Category Archives: Featured Stories

Food and music at Tunes in June in downtown Fulton

Tunes in June continues tomorrow in downtown Fulton

Food and music at Tunes in June in downtown Fulton

The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce will continue its Tunes in June series Wednesday at the gazebo in downtown Fulton.

Each week, a featured restaurant will be on site at the gazebo from noon to 2 p.m.

Live music will be provided by Kimo & Friends.

Tomorrow, the Blue Moon Grill will be the featured restaurant.

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Widow seeks affordable health insurance

by Carol Thompson

A widow with three young children is finding that affordable health insurance is something out of reach and that there is little assistance for those in her situation.

The woman has been struggling to find affordable health care for seven months to no avail. Prior to the unexpected death of her husband, the young widow was insured by Blue Cross/Blue Shield through his employer. Upon his death, she said she was immediately dropped.

For a few months, she was on COBRA until the cost jumped to $1,100 per month for health coverage and $400 per month for dental coverage.

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Legislature to hire consultant to write health insurance RFP

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature is looking to solicit bids for a third-party health insurance administrator and approved a motion to allow the personnel director to spend the funds to seek a consultant to write the specifications.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Finance and Personnel Committee, approval was given to Personnel Director Carol Alnutt to move forward with the process.

“Our department goal for fiscal year 2013 is going to be for our department is to issue a request for proposals for a third-party health administrator and what I’m hoping to do in preparation for that is I would like to in this year prepare an RFP (request for proposal) for a professional service contract with a consulting firm to review the health care plan in terms of its plan design, actually perform an audit and do a thorough evaluation process and help us to do the RFP process,” Alnutt said.

She asked for the committee to allow her to issue an RFP for a consultant.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Legislators hope to establish their own sales-tax rate

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee passed a memorializing resolution Tuesday in support of allowing counties to establish local sales tax rates up to four percent.

Bills currently under consideration in the Senate and Assembly are designed to provide counties permanent authority to control their own local sales tax rate up to four percent.

The proposed legislation would reduce waste and redundancy in state and local legislative procedures by ending the unnecessary practice of requiring state approval and renewal for local sales tax rate changes, including the cumbersome and inefficient biennial renewal of the one-percent sales tax extension currently utilized by nearly every county, the resolution states.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Legislators learn about proposed mandated costs

by Carol Thompson

As New York State passes more laws, it also passes on mandated costs to local governments. Oswego County Administrator Phil Church gave members of the Finance and Personnel Committee an update on the most recent proposals.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Church noted that a proposed law could change the way 16- and 17-year-olds are treated in the court system and by probation.  “The goal is to treat them differently rather than treating them in the adult sector,” he said.

If the change is approved, it will come at a cost of an additional $416,000 per year in the probation department, a cost that is bore by the taxpayers.

In addition, both the Senate and Assembly have proposed a bill that would require those convicted of animal abuse to register with local law enforcement. The registry would be similar to the sex offender registry currently in place.

“It will be up to local law enforcement to maintain that registry,” Church said, adding that he does not anticipate funding from the state for such project.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

City looks to annex land from Granby

by Nicole Reitz

During Tuesday’s meeting, members of the Fulton Common Council voted to hold a series of public hearings on the annexation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s land.

Located off Route 48, the Wastewater Treatment Plan is positioned in the Town of Granby.

The City of Fulton paid $78,324 to the Fulton City School District and $37,859.32 in taxes to the Town of Granby last year. Out of the $37,859.32, Granby receives $7,478.62, with the rest of the tax monies going towards the County and First Fire District.

A state agency recently raised the assessment of the plant to be worth more than $3.9 million, a $900,000 raise. The city and Mayor Ron Woodward dispute the validity of the assessment and fear the possibility of a higher tax bill.

The city is currently spending $2.5 million to upgrade the treatment plant to comply with a consent order given last year under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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Bridge traffic patterns to change in July

by Nicole Reitz

Motorists that live and drive through Fulton have undoubtedly noticed the construction and bump signs on the city’s bridges.

The Oneida Street Bridge is having joint repairs and the concrete deck is being sealed. According to Fulton DPW Commissioner Dan O’Brien, this is routine maintenance and the repairs and sealing of the concrete deck will be completed in two to three weeks.

There is also a temporary signal on West Second Street in the flasher mode. This signal is for construction purposes.

Message boards will be activated on West Broadway a week before the light goes into three-color mode.

Owned by the state, the Route 3 bridge construction project will be in full swing this summer. The project is what contractors call “fluid,” so dates listed are tentative. Message board signs, informing the public that there will be a change in traffic patterns, will be erected June 22.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Candles are lit in the shape of the initials of accident victim Bobby Senke. A candlelight memorial was held Wednesday evening at the site of the crash that took the lives of Justin Purdy, 24, Antonio Mendez, 28, and Senke, 25. Police say Senke was driving the vehicle eastbound on East Albany Street when it collided with a utility pole near the intersection with Shampine Drive in the City of Oswego.

Hundreds gather at the scene to remember crash victims

Candles are lit in the shape of the initials of accident victim Bobby Senke. A candlelight memorial was held Wednesday evening at the site of the crash that took the lives of Justin Purdy, 24, Antonio Mendez, 28, and Senke, 25. Police say Senke was driving the vehicle eastbound on East Albany Street when it collided with a utility pole near the intersection with Shampine Drive in the City of Oswego.

by Carol Thompson

Hundreds of friends and relatives gathered at the scene of the crash that took the lives of  Robert L. Senke, 25, Justin M. Purdy, 24, and Antonio Mendez, 28.

The three men were killed Tuesday when the 1999 Cutlass Ciera driven by Senke went off the road and crashed into a utility pole near the intersection of Shampine Drive and East Albany Street in Oswego.

Two other passengers, Donald M. Odin and Jeremy W. Tassie, survived the crash.

The Wednesday evening vigil was posted that morning on Facebook by Matt Haws and Thomas Alnutt.

“I don’t know if we can get people together but I figured it would be a good thing,” the event page noted.

The three deceased were from Oswego. Mendez’s mother is a resident of Fulton.

As friends gathered, some carried flowers and candles and others wore shirts in memory of the deceased. Jarin Thompson of Oswego wore a shirt that read, “In memory of Bobby, Tony, Justin. You’re deeply missed.”

Participants cried and hugged one another throughout the evening.  Each of the deceased was a father to young children, some of whom were present with their mothers.

Police believe alcohol and speed contributed to the crash, however, the investigation is not complete.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397