All posts by Andrew Henderson


In and Around Hannibal: July 13, 2013

InAndAroundHannibal1by Rita Hooper 

The “wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round all about the town!”

That’s how a good number of the children of Appalachia receive their dental care. The ToothBus, the size of a large mobile home, is staffed by volunteer dentists and dental assistants from Mission Children’s Dental, a part of Mission Children’s Hospital.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital soon found that tending to children’s oral health had vast benefits for their overall health.

Medicaid reimbursement to dentists is too low for dentists to be able to take many Medicaid patients. The ToothBus began operating 18 years ago.

Statistics from 2004 show that in the nation, there are 59 dentists per 100,000 people. In the distressed counties of Appalachia that number drops to four dentists per 100,000 people.

I wonder what the statistics are for Oswego County.

A recent study shows that North Carolina is one of five states that is failing in its efforts to prevent tooth decay. The ToothBus delivers convenient care to children who may have limited access to dental resources.

Each year, 500 to 600 children receive three to four visits from the ToothBus for regular dental check-ups, cleanings, sealant care and oral health education.

Since the bus began its travels, 7,500 children have received help and 20,000 visits have been made all across western NC working with the local school systems. This service is free and open to every child whether they are documented or not, receive Medicaid, have no insurance or parents can’t take the time off from work to take their children to the dentist.

They specialize in distraction techniques so that the child’s fears are lessened; the children also receive toothbrushes and a good dose of dental education. As one parent said, “I lost my teeth at 30 and I don’t want that to happen to my children.”

And so the “wheels on the bus continue to go round and round all about the town.”

Now to bring the story back to Hannibal: Once upon a time, Hannibal schools provided a dental hygienist for the students. As best we can figure, that service ended in the early 1970s due to budget cuts.

The last one in Hannibal was Mavis Nihoff, whose job it was to clean every students teeth once a year (1,400 students is the number I heard.) Her daughter, Kathy Gilbert said she used something that “tasted awful…maybe it was ashes!” If any of my readers would like to add to the story, please let me know!

Keep brushing and don’t forget to floss! Everyone has a right to a smile!

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Sterling Valley Community Church’s annual ice cream social will be today at 5 p.m.  There will be food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, ice cream and cake, popcorn and cotton candy. There will be a bake sale and lots of things for kids to do. The highlight of the evening will be music by the blue grass band “Different Brothers.”

Hannibal Senior Citizens will be meeting at noon for dinner. Come early for coffee and news or to work on the jigsaw puzzle or  cards. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation at 564-5471. This week’s menu is:

• Monday, July 15: Barbecue turkey on hamburger roll, au gratin potatoes, vegetable, and tropical fruit. Monday will also be hobby day.

• Wednesday, July 17: Hoffman hotdog on roll, baked beans, seasonal salad, juice, and cookie. Wednesday will also feature music with Deanna Hubbard and bingo after lunch.

• Friday, July 19: Goulash, Italian blend vegetables, juice, and pineapple tidbits. Friday is also game day.

The Jammers will meet at the American Legion Monday evening at 7 p.m. If you play an instrument or sing, blue-grass, country, or Gospel come on over and join the fun.  Listeners are always welcome, too!

Summer reading at the library for children has begun. The sessions are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. for six weeks. This year’s theme is “Dig into Reading.”  Remember children are great copiers; if mom and dad read, the odds are that children will too.  Parents, check out what the library has in books that interest you!

Thursday, July 18, three will be a free concert, featuring Jeff Sawyer with Rick Bush, on the Hannibal Library lawn from 6 to 8 p.m. Friends of the Library will be serve ice-cream sundaes and the Elderberries will cook hot dogs and serve drinks. Come for supper or dessert. In case of rain, and we’ve had plenty of that, we’ll move everything to town hall.

An upcoming yard sale and bake sale to benefit Hannibal Home and School will be held at the Hannibal Library July 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds go to Hannibal Home and School.

The Hannibal Summer Recreation Program has begun its summer season at the Hannibal Town Hall Park and Pavilion. Hannibal students in grades K-4 are welcome. Parent supervision is required and siblings in grades 5 and 6 are welcome to participate. A free breakfast and lunch will be provided if ordered a day in advance at 806-9542). The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The program will run for six weeks until Aug. 16. Registration is not required (but do call in advance for the meals) so children are free to miss a week to go on family vacation or whatever! Sounds like there are many interesting activities planned.

The Hannibal Resource Center has changed its hours. The center will no longer be open Thursday nights. They will continue to be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and  will now be open Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. The center is located at Our Lady of the Rosary, across from the high school and is supported by the three village churches.

Your church or youth group can still have a booth at the SOS FEST July 19-21 at the Hannibal Fireman’s Field in Hannibal. Sell food, have a bake sale, set up games, activities, or mission display,; your group keeps all your money. Non-profit mission booths are free! Crafters and Vendors pay only a small fee. Those seeking more information may visit

The Hannibal Nursery School is celebrating their 40th year this upcoming 2013-2014 school year. July 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the nursery school, 162 Oswego St., they will celebrate with games, crafts and face painting. If you or your children were involved in the Hannibal Nursery School, it would be a good time to come to the reunion. There will also be an opportunity to meet the new teachers. Enrollment is open for the 2013-2014 school year. They will also be having an open house Aug. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Chad Rowe promoted to Phoenix head football coach

by Rob Tetro

Chad Rowe’s fifth season with the Phoenix varsity football team will be a little bit different than his four previous seasons.

This season, the longtime defensive coordinator has been promoted to head coach of the Firebirds.

Rowe takes over for Jeff Charles. Both coaches began at Phoenix in 2009. In light of Charles’ departure, Rowe credits Charles for getting the Phoenix football program moving in the right direction.

Rowe is no stranger to Football. He grew up in Cazenovia while playing football in the local Pop Warner leagues. He continued playing football in college, too. He attended Morrisville College before transferring to SUNY Cortland.

His coaching career began when he was hired as an assistant coach at Morrisville College.

Before making his way to Phoenix, Rowe served as the defensive coordinator at Baldwinsville High School for one season.

From top to bottom, Rowe said he is pleased with the group of coaches who are helping him pick up where Charles left off.


To read the rest of the article, please pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe by calling 598-6397

Hot summers

by Roy Hodge

I have always enjoyed this time of the year. Summer is my favorite time of the year, and until a few years ago, when I began considering myself as “older” and less heat-resistant, I guess I adapted readily to July and its heat.

Thinking about hot summers, I am usually quick to think about the summer mornings when my mother would greet us in the morning with the statement, “It’s going to be a ‘scorcher’ today.” It didn’t take us long to figure out her interpretation of “scorcher.”

But I can’t remember not loving and enjoying the hot days – to me that was summer and the reason why we didn’t have to go to school.

My mother also used to say, when relating my summer day’s activities to my father when he returned home from work, “He (that would be me) lives at that pool. That was probably almost true.

“That pool” was the swimming pool at McKinley Park, two blocks from our house.

Along with my friends, the Fero boys, I would spend the morning at the pool, run home at lunch time for a sandwich and return to the pool to spend the afternoon.

My mother didn’t worry about me because she said I was “born swimming” and as far as I knew that was the truth. I loved the water whether it was in the pool at McKinley Park, or later in the summer, at Oneida Lake where our family always spent a couple of hot August weeks.

My mother was probably exaggerating a little about the “born swimming” thing. The only lessons might have been just a few years after that — standing in the water with hands on the edge of McKinley Pool kicking and splashing.

Neither mom or dad had a history of swimming. My father only wore a bathing suit one time in front of us, and my mother was proud that she could float on her back and had mastered (she thought) the doggie paddle.

Our little house on Wiman Ave. was probably a little more than comfortably warm on those hot summer growing up days. Our bedrooms were all upstairs and were very hot when it came time to go to bed.

Back then, air conditioning was meant for some of downtown’s movie theaters, but not much of the air in our world was “conditioned” – it was hot. On the hottest days we slept on our “much cooler” back porch or in our little pup tent under the big pine trees in our front yard.

Swimming, running and chasing with the other neighborhood kids, or riding my bicycle – all a part of those (hot) summer time memories.

To read the rest of the column, please pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe by calling 598-6397

Office for Aging to distribute farm market coupons for seniors

The Oswego County Office for the Aging will distribute Farmers’ Market coupon booklets again this year.The booklets are valued at $20.

All persons aged 60 and over whose gross income is at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines are eligible to participate in the program.

These guidelines are: $1,722 monthly for a single person or $2,333 monthly for a two-person household. Coupon booklets may be picked up July 17 and 18 in the front lobby of the Oswego County Office Complex, 70 Bunner St., Oswego between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and weekdays thereafter at the Office for the Aging, also located in the Office Complex.

Depending on availability, the Office for the Aging staff is scheduled to distribute booklets at the following senior nutrition sites:

• Friday, July 19: Fulton Municipal Building, 10:30 a.m. to noon;

• Monday, July 22: Presbyterian Church, Parish, 11 a.m. to noon and Hannibal Community Library, 10:30 a.m. to noon;

• Tuesday, July 23: St. Bernadette’s Church, Constantia, 11 a.m. to noon;

• Wednesday, July 24: Presbyterian Church, Mexico, 11 a.m. to noon and Congregational Church, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to noon;

• Thursday, July 25: United Methodist Church, Sandy Creek, 11 a.m. to noon.

A limited number of coupon booklets are available. Distribution will be on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of one booklet per household. Those with questions may call the Office for the Aging at 349-3484.

Fulton High School Class of 1963 to hold 50th reunion

The Fulton High School Class of 1963 will hold its 50th class reunion Aug. 9, 10 and 11.

Friday, Aug. 9, there will be a meet and greet at the Fulton Elks Lodge beginning at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10, there will be a tour of the Pratt House from 10 a.m. until noon and there will be a meeting at the “old” Fulton High School at 1 p..m for a tour of the home of the Red Raiders.

The “main event” will be held Saturday evening at the Fulton Polish Home, beginning with a no-host social hour at 5 p.m., followed by a buffet meal catered by “Fricken Chicken” including various salads, choice of beef, pork or chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans and fruit salad. There is a cost for the meal. Entertainment will be provided by local DJ Ken Harms.

There will be a Sunday morning meet at the Riverside Inn for a no-host breakfast buffet and farewell. Over 50 classmates have already registered for the reunion.

Those seeking more information may contact Ted Butler Romas at or 541-860-5846 or Class President Bonnie Ives at or 593-2282. Romas said, “Our 45th reunion was great and our 50th will be even better. Don’t miss it.”

Heritage Foundation to offer appraisal service, consignment booth

Ever wonder what your prized family heirlooms might be worth? You will have the opportunity to find out at the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County’s Annual Antique Show & Sale.

The event, the Heritage Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, will be held Harborfest weekend July 27-28.

The show will be held indoors at the Oswego YMCA Armory at the corner of West First and West Utica streets.

Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to bring in their treasured antiques and have them professionally appraised.

“We are honored to be able to provide this valuable resource to Oswego,” said committee Chairperson Austin Wheelock. “Mr. Edward Becker Jr. of Colony Shop Antiques & Art in Fayetteville is a certified appraiser with almost 40 years of experience whose expertise includes Asian, European, and American antiques, American and European furniture, as well as paintings, sculpture, and other artwork.

“Our attendees will appreciate the wealth of knowledge and unique insight on the world of antiques and art that Mr. Becker has to offer.”

Appraisals will have a per item charge. Proceeds of the appraisals will be donated by Becker to the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County.

The antique show will also feature a special Heritage Foundation booth offering consigned or donated antiques and collectibles.

“The antique show is a great opportunity to sell these items with Heritage Foundation doing the work and the owner getting paid,” Wheelock said. “It’s a wonderful experience for those who may not otherwise participate in antique shows.”

The antique show will be open Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show is within walking distance of the Harborfest activities or attendees can take the trolley to the front entrance.

There is limited adjacent free parking for antique show visitors.

Those interested in more information on consigning items or reserving a vendor booth may contact Wheelock at 532-1277 or leave a message at the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County office at 315-342-3354.


Leighton sixth graders recognized for academic achievements

Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.
Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.

As the school year wound down, the Frederick Leighton Elementary School recognized numerous students, including all of the sixth graders who advanced to continue their academic career at the Oswego Middle School.

Annually, School Principal Julie Burger distributed numerous awards as the students prepare for the next step of their education.

This year, the New York State Comptroller’s Award was presented to Huckabee Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, the Triple “C” Awards, from the New York State Attorney General, recognizing character, courage and commitments were presented to Lara Kanbur and Jillian Dowdle.

Several students were recognized for their dedication to education and as a result earned recognition from the President’s Education Awards Program. Students earning “Outstanding Academic Excellence” certificates included Shae Carter, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Jillian Dowdle, Sofia Loayza, Andrew Mosbo, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy and Dylan Reitz. Receiving “Outstanding Academic Achievement” certificates were Samuel Allen, Janie Brooks, Alyssa Cheeley, Kaitlyn Kelly, Lara Kanbur and Thomas Wallace.

Burger congratulated all students for their accomplishments and wished them well on their continuing education years in the Oswego City School District.

Sixth graders from Laurel Artz’ class included Samuel Allen, Mitchell Barton, Joey Caron, Alyssa Cheeley, Robert Clark, Dylan Czuprynski, Hayley Domicolo, Jillian Dowdle, Huckabee Fitzgerald, Daniel Gosselin, Lara Kanbur, Corey McHenry, Heavenly Noel, Kay-Lee O’Brien, Madison Roach and Thomas Wallace.

From Carolyn Dehm’s class were Dakota Brown, Christopher Fox, Katrina Green, Stephen Greene, Amber Hammond, Matthew Hibbert, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy, Nicholas Neider, Dylan Reitz, Nickolas Smith, Scott Sullivan, Christion Valazquez, Taylor Vickery and Drew Youngman.

Catherine Kelly’s sixth graders advancing included Janie Brooks, Griffin Calabro, Alexzandra Conzone, Mariah Cooper, Benny Derosa, Cameron Garafolo, Kaitlyn Kelly, Crystal King, Sofia Loayza, Katelinn McGuinness, Andrew Mosbo, Daniel Murphy, Javen Syke, Dylan Sobrino, Liam Tovey and Alexander Whiteside.

Moving on from Heather Lewis’ class were Marcus Barton, Joseph Burton, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Dominick Cullen, Bailey Elkin, Mackenzie Endres, Jacob Gibbs, Mary Guynup, Tatyana Jimenez, Aaliyah Moldonado-Cappetta, Sarah Marino, Carson Martin, Evan Reitz and Emily Sanders.


Concert and fireworks planned for July 14 in Mexico

Brass band – The Mexico Brass Band will be one of the performers during Mexico Point Park’s “A Lakeside Concert and Fireworks,” which is set for Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m.
Brass band – The Mexico Brass Band will be one of the performers during Mexico Point Park’s “A Lakeside Concert and Fireworks,” which is set for Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m.

Mexico Point Park will present “A Lakeside Concert and Fireworks” Sunday, July 14 starting at 6 p.m. The event is free.

The Mexico Summer Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Choir, Mexico Brass Band and the fiddling Futures will perform. Charrie Hanson Lehman, a Mexico graduate, will open with the “Star Spangled Banner” and continue with more entertaining musicals selections.

Omen Sade, another Mexico graduate who just returned from a year of study at the Jacques Lecoq School of Theater in Paris, will also entertain with Mary Aston Spearon. Food by Garafolos and Barlows will available for sale and the Mexico Public Library will be selling ice cream. The evening will end with a fantastic display of fireworks by Young Explosives.

Nuclear Entergy Northeast sponsors Concert in the Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and flashlight. Those seeking more information may call 963-3891, 963-8216, or 963-7657.