Category Archives: Featured Stories

Children collect markers to be recycled for fuel

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

An eco-friendly initiative that recycles used markers to make fuel is gaining local support as the Blue Team at the Stepping Stones Day Program in Fulton recently hopped on board for the cause.

Students in the program, which is collaboration between Oswego County BOCES and Hillside Children’s Center, teamed with Crayola and other schools across North America to participate in the green initiative.

The Crayola ColorCycle program includes students in kindergarten through 12th-grade schools who collect used markers and send them to a conversion facility where they are transformed into clean-burning fuel.

“ColorCycle offers a great opportunity for teachers and their students to explore eco-friendly practices,” said BOCES exceptional education teacher Robyn Yorker, of the Stepping Stones Program. “In addition to the ‘magic’ of marker-to-energy conversion, specially developed standards-based lesson plans are available to enrich instruction.”

According to the energy companies involved in the recycling project, one box of markers can create enough energy to cook an egg, make toast and brew one pot of coffee.

Hundreds visit St. Francis Commons during open house

Hundreds of people visited St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence during an open house this past weekend.

Those attending toured the new residence and learned about the unique services and amenities to be offered to the community.

“It was wonderful to see such a great turnout for our open house and a little overwhelming; for us, this only confirmed the level of interest our community has in assisted living and visitors had the opportunity to be among the first to see the results of our construction project,” said Julie Chetney, senior living director at St. Francis Commons.

“It is confirmation that our organization is on the right track in terms of introducing a new service to our community, and in the weeks ahead we will prepare to begin to welcome our first residents,” she said.

Construction of St. Francis Commons took almost 11 months, commencing with our groundbreaking last November, said Karen Murray, executive director.

She said the residence will provide supportive housing and care at a level that is less than a nursing home but more than may be found in an independent setting.

Services at St. Francis Commons will include three meals a day, housekeeping with linen and personal laundry services, scheduled transportation, social programs, assistance with personal care and medication management.

A hair salon, gift shop, as well as cable television and telephone connections in each room are some of the amenities to be offered.

St. Francis Commons will accommodate 60 individuals in three “neighborhoods” within the residence. Private payment, Medicaid, private insurance reimbursement and Supplemental Security Income  will be accepted.

A 14-bed neighborhood within the new residence, Memory Care at St. Francis, will serve individuals diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia-related illness, like Alzheimer’s disease, who will benefit from a community-based living environment with specialized supportive services.

“Based on the feedback we received from folks we spoke with during the open house, there is a real need in our community for the services we will be able to provide through our special care neighborhood,” Chetney said.

St. Francis Commons is hoping to begin welcoming residents within a few weeks.

The St. Francis Commons project is the latest phase in development on the St. Luke health care campus. The campus consists of 15 acres and includes St. Luke Health Services, Bishop’s Commons Enriched Living Residence and Little Lukes Childcare Center.

Funding for construction of the $9.1 million assisted living program residence included an $8 million HEAL-NY grant through the state  Department of Health. Additional financing for the project has been made available through Operation Oswego County, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the New York State Housing and Community Renewal and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program, the City of Oswego’s Office of Community Development, Pathfinder Bank and the St. Luke-John Foster Burden Fund.

For information about resident application process, call St. Francis Commons at 326-0870, or visit them on the web at

Oswego Health gets accreditation

Oswego Hospital has been accredited by The Joint Commission following a four-day survey conducted by the national standards organization.

The Joint Commission visited Oswego Hospital in June.  The surveyors did recommend improvements and Oswego Hospital is in the process of making those improvements.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo an on-site survey at least every three years.

News in brief

On Friday, Oct. 18, 47 uniformed officers who successfully completed the basic police academy for state Department of Environmental Conservation Police and Forest Rangers graduated at the Training Academy in Pulaski.

New officers and rangers from the Oswego County area are:

Officer Waldemar Auguscinski, Pulaski; Officer Edward J. Piwko, Parish; and Officer  Geoffrey A. Younglove, Red Creek.


Jimmie James BBQ celebrated its grand opening Oct. 20 at its new site, 5048 State Route 104, Scriba.

There was a car show, drawings, giveaways and free samples.

For more information on the business, call 342-7427 or go to The site in in the old Woody’s Building in Scriba.


Dynamic, one of Oswego County’s largest automotive accessory stores, recently added Tim Smith to its sales team.

Smith has more than 10 years experience in the automotive industry and customer relations.

Previously working for an automotive dealer, Smith will be responsible for working with the sales team at Dynamic as well as managing and growing the customer base and enhancing dealer relations.

“Tim has such a knowledge for the industry and we’re very excited to have Tim on board and a part of our team,” says owner, Michael Leszczynski.

Dynamic was founded in 2001 and is located at 143 George St., Oswego. Dynamic specializes in automotive and home accessories.


The Oswego County Legislature recognized Tuesday, Oct. 15 as National White Cane Safety Day.

The day is set aside to promote awareness, education and advocacy for issues that affect individuals with a vision impairment requiring them to carry a white cane.

Members of the Oswego County Vision Network and ARISE were at hand to receive the proclamation.


The Fulton Public Library has been awarded a $5,000 state grant.

Betty Maute, library director, said the money will be used to repair and refurbish one of the building’s two chimneys.

She said the chimney has structural problems and needs to be “cleaned up and rebuilt.” The library building’s cornerstone was laid in 1905 and the building opened in 1908.

State Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, visited the library Oct. 9 to tell officials about the grant. The money should be arriving any day, a Ritchie spokeswoman said.


Travis Spirits and Wine Garden will have its grand opening celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 25 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26.

Ron and Brenda Wilson are opening the new store at 1007 Auburn St., Hannibal inside the family business Travis Floral Shop, which has been a staple in the Hannibal area for more than 65 years.

The grand opening on Friday will include tastings of wine from Thousand Islands Winery adn tequila from locally owned 21 Tequila. Saturday’s event will include samples of wines paired with seasonal food and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon.


The New Haven Senior Citizens will meet at noon Monday, Oct. 28 at the New Haven Congregational Church.

Please notice time change. The meeting will include a shared meal, brief meeting and a program by Bridget Swartz and the Parish Writers.  All seniors are welcome.


The town of Sterling is having Meet the Candidates forums Nov. 2.

From noon to 1:30 p.m., residents can meet the candidates at Two D’s Diner in Martville. From 2 to 3:30 p.m., residents can turn out to meet the candidates at the Fair Haven Library.


State Street United Methodist Church is hosting its 93rd annual Harvest Dinner and Bazaar Saturday Nov. 2 at 357 State St., Fulton.

The bazaar is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the dinner is open 4 to 7 p.m.

Takeouts are available for the dinner. The menu includes turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, cole slaw, fresh squash, rolls, drinks and pies.

Bazaar vendors include Tupperware, candles, Avon, Rada knives, Stanley home products jewelry, crafts, bric-a-brac and more.

Proceeds help the church continue its service to the community that hs been ongoing for more than 100 years ago.


St. Stephen’s Church at 469 Main St., Phoenix, will have its Election Day spaghetti dinner from noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 5.

The menu will be spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread, dessert and beverage.

For more information, call Dave at 559-1096.

Holiday writing class offered

The river’s end bookstore is offering the next in its series of programs for writers and those interested in becoming writers.

“Gift-Wrapped: Capturing Our Holiday Memories” will offer a relaxed and reflective writing experience during the often-hectic holiday season.

Writing instructor Jim Farfaglia will provide activities to encourage creative writing and to enjoy the quieter aspects of the holiday.

The class will be held at the bookstore, located on West Second and Bridge Street in Oswego, and will run for six Thursdays, beginning Nov. 7 and continuing through Dec. 19.

There will be no class the week of Thanksgiving. Classes will run from 6 to 7:45 p.m.

“The holidays can be a highly emotional time,” said Farfaglia. “I wanted to present a class that could provide participants with an opportunity to create a unique holiday gift, as well as to provide an ‘escape’ from the season’s pressure. The staff at river’s end were very welcoming to this idea.”

Class time will include instructor-led activities concerning holiday memories, time for participants to share  ideas for possible gifts of writing and time spent sharing our work with each other.

No previous writing experience is necessary.

There is a fee for the class. For more information, or to register, contact the river’s end bookstore at 342-0077, or visit Farfaglia’s website at and click on “Writing Classes.”

Be part of Human Pink Ribbon on Friday

Residents are invited to put on their best pink garb and take part in a photo shoot Friday at SUNY Oswego.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership has joined SUNY Oswego to assist them in their efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer in Oswego County and encourage faculty, staff and community members to receive the cancer screenings they need.

Those gathered Friday will be part of the 4th annual Human Pink Ribbon. Gather in front of Culkin Hall at 11 a.m. for the photo shoot.

Carolyn Handville, coordinator for the Cancer Services Program Partnership (CSPP), has made appearances throughout the community disseminating information on the free clinical breast exams, mammograms and other free cancer screenings including pap/pelvic exams and colorectal cancer that are offered through the CSPP.

“Our goal continues to be to raise awareness and register eligible community members who are both uninsured and between 40 and 64 years of age into the program to obtain their free screenings. October provides added opportunity for the Cancer Services Program to promote the services offered through the program while everyone is thinking about breast cancer and to support the many community members in Oswego County that have been affected by this disease,” said Handville.

Tennis courts on Van Buren Street closed

The public tennis courts on Van Buren Street in Fulton will be closed for the remainder of the season.

Parks & Recreation Superintendent Barry R. Ostrander said long overdue repairs are being made to the courts and the weather has not been cooperating.

The courts are being resurfaced and right now have to wait for warmer, dryer temperatures before continuing with the project. That means that the courts probably will remain closed until next spring at which time the resurfacing can continue.

For more information call City of Fulton Department of Parks & Recreation at 592-2474.

Tow driver from West Monroe stresses importance of ‘Move Over Law’

By Ashley M. Casey

A tow truck driver from West Monroe seeks to spread awareness of New York state’s “Move Over Law” after he was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident.

Lyboult, 33, has worked with his family’s business, Rose’s Towing Service in West Monroe, for nearly 14 years.

A blue-and-white tractor trailer struck Lyboult while he was changing a tire on Interstate 81 in Mexico. His stomach was torn open and he suffered severe injuries.

Lyboult underwent surgery and was told by doctors that if the truck had pierced just one more layer of tissue, he would not have survived.

Over his years as a tow truck driver, Lyboult said he had had “lots of close calls, but nothing that actually ended up hitting me.”

The changes to the Move Over Law went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

According to the New York State Division of State Police’s website, the Move Over Law requires drivers who encounter emergency and hazard vehicles to slow down and “move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency or hazard vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely.”

Emergency vehicles such as police, fire trucks and ambulances have red, blue and/or white flashing lights, and hazard vehicles such as tow trucks and construction equipment have flashing amber lights.

Previously, the law only applied to approaching emergency vehicles. The revision included hazard vehicles.

“I honestly believe most people don’t even know there is a law,” Lyboult said. “And if they do, they think it only applies to police and firetrucks. It doesn’t even register that there’s a whole other group of people standing there.”

Brad Lyboult, Dorwin’s father, said law enforcement has not been able to track down the driver who hit his son.

“Maybe the guy will man up,” Brad Lyboult said of the driver.

Dorwin said police arrived at the scene of the accident only after he had been transported to the hospital, but that they “talked to every truck on the road that day, (looking) for the one that had my blood on it.”

Lyboult said he has no idea when he will be recovered enough to return to work. In the meantime, he is using his story to encourage people to obey the “Move Over Law.”