The state Legislature passed the state budget on time Monday and all school districts in Oswego County will be receiving more regular state aid than what was in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s original budget proposal.
State Sen. Patricia Ritchie said the new budget adds $20 million in new funding for schools in the 48th Senate District, which includes Jefferson, Oswego and part of St. Lawrence counties — the largest hike in five years and nearly three times the increase proposed in January by the governor.
Oswego County schools will receive $5.4 million, in additional aid.
“Students, teachers and taxpayers depend on state for aid to maintain the high quality of public education and to help hold the line on school property taxes,” Ritchie said.
Changes to the original budget proposal were designed to drive more aid to rural and high-needs schools and restoring funds from the aid-cutting “Gap Elimination Adjustment.”
The G. Ray Bodley High School ninth annual Bodley Sweet Boutique will be open for business 5 to 8 p.m. April 3 and 4 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 5 in the high school cafeteria.
The boutique will have brand new and gently worn formal and semi-formal dresses for sale for only $25 each, perfect for the prom or senior dinner dance.
All money from the dress sale will benefit the local food pantry.
Allyson Fiordimalva, Bodley Sweet Boutique organizer and teacher at Bodley, said the Boutique was first organized to provide an opportunity for girls who wanted to go to prom but needed to find an affordable dress.
However, the Boutique also meets the need of those who do not want to spend upwards of $500 or more for a dress they will mostly likely wear only once.
Add to that the community service aspect, where all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the food pantry, and that makes the Boutique “a win-win situation for all,” said Fiodimalva.
“You can save money on your dress and help feed local families who are experiencing tough times,” she said.
The Boutique, which has more than 150 dresses to choose from, will be set up in the high school cafeteria. Many of the dresses are brand new and have been generously donated by local businesses.
Some dresses have been gently loved and worn once for prom or ball.
Again this year, organizers are asking for donations of dresses, bags, shoes, etc. in all shapes, colors and sizes and are encouraging the area’s young ladies (especially senior and junior girls) to donate gently used dresses and accessories and to check out the sale.
Any donations can be made to Allyson Fiordimalva, Jennifer Reese or Becky Crucitti at Bodley.
Because choosing the perfect prom dress is one of those magical moments in a young woman’s life, the Boutique is open to the public evenings and on Saturday to allow family members to come with the dress shopper to help them select that perfect dress.
Some shoes, accessories and jewelry will also be available to complete the outfit. Changing rooms will be available for trying on dresses.
Our Music In Our Schools month concert series ended up being wonderful.
Thank you to all those who attended the band, orchestra or chorus concerts, or maybe all three! Your support is greatly appreciated.
Another big thank you to any students or others in the building who donated blood last Friday. You are truly making a difference in the lives of others!
If you have never donated blood before but would like to the next time there is a blood drive at the high school, watch for signs and announcements leading up to the event.
Multiple scholarships are available in the guidance office for any senior students who are interested. The variety of scholarships is tremendous, so you are bound to qualify for a few.
It never hurts to apply! You could be saving yourself a lot of money in whatever path you choose for this upcoming year.
Underclassmen recently filled out their course recommendation cards for the next school year. No longer being offered are meteorology and MST, however a new class called Cayuga 101 will be making its debut in the high school next year.
The purpose of the class, through Cayuga Community College, is to prep college-bound students for the next step. Stop by the guidance office for more information!
If you are interested in taking any AP, Honors, or college-level courses starting in the fall, make sure you meet with teachers to discuss if you are a good fit for the class and what the work load will be. You should always challenge yourself, but never take on more than you can handle!
Hopefully spring will be making a comeback soon so that our spring sports teams can begin practicing outside regularly. Have an excellent week!
It’s one of Oswego County’s most pressing issues, yet the vast majority of community members are not aware of how serious the issue is.
That’s why Saturday’s Retro Bowl put on by Oswego County Opportunities is so important.
“Hunger is a pervasive issue in our county. As an anti-poverty agency combating hunger and improving nutrition are keystones of our mission,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.
“Our Retro Bowl fundraiser is an opportunity for community members to come together for an afternoon of fun, that in the long run, will help fight against hunger and put food in the bowls of those that hunger right here in Oswego County.”
Proceeds from the Retro Bowl event will be used to assist the food subsidy efforts of each of OCO’s programs and services and help build a reserve for the future.
For OCO, hunger in Oswego County is something the agency is well aware of and takes very seriously. Every program in the agency’s Crisis and Development Services and Nutrition Services, in some way, addresses the issue of hunger.
Crisis and Development Services includes a variety of prevention, intervention and care management services including:
Street Outreach, which operates drop-in centers and helps connect youth to other resources and services
PATH, a transitional living program for homeless youth 21 and under offers tips for eating nutritionally, food budgeting, and preparing meals
Homeless Services that provides supportive services to stabilize households and facilitate the transition from homelessness to permanent housing
Services to Aid Families (SAF) that provides residential and non-residential services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, elder abuse and stalking.
“Hunger has been and always will be one of OCO’s priorities,” said Eric Bresee, director of OCO Crisis and Development Services. “Whether it’s emergency assistance from our food pantry or helping individuals and families access other food pantries and resources such as WIC, or SNAP benefits, OCO is a leader in the fight against hunger in Oswego County.”
Bresee said OCO Crisis and Development Services provided more than 1,456 emergency meals and 9,759 ongoing meals to its consumers last year. More than 3,400 of those meals were for youth 16 and under.
Also, OCO partners with drop-in centers at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fulton and Our Lady of the Rosary in Hannibal to provide them with support for their food pantry and provide their visitors with assistance in connecting to other resources.
“The number of people we are providing food for increased dramatically in 2010. While that number has leveled off, it has unfortunately not gone down,” Bresee said.
Brian Coleman, coordinator of OCO Homeless Services, and Cristy King, coordinator of OCO Intervention Services, which includes, the Crisis Hot Line, SAF and Homeless Services, echoed those thoughts.
“All of the services I oversee have maintained a high level of need. Fortunately we have been able to find a way to meet the hunger issues that our consumers need, but it remains a challenge,” said King.
King said both the number of individuals accessing services and the average length of stay in the SAF program is significantly greater that it was just few years ago.
“We are seeing an average of 15 to 20 SAF house residents a month. The average length of stay, which use to be 15 days, has risen to 45 to 50 days and continues to remain there,” said King.
Each of these residents receive breakfast, lunch and dinner during the length of their stay. While much of that is paid for through the state, OCO does provide additional emergency food for SAF residents from its modest food pantry.
“Our food pantry is strictly for emergency food supplies. We are not a full service food pantry like others in the county,” Coleman said.
“Our food pantry generally provides enough food to hold a family over until they can make arrangements to access one of the larger food pantries that exist in the county,” Coleman said. “We provide them with the resources and assistance to be able to do that.”
In regards to newborns and small children, the WIC program ensures that expectant mothers and new mothers that meet WIC income guidelines receive the proper nutrition they and their children need.
A supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, WIC provides healthy food such as milk, formula, whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables; nutrition counseling; and referrals to health care for women who are pregnant, post-partum up to 6 months, breast feeding up to one year, and infants and children up to the age of 5.
Program Coordinator Cindy Palamar said WIC is a valuable service.
“WIC offers much more than just nutritious supplemental food. It is a patient-centered program that focuses on healthy lifestyles,” she said.
“WIC’s educational aspect includes facilitated discussions where participants can share their concerns and experiences as well as one-on-one nutritional counseling services. Our staff includes several nutritionists who help participants plan healthy meals for their family, give advice on infant feeding, children’s dietary needs, and the dietary needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women,” said Palamar.
“What happens today affects what happens in the future. Healthy lifestyles lead to healthy outcomes,” she said.
To ensure that OCO will be able to continue to do so in the future the agency has dedicated its fundraising efforts to eliminating hunger in the county.
OCO’s Retro Bowl fundraiser will be noon to 6 p.m. April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton. Registration is open for five-person teams, with choice of flights: noon to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m.
For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at www.oco.org.
John M. Goff, 22, of 5240 US Route 11, Apt. 20, Pulaski, was arrested March 25 for third-degree burglary, a felony, third-degree criminal mischief, a felony and a misdemeanor count of petit larceny following the investigation into an incident at a business in the town of Richland. Deputies charged Goff with entering the business unlawfully and taking some loose change and bottles of liquor. He will be back in Richland town court April 3.
Fulton Police Department
Sheryl Lynn Hammond, 53, of Division Street, Fulton, was arrested March 20 for second-degree assault, a felony, criminal possession of a weapon third- and fourth-degree and conspiracy sixth-degree. Police say she conspired with two co-defendants to hit a person in her head at least two times with a glass beer bottle, causing a head injury, neck strain, bleeding in her eye and pain.
Randi L. Stoltz, 17, North Fourth Street, Fulton, was arrested March 21 for grand larceny, a felony, and making a punishable false written statement. Police said sometime between Feb. 1 and Feb. 27, she and another person stole four long guns, (a 20-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun, a 16 gauge shotgun, a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, and a Winchester model 1892 .38-40 caliber lever action) from the victim. The defendant and co-defendant sold the guns to another person. Police say she also provided a written statement stating she did not steal the guns.
Timothy A. Bauerfeind, 25, of Rochester Street, Fulton, was arrested for first-degree criminal contempt, a felony, and harassment, a violation. Police said he intentionally violated a duly served order of protection on March 21 by standing close to the victim and threatening the victim in a loud voice, causing the victim to be harassed and alarmed. This order of protection prohibits him from committing any criminal offense against the protected party. Oswego City Police
Amy E. Davis, 33, of Byer Road, Oswego, and Robin L. Holcomb, 26, of Dublin Street, Oswego were arrested by Oswego city police on drug charges.
Davis is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance fourth degree and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance fifth degree, all felonies. Police say during 2013, Davis sold 20 Hydrocodone tablets to an undercover Oswego police officer in exchange for cash on state Route 104 east in Oswego and on a separate date in 2013, Davis sold 50 Hydrocodone tablets to an undercover officer in exchange for cash at 84 Byer Road in Oswego.
Holcomb is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance third degree; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance third degree; one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance fourth degree; one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance fifth degree; and one county of criminal possession of a controlled substance fifth degree. All the charges are felonies.
Police said Holcomb sold 20 Alprazolam tablets to an undercover Oswego officer in 2013 in exchange for cash on Liberty Street, across from Oswego High School. They say she also sold 40 Oxycodone tablets this year to an undercover officer in exchange for cash at 36 Dublin St. and also sold nine Oxycodone tablets to an undercover officer in exchange cash at 36 Dublin St.
Oswego County Opportunities is launching its “Bling, Fling and Swing” drawing with three prizes: a diamond/sapphire ring; an overnight getaway for two to Vernon Downs Casino; and Canyon Combo tickets for two from Wonderworks at Destiny USA.
Proceeds raised benefit OCO services and programs that address hunger needs in Oswego County.
“The first day of ticket sales will be Saturday, April 5, during the OCO Retro Bowl fundraiser,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.
“Every ticket sold that day, before the end of the Retro Bowl festivities, earns the ticket holder an entry into a special early-bird prize drawing to be held that day, at the end of the Retro Bowl. One lucky winner will receive a lottery ticket board,” she said.
The name ‘Bling, Fling & Swing’ helps describe the prizes. First prize is a sapphire and diamond ring, donated by Bridge Street Jewelers in Oswego.
Second prize is an overnight getaway for two at Vernon Downs Casino, donated by Vernon Downs Casino.
Third prize is two Canyon Combo tickets donated by Wonderworks at Destiny USA, redeemable for one canyon climb and admission to the Wonderworks experience.
Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Only 300 tickets will be sold. They are available at the OCO Main Office, 239 Oneida St., Fulton, and at the Midtown Plaza Office, lower level (next to Jo-Ann Fabrics), Oswego, starting Monday, April 7, during regular office hours.
Drawing for all prizes takes place at noon Thursday, May 15, at the OCO Main Office, 239 Oneida St., Fulton.
After the first- and second-prize drawings, the winning tickets are returned to the hat for the next prize drawing.
“This means you have more than one chance to win,” Cooper-Currier stated.
Ticket holders need not be present to win. Winners will be notified by phone or email. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
“There is a real need to help the hungry in Oswego County,” Cooper-Currier said.
Ten-year-old Marc Barnhart of Granby finally has some weight off his shoulders — 11 inches of bright red hair, that is.
Last weekend, Patti Mancino of Carla’s Hair Fashions in Fulton snipped two ponytails’ worth of hair from Marc’s head to send to Locks of Love, a Florida-based charity that provides wigs to children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
Marc’s hairy journey began in late summer of 2012, when he and his grandmother, Carrie Fellows, saw a “Today Show” segment about men who had lost their hair to cancer.
“I saw it on the news that the men didn’t want to wear (wigs made of) girls’ hair, so they wanted boys to do it,” Marc said.
With his grandmother’s permission, Marc began to grow out his hair. For the last year-and-a-half, Marc has endured teasing, stares and comments from classmates and teachers alike at Kenney Middle School in Hannibal, which he and his four siblings attend.
Marc said his classmates have hurled insults at him such as “you girl,” but his family told him, “Words are words and remember what good you’re doing.”
“I just ignore it,” he said.
Marc’s siblings have borne some of the unkind words as well.
“Everyone in my grade kept saying, ‘Don’t you have two sisters?’ and I say, ‘No, my brother’s growing his hair for a great cause,’” said Matthew, 11. “It’s really sad that they have to pick on him and get satisfaction from talking to me.”
Matthew said one of their aunts died of cancer, another reason for Marc’s donation.
Cailynn, Marc’s twin sister, said that she and her other brothers tried to grow their hair to donate too, but gave up. Jeffrey, 13, said his effort to grow his hair “did not work out.”
Cailynn said other children at school have donated their hair as well.
“It’s not really nice because they’ve done it too, and no one picked on them,” Cailynn said.
The Barnhart children and their grandparents said their former bus driver and teachers have made comments to Marc as well.
Marc’s grandmother Carrie said one teacher said to Marc, “Hey kid, you need a haircut, you look like a girl.”
Marc said the school has held anti-bullying events, but he doesn’t think that makes a difference to students.
Kenney Principal Dee Froio said the school has hosted various anti-bullying events, including Jared Campbell’s “Blue Project” and a “bully-away spray” skit through Merry-Go-Round Playhouse’s “Echoes” program.
Froio added the school has not been notified about a student being bullied for growing their hair, but they would follow up any report of bullying.
Fortunately for Marc, not all the feedback has been negative.
“My art teacher this year did it two times, so she’s proud of me doing it,” Marc said.
Carrie, an adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego, brought Marc to one of her classes and shared his story. The students gave him a standing ovation.
“He made the decision to do it and he’s stuck with it,” said grandfather Jeff Fellows. “He has taken a lot of razzing the last year or so … When you explain to people why he’s doing it, they change their view.”
Hairstylist Patti Mancino has cut Marc’s hair since he was a baby. She said he is her only male client who has donated his hair to Locks of Love, but she has had many female clients donate to that organization and to a similar one, Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
“Sometimes I talk somebody into it if they want a new hairstyle. If you have enough, why not donate it?” Mancino said. “For a young man to do it is special because a lot of girls do it.”
After the big chop, Marc opted for a super short style. His brother Jeremy, 11, said he was glad that Marc did it, but “I’ll wake up to a stranger in the morning.”
“I got so used to Marc with long hair,” Matthew said.
As for the man with the mane, he said he plans to grow it out again for Locks of Love in the future, perhaps after the summer.
“Now I don’t have to wear my ponytail for tech,” he said.
To learn more about donating hair, visit
locksoflove.org or pantene.com and click on “Ready, set, grow: pony up!”
April is National Poetry Month and the Fulton Library is having a celebration.
In partnership with local writer Jim Farfaglia, the library will offer a four-week class titled “Celebrating Poetry!” This free program will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the four Saturdays in April: April 5, 12, 19 and 26.
“We are excited to offer this program for poets and for those who are interested in learning more about poetry,” said Betty Mauté, director of the Fulton Library.
“The program, planned by Jim, is designed to be welcoming and relaxed. There is no previous writing experience needed to participate. We’ve even scheduled each class to run through the lunch hour and are encouraging participants to bring a bagged lunch.
“While sharing a meal (the library will provide beverages), Jim will share poetry and encourage the class to explore their thoughts and feelings about a variety of poems,” she said.
“I want this class to inspire people who normally might not consider poetry, including both the more classically famous, as well as some of the newer nontraditional poets,” said Farfaglia. “I also want to encourage people to try their hand at writing and to know that there are no hard-and-fast rules in poetry. It’s just about listening to your heart.”
The class is being provided at no cost due to the success of last year’s Fulton Memoir Project.
“The book sales from the collection of 41 memoirs written by Fultonians have given the library a fund to provide writing programs such as Celebrating Poetry,” added Mauté.
Participants should be 18 years or older or a teenager accompanied by an adult. Seating is limited and those interested should call 592-5159 for more information and to reserve your spot.