Wheelock obtains developer designation

Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist and property manager for Operation Oswego County, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer.

This designation is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The exam for the designation was administered by the International Economic Development Council March 22 and 23 in Alexandria, Va.

“With eight years of economic development experience at Operation Oswego County, Austin has been a major team player in helping to attract companies and expand businesses, encouraging entrepreneurism and providing oversight over the many properties that OOC and the County of Oswego IDA have developed to promote and encourage economic development and job creation,” said L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County and chief executive officer of the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency.

“Some examples include the attraction of K&N’s Foods USA, Champlain Valley Specialties and SAM North America, spearheading the Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition, coordinating activities at the Oswego County Business Expansion Center and the former Oswego County Start-Up Facility (small business incubators) and the development of a series of comprehensive site profiles for critical industrial sites in the county,” Treadwell said.

“We want to congratulate Austin on achieving the CEcD designation,” Treadwell said. “It adds tremendously to the professional credibility that OOC demonstrates in the economic development arena.”

The Certified Economic Developer designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.

Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including  business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, tech-led economic development, and management.

As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.

Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities.  There are 1,046 active
Certified Economic Developers in the United States.

Nuke plant employees help Hospice

Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, owned and operated by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, is once again sponsoring the 15th annual Oswego County Hospice Cup Regatta & Walk/Run for Hope, which takes place Saturday, June 7 at the Oswego Yacht Club/International Marina.

The Friends of Oswego County Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support and relief to hospice patients at a time when they need it most.

In 2013, the organization raised nearly $27,000 and during the past 14 years, the Regatta has raised more than $275,000 to defray costs of non-medical expenses for patients and families, supported the hospice volunteer program and allowed for continued operation of Camp Rainbow of Hope, a free bereavement program for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

“Nine Mile Point is proud of our many employees who volunteer as firefighters and sports coaches, in parent-teacher organizations and a host of other capacities unaffiliated with the company,” said Nine Mile Point Site Vice President Chris Costanzo.

“Volunteerism and contributing to worthy causes are an integral part of the culture at Nine Mile Point,” Costanzo said.

The Nine Mile Community Council evaluates and responds to requests for aid from our surrounding community, focusing primarily on local needs.

Oswego school superintendent discusses budget

Submitted by Oswego schools

Oswego City School District Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey addressed the 2014-15 budget situation during the Tuesday night Board of Education meeting.

He reinforced his comments of an earlier meeting as he indicated there could be a tremendous personnel impact as the result of current revenue and expenditure estimates.

During the past two weeks Halsey, with the cooperation of Business Administrator Nancy Squairs, have met with principals and department heads in an effort to reduce spending and review staffing of each area.

“There has been a significant amount of work done to get to the next level,” he said and there has been about $3.8 million in proposed reductions.

About $329,000 in reductions is not “people related.”

He explained the magnitude of the $3 million gap. Halsey said the common educational formula would provide $1 million for every 15 positions. The reductions from the past two weeks of work amounted to 54 positions.

“Am I asking for 54 positions? No! But that is the magnitude of what we are looking at,” he said.

“This would be fully comprehensive and would run across the district. We are building a budget that benefits everyone,” he said.

Halsey indicated he was aware of the “sky is falling” feeling in the past and is aware this has taken place in the Oswego City School District.

“I am confident in our numbers and the $3 million deficit is real. The revenues have not reached the level that had been projected in a while,” he said.

During the March 25 meeting, Halsey would not release the list of potential reductions. He indicated he promised the various district union officials he would meet with them prior to making the public announcement in order for affected employees to receive the information first.

The budgetary numbers could change depending upon further information about the governor’s budget and final state aid.

Future discussion and research will be conducted on the budget. On April 8, the school board will have its committee meetings followed by an extensive budget workshop.

Those meetings, which are open to the public, will be conducted at the Oswego High School cafeteria beginning at 5 p.m.

The regular Oswego school board meeting on March 25 was brief.

The board:

** Accepted the resignation of Leighton Principal Julie Burger, who is retiring.  She has served as the principal for the school since 2007. She began teaching career at Riley Elementary in 1982 and was also a Teacher on Special Assignment for five years as she was involved with the implementation of the technology program.

** Approved Nancy Simmons-Henderson and Brenda Getman as teaching assistants in Minetto

** Approved Winter Guard Consultants Michael Tierney, Ryan Bronner, Alexandria Sivers and Shannon DeSantis.

** Approved a probationary appointment for School Lunch Manager Jane Wagoner.

** Approved a probationary appointment for custodian David Jonson.

Minetto Elementary students perform “Alice”

Submitted by Oswego schools

The annual Minetto Elementary School musical played before an enthusiastic audience of students, parents and community members.

Once again the Oswego High School Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts was the setting for the musical production. Under the direction of Minetto music teacher Susan Olinsky, the students presented “The Trial of Alice in Wonderland.”

This colorful show provided a tremendous experience for all of the Minetto Elementary School students as the fast paced program moved along with the assistance of the musical accompaniment of Dr. Juan LaManna, Heather Sweeting and Brian McElroy.

Lead roles included Mariah Woodward (Alice), Matthew Caraccioli (White Rabbit), Abby Brancato (Queen of Hearts), Cierra Dunning (Dodo Bird), Brittany Kaye (Owl), Kaitlyn Czerow (Toucan), Lillian Reese (Parrot), Zeida Olson (Tweedle Dee), Hailey Babcock (Tweedle Dum), Megan Delong (Rose), Madison Jones (Iris), Morgan Mace (Daisy), Patsy Milner (Dandy Lion), Ashley Mays (Rose Bud), Tyler Bieganowski (Caterpillar), Nichole Lambo (Cheshire Cat), Carson Colucci (Mad Hatter), Cody Vincent (March Hare), Angie Guarrera (Dormouse) and Natalyia Smith, Grace Deland and Josh Lane as cards.

The birds were Jason Purtell, Derek Ditton, Sarah Jones, Nicole Mays, Allison Griffin, Sierah Allen and Morgan Samson while the remaining cards included Lacey Marino, Marissa Allissandrello, Lucas Capstraw, Mason Cass, Josh Colette, Ben Hough and Jayden Lee. The other flowers were Maya Upcraft, Marion Falise, Bailey Robinson, Andie Rose and Kylie Wallace.

Fairgrieve Glee Club celebrates music

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Members of the fourth-grade Glee Club at Fairgrieve Elementary School in Fulton were recently recognized at Morning Express as part of Music In Our Schools Month.

Students are led by music teacher Hope Lawton. The Glee Club introductes students to chorus, which is offered in fifth and sixth grade.

The group performs at the school’s Virtue of the Month award ceremonies. The song they choose connects to the monthly virtue.

This month, students will perform Play On by Carrie Underwood for the virtue of perseverance.

Glee Club members include: Patience Bean, Isabella Cary, Alexandra Coakley, Olivia Cunningham, Emma Francisco, Kendra Gardner, Abby Hinman, Michael Matthews, Pharell Richardson, Myles VanDyke, Aidehn Welling and Alley Bliss.

Also: Lacey Brown, Eva Lynn Dickens, Emaurie Fenty, Candice Francisco, Jessica Herlowski, Kaleb Kelly, Carolyn LaPierre, Tiffany Macri, Ben Maliziewski, Josalyn Miller, MaKenzie Miner, Gino Noel, Eric Orlosky, Jayda Padua, Adam Paro, Kaden Reynnells and Charlie Stoutenger.

Also: Kaylee Stevens, Jose Aguilar, Noel Allen, Tiffany Bean, Kayla Besaw, Matthew Breton, Madison Clark, Caleb Crandall, Logan Downey, Annyka Halligan, Rosiline Knoblock, Paris Kress, Danielle LaPierre, David Maglione, Ariel Nesbitt, Jasmyne Perry and Molly Williams

Fairgrieve’s Music in Our Schools Month concert was Thursday, March 27 in the school’s gymnasium.

Oswego Community Christian School auction to feature themed baskets; online bidding

Oswego Community Christian School students are doing their part to support the school’s 7th Annual Auction.

Students in each grade have been busy preparing themed baskets that will be up for bid during the auction. Each basket will be filled with an array of goodies that pertain to a unique theme.

Sue Bakos, planning committee chair, said the classroom baskets are one of the high points of the auction and generate a tremendous amount of excitement for auction goers.

“The students are enthused about making the baskets and enjoy selecting the items to be included.  They are really being creative and having fun putting their baskets together.  It’s nice to see them put so much thought into it,” said Bakos.  Themes for the baskets include: a Day at the Beach, Gardening, Family Time Basket, Cooking, Camping Basket, and Gift Card.

Oswego Christian Community School’s 7th Annual Auction will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Oswego Elks Lodge #271, corner of West Fifth and Bridge streets in Oswego.

The event, which serves as the school’s largest fundraiser, will feature a Silent Auction, a Live Auction featuring Corrina Paulding of McEwen Auction Co. in Oswego, and for the first time, online bidding.

Prior to and during the Live Auction, community members will be able to bid on items online by visiting the McEwen Auction Company website mcewenauctioncompany.com, click on the link to the OCCS Auction, and follow the instructions to register for online bidding and to view auction items.

Bidders will need a credit card to register, but can pay cash upon pick-up.

In addition there will be a bake sale and the Elks famous chicken barbecue.

The themed baskets will be a welcome addition to the extensive list of items up for bid, including: a polished granite bench, an overnight stay at Geneva on the Lake, a two-week camping experience in New Hampshire, and two rototillers, and much more.

Photos of many of the items available for bid can be found on the school’s website, myoccs.org, and its Facebook page.

The event, which boasts about $25,000 in items up for bid, will also include the popular Oswego Community Christian School’s annual prize drawing. For a donation of $10, individuals will have the opportunity to win one of three great prizes including: a 5 Day/6 Night stay at Disney World or $1500 Visa Card; an iPad Air; or a $250 Gas or Grocery Gift Card.

A limited number of tickets will available these prize drawings.

“Tickets for the drawing as well as pre-sale tickets for the chicken barbecue are $10 and are available at the school office, 400 E. Albany St., in Oswego,” added Bakos.

Proceeds will be used for the continued improvement of the quality of education offered to the students at Oswego Community Christian School.

For more information on The Oswego Community Christian School’s 7th Annual Auction, or to donate an item for the auction, call the school at 342-9322 or Sue Bakos at 342-6939.

BOCES graduates medical assisting students

Pictured are Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting students prior to their March graduation ceremony. Seated, left to right, are: Lauren Pepper, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Suezette Dunham, Tina Winnie, and Judy Campany. Standing, left to right, are: Oswego County BOCES Director of Adult and Migrant Education Paul Gugel, BOCES Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Stephanie Razavi, Andrea Ball, Grace Paige, Marissa Laun, Dalores Bowering, Tara Stoddard, Barbara Kowanes, Venus Waters, BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine and BOCES District Superintendent Christopher J. Todd.
Pictured are Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting students prior to their March graduation ceremony. Seated, left to right, are: Lauren Pepper, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Suezette Dunham, Tina Winnie, and Judy Campany. Standing, left to right, are: Oswego County BOCES Director of Adult and Migrant Education Paul Gugel, BOCES Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Stephanie Razavi, Andrea Ball, Grace Paige, Marissa Laun, Dalores Bowering, Tara Stoddard, Barbara Kowanes, Venus Waters, BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine and BOCES District Superintendent Christopher J. Todd.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Adult Education Program at Oswego County BOCES hosted a ceremony in late March to honor graduates completing the 730-hour Medical Assisting class.

Director of Adult and Migrant Education, Paul Gugel, served as the emcee for the ceremony, congratulating the graduates on their academic achievement and thanking those in the audience for their support during the students’ time in the program.

“When an adult goes back to school, so does his or her family,” Gugel said, recognizing the sacrifices an entire family makes to support a mom, dad, spouse or significant other returning to the classroom.

Also invited to speak was the BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine, who concurred with Gugel’s sentiments and talked about the skills that characterize a person who decides to reenter the classroom as an adult student.

“It requires skill, dedication and perseverance as well as a high level of courage and determination,” Shelmidine said.

Shelmidine went on to talk about the importance of the medical profession and the vital role medical assistants play in a hospital or medical practice and in each patient’s life.

“You are the glue which holds the medical profession together,” he said.

Sharing the stage for the ceremony with Gugel and Shelmidine was former Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting graduate Brandi LeBeau.

LeBeau shared her professional journey following graduation and said the BOCES program gave her a good foundation and opened her eyes to see her full potential.

LeBeau works as a certified medical assistant with the Cardiology PC practice in Syracuse and has returned to school to pursue her registered nursing degree.

Graduates of the Medical Assisting program earning recognition at the ceremony include: Andrea Ball, Dalores Bowering, Judy Campany, Suezette Dunham, Shaina Eusepi, Barbara Kowanes, Marissa Laun, Pamela Margetin, Grace Paige, Lauren Pepper, Stephanie Razavi, Tara Stoddard, Venus Waters and Tina Winnie.

Special awards were presented during the ceremony. Valedictorian distinction went to Judy Campany and salutatorian distinction to Andrea Ball.

In addition, the following students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society: Andrea Ball, Dalores Bowering, Suezette Dunham, Shaina Eusepi, Pamela Margetin, Stephanie Razavi and Tara Stoddard.

For more information about the Medical Assisting program or other programs offered through the Adult Education Department at Oswego County BOCES, visit OswegoBOCES.org or call 963-4256.

Chicken, biscuits on menu for next Salvation Army Guest Chef Dinner

Steve Cook will be cooking the next Salvation Army Guest Chef Dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1.

He will prepare chicken and biscuits and tossed salad, and desserts and beverages.    The dinner will be at the Salvation Army Citadel, 73 W. Second St., Oswego. Carryout dinners will be available.

Cook was born and raised in Oswego where he grew up in an Italian home. He was always interested in foods and cooking and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, in Montpelier, Vt.

He presently serves as chef at the Oswego County Salvation Army in Oswego and at O’Connor’s Main Street Pub in Fair Haven. He previously was chef at the Raging Rivers Barbecue in Oswego.

The Guest Chef dinners are organized by the Advisory Board and offered to the community to raise funds for support of the services of the Army throughout Oswego County.

Future dinners are scheduled on Tuesdays for June 3 by Vona’s Restaurant; August 5, roast beef, by the Oswego Zonta Club; October 7 by Press Box; and November 4, arrangements pending.

The Oswego County Salvation Army Corps provides fresh-cooked meals in both Fulton and Oswego and many other services are provided to individuals and families in need throughout Oswego County.

Information about The Salvation Army or about serving as a volunteer is available at 343-6491 or at the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego.

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