Category Archives: Featured Stories

Fulton YMCA begins annual fundraising campaign

The Fulton Family YMCA has launched its annual campaign.

Money raised will ensure that everyone in Greater Fulton has access to vital community programs and resources that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“Throughout our community, most people know the Y, but there’s so much more to our Y than one might think.” said Fred Bulken, who is co-chairing the campaign with Jim Schreck. “The Y is more than a gym. It’s a cause.”

As a charity, the Y is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and giving back and providing support to our neighbors.

Every day, the Fulton Family YMCA works to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most by addressing community issues.

YMCA programs fight poverty, boost academic achievement, nurture creativity, reduce drowning deaths, prevent diabetes, and strengthen families.

Through the generosity of donors, the Y offers financial aid to ensure that everybody can belong to the Y, regardless of their financial situation.

To support these community-strengthening efforts, Fulton Family YMCA volunteers seek to raise $35,000 through their annual campaign.

To learn more about how you can support the Y’s cause, please contact Lisa Pachmayer, interim executive director of the Fulton Family YMCA, at 598-9622, or lpachmayer@syracuseymca.org.

OCO holding elections for board of directors position April 1, 2 and 3

Oswego County Opportunities is holding its annual election for open seats representing the low-income sector on its board of directors.

Election will take place at several OCO program sites on April 1, 2 and 3.

Five candidates are participating in this year’s election, said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier. Voters may choose up to five candidates on the ballot.

“Our corporate structure requires one-third of our board to be composed of members who represent the low-income sector, either through economic eligibility or employment or volunteer activities that serve low-income populations,” she said.

All Oswego County residents, with the exception of OCO employees, who consider themselves to low-income residents, are eligible to vote for participant representation on the OCO board of directors.

“It is a requirement that the low-income representatives be elected by their peers,” Cooper-Currier said. “We encourage our program participants and members of the community to stop at one of the sites and (cast) a ballot.”

Here is some brief information about each candidate:

John Zanewych is the owner of Big John Sales, Inc.. He is very active in the community and is a board member for the Oswego County Child Advocacy Center, Oswego County Habitat for Humanity and the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

He believes his involvement with the Child Advocacy Center and Habitat For Humanity is very connected to the work of OCO and as a board member on all three organizations, he can make a strong link between them and their service to  low income people and those who struggle for stability and safety in their lives.

Karen Paterniti is the chief financial officer at Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. (NOCHSI).

NOCHSI is the county’s federally qualified health center focused on providing health care to the low income.

As an OCO board member, Paterniti would welcome the opportunity to better serve community members and look to strengthen the partnership between OCO and NOCHSI.

Carissa Seaton is a Head Start parent and has served on a Head Start Center Committee and the Head Start Policy council since September of 2012.

Seaton is an artist and has used her talents in this area to help others out through benefits and fundraisers.

She is interested in helping in the community and feels that serving on the OCO board of directors is a good way to do this.

Gidget Stevens is the director of assistance programs for the Oswego County Department of Social Services. This provides her with insight to the needs of the community, particularly the low income.

Stevens was in a low income environment and chose this line of work as a way to assist individuals to self-sufficiency.

She believes in the mission and vision of OCO and works with OCO on many committees and collaborations.

Jeanne Unger is the executive director for Farnham, Inc., responsible for overall operation and expansion of services related to chemical dependency treatment and prevention.

She serves on a number of professional committees and boards including the Governor’s Advisory Council on Alcoholism and several OCO advisory committees.

Unger has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in counseling and psychological services from SUNY Oswego. She resides in Oswego with her husband and children.

Voting dates are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 1 through April 3, 2014, at the following sites during normal program hours unless otherwise noted:

Oswego:

  • Oswego Reproductive Health, 10 George St. – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Crisis & Development – Midtown Plaza – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oswego WIC, 10 George St., Suite 400 (April 3 only – 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

Fulton:

  • OCO Administrative Office, 239 Oneida St. – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Fulton Reproductive Health, Lee Medical Office Building-Suite 400
  • Fulton Senior Meal Site, Municipal Building – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Backstreet Books & Bistro, 201-203 Oneida St. – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fulton WIC Site, Believers Chapel, 614 S. Fourth St. across from McDonald’s (April 1 only, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Phoenix:

  • Discovery Day Care/Head Start – County Route 59 (off Route 481)

Other Locations:

  • Senior Dining and Activity Center sites are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Constantia Senior Meal Site, St. Bernadette’s –County Route 49 (April 2 and 3)
  • Mexico Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church – (April 2)
  • Parish Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church – (April 3)
  • Phoenix Senior Meal Site, Congregational Church (April 2)
  • Hannibal Senior Meal Site, Community Library (April 2)
  • Sandy Creek Senior Meal Site, United Methodist Church – (April 2 and 3)

For more information, visit OCO’s website at oco.org.

Fulton police participate in Operation Safe Stop

The Fulton Police Department, along with law enforcement officers around the state, will participate April 3 in an Operation Safe Stop day.

During “Safe Stop,” police officers are in marked patrol units enforcing the New York State Traffic Law, which requires all vehicles to stop for stopped school buses with their red lights flashing.

Communication between the Fulton Police Department and the transportation department of the Fulton City School District has identified the times and locations where vehicles passing school buses have been found to be the most frequent. These times and areas will be the focus of enforcement efforts.

Operation Safe Stop seeks to promote school bus safety not only through enforcement efforts but also through educational efforts.

It needs to be reinforced to motorists that it is dangerous and illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing.

Flashing red lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students.

You must stop whether you are approaching the school bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear.

You must always stop for flashing red lights, this applies even on divided and multilane highways and on school grounds.

The first time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail.

Operation Safe Stop is a cooperative project supported by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association.

Oswego County health clinics set for week of March 31

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older.

No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is now available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the New York State Department of Health. For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine.

Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.  No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of March 31 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

OSWEGO:

** Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, April 1, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

** Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

** HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information about public health services, contact the County Health Department, weekdays, phone 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.

Wheelock obtains developer designation

Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist and property manager for Operation Oswego County, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer.

This designation is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The exam for the designation was administered by the International Economic Development Council March 22 and 23 in Alexandria, Va.

“With eight years of economic development experience at Operation Oswego County, Austin has been a major team player in helping to attract companies and expand businesses, encouraging entrepreneurism and providing oversight over the many properties that OOC and the County of Oswego IDA have developed to promote and encourage economic development and job creation,” said L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County and chief executive officer of the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency.

“Some examples include the attraction of K&N’s Foods USA, Champlain Valley Specialties and SAM North America, spearheading the Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition, coordinating activities at the Oswego County Business Expansion Center and the former Oswego County Start-Up Facility (small business incubators) and the development of a series of comprehensive site profiles for critical industrial sites in the county,” Treadwell said.

“We want to congratulate Austin on achieving the CEcD designation,” Treadwell said. “It adds tremendously to the professional credibility that OOC demonstrates in the economic development arena.”

The Certified Economic Developer designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.

Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including  business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, tech-led economic development, and management.

As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.

Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities.  There are 1,046 active
Certified Economic Developers in the United States.

Nuke plant employees help Hospice

Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, owned and operated by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, is once again sponsoring the 15th annual Oswego County Hospice Cup Regatta & Walk/Run for Hope, which takes place Saturday, June 7 at the Oswego Yacht Club/International Marina.

The Friends of Oswego County Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support and relief to hospice patients at a time when they need it most.

In 2013, the organization raised nearly $27,000 and during the past 14 years, the Regatta has raised more than $275,000 to defray costs of non-medical expenses for patients and families, supported the hospice volunteer program and allowed for continued operation of Camp Rainbow of Hope, a free bereavement program for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

“Nine Mile Point is proud of our many employees who volunteer as firefighters and sports coaches, in parent-teacher organizations and a host of other capacities unaffiliated with the company,” said Nine Mile Point Site Vice President Chris Costanzo.

“Volunteerism and contributing to worthy causes are an integral part of the culture at Nine Mile Point,” Costanzo said.

The Nine Mile Community Council evaluates and responds to requests for aid from our surrounding community, focusing primarily on local needs.

Oswego Community Christian School auction to feature themed baskets; online bidding

Oswego Community Christian School students are doing their part to support the school’s 7th Annual Auction.

Students in each grade have been busy preparing themed baskets that will be up for bid during the auction. Each basket will be filled with an array of goodies that pertain to a unique theme.

Sue Bakos, planning committee chair, said the classroom baskets are one of the high points of the auction and generate a tremendous amount of excitement for auction goers.

“The students are enthused about making the baskets and enjoy selecting the items to be included.  They are really being creative and having fun putting their baskets together.  It’s nice to see them put so much thought into it,” said Bakos.  Themes for the baskets include: a Day at the Beach, Gardening, Family Time Basket, Cooking, Camping Basket, and Gift Card.

Oswego Christian Community School’s 7th Annual Auction will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Oswego Elks Lodge #271, corner of West Fifth and Bridge streets in Oswego.

The event, which serves as the school’s largest fundraiser, will feature a Silent Auction, a Live Auction featuring Corrina Paulding of McEwen Auction Co. in Oswego, and for the first time, online bidding.

Prior to and during the Live Auction, community members will be able to bid on items online by visiting the McEwen Auction Company website mcewenauctioncompany.com, click on the link to the OCCS Auction, and follow the instructions to register for online bidding and to view auction items.

Bidders will need a credit card to register, but can pay cash upon pick-up.

In addition there will be a bake sale and the Elks famous chicken barbecue.

The themed baskets will be a welcome addition to the extensive list of items up for bid, including: a polished granite bench, an overnight stay at Geneva on the Lake, a two-week camping experience in New Hampshire, and two rototillers, and much more.

Photos of many of the items available for bid can be found on the school’s website, myoccs.org, and its Facebook page.

The event, which boasts about $25,000 in items up for bid, will also include the popular Oswego Community Christian School’s annual prize drawing. For a donation of $10, individuals will have the opportunity to win one of three great prizes including: a 5 Day/6 Night stay at Disney World or $1500 Visa Card; an iPad Air; or a $250 Gas or Grocery Gift Card.

A limited number of tickets will available these prize drawings.

“Tickets for the drawing as well as pre-sale tickets for the chicken barbecue are $10 and are available at the school office, 400 E. Albany St., in Oswego,” added Bakos.

Proceeds will be used for the continued improvement of the quality of education offered to the students at Oswego Community Christian School.

For more information on The Oswego Community Christian School’s 7th Annual Auction, or to donate an item for the auction, call the school at 342-9322 or Sue Bakos at 342-6939.

BOCES graduates medical assisting students

Pictured are Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting students prior to their March graduation ceremony. Seated, left to right, are: Lauren Pepper, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Suezette Dunham, Tina Winnie, and Judy Campany. Standing, left to right, are: Oswego County BOCES Director of Adult and Migrant Education Paul Gugel, BOCES Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Stephanie Razavi, Andrea Ball, Grace Paige, Marissa Laun, Dalores Bowering, Tara Stoddard, Barbara Kowanes, Venus Waters, BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine and BOCES District Superintendent Christopher J. Todd.
Pictured are Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting students prior to their March graduation ceremony. Seated, left to right, are: Lauren Pepper, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Suezette Dunham, Tina Winnie, and Judy Campany. Standing, left to right, are: Oswego County BOCES Director of Adult and Migrant Education Paul Gugel, BOCES Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Stephanie Razavi, Andrea Ball, Grace Paige, Marissa Laun, Dalores Bowering, Tara Stoddard, Barbara Kowanes, Venus Waters, BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine and BOCES District Superintendent Christopher J. Todd.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Adult Education Program at Oswego County BOCES hosted a ceremony in late March to honor graduates completing the 730-hour Medical Assisting class.

Director of Adult and Migrant Education, Paul Gugel, served as the emcee for the ceremony, congratulating the graduates on their academic achievement and thanking those in the audience for their support during the students’ time in the program.

“When an adult goes back to school, so does his or her family,” Gugel said, recognizing the sacrifices an entire family makes to support a mom, dad, spouse or significant other returning to the classroom.

Also invited to speak was the BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine, who concurred with Gugel’s sentiments and talked about the skills that characterize a person who decides to reenter the classroom as an adult student.

“It requires skill, dedication and perseverance as well as a high level of courage and determination,” Shelmidine said.

Shelmidine went on to talk about the importance of the medical profession and the vital role medical assistants play in a hospital or medical practice and in each patient’s life.

“You are the glue which holds the medical profession together,” he said.

Sharing the stage for the ceremony with Gugel and Shelmidine was former Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting graduate Brandi LeBeau.

LeBeau shared her professional journey following graduation and said the BOCES program gave her a good foundation and opened her eyes to see her full potential.

LeBeau works as a certified medical assistant with the Cardiology PC practice in Syracuse and has returned to school to pursue her registered nursing degree.

Graduates of the Medical Assisting program earning recognition at the ceremony include: Andrea Ball, Dalores Bowering, Judy Campany, Suezette Dunham, Shaina Eusepi, Barbara Kowanes, Marissa Laun, Pamela Margetin, Grace Paige, Lauren Pepper, Stephanie Razavi, Tara Stoddard, Venus Waters and Tina Winnie.

Special awards were presented during the ceremony. Valedictorian distinction went to Judy Campany and salutatorian distinction to Andrea Ball.

In addition, the following students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society: Andrea Ball, Dalores Bowering, Suezette Dunham, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Stephanie Razavi and Tara Stoddard.

For more information about the Medical Assisting program or other programs offered through the Adult Education Department at Oswego County BOCES, visit OswegoBOCES.org or call 963-4256.