All posts by Nicole Reitz

Helen Strough, nurse at Lee Memorial

Helen M. Strough, 88, of Fulton, died Friday, July 6, 2012 at home.

Born in Oswego, she was a life resident of the Fulton and Oswego areas. She had worked at Fay’s Drugs before becoming a nurse at the age of 46, an accomplishment that made her very proud.

As a licensed practical nurse, she worked at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton. Her love of helping others extended well past normal retirement age as she had provided private home care for many people.

She was predeceased by her parents, Ray and Lauretta Roberts; sister, Lucille Cone; and by a daughter, Ann Bonacorsi.

Surviving are her husband of 42 years, James Strough Sr.; sons, Raymond (Gerry) Vivlemore and Mark (Barbara) Vivlemore, all of Oswego; step-children, Darlene Hughes of Fulton, James (Patricia) Strough, Jr. and April (Bruce) Casilio, all of Arkansas; her care giver and special friend, Kay Mason; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There are no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today at 9:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton. Burial will be private.

Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W. Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse, 13204 or Founders Affiliate of American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241.

Foster Funeral Home Fulton has charge of arrangements.


Laughing Through Life: July 11, 2012

Andrew Henderson

The last few columns I have been writing about my all-weird-funny baseball team.

I still have one more column left in the series, but I’m going to hold off in order to write about a different sport altogether: Major League Eating.

Last week, we celebrated the Fourth of July. We celebrated the birth of the United States of America — and the fact that we kicked the British to the curb!

That fact reminds me on a true story. I once had a British teenager in my church youth group. He moved to the area with his family.

When his first Fourth of July came around, he was confused on why we were celebrating.

After he was told the reasons — ie. we didn’t like the queen and that they drive on the wrong side of the road, among others —  he said, “Wait, we fought the Americans?”

Apparently, they don’t teach that in British classrooms.

And on that note, is there a better way to celebrate our triumph than to watch a bunch of gluttonous professional eaters slurp down hot dogs like they were slimy, slithering gummie worms?

Last Wednesday, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest was held at Coney Island. Competitors — both male and female — gathered to make a run at the prestigious “Mustard Yellow Belt” (emphasis added for dramatic effect).

They were no match for Joey “Jaws” Chestnut.

Fox Sports had this to say about the event: “Joey Chestnut ate his way to a sixth straight win at the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island on Wednesday, downing 68 to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.”

Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes when the other competitors slowed as the clock wound down.

If you have never watched this competition on ESPN, I urge you not to — unless you want to see hot dog chunks come flying out of a 100-pound dude like a Bob Gibson fastball.

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


CNY Arts Center launches new arts camp

As Arty’s Day Camp approaches, preparations are underway to provide students with a comfortable and stimulating environment.

In their new location at the Park Street entrance of State Street Methodist Church in Fulton, CNY Arts Center is organizing five days of artistic enrichment from July 16-20.

Children ages seven to 18 years old may participate in writing, theatre, art, or dance during the brand new week long arts camp.

Jim Farfaglia and Karen Burke will teach “Sizzling Summer Sensations,” the writing track of Arty’s Day Camp.

The team will guide children through story, dialogue, and character development, while learning to capture the details all great writers must include.

The Art track will give students two instructors to work with — Marissa L. Hill and Bonnie McClellan, giving them a variety of technique.

Lesson plans include instruction in ink drawing, sketches, and sculpting Garbage Monsters while igniting their creative intuition.

Leading the Theatre track is CNY Arts Center Director Nancy Fox.  With her experience in theatre of more than 30 years, she will lead her students to develop stage presence and deliver believable characterizations.

Students will have five days of improvisation, fun with props and theatre exercises.

Dance teacher Jennica Vehrs will challenge students with a passion for dance and get students off their feet and on the dance floor with a schedule of ballet, lyrical and contemporary movements, and jazz routine.

Arty’s Day Camp, organized by CNY Arts Center, is the region’s newest summer camp experience for children and will include a three-hour morning class, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon.  These classes will introduce children to techniques and art experiences in the art track they choose at the time of registration.

A free lunch will be provided for all students and community children ages seven to 18 from noon to 12:30 followed by an afternoon of fun art projects, which is free and open to any child 7-18, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Students must pre-register whether attending full day or afternoon programming. Those seeking more information or to register may visit or call 216-8790.


Gary Caprin Sr., retired custodian

Gary E. Caprin, Sr., 65, of Fulton, died Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

Born in Fulton, he was a life resident of the Fulton and Oswego areas. He retired from Oswego City School District in 2008 after 23 years as a custodian. He had previously worked for Local 214.

An avid bowler, he was inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame. For many years, he played Santa Claus at the family home on Bronson Street in Oswego, entertaining the neighborhood children.

He was predeceased by his parents, Raymond and Mabel Caprin; sister, Mabel Kimball; brothers, William “Jim” Raymond, Billy and Richard Caprin and by a niece, Maurine Caprin.

Surviving are his companion of 27 years, Sharon Watson of Fulton; a son, Gary (Denise) Caprin Jr. of Oswego; a daughter, Heidi (Fran) Rowe of Oswego; six grandchildren, Gary III, Andrew, Marina, Mason, CJ and Adam; step-children, Carl (Kelly) Watson of Hannibal, Wayne (Bridgett) Watson of Fulton and Julie (Warren Newman) Carter of Fulton; brother, Bernard (Dorothy) Caprin of Fulton; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours and service were held Sunday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. Graveside services were held Monday 10 a.m. at Fairdale Rural Cemetery, Hannibal.

Light In The Darkness: July 11, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” — Joshua 24:15

One of the most important things you will do in life is to learn which things you can control and which things you cannot and then to consistently choose to address those that you can from the perspective of the Lord’s precepts.  Life is made up of choices, in fact, that’s what life is — a constant series of choices we make that lead us in one direction or another and those choices in turn, mold us. Choosing the right things will always mean saying “no” to  something else.

This is true in the physical world around us and it is true in the spiritual realm. Every day we choose for ourselves whom we will serve…light or darkness, sin or righteousness, life or death, heaven or hell. We are constantly choosing between the two.

Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries, says, “The life of faith is a journey with God that begins the moment we trust Christ. It is  about learning to give up control of those things we never really controlled in the first place.”

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

Shock defense features former Phoenix player

by Rob Tetro

Football has been a part of Syracuse Shock defensive end Christopher Hart’s life for many years.

At a young age, Hart began discovering how much he enjoyed the game of football when he began playing Pop Warner Football.

During high school, Hart’s love for the game continued to grow while playing football at John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix.

Being a fan of the Oakland Raiders for many years, Hart was inspired by many of the organization’s finest.

Bo Jackson and Tim Brown were players that he looked up to. However, Hart said his favorite athlete was Charles Woodson. Woodson, who was also a Raider and played college football at Michigan.

Hart took notice of Woodson’s abilities when he made history at Michigan. In 1997, Woodson played a major role in Michigan’s run to the national championship. Along the way, Woodson became the first ever defensive football player to win the Heisman Trophy.

One of Hart’s most memorable moments in football include playing in an all-star game following his senior year at Phoenix.

A recent memorable moment came when last season when Hart took part in try outs at the tight end position for the Shock. Even though he was unable to make the cut at tight end, Hart was moved to the defensive side of the ball.

It was a move that paid off both for him and The Shock.

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

Clayton Green, resident of Hannibal

Clayton J. Green, 73, of Hannibal, died Friday, July 6, 2012 at Oswego Hospital.

Born in Belleville Ontario, Canada, he had lived in the Hannibal area for the last 45 years.

He retired from I.B.E.W. Local 243 after more than 50 years. He enjoyed gardening.

He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Jeannie Green, who died in 2010.

He is survived by his four children, Kim (Frank Cook) Green, Clayton (Roxanne) Green Jr., Kirby (Cindy) Green, and Cindy (Mike) Ware; three sisters, Phyllis Green, Shirley Houle and Eva Maracle; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one great-great granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services and burial will be held at a later date at Christ Church on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, Canada.

Contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, CNY Chapter, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.

Foster Funeral Home in Hannibal has care of local arrangements.


William Baldwin, World War II veteran

William I. Baldwin, 87, of Fulton, died Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at home with his family.

He was born in Irving, Mass. to the late Milton and Matilda (Kline) Baldwin. He was a resident of Fulton for most of his life. Later in retirement, he and his wife wintered in Florida. Mr. Baldwin was a United States veteran having served in the Army during World War II.

He retired from Sealright after 28 years and six years with Armstrong, Fulton as a chef with food service. He was also a former member of the Knights of Columbus #254.

Mr. Baldwin was in charge of catering the Knights of Columbus functions for several years.

He was pre-deceased by his siblings, Frank Baldwin and Virginia Gifford.

Mr. Baldwin is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anna Mae (Hogan) Baldwin of Fulton; two children, William M. (Bonnie) Baldwin of North Carolina and Daryl Ann (Phillip) Cobb of Oswego; three siblings, Louis (Colleen) Baldwin of Fulton, Milton (Nancy) Baldwin and Joan (Robert) Smith, all of Fulton; four grandchildren, Tracie, Tim, Deana, and Michelle; six great-grandchildren, Andrew, Gabriela, Greyson, Avery, Quinnton, and Casey; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Saturday at Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton. The Rev. Robert Stephenson officiated. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton.

Calling hours were conducted Friday at the funeral home.

Contributions may be made to the Friends of Oswego County Hospice, Inc., PO Box 102, Oswego, NY 13126 or the Alzheimer’s Association of CNY 441 West Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.