Category Archives: Featured Stories

Granby boy donates hair to Locks of Love

Marc Barnhart, of Granby, before his hair was cut Saturday at Carla’s Hair Fashions in Fulton. He donated his hair to Locks of Love to be made into wigs and hairpieces for children suffering from medical hair loss. He found out few men and boys donate their hair by watching a segment on the “Today Show.”
Marc Barnhart, of Granby, before his hair was cut Saturday at Carla’s Hair Fashions in Fulton. He donated his hair to Locks of Love to be made into wigs and hairpieces for children suffering from medical hair loss. He found out few men and boys donate their hair by watching a segment on the “Today Show.”

By Ashley M. Casey

Ten-year-old Marc Barnhart of Granby finally has some weight off his shoulders — 11 inches of bright red hair, that is.

Last weekend, Patti Mancino of Carla’s Hair Fashions in Fulton snipped two ponytails’ worth of hair from Marc’s head to send to Locks of Love, a Florida-based charity that provides wigs to children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Marc’s hairy journey began in late summer of 2012, when he and his grandmother, Carrie Fellows, saw a “Today Show” segment about men who had lost their hair to cancer.

“I saw it on the news that the men didn’t want to wear (wigs made of) girls’ hair, so they wanted boys to do it,” Marc said.

With his grandmother’s permission, Marc began to grow out his hair. For the last year-and-a-half, Marc has endured teasing, stares and comments from classmates and teachers alike at Kenney Middle School in Hannibal, which he and his four siblings attend.

Marc said his classmates have hurled insults at him such as “you girl,” but his family told him, “Words are words and remember what good you’re doing.”

“I just ignore it,” he said.

Marc’s siblings have borne some of the unkind words as well.

“Everyone in my grade kept saying, ‘Don’t you have two sisters?’ and I say, ‘No, my brother’s growing his hair for a great cause,’” said Matthew, 11. “It’s really sad that they have to pick on him and get satisfaction from talking to me.”

Matthew said one of their aunts died of cancer, another reason for Marc’s donation.

Cailynn, Marc’s twin sister, said that she and her other brothers tried to grow their hair to donate too, but gave up. Jeffrey, 13, said his effort to grow his hair “did not work out.”

Hairstylist Patti Mancino, of Carla's Hair Fashions, snips the first of two ponytails from Marc Barnhart's hair.
Hairstylist Patti Mancino, of Carla’s Hair Fashions, snips the first of two ponytails from Marc Barnhart’s hair.

Cailynn said other children at school have donated their hair as well.

“It’s not really nice because they’ve done it too, and no one picked on them,” Cailynn said.

The Barnhart children and their grandparents said their former bus driver and teachers have made comments to Marc as well.

Marc’s grandmother Carrie said one teacher said to Marc, “Hey kid, you need a haircut, you look like a girl.”

Marc said the school has held anti-bullying events, but he doesn’t think that makes a difference to students.

Kenney Principal Dee Froio said the school has hosted various anti-bullying events, including Jared Campbell’s “Blue Project” and a “bully-away spray” skit through Merry-Go-Round Playhouse’s “Echoes” program.

Froio added the school has not been notified about a student being bullied for growing their hair, but they would follow up any report of bullying.

Fortunately for Marc, not all the feedback has been negative.

“My art teacher this year did it two times, so she’s proud of me doing it,” Marc said.

Carrie, an adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego, brought Marc to one of her classes and shared his story. The students gave him a standing ovation.

“He made the decision to do it and he’s stuck with it,” said grandfather Jeff Fellows. “He has taken a lot of razzing the last year or so … When you explain to people why he’s doing it, they change their view.”

Marc Barnhart with his new look
Marc Barnhart with his new look

Hairstylist Patti Mancino has cut Marc’s hair since he was a baby. She said he is her only male client who has donated his hair to Locks of Love, but she has had many female clients donate to that organization and to a similar one, Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

“Sometimes I talk somebody into it if they want a new hairstyle. If you have enough, why not donate it?” Mancino said. “For a young man to do it is special because a lot of girls do it.”

After the big chop, Marc opted for a super short style. His brother Jeremy, 11, said he was glad that Marc did it, but “I’ll wake up to a stranger in the morning.”

“I got so used to Marc with long hair,” Matthew said.

As for the man with the mane, he said he plans to grow it out again for Locks of Love in the future, perhaps after the summer.

“Now I don’t have to wear my ponytail for tech,” he said.

To learn more about donating hair, visit
locksoflove.org or pantene.com and click on “Ready, set, grow: pony up!”

Sheriff asks for more money to house inmates outside county

By Debra J. Groom

Sheriff Reuel Todd is asking the Oswego County Legislature for more money to pay for inmates he has to ship to other county jails because his jail is full.

Todd said he put $100,000 in the 2014 county budget to pay for housing inmates in other county jails. The cost to do this is $90 a day per inmate.

Through February, Todd’s cost for housing inmates elsewhere was $130,000.

He is asking for $30,000 to make payments already incurred and another $500,000 to pay for housing inmates in other jails for the rest of 2014.

“We do a proposed budget and the county approvs it,” Todd said. “It was overly optimistic that the $100,000 would be enough.”

Todd had this same problem back in 2012, when he ended up asking the county legislature for about $1 million more to pay for shipping inmates to other jails.

When the Oswego County jail is full, any additional inmates have to be housed in other county jails, such as in Cayuga, Madison or Oneida.

There are three primary reasons for there being so many inmates, Todd said.

One is there is more crime taking place. Second is police are doing a great job in finding criminals and arresting them. If they can’t make bail, they have to stay in the county jail.

The third reason is state parolees who commit more crime. Todd said when a state prison inmate is released and put on parole and then commits another crime, that person is held in a county jail until the state decides what to do with him or her.

“They’re (the state) saving money in their budget by not taking these parolees back to state prison and costing the county money,” Todd said. For about two years, state officials, including state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who represents Oswego County, have been trying to get the state to take back its parolees.

“But there’s been no movement on the state issues that should be addressed,” Todd said.

Todd’s request asks for $500,000 to be transferred from the County Appropriation Fund Balance to the Prisoners Charges — Other Facilities account.

The request was on the agenda for the April 1 Finance and Personnel committee meeting.

The jail overcrowding issue became so dire in Oswego County in 2012 that legislators approved a number of measures to reduce the number of inmates in the county jail.

District Attorney Gregory Oakes hired a part-time lawyer at $26,000 to handle all the county’s criminal case appeals. Before, one of his assistant district attorneys was handling the appeals, cutting by half the time she had to handle current cases.

Now, that person has a full caseload and is helping to move cases through the system quicker so defendants aren’t sitting in the county jail for months, Oakes said.

The county probation department also began a monitoring bracelet system so non-violent low-level felony offenders could be released with a bracelet instead of sitting in jail.

Oakes said there also is more discussion between prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that helps to cut down on the amount of time defendants are in the county jail.

But still, with these changes, the jail population remains high.

Todd and Oakes said these measures are working (as of Friday, 25 defendants were on release wearing monitoring bracelets), but increased crime, more parolees and more arrests are putting a strain on the system.

Chronic wasting disease not found in NYS deer

Testing of more than 2,500 samples of deer statewide found no deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week.

CWD continues to pose a threat to New York’s wild white-tailed deer as Pennsylvania discovered CWD in both captive white-tailed deer and wild, free-ranging white-tailed deer in 2012.

Since 2002, DEC annually has tested hunter-harvested white-tailed deer for CWD. The last confirmed case of CWD in New York was in 2005.

Public reporting of sick and abnormal deer throughout the year is also important because these animals are collected and tested for CWD.

DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit conducts full necropsies (animal autopsy) to determine the source of illness or cause of death on many species, including deer.

In 2012, DEC revised the state CWD surveillance program to include information on population density, deer age and sex, and risk factors, including border counties with Pennsylvania.  The goal was to collect samples from the highest risk areas.  For further details on the initiation and timeline of DEC’s CWD surveillance program, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/33220.html.

Fulton girls’ softball team wants a sectional championship

 By Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls’ varsity softball team is preparing to begin its season with great expectations.

After playing in the sectional quarterfinals and semifinals the last two seasons, not only do the Lady Raiders want to qualify for sectional play but they want to win a Sectional championship.

Coach Derek Lyons said his team has been playing together for a long time. With the improvement that they have shown along the way, he hopes to see his team qualify for the state playoffs.

Fulton is expected to be amongst the most experienced teams in Section 3 this season. The team will feature seven seniors and two juniors who have seen a lot of playing time over the past few seasons.

Lyons said his nine experienced players know what it takes to have a successful season. The seniors are Maureen McCann, Hannah Jones, Anna Guernsey, Mikayla Guernsey, Caitlin Chrisman, Kassidy Kearns and Keisha Pierce.

The juniors wth experience are Cheyenne Laun and Courtney Parker. These players are joined by fellow juniors Jessica Marvin and Katelyn Ely along with sophomore Casey Jones.

The Lady Raiders began practice in early March. Lyons expected them to be in pretty good physical condition when practices began and his team obliged.

Lyons said most of his players were in good physical condition because they took part in winter sports.

But Lyons said softball is a sport that relies on reaction a lot more than other sports. Developing reaction time was a big part of the first couple weeks of practice.

The players who didn’t participate a winter sport prepared for the season by taking part in open gyms and working hard in the weight room. Lyons feels every player could run the bases in a solid time.

However, the climate has limited the team’s outdoor training time. Lyons said even though his team appears to be in good shape, they will still be challenged when the time comes to adjust to running outdoors.

Fulton won’t have captains in a traditional sense this season. For the most part, Lyons expects to recognize his nine experienced players as leadership figures on a rotating basis. These players will be recognized based their work ethic and how they handle adversity and Lyons hopes the  Lady Raiders benefit from the experienced players’ ability to lead by example.

The Lady Raiders will face a challenging schedule this season. A team they beat last season, Jamesville-DeWitt, is expected to be equally as tough this season.

Lyons hopes his team can continue to build off of the experience of winning against such a good team. East Syracuse Minoa is expected to be equally as challenging for Fulton.

Both Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse Minoa are expected to benefit from strong pitching this season. Lyons also said Mexico, Cortland and Homer will be solid teams this season and be tough outings for the Lady Raiders.

The biggest strength Fulton expects to have this season is the leadership abilities that its experienced players bring to the table. The Lady Raiders also hope to get on base at a solid percentage. There are six players with .400 averages in hitting.

Fulton expects to have a fast and aggressive offense. Lyons said a hard-hitting offense equates to a lot of wins. He also expects the returning pitchers to be ready to preserve a lead their hard hitting teammates create.

Oswego County fishing is focus of TV show

Submitted by Oswego County Tourism

“Outdoor Passion” television host and producer Ray Carignan’s enthusiasm for fishing is contagious, and viewers will get a glimpse of the phenomenal brown trout fishing Carignan experienced in Oswego County on “The Early Summer Brown Trout Run in Oswego County” airing in April on the World Television Network.

Carignan, host of the Montreal-based “Outdoor Passion” weekly television series, fished with Capt. Kevin Keller of Fishchopper Charters last June out of Mexico Bay.

The episode will air on the World Fishing Network at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5; at noon and 9 p.m.  Thursday, April 10; and at 2 a.m. Friday April 11.

“If you love early summer brown trout fishing, you must watch this show,” said Carignan. “Fishing for big brown trout is a challenge. They are smart.”

The group caught their limit both days trolling for mid-depth brown trout with  Keller off Mexico Bay.

“This world class fishery is full of excitement and fun – a great family outing,” said Keller.

Carignan and his cameraman, Claude Roulleau, also visited the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, Salmon River Falls and Sandy Island Beach on their visit to Oswego County, where they were hosted by Wally and Cheryl Kimmel, owners of Catfish Creek Fishing Camps.

“Outdoor Passion” has received numerous awards, including eight “Golden Moose” awards for best outdoor series in North America.

For additional information on the show, visit http://www.outdoorpassion.tv/schedule.html.

For Oswego County fishing conditions and visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386).

Fulton Lions Club comedy night April 25

The Fulton Lions Club will host its “The Mane Event” comedy night with nationally known comedian Tom Anzalone at 8 p.m. Friday April 25, 8:00 p.m. at the Fulton Polish Home, said Don Labarge, Fulton Lions president.

“In addition to Tom Anzalone, we’ll also have comedians Grant Fletcher and Steven Rogers in what is sure to be a fun, entertaining night for all,” Labarge said. “Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.”

Advance sale tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Devine Designs, Fulton and The Fulton Medicine Place.  The ticket donation is $15 per person at the door and tables of 10 may also be purchased in advance for $175 each.

Mr. Phoenix contest raises money for junior class

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

A group of 10 John C. Birdlebough High School students showed off their talents and interview skills as they recently battled it out for the title of Mr. Phoenix.

With a bit of swagger, junior classman Ben Bulgrien’s humor, quick wit and eloquent interview answer earned him the crown and title of Mr. Phoenix, the district’s third annual male pageant event.

Junior Wyatt Parker was the runner-up, while freshmen Zach Thompson and Conrad Karl finished tied for third place.

Rounding out the field were Joe Brennan, Chris Nicolella, Josh Margrey, Andy Padula, Mike Girard and Michael Sadoski.

The contest served as a fundraiser for the junior class and pitted freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors against one another in a variety of events. Students performed songs, comedy, skits and other talents to keep the audience entertained.

“This is always such a great event,” said JCB junior class adviser Kathy Lathrop. “These kids put so much work into the event and it really shows.”

The contestants’ efforts were judge by a five-person panel of teachers who scored each participant on a variety of factors in each category.

Judges included Jenn Epolito, Tim Fredenburg, Rick Heffernan, Michelle Lewis and Angie Neiss.

 

Phoenix a “Best Community for Music Education”

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

For the fourth consecutive year, the Phoenix Central School District has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants as one of the country’s Best Communities for Music Education.

The distinction acknowledges schools and districts across the United States for their commitment to and support for music education.

This year, the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation designated 376 districts as Best Communities for Music Education. More applications were received than in years prior and only 56.7 percent of those applications were selected.

New York state dominated the list, accounting for 102 of the 376 award-winning districts in 2014. Phoenix is one of three districts in Oswego County to earn the distinction (the others are Fulton and Mexico).

The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service used nine criteria to calculate the Best Community for Music Education: music for all, support from administrators, scheduling, opportunity, qualified faculty, standards, community, funding and technology.

Music programs throughout the country are extraordinarily diverse, but all of the Best Communities’ districts share a common thread. — communities that support music in their schools and offer the opportunity to take individual instruction.

In Phoenix, students have many options to grow as musicians beyond what is provided during the school day.

The district offers several extracurricular music programs, including the middle school jazz band, high school jazz band, marching band, parade band and winter drumline. The drama club also performs a fall drama production and a spring musical each and every school year.