Category Archives: Fulton News

Lillian Margaret “GG” Distin, loved Jesus Christ

Lillian Margaret “GG” Distin, 96, left her Greenbrier, Ark. residence, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, for the mansion prepared for her in Heaven.

Born on Wednesday, July 4, 1917 in Fulton, N.Y., to Margaret and Leroy Barker, she was just as energetic and bright as the holiday of her birth.

When born again in 1961, Jesus Christ became her first love, next to her family and church. For 30 years she was a beautician in her own salon. A powerful prayer warrior is gone, but her legacy of Christian faith lives on in the family she leaves behind.

She is survived by her children, Dennis Distin and wife Ricki of Greenbrier,Arkansas and Ronald Distin and wife Elaine (Pipsy) Distin of Beverly Hills, Florida. Grandchildren: Christy Secrease, Chip Distin, Ronnie Distin, Danny Distin and Amy Valentine. Great-grandchildren: Ryan Harrington, Ronnie, Cale, Blake and Lacy Distin, Kaylee and Meagan Secrease.

She was predeceased by her parents, sisters Arlene Hall and Lucille of Fulton, N.Y., and Milton “Mike” Distin, her devoted husband of 52 years, of Holiday, Fla.

Friends and family attended an evening of celebration and remembrance Feb. 27 in Springhill, Ark. Internment will be at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Fla.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to House of Prayer, P.O. Box 547, Greenbrier, AR 72058, Alzheimer’s Arkansas or Gideon International.

Arrangements are by Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Greenbrier.

Homelessness program set for March 13

Homelessness is an issue that many know exists, but few feel comfortable discussing.

On March 13, homelessness in Oswego County will be front and center as COACH, Oswego County’s continuum of Care committee, hosts a community forum from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Oswego County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

The Community Forum on Homelessness will offer the community the opportunity to hear the specifics on homelessness in Oswego County and learn of plans being developed to address the issue.

Doug Baldwin, case management supervisor with Oswego County Department of Social Services’ Division of Mental Hygiene, said the forum will bring together the full membership of COACH as well as members on COACH’s sub-committees.

“HUD has required all Continuum of Care committees throughout New York State to plan and implement a more formal organizational structure. This forum allows us to solicit input and ideas, as well as an opportunity to re-energize our membership,” Baldwin.

One subject to be addressed is the number of people that are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Oswego County.

“The results of a recent Point in Time survey that identified 280 people in one evening and the number of homeless individuals that have received services from Catholic Charities, Oswego County Opportunities, and the Department of Social Services, combined with the other people that meet the HUD definition of homelessness but are not captured, indicate that homelessness is a serious problem in our County,” Baldwin said.

The highlight of the forum will be a special presentation from William O’Connell, community and planning office director, HUD Buffalo Field Office. O’Connell, will share his experiences and how communities are responding and working together to address homelessness.

O’Connell, who has also headed the Continuum of Care initiative in Buffalo, will join COACH members to discuss strategies to prevent homelessness such as providing appropriate education and skills training, adequate employment opportunities, and a decent stock of affordable housing.

One of the key elements in meeting these challenges is establishing a clear picture of what homelessness looks like in Oswego County.

To accomplish this, COACH is in the planning process for a Homeless Management information System, which Baldwin aid will allow them to more accurately capture and quantify the true nature of homelessness in Oswego County.

Additionally, Baldwin said COACH is discussing plans to rapidly re-house the homeless in permanent affordable housing with necessary support services available as needed, and to provide staff to monitor and support homeless individuals in emergency housing situations, to foster rapid transitions.

“Homelessness is an issue that effects the entire community,” said COACH member and Oswego County Opportunities Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.  “I encourage human service agencies, community members, fraternal groups and other organizations to join us for this enlightening forum and learn how we can work together to alleviate homelessness in Oswego County.

For more information on the Community Forum on Homelessness, or to register contact Melanie Trexler, executive director, United Way of Greater Oswego County, at 593-1900 or at melanieunitedway@windstream.net.

Fulton’s East Side pool will be closed this summer

By Ashley M. Casey

Fultonians will have to find a new place to cool off this summer — the East Side pool will be closed.

The City of Fulton’s Parks and Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander said the pool, located at Rowlee Beach Park on South 12th Street, is in “extreme disrepair.”

“Extensive repairs are needed to keep it open. It’s reached a limit where we can no longer do in-house repairs,” Ostrander said.

In August 2013, the city applied for New York state’s “highly competitive” Empire Environmental Protection Fund grant to cover half the pool’s repair costs, but was rejected, Ostrander said.

“One of the primary reasons we didn’t get it was the study we supplied … was outdated,” Ostrander said.

In 2005, the engineering study suggested repairs to the pool, its filtration system and bath house totaling $227,000.

“(The city) decided not to go through with repairs at that time,” Ostrander said.

At its Feb. 18 meeting, the Common Council tabled a resolution proposing an engineering study of the pool’s needs by Barton & Loguidice.

“The thought process was three councilmen said they were not willing to bond (the project),” said Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. “I think we should have the study. Then we could apply for grants. But I understand they’re concerned about the budget — and they should be.”

Woodward said First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon, Third Ward Councilor Ryan Raponi and Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers were the three councilors who opposed bonding the pool project.

“I’m only opposed to it at this time because I didn’t see the need to spend $4,600 on a study for something that we can’t afford to fix anyway,” Myers said.

Both Ostrander and Myers said the city may look into a grant that could cover a portion of the engineering study’s cost.

Either way, the pool will still be closed this summer.

Ostrander said if the city were to apply for a grant to cover the study, “that would be another year removed from (possibly receiving) a big grant for the pool.”

Kenyon said the War Memorial gymnasium floor was well-used and so he supported a similar engineering study for that, but the pool is another matter.

“When I was a kid, I was told ‘no’ sometimes. If we have to be without a pool for a year, so be it,” Kenyon said. He also advocated saving “every penny we can” to fix the city’s roads after a rough winter.

“I’d wait until the state (Financial Restructuring Board) comes in to see what they do,” he added.

At the Feb. 25 school board meeting, Fulton City School District Superintendent Bill Lynch said Second Ward Councilor and Common Council President Dan Knopp had called him to ask if Granby Elementary’s pool would be available for community use this summer.

Lynch said many BOCES special education classes use the Granby pool during the summer, so he could not give Knopp an answer about the pool’s availability.

“We have a lot of issues … if there was available time,” Lynch told the board, citing staff and supervision as two key issues.

“We’re already offering more special ed at Granby this year because of (renovations) at Volney and (asbestos) abatement at Lanigan,” Lynch said. “That’s a heavy load for Granby to be shouldering.”

Lynch said the district could not offer transportation for community members to use the pool either.

The Granby pool already offers limited community use in the early morning and for an hour in the afternoon.

School board member Christine Plath, a former Mexico teacher, expressed concern about the idea of opening Granby to the city.

“It was a disaster when Mexico had a community pool,” she said.

Mary E. Sperati, Nestle retiree

Mary E. Sperati, 99, of Fulton, passed away on Monday, Feb. 24 at Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton.

She was the daughter of Nazareno and Louise Sperati and was born in Fulton on Aug. 4, 1914.

Mary was a machine operator at the Nestle Co. in Fulton for 37 years, retiring in 1979. She had previously worked at the M. H. Fishman Company department store in Fulton.

Mary was a communicant of Holy Trinity Church in Fulton and a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Pere LeMoyne #833; Holy Trinity Golden Agers; Fulton Senior Citizens and Granby Senior Citizens.

Surviving is her niece, Louise of Fulton and other nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.

She was predeceased by her parents and brothers, Lawrence, James, Patrick and Peter Sperati.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday, Feb. 28 at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton. Spring graveside services will be in  St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Calling hours were Thursday Feb. 27 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Church, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton, NY 13069.

Ol’ Man Winter still with us in Oswego County

By Debra J. Groom

Well, another 15.8 inches of white stuff fell in Fulton from Monday through Wednesday.

But believe it or not, the city still is about average when it comes to snowfall for a season, said Paul Cardinali, local weather observer.

“The problem Wednesday was the blowing snow,” he said. “It was a white out.”

The season total for Fulton as of Wednesday is 140.9 inches, Cardinali said. The average for this time of year is 132 inches.

The city of Oswego also saw the snow pile up earlier this week.

Weather observer William Gregway said the Port City received 14 inches from Monday through Wednesday, bringing its seasonal total to 131.6 inches.

The average for this time of year in Oswego is 150 inches.

On Wednesday, Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen issued a travel advisory in his city to allow Department of Public Works crews the chance to remove snow from roadways. The travel advisory was lifted at 10 a.m. Thursday Feb. 27.

Gregway said it wasn’t so much the amount of snow Oswego saw on Wednesday, but the winds gusting at 30 mph or more, making visibility nonexistent at times.

“It wasn’t constant, though. It would come and go,” Gregway said.

Eight of the county’s nine school districts closed again Wednesday — only Pulaski opened.

Between the snow and frigid cold from the season’s earlier Polar Vortex, most of the school districts have maxed out on their snow days. Only Pulaski has one more snow day to use.

Fulton women’s bowling tournament coming in April

The Fulton Women’s Bowling Association 59th Annual Tournament is coming up in April.

It will be a team event only and will be held Saturday April 5 and 6.

Squad times on April 5 are 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Squad times on April 6 are 4 p.m.

The event will be held at The Recreation Club in Fulton.

Those interested in entering the tournament or needing more information may call Paula Distin at 593-6121. Entries for the tournament close Sunday March 30.

Fulton Y Speed Demons swimmers continue improving after recent meets

The Fulton YMCA Speed Demons welcomed Watertown and Oneida to the Granby Elementary pool in January.

Graduating Speed Demon swimmers Jake Strauss and Anna Guernsey were recognized at the Watertown meet. Guernsey has been with the team for 14 years and enjoyed swimming butterfly the most. This was Strauss’s eighth year with the Speed Demons and his favorite event was the breaststroke.

Against Watertown, senior swimmer Abbey Zych demonstrated the skill necessary in each stroke as she took time off in the 200 IM (Individual Medley). Jaden Patterson grabbed first in the 100 free.

Several swimmers continue to post personal best times, not in just one event, but all three events entered. Taking a mere second off can mean the difference between first place and last and is more difficult as the season winds down.

Achieving best times against Watertown were:

Breanna Stoutenger (50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Breast)

Mitchell Donaldson (50 Free, 50 Fly, 100 IM)

David Cedar (50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free)

Patrice Hudson (50 Free, 50 Fly, 50 Back)

Emily Haines (50 Free, 100 Free, 50 Back)

Olivia Hawthorne (50 Free, 100 IM, 50 Breast)

The team’s sixth meet was against Oneida. Swimmers continued to decrease event times with some of the largest gains of the season.

Nathaniel Archer swam the 200 IM for only the second time, dropping 12 seconds. Gracie Dempsey reduced her 100 free by 19 seconds while Reagan LaPage shaved 27 seconds off her 200 free.

Bryce Rogers had the largest event reduction of the meet, taking 42 seconds off during the 100 free. Cameron Grower demonstrated the backstroke is his strength, swimming to a first place finish in the 50 back against Oneida. Mark Tallents has continued to dominate the Class C boys, taking first place in all three events he swam (50 free, 200 free, 50 breast).

Closings and cancellations

Be sure to check back here periodically for updates:

** Fulton, Pulaski, Mexico, Hannibal and Sandy Creek schools dismissed early Thursday, Feb. 27.

** All after school and evening activities for the Oswego City School District for Thursday Feb. 27 have been canceled.
** Pulaski has no after school or evening activities. The Family Fun Night at Lura Sharp Elementary has been postponed until March 20 due to the weather.
** Mexico will have no after school activities.
** Hannibal has canceled all after-school activities.