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Knowlesville lift bridge is back in business

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2018 at 9:13 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – The Knowlesville lift bridge, which was closed last November, is back open to traffic.

The bridge was closed in November after an inspection and engineering analysis identified the need to close the bridge immediately for steel repairs.

The truss-style lift bridge was built in 1910. It is posted with a maximum weight of 6 tons. Approximately 1,100 vehicles use this canal crossing daily, the state Department of Transportation said.

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Firefighters train for cold water rescue at Glenwood Lake

Staff Reports Posted 10 March 2018 at 10:07 am

Photos courtesy of Valerie Busch

RIDGEWAY – About 20 firefighters from the West Battalion – Lyndonville, Medina, Ridgeway and Shelby fire departments – participated in an ice water rescue training this morning at Glenwood Lake in Ridgeway.

Valerie Busch, a member of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, sent in these photos.

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Fairgrounds will host professional wrestling event on April 28

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 February 2018 at 10:39 am

Provided photos: The promotion for the upcoming event at the Fairgrounds includes Albion native Kevin (Lockwood) Blackwood, back left, and Medina native Gavin Glass, front right.

East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company will run event as fundraiser

KNOWLESVILLE – The Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds will host several professional wrestlers in matches on April 28 in a fundraiser for the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

Gavin Glass

The lineup includes a former WWE star Gangrel and current Impact Wrestling star Braxton Sutter. Albion native Kevin (Lockwood) Blackwood and Medina native Gavin Glass also will be wrestling, as well as several others.

Empire State Wrestling is organizing the event. The ESW features independent pro wrestlers from the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Ryan McPherson of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company pushed to bring the event to Orleans County. McPherson took his grandfather, David Green, to a match. Green is a longtime East Shelby firefighter and the retired Orleans County sheriff. Green was very impressed by the ESW wrestlers.

“It’s unbelievable to me the athleticism these guys have,” Green said today. “They are professionals wrestlers. They haven’t made it to the big time but it’s just like you see on TV.”

The April 28 event will be from 5 to 9 p.m., with six or seven matches from 6 to 9 p.m. East Shelby firefighters and volunteers will be selling refreshments.

The event is currently planned for the Lartz Building but could move to the bigger horse barn, depending on ticket sales. For more information on tickets, click here.

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Church in Knowlesville serves 416 fish fry dinners

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2018 at 9:13 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – The United Methodist Church of the Abundant Harvest in Knowlesville served 416 fish fry dinners today, the start of a weekly event during the Lenten season.

The top photo shows Jeff Smith, right, and Glen Busch in the “Fish Hut” where they cooked the fish and French fries.

The church created the Fish Hut behind its fellowship hall on Knowlesville Road. Busch said the fish fry dinners are an important fundraiser for the church, which has church buildings in Knowlesville and Millville.

Danielle Higgins was busy in the kitchen with other church volunteers late this afternoon, when the fellowship hall was crowded with people.

Beverly Paul tended to the desserts.

The dinners drew a big crowd to the church’s fellowship hall. The dinners include batter dipped fish, French fries or baked potato, coleslaw or applesauce, New England Clam Chowder or Italian Wedding Soup or Manhattan Clam Chowder, homemade style dessert and a beverage.

The church will be serving the dinners every Friday through March 30.

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Retiring Ridgeway Town Clerk praised for 23 years of service to residents

Photos by Tom Rivers: Barbara Klatt is pictured Tuesday at the Ridgeway Town Hall, where she has served as town clerk for nearly 23 years. She is retiring on Dec. 31.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2017 at 8:57 am

RIDGEWAY – Barbara Klatt is retiring is Ridgeway town clerk on Dec. 31. On Tuesday, many town residents stopped by Town Hall to congratulate her on her career, and to thank her for her service.

“We always came out of here with results,” said resident Mark Eaton. “Everything was taken care of.”

His wife Pat said Klatt has been an ideal person serving as town clerk. She is friendly with the public and can handle the many duties with the job.

“She is a really nice person and I’ve always enjoyed talking with her,” Mrs. Eaton said. “She does a real nice job.”

A celebration cake for the town clerk included a smiling image of Klatt.

Klatt has served as town clerk for nearly 23 years. The job became increasingly complicated as the town added water districts and the state demanded more with reporting for hunting and fishing licenses, and other transactions.

“Barb has fantastic knowledge and experience,” said Brian Napoli, the town supervisor the past 12 years. “It has been a pleasure to work with her. She is insightful and funny, just a wonderful lady.”

Karen Kaiser, the deputy town clerk, was elected to succeed Klatt.

“She is highly educated in all aspects of town clerk,” Kaiser said. “She knows the right thing and she is a nice person who always has the best interest of the town at heart.”

Klatt isn’t coasting into retirement. She has one more tax billing cycle to get through. She will help prepare 3,200 tax bills next month. They all need to be sorted, and some are sent to escrow accounts and there are third party notifications. (Kaiser gets to do the 1,200 water bills in January for 13 water districts.)

Klatt said computers have helped the town clerk do the many tasks. When she started, hunting and fishing licenses were done by hand or with a typewriter. Now they go into a state database. (Klatt said the state website can be temperamental.)

The town clerk’s office also handles about 900 dog licenses a year, and numerous records – death certificates, marriage licenses and birth certificates. The clerk gives out the license for charitable gaming, handles payroll processing for several town departments, and attends the Town Board meetings and keeps the minutes.

Klatt said she is grateful for the opportunity.

“I loved serving the people of Ridgeway,” Klatt said. “The people were the reason I kept going. There was a lot of laughter. They brought so many stories with them.”

There was an open house at the Town Hall on Tuesday, where residents were urged to stop by and see Klatt. She also received citations or commendations for her service from Congressman Chris Collins, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and the Orleans County Legislature.

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DOT closing Knowlesville lift bridge for winter

Posted 16 November 2017 at 9:52 am

File photo: The Knowlesville lift bridge, which has been reduced to one-lane traffic with a 6-ton weight limit, is be closed for the winter.

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

RIDGEWAY – The New York State Department of Transportation today announced that the bridge carrying Knowlesville Road over the Erie Canal in the town of Ridgeway will close to all traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians, for the winter months beginning today. The road is expected to reopen by the end of February 2018.

A recent bridge inspection and engineering analysis identified the need to close the bridge immediately for steel repairs. A previously scheduled repair project to fix the steel beams carrying the bridge over the Canal is scheduled to begin on November 27.

The truss-style movable bridge, built in 1910, is posted with a maximum weight of six tons. Upon completion of the repairs, the bridge is expected to reopen to all legal loads.

Approximately 1,100 vehicles use this canal crossing daily.

No official detour will be posted. Culvert Road passing under the canal is approximately 1.5 miles to the west, and the Presbyterian Road bridge is less than two miles to the east.

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Huge turnout in Ridgeway for benefit to aid Megan Dix’s family

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 October 2017 at 8:54 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lori Panek, Megan Dix’s aunt, and Randi Rushing, Megan’s cousin, check the winning bids on some of the 300 gift baskets up for auction on Saturday at a benefit for Megan Dix’s family.

RIDGEWAY – There was a massive turnout on Saturday at the benefit to support Megan Dix’s family. More than 1,500 chicken barbecue dinners were sold, 300 gift baskets were raffled off, as well as 60 large items and a dozen “mega” items valued at $600 or more.

The benefit raised $42,000 for the family of Megan Dix, who was murdered on Aug. 25 while taking a lunch break in Brockport, not far from where she worked at Lowe’s.

The benefit on Saturday started at 1 p.m. at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. Not long after noon people were descending upon the rec hall on Ridge Road.

“It has just been tremendous,” Charlie Dix, Megan’s brother in law, said about the community response.

These balloons help symbolize a community in grief after Megan Dix was shot and killed on Aug. 25.

At times, it felt like the entire Lyndonville community was in the rec hall on Saturday.

Megan, 33, is the youngest of eight siblings. She and her husband, Chris, have an 8-year-old son, CJ.

Charlie Dix said the benefit on Saturday brought some focus back to the grieving family.

Megan’s accused murderer, Holly Colino, has been dominating the headlines with some of her bizarre behavior, including online rants before the Aug. 25 shooting and then a series of graffiti at the East Rochester community where she grew up. A Monroe County Court judge last week ordered a mental competency exam for Colino.

The gift baskets up for auction are spread out on tables at the fire hall. Volunteers spent Friday unloading a tractor trailer that was filled with donated items in the days and weeks leading up to the benefit. Bobbi Houseman took the lead in organizing those items.

Cathy Buckland, a friend of Megan and Chris Dix, serves pizza at the benefit. In addition to the pizza, 1,550 chicken barbecue dinners were sold.

Arianna Dailey of Batavia, left, holds balloons that have the attention of Annalee Erdle, 1 1/2, of Lyndonville. Annalee is held by Chelsea Silversmith of Lyndonville. Annalee’s mother, Alyssa Erdle, is in back at right.

Some of the attendees check the list of auctioned items to see if they had the winning bid. The benefit started at 1 p.m. and continued until 10 p.m.

Shawn Whittier served as DJ at the event.

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6,000 surveys being sent to residents in western Orleans

Provided photo: The elected officials from the western Orleans County municipalities are working together on a comprehensive plan and survey. Pictured, from left, include Medina Mayor Michael Sidari, Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian Napoli and Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon. The Town of Shelby and Village of Lyndonville also are part of the effort.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 July 2017 at 7:41 am

Residents asked to assess quality of life issues, rank priorities for community development

Residents in Western Orleans County are urged to fill out a survey asking them to rank priorities in the community and give their views on other quality of life issues.

The towns of Ridgeway, Shelby and Yates, as well as the villages of Medina and Lyndonville are working together on a comprehensive plan for the western end of the county.

The surveys are being sent out to about 6,000 households and landowners. They are asked to complete the questionnaire by Aug. 4.

“The survey is a critical step in the update of the Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan,” said Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon, chairman of the committee responsible for revising the comprehensive plan. “It is through our stakeholders – the residents and landowners receiving the survey – that we gain insight into their values and priorities for formulating public policies affecting quality-of-life issues for the next 10 to 15 years.”

The eight-page survey seeks input on many issues, including economic development, youth programs, where people shop,  views on development (heavy industrial, commercial, residential and light industrial), condition of streets and sidewalks, drug abuse in community, affordable housing, walkability of communities, public safety and many other topics.

Residents in western Orleans County were last surveyed in 2002 when a comprehensive plan for the five municipalities was prepared.

“My fellow chief elected officials and I strongly encourage all to complete and return the survey,” Simon said. “The greater the response rate, the more the results represent the entire community.”

The survey can be dropped off at any one of 17 different locations in western Orleans County, all of which are listed on the first page of the survey form. Additional survey forms can be obtained at any town or village clerk’s office in western Orleans County.

“Those who participate in the survey do so anonymously,” Simon said, “and the collective results will be presented publicly and reported in both the Comprehensive Plan and on-line.” Questions about the survey can be directed to the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, which is assisting in the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan, at (585) 589-3198.

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Knowlesville lift bridge will close for 10 days for repairs

Staff Reports Posted 17 June 2017 at 11:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The lift bridge in Knowlesville, already limited to one lane and a 6-ton weight limit, will close for about 10 days for some repairs.

KNOWLESVILLE – The lift bridge that carries Knowlesville Road over the Erie Canal will temporarily close to traffic on Tuesday for approximately 10 days through June 30, the state Department of Transportation has advised local officials.

A detour will not be posted. Culvert Road is to the west and Presbyterian Road is to the east.

Bridge maintenance crews will be replacing concrete approach slab and doing some minor steel work.

The bridge, which was built in 1910, has had a weight restriction and is limited to one lane.

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Firefighters contain Lyndonville fire to back bedroom

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 April 2017 at 1:57 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A fire in the back bedroom of a house on Route 63 was contained to that room due to a quick response from firefighters, said David Hydock, deputy fire coordinator for Orleans County.

Firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 12:16 p.m. at 2274 Lyndonville Rd. when smoke was observed coming out of the back of the house from the top floor. The house, owned by Wade Patterson, is located in the Town of Ridgeway.

Damage was mostly limited to the back bedroom, with additional smoke and water damage, Hydock said.

Firefighters from Lyndonville, Medina and Ridgeway responded to the scene.

Adam Wengrzycki, a Medina firefighter, pulls off shingles and checks for hot spots in the attic. There weren’t any hot spots up high.

Firefighters run hoses into the house so water could be sprayed on the upstairs bedroom.

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