Category Archives: Featured Stories

Tschudy resigns from the Oswego Board of Education

Oswego Board of Education member James Tschudy has announced his resignation. Tschudy delivered his resignation notice to District Clerk William Foley and indicted that it would be effective Wednesday morning, July 24. “

Ending board involvement is owing to a desire for more time with family (five grandchildren) and other professional interests in teaching, chaplaincy and pastoral work,” he said, noting that he has grandchildren in Hamilton, Mass., Ridgefield, Conn., and Aiken, S.C. Continuing he noted, “Throughout six years of board involvement, working with colleagues on the board, administrators, faculty, district Staff, as well as families, parents and children in the district has been extraordinarily rewarding, but not without challenges. It has been a privilege to serve at the board table, supporting district initiatives.”

Board of Education President Kathleen Allen said, “I am saddened to see Jim resign, but certainly understand his desire to spend more time with his family and other opportunities that have come his way.”

Continuing she stated, “He has faithfully served as a coard member for the past six years. With his tenure with the Oswego City School District as an administrator with special education, he brought valuable insight to the table in various situations. I will miss his gentle spirit and kind heart and wish him the best.”

Tschudy has a long career with the school district as he was hired in 1980 as a school psychologist for the Oswego High School. He was appointed the Director of Special Programs in 2000, retired in 2006 and then served as the Interim Principal at Charles E. Riley Elementary School for the 2006-07 School Year.

He was elected to serve on the board of education in May of 2007 and to a second term in 2010. Recently, he was re-elected to the one year remaining on the vacated term of Bill Myer. The new school year will bring a new educational experience for the former board member as he will be teaching two sections of History of Education in the United States since 1865 during the fall semester at SUNY Oswego.

Tschudy also said, “Simultaneous to my resignation from the Board of Education, I’ve also tendered my resignation as a member of the board of directors of Oswego Health, having been elected to that board of trustees of the Oswego Hospital in 1979.”

The school board will discuss the vacant seat at the next regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13. As a Small City School District, the Board members can decide to conduct a special election, continue with six members, or appoint a person to fill the remaining 11 months of the term.

Local community developer to lead YMCAs in Oswego County

The collaboration between the Fulton Family YMCA and the Oswego YMCA has a new executive director.

Greg Mills of Oswego will lead the two YMCAs starting July 29. To take the post, he will step down as a longtime board member of the Oswego YMCA and as assistant director of the Oswego Community Development office.

“I see the Y as being the foundation to bringing healthy lifestyles and opportunities to our community,” Mills said. “The Y helps people gain confidence in managing their health and overcoming anything that keeps them from living their lives to the fullest. Being a part of that is powerful. I don’t think there’s a more ideal place for me to be.”

Fulton Family YMCA Board Chairman Steve Osborne said both Fulton and Oswego will benefit from Mills’ experience and passion. “He’s steeped in the Y spirit,” Osborne said. “He really does have a vision of both Ys as a true force for good in the community. He knows that the job is to make both Ys stronger. That’s going to be good for our Y and our community.”

Oswego YMCA Board Chairman Michael Segretto said he’s excited about Mills’ appointment. “He’s well versed on both Oswego and Fulton, and that’s what we needed,” Segretto said. “He brings to the table over 20 years of banking and nonprofit experience. I think he’s a great pick.”

The Fulton Family YMCA, the Oswego YMCA and the YMCA of Greater Syracuse have signed a one-year agreement to work together to serve the Fulton and Oswego communities. Under the agreement, the two Oswego County YMCAs will share administrative services and key staff. Each YMCA will retain its own board, its own finances and its own identity.

Under the agreement, Mills is employed by the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and reports to the boards of both the Fulton and Oswego YMCAs. Mills said he plans to divide his time equally between the two Ys. His first job, he said, is to create a joint leadership team and to help all employees find their niche within the collaboration. “

There’s an opportunity for people to look at their jobs and identify where they feel they’re best suited,” he said. “There will be more opportunities.”

Through its strong relationship with the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and its CEO, Hal Welsh, the new coalition will have access to expertise, programs and other resources that can help it better meet community needs, Mills said.

“Bringing two agencies together that have the same mission is very positive for both communities,” Mills said. “The Syracuse Y has people who can make those efforts much more productive and successful. This is an opportunity for us to be mentored by a successful organization. At the end of this year, we’ll be a better organization, a better YMCA.”

Welsh said he will work with Mills to create a growth strategy plan for both YMCAs. The plan will help the Ys reach their fiscal objectives and position them as community leaders in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Working in Mills’ favor are his commitment to health, his many local connections, and his more than 20 years of experience in the areas of banking, community development, writing and administering grants and facilities management, Welsh said.

Mills earned a management degree with a concentration in marketing from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He first came to Oswego in 1989 as a branch manager for Columbia Bank. In 1992, Mills began a 13-year career with Pathfinder Bank, where he served as vice president of market development. He later served as a financial consultant, banker and sales representatives for firms in Oswego and Wayne counties before returning to Oswego in 2011 to work in the city’s Community Development Office.

Mills has a history of volunteer service, including service on the Oswego County Planning Board and boards of directors for the Oswego County Historical Society, the United Way of Oswego County and Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, among others. He currently serves on the Oswego County advisory board for ARISE and the Oswego Children’s Museum board.

Law banning smoking in restaurants turns 10

For many of us, it seems like a lifetime ago when we were asked if we wanted to be seated at the smoking or non-smoking section in our local restaurant.

For Zachary and Matthew Metott, it was an actual lifetime ago. The Metott boys turn 10 years old this year and have never known a world where smoking was allowed in New York state restaurants. July 24th is the 10th anniversary of the Expanded Clean Indoor Air Act, most commonly known for prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants.

The 2003 state law banned smoking in almost all workplaces, bars, restaurants, bowling facilities, taverns and bingo halls and protected millions of New Yorkers from daily exposure to second-hand smoke and the illnesses it causes.

When the Metott boys were asked their thoughts on having smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants Matthew replied, “That’s just weird!” Zachary added “I’d wonder why they were doing that.”

Zachary and Matthew met at Vona’s Restaurant to talk with the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County about this milestone. Vona’s was one of the first Oswego restaurants to go smoke-free, making the decision before New York even passed the Expanded Clean Indoor Air Act. The boys also had strong opinions on being exposed to smoke in restaurants.

“We wouldn’t want to go there to enjoy time with our family because it would hurt us or make our little sisters sick,” said Zachary.

A recent survey of bars and restaurants in Oswego County revealed that compliance with the law 10 years later is excellent. In fact, there was a 100 percent compliance rate at the time of the unannounced survey. Despite the success of this law and the countless lives that have been saved, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and kills more than 25,000 New Yorkers every year.

The U.S. Surgeon General characterizes youth smoking as a pediatric epidemic, and states that the evidence is clear that tobacco marketing causes youth to start smoking, and most start before they reach the age of 18.

“Smoking is still a problem in Oswego County and New York state as whole, particularly among teens,” said Abby Jenkins, Program Coordinator of the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County. “Zachary and Matthew have never known a time when smoking was allowed in restaurants. Maybe the next generation of 10 year olds will never know a time when they were inundated with tobacco marketing.”

For more information about efforts to reduce smoking and protect youth from tobacco marketing, visit

Good bye, Fulton

by Andrew Henderson

The great New York Yankee Yogi Berra coined many bewildering phrases and he is perhaps one of the most quoted personalities of our time.

These utterances, now called “Yogi-isms,” have invaded our society, often bringing us delight in the simplicity and truthfulness of these phrases. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” is arguably his most famous and often quoted “Yogi-ism.”

This utterance brings relevance to me personally as this is my last Laughing Through Life column. Yesterday was my last day at The Valley News.

It has been a great and rewarding career as I have tried to deliver the best and most comprehensive local news coverage to your mailboxes twice a week. For nearly 14 years, I have been a part of this community. You welcomed me in. You were quick to say hello and offer a smile.

And to that, I say, thanks.

Even though I grew up in Phoenix and currently live in Onondaga County, I consider myself a Fultonian. I love this community. I love the people. I even appreciate those who called and complained. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

I have many people to thank, so if you will just bear with me…

First and foremost, I want to thank Vince and Ron Caravan for their trust and faith in me. Three months after I was hired in 2000, they saw it worthy to promote me to managing editor. The Caravans are true champions in journalism. I have learned a lot from them ­ — not just about the newspaper business and journalism, but about life, family, integrity, and faith.

Vince and Ron, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are truly newspapermen and I only hope that I was half the newspaperman that you both are.

To all my co-workers over the years, I thank you for putting up with me and my sometimes over-the-line antics. Thank you for making this job fun. Obviously, I am limited by space and cannot list every one who I worked with over the years, but there are some who stand out the most in my mind:

• Former production coordinator Roger Beck is more than a colleague. He is a good friend and I will cherish our friendship. Thank you.

• Former graphic artist Jeri Jones made my job fun. I will never forget the way she laughs, jokes, and giggles. Keep giggling, Jeri!

• Former graphic artist Richard Forbes is one of my favorite people of all time. We would often exchange barbs and jokes, piling on each other with put-downs, all in jest, of course. ‘Zat you, Santa Claus?

• Office Manager Carolyn Eaton and Receptionist Roxanne Seeber are quality people in my book. But, of course, most of you already know that.

• Former Assistant Editor Nicole Reitz is a very talented feature writer. She is also a great person whom I will miss dearly. Good luck in your new career!

• To all the sales representatives, especially Allyson McManus, I thank you for your faith in me. I truly appreciate and honor you all!

• Former graphic artist Jeff Adkins is a baseball nut like me. We could talk baseball for hours and hours. Thanks and go Cardinals!

• Photographer Kelly LeVea was always there when I needed her. Thanks for putting up with last-minute photo appointments!

• Outside of the Caravans, I probably learned most from Roy Hodge, former publisher of the Fulton Patriot and my partner in crime in hundreds and hundreds of Fulton Common Council and Fulton Board of Education meetings. Thanks, Roy!

• Reporter Carol Thompson has always kept me on my toes. Over the years, I have learned to lean on her knowledge and expertise and for that, I thank you.

There is probably dozens and dozens of people who I am forgetting. Please forgive me if I did not mention you. The reporters, columnists, and photographers are the reason for the success of The Valley News. It’s not the editor. It’s the workers. Thank you and job well done.

I would also like to thank the folks at Scotsman Media Group, including former Publisher Tom Cuskey, Sharon Henderson and all the artists in the composition department, and Associate Publisher Rich Westover. It’s been a pleasure working with you all. Thanks for all the cupcakes and cheesecake!

Of course, there are the people, groups, and organizations that I covered for the paper. Thank you for allowing me to do my job. I just don’t have the space to list you all. You know who you are.

And then there is you, the readers and members of this community. What else can I say? Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this community. Thanks for allowing me to bring you the news.

As I am writing this, a thought just occurred to me. There’s a good chance that I might never travel to Fulton again. It’s a sad and sobering thought. But know this: Even if I never step a foot into this great city and community again, Fulton will always have a special place in my heart.

God bless you all!

Hot times

by Leon Archer

Man, is it me or have we had a lot more hot sticky weather than is usual in upstate New York this year?

Sure, I can remember plenty of days in my 70-plus years when the temperatures pushed 100 and nights were so humid that the sheets on my bed were wet from sweat almost before I hit the hay, but

I don’t remember such long stretches of uncomfortable heat. I haven’t checked the historic weather records, so maybe it’s just my sometimes faulty memory, but in any case, I don’t believe anyone would deny it’s been really steamy so far in 2013.

The heat hasn’t left me with any desire to go fishing lately, but if I was so inclined I would probably opt for going out on the open water in a boat.

I certainly wouldn’t take a hot sweaty hike down a little trout stream, but sitting beside a lake, pond or big stream in a folding chair with a cooler of cold drinks at my side while I waited for a bite would be acceptable as long as the fish didn’t keep me too busy.

We had a family reunion last week and all my children and grandchildren were here with the exception of my oldest grandson, Willie, a marine deployed overseas.

We did a picnic at Fairhaven and a trip to Boldt Castle in the St. Lawrence, but mostly we did inside things where we could take advantage of air conditioning. The youngsters all went to Sea Breeze one day, but Sweet Thing and I stayed home and relaxed.

Usually when we have our biannual family reunion we do some fishing, but I wasn’t able to put it together with the rest of the things we were doing.

Now that the reunion has run its course, a weekend in Canada at my son’s property on 30 Island Lake is in the cards and I’m looking forward to that.


To read the rest of the column, please pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe by calling 598-6397


Fire department offers free smoke detectors

Free smoke detectors – With the help of Eagle Beverage and Raby’s Ace Home Center, the Oswego Fire Department is offering free smoke detectors to owner-occupied residences in need. From left are Lt. Brooks Hourigan, secretary of The Oswego Firefighters Association; Rob Raby of Raby’s Ace Home Center; Jeff McCrobie, fire chief; Dan Dorsey Jr., co-owner of Eagle Beverage; and John Geraci, president of the Oswego Fire Fighters Association.
Free smoke detectors – With the help of Eagle Beverage and Raby’s Ace Home Center, the Oswego Fire Department is offering free smoke detectors to owner-occupied residences in need. From left are Lt. Brooks Hourigan, secretary of The Oswego Firefighters Association; Rob Raby of Raby’s Ace Home Center; Jeff McCrobie, fire chief; Dan Dorsey Jr., co-owner of Eagle Beverage; and John Geraci, president of the Oswego Fire Fighters Association.

Oswego residents in need of a smoke detector need to look no further!

With the help of Eagle Beverage and Raby’s Ace Home Center, the Oswego Fire Department is offering free smoke detectors to owner-occupied residences in need.

“This program is an outstanding example of people helping people,” said Jeff McCrobie, Oswego fire chief.

Eagle Beverage kicked off its “Paint the Town Black” fund-raiser in early March, selling Guinness Firefighter Helmets at more than 40 taverns, restaurants, and convenience stores in Jefferson and Oswego counties.

All the money raised was matched dollar for dollar by Eagle Beverage and passed along to local fire departments in the area.

The Oswego Fire Department was given a check for $934 dollars. The department will use the money to help buy smoke detectors.

“The association chose to purchase smoke detectors for local residents in need with the money donated and contacted Raby’s, who donated 100 detectors,” said John Geraci, president of the Oswego Fire Fighters Association. “Raby’s was also generous enough to provide other detectors at a reduced price.”

“We are so glad to see the money raised with the generosity of the community put to good use,” said Dan Dorsey, Jr. co-owner of Eagle Beverage. “Being that this was the first year we did the fund-raiser and having such a positive turn out, we are looking forward to next year and raising more money to give back to the local fire departments. “

Those seeking more information on this program may call the Oswego Fire Department at 343-2161.




Literacy Volunteers hold annual picnic to recognize students and tutors

More than 80 people gathered at Breitbeck Park in Oswego Thursday, July 11 for Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County’s annual picnic and awards ceremony.

The evening began with Sarah Irland, deputy executive director of Oswego County Opportunities, welcoming all attendees. The picnic was an occasion for everyone to share their stories and have a good time.

“This event gives the organization an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of its outstanding students and tutors and to express appreciation to all of our supporters,” said Beth Kazel, education director of OCO. “The highlight of the evening was the enthusiasm of student Andrei Gunin and tutor Nancy DeGilormo whose speeches reminded us of what LVOC is all about.

“In the United States, the ability to read, write and speak in English are the most important skills needed in daily life, something many of us take for granted,” Kazel added. “Our students recognize the significance of these skills.”

This affair acknowledges the courage and determination of all of the students in pursuing the ability to read and the generosity of the volunteers for their time and dedication.

Over the past year, the program has grown serving almost triple the number of people compared to last year at this time.

From July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 volunteers tutored over 2,600 hours.

“It was extremely difficult selecting our award recipients this year,” said Meg Henderson, LVOC Program coordinator. “The program has expanded. We serve both Basic Literacy Learners and English Language Learners. We have greatly increased the number of students we provide literacy services to including people residing in rural areas of Oswego County.

“Many students made progress and educational gains,” Henderson added. “All of our tutors and students worked very hard and accomplished numerous goals.  Besides improving their reading, math, computer or communication skills; many gained or retained employment, were promoted, became actively involved in their child’s literacy activities and education, entered a secondary education program, obtained a driver’s license, and much more.” Henderson noted, “All of our tutors are devoted to their students and rejoice in their progress. We have recruited many new tutors this year to meet our growing demand. It is through everyone’s hard work and dedication that we have accomplished so much this past year.

“Everyone here is driven by their love of literacy, need to help, and desire to learn,” she continued. “We continue to learn and aspire to improve throughout our lifetimes. I am proud of every one of our students and I am very grateful to all of our tutors. Our annual picnic is a good time to honor all of them (students and tutors).”

Awards were presented by Henderson and Kazel. Award winners were presented with a commendation from Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Will Barclay.

The Citizenship Award was given to student Cindy Jiang. Students recognized for completing the program were Mike Kemp and Yin Yin Sim-Fellows.

The top three BLL Students of the Year were Eric Lance, David Loftus, and Jennifer Pickard.  The top three ELL Students of the Year were Andrei Gunin, Jung Ha Lee, and Carlos Rodriguez.

The Spirit of Literacy recipients were students Steve Kirby, Patricia Mazzoli and Ndomba Tshiwabwa.

Tutors Vivian Anderson, Laurie Wood and Dianne Woods were given the Outstanding Dedication Award.

Tutors of the Year were awarded to Laura Bishop, Kathy Boutelle, and Bridgette Sequin.

Volunteers of the Year were tutors Nancy DeGilormo and Mary Stancampiano.

Arrest made in possible meth lab in Oswego

An arrest has been made as a result of the investigation into a possible methamphetamine lab at 11 Gregory St. Oswego, according to Oswego police.

Brenda L. Howard, 41, who lives at the residence, was charged with third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, a class D felony.

During the afternoon Wednesday, Oswego police, with the assistance of the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team), executed a search warrant at 11 Gregory St.

Pursuant to the execution of said search warrant, items used to manufacture methamphetamine were seized. Those items, coupled with other evidence gained during the investigation, allegedly showed that Howard possessed them with the intent that they be used to manufacture methamphetamine

Around 11 p.m., the scene has been released and Gregory St. reopened.

Howard was held at the Oswego City Police Department pending arraignment in Oswego City Court. The investigation is continuing and further arrests are possible.