Albion police report 14-year-old boy as missing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 February 2024 at 9:22 am

The Albion Police Department reports this morning that Drayson Shonerd, 14, has been missing since Saturday.

Drayson’s family told the Albion Police Department that Drayson ran away Saturday evening and hasn’t returned home.

Drayson, 14, is a white male, with brown eyes and brown hair. He is 5 foot, 6 inches and weighs 108 pounds.

 It is unknown what Drayson could be wearing at this time.

Anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact APD at (585) 589-5627, or through the Orleans County Sheriff’s Dispatch at (585) 589-5527 or 911.

Editorial: Orleans County, despite recent gains in sales tax, brings in lowest among small counties

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2024 at 11:28 am

Sales Tax Task Force needed to pump up revenue in Orleans County

Orleans County, despite recent gains in its sales tax revenue, ranks last among small counties in per capita sales tax.

Among counties with 50,000 people or less, Orleans took in $560 per capita in 2022, or $22.5 million in a county with a population of 40,148.

Other similar-size counties bring in much more sales tax, key revenue that can offset property taxes and allow local governments to provide more services or tackle infrastructure and other projects.

Essex County in northeastern New York, for example, has fewer people than Orleans with 37,314. Yet the county’s sales tax collections hit $41.0 million in 2022. Its per capita sales tax of $1,099 is the highest among counties under 50,000 people.

Data from U.S. Census Bureau and State Comptroller’s Office, with per capita calculations by Orleans Hub.

Closer to Orleans, Wyoming County has nearly the same population with 40,338. But Wyoming’s sales tax is $2.3 million more in 2022 – $24.8 million compared to $22.5 million.

Orleans County has experienced a big increase in sales tax revenue in recent years, jumping 27 percent or by $4.8 million from $17.7 million in 2019 to $22.5 million in 2022.

That increase, partly fueled by sales tax on internet purchases, has helped the county tackle capital projects, especially culvert and bridge projects, while staying below the tax cap.

The county keeps 94 percent of the overall amount and shares 6 percent with the 10 towns and four villages.

But why is Orleans lagging compared to other smaller counties? That is a question our local officials should wrestle with. If Orleans could match Wyoming, that would be $2.3 million more to offset property taxes. Orleans Hub posted a story on Jan. 3 that Orleans has the highest  effective property tax rate at 3.40 percent, compared to a state average of 1.62. That rate is determined by taking the median household tax and dividing by the median home value. In Orleans, that is $3,445 divided by $101,400.

In Wyoming, the median property tax is $3,114, more than $500 cheaper than in Orleans. The effective tax rate in that county is 2.62 percent. Wyoming benefits from the presence of Letchworth State Park and the county has numerous signs directing people to the park.

Orleans County should step up its signage directing people to Lake Ontario and other attractions. The County Legislature should share more of the sales tax with towns and villages so they have more incentive to improve their signs and offer more amenities to bring people into the community and to stay longer. The county hasn’t increased the sales tax share to the towns and villages since 2001. Many of those municipalities have continued to upgrade parks and try to improve the quality of life despite no increase in the sales tax.

The Legislature was smart to create a full-time tourism director position and boost its efforts with sportsfishing promotion. But the numbers show there is more work to be done. The county needs a sales tax task force that looks at the successes in these other smaller counties, and seeks to replicate them here.

The task force should include representatives from villages, towns, the county, the Chamber of Commerce and others in the business community. The county should put out an RFP for an impartial consultant to help brainstorm ideas, look at the other counties for inspiration and come out with a better system for sharing the money.

At the very least, let’s do a “Shop Local – and lower your taxes” campaign. The Chamber could take the lead with that.

More sales tax means more revenue to offset our high property taxes, and also reflects a more dynamic local economy with people spending more at businesses in Orleans County. Everyone would win if we can make bigger strides with sales tax, especially if the county shares more of the money with the villages and towns. It would knock down our tax rates and create more job opportunities.

The village of Albion put in a new splash pad at Bullard Park that opened in 2022. The splash pad has been popular among local families, and draws people from outside the community. It is part of about $800,000 in Bullard Park improvements that also include an amphitheater, pavilion with bathrooms and a walking trail.

Albion PD asks for help with missing 14-year-old girl

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2023 at 8:14 pm

ALBION – Aniyah CM. Hyde, 14, has been reported missing by the Albion Police Department.

Family reports that Aniyah has run away from home on Saturday at approximately 7 p.m. and has not had contact with Aniyah since. It is unknown what Aniyah could be wearing at this time.

She is an African-American at 5 foot, 2 inches and about 140 pounds. Her eyes and hair are brown.

Anyone with any information regarding Aniyah’s whereabouts is urged to contact Albion PD at (585) 589-5627, or through the Orleans County Sheriff’s Dispatch at (585)589-5527 or 911.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2023 at 8:01 am

Dave Green, organizer of Medina’s Friday night cruise-ins in the canal basin, checks in car 51, a 1937 Ford Coupe driven by Steve Skryp and his wife Michele of Lyndonville.

Morelle joins in dedicating Fairport post office in honor of Louise and Bob Slaughter

Posted 15 August 2023 at 9:43 am

Congresswoman Slaughter’s Congressional District included part of Orleans County from 2002 to 2012

Photo from Congressman Joe Morelle’s office: Congressman Joe Morelle, left, applauds during Monday’s ceremony where the post office in Fairport was named in honor of Louise and Bob Slaughter.

Press Release, Congressman Joe Morelle

FAIRPORT – Congressman Joe Morelle on Monday joined the US Postal Service, family members, friends, and former colleagues in dedicating the Fairport post office in memory of Louise and Bob Slaughter on the Congresswoman’s birthday.

“Louise Slaughter was a genuine force of nature, and Bob was right there with her making the Earth move,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I will always be grateful for the privilege of following in her formidable footsteps and I take great pride in delivering this tribute. It is my hope the Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office will forever stand in memory of their commitment to public service, and love for their community.”

In 1957, Bob and Louise Slaughter made their home in Fairport, NY. Bob Slaughter served his country as a U.S. Airforce veteran and would go on to retire from Kodak in 1991 becoming a self-taught sailor and woodworking aficionado. Following elections to both the Monroe County Legislature, and New York State Assembly—Louise Slaughter went on to represent the Rochester area in Congress for 16 terms prior to her passing in 2018. Serving as the respected Dean of the New York Congressional Delegation, Congresswoman Slaughter was the first and only woman to chair the powerful Rules Committee in Congress. They were married for 57 years.

“Louise and Bob were each other’s rock and that rock was firmly planted in Fairport, NY,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Fairport is the place they raised their family, supported their neighbors, and began their lifelong passion for public service — beginning with Bob’s founding of the People’s Power Coalition to fight for affordable utility rates, and Louise’s push to preserve Hart’s Wood, a passion that would ignite her trailblazing career. This dedication is very fitting because every time I had the honor of being with Louise in her hometown, it was like a family reunion. She loved and was beloved by her community because she spent every single hour fighting, with everything she had, and with Bob at her side, to make the lives of her constituents better.”

“Congresswoman Slaughter was a tremendous leader for Rochester, with an exemplary record of getting things done for New Yorkers over a long and dedicated career,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The dedication of the Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office in their hometown of Fairport is a fitting tribute for this family that held great admiration and respect for their community. I was proud to support the bill for renaming the post office in honor of Louise and her loving husband Bob, and I hope it serves as a testament to her advocacy and service.”

In 2018, and joined by the entirety of New York’s Congressional delegation, Congressman Joe Morelle introduced HR 540, the Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office Act, renaming Fairport’s 770 Ayrault Road facility in their honor.

Lenten lunches return to Medina beginning Feb. 23

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 15 February 2023 at 8:05 am

MEDINA – Lenten luncheons at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street have been a tradition for decades, sponsored by Medina Area Association of Churches.

All luncheons are served at the Presbyterian Church, with members of MAAC taking turns preparing the meal.

The series begins this year on Feb. 23 and will continue every Thursday through March 30.

Along with the First Presbyterian Church, others participating churches include Alabama Full Gospel Church, United Methodist Church (Abundant Harvest), First Baptist Church and The Grove United Methodist Church.

Take-outs are available at 11:45 a.m., with serving at noon followed by a brief message. This year’s theme will explore “The Passion of Christ.”

Suggested donation is $5. Proceeds will benefit Orleans County Meals on Wheels and Orleans Koinonia Kitchen in Albion.