Mary Pluff

PluffMary Pluff, 86, of Fulton died peacefully Aug. 22, 2015 at Pontiac Care and Rehabilitation Center, Oswego. Mrs. Pluff was born in Fulton, N.Y., to the late Leo and Menta (Ellis) Besaw. She remained a lifetime resident of Fulton. Mrs. Pluff was past employed with the Fulton Woolen Mill and she was a 14-year employee with General Electric, Syracuse.  Mrs. Pluff was a member of the Grace Bible Church, the Fulton Moose Lodge and the Volney Senior Citizens.
She was predeceased by her husband Glenn Pluff in 2000; two infant children, Baby Pluff and Glenn Pluff Jr.; and two brothers William Besaw and Leonard Besaw. Mrs. Pluff is survived by her sisters Dorothy Green of Palermo and Carol (Mark) Wilcox of Phoenix; special nephew Gary Pluff; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., with Rev. Rick Sivers officiating. Burial will be held in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Volney, N.Y. Calling hours were Thursday at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. 2nd St. S. Fulton.

Hunter Arms Homecoming weekend is almost here

Organizers are getting ready for this year's Hunter Arms Homecoming, which will be held this weekend at the John Wells Pratt House and Pathfinder Fish & Game Club.
Organizers are getting ready for this year’s Hunter Arms Homecoming, which will be held this weekend at the John Wells Pratt House and Pathfinder Fish & Game Club.
Courtesy of the John Wells Pratt House Museum

Last year we challenged you with a trivia game about the Hunter Arms Factory and the L.C. Smith shotguns. This year, we have added a few more questions…

Why are we doing this? To get you ready for the Hunter Arms Homecoming weekend on August 21 and 22, held at the John Wells Pratt House Museum on West First Street in Fulton, N.Y.

Q: What is an anti side lock?

A: If you said how your Aunt locked her side door, you would be wrong. It is the unique locking device on the L.C. Smith guns that kept them shooting accurately.

Q. What is a lunch box special?

A: If you said your Roy Rogers lunch box, you would be wrong. It was a unique gun made by the workers at the Hunter Arms plant, assembled from mismatched parts. They were common in the Fulton area.

Q. How do you know if you have a lunch box special or an authentic one?

A: All authentic guns have internal matching serial numbers.

Q. How do you know if your gun comes from the Hunter Arms factory?

A. The guns have “Fulton” stamped on the barrel.

Q: What do kids and guns have in common?

A: They both get grades.

Q: What is 8,10, 12, 16, 20 and .410?

A. Yes they are all even numbers, but they are also gauges for shotguns.

Q: What is “side by side” and “over and under”?

A. If you answered kids’ games, you would be wrong. They are styles of gun barrels. Both were used by guns made at the Hunter Arms factory.

Q: What do Dodge, General Motors and Chrysler have in common?

A. Yes they are all cars, but all had top employees who owned L.C. Smith Guns.

Q: Who are Rich Beyer and Andy Anderson

A. If you answered two marksmen and collectors who did much to support the L.C. Smith Association, and who will be missed by the association, you are absolutely correct.

Interested in learning more about L.C. Smith shotguns and the Hunter Arms Homecoming weekend? Contact Les Weldin at weldinj@gmail; Sue Lane at; Karen O’Brien at or call the John Wells Pratt House at 315-598-4616.

Two injured, antique car smashed in collision

A crash involving three vehicles left two people injured and severely damaged an antique car in Fulton Saturday morning. The collision happened around 10:37 a.m. along state Route 481 near Burt Street, in front of McDonald's. According to Fulton police, three vehicles were involved in the crash, including one 1923 Ford (model unknown) which sustained serious damages. The crash left two people with injuries, police said, one of whom was in the antique car. Details on those injuries were not available by press time Monday, however, police said they were not believed to be life threatening. Police said tickets will likely be issued.  Roxanne Seeber photo
A crash involving three vehicles left two people injured and severely damaged an antique car in Fulton Saturday morning. The collision happened around 10:37 a.m. along state Route 481 near Burt Street, in front of McDonald’s. According to Fulton police, three vehicles were involved in the crash, including one 1923 Ford (model unknown) which sustained serious damages. The crash left two people with injuries, police said, one of whom was in the antique car. Details on those injuries were not available by press time Monday, however, police said they were not believed to be life threatening. Police said tickets will likely be issued.
Roxanne Seeber photo

Second year of dredging underway on Lake Neatahwanta

 Dredging is underway in the lake behind the Knapp farm in Granby. Matt Reitz photo

Dredging is underway in the lake behind the Knapp farm in Granby.
Matt Reitz photo
By Matthew Reitz

The city of Fulton and the town of Granby are both moving ahead with the dredging of Lake Neatahwanta this month.
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said efforts in the city could begin as early as Friday, and Chairman of the Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee Ed Williamson said the dredging operation in Granby is already underway.
Woodward said Groh Dredging and Marine Construction, the same contractor used last year, will be arriving with the dredge as early as Friday to begin setting up. Woodward said it will take a few days to get situated, but sediment removal could resume as early as next week.
He said the ongoing efforts were “a good thing,” and the lake is now closer to becoming a more useful part of the community.
“What we did last year made a big difference in the water quality in that area,” Woodward said. “If we continue, it will only improve it further.”
Local officials believe the 750-acre lake can once again be a valuable recreational resource for the city and town.
The water was deemed unsafe by the Oswego County Health Department nearly three decades ago, but officials believe removing the sediment will open the flow of freshwater springs that feed the lake and restore the water quality.
The dredging efforts in Fulton and Granby each secured state funding last year, and community fundraising efforts have also been successful. Williamson said he was “so proud” of the people that continue to support the effort.
He said collections at Mimi’s Drive-in and NBT Bank, along with several large donations of both money and services continue to help move the project forward.
The Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Corporation — which administers Fulton’s portion of the project — began work last September after awarding the project to Illinois-based Groh.
In just two months, the dredging effort in the city was able to remove more than 20,000 cubic yards of sediment.
Rather than hire a contractor, the Granby operation — The Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee — opted to purchase the equipment and conduct the work with volunteers.
Williamson said the on shore infrastructure is now functional, but not totally completed. He said there was a “storage trailer set up down there,” and one of the collection pits is finished with a second in the works.
Earlier this month, Kansas City-based Geo Form International, the manufacturer of the equipment, trained several volunteers in Granby. Williamson said those individuals will train the remaining volunteers, and so far two volunteers have been training each week.
He said there are around 25 people that have expressed interest in helping, and volunteers will also have the option to take a water safety course conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Williamson said he expects to have enough volunteers trained to begin steady work in a couple of weeks.
“By the end of the month we should have a daily schedule set up,” he said.

Granby town board weighs options for snow plows

By Matthew Reitz

The Granby Town Board discussed plans for the upcoming snow plowing season and auctioning of old highway department trucks, equipment and supplies at Wednesday’s meeting.
Town Supervisor Ed Williamson said the board received a “snow truck analysis report” from DeLong Enterprises, and the results lead Williamson to suggest the town put two snow trucks on the website Auctions International.
The trucks are model years 1992 and 1997, and are “rusted out completely” from sitting outside and in the grass over the years, Williamson said. He said the analysis red flagged a 2005 snow truck as well “because it had a broken tie rod,” but when the town fixes that issue it will have four working snow trucks.
Williamson said the Oswego County Highway Department provided him with pricing on rental equipment, and the town could use a 10-wheel plow truck for $1,945 per month. The board debated the advantages of purchasing a truck versus renting the equipment from the county. Williamson said the cost of renting a truck from the county for 10 years was comparable to the estimated $220,000 cost of a new truck.
Councilor Lori Blackburn pointed out that if they purchase a vehicle it would last longer than 10 years. She said the town currently has a 2001 truck on the road right now.
Blackburn also asked if the town was responsible for maintenance, and what would happen if a rental truck broke down. Williamson said the town was responsible for maintaining the vehicle, but if it broke down the county would bring in a replacement.
“It seems too good to be true,” Blackburn said.
Deputy Supervisor John Snow said the town could rent the trucks by the month, and doesn’t need to always have a backup on hand.
“We don’t need five trucks for 12 months of the year,” Snow said. “We plow for four months, and if something breaks down we call the county and we borrow a truck.”
Blackburn said the town needed to make plans because men that plow the roads “have to go on call November 1.”
Snow said the town would not be able to get a new truck before November, so they should plan on renting equipment from the county if they need a backup this winter.
Snow said the town would have to come up with $47,000 a year for the next five years if they wanted a new truck.
“You’re going to have to find $47,000 and raising taxes is not the answer,” Snow said.
The board did not produce a formal plan for a backup truck, and tabled the issue.
The board also delayed a decision on signing the county highway department’s snow and ice agreement. Frazier-Hartle said she wanted to table the issue because she noticed there were many differences from last year.
“I’d like to table this motion until we can discuss this at a work session,” Frazier-Hartle said. “There are changes and I’ve got questions—and I know there are other people that have questions.”
The town discussed putting two plow trucks, a wood chipper, v-plows and a pallet of crack sealer on Auctions International, but Highway Superintendent Robert Phillips said he would like to get an idea of what the wood chipper is worth before it goes to auction, because it’s in good shape and doesn’t have “a whole lot of hours.”
“If we put it on there I think we ought to have a reserve on there just to make sure we get a decent price,” Phillips said.
He said the report from DeLong said the cabs, the engines, the running gears and everything are good in the trucks, but he said the town should try to get rid of them as soon as possible while they’re still worth something. Phillips recommended the board hold off on making a resolution until he gets a better idea of the value of the items.
In other news, the United Stated Department of Agriculture approved funding for upcoming water service area 6A. Williamson said some funding details still need to be finalized, but the engineers are working on the drawings and the project is moving forward.

FCSD to select alternate capital projects with leftover funds

By Mathew Reitz

Two Fulton City School District capital projects coming to completion have come in under budget, and the district will look to pursue further improvements with the leftover funds.
An $8.8 million capital project that was approved in 2012 and a $4.4 million project approved in 2014 did not cost as much as the district had planned for, and School Board President David Cordone said the district will use the additional funds to make more upgrades.
“The work came in favorably, and we’re going to be able to do more than we were anticipating,” Cordone said.
The board will consider a series of alternate projects before further work is commissioned.
The $4.4 million 2014 project is currently on schedule, according to Director of Facilities Jerry Seguin. A gym floor replacement and a new storage building at the athletic facilities have already been completed, and contractors are putting the finishing touches on roof replacements at Granby and Lanigan elementary schools.
Seguin said the membrane on both roofs was “completely installed,” and contractors were currently installing edge metal and ice guards.
There are also still some skylights that need to be installed in the gym at Lanigan, but Seguin said they should be in by the end of the week.
He said paving at Granby was beginning on schedule and should be completed next week.
Superintendent Bill Lynch said the work throughout the district “has proceeded well this summer.”
One of the final components of the 2014 project will be the replacement of locks on classrooms and offices throughout the district. Officials say the doors must currently be locked from outside the classroom, which they say is not ideal for safety.
Seguin said the hardware began arriving this week, and crews will immediately begin the installation.
Another small project driven by security concerns at G. Ray Bodley High School incorporates the mailroom into an existing office space. Seguin said the nearly completed project is a much better use of the space and improves security within the office.
Improvements to parking lots, sidewalks and access roads throughout the district have also been a priority this summer.
Seguin said “all the pavement” at Volney Elementary was resealed and repainted, and some paving was done on the south end of the high school. Access roads at the athletic complex and behind the junior high have been revamped, and Seguin said he hopes the district will “get a few more years out of that material” before it needs to be replaced.
A sign donated by the booster club is also expected to be installed at the athletic complex before school begins.
Major components of the 2012 project included the replacement of the stage curtain; lighting and rigging at the Education Center; a partial roof replacement at G. Ray Bodley High School; technology upgrades and new computer facilities at both Fairgrieve and Volney elementary schools; security upgrades, asbestos abatement, ceiling tile/grid replacement, removal of classroom lockers and new ductwork/relief fans at Fairgrieve; and a partial roof replacement at Volney.

Jean Gannon Sloan

Jean SloanJean Gannon Sloan went home to be with the Lord on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 at her home with family and friends at her side.
She was born in Oswego on May 15, 1921, and was a graduate of Hannibal High School. Jean received a scholarship at Syracuse University in literature, but due to the economy she chose to continue her education at a secretarial school.
Jean was predeceased by her husband, James D. Sloan, and her brothers and sisters, Marian, Joseph, Silvia, James and William.
Jean is survived by her son, Douglas with wife Debra of Tucson, Ariz.; daughter, Laurel, with husband David Sherman, of Elmira; sister, Joyce Ilinkovich, of Tucson Ariz; along with several nieces and nephews.
She was blessed with wonderful friends that she loved dearly: Gloria Sherman, Nancy Swartwood, Harry and Ethel, Hazel, Joyce Jankowski and a host of friends she met during her winter’s in Tucson, as well as all of her sons and daughters friends whose lives she played a huge part in.
Following Jean’s wishes, there will be no calling hours.
There will be a celebration of Jean’s life on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 from 3-6 p.m. at her home, 905 Mt. Zoar, Elmira.
Those wishing to may make a donation in Jean’s name to the New York State Sheriff’s Association Summer Camp, 27 Elk St., Albany, NY 12207.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Olthof Funeral Home Inc., 1050 Pennsylvania Ave. Elmira, NY. Jean’s guestbook may be signed in obituaries at
The Sloan family wishes to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to the staff at Gentiva and CareFirst as well as Dr. Amr Elsisi and his staff for the care and compassion given to Jean.

Hospital to pay $1.4M settlement for ‘improperly submitted claims’

Staff Report

Oswego Hospital will have to make a $1.4 million repayment to federal and state authorities as part of a settlement over “improperly submitted claims,” hospital officials announced in a prepared statement Thursday.

An internal investigation started in early 2013 into billing practices by independent contractors in the Behavioral Health Services Division (BHS) turned up a wide range of improperly submitted claims, according to the release, forcing the hospital to settle with state and federal authorities to the tune of $1.4 million.

The hospital must pay $890,553 to the federal government — specifically the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services — and $565,904 to the state Office of Medicaid Inspector General in the settlement proposed by the hospital and accepted by all parties.

“We take this matter very seriously,” said Allison Duggan, MD, executive vice president and administrator for Oswego Hospital. “We have been openly communicating and fully cooperating with federal and state officials since the billing discrepancies were discovered.”

The internal investigation started in the summer of 2013 after a question from a patient led to the discovery of “irregularities” in “patient care documentation and the corresponding billing records for Medicare and Medicaid services provided at BHS,” according to a release from the hospital.

The investigation was conducted by Harris Beach PLLC Attorneys of Rochester, who was hired by the hospital.

In a statement from Oswego Health, officials acknowledged the hospital received payment for situations where billing records were “not adequately documented.”

Hospital officials stressed that the psychiatrists providing care at the time were independent contractors, not hospital employees, but the release from the hospital notes that officials “discharged appropriate medical and administrative staff.”

Officials declined to say the names or the total number of those independent contractors involved in the billing irregularities, nor did hospital officials state whether any employees at BHS who were not contractors were terminated or disciplined.

The hospital “took immediate action to add internal controls” when the billing discrepancies were discovered, according to a release.

Hospital officials declined, though, to answer specifically whether controls and reviews had been in place for BHS prior to the investigation, nor did officials answer specifically what new controls were added.

Instead, Duggan stated that “Oswego Hospital maintains significant internal controls that manage the complex and ever-changing federal and state regulations related to reimbursement for health services. Oswego Hospital used this event as an opportunity to strengthen its internal controls at BHS, as well as through the health system.”

Hospital officials also declined to speculate on any future action that could be taken by federal or state authorities. Efforts to speak with state or federal officials were unsuccessful by press time.

The billing situation at BHS — which had a gross billing of more than $50 million during the time frame examined in the investigation — didn’t impact services for patients, according to hospital officials.

The settlement comes at a time of transition for the hospital as Chief Operating Officer Ann Gilpin abruptly announced her retirement on June 30. She had served as C.E.O. since 2007.

According to Duggan, Gilpin had actively supported a resolution to the issue.

“It’s important to note that we did the right thing by contacting the appropriate state and federal agencies with our findings in this matter,” said Duggan

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