All posts by Nicole Reitz

Movie to highlight cultural icon

by Nicole Reitz

Tomorrow marks the 80th anniversary of drive-in theaters. In celebration, the Midway Drive In will present “Going Attractions,” an 85-minute documentary film by April Wright on the history of drive-ins.

The showing will be the first New York State screening of Wright’s film and she will be on location Friday, June 7 to meet and greet patrons.

Once a vibrant part of American culture, nearly 5,000 drive-ins once dotted the nation from big cities to small towns, but today less than 400 remain.

“Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie” examines the drive-in theatre as an integral part of American culture from its invention in 1933, to its peak in the late 50s, to the rapid decline in the 70s and 80s,and to the recent resurgence.

Wright completed the movie seven years after her first cross-country road trip to shoot drive-ins.

The film features interviews with the son of the drive-in inventor, the family that made the intermission trailers, a film historian, a sociologist, and drive-in owners.

She also spoke with a woman who is a third generation drive-in owner and operator, a couple in North Carolina who purchased a drive-in theatre on eBay and a community activist in upstate New York who campaigned against Wal-Mart to save his local drive-in movie theatre from being demolished and replaced with a store.

This year, the 80th anniversary of the invention, many drive-ins are converting to digital this season. In any other year, most drive-ins would not have been able to play “Going Attractions.”

The Midway Drive In, located in Minetto, recently installed a new digital projection system. This year marks its 65th year in existence and is John Nagelschmidt’s 26th year as owner.

Nagelschmidt said he makes every effort to create a family-friendly environment and does so by playing mostly G and PG rated movies.

In addition to “Going Attractions,” the theatre will also be showing “Epic” and “Young Frankenstein” from June 7-9.

Vanguard named Small Business of the Year

by Nicole Reitz

Vanguard Research & Title Services, Inc was recently awarded the 2013 Small Business of the Year award by the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

The business just celebrated 10 years in Oswego and changed its name from 24 Hour Record Retriever & Abstract in January. In the past six months, Vanguard has also changed it logo and web site.

“Everything has changed except for the ownership,” said President and CEO Ryan Thorpe.

Vanguard provides real-estate research services throughout the state of New York as well as title insurance. As a business without a storefront, they are mostly known in the legal and lending community.

The company works with most of the local lending institutions and real estate attorneys in the county and a few corporate customers that purchase property for development purposes, like subdivisions.

Vanguard is responsible for some small research work throughout the state that involves corporate filings. They also generate historical documents that are maintained overtime by homeowners, lenders or attorneys.

The business started in a small one-room office in a house. It now employs nine people, three of which are primary abstractors. Another employee is responsible for state wide coverage and coordinates and manages the work that gets done in the other areas.

Thorpe employs his mother, and his brother, Aaron Thorpe, a business development specialist.

His job involves business development, sales, marketing and customer relations.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Families enjoy ‘Day of Play’

by Karrie Damm, Executive Director Child Advocacy Center

Thanks to the efforts of great volunteers and the support of several area businesses and human services agencies our first ever Family Day of Play event was a big success.

Almost 200 children and family members joined us at Camp Hollis for a day of fun and learning and to enjoy the opportunity to interact with each other, make new friends, and participate in a number of child and family friendly activities.

The Family Day of Play was a chance for our children to experience the care, love, and compassion that their community has for them.

This event would not have been possible if not for the efforts the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, Huntington Family Centers, & OCO, who co-sponsored the event, our valued volunteers and the businesses who graciously donated time, talents, monetary donations, refreshments and other items.

I extend a heartfelt thank you to the families who joined us for our Day of Play and everyone who helped to make it such a success!


Final OCAY League competition takes flight

The Fulton City School District received gold medals for first place in the final competition of the school year. Pictured are team members Jacob Batchelor, Katelyn Caza, Patrick Fink, Hannah Geitner, Michael Holcomb, Kyle Loftus, Nick Reitz, Noah Sorbello, Jordyn Stone and Mary West. The team is coached by Sue Ryan.
The Fulton City School District received gold medals for first place in the final competition of the school year. Pictured are team members Jacob Batchelor, Katelyn Caza, Patrick Fink, Hannah Geitner, Michael Holcomb, Kyle Loftus, Nick Reitz, Noah Sorbello, Jordyn Stone and Mary West. The team is coached by Sue Ryan.

Titled “Fight and Flight,” the fourth and final Oswego County Academic Youth League competition was set in an historic venue.

Located at Oswego’s historic Fort Ontario, the competition featured two main tasks, each executed in two different ways.

The first task involved the construction of two kites, one focused on performance and functionality, and the other on aesthetics.

The second task, broken into two sections involved touring the Fort Ontario Museum and grounds to complete a museum challenge and a scavenger hunt.

In the construction of a performance kite, students followed provided guidelines for kite construction and could elect to build a more difficult design and add to their scoring options by adding on difficulty such as a line climber.

Student teams later demonstrated their kite’s flying ability in front of judges who scored the teams based on a rubric. The teams were also judged on the construction of their aesthetic kites and could score additional points if their kite could also fly.

The museum challenge and scavenger hunt sent students on self-guided tours of the fort and its grounds in search of answers and clues to earn their team points in the competition.

In the end, the team from Fulton received the gold medal for first place. Team members included Jacob Batchelor, Katelyn Caza, Patrick Fink, Hannah Geitner, Michael Holcomb, Kyle Loftus, Nick Reitz, Noah Sorbello, Jordyn Stone and Mary West. The team is coached by Sue Ryan.

Silver medal winner was the team from Mexico, with members Elizabeth Becker, Mattea McDonald, Jonathan Sheets, Joshua Bouck, James Gowans, Austin Moore, Hannah West, Benjamin Daley, Madeline Galvin, and Sydney Ryan.

The team was coached for this competition by Shannon Bigelow, when Coach Bill Coughlin was unable to attend the event due to a prior engagement.

Third place bronze medal winner was the Pulaski team, coached by Melissa Osborne, who was also honored for her dedication to the OCAY League. Osborne will be retiring at the end of this school year and she was presented with a plaque in appreciation for her involvement in the league.

Members of the Pulaski team included: Nick Allen, Kelly Bushell, Miranda Edick, Joe Falciatano, Emily Fellers, Kyle Glenister, Alyssa Kingsley, Julia Kuehner, Randy Novak, and Erik Oakes.

Following the medal presentations, the Fulton City School District was named overall champion for the season.

The team received a large traveling trophy which will be displayed in their district for the coming season.

OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics. Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership and creativity.

A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem solving. OCAY League is coordinated through Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services as part of the Gifted and Talented Programs cooperative services.

Battle of the Athletes

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

The last full week of school! Tomorrow is a full day and Friday is a half day. Monday is senior day and then Regents start on Tuesday, June 12!

Time is flying by. Graduation is in just 17 days!

Yearbooks were handed out on Monday. Pre-ordered yearbooks can picked up during lunch bells or they will be on sale.

Vanessa Langdon, the editor of this year’s Fultonian, spent countless hours working on the yearbook. Thank you, Vanessa, and the rest of the yearbook staff for all your time and effort! The yearbook looks amazing!

Seniors, the last day to buy Senior Dinner Dance tickets is this Thursday, June 6.

Between senior trip to Cedar Point this Friday and Saturday, senior day, Senior Dinner Dance, and graduation, the seniors have a busy few weeks coming up!

Monday was the annual awards night where students were recognized for their many achievements and efforts. Congratulations to all that received awards!

Tuesday was the Senior Sports Awards banquet at the Oasis at Thunder Island. All senior athletes have worked so hard in their four years! Good luck to anyone playing a sport in college.

Today is Battle of the Athletes at the Athletic Complex at 3 p.m. This event is where all athletes that played a junior varsity or varsity are split up into teams to compete in a variety of different events. Just a few of these many events include tug-of-war and relay races.

Tomorrow night is the High Honors Banquet in the cafeteria at GRB. A delicious dinner by Blue Moon Bistro will be served and all the honors will be recognized for their hard work!

What a busy last week! Good luck to all preparing for tests or finals.


Flag Day event to include 1,000 elementary students

Children will learn the history behind the many flags displayed at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at the June 14 Flag Day observance. Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate.
Children will learn the history behind the many flags displayed at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at the June 14 Flag Day observance. Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate.

Nearly 1,000 elementary school students are expected to participate in an official observation of the national Flag Day holiday at Fort Ontario State Historic Site at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from across central New York will participate in ceremonies commemorating the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States of America June 14, 1777.

Fort Ontario was the site of two French and Indian War and two War of 1812 battles. The official Flag Day event will feature a recreation of the British turning Fort Ontario over to the United States in 1796, a hands-on history of the origin of the American flag by the Oswego Elks with participation by students, a history of flags that flew at Fort Ontario by Americorps volunteers, living history and musket demonstrations by members of the Continental Arms Collectors Association, World War II re-enactors, historic games, and self-guided tours of the fort.

The fort will be open to the public during the Flag Day with a special admission price.  School groups must register in advance to participate. Those looking to register may e-mail Ian Mumpton at

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen will lead visitors in the Pledge of Allegiance. Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear will provide historical background for the event.

“This year marks the beginning of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, a war in which New York State and Oswego played a prominent role,” said Lear.  “Warehouses were built at Oswego during the war to store vast amounts of vital military supplies and equipment was forwarded to military operations along the Niagara frontier and Sacket’s Harbor.”

During the War of 1812 Fort Ontario guarded the supplies stored at and moving through Oswego; one British attack on Oswego in 1813 was driven off.  In May 1814 a larger and more powerful British fleet, intent on crippling American ship construction at Sacket’s Harbor, took Fort Ontario after a two-day amphibious assault.

The 1814 Battle of Oswego-Fort Ontario ended with a stubborn defense of the US flag which had been nailed to the flagpole; it resides in the ancestral castle of the British land commander during the battle.

The 444th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, USAR, now deployed to Afghanistan, maintains a reserve center on the old Fort Ontario Military Reservation.

“The members of the 444th proudly carry on a 258-year history of military occupation of the old army post,” said Lear.  “A Corps of Engineers and US flag carried with the 444th during their 2007-08 service in Iraq will be displayed at the fort during the Flag Day event.”

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego.  

Porch Party at the Pratt House

The Officers and Directors of the Friends of History in Fulton will host their annual “Porch Party” fund-raiser to be held at the John Wells Pratt House June 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Chairs will be placed on the front lawn and Rick Bush will provide live music from the front porche. Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, beer and non-alcoholic punch will be served.

Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 598-4616. The event will be held rain or shine.

Family Fun Arts Fest next Saturday

CNY Arts Center’s third annual Arts Festival will be held Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fulton Community Center Ice Rink on Broadway.

The event brings artists and crafters together with handmade original art on display for show and sale along with food vendors Tavern on the Lock, Treat Me Sweet Desserts, and Upper Landings.

Art projects for older kids including an unique painting experience still being developed and fabric art for all ages making hand-decorating canvas shopping bags. There will be a grand prize for festival attendees who register at the festival.

Tom Eagan and Christine Tupe will each perform onstage in the afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m.  Tupe is a local singer/songwriter with a new group named Lois Dixon and the Olives, which is comprised of Tupe, Hannah Doerrier, and Emily Plummer.  Tupe was a winner of the first Arts Fest Talent Competition who will also serve as a judge for this year’s talent competition.

Eagan, known as Blackstone Acoustic and Art, is an artist, guitarist and auctioneer who also plays dobro and blues harp.

He started playing as a young teenager in garage rock bands, mostly southern rhythm and blues styles.

He has played with many local known talents in the CNY and Syracuse area, including the Georgia Pickers and Cotton Blue.

Also scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. is Butler Sheehan Academy of Traditional Irish Dance. The Syracuse-based group includes members from Oswego and Fulton.

The festival also promotes the arts with a talent competition featuring prizes in several categories. Talent of all ages and types will compete in age categories for those under 12, 12-20, and 20 plus. A new category has been added for garage bands or amateur youth bands just getting started with minimal public appearances.

Actors, singers, dancers, comedians, storytellers, all family friendly acts are encouraged to register and showcase their talents. Kristin Cook, actor and vocalist, will be returning for the third year as Emcee of the event.

“We’re so thrilled to be offering our third annual festival to showcase the wonderful arts in CNY,” said Nancy Fox, CNY Arts Center director. “Who knew when we first started in downtown Fulton we would grow to a large venue with over 50 vendors and such wonderful talent? This festival is becoming a much anticipated event for the local arts and we’re proud to offer this opportunity.”

There is still time to register your talent and more room for more artists and crafters.  Talent and vendors may register online at or call 592-3373 for more information.