Category Archives: Other News

Alive at 25 program Comes to Oswego County

The Oswego County District Attorney’s Office has joined forces with the National Traffic Safety Council to bring the Alive at 25 Program to Oswego County.

This four-hour driver’s awareness course is designed to educate younger drivers.

“Drivers in this age group are more inexperienced, tend to travel in groups and may be more likely to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel,” said Oswego County District Attorney Gregory S. Oakes. “Tragically, this can lead to traffic accidents involving multiple fatalities.

“We want to do better for the young people of our county, so we have started this program to raise awareness about safe driving practices.”

The program follows established protocols to reach younger drivers. Participants will gain awareness and develop strategies to stay safe on the road through the defensive driving classroom curriculum.

They will also learn decision-making and responsibility-taking through interactive media, workbook exercises, role-playing and class discussions.

The Alive at 25 Program is designed to educate younger drivers; however, it is not a point-reduction course.

Oakes said, “From this point forward, if a driver between the ages of 16 and 24 receives a ticket for certain moving violations, they will be required to complete the course in order to be eligible for a ticket reduction. Most importantly, we would like to reach drivers who participate in dangerous behaviors that put themselves, their passengers, and other motorists at risk of serious injury or death. This includes cell phone, texting, and speeding offences.

“Because the program is recognized statewide, drivers can attend any Alive at 25 Program throughout New York to meet this requirement,” added Oakes. “However, we will also offer two courses here in Oswego County every month as well.”

After a driver completes the “Alive at 25” program, they are issued a certificate of completion, which they need to bring to the district attorney’s office. Once they show the certificate, the office will issue a reduced ticket.

“I am pleased to announce that the Oswego County courses will be taught by Ralph Scruton, a retired lieutenant of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department,” said Oakes. “With 27 years in law enforcement and nine years as a senior deputy coroner, Mr. Scruton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.”

Classes for the Alive at 25 Program have been scheduled through the summer.

Wednesdays, June 5, July 10 and August 7, a class will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Rich Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus.

Saturdays, June 22, July 20, and August 24, a class will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the SUNY Oswego extension site in Phoenix.

Drivers can register for the Alive at 25 Program online at www.safetycouncilny.org, by e-mail at info@safetycouncilny.org, or by phone at 1-800-255-1300, ext. 13. There is a cost for each class and drivers must pre-register and prepay.

Those seeking more information may call the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office at 349-3200.

Oswego County receives grant for emergency call center

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $9 million in Public Safety Answering Point grants have been awarded to 24 counties — including Oswego County — through the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperability and Emergency Communications.

PSAPs are call centers that are responsible for answering emergency calls and dispatching police, fire or ambulance emergency services to the public.

“These grants provide critical support to local governments to improve, streamline and consolidate emergency communications systems,” Cuomo said. “By taking advantage of these grants, local governments are strengthening their ability to respond more effectively and efficiently to any emergency situation and thus raising the level of their ability to serve and protect the citizens of New York State.”

Oswego County will receive a  $836,009 consolidation grant.

“PSAP awardees demonstrated significant needs for improving public safety answering points and saw the fiscal and programmatic value in consolidation,” DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said. “These grants will help counties improve service through consolidation and collaboration.”

The State Interoperability Grant Program, for the 2012-13 state budget, consisted of two parts. The first, and larger portion, was for $102 million and was awarded in February to 29 counties across the State to help improve the ability of first responders to communicate with each other and promote a network of regional partnerships that will include State agencies.

The PSAP Grant is the second portion of the program and is intended to reimburse counties for costs associated with consolidation and improvements. As a result, $7 million was awarded to applicants for reimbursement of PSAP consolidation, improvements and enhancements, and $2 million was distributed for reimbursement of sustainment and operating expenses in consolidated PSAPs.

Emergency medical services providers to be honored

The Oswego County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council will honor emergency medical services providers for outstanding patient care during the annual awards banquet Friday, May 10 at Bayshore, 104 Bayshore Dr., Oswego.

The awards are based on the actions of emergency medical services providers in the calendar year 2012 and will be chosen by a subcommittee of EMSAC.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to honor the professionals who serve the community as emergency medical services providers in emergency care,” said EMSAC President Norm Wallis. “Last year, 20 of these highly trained and compassionate people were honored.”

Recipients at this awards banquet will include Alexander Stevens of Oswego County Ambulance Service; Advance Life Support Provider of the Year; David N. Turverey of SOVAC and Ricky Johnson of North Shore, Basic Life Support Providers of the Year; Adam G. Howard of Fulton Fire Department, Educator of the Year; Zach Menter of Oswego County Ambulance Service,

Leadership Award; and Wayne Hall of McFee Volunteer Ambulance and Marty Spink of SOVAC, Excellence in STEMI Care.

The EMS Communications Award will be presented to Dorine Hanevy, Susan Buske, Cathy Forsythe, Angela Pietroski, and Jennifer Miller of the Oswego County E-911 Communications Center.

Cathy Barry of Oswego Hospital will receive the Registered Nurse of Excellence Award.

Oswego County Ambulance Service (Menter’s) and Oswego Fire Department will each receive two Life Saving Awards.

Menter’s providers Michelle Rockwood, Tracie DeSantis, Garrett Hauf, and Jim Webster will be honored for their efforts in one life-saving incident, while Chris Foy, Steven Sant, Dennis Shaw, Joe Susino and Brandon Brown will be honored for their work on another event.

At Oswego Fire Department, Carl Emmons, Robert Smith, Ray Abbott, and Dr. Derek Cooney will be honored for their efforts on one EMS call while Bryan Easton, Don LaBarge, William Delapp, David Engle, and William Harrington will be cited for their EMS services on another call.

There is a cost to attend the event. Business sponsorships are still available.

Anyone interested in being a sponsor may contact one of the banquet committee members or call 591-9150.

Record numbers attend annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium

More than 250 people gathered to enjoy a weekend of history talks, demonstrations, art and literature during the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium, which was held April 5-7.

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen formally opened the symposium by unveiling a painting of the U.S. Brig Oneida by local artist Tim Ames.

“The energy in the room was electric as War of 1812 passions still run high some 200 years later,” said Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear, chairman of the event. “There was a heated exchange between two speakers with opposing views about British Governor Prevost’s abilities and movements during the war; in particular, the September 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh. The audience was mesmerized as they watched these two heavyweights of War of 1812 history engage in such a lively debate.”

Eleven speakers from across the U.S. and Canada explored a variety of War of 1812 topics, including military training and battle analysis, maritime and military archeology, naval history, wartime society and commerce, espionage, and the art of war.

Participants also discovered engaging exhibits, living history demonstrators and historical authors who presented and signed their works.

Also at hand was a crew from WCNY-TV to interview participants and document the symposium for an upcoming program.

Lear added, “We’ve taken an important step toward developing Oswego County’s heritage tourism potential. Many people came in from out-of-town and are spreading the word of our history and hospitality around the U.S. and Canada. Even our speakers commented that they plan to promote our event in their own travels on the lecture circuit.”

County Household Hazardous Waste facility opens May 1

Are you wondering what to do with your child’s old chemistry set or that pail of expired pool chemicals?

Oswego County residents will be able to safely dispose of unwanted chemicals, pesticides, and other hazardous waste products beginning Wednesday, May 1 at the Oswego County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility.

Located at the Bristol Hill Landfill, 3125 N.Y.S. Rte. 3, Volney, the facility will be open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. from May through September.

The program is free to Oswego County residents and is sponsored by the Oswego County Legislature and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The household hazardous waste collection facility gives residents a convenient way to safely dispose of expired chemical products and unwanted hazardous wastes,” said Frank Visser, Oswego County solid waste director. “This method of household hazardous waste management has proven to be cost-effective and user-friendly. Materials are packaged and stored in a secure area until a sufficient amount has accumulated for shipping.”

Customers should pull their vehicle up to the side of the building, which is located between the transfer station and solid waste offices.

Drivers should remain in their vehicles and wait for materials to be unloaded by the solid waste department staff.

These items are accepted at the collection facility: Acids, adhesives, aerosols, airplane glue, antifreeze, auto batteries, light ballasts (non PCB), brake fluid, cements, charcoal lighters, chemistry sets, chlorine, cleaning fluids, compact fluorescent bulbs, corrosives, degreasers, dioxin pesticides, disinfectants, drain cleaners, dry gas, epoxies, fiberglass resins, and flea products.

Also, fluorescent light bulbs, furniture polish, hair removers, herbicides, hobby chemicals, inks, insecticides, lacquers, lighter fluids, lubricants, mercury containing devices, moth balls and flakes, nail polish and remover, and “no pest” strips.

Also, oil-based paints (no latex paints will be accepted), oven cleaners, paint removers and thinners, permanent solutions, pesticides, photo chemicals, pool chemicals, rat poisons, rubber cements, rug and upholstery cleaners, rust solvents, silvex pesticide, solvents, spot removers, tub and tile cleaners, turpentine, varnish, waste fuels, weed killers, wood preservatives, and wood stains.

Materials should be in their original containers and placed in sturdy cardboard boxes. Leaking containers should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in a clear plastic bag.

Dried latex paint, used motor oil, household batteries, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment, and appliances containing CFC refrigerant are accepted year-round at the transfer stations.

There is no charge for recycling electronic equipment such as computer monitors, microwave ovens, fax machines and televisions.

There is a fee to recycle appliances that contain CFC refrigerant.

Visser requests that, for safety reasons, people do not bring children or pets to the collection site. Smoking is prohibited in the unloading area.

The Solid Waste Department also accepts hazardous wastes from

Oswego County businesses that meet the regulatory requirements.

Business owners should contact the solid waste office to find out if they qualify and to obtain a cost estimate for disposal of materials.

Those seeking more information may call the Oswego County Solid Waste Office at 591-9200 or visit the Department of Solid Waste Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/dsw/index.html.

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Literacy Coalition holds book drive to benefit local youth

dv1940060Developing literacy skills in children at a young age is essential. Reading not only helps them succeed in school, it introduces them to a world of knowledge and imagination that they may enjoy for a lifetime.

To help promote literacy for local youth, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is hosting a book drive for youth.

Now through Saturday, May 11, the agency is accepting donations of gently used books that would be of interest to toddlers through teens. The books will be distributed to during the Oswego Independence Day Parade and the Fulton Memorial Day Parade.

“Over the years we have given away hundreds of books to area youth,” said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County. “We are proud to be a part of The Literacy Coalition and are dedicated to helping our youth thrive by enhancing their learning experience.”

Jennifer Cook of Assemblyman Will Barclay’s office, chairperson for the book drive, echoed the importance of reading and the positive impact it has on a child’s future.

“By providing youth with books we are doing much more than promoting literacy — we are preparing children for kindergarten, increasing test scores and graduation rates, and helping our youth discover the joy of reading and the wonder of imagination,” said Cook.

Donations of gently used books for children and teens may be dropped off at the following locations:

• United Way Office, 1 S. First St., Fulton (Inside Community Bank).

• Greater Oswego-Fulton

Chamber of Commerce, 44 E. Bridge St. Oswego, and Suite 12, Canalview Mall, Fulton.

• Fulton School District Office,  167 S. Fourth St., Fulton.

• Assemblyman Will Barclay’s Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton.

• Sen. Patty Ritchie’s Office, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego.

• Eastern Shore Associates

Main Office, Cayuga Street, Fulton.

• Cayuga Community College,

Fulton Campus.

• Minetto Fire Department.

• Oswego City School District Office, East First Street, Oswego.

Arrangements for pick-up can be made for donations of large quantities of books. Those seeking more information on the book drive may call the United Way office at 593-1900.

Comprised of more than 36 local organizations, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is focused on improving literacy in Oswego County by addressing literacy needs of people of all ages.

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Operation Safe Stop set for April 18

78493857It is estimated that every day in New York State alone, 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses.

It is not only illegal, but extremely unsafe, to pass a school bus with their red lights flashing, whether approaching from the front or from the rear of the bus.

Flashing lights signal that a bus is stopped for either loading or discharging students.

April 18, law enforcement personnel from across the state will participate in Operation Safe Start.

Officers will patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles and officers will be onboard buses in select areas that have a history of illegal passing complaints, watching for violators.

Police will ticket those drivers who pass stopped school buses and violations will be reported to a central command post where final figures will be available to state and local officials as well as to the media.

Penalties for passing a stopped school bus include a $250 to $400 fine, five points on a license and up to 30 days in jail for a first offense and significantly higher penalties for subsequent offenses.

Operation Safe Start seeks to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts.

The project is cooperatively supported by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Education Department, and many other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies and organizations.

It is through these cooperative efforts of the many traffic safety partners and their continued commitment to protecting school children and educating the motoring public of the dangers association with passing stopped school buses, that helps make Operation Safe Start a success.

Last year’s Operation Safe Stop enforcement results reported 1,316 tickets issued for passing a stopped school bus along with 1,201 other moving violations.

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BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club welcomes Dan Farfaglia

Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club Member Char Purchas from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduces special guest Daniel Farfaglia during a recent club meeting. Purchas invited Farfaglia to speak to a group of her peers and parents about closed captioning devices that enable movie-goers who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy an evening at the cinema.
Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club Member Char Purchase from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduces special guest Daniel Farfaglia during a recent club meeting. Purchas invited Farfaglia to speak to a group of her peers and parents about closed captioning devices that enable movie-goers who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy an evening at the cinema.

If a person is deaf or hearing impaired, taking in a movie at the local cinema may not be the most ideal way to spend an evening.

Many deaf and hearing impaired movie-goers, such as the members of the Oswego County BOCES Deaf/Hard of Hearing Club, find that closed-captioned showings are offered at non-peak hours or are not offered for every movie in the theater, limiting their movie selection.

That is until club member Char Purchase from the Mexico Academy and Central School District introduced her fellow club members to Daniel Farfaglia at a recent meeting.

Purchase invited Farfaglia to speak to the group about new closed captioning glasses that allow a deaf or hearing-impaired person such as himself to read captioning during a movie.

A product of SONY, Farfaglia explained how the glasses stream the movie’s dialogue onto the lenses and that the glasses are currently available at Regal theaters in the central New York area.

The Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Club is in its third year at OCB. OCB staff members consisting of teachers of the deaf, interpreters, speech/language therapists, counselors, and audiologists provide professional support during club meetings and special guests, such as Farfaglia, are invited to share essential resources and information to support the growth and independence of youth who are deaf or hearing impaired.

The club provides student-members with an opportunity to socialize with their peers, organize outreach projects that benefit their local communities, and participate in fun and educational-based learning activities.

For parent-members, the club gives them an opportunity to engage in open conversations about the joys, successes, and challenges of raising a child who is deaf and/or hard of hearing.