All posts by Nicole Reitz

State attorney general’s office evaluating treasurer appointment

by Carol Thompson

After filing a quo warrento with the office of the New York State Attorney General in regard to the Oswego County Legislature’s appointment of Fred Beardsley as county treasurer, Legislator Dan Farfaglia has heard back that the matter is being entertained.

“The Attorney General’s office called to tell me they received it and that’s it’s now with the Public Integrity Unit,” Farfaglia said.

Under quo warrento, anyone who participates in putting someone in office who isn’t legally entitled to hold office can be fined $2,000.

Beardsley was appointed to the position by the county legislature April 11.

For 90 minutes, legislators debated the appointment, questioning Beardsley’s qualifications and education.

Democrats proposed allowing the county’s chief accountant, Mark See, carry out the duties of the treasurer until the end of the year.

See said he would only request an additional five hours of pay per week, saving the county approximately $70,000 in salary and benefits.

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.



In and Around Hannibal: June 1, 2013

by Rita Hooper

June 2 is “Change the World Sunday” for the congregations of Oswego Center and Southwest Oswego United Methodist churches. We will gather for worship at 10 a.m. at Southwest Oswego, 7721 N.Y.S. Rte. 104.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., we will be in mission, completing several projects in our community. We are asking for the support of our community on three of our projects which will assist in the recovery efforts in Oklahoma and Texas through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

We will be putting together “Health Kits,” which include: hand towels, washcloths, combs, metal nail files or clippers, bath size soap, toothbrushes, band-aids and gallon size zip lock bags.

All donations may be dropped off at the church from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be a “Car Wash” and “Bottle & Can Collection” from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the church parking lot. All proceeds will go to U.M.C.O.R. Oklahoma & Texas tornado relief.

June 2, the Country Cruizers will be holding a chicken barbecue at the American Legion from noon until sold out…come early.  Come see their classic cars and “cruise” in with yours!

Senior Meals will be meeting for lunch at the Senior Center (Library) on Oswego Street at noon, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Give Rosemary a call now and make your reservation at 564-5471.

The 34th annual Hannibal Historical Society banquet will be held Monday, June 3 at the Hannibal United Methodist Church located at the corner of State Route 3 and West Street in the Village of Hannibal. A full course roast beef supper will be served at 6:30 p.m. Sure hope you made your reservations!

The Citizenship Award will be presented to Louie Gilbert, current commander of the Prior Stock Post of the American Legion. Louie will be recognized for his many years of service to community organizations, especially his efforts to benefit the Dollars for Scholars program which includes the annual Ducks Over the Dam every summer.

The Jammers will meet this Monday. If you enjoy country and Gospel music join them at the American Legion (Rochester Street) at 7 p.m. Bring a snack to share and an instrument if you play one and join in the fun.

Starting the week of June 3, there will be a change in the days and hours the Resource Center will be open. The center will no longer be open Thursday nights. It 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 Resource Center is located at Our Lady of the Rosary, across from the high school and is supported by the three village churches.

The Senior Band Concert will be held Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium.  Alumni will be joining for two selections in the concert. The concert will also be very special as the senior band will be premiering a new piece of music written in memory of past music booster president, Ed Carvey. Please add this special event to your calendar.

The Hannibal Methodist Church is holding prayer meetings at the home of Jack Lenhard on Pine View Lane at 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings and at 1 p.m. Thursdays in the Church Dining Room.

By the way the Methodist Church is serving lunch Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. and all are invited.  Don’t eat alone if you don’t have to!

Granby Center United Methodist Church will be holding a giant book and bake sale Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The church is one mile west of Fulton on County Route 3.

The annual Strawberry Festival of Our Lady of the Rosary will be Sunday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the church grounds, Cayuga Street, across from the high school. The garage sale will begin at 8 a.m., games and booths at 10 a.m., a chicken barbecue at noon and of course strawberries and ice cream will be available.  Auction and drawings at 3 p.m.

Hannibal Home and School will be having a Volunteer Meeting Monday, June 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Fairley. Come find out how you can help support your child’s school! Contact Marian Calkins at 564-5872 or email for more information.

The Hannibal Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet Saturday, June 15 at The Oasis Restaurant at Thunder Island, located at 21 Wilcox Rd., just off State Route 48 south of the City of Fulton. Social Hour will begin at 5 p.m. with a buffet dinner being served at 6 p.m. Entertainment and dancing will be provided by Anybody’s Guess.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award will be presented to Fred Kent Jr., class of 1963. Those in attendance from the classes of 1943, 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993 and 2003 will be honored.

Plans are underway for the 21st Concert in the Park to be held at the Hannibal Firemen’s Field located on Rochester Street in the Village of Hannibal July 7. Featured bands will be Anybody’s Guess, Fulton Community Dixieland Band and the Fulton Community Band.

Local softball teams will begin playing on the ball field at 1:30 p.m. and the bands will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Food concession stands will be manned by local organizations. The Red Cross will be on hand offering free blood pressure readings. Baked goods and food will be available. Tickets for the annual Duck Derby which follows the concert will be available.

Admission and parking are free. The concert will take place rain or shine as it will all be under cover.

The Hannibal Boy Scouts are selling “Camp Cards” as a fundraiser. For more information, call Mr. Prosser at 564-5630.

Legislators award HVAC maintenance contract

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Infrastructure, Facilities and Technology Committee awarded a bid for HVAC Services when legislators met Tuesday.

The committee voted to award the contract to Postle and Jaeckle, with only one legislator voting against the company.

As first reported in the May 25 issue of The Valley News, Postle and Jaeckle service manager Peter Ciciarelli stated that the company does business with Legislator John Martino, who works in automotive glass replacement.

Despite questions of a potential conflict-of-interest, Martino voted in favor of Postle and Jaeckle.

Ciciarelli, according to county records, communicates with Building and Grounds Director William Malone in regard to work to be done at county facilities.

The committee had been attempting to award the bid since late last year.

During a Nov. 27 meeting, a bid award was made to Postler and Jaeckle, the third lowest bidder.

EMCOR submitted a bid in the amount of $78,887, making the company the lowest bidder. Van Hook Services came in as the second lowest with a bid of $79,423. Postler and Jaeckle submitted a proposal for $82,980.

Although EMCOR and Van Hook were the lowest bidders, the committee rejected the bids claiming the companies both were given poor recommendations.

EMCOR protested the bid award to Postler and Jaeckle and at the Jan. 29 committee meeting, it was recommended to rescind the contract award to Postler and Jaeckle and award to Van Hook Services.

That prompted an executive session and the committee voted to table the matter. At the Feb. 26 meeting, the committee  decided to go back out to bid and the new proposals were opened May 14.

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.

Father deserves better

by Sandra Blanchard, Hannibal

I have lived in Hannibal all my life and proud of it. We have a great fire department with some great equipment that the men have secured through grants and fund-raisers.

I, for one, thank them for what they have done for the town. For those reasons, I was surprised, along with my mother Dorothy Pratt, to have gone to the Fairdale cemetery to place flowers on the graves of my father and younger brother and found that there were no Hannibal Fire Department flags of honor placed on the graves in the Fairdale cemetery.

My father was a member of the Hannibal Fire Department for 56 years. He worked on the design and construction of the fire station that still stands today.

He worked to bring the ambulance service to Hannibal. My father, Ted Pratt, and his wife, Dorothy Pratt, went and picked up the first ambulance that Hannibal ever had.

I will tell you this for anyone who cares. No matter what the time or type of call received, my dad was up and gone before you could take a breath. He never missed a call. I cannot tell you how proud of him we were.

He saved many lives in those years and I cannot believe that the Hannibal Fire Department left those great service men out of the recognition that they deserved.

To be fair to all of the firemen, I expect that one man was put in charge of this duty and did not do it. We not only pay a fire tax but we also pay all the firemen retirement — something that many of the firemen did not receive in the past.

They did it because they cared; they wanted nothing in return. It brought tears to my eyes as my dad deserved better from his service and friends.


Fulton wrestler triumphs over cancer, earns leadership award

G. Ray Bodley High School senior Tim Conners is pictured with his father, Mike, after he received the Ken Julian Award, which the team’s leadership award. Conners lost his sight after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
G. Ray Bodley High School senior Tim Conners is pictured with his father, Mike, after he received the Ken Julian Award, which the team’s leadership award. Conners lost his sight after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

by Dan Farfaglia

“Cancer may have taken a lot of things away from me, including my sight, but it will never take my vision.”

That is a phrase that Fulton’s Tim Conners lives by on a daily basis. That also happens to be his yearbook quote.

A little over three years ago, the G. Ray Bodley High School senior was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Treatments began immediately and by the fall of 2010, he was given a lifesaving bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Mike P. Conners.

His parents are Betsy Conners, an administrator with the Fulton School City District, and Mike N. Conners; a former gym teacher and long time wrestling and football coach for Fulton, who is now an administrator with the Oswego School District.

After the long hard battle with cancer, Conners had to make some major life adjustments due to the fact that he became blind during the process. He had also missed a large part of life in high school as a result of his treatments and recovery.

“I currently have a TVI (a teacher of the visually impaired), a mobility specialist, a case manager, a one-on-one aide who goes to classes with me, and a counselor through my school now,” he said.

As far as plans after graduation, Conenrs noted, “Over the summer, I plan on attending a program at Le Moyne College sponsored by NYS Commission for the Blind for approximately four weeks. While I am there, I am going to learn what it is like to live on a college campus and learn what I will need to know before I start college on my own. In the fall, I plan on delaying admission to Ithaca College for one semester so I can attend the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass. for approximately 22 weeks. This program will provide me with all the skills I need to become independent and to be successful in life.”

He continued, “After my time at the Carroll Center is done, I will begin my college career at Ithaca College. I am not 100 percent sure if I know what I want to do yet, but that is part of the reason I chose Ithaca because they have an Exploratory Program that will help me figure that out. Unfortunately, I will lose most of those services (that he currently has in high school), but I think it is important in my journey towards independence. I will still receive supports such as mobility training from New York State and support from the disability office in Ithaca. The disability office offerings is another great reason that I decided to go there.”

In his life after cancer, Conners has now become the guest of honor at many local service oriented functions and fund-raisers such as the United Way, Make a Wish, Lions Club, and Rotary.

As with many teenagers, public speaking was not his cup of tea during his life before cancer.  After going through what he has gone through these past few years, this is no longer a nerve wrecking experience.

During his speeches, he openly discusses his battles and how in the new phase of his life, will do what needs to be done and takes a “no excuses” approach to whatever his goals are in life now.

He is currently ranked eighth in his class, is a member of the National Honor Society, received numerous academic awards and has an overall grade point average of 98. He also played football last fall and just finished track and field.

He also has the distinction of being both prom king and homecoming king.

He also had a strong desire to return to the wrestling mat for his senior year. “Wrestling had always been a part of my life,” he said. “I wasn’t going to let cancer and blindness interfere with that.”

This sport has been a major feature of his family’s life since his father and uncle were standouts for Baldwinsville High School during the 1970s and 1980s.  The older Mike Conners ended his Fulton Wrestling coaching career in 2012 and his brother Pat has just finished his time as the head wrestling coach at South Jefferson High School.  The younger Mike Conners graduated a few years ago.

For competitors in wrestling with limited or no vision, there is an alternative style that is used where the two wrestlers for the most part, have to remain in close physical contact.

For example, whenever they are in the neutral position, they stand facing each other and have to have one palm up and one palm down with the opponents’ hands connecting before the whistle blows.

When asked if this took some getting used to, Conners replied, “Yes, because not only did I have to deal with wrestling without vision, but my body was still very weak, so I was unable to do some of the stuff I had done before.”

His most memorable wrestling moments this past season?

His first match at the Blindmen’s Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse High School and when he received the team leadership award at the Fulton Wrestling Banquet.

“It felt great to win the Ken Julian Award, to be recognized for all the hard work I put in,” he said. “Not only do my brother and I share some the same bone marrow now, but we were both recipients of this prestigious honor.”

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.

Granby soliciting

by Ed Williamson, Granby Town supervisor

Someone has been canvassing residents in the Town of Granby, indicating they got a list from the Granby Codes Department of people that were going to get fined.

This information and accusation is false. The town does not give out information of this kind.

They are soliciting their “business” to clean-up your yard. When they stop at your door, send them on their way.

If you have any information to give or any questions, please call me at 598-6500, ext. 223.


Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame to induct three members next week

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton Bowling Hall Of Fame will induct three new members next week. This year’s inductees are Mike Jodway, Michelle Simpson and Earl “Bummer” Sixberry.

They will be honored at an induction ceremony to be held at Lakeview Lanes June 9.

Mike Jodway

Jodway has been involved in the sport of bowling for 41 years. Bowling found its way into Jodway’s life when he was 12 years old. When he was 14 years old, his uncle helped to manage The Bowl-Inn in Phoenix. In his first job, Jodway was allowed to bowl for free after he finished his dish washing duties. He bowled whenever he could while his uncle helped to develop his skills.

Jodway joined his first league when he was 16 and has been bowling ever since.

In the 1970s, bowling in a men’s league at 16 was practically unheard of. However, not only did Jodway take part in the league, he faired pretty well. One of his earliest accomplishments was being able to compete with some of the more experienced bowlers in the league.

Along the way, Jodway has held a few league positions as well. He was the president of the Summer Mixed League at Bowlarama. For the last 10 years, he’s been the president of the Saturday Night Mixed League at the Recreation Club in Fulton.

Some of Jodway’s most recent accomplishments include earning his first 300 game in 2011. He has also bowled three 299 games, two 290 games and numerous 279 games.

Jodway’s highest series is 787 but he has also bowled many 700 series as well.

Most of his most notable scores were bowled at the Recreation Club against many renowned bowlers. Two years ago, he had a 219 average, which is the highest average ever at the Recreation Club.

Outside of bowling, Jodway has been married to his wife for 34 years. They have a daughter and two sons who also enjoy bowling. He’s been an employee of Black Clawson/Davis Standard for 37 years.

Michelle Simpson

Simpson first began bowling in the late 1960s. She got the itch to bowl by watching both of her parents take part in the sport.

Some of her earliest achievements in bowling include winning eight to 10 No Tap Tournaments with her father. Just after finishing high school, Simpson bowled her first 600 series while taking part in a Monday Night Classic League with her mother at Bowlerama.

She’s held a few local positions as well. Simpson was the president of the 600 Club and secretary and treasurer of the Lucky 7 League.

Some of her more recent accomplishments include a high score of 279 while also bowling numerous 700 series.

Simpson considers bowling to be a very enjoyable sport. She said she is grateful to have had the experiences that she’s had, especially the moments bowling with her mother, father and brother. She also cited the friends she’s made through bowling. A lot of the friends she’s made through bowling over the years still bowl with her to this day.

Earl Sixberry

Sixberry first began bowling in 1966. Bowling became a part of Sixberry’s life after watching his parents bowl as a child. He began bowling in a Junior High League at the Bowl-Inn in Phoenix.

Some of Sixberry’s earliest achievements include bowling his first 300 game at The Bowl-Inn at age 16. He also won a Non-Sanctioned Sunday Tournament while throwing many 250 to 279 games as a teenager.

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.


State legislation aimed at improving synthetic drugs laws

Pictured is the Woolson family of Baldwinsville standing at a press conference held Tuesday in Oswego. They lost a loved one due to injuries related to synthetic drug use and support legislation that would close legal loopholes regarding synthetics.
Pictured is the Woolson family of Baldwinsville standing at a press conference held Tuesday in Oswego. They lost a loved one due to injuries related to synthetic drug use and support legislation that would close legal loopholes regarding synthetics.

by Nicole Reitz

A press conference was held Tuesday outside of the Oswego County Public Safety Building to discuss proposed legislation aimed at improving laws related to synthetic drugs.

Assemblyman Will Barclay spoke of a new comprehensive legislation that would increase penalties, penalize chemical swapping, mislabeling and other proposed charges.

Barlcay and Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill would also penalize both dealers and users of synthetics.

The legislation defines a synthetic drug as any substance that affects a person’s cannabinoid receptor.

The cannabinoid receptors language in the legislation pinpoints the affect the drug has on a person, rather than naming actual substances.

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd said that while the use of synthetics has definitely decreased in Oswego County, these drugs are typically sold as other products, such as bath salts, shoe powder and incense.

“You still have a certain amount of people that want to make a buck and not have to work for it, and they prey on the vulnerable,” said Todd. “Having this law in place would allow us to act faster when a new drug comes on the scene and better protect the public.”

Police approaching a scene put themselves in danger because of the users’ erratic behaviors. Users can hallucinate, become extremely agitated, paranoid and violent — sometimes for days.

Todd said that those under the influence of synthetics also have a “terrific ability to mask pain,” and can withstand taser guns and pepper spray.

The reaction of the people taking these poisons also make the jobs of health-care professionals more difficult. Unlike more common street drugs, nurses and doctors do not know the chemical makeup of these drugs, making it hard to treat users symptoms.

Often the abusers of these agents do not realize or anticipate the intensity of symptoms that are produced from these drugs.

One of these people is the late Victor Woolson of Baldwinsville, who died last August of injuries sustained from a synthetic drug called Avalanche.

Woolson purchased it in Oswego on a store shelve, which he falsely believed to be a legal and safe alternative to real drugs.

The Woolson family was at the press conference, holding signs in remembrance of Victor.

The family advocates for strengthening laws regarding synthetics to prevent further addiction and deaths. Victor died after federal legislation and the New York Department of Health ban was put in place.

Teresa Woolson, Victor’s mother, knows that improving the law will help the problem of synthetic drug use in the county.

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.