All posts by Nicole Reitz

In And Around Hannibal: September 8, 2012

Rita Hooper 

This passed week saw the passing of Dorothy Fresch. Dorothy was born on the family farm just west of the Village.

She taught in many of the one room school houses in and around Hannibal before centralization and retired from Cayuga Street School in 1975. She and her husband also had a mink farm at one time in the village. Dorothy was just four years short of marking 100 years.

Can you imagine the changes she saw in her lifetime? Hannibal was really a one horse town when Dorothy was born — now there are lots of horses under the hoods! She saw the advent of electricity and public water. She saw the changes from crank phones to cell phones.

She attended services at the Baptist Church and watched it transform from being wrecking ball material into the current Library and Senior Center.

This little girl, born nearly 100 years ago, became a world traveler and hosted many students from other countries through the American Field Service program.

But she never forgot her home community in Hannibal taking active roles in the Methodist Church, the Historical Society, the Senior Nutrition Program, Elderberries, Senior Council and the Community Center Board.

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Hodgepodge: September 8, 2012

by Roy Hodge

I went to the State Fair a couple of times this year because I grew up with the Fair in Syracuse and have been going since I could walk. I’ve only missed a couple of times since then, the latest two years ago when I couldn’t walk after I fell and injured my knee.

I don’t think my Fair agenda has changed throughout the years since the times I went each year with my father. When I visit the Fair I walk, I see what’s going on in many of the buildings, I watch the people, and I eat…and eat…and eat. When I am with my wife, I visit every animal in every barn.

In the early years of my Fair adventures, I’m sure that my father kept me happy with some cotton candy, maybe an ice cream cone, a cookie or two and a box of popcorn.

Through the years, I have had my favorite Fair foods. I’m sure that I was driven by the wonderful aroma wafting over the Fairgrounds to try my first Italian sausage sandwich with peppers and onions many years before Bill and Hillary discovered them – and haven’t gone to the Fair without having one since.

Before food at the Fair meant everything you could think of deep-fried, I loved deep-fried “apple flips” (or fritters) and enjoyed them from the horticultural building every year.

There were years when I looked forward to very special French fried potatoes served in paper cones from Orange trucks on the midway. Twin Trees pizza is a must for me every year, usually within minutes inside the gate.

Pizza Frittes and Sugar Waffles are favorites, and after years of eating at the Fair, I tried something new this year – chocolate covered bacon on a stick. Bacon and chocolate are two of my favorite tastes, but…together on a stick, not unlike a popsicle…that may take some getting used to.

Other new-to-me food items include a beef sundae and a pork parfait, featuring mashed potatoes and gravy or barbecue sauce along with the meat, topped with a cherry tomato – in a sundae dish.

It might be hard to think that hunks of alligator meat, deep-fried and put on a skewer, will become a Fair favorite, but that choice, along with shark and kangaroo, has been added to the Fair menu.

It’s good to have choices.  Variety is the spice of life — especially at the State Fair — but one of my favorite summer and Fair  foods, and usually the first thing I have to eat at the Fair, is a hot dog, tucked in a bun and slathered with mustard.  One bite and I know I’m at the Fair.

I guess I may have said it all in the first column I wrote about my Fair adventures back in 1979: “I have been anticipating my annual visit to the New York State Fair for several weeks now. The primary attraction for me doesn’t lie in the star-studded grandstand shows, or the ride-packed midway, or the animal barns, or the horticultural displays, or ‘Black Jack,’ billed as ‘10,000 hamburgers on the hoof’, or the peddlers pushing their wares in the Center of Progress building. My Fair-time weakness can be summed up in one word – Food.”

As you can imagine, I have written about the State Fair (and its food) more than a few times.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Hannibal’s Tim Webber looks to break free from the grasp of two Jordan-Elbridge defenders during Friday’s game in Hannibal. Hannibal lost in overtime 19-13. Webber had 5 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown in the 19-13 loss.

Hannibal comes up short in season opening thriller

Hannibal’s Tim Webber looks to break free from the grasp of two Jordan-Elbridge defenders during Friday’s game in Hannibal. Hannibal lost in overtime 19-13. Webber had 5 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown in the 19-13 loss.

by Rob Tetro

Having a Warrior mentality is beginning to pay off for the Hannibal varsity football team.

When Hannibal took on Jordan-Elbridge in its season opener Friday, that Warrior mentality nearly paid off in the best way possible: a win.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, however, they fell short of victory despite a valiant effort.

Riding the momentum of a crucial missed extra point, Jordan-Elbridge came away with a 19-13 overtime win.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hannibal took a 7-0 lead when Brandon Burnett muscled his way for a 72-yard touchdown run. However, Jordan-Elbridge would not be denied. The Eagles tied the score at 7-7 when Colby Trexler scored on a 12-yard touchdown run.

Before the half ended, Jordan-Elbridge struck again. Jordan Van Wart gave J-E a 13-7 lead following a 23-yard touchdown run.

Jordan-Elbridge maintained its lead into the fourth quarter until it seemed the Warriors had hit pay dirt. They tied the score at 13-13 following a 50-yard touchdown run by Tim Webber.

The extra point attempt was blocked, which denied Hannibal the lead.

Neither team was able to take the lead following Webber’s touchdown, run which meant the winner would be decided in overtime.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they were unable to tally any points in the first overtime possession, which was something that Jordan-Elbridge was ready to take full advantage of.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Light In The Darkness: September 6, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.” — 1 Samuel 30:6   David and his men had just returned from a mission. When they arrived home they found that in their absence the Amalekites had burned their town to the ground and carried away everything they possessed including all their women and children.

We can only imagine how heart-wrenching it must have been. However, the great lesson for us, and probably why the Lord included this story in scripture, is found in the contrast between the way David’s men reacted and the response of David, himself.

It says that David’s men, after they had, “wept until they could weep no more,” looked for someone to blame.

And they blamed David.

Their logic is not difficult to guess. “If David hadn’t taken us away to war, we would have been home to protect our families.”  This bitter spirit so quickly and completely permeated the entire assembly that they actually began discussing stoning David to death. Scripture hints how serious they were when it says that “David was now in great danger…”

In stark contrast, we read that David turned to the Lord and in so doing, “found strength in the Lord, his God.”

There is a lesson here for each of us when we face some significant trial in life.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.


Valley News reporter’s first novel to be published next year

Valley News reporter Carol Thompson’s first novel is due for publication in late February.

Her book, “To Catch a Firefly,” is under cover design by Chicago-based artist Tanya Pshenychny.

The story takes place in the 1960s in the fictional town of Elm Grove, N.Y., which is modeled after Elm Grove, Wisc.

“I wanted a fictional location but I also wanted the charm and character of Elm Grove because I’ve always felt the village had the perfect backdrop for a novel,” Thompson said.

The story takes readers through the journey of 10-year-old Genevive Pearce, a spirited child who accidentally becomes caught in the political wrangling of two prominent families in Elm Grove.

Her father is the publisher of the local newspaper during a time when the families are battling for political control.

As well as innocently becoming tangled in the political feud, the protagonist must cope with her own personal losses, including the death of her brother.

The novel came about as somewhat of a fluke. Thompson had written the manuscript for another story and her agent told her to begin the second novel and complete at least six chapters.

“I had struggled with the first novel for a couple years because the switch from writing fact to fiction wasn’t easy,” she said. “I cringed when I was told I had to begin a second novel because of the time it took to write the first.”

Thompson said her agent told her to draw from within herself and write as if she was addressing only one person, not a large group of people, something that would come much easier.

It did become much easier when Thompson remembered the stories a high school friend had told her on a stormy night.

“I had a friend in my teen years who was quite the character,” she said. “One night, while trying to drive through a storm, I stopped at his house to wait it out. His mom insisted I stay the night and we were up all night talking. He told me all sorts of scary and funny stories and I had never forgotten them.

“I used those stories as a stepping off point,” she continued. “I put all of my friend’s tales down on paper and let the story evolve around them.”

Thompson said that with her friend’s stories down on paper, the writing flowed and she was able to complete approximately 2,000 words per day.

“I dedicated two hours of each day to write,” she said.

It was decided to publish the second novel first. Having lost contact with her friend for nearly 30 years, she reconnected with him to be sure it was okay to use his stories.

“He laughed because he couldn’t believe I remembered them,” Thompson said. “He was, and still is, the kind of friend who can make you laugh when your feeling down and Genevive needed a friend like that.”

Genevive and her friend, who is modeled after Thompson’s friend, become the focal points of the political upheaval in the town and in the end, the two children teach the adults a lesson in life.

“No matter what tragedies and loss we experience in our lives, we’ve never really lost anything,” Thompson said. “As Walt Whitman said so eloquently in his poem Continuities, nothing is ever really lost or can be lost, the embers left from earlier flames remain. Each of us has a history and that cannot be taken away, not through separation or death.”

That is the lesson Genevive and her friend teach to the townsfolk of Elm Grove and it is one Thompson said she hopes the reader will take away as well.

Once the cover design is complete, an exact release date will be announced and Thompson plans to unveil the book in Oswego and Elm Gove, Wisc.

It will be available in both hard copy and digital formats.

CNY Arts Center to hold fall writing programs

The CNY Arts Center will have a slate of fall classes for writers at its new location in State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

Writing Arts Coordinator Jim Farfaglia has planned several classes that cover a wide range of interests. Writers can choose from the following classes:

• “I Remember When…” — Instructor Brittney Fiorini Jerred’s class will focus on capturing memories.

She explained that the class will help participants produce short memoir excerpts. Participants are encouraged to bring in a photo or two of something from the past to share with the first class.

Writing tips and an essay structure will help keep essays focused. No writing experience required.

The class will run for three Fridays: Sept. 14, 21 and 28 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

• “Intro To Poetry” — Farfaglia will offer participants an introduction to the world of poetry.

Farfaglia stated that this class will be ideal for those who are curious about poetry but don’t always understand its style and use of language.

The class will include both reading poetry and instruction and guidance on writing.

The class will run for six Thursdays from Sept. 20 through Oct. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

• “Launching Your Writing Journey” — Instructor Carolyn Dougherty will hold a one-day workshop for people who have always wanted to write but don’t know how to get started.

Dougherty explained that the class for beginning writers will include identifying and setting goals for projects, building confidence by reviewing basic elements of writing and sharing tips to stay motivated.

The date for the class is Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Farfaglia is also launching a new venue called the Writer’s Café, an informal gathering for local writers and people who enjoy writing.

Once a month, the CNY Arts Center will host local writers who want to share their work with the community. Writings in all genres will be welcome.

The evening will run much like the “coffeehouse open mic” format. Writers should contact Farfaglia to sign up for a slot in the evening and to run their writing by him.

The first Writer’s Café will take place Sunday, Sept. 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There is no charge for this event but a hat will be passed for the CNYArts Center.

During the Cafe refreshments will be available for purchase.

Hot coffees, teas, hot cocoa and spiced cider will be offered by Kiley’s Coffees and cookies and other pastries will be offered by Treat Me Sweet.

Those looking to read at the Writer’s Cafe or looking to obtain more information may call contact Farfaglia at 402-2297 or

Those seeking to register for any of the classes please may visit and click on the Writing/Literary Arts link.

Mark Pollock breaks a tackle and takes it in for a touchdown during Friday night’s season-opening win against Fowler. Pollock finished the game with 254 yards rushing and six touchdowns as Fulton won 40-12.

Raiders roll past Fowler in season opener

Mark Pollock breaks a tackle and takes it in for a touchdown during Friday night’s season-opening win against Fowler. Pollock finished the game with 254 yards rushing and six touchdowns as Fulton won 40-12.

by Rob Tetro

Jeff Rothrock couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin his tenure as head coach of the Fulton varsity football team.

Led by Mark Pollock, the Raiders cruised to a 40-12 win against Fowler last Friday.

Fowler began the game by receiving the opening kickoff. During Fowler’s first possession of the game, the Raiders’ defense was aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage. Fowler was forced to punt following a three-and-out opening possession.

Pollock returned the punt 50 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 10:12 left in the first quarter.

Early on, Fowler attempted to spread the field on offense. It appeared wanted to utilize its team speed. However, Fulton was just as fast, if not faster. Fowler got little out of its second drive of the game and were forced to punt.

Though Pollock didn’t duplicate his previous punt return, he was poised to strike again. A few plays into the drive, the Raiders were deep in Fowler territory but faced a fourth-down play. Fulton quarterback Jacob Crucitti took the snap and dumped off a quick screen play to Pollock. Pollock caught the ball and juked left and found a seam to the endzone. Crucitti’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Pollock gave Fulton a 14-0 lead with 6:23 left in the first quarter.

On offense, Fulton spent a lot of time in the shotgun, spreading the field. Its offensive line created holes for Pollock while protecting Crucitti.

Crucitti and Pollock impressively complimented each other during the numerous zone option read plays that were called. If the seam was there for Crucitti, he faked the handoff to Pollock and got nice yardage. If there wasn’t any room to run, Crucitti handed the ball of to Pollock, who didn’t disappoint.

Fowler got its offense moving during its third possession of the game. Despite driving in Fulton territory, Fowler fumbled the ball back to the Raiders with 4:34 left in the first quarter.

It seemed as if Fulton was poised to expand its lead. Pollock began the drive with a 30-yard run. Despite nearing the goal line, however, Fowler stopped Fulton on downs with 2:24 left in the first quarter.

After using multiple sets of formations, mostly in the shotgun, Fowler made a few adjustments. It moved its quarterback under center and added a player or two along the offensive line.

Late in the first quarter, Fowler put together a nice drive, which featured a couple of solid runs up the middle of the field. Despite the promising start to the drive, Fowler fumbled the ball back to Fulton.

 To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.

Bodley Bulletins: September 6, 2012

by Kate Rothrock

It is hard to believe that summer is over and school is back in full swing!

Although summer was enjoyable, I know everyone is ready, excited, and even a little nervous to go back to school.

Today is the first day for all grades at G. Ray Bodley High School while Wednesday was Freshman First Day — a day where only freshmen attend school.

The freshmen enjoyed a fashion show put on by teachers and upperclassmen, an activity fair, and the chance to get the hang of their schedule and their new school.

To introduce myself, my name is Kate Rothrock and I will be a senior at GRB. In my high school years, I have played soccer, volleyball and lacrosse.

This past season my lacrosse team had the opportunity to play in the sectional finals as well as earn the title of league champions for the first time in Fulton lacrosse history.

I have also participated in Spanish club, OCAY league, National Honor Society, make the grade tutoring, and have helped coach youth lacrosse.

I look forward to writing the Bodley Bulletins this year!

Although school is just starting, fall sports have been in session for many weeks.

The fall sports include boys and girls soccer, football, girls tennis, girls volleyball, cross country, golf, and cheerleading.

All teams have been working hard these past couple weeks to prepare for their first games.

As many of you may know, the varsity football team has a new coaching staff. Jeff Rothrock has taken over the position of head coach after being an assistant coach for 15 years.

Coach Rothrock is assisted by Coach Halladay, Coach Gallini, Coach Bono and Coach VanBuren.

The varsity football team took on Fowler on their home turf last Friday to open the season strong with a 40-12 win.

When asked about the upcoming season, senior Cody Dick stated, “It was a great first step for the season. It gives us confidence for the tough road ahead.”

I know the team, as well as the whole community, is excited to see how the season plays out.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.