Category Archives: Featured Stories

10th Mountain Division Band to perform in Fulton Nov. 16

The U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division Band from Fort Drum and the Fulton Community Band will perform a free concert in honor of Veterans Day, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the G. Ray Bodley High School auditorium.

The event is sponsored by the Fulton Music Association.

The Fulton Community Band and the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division Band will perform two separate programs and combine for several numbers. Sections scheduled for performance by the 10th Mountain Band include: The Star-Spangled Banner, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, I Knew You Were Trouble, Get Out Da Way, Thrift Shop, Jackson 5 Medley, When You’re a Soldier and Battle Hymn of the Republic.

The Fulton Community Band will perform: As All the Heavens Were a Bell, American Riversongs, songs by Benny Goodman, American Flourish, and Americans We.

The 10th Mountain and Fulton Community Band will together perform: Colonel Bogey March, Armed Forces on Parade, Warrior Ethos and Stars and Stripes Forever.

Based out of Fort Drum outside Watertown, the 10th Mountain Division Band is commanded by Chief Warrant Officer Two Daniel P. Wood.

Since 9/11, the band has provided musical and operational support while being deployed to Kosovo in support of Operation KFOR, Pakistan for support in response to the earthquake that rocked the area in 2005, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and three deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

These professional solider-musicians are trained and ready to deploy anywhere in the world.

The musicians of the 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry Band provide a wide range of musical support for the soldiers, as well as the citizens, of the North Country.  In addition to Matching and Ceremonial Band, the 10th Mountain Division Band also can field an array of diverse musical groups, such as Rock Band, Jazz Combo, Brass Quintet and many other smaller ensembles.

The Fulton Music Association is dedicated to promoting music in our schools and community. For further information, call Carol Fox at 591-3392 or visit

Cook names administrative assistant at Child Advocacy Center

Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County Karrie Damm announces Norene Cook has joined the staff as an administrative assistant.

Cook, who previously worked as a human resources coordinator and administrative assistant at the Miller brewery in Fulton, most recently worked in the customer service department at Kohl’s Department Store.

She welcomes the opportunity to return to the field of administrative assistant and is happy to be a part of the CAC staff.

“I have always enjoyed helping children and families. Karrie and the staff of the CAC do such wonderful work and I am pleased to be able to assist them,” said Cook.

Located at 301 Beech St. in Fulton, the CAC of Oswego County is a nonprofit charitable organization providing a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.

The CAC also has a satellite office located at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski.

For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 592-4453.

Malone pulls ahead in election vote total

Absentee ballots and affidavit ballots were counted Tuesday morning at the Oswego County Board of Elections.

In the close 20th legislative district, incumbent Douglas Malone, D-Oswego Town, is now ahead of his challenger Joseph Susino by a vote total of 266 to 263.

Malone was trailing by eight votes after machines votes were counted Election Night and after a recanvass of the machine votes done last week.

In a closer race, Schroeppel town councilman Richard Kline is now 1 vote ahead of incumbent county Legislator John Brandt, R-Schroeppel, in the 12th district, which encompasses parts of Schroeppel and Hastings. After absentees and affidavits were counted, the total was Kline, 371 and Brandt, 370.

As of noon Tuesday, the board of elections has not yet tallied absentees and affidavits in legislative distirct 5 in Constantia. As of Election Night, challenger Roy Reehil was leading incumbent Ronald Sakonyi by a vote of 394 to 350.

The board also counted the absentees and affidavits for the common council race in Ward 4 in Fulton. After they were tallied, the total was James Myers, 109; Ralph Stacy Jr. 107; and Mark Sherman, 91.

For more on the recount, be sure to read Saturday’s Valley News

CYO gets boost from Shineman Foundation

When the Richard S. Shineman Foundation was established, one of its goals was to mirror the deep compassion for community that Mr. Shineman had and improve the quality of life in the counties that it serves.

The CYO program at Catholic Charities of Oswego County proved to be a perfect match for that goal.

For youth in the greater Fulton area, Catholic Charities CYO program is an oasis where they can spend some quality time after school in a friendly environment that encourages positive behavior.

Lauren Pistell, executive director of the Richard Shineman Foundation, said the CYO program provided the foundation with an opportunity to be involved with and enhance a great program.

“Catholic Charities of Oswego County is well known for the many services it provides. When we were considering the type of work we wished to do in our community I recalled speaking with Catholic Charities Executive Director Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow and Community Services Program Supervisor, Helen Hoefer.

“I was impressed with their CYO program and the number of youth that it serves in the greater Fulton area,” Pistell said. “As the Shineman Foundation serves all of Oswego County, as well as four other counties in Central New York, the CYO program allowed us to expand our reach beyond just the city of Oswego and become a small part of the good work that Catholic Charities is already doing.”

Established in 2012, the mission of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation is to use its financial resources to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to enhance the quality of life in Oswego County and Central New York.

“We seek to work with our not-for-profit partners with integrity, honesty, and compassion,” said Pistell.   “We wish to be partners with organizations that we grant and develop a relationship that will last and be mutually beneficial.  We are excited about this grant.  Mary Margaret and Helen were very thoughtful about the grant support they needed.  They were sure it would be the right fit and match our mission and we appreciate that.”

Pistell added that seeing first hand the impact that the Shineman Foundation is having on Oswego County is very rewarding.

“It is a privilege for me to do this job,” she said. “I get to spend my days meeting with organizations such as Catholic Charities that are doing positive work and are dedicated to making good things happen in our community. In today’s world we are often inundated with bad news it is inspiring for me to partner with organizations that are doing that good work If we can play a small role in that we have achieved our goal.”

Hoefer said the grant from the Shineman Foundation would allow the CYO program to host special events for youth and their families and purchase additional games and equipment.

“Our youth look forward to family events such as our Halloween party and our Christmas party,” Hoefer said. “It’s an opportunity for the families to bond and enjoy some time together and meet new friends. Moving forward we will be able to host more of these. We will also be able to increase the variety of games and activities that we offer.”

“The vision of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation is to become a ‘Catalyst for Change,’” added Pistell. “Catholic Charities CYO program provides youth with a fun place to go after school and makes a positive difference in the lives of those children.”

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.  Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.


Literacy Coalition receives Shineman grant

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County (LCOC), was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation..

“We are extremely grateful to Lauren Pistell, foundation executive director, and to the Shineman Foundation for their support,” said Jon Spaulding, Literacy Coalition president. “This grant will enable LCOC to contract with a research company to undertake a comprehensive survey and analysis that will identify the barriers to increasing literacy in Oswego County.

“For the first time in our county, we will have the data that shows us gaps in current services and recommendations for interventions and resources that can address these barriers.

“I also want to thank LCOC’s Fund Development Committee for their work in developing a Request For Proposal to secure a research company and for applying for the grant,” Spaulding said.

“The goal of The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is to empower our community to build literacy in a collaborative, inclusive and comprehensive manner,” said Spaulding. “The Coalition is dedicated to supporting and expanding literacy services so that people can work, the economy can grow, families can thrive, and our community can prosper.”

The LCOC is a growing coalition of more than 36 local organizations. These organizations work together to address the literacy needs of people of all ages.

Members of the LCOC Fund Development Comittee are: Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director, Oswego County Opportunities; Jeffrey Grimshaw, director, SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations; Melanie Trexler, executive director, United Way of Greater Oswego County; Paul Gugel, director of Adult and Migrant Education, Oswego County BOCES  and Michael Egan, president, Weston T. Hyde Foundation.

Members of the LCOC Leadership Council include: Alliance Bank; Assemblyman William Barclay 124th District; Cayuga Community College; Steve Chirello Advertising, City of Fulton; City of Oswego; Constellation Energy; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County; Eastern Shore Associates; Entergy Nuclear Northeast; Fulton City School District; Fulton Family YMCA; Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County; Operation Oswego County; and the Central Southern Tier Regional Adult Education Network.

An estimated 40 to 44 million adults in the United States demonstrate skills in the lowest level of prose, document and quantitative proficiencies.

Many are unable to total an entry on a deposit slip, locate the time and place on a meeting form, or identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article (ProLiteracy Worldwide).

In Oswego County, close to 17,000 adults cannot read above a fifth grade reading level. For more information about The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, visit and click on the literacy coalition link.

Oswego Hospice reaches out to more veterans

Oswego County Hospice has obtained Level 2 for the We Honor Veterans program.

This program was developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to better serve our veterans with life limiting illnesses.

Oswego County Hospice uses resources provided by the campaign to integrate the best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans, Oswego County Hospice is better able to assist veterans and their families toward a more peaceful and dignified death.

Betty Dunsmoor, facilitator of the We Honor Veteran sprogram in Oswego County, said it is the mission at Oswego County Hospice to provide end of life services to the men and women who have served our country that reside within the community.

Dunsmoor said achieving Level 2 of the four-level program means Hospice will be able to do more training, more outreach and more education with other agencies dealing with veterans.

Statistics show about 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are veterans.

Anyone who would like more information about this program should call Dunsmoor at 349-3480.

Royals boys’ homeschool soccer teams wins finals

By Abigail Winheld

The Royals boy’s soccer team finished off an excellent season this year by winning the finals.

On Oct. 26, the Royals played the last game against Corning Christian Academy. Although the temperature was rather cold, the Royals came ready to play.

In the first half, the Royals scored twice and CCA scored twice, making the score 2-2 at half time. At the start of the third quarter, Royals’ Tyler Bouldin made a goal making the score 3-2.

As the game moved along the Royals scored again making the final score 4-2.

This is the third time the Royals have won the finals and the second time in a row. The Royals won 10 games, lost two, and tied two this season.

This year the Royals had 10 players and four of them – Casen Lange, Matthew Wetmore, Tyler Bouldin, and Austin Hixon — are seniors.

Anyone interested in playing for the Royals homeschool girls’ and boys’ soccer, volleyball, or basketball teams contact John at .

“Lizzie Borden” cast takes in opulence of Victorian age

Submitted by Oswego schools

Cast members of the upcoming Oswego High School Drama Club production of “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” recently took in the splendor of the Victorian Age at the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St., Oswego.

Historical Society president Justin White and board of trustees member Peg McKinstry guided the student actors on a tour of the lavish home, tying in references to the world Lizzie Borden and her contemporaries populated in Fall River, MA circa 1892.

Drama Club adviser Robert Dumas and playwright-director Garrett Heater put the trip together to highlight various connections the two regions shared.

“Lizzie Borden’s father had the money to build a home like the Richardson-Bates House, but he was notoriously frugal with his money and instead resided with his two unmarried daughters, Emma and Lizzie, and his second wife, Abby, in a very modest home that was close to the heart of the city,” said Heater.

“Lizzie was friends with girls whose fathers built homes similar to the Richardson-Bates House in the fashionable part of town in Fall River, Mass., called ‘The Hill.’ Recorded testimonies cite how frustrated Emma and Lizzie were — being forced, they felt, to live beneath their station.”

To those interested in the unsolved hatchet murders of Andrew and Abigail Borden, for which Lizzie herself stood trial and received an acquittal, many point the finger at Andrew’s unwillingness to spend his money on conspicuous displays of wealth.

The architectural and fashionable aesthetics of Victorian society would have deemed excessive and foohardy by Andrew, who struggled his entire life to escape the poverty of his childhood.

Just as Oswego’s Kingsfords made the region synonymous with starch production, Andrew Borden’s savvy business dealings put him in control of three major textile mills in Fall River, once known to be the textile capital of America.

While Andrew’s colleagues ‘kept up appearances’ by building gorgeously embellished homes on “The Hill” and dressing their daughters in the latest fashionable attire, Andrew saw that his own daughters were comfortable without being ostentatious.

But the Borden girls surely did not understand why a potentially upper-class family such as theirs should have to settle for a middle-class existence.

“The Richardson-Bates House is stunning,” said Dumas. “There is so much artistic detail everywhere you look. What a remarkable asset to the Oswego community.”

Lizzie, whose friends’ homes would have resembled the Richardson-Bates House, certainly longed for a gilded mansion of her own.

“She eventually got it,” remarked trustee McKinstry, “but only after the murders occurred.” McKinstry said Lizzie bought a  sprawling home on French Street in Fall River once she and her sister Emma received deceased Andrew’s millions.

Lizzie decorated her new home with artistic precision, even installing decorative carved stone fireplaces featuring quotes from her favorite poet. She named the home Maplecroft.

The drama club actors also chatted with two members of the original cast. The play premiered in Syracuse in 2010 with Bernie Kaplan as Andrew Borden and Chuck Parsons as Lizzie’s maternal uncle John V. Morse.

“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” will be presented at the Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts at Oswego High School at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16. Tickets are $10 at the door; call the Box Office at 341-2270 with any questions.