Category Archives: Featured Stories

News in Brief

The First United Church of Fulton is having its annual fall rummage sale from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 and 9 a.m. To 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the church at 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

A $3 bag sale will take place Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. The basement boutique will be open both days.

The sale will include winter clothing, shoes, books, household items, jewelry, toys, collectibles and other items. Light lunch foods and bake sale items also will be available for purchase.


Main Street Wine & Spirits at 600 Main St., Fair Haven is hosting its second annual wine tasting to benefit breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The tasting will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 4 and Saturday Oct. 5.  Stop by to sample The Purple Cowboy, a red blend from California, Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling from Washington and some Chardonnay and Merlot from France.

The wines featured in this tasting all donate to various research, support foundations and awareness programs as well.  A percentage of the profits from sales for October will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Donations also are welcome.


The Century Club is now taking orders for its annual nut sale to raise money for the Phoenix Public Library.

Orders will be taken through Oct. 16. Nuts being sold include walnuts, pecans, cashews and chocolate-covered nuts.

To place an order, call a Century Club member of stop at the Phoenix Public Library on elm Street. For more information, call library at 695-4355 or the Century Club fundraising chairperson at 695-2232.


Oswego County Harvest Dinner set for Oct. 18

Two of Oswego’s best chefs will be creating six delicious courses for guests of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County’s Fourth Annual Oswego County Harvest Dinner on Friday, Oct. 18.

The dinner will showcase the quality and diversity of agriculture in Oswego County by featuring locally grown and sourced food from local farmers and agriculture businesses. The featured chefs this year are Eugene Batrak, Head Chef of The American Foundry, and Peter Belmonte, Executive Chef of Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.

Oswego-born Eugene Batrak is the new Head Chef for The American Foundry. However he is no stranger to the kitchen, serving as sous chef for 10 years to the former Head Chef, Emil Nymander, a great man and chef. Batrak has worked in restaurants since he was 14, both in the front and back of the house. He has a great passion for food and has also worked as a private chef in New York City. The American Foundry is located at 257 West Seneca St. in Oswego and will once again be the host of this annual celebration of local food.

Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.’s Executive Chef Peter Belmonte is a former Marine, turned award-winning Executive Chef. Belmonte has been a chef for 19 years and an executive chef since 1999 mainly in New York City and New England. His food has received seven Four-Diamond Awards by AAA and, while working at The Inn at Thorne Hill, that establishment was rated on Conde Nast’s Gold List twice. He left fine dining two years ago to enjoy life more. Belmonte joined Red Sun earlier this year and appreciates cooking with a more rustic approach. The Oswego County Harvest Dinner falls in line with what Red Sun’s approach to dining is, using seasonal and local foods. Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. is located at 207 W. First St. in Oswego.

Assisting with the prep work for the event is the Oswego County BOCES Culinary department. Students enrolled in the Culinary Arts classes will help prepare the local foods for the chefs to utilize in their dishes. From peeling potatoes and garlic to chopping onions and squash, the students will gain valuable experience in food preparation.

The Oswego County Harvest Dinner begins at 6:15 p.m. at the American Foundry in Oswego. Tickets are on sale now and must be purchased ahead of time. Prepaid reservations can be made sending payment to CCE of Oswego County, Harvest Dinner, 3288 Main St., Mexico, NY 13114. No tickets will be sold at the door. The event is expected to sell out as it has in the past, so make your reservations now.

The evening will start with a social hour, including a sampling of Oswego County beverages. Guests will be served a six-course meal showcasing the delicious and diverse agricultural products produces in Oswego County, followed by the guest speaker. There will also be raffle baskets featuring Oswego County’s finest agricultural products and more. For more information on the Oswego County Harvest Dinner please call 315-963-7286 or e-mail

Oswego County is a rural county, with a prosperous agricultural community.  The diversity of land allows for the growth of a variety of agricultural products including onions, apples, meat, cheese, wine, maple syrup, honey, berries, plums, peaches, and a wide variety of vegetables. Within the county there are at least seven local farmers markets, with one open almost every day of the week. The agricultural community in this county generates $39.4 million in annual revenue from 639 farms and supplies over 5,000 jobs.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County provides equal program and employment opportunities. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for the community through education that is valuable to the lives of Oswego County residents. For more information, call 963-7286 or go online to

Emmons joins Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber

Nathan Emmons has joined the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce as operations coordinator.

Beth Hilton, executive director. said Emmons will be responsible for organizing and synchronizing the activities of various areas within the chamber. Emmons has been involved with the chamber as a business member since 2011.

“Nate has skills and qualifications that are an excellent match for the position,” Hilton said.

Emmons is co-owner of Mother Earth Baby, LLC with his wife. He is the business financial and operations manager, which includes accounting, tax preparation, reconciliation of accounts and legal document preparation.

Prior to joining the chamber, Emmons was the assistant dean of students at SUNY Oswego, where he coordinated all aspects of new student and parent transition programs including marketing and communication strategies, assessment, event planning and execution, supervision of staff, volunteer coordination, business function and execution of budgets exceeding $450,000.

Emmons is a member of Oswego Network Entrepreneurs, board treasurer for Children’s Museum of Oswego and a community service coordinator for Boy Scouts of America, Troop 888.

Emmons has a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and a master’s in business administration from Syracuse University.

Veteran-owned media company names SUNY Oswego to its Military Friendly Schools list

SUNY Oswego has earned a spot on the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list of a veteran-owned media company, as college staff and veteran students continue a multiyear effort to improve life for the campus’ military veterans, including a newly unveiled Veterans Lounge.

Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine and dedicated to assisting military-to-civilian transition, said inclusion on its list signals Oswego’s “commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” according to Sean Collins, vice president of the company and a nine-year Navy Veteran.

That’s good news to Ben Parker, coordinator of veterans services at SUNY Oswego. “This (list) is from G.I. Jobs, and they’re veteran-owned,” he said. “They’re not going to just hand out the designations.”

Marine Corps veteran Matt Gordon, president of a revived veterans club on campus, said he has worked with Parker and other staff members “to live up to the title” of military friendly.

“It’s a work in progress, but I definitely think conditions have improved” for veterans at Oswego, he said, citing the new lounge in Hewitt Union.

The glass-walled room for study and relaxation is adorned with flags of the military services, information for students dealing with veterans benefits and other issues, a television, refrigerator and coffeemaker. The most important ingredient to veterans is other vets.

“It’s more than just a lounge to many guys,” said Gordon, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq who transferred to Oswego two summers ago from Cayuga Community College in Fulton. “It’s a place where vets can just sit and talk. It’s the best place I can talk and calm myself down.”

Keith Fosmire, a 15-year veteran of both the 10th Mountain Division infantry and the Air Force, with six deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he transferred this semester from Fulton-Montgomery Community College to study software engineering at Oswego.

Gordon assisted him in learning the ropes on campus, and Fosmire joined the Vets Club.

“I feel very comfortable with this college,” Fosmire said. “I feel I have a lot of respect.”

Current data show nearly 60 veterans and a few active-duty military members on campus, but Parker and Gordon believe there are more. They said they worked for a programming change so that new students now have to answer questions about veteran status as they log in to the college’s computer system for the first time.

After a college committee in 2012 recommended a greater emphasis on resources for veterans, the college’s Division of Extended Learning hired Parker to coordinate veterans services and embark on an ambitious set of long- and short-term goals. Parker and the college moved to conduct a needs assessment among veterans on campus; improved the veterans services website and other communication with current and potential students; and provided training for staff members who are in frequent contact with veterans.

Parker and Gordon said a high priority for continued improvement is workshops for faculty who frequently encounter veteran students.

Victory Media said its list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide.

The survey accords the greatest weight to military support on campus, followed by the college’s academic credibility, percentage of military students, academic credit for military service, veteran graduation rates, tuition assistance and other measures.


Former CCC Fulton campus provost receives multicultural leadership award

Onondaga Community College Provost Cathleen C. McColgin — formerly provost of the Fulton campus of Cayuga Community College — received the prestigious 2013 Multicultural Leadership Award at the National Diversity & Leadership Conference Sept. 19 at the California University of Pennsylvania.

The Multicultural Leadership award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through their achievements and exemplify the ability to excel in their field.

“This award is a tremendous honor for Dr. McColgin and our entire campus community,” said Onondaga President Casey Crabill. “Dr. McColgin’s efforts have made Onondaga a better place for all who come here. We are grateful for her contributions and proud of her accomplishments.”

McColgin, of Skaneateles, has been at OCC for five years. She was provost in Fulton’s CCC campus for seven years. She also was a full-time tenured professor at CCC for 13 years.

McColgin received her doctorate degree in higher education with an emphasis on teaching and administration from Syracuse University. She is a New York state registered nurse and spent 15 years as a captain in the United States Army Reserve at the 376th Combat Support Hospital.

Gen. Colin Powell was the conference keynote speaker at the conference.

For more information on the conference, go to

CNY Great Pumpkin Festival Oct. 5 and 6 in Oswego

The 22nd annual CNY Great Pumpkin Festival comes back to Oswego’s Washington Square Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6.

This year’s event features entertainment with live bands both days.

On Saturday, registration for the pumpkin weigh-in begins at 9 a.m. and the weighing of the pumpkins begins at 10 a.m.

Last year’s festival had a world-record squash of 1,200 pounds.

“Jeremy Robinson of North Tonawanda grew the squash that weighed in at 1,222.5 pounds,” said Chamber President Beth Hilton. “That’s the heaviest squash of 2012 and the fifth heaviest of all-time. The heaviest squash on-record was one from 2011 pumpkin festival in Ontario, Canada that weighed 1,486 pounds.”

The weigh-in prize winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. as growers from throughout central New York, Pennsylvania and Canada wait for the grand prize of $2,000.

Starting at 11 a.m., Chris Battles takes the Oswego County Federal Credit Union stage followed by Jimmy D and the Jury. Saturday’s last musical act is the Lisa Lee Band.

On Sunday, The Do Good Swing Band will be performing their authentic swing band style from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fritz’s Polka Band takes the stage at 2 p.m..

In addition to the live entertainment, there will be bouncy houses, kiddie games, rides and a corn maze. Delicious food and handmade crafts will also be at the festival.  Admission is free, courtesy of the following sponsors: Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Pathfinder Bank, and the City of Oswego.

The event is presented by the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

More information is available online at; at the Chamber office 44. E. Bridge St., Oswego; or by contacting chamber events manager Lisa Gray, at 343-7681 or


Benefit Oct. 20 for Barry family

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 Granby.

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 fact that he was wearing a helmet, 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 a handicapped vehicle for the family.

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. Marybeth and Rob Hill will provide music. An artist will be doing face painting.

Advance sale tickets may be purchased from 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 and takeout will be available.