All posts by Nicole Reitz

Bristol Hill Congregational United Church of Christ will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a tent revival Saturday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 6:45 p.m. Pictured is Pastor Andrew Hinman with his daughter, Audrey, and father Jim Hinman. Audrey holds a photo of James Seward, a free African American who joined the church in the 1800’s. His grandmother was the first member of Bristol Hill UCC, a historic church tied to the Underground Railroad.

Bristol Hill to celebrate 200 years with interdenominational event

Bristol Hill Congregational United Church of Christ will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a tent revival Saturday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 6:45 p.m. Pictured is Pastor Andrew Hinman with his daughter, Audrey, and father Jim Hinman. Audrey holds a photo of James Seward, a free African American who joined the church in the 1800’s. His grandmother was the first member of Bristol Hill UCC, a historic church tied to the Underground Railroad.

by Nicole Reitz

Bristol Hill Congregational United Church of Christ will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a tent revival and chicken barbecue Saturday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 6:45 p.m.

“Our congregations’ history speaks of revivals during the mid-1800s, which people would come from all around for days to participate and enjoy in each other’s fellowship and various ways to celebrate God,” said Pastor Andrew Hinman.

“When the church first started out in 1812, denomination wasn’t an issue,” Hinman added. “The people who came together all believed in God. For our event, we wanted to scrap the denominational differences and just celebrate each others different styles and customs.”

The event begins at 1 p.m. with an opening by Hinman. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a piano accordion performance by Janet Carp of Palermo United Methodist Church.

At 2 p.m., youth minister Christopher Green of the Fulton Nazarence Church will speak. At 3 p.m. Pastors Willie and Eva Mitchell of the Christ Cultivating Community Church of Syracuse will preach with their praise dancers.

Evangelist Gene Addison will speak at 4 p.m. Addison has brought the word of God to people around the world, and has recorded his testimonials on CDs.

Brian Pribis of Fulton Alliance Church is slated at 5 p.m. while Les and Linda Green will minister at 5:30 p.m. The Greens perform each year in over 200 churches, preaching and singing the news of Jesus in a variety of musical styles.

Bristol Hill started in the 1800s as a Presbyterian church and over the years, the church has seen a change in the make up of the congregation.

Two hundred years ago, when church was the center of Volney’s social life, there were several parishioners from large farm families.

“The church was the center of society at the time,” said Jim Hinman, a former pastor at Bristol Hill. “In the old records, it tells of people getting excommunicated for not coming to church. Now, you don’t hear of people getting excommunicated. We just pray that they join us.”

Hinman explained how the church was once surrounded by houses, which created more of a centralized community in Volney. Bristol Hill now has an average of 32 people, who live in Oswego, Phoenix, Fulton and Mexico.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Oswego County Legislature Majority Leader Jack Proud presents his arguments as to why Info Quick Solutions, Inc. should receive the contract to provide data imaging services to the office of the county clerk during Thursday’s meeting. Legislators debated the contract award for 45 minutes before voting for the company.

Oswego County clerk contract award: Was the process tainted?

Oswego County Legislature Majority Leader Jack Proud presents his arguments as to why Info Quick Solutions, Inc. should receive the contract to provide data imaging services to the office of the county clerk during Thursday’s meeting. Legislators debated the contract award for 45 minutes before voting for the company.

by Carol Thompson

Some Oswego County legislators on both sides of the aisle are alleging the process used to award a contract for data imaging services for the office of the County Clerk was tainted and the argument did not end with Thursday’s meeting of the legislature.

As legislators debated the issue of whether to award the contract to Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool, Majority Leader Jack Proud noted that the company had the best references from those who use their data imaging system.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler, however, said that when he made a request to County Administrator Phil Church to see the references, he was denied. The county provided comments from the users of each vendor, however, there is no indication who provided the comments to determine the authenticity.

IQS was the most costly vendor and had the lowest rating from a panel appointed to review the five request for proposals received by the county.

Despite the cost and panel review, the legislator approved awarding the contract to IQS by a 15-8 vote with two legislators absent.

During the debate, the question of whether the process was tainted was addressed by Kunzwiler and legislators Amy Tresidder and Jake Mulcahey, all Democrats, and Legislator Shawn Doyle, a Republican.

The blind review panel was appointed by Church, who autonomously handled the entire proposal process.  Among the members were Kathryn Wolfe, who is the law clerk for Supreme Court Judge Norman Seiter, one of two judges Williams said is receiving the service for free.  Wolfe’s husband, Andrew Wolfe, is the law clerk for Judge James McCarthy, the second judge Williams cited as receiving the service at no cost.

The panel was comprised of one legislator from each caucus. Legislator Dan Farfaglia, the Democrat representative, was removed from the panel last month.

Doyle said he believes the process was tainted from the beginning.

“It troubles me that they didn’t release the references,” he said. “I’d like to see who gave these references. We only had the word of the administrator and he has misled us on multiple occasions in regard to this contract.”

Kunzwiler said the lack of releasing the names of those contacted to give references, lends to suspicion of the legitimacy of the comments.

It wasn’t only the lack of information in regard to the references that led to the controversy, the question of how County Clerk George Williams was able to recommend Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool prior to the names of the bidders being revealed during a recent meeting of the legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee was raised by Mulcahey.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

DSS launches program to handle child maltreatment and neglect

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Department of Social Services has launched a new family assessment response program to handle child maltreatment and neglect.

The Family Assessment Response, or FAR program, provides an alternative to traditional investigations of child protective reports.

“Family Assessment Response focuses on the child’s safety, but relies on the family members working with the caseworker to identify the family’s strengths and needs,” said Oswego County DSS Commissioner Gregg Heffner. “Family members commit to taking an active role in identifying and receiving community-based services. FAR is based on the belief that parents love their children and want them to be safe. Sometimes parents need help to make that happen.”

DSS received approval to develop a Family Assessment Response program late last year. The first unit began accepting cases in March and a second team was launched in June.

Federal, state and local laws require that child protective services take action on each report of abuse, neglect or maltreatment that the agency receives. Historically, the investigation would focus on fact-finding and identification of the victim and a perpetrator.

Rachael Pelow, who serves as the Family Assessment Response Supervisor said when child protective workers are notified about concerns in regard to a child’s safety, an initial safety assessment is conducted.

“The criteria for referral to the FAR unit are based on state law. Certain reports, such as sexual misconduct, assault against a child or abandonment of a child, are not eligible for a FAR assessment,” she said.

“When a case is referred to FAR, we immediately schedule an appointment with the family,” Pelow said. In partnership with the families, we focus on the safety of children and family strengths to address concerns. We do not focus on the details of a specific incident to prove or disprove that maltreatment or neglect occurred”

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Allyson

Allyson McManus serves as next celebrity bartender

The American Red Cross of Central New York will continue its Celebrity Bartender event. The next featured “Celebrity Bartender” is Allyson McManus.

McManus is the Account Manager at the Valley News and has been with them for 20 years. She will be on hand Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Tavern on the Lock to serve up fun for all. Joining McManus at 6:30 p.m. will be Damndog.

All tips received that night will go to benefit the American Red Cross and will help support disaster services in Oswego County.

State mandates root cause of high county property and sales taxes

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature is sending a strong message to Albany- the mandate relief granted by the state in the 2012-2013 budget was insufficient to allow counties to comply with the State-imposed two percent property tax cap over a sustained period.

That’s the message legislator’s are sending to state Senator Patty Ritchie and Assembly members Will Barclay, Ken Blankenbush, Robert Oaks, and Claudia Tenney, all representing Oswego County. Governor Andrew Cuomo will also receive a copy of a resolution requesting the more sustainable and sufficient mandate relief.

The points the legislature has with the state budget include the three-year phase-out of county-paid Medicaid.

This will continue to cost Oswego County taxpayers an additional $451,961 in 2013 and another $225,000 in 2014, reaching a permanent $26 million per year – meaning taxpayers will send one-half million dollars of their hard-earned money to Albany every week for the foreseeable future, according to legislators.

“The implementation of Tier VI in the mandated State retirement system is a welcome change but it will not provide significant financial relief for many years because its cost reductions apply only to new hires,” the resolution sent to lawmakers states.

Mandates consume 82 percent of Oswego County’s annual budget, and the Medicaid mandate by itself is 58 percent of the entire property tax levy, according to county officials.

Senator Ritchie press spokesperson said Ritchie voted to support the Governor’s pension reform plan and a new Medicaid cap what together will save the county almost $10 million over five years.

“She voted to provide $19 million in new state aid to public schools across Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties which, when coupled with the new Property Tax Cap she supported, is holding the line on school property taxes, which previously were out of control,” Ritchie spokesperson Sarah Compo said.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

The Rochester-based surf-rock band ‘The Isotopes’ will play the Oz Roller Girls' upcoming bout Saturday, Aug. 18 in Oswego's Crisafulli Rink.

The Isotopes to heat up Oz Roller Girls bout

The Rochester-based surf-rock band ‘The Isotopes’ will play the Oz Roller Girls’ upcoming bout Saturday, Aug. 18 in Oswego’s Crisafulli Rink.

Special musical guests The Isotopes will bring surf rock, go-go dancers and high-energy entertainment to the next Oz Roller Girls home bout, titled Highway to Hurt, Saturday, Aug. 18.

The ’70s-themed bout, with Oz hosting Shoreline Roller Derby’s Salty Broads from Connecticut, will open its doors in Crisafulli Rink at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. whistle.

The band also is slated to perform that night at Greene’s Ale House, 104 W. Bridge Street in Oswego, with members of both roller derby teams planning to make appearances after the bout.

Oz members discovered The Isotopes when the Rochester-based band performed at a hometown bout for Roc City Roller Derby. The band’s repertoire, talent, nuclear theme, special effects, funny banter and crowd-friendly style that included kids dancing with the band’s dancers convinced the Oswego league the group was a perfect fit.

The Isotopes describe their music as “face-melting surf rock” showcasing originals as well as their versions of television show themes, video game music, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Huevos Rancheros and more.

A portion of the event’s proceeds will support the Oswego County SPCA/OCAWL. Attendees also can bring school supplies for the Stuff-A-Bus program that supports needy schoolchildren in Oswego County.

For bout tickets or more information, visit www.ozrollergirls.org.

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Testing slow due to lack of mosquitoes

by Carol Thompson

Mother Nature has interfered with the progress of the mosquito marking program that Oswego County undertook this year to assist in tracking the movement of the vector.

Evan Walsh, who serves as the associate public health sanitarian, said that the county is not catching as many mosquitoes as expected because there just aren’t many out there.

“Instead of catching thousands, we are barely over 100 for a lot of our trapping days,” he said. “That’s the risk of the research project. You’re at the hands of Mother Nature.”

Walsh said that the unusually dry weather limited the number of mosquitoes that can be marked. He noted that heat also stresses mosquitoes and kills them.

One marked mosquito was trapped and it was found about a mile away.

The program was initiated to learn how far disease-carrying vectors travel. Mosquitoes aren’t on the move too much this year, Walsh said, as the dry weather doesn’t provide much incentive for travel.

“They need to stick close to water,” Walsh said. He added that the lack of straight-line winds has contributed to the lack of travel. Mosquitoes can be carried a distance by the wind.

The dry weather has also caused a lack in breeding. Walsh said that normally there are two or three breeding and the department is not seeing the second and third brood.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Hannibal to hold annual Fireman’s fair

The Hannibal Fire Company will kick off its annual three day firemen’s fair and music shows, Thursday Aug. 16 on Rochester Street in Hannibal. With a variety of activities and live music, the Hannibal Firemen’s Fair is one of the oldest and largest in Central New York.

Starting off the events will be a parade on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., complete with marching bands, floats, fire apparatus, and many other entries totaling over 100 units. Starting at the school bus garage on Auburn Street, the parade route winds down through the village, up Cayuga Street, to Rochester Street, and onto the firemen’s field.

The fair will offer both on and off site parking facilities. For those patrons who prefer not to pay for parking, the fair offers free off site parking areas and free shuttle buses. Buses will run approximately every 15 minutes. Bus stop signs will be at the following locations: high school parking lot on Auburn Street; Kenny School/Town Hall on Cayuga Street; Village Market IGA, and the Community Bank on NY Route 3.

Buses will run Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. until midnight and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. until midnight.

Following the parade from 9 until 11:30 p.m. the Hannibal Fire Company is proud to present Ruby Shooz.

Ruby Shooz has developed a massive fan base in the upstate region playing songs from the 1950’s and 60’s. Their audience includes all ages and walks of life from children to grandparents.

The fair starts Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. when rides and concessions open. From 7 to 11 p.m. live music will be preformed by Kat Tales opening for Under The Gun.

On Saturday, Aug. 20 the final day kicks off early with a special Kiddee Matinee. From 1 to 5 p.m., children will be able to ride all the rides all afternoon for a fee. At 5 p.m. everyone that purchased the Kiddee Matinee special will have a chance to win one of several bicycles that will be given away in a special drawing.

Beginning at 2 p.m. a chicken dinner will be held.

At 7 and 10 p.m. the Hannibal Firefighters will sponsor Country Artist Trent Tomlinson.

For more information about the Hannibal Firemen’s Fair, visit www.hannibalfirecompany.com.