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Orleans County

Chamber seeks nominations for annual business awards

Staff Reports Posted 26 July 2018 at 11:44 am

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the annual business awards.

The categories include:

• Business of the Year – This award is presented to a business that has experienced significant overall achievements/success throughout the year.

• Lifetime Achievement – This award is presented to an individual with a long-term record of outstanding business achievements.

• Phoenix Award – This award is presented to an organization or business that has successfully adapted or re-used an existing facility.

• New Business of the Year – This award is presented to a business or organization that has opened in the past year.

• Community Service Award – This award is presented to a business, organization or individual that has provided meaningful contributions to the community in either professional or non-professional spheres.

• Agricultural Business of the Year – This award is presented to an agricultural business that has experienced significant overall achievements/success throughout the year.

• Businessperson of the Year – This award is presented to an individual who has had outstanding accomplishments within their own business/businesses and who has made notable contributions to our local business sector.

• Small Business of the Year – This award is presented to a small business that has experienced significant achievements/success throughout the year.

Send a nomination to the OCCC, PO Box 501, Medina, NY or email it to

The businesses and individuals will be recognized during an awards dinner on Oct. 18.

For more information on the Chamber, click here.

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Fair opens with flag-raising by veterans

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jim Freas from the VFW in Medina, standing at center, gets chuckles while giving instructions to the Sheriff Randy Bower, front right, and his deputies prior to the opening ceremony at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Posted 23 July 2018 at 11:22 pm

Opening day ceremony held by expanded pavilion with new stage

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

KNOWLESVILLE – The 2018 Orleans County 4-H Fair got off to an official start Monday night with a flag raising ceremony at the new flagpole located on the south end of the Buzz Hill Education Building.

The new location is one of several changes at the fair this year, according to Robert Batt, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, who welcomed fairgoers from the new pavilion and Talis Equity stage.

The traditional flag raising featured members of all branches of the military from veterans’ groups throughout Orleans County.

Veterans from four branches of the military wait to raise the flag in the opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. From left are Dan Barnard of Medina, Marines; Mark Traxler of Lyndonville, Air Force; Tony Vicknair of Lyndonville, Army; and Ron Ayrault of Holley, Navy.

Bugler Russell Young of Medina played Taps as Mark Traxler and Tony Vicknair raised the American flag.

From there the ceremony moved to the new Talis Equity stage, where Batt introduced fair manager Martin Zwifka, king and queen Aeddon Cayea and Riley Seielstad, Senator Rob Ortt, Legislator Bill Eick, Albion Mayor Eileen Banker and a representative of Governor Cuomo’s office.

Batt said the new stage was just one of the many changes in store for the fair.

Mark Traxler of Lyndonville raises the flag during opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. Standing at attention are Ron Ayrault of Holley, left; Jim Freas of Medina, (back to camera) and Steve Johnson of Lyndonville.

Zwifka said it had been hectic, but they pulled it all together.

“We want to make this the best fair we can,” he said. “If you notice things are spaced out more – there’s a reason for that. There are many changes to come.”

Ortt said he spoke for himself and Assembly Stephen Hawley, who was stuck at Atlanta airport, when he praised the fair.

“This is the only fair I know of which starts with a ceremony honoring the veterans who made it possible for us to be here,” Ortt said.

Veterans from throughout Orleans County line up for the flag raising ceremony to officially open the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night.

The state senator also praised the farmers and agriculture, which is the number one job in New York state.

“You can’t grow anything on Wall Street,” he said.

Eick called the Orleans County fair a “fair for kids.”

“A lot of the kids here today are fourth generation 4-H’ers,” he said. “Fifty-five years ago I started showing cattle here in the Lartz Building. We’re here on this new stage which has just been built. That’s how far we’ve come.”

Fair royalty Aeddon Cayea, king, and Riley Seielstad, queen, shared what 4-H meant to them during opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. At right is fair manager Martin Zwifka.

Seielstad shared the fact 18 years ago she celebrated her first day at the fair in her stroller.

“The fair has given me fantastic experiences and a world of opportunity,” she said. “Orleans County is home to a very talented group of children.”

Cayea said he grew up showing animals at the fair, and now he gets to work here as a fair assistant. He said he has a greater appreciation for the efforts from many volunteers and staff to make the event possible.

Nyla Gaylord, director of the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, paints a flower on the cheek of Lila Rose Buzard, 3, at the Best Friends’ booth in the Trolley Building on opening night of the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

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K9 Otto receives donation of body armor

Posted 18 July 2018 at 10:36 am

Provided photo: Otto, a K9 for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, is a 3-year-old German Shepard from Holland. Otto has been serving with the Sheriff’s Office since Oct.13, 2016.

Press Release, Sheriff Randy Bower

ALBION – Orleans County Sheriff’s Office K9 Otto has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club and embroidered with the sentiment “Gifted by SICDTC, Staten Island, NY.”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA with a mission to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.

The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies. The dogs must be certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

“Many thanks to Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc. for their gift,” said Sheriff Randy Bower. “We are thrilled to have received a Body Armor Vest for K9 Otto’s protection during service.”

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Arc of Genesee Orleans remembers woman who started a movement 70 years ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2018 at 5:12 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Arc of Genesee Orleans planted a rose bush in a memorial garden on Washington Street this morning in honor of the 70th anniversary of Ann Greenberg placing an ad in the New York Post.

Greenberg wanted to start a day nursery for children with developmental disabilities. Ten people initially responded to the ad, which started the momentum to form Arc chapters throughout the state. Genesee County’s chapter would start in 1966 with Orleans County’s chapter in 1970. The two have recently merged.

Donna Saskowski is the director of the Arc of Genesee Orleans. She said Greenberg’s ad inspired the movement to better serve people with disabilities and their families.

“She was very important to our organization and the other organizations in our state,” Saskowski said. “People with developmental disabilities didn’t have anywhere to go. Her movement was the beginning of the Arc of New York.””

People served by the Arc each added a cup full of soil to help plant rose bush.

The garden next to Orleans Enterprises is named in honor of Terri Carr Krieger, a beloved Arc staff member who passed away in 1997.

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11 kids from Orleans attend Sheriffs’ Camp in Yates County

Posted 3 July 2018 at 5:57 am

Provided photo: Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower is pictured with the 11 children who attended camp last week. The Junior Wilson Sportsmen’s Club in Medina provided a donation so each child had two travel bags to pack for Sheriffs’ Camp.

Press Release, Sheriff Randy Bower

This past week 11 children from Orleans County attended the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute’s 2018 Summer Camp. The Sheriffs’ Summer Camp is designed to provide a solid recreational program combined with the development of a sense of good citizenship. This marks the 41st year of the camp’s operation.

The Sheriffs’ Summer Camp, which is located near Penn Yan in Yates County, is supported by the Sheriffs’ Association Institute’s Honorary Members through their contributions and annual dues. This year the camp will accommodate over 900 deserving boys and girls from across New York State.

“This is a great opportunity for our county youth and I personally thank Orleans County residents for donating and making this possible,” Sheriff Randy Bower said.

Throughout the week-long stay, the children observed special exhibits and demonstrations presented by Sheriffs’ Offices from across the State. Included in these presentations were D.A.R.E. presentations, boat and bike safety programs, law enforcement equipment and technical demonstrations and even a talent show just for fun.

Upon completion of their stay, all children were awarded a diploma for their participation in a program of “Good Citizenship and Law Enforcement Studies.”

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County legislator appointed to NYS Canal Recreationway Commission

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2018 at 7:23 am

Ken DeRoller

KENDALL – Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller of Kendall has been appointed by the governor to serve on the state’s Canal Recreationway Commission.

He was notified by letter on June 19 from Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor. DeRoller will serve the remainder of a term that lasts until March 23, 2019.

DeRoller told the other county legislators on Wednesday that serving on the commission gives him a chance to speak up for the canal communities in Orleans County.

He is pleased with recent state commitments to repair canal bridges. However, he said the canal is an underdeveloped asset in Orleans. He wants to see the local communities better capitalize on the canal, drawing more tourists and economic activity.

The Recreationway Commission was created by the New York State Legislature in 1992 and has 24 members. There are 14 voting members including ten other members who work together trying to promote canal use, development, preservation and enhancement.

DeRoller believes the canal communities will be better positioned to utilize the canal after two waterfront plans are developed. The Village of Medina is working on a waterfront development plan while the rest of the canal communities – towns of Shelby and Ridgeway, Gaines, Albion and Murray, as well as villages of Albion and Holley – are developing a canal waterfront plan.

State funding is covering most of the costs for those plans for about 25 miles of waterfront in Orleans along the canal.

The waterfront revitalization plans will include public input to identify assets along the canal and identify projects and strategies to enhance the canal waterfront.

DeRoller said serving on the Recreationway Commission gets him “in the room” with state officials to advocate for the county, and see successes in other communities.

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DEC gives Lake Ontario property owners more time for flood recovery permit

Posted 28 June 2018 at 2:28 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

File photo by Tom Rivers: A section of Thompson Drive at the western end of Kendall was eaten up by Lake Ontario. This photo was taken on May 7, 2017.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC has completed revisions to the Lake Ontario General Permit related to erosion and shoreline damage caused by the historic high-water levels of Lake Ontario during 2017-18, and is extending the permit authority to September 30, 2019.

The revisions and extension of the General Permit are the latest in a series of State actions that support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ongoing commitment to helping residents impacted by last year’s devastating flooding.

Commissioner Seggos said, “DEC has been working hand-in-hand with communities along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River since day one, helping New Yorkers protect their homes and businesses from record flooding and related damages. Our efforts aren’t subject to an arbitrary expiration date. We’ll be on the ground helping these communities until the job is done and will continue to authorize shoreline repair work until these communities are back on their feet.”

DEC’s General Permit was revised to include additional typical activities undertaken by shoreline property owners to make necessary repair and stabilize their properties from high water levels and wind-driven high wave events. The revisions incorporate lessons learned from experience gained over the course of the State’s response to this major flooding event.

Over the past year, DEC has received more than 3,000 applications for permits to authorize shoreline repair work, and issued over 2,700 emergency authorizations. Commissioner Seggos is granting this extension for the General Permit authority to address the continued demand for restoration permits. The extension allows DEC to accept applications through April 30, 2019, and extends the permit expiration date to September 30, 2019.

Additional activities permitted include:

• Repair of erosion control structures that require minor deviations waterward necessary for the stability of the structure;

• New toe stone necessary for the stabilization of vertical erosion control structures;

• New stone revetments for the emergency stabilization of existing dwellings; and

• Removal of channel blockages in tributaries to Lake Ontario blocked by shoreline sediments.

DEC’s revised General Permit was developed in consultation with the New York State Department of State (DOS) and the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACOE). Activities authorized under this permit qualify for coverage under the USACOE Nationwide Permit Program and have received a Federal Coastal Consistency Concurrence from DOS. These revisions mean applicants eligible for the revised General Permit will receive a single approval from all three agencies.

Governor Cuomo remains committed to helping New York’s Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River communities recover from last year’s historically high water levels. Following the flooding of both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway, which damaged homes, businesses, and local infrastructure, the Governor and the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services coordinated with county and local partners to monitor water levels and deliver resources, including millions of sandbags and the construction of thousands of feet of temporary dams.

An initial $45 million commitment to provide aid to residents, small businesses, and municipalities affected by the flood was supplemented with two $5 million grants from the State and Municipal Facilities Program to bolster previous relief and provide necessary financial assistance to recovery efforts.

The new permit is available on DEC’s website by clicking here.

Homeowners and municipalities with questions about the Lake Ontario grant program should call DEC at 518-474-2057 during normal business hours.

Small business owners and other eligible property owners should contact Empire State Development with questions by emailing or calling 518-292-5348.

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Orleans sheriff will be keynote speaker at conference for Self-Advocacy Association

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 June 2018 at 12:53 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower and two Sheriff’s Office investigators, Shannon Brett and Ken Strickland, are pictured with some of the Self Advocate All Stars in Orleans County before Bower took the All Stars to a conference in Batavia today.

Bower and the two investigators are pictured with, from left: Jonathan Doherty, Robert Greer, Tyler Nunnery and Mike Woodward.

The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State is holding a two-day Western Region Conference today and Friday at the Quality Inn in Batavia. Bower will be the group’s keynote speaker on Friday. He also will lead a seminar on Internet safety. The sheriff said he will discuss “overcoming challenges” during his keynote presentation.

The Self Advocate All Stars formed in Orleans County in 2006. The local group made Bower an honorary member in 2015.

The All Stars advocate for people in the community with disabilities. All Stars include residents who live at home with their families, in apartments with supportive services or in Arc residential homes.

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Sheriff’s Office will hire school resource officers for Lyndonville, Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2018 at 6:43 pm

ALBION –  The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was authorized today to fill two newly created school resource officer positions.

Lyndonville and Kendall school districts both have approved paying the county $100,000 annually to have a deputy work full-time in the school districts from Sept. 1 to June 30 each school year. The districts and the county have approved agreements for three years.

The Sheriff’s Office will post the two jobs and accept input from the school districts in filling the positions, Sheriff Randy Bower said.

The new school resource officers will start on Sept. 1. During the summers they will work on road patrol for the Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s such a win for the community, the teachers and the students,” Bower said this afternoon after the County Legislature authorized the sheriff to create and fill the positions.

Bower said the Sheriff’s Office has expanded its presence in Lyndonville and Kendall, the two schools in the northern part of the county that do not have a full-time police presence in their communities.

The contracts with the school resource officers will include 125 hours of overtime so the officers can attend some after-school activities, athletic events and the prom, Bower said.

The officers will provide security for the schools, and also educate students with anti-bullying programs, anti-drug education and also guide them in using a new STOP DWI Driving Simulator, where students and other users can see the effects of driving while texting, drowsy or if they are impaired or intoxicated.

Medina is the only other school with a resource officer in Orleans County. Corey Ambrose from the Medina Police Department filled the role this past school year.

Holley for the past five years has contracted with COP Security Inc. to have security staff members who are often retired law enforcement officers.

In Albion, an officer from the Albion Police Department isn’t assigned to the school, but several have increased their presence at school buildings this past year.

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Ham radio operators will do 24-hour marathon this weekend

Staff Reports Posted 23 June 2018 at 8:41 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Amateur Radio Club is shown on June 25, 2016 at the Orleans County Emergency Management Office, 14064 West County House Rd., Albion. This photo shows ham radio operators, from left: Mike Moriarty of Medina, Ed Weider of Medina and Chuck Baker of Medina.

ALBION – The Orleans County Amateur Radio Club will be participating in Amateur Radio Field Day with a 24-hour marathon beginning at 2 p.m. today and ending at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Field Day is ham radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to their communities and nation.

It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

The public is welcome to stop in and get on the air with the Orleans County Amateur Radio Club, which meets at the Emergency Management Office, 14064 W County House Rd.

The local club has been in operation in Orleans County for the past 60 years.

“During this activity, we will be trying to contact as many other stations in North America and around the world using voice, Morse Code, and digital modes of communications,” said Chuck Baker, a member of the club. “In addition to the fun and food, we will be experiencing what bands are best at all hours to get information from point A to point B, testing equipment and making sure what we have is up to the task if a real emergency takes out conventional communications.”

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