Category Archives: Featured Stories

Conservatives in Hannibal endorse candidates

Oswego County Conservative Party Chairman Ronald Greenleaf announced the 2013 slate of candidates for the Town of Hannibal.

They are: Terry Wilbur, county legislator district 21; Morris Sorbello, legislator district 23; Ronald Greenleaf, Hannibal town supervisor; Virginia Wilbur, Hannibal town board;  Jack Beckwith Jr., Hannibal town justice; Christopher Soper, Hannibal town board; Eugene Hafner, Hannibal town justice; George Ritchie, Hannibal highway superintendent..

Greenleaf said these candidates have been endorsed by the Oswego County Conservative Party because they demonstrate true conservative values, and pledge to serve the people of the Town of Hannibal to the best of their ability.

Castiglia announces run for county legislature

Frank Castiglia Jr. recently announced he is seeking election to the re-drawn 25th Legislative District in the Oswego County Legislature.

The district encompasses most of the east side of the City of Fulton.

Castiglia is not a politician whose allegiance is to the politically connected few. When he is elected, his number one priority will be the constituents who put him in office. He will be putting “People before Politics.”

Although a registered Democrat, Frank also has the support of the Conservative Party of Oswego County. The Conservative Party was formed in the early 1960s so  they can be additional advocates of fiscal responsibility and taxpayers` rights.

Castiglia is a candidate that met their criteria and is running on their line. He also garnered the support of working people of Oswego County when he received the endorsement of the Oswego County Central Labor Council. He is one of the few non-incumbent candidates for County Legislature who earned their support.

Castiglia was part of the first graduating class at G. Ray Bodley High School in 1966. Later, he attended CCBI in Syracuse and received a bachelor of science degree in business education at New Hampshire College.

Castiglia is very involved in the community.  He is a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also a volunteer at Holy Trinity Church Bingo and an usher at the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

He is a frequent columnist in the local media where he thoroughly discusses local matters.

He is semi-retired from the Carrier Corp. in Syracuse where he worked as a supervisor of production and material control. Prior to working there, he was employed by the Stratford Business School in Syracuse.

He started out as a business teacher and advanced through the ranks to become director.

He now works for the Fulton City School District as a bus driver.

After hearing and reading about the issues going on in our county government, he felt that it was time to stop being a spectator and “get in the game.”

He feels the local political arena has lost its focus and needs to be put back on track. He intends to utilize his education and work experience to help bring financial stability and jobs back to Fulton.

In addition to bringing in more jobs, Castiglia’s goals include: a more common sense approach to governing; be fiscally conservative; smaller government; easier environment for small businesses; greater accessibility to your elected officials; qualified people for certain positions; and many more.

“A public servant’s duty is to ensure that the public’s money is spent as efficiently as possible and that programs are provided effectively, with transparency and without waste of money or resources.”  Castiglia said.

Castiglia lives in the house that he grew up in.

Oswego High “Buc” Marching Band brings home championship from Pa.

‘The Pride of Oswego’ lived up to its moniker this past weekend as the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers returned home with a championship trophy and an assortment of hardware from a USBands competition in Nazareth, Pa.

The Marching Bucs captured first place in its division, earned the best overall score for the show and received trophies for best music, best visual performance, best effect, best guard and best percussion. 

Catholic Charities seeks applications for holiday meals

With the holidays fast approaching, Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Community Services program has begun accepting requests for its annual Thanksgiving and Christmas meal distributions.

Each year, Catholic Charities provides families and individuals in need with complete holiday meals with all the fixings.

“We distributed meals to more than 1,300 people last holiday season and anticipate an even greater demand this year,” said Supervisor of Community Services, Helen Hoefer.

“To help us meet that demand we are accepting donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals that would like to help,” she said.

Catholic Charities is accepting applications for Thanksgiving meals now through Nov. 8.

Christmas food applications will be accepted now through Dec. 2.

Families and individuals who would like to apply may do so by visiting Catholic Charities’ food pantry at 365 W. First St., Fulton.

Those interested in applying must have proof of identity for everyone in the household as well as a piece of mail, dated within 30 days, with name and address for each adult in the household.

Thanksgiving meals will be distributed Nov. 18, 19, and 20. Applicants will be notified of the time and day that they may pick up their meal.

Christmas meals will be distributed at a time and date to announced

For more information contact Helen Hoefer at 598-3980 ext. 224 or Danielle Losurdo at ext. 248, or visit

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, Oswego County and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.

Fulton Kmart to close in January

By Ashley M. Casey

The Kmart at 2078 Route 481 in Fulton will close in mid-January 2014, Sears Holdings Corp. announced Friday, Oct. 11.

The Fulton store is among several others nationwide that are closing, including a 43-year-old Kmart in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The closures are part of Sears’ efforts to reduce expenses, refocus investments and change the direction of the company’s business model, said Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings.

Kmart and Sears merged in 2005.

“These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail — at the store, online and in the home,” Riefs said in an email to the Valley News.

Riefs also said the 51 employees of the Fulton store will be given the opportunity to apply to other Sears and Kmart stores.

Kmart shares the plaza with the Fulton campus of Cayuga Community College. River Glen Holdings Inc., an offshoot of Cayuga County Community College Foundation, Inc., owns the property. According to CCC’s website, Kmart had been committed to the lease on that property through 2018.

Jeffrey Rosenthal, vice president for student affairs at CCC, said the college had not yet discussed taking advantage of the upcoming vacancy in the plaza.

“In the short term, there are no plans to use that space,” he said in a phone interview. “In the long term, and certainly as enrollment grows, there will be a need for space, and the storefronts and Kmart will provide that space.”

Rosenthal added that any plans to expand the campus would need to be included in the next update of CCC’s facilities master plan.

An employee at the Fulton Kmart told the Valley News that the store’s manager would have no comment on the store’s closing.

Riefs said the store will continue to be open for customers up until January, and liquidation sales would begin Oct. 27.

Oswego Fire Department supports breast cancer awareness

Statistics show that 1 in every 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

For Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership (CSPP) that is an unacceptable number, and one they are dedicated to reducing in Oswego County.

In recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Services Program has begun a month long campaign aimed at increasing the awareness of the importance of obtaining annual clinical breast exams in the fight against breast cancer in Oswego County.

Carolyn Handville, program manager for the Cancer Services Program Partnership, said a phone call from the Oswego City Fire Department helped get the campaign off to a fast start.

“Its was a pleasant surprise when fire chief Jeff McCrobie called to tell me that the Oswego City Fire Department wanted to support our efforts and asked me come down to the fire station for a photo.  When I arrived I was thrilled to see the firefighters dressed in pink shirts!

“Jeff told me that Carol Emmons is leading the fire department’s breast cancer awareness campaign and that they are selling pink T-shirts to raise money for OCO’s Cancer Services Program,” she said.  “I’m very appreciative of the fact that the Oswego City Fire Department recognizes our efforts and chose to support us in this way.”

Fire chief Jeff McCrobie the Oswego City Fire Department said the pink shirts are available at the East Side Fire Station, 35 E. Cayuga St., Oswego. All proceeds from sales of the pink T-shirts will benefit the Cancer Services Program Partnership of Oswego County.

Adminstered by OCO, the Cancer Services Program Partnership of Oswego County provides free cancer screenings including clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap/pelvic exams and colorectal cancer screenings to community members who are both uninsured and between 40 and 64 years of age.

For more information on the Cancer Services Program Partnership of Oswego County contact Carolyn Handville at 592-0830 or visit OCO’s website at

OCO is a private, nonprofit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. OCO provides more than 50 services in 80 separate locations.

Oswego High School Drama Club presents Lizzie Borden play

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father 41!”

This morbid old schoolyard tune may be familiar to most, but the true legend of Lizzie Borden is largely unknown to many. The Oswego High School Drama Club aims to set the record straight with the award-winning original play “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe,” written and directed by Garrett Heater, music teacher at Fitzhugh Park Elementary in Oswego.

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16 in the Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts at Oswego High School. Tickets are $10 at the door; reservations may be made by calling the box office at 341-2270.

“I feel the play comes closer to the truth than any play or movie that has come before it,” said Heater. “The text of the play is derived from court transcripts and inquest testimonies, which brings the audience extremely close to the actual events.”

The play recreates scenes leading up to and immediately after the 1892 double-murder of wealthy businessman Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby Durfee Gray Borden. Both were found mutilated in their home in Fall River, Mass., by hatchet or axe.

Andrew’s 32-year-old daughter Lizzie (step-daughter of Abby) was indicted and stood trial for the crime. She was acquitted of the gruesome homicides and the crime has remained unsolved for more than 120 years.

Following her acquittal, Lizzie Borden remained in Fall River. Her friends and neighbors, once staunch supporters of her innocence, quickly left her side after the trial and she became a social pariah.

“Once she received her father’s money, which was millions, she spent it on everything she felt she had been denied while living in the small house on Second Street,” said Heater. “People in Fall River found that suspicious.”

But Lizzie (played by Rachael Leotta) isn’t the only suspect in today’s world of armchair sleuths. Some feel that the Irish maid Bridget “Maggie” Sullivan (Sarah Lamb) had been pushed to the limit of servitude by her employers and killed them.

Others suspect Lizzie’s older sister Emma (Natalie Griffin), who may have planned the murders with their uncle John Morse (Mark Forger) in order to prevent a new will from being drawn up, giving most of the Borden fortune to their step-mother Abby (Gabriela Castiglia).

Dr. Seabury Bowen (Ryan Smith) is often viewed as being complicit in the murders, perhaps feeling sorry for possible abuse Lizzie suffered at the hands of her father Andrew (Stephen Mahan). Nosy neighbor Adelaide Churchill (Jordan Oatman) was on hand to comfort Lizzie after the murders were discovered, while Lizzie’s dear friend Alice Russell (Keelan McGreevey) eventually found herself testifying at the trial one year later.

“We may never know who committed the crime,” said Heater, “but our talented cast will present the event with exceptional skill and the audience must determine who had the motivation to wield the axe.”

American Red Cross blood drives for November

Here are some American Red Cross blood drives set for November in Oswego County:

8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 5, Sandy Creek High School School – gym, 124 Salisbury Street, Sandy Creek

12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Nov. 6, Believers Chapel – Fellowship Hall, 614 S. 4th St., (Route 481), Fulton

12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Nov. 11, UMC Sandy Creek – Fellowship Hall, 2031 Harwood Dr, Sandy Creek

1 to 6 p.m., Nov. 13, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7325 – Main Hall, 1560 State  Route 49, Constantia,

8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Nov. 14, Hannibal High School – Board Room, 928 Cayuga St., Hannibal

11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Nov. 20, Oswego Elks Lodge 271 – Banquet Hall, 132 W. Fifth St., Oswego

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Nov. 23, Lowes – Bloodmobile, 445 State Route 104, Oswego

12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Nov. 26, Oswego Moose Lodge – Main room, 134 W. Oneida St., Oswego