All posts by Debbie Groom

News in Brief

The Palermo United Methodist Church will host its chicken and biscuit dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1  in the church dining room.

This is a family-style, all-you-can-eat dinner including chicken and gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetable, dessert and beverage.

Takeouts are available and can be reserved by calling 598-4888

The church is located on County Route 35 just off of State Route 3 in Palermo, just north of Palermo Center.

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The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center will present a public program about the American woodcock at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, (rain date May 2).

American woodcock advertise courtship intentions by strutting about and emitting a series of nasal peents. With a final “peent,” the male launches into an enthralling flight display to attract hens.

Following a short presentation of woodcock natural history with Pat Carney, facility’s naturalist, attendees will venture to a singing ground to observe and listen to the serenade of this twilight troubadour.

Other spring heralds also will regale us with evening ballads. Program participants should dress for an evening spring walk by wearing jackets, boots and shoes that can get wet and/or muddy.

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Assemblyman Will Barclay will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 2 at Believer’s Chapel in Fulton.

Anyone is welcome to donate. To schedule an appointment for the May 2 blood drive in Fulton, call the Red Cross at 343-0967 or sign up online, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood and click on “Schedule an Appointment.”

It takes about 8-10 minutes to give blood with a total time to register and replenish with provided snacks of about an hour and 15 minutes. Donors are encouraged to eat well and hydrate prior to appointment.

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An immigrant farmworker who works on an Upstate dairy and an organizer for a local workers’ center will speak at noon Sunday, May 4 at First Universalist Society of Central Square as part of a statewide speaking tour aimed at improving the lives of immigrant farmworkers.

The talk and a brief slideshow will be given by Jose Canas, who is originally from El Salvador, and Rebecca Fuentes, of West Monroe, who is lead organizer for the Syracuse-based Workers’ Center of Central New York.

Canas works at a dairy in Northern New York. Fuentes is the daughter of a farmworker from Mexico.

The program also is part of the Voices for Worker Equality speaker and film series organized by the church, state Route 49 just west of U.S. Route 11, and the workers’ center.

The statewide campaign will include several other dairy farmworkers and is being organized by the workers’ center along with Worker Justice Center of New York, in Rochester.

It coincides with Worker Memorial Day on April 25, May Day on May 1 and Farmworker Advocacy Day on May 5.

The local talk is free, but donations will be accepted to support the workers’ center. Light refreshments will be served.

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Girls and boys ages 12-15 are invited to the Montezuma Audubon Center for up to three weeks of Sportsman Education this summer.

Young hunters will get their hunter safety, bow safety and waterfowl identification certificates in three weeks of hands-on learning and outdoor experiences.

The camps will run from July 14 through 31 (Monday-Thursday for each course).

Each week will feature classroom-style learning, covering the basics of each course, enhanced by hands-on outdoor field lessons including orienteering, canoeing, tracking and more.

Participants will also take part in conservation projects that enhance habitats for game and non-game species.

Fee per camper: $100 for one week, $190 for two and $270 for all three. Major support for this program is provided by Bass Pro Shops.

Space is limited and registration is required. Registration forms can be found at http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma. For more information, call 365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org.

Camp schedule:

Week 1 – Hunter Safety – July 14-17

Week 2 – Bow Safety – July 21-24

Week 3 – Waterfowl ID – July 28-July 31

For more information about the Sportsman Camp or the Montezuma Audubon Center, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma.

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The First Congregational Church of New Haven is holding an eat-in or take-out dinner from noon until gone Saturday, May 3.

Preorders are available to be picked up between noon and 2 p.m.

The dinner will contain ½ chicken, pulled pork, pasta salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter. Call 963-3118 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the number of dinners you want. You will receive a call back to confirm your order and to make arrangements for you to buy the tickets needed for your dinner(s).

The church is located at 4250 State Route 104 in New Haven. The church is just west of County Route 6.

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The youth group at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Phoenix is having a garage sale May 17.

The youth group is asking if people would donate bottles and cans for the sale.  The youths are raising money for a trip to Steubenville, Ohio for a youth rally with about 40,000 other teens. The event, at the Franciscan Univerity of Steubenville, is focused on connecting teens to the sacraments. There is live music by Bob Rice, speakers and Masses.

There is going to be a drop off area on the day of the garage sale in the parking lot behind St. Stephen’s Church. There is also a drop off spot right next to the church if people would like to drop off before or after the garage sale.

Those dropping off should tell the bottle and can business they are dropping off for Team Awesomess of St. Stephen’s church.

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The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic for cats, dogs and pet ferrets from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Oswego County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road, Pulaski.

State law requires that all cats, dogs and pet ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age.

A second vaccination is required for cats and dogs within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. Ferrets need to be vaccinated annually.

In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated and should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate to the clinic.

Trio to enter Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame

By Rob Tetro

Christine Hawksby, Doug Wallace and Dean Distin will be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sunday at RFH’s Hideaway outside Phoenix.

Hawksby began bowling at 13 when she joined the Junior League of the Sealright Recreation Club. She said when she first started bowling, the Sealright Recreation Club had pin setters at that time.

After competing in many Junior League tournaments, Hawksby went on to bowl throughout high school and finished in second place of the Senior Division. She bowled in numerous women’s leagues including the Whirley Bird, Tip Top, Friendly Girls, Lucky Seven, the Monday Night Women’s Classic and the Friday Night Mixed League at the Sealright Recreation Club.

For many years, Hawksby served as president of the Whirley Bird League. She has had the good fortune of bowling with many friends in local, state and national bowling tournaments. Hawksby was also an annual participant in the Elks Club New York State Tournament.

Since 1977, Hawksby has been a member of the Lock “600” Club. She took part in the Fulton Association Tournament in 1978. With a score of 1872, Hawksby earned a first place finish in the All Events category.

She bowled a 674 series with scores of 214, 226 and 234 while bowling in the Friendly Girls League in 1978. At the time, her series was the highest in Oswego County. Her highest single game was a 269 which occurred while bowling in the Tip Top League.

Hawksby won first place in the Fulton Women’s Bowling Association Tournament with a score of 1216 alongside Dot Morrison in 1982. With a 171 average, she earned the High Average Award in the Lucky Seven League during the 1983-84 season.

During the 1999-2000 season, Hawksby’s team won the Lucky Seven League. Over the years, she also has earned All Spare Game, Triple Score of 190, 200 and 250 game patches and for two consecutive years, her teams won the Budweiser No Tap Tournament.

For more than 25 years, Hawksby worked at Birdseye Food, Inc. before its closing in December 2012. Unfortunately, a knee injury and other health problems left her unable to bowl for the first time in many years. Hawksby keeps busy through involvement with the Fulton Elks Club, VFW Post 569, Fulton Moose Club #1280 and the Polish Home. Hawksby said her involvement with these organizations is something she wouldn’t trade for anything.

Doug Wallace began bowling when he was 17 years old. Bowling found its way into his life when he saw a few of his friends taking part in the sport.

He said he tried bowling and it clicked. Before he knew it, he was bowling in a league. Wallace went on to bowl in at least one league every year since then.

Wallace’s most notable earlier achievement came in 1982 when he bowled his first 300 game. During the game prior to his first 300 game, Wallace set the foundation for perfection by bowling 8 straight strikes to end the game.

Early on, he also shot an 806 series at a recreation club in Syracuse. Wallace said bowling well in that kind of environment is not easy to do. He considers that achievement to be one of his biggest.

In recent years, Wallace won the Western Central Bowling Association Tournament. He was also recognized for his success competing in Doubles Play.

It means a lot to Wallace to be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame. He is familiar with and has a lot of respect for many Hall of Fame members including fellow inductee, Dean Distin. At the end of the day, it’s an honor for Wallace to be associated with other impressive bowlers and their numerous accomplishments within the sport.

Distin began bowling in 1978 when he joined the Junior Bowling Program at Lakeview Lanes. Distin found himself interested in the sport when he would see his father, Milton Distin, bowl in both of Fulton’s classic leagues.

Some of Distin’s early accomplishments in bowling include being a captain of the high school varsity team for two of his three years of participation. During his senior year, Distin had the highest average in the league en route to winning the Onondaga High School League. He has bowled 52 300 games with 31 800 series and has won many city tournament titles.

His experience in bowling has also included holding many league related positions. Distin served as president of the W.F. Case League and also served as director and vice president of the Fulton Bowling Association.

More recently, Distin won the 1988 and 1989 Oswego County Masters Championship. In 1991, he won the New York State Singles Championship.

Distin has been on several successful teams as well. In 1994, he earned recognition in the National Doubles and earned Team All Events acknowledgements at The ABC Open Championship. Distin won the 1995 Van-Wie Doubles Championship. After being the runner up in the Syracuse Masters Championship in 1993, he went on to win the tournament in 2000.

Distin has been married to his wife Kathy for 24 years and they have three children — sons Thomas, 17, Andrew, 15 and daughter Katie, 12.  For 20 years, Distin has been the owner of Jafco Construction.

Distin said being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor that allows him to come full circle. Not only are many of Distin’s friends and teammates members of the Hall of Fame, but his father is as well. Soon, he will be able to share this most impressive of achievements with the person who inspired him to bowl.

Youth group wants to save children from slavery

The Cabin 3 Youth group of Gods Vision Christian Church in Hannibal and the Vintage Truth college age ministry held a 30-hour famine on Good Friday, April 18 in Hannibal to raise money and awareness for Agape International and World Vision Child sponsorship.

Many youth and adults stopped eating at 6 p.m. Thursday April 17 and did not eat again for 30 hours.

During this time the youth built cardboard houses to sleep in overnight. The youth also held a car wash and obtained sponsors to raise money for the charities.

Mission worker Jill Chatham from the Rochester area came to speak to the youth and share information about worldwide child slavery and trafficking.

Every country has some sort of child trafficking and every area of the United States also has child slavery and trafficking issues.

Chatham taught the youth about the reasons why youth get involved in slavery, why they get sold into slavery in poor countries and how American teens get lured into a lifestyle that is actually leading them and trapping them into slavery and trafficking.

Many countries have youth as young as six years old working 21 hours a day, peeling shrimp, sewing soccer balls and working as prostitutes.

Chatham also pointed out the many products that we as Americans use on a daily basis that most likely was grown by, prepared by or assembled by children, many slaves, many not able to return to their families.

Statistically one child is sold into slavery every 30 seconds and 35 percent are less than age 16. Officials estimate there are more than 27,000 slaves worldwide, half under the age of 18.

Agape International says they are ”fighting the ground war on sex trafficking in Cambodia. Our projects prevent, rescue, restore and reintegrate, impacting 10,000+ people a year.”

But Agape said this takes money and  that’s where groups like Cabin 3 come in. Every dollar given helps to change a life, restore a life.

This is the 10th year Cabin 3 has done a 30-hour famine, raising money for their sponsored child, “Ruth,” a little girl in Peru, as well as raising money for World Vision.

This is the third year Cabin 3 and Vintage Truth College group have raised money for Agape International.

The youth traveled to Buffalo, Tuesday April 29 to deliver the money they raised to Vintage at the Chapel at Cross point in Buffalo.

Anyone who would like to donate to either fund, or if you would like more information, call Erik at 564-6133 or go to www.cabin3ministries.org.

All area teens ages 10-18 are welcome to attend all Cabin 3 events and all older teens, college age and adults are welcome to come to Vintage Truth every Tuesday  at 8 p.m. at God’s Vision Christian Church at 326 Church St., Hannibal.

Birdlebough students earn presidential honors

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

With a dedication to community service and a focus on helping others, 19 Phoenix youth earned recognition during a ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540 on Thursday night April 24.

Local dignitaries, school administrators and community representatives were on hand to commend the students for their dedication and volunteer service as part of the 18th annual President’s Youth Volunteer Service Award dinner.

“It’s an honor to be in the room with you,” said Brian Chetney, executive director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “This is a recognition program that honors tens of millions Americans who have made a commitment to sustained service … and you have all done your part.”

“Sustained” was the key word, as the honorees have devoted much of their free time to serving others. The juniors and seniors who received the silver distinction accumulated at least 300 volunteer hours,  while the gold recipients tallied at least 500 hours.

For John C. Birdlebough High School students Meganne Murphy and Dylan Switzer, who each earned the Youth of the Year Award, volunteer service has been a way of life.

“I started in first grade as a Boy Scout,” said Switzer, who earned his Eagle Scout badge in October. “I remember helping out at the shows for winter guard because my sister was in it. Volunteering is something I enjoy.”

Murphy began her community service contributions almost a decade ago.

“I’ve been volunteering since fifth grade, I started out as a Bridge House Brat,” she said. “It makes me feel good that I can make a difference.”

Although that positive feeling is enough to satisfy Murphy and Switzer, the additional recognition Thursday night was equally satisfying and humbling, they said.

“I was really surprised because I didn’t expect to get anything from being so involved,” Murphy said. “It means a lot to me to know that I’ve made a difference in the community.”

Switzer echoed those sentiments.

“It’s a big honor,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know how the selection committee made the decision. There are other people who were just as deserving as me.”

Birdlebough Principal Greg Molloy spoke about the Youth of the Year recipients and the qualities that contributed to them receiving the distinction.

Prior to presenting them with plaques, he lauded their volunteer spirit and commended them for their commitment to the community.

In addition to the Youth of the Year Award presentation, Superintendent Judy Belfield and Phoenix Board of Education President Earl Rudy congratulated the Gold and Silver Award recipients and presented them with commemorative pins and certificates.

“Your efforts will make you a well-rounded and a better person,” Rudy told the students.

Gold Award winners were James Benthin, Ben Bulgrien, Finella Campanino, Trever Ferens, Eric Hillpot, Maria Musumeci, Matthew Pelton, Paige Recore, Brian Stafford, Shaun Turner, Ryan Thorn and Olivia Uttamsingh. Silver Award recipients were Hailee Claycomb, Gianna Garofalo, Bailey Goldthwait, Hannah Lees and Jessica Lord.

Fulton police, firefighters honored

Fulton firefighters and police officers were honored Wednesday night during the annual city of Fulton Police and Fire Awards Ceremony.

Medal of Honor recipients Officer Michael Blasczienski and Officer Brian Dumas. Photo by Thomas Abelgore
Medal of Honor recipients Officer Michael Blasczienski and Officer Brian Dumas.
Photo by Thomas Abelgore

The ceremony, emceed by Channel 9 anchor and reporter Christie Casciano, was filled with the exceptional stories of what the police officers, firefighters, Menter EMTS and civilians did durig 2013 to help their fellow Fulton residents.

Beverly Belton wiped tears from her eyes as her saviors — Officers Brian Dumas and Michael Blasczienski — received the Medal of Honor Award for saving her and others in her apartment building during a fire.

“Blasczienski kicked my door down to get to me. I didn’t even know the building was on fire,” she said. “If they hadn’t gotten me out, I’d be gone — the fire was int he attic right above me.”

She kissed and hugged the two men after they received their award. From her ordeal, Belton is lobbying the state and federal governments to institute a First Responders Day to honor these workers.

Another poignant moment was when 10-year-old Kiernan O’Neil received his Civiilian Service Award. He stood on the stage with her mom, Jennifer, who he saved.

Civiilian Service Award recipient Kiernan O’Neil and his mom, Jennifer
Civiilian Service Award recipient Kiernan O’Neil and his mom, Jennifer

Kiernan, who was 9 at the time, was playing outside last June 24 when he needed to tell his mother something. He went into the house and found her lying on the bed.

According to accounts, he knew something was wrong because his mom wasn’t moving and it didn’t seem as though she was breathing.

“While a lot of kids out there would probably panic, Kiernan didn’t. Instead he ran out of the house to the neighbors to call 911,” said the narrative read during the ceremony.

Police Officer Gary Percival, Fulton Rescue and Menter Ambulance all heard the call and responded.  Jennifer was found to have no pulse.

According to the narrative read at the ceremony:

“Percival rolled Jennifer onto her back and began CPR. A short time later Fulton Fire Department Personnel Lt. Mark Pollock, Firefighter Randy Spencer, Firefighter Chris Adkins, Firefighter Chris Caza and Firefighter Ryan Maxam arrived. They took over life saving efforts from  Percival.

“Jumping into action, Firefighters Adkins and Maxam got Jennifer’s airway open and began giving her respirations while Lt. Pollock and Firefighter Caza continued CPR. With crucial time ticking away, they set up an AED and delivered a shock to Jennifer.

“Still not breathing they continued with CPR. Menters ambulance personnel Michael Zukovsky, Sean Morganti, Edward Kasperek and Joseph Susino arrived on the scene and immediately got to work. An IV was started and Jennifer was shocked a second time.

“They kept up their efforts and soon after she was loaded into the ambulance, Jennifer was breathing on her own and had a pulse.”

Jennifer O’Neil hugged each of the firefighters and officers who helped save her that day. And young Kiernan got a hearty  thanks and good job from the first responders and, of course, Mom.

Here is a list of others honored Wednesday night:

Police Officer of the Year Chris Jones, with his daughters Casey, left, and Hannah, right.
Police Officer of the Year Chris Jones, with his daughters Casey, left, and Hannah, right.

Firefighter of the year: Christopher Adkins

Police officer of the year: Christopher Jones

Triumphant Award, for scoring 90 percent or better in the annual Fitness Challenge: Officer Brian Dumas; those scoring  85 percent or better were Capt. David Eiffe and Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore.

STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program) awards for participation in the program that targets traffic offenses:

Leading the Fulton department was Officer Brandon Lanning, followed by Officer Jarret Marino and Officer Lucas Hollenbeck. Others receiving certificates of commendation for their work on this program are Officers Christopher Jones, Jeffrey Margrey, Victor Kaufman, Rick Hahn, Christian Dempsey, Brandon Harris and Brian Dumas.

Firefighter of the Year, Chris Adkins
Firefighter of the Year, Chris Adkins

Meritorious Service Award: Officer (retired) Lennet Whitmore and Officer Jeremy Algarin.

Here is a narrative of what they did:

Last summer, Officer Whitmore and Officer Algarin were on patrol when they were dispatched to a reported suicidal woman on the city’s west side.

When they arrived, several people were gathered around a house pointing to a second-floor window. The people said a woman had come to the window with something wrapped around her neck, threatening to jump.

Whitmore went to the upstairs apartment and tried to make contact with the female, but she refused to open the door. Due to the circumstances, Algarin kicked in the door and both officers entered the apartment.

At first, they were unable to locate the woman, then Algarin saw that she was hanging by her fingertips out the second-story window.

Both officers went into action, throwing the window open and grabbing the woman by each of her arms. After a brief struggle, they were able to get the woman back inside to safety.

Completing two consecutive years of service without an absence: Firefighters Robert Summerville, Daniel O’mara,  Chris Adkins, Lt. Steven Dexter, Lt. Mark Pollock, Officer Victor Kaufman, Inv. Aimee May, Inv. Michael Curtis, Lt. William Clark, Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore

Honorable Service Award: Officer Lucas Hollenbeck.

Here is a narrative of what he did:

In March 2013, Officer Lucas Hollenbeck was patrolling Fulton’s west side late in the afternoon. Hollenbeck decided to do an area check of some of the local businesses and while checking NET & DIE, a local machine shop, he noticed a vehicle parked along the side of the building.

A quick check of the building found it secure, but the truck bed was loaded with what appeared to be a large amount of metal.

Believing that he may have interrupted a larceny in progress, Hollenbeck called for backup. Other police units arrived and they began checking the area, when they located Kyle Moore and Jonathan Loomis hiding behind a dumpster.

Neither man would admit to stealing the metal, even though the truck was registered to one of them. The owner of the company was contacted and he confirmed the metal in the back of the truck did indeed belong to his business.

After further investigation both males were arrested for felony grand larceny.

Meritorious Service Award: Officer Christopher Jones

Here is a narrative of what he did:

Last spring, Officer Chris Jones was on patrol when he was dispatched to a reported house fire. When Jones arrived he could see smoke pouring out of the house.

Being the first on scene, Jones jumped into action grabbing a fire extinguisher out of the back of his patrol car. He started for the house as people fled the burning building.

When he entered the house, Jones could see the smoke was coming from the basement. Without regard for his safety and no equipment to protect him from the fire, he went down looking for the source of the smoke.

When he got to the basement he found the fire and went to work quickly putting it out before more damage could be done.

As he battled the flames in the confined space he was nearly overcome by the toxic combination of smoke and dry chemicals from the extinguisher.

After exiting the building, Jones was treated for smoke inhalation and chemical burns to his lungs, but even as he was being treated he was able to learn vital information from people on scene that eventually helped lead to the arrest of Christopher Holbrook for arson.

Life Saver Award: Michael Zukovsky, Garrett Hauf and Ronald Frawley.

Here is a narrative of what they did:

Just over a year ago Menters personnel, Michael Zukovsky, Garrett Hauf and Ronald Frawley were sent to the city’s east side for a report of a woman with severe chest pain. When they arrived the patient was already being attended to by the Fulton Fire Department.

She was alert and conscious, but reporting she was in a lot of pain. It was decided that the patient would be transported to St. Joseph’s in Syracuse.

What started as a fairly routine transport suddenly became anything but routine. As they drove the patient stated she felt dizzy then suddenly she went unresponsive. The Menters crew immediately reacted, looking for a pulse, but finding none.

The patient took a last breath then stopped breathing. The crew worked tirelessly through out the race to the hospital culminating with Zukovsky using an AED to administer a shock to the patient as they pulled into St. Joe’s.

Amazingly the patient started breathing again and by the time they got into the ER, she was conscious and talking.

Exceptional Duty Award: Russ Johnson, Sgt. Stephen Lunn and Inv. Michael Batstone.

They are honored for their work over several years that finally led to the discovery of the person driving the car involved in the accident that killed Carolee Ashby in 1968.

Life Saving Award: Fulton Firefighters Lt. Steve Dexter, Lt. Shane Laws, Firefighters Ed Kasperek, Chris Adkins and Ken Gleason along with Menters AEMT’s Chris Foy, Michael Zukovsky and EMT Cory Richer.

They are honored for saving the life of a woman who was barely breathing, turning purple and unconscious.

Civilian Service Award: Edward Witkowski, of Fulton.

He is honored for rushing into a burning building and quickly extinguishing a fire, preventing a huge loss.

Parks medallion contest winner picks up her prize

Audrey Avery, fourth from left, holds the envelope with a check from The Valley News for $250 for being the winner of the Treasure Fulton Parks 2014 Medallion Hunt contest. She found the medallion in Van Buren Park April 16. The award ceremony was April 22 in Recreration Park. Children and adults who collected the colored rocks in all the parks also received their prizes that day. Shown in the photo from left are Bob Weston of Friends of Fulton Parks; Kelley Weaver, Friends of Fulton Parks and creator of the medallion contest; Charles Avery; Audrey Avery; Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr; and Dan Knopp, Fulton Common Council president. The person who found the medallion after reading clues hidden in The Valley News would receive $150 if he or she wasn’t a Valley News subscriber and $250 if he or she was a Valley News subscriber.
Audrey Avery, fourth from left, holds the envelope with a check from The Valley News for $250 for being the winner of the Treasure Fulton Parks 2014 Medallion Hunt contest. She found the medallion in Van Buren Park April 16. The award ceremony was April 22 in Recreration Park. Children and adults who collected the colored rocks in all the parks also received their prizes that day. Shown in the photo from left are Bob Weston of Friends of Fulton Parks; Kelley Weaver, Friends of Fulton Parks and creator of the medallion contest; Charles Avery; Audrey Avery; Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr; and Dan Knopp, Fulton Common Council president. The person who found the medallion after reading clues hidden in The Valley News would receive $150 if he or she wasn’t a Valley News subscriber and $250 if he or she was a Valley News subscriber.

Cold was the headline during the winter of 2012-14

By Debra J. Groom

It looks like winter may be over.

Nuts, did that jinx it?

Well anyway, through April 22, Fulton has received 177.6 inches of snow, said John Florek, who keeps snow records at the city’s water department. The average snowfall through April 22 during the 38 seasons he has been keeping records is 179.6.

“We’re pretty darn close,” Florek said.

Even though temperatures have been mild of late, Florek said he doesn’t put away his snow records for the year until the end of May.

“We’ve had snow on a couple of Mothers’ Days,” he said. The latest snow he has on record is May 12, 1996, when the city picked up 1.5 inches.

That was part of an extreme winter that saw 273.5 inches pile up in Fulton. The least amount of snow in his 38 years of record keeping was in 1991 — a paltry 74.75 inches.

Carolyn Yerdon, who keeps weather records up in Redfield, said her area came in at 386 inches — and more than half of that was on the ground before Jan. 1.

“We still have some piles here on the lawn and you can find snow in the woods,” she said this week.

The record for snow in Redfield is the 1996-97 winter — a total of 420 inches of snow fell.

Both Florek and Yerdon said what made this winter seem to go on forever was it seemed to snow almost every day and there were periods of extreme cold.

Yerdon said Oswego County is used to temperatures below zero during the winter. But to have a run of many days of frigid temperatures is rare.

“We had minus 19 on Jan. 21, minus 18 on Jan. 22 and it continued through Jan 24,” she said. Jan. 25 saw 11 degrees, and then the temperature plummeted again to minus 11 on Jan. 26 and minus 19 on Jan. 27.

“That’s brutal,” she said.

Florek agreed.

“It was cold more than anything else,” he said. “There were no real drops of multiple feet of snow this year.”

In Oswego, the Port City ended with 154.5 inches of snow, a couple of inches above average, said weather observer William Gregway.

“We got a lot of lake effect,” he said, noting it also snowed early in the season and continued through April. “We had a white Thanksgiving, white Christmas, but not a white Easter,” he said.

He also agreed the cold really got people down this year. He said he talked to some construction workers recently who are doing sewer work in the city and they remarked that the frost was more than 3 feet down into the ground where they were digging.