All posts by Nicole Reitz


Weldon Hackett, World War II veteran

Weldon H. Hackett, 94, of Fulton, died Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at Michaud Residential Health Services.

He was born Nov. 11, 1917 in Massena but lived most of his school years in Fulton. He graduated from Fulton High School in 1934 and Clarkson College of Technology in 1938, receiving a degree of bachelor of civil engineering.

In 1941, he entered the Air Force where he was commissioned as a flight engineer, serving in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during World War II.

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Barbara King, worked at Family Dollar

Barbara J. King, 50, of Fulton, died Saturday, June 9, 2012 at home.

Born in Fulton, she was a life resident. She had worked at Family Dollar in Fulton and had managed the store in Baldwinsville.

Mrs. King enjoyed gardening; reading, especially Danielle Steele books; watching the New York Yankees; and spending time with her grandchildren.

Surviving are her husband of 21 years, Kevin King; children, Joshua Sixberry of Fulton, Stephanie (Jeremy) Tassone of Hannibal, Amanda Sixberry of Fulton, Kevin King II of Fulton and David Gulliver of Fulton; parents, Nancy and Stephen Polacek;  sisters, Bonnie (Bob) LoForte of Mexico and Deborah (Joe) Firenze of Fulton; brother, Ronald (Elizabeth) Kastler of Illinois; step-brother, Stephen Polacek IV of Florida; seven grandchildren, Jeremy, Haili, Konner, Abbi, Troy, Kendall, Elijah; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours will be held today, June 13 from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. service to immediately follow at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Twenty-four year old Dave Danzer (center) outlasted Dan Connors Jr., 18, and Kody Graham, 21, for the Supermodified victory Saturday night at Oswego Speedway. Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest top three in Supermodified history at the Speedway with a combined age of just 63 years.

Young drivers claim top three finishes in Supermodified feature

Twenty-four year old Dave Danzer (center) outlasted Dan Connors Jr., 18, and Kody Graham, 21, for the Supermodified victory Saturday night at Oswego Speedway. Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest top three in Supermodified history at the Speedway with a combined age of just 63 years.

If the top three finishers in Saturday night’s Supermodified 50-lap feature are any indication of the future of Oswego Speedway, it is certainly in good hands.

Despite a terrible forecast and early rain showers, young Dave Danzer, who already had one Supermodified win to his credit, used a lap 20 inside move to slip past fellow youngster Michael Muldoon for his second career win at Oswego Speedway.

Danzer, 24, outlasted Dan Connors Jr., 18, and 21-year old Kody Graham for the victory.

Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest top three in Supermodified history at the Speedway with a combined age of just 63 years.

Oswego Supermodified veterans Joey Payne and Otto Sitterly completed the top five finishers. Pat Lavery, Tim Devendorf, Brian Sobus, Shaun Gosselin, and last week’s winner Joe Gosek filled the top 10.

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Poetry Corner: Father’s Day Gifts

by Jim Farfaglia


Sitting in the bleachers,

watching that 3-pointer leave your fingers,

after watching you practice it for hours

under our streetside basket.

Seeing it follow my hopes,

as it falls through the net.


Listening in the audience,

picking out your voice

from all your chorus mates.

Hearing it hit that satisfying high note

that you reached for, time and again,

rehearsing behind your bedroom door.


All the firsts –

that afternoon nap,

you a warm football against my chest,

listening to your baby’s breath rise and fall.


All the lasts –

that June morning,

you proudly robed in school colors,

watching as you walk into life.


And all the dreams,

once offered to you as gifts,

now sweetly returned

on this day.

Valley Viewpoints: Driver training

by Tim Farrell of Fulton

The death of a New York State Trooper was prominent in the news recently. The office died as a result of a single vehicle accident while pursuing a speeding vehicle.

It was reported that the officer was driving an SUV (a Chevrolet Tahoe). This is the second Trooper in approximately two years who has died in a similar manner, while driving the same type of vehicle, in pursuit of a speeding vehicle.

My personal feeling is that SUV’s are not an appropriate platform to use as a chase vehicle. There may be unusual circumstances that would warrant the use of SUVs; but certainly, routine speed enforcement is not one of them.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, like all SUVs, has a very high center of gravity, which makes a rollover a risky possibility while driving at speed.

SUVs are also quite heavy as compared to the typical law enforcement cruiser, which creates braking distance issues as well.

Anyone who has driven a high-heavy vehicle has probably noticed that his or her perception of speed and safety is quite different from the feeling they get from driving a car and usually a false sense of security is derived.

Driver training is another aspect that must be considered when thinking about the tragic loss of police officers while in pursuit.

I’m sure that the state gives our Troopers what they consider to be adequate driver training, though I suspect it is not.

 To read the rest of the letter to the editor, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397
Mark Castiglia led every lap Saturday night at Oswego Speedway in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division for his first career main event win.  –Valle

Mark Castiglia wins first race at Oswego Speedway

Mark Castiglia led every lap Saturday night at Oswego Speedway in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division for his first career main event win.

Mark Castiglia led every lap Saturday night at Oswego Speedway in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division for his first career main event win.  Castiglia was able to fend off the charges of good friend Jason Simmons throughout the event.

Simmons took second position from AJ Bernys on lap 11 of 30 to begin his charge at the race lead. But Simmons, who was also looking for his first career win in the No. 98, was unable to out fox Castiglia.

Cameron Rowe, Kreig Heroth, and Tim Barbeau filled the top five ahead of JJ Andrews, Mike Bond, Rob Pullen, Andrew Schartner, and John Ketcham.

“It feels awesome,” said Castiglia of his first career win behind the wheel of the No. 69.  “I owe it all to Dan Dennie; he is the best in the business. I was watching the leader board and I saw the No. 98 there and I knew it was my good old buddy Jason (Simmons) and I figured we would have a shootout.”

Bernys and Castiglia brought the SBS field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag with the No. 69 of Castiglia quickly pulling out front from the outside front row starting spot. Simmons, who started eighth on the grid, would find himself into the top five by just the third circuit, slicing under Rowe for position.

With Simmons charging hard, Castiglia began to pull away from the field in dominating fashion.  Simmons could see Castiglia’s progress, forcing the No. 98 to push even harder to make its way to the front.

Simmons would next dive under Ketcham for the fourth spot on lap 4, settling in behind the No. 17 of David LaTulip. With Simmons all over the back bumper of LaTulip, the No. 17 decided it was time to make a move on the Bernys No. 24 for second.

LaTulip tried an inside move into turn three, but would wind up tagging the inside hub rail nearly losing control.

A pre-cautionary yellow would wave for the No. 17, slowing the field on lap 9. LaTulip clearly had issues, however, as when the field tried to come back to green the TNT Motorsports driver pulled high with issues and eventually headed pitside.

LaTulip’s exit would move Simmons to third behind Castiglia and Bernys. Rowe, Ketcham, Jon Tesoriero, Mike Bruce, Heroth, and Barbeau would fill the top 10 for the lap 9 restart.

Heroth, in the Won4 Racing No. 04, used the restart to his advantage pulling underneath Bruce and Tesoriero in consecutive laps to move his way to sixth on the grid. The return to green would also prove helpful to Simmons as he was able to pull on past Bernys for the runner-up spot on the race’s 11th lap, now setting his sights on his friend Castiglia at the point.

At the cross flags, Castiglia had mounted a five car lead on Simmons, who was quickly pulling away from Bernys, Rowe, and now Heroth in the top five.  Tesoriero, Barbeau, Andrews, Ketcham, and Bond would complete the top 10 on lap 15.

With a run through the first 19 laps of the race, Bernys began to slip back slightly, falling into the clutches of both Rowe and Heroth to fall to fifth. Barbeau would next slip past the No. 24 to fifth on lap 26, and unfortunately for Bernys his night would only get worse.

On lap 27, contact between Bernys and Andrews would send the No. 24 head first into the outside wall at the start/finish line. Bernys was okay, but his machine was hooked off the Speedway.

With only three laps to go, the field would tighten one last time and Castiglia would now have his hands full with the Team Tapout No. 98. But as yellow turned green in the 30-lap event, Castiglia proved it was his night, pulling away from Simmons to grab the win.

Simmons, still looking for that first win himself, was pleased with the continued progress of the No. 98.

“The car was just on a rail tonight, it was the best it has been,” said Simmons. “I don’t know how much better it can get?  We started eighth and I knew I would have to get up there as quick as I could, and we got there we just didn’t have enough for Mark. I tried everything I could; we want that win as much as him.”

Karen Abbott

At The Fencepost: June 13, 2012

Karen Abbott

by Karen Abbott

My daughter and I finally got down to the river about a week ago. We got our fishing poles, gathered our gear in a backpack, and walked on down.

The sounds of the early evening welcomed us: lawn mowers buzzed, radio tunes wafted up from the boats tied along the canal, sirens rang and dogs barked. The village was astir.

We felt free and adventuresome, like little kids allowed to stay up past their bedtime. She laid out for me what she was expecting.

“Now you’re doing the worms, right?”

I pretended to play dumb.

“I brought the worms. Did you want to put your own on the hook?”

“No, you put them on for me,” she replied shyly. “I don’t want to see the…you know…“

“Guts?” I offered. She nodded.

“And I don’t want you to kill any fishies. I want them to go free back into the water.”

“Yes, well, that’s the plan. But you know, sometimes things go wrong and one of them doesn’t make it.”

“I know,” she sighed. Silence.

I chuckled. My earth-lover has such a big heart.

“Well, if you don’t want to hurt worms or fish, that pretty much rules out fishing, doesn’t it?”  I kidded with her.

“Mommy…” she scolded.

It wasn’t long before she had a small school of bluegills tapping on her halfsie. She pulled up one after another, swinging them over my way to “Hurry and unhook him, Mommy!”

I’d wipe my hands on my pants and pick up my pole again, only to have her squeal and whirl another in my general direction. I resigned myself to unhooking and baiting, and savoring an evening with my daughter.

I’m sure that’s what my dad went through for us kids, growing up on the river in Fulton. We spent many an afternoon walking out along the concrete retainer to the end, where the churning water lured larger fish.

I think I knew, after awhile, that I could very well bait my own hook. But I still liked to have him do it for me. Maybe it’s the outdoorsman’s version of opening a door for a lady.

One day, I hooked up with a fish that had some serious pull-power.

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


Hannibal girls track has bright future

by Rob Tetro

With the season concluding, the Hannibal girls varsity track and field team bids farewell to six seniors.

They are Shannon Davenport, Sierra Ingersoll, Melanie Licatese, Maddy Mikalsen, Karolina Severova and Taylor Sorell.

According to Coach Sue Friedrich, these departing athletes leave behind a legacy that not only emphasizes the importance of team work but they also emphasized the importance of hard work as well.

However, as much as these athletes understand the importance of achieving the the best results possible in terms of time and distances, Friedrich hopes that her seniors depart with the understanding that its equally as important to enjoy the process of both running and preparation.

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