Category Archives: Featured Stories

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Erin McKinstry, an registered nurse for Oswego Health, spray-painted a toilet purple and dropped it off to a neighbor to raise money for the Oswego Health Team for Relay for Life. The purple toilet has since sat in nearly 18 yards in the City of Fulton, sparking a conversation from those who pass it.

Purple toilet raises money for Relay for Life

Erin McKinstry, an registered nurse for Oswego Health, spray-painted a toilet purple and dropped it off to a neighbor to raise money for the Oswego Health Team for Relay for Life. The purple toilet has since sat in nearly 18 yards in the City of Fulton, sparking a conversation from those who pass it.

by Nicole Reitz

The Oswego Health Team for Relay for Life was tired of baking cookies to raise money for cancer research, so they took their own approach.

Erin McKinstry, an registered nurse, visited the American Cancer Society web site for fund-raising ideas and decided that she would spray paint a toilet purple and drop it off to a neighbor.

The tactic may look like a neighborhood prank, but its purpose is to raise money to fight cancer.

The purple toilet has sat in nearly 18 yards in the City of Fulton, sparking a conversation from those who pass it.

Tuesday, it sat on the lawn of Councilor Jay Foster, who lives on Buffalo Street. Foster said that children walking by have asked about the toilet and why it’s in the front yard.

Foster, a cancer survivor, hopes that someday soon scientists will come up with an answer for cancer. He isn’t ashamed to have a purple throne on his lawn, since he proudly supports the work of the American Cancer Society.

The way the fund-raiser works is that if the purple toilet ends up on your lawn, the owners of the home can pay $10 to have it removed from the premises, $20 to have it removed and put on a friend of their choices lawn, or $30 to have it removed, put on a friends lawn, and have it never return again.

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Kami’s Kix Dance Studio performed its 13th annual spring recital, “Leave it on the Dance Floor” yesterday at Hannibal High School. The show was sponsored by the Key Club. Pictured from left are Mackenzie Malone, Amanda St. Onge, Suzanne King, and Meghan Gillen.

Kami’s Kix Dance Studio to perform annual recital tomorrow

Kami’s Kix Dance Studio performed its 13th annual spring recital, “Leave it on the Dance Floor” yesterday at Hannibal High School. The show was sponsored by the Key Club. Pictured from left are Mackenzie Malone, Amanda St. Onge, Suzanne King, and Meghan Gillen.

Kami’s Kix Dance Studio will perform its 13th annual spring recital, “Leave It on The Dance Floor,” tomorrow, June 8

The recital will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hannibal High School’s auditorium. It is sponsored by the Key Club.

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County’s mosquito surveillance program underway

by Carol Thompson

The 2012 mosquito season is in full swing and the Oswego County Health Department has begun its surveillance program.

Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamp areas are usually the first places the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus appears each summer. However, last year it appeared in a few places around Oswego County at the same time.

“We have doubled the number of mosquito trap sites over a greater area of the county due to the high level of EEE activity over the last few years,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, public health director of the Oswego County Health Department. “In addition, the state’s laboratory will allow a greater number of mosquito samples to be sent in for testing.”

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AmeriCorps program receives grant

by Andrew Henderson

The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded a 2012 AmeriCorps grant to the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, according to Congressman Bill Owens.

The grant is the result of the Fiscal Year 2012 AmeriCorps State and National funding competition.

The grant program focuses AmeriCorps resources on six key service areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.

“For 2012, we emphasized support for programs with a focus on education, veterans and military families, and disaster services,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the AmeriCorps State & National Grants program, wrote to Owens.

The AmeriCorps staff reported that the grant cycle was highly competitive.

The Oswego City – County Youth Bureau will receive $268,224 to fund 63 AmeriCorps position.

AmeriCorps members will mentor disadvantaged youth, recruit and manage volunteers and high school students who mentor, and plan and implement fitness activities and nutrition education for youth in Oswego County.

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