Category Archives: Featured Stories

Chicken, biscuits on menu for next Salvation Army Guest Chef Dinner

Steve Cook will be cooking the next Salvation Army Guest Chef Dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1.

He will prepare chicken and biscuits and tossed salad, and desserts and beverages.    The dinner will be at the Salvation Army Citadel, 73 W. Second St., Oswego. Carryout dinners will be available.

Cook was born and raised in Oswego where he grew up in an Italian home. He was always interested in foods and cooking and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, in Montpelier, Vt.

He presently serves as chef at the Oswego County Salvation Army in Oswego and at O’Connor’s Main Street Pub in Fair Haven. He previously was chef at the Raging Rivers Barbecue in Oswego.

The Guest Chef dinners are organized by the Advisory Board and offered to the community to raise funds for support of the services of the Army throughout Oswego County.

Future dinners are scheduled on Tuesdays for June 3 by Vona’s Restaurant; August 5, roast beef, by the Oswego Zonta Club; October 7 by Press Box; and November 4, arrangements pending.

The Oswego County Salvation Army Corps provides fresh-cooked meals in both Fulton and Oswego and many other services are provided to individuals and families in need throughout Oswego County.

Information about The Salvation Army or about serving as a volunteer is available at 343-6491 or at the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego.

Oswego man, family break records to raise money for family devastated in car crash

rom left to right, Guinness World Records Official Adjudicator Michael Empric, David Bourdon with future record holder Ledger Natoli Bourdon, Bob Natoli and Bobby Natoli.



Six Guinness Fitness World Records were shattered in an hour Saturday by Bob Natoli’s “First Family of Fitness” to help the Patterson family of Liverpool, whose lives were recently shattered in a head-on collision caused by a drugged driver.

Muscles bulged and hearts pounded as Bob Natoli, of Oswego, led his son Bobby (the youngest ever Guinness Strength and Fitness World Record Holder from a chin-up record in 2008), and son-in-law David Bourdon in breaking six records.

Lance Patterson, who lost his wife Meaghen in the crash, was at the event. Also on hand was Guinness Record Adjudicator Michael Empric and a large crowd of supporters.

The Natoli “First Family of Fitness” team was inspired by now 11-time Guinness Fitness World Record holder Bob Natoli to raise money and awareness for the Pattersons.

“When I read about an entire family that was devastated in such a way I thought we might be able to help the Pattersons. Sort of like one family helping another” Bob said.

During the event, the Natoli family proceeded to defeat record holders from the UK, Ireland and right here in the US.

“I am very proud of both my son Bobby and my son-in-law David Bourdon. They trained very hard for this event and it showed in their results” said Bob.

The records attained:

1.    Bob Natoli – Most Step-ups in One Minute Carrying a 100 Pound Pack (38). Crushing the previous record held by England’s Paddy Doyle by 7.

2.    Bob Natoli – Most Step-ups in One Minute Carrying an 80 Pound Pack (41). Routing another Paddy Doyle Guinness World Record by 7.

3.    Bob Natoli – Most Weight Lifted by Dumbbell Rows, with one arm, in One Minute, (4,356 lbs.). Demolishing the previous record held by Ireland’s Eamonn Keane by more than 1,230 lbs.

4.    Bobby Natoli – Most Knuckle Pushups in One Minute (58). Shattering the previous record held by USA’s Michael Chang (an Internet fitness guru) by 13.

5.    Bobby Natoli – Most Pull-ups in One Minute Carrying a 40 Pound Pack (23) dominating another record previously held by USA’s Michael Chang by 10..

6.    David Bourdon – Most Pull-ups in One Minute (42). Attaining his first Guinness Strength and Fitness World Record, exceeding the previous record held by USA’s Ronald Cooper Jr. by 1.

After successfully breaking all records attempted, the Natolis urged the audience and public to assist the Patterson Family by any means possible.

Lance Patterson then accepted a personal donation of $5,000 from Bob Natoli. Many attendees were so touched by the Patterson cause and event they too made immediate donations directly to Patterson.

Donations to the Pattersons can be made online via the website, by email at: or by mail: The Patterson Family Trust, P.O. Box 63, Syracuse, NY 13201.


Bowling raises money for youth programs

The United Way of Greater Oswego County will host its inaugural Hole in One Bowl from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the various youth programs that the United Way helps sponsor.

United Way Resource Development Director Lois Luber said the Hole in One Bowl is way for families to get together and engage their children in an afternoon of fun and bowling.

“For a $15 donation, participants will receive two hours of bowling, shoe rental, pizza and soda, and a youth size T-shirt.  Weather permitting we will also have outdoor activities for the children as well,” said Luber.

Luber said United Way is welcoming businesses and individuals interested in helping to sponsor the event.

“We invite those wishing to support our mission to improve lives and make a difference to make an investment in our children.  Sponsorships are available on three levels:

** Hole in One Sponsor ($150) that provides the sponsor with signage on a bowling lane during the event, three tickets to the Hole in One Bowl, and a 24” x 18” tee box sign at the United Way’s Annual Golf Tournament to be held July 14 at the Oswego Country Club

** Ticket & T-Shirt Sponsor ($100) that includes signage on a bowling lane during the event, three tickets to the Hole in One Bowl, and logo or sponsor name printed on 100 youth shirts that will be distributed at the event.

** T-Shirt Sponsor ($50) that includes signage on a bowling lane during the event and logo or sponsor name printed on 100 youth shirts that will be distributed at the event.

For more information on the United Way Hole in Own Bowl, call Lois Luber at 593-1900 or via e-mail at

Tickets to the event are available at Cakes Galore, 40 W. Seneca St., Oswego.

Oswego man wins $1 million

John Spotswood, right, holds up the ‘big check’ with Lottery spokeswoman Yolanda Vega on Tuesday.

John Spotswood wasn’t too surprised when his sister gave him a birthday card with three Lottery scratch-off tickets in it when he turned 50 Feb. 7.

He said it’s a tradition in his family to give Lottery tickets.

So, he read the card Friday, Feb. 7 and left the tickets to scratch on Saturday.

And that’s when all the excitement began.

“I won $25 on the first one,” he said. “The next one, nothing. Then I looked at the third one and I saw it said jackpot and I saw the coin for jackpot.”

The Jumbo Bucks ticket said he won $1 million. But he still wasn’t quite sure, wondering if his sister could have sent him a phony ticket.

He took a photo of it and texted his sister and she said “wow, you won a million dollars.” His girlfriend looked at it and said “it looks like you won a million dollars.”

“It was just like opening presents on Christmas morning,” Spotswood said.

The nuclear power plant technician is taking the one-time payment, which nets him $555,912. He claimed the prize early Monday morning Feb. 10 at the Lottery office in Syracuse.

“Then I knew it was real,” he said.

Spotswood doesn’t plan to quit his job In fact, he said the half million will help him be more secure so he can “retire at a decent age” instead of having to work until he’s 80.

He also said he might take a trip next year and “maybe buy a new pair of shoes.”

Spotswood buys his own Lottery scratch-off tickets “about four or five times a month” and wins off and on.

Spotswood’s winning ticket was purchased at KTM Mini Mart at 2203 County Route 1 in Scriba, just outside the Oswego city line.

Lottery officials said Spotswood is the 12th Oswego County Lottery player to win a top prize of $1 million or more.

Other recent winners include Debra Noyes of Fulton who won $1 million on the Silver 6’s scratch-off game in 2010 and Charlene Hopkins of Palermo who won $1 million on the New York Poker scratch-off game in 2010.

The New York Lottery contributed nearly $34 million in Lottery Aid To Education money to school districts throughout Oswego County during fiscal year 2012-13.

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 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:

Then, simply email us an event photo with your group, location and contact information to:

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

Zumbathon raises about $800 for ALS

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.


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 or call 532-7905 for more information.


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 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.


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

For more information, call 312-2301.


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.


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.


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 for more infomration.

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


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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  More information about the requirements for submissions can be found at


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, or by phone at 596-4016, extension 108 in Oswego County.


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.


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