Category Archives: Fulton News

Trio to enter Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame

By Rob Tetro

Christine Hawksby, Doug Wallace and Dean Distin will be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sunday at RFH’s Hideaway outside Phoenix.

Hawksby began bowling at 13 when she joined the Junior League of the Sealright Recreation Club. She said when she first started bowling, the Sealright Recreation Club had pin setters at that time.

After competing in many Junior League tournaments, Hawksby went on to bowl throughout high school and finished in second place of the Senior Division. She bowled in numerous women’s leagues including the Whirley Bird, Tip Top, Friendly Girls, Lucky Seven, the Monday Night Women’s Classic and the Friday Night Mixed League at the Sealright Recreation Club.

For many years, Hawksby served as president of the Whirley Bird League. She has had the good fortune of bowling with many friends in local, state and national bowling tournaments. Hawksby was also an annual participant in the Elks Club New York State Tournament.

Since 1977, Hawksby has been a member of the Lock “600” Club. She took part in the Fulton Association Tournament in 1978. With a score of 1872, Hawksby earned a first place finish in the All Events category.

She bowled a 674 series with scores of 214, 226 and 234 while bowling in the Friendly Girls League in 1978. At the time, her series was the highest in Oswego County. Her highest single game was a 269 which occurred while bowling in the Tip Top League.

Hawksby won first place in the Fulton Women’s Bowling Association Tournament with a score of 1216 alongside Dot Morrison in 1982. With a 171 average, she earned the High Average Award in the Lucky Seven League during the 1983-84 season.

During the 1999-2000 season, Hawksby’s team won the Lucky Seven League. Over the years, she also has earned All Spare Game, Triple Score of 190, 200 and 250 game patches and for two consecutive years, her teams won the Budweiser No Tap Tournament.

For more than 25 years, Hawksby worked at Birdseye Food, Inc. before its closing in December 2012. Unfortunately, a knee injury and other health problems left her unable to bowl for the first time in many years. Hawksby keeps busy through involvement with the Fulton Elks Club, VFW Post 569, Fulton Moose Club #1280 and the Polish Home. Hawksby said her involvement with these organizations is something she wouldn’t trade for anything.

Doug Wallace began bowling when he was 17 years old. Bowling found its way into his life when he saw a few of his friends taking part in the sport.

He said he tried bowling and it clicked. Before he knew it, he was bowling in a league. Wallace went on to bowl in at least one league every year since then.

Wallace’s most notable earlier achievement came in 1982 when he bowled his first 300 game. During the game prior to his first 300 game, Wallace set the foundation for perfection by bowling 8 straight strikes to end the game.

Early on, he also shot an 806 series at a recreation club in Syracuse. Wallace said bowling well in that kind of environment is not easy to do. He considers that achievement to be one of his biggest.

In recent years, Wallace won the Western Central Bowling Association Tournament. He was also recognized for his success competing in Doubles Play.

It means a lot to Wallace to be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame. He is familiar with and has a lot of respect for many Hall of Fame members including fellow inductee, Dean Distin. At the end of the day, it’s an honor for Wallace to be associated with other impressive bowlers and their numerous accomplishments within the sport.

Distin began bowling in 1978 when he joined the Junior Bowling Program at Lakeview Lanes. Distin found himself interested in the sport when he would see his father, Milton Distin, bowl in both of Fulton’s classic leagues.

Some of Distin’s early accomplishments in bowling include being a captain of the high school varsity team for two of his three years of participation. During his senior year, Distin had the highest average in the league en route to winning the Onondaga High School League. He has bowled 52 300 games with 31 800 series and has won many city tournament titles.

His experience in bowling has also included holding many league related positions. Distin served as president of the W.F. Case League and also served as director and vice president of the Fulton Bowling Association.

More recently, Distin won the 1988 and 1989 Oswego County Masters Championship. In 1991, he won the New York State Singles Championship.

Distin has been on several successful teams as well. In 1994, he earned recognition in the National Doubles and earned Team All Events acknowledgements at The ABC Open Championship. Distin won the 1995 Van-Wie Doubles Championship. After being the runner up in the Syracuse Masters Championship in 1993, he went on to win the tournament in 2000.

Distin has been married to his wife Kathy for 24 years and they have three children — sons Thomas, 17, Andrew, 15 and daughter Katie, 12.  For 20 years, Distin has been the owner of Jafco Construction.

Distin said being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor that allows him to come full circle. Not only are many of Distin’s friends and teammates members of the Hall of Fame, but his father is as well. Soon, he will be able to share this most impressive of achievements with the person who inspired him to bowl.

County Envirothon takes to the woods Thursday

By Ashley M. Casey

Bring your boots: rain or shine, young nature enthusiasts will be facing off tomorrow at the Oswego County Envirothon, held at Jellystone Park in Mexico.

Since 1991, the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District has sponsored the county’s Envirothon, a hands-on test of high school students’ knowledge of forestry, aquatics, soils, wildlife and current environmental issues.

The county winner goes on to the New York state competition. Last year’s county champion, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, came in 11th of 49 teams at the state Envirothon.

“(Envirothon) encourages students to be more in tune with the environment and the natural resources in the county,” said Erica Schreiner, district educator of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District and Envirothon Coordinator.

The competition consists of five 30-minute exams with 25 questions, plus a video presentation submitted prior to the event.

Teams of five students must properly identify trees, analyze soil and perform other tasks to demonstrate their environmental knowledge. Schools can send two teams of five with up to two alternates.

Local experts in each field create a new test for each subject each year. This year, the Oswego County branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension is covering the current issue of sustainable local agriculture.

Schreiner said Envirothon is an outdoorsy outlet to keep students engaged.

“It sparks their interest in something and gives them something to belong to,” she said. “It’s a great hands-on event.”

Some Envirothon participants pursue the interest after high school.

“A lot of them do go on to ESF (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) at Syracuse and other environmental colleges,” Schreiner said.

Jamie Hefti, adviser of two Envirothon teams at Pulaski, said one of his graduating senior “stars” will study biology at Harvard University and another is headed to Clarkson University for environmental engineering.

He said the competition’s individual focus helps prepares students for college, especially the oral video presentation.

“It’s so self-directed. It’s on them,” Hefti said. “When I watched them prepare for the oral part of it, I think it’s the most truly applicable skill for preparing for college that there is in high school.”

Hefti said he has a study area in his classroom for students to visit and borrow materials when they have a free period during the day. The students each become an “expert” on one of the subjects and coach each other.

“It’s really an awesome thing to observe,” he said.

Roxane Thormann and her husband, Rich, led the APW team to a surprise victory last year. The Thormanns volunteered to coach APW’s Envirothon team after their daughter’s beloved science teacher retired. Roxane Thormann said she and her husband, who are not teachers, faced a “big learning curve” in coaching the kids in environmental science.

“We were awestruck,” Thormann said of the 2013 win, which was APW’s first Oswego County Envirothon victory. “We didn’t have any idea we had it in us. (The team was) just flabbergasted.”

Catherine Celeste and Billie Jo Peterson are the co-advisers of the environmental club at Oswego High School The club is open to students in grades seven through 12, so it provides a “feeder group” of middle schoolers preparing for the high school Envirothon team.

“I have a lot of younger kids … getting some of the preparation long before they have a chance to compete in it,” Celeste said.

In addition to the Envirothon, Oswego’s environmental club focuses on eco-tourism, fundraising and cleaning up around the district.

“We hope, bottom line, that there’s a better appreciation for nature, and we want our students to be better earth stewards,” Celeste said. “Every year they’re going to Envirothon, I know they’re learning something they didn’t know before.”

She said her students have worked hard to prepare for Envirothon.

“I’m proud that we can get students who put the time in,” she said.

Missing from tomorrow’s competition is ten-time consecutive winner G. Ray Bodley High School. The Fulton school is not fielding a team this year. Bodley last won in 2012, but was ousted last year by APW.

“Due to new duties and responsibilities, I relinquished the helm and it just didn’t transfer well for the students,” former GRB Envirothon adviser Dan Mainville told The Valley News in an email. “Sadly there just wasn’t enough interest this year. Maybe next year.”

“We will definitely miss them, but it opens up opportunities for other schools to win,” Schreiner said of Bodley’s absence from the competition.

“It opens the door a little bit for us,” Celeste said. “My students are a little more motivated now because they feel they can be more competitive.”

“There’s always someone to replace Fulton,” Thormann said. “I’m sure there’s someone who wants to knock us off the pedestal. All the teams are tough.”

BOCES student project passes taste test

Sam Hollis, a Fulton student in the Oswego County BOCES Project Explore program, takes a bite of a pancake covered in maple syrup during a recent pancake breakfast. The breakfast was the culmination of a 10-week tree-tapping project and offered students the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Sam Hollis, a Fulton student in the Oswego County BOCES Project Explore program, takes a bite of a pancake covered in maple syrup during a recent pancake breakfast. The breakfast was the culmination of a 10-week tree-tapping project and offered students the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Students enrolled in the Oswego County BOCES Project Explore program recently concluded a 10-week tree-tapping venture that generated more than 1,000 gallons of maple syrup.

The project was spearheaded by teacher KC Jones and walked students through the entire syrup-making process – from finding suitable trees for tapping to bottling the finished product. The learning experience proved to be a sweet one for the students, who enjoyed the fruits of their labor during a pancake breakfast in mid-April.

“I was so surprised at how good it tasted,” said student Sam Hollis (Fulton) as he took a bite of a pancake saturated with maple syrup. “We worked on this for a while and it came out really good.”

Jones said Project Explore students will receive a bottle of maple syrup and additional bottles will be available for faculty and staff to purchase on campus.

Rotary learns about medical care proxies

Rotarian Mary Costigan, director of Michaud Health Care Services, introduced Dr. Renate Ignacio, medical director for St. Luke’s and Michaud Health Care Services facilities, at a recent Fulton Noon Rotary Club meeting. Dr. Ignacio spoke about Advance Care Planning for End of Life/Palliative Care. His work in the nursing home industry points out the need for people to make up their mind about how and what end of life treatment they want, and who should be your proxy, much earlier then the time that they arrive at the hospital or nursing home. These decisions should be thought out carefully years earlier while a person is in good health and mind. Thanks to Dr. Ignacio the trend is changing.  He is the chairman of a nationwide committee to change how and when we make those decisions. His group has developed a four-page document titled, “Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (MOLST). The state Health Department provides MOLST as DOH Form 5003 and the bright pink form should be available in every medical and doctor’s offices. Dr. Ignacio’s advice is for everyone to obtain a copy of this new medical proxy, fill it out, and have it available long before it is needed.
Rotarian Mary Costigan, director of Michaud Health Care Services, introduced Dr. Renate Ignacio, medical director for St. Luke’s and Michaud Health Care Services facilities, at a recent Fulton Noon Rotary Club meeting. Dr. Ignacio spoke about Advance Care Planning for End of Life/Palliative Care. His work in the nursing home industry points out the need for people to make up their mind about how and what end of life treatment they want, and who should be your proxy, much earlier then the time that they arrive at the hospital or nursing home. These decisions should be thought out carefully years earlier while a person is in good health and mind. Thanks to Dr. Ignacio the trend is changing. He is the chairman of a nationwide committee to change how and when we make those decisions. His group has developed a four-page document titled, “Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (MOLST). The state Health Department provides MOLST as DOH Form 5003 and the bright pink form should be available in every medical and doctor’s offices. Dr. Ignacio’s advice is for everyone to obtain a copy of this new medical proxy, fill it out, and have it available long before it is needed.

Fulton police, firefighters honored

Fulton firefighters and police officers were honored Wednesday night during the annual city of Fulton Police and Fire Awards Ceremony.

Medal of Honor recipients Officer Michael Blasczienski and Officer Brian Dumas. Photo by Thomas Abelgore
Medal of Honor recipients Officer Michael Blasczienski and Officer Brian Dumas.
Photo by Thomas Abelgore

The ceremony, emceed by Channel 9 anchor and reporter Christie Casciano, was filled with the exceptional stories of what the police officers, firefighters, Menter EMTS and civilians did durig 2013 to help their fellow Fulton residents.

Beverly Belton wiped tears from her eyes as her saviors — Officers Brian Dumas and Michael Blasczienski — received the Medal of Honor Award for saving her and others in her apartment building during a fire.

“Blasczienski kicked my door down to get to me. I didn’t even know the building was on fire,” she said. “If they hadn’t gotten me out, I’d be gone — the fire was int he attic right above me.”

She kissed and hugged the two men after they received their award. From her ordeal, Belton is lobbying the state and federal governments to institute a First Responders Day to honor these workers.

Another poignant moment was when 10-year-old Kiernan O’Neil received his Civiilian Service Award. He stood on the stage with her mom, Jennifer, who he saved.

Civiilian Service Award recipient Kiernan O’Neil and his mom, Jennifer
Civiilian Service Award recipient Kiernan O’Neil and his mom, Jennifer

Kiernan, who was 9 at the time, was playing outside last June 24 when he needed to tell his mother something. He went into the house and found her lying on the bed.

According to accounts, he knew something was wrong because his mom wasn’t moving and it didn’t seem as though she was breathing.

“While a lot of kids out there would probably panic, Kiernan didn’t. Instead he ran out of the house to the neighbors to call 911,” said the narrative read during the ceremony.

Police Officer Gary Percival, Fulton Rescue and Menter Ambulance all heard the call and responded.  Jennifer was found to have no pulse.

According to the narrative read at the ceremony:

“Percival rolled Jennifer onto her back and began CPR. A short time later Fulton Fire Department Personnel Lt. Mark Pollock, Firefighter Randy Spencer, Firefighter Chris Adkins, Firefighter Chris Caza and Firefighter Ryan Maxam arrived. They took over life saving efforts from  Percival.

“Jumping into action, Firefighters Adkins and Maxam got Jennifer’s airway open and began giving her respirations while Lt. Pollock and Firefighter Caza continued CPR. With crucial time ticking away, they set up an AED and delivered a shock to Jennifer.

“Still not breathing they continued with CPR. Menters ambulance personnel Michael Zukovsky, Sean Morganti, Edward Kasperek and Joseph Susino arrived on the scene and immediately got to work. An IV was started and Jennifer was shocked a second time.

“They kept up their efforts and soon after she was loaded into the ambulance, Jennifer was breathing on her own and had a pulse.”

Jennifer O’Neil hugged each of the firefighters and officers who helped save her that day. And young Kiernan got a hearty  thanks and good job from the first responders and, of course, Mom.

Here is a list of others honored Wednesday night:

Police Officer of the Year Chris Jones, with his daughters Casey, left, and Hannah, right.
Police Officer of the Year Chris Jones, with his daughters Casey, left, and Hannah, right.

Firefighter of the year: Christopher Adkins

Police officer of the year: Christopher Jones

Triumphant Award, for scoring 90 percent or better in the annual Fitness Challenge: Officer Brian Dumas; those scoring  85 percent or better were Capt. David Eiffe and Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore.

STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program) awards for participation in the program that targets traffic offenses:

Leading the Fulton department was Officer Brandon Lanning, followed by Officer Jarret Marino and Officer Lucas Hollenbeck. Others receiving certificates of commendation for their work on this program are Officers Christopher Jones, Jeffrey Margrey, Victor Kaufman, Rick Hahn, Christian Dempsey, Brandon Harris and Brian Dumas.

Firefighter of the Year, Chris Adkins
Firefighter of the Year, Chris Adkins

Meritorious Service Award: Officer (retired) Lennet Whitmore and Officer Jeremy Algarin.

Here is a narrative of what they did:

Last summer, Officer Whitmore and Officer Algarin were on patrol when they were dispatched to a reported suicidal woman on the city’s west side.

When they arrived, several people were gathered around a house pointing to a second-floor window. The people said a woman had come to the window with something wrapped around her neck, threatening to jump.

Whitmore went to the upstairs apartment and tried to make contact with the female, but she refused to open the door. Due to the circumstances, Algarin kicked in the door and both officers entered the apartment.

At first, they were unable to locate the woman, then Algarin saw that she was hanging by her fingertips out the second-story window.

Both officers went into action, throwing the window open and grabbing the woman by each of her arms. After a brief struggle, they were able to get the woman back inside to safety.

Completing two consecutive years of service without an absence: Firefighters Robert Summerville, Daniel O’mara,  Chris Adkins, Lt. Steven Dexter, Lt. Mark Pollock, Officer Victor Kaufman, Inv. Aimee May, Inv. Michael Curtis, Lt. William Clark, Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore

Honorable Service Award: Officer Lucas Hollenbeck.

Here is a narrative of what he did:

In March 2013, Officer Lucas Hollenbeck was patrolling Fulton’s west side late in the afternoon. Hollenbeck decided to do an area check of some of the local businesses and while checking NET & DIE, a local machine shop, he noticed a vehicle parked along the side of the building.

A quick check of the building found it secure, but the truck bed was loaded with what appeared to be a large amount of metal.

Believing that he may have interrupted a larceny in progress, Hollenbeck called for backup. Other police units arrived and they began checking the area, when they located Kyle Moore and Jonathan Loomis hiding behind a dumpster.

Neither man would admit to stealing the metal, even though the truck was registered to one of them. The owner of the company was contacted and he confirmed the metal in the back of the truck did indeed belong to his business.

After further investigation both males were arrested for felony grand larceny.

Meritorious Service Award: Officer Christopher Jones

Here is a narrative of what he did:

Last spring, Officer Chris Jones was on patrol when he was dispatched to a reported house fire. When Jones arrived he could see smoke pouring out of the house.

Being the first on scene, Jones jumped into action grabbing a fire extinguisher out of the back of his patrol car. He started for the house as people fled the burning building.

When he entered the house, Jones could see the smoke was coming from the basement. Without regard for his safety and no equipment to protect him from the fire, he went down looking for the source of the smoke.

When he got to the basement he found the fire and went to work quickly putting it out before more damage could be done.

As he battled the flames in the confined space he was nearly overcome by the toxic combination of smoke and dry chemicals from the extinguisher.

After exiting the building, Jones was treated for smoke inhalation and chemical burns to his lungs, but even as he was being treated he was able to learn vital information from people on scene that eventually helped lead to the arrest of Christopher Holbrook for arson.

Life Saver Award: Michael Zukovsky, Garrett Hauf and Ronald Frawley.

Here is a narrative of what they did:

Just over a year ago Menters personnel, Michael Zukovsky, Garrett Hauf and Ronald Frawley were sent to the city’s east side for a report of a woman with severe chest pain. When they arrived the patient was already being attended to by the Fulton Fire Department.

She was alert and conscious, but reporting she was in a lot of pain. It was decided that the patient would be transported to St. Joseph’s in Syracuse.

What started as a fairly routine transport suddenly became anything but routine. As they drove the patient stated she felt dizzy then suddenly she went unresponsive. The Menters crew immediately reacted, looking for a pulse, but finding none.

The patient took a last breath then stopped breathing. The crew worked tirelessly through out the race to the hospital culminating with Zukovsky using an AED to administer a shock to the patient as they pulled into St. Joe’s.

Amazingly the patient started breathing again and by the time they got into the ER, she was conscious and talking.

Exceptional Duty Award: Russ Johnson, Sgt. Stephen Lunn and Inv. Michael Batstone.

They are honored for their work over several years that finally led to the discovery of the person driving the car involved in the accident that killed Carolee Ashby in 1968.

Life Saving Award: Fulton Firefighters Lt. Steve Dexter, Lt. Shane Laws, Firefighters Ed Kasperek, Chris Adkins and Ken Gleason along with Menters AEMT’s Chris Foy, Michael Zukovsky and EMT Cory Richer.

They are honored for saving the life of a woman who was barely breathing, turning purple and unconscious.

Civilian Service Award: Edward Witkowski, of Fulton.

He is honored for rushing into a burning building and quickly extinguishing a fire, preventing a huge loss.

Parks medallion contest winner picks up her prize

Audrey Avery, fourth from left, holds the envelope with a check from The Valley News for $250 for being the winner of the Treasure Fulton Parks 2014 Medallion Hunt contest. She found the medallion in Van Buren Park April 16. The award ceremony was April 22 in Recreration Park. Children and adults who collected the colored rocks in all the parks also received their prizes that day. Shown in the photo from left are Bob Weston of Friends of Fulton Parks; Kelley Weaver, Friends of Fulton Parks and creator of the medallion contest; Charles Avery; Audrey Avery; Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr; and Dan Knopp, Fulton Common Council president. The person who found the medallion after reading clues hidden in The Valley News would receive $150 if he or she wasn’t a Valley News subscriber and $250 if he or she was a Valley News subscriber.
Audrey Avery, fourth from left, holds the envelope with a check from The Valley News for $250 for being the winner of the Treasure Fulton Parks 2014 Medallion Hunt contest. She found the medallion in Van Buren Park April 16. The award ceremony was April 22 in Recreration Park. Children and adults who collected the colored rocks in all the parks also received their prizes that day. Shown in the photo from left are Bob Weston of Friends of Fulton Parks; Kelley Weaver, Friends of Fulton Parks and creator of the medallion contest; Charles Avery; Audrey Avery; Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr; and Dan Knopp, Fulton Common Council president. The person who found the medallion after reading clues hidden in The Valley News would receive $150 if he or she wasn’t a Valley News subscriber and $250 if he or she was a Valley News subscriber.

Sign up now to be in Memorial Day Salute parade

The 33rd Annual Fulton Service Clubs’ Memorial Day Salute Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24.

The parade theme this year is “Showing Gratitude to Our Veterans.”

The Memorial Day Salute Committee feels our community has many heroes who are serving or have served in the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as veterans who have served their country over the years. These men and women ask for nothing from their fellow American citizens, so it is time to honor them on this Memorial Day weekend.

Therefore, this year‘s parade is in honor of all those who have served their country.

For the past 33 years, the four service clubs in Fulton — Kiwanis, Lions, Sunrise Rotary and Rotary — have chosen to honor our heroes and veterans by featuring them in the annual parade.

Fulton’s “Veteran of the Year” for 2014 is Jim Weinhold. He served seven years in the Navy and 15 years in the Air National Guard with the 174th “Boys of Syracuse.”

Weinhold will serve as Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

The Fulton Memorial Day parade traditionally features children and bands.   Many children’s groups have already signed up for the parade this year. There is always room for more groups, businesses and individuals to be in the parade.

Anyone who belongs to a group that wants to be in this year’s parade, should sign up now. Zach Menter is the parade chairman and his phone number is 591-4502. Call him if you have questions about the parade, or wish to be in it.

The Memorial Day Salute Committee so far has nine bands signed up for this year‘s parade. They are our own Fulton Marching Band along with The Central New York Police and Fireman’s Band, City of Syracuse Highland Pipe and Drums, Pembrooke High School Marching Band, Central Square Middle School Band, The Original Yanks Drum & Bugle Corp and Naples High School Marching Band.

The fun loving Island Band, which won the best parade band award last year, is back this year as well, and we also have the Fulton Gauchos Alumni Band marching in the parade this year.

Several businesses and groups are working on floats to place in the parade.  Whether you are interested in planning a float, a marching group or want to show off an unusual vehicle, now is the time to act.

Call Menter at 591-4502 and he will send you a parade application form.