Category Archives: Featured Stories

News in brief

Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will be serving a special benefit all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 4 a.m. to noon, Black Friday, Nov. 29.

This will benefit a local family who has recently lost a child,  to help defray their medical costs.

The menu includes your choice of pancakes or French toast, sausage, juice, coffee or tea. Extra sides may be purchased as well.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica St., Oswego.

For more information you may call the church at 343-1715.


A Holiday Open House is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Red Schoolhouse Maple in Palermo.

Co-owner Kim Enders said atendees will be able to sample recipes using the business’s 100 percent pure maple syrup while browsing through our many gift baskets and maple products for holiday gift giving.

The “Sugarhouse” is decorated for the holiday season and we’ll have complimentary maple coffee to warm you up.


The John C. Birdlebough High School Guidance Department will host an informational session on financial aid and  paying for college at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the high school auditorium.

Kathy Flaherty, assistant director of financial aid at SUNY Oswego will present information about the types and sources of financial aid available to undergraduate students and familiarize attendees with how to complete the FAFSA and TAP forms.

She also will discuss how to access grants, loans or work-study options, all of which may help defray the cost of attending college or other accredited program.

For more information, call the guidance department at J.C. Birdlebough High  at 695-1645. The snow date 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5.


Oswego County Hospice will have its annual hospice tree lighting ceremony from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Scenic Avenue, Mexico.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County is offering two workshops on holiday wreath making.

The first workshop is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 and the second is 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

Supplies provided will be a 14-inch wire ring, greens, pinecones and bows.   Participants need to bring a hammer and garden/work gloves are recommended.

The program will be held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County office at 3288 Main St., Mexico.

Instructor for the two workshops will be Master Gardner Jan Smith. There is a $15 fee per person for this program. Pre-registration with payment is required; make sure you get your reservations in early the workshop does fill quickly.

Both workshops are limited to 10 participants, and only one wreath per registered participant.  To guarantee your spot, call 963-7286.


The West Monroe Historical Society is preparing for its annual wreath sale from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21.

A variety of sizes, types of greens and embellishments are available. The sale hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

You may pre-order your wreath by calling 676-7414 or 668-3780. Horizontal and vertical swags large and small and easels for cemetery use are also offered. Prices range from $10 to $75 for 12 inches to 48 inches.

Anyone who wants to volunteer to help make and sell wreaths, call one of the above numbers.


North Volney Methodist Church is sponsoring a Lights of Christmas tree for the upcoming Christmas season.

Lights will be sold for $5 each and can be dedicated to a friend, family member or service member living or deceased. The tree will be lit through the Christmas season on the church grounds at the corner of County Routes 4 and 6 in the Town of Volney.

To purchase a light, send a check for $5 for each name, payable to North Volney UMC along with the list of names to the following address: Beverly Beck, 139 Island Rd., Phoenix, NY  13135.  Questions? Call 593-6825.


The Nu 2 U Christmas sale and Christmas cookie sale at Trinity United Methodist Church is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at the church.

There will be many kinds of cookies sold by the pound and the Nu 2 U sale will include many gently used Christmas items for gifts and decorations.

Anyone wishing to donate items for the sale may do so between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on or after Dec. 2. You also can call the church at 343-1715.


Central Square Masons and Eastern Star are having a roast beef supper at 4 p.m. Saturday Dec. 7 at the lodge on state Route 49 east of the village.

The menu consists of all-you-can-eat roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cole slaw, vegetable, dessert, milk, coffe and tea.


The Mexico Historical Society will present its annual Christmas Concert as part of the Christmas in Mexico celebration at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in the First Presbyterian Church, Church Street, Mexico.

Many fine area musicians including Laura Washburn, Charrie Lehman, Bill Nicholson, Brianna Jessmore, Concinnity and the Mexico Brass will perform.

A cookie reception will follow.


Red Schoolhouse Maple will have a Christmas pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at the maple sugarhouse in Palermo.

The “Sugarhouse” is beautifully decorated, the holiday music is playing and the aroma of maple is everywhere. Enjoy “scratch made” pancakes and pair them with farm raised, locally produced sausage from the Adirondack Beef Co.

Breakfast comes with our famous maple coffee, juice and milk. There also will be maple products available for your gift giving needs.


Lowell and Carol Newvine, historians from Hannibal, presented a program on the Civil War at the Womens Club of Fulton, Oct. 23 at the Lock Restaurant.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Emancipation Proclamation, Lowell and Carol depicted Hannibal residents, Albert Teague and his wife, Nancy. They read letters that Albert sent to his wife while he was serving in the military. Both Albert and Nancy were Hannibal residents.


The 40th annual Christmas Cantata will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Pennellville United Methodist Church at 389 County Route 54.

There also be a performance at 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 8 at the Fulton Alliance Church, 1044 State Route 48, Fulton.

The cantata choir will present “On This Shining Night” by Lee Dengler and Susan Naus Dengler. More than 60 voices from at least 20 area churches will participate.

A free-will offering will be taken to help out the Phoenix Food Pantry.

Agency finishes Thanksgiving baskets

Staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities of Oswego County have been busy preparing for this year’s Thanksgiving food basket distribution.

Thanks to donations from concerned community members and area businesses, Catholic Charities’ food pantry will provide more than 300 families with all the fixings for a complete Thanksgiving meal.

“It has been a very challenging year,” said Helen Hoefer, Supervisor of community services at Catholic Charities.

“Thanks to the generosity of Fidelis Care and the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County, who supplied the distribution bags, employees of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s (CENG) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, who adopted families, and other community members we are able to continue to distribute Thanksgiving food baskets,” she said.

Looking ahead to their Christmas food basket distribution, Hoefer added that Catholic Charities is receiving a large amount of requests this holiday season.

“I encourage those who are able to consider donating non-perishable food items so that we will be able to help as many families as possible this Christmas,” said Hoefer.

For more information on Catholic Charities’ Christmas food distribution contact Helen Hoefer at 598-3980, ext. 224.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Fulton pediatrician honored by Upstate Medical University

By Ashley M. Casey

For the fifth time since 1973, Fulton pediatrician Dr. Stuart Trust has been named “Pediatrician of the Year” by Upstate Medical University.

Pediatricians who display competence, concern for their patients and an enthusiasm for teaching are eligible for nomination.

“I’m honored,” Dr. Trust said. “It’s wonderful to be recognized by your peers. It just gives me more reason, more motivation to continue and to improve what I do.”

Dr. Trust, whose practice is located in Canalview Mall, has been a doctor for 39 years.

He grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and worked in a pharmacy for seven years. He attended Long Island University, Columbia University and Des Moines University in Iowa for medical school. Dr. Trust also served in the military.

“Being in the Army was very good experience for the rigors of medical school, internships, residency and my current life,” Dr. Trust said.

After medical school, Dr. Trust came to Syracuse in 1971 to train under Dr. Frank Oski, who was considered the local “god of pediatricians.”

When a teaching job fell through in 1974, Dr. Trust planned to spend only one year in private practice in Fulton. Nearly four decades later, that “year” isn’t over yet.

Dr. Trust says he “never will retire” and plans to continue practicing as long as his health permits. He said he is “eternally grateful” for his years of private practice in Fulton, and for the many friends and patients he has met here.

“I love the kids,” he said, adding that pediatrics is “more fun and games” than it is “heartache and tragedy.”

“When things are in that small percentage (of tragedy), what keeps you going is knowing that you didn’t cause it, and you can help minimize suffering,” Dr. Trust said.

He admitted it is very hard to cope with losing a young patient.

“I’m the world’s worst coper. I cry. I don’t sleep,” Dr. Trust said. “You try to remain professional and supportive, but we’re all human, aren’t we?”

Thankfully for Dr. Trust, the happier times have outnumbered the sad ones in Fulton.

“I’m so blessed to be able to do what I do,” he said.

Tips on preparing a Thanksgiving dinner

By Debra J. Groom

The Valley News is always ready to help its readers whenever it can.

So, today, the day before the big Turkey Day celebration, we thought it would be helpful to offer tips for all of those out there who have never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner.

We went to Trinity Catholic School in Oswego to pick the brains of some kindergartners and we now offer up their advice to all of you.

So, how exactly do you cook a Thanksgiving dinner? Let’s start with the main center of attention for any holiday meal.

Leah Kelly, 5, Fulton — You take a real turkey and cook it a little bit. You cook it about 9 minutes at 25 degrees.

Nicholas Canale, 6, Oswego, — You put the turkey in the oven for 5 minutes. (He didn’t know what temperature)

Alexia Masuicca, 6, Oswego — The turkey goes in the oven for 8 minutes at very hot.

Nicholas Sheldon, 5, Oswego — You cook the turkey in the oven for 12 hours on hot, 60 degrees.

OK. What else do you have for the Thanksgiving meal and how do you cook it?

Leah — We have cranberry sauce, but I don’t really know how to do it. I don’t think she (Mom) uses real cranberries. We have mashed potatoes. You take some potatoes, mash them with a peanut masher thing and then put them in the oven.

Nicholas C. — We eat tomatoes. We have a cornucopia (not sure if this is for eating or decoration. He wasn’t sure either). For dessert I have ice cream with sprinkles and whipped cream.

Alexia — You peel some potatoes and put them in a pot to cook. Sometimes we have corn on the cob and you put that in a big pot. There’s pumpkin in a can, you pour that into a bowl and then put in some sauce and put it in a pan and put it in the oven (for pumpkin pie). We have beans, green ones. We eat the kind in a can. Mom puts them in the microwave.

Nicholas S. — You wash the carrots. (Then what? Do you eat them raw?) No, silly. We have potato chips and candy. No way, no pie.

SUNY Oswego ‘Go Big’ exhibition reception Dec. 6

SUNY Oswego graduate and advanced ceramics students will “Go Big!” starting with a free artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Oswego State Downtown.

The “Go Big!” exhibition, featuring large works and installations by students of art department faculty member Roxanne Jackson, will run through Feb. 8 at the downtown gallery and branch of the College Store, corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego.

jackson said students with work in the exhibition include Linda Paris, Stephanie Arney, Kathryn Alonso-Bergevin, Desirae Collins and “Lotus” Lu.

“This project asked students to challenge themselves by creating an installation and/or large-scale sculpture,” Jackson said. “They were encouraged to think outside the box, take risks, try something new and incorporate mixed media.”

Students will be expected to install their own work for the exhibition. “In addition to thinking about form, students were required to consider the space surrounding their work and the presentation of their work,” Jackson said.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The store and gallery will be closed on Thanksgiving.

For more information about the exhibition, call SUNY Oswego’s art department at 312-2112.

It’s gingerbread house time

CNY Arts Center is having a Gingerbread House Contest.

People throughout the area are being asked to build a gingerbread masterpiece and deliver it to the Arts in the HeART Gallery between 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Others should stop by to vote for their favorite gingerbread house. Final judging will be from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 14 during CNY Arts Center Holiday Open House at Arts in the HeART Gallery, 47 S. 1st St., Fulton. The open house is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local judges will award first and second place in each category. Winner will be announced at noon. The categories are individual, family or team. Age divisions are   for Individuals — Adult – age 17 and up; child  – under 17.

The rules are:

1). All entries must depict something related to one of the following arts areas:

Your gingerbread entry could be a Gingerbread Theatre, or perhaps a gingerbread house with a bake shop or Library, or have a paint brush leaning up against it or cookies, dance notes or anything related to the Arts.

2.) The Gingerbread House must be made of 100 percent edible materials. (Except for the board it is placed on).

3.) One Gingerbread House per participant/team.

4.)  All Gingerbread Houses must be placed on a board base not exceeding 18 inches by 18 inches. We suggest using plywood or something durable. (Cardboard could cause your house to crack or fall apart.)

5.) Include your name and Gingerbread House Title on the bottom of the base.

6.) All Gingerbread Houses must be in the form of a house.

7.) Non-edible decorations, like paint, ribbon, figurines, etc. may be used ONLY to decorate your base.

8.) A list of materials used to create your Gingerbread House along with a title and brief description should be submitted with your entry.

9.) Participants must register for the competition by Nov. 25. Entry forms may be obtained by downloading an entry form at, or pick up an entry form at the gallery.

To register by mail: Go to and print and complete the PDF and mail to: CNY Arts Center, P. O. Box 477, Fulton, NY 13069

To register in person: Stop in our gallery, 47 S. First St., Fulton, from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

To register on-line, go to www.

10.) All entries must be delivered to the Art Gallery by 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

All entries will be judged on the following criteria: overall appearance, difficulty, creativity and originality, technique and skill and use of art theme.

Children’s author Bruce Coville visits Volney Elementary

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The fast-talking, energetic author of 102 published books, Bruce Coville, recently visited Volney Elementary to talk to students about his works and where his ideas come from.

Coville spoke about his journey as an author, and how in the start of his career he received many rejection slips. But that didn’t stop Coville from reworking his stories until he finally received his first acceptance.

The acclaimed author follows a three-step model in his writing; first he creates a character, then a problem and a solution. Everything else he says is just choosing details that enlighten the senses.

The reader must also care about a character, or else it won’t matter what happens to them.

“Take someone you like and get him in trouble,” said Coville.

To make a good story a great one, there must be a tough choice, or a moral decision the protagonist has to solve by him or herself. Just as kindergartners are constantly asking why, the why is what needs to be answered in a scene.

Coville shared with fifth- and sixth-grade students an excerpt from his book, “The Monster’s Ring.” In the story a character named Russell is upset about a bully named Eddie.

As Russell runs from Eddie, he stumbles onto a street he’s never been on before.

Russell wanders into a magic store, where Mr. Elives gives him a black wooden box. Just as the students were about to find out the contents of the box, Coville ended the story.

He did this, not to be cruel, but to illustrate to students how to capture an audience. Coville must always write each sentence, paragraph and page in a way that makes his reader want to keep flipping pages.

“You are all smarter than you think you are,” said Coville, who believes that anyone can be a writer if they have dreams, luck, talent and courage.

The Volney Parent Group and Arts and Ed funded the visit.

Agencies work to help pregnant women quit smoking

By Ashley M. Casey

Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc., is teaming up with agencies across the county to help pregnant women quit smoking.

The campaign is part of the 38th annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Using funds from its Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award, ICP is contributing to smoking cessation efforts coordinated by Oswego County Opportunities, the SUNY Oswego Communications Department, the Oswego County Health Department and local health providers.

Helping pregnant women stop smoking has “been a target of ours for a very long time,” said Ellen Holst, senior director for health and nutrition at OCO.

“Any way we can help pregnant women understand how to help themselves is something we want to strive for,” Holst added.

According to the 2010-2013 Oswego County Community Health Assessment, more than 28 percent of pregnant women in Oswego County smoke. Among pregnant women who receive Medicaid, that number jumps to 75 percent.

Local data from WIC reported that 11 percent of breastfeeding mothers and 35 percent of postpartum mothers in the county continue to smoke.

Twenty-one percent of pregnant women in Oswego County have been exposed to secondhand smoke.

The Center for Disease Control outlines several risks of smoking while pregnant, or being exposed to secondhand smoke:

Increased risk of miscarriage

Problems with the placenta

Premature birth and low birth weight

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Increased risk of birth defects such as cleft palate

“Efforts to help smokers quit and keep even the youngest kids from starting to smoke will continue to have a major impact on the health of New York State now and in the future,” ICPs Executive Director Christina Wilson said in a press release. “We hope all smokers take advantage of the resources available today for the Great American Smokeout and give quitting a chance.”

Smokers who want to quit can visit for smoking cessation resources. Call 343-2344 or email at to find out more about ICP’s programs for pregnant and parenting smokers.