Category Archives: Featured Stories

United Way meeting Nov. 6 on requests for FEMA money

The United Way of Greater Oswego County is in the planning stages for the distribution of $62,580 it has received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The money, which can used for food, rent and housing assistance, and utility assistance, is available to 501(c) 3, nonprofit agencies offering human services programs.

Those agencies interested in applying for FEMA funding must submit requests to the United Way of Greater Oswego County no later than Oct. 31.

The local FEMA board will meet at 10 a.m. Nov. 6 at the United Way office, 1 S. First St., Fulton, to review all requests.

For more information on the availability of local FEMA funding, contact the United Way office at 593-1900.

Brandt, Kline running for Oswego County legislature from the Schroeppel area

Incumbent John W. Brandt and Schroeppel councilman Richard P. Kline are seeking the two-year seat on the Oswego County Legislature representing District 12.

Brandt is on the Republican and Independence lines and Kline is on the Conservative line.

The legislator position pays $12,345 in 2013.

Here is some biographical information on each candidate and their answers to one question about the county.

John Brandt

Age:  67

Address:  235 Gilbert Mills Road, Phoenix

How long hasve you lived in the district you are running in? Lived in district continuously for 40 years

Education:  Law school graduate

Occupation: Retired judge

Community Service: Youth coach for multiple recreational programs; active in church activities, including charitable fundraisers; Schroeppel Planning Board; various advisory boards

Have you ever held any other political offices: Town justice; county court judge; acting Supreme Court justice

Family: Family:  Wife Judy; daughters Karen, Kelly & Kristin

What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

The biggest problem in Oswego County: Unemployment/economy — Solutions are difficult and complex, but involve multiple efforts including government/private industry collaborative efforts, job stimulus programs, increased job training for trades and skilled worker professions.

Richard Kline


Address:4 Richard Ave. Pennellville

How long have you lived in the district you are running in: Entire life except 20 years in Capital district due to employment obligation.

Education: Attended Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College; Math/Science Degree

Occupation: Retired from UPS-27 years.

Community service: I was involved with the local Glens Falls Chamber of Commerce for four years helping to connect with and promote local businesses. I worked as a volunteer on the Water Committee in the town of Schroeppel to help to solve local water issues.

Have you held any other political offices: Town of Schroeppel councilperson for eight years. Deputy supervisor-appointed for one year.

Family: Three grown children; two small business owners, one teacher. Ten grand-children and two great-granddaughters.

What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it? 

We must find ways to provide services without increasing the taxes, which are becoming unaffordable to many of our residents. Innovation is one way to improve services and keep cost down. We must also explore all possibilities to improve the economic climate. Our residents need local jobs and more security.


Hannibal football ends season with a win

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal varsity football team concluded the season with an impressive win over Onondaga Oct. 23 in its crossover game.

Hannibal finishes the 2013 season with a 1-7 overall record.

After jumping out to a 14-6 lead during the first quarter, the Warriors put the game out of reach during the second and third quarters. Hannibal scored 28 unanswered points en route to a 42-14 win over Onondaga.

Onondaga took a 6-0 lead after returning the opening kickoff 96 yards for the score. Then Hannibal took over.

Later in the first quarter, Hannibal took a 7-6 lead when quarterback Trevor Alton ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Before the first quarter concluded, Tim Webber scored on a run from 15 yards out to give The Warriors a 14-6 lead.

Hannibal kept piling it on during the second quarter. Early in the second quarter, Tim Webber ran for a 41-yard touchdown to expand the Warriors lead to 21-6.

Just before halftime, Hannibal struck again. Trevor Alton tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Tim Webber to give The Warriors a 28-6 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, Christian Knox muscled his way in from 2 yards out to expand Hannibal’s lead to 35-6. Later in the third quarter, Greg Hadcock caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Alton to give the Warriors a 42-6 lead.

Onondaga added a late score to cut Hannibal’s lead to 42-14 before the game ended.

Leading the way for Hannibal was Trevor Alton, who completed 8 out of 12 passes for 185 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Following Alton was Greg Hadcock with 3 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Tim Webber caught 2 passes for 24 yards and a touchdown.  Zach Janes, Connor McNeil and Charlie McCraith combined for 3 receptions for 40 yards for Hannibal.

The Warriors leading rusher was Tim Webber, who ran for 84 yards on 8 carries and 2 touchdowns. Following Webber was Greg Hadcock with 5 rushes for 31 yards. Dustin Ouellette, Brandon Wolfe, Logan Scott and Connor McNeil combined for 28 yards on 4 carries. Christian Knox had 7 rushes for 17 yards and a touchdown. Trevor Alton ran for 1 yard and a touchdown on 1 carry for Hannibal.

Defensively, the Warriors were led by Christian Knox, who had 9 tackles and is credited with a sack. Following Knox was Dustin Ouellette with 7 tackles. Greg Hadcock, Zach Janes, Tim Webber and Nathan Welling had 5 tackles each. Welling is also credited with a sack.

Hadcock is also credited with a fumble recovery. Zachary Hartraft, Devon Weldin, Charlie McCraith and Austin Mattison had 4 tackles each. Devon Weldin is also credited with a sack. McCraith is also credited with a fumble recovery.  Sean Lange, Jacob Whitcomb, Ryan Weldin and Dennis Spaulding had 2 tackles each. Ryan Weldin is also credited with a sack. While Connor McNeil, Brandon Wolfe, Logan Scott and Robbie Hillman combined for 4 tackles for Hannibal.

Global Awareness Conference Nov. 8, 9

SUNY Oswego’s annual Hart Global Awareness Conference on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9, will feature two keynote speakers, one each night.

At 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in Room 132 of the Campus Center, conference attendees will hear an update from Gabriel Bol Deng, a “lost boy of Sudan” who was keynote speaker in 2010, his education- and health-opportunities work in the new African nation of South Sudan.

The second keynote, at 7 p.m. Saturday in Room 101 of Lanigan Hall, will feature

Jessica Minhas, an expert on human trafficking as well as an entrepreneur, TV host and producer specializing in cultural and media impact on women.

Both talks are free and open to the public. Parking for those without a campus-parking sticker is $1. For more information, visit

In 2007, 20 years after his harrowing escape from Sudanese militants, Bol Deng returned to his homeland, a journey documented in the upcoming film “Rebuilding Hope.” He founded Helping Offer Primary Education (HOPE) for Sudan with a mission to provide educational opportunities and health services to South Sudanese people adversely affected by political turmoil.

Minhas, who has worked in advocacy and on behalf of sex-trafficking survivors as well as numerous humanitarian organizations, has become an expert analyst on child labor and exploitation, youth advocacy and overcoming abuse.

She is developing an open-media platform called “I’ll Go First” that invites individuals to tell their own stories of survivorship without revictimizing them. Her talk is titled “Finding Your Purpose and Your Voice.”

For more information on the Hart Global Awareness Conference, visit

Porky & Buddy tackle cat loneliness

Dear Porky,

My six year old female cat, Sophie, has been with me since she was a kitten.

Her best buddy, Squiggles, (He came with that name, sorry) passed away last year at the age of 19 and I don’t think that Sophie has really gotten over it?

Do cats “grieve?” As much as I adore her, I am just not home that much because I work during the day, and I worry that she is now bored and lonely.

Should I think about adopting another cat to keep her company?


Dear Alex,

Buddy and I are both so sorry about Squiggles, and we are certain that he did not know that his name was ludicrous. Trust me on this.

To answer your question, it doesn’t help much to worry about whether pets grieve.

The real question is, are they happy, and if not, what can you do about it?  So a couple of things to think about. Has Sophie’s behavior changed recently to make you think she is unhappy?

Is she gaining weight for lack of exercise? If not, and if she seems happy to see you and behaves appropriately when you are home together, then there may not be a problem.

Remember that cats sleep many hours per day and that is, in all likelihood, what she is doing while you are gone. So don’t let yourself be wracked by guilt over the fact that she is home alone. You probably have lots of other things to feel guilty about.

That said, there can be benefits to having more than one cat. Cats  can provide each other with exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation.

Cats that have lots of opportunity to socialize and play with each other are less likely to be destructive (or just plain annoying).

For example, some single cats relentlessly  try to wake their owners during the night to play with  them. Two cats might still race  around the house at  night but at least they won’t expect their owner to get up and join them.

Another benefit of having two cats is that they will groom each other’s ears and coats, often getting at places they can’t reach on their own! And cats at peace with each other are just plain nice to watch.

But, and it’s a big BUT,  changing from a one cat to a multi-cat household is not always easy. Cats can take a very long time to learn to like each other.

You’ll need to consider such factors as age and sociability differences when choosing a new cat for your household.

A kitten or adolescent cat that has been around other older cats and that likes to  play may be a good choice for Sophie. She might turn into teenager herself.

Or maybe she can teach a bratty teenager how to behave. Whatever you decide, remember that it will probably take time.

Space is an absolute necessity for multiple-cat homes. Cats always need to have spots for hiding, so they can be alone and undisturbed whenever they feel the need.

You can never have too many cat perches (and toys and scratching posts) all over the house. Multiple litter boxes are also advisable, so that each cat can feel safe while eliminating.

The number of litter boxes should equal the number of cats you have, plus one. So, if you have two cats, you will need three boxes. Food and water can be placed in a common area, as cats seem to enjoy eating in groups.

Should you decide to make yours a multiple-feline household, please keep in mind that your cats are not likely to be best buddies immediately. There are no guarantees, and it’s always best to be cautious when introducing cats to each other.

The Humane Society had detailed instructions for how to do that. And if you are adopting a cat who has already lived in a group in a foster home, consider adopting one of his or her friends.

Introducing two friends to a new home can ease the transition, and you’ll be much more likely to make Sophie part of a happy sociable group. Plus you’ll be giving two needy cats their very own forever home.  What could be better than that?

Good luck and thanks for being such a caring owner.


The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone 207-1070. Porky & Buddy are two former animals at the shelter who answers humans’ questions about animals.

Learn about youth services at Oswego County Youth Program Forum

Representatives from a number of Oswego County’s human services agencies will host an Oswego County Youth Program Forum Friday, Nov. 15 at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Extension Site.

Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting promptly at 9:00 a.m.

The program is open to anyone interested in learning about the many services and programs that are available to youth in Oswego County.

The forum will provide youth service providers with an opportunity to share information on their programs while learning about other youth programs that exist in Oswego County.

“The Youth Forum is an excellent example of our human services agencies working together to help achieve a common good … helping our youth and their families.

“This kind of collaboration truly demonstrates the Live United concept that we are all connected,” said Melanie Trezler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Interim Director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Brian Chetney, co-chairperson of the event’s planning committee, said the format of the forum would allow for participants to select from a series of workshops where agency representatives will present a synopsis of their program.

The different workshops will touch on a number of the youth services that are available. Additionally, there will be an information area where attendees may learn more about many of the other youth services offered in Oswego County.

“The Oswego County Youth Program Forum is an excellent opportunity for youth agencies to come together and discuss the different services they offer to youth and families in Oswego County. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to network and ask questions,” added Chetney.

For more information on the Oswego County Youth Program Forum, call Melanie Trexler at the United Way of Greater Oswego County 593-1900 ext.201 or at

Travis Spirit and Wine Garden celebrates grand opening

People throughout Hannibal showed up Saturday for the grand opening for Travis Spirit and Wine Garden on Auburn Street.

Owner Brenda Wilson dazzled attendees with wine tastings and food pairings, hors d’oeuvres and miniature cupcakes.

The new store, which offers wines from New York and throughout the world and various types of liquors, is in space adjacent to Travis Floral, which is run by Wilson’s dad, Jim Travis.

“We had this retail space open and the business was growing, so we decided to open the liquor store,” Wilson said.

Travis said the site now is more of a one-stop shop because people can stop in for a bottle of wine and then pop in the other shop for some flowers.

Travis Floral has been in business since 1945 and was started by Travis’s parents, Sela and Jennie Travis. He’s been running the shop since 1958.

Hours for Travis Spirit and Wine Garden are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Hours will change during the Christmas holiday season so Wilson said people can call to find out when the shop is open. The phone number is 564-6606.

Bukolt, Wilbur vying for district 21 in the Oswego County legislature

Incumbent Terry M. Wilbur and challenger Michael P. Bukolt are seeking the two-year seat on the Oswego County Legislature representing District 21.

Wilbur is on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines and Bukolt is on a local party line.

The legislator position pays $12,345 a year in 2013.

Here is some biographical information on each candidate and their answers to one question about the county.

Michael Bukolt

Age: 54

Address: 8482 State Route 104, Hannibal

How long have you lived in the district: more than 23 years

Education: Attended Clinton Community College and Onondaga Community College studying business management

Occupation: Between jobs but have been a northeastern regional sales manager for more than 25 years. Have more than 25 years of experience balancing budgets and developing programs for personnel

Community service: Democratic committee man, election inspector

Other elected offices: None


What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

I feel that some of the largest problems we have in the county are as follows:

Fiscal responsibility accountability to the voters, transparency and ethics.

I feel my experience in corporate America has made me uniquely qualified to handle budgets and do long-term and short-term strategic planning for our county

I am used to getting great results in whatever I do and I am able to pay attention to detail, enabling me to seek out local grants and scrutinize spending to insure the proper allocation of funds that are needed while cutting unnecessary expenditures thus optimizing taxpayer dollars.

Terry Wilbur

Age: 25

Address: 87 Fowler Road, Oswego

How long have you lived in the district you are running in: Whole life

Education: Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice; bachelor’s in political science

Occupation: Farm  employee; constituent liaison for New York state Assembly

Community service: Member- Hannibal Historical Society; secretary – Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Council; member – Oswego County Soil and Water Board; chairman- Oswego County Farm Land Protection Board; member- Oswego County Sportsmen Federation; member- New York State Association of Counties Task Force on Agriculture; president- Hannibal Central School Alumni Association; member- Cayuga Community College Alumni Board

Have you held any other political offices: Village trustee, Hannibal, three years.


What is the biggest problem or issue facing Oswego County and how would you solve it?

Two fold: cutting spending; and fighting for job growth.

Spending is always a concern and I wish more people would get involved in the budget process. Every year I fight to lessen the tax burden we all face and every year it seems more and more is shoved down upon us from the state.

Locally we do everything we can to provide needed services while controlling spending.

Along those same lines, growing the economy is job number one.  The best way for us to get out of this stagnant economy is to cut redundancy in government and allow the free market to work.

Whether it is agricultural jobs, retail, construction or manufacturing I am proud to partner with anyone willing to help provide good paying jobs for Oswego County residents.