Tag Archives: Carol Thompson


Author’s book to be released February 14

Pictured is the cover of Carol Thompson’s first novel, “To Catch a Firefly,” which will be published Feb. 14. The story takes place circa 1960 in the fictional town of Elm Grove, N.Y., which is modeled after Elm Grove, Wisc.

by Andrew Henderson

Carol Thompson’s book, “To Catch a Firefly,” is slated to be released Feb. 14

The story takes place circa 1960 in the fictional town of Elm Grove, N.Y., which is modeled after Elm Grove, Wisc.

The story takes readers through the journey of nine-year-old Genevive Pearce, an innocent child who accidentally becomes caught in the political wrangling of two prominent families in Elm Grove.

“It’s very exciting to see the book in print but it’s also been a lot of hard work, particularly the last two months,” Thompson said. “Each editing pass-through required me to proofread and it was time consuming.”

Thompson, a reporter for The Valley News, said the final edit pass-though and proofreading was completed by Connie Berry, a former associate editor of The Valley News, who now resides in Massachusetts.

“Connie has a sharp eye for picking up the small errors such as an extra space between a word and a period or comma and she gave the manuscript the extra polish that it needed,” Thompson said. “My protagonist lived in the south until age eight, and the punctuation of the dialect was difficult, especially when the dialog was lengthy. It took a long time and several sets of eyes to be sure every apostrophe was in the correct place.”

The cover art was created by CLK-Design of the UK and Mary Manchin, a student at Syracuse University, designed the cover.

Thompson said only when she saw the cover did the book seem real.

“I had the book galley, without a cover or title page, and after a while it just looked like words on pages,” she said. “When the cover was added, it hit me that it’s a real book.”

Thompson credited her family and friends for supporting her throughout the process.

“I don’t know what I’d do without their support,” she said. “My friends knew the right times to drag me away to go out to dinner or on a road trip. I found that everywhere we went and everything we did would bring and idea for another book.”

Thompson said she’s been working on a non-fiction book about her experiences as a news reporter. “Over the years, many people have asked me to write a book about all the goings-on that went unreported,” she said. “I have quite a bit of it completed and I’ve just begun another fiction book based on a recent adventure with friends.”

Thompson said she and her friends took a recent Sunday road trip to the Finger Lakes area.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397 

County offices return to regular office schedule

by Carol Thompson

Most Oswego County government offices have returned to regular office hours following scheduling changes for the summer.

According to Legislature Clerk Wendy Falls, the office of the county clerk is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the office of the county attorney is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Building and Grounds department, the legislature and the treasurer’s office are now open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The highway department remains closed on Fridays through October. The office is open Monday through Thursday.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397


Valley News reporter’s first novel to be published next year

Valley News reporter Carol Thompson’s first novel is due for publication in late February.

Her book, “To Catch a Firefly,” is under cover design by Chicago-based artist Tanya Pshenychny.

The story takes place in the 1960s in the fictional town of Elm Grove, N.Y., which is modeled after Elm Grove, Wisc.

“I wanted a fictional location but I also wanted the charm and character of Elm Grove because I’ve always felt the village had the perfect backdrop for a novel,” Thompson said.

The story takes readers through the journey of 10-year-old Genevive Pearce, a spirited child who accidentally becomes caught in the political wrangling of two prominent families in Elm Grove.

Her father is the publisher of the local newspaper during a time when the families are battling for political control.

As well as innocently becoming tangled in the political feud, the protagonist must cope with her own personal losses, including the death of her brother.

The novel came about as somewhat of a fluke. Thompson had written the manuscript for another story and her agent told her to begin the second novel and complete at least six chapters.

“I had struggled with the first novel for a couple years because the switch from writing fact to fiction wasn’t easy,” she said. “I cringed when I was told I had to begin a second novel because of the time it took to write the first.”

Thompson said her agent told her to draw from within herself and write as if she was addressing only one person, not a large group of people, something that would come much easier.

It did become much easier when Thompson remembered the stories a high school friend had told her on a stormy night.

“I had a friend in my teen years who was quite the character,” she said. “One night, while trying to drive through a storm, I stopped at his house to wait it out. His mom insisted I stay the night and we were up all night talking. He told me all sorts of scary and funny stories and I had never forgotten them.

“I used those stories as a stepping off point,” she continued. “I put all of my friend’s tales down on paper and let the story evolve around them.”

Thompson said that with her friend’s stories down on paper, the writing flowed and she was able to complete approximately 2,000 words per day.

“I dedicated two hours of each day to write,” she said.

It was decided to publish the second novel first. Having lost contact with her friend for nearly 30 years, she reconnected with him to be sure it was okay to use his stories.

“He laughed because he couldn’t believe I remembered them,” Thompson said. “He was, and still is, the kind of friend who can make you laugh when your feeling down and Genevive needed a friend like that.”

Genevive and her friend, who is modeled after Thompson’s friend, become the focal points of the political upheaval in the town and in the end, the two children teach the adults a lesson in life.

“No matter what tragedies and loss we experience in our lives, we’ve never really lost anything,” Thompson said. “As Walt Whitman said so eloquently in his poem Continuities, nothing is ever really lost or can be lost, the embers left from earlier flames remain. Each of us has a history and that cannot be taken away, not through separation or death.”

That is the lesson Genevive and her friend teach to the townsfolk of Elm Grove and it is one Thompson said she hopes the reader will take away as well.

Once the cover design is complete, an exact release date will be announced and Thompson plans to unveil the book in Oswego and Elm Gove, Wisc.

It will be available in both hard copy and digital formats.

Public hearing to be held on change to Workers’ Compensation

by Carol Thompson

Residents will have an opportunity to comment on changes to the Worker’s Compensation plan when the Oswego County Legislature meets tomorrow.

The plan covers all municipalities, however, the changes will impact some agencies.

School districts will be removed as will volunteer ambulance. The new policy will change the manner in which volunteer fire departments are assessed

Under the new policy, if approved, a claims committee would be formed consisting of three county representatives and two elected representatives.

The new plan also provides penalty provisions and allows the county to bill directly.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Legislators consider hiring firm to assist with employee retention

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Health and Human Services Committee will consider a proposal from Core Skills, True Impact in the amount of $9,200 to assist with the retention of employees in the county Health Department’s nursing services.

The county has seen a significant turn over of staff, especially registered nurses. The high turnover has been attributed to a lower salary than other entities offer.

If approved, the company will conduct an employee satisfaction assessment through interviews with 22 clinical staff and five supervisors. The company will then be required to analyze the results and provide both a written and oral summary to managers and staff as well as provide 20 hours of training for specific groups with the goal of improving staff satisfaction and retention.

Only one other bid was received. SUNY Oswego submitted a proposal for $15,000.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

County redistricting begins

by Carol Thompson

The redistricting committee for the Oswego County Legislature met for the first time Tuesday.

The five Republican, one Democrat committee mapped out a plan for redrawing legislative district lines.

There are several districts that have either too many or too few residents.

Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 fall within the appropriate population range.

Districts 7 (Mexico), 8 (Palermo), 9 (Central Square) and 10 (Phoenix) are over the allowed population variance and 11 and 12 are within the allowance.

Districts 13 (Mexico) and 14 (Oswego) are under the allowed variance and Districts 15 and 16 are within the appropriate population range. District 17 (Oswego) is under the allowed variance and Districts 18 and 19 are within the allowance. The population of District 20 (Town of Oswego) is over the allowance and Districts 21 (Hannibal), 22 (Fulton and Granby) and 23 (Granby) are under the allowed variance.

Districts 24 and 25 are within the appropriate range.

Legislator Jim Oldenburg, who represents District 14, has the lowest population at 4,322 while Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley, who represents District 9, has the highest at 5,635. The average population per district should be 4,884.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397 

No order issued in clerk case

by Carol Thompson

The plaintiff and his lawyer in a case against the Oswego County Clerk have yet to receive the judge’s decision and order.

Aaron Smith of APS Information Services, the plaintiff, said his lawyer Scott Chatfield has received the transcript of the hearing held last month, however, the order is pending as of press time.

Chatfield said the Article 78 proceeding filed against Oswego County Clerk George Williams has been dismissed by Oswego County Supreme Court Judge Norman Seiter.

Smith said he intends to appeal Seiter’s decision, however, cannot do so until the order has been received.

The lawsuit was filed to challenge Williams’ charging of a fee for criminal record searches. The lawsuit contended that criminal records are public records and should be made available for public searches free of charge.

At issue, Chatfield said, is whether Williams, when charging the fee, is acting as the clerk of the court or the county clerk.

“The judge said he didn’t think it was appropriate for him to tell Mr. Williams how to run his office,” Chatfield said.

“The county clerk never contested the fact that the public is entitled to the information that is otherwise not protected by law,” he added, noting that the county attorney also has never taken the position that the public is not entitled to see the information.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

View From The Fourth Floor: June 20, 2012

by Carol Thompson

June is Dairy Month and it was only fitting that the unofficial dairy queen be in attendance at Thursday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature.

Former legislator Barbara Brown, who retired at the end of last year, attended the meeting as the legislature declared June as Dairy Month.

Although introduced as the dairy queen to laughter, she said she is only a dairy princess.

Brown received a standing ovation.

*  *  *  *  *

The legislature honored Norma Church for her many years of service to the county.

Church said she wasn’t sure how many years she has been with the county but noted that it was around 40, perhaps 37 or 38 years.

“We don’t know because they couldn’t find the records,” she quipped.

The wife of the late Frank Church, who served many years in the legislature, and the mother of County Administrator Phil Church, said she had started before they both did.

*  *  *  *  *

G. Ray Bodley High School Envirothon team was recognized by the legislature for winning the recent event.

It’s the ninth consecutive year the Bodley team has won the county Envirothon.

Teams from high schools in Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Hannibal, Fulton, Oswego and Pulaski competed at the North Shore Sportsmen’s Association in Constantia answering questions and solving problems in aquatics, current issues, forestry, soils and wildlife.

The students completed an oral presentation submitted on videotape which also was scored by the judges.

Competitors of the Fulton team included Maddy Clark, Cody Richardson, Alyssa Scruton, Janelle Tallents and Amanda Trombly.

*  *  *  *  *

Outgoing county Health Director Dr. Dennis Norfleet was also recognized for his years of service to the county.

Retired highway employee Mark Bailey was recognized as well as Jeanne Chesnut of the Office of the Aging and Addie Dolbear of the Department of Social Services.

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397