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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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Bench at Marine Park dedicated in memory of Joey and Gene Haines

Posted 26 July 2019 at 11:26 am

Provided photo: Chris and Pat Haines sit on a bench dedicated to Chris’s aunt and uncle.

Courtesy of Frank Panczyszyn, member of Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association

CARLTON – The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association dedicated a special concrete park bench at the Orleans County Marine Park near Point Breeze in memory of a special couple, the late Joey and Gene Haines.

They were longtime residents of Orleans County, deeply involved in the community, and were charter members of OONA 11 years ago. Gene and Joey purchased the former Barbary Coast restaurant at Point Breeze, making it their home, as well as a gathering place for many charitable community functions, including fundraisers for the Oak Orchard Lighthouse. Their home also served as a meeting place for the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association.

Joey and Gene were very special people who gave selflessly of themselves to a wide variety of passions, all within the community and the county they loved. As each passed on, donations were made to OONA in their honor. OONA decided to use these donations for this memorial bench, a fitting memory to the Haines couple. The bench is in the location where Joey and Gene were seen at OONA concerts over the years, handing out life jackets to children going down to the marina docks.

The dedication was made on Tuesday at OONA’s Summer Concert in the Park series. Among the 300 people in attendance were Chris and Pat Haines, who now reside in Savannah, Georgia. They had been long-time residents of Orleans County. Chris is the nephew of Gene Haines.  The bench will now be a lasting memory to Joey and Gene Haines.

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60 attend first youth fishing derby organized by DC Outdoors

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2019 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Avion Johnson, 11, of Medina holds an 11 ½-inch largemouth bass he caught this morning at Point Breeze in the first youth fishing derby organized by DC Outdoors.

DC Outdoors put on the event, which was followed by a cookout with prizes and awards at the Orleans County Marine Park. Dan Conrad, leader of the group, is trying to promote the outdoors in the community, especially with young people and families.

Several volunteers helped with the event, and many businesses and organizations donated prizes and items for the basket raffle.

There were 60 participants, and they all received a T-shirt about the derby.

Ben Spencer of Lyndonville helps his kids – Carly, 5, and Parker, 4 – in the fishing derby. Kids 5 and younger tried to catch fish at Captain’s Cove. The Parkers are shown under the Route 18 bridge that goes over Oak Orchard River.

Kids ages 6 to 10 fished at Point Breeze, with many trying their luck from the eastern pier.

Aubree McAdoo, 7, of Albion fishes from a dock at Point Breeze. She caught three fish in the derby.

Prizes were given in three age groups for most fish caught, longest fish and heaviest fish.

Older kids, ages 11 to 15, fished form the state boat launch on Archbald Road.

Caliyah Boston, 8, of Medina caught this fish. She used her grandfather’s fishing pole. DC Outdoors had fishing poles and tackle available for kids who didn’t have any.

Iyla Lilleby, 12, of Medina tries to catch a fish in the Oak Orchard Harbor. She said she caught two fish by noon.

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500 attend opening OONA concert with Dave Viterna Group

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2019 at 8:27 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – The Dave Viterna Group performs Tuesday evening at the Orleans County Marine Park to kick off the summer concert series. There were about 500 people at the concert. The band members on Tuesday included from left: Dave Viterna, “Scooter” Scott Felice and Marty Hobbs.

The park is located on Route 98 in Point Breeze along the Oak Orchard River.

This is the 10thseason of concerts organized by the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association. The rest of the concert calendar includes The Kid Kurry Band on July 9, The Who Dats on July 16, MAC on July 23, Jonesie & the Cruisers on July 30 and The Brick Band on Aug. 6.

Dave Viterna is the front man for the band, singing and playing the guitar. Marty Hobbs is in back as the bass guitar player.

The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association uses proceeds from the concerts to give back to community organizations. Last year OONA divvied up $4,000 to seven community groups, said Jim Buckley, OONA’s president.

Marlene Serow sells 50/50 raffle tickets for OONA.

Patrick Furlong of OONA calls out the winning raffle tickets, which were picked by his grandchildren, Charlie and Nora. Instead of the usual 50/50, where OONA keeps half and the sole winner gets the other half, OONA picks two winners who each get 25 percent of the pot. The winners last night each received $202.

The Clarendon Lions Club is back selling grilled items and other food. From left include Kevin Johnson, Roger Boynton and Brian Collins.

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Archery Club hosts veterans and their families for fishing

Staff Reports Posted 24 June 2019 at 2:03 pm

Provided photos

CARLTON – More than 100 people – veterans and their family members – enjoyed going fishing on Sunday at St. Mary’s Archery Club.

The outing was the latest event organized and sponsored by the Orleans County PFC. Joseph P. Dwyer Peer to Peer Program.

The St. Mary’s Archery club hosted the event in conjunction with Dwyer volunteer coordinator Catherine Schmidt to bring veterans and their families together for a relaxing day to be spent with one another.

The VFW Post No. 1483 in Medina sponsored all the food and refreshments for the event.

This is what the program is all about bringing community partnerships together to make veterans and families in Orleans County feel supported for their service.

Veterans and their families enjoyed the sunshine, fishing, food, games and each other’s company.

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Carlton Fire Company will have open house on Sunday with demonstrations

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Carlton Fire Company is pictured on June 8 in Albion at the annual Strawberry Festival parade.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 June 2019 at 6:35 pm

CARLTON – The community is welcome to attend an open house on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carlton Rec Hall, where firefighters will be giving tours of fire trucks, an ambulance and doing demonstrations, including one with auto extrication equipment.

The fire company usually does an open house in April but moved it back until June 23 to increase the chances of better weather.

The open house will be a chance to meet firefighters and EMTs.

The Emergency Management Office will also have a fire safety trailer on site where people can learn about fire prevention and develop a fire escape plan.

The Sheriff’s Office will also be at the open house with K9 Otto and deputies will do a child car seat check for families.

The Fire Company will also share opportunities to serve as firefighters, EMTs or as social members. The age of membership recently was lowered to 16.

Community members can also help with events at the Rec Hall, serving as bartenders, on buildings and grounds or with administrative duties.

The Rec Hall is located at 1853 Oak Orchard Rd.

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DOT puts big sandbags by shore to help protect Parkway from erosion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2019 at 3:23 pm

Photos courtesy of State Department of Transportation

KENDALL – The New York State Department of Transportation this week has put many bulk sandbags that are approximately 3,000 pounds each at two locations in Orleans County. The sandbags will help protect the Lake Ontario State Parkway from erosion.

The high water levels in Lake Ontario are chewing away some of the shoreline along the lake.

The DOT worked at a section in both Kendall and Carlton, placing the sandbags by using an excavator.

The Carlton location is in the area of Reference Marker 1055, just east of the Lake Shore Drive exit. The Kendall location is Reference Marker 1091, about 1 ¼ mile West of Route 237.

The larger bulk bags were tied to guiderail posts that were driven into the soil.

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Homeowners on lake thankful for help in fighting flooding

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2019 at 6:24 pm

National Guard, local and state governments praised for response

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Members of the National Guard have been in Carlton today, stacking sandbags to protect two homes on a peninsula that are very vulnerable to flooding. The houses are on Park Road and are surrounded by water on three sides, from Lake Ontario and Johnson Creek.

The Town of Carlton Highway Department uses a payloader to carry pallets of sandbags across a washed out section of Park Road.

A chunk of Park Road washed out about three weeks ago. Residents at three houses have to walk through the washed out road to reach their houses. John DeFilipps, an Orleans County legislator, is among the residents on the peninsula that is no longer accessible to regular traffic.

DeFilipps and his wife Donna bought their house by the lake in 1998. They experienced flooding two years ago and rebuilt their breakwall. Some of that wall with smaller stones has been knocked loose as the lake levels rose and the waves got stronger. The DeFilipps couple has spent several hours this weekend picking up driftwood and rocks that were heaved into their yard from the strong waves.

“Our cellar is a swimming pool now,” Mr. DeFilipps said.

He estimated about 16 inches of water is in the basement.

These National Guard members wade through water on Park Road. A section of the road is now underwater.

The DeFilipps house has been popular today as a bathroom break for about 40 members of the National Guard.

DeFilipps reached the house today by rolling up his pantlegs and walking in flip flops down the washed out road, hanging onto trees so he didn’t fall into the water.

He said the Johnson Creek Peninsula, just north of the Kuckville hamlet on Route 18, is a striking location.

“It used to be a peninsula, but now we’re an island,” DeFilipps said about the rising water that cut through the road.

He commended the local governments and state agencies for their efforts in getting sandbags and AquaDams in place for residents in the past month. The state also has paid to fortify many of the break walls along the lake since the 2017 flooding.

Some of those break walls, however, have been knocked apart, DeFilipps said, especially with the smaller stones. The waves can easily lift the light rocks up and heave them off a breakwall.

The National Guard members unload and stack sandbags around a cottage owned by Gary Hudson.

Family feared century-old cottage would be lost

Gary Hudson, 72, is thankful to see so many National Guardsmen. He owns a cottage from 1922 that has been in his family for nearly a century. He feared it would be ruined from the invading water.

He praised the efforts of the National Guard, the Carlton Highway Department and Dale Banker, director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

“I appreciate the hell out of these guys,” Hudson said today, watching the National Guard stack sandbags around the cottage.

Hudson’s nephew Todd Hansler was worried the cottage would be destroyed by the water. He called Banker on Wednesday. Banker had state officials check the site and they approved having the National Guard come in and stack sand bags.

A New York Naval Militia patrol boat approaches with pallets of sandbags to be placed by the edge of the shore to help protect the homes on park Road.

It was difficult to get the pallets of sandbags to the site because the road is washed out. The Carlton highway department used a payloader with big tires to move the pallets to the site.

A New York Naval Militia boat also brought in sandbags. That boat has been busy on the southshore, most recently at Sodus in Wayne County. Today the sandbags were loaded onto the boat at the state boat launch on Archibald Road and then taken by boat to the Park Road site.

The pallets hold 40 sandbags that each weigh about 40 pounds, for about 1,600 pounds total.

The New York Naval Militia boat pulls into Johnson Creek so the sandbags can be unloaded.

‘It’s the most fantastic thing ever, having them out here helping us’

Pat Cummings has the house right at the end of the peninsula. Two years ago the cottage suffered lots of flooding damage. Cummings had a new breakwall put in, raised the main door by six inches, and sealed openings to help keep out the water.

Cummings said the place is better fortified for flooding this time. But she worried as the lake level kept going up, now higher than the peak in 2017.

Pat Cummings takes a photo of the approaching New York Naval Militia boat. She appreciates the efforts of so many to help protect her property from flooding.

She and her family hauled sandbags to the site by themselves in 2017. It was slow and exhausting.

She tried again to move the sandbags herself this week. They are heavy.

The National Guard is far faster.

“It’s the most fantastic thing ever, having them out here helping us,” she said.

Cummings has owned the cottage since 2011.

“In normal conditions it’s the best spot in the world,” she said. “It’s my paradise.”

The National Guard members are from the Air Force in Niagara Falls and the Army in Rochester.

The National Guard has been in Orleans County for about a month, first filling sandbags and now stacking them at properties along the lake. Many of the National Guardsmen are working five days and then getting two days off, before another five-day shift.

The National Guard worked with local officials to get the sandbags in place before an increased chance of flooding is expected, beginning at 6 p.m. today. That flood warning from the National Weather Service continues until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The water from Johnson Creek is right up to the cottage owned by Gary Hudson. The National Guard would build a wall of sandbags to help protect the property.

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Lakeshore flood warning in effect beginning at 6 p.m. today

Photo by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Legislator John DeFilipps rakes driftwood and picks up stones from a breakwall where waves have thrown some of the rock into his yard on Park Road in Carlton. DeFilipps has one of three houses where a road has been washed out. DeFilipps reached the house by rolling up his pantlegs and walking through the water.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2019 at 4:45 pm

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a lakeshore flood warning from 6 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Tuesday, and includes Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, northern Cayuga and Oswego counties.

A warning means the weather event is imminent or has already begun. In this case its lakeshore flooding, due to the combination of very high lake levels and moderately strong west to northwest winds.

That will result in greater wave action and an increase in lakeshore flooding on the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario, the Weather Service said.

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Bomb Squad removes flare that washed up on shore in Kent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2019 at 1:46 pm

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Fredendall

KENT – The Monroe County Bomb Squad was called to Orleans County on Saturday to remove a flare used by the Canadian Navy. The flare was found along the shore on West Jones Beach Drive.

Lindsay Fredendall and her children were visiting family when they found the flare at about 7 p.m. She called 911 and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office responded along with the Bomb Squad.

The flare was packaged up and removed at about 9:30 p.m.

Mike Mele, chef deputy for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, said flares occasionally wash up along the shoreline in Orleans County.

The flares don’t always had a complete burn. In those cases, if they dry out, they could reignite. The one on Saturday was empty, Mele said.

“We want to warn lakeshore residents if you are out walking and see one, call 911,” Mele said today. “If you come across one, don’t touch it.”

Mele said three of the military flares washed up in Orleans County last year. The flares are contained in an 18 ½-inch aluminum cylinders.

Law enforcement removed the flare that was found along the shoreline in Carlton on Saturday.

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