Category Archives: Fulton News

BOCES students participate in outreach project

Generosity project – Oswego County BOCES students and staff members display the fleece tie-blankets that they created as part of a generosity community outreach project to benefit Oswego County Opportunities’ Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH Program. Above, left to right are: OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky, Richard Preeman, Cody Holmquist, Oswego County Opportunities PATH Program representative Karen Merrill, Matthew Snyder, James Baldwin, Connor Caughy and OCB Teacher Marian Becker.
Generosity project – Oswego County BOCES students and staff members display the fleece tie-blankets that they created as part of a generosity community outreach project to benefit Oswego County Opportunities’ Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH Program. Above, left to right are: OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky, Richard Preeman, Cody Holmquist, Oswego County Opportunities PATH Program representative Karen Merrill, Matthew Snyder, James Baldwin, Connor Caughy and OCB Teacher Marian Becker.

“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Those words, made famous by Mahatma Gandhi, characterize a recent community outreach project where students at Oswego County BOCES experienced the true spirit of generosity.

The project was a cooperative effort between OCB School Counselor Jo Ann Smegelsky and students in Marian Becker’s and Joanne St. Gelais’ classrooms to create fleece tie-blankets for homeless teens in Oswego County.

In preparation for the project, students researched generosity and were asked to write their own definition for the word.
Connor Cauchy from Ms. Becker’s class defined generosity as “more than an item or article of clothing, it is the friends you can make by giving your friendship to them.”

In addition the students were asked to give their interpretation of many notorious quotes about selflessness and giving including this statement by Helen Keller: “Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

Generosity is one of the four central values of the Circle of Courage youth empowered model adopted by Special Education classrooms at OCB. The other values are independence, belonging, and mastery.

As part of the Circle of Courage philosophy students participate in curriculum-enriched ABLE time each school day. Standing for Actions Building Life Experience, ABLE time gives students an opportunity to engage in collaborative projects and build relationships while demonstrating personal responsibility.

It was during their ABLE time that the students in Ms. Becker’s and Ms. St. Gelais’ classrooms made the fleece tie-blankets.

The finished blankets were donated to Oswego County Opportunities for distribution to the Program to Assist the Teenage Homeless or PATH, which provides services to assist homeless youth in becoming self-sufficient.

Karen Merrill from the PATH program stopped by the school to accept the donation and thank the students for their hard work, kindness and generosity.

State funding awarded to seven county projects

by Andrew Henderson

Seven Oswego County municipalities, businesses, and not-for-profit agencies have been awarded state funding through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program.

Central New York and Northern New York were named “Top Performers” — taking home prizes of $93.8 million for 73 projects and $90.2 million for 82 projects respectively.

“Once again, we are showing that Central and Northern New York communities are ready to grow,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “We have the good ideas, a trained and enthusiastic workforce and now, the needed investment and support of state government to continue to make our plans a reality and keep creating the jobs we need to revitalize our economy.

“I have been proud to work with Governor Cuomo on ideas and initiatives that will help our state grow and create more — and better — jobs,” added Ritchie.  “This is just one more example of how by working together we are creating a brighter future for New York and the people who live here.”

Ten Regional Economic Development Councils, comprised of experts and stakeholders with backgrounds in business, academia and local government and non-governmental organizations, were created last year to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions.

In 2011, $785 million was up for grabs by 10 regions.  Central and Northern New York received more than $200 million in funding for presenting “best plans” for growth. The funding awarded last week will help both regions continue those plans.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Oswego County officials mourn loss of Art Ospelt

Art Ospelt
Art Ospelt

Oswego County officials are mourning the loss of a colleague who gave more than four decades of public service to Oswego County residents.

Arthur Ospelt, District 12 legislator and vice chairman of the legislature, died Dec. 18.

Ospelt served in several leadership roles in town and county government. He is remembered as a strong and visionary leader who took great pride in the people and resources of Oswego County.

“His heart and soul were truly devoted to Oswego County,” said Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley. “Art truly was a larger than life presence in Oswego County. His knowledge of the county and his dedication to it was immeasurable. His accomplishments will continue to benefit our citizens for generations to come.”

Ospelt is best known for the development of Oswego County’s comprehensive solid waste management system.

When New York State began to close town dumps across the state, under Ospelt’s leadership, Oswego County took a proactive position and offered to implement a centralized county-owned solid waste system.

The county took over the locally operated Silk Road landfill from the municipalities of Fulton, Granby, Volney and Phoenix.

In 1975, the county opened the first solid waste transfer stations in Hastings, Pulaski and Oswego. All were located on active dumps that were closed by the county.

The county began the process of developing a new county landfill in 1976. Following a number of permit applications, public hearings, and lawsuits, the county was issued a construction permit and began building the Bristol Hill Landfill in Volney in 1982. The new state-of-the-art landfill opened in September 1983.

Having suffered through the sometimes painful trials and tribulations of siting the county’s first landfill, Ospelt quickly recognized the advantage of prolonging its projected life. It was this quest that led him to propose the construction of an Energy Recovery Facility in 1979.

The resource recovery facility was constructed on N.Y.S. Route 481 north of Fulton, and by late 1985, the facility was converting vast quantities of potential landfill materials into steam and electricity that could now be sold to third party users.

A few years later, under Ospelt’s leadership, Oswego County implemented one of the first voluntary recycling programs in New York State.
Soon after, the county began a feasibility study for a materials recovery facility to process and sell recyclable materials. Separate recycling drop-off centers were built at the Pulaski, Hastings and Oswego transfer stations. Mandatory recycling was enacted in 1992 and the Materials Recovery Facility opened for business the same year.

“Art’s efforts to minimize the amount of materials that go into the landfill have likely extended the potential life of the facility by as much as five times the original estimates,” said Beardsley. “As a result, Oswego County has received several awards and international recognition for the solid waste system and energy recovery facility, which will serve our residents for years to come.

“As county legislator, superintendent of Public Works, and as county administrator, Art always had the ability to see the big picture and look for the best solution for Oswego County residents,” continued Beardsley.

“He made sure that Oswego County roads were in excellent condition. Our snow removal programs are second-to-none, with the best crews and equipment anywhere. He was instrumental in the development and maintenance of the county airport and served for many years on the county industrial development agency board. He was a kind and caring person, with a great sense of humor that smoothed over many a debate on the floor of the legislature.”

Ospelt was first elected supervisor of the Town of Schroeppel, serving from 1970 to 1990. When the Board of Supervisors transitioned into the County Legislature, Ospelt served as chairman of the Legislature in 1976 and 1977.

He resigned as legislator in 1977 when he was appointed superintendent of highways and later superintendent of public works, a position he held until 1990.

In 1990, Ospelt was appointed Oswego County administrator, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. After a four-year retirement, he returned to his passion of serving the public and was elected legislator from District 12 in Pennellville, a position he served from 2000 until his death.

Oswego County reapportionment meeting rescheduled for Friday

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature will meet at 2 p.m. Friday to vote on the new legislative district lines.

The meeting will be held in legislature chambers on the fourth floor of the county government complex in Oswego.

The legislature has anticipated having a new plan passed by the end of the year.

A public hearing was held earlier this month with several residents speaking in opposition of the plan. The new lines will divide several towns, including the towns of Oswego and Volney. The Volney Town Board sent an opposing resolution to the legislature.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia has been a vocal opponent of the plan and has proposed his own plan, which he claims meets the legal requirements.

Farfaglia is a member of a reapportionment committee formed to draw the new lines. Legislator Dan Chalifoux serves as chairman of the committee.

When legislators decide on a final plan, the new lines will be represented in next year’s election.  At that time, all 25 seats will be on the ballot.

County Clerk employee walks off job

by Carol Thompson

An employee of the Oswego County Clerk’s office walked off the job today.

Many legislators have been notified of the most recent incident and said that they are working toward a permanent resolution to the problems that have plagued the office for over two years.

The New York State Labor Department and the EEOC have been contacted as well as Oswego County Personnel Director Carol Alnutt.

The employee, an index clerk, has been asked to perform accounting work while the senior account clerk is out. The employee has refused to do the accounting work because it is not a part of her job duties, according to the legislators working to resolve the issue.

The accounting duties are supposed to be done by the deputy clerk of operations in absence of the account clerk, according to the job description of the deputy position.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said enough is enough and that legislators need to work together to end the constant turmoil. Legislator Shawn Doyle is working on the matter with other legislators and said he spoke with Alnutt Friday morning.

“I absolutely expect something to be done about this,” Doyle said. “I don’t need to restate the sympathy I have for these employees.”

Kunzwiler agreed. “This is exactly what happens when you create a political position,” he said.

Legislator Doug Malone said the turmoil has got to come to an end and that a special meeting needs to be called before the end of the year to eliminate the deputy clerk of operations position and to lower the pay of the deputy clerk.

“It needs to be addressed soon,” he said. “We need to seriously look into this.”

Legislator Amy Tresidder has also been working on the matter, she said, and is making telephone calls.

There was no word as to whether the employee would return to work.

North Volney Methodist Church to hold ‘Make a Gift Day’

North Volney Methodist Church will be holding a “Make a Gift Day” Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon.

There will be a variety of crafts available for the children to complete as well as materials to make cards for their family members. It is all free to those who attend with no charge for materials. Refreshments will be served.

The church is also sponsoring a “Lights of Christmas” tree for the upcoming Christmas season.

Lights will be sold and can be dedicated to a friend or family member, both living and deceased.

A listing of names will placed alongside the lit tree. The tree will be lit through the Christmas season on the church grounds at the corner of County Routes 4 and 6 in the Town of Volney.

Those seeking more information may call 593-6825.

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Seniors to lead Fulton girls basketball team this season

Fulton girlsby Rob Tetro

When Fulton girls varsity basketball coach Derek Lyons speaks of the goals his team has for the upcoming season, he breaks them down into three categories.

First, the coach hopes that the Lady Raiders understand the importance of performing at a high level in every aspect of their practices.

Once they reach a certain level of effort in practice, their next goal is to reach even higher levels of effort during the next practice.

Lyons’ team is preparing to translate determination in practice into successful outcomes in games with the ultimate goal of qualifying for sectional play.

Fulton will feature a combination of experienced players and newer players. The Lady Raiders will be led by five seniors who return from last year’s team.

Michelle Gorea, Christina Pensabene, Jessica Hudson, Sydney Plato and Cheyenne Brien return with multiple years of varsity experience under their belts.

Sophomores Michaela Whiteman and Taylor Duda and eighth grader Nichole Hansen are preparing to make their debuts at the varsity level.

According to Lyons, his players also understand the importance of maintaining solid physical conditioning.

Lyons considers his five returning seniors to be informal captains. He will expect them to serve as leadership figures especially for the three newcomers to the team.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Alfred Myhill, who served as a member of the medical corps during World War II, has been named the Veteran of the Year by the Fulton Veterans Council. Myhill (left) is pictured with his son-in-law, Thomas Hicks, and daughter, Joanne during their visit last year to Europe. The local Veteran’s of Foreign War, the American Legion and the Veteran’s Agency will honor Myhill at a Veteran’s Day ceremony tomorrow at City Hall at 11 a.m.

Fulton’s Veteran of the Year

Veteran
Alfred Myhill, who served as a member of the medical corps during World War II, has been named the Veteran of the Year by the Fulton Veterans Council. Myhill (left) is pictured with his son-in-law, Thomas Hicks, and daughter, Joanne during their visit last year to Europe. The local Veteran’s of Foreign War, the American Legion and the Veteran’s Agency will honor Myhill at a Veteran’s Day ceremony tomorrow at City Hall at 11 a.m.

by Nicole Reitz

Alfred Myhill, an 87-year-old native of Fulton and World War II veteran, has been named the 2012 Veteran of the Year by the Fulton Veterans Council.

From 1941 to 1943, Myhill worked at a farm in Fulton where he fed, tended and milked cows and operated a tractor and other farm machinery. He attended high school for two years before enlisting in the military Feb. 15, 1943.

Myhill attended Medical Technician School in Fort Harrison, Ind. for eight weeks in 1943. It was there has he received instruction in giving emergency medical treatment and giving hypodermic injections.

Just before being shipped overseas, Myhill got the mumps and was hospitalized. His unit left for England and Paris without him. He ended up sailing on the Queen Elizabeth with 15,000 other troops.

“I felt so funny because I didn’t know one soul in that outfit,” said Myhill.

Myhill was 19 years old when he landed on Normandy July 16, 1944, a month after D-Day. He was assigned to the first Platoon, Second Hospitalization Unit of the 53rd Field Hospital in Europe. A field hospital is comprised of three hospitals, with a first, second and third unit.

Myhill served as a member of the medical corps, setting up tents as makeshift hospitals, and sometimes occupying old factories and schools to repair wounded American soldiers.

The job was dangerous because streets were lined with bombs, and the hospitals were on the ground in close proximity to combat.

Soldiers with stomach and chest wounds that needed immediate care were sent to Myhill’s outfit. Tank drivers died before getting to the hospital because of their burns.

“We had to improvise a lot — we didn’t have colostomy bags,” said Myhill. “Cots would come in and they were so low that it was hard to keep bending over.”

Besides giving emergency medical treatment, Myhill worked alongside nurses and doctors to apply splints, clean and bandage wounds, give injections, and check vitals.

The unit continued to set up field hospitals in England, Normandy, Northern France, Belgium and Germany in 1944 to 1945 as they followed Patton’s Third Army across Europe.

Sept. 29, 1944, the second hospital unit accompanied the entire unit across France, arriving at Bastogne Oct. 2, 1944.

Myhill’s field hospital treated the wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, known as the largest and bloodiest battle of World War II. The battle happened in the Ardennes mountains of Belgium and the town of Bastogne, killing 89,000 Americans.

In 1945, Myhill was located in Germany and was 30 miles from Berlin when the war ended. After the war, as the hospitals were getting less of the wounded, Myhill was made a dental technician.

He assisted dentists in routine dental work and in surgical operations on gums and bones. He was awarded five battle stars, and had enough points to return home. Myhill was honorably discharged from the military Dec. 15, 1945.

Myhill came home in what he describes as a little liberty ship. “Boy it was the roughest thing, I didn’t think we’d make it,” he recalled.

He was welcomed home by friends and family and married his late wife Marion. The couple met before the war. Myhill carried a photo of Marion with him to England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397