Local writers Craig Abbott and Joe Abbate, co-authors of Craig’s autobiography “Classified Terminally Ill: My Story of Beating the Odds” will be speaking at a Call for Writers kick-off event on Sept.13 at 1 p.m. under the Bullhead Point Pavilion, state Route 3, Fulton. Craig will be discussing his connection to the playground at Hulett Park, known as the “C.V. Abbott Memorial Playground,” named after him when he was a baby and not expected to survive. The book chronicles Craig’s life from his birth to the present day as an author and public speaker. As an infant he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type-1 and was anticipated to die before the age of two. He is now in his mid-20s.
The Friends of Fulton Parks is hosting this Call for Writers to author a portion of their upcoming book about Fulton’s city parks. The book will be filled with stories including that of C.V. Abbott, as well as residents’ answers to the question “Why are parks important?”
Editor Jim Farfaglia explains the purpose of the book.
“Just like where we went to school or worked or gathered in faith, our city parks were a part of our growing up. Gathering people’s stories about playing at a neighborhood park, working for the city in summer recreation programs and volunteering to keep the parks looking beautiful helps Fulton continue to be a great place to live,” Farfaglia said.
“We are writing a book celebrating the parks in the past and present, to revitalize them for the future,” said Friends of Fulton Parks board member Kelley Weaver.
Anthony Bellardino, 94, of Oswego died Friday at his home peacefully surrounded by his family. He was born in Oswego the son of the late Luigi and Aniela (Wieliezko) Bellardino. Mr. Bellardino retired in 1980 from the New York Railroads, having worked for NY Central, Conrail, and Penn Central as a conductor and yard foreman for 42 years. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 until 1945 during WWII. Mr. Bellardino was a communicant of St. Joseph Church, St. Joseph Golden Age, Oswego Senior Citizen Group, the Polish Legion of American Veterans, Conservation Corp in Idaho and Selkirk, N.Y. He was very proud of the fact that he built a camp in the town of Orwell with his wife, and their five children.
Mr. Bellardino was predeceased by his wife Mary Meade Bellardino; sons-in-law Ernest Chiarella, Alfred Schwankl; grandson Joey Fenske; granddaughter-in-law Natalie Schwankl; and his sisters Helen Castiglia, Philomena Proppe, and Louise Ardiuni. He is survived by his children Steven (Sam) Bellardino of Boston, Anthony (Donna) Bellardino of New Haven, Antionette Chiarella of Minetto, Christine Schanwkl of Pa., Lorraine (Charles) Fenske of Oswego; sisters Janette Mulcahey of Minetto, Susie (Frank) Fox of Granby, Mary Tremack of Oswego, Nellie Roach of S.D.; 12 grandchildren Lisa (Andrew), Gary (Nicole), Mary Beth (Sean), Christopher, Lisa (Randy) Charles, Travis (Heather), Steward (Melissa), Clinton, Anthony, Alexander, and Angela; 21 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be Friday Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. in St. Joseph Church. Burial will be in Minetto Cemetery. Calling hours will be Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St., Oswego. Family requests in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to friends of Oswego County Hospice.
The rehabilitation of the Broadway Bridge in Fulton should be wrapping up by the end of September, according to the state Department of Transportation
The estimated $12.2 million project, which began a little more than two years ago, was originally expected to be finished by the end of 2013. Transportation department officials say once it’s complete, the rehabilitated bridge, coupled with improvements made to the intersection of state routes 3 and 481 in 2012, will ensure an easy flow of traffic through the city for years to come.
On Friday, DOT spokesperson Gene Cilento said construction should be done by Sept. 30.
The project has entailed replacing the bridge’s entire super-structure, including the steel support beams and concrete deck. Significant repairs its sub-structure, such as the concrete piers and abutments, have also been made. Other parts of the project include the replacement of the short arch span on the bridge’s west side with a pre-cast box unit, new curbing and sidewalks, and a new decorative railing.
When the work is complete, the rehabilitated bridge will consist of two 12-foot travel lanes with two-foot shoulders in each direction, and six-foot-wide sidewalks on each side.
Work still to be done, as of Friday, included curbing and sidewalk installations on the south side of the bridge and the approaches; paving; painting road markings; the removal of the temporary walkways; setting and cleaning the drainage structures; and laying topsoil and grass seed on the embankments and roadside, Cilento said.
According to the DOT, the cost of the project remains mostly on-budget, totaling $12,273,371.
The State Street United Methodist Church in Fulton will be receiving some additional funds to help replace its roof and repair one of its bell towers thanks to the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
The conservancy announced last week that the church will be one of 22 across the state to receive the latest round of Sacred Sites Grants, which are awarded exclusively to historic religious properties.
“Religious institutions anchor their communities,” Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy stated in a release on the grant. “They remind us of our history and provide vital social service and cultural programs today.”
The conservancy awarded State Street UMC the Robert W. Wilson Sacred Sites Challenge Grant of $35,000 to go toward the roof and towers project. This marks the second Sacred Sites Grant the church has received for the project, after being awarded another for $2,250 last spring.
The roof and tower project was born out of a three-year $250,000 capital campaign church officials launched around a year-and-a-half ago. In addition to the roof and towers, the campaign aims to raise funds for things like brick work and repairs to stained glass windows. Lately, though, church officials have found there is more urgency in getting the roof repaired.
“The one bell tower has rotten wood around the windows. It’s imperative that it be repaired. It doesn’t have to be replaced, only repaired. The roof is bad, too. Shingles are being blow off in every wind that we have,” said Barbara Camic, who helps coordinate the campaign. “Last fall, we repaired some leaks for emergency reasons, but there’s still a lot to do.”
Church officials estimate the roof and tower project on its own will cost around $190,000. This week, contractors will be returning bids that will give a more certain figure, Camic said. Of the $190,000, she estimates $70,000 would have to go toward the bell tower. The goal, Camic says, is for the church to line up a contractor quickly and have that work completed by winter.
Raising the money to cover the roof and tower project remains an ongoing effort. The capital campaign kicked off as a private effort among the church and members of its congregation. Camic said parishioners have been making pledges and donations since it all started a year-and-a-half ago. In May, however, church officials went public with the campaign, asking local officials to help publicize the endeavor, and hosting fundraisers to benefit the roof fund.
“State Street has a long history here and has been a pivotal place in this community,” Camic said. “We feel an obligation to fight for this not just for us, but for the community itself.”
Completed in 1894, the church has served a number of roles to the community over the years, Camic said. It was the first to launch a soup kitchen, which has since been taken over by the Salvation Army. In 1918, when a devastating flu epidemic struck the area, leaving the hospitals overwhelmed, State Street UMC opened its doors and began offering beds.
So far, between contributions from the congregation, local fundraising efforts and grant funds, a little more than half of what is needed to get the roof repaired has been raised. But a lot more help is needed, Camic said.
Upcoming roof fund benefits include a hair cutting/bake sale event Thursday beginning at 3 p.m., and a barbecue chicken fundraiser on Sept. 7. beginning at noon. Both events will be held at the church, 357 State St., Fulton.
Dylan Blair lost his life in a car accident on June 17, 2014. A fundraiser is planned in hopes of offsetting some of the family’s funeral expenses. There will be a chicken BBQ for a cost of $10 per dinner. The even will be held from 12 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the Fulton Polish Home. There will also be raffles and a bake sale. Live entertainment will be provided by solo artist Tiger Vickery, Mike MacDonald and DJ Jason Hansmore of CNY Fusion. Chicken dinners will be provided by Fricken Chicken and Dennis Mayo. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Fulton Polish Home.
The Charles E. Riley Elementary School sixth-grade honors assembly provided the opportunity to recognize those students moving on to the Oswego Middle School while at the same time congratulating them for their academic effort.
Along with the presentation of certificates were several individual awards including the “Principal’s American Citizenship Award” presented by CER Principal Dr. Linda Doty to Owen Warner
Doty also presented this year’s Triple “C” Award from the state attorney general for “character, courage and commitment” to Matthew Oldenburg.
Several sixth-graders also were recognized with the Presidential Awards for Excellence and received a certificate signed by President Barack Obama.
Those earning the excellence honors included Megan Albright, Benjamin Caster, Alexandria Delfino, Molly Fitzgibbons, Miranda Gilbert, Olivia Henderson, Kayla Hockey, Sammi Jiang, Colin Li, Rielly Rozyczko, Owen Warner and Jacob Vickery.
Students receiving the “achievement” award included Mackenzi Belson, Leandra Davis, Zachary Kingsley, Matthew Oldenburg, Estie Proano, Kalysha Rourke and Trevor Rousselle.
The sixth-grade class was recognized by Doty as well as their teachers Eric McCrobie and Cindy Farnsworth.
This year’s students advancing to the Oswego Middle School are Megan Albright, Damien Allen, Lillian Alton, James Baker III, Mackenzi Belson, Madison Belson, Matthew Bonnell, Sara Boyzuck, Lauren Briglin, Benjamin Caster, Alexis Centrone, Julissa Davis, Leandra Davis, Christa Delaney, Alexandria Delfino, Logan Engle, Blake Fidler, Molly Fitzgibbons, Haley Gardner, Miranda Gilbert, Olivia Henderson, Jesse Hill Jr., Kayla Hockey, Sammi Jiang, Gabriel Jimenez, Natalya Jimenez, Destiny Kelley and Loretta Kelley.
Also moving on are Zachary Kingsley, Emma Kozel, Katelyn Lagoe, Mia Lamphear, James Lee, Colin Li, Benjamin Martin, Matthew Oldenburg, Deizmend Perez, Joseph Powers, Estie Proano, Kalysha Rourke, Trevor Rousselle, Rielly Rozyczko, Faith Sams, James Tesoriero IV, Grace Verny-Rasmussen, Jacob Vickery, Owen Warner, Jacob Weigand, Gavin Weiss, Anthony Wilson and Tiffany Woods.
Meanwhile, another highlight of the honors ceremony was the dedication of the yearbook to senior custodian Steve Quesnell.
Jim Kennard and fellow shipwreck sleuths Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens were just about ready to give up for the day.
They had been out on Lake Ontario, just off Oswego, sweeping a sonar back and forth like a broom across the bottom of the lake trying to find something. It wasn’t a ship that was their bounty this time, but instead, they were searching for a long lost plane.
“The story stated it was a mile off shore and we surveyed that area,” Kennard said. “But it wasn’t there. We kept making run after run, and nothing.
“It was the last run of the day. The flies were biting us, the sun was beating down on us and we were getting hungry. And then all of a sudden, there it was.”
“It” is an Air Force C-45 that went down off Oswego in 1952. The aircraft had experienced engine trouble near Utica, so the crew and passengers bailed out and left the plane on auto pilot, hoping it would come down in a remote area away from where people lived.
“It’s more than several miles off shore and in deep water,” Kennard said, noting he never divulges exact locations of items he and Pawlowski find in the water.
The plane was on a routine flight from Bedford, Mass. to the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome when the left engine began to fail as it was southeast of Utica. According to a news release from Kennard, the aircraft started to lose altitude about eight miles from Rome. The pilot, Lt. Col. Callahan, thought the plane would soon crash, so he ordered his crew and passengers to parachute.
The three Air Force crew and two civilians landed safely. The plane, which Callahan set on automatic pilot, continued on toward the northwest for more than an hour before it ran out of fuel.
Kennard said news reports at that time in the Oswego Palladium-Times quoted many Oswego residents as having seen the plane flying very low over the Port City. The owner of Rudy’s Lakeside and one of his employees were quoted in one story stating they saw the plane circle out over the lake and then go into the water.
“The story went on for three days,” Kennard said.
With all of the witness accounts, one would think it would be easy to find the plane and that it would have been found long before now. But Kennard said no.
“You’d think so, but it’s hard to judge distances when on shore and looking out into the lake,” he said. So what looked like a mile or so to witnesses actually was numerous miles.
Kennard, Pawlowski and Stevens, all of the Rochester area, have been shipwreck enthusiasts for years. They have found ships that date back more than 230 years. Kennard himself has found more than 200 shipwrecks.
He said this is the third plane he has found. He discovered a Cessna in Lake ONario between Rochester and Niagara in 1980 and found another Cessna in Lake Champlain in XXXX.
“This plane was one of several things on our watch list,” Kennard said.
What surprised the trio most was what fantastic shape the plane is in. Kennard said it had been thought for years that it broke up in so many pieces that it would be nearly impossible to find. But here it was, at the bottom of the lake, in almost perfect condition.
“It was missing the vertical stabilizer in back, the Fiberglas cone from the front and part of the roof,” Kennard said. “The rest is all there.”
The men who were on the plane that day were:
Lt. Col. Charles A. Callahan ,32 Pilot (Monticello, Miss)
Lt. Sam Sharff, 31 (New York City)
Lt. Col. G. S. Lambert (Newport News, Va)
William P. Bethke – civilian technician (near Rome, NY)