Category Archives: Featured Stories

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Mexico Point Park to hold Severin Bischof art show

Art show in Mexico – Friends of Mexico Point Park are hosting an art show featuring Severin Bischof’s watercolors and wood cuts. Friday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. will be opening night with a wine and dessert gala. There will be an admission fee. The show will continue Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. There is an admission price as well.
Art show in Mexico – Friends of Mexico Point Park are hosting an art show featuring Severin Bischof’s watercolors and wood cuts. Friday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. will be opening night with a wine and dessert gala. There will be an admission fee. The show will continue Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. There is an admission price as well.

Friends of Mexico Point Park are hosting an art show featuring Severin Bischof’s watercolors and wood cuts.

Friday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. will be opening night with a wine and dessert gala. There will be an admission fee.

The show will continue Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. There is an admission price as well.

This is a fund-raiser for the maintenance and restoration of Casey’s Cottage. Those seeking reservations may call 963-7657 or email Betty at bj2green@aol.com.

Bischof, a master painter, was born in 1893 in Germany where he apprenticed and began is art career. He learned to restore religious paintings and worked in the great cathedrals in Europe.

He also learned the art of cutting glass and was a decorative painter of furniture.

In 1928, Bischof was an art student at Syracuse University, and later worked for Syroco, an ornamental woodworking company.

While at Syracuse University, he met Dr. William Casey and began what became a lifelong friendship.   Dr. Casey, a sociology professor at Columbia University, summered at Mexico Point Park.

The unused carriage house at Mexico Point was transformed into Casey’s Cottage by the two close friends. Casey provided the means and Bischof provided the designs.

The art show will feature the artwork of Bischof including his woodcuts and pastels of his vision for transforming the carriage house into Casey’s Cottage.

According to John Bischof, the artist’s son, “The cottage was a work of love, a place of beauty, friends, companionship and good conversation only.”

‘Fulton Idol’ seeks youth voices

“Fulton Idol” will take place at First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton, Aug. 5-9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

“Fulton Idol” has been described as “a star making experience.”

It is designed for youth ages 10-15 as an opportunity to develop and display vocal performances by individuals and by groups.

There is no charge to partcipate. Highly qualified voice coaches will work with vocalists with a performance of songs scheduled for Friday evening, Aug. 9.

Significant cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries.

Registrations are due to Thursday, Aug. 1. Those seeking to register my call First United Church at 592-2707 or e-mail prairieborn@aol.com.

This event is sponsored by the Open Doors Neighborhood Center, a ministry of the First United Church of Fulton.

OCO Education Services feels impact of federal sequestration

For hundreds of low-income families in Oswego County, the dream of having their children begin their school years as well prepared as their peers has ended.

Federal Sequestration, which many first heard months ago, has affected Oswego County Opportunities’ Education Services.

For decades OCO’s Head Start program in Pulaski has prepared youth ages 3 and 4 to begin school ready to succeed. This fall, however, there will be no Head Start program in Pulaski.

Federal Sequestration has resulted in a $118,403.00 cut to Head Start locally. Due to the loss of these funds, the Head Start program will no longer be available in the Pulaski School District.

The Cleveland Head Start, which serves the Central Square School District, has been forced to eliminate one of its two classes.

Additionally, these cuts have a domino affect that goes well beyond the loss of vital services to low-income children and their families.

The loss of three teachers, the reduction of hours to 11 other staff members, and the loss of an administrative position will directly affect the local economy as well, according to OCO Director of Education Services Beth Kazel.

“Reliable studies have found that the positive long-term effects of Head Start result in lower rates of grade repetition and special education placement, as well as increased high school graduation rates for Head Start graduates,” said Kazel. “Additionally, Head Start children are significantly more likely to attend college than their siblings who did not attend Head Start.”

Head Start does much more than prepare children to begin their school career, she noted. It helps parents work with their children and strengthen their parenting skills as well.

It also provides comprehensive services, including a registered dietician who plans healthy, nutritious menus and offers nutrition counseling to parents; family services staff who advocate for, and work directly with, parents; mental health consultants who observe Head Start children and work with parents and teachers on issues such as child behavior; and nurses who connect with parents and staff on children’s health needs such as dental exams and other health issues.

“Head Start provides a healthy and a safe learning environment where children learn through play,” said teacher and Pulaski Head Start Center Director Sue Austin. “We also assist families with everything from getting enrolled in GED programs, to enrolling in college, finding jobs, and other referrals for success in their communities.  Head Start provides opportunities for parents to become involved in their child’s education in a positive and supportive setting.

“I have seen firsthand how former Head Start students are thriving in the public school system,” she added. “Over the years, we have welcomed back former students to volunteer and read to our class.  It has been amazing to see their growth as students, both academically and personally.

“We not only help the students academically but also socially and emotionally,” she continued. “Over the past nine years more than 180 families in the Pulaski school district have been given a head start on their education.  We will sincerely miss the children and the families that we have had the pleasure to come to know. Our only hope is that we have made a difference in their lives as much as they have made in ours.”

Robin France has had two sons go through the Head Start program and has had the opportunity to experience Head Start as a mother and as a teacher.

Her connection with Head Start inspired her to continue her education and pursue her goal of teaching. France, who holds a BA in early childhood and a master’s in special education, is saddened by the affect Federal Sequestration is having on Head Start.

“It’s very hard to put your feelings into words when your heart is involved,” she said. “This isn’t a job; it’s what I am and what I do. To come in each day and have a child say ‘good morning’ and give you a hug; to see the ‘Aha!’ moment in their eyes and the wondrous expressions when they discover they could do it by themselves; to see them interact and problem solve with peers is priceless.”

While the cuts to the Head Start program affect three- and four-year-olds preparing for school, the complete elimination of the Rural After School Program will affect middle and high school age students in three Oswego County school districts.

The Rural After School Program served approximately 600 students in the APW, Hannibal, and Fulton school districts.

While not directly a result of the Federal Sequestration, OCO’s RASP and several other RASP programs in the state lost their funding when the annual request to renew the grant funding was denied.

OCO’s RASP was available every day and offered students a more social setting than the school day, allowing them to build healthy relationships with other students and adults.

Students were engaged in a number of educational, recreational and enrichment activities, as well as community service activities that allowed them to give back to, and feel connected to, their community in a positive way.

Research has shown that students involved in After School Programs do better both academically and socially as they achieve higher grades, better attendance records, and experience overall educational success.

RASP provided youth with a number of groups and activities, including: Social Support and Community Service Groups; Youth Issues Groups that address violence prevention, pregnancy prevention education, and substance use prevention; Life Skills Training; Recreation Activities; Tutoring; and Enrichment Activities.

Staffed by youth specialists, peer specialists, and academic staff members, RASP provided youth in rural areas with a productive way to fill their after school time.

Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director of OCO, said that while these cuts hurt, they in no way reflect on the quality or value of the programs or the employees who rendered these services.

“The services provided by these programs and staff were of the highest caliber,” she said. “The decrease or elimination of these programs is a reflection of the challenging fiscal times we’re currently facing. Regardless of the challenges we face, our mission remains the same. OCO continues helping people, supporting communities, and changing lives.”

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In and Around Hannibal: July 13, 2013

InAndAroundHannibal1by Rita Hooper 

The “wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round all about the town!”

That’s how a good number of the children of Appalachia receive their dental care. The ToothBus, the size of a large mobile home, is staffed by volunteer dentists and dental assistants from Mission Children’s Dental, a part of Mission Children’s Hospital.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital soon found that tending to children’s oral health had vast benefits for their overall health.

Medicaid reimbursement to dentists is too low for dentists to be able to take many Medicaid patients. The ToothBus began operating 18 years ago.

Statistics from 2004 show that in the nation, there are 59 dentists per 100,000 people. In the distressed counties of Appalachia that number drops to four dentists per 100,000 people.

I wonder what the statistics are for Oswego County.

A recent study shows that North Carolina is one of five states that is failing in its efforts to prevent tooth decay. The ToothBus delivers convenient care to children who may have limited access to dental resources.

Each year, 500 to 600 children receive three to four visits from the ToothBus for regular dental check-ups, cleanings, sealant care and oral health education.

Since the bus began its travels, 7,500 children have received help and 20,000 visits have been made all across western NC working with the local school systems. This service is free and open to every child whether they are documented or not, receive Medicaid, have no insurance or parents can’t take the time off from work to take their children to the dentist.

They specialize in distraction techniques so that the child’s fears are lessened; the children also receive toothbrushes and a good dose of dental education. As one parent said, “I lost my teeth at 30 and I don’t want that to happen to my children.”

And so the “wheels on the bus continue to go round and round all about the town.”

Now to bring the story back to Hannibal: Once upon a time, Hannibal schools provided a dental hygienist for the students. As best we can figure, that service ended in the early 1970s due to budget cuts.

The last one in Hannibal was Mavis Nihoff, whose job it was to clean every students teeth once a year (1,400 students is the number I heard.) Her daughter, Kathy Gilbert said she used something that “tasted awful…maybe it was ashes!” If any of my readers would like to add to the story, please let me know!

Keep brushing and don’t forget to floss! Everyone has a right to a smile!

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Sterling Valley Community Church’s annual ice cream social will be today at 5 p.m.  There will be food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, ice cream and cake, popcorn and cotton candy. There will be a bake sale and lots of things for kids to do. The highlight of the evening will be music by the blue grass band “Different Brothers.”

Hannibal Senior Citizens will be meeting at noon for dinner. Come early for coffee and news or to work on the jigsaw puzzle or  cards. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation at 564-5471. This week’s menu is:

• Monday, July 15: Barbecue turkey on hamburger roll, au gratin potatoes, vegetable, and tropical fruit. Monday will also be hobby day.

• Wednesday, July 17: Hoffman hotdog on roll, baked beans, seasonal salad, juice, and cookie. Wednesday will also feature music with Deanna Hubbard and bingo after lunch.

• Friday, July 19: Goulash, Italian blend vegetables, juice, and pineapple tidbits. Friday is also game day.

The Jammers will meet at the American Legion Monday evening at 7 p.m. If you play an instrument or sing, blue-grass, country, or Gospel come on over and join the fun.  Listeners are always welcome, too!

Summer reading at the library for children has begun. The sessions are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. for six weeks. This year’s theme is “Dig into Reading.”  Remember children are great copiers; if mom and dad read, the odds are that children will too.  Parents, check out what the library has in books that interest you!

Thursday, July 18, three will be a free concert, featuring Jeff Sawyer with Rick Bush, on the Hannibal Library lawn from 6 to 8 p.m. Friends of the Library will be serve ice-cream sundaes and the Elderberries will cook hot dogs and serve drinks. Come for supper or dessert. In case of rain, and we’ve had plenty of that, we’ll move everything to town hall.

An upcoming yard sale and bake sale to benefit Hannibal Home and School will be held at the Hannibal Library July 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds go to Hannibal Home and School.

The Hannibal Summer Recreation Program has begun its summer season at the Hannibal Town Hall Park and Pavilion. Hannibal students in grades K-4 are welcome. Parent supervision is required and siblings in grades 5 and 6 are welcome to participate. A free breakfast and lunch will be provided if ordered a day in advance at 806-9542). The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The program will run for six weeks until Aug. 16. Registration is not required (but do call in advance for the meals) so children are free to miss a week to go on family vacation or whatever! Sounds like there are many interesting activities planned.

The Hannibal Resource Center has changed its hours. The center will no longer be open Thursday nights. They will continue to be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and  will now be open Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. The center is located at Our Lady of the Rosary, across from the high school and is supported by the three village churches.

Your church or youth group can still have a booth at the SOS FEST July 19-21 at the Hannibal Fireman’s Field in Hannibal. Sell food, have a bake sale, set up games, activities, or mission display,; your group keeps all your money. Non-profit mission booths are free! Crafters and Vendors pay only a small fee. Those seeking more information may visit www.cabin3ministries.org.

The Hannibal Nursery School is celebrating their 40th year this upcoming 2013-2014 school year. July 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the nursery school, 162 Oswego St., they will celebrate with games, crafts and face painting. If you or your children were involved in the Hannibal Nursery School, it would be a good time to come to the reunion. There will also be an opportunity to meet the new teachers. Enrollment is open for the 2013-2014 school year. They will also be having an open house Aug. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Leighton sixth graders recognized for academic achievements

Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.
Special awards – Frederick Leighton Elementary School sixth graders received the New York State Awards from the Comptroller’s and Attorney General’s Office.Triple “C” Awards as Jillian Dowdle (left) and Lara Kanbur) while Huckabee Fitzgerald received the Attorney General recognition. They were joined by Principal Julie Burger.

As the school year wound down, the Frederick Leighton Elementary School recognized numerous students, including all of the sixth graders who advanced to continue their academic career at the Oswego Middle School.

Annually, School Principal Julie Burger distributed numerous awards as the students prepare for the next step of their education.

This year, the New York State Comptroller’s Award was presented to Huckabee Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, the Triple “C” Awards, from the New York State Attorney General, recognizing character, courage and commitments were presented to Lara Kanbur and Jillian Dowdle.

Several students were recognized for their dedication to education and as a result earned recognition from the President’s Education Awards Program. Students earning “Outstanding Academic Excellence” certificates included Shae Carter, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Jillian Dowdle, Sofia Loayza, Andrew Mosbo, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy and Dylan Reitz. Receiving “Outstanding Academic Achievement” certificates were Samuel Allen, Janie Brooks, Alyssa Cheeley, Kaitlyn Kelly, Lara Kanbur and Thomas Wallace.

Burger congratulated all students for their accomplishments and wished them well on their continuing education years in the Oswego City School District.

Sixth graders from Laurel Artz’ class included Samuel Allen, Mitchell Barton, Joey Caron, Alyssa Cheeley, Robert Clark, Dylan Czuprynski, Hayley Domicolo, Jillian Dowdle, Huckabee Fitzgerald, Daniel Gosselin, Lara Kanbur, Corey McHenry, Heavenly Noel, Kay-Lee O’Brien, Madison Roach and Thomas Wallace.

From Carolyn Dehm’s class were Dakota Brown, Christopher Fox, Katrina Green, Stephen Greene, Amber Hammond, Matthew Hibbert, Austin Mason, Caitlyn Murphy, Nicholas Neider, Dylan Reitz, Nickolas Smith, Scott Sullivan, Christion Valazquez, Taylor Vickery and Drew Youngman.

Catherine Kelly’s sixth graders advancing included Janie Brooks, Griffin Calabro, Alexzandra Conzone, Mariah Cooper, Benny Derosa, Cameron Garafolo, Kaitlyn Kelly, Crystal King, Sofia Loayza, Katelinn McGuinness, Andrew Mosbo, Daniel Murphy, Javen Syke, Dylan Sobrino, Liam Tovey and Alexander Whiteside.

Moving on from Heather Lewis’ class were Marcus Barton, Joseph Burton, Melissa Chun, Dakota Contryman, Dominick Cullen, Bailey Elkin, Mackenzie Endres, Jacob Gibbs, Mary Guynup, Tatyana Jimenez, Aaliyah Moldonado-Cappetta, Sarah Marino, Carson Martin, Evan Reitz and Emily Sanders.

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Kiwanis Baseball begins season with Opening Day ceremony

FirstPitchFulton Mayor Ron Woodward read a proclamation during the Opening Ceremony of the Fulton Kiwanis Baseball season.

After many years of supporting local youth baseball, Woodward announced that the 2013 season will be dedicated to John Woodworth.

After having the 2013 Fulton Kiwanis Baseball season formally dedicated to him, Woodward threw out the ceremonial first pitch while his grandson, Matt served as honorary catcher.

Regional traveler growth on the rise in Oswego County

Tourism in Oswego County is on the move based on data from the 2012 report prepared by Tourism Economics, which shows that there has been a significant increase in traveler spending.

The report is focused on the Thousand Islands Seaway Region, which covers Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.

According to the report commissioned by New York State, tourism in the Thousand Islands region is a $480 million industry that supports 8,896 jobs. Oswego County increased traveler spending last year by 13.2 percent. In 2010, travelers spent $102,713,000 in the county and last year that amount jumped to $128,621,000.

Travelers in Oswego County spent the bulk of their travel budget, $37.4 million, on food and beverages in 2012 with second homes and lodging placing second and third at $27 and $15.9 million respectively.

Both state and local taxes made the jump as well. Collection of state taxes from tourism activity in the county increased by 12.6 percent, while local taxes had an increase of 13.7 percent. If it were not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the county would have to pay an additional $338 to maintain the same level of government service.

“Some of the reason for this huge increase in visitor spending is the result of excellent fishing conditions and the increase in angling effort,” said David Turner, director of Community Development, Planning and Tourism. “Other factors include the opening of the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego, maintenance outages at the nuclear power plants and ongoing construction at the Novelis facility.”

Turner explained that the Salmon River steelhead catch has increased dramatically in recent years, making the total angler hours on the Salmon River 751,127 compared to 488,792 in 2005. The Oswego County Fishing Hotline also received 15,442 calls in 2012 from anglers all over the country hoping to take advantage of the world-class fishery here.

“While fishing is our main attraction, we are also blessed with an abundance of natural, cultural and historic resources here,” said Turner. “So it is no surprise that, as more people become aware of what we have to offer, our visitor numbers continue to improve.”

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County to once again attack water chestnut plants

Water chestnuts – Daniel Paro (left) pulls water chestnuts from his kayak while Oswego County Legislator Shawn Doyle searches for the invasive plant on the Salmon River Estuary. Doyle is riding in a driftboat with Dave Paro of Dave’s Executive Guide Service. Volunteers, including members of the Oswego County River Guides Association, will hold their annual water chestnut hand-pull Saturday, July 13 on the Salmon River Estuary.
Water chestnuts – Daniel Paro (left) pulls water chestnuts from his kayak while Oswego County Legislator Shawn Doyle searches for the invasive plant on the Salmon River Estuary. Doyle is riding in a driftboat with Dave Paro of Dave’s Executive Guide Service. Volunteers, including members of the Oswego County River Guides Association, will hold their annual water chestnut hand-pull Saturday, July 13 on the Salmon River Estuary.

by Andrew Henderson

The Oswego County Water and Soil Conservation District is once again going to attack invasive plants, including the water chestnut plant, along the Oswego River this summer.

 

“The water chestnut plant is an invasive species that, once established, can significantly reduce the quality of the native habitat, impede recreational use of waterways, and interfere with terrestrial ecosystems,” said John DeHollander, district manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“Water chestnut is present in shallow areas of the lower Salmon River Estuary as well as in sections of the Oswego River.”

It is difficult to slow the spread of water chestnut once it becomes established in a shallow water area. Volunteers have successfully led hand-pull efforts over the past several summers to remove the plant from sections of the Oswego River as well as the Salmon River Estuary.

The plants can create large floating mats of vegetation that restrict the penetration of sunlight, limit the growth of native plants, and disrupt the food web. Each water chestnut plant can produce up to 300 nuts per year.

The Soil and Water Conservation District applied a chemical treatment to more than 200 acres of water chestnut plants on the Oswego River last year. The agency plans to use a chemical treatment on the Oswego River again this summer.

Up north, volunteers, river guides, and members of local environmental organizations will gather Saturday, July 13 at the Pine Grove Boat Launch near Selkirk Shores State Park for a community water chestnut pull on the Salmon River Estuary.  From 8:30 to 9:15 a.m., members of the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species will lead a session on how to identify common invasive species and monitor their presence in waterways and on land.

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