Category Archives: Featured Stories

OCO to receive grants to improve agency

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. is one of six Central New York nonprofits selected to participate in the Gifford Foundation’s fourth round of a major capacity building initiative.

ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Value and Assets of Nonprofits in Syracuse, was started by the Gifford Foundation in 2007. ADVANS 4 will include more than $500,000 committed to six nonprofits — including OCO – from Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga Counties.

OCO is Oswego County’s Community Action Agency. Founded in 1996, OCO serves about 30,000 people each year through more than 50 programs.

These programs provide assistance for the homeless, education services for preschoolers, literacy services, reproductive health, independence for the disabled, meals for the elderly, disabled and youth, safety for the abused, case management services, crisis services, support for youth and transportation.

Between December 2013 and December 2015, OCO will undertake an intensive assessment and capacity planning process and will receive roughly $70,000 in grants and consulting services.

ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book “Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity.”

The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

“We anticipate many positive improvements that will benefit OCO and the consumers we serve,” said Diane Cooper-Currier, OCO’s executive director.

Cover photo dates for The Valley News available

UPDATE, UPDATE — Feb. 26, March 5 and March 19 are taken.

 

Hello and Happy New Year to all organizations, nonprofits and groups in the Fulton-Oswego-Hannibal-Phoenix area.

Now that the holidays are concluded, I hope you all are looking at your calendars to see when you have special events or even annual events coming up in 2014.

As you all probably know, The Valley News runs half page photographs on its Wednesday edition covers to highlight events coming up in the community. Some organizations already have stepped forward to reserve covers for 2014.

But many dates are still available, including the following that are coming up soon: Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 26, March 5, March 12 and March 19.

Many other dates also are available, especially in July and August.

So check over your calendars, see what’s coming up and give me a call to book a cover photo. The only criteria is your event should be a few days to a couple weeks after the edition that your cover appears. For example, if you had the March 5 cover your event would be somewhere between March 6 and say March 20 or so.

My phone number is 598-6397, ext. 31 or just ask for me, Debbie Groom.

I hope these dates fill up soon and fast.

 

Interstate 81 closed from Brewerton to Watertown due to storm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today (Jan. 6) declared a state of emergency for numerous counties including Oswego County as a major winter storm has moved from the Midwest into Western New York and the Tug Hill Plateau region of the state.

The State of Emergency covers the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne and Wyoming.

He also said Interstate 81 between Exits 31-45 (Brewerton to Arsenal Street-Watertown-Sackets Harbor) will be closed to all traffic tonight at 8 p.m.

Oswego County Emergency Management issues safety guidelines for winter storm

From Oswego County Emergency Management:

With the impending lake effect snowstorm forecast for the Tug Hill region in Oswego County Monday afternoon through Wednesday, Oswego County Director of Emergency Management Dale A. Currier reminds local residents to use extreme caution while traveling in inclement weather.

Emergency response agencies including fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement and highway are gearing up as the National Weather Service-Buffalo Forecast Office forecast indicates for heavy lake effect snow for the northern section of the county along with extreme cold and a wind chill warning. The National Weather Service indicates this is a potentially dangerous situation with up to 4 inches of snow falling an hour in the most persistent bands, compounded by winds of 20 to 30 hours an hour.

“There will be zero visibility due to the blowing snow and dangerously cold wind chills of -20 degrees F,” Currier said.

“People should be very aware of their surroundings and avoid travel in heavy snow whenever possible,” Currier continued. “The NWS is forecasting frequent whiteout conditions due to heavy lake effect snow and considerable blowing and drifting snow. If you must travel, tell someone when you’re going and when you expect to reach your destination. Carry a cellular phone. Clear your vehicle completely of snow and ice, and always match your speed to road conditions.”

People should carry a car kit in their vehicle at all times, Currier said. The kit should include blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag. “Make sure your gas tank is full to prevent gasoline freeze-up,” Currier said.

“Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before going out,” Currier stressed. “In lake effect snow the weather can vary from locally heavy snow in narrow bands to clear skies just a few miles away. Be prepared for rapid changes in road and visibility conditions.”

For anyone who must go outside in extreme winter conditions, Currier said, tips to follow include dressing for the cold and slowing down when working outside.

“Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers,” he said. “Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded. Always wear a hat and gloves or mittens, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. With the wind chills forecast over the next couple of days, frostbite can occur to exposed skin within minutes.”

Cold temperatures can put extra strain on the heart when doing heavy tasks such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car. “Stay warm, dress warm, and slow down when working outside,” Currier said. “Take frequent rests to avoid overexertion. If you feel chest pain, stop and seek help immediately.”

People should also follow common sense when operating a snow blower. “Never leave your snow blower running and unattended, and never put your hands into the discharge chute or augers to clear stuck snow and ice,” Currier stressed. “Never add fuel when the engine is running and hot. Make sure you know how to turn the machine off quickly.

“Lake effect snow and extreme cold are nothing new to Oswego County residents,” Currier said. “If people follow common sense safety precautions, they can minimize the impact on their lives.”

More information is available by visiting the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo. Oswego County is a NWS StormReady Community and has multiple methods of receiving and disseminating hazardous weather information.

2 Oswego High band members perform at All-American Bowl

Check out this video of the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band halftime performance at the All-American Bowl Game played Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

This marching band of 125 members features the top high-school seniors in the nation selected through audition by the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and the U.S Army Field Band for brass, woodwind, percussion (battery and ensemble) and color guard. Included in the group were Cassandra Hondro and Emily King of Oswego High School. Hondro plays piccolo and and King plays trumpet.

Game results – West beats East 28 – 6.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbXwZmKEzG4