Category Archives: Featured Stories

Earth Week cleanups in Oswego County set for April 25 through May 4

Oswego County Earth Week 2014 is scheduled for April 25 through May 4.

People, schools, organization and groups are asked to participate in a litter and debris cleanup in their community that week. Whether it’s a town park, road, empty lot or river bank, every bit of cleaning will help.

According to the study by “Keep American Beautiful,” litter costs in resources more than $11 billion each year. Plastic litter has increased by 165 percent since 1969 and litter contributed to polluting soils and water.

Other projects that can be done during Earth Week include planting trees to improve ground cover and remove pollutants from the air. Rain gardens also can be planted to help prevent erosion and protect rivers and streams.

Trash bags for those conducting or helping in a cleanup during Earth Week are available through the Oswego County Department of Buildings and Grounds. A supply of safety vests also are available for those doing road work.

A limited supply of work gloves are available through a donation from Novelis.

Also as part of Earth Week, the 9th Annual Canal Clean Sweet is scheduled for April 25-27 throughout New York. For more information on this, go to www.ptny.org/canalway/sweep and find out how to help clean up along the canals here in Oswego County.

And new this year, the Oswego County Environmental Management Council will be holding a drawing for gift certificates donated by businesses across the county.

To register for the drawing, please complete the participation form link at:  http://www.oswegocounty.com/earthweek.html

Then, simply email us an event photo with your group, location and contact information to: rdrosse@twcny.rr.com.

You also can use the hashtag  #OswegoCountyEarthWeek with photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For detailed information on the clean up and contest, go to www.oswegocounty.com/earthweek.html

Zumbathon raises about $800 for ALS

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A Zumbathon at the Hannibal Village Tavern Wednesday night raised about $800 for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). About 30 people participated. The participants dined on apples from Ontario Orchards, water from the Hannibal IGA and the site was decorated with balloons from Travis Floral. Village Tavern donated the use of the room for the Zumbathon. According to the ALS Association website, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert. Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.

News in Brief

There will be a craft, bake and lunch sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at the Hannibal United Methodist Church, 320 Church St., Hannibal.

Takeouts will be available for lunch.

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If putting a smile on the face of a child is a priority for you, then you are a perfect candidate to host a NYC child this summer through the Fresh Air Fund.

There are children from all five boroughs of New York City with diverse backgrounds looking to get away from the city and enjoy some safe, clean fun outside, from running in the grass, swimming, going to the park, hiking, camping, etc.

There are no financial expectations to host, and it can be as laid back or full of activities as you would like.

There are also many businesses in our community who graciously welcome these Fresh Air guests by providing free meal certificates and/or access to their establishments.

If you have considered hosting a child this summer, now is a great time to begin the process. Please visit the website at www.freshair.org or call 532-7905 for more information.

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The public comment period for the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been extended.

The draft plan outlines plans for improving passenger and freight rail service on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls.

Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, April 30. The comment period originally was to close March 24.

It started Jan. 31, when the draft environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register.

You can read more about the project and find a comment form at https://www.dot.ny.gov/empire-corridor. You also can leave a comment by going to that website and clicking on contact us in the body of the information on the page.

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A blood drive is set for 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 1, 2 and 3 in the arena at the Campus Center at SUNY Oswego.

Parking for those without a campus parking sticker is $1 — go to oswego.edu/administration/parking.

For more information, call 312-2301.

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A chili, soup and salad luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at the Oswego Center United Methodist Church.

The church is on County Route 7, Oswego.

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Palermo United Methodist Church is hosting a chicken and biscuit dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday April 3 in the church dining room.

For one low price, a family-style, all you can eat dinner will include chicken and gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetable, dessert and beverage.

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The 19-member ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band will perform big band swing, bebop, Latin contemporary jazz, popular tunes and Dixieland selections from a variety of jazz greats, plus patriotic favorites and a salute to veterans in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. April 3 in the ballroom at Hewitt Union, SUNY Oswego.

Parking for those without a campus parking sticker is $1 — go to oswego.edu/administration/parking for more infomration.

Tickets are available at SUNY Oswego box offices, by calling 312-2141, and online ($3 online processing fee) at tickets.oswego.edu.

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Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center is putting on a new series of public programs called  Nature Inspires.

Nature Inspires will connect the natural environment with art.  The first program in the Nature Inspires Series, Pysanky- Ukrainian Egg Decorating being held at 2 p.m. Sunday April 6.

Pysanky is the Ukrainian art form of writing on eggs. Local artist Anna Perun of Phoenix will teach this workshop. Ukrainian decorated eggs are hand decorated with hot beeswax while dipping the eggs in various dyes. After removing the wax, the eggs are emptied through a small hole in the bottom and several coats of polyurethane are added for permanent UV protection and shine.

Aside from being very popular around Easter time, Ukrainian Pysanky are often given as unique and precious gifts, can be exchanged with friends, make remarkable Christmas tree ornaments, and can be used to create an incomparable display in a home or office at any time of the year.

Nature Inspires is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center located on State Route 183 in eastern Oswego County.  The fee for this workshop is $10.

To register for this program, please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County 4-H Program at 963-7286 ext. 401.

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Bob Moritz, chairman and senior partner of the U.S. accounting firm of PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers) and a 1985 graduate of SUNY Oswego, will discuss “Global Trends and Your Role in a Sustainable Future” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the auditorium of the college’s Campus Center, Room 132.

The lecture will be webcast live at http://oswego.edu/academics/webcast.html.

Moritz, who earned an accounting degree at Oswego, is also a member of the PwC global network leadership team, which includes the senior partners from the network’s four largest territories.

Prior to July 2009, he served as the assurance leader of the U.S. firm from 2006 to 2009; and from 2004 to 2006 was the managing partner of the New York office and Metro Region.

He joined the firm in 1985 and became a partner in 1995. From 1998 to 2001, he served as the metro region financial services leader.

From 2001 to 2004, he led the financial services audit and business advisory practice, which includes the banking, capital markets, insurance, investment management and real estate sectors.

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Friends of the Hannibal Free Library will host a Book and Bake Sale to help offset some of the Hannibal Library’s needs for this coming year.

The event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday April 5 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday April 6 at the Community Center on Oswego Street.

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The Minetto History Buffs are hosting  Jim Farfaglia, author of “Of the Earth: Stories from Oswego County Muck Farms,” at 1 p.m. Wednesday April 9 at the Minetto Town Hall.

Farfaglia also has written “Fulton: The Stories From Our Past That Inspire Our Future” and a book of poems, “ People, Places & Things: The Powerful Nouns of My Life.” He co-authored “Camp Hollis-The Origins of Oswego County Children’s Camp “and offers workshops on writing, publishing and editing books.

Farfaglia will present a slideshow of Oswego County muck farms, the farmers and their families. A book signing and sale will follow and refreshments will be served.

All are welcome. For more information, contact Cathy Mulcahey at 343-4227 or Karen Capeling at 593-7853.

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The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville, will be having a roast pork and dressing dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter.  You may choose from a wide selection of homemade pies and other desserts.

Coffee, tea, Kool-Aid and water will also be available. The dinner is served family style.

The ladies from the church also have a variety of crafts and goodies for sale.  There is a large supply of used books available at reasonable prices.

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Rupert Racing is having a chicken barbecue and 50/50 drawing at noon, Saturday April 12 at Gorman’s Tavern, Hannibal Street, Fulton.

Dinners are a half chicken, cole slaw, salt potatoes and roll. A half chicken only also is available.

Entertainment will be provided by Millenium Music. The 50/50 drawing will be at 4 p.m. There also will be a silent auction.

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The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center will present a public program Poking About with Porcupines at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 13.

At first glance, the North American porcupine may seem to have a carefree and leisurely approach to life. However, biological stress, natural predators and human interaction frame a different perspective of porcupine life.

Pat Carney, facilities naturalist, will talk about the natural history of this fascinating forest animal. Following the indoor presentation, there will be a hike through the spring woodlands to search for signs of porcupines and their activity. Dress for an early spring hike.

The fee is $3 per person with a family rate of $12. Children under the age of 3 are free.

The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center is located at 748 State Route 183 in Amboy, eastern Oswego County.

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There will be a planetarium show at 7 p.m. April 20 and 27 on the second floor of the Shineman Center at SUNY Oswego.

Limited seating: first-come, first-served. The event is free and includes parking in the Washington Boulevard lot (E15 or C15) or Campus Center lot off Centennial (E10).

For more information, call 312-2790.

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The annual Earth Day Expo and Oswego County GENIUS Olympiad will be April 22 at SUNY Oswego.

The Olympiad will feature high school environmental science projects. The Expo will feature an exhibition by SUNY Oswego’s sustainability team.

The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Shineman Center Nucleus and Wilber Hall.

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A symposium titled “Astrophysics for the New Century” is set for the SUNY Oswego campus April 25 and 26.

The 110th symposium of the joint meeting of the New York section of the American Physical Society and Astronomy Society of New York will feature talks on cutting-edge astronomy, including recent advances gleaned from Cassini, extra-solar planets, interstellar dust, multi-wavelength observations of planetary nebulae and cosmology.

There will be a banquet at 6 p.m. Friday open to the public with keynote talk on “Computational Astrophysics.”

For more information, call 312-2679 or email shashi.kanbur@oswego.edu.

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The 50th reunion of the Class of 1964 from Fulton High School will be held Aug. 15, 16 and 17.

The reunion committee is trying to locate the following classmates: James Kevin Howard, Kathleen Pyzdrowski Stevens, Becky Burns, Cheryl Travet, Jean Furlong Cole, Gary Weldin and Patricia Rondomanski Quinn.

To provide contact information, call or email Sharon Wardhaugh Flood at 593-7401 or sflood@twcny.rr.com

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A committee working to add to the New York State Fair’s daily parade is seeking input from the public as it designs a State Fair float to serve as the centerpiece of a reinvigorated event.

Designs and ideas for the float are being solicited by the committee, which is being headed up by a member of the State Fair Advisory Board.

The committee has reached out to some school and community groups to solicit design ideas. Any individual or group is welcome to submit design sketches.

Sketches received by April 1 will receive consideration. Those involved in creating a winning sketch will receive recognition during the parade along with admission to the Fair and parking passes.

Submissions can be sent to nysfair.entry@gmail.com.  More information about the requirements for submissions can be found at www.nysfair.org/contact-us/parade/.

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Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the national Alzheimer’s Association, will present at DEMENTIACARE2014 on May 7 at the Doubletree By Hilton Hotel Syracuse.

Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, this third annual conference welcomes individuals caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia for a day of learning and empowerment.

Admission to the conference is $75 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and a resource guide.

Registration can be completed online at www.alz.org/cny, or by phone at 596-4016, extension 108 in Oswego County.

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The Volney Farmers’ Market will reopen for the season June 3.

The market will be open 3 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday from June 3 through the end of September at the Volney Highway Department on State Route 3.

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The New Haven Farmers’ Market will reopen for the season June 2.

The market will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. each Monday from June 2 through the end of September.

Valley News sales exec McManus honored

Allyson McManus
Allyson McManus

By Ashley M. Casey

Longtime Valley News sales consultant Allyson McManus will receive the Sales and Marketing Excellence Award (SMEA) at the Central New York Sales and Marketing Executives’ Crystal Ball banquet in April.

McManus, a lifelong Fultonian, has been with The Valley News for 21 years and is the publication’s senior salesperson. She is one of 12 SMEA recipients from across the region.

SMEA awardees are nominated by their respective places of employment and must meet criteria that include understanding the customer and the market, representing a company in a positive light and getting involved in the community. A Central New York Sales and Marketing Executives (CNYSME) committee carefully reviews each nominees’ credentials to ensure that the chosen winners are experts in their field.

“Not only has Allyson exhibited a very high level of professionalism and steadfast tenacity, she has been a true team player,” said Rich Westover, associate publisher of sales for the Scotsman Media Group, which owns The Valley News.

Westover said McManus has been instrumental in training new sales staff members and generating “new ways for The Valley News to better serve its readers.” McManus originated the idea of the newspaper’s monthly Fulton Families series, which highlights prominent families from around the city.

“We’re very proud of Allyson,” Westover added. “Her award underscores the quality of specialists working at The Valley News and Scotsman Media Group.”

McManus will accept her award at the 38th annual Crystal Ball, held April 10 at the Syracuse/Liverpool Holiday Inn.

The banquet will also honor 2014 Crystal Ball recipient Howard Dolgon, who is owner, president, CEO and team governor of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Crystal Ball, call 876-1868 or email info@cnysme.org.

 

Tops Friendly Markets receives United Way Team of the Year Award

The United Way of Greater Oswego County presented Tops Friendly Markets with the Company Campaign Team of the Year Award at the United Way’s Annual Meeting and Salute to Volunteers held March 12 at the American Foundry in Oswego.

Presented annually, the Company Campaign Team of the Year Award is presented to volunteers whose extraordinary commitment, energy, enthusiasm, and creativity contributed to the success of their company’s campaign.

“We are proud to recognize the team from Tops Friendly Markets’ Oswego County stores with this award,” said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego Count.

“These remarkable individuals inspired their co-workers and coordinated a campaign that achieved an unprecedented 132 percent increase in both the amount of donors and the amount of money raised.,” she said.

“In addition to the support of their company campaign, the Pulaski store donated desserts to our Stone Soup Luncheons in Pulaski.,” Trexler said. “This company’s commitment to providing its customers with quality products and its employees with a comfortable work environment is commendable.”

 

Hannibal runner takes weird turn, ends up in states

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

After nonstop training, which included running 36 miles per week, Hannibal indoor track star Ben Slate thought he had finished his senior season just shy of his goal: a state qualifying time.

However, thanks to a twist of fate, he found himself lacing up a borrowed pair of spikes for one final race with a state berth in his sights, and he made the most of his opportunity.

Slate said he was in the right place at the right time when he got his second chance.

Dressed in street clothes, the team captain was cheering on a teammate during the state qualifying meet at Onondaga Community College when race officials asked if anyone wanted to run in the 1,000-meter event to fill out the field since an athlete was ill.

Without spikes, a jersey or other gear, Slate improvised. He borrowed a teammate’s jersey, a pair of spandex from a friend and spikes – two sizes too small – from a Jordan-Elbridge athlete.

Although the spikes weren’t ruby slippers, they were magic for Slate, who crushed his personal best in the 1,000-meter by six seconds and qualified for the state meet in the process.

“I just had a great race,” Slate said. “I worked hard in cross country, did everything my coach wanted me to and it paid off.”

With the qualifying time under his belt, Slate joined other Section 3 athletes to form a team in the 1,000-meter relay. In the state tournament March 1, they finished 10th in the intersectional relay.

Now, with the indoor track season completed, Slate, son of Stacy and Jerry Slate of Hannibal, will turn his focus to outdoor track — his final sports season of his high school career — before making the transition into college athletics and, more importantly to him, academics.

“I haven’t decided which college yet, I know I’ll definitely be running,” Slate said. “I want to focus on my academics and continue my running, but I’m looking more for academics.”

The standout runner noted Hannibal Coaches Dom Pike and Dan Pawlewicz helped mold him into the person he is today.

“Mr. Pike and Mr. Pawlewicz, they both pushed me and helped shape my work ethic,” Slate said. “They said, ‘You can be the best runner, but you have to have the grades too.’ And ever since I heard that I’ve been working hard.”

That hard work has translated into an 88 average and two academic scholarships, which Slate hopes to take to either Niagara University or Utica College.

He is planning on pursuing a degree in biology before moving on to medical school.

If Slate continues his hard work at the next level, he would become the first person in his family to graduate from college. From there, he would add the initials “M.D.” after his name.

“Everyone in my family is just supporting me,” Slate said. “They have encouraged me to do what I want to do and have told me to not let anyone change my mind. That’s how I see it.”

For Coach Pike, Slate’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“He’s just a great kid and a great representative of the Hannibal community,” Pike said. “He works hard and it’s nice to see him have the success he’s experienced.”

Phoenix wrestling searches for state supremacy

By Rob Tetro

Sometime soon, the Phoenix varsity wrestling team could once again be one of the best teams in New York state.

This possibility was enhanced by the presence of seven seniors this season. Codie Corso, Ryan Pinzer, Jason Nipper, Austin Dristle, Billy Orstrander, Brian Stafford and Derrick Powell left a unique mark on the Phoenix wrestling program.

Coach Gene Mills said this group of seniors worked hard while showing some of the Firebirds impressive younger wrestlers what a consistently solid work ethic is all about.Their efforts paid off. This season, Phoenix had many younger wrestlers put in the work necessary for them to begin to realize their potential.

Mills hopes the seniors’ participation in the Phoenix wrestling program taught them the value of hard work. He hopes his seniors are now physically and mentally prepared to display the work ethic necessary for them to accomplish any goal they have for themselves.

However, as important as athletics is to Mills, most important is that his athletes begin to learn about being good citizens. As those traits continue to develop in his athletes throughout their participation within Phoenix wrestling, he also encourages them to be good students and good athletes, in that order.

Now that these seven seniors are a few months away from taking on the next phase of their lives, Mills hopes Phoenix wrestling has helped them to become better wrestlers, better students and most importantly, better people.

Mills hopes supporters of the Phoenix wrestling program are excited about the athletes he has coming up through the ranks. He said individual and team success could be in the cards for the Firebirds in the very near future because his returning athletes understand that given the abilities they bring to the table, the sky is the limit.

Yet, he points out that the difference between a good team and a State Championship team isn’t based on ability but rather on how dedicated a team is to consistently improving.

Make no mistake about it, Mills believes his younger athletes have the potential of bringing Phoenix another State Championship. However, they will not be able to earn the right to compete at that level until they embrace a hardnosed mentality in every phase of the wrestling season.

Local men named wrestling Coaches of the Year

By Dan Farfaglia

Former Fulton wrestler David Wise, now the head wrestling coach at Liverpool High School, is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Section 3 Division One Coach of the Year Award.

Wise guided the Liverpool Warriors to an 18-5 record this past year, a League Title, and the team placed 2nd at the Sectionals (State Qualifiers). That was the best tournament performance in the school`s history.

Wise has been the head coach at Liverpool for five seasons and has compiled a 92-44 record, two Section champions, eight class champions and 31 Sectional place winners.

He was presented with this distinguished honor at the Friends of Section 3 Wrestling Banquet at the Rusty Rail Restaurant in Canastota March 9.

Bill Kays, the head wrestling coach at Mexico High School for the past 26 years, is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Section 3 Division Two Coach of the Year Award.

The Mexico Tigers ended the season with a 13-2 record, won the League title, and defeated the Fulton Red Raiders for the first time since the early 1960s.

In his career, Kays has had 40 Section 3 Champions, one Section 3 Dual Meet title, 12 League Championships, three NYS Tournament runner ups and for the first time, a State Champion just this season.

He also was presented with this distinguished honor at the Friends of Section 3 Wrestling Banquet at the Rusty Rail Restaurant in Canastota on March 9 .