Category Archives: Featured Stories

Future of Fulton Public Library rests on May 20 vote

By Ashley M. Casey

Voters in the Fulton City School District will have two decisions to make concerning the fate of the Fulton Public Library in the May 20 election: how it’s funded and who runs it.

The library is putting forth two propositions for next month’s elections. One would make  the library a school district library — solely funded by a tax that the district collects, eliminating the city of Fulton’s responsibility. The other puts the election of the board of trustees up to the voters as well. Currently, the city appoints trustees to the board. Continue reading

AmeriCorps donates fleece blankets to families in need

Submitted by Oswego County

Oswego County AmeriCorps members recently donated more than 40 fleece blankets to the Oswego County Health Department’s Maternal Child Health Program for families in need.

The blankets were created by AmeriCorps members as a special project in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.

AmeriCorps Program Assistant Carrie Victory and Program Coordinator Kathy Andolina assisted with the project.

“Currently we have more than 20 AmeriCorps members serving throughout Oswego County, providing mentoring or  fitness education and nutrition activities,” said Andolina.

“Several more members recently started in our new Economic Opportunity grant. These members provide financial literacy and housing services to qualified individuals through the Department of Social Services, Oswego County Opportunities, and Catholic Charities,” she said.

Oswego County AmeriCorps is accepting applications for the summer AmeriCorps program. Members will provide fitness education and nutrition activities to youth around Oswego County.

Summer members serve 300 hours, receive a living allowance of $2,113 and an education award of $1,175.

For more information, contact the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3451.


Phoenix student signs with Oral Roberts University

Destiny Teel recently signed a letter of intent to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

Teel, a senior at John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, will attend the school and participate on the track team.

Teel, a standout in the pole vault for Birdlebough’s indoor and outdoor track seasons, also runs sprints and hurdles.

Born in Tulsa, Okla., Teel is excited to go “back home.” An excellent student as well as an exceptional athlete, Teel has also been nominated for the university’s  Quest Whole Person Scholarship.

She will interview with the selection committee this month to find out whether she will receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 per year to the prestigious university.

The scholarship program recognizes students who demonstrate the following: Christian world view, lifestyle of service, academic achievement, leadership ability, vision to make a life-changing impact on others and a healthy lifestyle.

While at Oral Roberts, Teel plans to major in biology.

Andy Lewis, who was her track coach for three years, called Teel, “a good kid who has come a long ways, especially in pole vault. She did a lot of extra work above and beyond to better herself,” he said.

A leader on the field and in the classroom, Teel was co-captain of the indoor team for the past two years.

Teel finished second in the pole vault in sectionals during the indoor season and jumped a personal record of 8 feet 6 inches earlier this year.

She also was named Field Most Valuable Player during the indoor track season and looks forward to the start of the outdoor season soon, providing weather and field conditions cooperate.

Tie-flying competitions, film festival coming to Altmar

Submitted by Oswego County Tourism

The Tailwater Lodge will host a fly-tying competition and IF4 film festival Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12.

The event opens with social time and viewing video segments in the Tailwater’s lounge Friday evening.

Starting at noon Saturday, April 12, spectators can watch 20 fly-tiers produce four special flies each, one per hour, from a grab bag of materials and hooks valued at more than $50.

There are still a few openings available for fly-tiers. Materials are donated by Fly Men, JP Ross and Mad River.

Registration for fly-tiers is $99 and includes one night’s overnight lodging, the grab bag of materials, admission to the traveling Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) and access to the hospitality suite on the day of the event.

Tom Fernandez, director of business development for the Woodbine Group, encourages spectators to watch the tie-off event and stay for the film festival. Drawings and awards will begin at 5 p.m. that day, followed by the opening of IF4, a traveling Fly Fishing Film Festival, at 7:30 p.m.

Admission to just the Tie-Off and IF4 is $15. Tickets are available online at IF4 showing is limited to 100 people.

“Tailwater is offering a special discounted room rate of $99 for both Tie-Off participants and spectators,” said Fernandez. “Guests also receive access to fish the Salmon River on the property.”

Guests should use the code “WKND” when booking.

More information is available by contacting the Tailwater Lodge at 298-3434 or Tom Fernandez  at or 569-7413.

Applications due soon for Oswego revitalization grants

The Oswego Renaissance Association  began accepting pre-applications for the “Renaissance Block Challenge” grant program April 2.

As the first of several revitalization and beautification projects to come to the city of Oswego this year, these are matching grants to property owners in the city of Oswego. The Oswego Renaissance Asociation will match expenses, dollar-for-dollar, up to the first $1,000 for exterior improvements to homes and properties in targeted neighborhoods in the city.

The deadline for submitting pre-applications in April 21; with final applications due May 15.

Applications and details are available at the ORA website at

“A large number of residents in neighborhoods throughout Oswego are very excited about this opportunity,” said association Director Paul Stewart.

“Many residents and neighbors are passionate about the revitalization of their neighborhoods, and when multiple neighbors work and invest together, they often have confidence to invest more than the matching amounts — both financially and socially,” he said.

“The ORA is growing partnerships with these residents in a multi-year strategy to restore beauty, vibrancy and community to Oswego neighborhoods.,” Stewart said.

Tanya Miller, a homeowner on West Fourth Street, has been organizing her neighbors to apply.

“Our area of West Fourth and Schuyler has had an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, with planned projects ranging from new fencing to garden plantings to new siding,” Miller said.

“I myself am planning to have my house painted in a Victorian era color palette and could not be more excited,” she said. “The most rewarding aspect of the program so far, however, has been the opportunity I have had to get to know so many more of my wonderful neighbors.”

Another Oswegonian, Casey Towne, of East Utica Street, also plans to apply.

“I am so excited to see this plan come to fruition. The response on my block has been great, with over half the households participating in the application,” Towne said.

“Summer plans for our block include repair and replacement of fences, paint, windows, landscaping, porches and a roof. More important than the physical improvements are the social strengths that we are building upon. We are bringing back block parties, establishing a block directory and planning group yard sales and clean ups,” Towne said.

Four areas in the city, each 15-25 blocks in size, have been targeted for the program. Houses located in or very close (within a block) to the target zones may apply.

Applications are awarded to clusters of houses. Each cluster must include a minimum of 5 households on or near the same street, and fill out a Pre-Application Form.

Applications require coordination among neighboring households, so the block cluster works as a team to improve their homes and neighborhoods. The Oswego Renaissance Association expects to grant awards to 10-15 clusters this year.

Renaissance Block Challenge grants will cover half of the homeowner’s investment (minus sales tax). If the application is funded, a homeowner who invests $1,000 on a project would be reimbursed half or $500; likewise a homeowner who invests $2,000, or more, into a project would be reimbursed half, or $1000.00.

A homeowner who invests more than $2,000 total on a project would be reimbursed the maximum $1,000.

Before and after pictures of the completed work, along with copies of all receipts related to expenses of each project must be submitted once the work is completed. All work for the 2014 Block Challenge Grants must be completed by Oct. 31, 2014.

Once the work is completed, property owners will receive a matching reimbursement check in approximately 4 weeks.

“My neighbors and I are really excited,” said Rob Way, of East Seventh Street. “It’s great motivation. Some of my neighbors are looking to replace their porches, others just to touch up the trim around their houses. Either way, it’s a terrific way for us all to invest together in our block.”

Last year, the ORA, participated in revitalization projects at Franklin Square Playground, Montcalm Park, as well as the Bridge Street Tree Canopy Project.

For more information visit the ORA website at


Porky and Buddy discuss FIV positive cat

Dear Porky and Buddy,

Yikes! I took in a stray cat last winter.

He had been hanging around my back porch looking pathetic and it got to one of those 10 below nights and you know how that goes.

The next thing I knew he was in my bed with me. He was thin but seemed to be in pretty good shape and he had already been neutered so one thing led to another and I only just now got around to getting him to my vet to check him out, get him his shots etc.

So, now that I have gotten very fond of Mr. Slim, I found out that he is FIV positive! My vet said that he seemed to be in good health at this point and I don’t have other cats right now so not to worry too much, but I feel like such an idiot.

What should I do?


Dear Carol,

Let’s get this straight. Out of the goodness of your heart you took in a stray cat who would probably be dead by now if it wasn’t for your kindness, and yes, you really should have taken him to the vet sooner (but one thing led to another) and, let’s face it, if you had taken him in sooner you would still have an FIV positive cat who has stolen your heart.

Why do you feel like an idiot and not a saint???

Here are the simple facts straight from our friends at the ASPCA.

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, a disease that weakens a cat’s immune system. Cats with FIV can live full, long, happy lives with proper care.  Humans, dogs and other animals cannot contract FIV. Other cats can contract FIV—and that’s why you should adopt an FIV-positive cat only if you have no other cats or you have only FIV-positive cats.

So what should you do?  You need to be vigilant about any illnesses that Slim Jim might develop. Because his immune system may be weaker now or may become weaker over time, early intervention for infections is critical.

Many FIV cats have dental problems so you need to watch for that.  And of course you need to keep him inside. You should be careful to feed him a high quality cat food.

Feel free to ask your vet for recommendations and for more practical advice about caring for your new best friend.  And then go buy more cat toys to enjoy his company even more.

Speaking of saints . . . you could be one too by adopting Shadow, a gorgeous FIV positive cat up for adoption on the Oswego County Humane Society website.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone is 207-1070. Email is Website is

Fulton Home Show coming April 12

Booths and exhibits from building suppliers, home repair specialists and financial institutions will fill the Fulton War Memorial for the eighth consecutive year when the Fulton Area Home Show returns Saturday, April 12.

A true sign of spring, the free home show is an opportunity for local homeowners and potential homebuyers to get a glimpse of the many services available for buying, selling, renovating and sprucing up a home.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a variety of different vendors from financial institutions offering help on mortgages to contractor’s offering ideas on improvements.

The highly successful venue is being sponsored by Fulton Savings Bank, and the event itself being sponsored by Burkes Home Center. The Home Show is presented by the City of Fulton and the Fulton Community Development Agency.

In addition to the more than 40 exhibits, the Home Show will again emphasize “Curb Appeal” this year, said Joe Fiumara, executive director of the Fulton Community Development Agency.

“This year’s show will feature more vendors from the landscaping and exterior trades as we did last year,” Fiumara said. “We know from experience that what gives everyone the nice inviting sense from a perspective buyer to a neighbor visiting is ‘Curb Appeal.’ So we anticipate our vendors to be offering tips and efficient ideas to achieve this”

Fiumara explained the idea of the Home Show was in response to many comments from residents and homeowners who didn’t know where to go for certain information, were not aware of certain services in the community, or were looking for a place where they could ask questions without being under any obligation to buy something or sign up for something.

“Regardless of income, people are looking for certain things and were not sure where to get them,” he said. “The Home Show will be an ideal place for people looking to buy a home, as well as people who own a home and are looking to make some improvements.”

The show will feature more than 40 local exhibitors, as well as on-going demonstrations by local contractors, building supply companies, and landscapers.

“Exhibitor spaces for the Home Show are sold out, but we are compiling a waiting list for next year,” Fiumara noted.

“We have been pleased with the response by the business community so far,” he said. “This is such a good opportunity for our community to see what’s available to them and to look forward to the spring and summer home improvement and landscaping months.”

More information on the show, including exhibitor information, is available at the Fulton Community Development Agency, 125 West Broadway, Fulton, phone 593-7166 or e-mail

‘Percussion Wizard’ and guitarist take Oswego Music Hall stage

A show featuring “Percussion Wizard” Jeff Haynes & Co., including award-winning guitarist Sean Harkness, is coming to the Oswego Music Hall at 8 p.m. April 19.

When these passionate and talented artists perform together, they create a chemistry that is as wonderful to see as it is to hear, so catching them live — on stage — will be a special musical treat.

Grammy award winning percussionist and producer Haynes brings a sound to today’s music scene that takes percussion beyond “technique” and “tradition.”

New York City guitarist Sean Harkness, an award winning musician in his own right, garnered the Outstanding Instrumentalist of 2011 Backstage Bistro Award, and a MAC Award for his NYC solo shows.

When Jeff and Sean play together, there’s an intimate conversation happening with every beat of the drum and expression of percussive colors, with every chord of the guitar and melodic inflection.

In recorded and stage performances, Haynes moves effortlessly from varied and subtle textures, to grooving in the pocket or anchoring the rhythm section. He has toured and recorded for 15 years with Cassandra Wilson, and toured with numerous other musicians, including Al Jarreau, Lizz Wright, Harry Belafonte and Peabo Bryson.

His chops can be heard on more than 100 CDs, reflecting many kinds of music, from R&B to jazz to new age. Haynes was also a producer of his recent release, Pete Seeger The Storm King, the Grammy® nominee spoken word CD that Pete Seeger set to multi-genre music from over 50 musicians.

Harkness describes himself as a guitarist-for-hire. He lives in New York City, where he composes music for solo guitar, performs solo shows and is the go-to guitarist for duets and ensemble work with singers from Broadway and television as well as national and international productions.

Each year, Harkness performs in concert halls around the country with other Windham Hill artists such as Liz Story, Will Ackerman, Barbara Higbie and Jim Brickman.

Besides featuring Harkness on the cover of their 2011 product catalog, Walden Guitars is releasing a “Sean Harkness Signature” 12-string guitar.

Along with numerous compilations, TV, and film soundtracks, Harkness now has five commercial releases: Aloft [Windham Hill] -1999; Trio Of One [independent release] -2001; Urakaji solo guitar [Rinken Records, Japan, USA] -2004; Harkness Knight w/saxman Eric Knight and great drummers -2009 and brand new: H2 Flights: Volume One w/fab Canadian trumpeter Mike Herriott on Canadian Brass‘ label ODEG -2011

Check out these gifted and multi-faceted musicians at and and then see for yourself the enthusiasm and commitment they bring to their performances April 19. The Oswego Music Hall is in the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St., Oswego.

Tickets can be purchased on line at or at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Os