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Fog rolled in this morning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 September 2018 at 4:53 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – It was a foggy morning along Ridge Road in Orleans County about 6:45 this morning. This photo shows a tree just north of Route 104 in the Town of Ridgeway.

It’s been hot today in the mid-80s with the sun shining. The high temperatures for the next few days include 83 and sunny on Sunday, 77 and some clouds on Monday (with 60 percent chance of precipitation), partly sunny and high near 79 on Tuesday, and mostly sunny with high near 69 on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

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Keeler Construction will replace Portage Road bridge in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2018 at 7:50 am

RIDGEWAY – Keeler Construction of Albion is expected to start construction in about three weeks on the replacement of the Portage Road bridge in the Town of Ridgeway.

The Orleans County Legislature on May 30 accepted Keeler’s bid of $588,821 to replace the bridge. The project should be complete by November, said Jerry Gray, the county’s highway superintendent.

The total project costs with engineering, inspection and other expenses is estimated at $869,000. This is a Bridge NY project with the county paying 5 percent of the costs or $43,450.

The county also expects to soon seek bids to replace a culvert on South Holley Road in Clarendon, a construction project that could extend into the spring, Gray said.

The county also is working to replace a bridge on the Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road near the golf course. The county is waiting on state approval for the project, which Gray said will probably get started next spring.

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Young riders get tips for racing at Crusaders Motorcycle Club

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 June 2018 at 3:16 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Braelyn DiMatteo is in front of the line with this group of riders during today’s training class at the Crusaders Motorcycle Club. The Crusaders have been holding a free training session for riders, ages 4 to 8. This is the third year the Crusaders have held the clinic at the race track on Culvert Road.

The class provides young riders with basic riding/racing skills. The 22 participants are being taught what all the different colored flags represent, how to watch for the green race light and to practice their starting skills.

The riders are learning how to maneuver around the corners. By the end of the day, all the riders are expected to pick up their speed. The 50cc bikes go about 20 to 30 miles per hour in the races.

Besides teaching safety and riding skills, the Crusaders want to boost the number of new riders. The first year of the training class, there were six riders and then 12 last year.

Brad Hazel, 28, is one of the track’s top riders. He helped lead the class today.

“We’re teaching them riding techniques,” Hazel said. “We’re trying to get them in the sport so we can show them it’s not as dangerous as people think.”

Hazel’s son Bryson, age 5, is one of the riders in the class today.

“If you start ’em young and get their technique when they are young, it will really help them in the long run,” Hazel said.

Kevin Hazel, president of the Crusaders, watches the riders and shouts encouragement. He encourages the young riders to keep their elbows up, look ahead and concentrate on the racetrack. Kevin is Brad Hazel’s father.

After a short break, Danny Shuler gets his helmet back on and is ready to ride.

These riders head off the track after taking a few laps.

Amy Hazel, center, and Brandi DiMatteo pass out popsicles during a break. The temperatures have been in the mid-80s.

The Crusaders kick off their 61st racing season on Sunday with the first race at 12:30. There are usually about 500 spectators and 130 riders for each of the five races at the track.

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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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