Category Archives: Featured Stories

In this photo, Oswego County Legislator Amy Tressider has been digitally removed.

Oswego Health CEO apologizes for photograph snafu

In this photo, Oswego County Legislator Amy Tressider has been digitally removed.

by Carol Thompson

Oswego Health CEO Ann Gilpin personally apologized to Oswego County Legislator Amy Tresidder after the legislator was digital edited out of a photograph that appeared in the most recent Inside Oswego Health newsletter.

Tresidder, who is a candidate for the New York State Senate’s 48th District seat, was an invited guest at an April 11 ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce for Oswego Health’s newly remodeled outpatient center at the Fulton Medical Center.

Tresidder was included in a ribbon cutting picture along with other legislators and persons involved with the health center.  The Oswego Health Facebook page shows the picture with Tresidder standing between Sarah Compo of Senator Patty Ritchie’s office and Legislator Dan Farfaglia.

The newsletter photo, however, has Tresidder removed with the exception of her legs. Instead, the space where Tresidder stood is replaced with a brown wall.

Along with the personal telephone call in apology, Gilpin’s secretary said Tresidder will also be receiving a letter of apology.

“By no means was it done with malice,” said Marion Ciciarelli of Oswego Health’s public relations office. “We didn’t know who she was and her position.”

Ciciarelli said the hospital was unable to identify Tresidder so she was removed from the picture.

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School Board Notebook: July 14, 2012

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton Board of Education has a new president.

David Cordone was elected as president. He replaces Robbin Griffin, who lost her school-board seat in the May election.

Fred Cavalier was also elected as the new board clerk. He replaces clerk Brian Hotaling.

Rosemary Occhino will remain on as the board’s vice president.

*  *  *  *  *

Audience member attendance might have been at an all time low during Tuesday’s meeting.

The low attendance sparked an idea from board member Dan Pawlewicz. He suggested moving the board meetings to the city’s six schools.

“Offering a different venue could allow principals to show of their school,” said Pawlewicz.

Hotaling was open to the idea, but questioned if moving the meetings would be more work than an opportunity.

“It’s not a bad idea, I don’t know if the timing it perfect for it,” said Hotaling. “I’d like to hear from principals to see if they would be interested in hosting us.”

Changing the location of the twice-monthly meeting is something that the Fulton board has never done before, but is a common practice in other schools, such as Hannibal Central School District.

Pawlewicz’s concern is that the community is not attending board meetings not because of a lack of interest, but an intimidation factor.

“I know people won’t get into this building, people are afraid of it,” said Pawlewicz.

Superintendent Billy Lynch noted that a change in environment could mean more work for the schools’ principals.

The district’s portable sound system would also need to be set up. “It would give the board the opportunity to interact with that school community,” said Lynch.

The board approved the meeting schedule for 2012-2013, but will further discuss the possibility of holding meetings outside of the Fulton Education Center.

*  *  *  *  *

During the regular business meeting, the board approved resolutions that highlighted the careers of 13 retiring staff members.

They include Katherine Biss, Melanie Bock, Kathleen Kinney, Stephen Kush, Patricia Lok, Mike Schroeder, Elaine McIntyre, Kathleen Rossi, Deborah Walbereger, Dave Wilson, Diane Wilson, Georgia Wood and Lynn Swayze.

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Wal-MartDonation

Wal-Mart assists lake effort

Granby Wal-Mart Manager Mike Hardesty presents a check to Ed Williamson, chairman of the Lake Committee for the Cleanup of Lake Neatahwanta and Granby Town supervisor. The money from Wal-Mart will be used to create a plan to help diminish the cause of the phosphorus-filled lake.

by Andrew Henderson

Wal-Mart donated $2,000 earlier this week to the Lake Committee for the Cleanup of Lake Neatahwanta.

The committee is currently raising funds and lobbying state and federal officials for money to dredge the lake, which is filled with high-levels of phosphorus and most likely contains blue-green algae.

Committee Chairman Ed Williamson, who is also the Granby Town supervisor, said Tuesday that the money from Wal-Mart will be used to create a plan to diminish the cause of the problem.

The lake is fed by three streams, including Sheldon Creek, which is said to be the cause of 70 percent of the sediment that lies on the lake bottom.

“We have to stop it in order to fix it,” said Williamson. “There is no use dredging the lake if the problem still exists.”

Williamson noted that many farms surrounding the lake are not as active as before, which could help with the problem.

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Campaign check lists clerk’s phone number

by Carol Thompson

A check drawn on the account of New York State Senator Patty Ritchie’s campaign fund lists the telephone number of the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s office, something that Ritchie’s press spokesperson Sarah Compo said was simply a mistake.

The “Friends of Patty Ritchie” campaign fund account has imprinted the telephone number 3125-379-2237, which is the number of the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s office, along with the address P.O. Box 626, Canton, N.Y. 13617.

Community Bank, where the account is held, is located in Ogdensburg.

Ritchie is the former St. Lawrence County Clerk and served as the clerk during her campaign two years ago.

“We’re aware of this and obviously it’s a mistake,” Compo said Tuesday, adding it’s “an honest mistake.”

Compo said the matter will be rectified.

St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire said she will see to it that the telephone number is removed from the checks and had initiated the steps to do so.

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Senator Patty Ritchie recently visited the Oswego County Soil & Water Office on Route 3 in Volney to make the announcement that free larvicide treatments will be available to homeowners in Oswego County. The treatments are a preventive measure against EEE and are to be used in standing water around the home or farm. Ritchie is pictured with Legislator Fred Beardsley, Inga Back, acting Oswego County Public Health Director Inga Back, and John DeHollander, manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Free larvicide treatments available

Senator Patty Ritchie recently visited the Oswego County Soil & Water Office on Route 3 in Volney to make the announcement that free larvicide treatments will be available to homeowners in Oswego County. The treatments are a preventive measure against EEE and are to be used in standing water around the home or farm. Ritchie is pictured with Legislator Fred Beardsley, Inga Back, acting Oswego County Public Health Director Inga Back, and John DeHollander, manager of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

by Nicole Reitz

Senator Patty Ritchie announced at a news conference Tuesday the availability of a new tool to help combat the spread of the EEE virus.

Free samples of larvicide treatments are available to 2,700 homeowners in six counties who have been impacted by EEE, including Oswego County.

The free treatments, packets of a locally produced larvicide, can be used to treat standing water. The product can be used in small pools, ornamental ponds, bird baths and more.

The treatment is available to homeowners through a partnership with the Soil and Water Conservation District offices. Local residents can pick them up at the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District office, which is located at 3105 N.Y.S. Rte. 3 in Volney. The  office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The larvicide program is a part of a broader effort to educate the public and help prevent EEE. Since there is not yet a vaccine for EEE, the best form of protection is to avoid getting bit.

Residents are advised of using insect repellent when going outdoors and be aware of peak mosquito hours. For many species of mosquitos, dawn and dusk are peak biting times.

During these times of day, wear protective clothing or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. Also examine your home for tears and holes in window and door screens. Intact screen windows and doors can keep mosquitos from entering the home.

Farmers should especially take special precautions to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes. Farmers should ask their veterinarian about vaccinating their horses. Dozens of horses have succumbed to the virus in the six counties included in the prevention program.

While EEE is a mosquito-born virus that mostly affects horses and other livestock, it has killed five people in Oswego and Onondaga counties since 1971. The latest death is that of four-year-old Maggie Sue Wilcox of New Haven.

Ritchie said that the EEE virus is a state priority.

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Officials: County highway employee did no wrong

by Carol Thompson

An Oswego County Highway Department employee, who is alleged to have driven a county roadside mower to his property as well as verbally accosting the Town of Hannibal deputy highway superintendent, was on his lunch hour and not far from the work site, hence, did no wrong, according to officials.

According to Hannibal Town Highway Superintendent Dan Mahaney, it was agreed with county Highway Superintendent Kurt Ospelt and county Deputy Superintendent Howard Nolan that county employee Duane Shepard did nothing wrong when he drove the county-owned mower to his property and got into an argument with town Deputy Highway Superintendent Nelson Hawkins.

“He did it on his own time,” Mahaney said. “Luckily, they were both on their lunch hour, which is unpaid.”

Mahaney added it was “just a verbal disagreement.”

Mahaney said Shepard had been roadside mowing on County Route 21 and 34 in the village June 20 and had taken the mower to his property for lunch.

“Duane didn’t do anything wrong with the county equipment,” Mahaney said.

Mahaney added that Ospelt was unable to be reached the day of the incident so Nolan was contacted and went out to the site. They all later spoke and agreed the incident did not involve the county or the town, he said.

Hawkins filed a complaint with the town against Shepard over the incident, according to Town of Hannibal Supervisor Ron Greenleaf. The board called a special meeting to address the issue.

“The whole thing was blown out of proportion,” Greenleaf said.

He added that because Shepard was on his lunch hour, he was on his property as a village resident.

The board concluded that the two men should work out their differences, Greenleaf noted.

Along with his full-time job with the county highway department, Shepard also works as the chief operator of Hannibal’s water department and is a trustee on the Village of Hannibal board.

He has been employed with the county since March 2011, according to county records.

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Fulton YMCA to be managed by YMCA of Greater Syracuse

by Andrew Henderson

The Fulton Family YMCA has entered into a one-year management agreement with the YMCA of Greater Syracuse.

The agreement was timed to coincide with the retirement of Fulton YMCA Executive Director Betty Fadden.

The YMCA of Greater Syracuse is providing the full range of administrative support, including accounting, human resources and program development.

By running the day-to-day operations of the Fulton YMCA, the board will have time to examine all facets of the operation and explore all options in order to continue to best serve members and the greater Fulton community.

“The YMCA of Greater Syracuse has a solid organization – committed volunteers, expert staff and engaged members,” said Steve Osborne, president of the Fulton Family YMCA Board of Directors.

“We are grateful for their support during this time of transition. Working together, we’re stronger,” added Osborne.

The most visible sign of that support will be Lisa Pachmayer, the interim executive director for the Fulton YMCA.

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County to consider airport grant

by Carol Thompson

When the Oswego County Legislature meets tomorrow, one item on the agenda is the consideration of the acceptance of a grant offer for the design phase of aircraft deicing equipment acquisition and collection tank installation at the county airport.

The total design cost is estimated at $198,000, according to an informational memorandum attached to the resolution.

The highway department will receive 90-percent federal funding in the amount of $178,200 and five-percent state funding in the amount of $9,900 for the project. The local share will be $9,900.

The resolution recommends entering into an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to accept the grant offer.

The legislature will also consider the transfer of $30,000 to pay for assessment and survey work at the former county jail.  The funds will be used to pay for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the environmental assessments and surveys of possible hazards such as asbestos.

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