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Barre hosts first lighted tractor parade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2018 at 7:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – The newly formed Barre Betterment Committee hosted a lighted tractor parade this evening down Route 98.

The top photo shows a tractor with a large American flag in back. Lamb Farms of Oakfield brought this tractor. There were almost 10 tractors in the debut parade.

The road was lined with lights inside milk cartons.

The parade went from Route 98 at East Barre Road to Maple Street. After the parade cookies and hot cocoa were served at the Barre Presbyterian Church.

Hu-Lane Farms decorated this International Harvester.

Martin Bruning drove a pickup and his kids were in the back with a mini-tractor. They include, from left: Aubrey, Everett and Sylvia.

Panek Farms put lights on this track tractor.

The Jurs family decorated a tractor and trailer and also gave Santa a ride.

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Many farms contributed to FFA food drive

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2018 at 4:57 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion FFA unloads a flatbed trailer this morning after 35,000 pounds of produce was delivered to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.

Adam Krenning, left, is the FFA advisor. He is joined on top of the trailer by his nephew, Ryan Krenning, an FFA member.

About 20 farms donated to the annual FFA food drive. FFA members called them about six weeks ago. Many of those farms have been contributors to annual food drive for several years now.

Emily Harling works with other FFA students to unload the trailer.

The following donated to the effort:

Triple G Farms – Potatoes

Root Brothers – Cabbage

Kludt Brothers – Squash

Nesbitt Fruit Farm – Apples

Orchard Dale Fruit Farm – Apples

Kreher’s – Eggs

Martin Farms – Squash

Jeff Partyka – Apples

CY Farms – Onions

Starowitz Farms – Cabbage

Torrey Farms – Onions and Potatoes

Panek Family Farm – Green Beans and Corn

Robert Colby/ Colby Farms – Potatoes and Cabbage

Bittner Singer Orchards – Apples

Orleans County Farm Bureau – Hams

Mortellaro and Sons – Onions

Costanzo’s Bakery/ Dale Root – Bread

Adam Kirby – Apples

Navarra’s Greenhouses – Crates

Call Farms – Potatoes

Poverty Hill Farms and Upstate Niagara – Butter

Middle School Principal Brad Pritchard, right, joins the FFA students in a line that filled a shed with potatoes and other produce.

Some of the food today was picked up by six food pantries in the county, and four soup kitchens. The rest will be stored and given to people in the coming weeks and months.

Community Action will use the food for more than 450 families, including 250 in central Orleans, 186 in the Holley area and 20 in Lyndonville.

Russ Peters, pastor of Alabama Full Gospel Fellowship in Shelby, said the food will help the church prepare about 55 to 60 food baskets for families in the community.

“This is a huge help,” he said.

Michael DiCureia hands off a box of eggs.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley was back again helping to unload the tractor trailer. He hands a bag of cabbage to Amanda Krenning-Muoio, a senior field advisor for New York Farm Bureau and Adam Krenning’s sister.

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Barre firefighters escort Santa around town this weekend

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2018 at 12:42 pm

Provided photos

BARRE – Barre firefighters are escorting Santa around town this weekend, while Santa delivers presents. This group includes, from left: Brian Neal, Kara Bentley, Ben Flansburg, Santa Claus, Doug Bentley and Brian Bentley.

They are making 10 stops today and 20 visits on Sunday. This is the fourth year the Barre Volunteer Fire Company has given Santa rides around town to deliver presents to families.

Santa holds recently born Landon Flansburg.

The Barre Volunteer Fire Company sent out letters to the Barre community, asking if they wanted Santa to stop by this weekend. Santa will make 30 stops this weekend, traveling by fire truck. Santa gives each kid a toy. (Those presents were dropped off at the Barre Fire Hall by parents or grandparents a few days ago.)

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Albion FFA students collect 35,000 pounds of produce from local farms

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2018 at 8:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – FFA students from Albion were up early this morning to load produce for the annual FFA food drive.

The food was packed in bags, crates and boxes by the FFA on Friday. It will be delivered this morning to Communty Action of Orleans & Genesee.

The students were joined this morning by Paige Levandowski, in back left. She was an FFA student in 2010 when the Albion chapter had its first food drive. It collected 3,000 pound then and delivered the food to Community Action with two pickup trucks.

Levandowski is in her first year as a middle school career and technical teacher at Albion.

The food drive grew to 9,000 pounds in 2011, 17,000 the following year and 19,000 in December 2013. The FFA reached 27,000 pounds in 2014 and reached 30,000 for the first time in 2015. It was at 33,000 pounds in 2016 and now has hit 35,000 pounds the past two years.

Loren Beam, left, and Aneesa Jackson, both juniors, carry crates full of onions. Aneesa helped for the first time with the food drive today.

“It’s fun,” she said. “There are a lot of people here.”

Emily Mathes, a senior, carries a crate of apples.

Emily Graham, left, and Abby Pappalardo grab 50-pound bags of potatoes.

Kendall Derisley and Abby Pappalardo work together in carrying a big bag of cabbage.

Cody Wilson, left, Michael DiCureia and FFA advisor Adam Krenning load bags of onions and potatoes on a truck from Panek Farms.

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Smaller schools, beginning in 1840s, preceded Holley High which was built in 1930

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 15 December 2018 at 6:04 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 49

HOLLEY – After years of diligent work by the residents of Holley, the long-term preservation of the old Holley High School is finally secure. Historians commend those who undertake such noble work as communities so often set aside the difficult task of investing in historic treasures, instead investing in new construction as a symbol of “progress.”

The history of this particular structure dates back to 1930, but the story of the particular lot upon which it rests dates back to the 1840s. In 1847, the community selected Hiram Frisbee, Augustus Southworth, and William Hatch as members of a committee tasked with gathering subscriptions to establish an academy. This industrious team procured the necessary resources – money, lumber, millwork, timber, lime, brick, building stone, plows, boots and shoes, teaming (horses), and labor – so that a two-story brick building could be constructed on a $300 lot of land donated by Frisbee.

The school operated for nearly three years as a private academy until its formal incorporation by the Board of Regents as the Holley Academy in 1850. At this time, the institution’s assets totaled $3,021.25 including the building, library, academic apparatus, and land; Augustus Southworth was selected as the first president of the organization’s Board of Trustees. According to Isaac Signor, “For eighteen years this institution did most excellent work, but like many other academies was not financially a success.”

The apparent financial woes of the academy, combined with the increasing population of students in Holley, forced the community to explore alternate accommodations. The resulting decision established a Union Free district, combining this newly formed entity with the Holley Academy to form the Holley Union School and Academy.

A Union Free district typically involved the combination of two or more common schools within a particular geographic area to form a district with boundaries that matched the limits of a village or city. The Board of Trustees for the Union School and Academy included George Pierce, Jeffrey Harwood, Dr. Edwin R. Armstrong, James Farnsworth, Nelson Hatch (son of William Hatch), and D. H. Parsons; Col. John Berry, Augustus Southworth, and Horatio Keys were selected as honorary members.

Dr. Armstrong wrote the following concerning the academic coursework offered at the institution:

“Young men who desire a collegiate course can here go through the preparatory studies for admission to any College in the land. Those who are not able or desirous to enter College but with a thorough Academic education that will fit them for most any vocation in life can obtain it here. Young ladies who aim to secure a good knowledge of science and literature that will fit them for most any position which woman is permitted to occupy, need not go abroad to obtain it as we have a school here affording all the facilities for intellectual culture that may be found elsewhere.”

Praising the institution and calling the community to support the school Armstrong wrote:

“Good schools like good churches are paying institutions in any community, not only morally and intellectually, but even financially, for they enhance the value of real estate far more than the amount required to support them…If God has seen fit to give you money, and your poor neighbor children, contribute your money to educate your neighbor’s children that they may thereby become intelligent citizens.”

In 1882, the school constructed an addition at a cost of $4,500 in order to support an increase in attendance; seven years later the school purchased the Coy House and lot on the corner of Wright and Main streets, converting two rooms for use as classrooms. According to Signor, the school employed eight teachers to instruct 350 students in 1894. A remodeling project was undertaken in 1896 and two years later, the institution formally changed its name to the Holley High School.

Recognizing the growing population of the community and the failure of the aging building, now four times its original size, to meet the needs of a larger student body, residents made the decision to construct a new school by passing a $260,000 capital budget project. Designed by the Rochester architect Carl C. Ade, the new building would accommodate approximately 750-800 students, more than double the number attending the institution in 1894.

M. Iupa & Maggio Company of Rochester was selected as the general contractor, bidding $191,496 to complete the project. William C. Barber of Rochester was selected to complete the heating and ventilation work ($35,527), the Reinagel Lighting Company of Buffalo was selected to complete the electric ($12,020), and John Corcoran of Holley bid $9,814 to complete the plumbing work. Overall, the project came in well under budget, costing taxpayers approximately $.28 per square foot.

During this massive project, all grades below seven were relocated to three buildings on Geddes Street while all other grades remained in the old building; the old academy building was eventually razed in 1930.

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Lyndonville asks people to report damages to Christmas trees at village park

Posted 14 December 2018 at 2:10 pm

Photo courtesy of Christmas in Lyndonville: This photo shows one of the Christmas trees where ornaments and lights were removed by a vandal.

Press Release, Christmas in Lyndonville Committee

LYNDONVILLE – The Village Clerk’s Office was made aware on Dec. 6 that a patron’s tree in the Christmas in Lyndonville event had been vandalized. Upon reviewing the village surveillance cameras, video was able to be obtained to assist Village Police Officer William Larkin in the investigation.

It is believed that approximately 7-10 trees were affected, stripping trees completely of lights and ornaments and some tree toppers.

The village is able to report that an individual was apprehended early this morning, thanks to Officer W. Larkin with assistance from Orleans County Sheriff’s Department’s  Sgt. John Doyle and Deputy Rob Riemer.

The village along with Officer Larkin are working to obtain back any stolen or damaged items. If you have not already reported any stolen or damage items please contact the Village Clerk’s Office at 585-765-9385 by Monday, Dec. 17.

Christmas in Lyndonville Chairperson Carla Woodworth has issued the following statement to all those participants:

“It deeply saddens us that we have had a piece of our hearts stolen from multiple trees in the Park at Christmas in Lyndonville, including our own. I’m truly sorry that this has happened at the most precious time of the year!

“It is our deepest desire to recover all that has been removed and return it to you! Please if anyone has had things removed from their tree make us aware by calling the Village Clerk’s Office at 585-765-9385.

“God bless all who have been touched by this hurtful action!!!  May the Peace of Christ shine in all, this Christmas and remember decorations can be replaced!

“Our deepest gratitude to Officer Larkin for his dedication and actions in addressing this situation.”

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Man arrested after allegedly taking ornaments from Christmas trees at Lyndonville park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2018 at 10:47 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Lyndonville has 75 trees decorated and lighted up at Veterans Park during the holiday season. The 75 is the most since Lyndonville started the tree display in 2013.

LYNDONVILLE – A Lyndonville man was arrested last night after he was observed taking ornaments and lights off Christmas trees in Veterans Park, Lyndonville police officer Bill Larkin said today.

There are 75 trees in the park for Lyndonville’s sixth annual display of trees. Many families and organizations pay $30 for a tree and then decorate it. Larkin said several trees had items taken from them since they were first lighted up on Dec. 1.

He was watching the park last night and saw a man pull items off a tree. He was arrested for petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, at 1 a.m. He was arraigned by Yates Town Justice Donald Grabowski, who set bail at $1,000 and remanded the man to the Orleans County Jail.

Not only was the man taking ornaments and lights form the trees, but Larkin said the man was in a village park after hours, which is also a violation.

The man has charged over the summer for pulling flowers out of the planter in front of the Village Office on Main Street.

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County planners back addition for Aldi in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2018 at 8:47 am

ALBION – The Aldi grocery store on Maple Ridge Road in Medina is planning a 2,062-square-foot expansion on the front side of the building.

The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday voted in favor of the site plan for the project at 11248 Maple Ridge Rd. The application goes to the Town of Shelby Planning Board for a final OK.

The store expansion will occur within the existing parking area and sidewalks, and will add more space for groceries and also backroom storage, the company said in its application. The current building is 16,567 square feet.

The company anticipates construction in April-May 2019.

The number of parking spaces will be reduced from 89 to 87, which is more than the town’s requirement of at least one for every 300 square feet of gross floor area, or a minimum of 62 for the expanded store.

In other action at Thursday’s County Planning Board meeting:

• The board recommended the Town of Barre approve an area variance, site plan and special use permit for a pole barn at 4627 Oak Orchard Rd., which is in the General Business District.

Susan Sherman of Pavilion will run a business, Rice’s Country Haven Modification, from the site.

Sherman also plans to replace an existing mobile home with a new one.

She needs a 40-foot front setback variance for the pole barn, so it would be 35 feet away from the road instead of 75 feet. The Planning Board said the variance is needed for the pole barn to be in an accessible area.

• Recommended the Town of Shelby approve the site plan and special use permit for a riding arena at 11205 West Shelby Rd. in the Agricultural/Residential District.

Haleigh Clarke has proposed a 9,800-square-foot building that would 140 by 70 feet.

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2 large-scale solar projects headed to Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 December 2018 at 9:46 pm

County Planning Board backs projects with nearly 30,000 panels

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board voted this evening to support the first utility-scale solar projects in the county.

Borrego Solar Systems is proposing the projects on land in Ridgeway owned by Kenneth Baker of Medina. One project would be on Allis Road and the other on Beals Road.

Borrego is based in Lowell, Mass. Marc Kenward, an engineer with Erdman Anthony Consulting Engineers, appeared before the County Planning Board today on Borrego’s behalf. He said Borrego has installed large-scale solar in Western New York, including a big array for Houghton College in Allegany County.

The solar project at 3846 Beals Road would be for 4.3 megawatts with 11,745 panels that would be ground-mounted at a 25-degree angle, Kenward said.

The project would use 16.5 acres of a 29.4-acre parcel in a Rural Residential District. The County Planning Board recommended the Town of Ridgeway approve the site plan and a special use permit.

The other project is for 6.8 megawatts and 18,295 panels at 3962 Allis Rd., near the new Helena Chemical plant. Borrego is proposing to use 29.0 acres of a 42.0-acre parcel.

The County Planning Board recommended Ridgeway approve the site plan and a special use permit, as well as a variance. The solar array would be 160 feet away from an existing structure on a neighboring lot. The town code requires a 250-foot setback. The county urged Ridgeway to approve the 90-foot variance.

Borrego said the variance would allow the company to maximize the number of solar panels without encroaching on nearby wetlands.

The neighboring structure is an unoccupied chemical warehouse. The solar panels will face away from the building and there is already screening in the form of a natural buffer, Planning Board members said.

Borrego would like to start construction on the project in the spring.

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Albion tugboat gets in the holiday spirit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 December 2018 at 9:12 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Tug DeWitt Clinton, the oldest working tugboat on the Ere Canal, has settled in for the winter between the lift bridges in Albion.

The tugboat, which was built in 1925 and commissioned a year later, is decorated in Christmas lights.

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