Category Archives: Featured Stories

Oswego County Emergency Management issues safety guidelines for winter storm

From Oswego County Emergency Management:

With the impending lake effect snowstorm forecast for the Tug Hill region in Oswego County Monday afternoon through Wednesday, Oswego County Director of Emergency Management Dale A. Currier reminds local residents to use extreme caution while traveling in inclement weather.

Emergency response agencies including fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement and highway are gearing up as the National Weather Service-Buffalo Forecast Office forecast indicates for heavy lake effect snow for the northern section of the county along with extreme cold and a wind chill warning. The National Weather Service indicates this is a potentially dangerous situation with up to 4 inches of snow falling an hour in the most persistent bands, compounded by winds of 20 to 30 hours an hour.

“There will be zero visibility due to the blowing snow and dangerously cold wind chills of -20 degrees F,” Currier said.

“People should be very aware of their surroundings and avoid travel in heavy snow whenever possible,” Currier continued. “The NWS is forecasting frequent whiteout conditions due to heavy lake effect snow and considerable blowing and drifting snow. If you must travel, tell someone when you’re going and when you expect to reach your destination. Carry a cellular phone. Clear your vehicle completely of snow and ice, and always match your speed to road conditions.”

People should carry a car kit in their vehicle at all times, Currier said. The kit should include blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag. “Make sure your gas tank is full to prevent gasoline freeze-up,” Currier said.

“Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before going out,” Currier stressed. “In lake effect snow the weather can vary from locally heavy snow in narrow bands to clear skies just a few miles away. Be prepared for rapid changes in road and visibility conditions.”

For anyone who must go outside in extreme winter conditions, Currier said, tips to follow include dressing for the cold and slowing down when working outside.

“Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers,” he said. “Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded. Always wear a hat and gloves or mittens, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. With the wind chills forecast over the next couple of days, frostbite can occur to exposed skin within minutes.”

Cold temperatures can put extra strain on the heart when doing heavy tasks such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car. “Stay warm, dress warm, and slow down when working outside,” Currier said. “Take frequent rests to avoid overexertion. If you feel chest pain, stop and seek help immediately.”

People should also follow common sense when operating a snow blower. “Never leave your snow blower running and unattended, and never put your hands into the discharge chute or augers to clear stuck snow and ice,” Currier stressed. “Never add fuel when the engine is running and hot. Make sure you know how to turn the machine off quickly.

“Lake effect snow and extreme cold are nothing new to Oswego County residents,” Currier said. “If people follow common sense safety precautions, they can minimize the impact on their lives.”

More information is available by visiting the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo. Oswego County is a NWS StormReady Community and has multiple methods of receiving and disseminating hazardous weather information.

2 Oswego High band members perform at All-American Bowl

Check out this video of the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band halftime performance at the All-American Bowl Game played Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

This marching band of 125 members features the top high-school seniors in the nation selected through audition by the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and the U.S Army Field Band for brass, woodwind, percussion (battery and ensemble) and color guard. Included in the group were Cassandra Hondro and Emily King of Oswego High School. Hondro plays piccolo and and King plays trumpet.

Game results – West beats East 28 – 6.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbXwZmKEzG4

Thruway closes from Buffalo to Pennsylvania line

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today (Monday, Jan. 6) announced that parts of the New York State Thruway in Western New York will be closed due to extreme winter weather conditions.

The Thruway between Exit 55 (Route 219/Lackawanna/Springville/Orchard Park/West Seneca) and Exit 61 (Shortman Road, Ripley) will be closed to commercial vehicles at 3PM today. Starting at 8 PM, all vehicles traveling westbound on the Thruway will be detoured off the roadway at Exit 50 (I-290 west), and all eastbound traffic will be detoured off at Exit 61 (Shortman Road, Ripley).

In addition, the State Emergency Operations Center will open at 8 tonight based on the forecasted winter weather conditions in Buffalo and Western New York.

The closure is a precautionary measure due to an extraordinary winter weather event that is forecast to include 36 inches of snow in the coming day-and-a-half, lake effect snows in some areas up to four inches per hour, wind gusts up to 40 mph and wind chill temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero. The Thruway in this area will be reopened when conditions allow.

FULTON FAMILIES: A school of fish: The Westons just keep swimming

The favorites – Bob Weston used to tell each of his three daughters — Cindy, Alison and Kelly — that she was his favorite. It wasn’t until later that they found out they were all his favorites.  Photo courtesy of the Weston family
The favorites – Bob Weston used to tell each of his three daughters — Cindy, Alison and Kelly — that she was his favorite. It wasn’t until later that they found out they were all his favorites.
Photo courtesy of the Weston family

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of stories about Fulton Families. The monthly series tells the stories of families that have either lived in Fulton for ages or perhaps only a short while — but the common bond is that they love the city and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If you know of a family we should highlight, please email Debbie Groom, Valley News managing editor, at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com.

By Ashley M. Casey

It’s well past Christmas, but Bob and Sandy Weston’s tree is still decked out in the living room. It’s not a Christmas tree anymore, though — it’s a celebration tree.

“The bulbs come down (and) we put pictures, we put cards, birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, any kind of card that we get from friends and from family we put on the tree,” Bob said. Continue reading

News in brief

Students from the Oswego Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society program took time out of their vacation recently and helped celebrate the holidays with residents, staff, family and friends at Bishop’s Commons.

Junior Honor Society students lent a hand during the annual Christmas Party held at Bishop’s Commons. Students played games with residents and the children who attended the party, served refreshments to those on hand and even helped Santa Claus distribute presents.

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Saturday workshops for January at the Oswego Public Library include:

1 to 3 p.m., Saturday,  Jan. 4, Computer Tune Up

1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, Advanced Iphones

Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, Tower Teardown. Learn how to take a PC apart and put it back together again.

Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, File/Photo Recovery. Learn how to recover files and photos from a dead or infected PC.

3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, Photoshop Elements.

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Laurie Smith is the guest at the 8 a.m. Jan. 9 Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training monthly breakfast meeting at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center.

She will demonstrate show how changing your thinking and actions will have a great effect on the success of your goals. She is a self-development junkie, a serial entrepreneur and a health and fitness advocate with a 20-year career in different aspects of the beauty industry.

The cost for each seminar is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. The WNET annual (Sept. 2013-Aug.2014) membership cost is $25. Each seminar includes a light breakfast.

WNET is supported locally by Operation Oswego County, SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center, NBT Bank, BeautiControl, By Detail and The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Pre-registration is required for each seminar, and may be made by calling Operation Oswego County, weekdays, at 343-1545, or via e-mail elivoti@oswegocounty.org. Payments may also be made via credit card on our website.

For more information about WNET, visit http://www.oswegocounty.org/WNET/index.html. Follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/WomensNetworkforEntrepreneurialTraining.

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The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville, will have a roast pork and dresing diner beginning at 4 p.m. Jan. 11.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter. Attendees may choose from a wide selection of homemade pies and other desserts.

Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.

Music will be provided while you wait to be seated.

The ladies from the church also have a variety of crafts and goodies for sale.  There is a large supply of used books available at reasonable prices.

The next dinner will be Feb. 8. Call  Anne Jones at 695-6086 with questions.

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A soup luncheon is planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until sold out) Jan. 11 at the Granby Center United Methodist Church, County Route 3.

The menu will include vegetable beef soup and cream of broccoli soup, bread, crackers, beverage and dessert.

Takeouts are available.

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The Oswego County 911 Program has launched a new Facebook page to keep residents informed about new developments in the 911 office.

E-911 serves the community by answering emergency and non-emergency requests for police, fire and emergency medical services.

The Facebook page contains information on training, community education programs, staff activities, and new developments in emergency communications technology.

The page may be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oswego-County-911-Emergency-Communications-Department/247959888691914.

“Oswego County 911 recognizes the importance of public outreach and the use of modern social media for the delivery of information,” said program director Michael Allen.

“We are excited to launch this Facebook Page and hope the public finds it informative and useful,” he said.

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A new law signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will require manufacturers to collect and recycle mercury-containing thermostats at no cost to consumers.

The law implements a statewide thermostat product stewardship program to ensure that hazardous mercury is properly handled, preventing potential adverse health effects and damage to the environment.

Mercury is found in many older wall-mounted thermostats used to regulate room temperatures. If these thermostats break, they can release mercury into the air, causing adverse health effects when inhaled.

Exposure also can occur when mercury thermostats are improperly discarded into the solid waste stream because switches can break or be incinerated, releasing the mercury into the environment.

Beginning July 1, 2014, thermostat manufacturers are required to establish a system for the collection, transport, recycling, disposal and proper management of out-of-service mercury thermostats, and also conduct education and outreach to consumers, thermostat wholesalers, contractors and contractor associations regarding the collection program.

The statewide goal for calendar year 2015 is to collect 15,500 out-of-service mercury thermostats.

Roller derby junior league featured at bout

Port City Roller Derby’s junior league will get 2014 rolling with their “Snow Ball” bout on Saturday, Jan. 11, in the Oswego YMCA Armory.

For the bout featuring two teams of Port City Roller Derby junior skaters, ages 10 to 17, doors will open at 5 p.m. with action beginning at 6 p.m. in the armory, corner of West First and Utica streets in Oswego.

It is the second event of the juniors first full competitive season, a prelude to a Feb. 8 home bout versus a juniors team from Buffalo’s Queen City league.

A portion of proceeds of the January bout will support the Children’s Museum of Oswego.

Advance tickets, available from league members, cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, with children 4 and under admitted free.

Tickets can be purchased at the door, but will cost $12 for adults. Attendees interested in trackside seating are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Port City Roller Derby is produced by Oz Roller Girls Inc., a member-run nonprofit organization dedicated to athletic competition, empowerment and supporting its community.

Port City Roller Derby always seeks skaters, refs and other volunteers for its adult (18 and over) and juniors (ages 10 to 17) teams, and will provide training.

For more information, visit www.portcityrollerderby.org or email portcityrd@gmail.com.