Find us on Facebook
State Police urges no unnecessary travel during snowstorm
Posted 19 January 2019 at 10:31 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: A manhole cover at the intersection of East Park and Temperance streets in Albion is pictured this morning at about 9 a.m. during light snowfall. Orleans County and Western New York is under a winter weather storm until 6 p.m. on Sunday with 10 to 16 inches of snow expected, and wind chills as low as 30-below zero.

Press Release, New York State Police

The New York State Police is advising motorists to avoid any unnecessary driving during the winter storm that is forecast to bring a significant amount of snow to many areas across the state today into Sunday.

Troopers will be out in force during the storm to provide assistance, will be working closely and coordinating with local Emergency Operations Centers as needed, and are prepared for the potential increase in storm-related service calls.

Motorists who must travel in the areas impacted by the snow are asked to leave with extra time to make a slow and careful drive to your destination.  Take into consideration snow accumulation on the roads, the current snowfall rate, the wind, and visibility.  Use your best judgment to determine if driving is prudent.

Remember bridge and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other road surfaces are not. Clean all snow and ice from the entire vehicle and ensure the windshield is clear of frost. If you do become stranded, stay with your vehicle and in an emergency dial 911.

If you must travel- keep the following tips in mind:

• Get the latest weather forecast and road conditions before leaving via your local weather apps, radio or TV stations.

• Always clean your windows and mirrors FULLY of any snow and ice before driving.

• Keep a full tank of gas

• Make sure fluid levels are topped off (windshield washer fluid, anti-freeze)

• Make sure your spare tire is in working condition, and you have a jack and lug wrench

• Use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others. Remember, if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather, then your headlights must be on.

• Drive prudently. If the conditions are adverse, you should decrease your speed accordingly.

• Brake early

• Do NOT use cruise control. This decreases your reaction time to apply braking.

• Look out for events farther down the road. Creating more time to react can make a difference.

• Be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles. Give them room to work.

• Stock your trunk to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available:

• Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, etc.

• Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.

If you are involved in a collision or leave the roadway:

• If you drive off the roadway and are stuck in a snow bank or ditch, stay in your vehicle and call 911. DO NOT exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency.  You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.

• Roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Covered mufflers can cause serious physical injury or death due to inhalation of carbon monoxide.

• If you should become stranded on the Thruway or any roadway, know your location by being aware of your direction and mile post marker. This will help emergency personnel reach your location as quickly as possible.

Return to top


Hollywood prize fighter had roots in Albion
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 19 January 2019 at 8:53 am

A scene from Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights,” showing Tony Stabenau (back left), a Buffalo boxer with roots in Albion.

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 5, No. 3

ALBION – The pages of the sacramental register at St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Albion contain an entry for the marriage of Antoni Stabenau of Buffalo to Marianna Gminska of Albion. The couple was married by Ks. Piotr Basinski on January 24, 1899 and removed to Buffalo soon after. Marianna’s father, Simon Gminski, remained in Albion where he worked as a quarry laborer until his death in 1920.

On July 23, 1901, Marianna gave birth to her first son, Anthony, in Buffalo. The young Stabenau’s early life remains somewhat of a mystery until May 14, 1923, when he made his debut as a boxer. That evening, Stabenau started his amateur heavyweight career facing Dixie Kid at the Broadway Auditorium in Buffalo. Although his first match ended in a draw, he went on to win eight straight fights; some newspaper articles claimed his win-streak extended to 17 with 15 knockouts.

His first major fight came on January 7, 1924 against the Senegalese-born Amadou M’Barick Fall, known professionally as Battling Siki. Stabenau later recalled that he was “scared silly,” telling the Buffalo Courier-Express that “I was only 21 years old with a string of knockouts. There had been so much in the papers about this wild Senegelease [sic]…that when I climbed into the ring my knees were knocking so loud I could hear them…Because I was so tense, the rabbit punches he clubbed me with on the back of the neck paralyzed me, and I was stiffened.”

“Three-Ton Tony,” as he was known in these parts, experienced his most notable fight on March 2, 1925, at Elmwood Music Hall in Buffalo against Homer Smith, a nationally ranked heavyweight fighter. In a later interview with the Buffalo Courier-Express, Stabenau recalled this hard-fought battle. The reporter wrote, “Smith belabored Stabenau soundly in the early rounds, and it appeared as though the local lad wouldn’t last, as he made several trips to the canvas.” As Smith prepared to finish the fight, “Tony lashed out with a wild right, and it connected with Smith’s chin. Down he went!” Stabenau claimed he won the fight, but it appears as though he took a whooping at the hands of Smith, who took the fight by a slim margin.

Although Stabenau’s boxing career is rather interesting, it was his professional pursuits after leaving Buffalo that raises eyebrows. Based on his fighting record, he appears to have left Western New York sometime in 1928, boxing in Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco, before facing several fighters at Legion Stadium in Hollywood. Stabenau was living with his family, including his mother, in Los Angeles, California; he listed his occupation as a boxer in motion pictures and prize fights.

In 1930, Tony was asked by Georges Carpentier to take a role in the Warner Brothers film entitled “Hold Everything,” an early motion picture shot in Technicolor. That same year, he played a boxer in the black and white silent film entitled “The Big Fight.” It was the following year that he would play his most notable, yet uncredited role in motion pictures.

Released in 1931, Stabenau played the role of a victorious boxer in Charlie Chaplin’s film “City Lights.” The rather unique film was shot as a silent production despite the availability of sound recordings and is regarded as one of Chaplin’s best films. This photograph shows Stabenau standing in the background lacing up his gloves while Chaplin sits on a table, front and center.

After his short stint as an actor, Stabenau became a detective with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, visiting Western New York regularly. Buffalo writer Frank Wakefield interviewed Stabenau in 1956, writing “A ponderous 6-foot-3-inch man in horn-rim glasses who resembled an elderly heavyweight wrestler, laboriously plodded up the four flights of stairs leading to Jack Singer’s gymnasium,” where Stabenau trained as a young fighter. An athlete later asked him to jump in the ring to work out, to which Stabenau responded “Are you kidding? I weighed 190 in my prime. Now I’m around 260…I’m eligible for a retirement pension now and I want to enjoy it.”

Stabenau died February 14, 1983, and is buried in San Jacinto, California.

Return to top


Governor bans buses, tractor-trailers from Thruway during big snowstorm
Posted 18 January 2019 at 9:26 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed the New York State Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority to ban tractor trailers and buses on the entire Thruway system, with the exception of I-95 in Westchester and Bronx counties, and most interstate highways out of an abundance of caution as winter storm Harper will impact travel across the entire state this weekend.

The ban will be in effect beginning 3 p.m. on Saturday and will last for the duration of the storm.

“Safety is our number one priority and with the anticipated storm impacting most of New York State, we are implementing this ban on tractor trailers and buses so our plow operators, fire, law enforcement and emergency personnel can keep roads clean and respond to emergencies as quickly as possible,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am also urging drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.”

Tractor trailers and buses will be banned from the following interstate highways:

DOT Highways:

I-88 from Binghamton to Albany

I-86/Rt 17 from PA border to I-87 (entire length)

I-81 from PA Border to Canadian Border

I-84 from PA Border to CT Border

I-684 from I-287 to I-84

I-87 from Albany to Canadian Border

I-390 from I-86 to I-90

I-99 from PA Border to I-86

I-90 from Thruway Exit 24 to Berkshire Spur Exit B2 (through Cap Dist)

Rt 219 from Peters Rd to I-90 (expressway section)

I-190 – full length (both Thruway and DOT sections)

I-290 – full length

Rt 5 Skyway – I-190 to NY179 (Milestrip Rd)

Rt 400 – NY16 to I-90

I-390, I-490, I-590 around Rochester

Alternate Route 7 in Albany County

Thruway highways:

I-90 from PA line to Albany (Int. 24)

I-87 from Albany (Int. 24) to NYC line

I-287 (from Suffern to I-95)

Berkshire Spur from the Thruway Mainline to the Mass line

Return to top


GLOW Women’s March still on for Saturday in Batavia
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2019 at 7:55 pm

2 long-time leaders in Genesee will serve as grand marshals

BATAVIA – The GLOW Women’s March is still planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday despite a forecast for a winter storm, beginning at 1 p.m.

The march will begin at 10 a.m. in Jackson Square with music provided by the Women’s Resistance Choir from the GLOW region. The march route has been shortened due to the weather and will go to City Centre where there will be eight speakers.

Participants will include Diana Kastenbaum, a Congressional candidate in 2016 and owner of a Batavia manufacturing company; members of Woke GCC; Debora McDell-Hernandez with Planned Parenthood of Batavia; Michelle Schoneman of East Aurora, founder of Citizens Against Collins; ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc with Moms Demand Action from Rochester and the Genesee region; Lauren Jimerson of Fairport, project manager of Iroquois White Corn Project; Tamara Leigh with Out Alliance of Rochester; Carly Fox with Worker Justice Center of New York; and Vanessa Glushefski, deputy comptroller for the City of Buffalo.

There will also be 21 organizations set up with tables at the Community Fair. There is plenty free parking in the Save-A-Lot parking lot which is across from Valle Jewelers at 21 Jackson Street, and space at the City Centre parking lot between Bank Street and Alva Place.

The march includes two grand marshals from Genesee County, Esther Leadley and Betsy Dexheimer.

“Both women are beloved in the community and role models for all of us,” Avery said.

Dexheimer has worked tirelessly to better the lives of so many people in the local community, Avery said.

Dexheimer was a special education teacher for students with multiple disabilities. She was a strong advocate for the children and their parents.  She has served on the Office of the Aging’s advisory council for the Livable Community Vision Team. She also has volunteered for Meals on Wheels the past 10 years. She also volunteers with Friends of the Library at Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia.

She also helps at Saint James Episcopal Church, the Rape Crisis division of Planned Parenthood of Rochester, and Hospice. She also is an usher at UB and the Harvester Theater.

Leadley, a former Genesee County legislator for 15 years, graduated from Pavilion High School. Always focused on children and families, Leadley has volunteered with numerous organizations throughout the area including the Pavilion Library (where she served as director at one time), and the YWCA of Genesee County, where she helped start the Fabulous Females Committee and helped that effort to recognize local women leaders for 14 years.

After a bout with cancer, Leadley turned her experience into a positive. She became a chemo coach with the American Cancer Society, helping countless others deal with their treatment. Currently, she has been busy with Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, which runs a Head Start program.

Return to top


Apex expects to submit applications to state in 2019 for projects in Orleans, Niagara

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dave Phillips, Apex Clean Energy’s vice president of environmental, speaks on Wednesday during an open house at Apex’s office on Main Street in Albion. About 50 people attended the 90-minute open house and were encouraged to ask environmental-related questions. About 50 people attended the open house.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2019 at 1:05 pm

(UPDATED at 9:32 a.m. on Jan. 21 to report that Apex is planning 33 turbines in Barre, and not 47.)

ALBION – Apex Clean Energy is working to submit its applications this year to the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.

The company expects to submit the application this spring for 33 turbines in Barre as part of Heritage Wind, said Paul Williamson, an Apex project manager.

The company also is working on Lighthouse Wind, a project that proposes 47 turbines with 8 in Yates and 39 in Somerset. Apex has been working on that project longer than the one in Barre, but still has some environmental studies to do this spring. Once the company has those results, it can make the final studies for its application, which it hopes to submit to the Siting Board in the summer, Williamson said.

Provided photo: This group was outside the Apex office on Wednesday, distributing information about environmental concerns with industrial-size turbines.

Those applications could take 18 months to 2 years to review and will be subject to public hearings. The company also has to provide intervenor funds for the local municipalities and citizens groups to hire experts to review the application.

The Siting Board includes five leaders of state agencies – the chairman of Department of Public Service, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, commissioner of the Department of Health, chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and commissioner of Economic Development. There are also two ad hoc public members from the municipality where the project is proposed.

Apex sent a news release earlier this week seeking to clarify comments from Ben Yazman, the Heritage Wind project manager. He was quoted in the Orleans Hub last week after the Barre Town Board opted not to change its zoning for wind turbines, keeping the maximum turbine height at 500 feet and also not changing the setbacks. Apex would like to have the turbines tip height peak at 591 feet in Barre. Yazman last week said the company would pursue a waiver for the height through the Siting Board.

“Like other interested parties, we were surprised by the board action, and we share the goal of updating the law to ensure that it is reasonable, clear and protective of the health and welfare of all Barre residents,” said Neil Habig, senior director of Project Development for Apex Clean Energy.

The 2008 wind ordinance was passed more than 10 years ago and does not reflects the state of the modern wind facilities and does not benefit from advances in siting standards that have developed over the past decade, he said.

The company would like Barre to revise the law. Apex hasn’t decided if it will pursue a waiver for height.

“We feel it is very important for us to correct that misstatement,” Habig said. “It is our strong preference to continue working with the Town and Clear Skies Above Barre to update the existing wind ordinance to reflect modern wind technology and siting standards. We recognize that siting a wind facility can be contentious and complex, and we are committed to ensuring that the Town Board has the necessary resources at its disposal to make informed decisions if they can be persuaded to reconsider the wind law wind ordinance.”

Return to top


Lyons now selling extrication equipment

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Jeff Lyons holds an accident victim extrication tool. He has just become a dealer for extrication equipment and started a new business, Genesis Rescue Systems. He sells cutting tools, a ram, stabilization blocks, jacks and air bags. His nephew Easton, 3, and Jeff's father Ancel check out the tool.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2019 at 12:26 pm

MEDINA – As a 15-year member of Shelby Volunteer Fire Company and operator of Lyons Collision and Towing, Jeff Lyons has seen the need for special extrication equipment.

Many times he has responded to accidents involving motor vehicles or heavy equipment, as a volunteer firefighter or on a towing call, when someone was trapped and special equipment was needed.

“Getting involved in the fire department and being a tow truck operator go hand in hand,” Lyons said.

As a result, he has started a new business, Genesis Rescue Systems, to provide a local source of extrication equipment.

This includes Genesis tools, such as cutters, stabilization devices, jacks and lift/air bags.

When the fire company sent Lyons and several other firefighters to Crash Course Village in Dayton, Ohio, Lyons took every course offered relating to extrication in MVAs and heavy equipment, he said. The course was sponsored by Howell Rescue Systems and owner Todd Howell was very helpful, Lyons said.

Lyons Collision was started in 1978 by Jeff’s dad, Ancel. He added the towing service a year later. At that time, he had the only flatbed in the county.

Jeff has been involved since 1985, when he would come to the shop after school and work in the body shop. He started working full-time at the business in December 1987. His sister Kim Patterson runs the office and Jeff Stockwell runs the body shop. Jeff’s great-niece Elexa Murphy also works in the office. Ancel is officially retired, but is still there every day, Jeff said.

The business has expanded several times over the years, having bought the former Al Nudd’s garage at Orient and East Center Street in 2010, which they converted into the office. In 2012, they bought Russo’s Granite building and now own the entire complex from East Center Street to the railroad.

The new business represents a considerable investment, but one Jeff believes is much needed and well worth it.

Return to top


Community Foundation in Greater Buffalo seeks grant applications
Posted 18 January 2019 at 10:05 am

Organization supports efforts in 8 counties, including Orleans

Press Release, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is accepting Letters of Intent for its 2019 competitive grant process through Feb. 4. Interested organizations should read the detailed guidelines/additional information before submitting a Letter of Intent. (Click here to see the guidelines.)

Additionally, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located within the eight counties of Western New York – Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.

In 2018, the Community Foundation awarded more than $500,000 to 23 Western New York nonprofit organizations through the competitive grants process. The Foundation is home to more than 900 named funds, totaling over $485 million in assets and is one of the region’s largest grantmakers.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Celebrating its centennial year in 2019, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For 100 years the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at www.cfgb.org.

Return to top


USDA reopens Batavia office temporarily to help farmers process payments
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2019 at 9:51 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily reopened some Farm Service Agency offices during the government shutdown to help farmers process payments.

The FSA office in Albion remains closed, but Genesee County’s office in Batavia is open today and on Tuesday. Orleans County farmers are welcome to go there for any assistance.

The office is at 29 Liberty St., Batavia. Call (585) 343-9167 for more information. The FSA wants to help farmers close out the calendar year and process their 1099 tax forms.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that many Farm Service Agency offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers.

FSA offices have been closed since Dec. 28 because of the lapse in federal funding. The USDA has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices yesterday, today and Tuesday during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday.

In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.

“Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers,” Perdue said in a news release. “We are bringing back part of our FSA team to help producers with existing farm loans. Meanwhile, we continue to examine our legal authorities to ensure we are providing services to our customers to the greatest extent possible during the shutdown.”

Return to top


Governor wants to require tax return disclosure for candidates seeking state offices
Posted 18 January 2019 at 8:44 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a proposal mandating full disclosure of tax returns by candidates for public office is included in the 2019 Executive Budget.

The proposal requires candidates running for statewide public office to disclose 10 years of federal and state tax returns, and requires candidates for the State Assembly and State Senate to disclose 5 years of federal and state tax returns as a condition of getting on the ballot for a general election.

“While this federal administration seems intent on operating in secrecy and darkness, New York State is working to provide the public with more information to better inform their choice at the ballot box,” Governor Cuomo said. “Mandating that this critical information be made public will shed sunlight and sunshine on potential conflicts of interest and increase the ethical standards of public officials serving New Yorkers.”

Under this proposal, a candidate for public office must disclose their tax returns to the New York State Board of Elections no later than 60 days before a general election and agree to public disclosure of their returns by the Board of Elections. The Board of Elections will make any redactions it deems appropriate or required by law, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance.

While full tax transparency has been the norm for individuals seeking public office, there is currently no requirement that elected officials disclose their past tax returns in New York State.

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, this historic measure will reassure New York taxpayers that candidates running for public office meet the ethical standards required of elected officials.

Additionally, this proposal will provide taxpayers valuable insight into the personal financial history of individuals seeking public office, shedding light on potential conflicts of interest and ensuring our leaders are working for the people and not for themselves.

Return to top


10 to 14 inches of snow, bitter cold headed our way
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2019 at 8:08 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Courthouse and the First Presbyterian Church of Albion are picture at dusk on Monday.

‘Travel will be very difficult to impossible’

A winter storm is forecast to bring 10 to 14 inches of snow this weekend in Orleans County and all of Western New York.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 1 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible,” the Weather Service said. “Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The cold wind chills as low as 15 below 0 could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.”

Saturday the high temperature will be 16, and Sunday it is forecast to reach a high of 11.

Return to top


Circus returns with lots of razzle-dazzle
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2019 at 10:33 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Byron Neal, 4, of Albion is excited to have a lighted sword at Billy Martin’s Cole All-Star Circus, which visited Albion High School this evening.

The circus returned to Albion with the cast performing many daring feats and some comedic routines at the high school gym. Some of the proceeds benefit the Close-Up program which takes students to Washington, D.C.

The circus was in Holley on Wednesday. Billy Martin’s has two shows (5 and 7:15 p.m.) in Medina on Friday at the middle school, and will be in Kendall at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.

Ivan Arestov balances high on a tower of chairs 25 feet in the air. The Russian artist also juggled three-dimensional geometric shapes and provided some comic relief with a silly strongman character.

Sasha Arestov, Ivan’s brother, spins a hoop with his top hat. Sasha is a fifth generation hoop artist.

Elena amazed the crowd with many quick costume changes that seemed like magic. She had eight different costumes on, changing in only seconds.

Elena appears with another different outfit after Alex, in back, covered her briefly with a cape.

JP Toscano, a fourth generation circus performer from South America, provided some comedic relief, teaming with co-star “Jack.”

Wesley Williams. “The One-Wheeled Wonder,” rides a unicycle during in the show ring.

Ivan wore a strongman costume to the delight of the youngsters at the circus.

Return to top


Hawley says rising minimum wage unsustainable for small businesses
Posted 17 January 2019 at 4:27 pm

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

New York State’s minimum wage increased again this year to $11.10 per hour and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) vocalized concern that sharp increases year-to-year are unsustainable for upstate’s struggling small businesses.

Employers already face the nation’s worst tax business climate and a state regulatory code that forces more outsourcing of jobs, transition to automated labor and loss of benefits for employees.

“Certainly we want to help the working poor and employees making minimum wage across the state but these sharp increases are like putting a band-aid on a broken leg,” Hawley said. “Misguided policies like these overlook the fact that small businesses will be forced to recoup these increasing labor costs and that could lead to massive layoffs and a cut to benefits for many employees – a regrettable consequence of the law’s intention.”

The Assembly Minority Conference has proposed wiser economic solutions such as allowing employers to pay a training wage to new employees that is more congruent with their skill sets. Many lawmakers have also come out in support of raising the tipped wage for workers such as servers, a proposal met with animosity by the tipped workers it is meant to help.

“The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage and many employers are now mandated to pay higher costs for employees with less experience,” Hawley said. “Employees like restaurant servers rely on the quality of their service and dedicated work ethic to bring home larger tips and an elimination of this would remove the incentive to provide quality service for these workers.

“If we are to change New York’s awful business climate and stop our state’s embarrassing exodus rate it starts with tax and regulatory relief that mitigates the root cause of business struggles, not quick fixes and economic gimmicks,” Hawley concluded.

Return to top


Collins touts proposal that he says would stop Chinese from exploiting SBA programs
Posted 17 January 2019 at 3:14 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) re-introduced the Denying Chinese Investors Access to U.S. Small Business Aid, a bill that would prevent citizens of the People’s Republic of China, who own a business, from accessing assistance offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) re-introduced the Senate companion bill late last week.

“SBA programs should be focusing on helping small business owners in communities like Western New York, and not aid companies whose profits go to China,” said Collins. “ I am proud to join Senator Rubio to advance this important legislation once again to encourage job growth and support small businesses here in the United States.”

“Amidst rapid technological advances, shifting global economic trends, and rising foreign adversaries, we must fight to protect America’s small businesses,” Rubio said. “Our bill will protect small businesses from Chinese interference and encourage American entrepreneurs to innovate, thrive, and grow so that we can keep our economy competitive on the global stage.”

Current law permits SBA to provide assistance towards Chinese-owned business who legally operate in the United States and qualify as a small business. These businesses are allowed to obtain a federally guaranteed loan, surety bonds, research and development grants, or disaster loans.

The Denying Chinese Investors Access to U.S. Small Business Aid would prohibit SBA benefits from being given to businesses headquarter in China. Under this bill, China based business who operate in the United States or businesses with at least 25 percent of their voting stock owned by Chinese investors will no longer be able to benefit.

Return to top


3 are arraigned in County Court for DWI
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2019 at 3:05 pm

ALBION – Three people were arraigned in Orleans County this morning for driving while intoxicated.

Dominic Bennett, 27, of Batavia is facing charges of felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.

He was in a one-car accident on Oct. 27 on Route 31 in Albion, and was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He has recovered from his injuries.

Michael J. Miller II, 44, of Medina was arraigned for aggravated felony DWI (BAC over .18) and two counts of felony DWI. He was charged on Sept. 22 on Townline Road in Yates and registered a .24 BAC, which is three times the legal limit.

William Shelhorse Jr., 53, of Albion was arraigned for AUO in the first degree and two counts of misdemeanor DWI. He was charged on Nov. 7 after being stopped on East Avenue in Albion.

All three entered not guilty pleas in court today.

Return to top


Couple injured in Albion fire are in guarded condition

Photos by Tom Rivers: Firefighters work to put out a fire at 5 Elmwood Ave. in Albion on Wednesday night. This photo is from the back of the property.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2019 at 1:53 pm

ALBION – The Albion couple who were seriously injured in Wednesday’s fire at 5 Elmwood Ave. are in guarded condition in the burn unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

Vincenzo Spampanato, 81, and Felicia Spampanato, 72, had recently moved into the house on Elmwood.

The Albion Police Department and Albion Fire Department were dispatched to the site at 6:21 p.m.  after a report of heavy smoke coming from the residence and possible explosions.

The Spampanatos were found in the front yard suffering from burn injuries.

Vincenzo Spampanato was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. Felicia Spampanato was transported by Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance (COVA) to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The initial investigation has revealed that Vincenzo Spampanato was performing maintenance on a gas heating appliance in the basement of the residence when an explosion occurred, ultimately resulting in the house catching fire and becoming heavily involved in fire.

The Investigation into the cause of the explosion and resulting fire is being conducted by the Albion Police Department, Orleans County Fire Investigation Unit, Orleans County Emergency Management Office, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG).

The investigation is ongoing at this time, Nenni said.

Mr. Spampanato is well known by many in Albion for his job working in the deli at the Albion Walmart. The couple moved from Carlton to the dead-end street in the village about a month ago.

Firefighters were at the 20-degree scene for several hours on Wednesday.

Return to top