All posts by Nicole Reitz

‘What are we doing?’: Jail overcrowding sparks debate

by Carol Thompson

As more money had to be transferred to cover the cost of transporting inmates from the Oswego County Correctional Facility to other facilities, one legislator questioned the long-term plan to correct the problem.

During last Thursday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature, a resolution to transfer $200,000 to cover inmate costs sparked a debate when Legislator Jake Mulcahey asked what the long-term plan is to resolve the problem.

“I understand we are waiting on potential funding from the state, but I don’t know if that’s the answer. Looking ahead, where are we going?” Mulcahey asked.

“Are you questioning whether we want to build a bigger jail?” asked Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley.

Mulcahey said the county has spent nearly a million dollars on the problem. “We have to start looking at what we can do to be investing rather than dumping money on this,” he said.

The state requires the county to house state prison parolees who have violated parole, which adds to the overcrowding problem.

As of July 10, there were 20 parole violators housed in the county facility. Of those violators, 10 have local charges that will keep them at the jail until they have a hearing, according to Undersheriff Eugene Sullivan.

The hearings are held twice a month. “It’s a local process that takes time, Sullivan said Friday.

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


Fulton Amateur Radio Club members show off their skills

Every year on the last full weekend in June, amateur radio operators, sometimes known as “hams,” gather in the field to demonstrate their emergency communications capabilities and promote public awareness of amateur radio.

The “Field Day” is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio.

This year, Fulton Amateur Radio Club, in conjunction with the FR Sussey Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron, operated station W2CXV from the Oswego County Airport for the 24-hour period from June 23 at 2 p.m. until June 24 at 2 p.m.

The goal of the exercise is to make as many contacts with other HAMS across the nation and the world who are also participating in Field Day.

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Syracuse Shock offensive line anchored by radio personality

by Rob Tetro

A key figure to the Syracuse Shock offensive line is man of different personalities.

On the field, he is identified as offensive lineman Jamie Hantke. In the workplace, Hantke is known as Big Smoothie, a radio personality for 95X in Syracuse.

Hantke began playing football when he was a freshman in high school. Hantke is a 1997 Corcoran High School graduate. While attending Cayuga Community College, Hantke also took part in a year of football at the junior college level.

Growing up, Hantke looked up to Lawrence Taylor and the New York Giants. Soon, he found himself as a true student of the game. Once established as a linemen, Hantke studied the activity of the linemen he saw on television every Sunday.

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Bowman out races Decker for Big Block Modified win at Fulton

Saturday night’s finish of the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature had the fans on their feet right down the checkers as Mike Bowman out raced future hall of famer Billy Decker for the win.

Over the last 12 laps, Decker threw every inch of experience he had at Bowman, but Bowman didn’t get rattled, beating Decker by less than a half of a hood length at the checkers.

Other winners were Jeremy Pitcher in the SUNY Canton Sportsman, Larry Wight in the NAPA Late Models, Chris Hulsizer in the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman and Skip DeGroff in the Parts Plus Four Cylinder Stocks.

Chris Hile and Dan Vauter brought the 24-car starting field down to the green with Hile and Vauter swapping the lead four times in the first four laps before a quick yellow would fly.

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Pictured are volunteer Claudia Chetney, Bishop’s Commons at St. Luke resident Priscilla Brown, and volunteer Abby Douglas during a recent outing to the Summer Concert Series at Brietbeck Park.

Volunteers share time and talents with seniors

Pictured are volunteer Claudia Chetney, Bishop’s Commons at St. Luke resident Priscilla Brown, and volunteer Abby Douglas during a recent outing to the Summer Concert Series at Brietbeck Park.

Bishop’s Commons volunteers of all ages have been lending helping hands in many ways assisting residents with the many activity programs planned for the next few months.

Volunteers ranging in age from 12 to 92 share as little as one to two hours a month or as much as several hours a week.

“We are fortunate to have so many volunteers that share their specific and special talents with us in so many ways,” noted Senior Living Coordinator Julie Chetney.

Students are able to complete volunteer requirement hours for school or community projects, while adults of all ages are able to share their interests and talents with Residents of Bishop’s Commons.

“Currently, volunteers participate with the assistance of our activity staff many programs including card games, a rosary group, a book club, fitness classes, art classes, crafting groups, picnics, lunch/shopping trips, and musical performances,” noted Chetney.

Bishop’s Commons also serves as a SUNY Oswego Intern site for students majoring in health and wellness, psychology, sociology, gerontology and will welcome art majors this fall to conduct regular art classes.

In addition, many volunteer are friendly visitors for those who enjoy good company and conversation.

“Keeping our volunteer program flexible for everyone is what helps our volunteer family continue to grow,” Chetney concluded.

Those seeking more information may contact Chetney at 349-0799 or


View From The Fourth Floor: July 18, 2012

by Carol Thompson

It’s official! Oswego County has a new health director.

Jiancheng Huang received the final approval needed to take the helm.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia was the only legislator present to vote against Huang. Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler was excused from the July 12 meeting and Legislator Kevin Gardner was absent.

Huang received a standing ovation following the vote.

*  *  *  *  *

There are short meeting and there are really short meetings. Prior to the start of the legislature session, a meeting of the legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee was held.

Legislator James Oldenburg, who serves as the chairman, took care of business in 58 seconds — easily swooping the lead from Legislator Art Ospelt, who chairs the Finance and Personnel Committee. Ospelt held a seven-and-one-half minute meeting.

In fairness, Ospelt had a much larger agenda. The Infrastructure Committee passed one agenda item for a budget modification.

*  *  *  *  *

Water chestnuts made the news quite often last year and while the pesky plant has less media attention, it is being aggressively attacked.

The Soil and Water Conservation District plans to use a chemical treatment on 200 acres in the Oswego River this summer and volunteers have been busy conducting hand pulls along the Salmon and Oswego rivers.

*  *  *  *  *

County employees are currently on summer hours.

The legislative building hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Aug. 31.

The Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Oswego, Fulton and Pulaski will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. during July and August.

Learner’s permit testing at the DMV offices will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. while CDL testing will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Light In The Darkness: July 18, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” – Hebrews 11:24

Was Moses simply a terrible ingrate? After all, it was none other than Pharaoh’s daughter who found and saved him.

It was she who protected him from her own father after he had ordered that all Hebrew baby boys be put to death. It was she who found a wet nurse to care for him and raised him as her very own, giving him all the best education and training the great Egyptian culture had to offer.

Furthermore, she did so openly and without reservation so that everyone in Egypt, including Pharaoh himself, knew that Moses was her son.

As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter in their matriarchal society, he was heir to the kingdom. She took Moses in and raised him and yet he refused to be known as her son. Why? It was not because Moses was ungrateful. It was because of the family identification. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter precisely because she was Pharaoh’s daughter.

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


County has no immediate plans to spray for West Nile virus

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Health Department has announced the finding of West Nile virus in the county, however, no aerial spraying is expected to take place.

Inga Back, acting public health director of the Oswego County Health Department, announced last week that the New York State Department of Health found evidence of West Nile virus in two collections of mosquitoes in the village of Central Square.

There are no known human cases of West Nile virus in Oswego County at this time.

The mosquitoes were collected July 2 and July 4 in Central Square.

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