party with a swing band for the community around July 4th.

“We have all this space,” Mrs. Glover said. “We want it to feel like home for Albion. We want this venue to belong to the community as much as it does us.”

Cole and Kerri Glover are pictured in the top floor of the house. They plan to give the site a major redesign with a turn of the century French decor.

Mr. Glover has a sales background, as well as 15 years in event management. He and his wife met in Denver. They were engaged in Paris and married in Venice.

He also enjoys the challenge of developing a property. He will be repairing 41 doors at the house himself. But he said the couple will be hiring many skilled trades workers for the redevelopment of the property.

He believes the Albion site will be considered a premiere location in the region.

“We want to restore this place to its highest and best use,” he said.

Kerri Glover created these concept boards for the bridesmaid suite and also for the secret garden.

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Albion dad, 35, recovering after being hit with unexpected heart failure

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2020 at 12:36 pm

GoFundMe established for David Warren, who felt fine and never smoked or used drugs

Provided photos: David Warren is shown with his kids – Hailey and Charles – during a family vacation last summer.

ALBION – An Albion family is facing mounting medical bills and other healthcare costs after the 35-year-old father of two unexpectedly had heart failure.

David Warren is home after three weeks in the hospital. He had open heart surgery to implant a permanent pump called an LVAD, or left ventricular assist device.

As he builds his endurance and recovers from the surgery, he is hopeful he can return to work as an accountant for Ruby Gordon Furniture in Henrietta.

He was struggling with shortness of breath when he went to the hospital on June 9. He and his wife Evelyn were shocked when the doctors said his heart was failing rapidly.

“There was no warning,” he said on Thursday. “There was no decrease in energy level.”

Warren not long before that has remodeled one of his kid’s bedrooms.

He and Evelyn have a daughter Hailey, who is going into ninth grade, and a son, Charles, who will be a sixth-grader.

Mr. Warren said doctors haven’t determined what caused the heart failure. His arteries weren’t clogged. He has never used drugs or smoked, and isn’t a heavy drinker.

David Warren is pictured with his wife Evelyn the first day she was able to visit him at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

He is determined to get stronger and return to an active life with his family and career. Warren said the financial burden of being hospitalized with open-heart surgery, plus his ongoing medication, also is stressful for the family.

The Warrens have started a GoFundMe for people to help with the medical bills. (Click here for more information.)

“I am not one who asks for help or assistance but with this situation I need to in order to help my family,” Warren said.

The family lives at Oak Orchard Estates. Warren met his wife, an Attica native, through a mutual friend. Mrs. Warren works as a universal PreK teacher in Albion through Head Start.

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