The student art work in the annual Oswego County Student Art Competition and Show was better than ever this year.
The variety and degree of skill in the 275 pieces of art in this show demonstrates the talent in the area’s high schools.
Awards were presented in two categories: Grades 7-9 and Grades.
The award for Best of Show — the Vernon E. Snow Award, went to Brenna Riley, Oswego High School, for “Oliver.” Melissa Martin is her teacher.
The awards for Grades 7-9 were:
First place — Ethan Murakumi-Hamm, Dillon Middle, Phoenix, for “Paintbox; second place — Brandi Maynes, Mexico Middle School, for “Hearts That Love;” third place — Tom McDonald, Mexico Middle School, for “Angry Pablo.”
Honorable mentions for grades 7-9 were:
Allayna Frank, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Junior/Senior High; Bryson russell, Mexico Middle; Madelyne Cortright and Jessica Godden, Oswego Middle School; Marissa Familo-Bennett and Mikayla Trepaso, Oswego High School; Victoria Dievendorf, Corinne Januszka, Breanna Mitchel, Haley Stellingwerf and Leila wooding, Dillon Middle in Phoenix; Ciera Bell and Chloe Koegel, John C. Birdlebough High in Phoenix; Ruth Van Der Heide, McKenna Moonan and Jenna Norton, Pulaski Junior/ Senior High School.
The awards for Grades 10-12 were:
First place — Carrie Gilbert, Oswego High School, for “Clarinet;” second place — Kathy Pittorf, Hannibal High School, for “Still Life with Skull;” third place — Caleb Lacson, home schooled, for “Speckles of Youth.”
Honorable mentions for grades 10-12 were:
Brianna Logee, Pennellsville, homeschooled; Katelyn Metzger, Paul V. Moore High School, Central Square; Erika Brinkerhoff, Samantha Moody, Allison Sharkey, Carolina Nicol, Hans Reichow and Erin Sly, Hannibal High School; Katie Bradshaw, Danielle Boyzuck, Makayla Carson, Aviriana Follet, Carrie Gilbert, Sarah Hoefer, Morgan Knoop, Rebecca North, Teo Patty and Kayla Volkomer, Oswego High School; and Sarah Clark and Alaura Gonzolez, Pulaski High School.
The Sally Deaton Memorial Award went to Mikayla Trepasso, Oswego High School, for “Poison Blueberry” in the grade 7-9 category; and to Jessica Jones, Birdlebough High in Phoenix, for “A Walk Through the 100-Acre Wood.”
The Darcy Hilton Award went to Victoria Dievendorf, Dillon Middle School, Phoenix, for “Portrait of My Brother.”
Judges for this show were professional artists Ingrid Aldrich and Amanda Muto. The show is open until April 26.
The Salmon River Fine Arts Center, Pulaski, is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching our community by engaging the energy and creativity of local artists, by sharing and displaying fine arts, and by offering programs to enhance creativity and learning for the novice as well as the gifted artist.
Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Call 298-7007 for more information or go to www.SalmonRiverFineArtsCenter.com or www.facebook.com/SalmonRiverFineArtsCenter
Oswego Health is celebrating its fifth anniversary of introducing urgent care services to the Fulton community.
The Oswego Health facility, now known as the Fulton Medical Center, has provided urgent care services to more than 116,000 individuals since its opening in late April 2009.
The urgent care center located at 510 S. Fourth St., always has a board-certified physician on site and is conveniently open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. including weekends and holidays.
At the urgent care center, minor illness and injuries can be treated, including respiratory ailments, cuts or wounds that may require stitches, sprains, strains or deep bruises, mild to moderate asthma attacks, ear infections, sore throats insect bites and rashes, among others.
When the urgent care first opened five years ago, it also has minimal other services such as laboratory and X-ray. Today, as the Fulton Medical Center, which officially opened two years ago, it offers complete medical imaging, laboratory, occupational and physical therapy departments that are technologically advanced, patient comfortable and attractive.
Among the medical imaging services offered at the Fulton Medical Center are Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), DEXA scans, Fluoroscopy and general x-rays.
This department also features a separate and more private area for those needing digital mammography, bone density or ultrasound screenings.
The imaging department has the electronic capacity to take a patient image in real time and make it immediately available for the radiologist to read. The images can also be sent to a physician’s office or the Oswego Hospital emergency room through the Picture Archiving Communications System.
For community members needing blood work, the Fulton Medical Center offers a three-station lab draw area for quick and convenient testing.
The physical therapy suite is located off the Park Street entrance and offers physical, occupational and speech therapy. A 1,300-square-foot gym will be equipped with the latest in rehabilitation tools.
Oswego County Fire Coordinator Donald Forbes reminds county residents of the annual statewide ban on all open burning.
The ban took effect March 16 and will remain in effect through May 14, during the high fire-risk period.
The ban makes it illegal to use a burn barrel or open pits as a means for incinerating trash. The burning of leaves is also banned in New York state.
Agricultural burns are allowed and there are certain circumstances when controlled burns, with a written permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation are permissible.
“The risk of brush fires is most prevalent at this time of year due to the lack of green vegetation, abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves, warmer temperatures, and wind,” said Forbes.
On-site burning of limbs and branches between May 14 and the following March 15 in any town with a total population less than 20,000 is permissible, however, individual municipalities can pass ordinances that are stricter than, and not inconsistent with, the open fires regulations.
Forbes encourages residents to check with their local authorities to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires.
State regulation prohibits all open burning except for the following:
• Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter
• Small cooking fires
• Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires
• Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished
• Only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned
Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.
Additional information can be obtained on the NYSDEC website located at http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/80920.html. To report open burning, call the DEC at (800) 847-7332.
For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 592-4453.
To report a case of abuse, call the state Child Protective Services hotline at (800) 342-3720. If you feel a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
By Debra J. Groom
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
And Oswego County is doing more to help children be safe by reporting more cases of child abuse than ever before.
The number of children and families served by the Child Advocacy Center in Fulton increased by 48 percent from 2012-2013 – from about 320 in 2012 to 475 in 2013.
The Child Advocacy Center, the Oswego County Department of Social Services and others are stressing the importance of knowing the signs of abuse and letting authorities know when abuse occurs.
Oswego County is keenly aware of child abuse as a result of the Erin Maxwell case in 2008.
Erin was 11 years old when she was found unresponsive in her Palermo home by her stepbrother, Alan Jones. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Jones was charged with her murder and her father and stepmother, Lindsey and Lynn Maxwell, were found guilty of four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Jones’ conviction eventually was reduced to manslaughter and he is serving tie in Fishkill Correctional Facility. According to Vinelink, he is scheduled for release in June 2015.
Lindsey and Lynn Maxwell were sentenced to two years in the Oswego County jail, but were released after serving 15 months.
When investigating Erin’s death, police found that she lived in deplorable conditions, was locked in her room to eat and sometimes went to school with dirty clothing and no lunch. It came to light during the investigation that the Oswego County Department of Social Services had investigated reports about the Maxwell household and Erin, but did not remove her from the house. Many faulted the department for its inaction.
Since then, many changes were made to the way these cases are handled in Oswego County. Cornell University completed one of three studies done looking at how the social services department worked at that time. The report found Oswego County’s caseworkers were overworked, handling nearly double the national and state average of cases per caseworker.
Changes were made after the reports and more caseworkers were hired. Gregg Heffner, who was hired as commissioner of the Department of Social Services about three years after the Erin Maxwell case, said previously all of those working in the department learned from the Erin Maxwell case and have made improvements to ensure it never happens again.
One change made is the start of a Child Protection Advisory Council that meets monthly. The group, consisting of people from many different agencies throughout the county, works to increase employees’ training, make sure they are all following regulations and that workers are using the best practices possible.
Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center, is on that advisory council.
“I heard a quote once that stated ‘for every one educated adult, 10 children are safer,’” she said. She believes the more people learn about child abuse, the more they understand what abuse is and how to prevent it, then the number of children being abused will decrease.
Both she and Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes say the number of reported cases of child abuse coming into the Child Advocacy Center has increased so much because there is more abuse going on, but also because people are coming forward more often to report abuse cases.
Heffner recently said in a letter to the editor to The Valley News that it is important for people to report child abuse to the authorities. There is a state hotline for reporting cases, and abuse also can be called into the Child Advocacy Center or any police agency.
But people often are reluctant to report, feeling they shouldn’t stick their noses into someone else’s life or worrying the person they are reporting will come after them.
“People have to be trusting that there will be a response to their call,” Damm said. “People often feel as though ‘no one will listen to me.’”
Sometimes, the authorities aren’t listening well enough.
Oakes tells a story on how a trustworthy person he knows in the community called him about child abuse he saw in a family. Oakes said he checked out the information with others and found it to be valid and “caused me great concern as a DA and as a father.”
He called the state hotline to make a report. The state worker took Oakes’ information, but asked more questions. Oakes couldn’t answer the other questions, so the hotline worker said there was not enough information to take a report.
“I got very loud and threw my title out there,” Oakes said. “This mandated CPS (Child Protective Services) involvement. How can you turn this down?” Oakes said to the hotline worker. “This case screamed out for CPS involvement.”
Oakes then said he was going to call a press conference to let the world know the state hotline office was doing. He then was switched over to a supervisor who took the report.
Damm said if someone from the Child Advocacy Center calls the hotline with the case and is rejected, “we call back 10 minutes later to get another person to talk to or we ask for a supervisor.” She said it’s important for the public to know if they don’t get anywhere when trying to report a case of child abuse, don’t stop – try again.
“We like to blame the system. This is a community problem with a community solution,” she said.
People can report to the state hotline anonymously if they are afraid of retribution. But Damm said often it doesn’t matter if a person does or doesn’t give their names when reporting because the person doing the abuse usually knows who made a report.
“We have to be braver than the people doing the evil deeds,” she said.
Oakes, who prosecuted child abuse cases for six and a half years as an assistant district attorney in Oswego County, said many who abuse were abused themselves as children. “One of the best ways to break the cycle is to use prosecution, social services for the family and mental health services” for the child and the family.
If abuser were just prosecuted and then thrown in jail, the cycle of abuse would continue. “In many cases, abuse has gone unreported for many years across generations,” Oakes said.
That is why the nonprofit Child Advocacy Center works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, medical providers, therapy providers and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County. The center works with the parents and with the children.
“To prevent child abuse, we have to have conversations about it, keep talking about it, educate yourself and support the local program that helps kids,” Damm said. “Remember — one educated adult keeps 10 kids safer.”
Beverly Deacons Owens, 74, of State College, Penn., died Sunday, April 13, 2014, at The Hearthside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, State College.
Born Sept. 6, 1939, in Fulton, NY, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Dora Arlene Tilton Wells.
On March 2, 1996, she married Danny Owens, who preceded her in death on Jan. 10, 2014.
She is survived by one son, Clarence J. Deacons and his wife, Jan, of Fulton, NY and one daughter, Wendy Deacons Steele and her husband, Richard, of Millsboro, Del.; three grandchildren, Tabor Deacons, Dean Miller and Hailey Steele; three great-grandchildren.
Beverly was a 1957 graduate of Fulton High School in New York.
She retired in 1995 from the Oswego County Employment and Training Office.
Services will be private at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
POMCO Group, one of the nation’s largest benefits administrators, made a donation of $1,000 to support Oswego County Opportunities’ annual Retro Bowl fundraising event, which took place on Saturday April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.
OCO has partnered with POMCO Group since 2006 for the administration of its self-funded employee benefits plan. Each year, POMCO Group has supported OCO’s annual fundraiser and Retro Bowl event, which raises awareness and funding for the programs OCO offers to Oswego County and its community members.
“Oswego County Opportunities does tremendous work in Oswego County, particularly in the areas of health and nutrition services and education,” said Vanessa Flynn, vice president of client services at POMCO Group.
“Since the health and wellness of our community is a value that we share with OCO, and because it is, and has been, an important business partner to POMCO Group over the past eight years, it is important to us to support its fundraising efforts,” she said.
The money raised in 2014 from OCO’s annual Retro Bowl fundraising event will focus on ways to reduce and eliminate hunger in Oswego County.
OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier said every level of support from businesses and members of the community helps to make a difference.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support that we have received from POMCO Group in helping us to meet our fundraising goals. We value the support of our business partners as we strive to make a difference in our community.”