Category Archives: Featured Stories

Hannibal schools chart course for future

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Uniting with a common vision, members of the Hannibal Central School District Plan Committee discussed the district’s blueprint for the future at a meeting Oct. 3.

The newly formed committee, comprised of nearly 30 people from all walks of life, outlined their goals and hopes for the district as it moves forward into the future.

Spending more than two hours brainstorming and bouncing ideas off one another, the meeting was the first of several that will be held throughout the year to help develop a strategic plan to guide the district during the next five years.

Penny Ciaburri, chief executive officer of PLC Associates Inc., the consulting firm contracted to help the district develop the strategic plan, said the initial meeting was a resounding success.

“They’re absolutely on fire,” Ciaburri said of the committee. “They jumped right in. They are having the important conversations, looking to take advantage of best practices.”

Committee members talked about some of the key factors that lead to a successful district.

Ideas ranged from ways to increase student engagement, boost academic achievement and strengthen the family and community connection — all of which will be further addressed by three separate task forces in developing the overall strategic plan.

District superintendent Donna Fountain noted that reaching that benchmark is one of the many goals she envisions the district achieving in the years ahead.

“I think Hannibal can honestly become a shining star, not just in our community, but across the state,” Fountain said. “Hannibal can become a destination district. People can move here for the education that we offer.”

Committee member Jill Rice, who has children enrolled in seventh and eighth grade at Hannibal, believes the district has a solid foundation that can become even stronger through the strategic plan and community involvement.

“It starts at home,” Rice said. “It’s imperative as soon as (students) hit pre-K to let them know that their potential is limitless.”

With educational success and student growth as key components of the plan, committee members also developed a list of advocating and opposing factors facing the district.

“We need to find out what do we have in our favor, what’s holding us back and how strong those forces are,” Ciaburri said. “A huge advocating force is that we, as an organization, have decided to build a strategic plan.”

Fairley Elementary staff member Dawn Thompson reviewed a variety of factors that her group added to its list, ranging from student expectations and strong leadership to resources and socioeconomic issues.

“There have been many impoverished districts that have soared,” Thompson said as she looked over the list where the advocating forces more than doubled the opposing forces. “The good guys get a win.”

Thompson’s optimism was shared by her fellow committee members, as each offered their positive outlook concerning the process in developing the district’s blueprint for the future.

Words like hopeful, inspired, empowered, invigorated, enthusiastic and refreshing were commonly spoken as each member assessed the first meeting.

“In my 16 years here, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a group come together like this with such a definitive and worthy goal,” Fairley principal Jody Musa said.

“A group of ordinary people, if given the right tools, can do some extraordinary things, and that’s what I think you’re going to do,” she told the committee. “It’s a very thoughtful and reflective process that will help put in place a blueprint so that five years from now we’re telling the Hannibal story.”

The next core committee meeting will be held from 4 to 6:15 p.m. Nov. 7 in the district boardroom. Task forces are set to meet Nov. 19.

The anticipated completion date for the overall plan is March 21, followed by a presentation to the school board at 7:15 p.m. April 9.

For more information on the process or to become involved, email internal facilitator Tammy Farrell at or call 564-7900, ext. 3004.

American Legion leaders come to Oswego County

When New York’s American Legion leaders visited Oswego County Oct. 5, they were treated to some Marine Junior ROTC drilling at Mexico Academy and Central School, a glimpse of the War of Independence in a scenic mural, and a reminder to “Support Our Troops” during lunch at Horning-Fournier American Legion Post 418 in Phoenix.

The visit was capped off with dinner at Prior-Stock American Legion Post 1552 in Hannibal, where NY Legion Commander Kenneth Governor spoke of “Service First” and the Department of New York’s refocusing on the core mission to serve men and women in uniform, veterans and families, and community and nation.

He was joined by New York Auxiliary President Barbara Corker and New York Sons of the American Legion Detachment Commander John Chang.

Chang spoke of his passion for the National Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to Legion families struck by disaster.

Corker expressed her dedication to providing equipment and supplies to wounded warriors through the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors.

She expressed two reasons why this is important: First, unlike other charities, 100 percent of donations go directly to helping injured service members; and, second, it’s important to “show our warriors our love.”

The leaders visit to Mexico High School featured a demonstration by the Marine Junior ROTC drill team, and a briefing by Senior JROTC Instructor Lt. Col. John Freda (Ret.).

“The instructor emphasized the drill team was not a vehicle to recruit students into the military, but rather a method of instilling teamwork, establish a strong work ethic and all the traits necessary for a successful life,” Governor noted.

The school also is home to the hand-carved woodblock scenic mural, “La Guerre D’Independance.” They got to view the multi-panel mural by French artist Deltel, which depicts scenes from the Revolutionary War.

The only two places where this historic circa-1853 artwork survives in its entirety are the White House in Washington, D.C. and in the oak-paneled upper foyer of Mexico High School.

After enjoying lunch at Post 418 in Phoenix, the state Legion leaders were quick to don “Support Our Troops” T-shirts presented by the Post leaders, Post Commander Ron Smithers, Auxiliary Unit President Anna Goettel and Sons of the American Legion Squadron Commander Shawn Mills.

Women’s conference coming to Fulton Oct. 29

Connections, a day-long conference for women, is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at River Vista Center in Fulton.

The program is being presented by the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training and SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations.

Women from across the state will gather for the program titled “Connect – Pursue – Advance.” There will be several speakers, networking opportunities, continental breakfast, lunch, a dessert reception, and a women’s marketplace.

Speaker Susan Conklin, Source for Personal and Professional Growth, will present “Chart your course with the Wheel of Life.”

The Wheel of Life is a tool that provides a “helicopter view” of life, to help us assess where we are and envision where we’re going.

Again this year, headshots will be offered by Dayger Photography, with no sitting fee. Hair and make-up touchups will also be available.

New this year, we are featuring Bee-Hive Networking. Each attendee could walk away with an average of 12-20 cards of qualified prospects who want to meet them. Come “catch the buzz” at the Bee-Hive Networking Game. Please be sure to come armed with 100 business cards.

Tickets are $65 and are available through the Tyler Hall Box Office, Those interested also may  download our registration form at and mail it with your check.

For more information, contact Evelyn LiVoti, Connections’ co-chair, at 343-1545 or

New VP named at SUNY Oswego

Dr. Jerald Woolfolk Adley has been named SUNY Oswego vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Adley has been vice president for student affairs, enrollment management and diversity at Mississippi Valley State University since 2011. Previously, she was vice president for student affairs at CUNY’s College of Staten Island.

“Dr. Adley has built a record as a strategic innovator in student affairs who sets clear and high goals and provides the leadership to achieve them,” said SUNY Oswego president Deborah Stanley. “We are delighted to welcome her to SUNY Oswego.”

At Mississippi Valley, Adley led initiatives that significantly increased enrollment, including raising freshman enrollment by 18 percent in one year.

As associate dean of students for residential life at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, she implemented a range of initiatives — academic, security, administrative and marketing — that increased residence hall occupancy from 50 percent to full capacity.

In addition to her accomplishments on her home campuses, Adley is active nationally in her field. She is an accreditation evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Higher education institutions in Delaware, Alabama, North Carolina and Arkansas have retained her as a consultant on accreditation, strategic planning, enrollment management and organizational management.

She received her doctorate in urban higher education from Jackson State University in Mississippi. She began her career as a counselor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff after receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Jackson State and her master’s degree in counselor education from Iowa State University.

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Oswego, which Adley will oversee, encompasses Admissions, Financial Aid, Auxiliary Services, Residence Life and Housing, Student Conduct and Compliance, Walker Health Center and the Counseling Center, Campus Life, Athletics, Student Advisement, Orientation and Career Services.

Adley succeeds  Dr. Joseph Grant, who retired from SUNY Oswego in 2012.

Backus wants veteran ID fee suspended

Oswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus has joined several other clerks in New York state calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala to immediately suspend fees related to veterans seeking identification on a driver’s license.

Effective Oct. 3, any person who was a member of the Armed Forces and was honorably discharged can have their status as a veteran displayed on their photo documents by having the word “Veteran” printed on the upper left hand of the photo driver’s license.

Backus said this identification is beneficial to veterans when seeking discounts offered at many retail stores and restaurants.

The identification decal is free, but the state mandates veterans pay a $12.50 fee to make the transaction.

“Our office has been contacted several times by veterans seeking this kind of service and I strongly believe the state should offer this service at no fee as a thank-you to our veterans,” said Backus.

“Asking veterans to pay the $12.50 transaction fee to amend their driver’s license is simply unnecessary considering the sacrifice these folks have made for our country,” he said.

Veterans need to provide proof of an honorable discharge (U.S. Department of Defense Form DD-214 or DD-215 or Enlisted Separation Paper).

Veterans interested in having their status put on their driver’s license can do so at any one of Oswego County’s DMV offices located in Pulaski, Fulton and Oswego. The veteran’s status will be printed on all of the veteran’s future New York State DMV photo documents.

Additional information on the DMV requirements is available at

Ryan Barry benefit Oct. 20 at Thunder Island

A benefit fundraiser “All You Can Eat Pasta Dinner” is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Oasis Room at Thunder Island on Wilcox Road in Fulton.

The event is taking place to raise money for the Barry family, Sue, Bob and Ryan. Ryan, 12, was riding a mountain bike at camp at Casowasco when he hit a rock on the trail, lost control of the bicycle and hit a tree.

Were it not for the helmet he was wearing, he probably would not have survived. Ryan suffered a severe spinal cord injury as well as other injuries and is now in a wheelchair.

The funds raised by this event will go towards handicapped modifications to the Barry home and other quality of life needs.

Dinner will include all-you-can-eat pasta, salad and bread. Baked goods will be available for purchase.

There will be door prizes, raffles, a 50-50 and a cash bar. Raffle items will include a Vermont Inn Weekend for two and a 50” flat screen TV.

Marybeth and Rob Hill will provide music and a local artist will be doing face painting for the children.

For advance sale tickets or information, contact Theresa Broderick (592-8068), Sue Patrick (592-7449) or Jan Rebeor (593-1930).

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the day of the event. Takeout meals will be available.

Fulton Savings Bank receives Friends of History award

The recipient of the fourth annual Elma J. Smith Award is Fulton Savings Bank.

The award is given annually by the officers and directors of the Friends of History In Fulton, N.Y., Inc.

The award will be presented at its annual Celebrations Program and Awards Event scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Fulton Polish Home.

Fulton Savings Bank opened its first office in a rented office on the Northeast corner of Second and Oneida Street Sept. 25, 1871, and was organized by a group of civic leaders “to receive deposits from tradesman, clerks, mechanics, laborers, minors, servants and others.”

A special act of the state Legislature allowed the group to incorporate the new mutual financial institution and by the end of the year the bank’s deposits were $27,939.00.  From this modest beginning, Fulton Savings Bank has today become the tenth largest savings bank in the State of New York, with its main office in Fulton, N.Y., and six branch offices in the area.

The Elma J. Smith award is presented to the individual or business whose life and work demonstrate a commitment to the mission and objectives of the Friends of History In Fulton, N. Y., Inc. Fulton Savings Bank has long history of philanthropic contributions to civic and not for profit organizations and groups and to historic preservation.

The mural of the Oswego Canal and Hunter Arms Factory in downtown Fulton was a gift to the City and its residents by Fulton Savings Bank. Fulton Savings Bank officers, trustees and employees have given of their time and talents by serving on the boards of many not for profit corporations and membership in many service organizations.

The Friends of History will celebrate its 34th anniversary and the successful operation of its John Wells Pratt house local history museum at this evening of Celebration. The Fulton Community Band will entertain and there will be a cocktail hour at 5:30 P. M. followed by a buffet dinner catered by G B Catering at 6:30.

The public is urged to attend this gala event and tickets can be purchased at the John Wells Pratt History Museum, 177 S. First St., Fulton, N.Y., or by contacting the Friends of History at 598-4616 or by sending an email to

Hannibal Republicans endorse candidates

The Hannibal Republican Committee is proud to present its candidates for the upcoming November election.

Legislator Terry M. Wilbur is endorsed for re-election to represent District 21 in the Oswego County Legislature. Wilbur currently serves as vice chairman of the legislature, and has four years experience as chair and member of various Oswego County committees.

Morris Sorbello, currently represents the 23rd district, a seat he has held for 14 years. Sorbello has served as past chairman of the legislature, and has earned the respect of his colleagues and constituents alike.

Sorbello is concerned about keeping jobs in the area and maintaining the quality of life for Oswego County residents.  Both legislators have strong ties to the agricultural community and support fiscal responsibility in government.

George Ritchie, a local businessman and life resident of Hannibal, expects to save the town money with his ability to drive trucks and plows and with his experience to repair equipment when elected to the position of Hannibal’s highway superintendent.

Ritchie has more than 25 years experience in the construction and contracting business, and holds a New York state CDL Class A Driver’s License.

Ritchie has more than 35 years experience as a heavy equipment operator and states that he will be “a hands-on superintendent who will work for the people”.

Randy Hendricks and Virginia Wilbur are endorsed to fill two seats on the Hannibal town council.

Hendricks, a grandfather and life resident, served four years on the town council and has retired from Frontier Communications and now has the time to dedicate to town issues.

Wilbur, an incumbent, has 18 years experience on the board, having served under two Hannibal town supervisors.

Both seats for Hannibal town justice will be filled this year.

Seeking re-election with strong support is Eugene Hafner, a dedicated public servant with 12 years experience on the bench.

Also supported in the September primaries is Jack S. Beckwith, Jr. who has an associate’s degree in criminal Justice from Cayuga Community College and judicial experience with Oswego County Youth Court. He serves on the Oswego Youth Court Advisory Board.

Both men pledge to maintain professionalism and decorum in the Hannibal town court.