All posts by Debbie Groom

Fulton man charged with making meth

A 37-year-old Fulton man was arrested by Oswego police March 4 for a felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine in the third degree.

Ronald E. Recore, of 107 Highland St., Fulton, also was charged with a misdemeanor county of petit larceny for allegedly stealing a Rite Aid brand instant cold compress from the MidTown Plaza earlier in the day.

Oswego police said instant cold compresses contain ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used in the “one pot” method of making methamphetamine.

Recore was arrested after a car he was in was stopped by Oswego Police on East Ninth Street. As a safety precaution, East Ninth Street between East Bridge Street and East Cayuga Street was closed off to all traffic while Oswego City Fire Department stood by on scene.

Recore was being held in jail pending his arraignment. The investigation is continuing and further arrests are likely.

As always, Oswego City Police are asking anyone with information regarding this or any other illegal drug activity to contact them at 342-2283. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may also contact the Oswego City Police Departments tip-line at 342-8131, or email crimewatch@oswegony.org

Lake Ontario water levels lower for 2014

By Debra J. Groom

Early estimates show water levels in Lake Ontario may be a bit lower in 2014 through June than they were in 2013.

A briefing on Great Lakes water levels given this week by the Army Corps of Engineers stated levels for February are 4 inches above last year for the month and near the long-term average for February.

But, long-range forecasts show through May, the lake’s level should be about 2 inches below last year and 2 inches to 4 inches below the long-range average through May.

The level is forecast at 3 inches below average in June and 5 inches to 7 inches below the long-range average in June.

So what does this mean?

Well, right now, no one knows for sure.

Cathy Goodnough is president of the Sandy Pond Channel Maintenance Association, which is charged with keeping an eye on water levels in the Sandy Pond area and ensuring the channel between the pond and the lake is open for boaters.

She said the area still has to see what the ice melt and snow runoff from the areas east of the lake do to the water levels. She said there was so much ice in January the Sandy Pond area flooded.

“We have 24 inches of ice here right now and we got a lot of snow,” she said Thursday.

One positive is the ice buildup at the Sandy Pond area. Goodnough said the channel between Sandy Pond and the lake close dup in January and the ice formation sucked a lot of water and sand out of the channel.

Last summer lake water levels fluctuated from being a little above average to a little below average, with Goodnough characterizing it as not a disaster, but not perfect either.

Residents of the lake shoreline have seen some bad times in previous years, with water levels so low they couldn’t get watr lines in or use their boats.

The International Joint Commission, consisting of U.S. and Canadian officials, regulate Lake Ontario water levels throughout the summer.

The cold and snow of this winter has caused near record conditions on the Great Lakes.

As of March 4, 91 percent of the Great Lakes’ surface was iced over. The lake with the most open water is Lake Ontario, which is ony 43 percent covered by ice.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the only year with more Great Lakes ice was 1979, when they were 94.7 percent ice covered.

Officials said extensive ice cover cuts down on lake water evaporation, so Lake Ontario is open to more water evaporation than the other lakes.

County officials work on college chargeback numbers

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County and Cayuga County officials are working together to try to come up with a solution to funding inadequacies for Cayuga Community College.

Last year, during 2014 county budget deliberations, county officials found out their chargeback for Cayuga Community College was increasing 85 percent. Oswego County’s budgeted chargeback for all community colleges increased from about $4 million in 2013 to $5.4 million in 2014.

A chargeback is the amount the county pays to each community college attended by Oswego County residents. The colleges use the money for their basic operations.

“The chargeback is an unfunded State mandate charged to taxpayers on their property tax bills,” said Oswego County Administrator Philip Church.

In 2013, Oswego County paid $2.8 million to CCC, about $1 million to Onondaga Community College and $221,000 to Jefferson Community College. The county also pays for one student who attends the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

A large majority of the county’s community college attendees go the CCC, either at its main campus in Auburn or at the campus in Fulton. The large increase from 2013 to 2014 was due to CCC officials overestimating how many students they would have in 2013, which made Oswego County’s chargeback smaller.

So the chargeback increased for 2014 to make up for what should have been paid in 2013.

County Legislator Terry Wilbur, R-Hannibal, legislature majority leader and chair of the legislature’s finance and personnel committee, said Oswego County’s biggest concern with the chargebacks is the county has no say in the running or operations of CCC, yet it still has to pay a huge sum of money to the college each year.

“It isn’t a level playing field,” Wilbur said. “It is taxation without representation.”

As it stands now, no one from Oswego County is on the CCC board of trustees. “If we have to pay, we should have a say,” Wilbur said. “How do we solve that situation?”

Wilbur said CCC officials, including interim President Gregory T. DeCinque, have listened to the concerns of Oswego County officials. Any change in the makeup of the CCC board would have to be approved by the State University of New York board.

To date, CCC has agreed to set up an Oswego County Advisory Board, Church said. There will be no voting power concerning actions at CCC, but the board members, including Church and Wilbur, will be able to make issues and concerns known to CCC officials.

The other way Oswego County would have more of a say in the issue would be to create a regional community college.

Wilbur said DeCinque has a strong background in creating regional colleges as he led Jamestown Community College through regionalization at his last job.

Regionalization would create a college that serves an entire region and isn’t aligned to just one county, such as Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Adirondack Community College, Tompkins-Cortland Community College or Hudson Valley Community College.

Church said regionalization “has been looked at on and off” for a few years, but nothing solid has taken shape.

The chargebacks paid by counties are computed with a complex formula based on the number of students in the county attending a particular community college. That amount goes toward the college’s operating costs.

There also is a portion of the chargeback that goes toward capital charges and is restricted by law for use only on capital debt, construction or capital project repairs.

Applications being accepted for Camp Hollis Counselor-in-Training positions

Submitted by Oswego County

Applications are now being accepted for Counselor-in-Training positions at Camp Hollis.

Youth aged 15 or 16 years old may apply to be accepted into this training program. Camp Hollis will accept up to four 15-year-old participants and up to four 16-year-old participants.

Those who are 15 years old participate in the program June 22 through July 18 on a voluntary basis. Those 16 years old participate in the program from June 22 to Aug. 15 and receive a stipend.

Residency for both age groups is required from Sunday afternoon through Friday evening each week, with weekends off during the summer.

Camp Hollis is a children’s residential camp located in the town of Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario with a strong focus on outdoor recreation and nature.  Children ages 8 to 14 attend camp for one week and participate in a variety of summer camp activities.

“The 15-year-old counselors-in-training shadow rotating counselors during the day to see what it is like and what it takes to work at a summer residential camp,” said Brandon Morey, coordinator of youth development and recreation for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

“The 16-year-old counselors-in-training either shadow rotating counselors during the day and take a more involved role of the supervision and programming aspect of a residential camp, or work in the kitchen to help prepare meals for the campers while performing cleaning duties required to maintain camp standards.”

Camp Hollis is owned by Oswego County and operated by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau as a residential camp. The facility is also available to rent from the beginning of May through October for use by families, clubs, school groups and other organizations.

Camp Hollis is located at 40 Health Camp Road, off Lakeshore Road in the town of Oswego.

Those seeking more information may call the Youth Bureau at 315-349-3451 or (800) 596-3200, ext.3451 or contact Morey at 349-3241 or by email at bmorey@oswegocounty.com.

Rosario Licciardello, lettuce and onion farmer

Rosario Licciardello, a self-employed lettuce and onion farmer, passed away on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 at his home.

He was 95.

The son of the late Gaetano Licciardello and Verda Cutuli Licciardello, he was born June 11, 1918 in New York City.

A veteran of WWII, Rosario served his county in the U.S. Army.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Marie, at home; children, Maria Nazarro and her husband Robert of Pine Bush, Richard Licciardello and his wife Sandra of Fulton, NY, Lauri Quigley and her husband John of Pine Bush, Howard Potter II and his wife Terri of Bath, NY, Scott Porter and his wife Sheila of Albany; sister Vita Chalone and husband Bart of Fulton, NY 16 grandchildren,  six great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.

Rosario is predeceased by his brother, Michael Licciardello and his sister; Sadie Malone.

Cremation will be private and at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will take place at a later date in the spring.

Arrangements are entrusted to the William M. Gagan Funeral Home Inc. www.wmgaganfuneralhome.com

Bodley Bulletins

By Julia Ludington

School has definitely been scarce the past few weeks!

However, Bodley students are still hard at work at their various activities.

Spring sports players are becoming excited as the season fast approaches. The first official day of practices will be March 10. Make sure you have gotten your physical and are all set to play.

Coaches will be giving their players “red sheets.” These are to record any injuries or health problems players may have.

Athletes are required to fill them out every year for the nurse. Players should make sure to get these in on time. It is very important that the nurse and trainer have your information in case of an emergency.

Our athletic department has begun to take concussions much more seriously in the past few years, so athletes should also be expecting to take a concussion test at the beginning of their respective seasons.

The test measures reaction time and recognition of shapes, words, and numbers, among many other things.

If a player gets a concussion, he or she will have to take the same test again. The trainer will compare both tests and determine if any further action needs to be taken.

No need to fret! It sounds scary, but if you take the right precautions, a concussion should be nothing to worry about. Always make sure you have the proper equipment. If you suspect you may have a concussion, be sure to tell your coach right away.

Do not forget about our upcoming musical (“Curtains”) this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Evening performances take place on each day at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. We hope you can make it!

School finance forum set for March 12

Stakeholders from 33 school districts will converge on West Genesee High School in Camillus on Wednesday, March 12, to draw attention to the ongoing fiscal crisis facing public schools.

Those attending also will develop a firm understanding of the key issues and learn how to be effective advocates for their children, schools and communities.

The event, “Our Kids, Our Schools…Our Future!,’’ has been organized to bring community members of all backgrounds together for an informative and inspiring forum that will let them know what is at stake if state leaders do not eradicate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and provide adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools.

This forum originally was scheduled for Feb. 5, but was canceled due to snowy weather.

“The snow got us on our first attempt on Feb. 5, but the goal of this re-scheduled forum remains the same,’’ said Charles Borgognoni, executive director of the Central New York School Boards Association.

“Our focus is to inform the public about the state of the public education fiscal crisis and how it equates to lost opportunities for our children and communities. The 2014-15 state budget being hammered out in Albany is nearing completion,” Borgognoni said.

“It’s not too late to stand up for our kids and be heard. We are on a mission to inspire people to contact their state legislators and express their concerns about education spending,” he said.

The March 12 program will start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. West Genesee High School is located at 5201 W. Genesee St., Camillus.

The featured presenter for the forum is Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium.

Timbs will address the need to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA -– a state fiscal gimmick that for the past four years has withheld billions of dollars in legally entitled state aid from districts across the state — that includes more than $350 million deducted from the 33 schools districts participating in this forum.

The forum is being coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association in partnership with the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison and Oswego County BOCES on behalf of the students, families, and community members in the districts that make up the two BOCES regions.

Fairgrieve students honored for academic excellence

Fairgrieve Elementary School Principal Jean Ciesla recently recognized 118 students with Academic Excellence Awards.

The students were nominated by their classroom teachers based on their academic standing and outstanding behavior and attitude in the classroom.

The following kindergarten students received the Academic Excellence Award: Cayley Cunningham, William Duso, Benjamin Renfrew, Penelope Taylor, Julia Frataccia-Wavle, Casandra Guillaume, Jada Barnwell, Ayden Cusic, Jared Gardenier, Olivia Nesbitt, Devin Patchen, Kelsey Draughn, Audrina Mendez, Damien Drought, TeeJay Pagliaroli, and Giavonna Spano.

The following first-grade students received the Academic Excellence Award: Mya Carroll, Gabriella Mitchell, Trista Sullivan, Liam Crandall, Monae Fenty, Taylor Hull, Ashlyn Jimenez, Kaylee Mason, Logan Patchen, Deverick Reidell, Abigail Renner, Brookelynn Stewart, Jayce Wornick, Trevor Chappell, Joseph Cortini, Bailey DePoint, Adelaide McEachen, Dawson Reed, and Cristofer Rodriguez Barrios.

Second-graders honored with the Academic Excellence Award were: Richard LaGrow Jr., Ty Nesbitt, Nasir Noelm, Aiden Barriger, Karsen Conn, Ciara Dillingham, Joseph Frausto, Megan Gates, Alexa Halstead, Orissa Elson, Dominick Reidell, Kloe Bryan, Olivia Frataccia, Skyy Smith, Douglas VanSanford, Tristan Kent, Zoey Kerr, Dawson Krause, Andrew Mitchell, Carleigh Patterson, and Rylee Spencer.

The following third-grade students received the Academic Excellence Award: Sabrina Carvey, Trae Mitchell, Mandy Allen, Adon Heaney, Chelsey Latocha, Kayla McCraith, Alexis Pettit, Abigail Price, Ryan Carroll, Braeden DePoint, Nicholas Dunning, and William Patterson.

Fourth-grade students who received the Academic Excellence Award were: Matthew Breton, Caleb Crandall, Annyka Halligan, Rosiline Knoblock, Isabella Cary, Olivia Cunningham, Tiffany Macri, Kaden Reynnells, and Charles Stoutenger.

The following fifth-grade students received the Academic Excellence Award: Olivia Bush, Toni Gates, Kaylee Hutchins, Anthony Lucas, Alexa Patterson, Emily Sohoski, Noah Walter, Emma Weaver, Brandi Carr, Bryce Carroll, Anthony Epolito, Lauren Goss, Olivia Hawthorn, Caitlyn Warne, Braeci Clonch, Aryona DiGregorio, Olivia Forsyth, Kyleigh Halligan, Jaidyn Perry, and Morgan Zukowski.

Sixth-graders receiving the Academic Excellence Award were: Justice Carvey, Samuel Cary, Sean Flynn, Kyle Hotaling, Katie Hull, Alana White, Briana Coakley, JulieAnn Dunning, Alyssa Kurak, Sydney Lawson, Alexis Lighthall, Fiona McInnis, Samantha Perkin, Ronde Wood, Rebecca Bailey, Alexander Blaine, Hannah Bort, Brian Clark, Christopher Cross, Patrice Hudson, Christopher Prosenick, and Nevaeh Tucker.