Category Archives: Phoenix News

Winners announced for Oswego County Student Art Competition

Grade 10-12th winners, from left, Holly Griffith, show chairperson; third place Caleb Lacson;, second place Kathy Pittorf; first place Carrie Gilbert; best of show Brenna Riley.
Grade 10-12th winners, from left, Holly Griffith, show chairperson; third place Caleb Lacson;, second place Kathy Pittorf; first place Carrie Gilbert; best of show Brenna Riley.

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.

 Grade 7-9 honorable mentions, from left: Allayna Frank, APW; Jessica Godden, Oswego; Leila Wooding, Phoenix; McKenna Moonan, Pulaski; and Ruth van der Heide, Pulaski.
Grade 7-9 honorable mentions, from left: Allayna Frank, APW; Jessica Godden, Oswego; Leila Wooding, Phoenix; McKenna Moonan, Pulaski; and Ruth van der Heide, Pulaski.

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

Open burning banned now

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.

Maroun Elementary helps out at Easter

Galena Ojiem, of Phoenix, founder of Hikers for the Homeless, shows off some of the toiletry items and other merchandise collected to fill Easter baskets made by third-graders from Maroun Elementary in Phoenix. The baskets will be given out at shelters and to homeless in Syracuse on Easter morning.
Galena Ojiem, of Phoenix, founder of Hikers for the Homeless, shows off some of the toiletry items and other merchandise collected to fill Easter baskets made by third-graders from Maroun Elementary in Phoenix. The baskets will be given out at shelters and to homeless in Syracuse on Easter morning.

Hikers for the Homeless has partnered with Maroun Elementary in Phoenix and Catholic Charities in Syracuse to brighten Easter for some of Syracuse’s poorest residents with an Easter basket giveaway.

The third-graders at Maroun Elementary made paper Easter baskets and also collected items to be placed in the baskets.

Hikers for the Homeless will fill the baskets with washcloths, soap, shampoo, lotion, wipes/tissues, chapstick, toothbrushes, toothpaste and, of course, candy and Easter treats.

The 123 baskets will be passed out on Easter morning at two Catholic Charities shelters in Syracuse – one that houses women and one for women and children.

The 76 residents here will also be receiving multicolor carnations. The remaining baskets will be given to John Tomino with In My Father’s Kitchen to be passed out when he distributes lunches to those living under bridges in Syracuse.

Any remaining will be given to refugees during his April 26 giveaway.

Sponsors of the event are Guignard’s Flowers, Adirondackmama.com blog and Sandy Pratt Photography.

Maroun Elementary collected more than 1,200 items pictured below and Hikers collected $365 in donations from 12 individual donors, which was used to purchase additional supplies for the baskets.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Members of the Prince of Peace Church representing the "Cherish All Children Ministries." From left to right front, the Rev. Richard Klafehn, Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward, Dianne Klafehn - Upstate NY Leader of Child Advocacy Center; back row  church member Alexandra Sorbello, Friend of CAC Ben Jarred, church member Margaret Nichols. Absent from photo Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Karrie Damm.
Members of the Prince of Peace Church representing the “Cherish All Children Ministries.” From left to right front, the Rev. Richard Klafehn, Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward, Dianne Klafehn – Upstate NY Leader of Child Advocacy Center; back row church member Alexandra Sorbello, Friend of CAC Ben Jarred, church member Margaret Nichols. Absent from photo Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Karrie Damm.

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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.”

Randy Lewis Wallace, racing fan, roofer

4-19_OBITwallace

 

Randy Lewis Wallace, 64, longtime West Phoenix, and Phoenix, NY resident, passed away Thursday April 10, 2014 at the V. A. Medical Center, Syracuse, NY.

He was born in Fulton, NY Sept. 10, 1949. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving from 1966-1968.

Randy was a roofer. He was an avid fan and participant in auto racing and was known for his famous Q-2 car, as well as the Car 99 NY with the Wallace and Waldron Racing Team.

Randy was a fisherman and enjoyed camping and spending time with his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his mother, Virginia Alice (Egan) Wallace on Feb. 5, 1965; his father, Lewis Wallace on Jan. 9, 1993; his step-mother, Evelyn Grace (Delaney) Wallace on July 4, 2000; his sister-in-law, L. Julie Wallace on April 24, 2003; and  a grandnephew Mitchell Wallace, II on Dec. 16, 1989.

Surviving are his life long partner, Nora J. Wallace of Gouverneur; his daughters, Virginia I. Wallace of Alexandria Bay, Regina L. (Christopher) Murphy of Martville; his three grandchildren, Jacob Alan, Mariah Wallace; and Christopher Murphy, Jr.; his brother, Roland J. “Ronnie” Wallace; his two nephews, Mitch Wallace, and Mark Wallace; his one niece, Michelle Wallace; grandnieces and nephews, his many friends; and a special friend Tommy Considine.

Calling hours were Monday April 14 at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix. The American flag was presented to the family.

Phoenix school board adopts budget; residents vote May 20

By Debra J. Groom

The Phoenix school board has adopted a $42,559,049 budget for the 2014-15 school year.

Residents will vote on the budget May 20. They also will elect three members to the board of education. Petitions to run for the school board must be turned in by Monday.

The proposed budget for 2014-15 is up 1.99 percent – or $550,122 – over the budget for the current school year. It does not cut any academic programs, athletics or extracurricular activities.

The OASIS summer reading program is being cut for the summer of 2014, but Superintendent Judith Belfield said it could be revisited for the summer of 2015.

Spending is up only 1.33 percent.   Mos of the increase comes from increased pension costs associated with the fiscal downturn of 2008.

Belfield the district received more state aid in the final state budget than originally was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This additional aid – about $300,000 – and the retirement of 10 teachers and five teacher assistants this year helped the district put together a budget that did not include staff and/or teacher layoffs.

The proposed budget includes money to replace some of the teachers who are retiring.

“We are replacing two K-6 teachers, a chemistry teacher, an instructional specialist and a special education teacher,” Belfield said. The budget also includes two new positions – a special education teacher and an elementary reading teacher.

Also, two part-time teaching positions are being increased from half time to full time – a high school social studies teacher and a high school Spanish teacher.

Belfield said the budget increases the tax levy – which is the amount to be raised by taxes – by 1.99 percent or $326,858. The estimated tax rate for most towns in the school district would be about $28.26 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 55 cents per $1,000 from the current rate of $27.71 per $1,000.

Since the tax levy increase is less than the state-mandated cap placed on municipalities and school districts, residents will qualify for a refund of the tax increase from the state due to a proposal in the new state budget.

In addition to the budget and school board members, residents also will decide on whether to spend $429,200 to buy three 60-passenger school buses, one special needs bus and a camera system.

The public hearing on the budget will be at 7 p.m.May 6 at John C. Birdlebough High School. The vote is noon to 9 p.m. May 20 at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

Maroun Elementary students help make Easter baskets

Galena Ojiem, of Phoenix, founder of Hikers for the Homeless, shows off some of the toiletry items and other merchandise collected to fill Easter baskets made by third-graders from Maroun Elementary in Phoenix. The baskets will be given at shelters and to homeless in Syracuse on Easter morning.
Galena Ojiem, of Phoenix, founder of Hikers for the Homeless, shows off some of the toiletry items and other merchandise collected to fill Easter baskets made by third-graders from Maroun Elementary in Phoenix. The baskets will be given at shelters and to homeless in Syracuse on Easter morning.

Hikers for the Homeless has partnered with Maroun Elementary in Phoenix and Catholic Charities in Syracuse to brighten Easter for some of Syracuse’s poorest residents with an Easter basket giveaway.

The third-graders at Maroun Elementary made paper Easter baskets and also collected items to be placed in the baskets.

Hikers for the Homeless will fill the baskets with washcloths, soap, shampoo, lotion, wipes/tissues, chapstick, toothbrushes, toothpaste and, of course, candy and Easter treats.

The 123 baskets will be passed out on Easter morning at two Catholic Charities shelters in Syracuse – one that houses women and one for women and children.

The 76 residents here will also be receiving multicolor carnations. The remaining baskets will be given to John Tomino with In My Father’s Kitchen to be passed out when he distributes lunches to those living under bridges in Syracuse.

Any remaining will be given to refugees during his April 26 giveaway.

Sponsors of the event are Guignard’s Flowers, Adirondackmama.com blog and Sandy Pratt Photography.

Maroun Elementary collected more than 1,200 items pictured below and Hikers collected $365 in donations from 12 individual donors, which was used to purchase additional supplies for the baskets.

Chiropractors help out United Way

Area chiropractors will offer Patient Appreciation Day April 26 in support of the United Way. Shown getting ready for the event are Dr. Richard Falanga, Dr. Brent Tallents, Dr. Beth Dubois, Lois Luber, Dr. Richard Tesoriero, Dr. Casey McCaffrey, Dr. Dustin Wahrendorf, and Dr. Jason Cunningham.  Absent from photo are; Dr. Franklin Perkins II, Dr. Michael Soucy, Dr. Ryan Barker, Dr. Anthony Licatese. All proceeds go to the United Way.
Area chiropractors will offer Patient Appreciation Day April 26 in support of the United Way. Shown getting ready for the event are Dr. Richard Falanga, Dr. Brent Tallents, Dr. Beth Dubois, Lois Luber, Dr. Richard Tesoriero, Dr. Casey McCaffrey, Dr. Dustin Wahrendorf, and Dr. Jason Cunningham. Absent from photo are; Dr. Franklin Perkins II, Dr. Michael Soucy, Dr. Ryan Barker, Dr. Anthony Licatese. All proceeds go to the United Way.

Chiropractors throughout Oswego County will host a special Patient Appreciation Day in support of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

On Saturday, April 26, participating chiropractors will offer chiropractic treatments for current and former patients, as well as examinations for new patients in exchange for a $20 donation to the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

“Patient Appreciation Day is a wonderful opportunity for health conscious individuals to receive an important examination and valuable information at a very affordable price,” said Melanies Trexler, executive director of the United Way. “You really can’t afford not to take advantage of this rare opportunity.”

All proceeds from the day will benefit United Way of Greater Oswego County and the many member agency programs that the United Way supports.

Chiropractors participating in Patient Appreciation Day include:

Falanga Family Chiropractic 

Oswego – 343-2961

Dr. Beth Dubois

Dr. Richard F. Falanga

 Family Chiropractic Office

Fulton – (315) 593-7555

Dr. Brett R. Tallents

McCaffrey Chiropractic

Oswego – (315) 342-3877

Dr. Casey McCaffrey

Perkins Chiropractic

Hannibal – (315) 564-7022

Dr. Franklin L. Perkins II

Tesoriero Chiropractic

Oswego – (315) 343-5713

Dr. Richard Tesoriero

Licatese Chiropractic

Oswego – (315) 342-6300

Dr. Anthony Licatese

Dr. Ryan Barker

Active Chiropractic – Oswego 

Dr. Jason Cunningham (315) 383-9614

Dr. Dustin Wahrendorf (315) 591-1091

Advanced Wellness Chiropractic 

Mexico – (315) 963-8700

Dr. Michael Soucy

Those interested in Patient Appreciation Day are urged to call the participating chiropractor of their choice and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

For more information, call one of the chiropractors or the United Way at 593-1900.