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Orleans County

August 17, 2009 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Orleans County.

A former Batavia firefighter who operates a train museum in Medina is accused of sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman Friday at the museum and may have installed a videotaping system in the building.

Martin Phelps, 67, is accused assaulting the woman at 4:30 p.m.. Medina police have also removed an "extensive" videotaping system from the building.

Phelps bought the museum in 1991 and opened it in 1997 after spending six years remodeling the location.

He was remanded to Orleans County Jail on $5,000 bail.

(Source, the Batavia Daily News)

July 22, 2009 - 7:15am
posted by JIM NIGRO in events, Orleans County, Yesteryear.



July 17, 2009 - 3:44pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in entertainment, Orleans County.


West Jackson Corners is name-sake of the same geographical locale as it was once known – say back around the turn of the last century.  West Jackson Corners village is located directly across the road from East Shelby Community Bible Church, and this Sunday, July 19th – the Annual Old Tyme Days – the population of the village will once again flourish as visitors come to get a look at life in a bygone era. 


Old Tyme Days, an annual event sponsored by Community Bible Church, always draws a good crowd. And why not, given the opportunity to step back in time, to the days when hot dogs and home-made pie cost a penny? When ice cream and lemonade were home-made and so was the bread. I almost forgot to mention the home-made jam, goats-milk fudge and home-made cheese.  


Not only can you eat for a penny – and eat well – there will be entertainment in the form of the West Jackson Players, the West Jackson Band of Renown and a barber shop quartet. Horse-drawn rides will be offered as well as weaving and spinning demonstrations, blacksmith and tinsmith shops and much more including old fashioned games and activities.


The family-oriented event lasts all day, beginning with an old fashioned worship service at East  Shelby Community Bible Church at 10 a.m.  West Jackson Corners is located seven miles southeast of Medina on the East Shelby Road. 


Photos courtesy of Jim Dolan.  You can see a full collection of Jim's photos at NewYorkStatePhoto.com 

June 15, 2009 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, jail, Orleans County.

Regardless of the report in Journal-Register in Medina says Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell, residents of Genesee and Orleans counties should expect a new regional jail to come out of discussion between the two counties.

The Journal-Register reported this morning:

Johnson and the Jail Committee have been working closely with Genesee County, talking about the possibility of opening a regional jail to accommodate prisoners in both Orleans and Genesee counties. The Center for Governmental Research has been hired to do a study to determine if a regional facility would be economically feasible.

“We have to look at what’s the best taxpayer solution,” Johnson said. “A study hasn’t been done since the early 1970s, and right now, the promising thing is the good working relationship we have with Genesee County.”

The relationship between the two counties is great, Gsell confirmed, and CGR -- the same consultants helping with the consolidation study in Batavia -- is conducting a study to help the counties deal with an increase in female inmates, decreasing bed space, aging facilities and the best options for dealing with prisoners in the 21st Century, but a new jail facility is pretty unlikely.

"We started looking at what are alternatives to incarceration," Gsell said. "We're looking at electronic monitoring, release under supervision and things of that nature ... and now what we're looking at is having CGR ...  --  would it be advisable to have us look at on a two-county basis, maybe even a three-county basis, along with either Livingston or Wyoming, at some other alternatives to just building brand new jail space."

Gsell said there are a couple of people in Orleans County who seem to really believe that the process will inevitably lead to building a new jail, but he doesn't see that as an option.  It would be difficult, he said, to co-locate one facility under current statutes.

 Full Audio of Jay Gsell Interview

June 4, 2009 - 2:27pm
posted by Steve Hawley in genesee county, Business, Orleans County.

In recent years, the possibility of an economic resurgence in communities across Western New York has been enhanced by the efforts of the Empire Zone (EZ) Program.  Our local EZ boards, particularly in Genesee and Orleans counties, in conjunction with Economic Development Centers (EDCs) and Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), have made great strides in getting our Western New York economy back on track and their efforts should be applauded.  Our economic plight would have been greatly diminished without their hard work and dedication.

As a charter member of the Genesee County Empire Zone Board of Directors and as a former county legislative liaison to the Genesee County Economic Development Center, I have worked directly with these agencies even before I was elected to the State Assembly.  These agencies have continued to be among some of the most successful and helpful in the state, as evidenced by the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) recent announcement that all 53 companies within the Genesee and Orleans counties EZ programs have been recertified.

These companies provide essential job opportunities for our residents and have helped to bring back our Main Street and rural quality of life.  The ESDC announcement ensures that all 53 businesses will continue to receive the state tax incentives and services provided by our local EZ boards.  This was not the case with many businesses in many larger metropolitan areas across the state.

At the state Capitol, there is increasing political pressure from some “big city” legislators to end the Empire Zone Program, under-fund EDCs, or compromise the success of IDAs.  In more rural communities in Western New York, however, these programs have been the lifeblood of our economic renewal and we have done things the right way.  For these reasons, these organizations will have my continued support and ardent advocacy in Albany and at home.  And I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to be pro-jobs and to oppose any dramatic changes to these programs.


May 12, 2009 - 6:47pm
posted by Steve Hawley in genesee county, Steve Hawley, Orleans County.




This week in Albany, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) and members of the State Assembly jointly observed “Disabilities Awareness Day,” an annual legislative day to honor and celebrate individuals living with disabilities and to help inform legislators on important issues.  As part of the day’s observance, the Assemblyman announced two local residents as the recipients of this year’s Excelsior Awards for Excellence.

“One of the aspects I love about serving the residents of the 139th Assembly District is having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and recognizing their exceptional contributions to our community.  This year’s Excelsior Awards nominees are all outstanding individuals who, despite their disabilities, have helped make their communities better places and I am very proud to honor them,” said Hawley.

The Excelsior Award for Excellence is an award which honors the extraordinary achievements and public service of those who have overcome physical disabilities and other personal challenges.  The nominees will be presented their awards at a ceremony hosted by Assemblyman Hawley in the district within the next few weeks.

This year’s recipients are Jarred Saj and Erik Goodrich, nominated by the Arc of Orleans County and Genesee County ARC, respectively. 

Mr. Saj is a 29-year old charter member of the Self Advocacy All Stars and, as a passionate political watchdog, recently launched their Voter Registration Drive.  He encourages his peers to be self advocates and discusses with them the importance of voting, as well as lobby legislators to assure the needs of people with disabilities and reach out to the community at large.  Mr. Saj also works on Self Advocacy All Star’s fundraising and recreation committees, in addition to being a member of the Media Lions and the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department.

Mr. Goodrich is a participant of the “Prep for Life” College Program, which is a community based program teaching life and vocational skills to adults with disabilities with the goal of preparing them to live in a less structured environment and obtain meaningful employment.  As his confidence grew through the program, Mr. Goodrich has taken on the challenge of public speaking, including engagements at the National Day of Caring and with special education classrooms and developmental disabilities programs.  He has also been an active member of TEAM (Together Empowered Advocates Meet), a youth leadership project sponsored by Genesee ARC, through which he helped beautify a local park for an Earth Day project.  Mr. Goodrich is also an active member of many community organizations, including the Kiwanis’s Aktion Club, YMCA Challenger Sports Program, Genesee County Animal Shelter, the Richmond Memorial Library, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, the Genesee County Nursing Home, and the Austin Park Concession Stand, among others.








December 12, 2008 - 1:44pm

Here in Orleans County, we have quite a dilemma on our hands. Last year, the Orleans County Legislature notified the public that we needed a new jail. The jail we have now is crowded and needs to expand. But due to our jail being landlocked (right now, the jail sits in downtown Albion next our courthouse, meaning there is no room for expansion) and the jail having serious wear and tear, we are in the market for a new jail.

The county has formed a Jail Advisory Committee to address issues surrounding the construction of a new jail. However, the Orleans County Legislature decided a few months ago to pursue a study (which, according to news reports, the Genesee County Legislature agreed to) that would look into a regional jail shared between the two counties.

For some in Orleans County, this looks to be a great deal. The cost to build a jail in Orleans County has been projected to be between $20 million to $30 million, although the Legislature has not always been united on the cost. So sharing that burden with Genesee County might not be such a bad thing on the surface.

But I worry about this for a few reasons:

(1) Our jail was officially opened in the early 1970's. The Genesee County Jail, according to its website, was built in 1985. That tells me the two counties are at different points. Again, I'm not sure how necessary it is for Genesee County to build a new jail or join in with Orleans County on plans for a regional jail. That is why I'm writing this to get feedback from the citizens (and hopefully members of county government) in Genesee County.

(2) Would Genesee County be in the financial position to pick up its end of the deal? The reason I ask is because Orleans County would be in a tough bind with the jail project, whether it is a shared sacrifice or not. Such a project would raise taxes (without question) and it would prove to be a long-term burden to pay off. One can assume that if it would cost Orleans County to build a larger facility (projected at one time to be a 120-bed facility), then a regional jail will cost at least slightly more.

(3) Is it worth conducting this study to see if a regional jail would be viable? At last check, the study itself would cost $40,000. That's a big gamble to take if the study comes back and says that such a venture would not be viable.

As a resident of Orleans County, I feel its safe to say that myself and several other citizens are worried about the jail project. If this regional jail doesn't come to fruition, we will need to build a facility sooner rather than later. That burden will fall on us and it will be a tremendous burden to take on.

However, I'm turning to the people of Genesee County and I hope some of the leaders in Genesee County (I'm looking at you Jay Grasso) are reading this. Are you in the market for a new jail or a regional jail? Are you in the financial position to make such an investment? And is this something Genesee County would want?

November 3, 2008 - 8:44am
posted by Philip Anselmo in genesee county, Buffalo News, finance, Orleans County.

Downstate may lead the pack in late payments on credit cards and mortgages, but Genesee and Orleans counties reign king this side of the Catskills, according to the Buffalo News. From that article:

According to data from TransUnion, compiled and released this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2.04 percent of credit card loans are at least 60 days late in payments in Orleans County. That’s the most in the eight-county region, and the seventh-highest late-payment rate in the state.

Niagara and Erie counties both come in second for the region, although Erie is below the average. Genesee County doesn't show up there, but in late payments on mortgages, we lead the pack.

For mortgage loans, Genesee County has the highest pace locally, at 1.84 percent of its loans that are at least 90 days late, followed by Allegany at 1.69 percent. Erie’s was much lower, at 1.41 percent.

Have you felt the credit crunch? All told, two percent doesn't seem too terrible.

October 8, 2008 - 8:30am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, Medina, Orleans County.

Replacement of a bridge in Bergen should take about six weeks, and that means motorists will have to take a detour around the site on West Sweden Road, south of Warboys Road, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. That detour will take you seven miles out of the way, says Fischer. Looking at the map, it seems folks can take Route 19 if they're heading north or south west of that area. Route 237 runs the parallel in the east. Anyone know any other ways in and out of that area?

Medina Memorial Hospital in Orleans County was the site of a fortunate false alarm yesterday, when an unidentified woman was brought in to the emergency room for complaint of a rash contracted after she opened an envelope. Some 40 people had to undergo decontamination. The woman was kept in isolation until postal inspectors later determined that there was no contaminant in the envelope or on the telephone bill inside. Medina's hospital administrator called it good practice!

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