All posts by Debbie Groom

Valley News future is solidified

The Valley News and Patriot-Advertiser will be acquired later this month by a community publishing company with strong local ties.

The pending transaction secures the local newspapers’ place in Fulton after an unsettling announcement two weeks ago by the Valley News’ owner, Scotsman Media Group, that it would be ceasing operations at its printing plants in Syracuse and Chenango Bridge and laying off some 90 employees.

Based on private negotiations with the Sample News Group at that time, Scotsman president William Veit said the Valley News would not be impacted by company’s closure.

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GOP doesn’t endorse in Family Court judge race

The Oswego County Republican Committee chose to not endorse in the race for Family Court Judge.

Four candidates, Thomas Benedetto, Ed Izyk, Sal Lanza, and Jim Eby all spoke and asked for the committee’s endorsement, however, the committee decided to let all go forward to an open primary on Sept. 9.

I believe this is a testament to all the candidates who are running for his position,” said committee Chairman Michael C. Backus. “This position is so sensitive for the county that I am proud that the committee chose to let the people decide who the best candidate is.”



Michael A. LaBeef, ironworker, veteran, sports enthusiast, well known in wrestling community


Michael A. LaBeef, 73, of Fulton, passed away surrounded by his loving family on  Tuesday July 8 after a battle with cancer.

Mike was born in Sterling Valley, a son to the late William and Judy LaBeef and lived most of his life in Fulton.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the ripe young age of 16, where he served four years.

Mike was an ironworker with Local 60 and retired from the Local 9, after spending more than 40 years in the trade. He also held a “second job” as he called it, at O.T.B. He would stop and have breakfast with his friends on his way into “work.”

Mike was also known as “The Devil” to his circle of sports enthusiast friends. He was an avid softball player in his younger days and when his body didn’t move as quickly, he became an umpire for the Fulton Softball Association.

You could often find Mike at the Fulton Y.M.C.A., where his jaw got more of a workout than any other part of his body.

Mike had been battling cancer since November of 2013. He would be at the oncologist every Thursday keeping everyone laughing and forgetting their worries if only for a little while.

Mike was very well known to the Fulton wrestling community, in which he had two sons and three grandsons who wrestled for Fulton. He was affectionately known as “Papa” to all the boys in the program.

Mike’s grandchildren were his pride and joy. He would often travel across states to watch them in whatever sport or activity they were participating in.

He is predeceased by his sister, Sharon France.

Mike is survived by two sons, Ron  (Olinda) LaBeef of Pomfret, CT and Don (Lori) LaBeef of Fulton; a daughter, Michele (Robert) Earl of Fulton; his longtime companion, Virginia Whitmire of                  Niagara Falls; three brothers, Danny (Kate) LaBeef of Hannibal, Richard LaBeef of Auburndale, FL. and Robert LaBeef of Pleasanton, Kansas; two sisters, Barbara Seymour of Auburndale, FL. and Yvonne Palmer of Wilmington, DE; eight beautiful grandchildren, Mike LaBeef, Alex LaBeef, RJ LaBeef and Gena LaBeef all of Pomfret, CT, Mitchell LaBeef, Madelyn LaBeef, Marcus Earl and Jonathan Earl all of Fulton; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 11 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12 at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

Burial will be in Springbrook Cemetery, Fair Haven.

An adult celebration of Mike’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday July 12 following the funeral services at the Fulton Elks Lodge #830, 57 Pierce Dr., Fulton.


Be careful while cleaning up storm damage

News from the federal Labor Department:

Recovery work should not put you in the recovery room.

Recovery activity from yesterday’s storms can impact the safety and health of those performing cleanup and recovery activities.
The US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has information to help workers and employers recognize and address the most common hazards (it’s good for the general public, too).
Some of the hazards associated with storm recovery work include:
  • Being struck by falling objects such as tree limbs and utility poles
  • Falls while working in aerial lifts or on ladders
  • Lacerations or amputations from unguarded or improperly operated chain saws and power tools
  • Heat exhaustion, heat stress, heat stroke
  • Dehydration
  • Electrocution due to downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines
  • Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure
 More information on storm recovery work safeguards is available at
Information about heat hazards and safeguards is available at