Clarendon man charged with armed robbery at Crosby’s from three months ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 January 2024 at 6:08 pm

CLARENDON – Three months after he allegedly entered a Crosby’s in Clarendon with a gun and took money out of a register, a Clarendon man has been charged with armed robbery.

Henry W. Horton, 31, of Clarendon was charged on Jan. 17 by State Police, which were assisted by other law enforcement agencies. In addition to robbery in the second degree, Horton has been charged with criminal use of a firearm in 2nd degree, menacing in the 2nd and petit larceny.

Horton also is a suspect in multiple robberies in the Monroe County area. On Oct. 17, state troopers responded to Crosby’s on Holley Byron Road for an armed robbery. Investigation determined that an unidentified suspect, later identified as Horton, entered Crosby’s with a firearm and demanded money. Horton took cash out of the register and a few packs of Newport cigarettes, State Police said in a news release.

Utilizing multiple investigative resources and working with Monroe County Sheriff’s Office multiple warrants were issued for the arrest and search of Horton. The State Police Special Operations Response Team did a search and arrested Horton at a residence in Albion. He was transported to the State Police barracks in Albion for processing and arraigned at the Orleans County Jail, where he is held on $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation were assisted by the State Police Special Operations Response Team, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Gates Police Department, Albion Police Department, Medina Police Department, Orleans County District Attorney’s Office and Monroe County District Attorney Office.

Crowd turns out for Clarendon lighted parade and to see Santa

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2023 at 7:53 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Michael Klatt drives a 1947 Ford 2N tractor and pulls a small trailer with his three children and his mother, Susan Colby, who is the Clarendon town clerk.

They were in Clarendon’s third annual lighted parade on Friday night. The route started at the fire hall on 31A, went through the town’s main intersection, and took a right turn onto Route 237, and then a left on Church Street to the Historical Society.

There will be a lighted tractor parade in Barre today at 5:30, starting on Route 98 at East Barre Road and going north on 98 to the Barre Town Park.

Albion has a lighted parade at 6:30 p.m. starting at Dubby’s Tailgate on Platt Street. The route for “Santa’s Hometown Parade” then goes on East Avenue, turns right on Main Street, until another right on Bank Street, and one more right on Platt Street and ends at Dubby’s.

Painted Sky Ranch brought about a dozen horses for the parade. Here they are headed down Church Street.

These Girl Scouts were in the parade and also promoting their upcoming cookie sale.

These scouts led off the parade.

The Grinch greeted people along the route and gave them an onion instead of candy.

The Cub Scout Pack 3062 enjoyed the parade in warm temps of about 50 degrees.

Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy and his wife Sandy rode in the parade on an RTV. Moy said he is thrilled to see turnout grow for the event. The Moys gave away candy bars to kids and some adults along the route.

Sheriff Chris Bourke participated in the parade.

A Clarendon fire truck was decked out in lights for the procession.

After the parade people gathered at the Clarendon Historical Society to meet Santa and have hot chocolate.

Santa meets with Adam Pahman of Clarendon. Adam’s family also was in the parade with a horse from Showdown’s Ranch.

Raymond Kingdollar, 7, of Clarendon whispers his Christmas wish to Santa: “hunting stuff.”

Audrey Penna, 7 months, meets Santa for the first time.

State will resurface 31A from 98 in Albion to Hulberton Road in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2023 at 3:01 pm

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $100 million in road improvement projects in counties throughout the state, including a $1.6 million repaving of about 8 miles of Route 31A in Orleans County from Route 98 to Hulberton Road in Clarendon.

The $100 million statewide incudes 66 repaving projects, totaling almost 568 lane miles of pavement.

“From a devastating blizzard to historic flooding, we are living in a time of record-breaking weather events which have left many roads across New York State in need of repair and rejuvenation,” Hochul said in a news release this afternoon. “This $100 million will lengthen the lifespan of dozens of roads across the State, making them more resilient in the face of future extreme weather conditions.”

The current $32.9 billion State Department of Transportation five-year capital plan, inclusive of federal formula funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides historic funding for road and bridge repair and modernization, and this critical infrastructure funding will help restore hundreds of lane miles of highway impacted by extreme weather, Hochul said.

In Genesee County, the funding announced today includes $2.2 million to resurface Route 33 from the City of Batavia to the Village of Corfu in the towns of Batavia and Pembroke.

Injured owl rescued from quarry in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2023 at 11:21 am

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Vern Fonda, an environmental conservation police officer, holds a Great Horned Owl that was injured on Friday. The owl was in a quarry in Clarendon owned by Heidelberg Materials, Aggregates and Concrete (the former Hanson Aggregates site).

Quarry workers called the Department of Environmental Conservation to report there was an injured owl in quarry.

The owl was skittish of Fonda and quarry workers and was hiding in a crevice of the quarry. Fonda tossed a T-shirt at the owl, and the bird then clutched that shirt with its talons. Fonda picked the owl up using leather gloves. He put the bird in a cardboard box with ventilation.

The owl was docile once in the dark cardboard box. The Great Horned Owls are nocturnal. This owl was probably disoriented from being out in the bright sunshine, Fonda said.

He then took the owl to Robert Humbert, a wildlife rehabilitator in Wolcottsville.

Fonda speculated the owl was hunting for mice and likely flew into a stone wall, injuring a wing. Or it may have hit its head and was concussed.

Fonda met the quarry workers from the South Holley Road entrance to the quarry. Fonda said he expects the owl will be released by the wildlife rehabilitator after regaining strength. The rehabilitator has enclosures and will feed the owl while it recovers, Fonda said.

Clarendon Highway Department awarded grant for work zone safety equipment

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2023 at 2:40 pm

CLARENDON – The Town of Clarendon Highway Department has been awarded a full work zone package through the NYS Local Technical Assistance Program Center – Cornell Local Road Program.

Town Highway Superintendent Tracy Chalker applied for the work zone safety equipment which is funded by a grant through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The safety equipment includes cones, safety vests, work zone signs, and stop-slow paddles for setting up a proper work zone.

“We know that many agencies have difficulty getting work zone equipment, especially when it’s stolen or damaged due to circumstances beyond their control,” said David Orr, director of the NYS LTAP – Cornell Local Roads Program. “Good work zone signs protect the workers, improve communication with the public, and make the work more efficient by allowing it to be done faster.”

The program is awarding 28 of the work zone packages that are valued at $1,900 each.

Truck driver OK after crashing into tree on 31A in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 May 2023 at 1:59 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – A truck driver from North Carolina sustained minor injuries after going off Route 31A and hitting a tree.

The incident happened at about 12:20 p.m. The driver was transported by Monroe Ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Law enforcement believes the driver had a medical condition that resulted in the accident, said Lt. Steve Fox of the Orleans County Sheriff’s office.

The tractor-trailer is owned by Dependable Freight Lines of Sacramento, Calif.

The tree may have prevented the vehicle from hitting a house.

The section of Route 31A between South Manning Road and Fancher Road is closed while law enforcement waits for a heavy wrecker to arrive and remove the tractor-trailer.

Dalton Major of Clarendon lives his dream as career firefighter at Batavia

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 December 2022 at 4:54 pm

Photos courtesy of Marc Major: Dalton Major trains during a recruit academy for the City of Batavia. He started full-time as a career firefighter with Batavia in July.

CLARENDON – Dalton Major, 23, is living his dream as a full-time firefighter. In July he started with the City of Batavia Fire Department.

He has responded to fires, emergency medical calls, car accidents and even ducklings trapped in the sewer. During the blizzard, he helped organize supplies that were delivered to people in need.

“There is no routine call,” Major said. “You have to be ready for everything.”

Major practically grew up in the Clarendon fire hall, following his dad Marc to calls. As a young boy, Dalton would wait at the fire hall in a meeting room with other children of firefighters. That room had toys, games and a TV.

As he got older, Dalton wanted to be part of the trainings.

“I just loved to be up there,” Dalton said.

Dalton’s mother Joanne also was an EMT with Clarendon from 2007 to 2014. Marc is now the fire chief of the volunteer fire company.

In recent years Dalton has joined his father on EMS, fire and other emergency calls. Dalton is a lieutenant with the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company.

This summer he fulfilled a longtime goal of being hired to work as a firefighter when he joined the City of Batavia Fire Department.

Dalton said the Batavia department, staffed with professionals in a small city, is a perfect spot for him.

“It’s the best fit for me,” he said. “That place is really like a family.”

Dalton in the past decade has steadily been working towards his dream of being a professional firefighter.

Dalton was part of a First Responders Youth Program that gave kids in the Holley school district some exposure to firefighting. That group still meets Monday evenings at Clarendon and is run by Bob Freida and other firefighters. Marc Major, Pete Hendrickson and Joe Morlino also served as advisors in the program.

Dalton speaks at age 14 in Montour Falls for a County Coordinators Conference. Dalton shared about the First Responders Youth Program in Holley, Clarendon and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray.

It was intended to introduce kids to firefighting with the hope some of them would join a volunteer or career fire department as adults.

When Dalton was 14 he spoke at a state-wide County Coordinators Conference in Montour Falls. He talked about the benefits of the First Responders Youth Program in Holley, Clarendon and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray. The program for grades 7 to 12 is backed by the Holley Central School District and is an official school activity.

Clarendon Fire Chief Marc Major and his son Dalton Major celebrate Dalton’s graduation from the state fire academy.

The students gain some hands-on learning, but aren’t allowed to go to a live fire. They instead become familiar with fire trucks, equipment and training.

Some of the students in the youth group are local volunteer firefighters, including Zach Dann and Nate Smith with the Murray Joint Fire District. Others have gone into public service professions including Cassie Dean who is a security dispatcher at the Rochester airport, Delilah Doerr who is a home health aide, and Mike Snell, a member of the military who is par tof a crash rescue team.

At Holley, Dalton played soccer and basketball while being an active member of the youth program that met at the Clarendon fire hall.

After he graduated form Holley, Dalton then went to Onondaga Community College to completed his degree in fire protection safety and technology. He earned certifications in Firefghter 1, Firefighter 2, haz-mat awareness and haz-mat operations. He also has his national certifications to be a fire officer and fire instructor.

Dalton also was able to bunk in the Liverpool Fire Department fire house, staying there for two years in exchange for responding to calls.

“It’s a big city department,” Major said. “I got very lucky with Liverpool. I gained a lot of experience and met some really good people.”

Dalton graduated from Onondaga in May 2020 the height of the Covid pandemic. He worked about 10 months with Monroe Ambulance as an EMT, while also working part-time for an electrician in Brockport. He then worked as a utility worker for RG & E.

But he didn’t want to give up on the dream of a full-time job as firefighter. The firefighter Civil Service Exam was offered in Batavia. Dalton aced the test and then went to the state fire training academy in Montour Falls for 15 weeks, graduating in July.

He is grateful for a career where he said he can make a difference for many in the community, sometimes it’s a matter of life and death, other times it’s providing a listening ear and some comfort.

“It’s the best job ever,” he said. “You’re going to make someone’s bad day better. The main reason the fire department was created was to make things better for other people.”

Major said no fire or EMS call is shrugged off. If there is a call for a fire alarm, there could be a fire. An EMS call, even if it seems minor, is a very big issue for the person in pain.

“We treat everything as an emergency,” he said. “You have to be ready for everything.”

Dalton Major lived at the Liverpool Fire Department near Syracuse for about two years as part of a bunk-in program while a student at Onondaga Community College.

Firefighters keep fire at demolished barn from spreading in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2022 at 6:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Firefighters responded to a fire at 16714 Hinds Rd. this evening after report of a structure fire. The owner of the property knocked down a barn this summer and was attempting a controlled burn, firefighters said.

But the fire got bigger than expected and firefighters were called to keep it from spreading to any of the nearby structures.

Clarendon and Murray firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 5:11 p.m. They used the Holley ladder truck to direct water down on the fire.

“Nothing of value was damaged,” said Bob Freida, president of the Clarendon Fire Company.

Clarendon Town Board approves contract Monroe Ambulance

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 November 2022 at 1:47 pm

CLARENDON – The Town Board approved a one-year contract on Tuesday evening with Monroe Ambulance for EMS services in the town.

Clarendon will pay Monroe $18,800 in the one-year contract that starts Jan. 1.

Clarendon is the third town to approve a contract with Monroe in Orleans County, joining Barre and Albion. The Gaines Town Board on Tuesday tabled the Monroe proposal so Gaines officials could consider a proposal from Mercy Flight EMS.

Clarendon and the other eastern Orleans towns – Murray and Kendall – are already in Monroe’s primary service area. But those towns haven’t been paying a stipend to Monroe for its services.

As part of a new contract, Monroe is agreeing to station an ambulance in both Holley and Albion. Right now Monroe doesn’t base in ambulance in Orleans County.

Monroe is seeking $200,000 from the seven towns in eastern and central Orleans in a contract for 2023, with a commitment to base two ambulances in the county.

No serious injuries with dump truck-car accident in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2022 at 11:35 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – A dump truck rolled over on Route 237 just after the Powerline Road intersection this morning at about 9:10.

The driver of the dump truck for PDS Construction in Hamlin was northbound and attempted to avoid a black Elantra, police said. (Most of the stone had been cleaned up from the road when this photo was taken.)

The dump truck struck the car and the truck tipped over, spilling about 20 tons of stone. The truck was hauling the stone from a Hanson plant in Clarendon to a solar project under construction on Redman Road.

Neither driver was seriously injured, a state trooper said at the scene. Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, police said. Neither vehicle had a passenger.

Nick Callahan of Callahan Towing, left, looks for where to attach a tow hook. Callahan was assisted with a bigger tow truck from Dan’s Tire & Auto Service Center of Batavia.

This Elantra was badly damaged from the collision with a dump truck.

Clarendon Fire Company honors dedicated members, installs officers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2022 at 8:45 pm

Provided photo

CLARENDON – The Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company held its annual awards and installation dinner on Saturday night.

Pictured form left include new Fire Chief Marc Major who started Jan. 1; Jon R. DeYoung, appreciation award for nine years on board (now deputy chief); Mary Kay Jenks, president’s award for exceptional service to president Bob Freida; outgoing chief Jim DeYoung presented with engraved ax for two years of service as chief; Kerry McCormack, chief’s award of excellence; Josh Henneman, board of directors’ award; Jonathon Salber, 15 years of service and life member; and Mark Lambert, 15 years of service and life member. Robert Margis, not pictured, also was recognized for 30 years of service as a Clarendon firefighter.

The Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company responded to 426 calls in 2021 – 326 of those were EMS calls.

The 2022 officers were sworn into office by Orleans County Emergency Management Director Dale Banker.

The 2022 Clarendon Fire Company Civil Officers:

  • President: Robert Freida
  • Vice President: Joe Morlino
  • Board of Directors: Donnie Mosier, Kerry McCormack, Earl Jenks, Robert Margis and Jim DeYoung
  • Treasurer: Karl Biedlingmaier
  • Secretary: Josh Henneman

2022 Clarendon Line Officers:

  • Chief: Marc Major
  • Deputy Chief: Jon DeYoung Jr.
  • Assistant Chief: Don Mosier
  • Captains: Joe Morlino and Josh Henneman
  • Lieutenants: Jim DeYoung, Bill Gergely Jr. and Dalton Major
  • EMS Captain: Kerry McCormack
  • Safety Officer: Bob Margis
  • Fire Police Lieutenant: Mark Lambert

Clarendon hears concern from residents over rising assessments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 March 2022 at 1:44 pm

Town officials say higher assessments don’t necessarily mean higher tax bills

Photos by Tom Rivers: Town Supervisor Richard Moy met with about 100 residents on Wednesday evening to discuss the reassessments that just went out in the mail. The average assessment increased 25 percent from the values three years ago.

CLARENDON – About 100 residents packed the Town Hall on Wednesday evening to share their concerns that much higher assessments will result in bigger tax bills and drive some residents out of their homes.

Town officials acknowledged the real estate market is “crazy” with homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars above their assessed values. In Clarendon, there have been 146 sales over the past three years.

There are about 1,000 properties in the town. Clarendon does a reassessment every three years and 2022 is the cycle for reassessing the properties. Eight of the 10 towns in Orleans are doing reassessments this year.

In Clarendon, the average assessment increased 25 percent, Town Assessor Robert Criddle told the crowd at town hall.

Clarendon Town Assessor Robert Criddle meets with about 100 residents to discuss the new assessments for about 1,000 properties in Clarendon. Criddle said property owners can meet with him and a Board of Assessment Review if they believe the assessments are too high.

Criddle noted that the median price for homes in Orleans County is up 68.5 percent in four years, jumping from $81,000 in 2017 to $136,500 in 2021, according to data from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.

In Clarendon’s 14470 zip code, the median sale price went up 10.7 percent in 2021, Criddle said, using data from the Association of Realtors.

“The market has changed,” he said. “Right now the assessments are well below market value.”

The higher assessments won’t necessarily mean a bigger tax bill for residents, said Town Supervisor Richard Moy.

“We didn’t raise your taxes,” Moy told the crowd. “We raised your assessments.”

Richard Moy discusses how the tax base affects the tax rate. A higher overall town assessed value should result in a lower tax rate.

A larger tax base should drive down the tax rate. But that didn’t ease the concerns of many of the residents who attended the meeting on Wednesday.

Residents said they fear much higher tax bills and that will strain their budgets that are already hit with rising gas prices and inflation.

Town Assessor Robert Criddle said the real estate market is “crazy” right now but assessments need to reflect the current market values.

One resident said his assessment increased from $58,000 to $90,000 despite no improvements on the house.

“I’d be lucky to get 40 (thousand) for the place,” he said.

Criddle said those who don’t think their assessment accurately reflects market value can call assessor’s office at (585) 638-6371, ext. 103. They can question the value and can go through a grievance process. He encouraged them to do some research on comparable sales.

He acknowledged the shock with some the prices houses are going for – way above their assessed values.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Criddle said about his career as assessor. “The market has been crazy. There’s no question about it.”

Paul Nicosia gets praise for 32 years of service to Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2021 at 5:42 pm

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Paul Nicosia, right, is congratulated by his son Craig on Tuesday at the Clarendon Town Board meeting.

Nicosia is retiring after 32 years as a town official. He started in 1989 on the Town Plannign Board and Board of Assessment Review before being elected to the Town Board about 25 years ago.

Town Supervisor Richard Moy reads a declaration acknowledging Nicosia for his years of service. Pictured from left include Town Board members Marc Major, Paul Nicosia, Town Clerk Susan Colby, Town Supervisor Richard Moy and board members Allen Robinson and Bruce Hovey.

“Paul R. Nicosia has given dedicated service to the Town of Clarendon since 1989, serving on the Town Planning Board, Board of Assessment Reviews and the Town Board for 33 years with respect, dependability and honesty, making decisions resulting in the best benefit for the entire community and never individual gain: always fair-minded and caring,” the declaration states.

“Paul believes that public water for the residents is an important commodity and has helped the town through 13 water districts and the start of #14!”

“It is with regret that we see Paul leave the Town Board.”

3 charged after 2-county chase ended with a crash in Clarendon on Wednesday night

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 2 December 2021 at 9:50 pm

Three people were charged after a high-speed chase on Wednesday. From left include Jason Schmeer, Zachary Hursh and Alexander Scheg.

CLARENDON – A high-speed chase that started in Genesee County ended with a crash on Route 237 near Glidden Road on Wednesday night in Clarendon.

According to a police report issued by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Conservation Officer F. Fuerch was investigating a conservation violation in the area of Horseshoe Lake Road and Sanders Road in the town of Stafford. When the officer attempted to make contact with the suspect’s vehicle by activation of her emergency lights, the vehicle failed to comply and took off, initiating the motor vehicle pursuit.

Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies in the area joined the chase and successfully deployed a tire deflation device, known as a spike strip, in the area of Route 127 and 33 in the town of Stafford. The vehicle continue to flee at a high rate of speed, failing to yield to emergency vehicles pursuing it. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was notified, based upon the direction of travel, and the pursuit continued into Orleans County.

The suspect vehicle failed to negotiate a left turn onto Glidden Road in the town of Clarendon, going off the north shoulder of the road, striking a street sign and utility pole. The vehicle became inoperable and the driver and front seat passenger fled on foot. The rear seat passenger was taken into custody at the vehicle and was identified as Jason R. Schmeer, 41, of Rochester.

Responding Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies, Albion police and Batavia police with their K9 partner set up a perimeter. ENCON officer Fuerch deployed her K9 partner, leading to the apprehension of the passenger, identified as Alexander Scheg, 27, of Byron, in a heavily wooded area.

Meanwhile, a resident in the area heard the sirens, and called a neighbor ask her if she had heard all the commotion. The neighbor decided to go her garage and when she opened the door, she heard moaning. A deputy was in her driveway and discovered the driver in the back of the resident’s pickup truck, apparently injured from the crash.

The driver, identified as Zachary Hursh, 37, of Rochester, was taken into custody.

Following the investigation, it was determined the vehicle they were operating, a 2017 Honda Civic, was reported stolen out of the city of Rochester. A search of the vehicle revealed drug paraphernalia and cocaine.

All three suspects were arraigned in the town of Stafford court by Honorable Judge R. Penepent. Hursh was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and reckless driving and various other vehicle and traffic violations.

Scheg was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.

Schmeer was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Both Hursh and Shmeer were remanded to Genesee County Jail, based on having two or more previous felony convictions. Scheg was released on the arraigned charges and held in Genesee County jail on an active city of Batavia warrant.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were assisted in the investigation by members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s office, Albion Police Department, New York state police and Batavia Police Department.

AT&T touts expanded wireless network with new tower in Clarendon

Staff Reports Posted 3 November 2021 at 9:33 am

CLARENDON – AT&T customers and FirstNet subscribers in Orleans County got a boost in wireless connectivity with a new cell site in Clarendon to enhance the area’s mobile broadband coverage, AT&T said in a news release.

The new tower will help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service.

This new cell site boosts coverage, capacity and service around Route 237 corridor between Clarendon, Byron in next door Genesee County, the hamlet of Honest Hill, Byron, the hamlets of North Bergen & Pumpkin Hill and Routes 14, 19A and 6.

These enhancements also bring Band 14 spectrum to the area. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet, AT&T said.

“We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers,” AT&T said in the news release. “When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.”