Poetry workshop planned at Fulton library

April is National Poetry Month and the Fulton Library is having a celebration.

In partnership with local writer Jim Farfaglia, the library will offer a four-week class titled “Celebrating Poetry!” This free program will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the four Saturdays in April: April 5, 12, 19 and 26.

“We are excited to offer this program for poets and for those who are interested in learning more about poetry,” said Betty Mauté, director of the Fulton Library.

“The program, planned by Jim, is designed to be welcoming and relaxed. There is no previous writing experience needed to participate. We’ve even scheduled each class to run through the lunch hour and are encouraging participants to bring a bagged lunch.

“While sharing a meal (the library will provide beverages), Jim will share poetry and encourage the class to explore their thoughts and feelings about a variety of poems,” she said.

“I want this class to inspire people who normally might not consider poetry, including both the more classically famous, as well as some of the newer nontraditional poets,” said Farfaglia. “I also want to encourage people to try their hand at writing and to know that there are no hard-and-fast rules in poetry. It’s just about listening to your heart.”

The class is being provided at no cost due to the success of last year’s Fulton Memoir Project.

“The book sales from the collection of 41 memoirs written by Fultonians have given the library a fund to provide writing programs such as Celebrating Poetry,” added Mauté.

Participants should be 18 years or older or a teenager accompanied by an adult. Seating is limited and those interested should call 592-5159 for more information and to reserve your spot.

Scotsman employee to conduct book signing

Elizabeth Marie Fortune poses with her newly released book, “Shhh, Quiet, Listen: What Do You Hear When You Listen for God?”  Photo by Elizabeth Stassi
Elizabeth Marie Fortune poses with her newly released book, “Shhh, Quiet, Listen: What Do You Hear
When You Listen for God?”
Photo by Elizabeth Stassi

By Ashley M. Casey 

Oswego native Elizabeth Marie Fortune will be signing copies of her first children’s book, “Shhh, Quiet, Listen: What Do You Hear When You Listen for God?” at the Connection Point in Oswego on April 5.

The picture book follows a little girl named Faith and her journey to listen to God in everyday life, whether she is at school with her friends or spending time with her grandparents.

Fortune,  a customer service representative with the Scotsman Media Group’s  commercial printing department, now lives in Camillus with her husband, William, and their 7-year-old daughter, Erin. She published the book through Inspiring Voices, an Indiana-based publishing company that specializes in spiritual literature.

Fortune began writing the book in 2009 while at home with Erin and found that many of the books she read to her daughter lacked a spiritual message.

“I started reading books and I saw there was a need for this type of book,” Fortune said. “As Erin was getting older, that’s when the concept came about because I saw how kids are really busy.”

Fortune said part of the book’s message is to take time from one’s busy day to be thankful.

“I’m also hoping that the book will open up a dialogue with parents and their children to start talking about God and how important it is to think about God each day,” she said. “Hopefully, the book will help children connect with God.”

Fortune said the process of creating the book was “really exciting.”

“When you see it, you just see your manuscript on two pages of paper. It’s so exciting to finally see it come together,” she said. Fortune worked closely with an illustrator from Inspiring Voices to create the finished product.

“Every page on the book is directed by me — every scene, color schemes … That was exciting, to see your vision come to life.”

The hardest part of the process for Fortune was time management, balancing life as a working mother with writing the book. She said her husband and daughter both have been involved in the process.

“He’s been so supportive regarding time management. He’s actually helping me with marketing my book (and) handling the business end of things. So therefore it’s a family endeavor,” Fortune said.

Fortune is looking to expand distribution of “Shhh, Quiet, Listen,” and the book is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. “I’m working on plans now, reaching out to different outlets for the book, not just locally, but regionally and nationally,” Fortune said.

She added she plans to write a series of religious children’s books to follow “Shhh, Quiet, Listen.”

Fortune will be signing copies of “Shhh, Quiet, Listen” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Saturday, April 5, at the Connection Point, 198 W. First St., Oswego. The Connection Point will have copies of the book for sale during and after Saturday’s book signing. To learn more about the Connection Point, call 216-6455 or visit theconnectionpt.com and facebook.com/theconnectionpoint.

Pratt House opens for season today

The Pratt House in Fulton is open for the 2014 season.

During the winter, a remarkable job was done transforming the first floor of the Pratt House Museum, located at 177 S. First St., Fulton, into a toy store of sorts. Toys from the 1800s up to about 1970 are on display.

Visitors will be transported back to a time when fun was careening down a hill on a “gravity racer,” playing a board game with friends, or pretending you were a mama tending to her baby. This is a wonderful display, filled with a lot of love.

Who among us wouldn’t like to go back to a time when the only worry we had was what we were going to play with when the sun came up!

The Pratt House is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning today, April 2 through December 2014. Call if you want to come in on a Saturday. For more information or to arrange a tour, call 598-4616.

Chronic wasting disease not found in NYS deer

Testing of more than 2,500 samples of deer statewide found no deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week.

CWD continues to pose a threat to New York’s wild white-tailed deer as Pennsylvania discovered CWD in both captive white-tailed deer and wild, free-ranging white-tailed deer in 2012.

Since 2002, DEC annually has tested hunter-harvested white-tailed deer for CWD. The last confirmed case of CWD in New York was in 2005.

Public reporting of sick and abnormal deer throughout the year is also important because these animals are collected and tested for CWD.

DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit conducts full necropsies (animal autopsy) to determine the source of illness or cause of death on many species, including deer.

In 2012, DEC revised the state CWD surveillance program to include information on population density, deer age and sex, and risk factors, including border counties with Pennsylvania.  The goal was to collect samples from the highest risk areas.  For further details on the initiation and timeline of DEC’s CWD surveillance program, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/33220.html.

Fulton girls’ softball team wants a sectional championship

 By Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls’ varsity softball team is preparing to begin its season with great expectations.

After playing in the sectional quarterfinals and semifinals the last two seasons, not only do the Lady Raiders want to qualify for sectional play but they want to win a Sectional championship.

Coach Derek Lyons said his team has been playing together for a long time. With the improvement that they have shown along the way, he hopes to see his team qualify for the state playoffs.

Fulton is expected to be amongst the most experienced teams in Section 3 this season. The team will feature seven seniors and two juniors who have seen a lot of playing time over the past few seasons.

Lyons said his nine experienced players know what it takes to have a successful season. The seniors are Maureen McCann, Hannah Jones, Anna Guernsey, Mikayla Guernsey, Caitlin Chrisman, Kassidy Kearns and Keisha Pierce.

The juniors wth experience are Cheyenne Laun and Courtney Parker. These players are joined by fellow juniors Jessica Marvin and Katelyn Ely along with sophomore Casey Jones.

The Lady Raiders began practice in early March. Lyons expected them to be in pretty good physical condition when practices began and his team obliged.

Lyons said most of his players were in good physical condition because they took part in winter sports.

But Lyons said softball is a sport that relies on reaction a lot more than other sports. Developing reaction time was a big part of the first couple weeks of practice.

The players who didn’t participate a winter sport prepared for the season by taking part in open gyms and working hard in the weight room. Lyons feels every player could run the bases in a solid time.

However, the climate has limited the team’s outdoor training time. Lyons said even though his team appears to be in good shape, they will still be challenged when the time comes to adjust to running outdoors.

Fulton won’t have captains in a traditional sense this season. For the most part, Lyons expects to recognize his nine experienced players as leadership figures on a rotating basis. These players will be recognized based their work ethic and how they handle adversity and Lyons hopes the  Lady Raiders benefit from the experienced players’ ability to lead by example.

The Lady Raiders will face a challenging schedule this season. A team they beat last season, Jamesville-DeWitt, is expected to be equally as tough this season.

Lyons hopes his team can continue to build off of the experience of winning against such a good team. East Syracuse Minoa is expected to be equally as challenging for Fulton.

Both Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse Minoa are expected to benefit from strong pitching this season. Lyons also said Mexico, Cortland and Homer will be solid teams this season and be tough outings for the Lady Raiders.

The biggest strength Fulton expects to have this season is the leadership abilities that its experienced players bring to the table. The Lady Raiders also hope to get on base at a solid percentage. There are six players with .400 averages in hitting.

Fulton expects to have a fast and aggressive offense. Lyons said a hard-hitting offense equates to a lot of wins. He also expects the returning pitchers to be ready to preserve a lead their hard hitting teammates create.

Oswego County fishing is focus of TV show

Submitted by Oswego County Tourism

“Outdoor Passion” television host and producer Ray Carignan’s enthusiasm for fishing is contagious, and viewers will get a glimpse of the phenomenal brown trout fishing Carignan experienced in Oswego County on “The Early Summer Brown Trout Run in Oswego County” airing in April on the World Television Network.

Carignan, host of the Montreal-based “Outdoor Passion” weekly television series, fished with Capt. Kevin Keller of Fishchopper Charters last June out of Mexico Bay.

The episode will air on the World Fishing Network at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5; at noon and 9 p.m.  Thursday, April 10; and at 2 a.m. Friday April 11.

“If you love early summer brown trout fishing, you must watch this show,” said Carignan. “Fishing for big brown trout is a challenge. They are smart.”

The group caught their limit both days trolling for mid-depth brown trout with  Keller off Mexico Bay.

“This world class fishery is full of excitement and fun – a great family outing,” said Keller.

Carignan and his cameraman, Claude Roulleau, also visited the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, Salmon River Falls and Sandy Island Beach on their visit to Oswego County, where they were hosted by Wally and Cheryl Kimmel, owners of Catfish Creek Fishing Camps.

“Outdoor Passion” has received numerous awards, including eight “Golden Moose” awards for best outdoor series in North America.

For additional information on the show, visit http://www.outdoorpassion.tv/schedule.html.

For Oswego County fishing conditions and visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386).

Fulton Lions Club comedy night April 25

The Fulton Lions Club will host its “The Mane Event” comedy night with nationally known comedian Tom Anzalone at 8 p.m. Friday April 25, 8:00 p.m. at the Fulton Polish Home, said Don Labarge, Fulton Lions president.

“In addition to Tom Anzalone, we’ll also have comedians Grant Fletcher and Steven Rogers in what is sure to be a fun, entertaining night for all,” Labarge said. “Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.”

Advance sale tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Devine Designs, Fulton and The Fulton Medicine Place.  The ticket donation is $15 per person at the door and tables of 10 may also be purchased in advance for $175 each.

State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

To say Fort Drum is a significant part of Central and Northern New York is an understatement.

Home to the 10th Mountain Division — the Army’s most deployed infantry group — Fort Drum is our state’s biggest single-site employer with 18,000 soldiers and 4,000 civilian workers.

Last year, the post had a $1.4 billion impact on our state’s economy. And perhaps most importantly, the post is home to 38,000 soldiers and family members — our friends, co-workers and defenders of our freedom.

Recently, I hosted “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day” at the State Capitol. This was the third year for the special event, held to honor our troops and their contributions to our region and our country.

The day included Fort Drum’s Color Guard opening up the Senate Session, which also featured an address by  Brig. Gen. Michael Howard, who spoke on behalf of Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is serving in Afghanistan.

In addition, my colleagues and visitors to the Capitol were also given the opportunity to learn about our troops through displays hosted by the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization and Fort Drum soldiers.

The troops and Fort Drum supporters who were able to attend the event reminded my colleagues and me of the hundreds of thousands men and women who volunteer to serve and defend our nation.  They also served to remind us of how critical Fort Drum is not only to our region but also to the entire state and country.

The 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day represents just one way I’m working to make sure the men and women of our Armed Forces get the recognition they deserve.

Recently, I announced that I am once again accepting nominations for the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame” program. The Hall of Fame pays tribute to New Yorkers who have served their country in the US Armed Forces and made significant contributions to their communities.

Each state Senator can induct one veteran annually, who will be honored at a special ceremony in Albany May 20. All nominees from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties will be recognized locally at an event to be held at Ft. Drum on May 15.

If you would like to nominate a veteran from Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence County for the program, visit my website to download a nomination form or call  782-3418 to have one mailed to you. Nominations must be received by April 20.

Our troops make so many sacrifices and I’m proud, as well as humbled to be given the opportunity to recognize them. If you know a veteran who has gone above and beyond to serve his or her country and community, I encourage you to nominate them for this special program.

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