Confirmed tornado scatters debris in Lewis County

Storm damage. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Storm damage. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Maple Ridge Wind Farm workers who rent two houses at Eagle Factory and Gardner roads fortunately were on holiday break Tuesday night, when a tornado swept through the area and ripped apart the structures as if they were toys.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo confirmed Wednesday that at 6:48 p.m. Tuesday, a tornado touched down near the intersection, west of Lowville, and went on to damage 12 buildings. The agency reported the northeast path of the tornado was about 10 miles long with a width of up to 300 yards, although it wasn’t on the ground the whole time. The last signs of damage were in the town of Croghan. The tornado was classified as an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, reaching maximum wind speeds between 95 and 100 mph. [Read more...]

Lewis County projects receive financial support from local community fund

Lewis County projects and programs will receive added financial boosts from the geographically specific funds administered through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

The Michael Brown Fund has been supplemented with a bequest from late longtime Lewis County resident Mr. Brown, and, beginning in 2015, will offer $25,000 annually to the greater Lowville area. Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said that funds, combined with awards through the George R. Davis Fund, will go toward parks, projects, school needs and historic preservation.

“Word has spread,” he said, regarding the availability of Lewis County-specific grant awards through the foundation.

The George Davis Fund committee, made up of the superintendent of Lowville Academy and Central School, clerk for the Lewis County judge and the Lowville mayor, reviewed more than $58,000 in funding requests, which Mr. Richardson said was the “largest request pool yet.”

“That illustrates the need and interest for resources available,” he said.

Mr. Davis selected the three aforementioned positions as the review committee, as he served as Lewis County judge for more than 20 years. He died in 2010, and lived in Lowville most of his life.

The board approved on Tuesday the committee’s recommendations totaling $10,000. Nearly $30,000 has been awarded through the George Davis Fund over the past few years. Grants awarded were:

■ $2,000 to the town of Lowville for continued restoration of historic gravestones at Jackson Street cemetery.

■ $2,000 to the Lewis County Agricultural Society to purchase a gazebo as part of an improvement project for the entrance of the Lewis County Fairgrounds.

■ $2,000 to the village of Lowville to assist with the purchase of pole-mounted lights to be used for new Christmas decoration displays in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial park.

■ $500 to the Lowville Food Pantry to purchase school supplies as part of the organization’s “Stuff the Bus” event, which will benefit local youths in need.

■ $500 to First Presbyterian Church to support the Stow Square monument project.

■ $3,000 to the Lewis County Historical Society in support of the organization’s floor renovation project. The project also was funded by grants from the Community Foundation’s board-designated grant-making fund and the Michael Brown Fund.

Mr. Richardson said the Community Foundation is working out implementation details for the latter fund, as board members will figure out how the awarding of the $25,000 in grants annually will play out. Up until now, grants were awarded through the Michael Brown Fund as needed, Mr. Richardson said.

By Rebecca Madden, Times Staff Writer

FiberMark plans one-week shutdown, blames China’s anti-corruption laws

FiberMark is closing for a week because orders for packaging for luxury items have dropped. Christina Scanlon / NNY Business

FiberMark is closing for a week because orders for packaging for luxury items have dropped. Christina Scanlon / NNY Business

Anti-corruption laws in China are having an effect on one Lowville business, as orders for luxury item packaging are substantially down.

The facility-wide shutdown next week at the Lowville FiberMark plant will leave 104 employees without work. [Read more...]

All season’s power equipment

Construction is nearly complete on a roughly 2,000-square-foot building on Utica Boulevard, Lowville, for All Season’s Power Equipment, which will essentially replace the Lyndaker Sales & Service’s lawn and farm equipment and chainsaw business on Cut Off Road near Beaver Falls. The new store, a one-story wood frame building, is slated to open by summer, represents a roughly $60,000 investment. Once the new location opens, the Lyndakers’ Beaver Falls location will remain open on a limited basis. Steve Virkler / NNY Business

Construction is nearly complete on a roughly 2,000-square-foot building on Utica Boulevard, Lowville, for All Season’s Power Equipment, which will essentially replace the Lyndaker Sales & Service’s lawn and farm equipment and chainsaw business on Cut Off Road near Beaver Falls. The new store, a one-story wood frame building, is slated to open by summer, represents a roughly $60,000 investment. Once the new location opens, the Lyndakers’ Beaver Falls location will remain open on a limited basis. Steve Virkler / NNY Business

WHAT: New small engine repair and retail store

LOCATION: Utica Boulevard, Lowville

OWNERS: Lyndaker Sales & Service, Beaver Falls

SIZE: The roughly 2,000-square-foot building would essentially replace the Lyndakers’ lawn and farm equipment and chainsaw business on Cut Off Road near Beaver Falls.

COST: About $60,000

COMPLETION: Late spring or summer 2014

LOCAL JOBS: A handful of construction jobs and retail positions when commplete

HOURS: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. After the move, the Beaver Falls location is to remain open on a limited basis.

Compiled by Steve Virkler

Small Business Startup: Denmark Gardens

Patsy Makuch opened Lewis County's first apple orchard this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Patsy Makuch opened Lewis County’s first apple orchard this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Lewis County’s first apple orchard had a successful first season [Read more...]

Seeing Double: Twin brothers continue lifelong bond in business

Identical twins Eric J., left, and Ryan J. Vanderlan take a break from a job off Deer Run in the town of Watertown last month. The Lewis County twins launched their landscaping firm together while in college. In 2007, they incorporated as an LLC as N.V. Landscaping. Norm Johnston/NNY Business

Identical twin brothers Eric J. and Ryan J. Vanderlan graduated from the same high school, the same college and started a landscaping business together, complete with two dump trucks and two trailers.

Even more impressive, they’re still talking to each other.

“We’re pretty laid back,” said Eric, the “older” brother born 10 minutes before Ryan. “We even hang out sometimes on the weekends.” [Read more...]

St. Lawrence and Lewis counties see sales tax increase

North country counties saw an increase in first-quarter sales tax receipts, with Lewis County seeing a particularly big jump following a return to more typical winter weather.

“I attribute it to the snow,” said Lewis County Treasurer Patricia L. O’Brien, whose county saw a 5.9 percent hike. “We didn’t have snow last year, and this year we did.” [Read more...]

Keeping it in the family: Many north country business owners passing the torch to their offspring

Scott and Kelly Skinner and their daughter, Katie Skinner Youngs, in an aisle at their store. Photo by Amanda Morrison/NNY Business.

Operating a family business can be challenging and rewarding, yet at times, stressful and frustrating.

In many cases, families have to develop some type of “system” that allows them to work together during the day and still be talking to each other at night.

Several north country family businesses have not only made it work, but have been pretty successful at it. [Read more...]

A proud tradition: Fourth generation takes reins at Croghan Meat Market

John M. Campany and daughter Blaine E. stand behind the meat counter at Croghan Meat Market. Ms. Campany is purchasing the market from her parents, becoming the fourth-generation family member to produce Croghan Bologna. Photo by Justin Sorensen/NNY Business.

One of the north country’s most tightly guarded recipes is now in the hands of a new generation of family at Croghan Meat Market.

Blaine E. Campany, whose great-grandfather, Elmer “Buddy” Campany, purchased the market and the original recipe for Croghan Bologna in 1919, recently took the reins as general manager at the century-old store in the heart of the village’s downtown.

Ms. Campany, 23, is buying the business from her parents, plant owners John M. and Charmaine V. Campany. The move comes at a historic time for the Lewis County favorite as 2013 also is the market’s 125th year in operation, the past 94 by the Campany family. [Read more...]

QubicaAMF implements lean manufacturing at Lowville plant

The QubicaAMF bowling pin plant in Lowville has been implementing lean manufacturing practices over the past year and a half. Photo by Steve Virkler/Watertown Daily Times.

LOWVILLE — While the bowling pins and lanes made at the QubicaAMF plant haven’t gotten leaner over the past year and a half, the manufacturing process has.

Employees at the Utica Boulevard plant, at which most of the world’s wooden bowling pins are manufactured, have been undergoing lean manufacturing training and implementation sessions conducted by CITEC Inc., Potsdam, using Regional Wood Products Consortium funding through the Northern Forest Center in Concord, N.H. [Read more...]